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    Orc in the Playground

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    Aug 2013

    Default Re: Villainous Competition IV, or, The Truth is in the (Blood) Pudding

    Dragons for the darkness, dragons for the shadows.
    Quote Originally Posted by Razlyn'susselsathra
    The Shadow of Death
    Spoiler: Build Stub

    Mature Adult Loredrake Shadow Dragon Ur-Priest 1/Soul Eater 1/Dispassionate Watcher of Chronepsis 1

    Spoiler: Background

    Razlynísusselsathra (Raz, for short) was, for the greatest expanse of his life, relatively typical of other Shadow Dragons. He lived in a nice dark Duergar graveyard, and set about raising these industrious workers of the Underdark to collect gems and precious metals for him and to extend his cavern network to allow for greater access to other parts of the Underdark. He devoted massive amounts of his free time in the pursuit of magical knowledge, and even did what he could to study religion and various planar entities.

    But then came along a group of adventurers. Like nearly all of the short-lived races, they were greedy and disrespectful of life. They snuck into his network of caves with admittedly remarkable skill, bypassing his clever traps (both mundane and magical), and attacked young Raz with a fervor that seemed to be divinely inspired. Raz assaulted them with his own selection of spells, pitting his undead minions against their much smaller force, but Raz was quickly outmatched by the plundererís Cleric and Paladin. Those two seemed Heavens-bent on eradicating Raz from the Planes of existence.

    It quickly became clear that Razís only course of action was to retreat deep into the Underdark, and to sacrifice his wondrous horde to the holy invaders. But he swore revenge in his parting, determined to seek out any advantage it would take to wreak havoc on those that assaulted him. For dragons are the longest living of the races, and they have an exceptional memory.

    Moving deeper into the Underdark, Razlynísusselsathra sought out a new cave network to call his own, within which to renew his studies in order to vanquish his foes. His research eventually led him to a rarely practiced form of divine magic, in which the user literally steals traces of divine magic from the pool that deities allocate their clerics, and his travelling led him to a long forgotten cave wherein various dragons had travelled to in their dying moments, an underground dragon graveyard. Warded over by a group calling themselves Dispassionate Watchers, this cave was lacking a guardian. Recalling what had happened to the last graveyard tended to by a younger Razlynísusselsathra, Raz claimed dominion over this new cave, and set about preparing for the day when vengeance would be his.

    Spoiler: Ability Scores

    Attribute Base Racial From Level Total
    Strength 8 12 - 20
    Dexterity 15 - - 15
    Constitution 13 8 - 21
    Intelligence 12 10 - 22
    Wisdom 14 10 6 30
    Charisma 10 10 - 20
    All increases from gaining HD go to Wisdom. Racial bonus to ability scores extrapolated by reducing listed ability scores by 10 (or 11).

    Spoiler: Progression Table

    Important Notes: Loredrake increases Arcane Caster Level by 2, as well as adds Spellcraft to the list of Class Skills for the Dragon. Shadow Dragon adds Hide, Jump, and Move Silently to the list of Class Skill for the Dragon. Also, with regards to skills per level, a Dragon gains skill points retroactively due to increases in Intelligence from aging. Skill point ranks are calculated using the final intelligence for this dragon.
    CR HD Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    4 4 Shadow Dragon (Wyrmling) +4 +4 +4 +4 Bluff (3.5), Concentration (7), Diplomacy (7), Hide (7), Intimidate (7), Knowledge {Arcana} (7), Knowledge {The Planes} (7), Knowledge {Religion} (7), Listen (7), Move Silently (7), Search (7), Sense Motive (7), Spellcraft (7), Spot (7), Use Magic Device (7) Tomb-Tainted Soul, Iron Will Energy Drain Immunity
    5 7 Shadow Dragon (Very Young) +7 +5 +5 +5 Bluff (5), Concentration (10), Diplomacy (10), Hide (10), Intimidate (10), Knowledge {Arcana} (10), Knowledge {The Planes} (10), Knowledge {Religion} (10), Listen (10), Move Silently (10), Search (10), Sense Motive (10), Spellcraft (10), Spot (10), Use Magic Device (10) Alertness Shadow Blend
    7 10 Shadow Dragon (Young) +10 +7 +7 +7 Bluff (6.5), Concentration (13), Diplomacy (13), Hide (13), Intimidate (13), Knowledge {Arcana} (13), Knowledge {The Planes} (13), Knowledge {Religion} (13), Listen (13), Move Silently (13), Search (13), Sense Motive (13), Spellcraft (13), Spot (13), Use Magic Device (13) Weapon Focus (Claw) -
    9 13 Shadow Dragon (Juvenile) +13 +8 +8 +8 Bluff (8), Concentration (16), Diplomacy (16), Hide (16), Intimidate (16), Knowledge {Arcana} (16), Knowledge {The Planes} (16), Knowledge {Religion} (16), Listen (16), Move Silently (16), Search (16), Sense Motive (16), Spellcraft (16), Spot (16), Use Magic Device (16) Fell Animate Mirror Image, Spellcasting (3rd level Sorcerer)
    12 16 Shadow Dragon (Young Adult) +16 +10 +10 +10 Bluff (9.5), Concentration (19), Diplomacy (19), Hide (19), Intimidate (19), Knowledge {Arcana} (19), Knowledge {The Planes} (19), Knowledge {Religion} (19), Listen (19), Move Silently (19), Search (19), Sense Motive (19), Spellcraft (19), Spot (19), Use Magic Device (19) Energy Substitution (Cold) Damage Reduction 5/Magic, Spellcasting (5th Level Sorcerer)
    14 19 Shadow Dragon (Adult) +19 +11 +11 +11 Bluff (11), Concentration (22), Diplomacy (22), Hide (22), Intimidate (22), Knowledge {Arcana} (22), Knowledge {The Planes} (22), Knowledge {Religion} (22), Listen (22), Move Silently (22), Search (22), Sense Motive (22), Spellcraft (22), Spot (22), Use Magic Device (22) Lord of the Uttercold Dimension Door, Spellcasting (7th Level Sorcerer)
    17 22 Shadow Dragon (Mature Adult) +22 +13 +13 +13 Bluff (12.5), Concentration (25), Diplomacy (25), Hide (25), Intimidate (25), Knowledge {Arcana} (25), Knowledge {The Planes} (25), Knowledge {Religion} (25), Listen (25), Move Silently (25), Search (25), Sense Motive (25), Spellcraft (25), Spot (25), Use Magic Device (25) Spell Focus (Evil) Damage Reduction 10/Magic, Spellcasting (9th Level Sorcerer)
    18 23 Ur-Priest 1 +22 +13 +13 +15 Bluff (16.5), Concentration (26), Knowledge {Arcane} (26), Knowledge {The Planes} (26), Knowledge {Religion} (26), Spellcraft (26) - Spellcasting (1st Level Ur-Priest)
    19 24 Soul Eater 1 +23 +15 +15 +17 Bluff (19.5), Concentration (27), Knowledge {Arcane} (27), Knowledge {The Planes} (27), Knowledge {Religion} (27), Spellcraft (27) Life Drain Energy Drain 1
    20 26 Dispassionate Watcher of Chronepsis 1 +23 +17 +15 +19 Bluff (21.5), Concentration (28), Knowledge {Arcane} (28), Knowledge {The Planes} (28), Knowledge {Religion} (28), Spellcraft (28) - Divine Conversion, Calming Aura, Draconic Knowledge, Spellcasting (10th level Ur-Priest)

    Spoiler: Spells

    The following chart represents the spells per day and spells known for the Dragon's innate Sorcerer Spellcasting, before additions due to high casting stat.
    Spoiler: Sorcerer Spells

    Spells per Day/Spells Known
    Level 0lvl 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
    3rd 6/5 5/3 - - -
    5th 6/6 6/4 4/2 - -
    7th 6/7 6/5 6/3 4/2 -
    9th 6/8 6/5 6/4 6/3 4/2

    The following table represents the Dragon's Divine casting due to Ur-Priest and DWoC's Divine Conversion, again before adding bonus spells due to high casting stat.
    Spoiler: Ur-Priest Spells

    Spells per Day
    Level 0lvl 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
    1st 4 2 - - - - - - - -
    2nd 6 5 5 4 4 4 4 3 2 1

    Spoiler: Level Breakdown

    A quick note on the following format: Usually these builds are displayed as level 5, 10, 15, 20, and sweet spot. I shall change this slightly, simply because Dragons are incredibly obnoxious in the fact that they have random breakpoints based on CR. The following will still be presented in a logical format, just not in the standard 5, 10, 15, 20.
    • Up to CR 9: Below CR 9, Razlynísusselsathra is played as a straight up Shadow Dragon. Standard tactics apply, including not landing on the ground, performing strafing runs with energy breath, staying out of the range of archers, and obliterating frail humanoids who appear to be waving their arms in the air and mangling the pristine Draconic language with their spellcasting. After the Spellcasters have been dealt with, follow up with the archers, and then the tin-cans (fighters, knights, and paladins, I believe they are called). Pay special attention to Clerics. They often disguise themselves as tin-cans (odd, since I donít recall seeing Disguise on their class skills list) and yet manage to throw rather potent spells at you. The same can be said for random small wildlife: More than likely, that sparrow flying annoyingly close is actually a Druid preparing to summon bears or call lightning or some-such other nonsense.
    • CR 9 through 14: Yay, youíre a Sorcerer! And a not-half bad one at that, thanks to Loredrake bumping you up 2 caster levels. Fell Animate, Energy Substitution (Cold), and Lord of the Uttercold combine with your 7th level Sorcerer casting to provide some rather useful necromancer shenanigans as well. Chuck Fell Animate on some Lesser Orbs of X and mow down pesky humans to animate yourself a free zombie army.
    • CR14 through 17: Alright, CR 17 is the last of the pure Dragon (it's also the Sweet Spot). We have casting as a 9th level Sorcerer now, which means 5th level spells. Thatís high enough to Fell Animate a Kelgoreís Grave Mist. With this bad boy, we deal 9 rounds of 1d6 cold damage, and anything that dies in that mist gets Animated as a Zombie. Oh yeah, a note on Fell Animate: It creates a maximum of Zombies whose combined HD add up to double your own HD. Did you catch that? DOUBLE. At CR 17, you have 22 HD. That means you get 44HD worth of Zombies, for FREE! By CR20, youíre lookiní at a wonderfully solid 25 HD, meaning you can have 50 HD worth of zombies shambling around. My advice? Find yourself a nice pair of dying White Dragons and put them out of their misery with some Fell Animate Lesser Orbs of Fire (4th level spells with Metamagic, 5d8 Fire damage (no save, no SR)). Why White Dragons, you may ask? Because Energy Substitution (Cold) lets you make your spells deal Cold damage instead of whatever else it would do. And Lord of the Uttercold takes half of that damage and makes it Negative Energy. Which means it heals your Undead goons. Itís counteracted by the cold damage they would take, unless they are immune to cold damage. Like Skeletons are. And Frost Giants. And other critters with the Cold Subtype. See where Iím going with this? And oh, by the way, these 44HD worth of Zombies following you around at CR17? Their HD pool is separate from the amount you can have from Animate Dead (that would be 36 HD at CR17). This number will go up soon enough.
    • CR18, 19 and 20: Letís start off with CR18. Dear sweet delicious Ur-Priest cheese. Hello Cleric Spell list, how are you today? This isnít really anything spectacular right now, but with that spell list opened up to us, and our prodigious UMD skill, itís pretty safe to say we can use all of the items (easier than before, that is).
      CR19, Soul Eater and Life Drain. ďHow dare you take a class that doesnít progress spellcasting! Shun, SHUUUUNNNNNĒ *ahem* Yeah, worth it in this case. We qualify for Soul Eater thanks to not being a lame humanoid. We benefit from it by getting Energy Drain as a Su ability, which in turn qualifies us for the Life Drain feat. Funny story about this feat, it only says whenever we deal level drain, not whenever you deal level drain from your Su ability. This means that our fantastically awesome breath weapon, which deals negative levels, allows us to benefit from the Life Drain feat. To the tune of 4 negative levels dealt + 44 hit points deducted, and healing yourself for 24 hp of that. Applied to everything in your cone attack.
      CR20, Dispassionate Watcher of Chronepsis, and say hello to my 10th level Ur-Priest casting! Wait, whatís that? Howíd I jump from 1 to 10? Itís called Divine Conversion, and it reads to the tune of ďconvert your innate sorcerer spellcasting over to whatever divine spellcasting class you have level(s) inĒ. So, we just jumped from 9th level sorcerer and 1st level ur-priest, over to 10th level ur-priest. Which means 9th level spells. Itís only 2 per day, but I mean, come on, theyíre 9th level spells! And you can change them every day, since they are divine, and not learned like a sorcerer has to! Now, this doesnít come without a few drawbacks. We do lose access to our fancy Orb of No Save/No SR spells, along with Kelgore and all of his misty glory. But we gain Desecrate. And we keep Animate Dead. We also get such amazing spells as Divine Power, Righteous Might, Create Undead, and, oh goody, Fell Animate Harm. Thatís a flat 100 HP damage spell that will Animate whatever you just killed as your own Zombie.

    Spoiler: Items

    Alright, so, Dragons have hoards. Itís a fact of life. They sleep in it, they bathe in it, and they bury hapless adventurers with it. But sometimes they invest it, in themselves. If I were a dragon, especially the type of necromanticly inclined, god-forsaking dragon presented here, I would probably invest in a few items designed to protect my scaly hide. Like, say, a Belt of Magnificence +6. Perhaps even a nice suit of +1 Soulfire Mithral Chainmail Barding as well.

    Spoiler: Sources

    With regards to cross-setting interference (using a Shadow Dragon from FR with Loredrake from Eberron): The Shadow Dragon was introduced for 3e in Draconomicon, and updated to 3.5 in Playerís Guide to Faerun, which to me means itís at least partially setting neutral.
    • Draconomicon - Shadow Dragon, age categories, Dispassionate Watcher of Chronepsis
    • Playerís Guide to Faerun - Shadow Dragon
    • Dragons of Eberron - Loredrake
    • Complete Divine - Ur-Priest
    • Book of Vile Darkness - Soul Eater
    • Libris Mortis - various undead references, Tomb-Tainted Soul, Fell Animate
    • Playerís Handbook - Spells, skills, Spell Focus
    • Dungeon Masterís Guide - Items
    • Monster Manual I - Dragons, Undead
    • Playerís Handbook II - Spells
    • Spell Compendium - Spells
    • Complete Arcane - Energy Substitution, Lord of the Uttercold, Spells
    • Miniature's Handbook - Belt of Magnificence

    Last edited by Gwachitallemall; 2015-05-27 at 04:52 AM.
    Like being evil? You should check my optimization challenge