Limb Manifesto (3.5e Guide)
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- 1 Limb Manifesto
- 1.1 Classes
- 1.2 Prestige Classes
- 1.3 Races
- 1.4 Feats
- 1.5 Other
- 1.6 Examples
“Four arms! what is this ridiculousness?” they say. But ever wonder how to get more? This guide lists and analogizes the many manners to increase how many limbs one has, with special focus on maximizing damage.
There has yet to be any classes in canon that directly grant limbs. And most prestige classes require at least five levels in another class. What to do with these five levels? Besides the specific ranking that needs to be done for prestige class requirements (see below); if you can, classes that grant extra hit die per attack are always good as are feat granting classes.
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Body Sprouters puts copies of their limbs on other creatures at a rapid rate. This class automatically optimizes with anything on this page; for the more original limbs you have the more you can copy. Sadly it is only five levels long.
There is a progression within this class which adds extra arms (chest). This class is not worth the time if gaining limbs is the main goal. Further this class in particular does not do well with multiclassing with other parts of this page. Instead, is better off a stand-alone class.
An impressive spiderman class, however it only gives two arms at 14th level an two more at 19th. These arms have a ceiling (do not rank with other limb granting articles). The spider-monk is mentioned here for project completeness only.
The abomination prestige class requires at least five prior levels; and gives one arm at first, another at fifth, and a “Meat Hook” (essentially a very powerful whip attack, that can be done once per hour) at sixth. There is no reason to level above sixth if wanting more limbs (the meat-hook itself may not be worth the level). Abominations gain the least amount of limbs than any other on this page, and are only of value to players who want to be more the shield than the sword of the party – a thing that it excels at.
The farspawn scion prestige class requires at least five prior levels; and gives two tentacles at second and another two at seventh. Eighth level gives a +2 bonus to Strength.
A note on prerequisites: Intelligence must begin at 14 total (after racial adjustment) to receive enough ranks for prerequisites. (It may be best to select a race that does not penalize Intelligence.) Even with a score of 14, almost all your ranks will need to be spent in either: Balance, Perform (Dance), Knowledge (Religion), or Tumble – limiting skill checks in the more beneficial skills, at least until fifth level. But only requires one feat, no racial requirement, and has a very open alignment restriction.
The nataraja prestige class gives one arm at first, a second at fourth, a third at seventh, and a fourth at tenth. The nataraja has a lot of deflection and defense abilities, but at sixth level it also gives 1d6 damage to all attacks. As far as damage is concerned: the nataraja gives little after level seven (only on more arm at tenth); thus, it may be more economical to select another prestige class or feat granting class after seventh.
The sivatar is very similar to the nataraja, in that it acquires 4 arms (also at first, fourth, seventh, and tenth levels); but it requires: three feats, at least one level in a divine spellcasting class, and six prior levels (instead of five). Oddly, it is much easier to meet the requirements (you can also completely tank Intelligence). The sivatar class gives a lot of highly useful bonus feats, and a divine spellcasting progression, whereas one can gain the spell dopple arms (giving two more temporary arms). This is one of the few that should be fully leveled in, and by far the most powerful limb granting prestige class.
Like the standard sivatar, except: requires three divine levels, 13 ranks in Knowledge (religion), and only gives extra arms at 1st and 8th levels. However, the variant does have some good spell-like abilities.
Only for the purpose of having a complete guide is the starspawn host prestige class mentioned here. Starspawn hosts can grow a rather weak tentacle at first, second, and every two thereafter (up to 6 at 10th). But the classes focus does not involve gaining limbs. Noting that the prerequisite (yes only one), is rather easy to acquire; the class lends itself to being taken after another limb granting class – to get just a few more.
The only traditional race to have more than four limbs (why they are noted first); centaurs have two arms and four legs, are large-sized, with a +8Strength bonus; but at a cost of +2LA and 4HD.
Brachyura have two large-sized claws and four medium-sized arms. One of two races to have six arms (the other being Wastecrawler). They are large-sized, with a+8Strength bonus, and the Xenotheric subtype (can take xenotheric feats); but at a costs of +2LA. To be fair, the +8Strength has the potential of being worth two levels, but will make it harder to meet the requirements of some limb-granting prestige classes (you may have to wait a few more levels). Advisable only if you expect to start at higher levels (ECL of 6 or more).
Coloth have four arms, and no LA or HD. But require an extra prerequisite feat to fully use second set of arms; and they have some weaknesses that make them not the most optimal in melee – much better at range combat.
Durumgiru have two arms, four legs and a tail, and no LA or HD; but are blind.
Octoxeno are a tentacle mass, they have two primary tentacles and two secondary tentacles, and four tentacle legs. However, they have -2Strength and -2Constitution penalties, are small with slight build (effectively tiny), and are manifesters. Octoxeno are the weakest of all races for combat.
Ortal-ya-jit have four arms; but have a -2Strength penalty, and a cost of +1LA. It is not worth the LA to breed with Gai or Smi subtypes or double breeds. When calculating for damage, ortal are one of the weaker of those mentioned on this page.
Qua-Vel have four arms, and a powerful build; but require an extra feat to fully use second set of arms and a cost of +1LA.
Skandar have four arms, have powerful build, with a +4Strength bonus, a stackable Rage ability, and the Xenotheric subtype (can take xenotheric feats). But have 2HD, which, oddly, should give them most of the requirements for limb-granting prestige classes.
Sol-duhvaan have four arms (one set starts off weak, growing to full strength at 6HD – for no cost), are large-sized giants (with giant attributes), +4Strength, and a few bloodline abilities; but have 2HD.
The tendunava are panther centaurs, with head, arms, and chest being that of a man, tapering into the chest of a panther, with 4 panther legs. Tendunava have +2Strength, +4Dexterity and +2Charsma bonuses, and powerful build; however they have 2 hindering traits to select and 2HD.
Lesser Thri-Kreen have four arms (one set starts off weak, growing to full strength at 6HD – for no cost), with a +2Strength bonus, and no LA or HD.
Thri-Ranx have four arms (two can also be used as legs), have a +4Dexterity bonus, one LA, +4 natural armor; but are vulnerable once dealt lethal damage.
Wastecrawler have six arms! The second of two (the other being Brachyura) to have six arms, many would consider it broken, even with the handicap of +2LA and two HD. (Some of the above have an equal or greater handicap.) They are small sized. This race may require you to pan-handle your GM.
Natural attack damage die for a medium creature put in parenthetical when possible.
Requires the Product of Infernal Dalliance feat, but otherwise a very clean and easy way to get two more arms every six levels.
Strengthens weaker arms to be equal with primary, enabling them to use weapons.
Scaling extra arm feat. Start with two extra arms, which get stronger with level. At 16HD grow two more.
Gain a tail with reach that can use light weapons.
Gain a tail granting an attack with reach (2d4+Str)
Sting of the Scorpion is another tail granting feat with, instead, a Constitution modified poison attack (1d6 Con).
Tail Feat Combo
If you combine the fiendish feats: Extra Legs and Constricting Fiend, you are granted a tail, with a very impressive constricting attack (4d6 constricting) (will also require Product of Infernal Dalliance).
Scaling tail feat.
Grow dagger-like spines (1d4 piercing or slashing), that do not require an action to fire. Very nice, especially with character that use throwing weapons a lot.
Tentacle Parasite grants one tentacle (1d4 bludgeoning) with a mind of its own. While the tentacle does not require an action cost to attack on your part, it does require a Will save to suppress in social encounters. You can gain an additional tentacle every 4HD (by taking the feat again), but it is generally not worth it.
Tentacles of Dagon give two tentacles (1d4 bludgeoning).
The bloodline gives a number of heads (depending on strength of bloodline). If you’re not a fan of the bloodline concept do not even check it out. Otherwise, it is most certainly worth two levels.
Dopple Arms Spell
The spell is on the cleric and sorcerer/wizard spell lists, and grants two temporary arms.
Holt's Extra Hands Spell
The spell is on the sorcerer/wizard spell lists, low level, granting two temporary arms (+2 more every six caster levels after sixth).
Four Witches Invocation
Requires two levels in Saiyan Warrior, and grants 2 extra arms for 25 Ki points. These arms give the user bonuses to attack and AC, but require concentration to maintain if the warrior is damaged.
Made as examples not optimizations.
The shiva build is made as an example of how to balance many limbed characters. This build’s goal is to gain the maximum amount of limbs, while maintaining damage (i.e. not just a lot of limbs, but a lot of limbs that can hit). At 20th level the shiva build has eighteen arms, and an average damage per round of 2,803.5!
A brother to shiva, the nightmare focuses more on diversity of attack types than getting the most damage. The nightmare deals significantly less damage, and is much less accurate. But as far as creating a character, the nightmare is far more interesting! At 20th level, the nightmare build has 6 claws, 5 tentacles, 4 heads, 2 wings, spines (that can be fired) and one tail; and an average damage per round of ~2,100!