1. - Top - End - #349
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLV

    Avast, mateys! That be Moby **** on the horizon!

    Quote Originally Posted by The White Whale
    The White Whale
    NE Darfellan Ranger 2/Thug Fighter 2/Talon of Tiamat 1/Zhentarim Thug Fighter 3/Scaled Horror 2/Talon of Tiamat 10/Avenging Executioner 3

    Stats
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    Before Racial Adjustments
    Str 16
    Dex 12
    Con 14
    Int 10
    Wis 14
    Cha 12
    After Racial Adjustments
    Str 18
    Dex 10
    Con 14
    Int 10
    Wis 14
    Cha 12 (All Increases Here)


    Build
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    The White Whale
    {table=head]Level|Class|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Skills|Feats|Class Features

    1st|Ranger 1|
    +1
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |Hide 4, Knowledge (Arcana) 4, Move Silently 4, Speak Language (Draconic) (Common), Survival 4, Swim 4|Education, Track (Bonus)|Favored Enemy (Humanoid (Human)), Bonus Track, Wild Empathy

    2nd|Ranger 2|
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |Handle Animal 2, Hide 5, Move Silently 5, Survival 5, Swim 5|Two-Weapon Fighting|Combat Style

    3rd|Thug Fighter 1|
    +3
    |
    +5
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |Bluff 2, Intimidate 2|Dragonthrall|

    4th|Thug Fighter 2|
    +4
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |Bluff 4, Intimidate 4|Power Attack|Bonus Feat

    5th|Talon of Tiamat 1|
    +4
    |
    +8
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |Intimidate 6| |Breath Weapon (Cone of Cold)

    6th|Zhentarim Thug Fighter 3|
    +5
    |
    +8
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |Intimidate 8, Never Outnumbered|Improved Bullrush, Skill Focus (Intimidate)|Bonus Skill Focus (Intimidate)

    7th|Scaled Horror 1|
    +5
    |
    +10
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |Survival 7, Swim 7||Improved Grab, Keen Scent

    8th|Scaled Horror 2|
    +6/+1
    |
    +11
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |Survival 10, Swim 8||Freedom of Movement

    9th|Talon of Tiamat 2|
    +7/+2
    |
    +12
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |Intimidate 10|Shock Trooper|Voice of the Dragon +2

    10th|Talon of Tiamat 3|
    +8/+3
    |
    +12
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |Intimidate 12||Breath Weapon (Line of Acid)

    11th|Talon of Tiamat 4|
    +9/+4
    |
    +13
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |Intimidate 14||Keen Senses (Low-light Vision)

    12th|Talon of Tiamat 5|
    +9/+4
    |
    +13
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |Bluff 5, Intimidate 15|Dragontouched|Breath Weapon (Cone of Corrosive Gas)

    13th|Talon of Tiamat 6|
    +10/+5
    |
    +14
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    |Bluff 6, Intimidate 16||Immunities (Fire), Voice of the Dragon +4

    14th|Talon of Tiamat 7|
    +11/+6/+1
    |
    +14
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    |Bluff 7, Intimidate 17||Breath Weapon (Line of Lightning)

    15th|Talon of Tiamat 8|
    +12/+7/+2
    |
    +15
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    |Bluff 8, Intimidate 18|Imperious Command|Keen Senses (Darkvision), Frightful Presence

    16th|Talon of Tiamat 9|
    +12/+7/+2
    |
    +15
    |
    +7
    |
    +4
    |Bluff 9, Intimidate 19||Breath Weapon (Cone of Fire)

    17th|Talon of Tiamat 10|
    +13/+8/+3
    |
    +16
    |
    +7
    |
    +4
    |Bluff 10, Intimidate 20||Dominate Dragon, Voice of the Dragon +6

    18th|Avenging Executioner 1|
    +13/+8/+3
    |
    +16
    |
    +9
    |
    +6
    |Bluff 15, Intimidate 21|Extra Exhalation|Bloody Blade, Sudden Strike +1d6

    19th|Avenging Executioner 2|
    +14/+9/+4
    |
    +16
    |
    +10
    |
    +7
    |Bluff 17, Intimidate 22||Rapid Intimidation

    20th|Avenging Executioner 3|
    +15/+10/+5
    |
    +17
    |
    +10
    |
    +7
    |Bluff 19, Intimidate 23||Sudden Strike +2d6[/table]


    Level 5
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    Look at you, you’re in the SI already! At level 5, the 2d6 cold breath weapon still isn’t awesome, but it’s better than it would be later. Power Attack is a nice little addition to your damage rolls when you want it. To maximize its usefulness, you’re going to have to do something kind of weird. Use a one-handed weapon in two hands, and then use spiked armor as your offhand weapon. If you do this, you can TWF and Power Attack together. A trident fits nautical themes well, doesn’t invoke underwater penalties, and can be thrown in a pinch. As a Darfellan, you have a bite, so go ahead and throw that on there, too. As a natural weapon, it can also benefit from Power Attack. For armor you will want to keep light armor so two-weapon fighting can work, and so the ACP doesn’t drown you. Mithral Chain Shirt or Breastplate with a keel is your best bet. Racial swim speed means that you don’t need that many ranks in the swim skill itself. Tracking in the water is weird and difficult, but the scent that you get later will help with that. Intimidate will be important, so it will be kept as high as possible. Favored enemy helps to fight humans, and Darfellan racial hatred works against the Sahuagin. Darfellan also gives blindsense in a 20 ft radius while underwater, a useful thing.


    Level 10
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    There’s a few more levels of Talon of Tiamat under the belt. That third level of fighter progresses your BA to qualify for Scaled Horror and gives free skill focus intimidate. Never Outnumbered is great for intimidation builds, and you’ll definitely use it. Scaled Horror gives several wonderful things. First it gives improved grab, which you can make use of with Darfellan bite. Second, it gives keen scent, which allows detection out to 180 feet in the water and likely allows for tracking by scent. It gives continuous freedom of movement while underwater, meaning you can essentially ignore underwater fighting penalties. Finally, it gives an accelerated version of ranger casting. The spells per day themselves are not too important, as this means you can use wands of the entire ranger list without making any checks. This casting will be advanced by Talon of Tiamat, which is why these levels must come before level 2 of ToT. Shock Trooper allows you to shunt Power Attack penalty onto AC, as well as do a little bit of battlefield control. At this point you’ve already got 2nd level spells. The second breath weapon is jam, and voice of the dragon makes intimidate even stronger. You now have access to a rather nasty little attack routine. When raiding a human ship, bite your enemy and start grappling. Take him with you into the water. Then make like a crocodile. Improved grab means you deal bite damage every round, and you get to add on the damage from spiked armor. Once in the water, you can hold your breath for in excess of eleven minutes before you have to make any checks, so you’ll outlast the human easily. When one is dispatched, resurface and repeat to safely deal with any number of humans on a ship. If any grapple doesn’t go your way, use freedom of movement to escape from it. If your foe escapes your grapple underwater, you can chase him down with your 40ft swim speed and bite to initiate another grapple.


    Level 15
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    You have 3rd level spells at this point, so make full use of them. Low-light vision and Darkvision help when navigating the murkier waters, and allow for nighttime raids. It’s not crucial, but an item allowing underwater breathing, like the necklace of adaptation, would be a good idea because it allows you to lull the humans into a false sense of calm by staying underwater for extended periods of time. Fire Immunity is useful, as it’s the most common type of energy damage, and it means you can set vessels alight without fear of being hurt yourself. A creature of the sea walking unharmed through flames makes for an imposing figure. Intimidation is really taking off now, as imperious command and frightful presence mean in a single round you can have a guy cowering and frightened. Max ranks, more voice of the dragon, and skill focus mean your enemies chances of saving are going down. Two more breath weapons mean more variety and another energy type, very handy in a pinch when the fight’s not going your way.


    Level 20
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    4th level spells are online at this point, so make full use of them. The SI is finished and we have some levels in avenging executioner. It gives 2d6 of sudden strike, which is nice, but the real bonus is bloody blade and rapid intimidation. Now combat can begin with attacking a flatfooted opponent if you get the drop on someone or go first, dealing sudden strike damage and triggering bloody blade, causing foes around to be shaken. Follow it with intimidate as a move action against several foes with never outnumbered, moving them up to frightened. Then activate the SI’s fear aura, moving them up to panicked. Varying radii for these abilities mean that not everyone will be in the same stage of fear, but whoever fails all the saves and is close enough, such as the guy you’re attacking, will be panicked. Anybody who is cowering, from being panicked or from imperious command, loses Dex to AC and as such can be targeted with sudden strike, activating bloody blade again. The description for the ability doesn’t mention a successful save granting immunity, so you can keep using it until everyone is affected. You get to throw favored enemy bonus on when using intimidate, so don’t hesitate to do so. Every bonus counts. Extra Exhalation gives you another use of your breath weapon. How that interacts with Talon of Tiamat is undetermined. You certainly get another use of at least one type, in which case line of lightning is your best bet. It’s possible it gives you another use of every type, which would be great. Intimidate is a great tool of yours as your total modifier is +35 (+37 against humans) before you roll. Bluff is another useful skill for you, as it lets you build up your reputation and increase your fearsome persona. Your last breath weapon is actually a good one, as ships are very flammable things. Once the sails and rigging go up they are hard to put out, and it can leave a ship dead in the water. Don’t let the fire on deck stop you, as you’ve got fire immunity from earlier. Dominate dragon is very neat, as once a dragon fails its save, it’s yours forever, since you can command it to fail later saves when you have to renew the effect. Humans are scared enough of dragons. They’ll be terrified of someone who can command them.


    Backstory
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    The White Whale is one of those peculiar figures of history who was not born great and did not achieve greatness, but rather had greatness thrust upon him. When he was born his grandmother’s eyes went as wide as sand dollars as she beheld him. She explained to his mother that a completely white Darfellan was a very rare thing, and it signaled a being of importance. His mother took no stock in such old superstitions, and raised her son with no real attention to his auspicious skin.
    His life changed on a day like any other, when he and the other hunters had set out to fish. The schools had been smaller lately, so they were having to swim farther and stay out longer to catch enough for everyone to eat. This meant they were in greater danger of encountering the sahuagin. The monsters had already killed most of the Darfellan, but they would never be satisfied. The younger ones during such a hunting foray scouted ahead, using their boundless energy and excitement to spot the roaming schools that were a community’s sustenance. The White Whale was one of those young ones, swimming on the fringes separated from the rest of the group. He was far enough away that when the sahuagin struck, they didn’t see him. When he heard their harsh battle cries and smelled the tang of blood in the water, he panicked and took cover behind a protruding rock on the shallow seabed. It was over quickly. The hunters were armed, but they were no match for the sahuagins’ sadism and ferocity. The monsters didn’t even leave the bodies behind and left as quickly as they came. The White Whale wept for the loss of his clan members, but set out determined to bring something back to those waiting for a successful party.
    After hours of swimming he encountered a modest-sized school. Here he could prove his worth. He dove straight for them, trident outstretched, foolishly not seeing the enclosing net.
    He was hauled above the sea and onto the deck of an enormous ship. He looked around him quickly, trying to find the giant who must wield this net. He was surprised to see a ship full of humans, all of them smaller than him. They stepped back as he stood from the opening net, clearly wary of a being his size. A crewman called for the captain, worry on his face. The captain strode on deck unsteadily, his lack of experience on the open ocean clear. The captain was surprisingly young, younger than most captains, or even most first mates. He was a spoiled rich boy whose father had bought him a ship and rank. His clothing was an assault on the eyes, full of bright colors and expensive fabrics that could not be well laundered on the open seas. Regardless of his inexperience, the captain still clearly believed himself to be deserving of respect. He spoke to the White Whale in Common, believing him to simply be a large, pale human.
    “It is a good thing we rescued you. There isn’t a safe port for miles around here.”
    “I was not aware I needed saving. In fact you interrupted my fishing. I believe I spotted this school first. As such I request first choice on it. You may have the rest, friend.”
    The captain was taken aback. He was not used to being spoken to on such familiar terms. His tone became indignant.
    “Listen here, sir. We have caught these fish, and have worked hard for them. It’s becoming damn hard to find the things, since the bigger trawlers took the bigger ones.”
    “You mean to tell me that your kind has been taking the fish from these seas?”
    “But of course. Aren’t you doing the same?”
    “We take in balance with the ocean. If you gorge yourself on the bounties this year, there will be nothing left the next.”
    The captain paused.
    “Where are you from, sir? What is your name? I cannot say I have met a man with so foolish a philosophy.”
    “I am from the islands to the west. I have no name in your language. Allow me to tell you in mine.”
    What followed was a series of sharp whines and clicks. The captain brought his hands to his ears, wincing. Realization dawned on him.
    “Ah, so you are one of the natives. We can surely make some arrangement for the fish you seek.” His tone was patronizing, like a teacher talking to a stupid child. He issued a command to some of his crewman, and they brought forth a small chest of beads and shining stones.
    “If none of these are to your liking, then perhaps you might like this,” the captain said, pulling a large, sharp tooth on a necklace from his pocket. “It’s a little gift I received from trading with the Sahuagin, a sharktooth necklace. I have many others in the cabin.”
    The White Whale froze. No good being dealt with the sahuagin. They were murderers and thieves, and they dealt in nothing but death. He looked closer at the necklace. His blood ran cold as he realized what it was he beheld.
    “That is no shark tooth. That is a Darfellan tooth. You have dealt with our enemies and stolen from the bodies of our fallen. There can be no peace between us sir. You shall die for your evils.”
    He leapt at the captain in a blind rage, biting at the hand thrown up to shield its owner. It came off in his mouth, the marbled meat a taste sweeter than any fish he had ever eaten. He ran from the ship as the crewmen rushed for him, jumping off the deck and into the water.
    The captain clutched his stump to his chest, screaming down at the water below. “I will kill you, savage! You have made a mortal enemy today!”
    The White Whale swam away from the ship to arm himself for the coming fight. The captain had made an enemy himself. The captain had foolishly strayed too far from waters known to humans. Here be dragons.


    Sources
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    The White Whale: Herman Melville, J. M. Barrie
    Darfellan: Stormwrack
    Zhentarim Fighter: Champions of Valor
    Scaled Horror: Savage Species
    Avenging Executioner, Never Outnumbered: Complete Scoundrel
    Education: Eberron Campaign Setting
    Dragonthrall: Draconomicon
    Power Attack, Improved Bullrush, Thug Fighter, Ranger, Track, Skill Focus: srd
    Shock Trooper: Complete Warrior
    Dragontouched: Dragon Magic
    Imperious Command: Drow of the Underdark
    Extra Exhalation: Races of the Dragon