DINOTASTIC (3.5e Optimized Character Build)

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Author: Aarnott (talk)
Date Created: 01:44, March 25, 2010 (UTC)
Status: Complete
Editing: Clarity edits only please
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You are a dinosaur. As such, you jump on people and eat them.

You are also a martial artist. And water is always on the house!


When I make optimized builds, I don't plan on playing them (or to have them played for that matter). I take a set of constraints and try to make the best possible character I can with them. Here are the constraints I used to construct this character:

  • The character makes good use of the swift hunter feat (it should have at least 5d6 skirmish damage from scout/ranger stacking).
  • The character is melee based
  • The character does not use other optimized builds to achieve its ends (ie. pun-pun)

Specifically, the goal with this build was to create a swift hunter build that synergized nicely with the ranger wild shape variant.

In retrospect, however, this build would make a pretty fun character to play, so long as you start at level 10 (it really is sub-par before then). If you can convince your DM to ignore multiclass XP penalties, only take one Overwhelming Attack level and instead take an extra Scout level. You'll still have the same number of feats, but you'll get that last +1 AC from skirmish progression.


  • Champions of Valor
  • Book of Exalted Deeds
  • Unearthed Arcana
  • Complete Adventurer
  • Complete Mage
  • Complete Scoundrel
  • Monster Manual III
  • Spell Compendium

Game Rule Components[edit]


Race (Templates): Human

ECL Class/HD/LA Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Feats Class
Fort Ref Will
1st Monk of the Passive Way 1 +0 +2 +2 +2 Sacred Vow, Vow of Poverty, Combat Expertise, Nymph's Kiss Unarmed strike (1d6), flurry of blows, monk AC bonus
2nd Monk of the Passive Way 2 +1 +3 +3 +3 Improved Trip, Touch of Golden Ice Evasion
3rd Ranger Variant 1 +2 +5 +5 +3 Extend Spell, Track Favored enemy: arcanists (CM), wild empathy, fast movement
4th Scout 1 +2 +5 +7 +3 Intuitive Attack Skirmish (+1d6), trapfinding
5th Scout 2 +3 +5 +8 +3 Battle fortitude +1, uncanny dodge
6th Scout 3 +4 +6 +8 +4 Swift Hunter, Sacred Strike Fast movement +10 ft., skirmish (+1d6, +1 AC), trackless step
7th Ranger Variant 2 +5 +7 +9 +4 Skirmish (+2d6, +1 AC)
8th CoV Ranger substitution level (3rd) +6 +7 +9 +5 Sanctify Natural Attack Weavespeak (sending 1/day)
9th CoV Ranger substitution level (4th) +7 +8 +10 +5 Improved Skirmish Skirmish (+2d6/+2 AC), bonus spell slots, improved spellcasting
10th Ranger Variant 5 +8 +8 +10 +5 Nemesis (arcanists) Favored enemy: constructs, wild shape 1/day
11th Ranger Variant 6 +9 +9 +11 +6 Skirmish (+3d6/+2 AC), wild shape 2/day
12th Ranger Variant 7 +10 +9 +11 +6 Multiattack, Nemesis (constructs) Woodland stride, wild shape 3/day
13th CoV Ranger substitution level (8th) +11 +10 +12 +6 Skirmish (+3d6/+3 AC), expanded spell list
14th Ranger Variant 9 +12 +10 +12 +7 Exalted Wild Shape Spell reflection (CM)
15th Ranger Variant 10 +13 +11 +13 +7 Natural Spell Skirmish (+4d6/+3 AC), favored enemy: elementals, wild shape 4/day
16th CoV Ranger substitution level (11th) +14 +11 +13 +7 Nemesis (elementals)
17th Ranger Variant 12 +15 +12 +14 +8 Skirmish (+4d6/+4 AC)
18th Ranger Variant 13 +16 +12 +14 +8 Sword of the Arcane Order, Some other VoP feat Camouflage
19th CoV Ranger substitution level (14th) +17 +13 +15 +8 Skirmish (+5d6/+4 AC)
20th Ranger Variant 15 +18 +13 +15 +9 Nemesis (undead) Favored enemy: undead

Final progression: Monk of the Passive Way 2 / Scout 3 / Ranger Variant 15


None. You have Vow of Poverty.


The build does not turn online until level 10 when you can turn into a Fleshraker Dinosaur (MM3).

At level 20:

  • Starting stats using a 32 point buy: Str 15, Dex 8, Con 14, Int 13, Wis 17, Cha 8
  • At level 20 (including VoP bonuses): Str 15, Dex 12, Con 20, Int 15, Wis 30, Cha 8
  • In dino form: Str 17, Dex 23, Con 21, Int 15, Wis 30, Cha 8
  • AC unbuffed: 48 = 10 (Base) +6 (skirmish), +10 (monk), +6 natural (dino form), +2 stacking natural (VoP), +10 exalted (VoP), +3 deflection (VoP), +6 Dex
  • AC buffed: 56: +4 (mage armor), +4 (barkskin)
  • Speed: 70' (+10' scout, 10' ranger)
  • Attack routine (without haste): +33/+33/+28/+22/+18 (unarmed flurry of blows) and claw, bite, rake, and tail all at +31
    • Modifiers are: +18 (BAB) + 5 Magic + 10 (Wisdom) + 2 (Charging) - 2 (Flurry of Blows) -2 (multiattack for natural weapons)
    • Thanks to wraith strike, these are all touch attacks.
    • To get the rake, the claw must hit
    • Only one of the bite or tail can hit a single opponent (but they both can hit different opponents)
    • All of these attacks are done in a super-pounce. It works like normal pounce, but if one of the natural attacks hit, you get a free trip attack against the target if they are your size or smaller. If that trip attack hits, you get to make a free grapple attempt. If the grapple attempt succeeds, you are in a grapple with the opponent and they are pinned.
  • Damage: 1d6 + 5d6 (skirmish) + 2d6 (improved skirmish) + 5 (magic) + 3 (strength)
    • This applies to unarmed strikes and natural weapons
    • Against a touch AC of 20, this comes out to approximately 286.2 DPR on average
    • Hasted, you do 324 DPR on average (you can cast haste)
    • Each hit requires a DC 14 fortitude save against dex damage from touch of golden ice
    • Each natural weapon hit requires a DC 25 fortitude save against dex damage from dinosaur poison.
  • You will have lots of skill points and useful skills.
  • You are not a swift tracker, but you do get scent, so you are effective.


First, you turn into a Fleshraker Dinosaur (MM3). Next you cast haste on yourself (if you want) and then, using some memorized spells from your spellbook (I assume this is legal with VoP, otherwise, use your buddy's spellbook), you swift cast wraith strike (or an extended wraith strike) before your pounce making a ton of powerful touch attacks.

If you don't kill your target, you should have enough ranks in concentration to swift cast another wraith strike defensively and pounce a different target. If there is only one target, you will have to evade for a round, unless the target is large enough that you can pounce to a different square (to trigger skirmish again).

Against flying targets, you can always memorize the fly spell. Otherwise, you have a large racial bonus to jump checks in dino form and you have tons of skill points as you level up, so you should be able to reach a nice jump check.

You can also memorize the burrow spell if needed (although that takes up one of your valuable 2nd level spell slots).


  • Enemies immune to skirmish (oozes, plants)
  • Typical melee limitations (illusions, concealment, etc.)
    • You do have low light vision and scent, however.
    • You can also detect what square a favored enemy is in (if they within 60ft.) without fail.

DM Counters[edit]

Exploit those limitations!

Further Optimization[edit]

  • Use the Mystic Ranger option in Dragon Magazine#336 to gain 0th and 5th level spells (which you can use to memorize wizard spells).
  • Change the build around a bit so that it is good at grappling and tripping.
    • Take out VoP and instead use items with wilding clasps (allow you to use the item in wildshaped form)
    • Trade out monk levels for Psychic Warrior 1 and Half Giant. Powerful build transfers into wildshaped forms.
    • Use augmented expansion tattoos (+10) and the grip of iron power (+4).
    • You'll end up with around a +45 grapple check, which is not amazing, but nothing to sneeze at either.
    • Use Knock-Down for cheese.
  • Take the Dash feat.


Thanks goes to Alex2 and BackHandOfFate who helped me refine the build!

Back to Main Page3.5e HomebrewCharacter Optimization

Article BalanceModerate +
AuthorAarnott +
Final Class ProgressionMonk of the Passive Way 2 / Scout 3 / Ranger Variant 15 +
Identifier3.5e Optimized Character Build +
RaceHuman +
RatingUnrated +