PDA

View Full Version : Abusing Hivemind



Matamane
2011-01-03, 10:02 AM
I'm intriguedby the Vermin Lord's capstone ability but I am unsure how to use it to its fullest potential. People have told me it is broken, but I am unsure of how one intends to break it. Does anyone know what the power of hivemind can do?

In addition, do swarms of animals or vermin count towards the total of creatures? If so, how much do they count for? 1000 animals/vermin, 2000, or more?

boomwolf
2011-01-03, 11:01 AM
Don't know how broken is hivemind, but a swarm is a single creature.

NEO|Phyte
2011-01-03, 11:12 AM
Don't know how broken is hivemind, but a swarm is a single creature.

Partially true, it is multiple creatures that act as one.


Swarm Subtype

A swarm is a collection of Fine, Diminutive, or Tiny creatures that acts as a single creature.

As for how many,

A swarm of Tiny creatures consists of 300 nonflying creatures or 1,000 flying creatures. A swarm of Diminutive creatures consists of 1,500 nonflying creatures or 5,000 flying creatures. A swarm of Fine creatures consists of 10,000 creatures, whether they are flying or not.

le source: http://www.d20srd.org/srd/typesSubtypes.htm#swarmSubtype

Quirp
2011-01-03, 11:19 AM
In this thread some way of abusing hiveminds is discussed (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=170647&highlight=Hivemind)

Psyren
2011-01-03, 11:31 AM
I assume you're referring to BoVD, right?

Hiveminds are indeed pretty broken, as follows:

- Start with your own Cha score.
- Add as many beetles, centipedes, etc. as you can. Past 150 vermin, each additional 50 gives your Hivemind (controlled by and surrounding you) +1 Int and Cha. (e.g. 900 centipedes = +15 Cha.) There is no limit on how many critters you can add to the hivemind, so long as no vermin is more than 10 feet away from another vermin. (Easy to do with bugs, as they are Diminutive.) You can also use rats or other small animals if you are so inclined.
- Once you are at 18 Cha or more (which you may even have already reached before the Vermin Lord capstone), every point of Cha above 17 gives your Hivemind a free level of sorcerer. (e.g. 37 Cha total = casts as 20th-level sorcerer.) You can thus reach epic spellcasting simply by finding bugs.
- Hivemind sorcerer spells do not have somatic or material components - not even costly material components. Spam Forcecage to your heart's content. The screeching, clicking etc. of the hivemind can be substituted for verbal components.
- You also get bonus feats by being in the hive mind. Each individual creature gets a bonus feat for every point of intelligence bonus the hivemind possesses. Because you are part of the hivemind, that benefit applies to you as well.
- Unliike a Hivemind created with Dark Speech, there is no stated limit on the Vermin Lord's Hivemind, nor is any action required for the Hivemind to form.

AdalKar
2011-01-03, 12:02 PM
The H.I.V.E. (http://brilliantgameologists.com/boards/index.php?topic=5943.0;wap2) may show you why it is broken, but Psyren already said everything important. :smallsmile:

Shhalahr Windrider
2011-01-03, 12:23 PM
It should be noted that BoVD is 3.0 and anything in it may require updating for 3.5 compatibility.

Of note for this discussion is the Swarm subtype, which was added in 3.5.

I donít have my BoVD handy at the moment, so I have no concrete suggestions. I donít recall anything having to do with the Verminlord, but it sounds like it really should be updated to better meld with swarm rules.

Psyren
2011-01-03, 12:42 PM
It should be noted that BoVD is 3.0 and anything in it may require updating for 3.5 compatibility.

Of note for this discussion is the Swarm subtype, which was added in 3.5.

I donít have my BoVD handy at the moment, so I have no concrete suggestions. I donít recall anything having to do with the Verminlord, but it sounds like it really should be updated to better meld with swarm rules.

Even with the swarm rules the class is broken; you can fit 1500 Dimunitive vermin (read: centipedes) in one swarm. That nets you +27 Cha (1500 - 150 = 1450; 1450/50 = 27) which gets you to epic spells if you start off with 11 Charisma. (11+27= 38; 38-17=21.) Use flying bugs instead and one swarm nets you 5,000, or +97 Cha.

It should just be scrapped imo.

Alleine
2011-01-03, 03:49 PM
Psyren hit all the high points rather nicely.


IIRC you can't hit the capstone until 17th level, when fullcasters are already breaking the game. Granted this goes beyond that, but it's worth noting that unless you start a game at higher levels, you'll be waiting for this for a looooong time.


I've always wanted to play a Verminlord. The fluff is kinda cool, and the idea of melding with a hivemind every time the situation gets sticky could lead to some interesting repercussions. Playing it like the Verminlord isn't in complete control, and every time he creates a hivemind he has more and more trouble getting out of it.

Soren Hero
2011-01-03, 07:18 PM
just out of curiosity, would adding the "Worm that Walks" template from the Epic section of the SRD do anything to the swarm? would using the summoned swarms as part of the ritual negate the benefits of vermin lord?

Psyren
2011-01-03, 08:04 PM
just out of curiosity, would adding the "Worm that Walks" template from the Epic section of the SRD do anything to the swarm? would using the summoned swarms as part of the ritual negate the benefits of vermin lord?

The template keeps pretty much all special abilities the original character had, meaning it wouldn't overwrite the casting ability and other qualities of the Hivemind. The only big change I would see is a switch from Vermin to Aberration. Because a Vermin Lord Hivemind is explicitly not mindless, you lose the Vermin type's big advantage anyway (i.e. immune to mind-affecting) so switching to Aberration isn't a big deal, and you would keep the Swarm subtype.

Your chance of becoming such a being increases considerably if you start from a Hivemind. Per my previous calculation, 5,000 flying insects = +97 Cha. Assuming 10 Cha base, that gives us a +48 Charisma modifier.

The bonus spell slots calculation is:

(Modifier - spell level)/4 + 1, rounded down.

This gives us:

{table=head]Score|Mod|1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9
106-107|+48|12|12|12|12|11|11|11|11|10[/table]

Adding those up gets you a 102% chance of forming a WtW without counting base slots.

Alternatively, you cast as an epic sorcerer as a Hivemind with that much Charisma, so you can just use the Gathering of Maggots Epic Spell. In both cases, you'll need a Simulacrum to perform the rites for you since you have to die during preparation.

(Added bonus: your casting ability doesn't actually come from HD, so your Hivemind simulacrum will be comparatively cheap.)

Urpriest
2011-01-03, 08:22 PM
Even with the swarm rules the class is broken; you can fit 1500 Dimunitive vermin (read: centipedes) in one swarm. That nets you +27 Cha (1500 - 150 = 1450; 1450/50 = 27) which gets you to epic spells if you start off with 11 Charisma. (11+27= 38; 38-17=21.) Use flying bugs instead and one swarm nets you 5,000, or +97 Cha.

It should just be scrapped imo.

But those are just the swarm rules for the number of creatures in a swarm. 3.5 also had new rules for the intelligence and charisma of a hivemind. Specifically, a hivemind of a swarm has the intelligence and charisma written in its statblock. An update to the BoVD Hivemind rules would probably involve changing the general rules to the ability to create specific hiveminded swarms like hellwasps, similar to the way that 3.0's spells that summoned swarms were changed to summon printed swarm creatures.

Psyren
2011-01-03, 08:31 PM
But those are just the swarm rules for the number of creatures in a swarm. 3.5 also had new rules for the intelligence and charisma of a hivemind. Specifically, a hivemind of a swarm has the intelligence and charisma written in its statblock.

Vermin Lord specifically overwrites that - you start with your own Int and Cha scores, rather than those of the constituent creatures, then add +1 to each for every 50 creatures past 150. This is because the Hivemind forms with you in it, rather than being spontaneously created (e.g. with Dark Speech.)

Urpriest
2011-01-03, 08:37 PM
Vermin Lord specifically overwrites that - you start with your own Int and Cha scores, rather than those of the constituent creatures, then add +1 to each for every 50 creatures past 150. This is because the Hivemind forms with you in it, rather than being spontaneously created (e.g. with Dark Speech.)

No, I understand that, what I'm saying is that the scaling (+1 Int/Cha per 50) is not the scaling of 3.5 swarms (whatever the creators wanted). So likely the swarm would use the higher of your Int/Cha and its Int/Cha, or the like, rather than having a scaling mechanic, since this would be more consistent with how hiveminds are built in 3.5.

Psyren
2011-01-03, 08:43 PM
No, I understand that, what I'm saying is that the scaling (+1 Int/Cha per 50) is not the scaling of 3.5 swarms (whatever the creators wanted). So likely the swarm would use the higher of your Int/Cha and its Int/Cha, or the like, rather than having a scaling mechanic, since this would be more consistent with how hiveminds are built in 3.5.

Where are the 3.5 rules for Hiveminds? All the SRD says is that swarms with hive minds (note the spacing) aren't mindless.

Shhalahr Windrider
2011-01-03, 08:50 PM
Vermin Lord specifically overwrites that - you start with your own Int and Cha scores, rather than those of the constituent creatures, then add +1 to each for every 50 creatures past 150. This is because the Hivemind forms with you in it, rather than being spontaneously created (e.g. with Dark Speech.)
Well, obviously, thatís all part of what needs to change to be properly updated. If necessary, put even more limits on the Capstone ability than with the Hivemind property from Chapter 2.

Psyren
2011-01-03, 09:03 PM
Well, obviously, thatís all part of what needs to change to be properly updated. If necessary, put even more limits on the Capstone ability than with the Hivemind property from Chapter 2.

That's still not the broken part though. The broken parts are:

-Free sorcerer levels based on your Cha score
-Ignore Material Components, an epic level feat gotten as a racial ability w/o any prereqs.

Even if adding bugs doesn't give you Cha, you can still pump your Cha other ways; you only need 38 Cha for epic spellcasting and you win D&D.

Urpriest
2011-01-03, 09:26 PM
Where are the 3.5 rules for Hiveminds? All the SRD says is that swarms with hive minds (note the spacing) aren't mindless.

Swarms with hive minds seem pretty clearly intended to replace Hiveminds, since both are mechanics for giving a swarm a collective intelligence.

Shhalahr Windrider
2011-01-03, 09:33 PM
That's still not the broken part though. The broken parts are:

-Free sorcerer levels based on your Cha score
-Ignore Material Components, an epic level feat gotten as a racial ability w/o any prereqs.
Well, obviously ditch those (as benefits from Verminlord-granted hivemind at the very least).

Psyren
2011-01-03, 09:43 PM
Swarms with hive minds seem pretty clearly intended to replace Hiveminds, since both are mechanics for giving a swarm a collective intelligence.

I disagree. Hiveminds are meant to be Evil, but Swarms are Always Neutral - they simply exist. The malevolent intent behind a Hivemind's formation is what results in their greater mental capacity. They are not the same thing.

We can argue what we think the designers intended, but there is no concrete evidence that 3.5 swarms were meant to invalidate BoVD Hiveminds.