# Thread: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge In the Playground XLII

1. ## Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge In the Playground XLII

Mortumdal: We're in grave danger

Originally Posted by Mortumdal
Mortumdal

Story:
Spoiler
I can't quite remember my life. Not in its entirety. There are just fragments of memory that spark from time to time.
I remember the smell of the rain against the forest leaves.
I remember the gleam of the moonlight shining off of frost covered fields.
I remember the soft burble of streams trickling through the glens.
I remember the way my father would smile when the softest of breezes would ripple his hair.
And I remember the vengence we felt toward those who would threaten it all.

They came when I was young. They simply arrived one day, out of the blue, and began clearing away the trees. A large swath of forest was gone before we'd known, such was the speed with which they worked. They brought in great chunks of alabaster and gold, chisled into unnatural blocks, and lumped them together in what they must have thought was beauty. They loved their temple, this monstrousity of stone, and worshiped it as though it was their god.

But it wasn't until we saw what they had inside their temple that we realised the horror they'd brought.
They wanted to rid the world of a plague. Or so they said. They'd brought the infected with them, as test subjects, hoping to find a cure for the disease. They wanted, they said, to discover the source of this infection, to determine a manner in which to erradicate it from the world entirely, once and for all. They claimed that these test subjects were the key to their work.

They had brought with them death. Corpses. Bodies not yet aware of their deaths. Each rose and moaned, wailing against their captivity, begging for release. This plague, as they called it, of undead held captive in cells, bound in chains, its foul, rotting stench billowed past the chisled halls of their hallowed temple and pervaded the sanctity of the wood beyond. The macabe managerie, the cadre of cadavers, the corps of corpses, held captive within those cloistered cages were, worse yet, forced to remain within their prisons of flesh, bound unnatural to this world and crying for the grave. The injustice these holy few brought to their ancestors!

We wept. We begged them to stop, to put an end to their cursed ways.
They refused. They stood resolute in their willingness to sacrifice everything to erradicate the vile darkness that roamed the world.
We rose up; outmanned, but filled with conviction. We stormed their temple, determined to put an end to the outrage, to silence the tortured moans, to release that tormented flesh from its unnatural prison. We fought for honor. We fought for dignity.
They fought back.
The battle wasn't clean, it wasn't pretty. There was confusion, there was chaos. We lost a lot of good men that day. I was one of them.

I can't quite remember my death. Not in its entirety. There are just fragments of memory that spark from time to time.
I remember the smell of the leaves of those fallen trees, rotting on the forest floor.
I remember the chill of the frost as it settled over my soul in the darkening night.
I remember the soft burble of my last breath trickling through the blood at my lips.
I remember the way my father would cry at the softest mention of my name, his heir no longer living in this world...

...but destined to walk through it, never-the-less.

And I know the vengence I feel for those who have made me the monster I am.
I stand, still, resolute in my willingness to sacrifice everything to erradicate the vile scourge blindly scorching the world.
I will extinguish their light!

Stat Array:
Spoiler
St 14 +2 = 16
Dx 14 +4 = 18
Co 8 -- = --
In 16 +2 = 18
Wz 8 +4 = 12
Ch 16 +2 = 18

Level increases (in order): Cha, Cha, Cha, Cha

Build:
Spoiler
Mortumdal
{table=head]Level|Class|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Skills(Total Ranks)|Feats|Class Features

1st|Gravetouched Ghoul|
-
|
-
|
-
|
-
|--|Multiattack|Claw/Claw/bite; Ghoul feaver; Paralysis; TR+2; Diet Dependant; Undead traits

2nd|Gravetouched Ghoul (LA2)|
-
|
-
|
-
|
-
|--|--|--

3rd|(Urban/Wildshape) Ranger 1|
+1
|
+2
|
+2
|
+0
|Climb 4(4), Gather Information 4(4), Hide 4(4), K: Local 4(4), Listen 4(4), Move Silently 4(4), Search 4(4), Spot 4(4), Swim 4(4), Use Rope 4(4)|1st: Darkstalker|Favored Enemy: Church of Pelor; Urban Tracking; (1/2) Wild Empathy, Fast Movement

4th|Swashbuckler 1|
+2
|
+4
|
+2
|
+0
|Bluff 5(5), Climb (4), Gather Information (4), Hide (4), K: Local (4), Listen (4), Move Silently (4), Search (4), Spot (4), Swim (4), Tumble 3(3), Use Rope (4)|Bonus: Weapon Finesse|--

5th|Swashbuckler 2|
+3
|
+5
|
+2
|
+0
|Balance 5(5), Bluff (5), Climb (4), Diplomacy 2(2), Gather Information (4), Hide (4), K: Local (4), Listen (4), Move Silently (4), Search (4), Spot (4), Swim (4), Tumble 1(4), Use Rope (4)|3rd: Blind-Fight|Grace +1

6th|Ranger 2|
+4
|
+6
|
+3
|
+0
|Balance (5), Bluff (5), Climb (4), Diplomacy (2), Gather Information 3(7), Hide 3(7), K: Local 1(5), Listen (4), Move Silently 3(7), Search (4), Spot (4), Swim (4), Tumble (4), Use Rope (4)|--|--

7th|Swashbuckler 3|
+5
|
+6
|
+4
|
+1
|Balance (5), Bluff (5), Climb (4), Diplomacy 3(5), Gather Information 2(8), Hide (7), K: Local (5), Listen (4), Move Silently (7), Search (4), Spot (4), Swim (4), Tumble 3(8), Use Rope (4)|--|Insightful Strike

+5
|
+8
|
+4
|
+1
|Balance (5), Bluff (5), Climb (4), Diplomacy (5), Gather Information 2(9), Hide 2(9), K: Local (5), Listen (4), Move Silently 2(9), Search (4), Spot (4), Swim (4), Tumble (8), Use Rope (4)|6th: Ability Focus (Paraysis)|Unseen Weapon (Unerring Strike)

+6/1
|
+9
|
+x4
|
+1
|Balance (5), Bluff 2(7), Climb (4), Diplomancy (5), Gather Information 2(10), Hide 1(10), K: Local (5), Listen (4), Move Silently 1(10), Search (4), Spot (4), Swim (4), Tumble (8), Use Rope (4)|--|Shadow and Stealth; Sudden Strike +1d6

+7/2
|
+9
|
+5
|
+2
|Balance (5), Bluff (7), Climb (4), Diplomacy (5), Gather Information 2(11), Hide 1(11), K: Local (5), Listen 2(5), Move Silently 1(11), Search (4), Spot (4), Swim (4), Tumble (8), Use Rope (4)|--|Shadow vision; UW (Unexpected Strike)

11th|Lurking Terror 1|
+7/2
|
+9
|
+5
|
+4
|Balance (5), Bluff (7), Climb (4), Diplomacy (5), Gather Information (11), Hide (11), K: Local (5), Listen 3(7), Move Silently (11), Search 2(6), Spot 3(7), Swim (4), Tumble (8), Use Rope (4)|9th: Improved Initiative|Deathly Power

12th|Lurking Terror 2|
+8/3
|
+9
|
+5
|
+5
|Balance (5), Bluff (7), Climb (4), Diplomacy (5), Gather Information (11), Hide (11), K: Local (5), Listen 3(10), Move Silently (11), Search 2(8), Spot 3(10), Swim (4), Tumble (8), Use Rope (4)|--|Improved Darkvision

13th|Lurking Terror 3|
+9/4
|
+10
|
+6
|
+5
|Balance (5), Bluff (7), Climb (4), Diplomacy (5), Gather Information (11), Hide (11), K: Local (5), Listen 3(13), Move Silently (11), Search 2(10), Spot 3(13), Swim (4), Tumble (8), Use Rope (4)|--|Hide in Plain Sight

+10/5
|
+11
|
+6
|
+5
|Balance (5), Bluff (7), Climb (4), Diplomacy (5), Gather Information (11), Hide 4(15), K: Local (5), Listen (13), Move Silently 2(13), Search (10), Spot (13), Swim (4), Tumble (8), Use Rope (4)|12th: Death Blow|SS +2d6

+10/5
|
+11
|
+6
|
+5
|Balance (5), Bluff 2(9), Climb (4), Diplomacy (5), Gather Information (11), Hide 1(16), K: Local (5), Listen (13), Move Silently 3(16), Search (10), Spot (13), Swim (4), Tumble (8), Use Rope (4)|--|UW (Ephemeral Weapon)

+11/6/1
|
+12
|
+7
|
+6
|Balance (5), Bluff (9), Climb (4), Diplomacy (5), Gather Information 4(13), Hide 1(17), K: Local (5), Listen (13), Move Silently 1(17), Search (10), Spot (13), Swim (4), Tumble (8), Use Rope (4)|--|SS +3d6

+12/7/2
|
+12
|
+7
|
+6
|Balance (5), Bluff 2(11), Climb (4), Diplomacy (5), Gather Information 2(14), Hide 1(18), K: Local (5), Listen (13), Move Silently 1(18), Search (10), Spot (13), Swim (4), Tumble (8), Use Rope (4)|15th: Harvester of Souls|See in Darkness; UW (Shadowy Strike)

+13/8/3
|
+13
|
+7
|
+6
|Balance (5), Bluff (11), Climb (4), Diplomacy (5), Gather Information 4(16), Hide 1(19), K: Local (5), Listen (13), Move Silently 1(19), Search (10), Spot (13), Swim (4), Tumble (8), Use Rope (4)|--|SS +4d6

+13/8/3
|
+13
|
+8
|
+7
|Balance (5), Bluff (11), Climb (4), Diplomacy (5), Gather Information 2(17), Hide 1(20), K: Local (5), Listen (13), Move Silently 1(20), Search (10), Spot 2(14), Swim (4), Tumble (8), Use Rope (4)|--|UW (Far Shadow)

+14/9/4
|
+14
|
+8
|
+7
|Balance (5), Bluff (11), Climb (4), Diplomacy (5), Gather Information 4(19), Hide 1(21), K: Local (5), Listen (13), Move Silently 1(21), Search (10), Spot (14), Swim (4), Tumble (8), Use Rope (4)|18th: Improved Paralysis|SS +5d6; UW (Free action)[/table]

ECL 5:
Spoiler
A handful of skills and a high Charisma make you passable as the party face. Being undead though puts a damper on it in many situations. Talking your way into a discount at the local inn isn't going to happen. But, finding contacts in the seedier neighborhoods, making allies of other undead or necromancers, etc. are still on the table. There are situations where being undead will auto-fail your negotiations, but there are others where it will be of benefit. Seek out the latter.
Urban Tracking and Favored Enemy: Church of Pelor will help you keep an eye on the goings-on of your enemy. As an eternal undead, you can play the long-game -- subvert the organization, create misinformation, upset their plans.

Killoren gives low-light vision, undead type grants darkvision. With the darkstalker and blind-fight feats, you're on your way to slinking through the shadows well. Using the Aspect of the Hunter (from Killoren) will certainly help out with stalking.

Multi-attack and Weapon Finesse showcase your bite/claw/claw attacks. Aspect of the Hunter and a high Dexterity help your initiative. Stick to the shadows in combat when possible, use a surprise round to ambush your foes. Pick off the weak, one by one. Aim for : sneak, isolate your foe, strike, paralyse (DC 15). Then, out comes a light pick for the coup de grace.

ECL 10:
Spoiler
You're getting better at Gathering Information, Hide, and Move Silently. Shadow and stealth (from Shadowblade) and Shadow Vision (Shadowblade) are giving a slight boost to your stealth. You're becoming a thief of information, wandering the city streets unseen, unheard, listening to hushed conversations and using the knowledge gained to your advantage.

The Unerring and Unexpected strike features of Unseen Weapon (Shadowblade) help to land your attack as you emerge from hiding. Insightful Strike (Swashbuckler) has added a fair amount of fun to your attacks. Your bite and claws both qualify.
And, of course, once your foe is paralysed (DC 21, thanks to Ability Focus), you can add your intelligence bonus to damage with your light pick on the coup de grace. Add in your Sudden Strike (Shadowblade) with every coup de grace you make as well. Use Aspect of the Destroyer (Killoren) when eligible on the coup de grace and the damage really starts to add up!

ECL 15:
Spoiler
Hide and Move Silently are getting better, and so too are Spot, Search, and Listen. Improved Darkvision (Lurking Terror) and Hide in Plain Sight (Lurking Terror), along with everything metioned previously, and you're making for a pretty good scout.

Your combat routine is still to slink in the shadows and strike at your leisure. And you're getting better at it. Improved Initiative increases your chances of more naturally occuring flat-footed opponents and helps you paralyse (DC 26, thanks to Lurking Terror's Deathly Power) more foes before they can react. The Death Blow feat makes it easier to coup de grace. Ephemeral Weapon (Shadowblade) makes it hurt a little more when you do.

ECL 20:
Spoiler
Gather Information and Bluff both get a bit better. Pelor's faithful will find it difficult to keep secrets from you, and you'll be able to spread a bit of misinformation about them. Disgrace them in the public square and reduce their political clout in the city...all from the shadows, of course.

Your Hide and Move Silently skills continue to improve (as has your Shadow and Stealth feature). See in Darkness (Shadowblade) lets you own the night...and magical darkness...and without relying on darkvision's black-and-white view of the world, you'll be able to read and/or write (say, a map) in complete darkness. Carry a source of magical darkness around with you and you'll have the advantage over most (especially combined with your Darkstalker feat).

In combat, you lurk in the darkness, stalking your prey. A free action (each) to grant your bite (if you'd like) Shadow Strike (Shadowblade) and Far Shadow (Shadowblade) gives you an attack at reach as a melee touch attack (no armor or natural armor bonuses) against a flat-footed opponent (no Dex or dodge bonuses). In other words, you hit -- forcing a Fort save against paralysis (DC 34). If (when?) successful, step in as a move action, draw your pick (free action), and coup de grace (standard action) for standard pick damage +3(str) +4(int) +2(Favored Enemy) +18(Aspect of the Destroyer, where applicable) all x4...plus 5d6(Sudden Strike) and (if you'd like) 2d6(Ephemeral Weapon). Ouch! And...if they die...the feat Harvester of Souls will see that they stay good and dead.
How's that for blowing some sunshine up your holy backsides, you Pelorian bastards!!

Sources:
Spoiler
Gravetouched Ghoul: Libris Mortis
Wildshape Ranger: UA (SRD)
Urban Ranger: UA (SRD)