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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Epic Voluntary Poverty

    So my wife has this Druid with VOP. So far (Level 10) it is working out just fine. Party is semi-optimized and she is toward the top of the power list. Pretty much stay in animal form all day. I just found out that the DM would like to go EPIC and I was previewing the VOP options. However there aren't any EPIC VOP rules that I could find, no errata, no nothing.

    So I did a basic extension of VOP (following EPIC class feature rules, sorta) as follows:

    21st: AC Bonus +11, Resistance +4
    22nd: Bonus exalted feat
    23rd: Exalted Strike +6, Ability Score Enhancement +10/+8/+6/+4/+2, Damage Reduction 15/evil
    24th: AC Bonus +12, Bonus exalted feat, Deflection +4, Natural Armor +3, Energy Resistance 20
    25th: Resistance +5
    26th: Bonus exalted feat, Exalted Strike +7
    27th: AC Bonus +13, Ability Score Enhancement +12/+10/+8/+6/+4/+2, Damage Reduction 20/evil/epic
    28th: Bonus exalted feat , Energy Resistance 25
    29th: Resistance +6
    30th: AC Bonus +14, Bonus exalted feat, Exalted Strike +8, Deflection +5

    My concern is that she will slowly drop in power under the above conditions. First off there are only so many Exalted Feats that she can take. She's already having difficulty finding useful ones. Second abilities like FOM or Sustance aren't repeatable, thus not included in the above list.

    I've seen many posts stating how much they dislike VOP and that you can do just as well or better with gold. I don't disagree, however it seems (so far) to work out well enough for a Druid, and she likes the theme.

    However she will be disappointed if her power position in the party lowers dramatically as we push past lvl 20.

    Two Questions:
    1. Is my concern about lagging behind the party after level 20 (based on above table) valid? Will it be just a little bit of a lag, or will she become a drag on the party?
    2. Are there any simple Exlated VOP house rules? I don't want to change the normal rules. Or did I overlook a WoTC errata somewhere?
    Last edited by aeauseth; 2010-09-10 at 05:40 PM.

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    Default Re: Epic Voluntary Poverty

    1) I'm not really familiar with Epic WBL, so can't really comment.
    2) I'm sure someone has homebrewed it before, but to my knowledge there's nothing official.

    As to the lack of Exalted feats, the simple solution is to just make them Epic (or regular) bonus feats. Ditto for the stuff where there's no obvious scaling - put in bonus feats, and you're set.
    Of course, by the time I finish this post, it will already be obsolete. C'est la vie.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    RangerGuy

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    Default Re: Epic Voluntary Poverty

    Here's the semi-official VoP:

    http://community.wizards.com/go/thre...30250/?pg=last

    It was posted on the WotC boards by an admin, for what its worth.

    I imagine any VoP is going to lag behind wealth a bit, though with Anti-magic and disjunction probably being more common at epic levels, it could save the day.

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    Default Re: Epic Voluntary Poverty

    Writing (or converting) some Epic Exalted feats would make that problem a lot less serious. I'm not too familiar with epic feats right now, so i'll go have a look through the Epic Level Handbook...

    Right, so we've got... Extended Life Span. Call it 'Vow of Longevity' or something, it's now an Exalted feat as well. Perfect Health becomes 'Blessing of the Higher Realms' or something setting specific and exalted-sounding. You get the idea. To be honest, at epic levels, characters (sorry, spellcasters) become so horribly powerful anyway that balance is much harder to judge correctly anyway.

    Continuing through the ELH, there's some excellent wildshape epic feats that if you converted to exalted, i'm sure she'd love :P
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    Default Re: Epic Voluntary Poverty

    Wouldn't flight be nice? I mean, as it is one of many reasons that VoP is considered lame pre-Epic, wouldn't the lack of flight be just as bad/worse post-Epic?
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    Default Re: Epic Voluntary Poverty

    Quote Originally Posted by ArcanistSupreme View Post
    Wouldn't flight be nice? I mean, as it is one of many reasons that VoP is considered lame pre-Epic, wouldn't the lack of flight be just as bad/worse post-Epic?
    Not a huge deal as the player here is a Druid and can presumably tear faces off as a giant eagle/other flying creature currently.

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    Default Re: Epic Voluntary Poverty

    Quote Originally Posted by ArcanistSupreme View Post
    Wouldn't flight be nice? I mean, as it is one of many reasons that VoP is considered lame pre-Epic, wouldn't the lack of flight be just as bad/worse post-Epic?
    Yes and no. Flight, Teleportation, and Invisibility are the main reasons to avoid the Vow of Poverty.

    HOWEVER:
    The character in question is a Druid, so Flight and Teleportation aren't that hard to come by through normal class features. Additionally, the character in question is a Druid, so a very-hard-to-beat Hide check isn't that hard to come by. Oh yes, and there's a feat or two that would actually permit Wild Shape to grant Invisibility.
    Of course, by the time I finish this post, it will already be obsolete. C'est la vie.

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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: Epic Voluntary Poverty

    I would replace the bonus exalted feats* with a gold bank for creating epic spells similar to the experience bank artificers have for creating magic items. Do it every level starting around maybe 50-100k GP at 21 and scaling up from there, use it or lose it.

    * unless you plan on making epic exalted feats.

    The Armor bonus is less effective than it sounds since you can fairly easily use an epic spell for +20 Armor or natural armor bonus for 24 hours (or more) just using 10 minute cast time and double your HD in backlash damage and 0 research cost. The same goes for the deflection bonus but with a lower value for free.

    Instead of adding enhancement bonus's to stats, add them as divine or something, it's trivial to get +20 to a stat the same way as the +20 armor bonus by using the... augment? seed.

    Resists can be bumped trivially by +20 as well, but you would need one spell for each. Having +6-8 divine bonus to all resists is useful since it stacks with the easier obtained and cheaper enhancement bonus. Having +10-15 enhancement bonus instead is still useful, sure it's less... but it's to everything and keeps from having to include a spell for them in your epic spell slot rotation.

    I'd suggest looking at the epic spell seeds and tweaking the list based on how those will affect gameplay. +4 to a stat is useful even when you have bull strength and such since they have relatively limited duration, epic spells often last for days and days though and are either broken and free or stupidly expensive rituals you build a cult to help you cast over the course of 100days and 11 minutes with very little inbetween.
    Last edited by Tetrasodium; 2010-09-10 at 06:10 PM.

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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Epic Voluntary Poverty

    Quote Originally Posted by aeauseth View Post
    So my wife has this Druid with VOP.
    Quote Originally Posted by aeauseth View Post
    Is my concern about lagging behind the party after level 20 (based on above table) valid? Will it be just a little bit of a lag, or will she become a drag on the party?
    1.) She's got VoP at a level where people can obtain reasonably useful magic items. If she's not already lagging now, then it probably won't be a problem.
    2.) She's a Druid. Also known as "a full-casting bear with a super-bear for a buddy." That can summon more bears as necessary. If she plays intelligently, she'll be sitting comfortably in the "broken" end of things anyway, so you shouldn't have to worry about her falling behind.
    3.) Druids are arguably the characters least dependent on wealth, and whose buffing items cost the most (if you include Wilding Clasps and whatnot) anyway. The Vow of Poverty is less a detriment for a Druid than it is any other class.

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    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: Epic Voluntary Poverty

    I second the Epic Spell budget recommendation. The rest of your setup is fine: while it will probably be made irrelevant, this can happen to some extent pre-epic too. However, Epic Spells, if included (and they by no means have to be) are the kind of thing every caster in the party wants to get involved in, and it's not fun to be excluded from something like that. So give a scaling Epic Spell budget, at some reasonable percentage of the wealth she would otherwise accumulate.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Epic Voluntary Poverty

    Quote Originally Posted by Zore View Post
    Not a huge deal as the player here is a Druid and can presumably tear faces off as a giant eagle/other flying creature currently.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jack_Simth View Post
    The character in question is a Druid, so Flight and Teleportation aren't that hard to come by through normal class features. Additionally, the character in question is a Druid, so a very-hard-to-beat Hide check isn't that hard to come by. Oh yes, and there's a feat or two that would actually permit Wild Shape to grant Invisibility.
    Oh. Right.

    I was thinking an epic VoP for everyone. But I guess that's a whole other can of worms.
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    Default Re: Epic Voluntary Poverty

    Quote Originally Posted by ArcanistSupreme View Post
    Oh. Right.

    I was thinking an epic VoP for everyone. But I guess that's a whole other can of worms.
    It's fundamentally a problem with the Vow of Poverty (full stop). The simplest fix is to homebrew Exalted feats (and hence, bonus feats for the Vow of Poverty) that grant the missing abilities with a heft Exalted feat investment (and hence, are pretty much only accessible to characters with the Vow of Poverty).

    E.g., a feat chain based on Nimbus of Light that idealizes the Archons, and grants Teleportation and Flight three or four feats in (along separate chains).
    Of course, by the time I finish this post, it will already be obsolete. C'est la vie.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Epic Voluntary Poverty

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack_Simth View Post
    It's fundamentally a problem with the Vow of Poverty (full stop). The simplest fix is to homebrew Exalted feats (and hence, bonus feats for the Vow of Poverty) that grant the missing abilities with a heft Exalted feat investment (and hence, are pretty much only accessible to characters with the Vow of Poverty).

    E.g., a feat chain based on Nimbus of Light that idealizes the Archons, and grants Teleportation and Flight three or four feats in (along separate chains).
    Does such a fix exist? It sounds cool and interesting.
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    Default Re: Epic Voluntary Poverty

    Quote Originally Posted by ArcanistSupreme View Post
    Does such a fix exist? It sounds cool and interesting.
    Not sure if it already exists or not, but they're not that hard to make....

    Archon's Warding [Exalted]
    Your holy glow becomes protective as you delve into a study of one of the lowest celestials, the Lantern Archon.
    Prerequisites: Nimbus of Light
    Benefit: Whenever your Nimbus of Light is active, you gain the benefits of a Protection From Evil spell, with an effective caster level equal to your character level. This is a supernatural ability. If it is somehow dispelled, you can renew it as a free action on your turn.

    Archon's Weapon [Exalted]
    Following in the path of the Lantern Archon, you learn to focus your light into a weapon that you can use to smite evil.
    Prerequisites: Nimbus of Light, Archon's Warding
    Benefit: When your Nimbus of Light is active, as an attack action, you can fire a burst of light at an opponent within 30 feet; this ranged touch attack deals 1d6 damage, plus 1 point of damage per Exalted feat you posses (including this one), and overcomes all forms of damage reduction. This is an Extraordinary ability, usable at will.

    Archon's Step [Exalted]
    Your studies of the Lantern Archons deepen, and you learn something of their ability to slip from place to place.
    Prerequisites: Nimbus of Light, Archon's Warding
    Benefit: As a standard action a number of times per day equal to the number of Exalted feats you posses (including this one), you can teleport as per Dimension Door. This is a spell-like ability, and your effective caster level is equal to your character level.

    Archon's Stride [Exalted]
    Your studies of the Lantern Archons now permits you to traverse great distances with but a moment's thought.
    Prerequisites: Nimbus of Light, Archon's Warding, Archon's Step
    Benefit: As a standard action a number of times per day equal to the number of Exalted feats you possess (including this one), you can Teleport yourself and up to fifty pounds of equipment; this otherwise functions as per the spell of the same name. This is a Supernatural ability, and your effective caster level is equal to your character level.

    Angel's Resilience [Exalted]
    You study the Angels, and through those studies, learn something of how they resist the dark forces.
    Benefit: You gain spell resistance equal to your character level, which only applies to spells with the [Evil] or [Vile] descriptor, or effects generated by creatures with an Evil alignment.

    Angel's Eyes [Exalted]
    You emulate the Angels, and through the emulation, earn a measure of their senses.
    Prerequisites: Angel's Resilience
    Benefit: The spell resistance you gain from Angel's Resilience increases by five points, and you gain low-light vision. If you already have low-light vision, you instead gain Darkvision out to ten feet. If you already have both low-light vision and Darkvision, the range of your Darkvision increases by ten feet.

    Angel's Jump [Exalted]
    Your emulation of the Angels grows, and you gain partially-functional wings.
    Prerequisites: Angel's Resilience, Angel's Eyes
    Benefit: The spell resistance you gain from Angel's Resilience increases by another five points (this stacks with the boost from Angel's Resilience), and you grow small wings, which grant you a +10 bonus on Jump checks, and let you use the effects of Featherfall on yourself only, at will. This is an extraordinary ability.

    Angel's Flight [Exalted]
    As your emulation of the Angels progresses, your wings grow and become fully functional.
    Prerequisites: Angel's Resilience, Angel's Eyes, Angel's Jump
    Benefit: You gain a flight speed, equal to twice your land speed, with Good maneuverability.

    And so on. You can also do one for Invisibility if you like, based on, say, the Genie (which gets it at-will as a spell-like ability, for itself only).
    Last edited by Jack_Simth; 2010-09-10 at 09:24 PM.
    Of course, by the time I finish this post, it will already be obsolete. C'est la vie.

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    Default Re: Epic Voluntary Poverty

    Nice! That is a fairly easy fix. Finally, something to do with all of those exalted feats.
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    Default Re: Epic Voluntary Poverty

    Quote Originally Posted by ArcanistSupreme View Post
    Nice! That is a fairly easy fix. Finally, something to do with all of those exalted feats.
    Deceptively easy. I likely made them too expensive, when it comes down to it. For... nine feats you can fly with good manueverability, and Teleport. A Human who takes Vow of Poverty at 1st gets 11 bonus Exalted feats - and WBL would let you pick up Wings of Flying and Boots of Teleportation with much less feat investment. Sure, they give other minor bonuses as you grab them... but they're not really all that grand.

    Oh yes, and they'd have the effect of making most non-caster Vow of Poverty characters have very, very similar feat selections (as they're pretty much needed).
    Of course, by the time I finish this post, it will already be obsolete. C'est la vie.

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    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Epic Voluntary Poverty

    Quote Originally Posted by raitalin View Post
    Here's the semi-official VoP:

    http://community.wizards.com/go/thre...30250/?pg=last

    It was posted on the WotC boards by an admin, for what its worth.

    I imagine any VoP is going to lag behind wealth a bit, though with Anti-magic and disjunction probably being more common at epic levels, it could save the day.
    I really like this suggestion and Epic VoP list. Much better than the one I hacked together! It still looks a bit underpowered, but VoP has always been a bit underpowered.

    She's plans to be a full caster Druid in wildshape, I had forgotten this was a Tier1 build. I doubt she will fall below the Paladin or Rogue even with the VoP & E-VoP disadvantage(s).

    If it turns out to be too weak then I'll pester the DM for some of the alternate suggestions posted here. We have 10 more levels to go, ~2 levels a month, so ~5 months before I have to really worry about it.

    Unfortunately many of the VoP & Druid abilities are Supernatural and thus do not work in an antimagic field. A recent citywide antimagic field at level 9 was a bit rough for her. She lost Wild Shape (Su), Exalted Strike (Su), Deflection (Su) and all spells. Our DM ruled that upon entering the AMF she was forced back into her human form (RAW seems to support this ruling). Not sure how that will play out in Epic...

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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: Epic Voluntary Poverty

    Quote Originally Posted by aeauseth View Post
    Unfortunately many of the VoP & Druid abilities are Supernatural and thus do not work in an antimagic field. A recent citywide antimagic field at level 9 was a bit rough for her. She lost Wild Shape (Su), Exalted Strike (Su), Deflection (Su) and all spells. Our DM ruled that upon entering the AMF she was forced back into her human form (RAW seems to support this ruling). Not sure how that will play out in Epic...
    You could probably use one of the epic seeds (likely ward seed) to protect against the AMF in question for a given epic spell... but again... epic spells are hideously expensive. Just the base seed itself tends to be about 17-30ish with an occasional +8 or so for using a special variant. Doing things like making the transform seed be able to transform something into more HD or having some other seed do more damage or something raises the DC. Using multiple seeds to cobble together a desired effect raises the DC for each seed and special bit of the seed. Reducing the cast time from the default 1 min raises the dc, raising the duration raises the DC, all sorts of things raise the DC with some of them raising the DC by multiply the total DC by 2 or 5 before applying any modifiers that reduce the DC. There are a handful of things that lower the DC, but mainly it's cheeze up a few hundred spellcasters to donate Nth level spell slots and a hundred days of time to get the DC down. Researching the spell itself takes one day and 9,000gp for each point of DC after the modifiers are applied to reduce it.

    The ward seed is DC14, not entirely out of the realm of possibility for adding to a spell that still comes out at free or nearly free... but unmitigated that works out to 14 days and 126,000gp plus some xp added to the cost of researching a spell.
    Last edited by Tetrasodium; 2010-09-11 at 02:10 AM.

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