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View Full Version : Spellcasters trump martial classes, alright, but which spellcaster comes out top?



Kaihaku
2008-09-04, 04:25 AM
Just being troublesome...or maybe just tired of reading for 50th 300th time all the ways a caster can pwn a non-caster...

I'm allergic to cheese and I'm not much of an optimizer...most of the time, but I am curious what the esteemed folk of this forum think. Which of the three core full-progression caster classes trumps the others? I'm excluding Sorcerer because, well, yeah... You can toss it back in if you really want to. You can also toss in any other spellcasting class with a WotC seal of approval. Please no martial classes though, there's been more than enough of that already.

Wizard, Cleric, or Druid?

Personally, in my unoptimized opinion, I'd risk claiming Wizard with SRD material only. That's what I consider "core", incidentally.

If the material available is broadened to include Complete Divine, then I'd claim Cleric easily. Divine Metamagic? Domain Spontaneity? :smallconfused:

Druids are nice and powerful and all that but, without cheese like Greenbound Summoning, I don't believe as much as people like to think. Actually, even with cheese once you hit higher levels I don't think that they are as nice as people like to think because, well....spell list.

You can, if you wish, argue that another base class is stronger. Unless it's some cheap cunning trick, I'm skeptical.

BobVosh
2008-09-04, 04:36 AM
Most people can't decide between the three, although the druid falls behind with the more books open.

I would go with wizards as the most, with clerics behind them. Probably the other way around with nightsticks open. Yay for cracksticks.

Dode
2008-09-04, 04:49 AM
depends on level of prep-time

Eldariel
2008-09-04, 04:50 AM
Depends on the level, plain and simple. Early on, a Druid is easily ahead with bigger HD, two characters' worth of attack power, efficient spells, etc. Later on (around level 10 or so), Arcane Magic really gets going and Wizard reached the warp speed. Cleric in core is kinda like a Wizard, except only has one-ofs of the best spells per day instead of 5-6.

Outside Core, Wizard gets better by a mile, Druid becomes even more of a melee powerhouse (so again, better on early levels) and Cleric really gets the most improvement (Domain Spontaneity, Anyspell/Greater, etc.). Generally, Wizard wins on high levels, Druid on low levels and Cleric falls somewhere between them (not quite as strong as Druid early on and not quite as strong as Wizard late, but stronger than Druid late and stronger than Wizard early). Also, Prestige Classes change all the rules (Incantatrix, Shadowcraft Mage, Planar Shepherd, etc.).

There was actually a char ops-thread for Cleric vs. Druid and it was found that in Core, Druid was ahead, with some splatbooks, Druid was still ahead and with a lot of splatbooks, Cleric was ahead. Note that this comparison allowed Shapechange, which is the source of much of a Druid's power.

SoD
2008-09-04, 04:52 AM
Bard.

First Round, cast Ealge's Spleandour.

Opponant: Buff.

Second Round: Cast Glibness.
Free Action: Speak. Make bluff attempt to prevent opponant attacking and surrendering.

BobVosh
2008-09-04, 05:13 AM
Bard.

First Round, cast Ealge's Spleandour.

Opponant: Buff.

Second Round: Cast Glibness.
Free Action: Speak. Make bluff attempt to prevent opponant attacking and surrendering.

First Round: Mindbubble.

Second round: Destroy.

Eldariel
2008-09-04, 05:21 AM
Free action: Speech *BLA BLA BLA NOT LISTENING I SPEAK LOUDER THAN YOU!*

Bayar
2008-09-04, 05:22 AM
I'd say: Cleric, Druid, Wizard, Archivist, Artificier. These 5 are game-breaking, sometimes even with no intention (druid 20 anyone ?)

There are some others...like warlocks casting shatter all day long at level 1 :smallbiggrin:

Claiming that druids are less powerful than wizards or clerics because of the limited spell list is kinda...wrong.

Think of it this way: Initiate of nature. Gives you the ability to rebuke/command animals and plant creatures 3+CHA time per day, 2HD per level. Army of wild beasts anyone ? I read it is similar in power to the 3.0 animal companion.
Plus, druids have wild shape. This ability alone is powerful enough. The combination between wild shape, good spell list and animal companion = win.
"K, so I dismount my fleshraker, wildshape into a fleshraker myself, and we both charge the BBEG, pouncing him, dealing about 3 attacks each and giving him a poison effect that targets DEX. Oh, and we are grappling and pinning him at the same time, in the same round."

Kaihaku
2008-09-04, 06:24 AM
Yeah, Wildshape... I love transmutation, it's my favorite school of magic. My last healer had the Time and Transformation domains. Shapechange is an awesome spell. Druids have it, I respect that, but Wizards have it and Clerics can have it too if they really want.

Wildshape into a Fleshraker/Dragon/Hydra/Elemental whatever. Turn Undead boosted with a few feats from Complete Divine (Divine Metamagic and Domain Spontaneity) is still more powerful. Natural Spell is powerful but not gamebreaking.

Druids and their spell list are good. They just aren't very versatile. I know, what? Did he just say Druids aren't versatile?! Blasphemy! The Druid spell list is filled with spells that cause physical damage, force save or die, or are nature themed variants of existing utility spells. There are other spells adding flavor and versatility but most of them are at significantly higher levels than they appear on other spell lists. Just to make a comparison; on CrystalKeep (http://www.crystalkeep.com/) the compiled Druid spell list is 33 pages long, the Cleric spell list is 43 before Domains, the Wizard/Sorcerer compiled spell list is 71 pages long. In regards to spells, Druids excel in a few areas and don't have nearly as many options as the other full casters. I don't think that "Improved Polymorph" as an SLA a few times a day and being able to cast in weird forms negates that.

So, yes, a Druid can zap someone with any number of elemental attacks, teleport by hopping into plants instead of just appearing somewhere, bring someone back from the dead in a new form instead of their old one, fill someone's lungs with water, turn into all kinds of creatures... They can't cast Contingency. They can't raise an Antimagic Field. They can't cast Spell Immunity. They can't cast Planeshift. They can't cast Telekinesis. They can't cast Dominate Person. They can't cast Mind Blank. They can't cast Miracle or an equivalent.

Druids are very good at what they do, look cool in the wilderness and deal a lot of damage. They aren't very versatile. A Wizard or a Cleric with the right Domains is.

Sstoopidtallkid
2008-09-04, 10:58 AM
It depends a lot on the level of optimization. A Cleric or a Wizard played by a n00b is significantly weaker than a Druid played by the same player most of the time. A Cleric can be brought up to the power level of the Druid, but assuming equal player skill, generally not far beyond. A Wizard gets exponentially more powerful as levels and player skill increase, eventually becoming Batman. Archivist and Artificer require a lot of work to break and a lot of splatbooks, and really are never quite as good as the big 3.

Chronos
2008-09-04, 11:35 AM
A high-level wizard will beat a high-level druid, every time, but I'll still say that the druid is the top of the heap, for two reasons. First, most games aren't at high level, and at the low levels most people play at, the other classes haven't had a chance yet to catch up to the druid. Druid is the only class in core, and one of about five in the entire game, which doesn't suck at first level.

Second, even though the druid isn't the strongest class possible in several regards, it doesn't really have any weaknesses. They're strong on the two most important saving throws. They have decent skills. They've got a reasonably large hit die. They have at least a few spells each in most of the important categories, including some that wizards don't have. They can lay the smackdown in melee. They can deal with single, large opponents, thousands of weak opponents, or anything in between. As mentioned above, they don't suck at low levels. They also don't suck with inexperienced players. They can prepare their spells to match the situation, but even if they prepare wrong, they've always got a versatile option to fall back on. You can take down any but the most paranoid of wizards, if you go after their weaknesses, but that's not really possible with druids.

Saph
2008-09-04, 12:02 PM
Well, I'd say it comes down to two things:

How good's the class at levels 1-10?
What does it contribute to a party?

I don't think the solo PvP ability of a class matters at all, because D&D isn't a solo PvP game. It doesn't matter whether a high-level X can beat a high-level Y - what matters is how much a low-to-mid-level X can contribute as part of your team.

With that in mind, I'd put Druid first, Cleric second, Wizard third. Druids come up top because their animal companion lets them fill both the tanking and the divine casting roles simultaneously - it's like having two characters. Clerics are the ultimate support class - many of the best healing and protective spells are either Cleric-only or much harder for other classes to get.

Wizard comes third because the class just needs too much preparation and skill to be fully effective. Sure, at full power, it's awesome, but 95% of D&D players aren't willing to put in that much effort preparing spell lists and planning for contingencies. Wizards also require teamwork - they're real team classes, while Clerics and Druids work great in a team, but are equally good on their own. Also, as Chronos said, Wizards can use spells to cover their weaknesses, but Clerics and Druids just plain don't have the weaknesses in the first place, which makes a difference at lower levels.

However, a balanced party's better than a lopsided one, and Clerics and Druids have a fair amount of overlap. So my pick would be:

If you can only have one in your party: Druid

If you can have two in your party, and already have lots of meleers: Cleric and Wizard

- Saph

Eorran
2008-09-04, 12:14 PM
What I've wondered, ever since reading the first "Wizards can do ANYTHING better than you!" thread, is what happens when TWO wizards with their Greater Celerity / Timestop / 18,000,000 ways to kill you instantly combos get down to it?
Basically, I'd love to see someone with much better skills than I optimize a 20th level Wizard as a Wizard-killer. Then, photocopy the character sheet, and have the two duke it out while I watch.
Mostly the idea of wizard pit-fighting is amusing.

Seriously though, what DOES happen when two people use Greater Celerity in the same round?

Keld Denar
2008-09-04, 12:25 PM
What I've wondered, ever since reading the first "Wizards can do ANYTHING better than you!" thread, is what happens when TWO wizards with their Greater Celerity / Timestop / 18,000,000 ways to kill you instantly combos get down to it?
Basically, I'd love to see someone with much better skills than I optimize a 20th level Wizard as a Wizard-killer. Then, photocopy the character sheet, and have the two duke it out while I watch.
Mostly the idea of wizard pit-fighting is amusing.

Seriously though, what DOES happen when two people use Greater Celerity in the same round?

Then, its pretty much a coin flip, well, really, a d20 roll. Highest roll wins. Sure, you can go through the semantics, but thats all it rolls out to (he he he). Neither is suprised thanks to Forsight, both (in theory) have the same buffs and initiative mods, so whoever wins get the button. Wiz1 wins and begins casting ULTIMATE DEATH AND DESTRUCTION (TM). Wiz2 interupts with Greater Celerity. Wiz1 interupts Wiz2 with Greater Celerity. Wiz2 can't take any more immediate actions, because he's already expended his for the round. Wiz1 uses his full round action to Time Stop and continue with the casting of ULTIMATE DEATH AND DESTRUCTION (TM). Wiz2's contingencies try to fire, but are probably countered by Wiz1's Time Stopped actions, and Wiz2, being deemed naughty in my sight, shall snuff it. All determined by a single opposed d20 roll.

Frankly, I'd rather play war. At least you get to keep playing after losing what is essentially a coin toss.

chiasaur11
2008-09-04, 12:52 PM
What I've wondered, ever since reading the first "Wizards can do ANYTHING better than you!" thread, is what happens when TWO wizards with their Greater Celerity / Timestop / 18,000,000 ways to kill you instantly combos get down to it?
Basically, I'd love to see someone with much better skills than I optimize a 20th level Wizard as a Wizard-killer. Then, photocopy the character sheet, and have the two duke it out while I watch.
Mostly the idea of wizard pit-fighting is amusing.

Seriously though, what DOES happen when two people use Greater Celerity in the same round?

I think the fight'd probably be over as soon as it started. The audience'd be mad.

Akimbo
2008-09-04, 02:29 PM
What I've wondered, ever since reading the first "Wizards can do ANYTHING better than you!" thread, is what happens when TWO wizards with their Greater Celerity / Timestop / 18,000,000 ways to kill you instantly combos get down to it?
Basically, I'd love to see someone with much better skills than I optimize a 20th level Wizard as a Wizard-killer. Then, photocopy the character sheet, and have the two duke it out while I watch.
Mostly the idea of wizard pit-fighting is amusing.

Seriously though, what DOES happen when two people use Greater Celerity in the same round?

Well Tippy and I could show you, but it basically comes down to neither one ever finding the other and instead who can Wish/Gate cheese the fastest. Which of course first involves traveling to someplace really far away.

And it's still a tie.

Blackfang108
2008-09-04, 02:38 PM
Bard.

First Round, cast Ealge's Spleandour.

Opponant: Buff.

Second Round: Cast Glibness.
Free Action: Speak. Make bluff attempt to prevent opponant attacking and surrendering.

First round: Babble (Chaotician class feature): all sound is garbled in a sphere surrounding the Chaotician. any attempts at verbal communication are useless.

FMArthur
2008-09-04, 05:27 PM
"K, so I dismount my fleshraker, wildshape into a fleshraker myself, and we both charge the BBEG, pouncing him, dealing about 3 attacks each and giving him a poison effect that targets DEX. Oh, and we are grappling and pinning him at the same time, in the same round."

Wizard in the Druid's place: "I cause him to die."
DM: "How?"
Wizard: "Does it really matter?"
DM: "No, I suppose not."

Sinfire Titan
2008-09-04, 05:59 PM
ERUDITE

Then Wizard.

thegurullamen
2008-09-04, 06:14 PM
No, you have to look at this in the proper light. It all comes down to best friends because real power lies in connections. Clerics have the best connections because not only are they more personable (people skills = more Turning!), they're backed by an epic bestest buddy evar! Druids are considerably worse because they're known loners who don't shower and rarely talk to anyone besides ubercool bears. (This alone hurts them with Colbert's considerable fanbase.) Wizards suck the most because they live in towers and don't talk to anything they can't summon/their cat.

The winner? Clerics. Clerics are the most powerful because god>bear>cat.

Sinfire Titan
2008-09-04, 06:29 PM
No, you have to look at this in the proper light. It all comes down to best friends because real power lies in connections. Clerics have the best connections because not only are they more personable (people skills = more Turning!), they're backed by an epic bestest buddy evar! Druids are considerably worse because they're known loners who don't shower and rarely talk to anyone besides ubercool bears. (This alone hurts them with Colbert's considerable fanbase.) Wizards suck the most because they live in towers and don't talk to anything they can't summon/their cat.

The winner? Clerics. Clerics are the most powerful because god>bear>cat.

Gods don't kill Commoners that worship them, and cats are more cuddle than gods.

chiasaur11
2008-09-04, 06:34 PM
Gods don't kill Commoners that worship them, and cats are more cuddle than gods.

With the exception of Cthulu.
On both counts.

Sinfire Titan
2008-09-04, 06:55 PM
With the exception of Cthulu.
On both counts.

Only Plushthulu. The real one makes you go insane upon seeing him, then eats you.

chiasaur11
2008-09-04, 07:03 PM
Only Plushthulu. The real one makes you go insane upon seeing him, then eats you.


True.
However, those who survived that experience are quoted as saying about it such statements as the following "huggably soft" "surprisingly cuddly" "You wouldn't think a horrible squid monster would be so gosh darn fluffy"

I rest my case.

Kaihaku
2008-09-04, 07:27 PM
Maybe I'm missing something...but is there anyway that Divine Metamagic(Persistent Spell) or Divine Metamagic(Quicken Spell) doesn't bust something?

I spend some turn attempts, which I probably wouldn't have used for anything else unless I ran into some undead anyway, to Quicken -> Miracle (9 + 6 = "15th" level spell equivalent) or Persist -> Divine Power. Now, you could rightly argue that a Greater Metamagic Rod does the same but Clerics get it basically for free and in addition to whatever they spend their money on.

Divine Spellpower isn't as bad but I can still boost up a 'Word' spell into the nether regions.

Also, I concur, a Druid is easy play and hard to screw up, that doesn't mean that it's the most powerful class though. Druid at low levels, Cleric at medium, and Wizard at high level talk makes a lot of sense.

I'm not so convinced that Druid is a great "team" class though, maybe for a weak team or for a new player who wants to feel important a lot because a Druid can outfight most Melee classes so can a Cleric but most Clerics will be walking bandaids because they don't suck at healing. Being able to solo most things or fill most combat roles isn't teamwork. A Cleric healing and buffing allies instead of buffing himself up to crush melee is teamwork. Yes, a Druid can scout, heal better than a bard at least, cast big damaging spells, and, of course, transform into a vicious dinosaur that makes the melee look bad.

Clerics and especially Wizards are a lot more difficult to pull off, but when done properly they definitely surpass Druids at high levels. Now, all that said, I'm not anti-Druid. I like playing Druids, they're fun and very flavorful.

tyckspoon
2008-09-04, 07:38 PM
Maybe I'm missing something...but is there anyway that Divine Metamagic(Persistent Spell) or Divine Metamagic(Quicken Spell) doesn't bust something?

I spend some turn attempts, which I probably wouldn't have used for anything else unless I ran into some undead anyway, to Quicken -> Miracle (9 + 6 = "15th" level spell equivalent) or Persist -> Divine Power. Now, you could rightly argue that a Greater Metamagic Rod does the same but Clerics get it basically for free and in addition to whatever they spend their money on.


I'm willing to stand up and say that Divine Metamagic, in itself, isn't broken. The limit is how many turning attempts you can get. In a relatively limited source environment, turning attempts are fairly expensive. You have to invest in either an increased Charisma or Extra Turning feats- and your feats are competing with the feats you need to take Divine Metamagic in the first place (alternately you take the right domains, but even that is a little bit of a sacrifice- the Undeath/Planning combo means you aren't getting Magic or Travel or Luck or Trickery or...) When you add cheap items that give extra turn attempts, that is what makes it a problem. Nightsticks in particular break it into little bitty Persisted pieces.

Chronos
2008-09-04, 09:33 PM
Personally, my preferred houserule for DMM and the like is to say that you can't use metamagic cost reducers unless you would be able to cast a spell of the appropriate level without the cost reducers. So, for instance, DMM:Persist Divine Favor would only use up a first-level slot, but you can't do it until you're able to cast 7th-level spells (since that's the slot a persisted Divine Favor would normally take). This applies to all metamagic cost reducers, including but not limited to DMM, metamagic rods, feats or class features that decrease the cost of metamagic, etc.

Kaihaku
2008-09-04, 10:40 PM
So basically, your houserule makes it work like psionics. Which makes sense.

monty
2008-09-04, 10:45 PM
Metamagic Song explicitly says that. Sounds like a perfectly reasonable houserule to me.

Sinfire Titan
2008-09-04, 11:00 PM
True.
However, those who survived that experience are quoted as saying about it such statements as the following "huggably soft" "surprisingly cuddly" "You wouldn't think a horrible squid monster would be so gosh darn fluffy"

I rest my case.

Fluffy implies hair or fur. Squids have neither. Squishy? That I can understand.

As for cuddly, give me a scorpion over a squid any day.

chiasaur11
2008-09-04, 11:15 PM
Fluffy implies hair or fur. Squids have neither. Squishy? That I can understand.

As for cuddly, give me a scorpion over a squid any day.

That was why it was so surprising.

Nohwl
2008-09-05, 02:44 PM
Archivist and Artificer require a lot of work to break and a lot of splatbooks, and really are never quite as good as the big 3.

what makes archivists and artificers hard to break and why are they worse than wizard, cleric, and druid?

Sstoopidtallkid
2008-09-05, 02:49 PM
what makes archivists and artificers hard to break and why are they worse than wizard, cleric, and druid?Archivists and Artificers can in theory use almost any class's spell list, but getting enough time to get that access isn't guaranteed, and especially in the case of the Archivist, requires DM approval. When they do, they combine the brokenness of any casting class, but the Artificer burns money to do so, and the Archivist gives up some of the benefits of a Cleric. They break like the big 3, but it takes more of an investment, and really ends with no significant difference in power between an uber-optimized Artificer/Archivist and Batman/Czilla.

Nohwl
2008-09-05, 02:52 PM
so optimizing an archivist or artificer is more about getting spells you want with wbl than using dmm or a batman wizard?

Sstoopidtallkid
2008-09-05, 03:01 PM
so optimizing an archivist or artificer is more about getting spells you want with wbl than using dmm or a batman wizard?It requires using optimized spells, but since they don't gain a lot of spell access without an investment of WBL, every poor spell choice is a waste. It takes a lot of work, and in the end, action conservation bites them like it does everyone else. Yeah, they break, but no more than the big 3.

ShneekeyTheLost
2008-09-05, 07:45 PM
I'm surprised no one has mentioned Planar Shepherd yet... which puts Druid over and above even Batman Wizard/Incantatrix/Archmage or DMM Clericzillas.

XP free wishes or 60:1 time dialation much?

monty
2008-09-05, 07:56 PM
I'd say Batman's still better, at least at the higher end. It's hard to beat Contingent Celerity->Time Stop->Win.

Sstoopidtallkid
2008-09-05, 08:02 PM
I'm surprised no one has mentioned Planar Shepherd yet... which puts Druid over and above even Batman Wizard/Incantatrix/Archmage or DMM Clericzillas.

XP free wishes or 60:1 time dialation much?If we're doing that...Bard 1/Sorc 6/x 2/Sublime Chord 2/Ur-Priest 2/Mystic Theurge 8
I'm AFB but I'm pretty sure that qualifies, has 2 spare levels, and the best of both Sorc and Cleric. A bit MAD, but breaks everything more, if you try.

Emperor Tippy
2008-09-05, 08:11 PM
If we're doing that...Bard 1/Sorc 6/x 2/Sublime Chord 2/Ur-Priest 2/Mystic Theurge 8
I'm AFB but I'm pretty sure that qualifies, has 2 spare levels, and the best of both Sorc and Cleric. A bit MAD, but breaks everything more, if you try.

Nah, Poke'Ball Cindy still takes the prize for most powerful caster in the game (except, maybe, when you are playing with taint and are a race with immunity to its negatives).

"My dozen Le Shay riding Great Wyrm Prismatic Dragons attack"

EDIT: Although the flat out most powerful class in the game is Illithid Savant.

chiasaur11
2008-09-05, 08:16 PM
Nah, Poke'Ball Cindy still takes the prize for most powerful caster in the game (except, maybe, when you are playing with taint and are a race with immunity to its negatives).

"My dozen Le Shay riding Great Wyrm Prismatic Dragons attack"

EDIT: Although the flat out most powerful class in the game is Illithid Savant.

Hey, if we're going that far into delicious dairy products, and define caster wide enough...

Emperor Tippy
2008-09-05, 08:23 PM
Hey, if we're going that far into delicious dairy products, and define caster wide enough...

Oh it is most assuredly a caster. It casts as a CL 20 sorcerer (with all spells cast as SLA's), CL 20 Wizard, CL 20 Cleric, CL 20 Druid, CL 20 Psion (of every type), and a CL 38 sorcerer. At level 15. :smallbiggrin:

Lochar
2008-09-05, 08:26 PM
I hate to do it, but Pokeball Cindy?

arguskos
2008-09-05, 08:31 PM
Oh it is most assuredly a caster. It casts as a CL 20 sorcerer (with all spells cast as SLA's), CL 20 Wizard, CL 20 Cleric, CL 20 Druid, CL 20 Psion (of every type), and a CL 38 sorcerer. At level 15.
How.... just.. just how??? Does this build have full casting in each of these classes at level 15? If so... damn.. that might be the most broken thing in the history of broken crap.

EDIT: Also, where is Planar Shepard from?

-argus

ShneekeyTheLost
2008-09-05, 08:35 PM
I'd say Batman's still better, at least at the higher end. It's hard to beat Contingent Celerity->Time Stop->Win.

And I would respectfully submit that a Planar Shepherd can evade that combo by sheer immunity to time-affecting spells (including walking around normally during a time stop) with the right plane choice.

Or, he could simply choose the plane that has no magic in it at all, that negates even instant conjurations, then walk up in wild shape form and stomp the commoner flat.

Or choose the plane which lets him have like 60 actions per turn. Beats Time Stop with an ugly stick.

Fire is mostly weak, although it does give him Wishes, which give him access to Contingency and Celerity as well.

Emperor Tippy
2008-09-05, 08:36 PM
How.... just.. just how??? Does this build have full casting in each of these classes at level 15? If so... damn.. that might be the most broken thing in the history of broken crap.

-argus

One of the Illithid Savants abilities is to steal abilities from things that it eats the brains of. Including class features like spell casting. Well you can eat the brain of an Illithid Savant and gain the ability to eat 3 more Illithid Savant's. Repeat until you have eaten as many as you want. Then just eat the brain of whoever has what ability you want. With gate and wish it's really no trouble at all to get everything you want.

Oh, and you get the abilities as if you were that creature (DC's, CL, ability score, etc.). So if you eat a solar's brain at level 15 (for example) then you could get it's cleric casting and you now cast cleric spells as if you were that solar (so at 20th level).

Sstoopidtallkid
2008-09-05, 08:56 PM
Hey, if we're going that far into delicious dairy products, and define caster wide enough...Beholder Mage is better, IMHO.

Bagera
2008-09-05, 09:05 PM
I still think that artificers are easy enough to break what with free crafting xp, homonculi they can get well beyond the wbl especially with the ability to breakdown magic items. with Cannith Wand Adept, they can just bust out with a few thousand damage a turn. Even though they eat wands like candy an artificer going nova flattens just about anything.

Emperor Tippy
2008-09-05, 09:09 PM
Beholder Mage is better, IMHO.

Better than Illithid Savant? That's impossible. The best you can be is equal to the Illithid Savant.

Chronos
2008-09-05, 09:32 PM
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Illithid Savant and Beholder Mage are intended for DMs who want to kill off their parties, without just saying "Rocks fall everyone dies".

Though if you're seriously going to try to maximize the cheese of an Illithid Savant, just eat a Sarrukh's brain. You know the rest.

Emperor Tippy
2008-09-05, 09:56 PM
Though if you're seriously going to try to maximize the cheese of an Illithid Savant, just eat a Sarrukh's brain. You know the rest.

Yes, but Pun-Pun is a whole other level of broken.

chiasaur11
2008-09-05, 10:03 PM
Yes, but Pun-Pun is a whole other level of broken.

Actually, that's what I was thinking.

Didn't want to say it though. It's a bit cliche in theoretical optimization.

It's like mentioning the final form of the Dai Gurren in a battlebots discussion.

monty
2008-09-05, 10:09 PM
If someone asks who the most powerful person ever is/was, the answer is not Jesus. The same goes for D&D and Pun-Pun. It ruins the competition.

arguskos
2008-09-05, 10:10 PM
If someone asks who the most powerful person ever is/was, the answer is not Jesus. The same goes for D&D and Pun-Pun. It ruins the competition.
Of course it isn't Jesus. He can't hold a candle to Galactus. :smalltongue:

Also, I understand your point completely, and in fact agree wholeheartedly. Besides, hearing about Pun-Pun gets boring really fast.

-argus

Flickerdart
2008-09-05, 10:18 PM
Of course it isn't Jesus. He can't hold a candle to Galactus. :smalltongue:
Galactus isn't a person. You were thinking of O-Chul.

arguskos
2008-09-05, 10:23 PM
Galactus isn't a person. You were thinking of O-Chul.
O-Chul works too. Though, I maintain that Galactus is totally a person. He has needs too, you know. Just cause he also happens to eat planets doesn't make him a bad guy, just hungry.

Ok, I'll stop this now.

-argus

Chronicled
2008-09-05, 10:36 PM
Well Tippy and I could show you, but it basically comes down to neither one ever finding the other and instead who can Wish/Gate cheese the fastest. Which of course first involves traveling to someplace really far away.

And it's still a tie.

I don't need all the specifics, but I'd like to hear a few more details.

Hypothetical situation for this purpose: Cindy is relaxing when Pun-Pun appears and says, "I was bored, so I made an identical copy of you at this very moment and put her somewhere on this plane/planet. Oh, and 'There can be only one!' Have fun!" He then departs. What's Cindy's next move?

Emperor Tippy
2008-09-06, 06:17 AM
She breaks out her poke'ball and has the great wyrm prismatic dragons ready actions to use disjunction on the creature as soon as it appears. Then she breaks out a few effertie and has them just keep using the transport travelers clause of wish to make the other cindy appear in a specific 5 foot square.

Cindy appears and get's disjointed and then dies.

There is no defense against wishing people in except immunity to magic (which means that the other cindy has to be in a form with immunity to magic at the time).

Chronicled
2008-09-06, 09:18 AM
She breaks out her poke'ball and has the great wyrm prismatic dragons ready actions to use disjunction on the creature as soon as it appears. Then she breaks out a few effertie and has them just keep using the transport travelers clause of wish to make the other cindy appear in a specific 5 foot square.

Cindy appears and get's disjointed and then dies.

There is no defense against wishing people in except immunity to magic (which means that the other cindy has to be in a form with immunity to magic at the time).

If the other Cindy is doing the exact same thing (and heck, we'll say at the exact same time), could it end up with both Cindys dead?

Edit: And how about if it's non poke'ball Cindy? I doubt there'll be much of a difference; she'll just gate the effertie in and ready the disjunction herself, right?

Also, I thought the "standard" form for Cindy was a Stone Golem for magic immunity. Was I mistaken?

Emperor Tippy
2008-09-06, 09:33 AM
If the other Cindy is doing the exact same thing (and heck, we'll say at the exact same time), could it end up with both Cindys dead?
No, one has to act first thanks to how D&D works.


Edit: And how about if it's non poke'ball Cindy? I doubt there'll be much of a difference; she'll just gate the effertie in and ready the disjunction herself, right?
Pretty much. Or just wish in the other cindy on her own, use her belt of battle for disjunction, and then use celerity for an orb of death.


Also, I thought the "standard" form for Cindy was a Stone Golem for magic immunity. Was I mistaken?
Advanced Shadesteel Golem. If both Cindy's keep up their immunity to magic then odds are they never run into each other.

Chronicled
2008-09-06, 09:43 AM
No, one has to act first thanks to how D&D works.
Er, even taking that into account, won't each Cindy's minions kill the other? Cindy 2 gets wished in, disjoined, killed by the dragons/efferti/Cindy 1. At the beginning of what would have been Cindy 2's turn, her minions wish in Cindy 1, disjoin her as ordered, and then kill her.


Pretty much. Or just wish in the other cindy on her own, use her belt of battle for disjunction, and then use celerity for an orb of death.
So assuming the other Cindy also uses celerity, she could still escape if she won initiative. And as an identical copy, it's down to a d20.


Advanced Shadesteel Golem. If both Cindy's keep up their immunity to magic then odds are they never run into each other.
Aha. So both Cindys would assume this form immediately after Pun-Pun's notice (if not already in it), then break out the poke'balls (or can the poke'balls be used in one turn, before the other Cindy could transform on her turn)?

qube
2008-09-07, 06:40 AM
IIRC a cleric can shapechange to change into a certain critter to get access to wizard spells. Don't ask me, but I have no idea what critter it is, I just read it somewhere on the WotC forum.

IMO that makes the strongest character is a the cleric of Pun-pun.
basically this is a cleric with the kobold domain and the shapechange spell (through the animal domain, or an other domain).
- cleric gives enough mellee capabilities
- kobold domain gives access to trapfinding
- shapechange gives access to wizard spells

one man party, comming through ...

Adumbration
2008-09-07, 06:50 AM
IIRC a cleric can shapechange to change into a certain critter to get access to wizard spells. Don't ask me, but I have no idea what critter it is, I just read it somewhere on the WotC forum.

IMO that makes the strongest character is a the cleric of Pun-pun.
basically this is a cleric with the kobold domain and the shapechange spell (through the animal domain, or an other domain).
- cleric gives enough mellee capabilities
- kobold domain gives access to trapfinding
- shapechange gives access to wizard spells

one man party, comming through ...

I think the critter you're talking about might be the epic monster Ha-Naga. It's a 20 HD aberration that comes Colossal, with 21st level Sorceror casting, supernatural flight and a charm gaze attack. Interpretions vary, but according to at least some sources - CustServ I've heard someone tell - you can get casting through Shapechange.

Chronos
2008-09-07, 03:33 PM
Then again, if Shapechange gives you racial spellcasting ability (because it just wasn't overpowered enough without it), then a wizard can also shapechange into, say, a planetar, to gain cleric spellcasting ability. It works both ways.

tyckspoon
2008-09-07, 03:48 PM
Then again, if Shapechange gives you racial spellcasting ability (because it just wasn't overpowered enough without it), then a wizard can also shapechange into, say, a planetar, to gain cleric spellcasting ability. It works both ways.


Ha-nagas can cast spells as 21st-level sorcerers, and can also cast cleric spells and spells from the domains of Chaos and Evil as arcane spells

Nah, the Wizard just turns into a Ha-naga too. :smallwink: Which is nice if he's going for utmost cheese, because it means he doesn't have to spend other resources on caster-level boosters in order to turn into a Solar. Although he's probably going to have them anyway; the necessary 22 CL isn't that hard to reach, and Solar is nice to have around when, say, you don't want to be Colossal.

mostlyharmful
2008-09-07, 04:07 PM
The problem isn't getting the casting, anynumber of dragons and outsiders have it from MM1 on, the problem is getting the shapechange to last long enough for you to rest 8 hours in those forms to get the spell slots refreshed as a planetar or whatever, you need a huge CL boost and a Greater rod of Extend to pull that off short of Persist-Cheese. An extended shapechange lasts 20mins/CL, so in order to last say, 10 hours to get the slots, fill them with spells and fire them off, you need a CL of 30.

tyckspoon
2008-09-07, 04:20 PM
The problem isn't getting the casting, anynumber of dragons and outsiders have it from MM1 on, the problem is getting the shapechange to last long enough for you to rest 8 hours in those forms to get the spell slots refreshed as a planetar or whatever,

Hmm. You know, I think it may not actually be necessary to be in the form of whatever for 8 hours; it may suffice simply to be prepared to refresh your spell slots at the time of transformation. Your mind remains the same, after all, and that is theoretically what is doing the preparation and needs to be rested. So: Rest 8 hours. Cast shapechange, turn into whatever. Rest one more hour, because arcane magic requires at least one hour rest immediately before preparation. Concentrate for 15 minutes (assuming you picked something with Sorcerer casting.), and your newly-gotten Sorcerer slots are activated. Now study for another hour to prepare your own natural Wizard slots.

For divine magic it's even simpler, since that doesn't actually require a rest period. Just shapechange and declare that your normal time of day for preparing spells is whatever time it happens to be. Pray for an hour and enjoy your magic. Assuming you have sufficient Wisdom to cast them, at least.

Eldritch_Ent
2008-09-07, 04:25 PM
There's also the Fortifying Bedroll from the MIC. Take a one-hour nap and then be able to prepare spells from slots you haven't cast within 8 hours? Hmm, verah nice.

mostlyharmful
2008-09-07, 04:32 PM
Hmm. You know, I think it may not actually be necessary to be in the form of whatever for 8 hours; it may suffice simply to be prepared to refresh your spell slots at the time of transformation. Your mind remains the same, after all, and that is theoretically what is doing the preparation and needs to be rested. So: Rest 8 hours. Cast shapechange, turn into whatever. Rest one more hour, because arcane magic requires at least one hour rest immediately before preparation. Concentrate for 15 minutes (assuming you picked something with Sorcerer casting.), and your newly-gotten Sorcerer slots are activated. Now study for another hour to prepare your own natural Wizard slots.

For divine magic it's even simpler, since that doesn't actually require a rest period. Just shapechange and declare that your normal time of day for preparing spells is whatever time it happens to be. Pray for an hour and enjoy your magic. Assuming you have sufficient Wisdom to cast them, at least.

And bang goes the last little trace of sanity on that spell... up until now I always classed it as everso slightly less borked beyound belief than Gate and Astral Projection... Bleh....

Chronos
2008-09-07, 05:16 PM
Which is nice if he's going for utmost cheese, because it means he doesn't have to spend other resources on caster-level boosters in order to turn into a Solar.That's why I said Planetar, instead. Sure, they only cast as level 17, but that's enough for most purposes, and they're only 16 HD, so they're available at any caster level you can cast Shapechange, without any boosters at all.