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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    DrowGirl

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    Default Overpowered character.

    Disclaimer: The only tricks in here I came up with myself were using Clarity of True Madness to get out of Tainted Scholar and using Contemplative to qualify for Dweomerkeeper, and I don't assert being first on those, just that I came up with them independently. However, I didn't see the tricks thrown together into a full build anywhere, so decided to make one.

    1: Monk
    2: Human Paragon
    3: Beholder Mage
    4: Human Paragon (Beholder Mage)
    5: Human Paragon (Beholder Mage)
    6: Tainted Scholar (Beholder Mage)
    7: Tainted Scholar (Beholder Mage)
    8: Ur-Priest
    9: Mystic Theurge (Ur-Priest/Beholder Mage)
    10: Mystic Theurge (Ur-Priest/Beholder Mage)
    11: Mystic Theurge (Ur-Priest/Beholder Mage)
    12: Mystic Theurge (Ur-Priest/Beholder Mage)
    13: Ur-Priest
    14: Mystic Theurge (Ur-Priest/Beholder Mage)
    15: Contemplative (Ur-Priest)
    16: Dweomerkeeper (Ur-Priest)
    17: Dweomerkeeper (Ur-Priest)
    18: Dweomerkeeper (Beholder Mage)
    19: Dweomerkeeper (Beholder Mage)
    20: Dweomerkeeper (Beholder Mage)

    Feats of note: Assume Supernatural Ability x2 obtained through taint at level 2 (if ruled to be required to take Beholder Mage levels), Iron Will and Spell Focus obtained before level 8, Alternative Source Spell obtained through taint at level 8, one metamagic feat and one item creation feat obtained before level 15, Martial Study x2 as soon as possible to get Iron Heart Surge.

    Abilities of note: 17 Int, then Wis, then Cha in pointbuy. Human Paragon 3rd and all level-based ability score increases add to Con or Wis.

    Original race: Human.
    Alignment: Lawful Evil.

    Events of note: During 2nd level, she'll amass enough wealth for a Polymorph Any Object into a Beholder, and due to her 17+ Int it will be permanent (getting an Enlarge Person from a random apprentice wizard first). She takes Clarity of True Madness as her 2nd level Tainted Scholar secret, and uses it every time she subsequently gains a level on the Will save for the Tainted Scholar's Level Advancement feature. At some time prior to attaining 15th level, she Greater Planar Binds or Gates in a Pit Fiend and has a chat. She takes Magic as the bonus domain from Contemplative.

    Capabilities of note: 9th level arcane spellcasting from 12th level onward, 9th level divine spellcasting from 16th level onward, tainted spellcasting applying to both from 6th level giving large amounts of spells per day and save DCs (not quantified because taint symptoms can affect ability scores), Beholder Mage's casting mechanic of one spell of each spell level as a free action each round, rebuke undead, supernatural spell 1/day from 19th level (once she gets this, she can dispel the PaO and recast it as a supernatural ability, preventing it from ever being dispelled), Iron Heart Surge (to smash Antimagic Fields unBeholderifying her).

    Sources required:

    Core (Monk, Mystic Theurge, Polymorph Any Object, Beholder)
    Unearthed Arcana (Human Paragon)
    Lords of Madness (Beholder Mage)
    Heroes of Horror (Tainted Scholar)
    Complete Divine (Ur-Priest, Contemplative, Dweomerkeeper)
    Savage Species (Assume Supernatural Ability)
    Dragon #325 (Alternative Source Spell)
    Tome of Battle (Martial Study, Iron Heart Surge)



    Anticipated Questions and Comments:

    Q) Monk???

    A) Firstly, it has a good Fort save, which is essential to getting into Ur-Priest. Secondly, it gives Wis to AC, which is nice given Beholder-shaped armour is rare and expensive. Thirdly, it's lulzy to have a supremely overpowered character like this start as a Monk.

    Q) Human Paragon shouldn't work as a Beholder.

    A) In Unearthed Arcana it states that paragon classes don't go away if you change race (you just can't become a paragon of your new race, and we're not trying to), and it doesn't say you can't gain more levels in them afterward. The first level of Human Paragon is gotten prior to becoming a Beholder. That said, you can substitute the first level of Human Paragon with any other class with Bluff as a class skill and the other two with straight Beholder Mage and it'll still work, just with smaller Hit Dice, one less feat, less skills and no +2 to an attribute.

    Q) Why take Tainted Scholar before Ur-Priest rather than later?

    A) Tainted Spellcasting is obscenely powerful, hence it makes the character more powerful through the midlevels. There's also MAD going on if you don't pick up Tainted Scholar before starting on Ur-Priest.

    Q) Why not use Favored/Primary Contact to enter Tainted Scholar early?

    A) Two reasons. First, that would make entry to Ur-Priest conditional on the use of fractional base save bonuses. Secondly, it's kinda preposterous for a frickin' BEHOLDER to remain part of a mages' guild, and I wanted the build to be reasonable.

    Q) Why 2 levels of Tainted Scholar? You only need one.

    A) Technically true, but Clarity of True Madness means you don't need a natural 20 on each of your Will saves to avoid taking another level in Tainted Scholar, and like I said above, I didn't want something that unlikely.

    Q) You can't qualify for Mystic Theurge with 1 level of Ur-Priest.

    A) Alternative Source Spell lets her cast any arcane spell as a divine spell and vice versa. She can cast up to 5th level arcane spells at this point.

    Q) Contemplative as an Ur-Priest? WTF?

    A) Nothing in there says you have to worship a god or be a cleric, and a Pit Fiend should certainly count as an "enlightened being embodying the highest principles of an alignment". It's fair game.

    Q) Ur-Priests don't have domains, so you can't get into Dweomerkeeper.

    A) Contemplative gives you an extra domain, and Complete Divine spells out that nonclerics still get them.

    Q) My DM won't let me play this! Help!

    A) Sorry, no help there .
    Last edited by magic9mushroom; 2010-02-02 at 08:30 AM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
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    Default Re: Overpowered character.

    I believe you'll need two castings of PAO: One to become an Elan, and the second to become a Beholder Mage.

    Human to Beholder Mage directly has only a factor of +5 (Animal to Animal); it does not meet the other factors' criteria - it therefore won't be permanent, unless I'm missing something.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Overpowered character.

    PaO is not sufficient for entry to beholder mage.

    Or rather, it is, but to gain spellcasting, you need to give up the use of an eyestalk for each level.

    PaO does not grant Su or Ex abilities, as per the inherited restrictions from polymorph, so, to get in beholder mage, you need a way of granting nine ex abilities. This is most certainly not available at level four.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Troll in the Playground
     
    RogueGuy

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    Default Re: Overpowered character.

    Meh, too easy to beat for my 'overpowered' tastes. Dispel Magic. Good Game.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    DrowGirl

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    Default Re: Overpowered character.

    Quote Originally Posted by Optimystik View Post
    I believe you'll need two castings of PAO: One to become an Elan, and the second to become a Beholder Mage.

    Human to Beholder Mage directly has only a factor of +5 (Animal to Animal); it does not meet the other factors' criteria - it therefore won't be permanent, unless I'm missing something.
    I believe I put in there that you get an Enlarge Person first (hence "Same Size +2"), and Int 17 gives "Same or lower Intelligence +2" since a Beholder has 17 Int.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tyndmyr View Post
    PaO is not sufficient for entry to beholder mage.

    Or rather, it is, but to gain spellcasting, you need to give up the use of an eyestalk for each level.

    PaO does not grant Su or Ex abilities, as per the inherited restrictions from polymorph, so, to get in beholder mage, you need a way of granting nine ex abilities. This is most certainly not available at level four.
    I put in there that Wis is your next priority after Int 17, and Assume Supernatural Ability only requires Wis 13 and "ability to assume a new form magically". The Eye Rays are all one (Su) ability.

    Quote Originally Posted by ozgun92 View Post
    Meh, too easy to beat for my 'overpowered' tastes. Dispel Magic. Good Game.
    That's why the Supernatural Spell at the end (if you wanted to be sneaky, you could say a Dweomerkeeper cast the original using Supernatural Spell, and even costing double you could still do it by level 3). You can't dispel a (Su), or even disjunction them. Only AMF will shut them down, and Iron Heart Surge can break that.

  6. - Top - End - #6
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    Default Re: Overpowered character.

    Quote Originally Posted by magic9mushroom View Post
    I put in there that Wis is your next priority after Int 17, and Assume Supernatural Ability only requires Wis 13 and "ability to assume a new form magically". The Eye Rays are all one (Su) ability.
    Su, my bad.

    The eye rays all being one Su ability requires a very specific reading. I believe they are each an Su ability, they are merely listed together for convenience, as they are all Su abilities, and they share attributes. They are, however, seperate abilities and are used seperately for the purposes of beholder mage. This is solvable, yes, but it requires a heavy feat investment.

    Also, consider the impact that a targetting dispel will have on your class...ie erasing it for good. This is a rather severe problem, that doesn't become fixed until 19. You can also be disqualified from the prestige class in other ways, such as someone PaOing you.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    DrowGirl

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    Default Re: Overpowered character.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tyndmyr View Post
    Su, my bad.

    The eye rays all being one Su ability requires a very specific reading. I believe they are each an Su ability, they are merely listed together for convenience, as they are all Su abilities, and they share attributes. They are, however, seperate abilities and are used seperately for the purposes of beholder mage. This is solvable, yes, but it requires a heavy feat investment.
    The listing says Eye Rays (Su). They are connected very closely (can't aim more than 3 into a 90 degree arc and all that). Hence it's normal to assume it's one ability with a lot of parts. It's also questionable whether you actually need the eye rays for Beholder Mage casting in the first place, or whether you can use the nonfunctional eyestalks you already possess due to PaO.

    So I'd say it should be fine.

    Also, consider the impact that a targetting dispel will have on your class...ie erasing it for good. This is a rather severe problem, that doesn't become fixed until 19. You can also be disqualified from the prestige class in other ways, such as someone PaOing you.
    This is a problem, yes. As I said earlier, you could get a Dweomerkeeper to perform the original PaO. Or you could invest in some Rings of Counterspells (and later, Greater Counterspells) (remember, you can wear more rings than usual as a Beholder). Or you could grab Leadership and get a Truenamer cohort (yes, Truenamer) with Spell Rebirth.

    If someone else is PaOing you, you have problems no matter what, since PaOing someone into a pebble will stop them casting anyway. This character can deal with it better than most due to her Iron Heart Surge.



    EDIT:

    Oh, and incidentally, I just came up with an even more ridiculous one at level 20, though it's less powerful along the way and doesn't get as many extra goodies.

    1: Ardent
    2: Ardent
    3: Beholder Mage
    4: Ardent
    5: Cerebremancer
    6: Tainted Scholar
    7: Tainted Scholar
    8: Cerebremancer
    9: Cerebremancer
    10: Cerebremancer
    11: Ur-Priest
    12: Mystic Theurge
    13: Mystic Theurge
    14: Psychic Theurge
    15: Psychic Theurge
    16: Psychic Theurge
    17: Psychic Theurge
    18: Psychic Theurge
    19: Psychic Theurge
    20: Subverted Psion

    At level 20, you're casting as a 9th level Beholder Mage (for 9th level Sor/Wiz spells), a 9th level Ur-Priest (for 9th level Cleric spells), and manifesting as a 14th level Ardent (with Practiced Manifester, this allows 9th level powers even without being an illumian). Furthermore, you have Tainted Spellcasting, Tainted Power, and Taint Immunity, meaning that you Pwn (TM).

    You need either Versatile Spellcaster to early-entry Cerebremancer or Favored/Primary Contact to early-entry Tainted Scholar. You also need Alternative Source Spell to early-entry Mystic Theurge, as well as the prereq feats for Ur-Priest, Subverted Psion and possibly Beholder Mage.
    Last edited by magic9mushroom; 2010-02-02 at 02:57 PM.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Overpowered character.

    An idea for the original version in the first post: perhaps move the contemplative and dweomerkeeper levels up sooner, ultimately delaying the highest level spells, yes, but making it about 4 levels sooner that you can use supernatural spell on PaO, which if you have to worry about dispelling before then, is still quite good, methinks.

    Another thing, a highly debatable thing, but still worth mentioning, is swapping a dweomerkeeper level (since supernatural spell is at 4th level, not 5th) for a level of Prestige Paladin, as Paladin of Tyranny, or Ur-Priest adaptation, and taking Sword of the Arcane order to get wizard spells on the Ur side as well as beholder mage side. I disclaim, however, that this is rather cheesy, and also debatable about whether it works, but just a thought.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Draz74's Avatar

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    Default Re: Overpowered character.

    This thread needs more Illithid Savant.
    You can call me Draz.
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    Also of note:

    I have a number of ongoing projects that I manically jump between to spend my free time ... so don't be surprised when I post a lot about something for a few days, then burn out and abandon it.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Wings of Peace's Avatar

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    Default Re: Overpowered character.

    Quote Originally Posted by magic9mushroom View Post
    This is a problem, yes.

    I'm AFB so I'll check on this when I get home since this is completely off of mental memory. But as I recall Ur-Priest only requires that you not be of a divine spell casting class that worships a deity. In the crunch I do not recall a rule that says you cannot still -worship- a deity (That part is in the flavor as I recall). Combo that with the rule in Dragon Magic that says if two classes share the same spell list (I forget the page number) then they are interchangeable for prequisites and you could qualify for Initiate of Mystra assuming it has no alignment or other pre-reqs I'm forgetting. My logic here being Cleric and Ur-Priest share the same spell list. Check my work or wait for me to get home to check on that theory though. But if it works then you can just AMF yourself to defend against all but the strongest dispelling magics.
    Doc Roc: We're going to eat ourselves.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Colossus in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Overpowered character.

    No, Ur-Priest allows divine casters that worship deities to enter it, as long as they give up their casting.
    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    Greater
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    comparative adjective
    1. Describing basically the exact same monster but with twice the RHD.
    Quote Originally Posted by Artanis View Post
    I'm going to be honest, "the Welsh became a Great Power and conquered Germany" is almost exactly the opposite of the explanation I was expecting

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    Default Re: Overpowered character.

    Quote Originally Posted by magic9mushroom View Post
    The listing says Eye Rays (Su). They are connected very closely (can't aim more than 3 into a 90 degree arc and all that). Hence it's normal to assume it's one ability with a lot of parts. It's also questionable whether you actually need the eye rays for Beholder Mage casting in the first place, or whether you can use the nonfunctional eyestalks you already possess due to PaO.

    So I'd say it should be fine.
    *breaks out lords of madness*

    It says "whenever a beholder mage gains the ability to cast a new level of spells, it must sacrifice the use of its eye rays from one of its ten small eyestalks. From then on, that eyestalk casts spells of that level, and is referred to as a spell-stalk"

    If you don't have the use of eye rays, you can't very well sacrifice that use. Thus, you must have them to gain spellcasting levels. You can enter the class without them, though...but thats of limited use.

    The stalks act entirely separately. Yes, they have a limit on how many can be aimed in each direction at once, but they are traded out for spellstalks individually, are affected individually by magic items purchased for them(see, the lenses), have different abilities for each, etc.

    They also are routinely referred to in the plural, such as "supernatural effects" when referred to in the biological section of LoM, and "Each of a beholder's X eye rays resembles a spell cast as a Xth level caster" in the beginning of the Su description for each MM beholder/beholderkin. The logical assumption is that they were grouped together to avoid listing ten different Su abilities for each beholderkin, but they are treated as separate.

    You also have to put out your "central antimagic eye". The antimagic cone is also an Su ability, and thus, it isn't an antimagic eye by default from PaO.

    This is a problem, yes. As I said earlier, you could get a Dweomerkeeper to perform the original PaO. Or you could invest in some Rings of Counterspells (and later, Greater Counterspells) (remember, you can wear more rings than usual as a Beholder). Or you could grab Leadership and get a Truenamer cohort (yes, Truenamer) with Spell Rebirth.
    Three rings, yes.

    Trying to have a beholder with leadership for non-beholders blatantly contradicts statements that True Beholders NEVER seek friendships with other creatures, etc. While yes, it's possible that this could be altered within a campaign world, the Forgotten Realms setting info regarding Beholders in LoM does absolutely nothing to modify this, and if anything, reinforces it.

    As for Dweomerkeeper, leaving aside the problematic assumption that a high level one will be available and willing to turn you into a beholder, something I find questionable, they can only do that once per day. I assume the usual cost assumptions for purchasing spellcasting is out the window for this...since it's not in any way usual.

    Edited due to finding the web enhancement at last.
    Last edited by Tyndmyr; 2010-02-02 at 09:01 PM.

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    Default Re: Overpowered character.

    About your leadership objection: First, you are trying to use flavor info to impose mechanical restrictions where none exist. Even then, an important distinction to remember is that the character in question is not a born beholder, but rather a human transformed permanently into a beholder, therefore it is not that much of a stretch to conclude that such a beholder would still have a much different mindset from one who was born a beholder.

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    Default Re: Overpowered character.

    Quote Originally Posted by masterjoda99 View Post
    About your leadership objection: First, you are trying to use flavor info to impose mechanical restrictions where none exist. Even then, an important distinction to remember is that the character in question is not a born beholder, but rather a human transformed permanently into a beholder, therefore it is not that much of a stretch to conclude that such a beholder would still have a much different mindset from one who was born a beholder.
    It's not really a flavor restriction any more than alignment restrictions are flavor. Usually, probably...those sorts of things you can work with. Incidentally, his character must be evil(see Ur-priest), so he's already gone down a rather interesting path. Even if he takes leadership, it's difficult to see how he could not take some nasty negatives. The only benefit he could reasonably qualify for is "Special power", which is only a +1. So, he couldn't get a decently leveled cohort for quite some time anyhow.

    Plus, it's not even RAW that you get to build your own cohort. So, this, much like having a dweomerkeeper around willing to happily change you permanently into an evil, ungodly powerful aberration for a pittance rely heavily on a DM that is willing to bend the campaign to make your build work. This is like including non-standard wishes in a build. Yeah...sure, it could work....but it's not RAW.

    You also have to keep in mind that this is a very feat intensive build, and I don't know how he's going to fit in leadership.

  15. - Top - End - #15
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    Default Re: Overpowered character.

    Well, I didn't actually claim that you could build your own cohort by RAW or that you wouldn't be affected by the factors for determining leadership score. There is, however, a difference between not getting as strong a cohort as possible due to the tables accompanying leadership, and not getting a cohort at all due to some line describing typical beholder habits in lords of madness. From my point of view, your previous post implied that you were arguing the latter, and if that was not your intention, then I apologize.

    As for needing room for the feat, getting bonus feats through taint and then Psychic Reformation or something similar is not much of a stretch, considering the two levels of tainted scholar in there.

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    DruidGirl

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    Default Re: Overpowered character.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tyndmyr View Post
    Plus, it's not even RAW that you get to build your own cohort. So, this, much like having a dweomerkeeper around willing to happily change you permanently into an evil, ungodly powerful aberration for a pittance rely heavily on a DM that is willing to bend the campaign to make your build work. This is like including non-standard wishes in a build. Yeah...sure, it could work....but it's not RAW.
    Indeed. But so what? You're basically saying that if your DM doesn't like it, it's not going to work. But this is true for ANY build. You posture the statement as if you're saying its not that powerful, because some DMs won't like it. Consider the number of people who will see this build. Consider also, of those people, how many will be interested it, mechanically? After that, how many of those people will deign to actually use it? Of those people, how many will have a DM that will likely ban it vs. the percentage of those people who have a DM that will allow or only limit it.

    Saying "this build is not RAW" is like saying "this thought excercise fails to present the Acme Seal of Approval". What exactly are you getting at?

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    Default Re: Overpowered character.

    Would you not gain a pile of RHD turning into a beholder?
    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    Ring of Evasion means never playing a monk with monk levels again. There is just no reason to dip that stuff. I know we're all about using every part of the buffalo here, but can we just admit that it's inedible?

  18. - Top - End - #18

    Default Re: Overpowered character.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mongoose87 View Post
    Would you not gain a pile of RHD turning into a beholder?
    That would be so much fun!

    I use wildshape to turn into a bear, and not only gain stats and natural weapons, but double my HP and BAB too!

    In short, really bad idea.

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    Default Re: Overpowered character.

    Quote Originally Posted by sofawall View Post
    That would be so much fun!

    I use wildshape to turn into a bear, and not only gain stats and natural weapons, but double my HP and BAB too!

    In short, really bad idea.
    Well, I meant it would keep you from taking a bunch of those class levels.
    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    Ring of Evasion means never playing a monk with monk levels again. There is just no reason to dip that stuff. I know we're all about using every part of the buffalo here, but can we just admit that it's inedible?

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    Default Re: Overpowered character.

    A build that uses Ur-Priest, Beholder Mage, PAO and Tainted Scholar along with questionable RAW readings? This is like a black hole of cheese. I do like the Monk and Mystic Theurge in there, those are a nice touch.
    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    Greater
    \ˈgrā-tər \
    comparative adjective
    1. Describing basically the exact same monster but with twice the RHD.
    Quote Originally Posted by Artanis View Post
    I'm going to be honest, "the Welsh became a Great Power and conquered Germany" is almost exactly the opposite of the explanation I was expecting

  21. - Top - End - #21
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    Default Re: Overpowered character.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mongoose87 View Post
    Well, I meant it would keep you from taking a bunch of those class levels.
    But either the effect ends when the spell ends, thereby restoring you to your previous level, or they're permanent, in which case it's ridiculously easy to increase your AB/HP/Saves/etc using such abilities.
    He fears his fate too much, and his reward is small, who will not put it to the touch, to win or lose it all.
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    Default Re: Overpowered character.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mongoose87 View Post
    Well, I meant it would keep you from taking a bunch of those class levels.
    Not really. One, there exist ways to get rid of racial hit dice, and two, once you apply it to PaO, there is no reason not to apply it to the other polymorph spells. Once you do that, either the ht dice last as long as the spell does (making it a free huge boost), they are permanent and stacking (hoo boy, that's balanced...), or permanent and non-stacking (meaning nobody casts Polymorph, ever).

    All in all, not a good idea.

    EDIT: Ninja'd. phooey.
    Last edited by sofawall; 2010-02-02 at 11:51 PM.

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    DrowGirl

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    Default Re: Overpowered character.

    Quote Originally Posted by masterjoda99 View Post
    An idea for the original version in the first post: perhaps move the contemplative and dweomerkeeper levels up sooner, ultimately delaying the highest level spells, yes, but making it about 4 levels sooner that you can use supernatural spell on PaO, which if you have to worry about dispelling before then, is still quite good, methinks.
    I was thinking about that. You could certainly get it by 17 without sacrificing any spell access by going contemplative/dweomerkeeper before getting the 2nd level of ur-priest or the last level of mystic theurge.

    Another thing, a highly debatable thing, but still worth mentioning, is swapping a dweomerkeeper level (since supernatural spell is at 4th level, not 5th) for a level of Prestige Paladin, as Paladin of Tyranny, or Ur-Priest adaptation, and taking Sword of the Arcane order to get wizard spells on the Ur side as well as beholder mage side. I disclaim, however, that this is rather cheesy, and also debatable about whether it works, but just a thought.
    Elaborate?

    Quote Originally Posted by Draz74 View Post
    This thread needs more Illithid Savant.
    Believe me, I was thinking about it, but I can't see any way to be a Beholder and an Illithid simultaneously.

    There's also the fact that as a PC Illithid Savant, your power level is entirely dependent on the monsters you fight. It's like the whole "yes, you COULD command a Pseudonatural Paragon Ghostly Visage at level 2" schtick.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wings of Peace View Post
    I'm AFB so I'll check on this when I get home since this is completely off of mental memory. But as I recall Ur-Priest only requires that you not be of a divine spell casting class that worships a deity. In the crunch I do not recall a rule that says you cannot still -worship- a deity (That part is in the flavor as I recall). Combo that with the rule in Dragon Magic that says if two classes share the same spell list (I forget the page number) then they are interchangeable for prequisites and you could qualify for Initiate of Mystra assuming it has no alignment or other pre-reqs I'm forgetting. My logic here being Cleric and Ur-Priest share the same spell list. Check my work or wait for me to get home to check on that theory though. But if it works then you can just AMF yourself to defend against all but the strongest dispelling magics.
    Problem is that while IoM allows you to *cast* in an AMF, PaO would still be suppressed and you'd lose your Beholder Mage and Mystic Theurge class features. At least that's how I read it (we all know how debated AMF is).

    Also, an Ur-Priest that worships Mystra, a NG deity, seems a little sus.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tyndmyr View Post
    *breaks out lords of madness*

    It says "whenever a beholder mage gains the ability to cast a new level of spells, it must sacrifice the use of its eye rays from one of its ten small eyestalks. From then on, that eyestalk casts spells of that level, and is referred to as a spell-stalk"

    If you don't have the use of eye rays, you can't very well sacrifice that use. Thus, you must have them to gain spellcasting levels. You can enter the class without them, though...but thats of limited use.
    It's ambiguous. Obviously, the class was never intended to be entered through PaO. Different people have different interpretations. But note that I did note it in the build.

    The stalks act entirely separately. Yes, they have a limit on how many can be aimed in each direction at once, but they are traded out for spellstalks individually, are affected individually by magic items purchased for them(see, the lenses), have different abilities for each, etc.

    They also are routinely referred to in the plural, such as "supernatural effects" when referred to in the biological section of LoM, and "Each of a beholder's X eye rays resembles a spell cast as a Xth level caster" in the beginning of the Su description for each MM beholder/beholderkin. The logical assumption is that they were grouped together to avoid listing ten different Su abilities for each beholderkin, but they are treated as separate.
    "Special attacks: Eye rays". "Eye Rays (Su)". They're lumped together, so they're one ability. If you want to go by common sense, I can point out that the anatomical mechanism (as detailed in Lords of Madness) that lets a beholder shoot eye rays is common among all of them. You might as well say that a dragon's 2 claws are separate abilities.

    You also have to put out your "central antimagic eye". The antimagic cone is also an Su ability, and thus, it isn't an antimagic eye by default from PaO.
    Now this is a complete non-starter. Firstly, it's still the antimagic eye anatomically (that is, the eye associated with antimagic), and the reason they have to put it out is presumably because it interferes with their spellcasting (so having it nonfunctional would actually be a plus). Secondly, that's why I put "Assume Supernatural Ability x2" in there. Once for the eye rays, and once for the antimagic eye. If you're ruled to need it.

    Three rings, yes.

    Trying to have a beholder with leadership for non-beholders blatantly contradicts statements that True Beholders NEVER seek friendships with other creatures, etc. While yes, it's possible that this could be altered within a campaign world, the Forgotten Realms setting info regarding Beholders in LoM does absolutely nothing to modify this, and if anything, reinforces it.
    Did you miss the section on "Sane Beholders" in Lords of Madness? It even details a cult started by a sane beholder. They're certainly capable of leadership.

    As for Dweomerkeeper, leaving aside the problematic assumption that a high level one will be available and willing to turn you into a beholder, something I find questionable, they can only do that once per day. I assume the usual cost assumptions for purchasing spellcasting is out the window for this...since it's not in any way usual.
    The description of Sigil says that you can find NPCs with any combination of classes. A Wiz5/Clr1/Dweomerkeeper 10 will do nicely.

    And I already noted that even if they charged double, you can still do it by level 3 (and if you want to get into class level retraining, you can just become a Dweomerkeeper straight off and PaO yourself, followed by massive retraining).

    Quote Originally Posted by Tyndmyr View Post
    It's not really a flavor restriction any more than alignment restrictions are flavor. Usually, probably...those sorts of things you can work with. Incidentally, his character must be evil(see Ur-priest), so he's already gone down a rather interesting path. Even if he takes leadership, it's difficult to see how he could not take some nasty negatives. The only benefit he could reasonably qualify for is "Special power", which is only a +1. So, he couldn't get a decently leveled cohort for quite some time anyhow.
    Evil people aren't necessarily nasty to their minions. You can be evil and still have friends. Evil people ARE necessarily nasty to people in general, but your followers only care how you treat them.

    Plus, it's not even RAW that you get to build your own cohort. So, this, much like having a dweomerkeeper around willing to happily change you permanently into an evil, ungodly powerful aberration for a pittance rely heavily on a DM that is willing to bend the campaign to make your build work. This is like including non-standard wishes in a build. Yeah...sure, it could work....but it's not RAW.
    It is RAW that you can attempt to recruit a cohort of a particular class. Presumably some wacky build would return 404, but a straight Truenamer should be no problem.

    You also have to keep in mind that this is a very feat intensive build, and I don't know how he's going to fit in leadership.
    Feats from Taint help (going to severe corruption and depravity gets you 4 of them), and there's also a free feat from Human Paragon. You could also chaos shuffle the Monk feat. It's not too feat-starved.

    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    A build that uses Ur-Priest, Beholder Mage, PAO and Tainted Scholar along with questionable RAW readings? This is like a black hole of cheese. I do like the Monk and Mystic Theurge in there, those are a nice touch.
    The only RAW reading that's at all questionable is the Eye Rays being one ability as far as I can see.

    But yes. I do my best .
    Last edited by magic9mushroom; 2010-02-03 at 12:23 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hallavast View Post
    Indeed. But so what? You're basically saying that if your DM doesn't like it, it's not going to work. But this is true for ANY build. You posture the statement as if you're saying its not that powerful, because some DMs won't like it. Consider the number of people who will see this build. Consider also, of those people, how many will be interested it, mechanically? After that, how many of those people will deign to actually use it? Of those people, how many will have a DM that will likely ban it vs. the percentage of those people who have a DM that will allow or only limit it.

    Saying "this build is not RAW" is like saying "this thought excercise fails to present the Acme Seal of Approval". What exactly are you getting at?
    Well, if it's not a usable build, and it's not RAW legal, then isn't the entire thing pointless? At least, until it's fixed?

    The whole point of optimization is to get the best possible build within the rules. So far as the DM is concerned, it's typically assumed that the DM isn't restricting RAW...but that he isn't granting you things willy nilly either. Thus, wishes are calculated via the guaranteed results, not off the maximum possible results, because that way lies lunacy.



    But yes, in answer to the question, beholders do have 12-33 hit die, and not being intended as a player race, no level adjust. Any method of becoming a beholder that involves keeping the racial hit die is obviously not going to be practical.

    Side note on shape changing...the traditional way to make PaO permanent is to simply cast it twice. After all, if you're shape changing to the exact same kind of creature you are, you have no difficulty getting enough bonuses to hit permanent duration. I presume the idea behind enlarge person is to try to hit enough bonuses to do the same while cutting down the bill for casting services. It only works if you assume that abberations and humans are in the same kingdom. Granted, the listed examples are animal, vegetable and mineral, but it's pretty uncertain what kingdom abberations would actually fall in by RAW. Casting twice is a way of bypassing this uncertainty.


    MasterJoda, I should clarify. It's still possible to take leadership, I guess...just not in a useful fashion. His suggestion was that he could pick up a truenamer. There's really no guarantee that a beholder would be able to pick up a truenamer companion, and every indicator would be that it's incredibly unlikely. Things like aloofness and cruelty are listed as negative modifiers in the rules for leadership, so while those traits are normally relegated to fluff, they become rules-relevant, and when your race ALWAYS has them, it's a problem. I suppose in theory, in very particular situations, you could solve some of these problems by taking a beholder as a cohort, but the RHD is such an obstacle that unless you assume the cohort is also following this build(leading to an interesting chain of assumptions), you'll never get anything useful from him.

    At a minimum, you need a feat for the central eye, and one for the eye stalks. If you go with the assumption that each stalk is indeed independent, you need 11 feats to enter by this route.

    Ur-priest also requires three feats, as well as other fun stuff.

    Also, you need two levels of Ur-priest to enter Mystic Theurge unless you make use of early entry tricks. Those tricks require a minimum of one additional feat.

    So, you're burning at least six feats on prereqs in the early levels. Two flaws, human, 1st level, 3rd level, human paragon feat, presumably. Doable, but expensive.

    Now, we run into the heavy duty problems. For example, taking human paragon to advance beholder mage. You have to be a human to advance human paragon, and you cannot advance beholder mage unless you are a beholder. Due to the unique requirements for spell levels, this can't be bypassed even through advancing by another class. These two just do not work together whatsoever.

    Not having heroes of horror, I can't speak to the requirements for tainted scholar, but if it takes feats, you suddenly have severe feat shortage issues in addition to the beholder/human problem.

    Contemplative with Urpriest is interesting, but I don't actually see any problems there. Presumably the requisite contact with a solar or similar can be arranged by purchasing a casting of gate.

    Dweomerkeeper adds two feats to the prereq list. This is actually doable, thanks to how late it's taken, but this pretty much precludes using feats to try to fix other build problems. In particular, I don't see how he can get iron heart surge.

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    Default Re: Overpowered character.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tyndmyr View Post
    snip
    I addressed most of your concerns in the post directly above. Those that I didn't I'll just note now.

    - Aberrations are animals according to LoM, just really weird ones, so you do get the +5.

    - Ur-priest only requires Iron Will and Spell Focus (Evil) as far as I can see.

    - Tainted Scholar's entry requirements are ludicrously easy. Concentration 8 ranks, Know (arcana) 4 ranks, can cast 1st level arcane spells, moderate or greater depravity.

    - The taint mechanics in Heroes of Horror give you free feats, which I'm using. If you didn't know about those, I can see why you'd think it's feat-starved. As written, I don't think you even need flaws.

    - You don't need to buy the gate to get a Pit Fiend, since you can already cast 9th level arcane spells by this point. You could do a Greater Planar Binding, too.

    Now, we run into the heavy duty problems. For example, taking human paragon to advance beholder mage. You have to be a human to advance human paragon, and you cannot advance beholder mage unless you are a beholder. Due to the unique requirements for spell levels, this can't be bypassed even through advancing by another class. These two just do not work together whatsoever.
    I addressed this in my "anticipated questions" section.

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    Quote Originally Posted by magic9mushroom View Post
    Also, an Ur-Priest that worships Mystra, a NG deity, seems a little sus.
    Well, you need a diety with the Magic domain for it to work for Dweomerkeeper. And I guess you're within the requisite steps to pull it off. I believe this would actually work. And on the bright side, Mystra's dead, so that has to cut down on the smiting.

    Note: Try not to think about how dead gods grant powers. It makes the head hurt.

    It's ambiguous. Obviously, the class was never intended to be entered through PaO. Different people have different interpretations. But note that I did note it in the build.
    Agreed. It was obviously intended as an NPC class only.

    However, I really don't think this aspect is ambiguous. It says that after the sacrificing of the eye stalk power, you then get the spell ability. This, together with the explanation of how this is happening, strongly indicates that you must have the original eye stalk in working condition.

    "Special attacks: Eye rays". "Eye Rays (Su)". They're lumped together, so they're one ability. If you want to go by common sense, I can point out that the anatomical mechanism (as detailed in Lords of Madness) that lets a beholder shoot eye rays is common among all of them. You might as well say that a dragon's 2 claws are separate abilities.
    It's amazing how many monsters have their full attack listed as Claw/Claw/Bite, but only have one entry for the claw attack. Or, more commonly, they're listed as two claws. However, the listing only occurs once, there is never an entry for each claw.

    Obviously, the animal has two claws, with which it can make natural attacks. They're only listed once because the claws are exactly the same.

    Now this is a complete non-starter. Firstly, it's still the antimagic eye anatomically (that is, the eye associated with antimagic), and the reason they have to put it out is presumably because it interferes with their spellcasting (so having it nonfunctional would actually be a plus). Secondly, that's why I put "Assume Supernatural Ability x2" in there. Once for the eye rays, and once for the antimagic eye. If you're ruled to need it.
    If you blow the extra feat on the eye, you're good. Presuming you can take assume supernatural ability more than once.

    The antimagic eye, like the eyestalks, is explicitly referenced as powering casting abilities. It acts as the arcane focus, and powers the spell resistance later. Thus, even the fluff doesn't back up the need to put it out for spellcasting.

    I also reference elder orbs, which have both an antimagic eye and spellcasting. They merely need to close the eye to cast, not put it out. Thus, it's clear that this is not the case.

    Raw wise, if you didn't stab out your antimagic eye, you don't get in the class. If it was never an antimagic eye...it's just an eye, and does not fulfill the requirements.

    Did you miss the section on "Sane Beholders" in Lords of Madness? It even details a cult started by a sane beholder. They're certainly capable of leadership.
    Read that section, and read how they treat their followers. Then, read the section on leadership in the SRD. Notice how they match up with all those negative modifiers exactly.

    The description of Sigil says that you can find NPCs with any combination of classes. A Wiz5/Clr1/Dweomerkeeper 10 will do nicely.
    The ability to find a wizard with any combination of classes(presuming your level 2 self is in Sigil) does not mean you can obtain any service at DMG prices. Why? DMG prices have listed assumptions for what class is casting them. Getting a dweomerkeeper to blow his limited Su casting on you is thus, not automatically the same price as getting the same spell cast by a generic wizard. In fact, so far as Im aware, there is no listed RAW price for this service.

    Plus, the existence of someone does not guarantee their willingness to cast whatever you like.

    And I already noted that even if they charged double, you can still do it by level 3 (and if you want to get into class level retraining, you can just become a Dweomerkeeper straight off and PaO yourself, followed by massive retraining).
    Retraining doesn't work that way. At least, not the phb2 retraining. You can't use later events to fulfill prereqs for earlier ones. It has to be a retrain that you could have done back at that time.

    Evil people aren't necessarily nasty to their minions. You can be evil and still have friends. Evil people ARE necessarily nasty to people in general, but your followers only care how you treat them.
    It's not just the evil bit, which admittedly, makes having a reputation for fairness and generosity more difficult....still possible, mind you...some evil guys manage good PR. This is a bit more difficult when you're a beholder.

    The big thing is that beholders ALWAYS are hostile to other races. Even in the rare instances when sane beholders(already rare) have cult followings, they manage these cults through coercion and extensive use of enchantments. Yes, you can get followers in this way, but this, together with the use of charisma as your tertiary stat, ensures nasty negative modifiers to leadership.

    It is RAW that you can attempt to recruit a cohort of a particular class. Presumably some wacky build would return 404, but a straight Truenamer should be no problem.
    There is a huge gap between "can try" and being able to do so. You can also simply try to wish for a pet truenamer, but it's no more guaranteed to happen.

    Feats from Taint help (going to severe corruption and depravity gets you 4 of them), and there's also a free feat from Human Paragon. You could also chaos shuffle the Monk feat. It's not too feat-starved.
    Four taint feats, how? I was under the impression that only moderate and severe taints granted feats, one each. Going beyond that results in death or NPCdom via insanity.

    As for the will save...there's always the possibility of rolling a 1. If you do, you end up taking another level of tainted scholar at an awkward time.

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    Default Re: Overpowered character.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tyndmyr View Post
    Well, if it's not a usable build, and it's not RAW legal, then isn't the entire thing pointless?
    No. But at any rate, you were not claiming it was an usuable build. That would be absurd.
    The whole point of optimization is to get the best possible build within the rules. So far as the DM is concerned, it's typically assumed that the DM isn't restricting RAW...but that he isn't granting you things willy nilly either. Thus, wishes are calculated via the guaranteed results, not off the maximum possible results, because that way lies lunacy.
    The Optimization you refer to is a thought excercise. The DM is hypothetical in such an excercise and, in that case, the "best" build is one that follows the rules as written.

    However, this practice is rarely practical when considering a build for actual gameplay, because so many things about DM rulings, setting restrictions/boons, and party cohesion are unknowable. So, when considering a build thus, it should be acceptable to include little caveats like cohort preferences and such, even though they are not guarranteed. This is at the very least more acceptable than proclaiming a build option "RaW Illegal" and disregarding it.

    The difference lies in purpose: are you Opping in order to show off your 1337 thought excercising skillz on teh internetz, or are you trying to build a powerful template for people to apply to their games? Facets concerning RaW are a little more flexible in the latter purpose.

    Thus, I find it silly that you would throw all "RAW illegal" ideas out the window on principle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by magic9mushroom View Post
    I addressed this in my "anticipated questions" section.
    You can't take more levels in PrCs if you no longer meet the qualifications. You also lose some benefits of those PrCs. Spellcasting, for example.

    I see no explicit exception for racial classes in regard to further advancement. They get to keep their current levels, which is nice, but there is nothing that allows them to continue advancing even when they are no longer of that race.

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    Default Re: Overpowered character.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hallavast View Post
    No. But at any rate, you were not claiming it was an usuable build. That would be absurd.
    The Optimization you refer to is a thought excercise. The DM is hypothetical in such an excercise and, in that case, the "best" build is one that follows the rules as written.
    This would be TO. And thus, falls under the "needs to be RAW legal" clause.

    However, this practice is rarely practical when considering a build for actual gameplay, because so many things about DM rulings, setting restrictions/boons, and party cohesion are unknowable. So, when considering a build thus, it should be acceptable to include little caveats like cohort preferences and such, even though they are not guarranteed. This is at the very least more acceptable than proclaiming a build option "RaW Illegal" and disregarding it.

    The difference lies in purpose: are you Opping in order to show off your 1337 thought excercising skillz on teh internetz, or are you trying to build a powerful template for people to apply to their games? Facets concerning RaW are a little more flexible in the latter purpose.

    Thus, I find it silly that you would throw all "RAW illegal" ideas out the window on principle.
    Look, if it's not RAW legal, it's kinda pointless as TO.

    If it's not playable, it's kinda pointless as PO.

    If it's not either, it's pretty much useless.

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    Default Re: Overpowered character.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tyndmyr View Post
    This would be TO.
    Not necessarily.

    Look, if it's not RAW legal, it's kinda pointless as TO.
    Agreed.

    If it's not playable, it's kinda pointless as PO.
    You pose this as a premise. It is not. You are determining whether a build is playable as per RAW. Such is not the case. It is possible, to use the example above, to be granted a sufficient cohort for that purpose. This isn't RAW, but it isn't "unplayable".

    In other words, "RAW legal" and "playable" are distinct concepts. One does not follow the other by necessity.

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