Entry number 6!
Originally Posted by SpeeloxhuuBipartite Servant of Twofold Masters!
A Pulsing Mass of Grafts and Crafts!
Keeper of Secrets Muckdwellers Were Not Meant to Know!
The Sixteen-Centimetre Serpentine Soporific!
Wondrous Item Supply Chain Executive Manager!
The Gleeful Graft-laden Guanopsychotic Geckoid!
Premier Soul-Caterer for Upscale Fiends!
The Pint-Sized Paradox of Parlous Power!
who could it possibly be but . . .
SPEELOXHUU. . . and Gezoondhyt
Spoiler: some totally optional inspirational musicShow
you can understand the character just fine without this song, but i feel that it helps put you in the right mindset.
Spoiler: tables and statsShowSpeeloxhuu
muckdweller soulborn 2 / barbarian 1 / fighter 1 / truenamer 3 / wizard 1 / thrall of demogorgon 10 / battle trickster 2
devoted to the Leviathan and also to Demogorgon
alignment: chaotic evil
languages: Draconic, Common, Abyssal, Infernal
muckdweller racial adjustments: STR -6 (ignore after soulborn 2), DEX +6, WIS -2, CHA -2.
unmodified starting stats (point-buy cost in brackets):
STR 16 (10)
DEX 10 (2)
CON 12 (6)
INT 16 (10)
WIS 8 (0)
CHA 12 (4)
starting stats with racial bonuses/penalties:
STR increases to 16 at level 2 because we become immune to the racial penalty. increase INT at levels 4 and 8. increase STR at levels 12, 16, and 20. WIS decreases by 4 at level 10 because of Deformity (Madness).
note on colour-coding: blue indicates skill points spent normally. red indicates skill points spent cross-class.
Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features 1 soulborn 1 +1 +2 +0 +0 20 pts: Tumble 4, Jump 4, Spellcraft 4, K: Arcana 2, K: Planes 2, K: Religion 2 muckdweller bonus: Weapon Finesse, EE bonus: Willing Deformity, 1: Subdual Strike skilled city dweller, aura, smite opposition 1/day 2 soulborn 2 +2 +3 +0 +0 5 pts: Tumble 5, Jump 5, Spellcraft 5, Use Rope 0.5, K: Religion 2.5 incarnum defense 3 whirling frenzy spirit lion totem barbarian 1 +3 +5 +0 +0 7 pts: Tumble 6, Jump 6, K: Religion 3, Use Rope 2.5 3: Power Attack skilled city dweller, illiteracy (N/A), whirling frenzy 1/day, spiritual lion totem (pounce) 4 fighter 1 +4 +7 +0 +0 5 pts: Tumble 7, Jump 7, Spellcraft 5.5, Use Rope 3.5 fighter bonus: Improved Bull Rush skilled city dweller, bonus feat 5 truenamer 1 +4 +7 +0 +2 7 pts: Truespeak 3, Jump 8, Tumble 8 EE Bonus: Thrall to Demon known personal truename, universal aptitude 6 truenamer 2 +5 +7 +0 +3 7 pts: Truespeak 8, Tumble 9 6: Leap Attack knowledge focus (religion), inertia surge 7 truenamer 3 +6/+1 +8 +1 +3 7 pts: Truespeak 10, K: Religion 5, Tumble 10, Use Rope 4 hidden truth 8 martial domain (Conjuration domain) wizard 1 +6/+1 +8 +1 +5 6 pts: K: Religion 9, Truespeak 11 wizard bonus: Shock Trooper bonus feat, spellcasting, summon familiar, arcane domain (Conjuration) 9 thrall of Demogorgon +7/+2 +10 +1 +5 8 pts: Use Rope 7, K: Religion 12, Truespeak 12 9: Underfoot Combat, ToD bonus: Confound the Big Folk bonus feat, scaly flesh +1, hypnosis 10 ToD 2 +8/+3 +11 +1 +5 8 pts: Jump 10, Use Rope 9, K: Religion 13, Truespeak 13 EE bonus: Deformity (Madness) touch of fear 11 ToD 3 +9/+4 +11 +2 +6 8 pts: K: Religion 14, Use Rope 11, Jump 12, Spellcraft 6, Truespeak 14 reaching touch 12 ToD 4 +10/+5 +12 +2 +6 8 pts: K: Religion 15, Use Rope 15, Truespeak 15 12: Practised Spellcaster, ToD bonus: Improved Familiar bonus feat, dual actions, scaly flesh +2 13 ToD 5 +11/+6/+1 +12 +2 +6 8 pts: K: Religion 16, Use Rope 16, Jump 13, Spellcraft 7.5, Truespeak 16 summon minor demon 14 ToD 6 +12/+7/+2 +13 +3 +7 8 pts: K: Religion 17, Use Rope 17, Jump 14, Bluff 2, Spellcraft 8, Truespeak 17 rotting touch 15 ToD 7 +13/+8/+3 +13 +3 +7 8 pts: K: Religion 18, Use Rope 18, Bluff 6, Truespeak 18 EE bonus: Chosen of Evil, 15: Craft Wondrous Item, ToD bonus: Exceptional Artisan bonus feat, scaly flesh +3 16 ToD 8 +14/+9/+4 +14 +3 +7 8 pts: K: Religion 19, Use Rope 19, Bluff 8, False Theurgy skill trick, Truespeak 19 two personas, death touch 17 ToD 9 +15/+10/+5 +14 +4 +8 8 pts: K: Religion 20, Use Rope 20, Jump 16, Extreme Leap skill trick, Truespeak 20 summon major demon 18 ToD 10 +16/+11/+6/+1 +15 +4 +8 8 pts: K: Religion 21, Use Rope 21, Jump 20, Truespeak 21 18: Demon Mastery, ToD bonus: Extract Demonic Essence bonus feat, Demogorgon’s will, scaly flesh +4 19 battle trickster 1 +17/+12/+7/+2 +17 +4 +8 8 pts: Use Rope 22, Jump 22, Tumble 11, Truespeak 22, K: Religion 22, Battle Trickster bonus skill trick: Nimble Stand bonus trick 20 battle trickster 2 +18/+13/+8/+3 +18 +4 +8 8 pts: Use Rope 23, Jump 23, Tumble 13, Truespeak 23, K: Religion 23 EE bonus: Harvester of Souls, battle trickster bonus: Combat Expertise bonus featSpoiler: spellcastingShowstarting at ECL 8, Speeloxhuu has wizard casting. assuming 18 INT (which he has from levels alone by ECL 8; this may increase if he gains access to an INT-boosting item, but we are not assuming that), he gets 3 selectable cantrips per day (usually a mix of detect magic, stick, and/or mage hand), along with one mandatory casting of acid splash. he gets two selectable 1st-level spells per day, often animate rope or nerveskitter before the CL increase and mage armour or familiar pocket after the CL increase, along with one mandatory casting of mage armour. acid splash and mage armour are always cast at +1 CL. general CL increases from 1 to 5 when Practised Spellcaster is gained. since spells per day do not progress, I do not feel that a full table is appropriate.
spells in spellbook guaranteed from class levels alone (3 + INT + mage armour): all cantrips, mage armour, animate rope, familiar pocket, nerveskitter, hoard gullet, mount, magecraft, chill touch
the tale of Speeloxhuu is one of ambition and overcompensation gone horribly, horribly awry. Speeloxhuu is a muckdweller who started life feeling horribly inadequate about his tiny size and low athletic ability. he was smart enough to know that there is a world beyond the swamp, but not wise enough to understand that sometimes limitations exist for a reason.
he heard that certain people who were willing to mortify their own flesh could become taller, in a deformed sort of way. as a tiny snake-like critter, he already idolized the Leviathan, a nearly-mythological snake bigger than any other creature alive; when he found out that this Leviathan could grant power to its servants, Speeloxhuu’s admiration started edging into worship, and he started intentionally deforming his own body in preparation for becoming taller. he trained in a strange style of fighting which promised to allow its adherents, if they were sufficiently chaotic and sufficiently wicked, to overcome limitations on their muscular strength, which turned out to be true. when he found out, however, that he still simply wasn’t eligible to undergo the full transformation into someone with greater reach, rather than give up on his ideas, he became convinced that he simply hadn’t found the right secrets. he delved into forbidden rites and practises that promised to open his mind to new vistas of knowledge, hoping to find a workaround. the small remnants of his sanity slipping away, he started dabbling in living sacrifices, attracting the attention of the Prince of Demons . . .
Spoiler: behavioural analysisShowthis character is an ubercharger. Power Attack, Pounce, Leap Attack, Shock Trooper—you know how this works, right? i like the image of the little guy with either a greataxe (tiny stats: 1d8, crit x3) or a scythe (tiny stats: 1d4, crit x4), but any two-handed weapon works. we can get away with light armour most of the time, since we’ve got NA, DEX, and size bonuses in our corner, and we don’t want a speed penalty. (we’ll eventually get access to mage armour that lasts 6 hours, but that will come later.) a racial spit attack lets us apply some debuffing if we can’t reach our target.
CE soulborn lets us overcome our racial penalty to STR (we are immune to any penalty to our STR, and pg. 11 of the PHB describes negative racial stat modifications as “racial penalties”), allowing us to qualify for Power Attack. skilled city dweller ensures that we can keep Tumble up early on. whirlpouncebarian is self-explanatory; if one attack after a charge is good, lots of attacks after a charge is better, and one encounter per day with extra attacks is gravy. if survivability is an issue early on, we certainly don’t have to use the full AC penalty from a max-strength PA all the time; even a modest -3 penalty (which could easily be handled as to-hit rather than as AC) turns into a +9 or +12 bonus (depending on how you read the errata), which is far from nothing early on. why do we have Subdual Strike? because killing an enemy in the name of your dark master during combat is far, far less profitable than killing that enemy in a horrifying sacrifice later.
levels in truenamer give us a ton of tools to juice up our ability to sacrifice. hidden truth is a +10 bonus to a Knowledge check, usable at any time after you succeed. universal aptitude is another +5 bonus to any skill checks we care about. knowledge focus is a +3 on top of that. +18 to K: Religion for the cost of three levels is a pretty good deal, especially since it’s not like universal aptitude or hidden truth are useless on their own. we are really, really good at sacrificing things. so we charge like crazy, do obnoxious amounts of nonlethal damage, and then start greedily consulting the tables on pg. 27 of the BoVD. Use Rope lets us tightly bind things for use later, if desired. and if we run into something immune to nonlethal damage? then we just choose not to use Subdual Strike, and we’re still an ubercharger.
wizard gives us a lot in a short time period. we get a much-needed bonus feat, allowing us to get Shock Trooper online. we get spells, which let us enter the Secret Ingredient. (those spells are usually things like animate rope, mage armour, and familiar pocket. Maybe hoard gullet as well. familiar pocket and mage armour are our go-to spells, though, at least after we get Practised Spellcaster; before PS comes online, animate rope still helps for a quick Use Rope check, and nerveskitter doesn’t care about CL) and we get the ability to summon a familiar, though we don’t do so just yet.
ToD is awesome. scaly flesh stacks with our existing +3 NA from being a muckdweller. more importantly, ToD lets us answer the question “what would life be like if feat chains weren’t an issue?” we can take Confound the Big Folk at the same level as Underfoot Combat, and i don’t need to say how good that is, do i? well, i will anyway: automatically flat-footifying enemies is amazing, getting cover is amazing, and getting a 50% miss chance with a chance to encourage teamkilling is absolutely worth fighting defensively now and again. we can take Improved Familiar at the same level as Practised Spellcaster, allowing us to summon Gezoondhyt, our faithful muckdweller familiar (who can do great things like help us bind victims and set up sacrifices, though he cannot directly use Aid Another on the K: Religion check—but he can, technically, use Aid Another on our Truespeak check!). and so on. our feats all synergise with each other. it’s awesome.
by the way, if you’re concerned that we cannot revere both Demogorgon and the Leviathan, we direct you to pg. 70 of Elder Evils. Marcus Hape not only serves both the Leviathan and Demogorgon, but he even has levels in thrall of Demogorgon! Demogorgon is obviously cool with this. you should be too.
Speeloxhuu cannot qualify for Deformity (Tall), but he can still get reaching touch from ToD as a consolation prize, which is awesome. (it’s also hella creepy to imagine—Speeloxhuu is like maybe the size of a cat, and all of a sudden he’s got 5’ long arms that can strike with full power? it’s hilarious, but it’s also horrifying.) dual actions is crazy good—charging once is powerful enough, but ping-ponging around and charging twice in one round is even better. demon-summoning abilities let us juice our sacrifice check even higher (+2 for a sacrifice being in the presence of a demon servant, +1 for allowing that hungry demon servant to remove extremities from the victim prior to death). Thrall to Demon may only be a +1 once per day, but given that our daily sacrifice roll is the one roll per day we care most about, it’s more helpful to us than to many other characters! honestly though, even just by the time we enter ToD, we’ve got a nightmarishly high sacrifice check mod: at ECL 9 (ToD 1), we have +4 INT, +12 ranks, +10 hidden truth, +3 knowledge focus, and +5 universal aptitude, even before getting into karras stone knives or any of the circumstantial mods from BoVD pg 27. that’s +34. our minimum roll puts us at 35. that’s kind of incredible, guys. even if the Truespeak checks take a few tries, a ritual sacrifice isn’t exactly a hurried affair. in fact, the image of our pint-sized celebrant trying over and over to incant incomprehensible words (in a squeaky voice—consider just how little he is!) until he finally gets them right and surges with dark power is actually kind of marvelous. later on, Chosen of Evil eventually helps with the sacrifice check, though it’s mostly gravy by that point. (1 CON damage once a day is trivial to heal overnight.) touch of fear and hypnotism might be used to toy with our ritual sacrifices before doing the deed. and while we can only be rewarded for one sacrifice per day, we can still save victims for later with Use Rope (and may as well throw on some manacles while you’re at it, use chain instead of rope, toss in animate rope for an extra +2 if you have a spell slot left, &c.).
so what kinds of things are we doing with our sacrifices? 24 hour buff spells are nice when we first start our soul-catering business. control weather is a great way to do collateral damage to feed our destructive impulses. long-term, though, our focus is going to be on crafting. dark gold and dark XP can drastically reduce or eliminate the costs associated with crafting items, and they don’t expire. planar ally (lesser, regular, or greater) can give us a friendly fiend who can help contribute spells or SLAs to the item prereqs, and once we get Extract Demonic Essence, they can help with the cost, as well. (also, we can use scrolls or wands to contribute prereqs, as long as they’re wizard spells—we’re a wizard, Harry! that’s why we didn’t specialise: we don’t want any wizard spells to be banned.) Speeloxhuu can use hidden truth on himself when not making ritual sacrifices to research new and appropriate kinds of demons to summon. we’re way, way smarter than we are wise. (and no, Speeloxhuu’s not wise at all. he’s completely off his gourd. you know, in case you hadn’t realized that yet.)
once we can get greater planar ally, we can even summon sibriexes; Deformity (Madness) renders us immune to their form of madness ability, and since sacrifices give us a planar ally effect rather than a planar binding effect, the sibriex shouldn’t resent us or hate us (it should actually respect us, or at least be told that it has to pretend by the entity that sends it to us as its emissary), so it should be relatively safe to ask it to graft us the
hellabyss up. pay the gp cost if necessary (it takes under a minute and is nonhazardous, so it shouldn’t be more than a trivial 750 gp, or 1500 if your GM is mean), but we might also simply offer the sibriex a living sacrificial victim as payment if we feel cheeky. between the grafts and the crafts, Speeloxhuu is remarkably well kitted-out for an Iron Chef build. we have access to a lot of things that would normally cost a lot more than we have to pay. abyssal grafts are all kinds of awesome. we can get a Long Arm to finally get reach, we can get all kinds of crazy stat bonuses, we can get wings, we can get enhanced vision, we can get a Fast Leg to charge even farther—the possibilities are endless, and all it takes is to be a guanopsychotic murderous nonlethal charger who’s obsessed with sacrificing sentient beings to demon lords and asking those demon lords to send madness-inducing demons to repeatedly graft raw chaos onto their flesh for them! (why doesn’t everyone do this?)
let’s also talk about Gezoondhyt a bit. Gezoondhyt spends most of his time safely tucked away in a familiar pocket (he should never, ever see combat), but he’s very helpful for ritual sacrifices. as mentioned, he cannot directly Aid Another with the K: Religion check, but he can make the Truespeak checks come faster. About those Truespeak checks: the rituals need to be long anyway, and we can just keep trying until we succeed—we can cast hidden truth well in advance, since it just affects the next Knowledge check we make, and then we’ve got five rounds after universal aptitude finally succeeds to finish the job and send a new soul straight to Demogorgon. (of course, we can also probably eventually craft an amulet of the silver tongue, if we want one.) anyway, back to Gezoondhyt—he can also aid with the Use Rope checks to bind victims for later. furthermore, since he shares our ranks in K: Religion and is a 100% valid target for hidden truth / universal aptitude, he’s nearly as good at sacrifices as Speeloxhuu is! lower INT and no knowledge focus class feature, but that’s still a damn large bonus, especially when you consider that our presence means that Gezoondhyt’s sacrifices automatically get the +2 for “conducted in the presence of a creature important to the deity,” since we’re obviously important to our lord and master. so Speeloxhuu gets one sacrifice per day and Gezoondhyt also gets one sacrifice per day. i like to think that Speeloxhuu is sacrificing to Hethradiah and Gezoondhyt sacrifices to Aameul (BoVD pg. 126), or vice versa. this can, as you might imagine, get very stupid very quickly. we cannot combine Gezoondhyt’s dark gold and dark XP with our own, so he mostly won’t be getting those particular rewards, but he can handle the buff spells or the planar ally effects while we handle the other things. (this also means that we get two wishes over our lifetime.)
more about dark craft XP: read pg. 27 of BoVD very, very closely. “experience points and gold pieces can be granted as rewards after a sacrifice.” this indicates that they are experience points. they “can’t be used to [. . . ] attain higher levels,” thereby indicating that special restrictions need to be placed on what they cannot do, but it doesn’t say that you can’t spend them on the XP costs of spells. like, say, limited wish, by which I mean Demogorgon’s Will. just gonna throw that out there. (it doesn’t say anything like that they ‘can only be used for crafting’ or some such.)
so we’ve got grafts, we’ve got crafts, we’ve got buffs, we’ve got ubercharging power, we’ve got broad-scale ability to alter our surroundings (control weather and limited wish are easily attainable with our sacrifices, and those are some pretty crazy wildcard abilities to get us where we need to go)—the fun never stops!
oh, and if you were wondering why we have False Theurgy when we basically never cast spells in combat? because Speeloxhuu is horrifyingly cruel, that’s why. False Theurgy lets us pretend to be casting any spell of the same level—doesn’t have to be a spell that we can actually cast. after a long and drawn-out ritual, we can make the poor sacrificial victim think for a fraction of a second that we’re going to cast painless death, found on pg. 56 of Ghostwalk. but of course, Speeloxhuu is actually casting, well, something else. doesn’t really matter what. something that deals painful damage (e.g., chill touch), or that doesn’t even target the victim, or whatever. this is just because Speeloxhuu is that. damn. evil. to give false hope of a painless release, and then to cruelly snatch it away? he believes that that’s worth the investment of skill points, even if it doesn’t always work. few things make him laugh more, and therefore, few things make Demogorgon laugh more! hail Demogorgon!
Spoiler: and now, a few words from GezoondhytShowMy Master deserves the Highest Score in Use of Secret Ingredient! Anyone can Optimize a class’s Abilities, but who takes the time to go Above and Beyond by optimizing its Prereqs? Being Chaotic Evil quite Literally aids my Master’s Strength! BAB Fuels my Master’s charging ways! Knowledge skills Fuel my Master’s Sacrifices! Being a spellcaster Allowed my Master to summon me—I owe My Very Existence to these prereqs! My Master learned how to Sacrifice intelligent Beings just to get into Thrall of Demogorgon, and now sacrificing intelligent Beings is my Master’s raison d’être! The Deformities my Master inflicted upon his Flesh in the Name of Demogorgon may have driven him mad, but are we not All mad? From Madness comes strength! You need more Convincing? My Master uses the Bonus Feats the class grants very Well! He uses the natural Armour bonus to Stack with his own! He Summons Demons to Aid in his Sacrifices! He uses the Class’s skills in his Sacrifices! He Reaches farther than that which is Granted to those of Our Size, surprising his Victims! Surprising them to death! He can Charge twice a Round, Killing twice as fast! His spell-like Abilities prolong the Torment of his sacrificial Victims, until they swiftly and Brutally End the suffering! You must Score my Master very highly in Use of Secret Ingredient!
My Master deserves the Highest Score in Elegance! Who can say that they Repeatedly use the Secret Ingredient’s Bonus Feats to take Obnoxious Prereq Feats and the feats they actually Care about at the same time? No waiting, no putting off What We Want, just immediate Satisfaction despite the Prereq Gates! Instant Gratification is the Definition of Elegance! Is that not Appropriate for a Thrall of Demogorgon? Demogorgon does not wait—Demogorgon takes what he wants, as does my Master! Many prerequisites are made to serve Double Duty, because it is not enough for your Pawns to Suffer merely once, and what are feats but the Pawns in our own lives? Practised Spellcaster enables me to Exist, and it Also enables Craft Wondrous Item! Craft Wondrous Item enables Exceptional Artisan, and those Two Feats enable Extract Demonic Essence! Furthermore, my Master does Not bother Spending his Own Resources when he can Spend someone else’s! Why devote one’s own Feats to Vile feats when Lord Leviathan (may he do as he wills) can provide what we Need? Why spend Gold or Experience on crafting when we can Simply Use the blood of our enemies for That? Is it not elegant to Find Ways to avoid paying onerous Costs? You must Score my Master very highly in Elegance!
My Master deserves the Highest Score in Power! You like using Power Attack? What about Doubling it? What about doubling it and Still Full-attacking? What about Doing all of that with No Penalty To hit? My Master does all of This And More! My Master knows Many Secrets that Muckdwellers were not meant to Know—perhaps Some of them are even your secrets! Can you Deny my Master’s power Now? You try to Strike at my Master? My Master is already in your Friend’s Square, and you Struck Your Friend in the Face, just as Demogorgon Teaches us! My Master has fiendish Grafts of all shapes and Sizes, and my Master paid far less than you Would to get Such Things! My Master has demons at His Beck And call, always Happy to do his bidding! My Master Can request all Kinds of benefits from his Master—Wishes, Weather, Buffs, you name it! My Master is Well-Equipped, all of his items Forged out of the Blood of the Innocent! You must Score my Master very highly in Power!
My Master deserves the Highest Score in Originality! Did you Truly Expect a Tiny-sized Ubercharger who is an expert at Sacrifices? Did you expect Anyone to enter the Secret Ingredient by combining Soulborn With Truenamer, or anyone who would have More levels in Truenamer than in any other Base Class? Did you Expect Anyone to have another one of their Same Race as a Familiar? Did you Expect a Muckdweller to end up with higher Strength than Dexterity? Did you expect Anyone to ever use Wizard to Pick Up Shock Trooper? Did you Expect Anyone to Rely heavily on a Feat from the Book of Exalted Deeds? Did you expect anyone Who Would actually massively Benefit from the Fact that the Secret Ingredient grants Use Rope as a class Skill? No! You did not! You expected None of those things! My Master took you Completely by Surprise! To deny it is to deny Yourself! You must Score my Master very highly in Originality!
My Master is probably behind you right now!
fighter, barbarian, Power Attack, Craft Wondrous Item, wizard, Weapon Finesse, Improved Bull Rush, Combat Expertise: PHB
skilled city dweller: right here, yo
utterances, Truespeak, truenamer: Tome of Magic
Leviathan, Deformity (Madness), Harvester of Souls, Chosen of Evil: Elder Evils
Leap Attack: Complete Adventurer
Exceptional Artisan: Eberron Campaign Setting
muckdweller, Improved Familiar: Serpent Kingdoms
sibriex, Demon Mastery, Extract Demonic Essence: Fiendish Codex I
Practised Spellcaster: Complete Arcane
spells: PHB, Spell Compendium, Dragon Magic, Eberron Campaign Setting
battle trickster, skill tricks: Complete Scoundrel
fiendish grafts: Fiend Folio
Underfoot Combat, Confound the Big Folk: Races of the Wild
Shock Trooper: Complete Warrior
spiritual lion totem barbarian: Complete Champion
whirling frenzy, martial wizard, domain wizard: Unearthed Arcana
soulborn: Magic of Incarnum
thrall of Demogorgon, Demogorgon, Willing Deformity, Thrall to Demon, sacrifice rules: Book of Vile Darkness
Subdual Strike: Book of Exalted Deeds
inspirational music (Fighting with the Melody): Jimmy Urine