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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default [3.5] Last touches on a DFA; suggestions welcomed

    Hey folks. As you might have heard me saying a couple weeks ago, I'm making a Dragonfire Adept (level 12, nearly all WotC books), and I could use a few suggestions filling in the final gaps. I'm HEAVILY refluffing everything... frankly, I hate dragons and the fappery that surrounds them, but I love the mechanics of the DFA, so I'm playing the class abilities as basically Inspector Gadget (this character is a Warforged). Therefore, everything I choose should have an associated Go Go Gadget <something> to go along with it. Please try to keep that in mind, though almost anything can be turned into a GGGX. The most salient houserule to keep in mind is that my GM has removed the restriction that grafts have to come from a single source, so I'm looking into getting some things built into my body, Gadget-style (the only one I have so far is the Glaring Eye, because that basically gives me the invocation Voidsense for 10k, but I'm looking into others).

    Basically, the most important things I need are my 2nd level breath effect and my 12th level feat, though I wouldn't mind suggestions on items as well. (I have the major items down... +6 CON item, dragon spirit cincture, Glaring Eye graft, etc.) My other breath effects are Slow Breath, Weakening Breath, and Thunder Breath. My feats include Ability Focus (breath weapon), Flyby Attack, Entangling Exhalation, and Exhaled Barrier. I'm CON-heavy and CHA-light (very few of the invocations which allow saves fit the fluff I have in mind... can you really see the good Inspector using Charm?). Here are my thoughts so far:

    -For the level 2 breath effect, I'm leaning towards Sickening Breath (since I'm very fond of debuffing), but having two non-fire elements at my disposal could be nice. I'm pretty much at a loss as to which one to take, though.

    -For the feat, I'm totally lost. Extra Invocation seems like a no-brainer, but I'm not really sure that any of the invocations are worth a feat (I already have Endure Exposure, Magic Insight, Draconic Flight, Voracious Dispelling, and Draconic Toughness). I guess I could take the Frightful Presence invocation just for something to do with my swift actions... the save will be pitifully low since my CHA kind of sucks, but at least it's something. I'm not sure how to fluff it, though, and I don't want to be a fear-stacker (I've done that before, and it tends to get GMs pissy, for good reason). I'd really rather not try to get into any shenanigans with metabreath feats, so while I've already considered those, I don't think that they're really a good idea. Air heritage would be nice, but there's that pesky word "racial" that throws a wrench into the works and makes it unusable. Track would be nice thematically, but Survival is cross-class, and it's probably a waste anyway. I feel like there's a good option out there that I'm missing, but I just can't think of what it is.

    -Item-wise, I'm mostly looking for things that are built in to the character's body. I'm debating between getting a few more grafts (such as Dust Form and Fatigue Spores, and maybe Grappling Vine just for thematics) and getting some mock psionic capabilities (tattoos with those nifty capacitors and inducers and stuff, or finding ways to buy power points and getting those 1/day power crystals from Magic of Eberron). If I could find a way to get Schism, that'd be perfect, but I don't want to just get a dorje of it (I only want to use it as a panic button for when everything's on the line, and a 4th-level dorje is expensive), and getting enough power points to use it with those power crystals (or getting it more than 1/week in tattoo form) is kind of crazy expensive. I think that getting some kind of armor upgrade built into my composite plating would be nifty, but I don't know if anything would actually be too useful for a DFA. I really like the Shadow Sibling from Magic of Eberron (8k for a 50% miss chance as an immediate action, CON times per day? On a CON-SAD character? Yes please!), but it seems a little bit overpowered, so I can't decide. I'm also contemplating buying scrolls of Mantle of the Fiery Spirit and Mantle of the Icy Soul (the combined effect of which being that I would be immune to both cold and fire), but I don't know if that's the best options possible.

    Basically, I've got the big stuff down, but I can't decide what I need to fill in the gaps. If anyone has any suggestions, I'd like to hear them.
    Last edited by Zaq; 2009-12-08 at 02:48 AM.
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  2. - Top - End - #2
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [3.5] Last touches on a DFA; suggestions welcomed

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaq View Post
    Hey folks. As you might have heard me saying a couple weeks ago, I'm making a Dragonfire Adept (level 12, nearly all WotC books), and I could use a few suggestions filling in the final gaps. I'm HEAVILY refluffing everything... frankly, I hate dragons and the fappery that surrounds them, but I love the mechanics of the DFA, so I'm playing the class abilities as basically Inspector Gadget (this character is a Warforged). Therefore, everything I choose should have an associated Go Go Gadget <something> to go along with it. Please try to keep that in mind, though almost anything can be turned into a GGGX.
    While I don't share your loathing for dragons, I agree that the DFA's mechanics are elegant and approve of refluffing them to make the class more flexible.

    The most salient houserule to keep in mind is that my GM has removed the restriction that grafts have to come from a single source, so I'm looking into getting some things built into my body, Gadget-style (the only one I have so far is the Glaring Eye, because that basically gives me the invocation Voidsense for 10k, but I'm looking into others).
    Can't help you here, I know nothing about grafts.

    Basically, the most important things I need are my 2nd level breath effect and my 12th level feat, though I wouldn't mind suggestions on items as well. (I have the major items down... +6 CON item, dragon spirit cincture, Glaring Eye graft, etc.) My other breath effects are Slow Breath, Weakening Breath, and Thunder Breath. My feats include Ability Focus (breath weapon), Flyby Attack, Entangling Exhalation, and Exhaled Barrier.
    Good, sounds like you've got the basics well-covered.

    I'm CON-heavy and CHA-light (very few of the invocations which allow saves fit the fluff I have in mind... can you really see the good Inspector using Charm?).
    No, not Charm, but maybe the Deafening invocation (though, it sucks), the Fear invocations, and the Perilous Veil disguise invocation.

    -For the level 2 breath effect, I'm leaning towards Sickening Breath (since I'm very fond of debuffing), but having two non-fire elements at my disposal could be nice. I'm pretty much at a loss as to which one to take, though.
    Sickening, in my experience, isn't worth the standard action required. I'd just go with another energy type to make sure you're covered against more monsters with resistances (I think there are some Slaad who resist fire and sonic). I personally like Lightning better flavor-wise, but I admit Frost is probably more powerful due to being a cone.

    -For the feat, I'm totally lost.
    How do you feel about buffing your party? I love the Draconic Aura feat for a DFA. The Energy Resistance version is decent, but the best option is probably Senses. At Level 13, you'll be giving yourself and every member of your party +3 Spot/Listen/Initiative.

    -Item-wise,
    As always with equipment, the problem is that there are way too many good choices (at least, if MIC is available). But one thing that feels very gadget-like to me is the Tome of Battle items that let you learn a maneuver. Of course, DFAs don't get as much use out of them as most characters ... but there are a few that might be worth looking into. Something from Desert Wind might be weak, but worth splurging 3000gp on just for the flavor. Diamond Mind save-boosters are always worth considering, since your Concentration might be pretty good (depending how plentiful your skill points are). Baffling Defense is awesome, since I assume you'll be maxxing Sense Motive; but you'll have to do some shenanigans (e.g. Persistent Heroics spell or something) to meet the prerequisites. Mountain Hammer is definitely worthwhile for out-of-combat object-breaking potential.
    Last edited by Draz74; 2009-12-08 at 03:05 AM.
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  3. - Top - End - #3
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: [3.5] Last touches on a DFA; suggestions welcomed

    I agree the the frost Breath is probably the best 2nd-level breath you can take.


    As for feats, if you don't mind a slight rebuild, you may want to take Steadfast Determination, which makes you use your con score instead of wisdom on Will saves. The problem is, it has a useless feat(Endurance) as a requirement.

    If not, the Draconic Aura(Senses) is your best bet. Screw Improved Initiative when you can have this.

    Quicken SLA(Voracious Dispelling) is a good choice too, but you'll have to check if you qualify, I don't remember the CL requirements.


    Concerning items, you should look in the Draconomicon for the Draughts of metabreath. The Enervating one is particularly great, and Admixture can really boost your damage. I like to keep a few Ethereal and Rebuking ones as well, they are situationnal, but really useful when the said situation falls on you.
    Dispelling Breath is nice, but you'd better put in on a wand, since you'll use it quite often. Same thing(to a much lesser extent) for Blinding Breath.

    The draughts of Metallic Dragon Breath are also nice(especially the gold one). Check with your DM first, since it is unclear how the "age category" part works on you. The logical solution is to use your number of breath dice(i.e. 6 at 12th level, 7 at 14th, etc)

    Eversmoking bottle is nice if you can use it without screwing your teammates

    The Elixir of Blindsight(Dragon Magic) transforms you Blindsense into a Blindsight, so it's always fun to have.

    Other than that, invest in wands. Since you have Draconic toughness, as well as incredible HP(most likely), your teammates will like when you use a wand of shield other. Lesser Vigor, which has the best healing-to-cost ratio is a good one as well.
    Last edited by BenTheJester; 2009-12-08 at 03:30 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Last touches on a DFA; suggestions welcomed

    No response from the OP?
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    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: [3.5] Last touches on a DFA; suggestions welcomed

    Quote Originally Posted by Draz74 View Post
    No response from the OP?
    Heh, I'm getting to it.

    I think Frost Breath seems like the best bet for my 2nd level breath effect, just so I have a variety of flavors.

    Am I wrong in interpreting Sleep Breath as utterly useless? I took Weakening Breath with my 12th level slot, even though Weakening is a 5th level effect, because I didn't like any of the 10th level effects other than Thunder. Sleep looks fun (I do like exhausting enemies), but that HD cap just kills it, right?

    I'm contemplating getting Dust Form and Fatigue Spores grafts, which will let me blind and fatigue adjacent enemies (with a CON-based save) 1/min each. I'm wary about getting too close, but Flyby Attack should make that pretty moot. Thoughts?

    Draconic Aura looks decent, but I'm having a hard time fluffing it. I'm still not convinced that it's the best choice, but it looks decent.

    Do speed boosts that don't specify a specific type (that is, land/swim/fly etc.) default to "land only" or to "all?" I'd like to find a way to fly a little faster, but I'm not sure if some of the easier ways to get this help. A DFA's flight speed is based on their land speed, so that makes things easier, but if something applied to all speed types, I could double-dip (for example, the item would increase my land speed, which automatically increases my fly speed, and then the item increases my fly speed as well, so I get double the bang for my buck, so to speak.) Does anyone see any problem with this interpretation... or have any suggestions about good ways to take advantage of it?

    I like the Shield Other suggestion, so I'll probably grab a wand of that. Are the elixirs and draughts that modify my breath weapon really worth it? They seem kind of expensive for single-use items, particularly if they take a standard action to use... are they actually worthwhile?
    In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    Gentlefolk, learn from Zaq's example, and his suffering. Remember, seven out of eleven players who use truenamer lose their ability to taste ice cream.
    Come join the Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground E6 Appetizer Edition! We're currently judging for round 22, all you have to do to be an instant authority is to tell us what you think of the builds on display!

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    Default Re: [3.5] Last touches on a DFA; suggestions welcomed

    There is a feat on Wizards that is basically extra evocation that allows you to take evocations from another class (that is, Warlock). Flee the Scene, Flee the Scene (NWN2) (Haste at will is good support, hard to get by the DM though) and Walk Unseen are things I don't think the DFA already has.

    How do have a hard time fluffing Dragonic Aura? It's "gain an ability of a class with more or less the same flavor as DFA". I'm guessing you changed the fluff of DFA? Wait... are you the guy who suggested making an inspector gadget DFA months back?

    Some book has flyby breath (checking now), it makes breath attacks a free action when you are flying (note the lack of a times/turn limit and your unlimited breath weapon, you can remove the cheese and it is still useful though). Checking source now.

    edit:it's in Dragonlance Campaign Setting (see this thread for info on it)
    Last edited by deuxhero; 2009-12-09 at 06:58 PM.

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    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: [3.5] Last touches on a DFA; suggestions welcomed

    Quote Originally Posted by deuxhero View Post
    There is a feat on Wizards that is basically extra evocation that allows you to take evocations from another class (that is, Warlock). Flee the Scene, Flee the Scene (NWN2) (Haste at will is good support, hard to get by the DM though) and Walk Unseen are things I don't think the DFA already has.

    How do have a hard time fluffing Dragonic Aura? It's "gain an ability of a class with more or less the same flavor as DFA".

    Some book has flyby breath (checking now), it makes breath attacks a free action when you are flying (note the lack of a times/turn limit and your unlimited breath weapon, you can remove the cheese and it is still useful though). Checking source now.
    That feat you mentioned only gives me an invocation TWO levels below what I can already cast... so at this point, a Least invocation. Hardly useful.

    I'm having a hard time fluffing Draconic Aura because, as I said in the OP, I'm refluffing nearly everything in the DFA class. Remember, I hate dragons.

    Flyby Breath seems like it could be risky, but if you can find the source, I'll check it out anyway.
    In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    Gentlefolk, learn from Zaq's example, and his suffering. Remember, seven out of eleven players who use truenamer lose their ability to taste ice cream.
    Come join the Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground E6 Appetizer Edition! We're currently judging for round 22, all you have to do to be an instant authority is to tell us what you think of the builds on display!

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    Default Re: [3.5] Last touches on a DFA; suggestions welcomed

    Found the source, Dragonlance Campaign Setting. Even if you forfeit the cheese (best do so up front) and make it once a turn, it can still be used as part of as an addition to a flyby attack.
    Last edited by deuxhero; 2009-12-10 at 11:14 AM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Last touches on a DFA; suggestions welcomed

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaq View Post
    Am I wrong in interpreting Sleep Breath as utterly useless? I took Weakening Breath with my 12th level slot, even though Weakening is a 5th level effect, because I didn't like any of the 10th level effects other than Thunder. Sleep looks fun (I do like exhausting enemies), but that HD cap just kills it, right?
    Depends what types of enemies are in this campaign. High hit dice types like Elementals and Oozes will make the ability very useless, even if the critters aren't straight-out immune to sleep/exhaustion (like Undead). Lots of humanoid mooks is a different story. But that tends to be a rather rare kind of campaign ...

    Another option to reconsider instead of Weakening is Enduring Breath. Having your normal fire breath do an extra 50% damage is never a bad thing.

    Draconic Aura looks decent, but I'm having a hard time fluffing it.
    Go Go Gadget Aerosol-Spray Performance-Enhancing Drugs?

    Or just go like a Marshal's aura, and fluff it as your character constantly motivating and advising his team.

    speed boosts
    I think the "add the bonus twice" rules interpretation is solid.

    As far as good ways to boost your speed, that's actually surprisingly hard. Best way is to make sure someone always Hastes you. There's also Boots of the Unending Journey, a +10 speed boost for only 4k gp; but it's an enhancement bonus, and alignment-restricted (UMD?), and your DM may not approve of buying relics at the MagikMart.

    (On the topic of Haste, I don't think an Eternal Wand of Haste is a bad investment.)

    Are the elixirs and draughts that modify my breath weapon really worth it? They seem kind of expensive for single-use items, particularly if they take a standard action to use... are they actually worthwhile?
    At Level 12, I'd say it's worthwhile to keep a Substitution (Acid) Draught and/or Ethereal Breath Draught for emergencies. But the ones that cost more than 2500 gp aren't worth it yet. Even Stunning Draught -- while cheap and powerful -- is a tough call due to the standard action required to use it. But it's not a terrible option.

    The metallic dragon draughts don't seem worth it, except for Silver. Having the option to Paralyze a big group of enemies seems like a worthwhile use of two standard actions and 2100 gp. I guess Gold could be worth it too, if you're really into the combo-Strength-draining breath thing (via Weakening and Sleep breath).

    At high levels, like 16+, Admixture and Deafening and Enervating start to become useful with the massive WBL you have going on. Especially when you consider the multiplied effect of Admixture or Deafening when they're used with your Bahamut/Tiamat "nuke" breath.
    Last edited by Draz74; 2009-12-10 at 12:53 PM.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Last touches on a DFA; suggestions welcomed

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaq View Post

    I'm having a hard time fluffing Draconic Aura because, as I said in the OP, I'm refluffing nearly everything in the DFA class. Remember, I hate dragons.
    To fluff the aura, its a) a magic power/toy you picked up, just a standard AoE buff. Like bardic music. Yeah, it doesn't go with "go go gaget", but still your fighting constantly, be pragmatic. b) A "graft" that all your team mates got installed in their heads that lets them link up with your sensors. This would require a slight nerf in that random NPC 33 doesn't get the bonus. c) Tomb of Battle/Marshal type ablity.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Last touches on a DFA; suggestions welcomed

    Alright, so, it's looking like Frost Breath is the way to go for the first breath effect (suggestions on fluffing that would be most appreciated, by the way), but I've still got a few options for the feat. I recently learned that Speed of Thought (if I blow 2.5k on buying a generator, which is easy) will add 20 to my fly speed, which is tempting, given that I have Flyby Attack. I could also take Extra Invocation (Resist Energy), which may or may not be worth it. Thoughts on those? If those don't seem worthwhile, I'll just get the aura that increases spot/listen/initiative, though I'm still not sure how to turn that into a Gadget.

    No one commented on my idea of buying scrolls of Mantle of the Fiery Spirit and Mantle of the Icy Soul to gain immunity to fire and cold. Does that sound worthwhile?

    Does anyone know of any good items to increase movement speed besides the boots of striding and springing? I'd rather not get into custom item territory, but I'd like to move faster.
    In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    Gentlefolk, learn from Zaq's example, and his suffering. Remember, seven out of eleven players who use truenamer lose their ability to taste ice cream.
    Come join the Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground E6 Appetizer Edition! We're currently judging for round 22, all you have to do to be an instant authority is to tell us what you think of the builds on display!

    My compiled Iron Chef stuff!

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