Ghost Rider, Spirit of Vengeance (3.5e Optimized Character Build)

From D&D Wiki

Jump to: navigation, search


This a flavorful build, aimed at reproducing the Marvel's hero Ghost Rider.

It uses the hellbred race, from Fiendish Codex II, the warlock class, from Complete Arcane (or better my version of it), the homebrew prestige class Fell Warrior, the Hellfire Warlock prestige class, from Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells, the exoticist variant for the fighter, from Dragon Magazine #310 and the 3.0e prestige class Master of Chains, from Sword and Fist: A Guidebook to Monks and Fighters.

This build's goals are as follows:

  • Play as gish caster, that uses a spiked chain as its primary weapon, adding eldritch blast damage to its blows.
  • Imitate the feel of a damned soul, desperately struggling for redemption, as it cleaves against hordes of black-hearted criminals and fiendish foes.
  • Replicate the use of hellish chains and motorcycle and the power of the Penance Stare, typical power of the Ghost Rider.

I decided for the warlock class for its infernal association, but tried to make this build a bit more tough, as it relies on meelee combat (or better, reach combat). I chose the hellbred race as it's thematically very adherent to the original source, and strong in its own right. Different races may be appropriate such as human, vasharan (a kind of malevolent human), tiefling, fire genasi or mortif. Anything that may resemble a fiend or a skeleton.

As far as flavor goes, roleplay-wise, this character is inhabited by a spirit, called Spirit of Vengeance, that lend it its powers and connect it with the deepest part of Hell. This is not a evil character, but neither a good one. I think neutrality suits it best. When its powers manifest, the Spirit changes its body to resemble a flaming skeleton.


  • Player's Handbook
  • Dungeon Master Guide
  • Complete Arcane
  • Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells
  • Unearthed Arcana
  • Drow of the Underdark
  • Lords of Madness
  • Dragon Magazine #310

Game Rule Components[edit]


Some invocations are from this site, the others come from WoTC official material.

If not specified, these are suggestions.

  • Beguiling Influence
  • Darkness
  • Devil's Sight
  • Entropic Warding
  • Hideous Blow (this invocation is necessary for the build)
  • Miasmic Cloud
  • Ocular Blast (recommended, as it's the closest thing to Penance Stare)
  • See the Unseen
  • Summon Swarm
  • Serpent's Tongue
  • Soulreaving Aura
  • Baneful Blast
  • Beshadowed Blast
  • Brimstone Blast (this invocation is necessary for the build)
  • Curse of the Despair
  • Fell Flight
  • Flee the Scene
  • Hungry Darkness
  • Ignore the Pyre
  • Relentless Dispelling
  • Sudden Swarm
  • The Dead Walk
  • Voidsense
  • Voracious Dispelling
  • Walk Unseen
  • Wall of Doom
  • Weighty Utterance
  • Devour Magic
  • Enervating Shadow
  • Hindering Blast
  • Noxious Blast
  • Penetrating Blast
  • Repelling Blast
  • Tenacious Plague
  • Wall of Perilous Flame

(only available if you decide to take at least two more levels in a class that improves your invocations)

  • Binding Blast
  • Dark Foresight
  • Retributive Healing
  • Utterdark Blast


You should ask your DM for a magical construct vehicle that should imitate a motorcycle, with infernal attributes, spikes and such amenities. If your DM isn't compliant check out the Other Components section below.



Using "3.5e Starting Race" as property chain is not permitted during the annotation process. Hellbred[1]

Starting Racial Traits:

  • Humanoid (Hellbred).
  • Infernal Mien (Ex): +2 racial bonus on Intimidate checks.
  • Evil Exception (Ex): Regardless of alignment or class restrictions, a hellbred can cast spells with the evil descriptor and never gains negative levels while wielding evil magic items, such as unholy weapons or demon armor. This ability does not shield a hellbred from losing access to class features if he violates a class's code of conduct.
  • Hellbound (Su): A hellbred can be restored to life only by a resurrection spell or greater magic.
  • Devil's Favor: A hellbred gains Devil's Favor[2] as a bonus feat for which it does not need to meet the prerequisite.

Infernal Aspect: Upon completing a process called the Scourging, a hellbred chooses one of the following aspects to manifest. Once the choice is made, it cannot be changed.

  • Body (Ex): A hellbred who chooses body as his infernal aspect gains a +4 bonus on saves against poison. In addition, he gains a +2 bonus to Constitution and takes a -2 penalty to Intelligence.

At 4 HD, he gains a bonus devil-touched feat[3].

At 14 HD, he gains another bonus devil-touched feat.

  • Spirit (Su): A hellbred who selects the spirit aspect acquires infernal senses, gaining darkvision out to 30 feet and a +2 racial bonus on Sense Motive checks. In addition, he gains a +2 bonus to Charisma and takes a -2 penalty to Constitution.

At 6 HD, his darkvision extends to 60 feet.

At 9 HD, his darkvision extends to 120 feet.

At 12 HD, he gains the ability to see in darkness, even that created by a deeper darkness spell.

At 15 HD, he gains telepathy out to 100 feet.

Automatic Languages: Infernal.

Favored Class: Paladin. Hellbred paladins can leave that class and return to it without penalty.

Starting Attributes[edit]

The following table presents you two variants for this build: as you must have at least 13 in Intelligence you have to choose if you want to start with higher Int o Con. This choice is dictated by which kind of Infernal Aspect (see below) you prefer. Having a bonus on Con means that you must start with at least an Int of 15 (as you have a -2 to it). If you choose to have a bonus on Charisma you may leave a 13 in Int and gain a 18 in Charisma (which is useful).

If you choose the Mind Infernal Aspect you must refer to the first set (unmodified attributes: 15 Con, 13 Int, 16 Cha; modified attributes: 13 Con, 13 Int, 18 Cha).

If you choose the Body Infernal Aspect you must refer to the second set (unmodified attributes: 13 Con, 15 Int, 16 Cha; modified attributes: 15 Con, 13 Int, 16 Cha).

Choosing one or the other depends on which racial abilities you prefer. I'd recommend the Body Infernal aspect, as you gain devil-touched feats for free and you are a bit tougher, but the Mind Infernal Aspect grants you a lot of darkvision and telepathy (rather later though), in addition to a Cha bonus that may be useful for your invocations' DC and other class features, such as Improved Hideous Blow.

Table: Starting Attributes
32 points buy
Attribute Unmodified Modified Bonus
Strength 14 14 +2
Dexterity 13 13 +1
Constitution 15/13 13/15 +1/+2
Intelligence 13/15 13 +1
Wisdom 8 8 -1
Charisma 16 18/16 +4/+3


Using "3.5e Final Class Progression" as property chain is not permitted during the annotation process.

This table assumes that you chose the Body Infernal Aspect, as it presents devil-touched feats.

If you prefer the Mind Infernal Aspect, remove any devil-touched feat and substitute Devil's Aura with the Mindsight[4] feat.

ECL Class Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Feats Class
Special Ability Score Increase
Fort Ref Will
1st Fighter(exoticist variant) 1 +1 +2 +0 +0 Devil's Favor[5], Weapon Focus (spiked chain) Combat Expertise, Exotic Weapon Proficiency (spiked chain) Escape Artist 2 ranks, Intimidate 4 ranks, Knowledge (the planes) 1 rank, Open Lock 1 rank
2nd Warlock 1 +1 +2 +0 +2 Eldritch blast 1d6, Invocation (least) Escape Artist 2.5 ranks, Hideous Blow, Intimidate 5 ranks, Knowledge (the planes) 2 ranks, Open Lock 1.5 ranks
3rd Warlock 2 +2 +2 +0 +3 Improved Trip Detect Magic Escape Artist 3 ranks, Intimidate 6 ranks, Open Lock 2 ranks
4th Warlock 3 +3 +3 +1 +3 Devil's Flesh[6] Damage Reduction 1/cold iron, Eldritch Blast 2d6 Escape Artist 3.5 ranks, Knowledge (the planes) 3 ranks, Open Lock 2.5 ranks +1 to Constitution
5th Warlock 4 +4 +3 +1 +4 Deceive Item Escape Artist 4 ranks, Knowledge (the planes) 4 ranks, Open Lock 3 ranks
6th Fell Warrior 1 +5 +5 +1 +6 Mortalbane[7] Battle Caster[8], Eldritch Blast 3d6, Improved Hideous Blow (1 strike) Escape Artist 4.5 ranks, Knowledge (the planes) 5 ranks, Open Lock 3.5 ranks
7th Fell Warrior 2 +6/+1 +6 +1 +7 Improved Fiendish Resilience/Fiendish Flamewreath, Reflexive Hideous Blow Escape Artist 5 ranks, Knowledge (the planes) 6 ranks, Open Lock 4 ranks
8th Fell Warrior 3 +7/+2 +6 +2 +7 Invocation (lesser), Improved Disarm Brimstone Blast, Knowledge (the planes) 8 ranks, Spellcraft 1 rank +1 to Constitution
9th Fell Warrior 4 +8/+3 +7 +2 +8 Vae School[9] Eldritch Blast 4d6, Improved Hideous Blow (2 strikes) Knowledge (the planes) 10 ranks, Spellcraft 2 ranks
10th Fell Warrior 5 +9/+4 +7 +2 +8 Dreadful Combatant Knowledge (the planes) 12 ranks, Spellcraft 3 ranks
11th Fell Warrior 6 +10/+5 +8 +3 +9 Weapon Specialization (spiked chain) Spellcraft 6 ranks
12th Hellfire Warlock 1 +10/+5 +8 +3 +11 Item Familiar Eldritch Blast 5d6, Hellfire Blast +2d6 Escape Artist 6 ranks, Use Magic Device 1 rank +1 to Constitution
13th Hellfire Warlock 2 +11/+6/+1 +8 +3 +12 Hellfire Blast +4d6, Hellfire Infusion, Invocation (greater), Resistance to fire 10 Concentration 1 rank, Use Magic Device 3 ranks
14th Hellfire Warlock 3 +12/+7/+2 +9 +4 +12 Devil's Stamina[10] Eldritch blast 6d6, Hellfire Blast +6d6, Hellfire Shield Concentration 2 ranks, Use Magic Device 5 ranks
15th Fell Warrior 7 +13/+8/+3 +9 +4 +12 Practiced Magic[11] Eldritch blast 7d6, Improved Hideous Blow (3 strikes) Concentration 4 ranks, Use Magic Device 6 ranks
16th Master of Chains 1 +14/+9/+4 +9 +6 +12 Scare Escape Artist 12 ranks, Intimidate 11 ranks, Open Lock 8 ranks +1 to Charisma
17th Master of Chains 2 +15/+10/+5 +9 +7 +12 Climb Fighting Intimidate 16 ranks
18th Master of Chains 3 +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +7 +13 Devil's Aura[12] Superior Weapon Focus Intimidate 21 ranks
19rd Master of Chains 4 +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +8 +13 Chain Bind Intimidate 26 ranks
20th Master of Chains 5 +18/+13/+8/+3 +10 +8 +13 Chain Armor, Double Chain Intimidate 31 ranks +1 to Charisma

Other Components[edit]

Alternative Suggested Feats
  • Any feat that lets you prevent ability damage to Constitution.
  • Fiendish Power[14]: +1 to all your invocations' DC (you need Fiendish Heritage for this feat)
  • Imperious Command[15]: a foe demoralized in combat cowers in fear for 1 round and is shaken in the following round.
  • Maximize Spell-Like Ability[16]
  • Practiced Spellcaster[17] (this feat is similar to Practiced Magic, but less clearly aimed to spell-like abilities)
  • Spell-Like Ability Focus[18] (stacks with Ability Focus)
  • Steely Gaze[19]: +2 to Intimidate checks, you may intimidate as a move action.

Nightmare Rider

If you don't want to, or are prohibited from, have an hellish construct motorcycle, you should take the Leadership feat at 9th level (and delay gaining the Improved Disarm feat at 15th level, in place of Vae School).

This way, you should be able to acquire a nightmare as a cohort, around the 11th or 12th level.


First of all, you need to have a level in fighter (exoticist variant) to gain spiked chain proficiency for free (along with competence with alla armors, shields, simple weapons and another three exotic weapons of your choice). You may instead take the proficiency as a feat, but you are feat-starved and fighter 1 is a good level for you in general.

Using "3.5e Summary" as property chain is not permitted during the annotation process.

Munchkin-Size Me[edit]

<- Take it to the next level ->

Side Notes[edit]

<- overview of additional info about this build ->


<- conditions of when this build works ->

DM Counters[edit]

<- If needed, tricks for the DM (provided they allow this build) to keep the abuse to a minimum. ->


<- Any other side notes that don't fit in the above sections. ->

Back to Main Page3.5e HomebrewOptimized Character Builds

  1. Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells
  2. Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells
  3. Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells
  4. Lords of Madness
  5. Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells
  6. Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells
  7. Book of Vile Darkness
  8. Complete Arcane
  9. Drow of the Underdark
  10. Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells
  11. Dungeon Magazine #116
  12. Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells
  13. Complete Arcane
  14. Complete Mage
  15. Drwo of the Underdark
  16. Complete Arcane
  17. Complete Arcane
  18. Races of Faerun
  19. Dragon Annual 2001
Home of user-generated,
homebrew pages!