View Full Version : [3.5]Dancing with the wolves

2010-06-08, 06:31 AM
So, last friday, my wood elf justiciar has been reduced to -10 and, considering the party is Lawful Evil, I decided to roll up stats for a new character. In the end, he will be raised, insuring the bond between him and his team mates will become even stronger. He acts as a lawful good toward his friends and family. But, that's not the point.

Before learning that I'd be raised, I tried to find some ideas for a new character, and I thought that I could make an awakened wolf (dire wolf has to many Hit Dice) that used a dancing greatsword. Think Okami.

While the DM has accepted to bend some rules (starting cash, mainly), I decided to be raised, keeping those stats and this idea for the next time. In case that this event happens faster than expected, I'd have some questions about this concept.

First, an awakened (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/awaken.htm) wolf (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/wolf.htm) is a magical beast with 4 hit dices. It would have +2 Str, +4 Dex, +4 Con, +0 Int (awakened), +2 Wis and -4 Cha (no reroll from the spell). It keeps the natural weapon, base speed of 50 ft, special attack Trip, low-light vision and scent. I don't get to change the wolf's feats and skills, but I get to select the one from the Awakened template. My question. This, is powerful. Considering the 4 Hit Dice, what Level Adjustment would you give?

Second question is about that sword. A dancing (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicItems/magicWeapons.htm#dancing) weapon requires a standard action to be used. For up to 4 rounds, it uses your reach, can't make attacks of opportunity, and you are not considered armed with it. The weapon can be grabbed as a free action if you have aunoccupied hand.

The wolf can't use the sword, as it has no hand. I know the wolf can make the standard action to release the weapon. It's grabbing it back that is a bit harder. As the wolf doesn't have hands, does that mean that grabbing the sword couldn't be a free action, as it's not as easy has using hands? This could be important. How it puts it back in its scabbard isn't really a problem right now.

Finally, if the dancing weapon is large (the wolf is medium), can it still be used if it attacks on its own? If it's a two-handed weapon, it can't normally be used by a medium character unless it has the Monkey Grip feat. As the wolf wouldn't be using it as a held weapon, if it's a large greatsword (in the case it could be used), would it have the normal penalty for using a weapon of unusual size?

I don't need answers right away, so feel no rush.

2010-06-08, 07:24 AM
I'd set the LA at +1. It's a serious drawback not having hands.

Regarding the dancing weapon? Simple answer: Don't use any weapon with a creature that has no hands, or pick another creature with hands.

I really can't see any way that you should be using a sword as a wolf.

2010-06-08, 07:46 AM
Well, it's not... really powerful. Essentially, you're taking 4 levels of Magical Beast to getting +8 worth of ability bonuses, 20ft extra speed then normal and a trip attack.

2010-06-09, 06:13 AM
I looked up for something close enough.

The Bugbear, a 3 Hit Dice, +1 Level Adjustment. It has +4 Str, +2 Dex, +2 Con, -2 Cha. Humanoid only has good Reflex. A bugbear's base speed is 30 ft, but it has +3 natural armor, Darkvision, Scent and +4 on Move Silently.

The +1 Level Adjustment for the Awakened Wolf with 4 Hit Dice seems all right.

I looked up how it would work with the dancing sword and, it's not "that" overpowering. I'm no optimizer, but help could be welcomed.

My original questions, short of the Level Adjustment one, remain unanswered. I've some more to add to the list.

Assuming the wolf takes the sword with its maw to release it as a standard action from a scabbard on its side, the description from the Dancing ability says that the sword acts on your turn, and if you have a high enough base attack bonus, it can strike multiple times. Does that mean that you could move and take out the word (as long as you have +1 BAB, it's a free action when you take a move action) and the sword can make a Full Attack? This question applies to normal, humanoid warriors too.

Then, some suggestion concerning how to make this concept stronger. I rolled my stats and got 17, 16, 15, 14, 11, 11. Since a Dancing weapon doesn't benefits from Weapon Focus, high Strength or anything else from its owner, it's useless to invest in the sword itself, meaning you can either bite or use armor spikes. One trick the wolf has is Trip. Since you get +4 against a pronce opponent, the sword would have more chances to hit, so, let's see if we can get a good trip modifier.

It's a lv11 character. Wolf has 2 Hit Dice, Awakened gives Magical Beast type, 2 Hit Dice (2 + Int Modifier, probably +1, so 6 skill points), and a level adjustment +1. We have a 6 level window. Ranger wouldn't get to use its archery or two-weapon fighting abilities. Druid would be interesting, but material components are a problem unless I take Eschew Materials. Fighter seems like the most obvious. Since I don't need the proficiency with the dancing sword since it attacks on itself (tell me if I'm wrong), rogue could give some interesting abilities, such as Evasion, Sneak Attack and Uncanny Dodge, but not having hands makes disabling devices impossible. Paladin is one of the most interesting choices, but wolfie has -4 Cha. Fighter would help getting a good Trip Modifier, better damages, good HP...

So far, Fighter and Paladin are interesting me. Paladin adds a Okami (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ōkami) feel other base classes couldn't give, unless you have better suggestions to give. And, by the way, the Celestial template seems a better fit, but a wolf would only get an intelligence score of 3.

2010-06-09, 06:25 AM
Considering that an awakened wolf is still statistically inferior to a worg (4 magical beast HD, +1LA), I would peg the wolf's LA at +0. Or alternatively, simply use the stats for a worg and reskin it into your desired awakened wolf PC.

Don't be fooled by all those stats. Your effectiveness will rapidly diminish, due to the difficulty of getting your bite enhanced, and not getting extra attacks. So you may want to go totemist (for extra attacks) or warblade (to add extra damage/options to your sole attack).

2010-06-09, 06:32 AM
Consider an Anthropomorphic Wolf from Savage Species instead. It has only 2 RHD, LA +2, +2 Str/+4 Dex/+4 Con/+4 Wis, and ARMS!!! Nowhere near the brokenness of some other anthropomorphic animals, but may be suited for what you want.

2010-06-09, 08:49 AM
Consider an Anthropomorphic Wolf from Savage Species instead. It has only 2 RHD, LA +2, +2 Str/+4 Dex/+4 Con/+4 Wis, and ARMS!!! Nowhere near the brokenness of some other anthropomorphic animals, but may be suited for what you want.

Ookami has no arms.

Jair Barik
2010-06-09, 10:40 AM
For a +1 bonus you can get a mouthpick weapon. Usable by any creature with a bite attack it follows all rules of a magic weapon and you are automatically considered proficient with its use. Can have extra attacks with it dependant upon your BAB. Can be found in LoM under the section on beholders.

2010-06-09, 01:15 PM
To pull off Amaterasu to the fullest, I suggest applying the spirit template to the awakened wolf and taking levels of generic spellcaster (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/genericClasses.htm) to allow access to spells such as Speak with Animals and Plant Control to emulate Amaterasu's celestial brush.

For the weapons, a fluffed up dancing spiked chain could work for the rosary beads.
Some sort of throwing/returning buckler would work for the reflectors.
The glaives could simply be a large sword wielded by your telekenesis.

What you need to do is develop a greater version of Mage Hand that allows for control of heavier items (to use your weapons). Get this version of Mage Hand loaded into a magic item (Magician's Collar instead of Hand of the Mage).
Note: Unless there's a simple magic item that allows telekenesis already.
Ring of Telekenesis (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/SRD:Ring_of_Telekinesis) does exactly what you need, but the price tag might be too high.

Then, reflavor the character and abilities as necessary:
* Amy can only use manifestation to phase to the ethereal to battle baddies. While manifested on the material plane, she appears to be a white wolf to non-magical beings and as her fancy self to magical beings.
* Amy's version of prestidigitation is an all-day effect that only creates small flowers to bloom for a short time before disappearing whenever she runs or hustles.

There is no real easy way to accomplish this without working hand in hand with your DM.

Fax Celestis
2010-06-09, 01:20 PM
There used to be a thread around here somewhere in which a bunch of PCs played an entire campaign of worgs (the Misadventures of the Adventurous Worgs or something like that). There were some interesting methods around not having hands, including hand of the mage, telekinesis, and the Third Arm magic item from Magic of Eberron.