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    Troll in the Playground
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    Apr 2011
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    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground L

    The Path of Shevarash is not an easy one to walk.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rand Turimbar
    Spoiler: Background
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    Along the Way by Zorg, lyrics found at lyrster.com

    Somewhere along the way
    I picked up a thousand shields
    Somewhere along the way
    I chained myself to fear
    Now I'm lost
    How to free my heart from frost

    Somewhere along the way
    I fell in a sea of rage
    Somewhere along the way
    My tears became a cage
    A broken past
    Catching up with me at last

    ***

    Where is all this darkness born
    What have I forgot to mourn
    Help me try to find my way
    What's my angel's name again

    What is all this sorrow for
    When will I get to the core
    Find my peace get rid of pain
    And know my angel's name again

    ***

    Somewhere along the way
    My life will become more real
    Somewhere along the way
    This happiness will feel
    Free of ghosts
    Love replacing all the loss



    Rand Turimbar, LN Forestlord Elf(DrM 8) Crusader(ToB 8) 6/Corrupt Avenger 10/Jade Phoenix Mage(ToB 113) 4

    Numbers for saves (not BAB) include ability score bonuses but not items. Skills presented as raw ranks.

    Starting Stats: STR 14 DEX 14 CON 12 INT 12 WIS 10 CHA 16. All level boosts go to CHA.

    Rand Turimbar
    Spoiler
    Show
    {table=head]Level|Class|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Skills|Feats|Class Features

    1st|Crusader 1|
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |Concentration 4, Hide 4, Intimidate 4, Knowledge (Arcana) 2.0, Knowledge (History) 2, Knowledge (Religion) 2|Vital Recovery (ToB 33)|Furious Counterstrike, Steely Resolve 5

    2nd|Crusader 2|
    +2
    |
    +4
    |
    +2
    |
    +3
    |Concentration 5, Hide 5, Intimidate 5, Knowledge (History) 3, Knowledge (Religion) 3|-|Indomitable Soul

    3rd|Crusader 3|
    +3
    |
    +4
    |
    +3
    |
    +4
    |Concentration 6, Hide 6, Intimidate 6, Knowledge (Arcana) 3.0|Martial Study: Steel Wind (ToB 31)|Zealous Surge

    4th|Crusader 4|
    +4
    |
    +5
    |
    +3
    |
    +4
    |Concentration 7, Hide 7, Intimidate 7, Knowledge (History) 4, Knowledge (Religion) 4|-|Steely Resolve 10

    5th|Crusader 5|
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +3
    |
    +4
    |Concentration 8, Hide 8, Intimidate 8, Knowledge (Arcana) 4.0|-|-

    6th|Crusader 6|
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +4
    |
    +5
    |Concentration 9, Hide 9, Intimidate 9, Knowledge (History) 5, Knowledge (Religion) 5|Draconic Aura (DrM 16/86): Vigor (PH2 13)*, Lunatic Insight (HoH 123)^|Smite 1/Day

    7th|Corrupt Avenger 1|
    +7
    |
    +8
    |
    +4
    |
    +5
    |Concentration 10, Knowledge (Arcana) 5.0|-|Armored Casting, Detect Sworn Foe (Drow), Sworn Foe +2, Taint Suppression

    8th|Corrupt Avenger 2|
    +8
    |
    +9
    |
    +4
    |
    +6
    |Concentration 11, Hide 10, Intimidate 10|-|Tainted Strike 1/Day

    9th|Corrupt Avenger 3|
    +9
    |
    +13
    |
    +9
    |
    +7
    |Concentration 12, Hide 11, Intimidate 11|Corrupt Spell Focus|Grim Resolve

    10th|Corrupt Avenger 4|
    +10
    |
    +14
    |
    +9
    |
    +7
    |Concentration 13, Hide 12, Intimidate 12|-|Sworn Foe +4

    11th|Corrupt Avenger 5|
    +11
    |
    +14
    |
    +9
    |
    +7
    |Concentration 14, Hide 13, Intimidate 13|-|Frightful Fury

    12th|Corrupt Avenger 6|
    +12
    |
    +15
    |
    +10
    |
    +8
    |Concentration 15, Hide 14, Intimidate 14|Martial Study: Iron Heart Surge (ToB 31)|Tainted Strike 2/Day

    13th|Corrupt Avenger 7|
    +13
    |
    +15
    |
    +10
    |
    +8
    |Concentration 16, Hide 15, Intimidate 15|-|Sworn Foe +6

    14th|Corrupt Avenger 8|
    +14
    |
    +16
    |
    +10
    |
    +8
    |Concentration 17, Hide 16, Intimidate 16|-|-

    15th|Corrupt Avenger 9|
    +15
    |
    +16
    |
    +11
    |
    +9
    |Concentration 18, Hide 17, Intimidate 17|Surge of Malevolence (HoH 124)|Unnerving Fury

    16th|Corrupt Avenger 10|
    +16
    |
    +18
    |
    +12
    |
    +10
    |Concentration 19, Hide 18, Intimidate 18|-|Sworn Foe +8, Tainted Strike 3/Day

    17th|Jade Phoenix Mage 1|
    +17
    |
    +20
    |
    +12
    |
    +10
    |Concentration 20, Hide 19, Intimidate 19|-|Arcane Wrath, Rite of Waking

    18th|Jade Phoenix Mage 2|
    +18
    |
    +21
    |
    +12
    |
    +10
    |Concentration 21, Hide 20, Intimidate 20|Debilitating Spell (HoH 120)|Mystic Phoenix Stance, +1 Arcane Spellcasting Class

    19th|Jade Phoenix Mage 3|
    +19
    |
    +21
    |
    +13
    |
    +11
    |Concentration 22, Hide 21, Intimidate 21|-|+1 Arcane Spellcasting Class

    20th|Jade Phoenix Mage 4|
    +20
    |
    +22
    |
    +13
    |
    +12
    |Concentration 23, Hide 22, Intimidate 22|-|Empowering Strike, +1 Arcane Spellcasting Class[/table]

    *I read this combination of Draconic Aura: Vigor to be valid, but controversial, as it combines abilities from 2 sourcebooks without explicit mention that this works within either sourcebook. If you feel it wonít fly at your table, substitute Draconic Aura: Senses, for a small but useful party bonus to Spot, Listen, and Initiative.

    ^Based on assumption of Moderate Taint by this point, necessary to enter Corrupt Avenger


    Spoiler: Maneuvers and Stances
    Show
    1st Character Level Maneuvers/Stances: Crusaderís Strike, Vanguard Strike, Charging Minotaur, Douse the Flames, Leading the Attack/Martial Spirit
    2nd Character Level Maneuvers/Stances: -/Bolstering Voice
    3rd Character Level Maneuvers/Stances: Steel Wind (from feat), Mountain Hammer/-
    4th Character Level Maneuvers/Stances: Swap Charging Minotaur for Foe Hammer/-
    5th Character Level Maneuvers/Stances: White Raven Tactics/-
    6th Character Level Maneuvers/Stances: Swap Leading the Attack for Defensive Rebuke/-
    12th Character Level Maneuvers/Stances: Iron Heart Surge (from feat)/-
    17th Character Level Maneuvers/Stances: Aura of Perfect Order/-
    19th Character Level Maneuvers/Stances: Castigating Strike/-



    Spells per day/Spells Known
    Spoiler
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    {table=head]Level|0lvl|1st|2nd|3rd|4th|5th|6th|7th|8th|9th

    1st|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    2nd|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    3rd|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    4th|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    5th|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    6th|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    7th|-|0|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    8th|-|1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    9th|-|1|0|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    10th|-|1|1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    11th|-|1|1|0|-|-|-|-|-|-

    12th|-|1|1|1|-|-|-|-|-|-

    13th|-|2|1|1|0|-|-|-|-|-

    14th|-|2|1|1|1|-|-|-|-|-

    15th|-|2|2|1|1|-|-|-|-|-

    16th|-|2|2|2|1|-|-|-|-|-

    17th|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    18th|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    19th|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    20th|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-[/table]


    Spoiler: Spellbook
    Show

    1st level: Cause Fear, Doom, Endure Elements, Magic Weapon
    2nd level: False Life, Shatter, Summon Swarm, Vampiric Touch
    3rd level: Bestow Curse, Fear, Haste, Remove Curse
    4th level: Cloak of Hate, Evardís Black Tentacles, Freedom of Movement, Pronouncement of Fate


    Spellbook is presented as bare-bones; additional spells may be added as the campaign provides availability to other spells.

    Spoiler: On Taint
    Show

    I could spin a convincing yarn about how Rand Turimbar has a Corruption Score of X and a Depravity Score of Y at Character Level Z, but we all know that such things would be extremely campaign dependent. I have assumed Rand gained sufficient Taint in the course of his first six Character Levels to qualify for Corrupt Avenger, because the nature of the competition and Prestige Class make that assumption necessary.

    The Chairman indicates we should choose how our Characterís Taint manifests, so I shall: Rand suffers from the Odor of Decay and Skin Thickens Corruption effects, and the Solipsistic Depravity effect.

    I have chosen not to include additional Taint-based Feats, as the timing when Rand would gain such Feats, if he were to do so, is entirely arbitrary.


    Level Highlights:
    Spoiler: 1st level
    Show
    I eagerly await the opportunity to prove my devotion to this righteous cause, dear journal. I have finally been judged an adult by my people, and am ready to join in one of the assault squads that hope to end the raids on our people by the loathsome spider-kissers.

    At 1st level, Rand is a sturdy frontline fighting machine, wearing simple Studded Leather Armor and wielding a Falchion, a Club, and a Dagger. His Crusader Maneuvers and Stance help keep the attention focused on him, while benefiting his alliesí attacks and keeping his HP total from ticking into the negatives unless heís extremely unlucky. With a good Hide score and the Tree Stride ability, he can even often get away from a potential ambush, given a modicum of luck and warning from his companions. Intimidate and several Knowledges give him some out-of-combat utility.


    Spoiler: 5th level
    Show
    Dad-blast it! Those Corellon-forsaken Drow ambushed us with some sort of poison! Two of us fell already, my very skin seems to be dying on the muscle, and weíre cut off from the exit to the Underdark. Iím sure they have spies on us at this very moment, dear journal. Iíll get them, though. Iíll make them pay for those who can no longer fight at my side.

    The constant, brutal fighting against the thoroughly depraved Drow has taken a physical and mental toll on Rand, but heís still a viable, effective frontliner who has ample ability to both heal himself and bolster his team, thanks to the Maneuvers and Stances he selected, along with the various bonuses gained from levels of Crusader. Heís able to add his strong CHA score to his previously weak WILL saves, shoring those up, and even re-roll should he feel the need. Steel Wind allows him to do better battlefield control, while setting up later access to a higher level Iron Heart Maneuver.


    Spoiler: 10th level
    Show
    They really are everywhere, dear journal. I thought the fight was merely to end the raids, but I see now the only way to end the raids is through the elimination of this filth, this disease, this blight on the world that is composed of our former kindred souls. My resolve is strong; I shall not falter, especially now that I can pull the essence right from them.

    Corrupt Avenger has given Rand a better ability to fight his chosen foes, both in mundane combat and with access to increasingly important spells as the merely mundane approach becomes less effective. Taint Suppression means he doesnít have to look the part of the monster heís becoming. Heís got a pair of once-daily Smite analogs to increase his damage output, along with an increased ability to detect the enemies heís come to hate, and spells that help him when merely doing damage isnít enough. Consistent attention to both Hide and Intimidate - in conjunction with his other abilities - is turning him into the thing that goes ďbumpĒ in the night.


    Spoiler: 15th level
    Show
    I. . . HATE. . . these Drow, dear journal. Have I made that clear, yet? The sound of their skittering, the stench of their incense, their lack of moral fortitude. . . no redeeming features whatsoever. I will destroy them. . . I have to destroy them. . . itís the only thing left. . . .

    By now, Rand has a decent array of battlefield control options, both mundane and magical, at his disposal, thanks to the merging of Crusader and Corrupt Avenger. He can use a Smite analog 3x a day, has spells to keep himself from being pinned down or drained of HP while allowing him to do both to the enemy, is ridiculously effective against the Drow, and can use Surge of Malevolence (only available to him because of his Taint score and the spellcasting he gains from Corrupt Avenger) to make it nigh-impossible to escape an attack or spell effect (without SR) that he absolutely needs to succeed. His tactics still make him a strong team player, though the SR issue means he still needs that team as well. Last but not least, heís gained access to the power that is Iron Heart Surge. What can it do for him, and what specifically can it do for him regarding his Taint score? Iíd say thatís a question best left to the individual DM, or at least, the individual judge.


    Spoiler: 20th level
    Show
    Me, a Jade Phoenix Mage, dear journal? And taking the place of one of those accursed spider-kissers among the 13? I never would have thought it possible. Had I not let my hatred for our dark brethren fester inside like this, had I not seen so much horror committed against me and mine, driving me to more and more desperate responses against the. . . no. I cannot allow myself to follow that train of thought. I am here, because I am meant to be here, because it is right, because it was ordained, because it restores order to the world.

    As the only casting class Rand takes, Corrupt Avenger is vital to his progression into Jade Phoenix Mage. Through JPM, he gains high-level Maneuvers, and further increases his effective spellcasting level - useful in determining various spell effects. The nature of the Tome of Battle Maneuvers/Stances system means it was in Randís best interest to take Corrupt Avenger straight through, delaying entry into JPM in order to gain higher level abilities. He can now choose to transform his Corrupt Avenger spells into additional weapon damage, or become better defensively when casting his spells more traditionally. He also gains a free Empower ability for the spells he channels through his attacks, as a natural capstone to his progression. Donít overlook the benefits he gains from Rite of Waking, either; paired with the three Knowledge Skills he put some small investment in and the additional bonus from Lunatic Insight, and he has a decent - if not great - chance at filling a role as a secondary sage in the party in a pinch. Is he a Corrupt Avenger who happened to finish as a Jade Phoenix Mage, or is he a Jade Phoenix Mage who happened to progress through Corrupt Avenger? Ultimately, he wouldnít be either one without the other, but it should be seen as significant that he only chose to finish one of the two Prestige Classes.

    Spoiler: SOURCES
    Show

    SRD
    Dragon Magic
    Heroes of Horror
    Tome of Battle
    Player's Handbook II