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View Full Version : I have a literary challenge, and I need help



ExtravagantEvil
2010-07-02, 11:38 PM
Good Morning, My DM is going to start this very weird campaign idea, which boils down to us playing 20th level characters from fictional works, as heroes (i.e. Robin Hood, Spiderman, Batman, etc.,etc.). Well, I'm considering Gandalf. So can you help me "build Gandalf". I'm not looking for Max. Damage output or anything, just what I can use to make Gandalf, as portrayed in the Tolkien-ian literature. I was thinking NG (Paragon) Human Wizard/Cleric.

PId6
2010-07-02, 11:41 PM
Astral Deva LA 8/RHD 12?

Lin Bayaseda
2010-07-02, 11:42 PM
Gandalf was a fifth-level magic user (http://www.therpgsite.com/showthread.php?t=7338).

WalkingTarget
2010-07-02, 11:57 PM
So, the "fifth level magic user" thing has been around for forever, but it's not far off.

Gandalf (and Tolkien's works in general) aren't well-modeled using D&D. Frankly, neither are most other figures from myths and literature, and even if you're going to model them, most wouldn't be level 20. Middle-earth in the Third Age is, at best, an E6 setting.

That being said, you don't want anything with prepared spell slots since the "magic" in Tolkien wasn't anything close to Vancian (he's a wizard in that he is wise, which doesn't automatically make him a D&D Wizard). Even with spontaneous casters, you'd be looking at a very restricted spell list if you're going to go with things that characters in Middle-earth were shown to do (which wasn't much).

ExtravagantEvil
2010-07-02, 11:59 PM
PId6, can you give a quick translation of that (am not the optimizing type, so I haven't memorized every class from obscure source material that shalt not be named)

CubeB
2010-07-03, 12:02 AM
Gandalf was a fifth-level magic user (http://www.therpgsite.com/showthread.php?t=7338).

Maybe Middle Earth was based on d20 Modern and he needed ranks in Smart or Dedicated Hero before he could become a mage?

Math_Mage
2010-07-03, 12:06 AM
Gandalf was a fifth-level magic user (http://www.therpgsite.com/showthread.php?t=7338).

That's just judging by spell level. The article notes that the choice of 5th level is inconsistent with the Balrog fight. I prefer the idea that he was a Wizard In Name Only, to tell the truth. As a Maiar, I could easily see a lot of RHD/LA with minor supernatural abilities or only a few caster levels. Better explains the melee capability and the fight against the Balrog, and better fits Gandalf's canonic status as a lesser deity powerful Outsider.

EDIT:

PId6, can you give a quick translation of that (am not the optimizing type, so I haven't memorized every class from obscure source material that shalt not be named)

Astral Deva is a Celestial race. Level Adjustment and Racial Hit Dice account for 20 levels.

WalkingTarget
2010-07-03, 12:07 AM
Lin Bayaseda, I have one statement that will be a proper retort to that argument: He basically killed a Balor (Balrog) that and he rides the god of horses (seriously). That is at least 19th - 20th level badassery (the former, the later, still badass, but not as epic).
and PId6, can you give a quick translation of that (am not the optimizing type, so I haven't memorized every class from obscure source material that shalt not be named)

"God of horses"? That's pushing things. The Mearas were more like the equine equivalent of elves. They were simply longer lived and more intelligent than normal horses.

And just because a person writing up D&D monsters chose to pattern a high-level demon after the Balrogs doesn't mean that it's equivalent. If the biggest hero in the land is level 6, defeating a, say, level 10 demon would be a mythic-level accomplishment.

PId6
2010-07-03, 12:08 AM
PId6, can you give a quick translation of that (am not the optimizing type, so I haven't memorized every class from obscure source material that shalt not be named)
Astral Deva (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/angel.htm#angelAstralDeva). It has 8 level adjustment and 12 racial hit die, just enough for ECL 20.

Gandalf was an outsider, wasn't he?

WalkingTarget
2010-07-03, 12:11 AM
Gandalf was an outsider, wasn't he?

He was an angel equivalent incarnated in a human-ish body, if that's most readily modeled as an outsider, sure.

Draz74
2010-07-03, 12:18 AM
But since I don't think most of his powers came from his race (being weakened and forced into old-man status as it was), I think it's best to model him as an Aasimar.

Deva, or even Planetar or Solar? Sure. But that's his backstory, not his stats during the War of the Ring. IMHO. :smallsmile:

Class-wise, I think either Factotum or Bard fits him the best. Note that much of his spellcasting (including blasting, if he's a Bard) can come from his magic items. Which included a minor artifact (Staff of the Magi) and another artifact (his ring, I'm not sure if it was a major or minor artifact), both of which were rather handy for throwing fire around.

If you're going for Level 20, though, you might want to squeeze in 5 levels of Paladin. Shadowfax fits so amazingly well as a Paladin mount ...

Moff Chumley
2010-07-03, 12:20 AM
Gandalf definitely had levels in Paladin, or at least some class with martial weapon proficiency. But Paladin works the best, in my opinion.

Gorgondantess
2010-07-03, 12:25 AM
6th level celestial aasimar sorcerer:
level 1 spells: charm person (he has charming abilities), protection from evil (You shall not pass!), kelgore's fire bolt (lighting the wargs on fire- there's probably a better spell, but I don't want to track it down), baalbezu's tongue (social abilities, covers his intimidation abilities).
Level 2 spells: Continual Flame (his staff glows indefinitely, but gives off no heat), Shatter (Your staff is broken).
Level 3 spells: suggestion (admittedly, this is more Saruman's schtick- scene at Isengard, where he talked down the men of rohan)

It works.:smallbiggrin:
EWP: bastard sword, I suppose. And +3 BAB is a lot better than all the 1st level warriors, yes?

ShadowsGrnEyes
2010-07-03, 12:26 AM
He was only a 5th level or so wizard. . . He was also an Outsider with racial hit dice(many many racial hit dice), and little bit bard (just a little though)


Lets say he was an Astral Deva 12 racial hit dice and a +8 level adjust plus 5 levels of wizard and (my personal opinion) 1 level of bard. cr 26

This is only if you take the 5th level wizard thing at face value. . .

I myself am more prone to belive that he simply never NEEDED to use his higher level spells and he was somthing much stronger. . . after all. . . he does use plane shift to bring himself back from what is essentialy heaven, and has the lord of all horses as what seems to equate to a paladin mount. . . and he fought a balor for DAYS (just try to argue that a balrog is not a balor, i dare you) he seems to know somthing about everything so theres your bard and more random spells he casts without having any justifiable reason for having prepared them.

maybe. . . 10th level wizard, 10th level paladin, 5th level bard, Astral deva, for a what i think is closer to a CR 45.

JonestheSpy
2010-07-03, 12:31 AM
I've said it before, I'll say it again: Tolkienian magic works best as psonics in DnD. It's hugely about contests of will, powerful minds dominating others, etc - and of course there's nothing even vaguely resembling the Vancian system of spell memorization in Tolkien's works. Gandalf works very well as a high level Psion, with the Kineticist discipline to account for his affinity for fire. He can fight too - maybe an Aasimar 17th level Psion, 2nd level fighter.

mabriss lethe
2010-07-03, 12:37 AM
I'm going to second Factotum for depicting his abilities.

ExtravagantEvil
2010-07-03, 12:52 AM
What is the Factotum exactly, what book is it in? And, small note to everyone, I'm not sure about my DM's general view of LA, so that might be discountable in certain scenarios (Templates on the other hand, no those count, i.e. Half Celestial).
From what I've seen the group say (thus far), and one I favor, is the Aasimar Paladin/Wizard/(Bard?) Still looking at ideas, and I forever side with those that say that Gandalf is quite high in level.

JonestheSpy
2010-07-03, 01:11 AM
From what I've seen the group say (thus far), and one I favor, is the Aasimar Paladin/Wizard/(Bard?)

Just out of curiosity, are you familiar with the psionic rules? 'Cause if so, I'd be interested in hearing why Gandalf fits better as a Vancian caster than a psion, regardless of the fact that he's called a wizard in the books.

WalkingTarget
2010-07-03, 01:14 AM
he does use plane shift to bring himself back from what is essentialy heaven,

More like he went to heaven and the omnipotent deity who he works for sent him back. That's not the same as casting plane shift oneself.


and has the lord of all horses as what seems to equate to a paladin mount. . .

agreed


and he fought a balor for DAYS (just try to argue that a balrog is not a balor, i dare you)

I already did. Just because one was patterned after the other does not mean that it was done accurately (i.e. assuming that something really awesome from literature must be level 20 regardless of what we know of it).

awa
2010-07-03, 01:15 AM
personally I would say that if you wanted in make a Gandalf character who could do the stuff in the book he would have to be higher then level 5 but he would be unoptimised as hell. Iím thinking a bunch of fighter levels because he fights more with the sword then his magic and maybe expert levels to crank up his skills (because dungeons and dragons characters just donít get enough.)

Now I will counter the balrog argument with the goblin and warg argument maybe he can take a balrog but he gets run up a tree by goblins who nearly burn him to death?

But then again i dont think batman or robin hood should be level 20 either so i wouldent worry about his in book power level.

I think his sword was goblin/orc bane



assimar is probaly better then an actual angle race becuase gandalf didnt have many abbilites that strike me as racial powers on par with a deva and so on

the balrog just seemed like a bruiser it didnt caste even one implosion, teleport or any of the balors many magical tricks nor did it summon demons in short i belive its fairly obvious that the similarity is only skin deep.