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View Full Version : [3.5] Need help from the optimizers. Please help me build my Gnoll (b-word) Queen!



Pika...
2009-08-28, 03:11 AM
I can not believe I am saying this, but I need to optimize something, and hard (Oh Lugia I can not believe I just said that...).

(Nothing against you optimizers, it just has never been my thing. :smallsmile:)

Maybe one of you might remember my recent threads on here concerning this uber nasty Gnoll Queen:
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=121913
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=121722


Anyway, the campaign seems to have picken up steam again, and while at Walmart just now I got a daydream "vision" of my [email protected]#$% Queen which thrilled me to the bone. It was of her carving through a wave of orcs like butter with her twin M.W. war-trophy dwarven axes, with a semi-cruel expression of delight smeared across her face. It was followed by an overland view of the battled field (Gnolls vs. masses of Orcs) which ended with her hyena laugh echoing in the background. I later realized I had been walking down the same aisle back-and-forth for a while.

Now I want to stat her up, but since I have no experience with either rangers or optimizing (especially optimizing) I was hoping the pros at it here could help me. Perhaps a small contest of sorts to see who can make the most killer version of her?

Basically, I want whatever future players/PCs who see her coming down the battlefield to have an expression/reaction of the "Ah s###..." type on their faces. I want her to be something I make clear to players that they can kill her, and if they do they will get an amazing item (not to mention probably either conquering or shattering her empire), but there will be no holding back if you go for this major an NPC of this world.


The background of the Gnoll Queen:


Arau
The B#### Queen

Arau, as she was named by the one who bared her, is the self-proclaimed Queen of the Gnolls. Possessing an unearthly combination of brutal savagery, and a militaristic focus and keen intellect rare to her kind, she has managed to subjugate a continent's worth of her own kind into an empire within a single Gnoll lifetime.

After quickly ascending to the top of her birth tribe's pecking order before even being considered of combatant age, she began launching attacks against neighboring Gnoll warbands; either assimilating their numbers, forcing their bands into submission as slave clans, or simply slaughtering those who refused her influence. Once her tribe's numbers, combined with the enslaved clans, were highly in their favor she repeated the process with other stable tribes. Fortification after fortifications, and cave after cave, fell as she led her horde at it's front lines cackling her trademark laugh.

She became quite feared by the Gnolls of the continent of Flanes. Feared enough to jolt both her enemies, and those in her ranks out of their lazy lifestyles. Some Gnolls even say she is a demon in disguise, probably sent by Yeenoghu himself. True or not, she is clearly bigger and stronger than your average Gnoll, even a female one, and there is no doubt that she has been favored by the demon lord of Gnolls. Her mystic item of magic could have only come from such a power.

From her ever growing and expanding birth tribe she rules her territory with an ever vigilant eye. She has her subjugated tribes and warbands either patrolling her borders, building new permanent fortified encampments or underground lairs, or putting their slaves to use rebuilding old Human ruins to serve as Gnoll makeshift settlements. The Gnolls of Flanes' Western Planes have learned not to risk angering their vicious patron. Her temper and reputation of brutality towards those who anger (or merely annoy) her has earned her the title of "B#### Queen" among the Gnolls of Flanes, though none are foolish enough to speak that title anywhere near her presence.


Arau's current affairs:
With every Gnoll tribe on the Western Planes of Flanes she knows of either under her rule, enslaved, or slaughtered she is now solely focused on her rivalry with the Orc Mega Tribe to the South of her realm.

The Gnolls and Orcs have always been bitter enemies, but until recently the Orcs, along with most of Flanes, has dismissed the Gnolls as minor pests at best. But now under her rules they pose a threat even to the five-million strong Mega Orc Tribe. Even the High Elf Kingdom to her people's South-West have begun to take notice of her influence.

The latest "Big Boss" of the Mega Orc Tribe has a rabid personal vendetta against her, and she shares these feelings. The Big Boss of the Orcs despises her to the point that he has practically abandoned his people's age-old war with the High Elves.

While she had lead a few skirmish attacks against the High Elf Kingdom in the early days of her empire (her way to "test" them), her territory and the realm of the High Elves have a fragile unspoken peace of sorts. If only for the reason that both are too concerned with their Orc neighbors to want to deal with each other as well.


Arau's Secret:
As powerful and pridful as she is, Arau harbors a personal secret. A secret that could mean the downfall of everything she has worked so hard to create, or even worse: her own demise.

You see, it has been nearly four decades since she founded her "empire". Although she is still mroe than a match for most beings on Flanes, she knows it is only a matter of time before that begins to change, and her age starts showing itself. Already she can feel her muscles weakening, and her stamina not lasting as long as in times past. Yes, a single one of her hands can still easily crush the throats of a disrespectful Gnoll thrall, but can they still take on the Orc Big Boss with his legendary "Fire Club" if they ever finally met in the fields of battle? She is no longer certain, though admitting this to anyone would certainly mean an all out attack by the Orcs lead by the Big Boss gunning for her head and hide.

For now she has found a solution at least. You see the Elves make this disgustingly sweet drink. A very expensive ad hard to obtain drink. Though as dainty and nauseating as it is, there is something very special about it. For those of us who age, it gives us a temporarily window to our youth. For hours after drinking a fraction of a bottle's worth you feel young again, and your body reacts as though you were many years younger. This is what she now needs to keep the fatuous going. However, she can never let anyone know she drinks this Elven "delicacy" for her secret would be revealed, which makes obtaining the rare substance even more difficult.




Some difference in mechanics which would need to be taken into consideration, including houserules in my world/setting:


I want her to be of 15 ECL. 15ish CR is around where I want to cap the most of the biggest NPCs on my homebrewed planet (with the exception of a few clerics). From there I want to make it so one would need to travel the planes for something bigger.
I run a low-magic and low-wealth cosmology. However, as a "queen" she would still have standard NPC loot for her ECL.
I also run low-magic, so I want to limit her to only one magic item. Fluffwise I am thinking it could be a gift from Yeenoghu? Also, if possible, I'd love it if anyone has an idea for an item which the former/true god of Gnolls Gorellik (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gorellik) could grant later on (in another campaign or something) to someone (perhaps I am thinking a good Gnoll?) which would be parallel/counter it/whatevet trope you'd like to use, perhaps as an attempt to turn Arau's empire to his worship (would a continent of Gnolls on a single world be enough to revitalize a falling deity?! Anyone know).
I would prefer it if it would be possible for her to duel-wield axes of some sort. Fluffwise dwarven weapons are the most beloved by the Savage Races in my setting, and although there are very very few magic items all dwarven weapons are M.W. Quality.
Players wanting to play a Gnolls can either choose drop the race's 2 Racial HD, or it's +1LA so it is actually playable.
Only one of the two variant non-spell using Ranger variants from the Complete series are available. Again, low-magic...



So, can this be worked with? Again I limit things a bit in my games, but anything else goes.

Anyone willing to please give her a try?

BobVosh
2009-08-28, 03:38 AM
Ok, assuming elite array with standard NPC wealth? Why would standard NPC wealth matter if they only get one magic item, anyway?

Also you can TWF with Dwarven waraxes. Just need oversized 2 weapon fighting, I believe.

It is more important to clarify if you want CR 15 or ECL 15. Also if you want the gnoll to have only one item of artifact level or any type of magic you should just tell us what you want the item to be.

Also if you are willing to go past RAW a bit you can just redo dervish to allow duel wielding dwarven waraxes and that class by itself should fit your Gnoll inspired walmart daydream.

Couple levels of fighter, finish scout up til you meet the prereqs for dervish.

Pika...
2009-08-28, 03:51 AM
Ok, assuming elite array with standard NPC wealth?

Sure. Anything goes. I want to see the pros let loose on her.


Why would standard NPC wealth matter if they only get one magic item, anyway?

Hmm.. Good Point I guess.

I figured there would be other things she could get, though.


Also you can TWF with Dwarven waraxes. Just need oversized 2 weapon fighting, I believe..

Is that a feat? (Again, not very familiar with Rangers, or melee characters at all really).


It is more important to clarify if you want CR 15 or ECL 15.

I thought a creature's/character's ECL was equal to an encounter CR of equal value?


Also if you want the gnoll to have only one item of artifact level or any type of magic you should just tell us what you want the item to be.

Well, I am not really sure what it should. Again, I wanted folks to let loose, and she what people's creative juices came up with.


Also if you are willing to go past RAW a bit you can just redo dervish to allow duel wielding dwarven waraxes and that class by itself should fit your Gnoll inspired walmart daydream.

Couple levels of fighter, finish scout up til you meet the prereqs for dervish.

Will need to look that PrC up. Nee dto check Wizard's PrC index to find where it's located in the morning.

BobVosh
2009-08-28, 04:06 AM
Hmm.. Good Point I guess.

I figured there would be other things she could get, though.

Mainly alchemical, but doesn't fit the character's flavor.


Is that a feat? (Again, not very familiar with Rangers, or melee characters at all really).
I would say it is in complete warrior. May be complete adventurer/PHB2. I'll look it up later.


I thought a creature's/character's ECL was equal to an encounter CR of equal value?
No. Vampire adds like 8 ecl, but is only +2 cr. (Not positive on exact numbers, but it is large difference.) However all PC classes add 1 for 1 if they are considered "associated." So fighter/full bab for gnolls mainly. It is...kinda stupid. However gnoll has 1 LA and 2 HD. They are only a CR 1. ECL 3.


Well, I am not really sure what it should. Again, I wanted folks to let loose, and she what people's creative juices came up with.
Can you give us an estimated level of power? +3 equivalent? Within 40,000? Artifact?



Will need to look that PrC up. Need to check Wizard's PrC index to find where it's located in the morning.
It is...Complete warrior or adventurer. Allows you to full attack while moving but you must move at least 5 feet between each attack. Capstone is you get to double your attacks for one round and do 2 attacks between each attack. Doesn't allow to double haste bonus attacks. Few other neat powers.

Btw, finally finished reading your flavor for her. I like the elven drink part.

Dhavaer
2009-08-28, 04:06 AM
Will need to look that PrC up. Nee dto check Wizard's PrC index to find where it's located in the morning.

Dervish is in Complete Warrior.

Pika...
2009-08-28, 04:24 AM
Mainly alchemical, but doesn't fit the character's flavor.

I see.

She is smarter than your average Gnoll!, though.


No. Vampire adds like 8 ecl, but is only +2 cr. (Not positive on exact numbers, but it is large difference.) However all PC classes add 1 for 1 if they are considered "associated." So fighter/full bab for gnolls mainly. It is...kinda stupid. However gnoll has 1 LA and 2 HD. They are only a CR 1. ECL 3.

Damn. I should have remembered those examples.

Hopefully I will become a better DM than that over time. That was just dumb.


Anyway, I guess CR 15 was what I was looking for.



Can you give us an estimated level of power? +3 equivalent? Within 40,000? Artifact?

Hmm... In the end I gues it does not matter much. Anything from standard wealth limit to minor artifact, to even an artifact if you want.

I am trying to add a roleplaying side to such items as well. For example, the "Fire Club" that the "Big Bosses" have taken from each other for millenia I only stated out as a great club with flaming. However, fluffwise it is much more, since to the Orcs it is a sign of their leader's power, and by extension their power in combat. So a mere flaming great club with flaming is a legendary "artifact" in my setting/world. Even the High Elves get a bit worried when they see it in the middle of a green-horde charging at them in a battlefield. Plus I am assuming mechanically it really is more badass, since there are no other magic items likely to be around?



It is...Complete warrior or adventurer. Allows you to full attack while moving but you must move at least 5 feet between each attack. Capstone is you get to double your attacks for one round and do 2 attacks between each attack. Doesn't allow to double haste bonus attacks. Few other neat powers.


Dervish is in Complete Warrior.

Thanks!



Btw, finally finished reading your flavor for her. I like the elven drink part.

Why thank you. I appreciate that. :smallsmile:

However, I wish I could take credit for it. The drink actually comes from a Dragon issue, which had an article on brewing. I do not remember the name of the Elven drink, but basically it was 100gp for a single glass. I believe it takes either decades or centuries to brew, within ancient trees no less. Anyway, it makes you feel an age category younger for 8 or 24 hours (can't remember which at the moment).

oxinabox
2009-08-28, 05:20 AM
can we have a full source list?
any psionics? (just thinking 2 psiwarrior levels just for the feats)
does she have to be a ranger?
some warbalde (each wartblade lvls counts as half a fighter lvl) - focus on some tiger claw masovers (don't forget to add half your gnoll HD to your intitator)
And white raven for leadershop.
Tiger Claw at nTWF feats don't stack though, so this is kinda suboptimal. then again, Tiger Claw for when your doing a standard action TWF feats for a Full round attack,



Gnoll characters possess the following racial traits:
• Strength +4, Constitution +2, Intelligence –2, Charisma –2.
• Medium size.
• A gnoll’s base land speed is 30 feet.
• Darkvision out to 60 feet.
• Racial Hit Dice: A gnoll begins with two levels of human-
oid, which provide 2d8 Hit Dice; a base attack bonus of
+1; and base saving throw bonuses of Fort +3, Ref +0, and
Will +0.
• Racial Skills: A gnoll’s humanoid levels give him skill
points equal to 5 × (2 + Int modifier). His class skills are
Listen and Spot.
• Racial Feats: A gnoll’s humanoid levels give him one feat.
• +1 natural armor bonus.
• Automatic Language: Gnoll. Bonus Languages: Common,
Draconic, Elven, Goblin, Orc.
• Favored Class: Ranger.
• Level adjustment +1.


lvl 1 Gnoll HD Feat: TWF
lvl 2 Gnoll HD BAB=1
lvl 3 Warblade Feat: Oversided TWF (Comp Adv)
lvl 4 Warblade
lvl 5 Warblade
lvl 6 Warblade Feat: Exotic Prof. Dwarven War Ax
lvl 7 fighter BaB=6 Imporved TWF
lvl 8 fighter Bonus feat: Weapon focus Dwarven War ax
lvl 9 Barabrian, Feat: Weapon specialization Dwarven War Ax
lvl 10 fighter
lvl 11 fighter Bonus Feat Improved Critical Dwarven war ax
lvl 12 Barbarian (will get imporved uncanny dodge) Bab= 11 Feat: Greater TWF
lvl 13 Legendary commander / Marshal (from Heros of Batte/Miniatures handbook respectivly)
lvl 14 Legendary commander / Marshal
LA+1
This is just a guess at how it could go (haven't optimised for manovers)

Fenix_of_Doom
2009-08-28, 06:58 AM
actually he wanted a CR 15 build, that means you've got two levels to play with in the above example.

PinkysBrain
2009-08-28, 09:18 AM
Give her a template which adds spell resistance.

Give her 5 levels of occult slayer.

Give her some levels in a ToB or Psionic class to get a short range teleport.

Without magic items high level encounters become entirely too trivial if you don't give your NPCs some decent magical defenses from classes/templates.

Pika...
2009-08-28, 09:21 AM
Thank you oxinabox.

As for available sources, well you know it I probably spent on it, or can get it.

As for needing to be a ranger? I guess not, I just went with the g\Gnoll fluff, and I wanted her to be able to lead skirmish attacks on enemies.

Sorry, psionics are just emerging, and while they might become more common are only heard of at two institutes branches which originate from Sigil (they are know as branches of the Psionic Order). Their goal is to spread psionic, but they have only been add it a decade or two.

Oh, and remember you can either choose to drop the La+1, OR the 2 Racial HD.

PinkysBrain
2009-08-28, 09:23 AM
Remember, the LA and HD are not important :)

As a NPC she gets the LA and HD for free ... she starts off as CR1.

Eldariel
2009-08-28, 09:24 AM
Does she need to use Ranger? 'cause without spells, the pure damage output of Ranger is less-than-impressive on higher levels. Also, are you allowing Flaws for her (her age would certainly count, and you could homebrew another one)? 'cause some extra feats would be nice to play around with. Also, are you open to combining the TWF-line of feats so that it only costs 1 feat to purchase them all? 'cause that feels more fair than as written, and would allow making her more interesting.

Finally, what sources are you working with? I was thinking of a Dervish-build with the following:
Knock-Down
Melee Weapon Mastery
Power Attack
Robilar's Gambit
Elusive Target

This would basically mean she'd be a veritable whirling sea of axes, knocking everyone hit down and following up with a second blow for killing (thanks to huge bonuses To Hit, she can Power Attack for lots even while TWFing).

Two counterattacks every time someone attacks her, and she'd ignore power attack and be able to trip people trying to AoO her. Overall, she wouldn't be too high-damage, but very hard to hit and with lots of tools for controlling her opponents - perfect boss-type encounter that's like to last long and inflict serious damage, but not one-shot anyone. This costs a ton of feats though hence the questions above.

Pika...
2009-08-28, 09:33 AM
Does she need to use Ranger? 'cause without spells, the pure damage output of Ranger is less-than-impressive on higher levels. Also, are you allowing Flaws for her (her age would certainly count, and you could homebrew another one)? 'cause some extra feats would be nice to play around with. Also, are you open to combining the TWF-line of feats so that it only costs 1 feat to purchase them all? 'cause that feels more fair than as written, and would allow making her more interesting.

Again ranger is not necessary. I was just following the Gnol fluff.

And sure, sure, and sure. Go nuts folks. :smallwink:

As long as it's somewhat balance for a 15 CR encounter, in a world where CR 15 is pretty much the pinnacle go for it.



Finally, what sources are you working with? I was thinking of a Dervish-build with the following:
Knock-Down
Melee Weapon Mastery
Power Attack
Robilar's Gambit
Elusive Target

This would basically mean she'd be a veritable whirling sea of axes, knocking everyone hit down and following up with a second blow for killing (thanks to huge bonuses To Hit, she can Power Attack for lots even while TWFing).

Two counterattacks every time someone attacks her, and she'd ignore power attack and be able to trip people trying to AoO her. Overall, she wouldn't be too high-damage, but very hard to hit and with lots of tools for controlling her opponents - perfect boss-type encounter that's like to last long and inflict serious damage, but not one-shot anyone. This costs a ton of feats though hence the questions above.

Again, any source I probably already have, or can find. I am even mine with 3rd party, which I have a very nice collection off.

Also, that sounds nasty. :smallbiggrin:

Pika...
2009-08-28, 09:35 AM
Remember, the LA and HD are not important :)

As a NPC she gets the LA and HD for free ... she starts off as CR1.

Oh yeah, thanks...

Eldariel
2009-08-28, 09:53 AM
Fighter 4/Monk 2/Dervish 10 with feats:

ECL 1 - HD: Combat Expertise, Combat Reflexes (Flaw), Two-Weapon Fighting (Flaw)
ECL 2 - HD:
ECL 3 - Cobra Strike Monk (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/variantCharacterClasses.htm#cobraStrike) 1: Dodge (Bonus), Oversized Two-Weapon Fighting, Improved Unarmed Strike (Bonus)
ECL 4 - Cobra Strike Monk 2: Mobility (Bonus)
ECL 5 - Fighter (Exoticist) 1: Pick Dwarven War Axe as one of your 4 Exotic Weapons, Power Attack (Bonus)
ECL 6 - Fighter 2: Weapon Focus: Dwarven War Axe (Bonus), Improved Trip
ECL 7 - Fighter 3:
ECL 8 - Fighter 4: Weapon Specialization: Dwarven War Axe (Bonus)
ECL 9 - Dervish 1: Melee Weapon Mastery
ECL 10 - Dervish 2:
ECL 11 - Dervish 3: Spring Attack (Bonus)
ECL 12 - Dervish 4: Knock-Down
ECL 13 - Dervish 5:
ECL 14 - Dervish 6:
ECL 15 - Dervish 7: Elusive Target
ECL 16 - Dervish 8:
ECL 17 - Dervish 9:
ECL 18 - Dervish 10: Robilar's Gambit


Sources:
Cobra Strike Monk ACF: Unearthed Arcana/SRD
Exoticist Fighter ACF: Dragon #310/Crystalkeep (http://www.crystalkeep.com)
Oversized Two-Weapon Fighting: Complete Adventurer
Melee Weapon Mastery: Player's Handbook II
Knock-Down: SRD (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/divine/divineAbilitiesFeats.htm#knockDown)
Elusive Target: Complete Warrior
Robilar's Gambit: Player's Handbook II


Also, if you're feeling generous, you could give her Expeditious Dodge [Races of the Wild] over Dodge while still allowing her to choose Dodge-target for Elusive Target-feat (which is incredible).

She only misses one of the feats I'd have wanted to give her (Double Hit [Miniatures Handbook]) and overall, should be very decent vs. a martial group. Spellcasters are always spellcasters, but at least she won't be failing her saves that easily.

As written, she is CR 16. I just couldn't pass up on that additional Dervish-level to get the A Thousand Cuts-capstone. It's such an awe-inspiring sight when you pick up a fistful of dice and say "ok, she attacks!" Note that while Dancing, she also has Cleave and when using A Thousand Cuts, Great Cleave so she cuts through masses with ease.


Stat priority would be:
Str > Dex > Con > Int > Wis > Cha (though you may have to give her 18 Dex depending on how you rule Two-Weapon Fighting - maybe give her inherent bonuses or something?)

PinkysBrain
2009-08-28, 09:55 AM
One force cage later ...

Eldariel
2009-08-28, 09:56 AM
One force cage later ...

Well, Pika DID say Low Magic so I'm assuming no Wizards on the PCs' team. Otherwise she's gonna need major magic item mojo to do anything in any case.

oxinabox
2009-08-28, 09:58 AM
As a leader I can't stress Marshal lvls enough.

Actually I might try to sneak in somr Warchief lvls:
from m initures handbook:

Hit Die: d10.
REQUIREMENTS
To qualify to become a warchief, a character must fulfill all the
following criteria.
Base Attack Bonus: +3.
Special:Must have led a tribe in battle.
CLASS SKILLS
The warchief ’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are
Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Handle
Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Ride (Dex), Sense
Motive (Wis), and Swim (Str).
Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.
Table 1–13: The Warchief
Base
Attack Fort Ref Will
Level Bonus Save Save Save Special
1st +0 +2 +0 +2 Tribal frenzy (Str +2)
2nd +1 +3 +0 +3 Ability boost (Cha +2)
3rd +2 +3 +1 +3 Tribal frenzy (Str +4)
4th +3 +4 +1 +4 —
5th +3 +4 +1 +4 Tribal frenzy (Str +6)
6th +4 +5 +2 +5 Ability boost (Cha +2)
7th +5 +5 +2 +5 Tribal frenzy (Str +8)
8th +6 +6 +2 +6 Devoted bodyguards
9th +6 +6 +3 +6 Tribal frenzy (Str +10)
10th +7 +7 +3 +7 Ability boost (Cha +2)


Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Warchiefs gain no profi-
ciency with any weapon or armor.
Tribal Frenzy (Ex): A warchief is able to inspire his followers
to acts of extreme battle frenzy. The warchief may activate this
frenzy as a standard action. He may then maintain it as a free
action. It ends at the conclusion of any turn in which the warchief
does not maintain it.
The frenzy affects any creature that is a member of the
warshief ’s race and tribe, that starts its turn within 30 feet of the
warchief, and that is able to hear the warchief.
The frenzy grants a +2 enhancement bonus to the Strength score
of each affected ally (not including the warchief himself ). At the
start of each of their turns, everyone affected by the Strength boost
takes 1 point of damage for each Hit Die they have. Thus, an orc
warchief can grant +2 Strength to each member of the pack of 1st-
level orc warriors he commands, but they each take 1 point of dam-
age per round as long as the Strength boost remains in effect.
Every two levels (3rd, 5th, 7th, and 9th), the bonus to Strength
increases by +2.
Ability Boost (Ex): As a warchief gains levels in this prestige
class, his Charisma score increases as noted on Table 1–13: The
Warchief. These increases stack.
Devoted Bodyguards (Ex): Beginning at 8th level, once per
round, whenever a warchief is hit by an attack, he may make a
DC 15 Reflex save to have that attack affect an adjacent tribe
member instead. The attack is treated as though it had hit the
chosen bodyguard instead of the leader, regardless of the body-
guard’s Armor Class or any other defensive effects. A tribe
member may not serve as a bodyguard if it is dazed, stunned, par-
alyzed, or otherwise unable to act.

lvl 1 Marshal Feat: TWF
lvl 2 Marshal BAB=1
lvl 3 Warblade Feat: Oversided TWF (Comp Adv)
lvl 4 Warblade
lvl 5 Warblade
lvl 6 Warblade Feat: Exotic Prof. Dwarven War Ax
lvl 7 fighter BaB=6 Imporved TWF
lvl 8 fighter Bonus feat: Weapon focus Dwarven War ax
lvl 9 Barabrian, Feat: Weapon specialization Dwarven War Ax
lvl 10 fighter
lvl 11 fighter Bonus Feat Improved Critical Dwarven war ax
lvl 12 Barbarian (will get imporved uncanny dodge) Bab= 11 Feat: Greater TWF
lvl 13 Warchief
lvl 14 Warchief
lvl 15 Warchief Feat: Two Wepon defence (This isn't a great feat, but i couldn't think of anything)

a Incredible Leader* and a outstanding warrior, she fought her way to the top, and she'll keep on fighting.

*well better than a bard, in a game where leadership AoE type bonuses arn't often used, the bonuses she provides should scare the PC's- when she's around everyone one fights much better.

If i ever gest to Char Gen at lvl 15, i'm playing that, but with a LA 0 race, and with Bastard swords.
Then again i'm not too sure about TWF and tiger claw, just not sure.

I'ld rule (I think anyone would) that she gets Leadership (and much much more than leadership free)

PinkysBrain
2009-08-28, 10:04 AM
Leadership is irrelevant for NPCs ... you count the CR of all the critters present to determine the EL of the encounter.

Pika...
2009-08-28, 10:22 AM
Well, Pika DID say Low Magic so I'm assuming no Wizards on the PCs' team. Otherwise she's gonna need major magic item mojo to do anything in any case.

Basically.

Unless players choose to roleplay heavily into their deity, adapt is pretty much it (I've a change or two, and in a low-magic game you'd be surprised how decent adapt is.).

Adumbration
2009-08-28, 11:08 AM
As a sidenote, there's a race in MM II or III called Flind that is basically improved Gnoll, in fluff and crunch. Might be nice as a base creature.

Cieyrin
2009-08-28, 11:22 AM
If you want to change the fluff a little, having her run with a Dwarven Urgrosh instead of a pair of Dwarven Waraxes eliminates the need for Oversized Two-Weapon Fighting and also means, since you're only letting her have one major magic item, that one of her weapons won't get gimped in comparison to the other one. Still awe inspiring, though maybe a little bit of a conflict with Dervish dependency on slashing weapons with the spear end of the Urgrosh. Orc Double-Axe or Two-Bladed Sword would probably fit better, though they may lack the quality that the Dwarven weapons have. Given that the major magic item is a gift from Yeenoghu, I doubt that'll actually be an issue.

I'll assume Two-Bladed Sword, given the double-axe is, well, orcish and may give the wrong impression. For the enhancements, WBL will allow for +4/+4 weapon, so I think +1 orcbane wounding/+1 elfbane shocking burst will work, though if you're willing to go a little more exotic with it, +1 truebane/+1 truebane is flexible and damaging. Truebane, for those who don't know, is a +3 special ability that changes its bane effect to whatever it's hitting. It defaults to your type till you hit something and then next round it changes to that creature type for its bane.

Them's my 2 blades. Take as you will.

Pika...
2009-08-28, 11:32 AM
If you want to change the fluff a little, having her run with a Dwarven Urgrosh instead of a pair of Dwarven Waraxes eliminates the need for Oversized Two-Weapon Fighting and also means, since you're only letting her have one major magic item, that one of her weapons won't get gimped in comparison to the other one. Still awe inspiring, though maybe a little bit of a conflict with Dervish dependency on slashing weapons with the spear end of the Urgrosh. Orc Double-Axe or Two-Bladed Sword would probably fit better, though they may lack the quality that the Dwarven weapons have. Given that the major magic item is a gift from Yeenoghu, I doubt that'll actually be an issue.

I'll assume Two-Bladed Sword, given the double-axe is, well, orcish and may give the wrong impression. For the enhancements, WBL will allow for +4/+4 weapon, so I think +1 orcbane wounding/+1 elfbane shocking burst will work, though if you're willing to go a little more exotic with it, +1 truebane/+1 truebane is flexible and damaging. Truebane, for those who don't know, is a +3 special ability that changes its bane effect to whatever it's hitting. It defaults to your type till you hit something and then next round it changes to that creature type for its bane.

Them's my 2 blades. Take as you will.


Oh, I am sorry about that. :smallredface:

I forgot to mention that I have no problem with the "mystical item" being a set or something (as long as the PCs' can't just split them/it/they/whatever and make a bunch). So making a "pair" of axes/whatever you like is a fine idea. However, seems a bit cliche in a way.


p.s Hmm. I like the orcbane idea.

Should it have something against minotaurs as well, though? Considering who sent it?

Pika...
2009-08-28, 11:40 AM
As a sidenote, there's a race in MM II or III called Flind that is basically improved Gnoll, in fluff and crunch. Might be nice as a base creature.

Oh yeah, I had thought about adding that bit to her fluff. In addition make it so she has hunted other Flinds on the continent to near extinction to "avoid competition", which could have given me a few surviving "an enemy of my enemy..." NPCs for the PCs/players to work with.

However, from what I understand each edition of D&D seems to have a different take on the Flinds. Even down to how they pop up (a subrace, OR a genetic throwback?!). Plus, in earlier editions I believe they are weaker and smaller (but more intelligent) than an average Gnoll, yet they have been reprinted the opposite in 3rd (I have a tendency to go by older edition canon)?



p.s. Thanks much for the help so far folks!

charl
2009-08-28, 11:42 AM
Shouldn't all female gnolls technically qualify as being "b-word"s? They are canine after all. ;)

Pika...
2009-08-28, 11:51 AM
Shouldn't all female gnolls technically qualify as being "b-word"s? They are canine after all. ;)

That was kinda part of the joke... >_>

LoL

Cieyrin
2009-08-28, 02:55 PM
Oh, I am sorry about that. :smallredface:

I forgot to mention that I have no problem with the "mystical item" being a set or something (as long as the PCs' can't just split them/it/they/whatever and make a bunch). So making a "pair" of axes/whatever you like is a fine idea. However, seems a bit cliche in a way.


p.s Hmm. I like the orcbane idea.

Should it have something against minotaurs as well, though? Considering who sent it?

I don't exactly recall gnolls being that at odds with minotaurs or see any indication in your fluff of such (though I honestly could have missed it, I suppose) but it's simply a matter of switching the elfbane to monstrous humanoid bane (doesn't quite roll off the tongue as well, does it? :smallfrown:). Either that or going with my truebane suggestion and having the weapon be devastating against anybody and everybody.

As for the queen being a flind, I fully support this, as flinds naturally rise to the top of gnoll society. They're smaller but definitely stronger and more solidly built than gnolls are, which is how they get their way. The only thing is if you make her a flind is that you have to consider whether they should wield a flindbar or not, as that's classic, though definitely not as powerful as a pair of axes or swords or what have you, neither does it mesh with dervish, so up to you. Their stats can be found here (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/iw/20040912b&page=3).

For her, um, title, technically hyenas aren't canines, they're more closely related to mongooses.

Them's my 2 coppers. Take as you will.

Eldariel
2009-08-28, 05:44 PM
Here are the relevant stats for the build I suggested:

Assuming Str 20 (24 with level-ups), Dex 18, Con ~14 to start with:
To Hit: 16 BAB (17 by fractionals) + 7 Str + 3 Weapon Focus Line + 5 Dervish Dance + 1 Mw. - 2 TWF = +31

This gives her +31/+31/+26/+26/+21/+21/+16 attack roll in Dance (-5 otherwise, but with 5 dances per day all lasting for like 10-11 rounds, she should never be in a serious fights without it).

1d10 + 7 Str (3 off-hand) + 4 Weapon Focus + 5 Dervish Dance = 1d10 + 16 (12 offhand) damage

AC (assuming some way to buff Dex to 20, Mithril Breastplate): 10 Base + 5 Dex + 5 Armor + 3 Dervish + 1 Natural Armor + 2 Expeditious Dodge (or +1 Dodge) = 26 (or 25)

Trip check: 7 Str + 4 Feat = +11


With relevant combat options being:
- -4 to hit, +8 to AC (given at least 15 ranks in Tumble)
- -1 to hit, +1 to AC, up to -5
- -1 to hit, +1 to damage, up to -16 (or -17 by fractionals)
- Ability to do unarmed Trip-attacks without provoking with free attack on successful Trip-check
- Every successful hit enables a free Trip-check
- -4 to AC, AoO every time opponent attacks her
- Ability to ignore Power Attack from Dodge-target
- Ability to make a flanker hit his flanking partner rather than her
- Ability to take a free Trip-attempt against the taker of an AoO provided the AoO misses
- Ability to once per day double up on her attack sequence
- Cleave, Great Cleave, Spring Attack and a host of other random stuff; basically, she eats through mooks post-haste.
- Speed of 45'.


Whenever in hostile area but not fighting, she should move in constant Full Defense, giving her +10 to AC, and possible +5 more from Combat Expertise. This guarantees a decent AC in the beginning of the combat.

oxinabox
2009-08-29, 05:46 AM
I really think it's improtant for her to have Warchief and Marshal lvls.
It's No magic Buff to her ally's.

Sacrifices some of the optimal from Eldariel's build.
and add some fluffy power, in Warchief and Marshal lvls.

His deverish stuff is much better than my warblade stuff, but she needs to buff her followers. (IMO)

Cieyrin
2009-08-29, 11:34 AM
I really think it's improtant for her to have Warchief and Marshal lvls.
It's No magic Buff to her ally's.

Sacrifices some of the optimal from Eldariel's build.
and add some fluffy power, in Warchief and Marshal lvls.

His deverish stuff is much better than my warblade stuff, but she needs to buff her followers. (IMO)

The OP wanted the Queen to be awe-inspiring, not buffing her buddies and pals. The few times she's out she'll probably be busy causing mass carnage than to be directing her minions in combat. That's why you have war drummers and such. Plus, Marshal levels would indicate a more organized army than a Gnollish horde would otherwise indicate, so I'm of the opinion she should be singularly devastating and let her mooks carry-on as normal.

Leave Marshals to the elves, that's probably where they would appear, if anywhere, as Gnolls and Orcs don't exactly have the formal training that Marshal levels would probably necessitate.

Pika...
2009-08-29, 03:39 PM
Well, in her fluff I kinda said she managed to unlazy them a bit (aka get them to work), and leads/led them into battle since she is "unusually intelligent for her kind". I guess I made a little conundrum paradox there...

Myrmex
2009-08-29, 04:33 PM
Shouldn't all female gnolls technically qualify as being "b-word"s? They are canine after all. ;)

They're modeled after hyenas, which are in Feliformia (cat suborder), not Caniformia (dog suborder).

oxinabox
2009-08-29, 08:39 PM
two lvls of marshal doesn't imply great militairy genius - 6 or 7 does.
Even without the Marshal lvls, War chief is so perfectly fluffed, and mechanic'ed for athius situation.
It's a full BaB class (IIRC), with boosts that only affect members of your tribe

Eldariel
2009-08-29, 09:14 PM
Well, in her fluff I kinda said she managed to unlazy them a bit (aka get them to work), and leads/led them into battle since she is "unusually intelligent for her kind". I guess I made a little conundrum paradox there...

Meh, Bard is really the best fit that way. That said, considering the build I suggested is going to have very high Int (for a Gnoll; need 13 for Combat Expertise which is a prerequisite), I think that wouldn't need to grant numeric bonuses, but could make the tribe more efficient strategically and tactically simply on back of her being smart for a Gnoll; even notably smarter than most Humans or even average Gray Elves.

Of course, you'll pretty much need a focused commander-build if you want to grant numeric bonuses with her mere presence without handwaving stuff, and that would naturally cut into her personal capabilities. Bard 4/Warblade 11 with Song of the White Raven with optimized Inspire Courage and lots of White Raven maneuvers seems like the best fit tho. Give her Perform: Oratory (fluffed military commands and the like) and it isn't even unplausible, and is very efficient.


That said, I still like the build I submitted earlier; makes for a good mook slayer (Dance gives her Cleave and all her attacks deal enough damage to kill an Orc Barbarian on damage roll of 1, meaning she'd just cut through the ranks two guys at a time, killing 12 per round and just...hundreds when using A Thousand Cuts and Great Cleave) and an interesting boss fight with the control- and defensive abilities but only decent damage output, and enough versatility to keep the battle surprising and interesting with sufficient defenses to probably also make it last quite long.

Pika...
2009-08-29, 09:34 PM
That said, I still like the build I submitted earlier; makes for a good mook slayer (Dance gives her Cleave and all her attacks deal enough damage to kill an Orc Barbarian on damage roll of 1, meaning she'd just cut through the ranks two guys at a time, killing 12 per round and just...hundreds when using A Thousand Cuts and Great Cleave)

:smalleek:

Seriously?!

Eldariel
2009-08-29, 10:11 PM
:smalleek:

Seriously?!

She has 6 attacks (actually 7; I forgot her BAB is 16, not 15). Average Orc Barbarian doesn't have max HP and thus, in Rage has about 10 HP assuming Elite Array (and thus 14 base Con, 18 in Rage). With maximized HP, it's still only 16.

Her last attack is at +16, which could theoretically miss on something but 1, but as Orcs aren't known for their Full-Plates, probably not. Anyways, 6 first of her attacks autohit. Her damage bonuses on hand 1 are:
+7 (str)+4 (Melee Weapon Mastery+Spec)+5 (Dervish Dance) = 16 with 12 in the off-hand (half Str). Assume she's Power Attacking for 2-3 when killing Mooks and the 1d10 isn't even necessary; she'll one-shot them all in 1 hit (and if some survive, they'll at least be tripped as per Knock-Down, but that's more for fighting bigger opponents).

Now, she also has Cleave. As the Orc Mooks' AC is so low she can't miss them, and she autokills them in one hit, she automatically gets a Cleave off every attack. This basically doubles her attacks as she's going to Cleave for every attack (except natural 1s) and thus basically gets 14 attacks. As she can move 45' total during her attack, reaching all the opponents is no problem, so she gets to take them all.

Of course, we also have to remember Robilar's Gambit, which allows her to counterattack (basically, kill) Dex+1 more Orcs that try to attack her out-of-turn, and cleaves off all of those. But that assumes the Orcs actually try to attack her and don't just run the hell away the second she shows up.


Now, A Thousand Cuts is the daily ability level 10 Dervish gets of doubling up on her attacks for one round. More interestingly for mook killing, it gives her Great Cleave. Combined with her movement, this allows her to carve into a formation of Orcs, use Tumble (thanks to her Take 10-option from Movement Mastery, even accelerated Moving Through Square should be an autosuccess with 21 ranks, +5 Dex and +2 synergy) to reach a position where she's basically surrounded and launch an attack which enables Great Cleave barring a natural 1.

As all the Orcs die of one hit (as established above), this allows her to clear the 9 squares (including the one she's above; mite as well roll Jump for that) and given movement, she has a total of 14 normal attacks (A Thousand Cuts doubles her normal attacks per round; also allows two attacks from the same square before moving), she even has spare for those natural 1s (statistically 1 in 20) so the only limiting factor really is her movement, and with 45', she can basically clear a line of 45' plus all the adjacent squares (making it a 15' by 55' line) which can contain, in a tight Orc-formation, up to 3*11 Orcs.

Admittedly far cry from 100, but that's only due to her relatively slow movement speed (that is, lack of magical enhancement) and lack of a size increase. Of course, A Thousand Cuts is also only once per day. Just, I was reading how you wanted her to tear through lesser warriors while not being all-so-devastating (but still potent) vs. tougher ones and I figured something like this could be exactly what you're after.

Pie Guy
2009-08-29, 10:25 PM
Great Cleave, TWF, Frenzied bezerker. (Power attack's a given.)

Activate various rages, go to town.

oxinabox
2009-08-29, 10:59 PM
:smalleek:

Seriously?!
As I said, Eldariel build can spare some optimum .
It's a work of mook killing art.
I have little doubt she can kill a squad or two of lvl 10 orc warrior on her own.
I wouldn't put it past her to solo their army.
She'll whipe the troops, then knock down the commanders and hit the for; what 40, 60, 100 per round?

Cieyrin
2009-08-29, 11:52 PM
It only gets worse if her weapons are the +1 truebane that I suggested, as that's another +2 enhancement and +2d6 damage against whatever, so mooks WILL explode.

I still think she's otherwise fine as is, as she doesn't need the minionmancy you're suggesting. As she's smarter than the average gnoll, she could conceivably have her war leaders take Marshal and War Chief and ensure her warbands are kept buffed for combat. Marshall and War Chief's benefits have a fairly short range, 30' to 60', so by the sheer number of hordes she supposedly is leading, it would have a negligible effect if she was the only one with said levels. By having her war leaders do it, she buffs her entire force, rather than a fraction of it. She's a high level character, I'm sure she has Gnolls with class levels beneath her.

Them's my 2 coppers. Take as you will.

oxinabox
2009-08-29, 11:58 PM
Good point.
I say for fluff reason give her all the abilties of one of the aformentioned warcheifs for Free.
But none of the Save bonus or Bonus to Bab.
It won't make her harder to kill, so it's not a balance issue

Tempest Fennac
2009-08-30, 12:28 AM
I know NPCs get free LA, but my LA Gnoll variant may be useful: +2 Str and Con, -2 Int and Cha, +1 Natural Armour, 1d6 Bite Darkvision 60' and Spot and Listen are always class skills. (I thought the Bite attack and extra class skills would be potentially useful for the character.)

Pika...
2009-09-04, 02:55 AM
I just want to say thank you to everyone for the help!

I have decided to go with Eldariel generously given build, since I agree it is a work of art.

However, I agree that it makes sense to handwave a bit and give her the warchief's tribe boosting abilities for free (but not BAB and such!), since even though it makes sense for her to pick other intelligent and cunning (but not too much! she kills those...) minions to lead other Forces (using the Green Ronan Trojan War book mass combat rules), she would naturally be such a leader herself.

Plus, I love how Eldariel worked in her being more defensive against high-level beings to go along with her aging fluff. Simply brilliant, and I would have never thought of it. I thought I would simply roleplay that a bit.

Myshlaevsky
2009-09-04, 02:59 AM
Plus, I love how Eldariel worked in her being more defensive against high-level beings to go along with her aging fluff. Simply brilliant, and I would have never thought of it. I thought I would simply roleplay that a bit.

Eldariel, knocking the Stormwind Fallacy out of the park since 1982. :smalltongue:

elliott20
2009-09-04, 03:58 AM
damn Eldarial. Every single time man.

anyway, Pika, this is an AWESOME villain.

I would suggest that her plans though, instead of just hunting down these potions, is to secure a way to have a means of producing these potions, since it seems like it doesn't really last long enough to make the effort of just securing ONE drink useful.

But you also say that she needs to make sure that nobody else finds out about her weakness to, which finding out what the potions do would do just that. So we need to think of a method for her to justify conquering the elven kingdom or at least securing some method of getting a steady stream of youth potions for herself to remain young.

You said that she's actually very crafty for a gnoll, so maybe she would hire out some mercenaries forces whose sole job is to secure these potions for her and understands some of the finer points of secrecy.

If I may, you could also change up the actual McGuffin itself. Instead of making it a bunch of potions or a location that creates them, you can change that to a necklace that is basically the tooth of the Gnoll God himself. This tooth grants the gnoll in question the divine power of eternal youth.

But there is a problem! The Tooth was not bestowed upon her! it was bestowed upon the true descendant of Gnoll God, a young gnoll who given time would become even more powerful than she is in combat.

No doubt, in order to command the full loyalty of her tribe, she cannot let it be known that the last line of the Gnoll god remains and is not her.

One of her first order of business would be to establish herself as one of the gnoll god's own, and discredit, nay, KILL the "pretender" and steal the Tooth.

The Gnoll avatar manages to get wind of this somehow, and flees with the Tooth around his neck.

Guess where he goes?