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  1. - Top - End - #91
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Aug 2008

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XVIII

    Somewhere around 16 hours left. How many people have actually submitted builds True S?
    Quote Originally Posted by Alabenson
    Evil Intelligence is knowing the precise ritual that will allow you to destroy the peaceful kingdom that banished you.

    Evil Wisdom is understanding that you probably shouldn’t perform said ritual while you’re standing in the estimated blast radius.

  2. - Top - End - #92
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    true_shinken's Avatar

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by BobVosh View Post
    Somewhere around 16 hours left. How many people have actually submitted builds True S?
    Four or five.

  3. - Top - End - #93
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    DruidGirl

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    May 2007
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    Sin City

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XVIII

    yeah, no way I can get it in by the deadline. At work currently and will be for the next 6 hours. Was planning to finish it tonight. Grrrr. stupid timezones.
    Not wearing your seat belt? See you soon!
    Thanks to Kwarkpudding for this excellent avatar.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Tialait View Post
    This is perhaps the most amazing idea I have heard in eons. Thank you kind slayer of Death.

  4. - Top - End - #94
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XVIII

    I'm trying to slam together my submission now, though I just realized something about my build that makes it less awesome than I initially thought. Oh well, hopefully this change is for the better.
    Quote Originally Posted by Vaz View Post
    Ponies, the Kim Karsdashian of GITP.
    This is what happens when they let me DM:
    Beyond the Horizon IC / OOC
    A Time to Die: Alpha IC / Bravo IC / OOC

  5. - Top - End - #95
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Nov 2010

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XVIII

    I'll be riding pretty close to the edge but should get mine in tonight.

  6. - Top - End - #96
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    kestrel404's Avatar

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    Jul 2009

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XVIII

    Whew, that was tough. Good luck everyone still trying to finish a build - mine took about twice as long as I expected. Had I not been out sick yesterday I never would have finished.

  7. - Top - End - #97
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    gbprime's Avatar

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XVIII

    Build submitted. 5 hours to spare.
    .
    Ding, You've Got Trophies!
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    Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone you may still exist but you have ceased to live. - Samuel Clemens

    Oh, and DFTBA.

  8. - Top - End - #98
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XVIII

    Oy, build submitted (finally).
    Quote Originally Posted by Vaz View Post
    Ponies, the Kim Karsdashian of GITP.
    This is what happens when they let me DM:
    Beyond the Horizon IC / OOC
    A Time to Die: Alpha IC / Bravo IC / OOC

  9. - Top - End - #99
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    gbprime's Avatar

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by OMG PONIES View Post
    Oy, build submitted (finally).
    What, you had 25 minutes left. There's no moment like the last moment!
    .
    Ding, You've Got Trophies!
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    Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone you may still exist but you have ceased to live. - Samuel Clemens

    Oh, and DFTBA.

  10. - Top - End - #100
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XVIII

    I know. My entry's pretty slipshod, sad to say.
    Quote Originally Posted by Vaz View Post
    Ponies, the Kim Karsdashian of GITP.
    This is what happens when they let me DM:
    Beyond the Horizon IC / OOC
    A Time to Die: Alpha IC / Bravo IC / OOC

  11. - Top - End - #101
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Thurbane's Avatar

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    Question Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by gbprime View Post
    What, you had 25 minutes left. There's no moment like the last moment!
    Is the deadline technically the time given in the OP, or until the first of the builds have been revealed?

  12. - Top - End - #102
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    true_shinken's Avatar

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    Is the deadline technically the time given in the OP, or until the first of the builds have been revealed?
    Until the first of the builds have been revealed. And I'm feeling sleepy - the reveal will be tomorrow.

  13. - Top - End - #103
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    HalflingPirate

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    Is the deadline technically the time given in the OP, or until the first of the builds have been revealed?
    Technically, the time in the OP. Traditionally, until TS posts the first build.

    Edit: Did Jumik ever post the trophies for the last one? I remember she had some computer issues.
    Last edited by dextercorvia; 2011-02-11 at 09:41 PM.
    Dex

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    Regarding my Necrotic Apprentice trick:
    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    This is brilliant.
    Regarding my Non-Epic Hidecarved Dragon:
    Quote Originally Posted by Amphetryon View Post
    Nicely done. Probably too cheesy for many tables, but I'd be inclined to allow it at mine, just for chutzpah.

    Have a cookie.
    Spoiler
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    Check out the Versatile Domain Generalist.

  14. - Top - End - #104
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XVIII

    Well, just got home from a random Shadowrun. Sadly the build that I had in mind would require effort on my part and I'm feeling lazy. No real loss, since I didn't especially like this prestige class. The short of it is that I'm gonna drop out of this competition.

  15. - Top - End - #105
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by dextercorvia View Post
    Did Jumik ever post the trophies for the last one? I remember she had some computer issues.
    Getting flash to work properly on her netbook is proving a major challenge. I think we can expect the late trophies to be up this week, though.

    Expect the reveal in a few minutes.

  16. - Top - End - #106
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XVIII

    OK, now for the great reveal!

    Our first contestant is a member of the happy family that includes Ogon Bato, Skeletor, Red Skull and Crânio Negro...

    Quote Originally Posted by Skullface
    Skullface



    The Story
    Spoiler
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    Darcy Pendlebrook had always been fascinated by the Fey. His birth village was ringed with their toadstool rings and hidden grottos. It was only natural that he find his way to the court of the Unseelie Queen. She was the most beautiful being he had ever glimpsed, and her cruelty only sharpened his ardor. Though he was far from handsome, with deep-set eyes that gave his face the impression of a forlorn skull, he was determined to gain her favor. In this mood he arrived at her court, back from his longest hunting voyage yet.

    "Milady, I come with a most exquisite prize for your amusement. This beast..."

    "What is that?" The Queen leaned forward, a thin line of irritation disturbing her joyous marble countenance.

    On the floor of the Queen's Great Hall sat a doglike creature, its fur striped with the faint pattern of a hyena. The chubby beast yawned and blinked at its unfamiliar surroundings, its batlike wings furled against its back.

    "Milady, this most majestic canine is a thing most rare, a..."

    "So you brought me a puppy?"

    "Oh not just any puppy, Milady. Why this beast has..."

    "You brought me a puppy. Do you know what I think, Darcy?"

    "What, Milady?"

    "You are trying to woo me, aren't you Darcy?"

    "What? No of course not Milady!"

    "You give me flowers..."

    "Powerful herbs of the Orient!"

    "And now you grace my court with a puppy. You are trying to woo me as you might woo a mortal girl."

    "No Milady I wouldn't dare presume..."

    "It's sweet."

    "No Milady it's...it is?"

    "Oh, it's positively adorable."

    "Really?"

    "Oh yes. So adorable, I almost wish I could remember you this way forever."

    "You do?"

    "Yes. Definitely. Guards, off with his head!"

    As Darcy was dragged from the court kicking and screaming, one of the guards turned to the beast, still lying on the floor bemused. "Milady, what should we do with this?"

    "Oh, that. Dispose of it how you wish. Drown it I suppose. That is what one does with puppies, isn't it?"

    The guard approached the beast, ready to drag it away, when suddenly he yelped and fell flat on his arse. The beast hissed, its skin drawn back from its face to display the outlines of its skull. The court looked in horror at the guard, who sat mortified on the floor.

    The silence was pierced by a faint giggle. All eyes turned to the Queen as the giggle grew to a laugh, and soon a full-throated guffaw. As her laughter finally died down, one of the Queen's courtiers approached with a handkerchief. "Milady?"

    "Oh, keep it. That was the most fun I've had in quite some time. And while you're at it, train it to be a Dark Hunter."

    The Queen bent down low to address the beast draped across her floor.

    "Now go, before I change my mind."

    The Build
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    Darcy Pendlebrook, Human Ranger 3

    Abilities:
    Point Buy for Darcy: Str 14 Dex 18 Con 14 Int 12 Wis 8 Cha 8

    {table=head]Level|Class|Base Attack<br>Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Skills|Feats|Class Features

    1st|Ranger 1|
    +1
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |Handle Animal 4, Hide 4, Knowledge(dungeoneering) 4, Knowledge(geography) 4, Knowledge(nature) 4, Move Silently 4, Ride 4, Survival 4|Track(B), Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot|1st favored enemy, wild empathy

    2nd|Ranger 2|
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |Handle Animal 5, Hide 5, Knowledge(dungeoneering) 5, Knowledge(geography) 5, Knowledge(nature) 5, Move Silently 5, Ride 5, Survival 5|Rapid Shot(B)|

    3rd|Ranger 3|
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |Handle Animal 6, Hide 6, Knowledge(dungeoneering) 6, Knowledge(geography) 6, Knowledge(nature) 6, Move Silently 6, Ride 6, Survival 6|Endurance(B), Sharp-Shooting|[/table]

    Or is it?


    Spoiler
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    "Who's a good boy? Who always brings the Queen back exactly what she wants? Mmm?"

    "A-hem. Milady, are you sure it was wise to send the Krenshar to the Shadowlands? Our mages report its levels of taint are quite high...it would take very powerful magic to cleanse it."

    "You! That's right, you're a good boy! You you you!...Oh you were saying?"

    "Milady, the taint that creature has absorbed could warp its body and its mind."

    "Oh I'm sure he'll be fine. Won't you snoogums? I'm sure he knows just what to do with taint. Just leave him be. You just wish you were as good as him."

    Spoiler
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    "And that's the legend, boy. The most fearsome hound of the Queen's Dark Hunt. Its face a rictus grin, its bark enough to freeze the stoutest warrior or mightiest mage. And its claws, full of arcane fire, rending and clawing... The Court is dangerous, boy. Never forget that. Your father went off to serve them, and look what happened to him. You understand?"

    Davy Pendlebrook nodded to his grandfather, his eyes wide. Though he would never admit it, he yearned to hear the story again. Just to hear about the beautiful, capricious fairy Queen...


    Spoiler
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    The Build, Take Two

    Skullface, Krenshar Trapfinding Fangshield Champion of the Wild Distracting Attack Ranger 4/Unseelie Dark Hunter 1/Tainted Scholar 2/Unseelie Dark Hunter +9

    Point Buy for Skullface: Str 12 Dex 14 Con 14 Int 14 Wis 16 Cha 8
    Post Racial Adjustments: Str 10 Dex 20 Con 12 Int 10 Wis 18 Cha 12
    Level-Up Increases go to Wis, giving Wis 17 at 6, Wis 18 at 10, Wis 19 at 14, Wis 20 at 18

    {table=head]Level|Class|Base Attack<br>Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Skills|Feats|Class Features

    3rd|Krenshar RHD|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |Move Silently 4, Hide 4, Knowledge(nature) 2, Survival 2, Concentration 2, Knowledge(arcana) 2|Track (B), Improved Scent|Scare, Darkvision 60ft, Iron Vulnerability, Damage Reduction

    4th|Krenshar RHD|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |Move Silently 5, Hide 5, Knowledge(nature) 2, Survival 2, Ride 2, Concentration 2, Knowledge(arcana) 2|New Feats|Low-light vision, Scent, Vernal Touch

    5th|Ranger 1|
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |
    +3
    |Move Silently 6, Hide 5, Knowledge(nature) 3, Survival 6, Ride 2, Concentration 2, Knowledge(arcana) 2|Weapon Finesse|Trapfinding, 1st favored enemy, wild empathy

    6th|Ranger 2|
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    |Move Silently 7, Hide 5, Knowledge(nature) 3, Survival 7, Ride 5, Concentration 3, Knowledge(arcana) 2|Multiattack (B)|

    7th|Ranger 3|
    +4
    |
    +3
    |
    +6
    |
    +4
    |Move Silently 8, Hide 5, Knowledge(nature) 3, Survival 8, Ride 5, Concentration 7, Knowledge(arcana) 2|Endurance (B)|

    8th|Ranger 4|
    +5
    |
    +4
    |
    +7
    |
    +4
    |Move Silently 8, Hide 5, Knowledge(nature) 3, Survival 9, Ride 5, Concentration 8, Knowledge(arcana) 4|Improved Initiative, Blind-Fight(B)|Distracting Attack

    9th|Unseelie Dark Hunter 1|
    +5
    |
    +6
    |
    +9
    |
    +4
    |Move Silently 9, Hide 6, Knowledge(nature) 3, Survival 9, Ride 5, Concentration 9, Knowledge(arcana) 4, Search 1|Fey Heritage(T)|low-light vision

    10th|Tainted Scholar 1|
    +5
    |
    +6
    |
    +9
    |
    +6
    |Move Silently 9, Hide 6, Knowledge(nature) 3, Survival 9, Ride 5, Concentration 10, Knowledge(arcana) 5, Search 1|Fey Power(T)|blood component, tainted spellcasting, taint suppression

    11th|Tainted Scholar 2|
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +9
    |
    +7
    |Move Silently 9, Hide 6, Knowledge(nature) 3, Survival 9, Ride 5, Concentration 11, Knowledge(arcana) 6, Search 1|Fey Legacy|Secret: Clarity of True Madness

    12th|Unseelie Dark Hunter 2|
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +10
    |
    +7
    |Move Silently 10, Hide 7, Knowledge(nature) 3, Survival 9, Ride 5, Concentration 12, Knowledge(arcana) 6, Search 2||Fast mount/fast movement +10ft

    13th|Unseelie Dark Hunter 3|
    +8
    |
    +7
    |
    +10
    |
    +8
    |Move Silently 11, Hide 8, Knowledge(nature) 3, Survival 9, Ride 5, Concentration 13, Knowledge(arcana) 6, Search 3||Darkvision

    14th|Unseelie Dark Hunter 4|
    +9
    |
    +8
    |
    +11
    |
    +8
    |Move Silently 12, Hide 9, Knowledge(nature) 3, Survival 9, Ride 5, Concentration 14, Knowledge(arcana) 6, Search 4|Arcane Strike|Uncanny Dodge

    15th|Unseelie Dark Hunter 5|
    +9
    |
    +8
    |
    +11
    |
    +8
    |Move Silently 13, Hide 10, Knowledge(nature) 3, Survival 9, Ride 5, Concentration 15, Knowledge(arcana) 6, Search 5||Fast mount/fast movement +20ft

    16th|Unseelie Dark Hunter 6|
    +10
    |
    +9
    |
    +12
    |
    +9
    |Move Silently 14, Hide 11, Knowledge(nature) 3, Survival 9, Ride 5, Concentration 16, Knowledge(arcana) 6, Search 6||Scent

    17th|Unseelie Dark Hunter 7|
    +11
    |
    +9
    |
    +12
    |
    +9
    |Move Silently 15, Hide 12, Knowledge(nature) 3, Survival 9, Ride 5, Concentration 17, Knowledge(arcana) 6, Search 7|Fey Skin|Improved Uncanny Dodge

    18th|Unseelie Dark Hunter 8|
    +12
    |
    +10
    |
    +13
    |
    +9
    |Move Silently 16, Hide 13, Knowledge(nature) 3, Survival 9, Ride 5, Concentration 18, Knowledge(arcana) 6, Search 8||Fast mount/fast movement +30ft

    19th|Unseelie Dark Hunter 9|
    +12
    |
    +10
    |
    +13
    |
    +10
    |Move Silently 17, Hide 14, Knowledge(nature) 3, Survival 9, Ride 5, Concentration 19, Knowledge(arcana) 6, Search 9||Freedom of Movement

    20th|Unseelie Dark Hunter 10|
    +13
    |
    +11
    |
    +14
    |
    +10
    |Move Silently 18, Hide 15, Knowledge(nature) 3, Survival 9, Ride 5, Concentration 20, Knowledge(arcana) 6, Search 10|Fey Presence|Discern Location[/table]

    (T) refers to feats gained from taint. Here it is assumed the character can gain moderate taint before taking a level in Tainted Scholar, and severe taint once Tainted Scholar grants Taint Suppression.

    Casting
    Spoiler
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    Spells per day/Spells Known
    {table=head]Level|1st|2nd|3rd|4th|New Spells Known


    9th|1|-|-|-|command, detect magic

    10th|5|-|-|-|alarm

    11th|6|4|-|-|hold person, invisibility

    12th|7|5|-|-|true strike, detect thoughts

    13th|7|6|4|-|hold monster, see invisibility

    14th|7|7|5|-|locate object, dispel magic

    15th|7|7|6|3|dimensional anchor, improved invisibility

    16th|7|7|7|4|haste, displacement

    17th|7|7|7|5|-

    18th|7|7|7|6|greater command

    19th|7|7|7|6|-

    20th|7|7|7|6|-[/table]

    *Depravity is assumed to be at the minimum of severe taint, with severe taint determined by pre-item Wis. This gives effective Wis of 40. Played riskily the character can get up to 69 depravity, or effective Wis of 79.

    Q&A:
    Spoiler
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    Q: So in the picture...you're the guy on the left?

    A: Yes.

    Q: Two builds? What's up with that?

    A: The contest is for a 1-20 build. In the past builds with LA have been criticised for not actually existing at the lower levels. However, it's actually not particularly common for a player to play the same character 1-20. Here, in a campaign that starts from level 1 the player can play Darcy, then switch to Skullface at level 4 when Skullface can actually exist. You could switch later if your DM allows, since Skullface is a bit weak before he picks up Weapon Finesse and perhaps a few of his other tricks. Darcy is more of an example placeholder than an actual entrant, and as such his build is not particularly optimized.

    Q: Aren't Krenshars cohort-only?

    A: Nope. Look at their entry. While many other doglike magical beasts have the cohort-only tag, Krenshars don't. This wasn't changed in the errata, so Krenshars are fine as player characters.

    Q: What about talking? Using objects?

    A: While their starting languages aren't listed, Krenshars also aren't specified to only be able to communicate with barks or the like. They are described as quite social. Since mute PC races generally have specific text that designates them mute (Buomanns), we can presume that since Krenshars aren't cohort-only they can talk. Similarly, while not able to wield weapons, they can probably use their foreclaws to pick up simple objects, like rods. If your DM disagrees, consider trying to get the Gloves of Man from Savage Species.

    Q: Tainted Scholar? Unseelie Fey? Something smells like Limburger...

    A: Was that a question? Anyway, Tainted Scholar and Unseelie Fey are cheesy...on full casters with high Charisma scores. Here, they merely serve to give the character the versatility and power to make a decent Tier 3. Tainted Scholar gives Duskblade-like spells per day which primarily serve to fuel Arcane Strike and single-target control with DCs similar to those obtainable with Intimidamancy, and these tactics are both Tier 3 and lower staples. I'm merely taking what the class gives and making the best of it.

    Q: What are you doing to manage your taint?

    A: At higher levels you should make the save to avoid gaining taint from spellcasting pretty regularly. When you get close to maximum depravity you can pretty easily buy castings of restoration or potions of remove curse to lower it back to something safe. Most of your spell slots will end up going into Arcane Strike anyway.

    Q: That many variants? Really?

    A: This is an optimization competition, isn't it? None of the variants are essential to the build, and they're all intended to keep from wasting build resources. It makes sense to grab Trapfinding when you already get Track from your race, or to trade your one level of animal companion and spellcasting for Distracting Attack and a bonus feat (especially one that synergizes well with your natural Scent). While the original Fangshields are a good-aligned Forgotten Realms group, the substitution levels are designed to trade out things useless to a natural weapons-based character for things moderately more useful, which many DMs will think of as a reasonable trade. You have plenty of free feats later in the build, if you're forced to trade one for Multiattack it won't hurt your effectiveness.

    Tactics and Build Explanation:
    Spoiler
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    One you switch from Darcy to Skullface, your role begins as party support. Your Vernal Touch gets rid of a few relatively nasty effects. When casters get Celerity, you can remove their daze. If they stay up late, you can remove fatigue/exhaustion. You can do this at will. This helps the party forget the fact that you're not all that impressive in combat. Before Weapon Finesse you don't hit often, and even with it you don't have a source of bonus damage yet. You can occasionally make a decent full attack just on weapon dice, but you won't be making a consistent contribution to damage without a party member willing to buff you up (on the other hand, you're a very nice force multiplier for your local DFI bard).

    In addition to your party support contributions, you're quite a good tracker. Scent lets you follow the lines of plot, track down the Unseelie Queen's enemies, and find hidden foes within 60 feet provided they haven't invested in Darkstalker. Wings from Unseelie Fey give you all-day extraordinary flight, nice at this level. While your Scare DC isn't amazing, you can occasionally pull it out on the weak minded, like the Unseelie Queen's stupider guards.

    Taking Unseelie Dark Hunter increases your effectiveness. At first level, you're able to cast either command or detect magic once per day. Detect magic at least will be useful, as even someone with Darkstalker can be found by looking at their magic items. Command is less useful now, but it will be worthwhile next level when you take...

    Tainted Scholar! Remember your Wis-based arcane casting? Well now you've still got Wis-based arcane casting, since your depravity score is limited by your Wis. Exploitation of taint gives you bonus spells galore and save DCs somewhere between useful and irresistable. Right now that's command, which makes for limited (but very difficult to resist) single-target control. Soon you'll have hold person and hold monster, which with your DCs can keep things immobile as long as necessary. Your Taint-granted bonus feats give you Fey Power to increase the durations on these and Fey Legacy for some nice spell-likes to increase versatility. At this point your Unseelie Fey DR begins to show up. Few monster habitually carry cold iron, so this is a decent boost to survivability. Finally, Clarity of True Madness is a nice wild card, allowing a once-per day near-automatic success on tracking someone, spotting something, or the like.

    Further levels in Unseelie Dark Hunter give fast movement, which is useful for moving up to enemies after spending your standard action to root them in place, allowing you to full attack on the next turn. Uncanny dodge and its improved version are useful in general. At 14th level you pick up Arcane Strike, and you can finally put your bloated spell slots and three-attack full attack to work with a liberal helping of bonus damage.

    Fey Skin explicitly stacks with your Unseelie Fey DR, which as you level becomes quite respectable, especially with the multitude of Fey Heritage feats you're taking. Finally, your Freedom of Movement and Discern Location abilities are a nice capstone, giving you tricks in addition to those gained from your spells. You can now hunt down pretty much whatever the Queen wants you to, freeze it in place with your tainted howl, and tear it to bits with your magic-infused claws.

    Gear Wish-list:
    Spoiler
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    Wis boosting items allow you to risk a higher depravity, further boosting your spellcasting. A Metamagic Rod of Chain Spell goes a long way towards turning your single-target control into battlefield control. Given your use for high numbers of low-level spells per day, a Ring of Wizardry would certainly not go amiss. Draconomicon and Magic Item compendium both are quite kind in terms of what items a quadrupedal creature with wings can use, so most of the items useful to other people are also useful to you.

    Sources:
    Spoiler
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    Player's Handbook/Dungeon Master's Guide/Monster Manual
    Dungeonscape, Champions of Valor, Player's Handbook II, Complete Champion (only used for variants, which as mentioned before can be dropped)Sa
    Savage Species
    Dragon Magazine Compendium
    Heroes of Horror
    Complete Mage
    Complete Warrior
    and of course, Fey Features
    Last edited by true_shinken; 2011-02-12 at 08:15 AM.

  17. - Top - End - #107
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XVIII

    He creeps the steps and floor... final darkness.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Creeper
    The Creeper
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    The Creeper


    "He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster." -- Friedrich Nietzsche

    Birthed from nature itself and shaped within the perfection of the natural realm, The Creeper is one of the Queen's greatest hunters. A creature of the spirits, The Creeper has elevated himself into something stronger and stranger. Always foreseen within the arrival of his monstrous raven, The Creeper flied on the wings of hunger towards his prey. He flies towards them for a passion beyond his ever-loyal servitude to the Queen or even his sensual delight in the hunt. The Creeper flies to quench his hunger for perfection.

    As long as you are in nature and alive, The Creeper will not stop in his pursuit. You have something he wants, he hungers for it. And soon enough you will be in him, just like all the others. Soon you will be a part of perfection, won't you join him?

    The Creeper Build

    Spoiler
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    Male Bamboo Spirit Ranger 5/Unseelie Dark Hunter 4/Fleshwarper 2/Unseelie Dark Hunter 4/Fleshwarper 3/Unseelie Dark Hunter 2.

    {table=head]Level|Class|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Skills|Feats|Class Features

    1st|Ranger 1|
    +1
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |Heal 4, Hide 4, Knowledge (Arcana) 4, Knowledge (Nature) 4, Listen 2, Move Silently 4, Ride 4, Spot 2, Survival 4, Use Magical Device 4|Apprentice (Spellcaster), Track|Favored Enemy (Fey) +2, Spiritual Connection

    2nd|Ranger 2|
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |Heal 5, Hide 5, Knowledge (Arcana) 5, Knowledge (Nature) 5, Listen 3, Move Silently 5, Ride 4, Spot 3, Survival 5, Use Magical Device 5| |

    3rd|Ranger 3|
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |Heal 6, Hide 6, Knowledge (Arcana) 6, Knowledge (Nature) 6, Listen 4, Move Silently 6, Ride 4, Spot 4, Survival 6, Use Magical Device 6|Improved Initiative, Endurance|

    4th|Ranger 4|
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |Heal 7, Hide 7, Knowledge (Arcana) 7, Knowledge (Nature) 7, Listen 5, Move Silently 7, Ride 4, Spot 5, Survival 7, Use Magical Device 7||Urban Companion (Raven)

    5th|Ranger 5|
    +5
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |Heal 8, Hide 8, Knowledge (Arcana) 8, Knowledge (Nature) 8, Listen 6, Move Silently 8, Ride 5, Spot 5, Survival 8, Use Magical Device 8||Favored Enemy (Fey) +4, Favored Enemy (Magical Beast) +2, Wildshape (Small & Medium Animals Only)

    6th|Dark Hunter 1|
    +5
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +1
    |Heal 9, Hide 9, Knowledge (Arcana) 9, Knowledge (Nature) 9, Listen 6, Move Silently 9, Ride 5, Spot 5, Survival 9, Use Magical Device 9|Aberrant Blood |Low-Light Vision, Spells

    7th|Dark Hunter 2|
    +6
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +1
    |Heal 10, Hide 10, Knowledge (Arcana) 10, Knowledge (Nature) 10, Listen 6, Move Silently 10, Ride 5, Spot 5, Survival 10, Use Magical Device 10||Fast Mount (+10 ft.), Fast Movement (+10 ft.)

    8th|Dark Hunter 3|
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +2
    |Heal 10, Hide 11, Knowledge (Arcana) 11, Knowledge (Nature) 11, Listen 6, Move Silently 11, Ride 5, Spot 6, Survival 11, Use Magical Device 11||Darkvision

    9th|Dark Hunter 4|
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    +2
    |Heal 10, Hide 12, Knowledge (Arcana) 12, Knowledge (Nature) 12, Listen 7, Move Silently 12, Ride 5, Spot 6, Survival 12, Use Magical Device 12|Graft Flesh (Undead) |Uncanny Dodge

    10th|Fleshwarper 1|
    +8
    |
    +10
    |
    +8
    |
    +2
    |Concentration 4, Heal 10, Hide 12, Knowledge (Arcana) 13, Knowledge (Nature) 13, Listen 7, Move Silently 12, Ride 5, Spot 6, Survival 12, Use Magical Device 13||Aberrant Familiar (Size Increase)

    11th|Fleshwarper 2|
    +9
    |
    +11
    |
    +8
    |
    +2
    |Concentration 8, Heal 10, Hide 12, Knowledge (Arcana) 14, Knowledge (Nature) 14, Listen 7, Move Silently 12, Ride 5, Spot 6, Survival 12, Use Magical Device 14||Elder Secret (Secret of the Gibbering Mouther)

    12th|Dark Hunter 5|
    +9
    |
    +11
    |
    +8
    |
    +2
    |Concentration 8, Heal 10, Hide 14, Knowledge (Arcana) 15, Knowledge (Nature) 14, Listen 7, Move Silently 14, Ride 5, Spot 6, Survival 13, Use Magical Device 15|Dark Stalker |Fast Mount (+20 ft.), Fast Movement (+20 ft.)

    13th|Dark Hunter 6|
    +10
    |
    +12
    |
    +9
    |
    +3
    |Concentration 8, Heal 10, Hide 16, Knowledge (Arcana) 16, Knowledge (Nature) 14, Listen 7, Move Silently 16, Ride 5, Spot 6, Survival 14, Use Magical Device 16||Scent

    14th|Dark Hunter 7|
    +11
    |
    +12
    |
    +9
    |
    +3
    |Concentration 8, Heal 10, Hide 17, Knowledge (Arcana) 17, Knowledge (Nature) 14, Listen 7, Move Silently 17, Ride 5, Spot 6, Survival 17, Use Magical Device 17||Improved Uncanny Dodge

    15th|Dark Hunter 8|
    +12
    |
    +13
    |
    +10
    |
    +3
    |Concentration 8, Heal 10, Hide 18, Knowledge (Arcana) 18, Knowledge (Nature) 14, Listen 8, Move Silently 18, Ride 5, Spot 7, Survival 18, Use Magical Device 18|Scavenging Gullet |Fast Mount (30 ft.), Fast Movement (30 ft.)

    16th|Fleshwarper 3|
    +12
    |
    +13
    |
    +11
    |
    +4
    |Concentration 12, Heal 10, Hide 18, Knowledge (Arcana) 19, Knowledge (Nature) 15, Listen 8, Move Silently 18, Ride 5, Spot 7, Survival 18, Use Magical Device 19||Graft Mastery (Plant)

    17th|Fleshwarper 4|
    +13
    |
    +14
    |
    +11
    |
    +4
    |Concentration 17, Heal 10, Hide 18, Knowledge (Arcana) 20, Knowledge (Nature) 15, Listen 8, Move Silently 18, Ride 5, Spot 7, Survival 18, Use Magical Device 20||Aberrant Familiar (Scales)

    18th|Fleshwarper 5|
    +13
    |
    +14
    |
    +11
    |
    +4
    |Concentration 21, Heal 11, Hide 18, Knowledge (Arcana) 21, Knowledge (Nature) 15, Listen 8, Move Silently 18, Ride 5, Spot 7, Survival 18, Use Magical Device 21|Starspawn|Elder Secret (Secret of the Destrachan), Graft Mastery (Elemental)

    19th|Dark Hunter 9|
    +13
    |
    +14
    |
    +11
    |
    +4
    |Concentration 21, Heal 11, Hide 20, Knowledge (Arcana) 22, Knowledge (Nature) 15, Listen 8, Move Silently 20, Ride 5, Spot 7, Survival 19, Use Magical Device 22||Freedom of Movement

    20th|Fleshwarper 10|
    +14
    |
    +15
    |
    +12
    |
    +5
    |Concentration 21, Heal 11, Hide 20, Knowledge (Arcana) 23, Knowledge (Nature) 15, Listen 10, Move Silently 20, Ride 5, Spot 9, Survival 20, Use Magical Device 23||Discern Location[/table]

    Unseelie Dark Hunter Spellcasting (CL 14)
    Spells per day/Spells Known
    {table=head]Level|1st|2nd|3rd|4th

    1st|0/3|-|-|-|

    2nd|1/3|-|-|-|

    3rd|2/4|0/3|-|-|

    4th|3/5|1/4|-|-|

    5th|3/5|2/4|0/2|-|

    6th|3/5|3/5|1/3|-|

    7th|3/5|3/5|2/3|0/2|

    8th|3/5|3/5|3/4|1/3|

    9th|3/5|3/5|3/4|2/3|

    10th|3/5|3/5|3/4|3/4|[/table]

    Spells Known
    1st: Create Water, Detect Magic, Detect Snares & Pits, Mount and True Strike.
    2nd: Bull's Strength, Bear's Endurance, Detect Thoughts, Invisibility and Locate Object.
    3rd: Clairaudience/Clairvoyance, Dispel Magic, Haste and See Invisibility.
    4th: Ethereal Jaunt, Dimensional Anchor, Locate Creature and Scrying.


    Attributes
    Spoiler
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    Initial Ability Array: Str 15, Dex 14, Con 15, Int 12, Wis 14, Cha 8
    20th Level Ability Array: Str 16 (+1 at 8th), Dex 14, Con 19 (+1 at 4th,12th, 16th, 20th), Int 12, Wis 14, Cha 8

    The Creeper is a well rounded creature physically as well as instinctively talented. While gifted with a small amount of cunning, The Creeper relies primarily on his instincts to guide him towards his prey. Charisma is obviously going to be lacking for a being composed of the rewards of his hunts.


    Variants
    Spoiler
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    Urban Companion (Cityscape Web Enhancement): While trading away an animal companion this variant allows the The Creeper access into the FleshWarper prestige class. Thematically the raven familiar works terrifically with the flavor of the build, so few is lost in that department.
    Spiritual Connection (Complete Champion): Losing wild empathy, an ability I am not too fond for, in exchange for the ability to converse with animals & plants three times a day for five minutes grants The Creeper a far greater ability in hunting down his prey. I would gladly give up being friendlier to animals in exchange for all of nature being mine for questioning.
    Wildshape Ranger (Unearthed Arcana): The increased versatility offered in being able to adopt an animal form can not be understated. Contributing towards improving mobility (burrowing or swimming) as well as the potential to disguise oneself as a small critter offers The Creeper greater ability to get closer to his prey. While it is only once per day for five hours it still offers considerably more than the lone feat of Two-Weapon Fighting.

    Flaws: If allowed to take flaws this creator recommends Willing Deformity and Deformity (Madness) as very solid choices to beef up The Creeper's mental defenses (if such a course is taken attributes need to be changed as well with a physical stat taking a hit, probably dexterity, as to compensate for the penalty to wisdom).



    Build Theory
    Spoiler
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    When approaching the Unseelie Dark Hunter a lot of the abilities seemed thrown together. All of them were useful in the activity of hunting down a prey but very few were connected in any larger thematic frame. Fleshwarper adds that greater dimension by applying the aspect of The Creeper slowly gaining greater physical perfection through the grafting & digestion of individuals.

    The feat selection is partly made up of both feats that help contribute to achieving access to prestige classes. Apprentice (spellcaster) aids in skill requirements as well as giving The Creeper the power & versatility of Use Magical Device. The rest of the feats fall into the thematic elements of the Aberrant Blood line which aids The Creeper in giving him the ability to draw sustenance from anything as well as a notable fly speed of 40 ft.


    Tactics
    Spoiler
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    The Creeper is dedicated to the hunt and primarily fatiguing his prey from running. Knowing that purely engaging his target is a fool's enterprise he simply continues the chase until his prey makes a fatal mistake. It isn't hard with his ability to eat near anything for sustenance and ability to become invisible as an agent of nature. Commonly packing wands of Restoration helps keep The Creeper in constant activity, only waiting for his target to wear themselves down.

    When deciding to engage an opponent The Creeper employs tactics born of the wild, hit & strike techniques. He slowly picks off his opposition until he can take down his prey for a feeding. Commonly used weapons of choice are hand axes, which serve the dual purpose of being a handy utility tool when scalping foes to scare others.


    Sources
    Spoiler
    Show
    Complete Champion: Spiritual Connection
    Dungeon Master's Guide 2: Apprentice (Spellcaster)
    Fiend Folio: Graft Flesh
    Lords of Madness: Aberrant Blood, Dark Stalker, Scavenging Gullet, Starspawn, Fleshwarper
    Magic of Eberron: Elemental & Plant Grafts
    Oriental Adventures: Bamboo Spirit
    Unearthed Arcana: Wildshape Ranger ACF
    WOTC Web: Unseelie Dark Hunter, Cityscape Web Enhancement

  18. - Top - End - #108
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    Mar 2010
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    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XVIII

    Who wants to live forever?

    Quote Originally Posted by Perpetua
    Perpetua
    Female CE Elf Tribal Ardent 5/Anarchic Initiate 4/Dark Hunter 10/Anarchic Initiate +1
    "My life for her majesty, always."

    Levels 1-5
    Spoiler
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    Backstory: I began life as any other elf--confined. Trapped within the halls of Aerenal, I learned the same lessons as the other elf maidens, ate the same food, heard the same tales of the Undying Court, and lived the same stale life. Even as a youth, I couldn't take it. My breaking point came when my family arranged to sell me in marriage to a rich young bore of an elf. I locked myself in my room for days on end, watching the butterflies outside my window come and go without a care...without a sound. I envied not only their beauty, but their stealth and speed. They could sneak anywhere, or dart about in plain sight--it mattered not to them. In my free time, I began to study them. Over time, I too learned how to move quickly while keeping quiet, and it was all too easy to escape the ornate prison that was Aerenal. I was free! Alone in the wild, yes, but free.
    Tactics: Perpetua begins life as she breaks away from home, taking levels in Tribal Ardent (which replaces Psicraft with Survival, a needed skill for our S.I.). She picks up Move Silently via Aereni Focus, but could easily do so using Skill Knowledge if your DM is permissive (or you're not in Eberron). She snags Overchannel and serves as a basic blaster, augmenting her Energy Ray and Energy Bolt as much as she can. The versatility of the different energy types helps tremendously, and she also has Charm/Suggestion for social interaction. Dimension Hop and Hustle serve to speed up Perpetua, further enhanced by the speed bonus granted by the Freedom Mantle. Lastly, a high DEX and the energy resistance available from the Energy mantle boost her defensively. She snags The Planes mantle at 5th level, but we don't really need that yet.


    Levels 6-10
    Spoiler
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    Backstory: Life in the wild was perfect. New, frantic, and chaotic, but perfect. I was free to travel where I wanted, hunting my food or convincing wealthy travelers to provide whatever I needed. My years of study had payed off, and my mind was sharp. One night, I met a strange little man in a clearing--much like a gnome, but with gossamer wings like the butterflies of my youth. He introduced me to the world of the fey, and to the realm of the unseelie. He regaled me with tales of the Queen of Air and Darkness, a beautiful and fearsome woman who made mighty fey bend to her will. She sounded amazing--truly free to exert herself over the world. I determined that I would join her court, no matter the cost. I worked my way into the ranks of her followers and began fetching whatever she asked...or whomever. I found that with my "winning" personality and my ability to travel in the blink of an eye, I was able to complete her requests much faster than anyone else. She took notice, and I was invited to swear the oath of the Hunter. I obliged immediately, pledging myself to her in hopes of obtaining the same power and freedom that she had in abundance.
    Tactics: Perpetua embraces chaos, moving into Anarchic Initiate to further her blasting capabilities. When she overchannels her blasting powers, she has a 50% chance to increase the damage output, so she'll be overchanneling whenever she has the HP. Her mobility increases via flight, freedom of movement, teleporting and planeshifting. Also, her go-to trick comes online at levels 8-9. Whenever the queen requests something (or someone), Perpetua can teleport or planeshift to the desired location, charm or suggest anyone she encounters into handing over the requested item (or simply taking her hand to join her on her travels), and teleport or plane shift right back to the queen. Her high speed and alternate mobility remain viable options when on assignment. Also, if someone resists the charm and fights back, she can blast them into oblivion before teleporting back to the Queen with the requested corpse (since she can bring objects along). At level 10, she enters Dark Hunter and begins to learn arcane spells. Her first spells, expeditious retreat and spider climb, contribute even further to her limitless mobility.


    Levels 11-15
    Spoiler
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    Backstory: I was the queen's go-to girl; she relied on me to fetch things for her when waiting was not an option, and again I obliged her request. I reswore my oath year after year, continuing to learn the path to true freedom under her watchful wing. I pushed myself to new heights, learning to spy on my prey long before arriving, and boosting my speed until my eyes watered as I ran through the fields. I earned the queen's favor through my devotion, and she smiled upon me daily. I lived in the lap of luxury--there was once a week-long feast in my honor after I killed and retrieved the horrid little half-gnome that had introduced me to the Court. Selling secrets to the Seelie, he was. I was the Queen's number one, often fetching other Hunters who had failed to uphold their oath.
    Tactics: Perpetua gains fast movement, which stacks with the +10 ft bonus to speed she gained from the Freedom Mantle at level 2. Also, powers like Hustle help to multiply this speed bonus by granting extra move actions so Perpetua can get anywhere in a hurry. Her senses are enhanced for the hunt via darkvision, and her high DEX is assured to her thanks to Uncanny Dodge. She learns Mount to summon a horse she can grant the fast mount bonuses to, picks up Invisibility to enhance her stealth, and jumps into the divination powers. Detect Snares and Pits helps her find traps (since she's no rogue), while Detect Thoughts and Clairaudience/Clairvoyance allow her to spy on her quarries. Furthermore, if she views the area she's teleporting to for an hour beforehand, it counts as being carefully studied and thus severely lessens her chance of a teleporting mishap. She learns Phantom Steed (which nearly replaces Mount), since its speed far exceeds a normal horse. If items or flaws are available, she can boost her CL to 14 in order to have a flying mount that can travel up to 270 feet per round by level 20. Finally, speak w/ animals can be used creatively to aid her while tracking prey through the wilderness, while dispel magic can help lower any protections against charms her quarry may have.


    Levels 16-20
    Spoiler
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    Backstory: My feet never needed to move, so adept was I. I stood before Her Majesty, and with but a thought I stood before the object of her desire. I could blink and teleport myself around--even use partial teleportation to avoid the attacks of my enemies. I was the best. And you? You are nothing! You claim she has sent you to collect me as if you know Her Majesty's will? Ha! I TRAINED you, son. I know your tricks. I've been studying you for years. You think you can hold me, yet I escape your grasp. You think you can surprise me, but I know your every move. Not even your mind blank stopped my information gathering. I've even cast Dimensional Anchor to ensure you can't teleport me back to her. So finish your job with honor. Put your blade to my neck and slay me; I'd rather die in Her Majesty's favor than see her disappointment with me.
    Tactics: Perpetua rounds out her casting ability with more movement-related spells--Dimension Door allows her to travel quickly without burning PP for teleporting, while Ethereal Jaunt (usually a level 7 spell!) and Displacement ensure that she's hard to hit. Her freedom of movement ability gained from Dark Hunter 9 is great because it kicks in automatically whenever it applies, meaning it will save Perpetua from situations where she can't manifest psionic Freedom of Movement. While Discern Location is great because you don't need the material component (since it's a SLA), it can still be blocked by Mind Blank. For that, we venture back to Anarchic Initiate at 20th level. Earth Sense and Earth Power mean that we can reduce the cost of powers by 1, so we can overchannel our ML up to 16 and snag Metafaculty as our last power, a nigh-unblockable divination.


    Overchanneling and Manifesting
    Spoiler
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    I know I might catch some flak for this, but I believe that you can use Overchannel to boost your Ardent ML while learning powers. Complete Psi specifies that an ardent must be able to manifest a power in order to learn it--using Overchannel is something that occurs while manifesting which leads me to believe you can use it to bump up your ML enough to grab new powers. At 20th level, Earth Sense/Power not only give us limited Blindsight, but allow us to lower the cost of powers by 1 while focused and standing on earth. We overchannel our ML up to 16 (thanks to Practiced Manifester), which is just high enough to manifest our 9th-level power (which has been reduced by Earth Power). Voila! A 9th-level spell with only 10 levels of psionic classes, and a darn good flavorful fit.


    The Build
    {table=head]
    LEVEL
    |
    CLASS
    |
    BAB
    |
    FORT
    |
    REF
    |
    WILL
    |
    SKILLS
    |
    FEATS
    |
    CLASS FEATURES

    1
    |
    Tribal Ardent 1
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    Know (planes) 4; Know (psi) 4; Move Silently 4; Survival 4
    |
    Aereni Focus (Move Silently)
    |
    Communication Mantle; Energy Mantle

    2
    |
    Tribal Ardent 2
    |
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |
    Know (nature) 1; Know (planes) 5; Know (psi) 5; Survival 5
    ||
    Freedom Mantle

    3
    |
    Tribal Ardent 3
    |
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    Know (nature) 2; Know (planes) 6; Know (psi) 6; Survival 6
    |
    Overchannel
    |

    4
    |
    Tribal Ardent 4
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |
    Know (nature) 3; Know (planes) 7; Know (psi) 7; Survival 7
    ||

    5
    |
    Tribal Ardent 5
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |
    Know (nature) 4; Know (planes) 8; Know (psi) 8; Survival 8
    ||
    The Planes Mantle

    6
    |
    Anarchic Initiate 1
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +6
    |
    Hide 2 (cc); Ride 1 (cc)
    |
    Improved Initiative
    |
    Chaotic Surge

    7
    |
    Anarchic Initiate 2
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +7
    |
    Hide 3 (cc); Ride 3 (cc)
    ||
    Anarchic Grace

    8
    |
    Anarchic Initiate 3
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +7
    |
    Hide 4 (cc); Ride 4 (cc); Move Silently 6
    ||
    Wild Surge +1; Psychic Enervation

    9
    |
    Anarchic Initiate 4
    |
    +6/+1
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +8
    |
    Hide 5 (cc); Ride 5 (cc); Move Silently 8
    |
    Track
    |
    Clarity of Confusion

    10
    |
    Dark Hunter 1
    |
    +6/+1
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +8
    |
    Hide 6; Move Silently 9; Psicraft 2 (cc)
    ||
    Low-light vision

    11
    |
    Dark Hunter 2
    |
    +7/+2
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +8
    |
    Hide 7; Move Silently 10; Psicraft 4 (cc)
    ||
    Fast Mount/Fast Movement (+10)

    12
    |
    Dark Hunter 3
    |
    +8/+3
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +9
    |
    Hide 8; Move Silently 12; Ride 8; Survival 10
    |
    Practiced Manifester
    |
    Darkvision

    13
    |
    Dark Hunter 4
    |
    +9/+4
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +9
    |
    Hide 9; Move Silently 14; Ride 9; Survival 12
    ||
    Uncanny Dodge (retain DEX to AC)

    14
    |
    Dark Hunter 5
    |
    +9/+4
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +9
    |
    Hide 11; Move Silently 15; Ride 11; Survival 13
    ||
    Fast Mount/Fast Movement (+20)

    15
    |
    Dark Hunter 6
    |
    +10/+5
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +10
    |
    Hide 13; Move Silently 16; Ride 13; Survival 14
    |
    Earth Sense
    |
    Scent

    16
    |
    Dark Hunter 7
    |
    +11/+6/+1
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +10
    |
    Hide 15; Move Silently 17; Ride 15; Survival 15
    ||
    Uncanny Dodge (can't be flanked)

    17
    |
    Dark Hunter 8
    |
    +12/+7/+2
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    +10
    |
    Hide 17; Move Silently 18; Ride 17; Survival 16
    ||
    Fast Mount/Fast Movement (+30)

    18
    |
    Dark Hunter 9
    |
    +12/+7/+2
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    +11
    |
    Hide 19; Move Silently 19; Ride 19; Survival 17
    |
    Earth Power
    |
    Freedom of Movement

    19
    |
    Dark Hunter 10
    |
    +13/+8/+3
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    |
    +11
    |
    Hide 21; Move Silently 20; Ride 21; Survival 18
    ||
    Discern Location

    20
    |
    Anarchic Initiate 5
    |
    +13/+8/+3
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    |
    +11
    |
    Hide 23; Move Silently 21; Ride 23; Survival 19
    ||[/table]

    {table=head]ABILITY|POINTS|BASE|RACE|LEVELS|TOTAL|MOD
    STR|0|8|+0|+0|8|-1
    DEX|8|15|+2|+1|18|+4
    CON|8|15|-2|+0|13|+1
    INT|6|14|+0|+0|14|+2
    WIS|10|16|+0|+4|20|+5
    CHA|0|8|+0|+0|8|-1[/table]

    PSIONICS/SPELLCASTING
    Spoiler
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    Powers Known/PP per day
    {table=HEAD]LEVEL|ML (overchanneling)|PP*|Powers Known
    1|1|2|Charm, Psionic; Energy Ray
    2|2|6|Dimension Hop
    3|3 (4)|11|Suggestion, psionic
    4|4 (5)|17|Hustle
    5|5 (6)|25|Energy Bolt
    6|6 (7)|35|Fly, psionic
    7|7 (8)|46|Freedom of Movement, psionic
    8|8 (10)|58|Teleport, psionic
    9|9 (11)|72|Plane Shift, psionic
    10|9 (11)|72|
    11|9 (11)|72|
    12|12 (14)|72|
    13|13 (15)|72|
    14|13 (15)|72|
    15|13 (15)|72|
    16|13 (15)|72|
    17|13 (15)|72|
    18|13 (15)|72|
    19|13 (15)|72|
    20|14 (16)|88|Metafaculty[/table]

    *does not include bonus PP from a high ability score

    Spells per day*/Spells Known
    {table=head]Level|1st|2nd|3rd|4th|Spells Known
    1st|-|-|-|-|
    2nd|-|-|-|-|
    3rd|-|-|-|-|
    4th|-|-|-|-|
    5th|-|-|-|-|
    6th|-|-|-|-|
    7th|-|-|-|-|
    8th|-|-|-|-|
    9th|-|-|-|-|
    10th|0/2|-|-|-|Expeditious Retreat, Spider Climb
    11th|1/3|-|-|-|Mount
    12th|2/3|0/2|-|-|Invisibility, Locate Object
    13th|3/4|1/3|-|-|Detect Snares and Pits, Detect Thoughts
    14th|3/4|2/3|0/2|-|Clairaudience/Clairvoyance, Phantom Steed
    15th|3/4|3/4|1/3|-|Speak w/ Animals, Dispel Magic
    16th|3/4|3/4|2/3|0/2|Dimension Door, Ethereal Jaunt
    17th|3/4|3/4|3/4|1/3|Haste, Displacement
    18th|3/4|3/4|3/4|2/3|
    19th|3/4|3/4|3/4|3/4|Dimensional Anchor
    20th|3/4|3/4|3/4|3/4|[/table]

    *Does not include bonus spells per day from a high ability score.


    Adaptation
    Spoiler
    Show
    • LA Buyoff: If allowed, Perpetua would be a half-fey for the great SLAs and flavor, not to mention flight without spending PP. Of course, the change to ability scores means we'd have to rework them, but it seems feasible.
    • Traits/Flaws: The Quick trait is a no-brainer for a fast character like Perpetua, and flaws would allow us to snag Earth Sense & Earth Power at level 1. With this, we could pick up Quicken Power (to charm quarries and teleport back in one round) and Practiced Spellcaster (boosting Dark Hunter CL to 14 for a flying phantom steed).
    • Suggested Items: an amulet of catapsi would be nice against other manifesters or casters, and it replaces the Chaotic Breach (minor) from Anarchic Initiate that we maddeningly missed by one level. Anything that boosts DEX and WIS are great, of course. Also, the Torc of Power Preservation can be used 3/day to lower PP costs by one--if you're able to snag one, your DM may allow you to manifest Metafaculty without the need for Earth Sense/Earth Power at all, freeing up slots for some more metapsionics.
    • ACFs: The Mind's Eye article has two great ACFs, so powerful I think they're cheap. Dominant Ideal allows you to get some more oomph out of one mantle for some cheap metapsionics (Energy would be great for augmenting) and Substitute Powers allows you to build your own mantles (to grab some great powers I couldn't wedge into this build).


    Sources
    Spoiler
    Show
    • Fey Feature (Dark Hunter)
    • Mind's Eye (Tribal Ardent variant, Substitute Powers variant)
    • PHB (Elf, Track, Improved Initiative)
    • Player's Guide to Eberron (Aereni Focus)
    • Complete Psionic (Ardent, Anarchic Initiate, Practiced Manifester)
    • Expanded Psionics Handbook (Overchannel)
    • Races of Stone (Earth Sense, Earth Power)

  19. - Top - End - #109
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XVIII

    This reeks of fey!
    Quote Originally Posted by Reek
    Reek, Master of Her Majesty’s Menagerie

    Fiendish Desert Goblin – Neutral Evil – Warlock 6 / Simple Variant Wilderness Rogue 3 / Beast Heart Adept 1 / Dark Hunter 10

    Image
    Spoiler
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    Backstory
    Spoiler
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    The raiders came out of nowhere. An entire patrol was down before the horns sounded and the goblins rallied to the defense of their village. From his vantage point on the hill, Marthak sat astride his dire wolf and studied the interlopers with a spyglass. Elves, he thought, and a satyr… and uh… he wasn’t sure what that last one was, but it was big. And as fast as they rode in, they seemed now to be waiting… waiting for the worgs to charge.

    That worried Marthak. It’s like they weren’t even interested in the village, they just wanted to stir up the nest to get the cavalry to charge them.

    Then he spied the nets. Nets and a bag of… muzzles? They were here for the worgs. HIS worgs. His father may lead the tribe, but it was Marthak who captured and trained the beasts they used. Well if these elves wanted beasts, then he’d put on a HELL of a show.

    A quick shouted discussion later, the worg cavalry aborted their charge, and circled back, and the goblins began raining the interlopers with arrows. Unsurprisingly, the arrow volleys did little. Looking annoyed, the intruders summoned mounts out of nowhere and rode in pursuit of the worg riders, nets in hand. Marthak fired on them at that point, his eldritch blast ripping the phantom steed right out from under the lead rider. That got their attention.

    His assistants used slings to mark the area around the interlopers in sweet smelling fumes, and Marthak opened the cage he stood next to. Five winged carrion crawlers, their forms wreathed in leering faces made of flames, took flight and bore down upon the enemies the fumes had marked. He was proud of these beasts, some of his finest work to date, and procuring them had been expensive. And the look on the intruder’s faces was worth it.

    Two of the crawlers didn’t make it down the hill, as magic from the enemy paralyzed them in mid flight. And while the elves were busy dealing with the remaining 3 and the worg cavalry that was charging from their other flank, the satyr pointed at Marthak and the ogrish one smiled. Suddenly, the brute teleported and was on top of the hill, right in front of Marthak.

    The goblin warlock spurred his dire wolf, which unfurled it’s leathery wings, buffeted their assailant and breathed fire on him. The brute seemed surprised at the onslaught of fire, but otherwise ignored it, just like he ignored the Deep Slumber spell from Marthak’s wand. The dire wolf then backpedaled into the air, giving Marthak some distance from the fellow, but the Satyr had closed the distance now and cast something which bound his mount’s wings and sent them both crashing to the ground.

    A few seconds later, Marthak was pummeled senseless and everything went dark.

    He awoke bound, gagged, and blindfolded on the back of someone’s mount. It smelled unnatural, but he could scent worgs nearby. He tried to roll off, but was too securely tied.

    “Quit squirming,” someone said to him in badly accented goblin. “Your village was spared. Be a shame if we had to change that.”

    He could feel magic crinkling about them every so often as they travelled. They were plane shifting, probably through standing portals. When they finally stopped, he could hear a flute playing, and he was dragged off the mount and through a field of close-cropped grass. He was forced to his knees and his blindfold was ripped off, bringing him face to face with a gazebo seemingly made of silver and obsidian glass. It’s occupants were chatting casually in some fey dialect and were in exquisite physical shape. His eyes were drawn to the one in the center, a female of radiant beauty that his gut told him he should greatly fear.

    She paused, and sniffed the air, finally bringing her gaze to rest upon Marthak’s captors.

    “Dearest, I… smell… something. What reeks?”

    “This one does, my Queen,” said the elf with the grip on Marthak’s shoulder. “Has a bit of a brimstone taint to him. Looks to be of Carcerian descent, Minethys I would guess. But he was leading the… resistance… on our hunting trip.”

    “And you haven’t executed him for it because… ?”

    “Because the goblins in his village tell us he’s the one that made THESE,” the elf said, gesturing grandly at several creatures being paraded up to the pavilion. Two of Marthak’s winged carrion crawlers were there, struggling but held fast in fine nets, and his winged dire wolf, its eyes glassed over and standing there listlessly. “The dog breathes fire as well,” he continued.

    “And the reeking one… CRAFTED these?” the woman in charge said to no one in particular.

    “Hunted, tamed, and… improved… yes,” Marthak said, clearing his throat.

    The assembled court looked at him with horror, then at their queen. She leveled such a gaze at him… but her face snapped immediately into a honey-sweet mask and she looked away from the goblin again.

    “So I suppose you could make for me an owlbear that actually flies?” she laughed.

    “Or a myconid who breathes fire and is willing to sauté itself for your dining pleasure… your highness,” Marthak said as fearlessly as he could manage.

    She turned to look at the goblin with a mix of amusement and mock horror on her face, then broke out in a wide and terrible grin.

    “Oh now that’s something I simply MUST see! How soon can you craft one for me?”

    “Well I would need some test subjects and a few reagents…” but he was cut off by her waving hand.

    “Details bore me. Dearest,” she said to the elf that still held the iron grip on Marthak’s shoulder, “get little Reek here set up with a laboratory or something and whatever else he needs. Then take him hunting!”

    “Of course, my Queen,” he replied, and then ushered the goblin and his creations away from the glade.

    “Just so you’re clear, goblin,” he hissed as they were away from the glade and beyond the sound of the flute player, “you belong to HER now. Please your Queen and you get to live.”

    “Fail her and I die?” the warlock asked, massaging his sore wrists.

    “Heh,” snorted the pale elf ranger, “you wish.”


    The Build
    Spoiler
    Show

    {table=head]STR|DEX|CON|INT|WIS|CHA|-|Level Bonuses
    8|14|14|14|14|13|-|+1 CHA at 4th, +1 WIS at 8th, 12th, 16th, 20th [/table]
    {table=head]Race/Template|Cost|Bonuses
    Desert Goblin| - |-2 Str, +2 Dex, -2 Cha, Humanoid (Goblinoid), Low Light Vision, +2 Gather Information (racial), +4 Move Silently (racial), +4 Ride (racial), Size Small, Move 30’
    Fiendish Template|+2 LA|Darkvision 60’, Spell Resistance (character level + 5), Damage Reduction (later), Resist Fire/Cold 5 (more later), Smite Good (1/day)
    LA Buyoff| - |Levels 8 and 10[/table]

    {table=head]Level|Class|Base Attack<br>Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Skills|Feats|Class Features

    1st|Simple Wilderness Rogue 1|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |Heal (cc) 2, Handle Animal 4, Hide 4, Intimidate 4, Knowledge (Dungeoneering)(cc) 2, Knowledge (Nature) 4, Move Silent 4, Ride 4, Survival 4, Use Magic Device 4|Track, Improved Initiative|Trapfinding, Fighter Bonus Feat

    2nd|Warlock 1|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    | Knowledge (Arcane) 4|-|Eldritch Blast (1d6), Invocation (Call of the Beast)

    3rd|Warlock 2|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +3
    | Intimidate 5, Knowledge (Arcane) 5, Use Magic Device 6|Practiced Spellcaster (Warlock)|Detect Magic, Invocation (Entropic Warding)

    4th|Simple Wilderness Rogue 2|
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    | Heal (cc) 3, Handle Animal 6, Hide 5, Move Silent 6, Ride 5, Survival 6|Mounted Combat|Evasion, Fighter Bonus Feat, DR 5/magic
    5th|Warlock 3|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |
    +3
    | Knowledge (Arcane) 7, Knowledge (Dungeoneering)(cc) 3| -|DR 1/cold iron, Eldritch Blast 2d6 (3d6)

    6th|Warlock 4|
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    | Knowledge (The Planes) 2, Use Magic Device 8 |Animal Affinity| Deceive Item, Invocation (Eldritch Spear)
    7th|Simple Wilderness Rogue 3|
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +4
    |
    +5
    | Heal (cc) 4, Handle Animal 8, knowledge (Dungeoneering)(cc) 4, Move Silent 8, Survival 8|-|-
    8th|Beast Heart Adept 1|
    +6
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +7
    | Heal 10| -| Monstrous Companion, Monster Empathy, Monster Handler, Resist Cold/Fire 10

    9th|Warlock 5|
    +6
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +7
    | Knowledge (The Planes) 4, Use Magic Device 10| Graft Flesh (Fiendish)|Eldritch Blast 3d6 (5d6)

    10th|Warlock 6|
    +7
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +8
    | Knowledge (The Planes) 6, Use Magic Device 12|-|Invocation (Charm)

    11th|Dark Hunter 1|
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +8
    | Handle Animal 11, Ride 8|-| Spellcasting, Low Light Vision (3x human)

    12th|Dark Hunter 2|
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    | Handle Animal 13, Heal 12, Ride 10|Combat Charm| Fast Mount (+10’), Fast Movement (+10’), DR 10/magic

    13th|Dark Hunter 3|
    +9
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    +9
    | Handle Animal 15, Heal 14, Ride 12|-| -

    14th|Dark Hunter 4|
    +10
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    | Handle Animal 17, Heal 16, Ride 14|-| Uncanny Dodge (Dex Bonus)
    15th|Dark Hunter 5|
    +10
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    | Handle Animal 18, Heal 18, Ride 17|Mounted Archery| Fast Mount (+20’), Fast Movement (+20’)

    16th|Dark Hunter 6|
    +11
    |
    +10
    |
    +10
    |
    +10
    | Handle Animal 19, Heal 19, Knowledge (Nature) 6, Ride 19|-|Scent

    17th|Dark Hunter 7|
    +12
    |
    +10
    |
    +10
    |
    +10
    | Handle Animal 20, Heal 20, Knowledge (Dungeoneering)(cc) 5, Knowledge (Nature) 7, Ride 20|-| Uncanny Dodge (Flank)

    18th|Dark Hunter 8|
    +13
    |
    +11
    |
    +11
    |
    +10
    | Handle Animal 21, Heal 21, Knowledge (Nature) 8, Knowledge (The Planes) 8, Ride 21|Martial Study (Shadow Stride)| Fast Mount (+30’), Fast Movement (+30’)

    19th|Dark Hunter 9|
    +13
    |
    +11
    |
    +11
    |
    +11
    | Handle Animal 22, Heal 22, Knowledge (Nature) 9, Knowledge (The Planes) 10, Ride 22|-|Freedom of Movement
    20th|Dark Hunter 10|
    +14
    |
    +12
    |
    +12
    |
    +11
    | Handle Animal 23, Heal 23, Knowledge (Nature) 10, Knowledge (The Planes) 12, Ride 23|-|Discern Location [/table]

    Spells per day/Spells Known
    Spoiler
    Show
    {table=head]Level|1|2|3|4|Dark Hunter Spells Known

    11th|0|-|-|-|1st (Detect Animals or Plants, Expeditious Retreat)

    12th|1|-|-|-|1st (Mount)

    13th|2|0|-|-|2nd (Invisibility, Locate Object)

    14th|3|1|-|-|1st (True Strike), 2nd (Detect Thoughts)

    15th|3|2|0|-|3rd (Haste, See Invisibility)

    16th|3|3|1|-|2nd (Bull’s Endurance), 3rd (Fly)

    17th|3|3|2|0|4th (Ethereal Jaunt, Locate Creature)

    18th|3|3|3|1|3rd (Clairaudience/Clairvoyance), 4th (Improved Invisibility)

    19th|3|3|3|2|-

    20th|3|3|3|3|4th (Sending)[/table]

    Level Highlights
    Spoiler
    Show

    NOTE – The meat of this build is Wild Empathy. There are 17 class levels with Wild Empathy, which can be used on Animals and Magical Beasts equally and without regard for the creature’s intelligence. Handle Animal is also maximized, and works at full effect on Animals, Magical Beasts, and Aberrations with INT of less than 3. Warlock Charm backs it all up and Fiendish Graft Flesh is used to make “improvements” to the creatures once they are trained. (Note that Reek has chosen not to use Graft Flesh on HIMSELF as it imposes a -6 penalty to CHA checks in many circumstances… such as Wild Empathy and Handle Animal. !!!)

    Level 6 – At this level, Reek is a goblin outrider. He trains beasts for his tribe, he circles the edge of a battle using Eldritch Blast from the saddle. With a high ride check and DR 5/magic, he has little to worry about so long as he avoids melee and magic arrows. His equipment list features a coveted Circlet of Persuasion and as many scrolls and nearly-empty wands as he could scrounge up.

    Level 10 – This is Reek as of the writing of his intro story. With Practiced Spellcaster and a Chasuble of Fell Power, he’s throwing 7d6 warlock blasts from long range and Charming anything that gets too close. His main function is to train beasts and aberrations and then make… enhancements… to them using Graft Flesh.

    Level 12 – Sweet Spot – Now in the Queen’s employ, Reek has picked up some tips on using Charm, and critters no longer get a save bonus against it if his new friends are violent toward them. His job is to now acquire new hounds and mounts for the Hunters. Reek should now be properly outfitted with a +3 Mithral Feycrafted Twilight Breastplate, a matching Mithril shield, a Warlock Scepter, and a small selection of Wands like Web, Invisibility Sphere, and Hypnotic Pattern.

    Level 20 – Reek’s capability has slowly grown over the past 8 levels. He can now fights invisibly and can divine the location of any creature he wants to trap and can make short teleports in combat as a move action. A Belt of Magnificence rounds out his equipment at this level, along with a good Staff or two for immobilizing opponents.


    Source Books
    Spoiler
    Show
    {table=head]Sourcebook|Class/Race|Feats
    Complete Arcane|Warlock|-
    Complete Divine|-|Practiced Spellcaster
    Complete Mage|-|Warlock Invocations
    Dragon Magazine Compendium|-|Combat Charm
    Dungeonscape|Beast Heart Adept|-
    Fiend Folio|-|Graft Flesh
    Monster Manual|Goblin, Fiendish Template|-
    Player’s Handbook|-|Animal Affinity, Improved Initiative, Mounted Archery, Mounted Combat, Track
    The Internetz|Dark Hunter|-
    Tome of Battle|-|Martial Study
    Unearthed Arcana|Wilderness Rogue, Simple Variant Rogue, Environmental Racial Variant, LA Buyoff|-[/table]

  20. - Top - End - #110
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XVIII

    See, Tolkien. THAT is how you use a hawk.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tamalin
    “Nicenevin! Nicnevin! Queen of Witches! I call to thee!
    I ask in your grace that you part the veil of night,
    And open the gate to the Otherworld.
    As we give honor to our ancestors,
    We give honor to you who guides them here!
    Drink with us and aid our rite,
    In the name of the grand Mother Witch!” -Darker Superstitions of Scotland, p. 537

    Tamalin, CN Killoren Ranger 5/Unseelie Dark Hunter 10/Moonsea Skysentinel (CoV 117) 5
    Ranger Variant Used: Shooting Star Ranger Substitution Levels 3 & 4 (CoV 50)
    Base Stats:
    {table]Level|STR|DEX|CON|IN|WIS|CHA
    1st|12|16|14|10|14|10
    4th|12|16|14|10|15|10
    8th|12|16|14|10|16|10
    12th|12|16|14|10|17|10
    16th|12|16|14|10|18|10
    20th|12|16|14|10|19|10[/table]
    Table does not include magic items.

    Spoiler
    Show
    {table=head]Level|Class|Base Attack<br>Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Skills|Feats|Class Features

    1st|Ranger 1|
    +1
    |
    +4
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |Concentration +1, Handle Animal +2, Hide +4, Knowledge (Arcana) +1, Knowledge (Nature) +3, Move Silently +4, Ride +4, Survival +4|Improved Initiative, Track(bonus)|Favored Enemy (Humanoid: Humans), Wild Empathy

    2nd|Ranger 2|
    +2
    |
    +5
    |
    +6
    |
    +2
    |Concentration 2, Handle Animal 3, Hide 5, Move Silently 5, Ride 5, Survival 5|Rapid Shot(bonus)|Archery Combat Style

    3rd|Ranger 3|
    +3
    |
    +5
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    |Concentration 3, Handle Animal 5, Move Silently 6, Ride 6. Survival 6|Mounted Combat|Weavespeak (CoV 50)

    4th|Ranger 4|
    +4
    |
    +6
    |
    +7
    |
    +3
    |Concentration 4, Handle Animal 7, Move Silently 7, Ride 7, Survival 7|-|Bonus Spells, Improved Spellcasting (CoV 50)

    5th|Ranger 5|
    +5
    |
    +6
    |
    +7
    |
    +3
    |Concentration 6, Handle Animal 8, Move Silently 8, Ride 8, Survival 8|-|Favored Enemy (Humanoid: Human)

    6th|Moonsea Skysentinel 1|
    +6
    |
    +8
    |
    +7
    |
    +3
    |Spot +2|Mounted Archery|Dire Hawk Steed, Magical Defense +1

    7th|Unseelie Dark Hunter 1|
    +6
    |
    +10
    |
    +9
    |
    +3
    |Concentration 7, Handle Animal 9, Ride 9, Survival 9|-|Spells, Low-Light Vision

    8th|Unseelie Dark Hunter 2|
    +7
    |
    +11
    |
    +10
    |
    +4
    |Concentration 8, Handle Animal 10, Ride 10, Survival 10|-|Fast Mount, Fast Movement

    9th|Moonsea Skysentinel 2|
    +8
    |
    +12
    |
    +10
    |
    +4
    |Spot 4|Wild Cohort(Dire Badger)|Shield 1/day

    10th|Moonsea Skysentinel 3|
    +9
    |
    +12
    |
    +11
    |
    +5
    |Spot 6|-|Spell Turning 1/day

    11th|Unseelie Dark Hunter 3|
    +10
    |
    +12
    |
    +11
    |
    +6
    |Concentration 9, Handle Animal 11, Ride 11, Survival 11|-|Darkvision

    12th|Unseelie Dark Hunter 4|
    +11
    |
    +13
    |
    +12
    |
    +6
    |Concentration 10, Handle Animal 12, Ride 12, Survival 12|Extend Spell|Uncanny Dodge (DEX bonus to AC)

    13th|Moonsea Skysentinel 4|
    +12
    |
    +14
    |
    +12
    |
    +6
    |Spot 8|-|Magical Defense +2, +1 HD to Dire Hawk Steed

    14th|Unseelie Dark Hunter 5|
    +12
    |
    +14
    |
    +12
    |
    +6
    |Concentration 11, Handle Animal 13, Ride 13, Survival 13|-|Fast Mount, Fast Movement

    15th|Unseelie Dark Hunter 6|
    +13
    |
    +15
    |
    +13
    |
    +7
    |Concentration 12, Handle Animal 14, Ride 14, Survival 14|Magic Disruption (CMa 44)|Scent

    16th|Unseelie Dark Hunter 7|
    +14
    |
    +15
    |
    +13
    |
    +8
    |Concentration 13, Handle Animal 15, Ride 15, Survival 15|-|Uncanny Dodge (can’t be flanked)

    17th|Unseelie Dark Hunter 8|
    +15
    |
    +16
    |
    +14
    |
    +8
    |Concentration 14, Handle Animal 16, Ride 16, Survival 16|-|Fast Mount, Fast Movement

    18th|Unseelie Dark Hunter 9|
    +15
    |
    +16
    |
    +14
    |
    +8
    |Concentration 15, Handle Animal 17 Ride 17, Survival 17|Dimensional Jaunt (CMa 41)|Freedom of Movement1/day & 1 round/class level

    19th|Unseelie Dark Hunter 10|
    +16
    |
    +17
    |
    +15
    |
    +10
    |Concentration 16, Handle Animal 18, Ride 18, Survival 18|-|Discern Location 1/day

    20th|Moonsea Skysentinel 5|
    +17
    |
    +17
    |
    +15
    |
    +10
    |Spot +10|-|Shield 2/day[/table]


    Ranger Spells per day/Spells Known
    Spoiler
    Show
    {table=head]Level|0lvl|1st|2nd|3rd|4th|5th|6th|7th|8th|9th

    1st|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    2nd|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    3rd|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    4th|-|2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    5th|-|2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    6th|-|2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    7th|-|2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    8th|-|2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    9th|-|2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    10th|-|2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    11th|-|2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    12th|-|2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    13th|-|2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    14th|-|2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    15th|-|2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    16th|-|2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    17th|-|2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    18th|-|2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    19th|-|2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    20th|-|2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-[/table]

    Ranger Spells: Entangle, Hunter’s Mercy (SpC 117)


    Unseelie Dark Hunter Spells per day/Spells Known
    Spoiler
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    {table=head]Level|0lvl|1st|2nd|3rd|4th|5th|6th|7th|8th|9th

    1st|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    2nd|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    3rd|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    4th|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    5th|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    6th|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    7th|-|1/2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    8th|-|2/3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    9th|-|2/3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    10th|-|2/3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    11th|-|3/3|1/2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    12th|-|4/4|2/3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    13th|-|4/4|2/3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    14th|-|4/4|3/3|1/2|-|-|-|-|-|-

    15th|-|4/4|4/4|2/3|-|-|-|-|-|-

    16th|-|4/4|4/4|3/3|1/2|-|-|-|-|-

    17th|-|4/4|4/4|4/4|2/3|-|-|-|-|-

    18th|-|4/4|4/4|4/4|3/3|-|-|-|-|-

    19th|-|4/4|4/4|4/4|4/4|-|-|-|-|-

    20th|-|4/4|4/4|4/4|4/4|-|-|-|-|-[/table]

    Unseelie Dark Hunter Spells: 1 - Command, Expeditious Retreat, Spider Climb, True Strike; 2 - Cat’s Grace, Bear’s Endurance, Hold Person, Speak With Animals; 3 - Dispel Magic, Fly, Haste, Hold Monster; 4 - Dimension Door, Dimensional Anchor, Displacement, Improved Invisibility


    The Long Road Crossing to the Other World(Background)
    My earliest memory is of the fire. The rangers we’d traded with, who found me and cared for me after, said the fire was from Zhentarim Sky Mages, ringing the forest with flames to drive my Killoren kin into the slavers’ nets. I’d fallen into a shallow ditch of muddy water, and the fire passed over me. I lost all that I knew that day, except the rangers, because of those filthy Zhents and their arcane fire.

    The rangers raised me as one of them, caring for the forests that remained and grew. My hatred for the Zhents that killed my family and home remained and grew, as well. I made it my purpose in life to hunt those who used magic to herd and harm other people. I learned my own magic as I grew, using it to overgrow, rather than burn away, and to reduce suffering, rather than inflicting it. The rangers taught me to ride, to shoot, and to react faster, but not always fast enough. I even learned to work with wizards and their ilk, provided they promised never to use the spells that burned, or froze, or otherwise destroyed through similar energies.

    I was chasing one of the accursed Zhent wizards in a thickly grown copse, when he vanished, as is their cowardly wont. I screamed in frustration, asking the world why I was so often too slow to catch them. The fey queen, Nicnevin, answered me that day. She promised me the speed, and the magic, by which I could catch those Zhent slavers and their killing magic. Queen Nicnevin introduced me to the Skysentinels, as well, to help fulfill her promise of enough speed to pursue the wizards. She had my loyalty, though, even as I worked with the Skysentinels.

    Fifth Level
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    With the Shooting Star variant Ranger, the Ranger’s spellcasting ability expands. Archery style saves on feats and aids in survival at these levels, by keeping Tamalin out of immediate melee range most of the time. Feat and skill selection makes for a good mounted combatant with tracking and stealth ability, with a purchased mount because the animal companion was traded away for the extra spell ability and an improved caster level, which will come in handy later. Weavespeak lets him communicate with specific party members at a distance, without needing the message spell. The various immunities and bonuses of the Fey subtype are solid defenses at this point, while the Aspect of the Hunter improves several relevant stats. On days when he expects to need more punch, Aspect of the Destroyer provides just that, against a decent spread of enemy types.


    Tenth Level
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    Moonsea Skysentinel works to keep Tamalin relevant in a battlefield that becomes increasingly three-dimensional at middle levels, while the Unseelie Dark Hunter improves both his speed, and the speed of his Dire Hawk mount. In addition, it improves his spellcasting abilities without increasing MAD. Remember I said the Shooting Star variant would come in handy later? Unseelie Dark Hunter is “arcane spellcasting from another class,” so the Shooting Star’s Improved Spellcasting ability explicitly applies. Hunter’s Mercy and True Strike make him a deadly combatant, Expeditious Retreat and Entangle give him and his team a significant movement advantage that the Unseelie Dark Hunter’s movement bonuses emphasize. The low-light vision increase makes him harder to hide from than your typical tracker. Wild Cohort for the Dire Boar fits the mythology of the Unseelie Dark Hunter, and gives the party a ground-based combatant to compliment Tamalin’s aerial assaults. Mounted Archery was a necessary step toward that aerial assault. Hopefully, a Distance bow is either in Tamalin’s possession by now, or he’s saving up for a quick upgrade, because Far Shot is not on the menu. Shield gives a decent bonus to AC, but more importantly takes a staple spell away from the enemy’s arsenal for that all-important first time. Because Moonsea Skysentinel’s skill points are sparse, he uses them only to increase his Spot modifier, which an archer finds so important.


    Fifteenth Level
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    Tamalin stuck with Moonsea Skysentinel long enough to get the Dire Hawk advanced so it could remain viable longer as the threats he and his party faces increase. Magic Disruption works with those factors to help him fight the spellcasters that are increasingly common foes at this level. With Low-light and Darkvision and Scent to go with his abilities as a Tracker, few enemies will escape detection. Dispel Magic hampers their defenses, while Haste allows him and his team even greater tactical superiority. With Extend Spell, Tamalin improves his DEX or CON for long periods of time, or does the same for an ally in need.


    Eighteenth Level (sweet spot)
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    Freedom of Movement is the real prize here. Couple it with movement speeds for himself and his mount that a Monk would envy, and Tamalin’s got the mobility advantage over most foes; Dimensional Jaunt helps assure this, with Dimension Door in reserve. Against those spellcasters trying to escape, Dimensional Anchor at an improved caster level is his answer. Displacement gives him a real defense now that AC is largely irrelevant, and even if they find him, they can’t flank him. He’s never been the heavy hitter in the group, but a Distance Bow with Collision arrows makes him a viable threat, particularly against his favored enemies, so he won’t just be ignored.


    Twentieth Level
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    Having finished out Unseelie Dark Hunter for Discern Location, Tamalin revisits Moonsea Skysentinel for a second use of the Shield spell. Magic Missile may be less often encountered by now, but it’s still many a caster’s bread-and-butter spell, so the additional defense is worthwhile. This also keeps his BAB at a very respectable +18. His Dire Badger has continued to scale with his levels to be a decent melee addition to the party, and he is essentially the mobile artillery platform at this point, hampering enemy movements while keeping himself and his allies flying about the field.


    Options
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    Tamalin would be largely unaffected by Vulnerable and Noncombatant, and could take those flaws to open up Point Blank Shot and Far Shot, which helps out his early game utility immensely
    Last edited by true_shinken; 2011-02-14 at 07:15 AM.

  21. - Top - End - #111
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XVIII

    I'm the one that you wanted, I'm a superbeast
    Quote Originally Posted by Faltino
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    Diary of Dalgoth the Bard
    War of the Weeping Clouds, Day 282

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    I remember the day we learned that the Dark Lord's alliances among the Fey ran deeper than we knew ... that he was supported by the Queen of Air and Darkness herself. It was a dour day ... but at least we also learned that we had an infiltrator, a saboteur deep within the councils of the Unseelie Court, the man who calls himself Moonrazor. Somehow, many years before this war even started, he was busy entrenching himself in the graces of Lady VelaaVuna and then the Queen, plotting their eventual downfall. Now ... this war has gotten mixed in with his plans, and the feys' fate has been entwined with that of Dark Lord Morrann. This may accelerate Moonrazor's plans, or it may doom them.

    Moonrazor actually delivered one of his secret messages through me. I remember how he contacted me, speaking directly into my mind. My curiosity got the better of me -- fie upon bardic training! -- and I made the muddy trek into the forest to meet him. He looked the part of an Unseelie agent, other than being rather muscular. His armor was angular, an odd mix of forest colors and deep, depressing colors, the colors of midnight and madness. His spear had a long, knarled haft that looked like it came from a diseased tree, though it was clearly strong. Though he looked purely human, all of his equipment was the stuff of nightmares. Except the circlet on his brow ... it was oddly peaceful, pearly white and glowing softly.

    I remember his eagle steed -- scariest-looking bird I have ever seen. Smaller than a roc, sure, but fierce as Hextor's codpiece, with talons that could sunder an ogre in seconds. I remember how he leapt from its back to the ground. Not the most graceful landing I've ever seen, but Moonrazor seemed like a few bumps and bruises wouldn't faze him much. Then there was the way he teleported onto the back of his eagle as it swooped past, after he delivered his message ... cute trick, that. Most of all, I remember his insufferably cocky dimeanor. I would have expected him to be paranoid about the fey observing his covert betrayal, but he was oddly confident that no one was watching.

    He's a double agent to the core, there's little doubt of that. The battle plans he leaked us have been crucial, but he did also assassinate Colonel Muggriv last summer. I asked him, when we met, why I should trust him. He snorted. "Do you really think, bard, that anyone truly trustworthy would have even a prayer of pulling the wool over the Queen's eyes for even half an hour?"


    Backstory
    Named Moonrazor at birth (the fey named him Faltino later), he was born in a savage human village which may or may not be within the Feywild; it's hard to tell with that part of the forest. From childhood, a natural aptitude with animals, nature, and fey magic flowed through him.

    In spite of his natural talents, he always had a particular pride in his human heritage, and resented the way his people were used constantly as slaves or playthings by the Fey of the Unseelie Court. His grandmother, the village Wise Woman, recognized this fierce independence in young Moonrazor, and trained him from an early age in the art of hiding his feelings. After she died, he left behind his practice of shamanistic magic to focus on winning the graces of the fey, with the intent that someday, somehow, he could strike a blow at the heart of their court.

    He only really ever intended to deal with the local Fey Lady, VelaaVuna; but word travels, and the Queen of Air and Darkness heard of this talented young human who was willing to go to any lengths to prove himself a loyal participant in Unseelie politics and schemes. When she sent her Dark Hunter secret police to recruit him, who was he to pass up the opportunity for deeper infiltration? (Especialy since the Queen's invitations usually mean death if rejected.)


    Faltino, Moonrazor
    CN Azurin Totemist 6 / Human Paragon 3 / Chameleon 2 / Unseelie Dark Hunter 9

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    {table=head]Level|Class|Base Attack<br>Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Skills|Feats|Class Features

    1st|Totemist%201|
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |Bluff 2, Disguise 2, Sense Motive 2, Spellcraft 2, Handle Animal 4, Survival 4, Knowledge (nature) 2, Ride 4, Move Silently 2|Able Learner, Wild Cohort|Wild Empathy, Illiteracy, Meldshaping

    2nd|Totemist 2|
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |Handle Animal 1, Survival 1, Knowledge (nature) 1, Ride 1, Hide 2| |Totem Chakra Bind (+1 capacity)

    3rd|Human Paragon 1|
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +2
    |Bluff 2, Disguise 2, Sense Motive 1, Spellcraft 1|Mounted Combat|Adaptive Learning; lance proficiency

    4th|Totemist 3|
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |Bluff 2, Disguise 2, Sense Motive 1, Spellcraft 1| |Totem's Protection

    5th|Totemist 4|
    +3
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +3
    |Bluff 2, Disguise 2; second impression| |

    6th|Chameleon%201|
    +3
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +3
    |Move Silently 4, Hide 1, Survival 1|Ride-By Attack|Aptitude Focus 1/day (+2)

    7th|Chameleon 2|
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +3
    |Move Silently 2, Hide 2, Survival 2|"Floating Feat"|

    8th|Totemist 5|
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +3
    |Bluff 3, Sense Motive 3| |Least Chakra Binds

    9th|Totemist 6|
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +4
    |Bluff 1, Sense Motive 5|Spirited Charge|Totem Chakra meldshaper level +1

    10th|Dark Hunter 1|
    +5
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +4
    |Bluff 1, Sense Motive 1, Concentration 4| |Spellcasting, Low-Light Vision

    11th|Dark Hunter 2|
    +6
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    +4
    |Bluff 1, Sense Motive 1, Concentration 4| |Fast Mount, Fast Movement

    12th|Human Paragon 2|
    +7
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    +5
    |Bluff 1, Sense Motive 1, Concentration 4|Improved Initiative, Open Least Chakra (crown)|Dark Hunter spellcasting +1

    13th|Dark Hunter 3|
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    +6
    |Bluff 1, Sense Motive 1, Concentration 4| |Darkvision

    14th|Dark Hunter 4|
    +9
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    |
    +6
    |Bluff 1, Sense Motive 1, Concentration 1, Knowledge (arcana) 1, Diplomacy 2| |Uncanny Dodge

    15th|Dark Hunter 5|
    +9
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    |
    +6
    |Bluff 1, Sense Motive 1, Concentration 1, Diplomacy 3|Arcane Disciple (spell)|Fast Mount, Fast Movement

    16th|Dark Hunter 6|
    +10
    |
    +10
    |
    +10
    |
    +7
    |Bluff 1, Sense Motive 1, Use Magic Device 2; social recovery| |Scent

    17th|Dark Hunter 7|
    +11
    |
    +10
    |
    +10
    |
    +7
    |Bluff 1, Sense Motive 1, Use Magic Device 4| |Greater Uncanny Dodge

    18th|Dark Hunter 8|
    +12
    |
    +11
    |
    +11
    |
    +7
    |Bluff 1, Sense Motive 1, Use Magic Device 4|Mindsight|Fast Mount, Fast Movement

    19th|Dark Hunter 9|
    +12
    |
    +11
    |
    +11
    |
    +8
    |Bluff 1, Sense Motive 1, Use Magic Device 4| |Freedom of Movement

    20th|Human Paragon 3|
    +13
    |
    +12
    |
    +12
    |
    +8
    |Bluff 1, Sense Motive 1, Use Magic Device 4| |Ability Boost; Chameleon spellcasting +1?[/table]

    Ability Scores
    {table=head]Ability|Points|Base|Levels|Special|Enhancement|Inherent|Total|Modifier
    STR | 6 | 14 | 3 | 0 | 6 | 5 | 28 | +9
    DEX | 4 | 12 | 0 | 0 | 6 | 0 | 18 | +4
    CON | 10 | 16 | 2 | 2 | 6 | 0 | 26 | +8
    INT | 6 | 14 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 14 | +2
    WIS | 6 | 14 | 0 | 0 | 6 | 0 | 20 | +5
    CHA | 0 | 8 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 8 | -1[/table]

    Spellcasting
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    {table=head]Level|1st|2nd|3rd|4th|Spells Known
    10|0|-|-|-|(1) Detect Magic, Message
    11|1|-|-|-|(1) Expeditious Retreat
    12|2|0|-|-|(2) Invisibility, Pass without Trace
    13|3|1|-|-|(1) True Strike; (2) Speak with Animals
    14|3|2|0|-|(3) Clairaudience/Clairvoyance, Haste
    15|3|3|1|-|(2) Silence; (3) Anyspell
    16|3|3|2|0|(4) Dimensional Anchor, Scrying
    17|3|3|3|1|(3) Phantom Steed; (4) Ethereal Jaunt
    18|3|3|3|2|
    19|3|3|3|3|(4) Dimension Door[/table]


    Progressions
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    {table=head]Level|Class Progression|Wild Cohort Details
    1|2 soulmelds; 2 essentia|Riding Dog cohort
    2|3 soulmelds; 3 essentia; 1 chakra bind|
    3| |Heavy Warhorse cohort; cohort +1 HD/armor, evasion
    4| |
    5|4 soulmelds; 4 essentia|
    6|Divine Focus (+2 Fort/Will; 4/2/0 spells/day)|cohort +3 HD/armor, +1 Str/Dex
    7|Divine Focus (4/3/1 spells/day); floating feat = Improved Initiative|
    8| |
    9|5 essentia; 2 chakra binds|cohort +5 HD/armor, +2 Str/Dex
    10| |Dire Eagle cohort; cohort +1 HD/armor
    11| |
    12|floating feat = whatever you want!|cohort +3 HD/armor, +1 Str/Dex
    13| |
    14| |
    15| |cohort +5 HD/armor, +2 Str/Dex
    16| |
    17| |
    18| |cohort +7 HD/armor, +3 Str/Dex, devotion
    19| |
    20|Divine Focus (4/3/2/0 spells/day)|[/table]


    Noteworthy Soulmelds
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    Riding Bracers - bound to the Totem chakra, this is one of Faltino's primary soulmelds at higher levels. It makes him excellent at performing Riding maneuvers, such as protecting his eagle from attacks using Mounted Combat. It also gives his eagle Evasion, and lets him Handle the eagle as a free action.

    Shedu Crown - Faltino should use this soulmeld regularly even from low levels, just to strengthen his Will save. At levels 12+, he will bind it to the Crown chakra for telepathy (and eventually Mindsight).

    Urskan Greaves - bound to the Feet chakra, these will add significant sonic damage to each attack Faltino makes at the end of a charge. Which is his main tactic. These three soulmelds are his primary high-level selections.

    Blink Shirt - unlimited Dimension Door is a very strong utility to have at low levels, even if it requiring a standard action makes it less useful in combat. Faltino possibly shouldn't bother with this one after he learns to cast Dimension Door at Level 19, but until then it's a tempting option for his 4th soulmeld.

    Displacer Mantle - a boosted Hide skill is always nice, but really this soulmeld is probably only worth it if it's bound to the Shoulders chakra, which will require using the Chameleon "floating feat" on Open Greater Chakra. But that's all very doable, and will give Faltino a 20% miss chance.

    Manticore Belt - the skill boosts aren't super important, so this soulmeld is mostly for use at low levels, where binding it to the Totem chakra is a strong way to give Faltino a ranged option. At level 2, I suspect this will be his best tactic.

    Beast Tamer Circlet - at Level 1, getting animals to fight for you is very strong. This soulmeld makes Faltino very good at doing so.

    Hunter's Circlet - keeping Faltino's Survival skill up could always come in handy if some Tracking needs to be done. At levels 5+, this is one way he can have access to Track (a prerequisite) if he doesn't have the Mask of the Tiger.

    Rageclaws - at low levels, Diehard is an incredible increase in Faltino's ability to not die.

    Winter Mask - the cold/fatigue attack granted by this soulmeld is probably Faltino's best offensive option at Level 1. (Er, other than ordering his dog to attack things.)

    Worg Pelt - at early levels, Faltino's stealth skills are decent, but can definitely use the boost. Meanwhile, movement speed is something he'll get a lot better at later on, but this soulmeld can get him started early.


    Equipment
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    Hat of Disguise, Circlet of Persuasion: staples for any spy or party face.

    Incarnum Focus (circlet): Combine with the Hat of Disguise and the Circlet of Persuasion (total: about 26k gp) for a head slot item that won't interfere with a soulmeld in the Crown Chakra.

    Incarnum Focus (boots): In case Faltino wants to wear any good boots, and has a soulmeld bound to the Feet chakra, he can combine his magic boots with these.

    Valorous Lance (+1-equivalent): If your DM will allow this overpowered item, it's a great boon to a mounted charging built.

    Collision Lance (+2-equivalent): This is a lower priority than Valorous. But it's a lovely combination with it.

    Eternal Wand of Heroics: To be put in a wand chamber, and make Faltino better at melee in a variety of ways.

    Heartseeking Amulet (3k gp): A cheap way to improve chances of hitting with Faltino's attacks, especially if you can't get the Fractional BAB variant rule included in your game.

    Mask of the Tiger (4k gp): Faltino's main source of the Track feat. Note that, if he loses access to this mask for any reason, he has two backup options to avoid losing the benefits of his Dark Hunter class: either select Track with his Chameleon "floating feat," or bind the Hunter's Circlet Soulmeld to the Crown Chakra (not desirable, as it precludes binding a Shedu Crown to the same).

    Level 2 Pearls of Power (3k each): These are cheap. Each one of them represents another time per day that Faltino can Pounce using the Lion's Charge spell. He should buy a lot of them (at least three, preferably more).

    Pectoral of Maneuverability (12k gp): Make Faltino's eagle a lot more flexible in midair combat, even if he gets stuck in extended melee rather than keeping up a hit-and-run dive-bombing pattern.

    Novice Shadow Hands (3k gp): Use these to learn the maneuver Cloak of Deception. Greater Swift Invisibility 1/encounter is always nice to have, and rather fey-like.

    Novice Slippers of the Setting Sun (3k gp): This is why we bothered to get Incarnum Boots earlier. (Total combined item costs 19.5k gp.) These slippers will let Faltino use the Baffling Defense maneuver 1/encounter to make an attack miss him (thanks to his excellent Sense Motive skill). To get past the prerequisite of Baffling Defense, spend a day with the Martial Study (counter charge) feat, courtesy of the Chameleon "floating feat."

    Twilight Mithral Shirt - Pretty standard.

    Spiked gauntlet or spiked armor - also pretty standard to complement a reach weapon.

    How to Play
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    Faltino is essentially a gish mounted charger build. The basic idea is to end combat before it really begins, by casting Lion's Charge and swooping in for multiple attacks that each do triple damage (or quadruple damage, if your DM allows Valorous weapons), plus bonus Sonic damage.

    At Level 1, Faltino is very strong just by training Riding Dogs to fight for him using the Beast Tamer Circlet soulmeld and using the Winter Mask soulmeld to attack directly. If he isn't too worried about having perfect control over his dogs, he can also use Rageclaws to be a very resilient Level 1 character.

    At Level 2, Winter Mask is still an option, but access to the Totem chakra means several other soulmelds gain the ability to attack. At this level, becoming a ranged combatant using Manticore Belt is probably Faltino's best option. He also gets a third soulmeld, so he can shape Manticore belt and Rageclaws AND something else (Blink Shirt is probably the strongest option).

    At Level 3, purchased dogs are still viable, but the Mounted Combat feat means Faltino should make his Wild Cohort something that he can ride, namely a horse. Time to start doing double-damage charges using a lance (good thing that Human Paragon gives proficiency with a single martial weapon!). Hard to say whether protecting his mount by shaping Riding Bracers to his Totem Chakra is worth it at these low levels.

    At Level 6, Faltino has amassed the necessary spying skills to become a Chameleon. He can pick Wild Focus just to thematically continue his Wild Empathy; or he can pick Arcane Focus to collect various useful low-level arcane spells into his spellbook; but really on any normal day he will pick Divine Focus for some useful spellcasting and a healthy boost to his Will Save (and his already-good Fortitude save). His tactic is still mostly double-damage charging with a lance from horseback, but I'm sure there's some good divine buffs to supplement this tactic, such as Knight's Move.

    At Level 7, Faltino picks up the ever popular "Schroedinger's Feat." Of course there are way too many good things to do with this feat, but here are a few of them:
    Spoiler
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    Improved Initiative: a mandatory choice at Levels 10 and 11, for the sake of prerequisites.
    Track: another prerequisite, although he has two better ways of getting it.
    Bonus Essentia: A good default option, this is something no Incarnum character ever minds having.
    Cobalt Charge: A weaker option, but kind of cool thematically to tie incarnum use and charging together.
    Darkstalker: if he shapes Worg Pelt, Faltino can be a decent sneaky type even though he stops getting ranks in stealth skills after qualifying for Dark Hunter. Don't forget to supplement stealth with spellcasting, such as Invisibility and Silence.
    Shape Soulmeld: Soulmelds created with this feat last until you unshape them, so in theory, if he has a couple weeks of downtime, Faltino can load himself up with a soulmeld in every body slot -- and he's got the Essentia to use them all. This option may get you smacked with a rulebook, so check with your DM.
    Extra Spell: Faltino carries a spellbook for his divine spells. Faltino learns Anyspell, which he can convert into any Level 1-2 arcane spell in his spellbook each day. How does he have the arcane spells he wants in his book? By selecting Arcane Focus and this feat during his downtime days.
    Open Lesser Chakra: In case Faltino ever wants to try out a new soulmeld ability at mid levels, just for variety.
    Open Greater Chakra: In case Faltino ever wants to try out a new soulmeld ability at high levels, just for variety.
    Craft Magic Arms and Armor: or other Crafting feats. Another way to try to get ahold of a Valorous weapon.
    Double Chakra (totem): This will let Faltino give his mount Evasion and still shoot manticore spikes at the same time. Probably not a great option most of the time, since this still uses up two of his precious few chakra binds.
    Natural Bond: make the Wild Cohort stronger for a day. Probably doesn't work by RAW, since the Wild Cohort isn't actually an Animal Companion.
    Trample: Not a strong option, but if you really want to feel like a master of mounted combat, you can pick this, then pick up the Cavalry Charger tactical feat using the Heroics spell.
    Practiced Spellcaster: A cute option for either Chameleon caster level (Divine Favor?) or Dark Hunter caster level. If Faltino's Eagle Mount dies, he can pick this feat until he can get a new one; then he can use Phantom Steed as a substitute flying mount.
    Mindsight: It's a very strong feat, and for Levels 12-17 it's definitely a valid option for the floating feat.


    At Level 8 or 11 (depending on whether Fractional BAB is allowed), Faltino gets an iterative attack, and Lion's Charge becomes his most important Chameleon spell. (He can cast it from a Level 2 spell slot, using the Ranger spell list.) He should start buying a lot of Level 2 Pearls of Power, so he can double the effectiveness of his opening charge each encounter of the day.

    At Level 8, Faltino gets the ability to bind Urskan Greaves to his Feet Chakra to add sonic damage on each attack in a charge. This is a strong option, but not automatic, as he only gets one Chakra bind, and several other options are also tempting (protecting his mount with Totem-Chakra Riding Bracers, learning Track with Crown-Chakra Hunter's Circlet, or gaining telepathy with Crown-Chakra Shedu Crown).

    At Level 9, Spirited Charge comes along, which means triple-damage charge attacks instead of double-damage charge attacks. Also, a second Chakra Bind means that Urskan Greaves are now a very realistic possibility.

    At Level 10, Faltino trades in his horse for the wonderfully powerful Dire Eagle cohort. Hooray for flying. He also starts getting arcane spellcasting, although it's mostly just utility at this point.

    At Level 12, Faltino gets much more flexible in his choice of floating feat, which is fun. He also uses a feat to get a third chakra bind, which will probably be used from now on to bind the Shedu Crown for telepathy.

    From here on, Faltino's improvements are mostly just increased flexibility via spellcasting. The basic build is in place. At Level 14, Haste. At Level 15, Anyspell and Silence, each usable only once per day. At Level 18, Mindsight!

    This build only has one really strong trick -- quadruple-damage mounted charge with pounce and bonus sonic damage -- but it has a LOT of semi-powerful options just to keep it flexible. Social skills, several means of teleportation, access to ANY Level 0-2 spell in the game, tracking, moderate stealth skills, a flying mount, Schroedinger's Feat, strong UMD at high levels, and a lot of creative tricks with soulmelds should keep Faltino useful even in situations where he can't use his mounted charging tactic.


    Why Dark Hunter?
    Spoiler
    Show
    Admittedly, Faltino's most powerful features don't come from the Dark Hunter class. I don't see how they can, since the class gets no very powerful features and has a very limited spell list. But I think Faltino is a great Dark Hunter anyway, for a few reasons:

    1. He FEELS like a Dark Hunter
    A combination of nature, stealth, and deceptive/social skills. Flexibility and improvisation and minor spellcasting. Strong affinity with animals. Speed. A general Fey theme (lots of teleportation?). All of these things are part of Faltino both before and after he becomes a Dark Hunter.

    2. He makes use of the features that Dark Hunter does give him
    One of the Dark Hunter's more unique features is a boost to a mount's speed. So Faltino focuses a lot on mounted combat, and particularly charging (where that speed will come in handy). After an initial charge, I'm sure he'll also sometimes get off his mount and let it fight on its own, and his own speed boost can be useful too.

    The other unique feature of Dark Hunter is Wisdom-based Arcane spellcasting. I unfortunately couldn't afford all the various tricks to make Faltino WIS-SAD, but at least he can boost his divine spellcasting (from Chameleon) and his arcane casting with boosts to the same stat. This peculiarity also makes Arcane Disciple a particularly friendly option, and Faltino uses that option to make his spellcasting a LOT more flexible.

    Low-Light Vision isn't very exciting, but at least it doubles the range of the low-light vision granted by Mask of the Tiger. Darkvision isn't very exciting, but at least it's better than it would be on a race that gets it naturally. Scent is nice, especially in combo with Track. Mindsight, while not part of the class, builds on these other three thematically, and makes Faltino REALLY good at being aware of his surroundings (even with no Spot or Listen ranks).

    Uncanny Dodge and Freedom of Movement are nice features for a melee-focused character, even if they're not really part of any combos.

    3. Not taking the final level is forgivable, I think
    If leaving out a level of the Secret Ingredient bothers you, there's nothing stopping Faltino from completing Dark Hunter instead of Human Paragon at Level 20, especially if the DM rules that Human Paragon can't be used to advance Chameleon casting anyway. But he's already completed Dark Hunter spellcasting, and Discern Location is, in my mind, thematically replaced by Mindsight. (I know that Mindsight is relatively short-range, while Discern Location isn't; but even for long-range scry-hunting, if an important target for some reason doesn't have Mind Blank, Faltino is reasonably competent by using Clairvoyance and Scrying.)

    Side Note: Other Synergies
    I know Chameleon isn't the secret ingredient, but I was amazed how many different ways it fit nicely into this build. I can't remember why I originally considered adding it; I think it might have been for pure fluff reasons, thinking that a double agent who sabotages the Queen of Air and Darkness might make an interesting twist on the class's "loyal servant" fluff. But then I noticed how Chameleon goes well thematically with Human Paragon; how its floating feat is a powerful asset for Incarnum; how it can even gain Wild Empathy; and how its spellcasting turned out to be a huge asset for a mounted charger.

    Meanwhile, I've been itching to use Totemist in Iron Chef for a while, and it just keeps not fitting. But in this case, it's got a surprising amount of synergy with Dark Hunter -- thematically, in terms of having the right class skills, and in terms of multiclassing well.


    Non-Core Sources
    Spoiler
    Show
    Magic of Incarnum: Totemist, soulmelds, Open Least Chakra, Open Lesser Chakra, Open Greater Chakra, Shape Soulmeld, Bonus Essentia
    Unearthed Arcana: Human Paragon
    Web: Wild Cohort, Unseelie Dark Hunter
    Races of Stone: Dire Eagle
    Complete Scoundrel: Second Impression, Social Recovery
    Magic Item Compendium: Mask of the Tiger, Collision weapon, Incarnum Focus, Heartseeking Amulet, Eternal Wand
    Unapproachable East: Valorous weapon
    Lords of Madness: Mindsight
    Spell Compendium: Lion's Charge, Spell Domain, Anyspell, Heroics, Knight's Move
    Races of Destiny: Chameleon, Able Learner
    Complete Divine: Arcane Disciple
    Draconomicon: Pectoral of Maneuverability
    Tome of Battle: Novice Shadow Hands, Novice Slippers of the Setting Sun, Cloak of Deception, Baffling Defense, Martial Study
    Complete Arcane: Practiced Spellcaster
    Complete Adventurer: Natural Bond
    Complete Warrior: Cavalry Charger

  22. - Top - End - #112
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XVIII

    Looks like there is no such thing as enough bears in Iron Chef.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ogar
    Overview:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Ogar, CE Aeshkrau Illumian

    Ranger / Barbarian / Unseelie Dark Hunter / Bear Warrior

    Abilities:
    STR: 16
    DEX: 12
    CON: 14
    INT: 12
    WIS: 14
    CHA: 10
    (All level-up points go into STR)

    Aesh sigil: +1 bonus per power sigil on STR checks and STR-based skill checks
    Krau sigil: +1 bonus per power sigil to caster level (max of character level)
    Aeshkrau power word: May use STR to determine bonus spells per day

    Languages: Common, Illumian, Sylvan
    HD: 8 + 9d12 + 10d6

    Ogar
    {table=head]Level|Class|Base Attack<br>Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Skills|Feats|Class Features

    1st|Ranger 1|
    +1
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |Hide +4 (4), Intimidate +2(cc) (2), K: Nature +4 (4), K: Arcana +2(cc) (2), Move Silently +4 (4), Ride +4 (4), Survival +4 (4)|Track (b), Mounted Combat|FE: Fey, Spiritual Connection

    2nd|Ape Totem Barbarian 1|
    +2
    |
    +4
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |Hide +0.5(cc) (4.5), Move Silently +1(cc) (5), Ride +1 (5), Survival +1 (5)||Rage 1/day, Climb Speed (1/2 base land speed)

    3rd|A. T. Barbarian 2|
    +3
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |Hide +0.5(cc) (5), Move Silently +1(cc) (6), Ride +1 (6), Survival +1 (6)|Improved Initiative|+2 bonus on Intimidate checks

    4th|A. T. Barbarian 3|
    +4
    |
    +5
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |K: Arcana +0.5(cc) (2.5), Move Silently +1(cc) (7), Ride +1 (7), Survival +1 (7)|Power Attack (b)|

    5th|A. T. Barbarian 4|
    +5
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |K: Arcana +0.5(cc) (3), Move Silently +1(cc) (8), Ride +1 (8), Survival +1 (8)||Rage 2/day

    6th|Unseelie Dark Hunter 1|
    +5
    |
    +8
    |
    +5
    |
    +1
    |Intimidate +1(cc) (3), K: Arcana +1(cc) (4), Ride +1 (9)|Mounted Fury|Spells, Low-Light Vision, Wild Empathy

    7th|Unseelie Dark Hunter 2|
    +6
    |
    +8
    |
    +5
    |
    +1
    |Climb +1 (1), K: Nature +1 (5), Intimidate +1(cc) (4), Ride +1 (10)||Fast Mount (+10), Fast Movement (+10)

    8th|Unseelie Dark Hunter 3|
    +7
    |
    +9
    |
    +6
    |
    +2
    |Climb +1 (2), Intimidate +1(cc) (5), Ride +1 (11), Survival +1 (9)||Darkvision

    9th|Bear Warrior 1|
    +8
    |
    +11
    |
    +6
    |
    +2
    |Intimidate +3 (8), Skill trick "Dismount Attack"|Obtain Familiar|Bear Form (black)

    10th|Unseelie Dark Hunter 4|
    +9
    |
    +11
    |
    +7
    |
    +3
    |Intimidate +1(cc) (9), Survival +1 (10), Skill trick "Never Outnumbered"||Uncanny Dodge

    11th|Unseelie Dark Hunter 5|
    +9
    |
    +11
    |
    +7
    |
    +3
    |Climb +1 (3), Intimidate +1(cc) (10), Ride +1 (12), Survival +1 (11)||Fast Mount (+20), Fast Movement (+20)

    12th|Bear Warrior 2|
    +10
    |
    +12
    |
    +7
    |
    +3
    |Climb +2 (5), Intimidate +2 (12), Ride +1 (13)|Improved Familiar (Howler)|

    13th|Bear Warrior 3|
    +11
    |
    +12
    |
    +8
    |
    +4
    |Climb +1 (6), Intimidate +2 (14), Ride +1 (14), Survival +1 (12)||Scent (Ex)

    14th|Bear Warrior 4|
    +12
    |
    +13
    |
    +8
    |
    +4
    |Climb +1 (7), Intimidate +2 (16), Ride +1 (15), Survival +1 (13)||

    15th|Bear Warrior 5|
    +13
    |
    +13
    |
    +8
    |
    +4
    |Climb +2 (9), Intimidate +2 (18), Ride +1 (16)|Intimidating Rage|Bear Form (brown)

    16th|Unseelie Dark Hunter 6|
    +14
    |
    +14
    |
    +9
    |
    +5
    |Climb +1 (10), Intimidate +1(cc) (19), Ride +1 (17), Survival +1 (14)||Scent (Su)

    17th|Unseelie Dark Hunter 7|
    +15
    |
    +14
    |
    +9
    |
    +5
    |Climb +1 (11), Intimidate +1(cc) (20), Ride +1 (18), Survival +1 (15)||Improved Uncanny Dodge

    18th|Unseelie Dark Hunter 8|
    +16
    |
    +15
    |
    +10
    |
    +5
    |Climb +2 (13), Intimidate +1(cc) (21), Ride +1 (19)|Arcane Strike|Fast Mount (+30), Fast Movement (+30)

    19th|Unseelie Dark Hunter 9|
    +16
    |
    +15
    |
    +10
    |
    +5
    |Climb +1 (14), Intimidate +1(cc) (22), Ride +1 (20), Survival +1 (16)||Freedom of Movement

    20th|Unseelie Dark Hunter 10|
    +17
    |
    +16
    |
    +11
    |
    +6
    |Climb +1 (15), Intimidate +1(cc) (23), Ride +1 (21), Survival +1 (17)||Discern Location[/table]


    Spells:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Spells per day/Spells Known
    {table=head]Level|0lvl|1st|2nd|3rd|4th|5th|6th|7th|8th|9th

    1st|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    2nd|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    3rd|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    4th|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    5th|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    6th|-|0|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    7th|-|1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    8th|-|2|0|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    9th|-|2|0|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    10th|-|3|1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    11th|-|3|2|0|-|-|-|-|-|-

    12th|-|3|2|0|-|-|-|-|-|-

    13th|-|3|2|0|-|-|-|-|-|-

    14th|-|3|2|0|-|-|-|-|-|-

    15th|-|3|2|0|-|-|-|-|-|-

    16th|-|3|3|1|-|-|-|-|-|-

    17th|-|3|3|2|0|-|-|-|-|-

    18th|-|3|3|3|1|-|-|-|-|-

    19th|-|3|3|3|2|-|-|-|-|-

    20th|-|3|3|3|3|-|-|-|-|-[/table]

    Spells known:
    ECL 6: Detect Magic, Mount
    ECL 7: Spider Climb
    ECL 8: Locate Object, Invisibility
    ECL 10: Expeditious Retreat, Bull's Strength
    ECL 11: Haste, Fly
    ECL 16: Pass Without Trace, Phantom Steed
    ECL 17: Dimension Door, Freedom of Movement
    ECL 18: Clairaudience/Clairvoyance, Improved Invisibility
    ECL 20: Locate Creature


    Story:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Ogar's mother, the Queen of Air and Darkness, is a wonderful and kind creature who only wants what's best for everyone. At least, that's what all the unseelie courtiers say, especially when Ogar's around. Everyone knows that Ogar was actually spirited away from her real parents (a little substitute left in her place, at least for a while) when she was just a child, of course, but no one would dare to say anything about that. Those brave enough to ask the Queen what she saw in this Illumian changeling could get nothing out of Her Majesty except that she foresaw the potential of wild power written in the sigils slowly orbiting the child's head. No one alive is or was foolish enough to press Her Majesty for more information, so the matter is usually left at that, even today.

    Regardless of Her Majesty's true motives, she had Ogar raised in her court and used the young Illumian to track down her enemies and unruly subjects. Ogar grew up among the wild forests and hunts of the land of the fey, very accustomed to riding off in search of whatever (or whomever) the Queen desires. She grew up equally comfortable riding across the wild moors and meadows, climbing into the dense canopies of the woods to lie in wait, gathering information from the plants and animals themselves in the language of the forest, and simply tailing a target on foot. Ogar rarely speaks, but those who raise her ire say that they can see some of her mother's legendary fury in the girl's most wrathful moments.

    Spoiler
    Show
    A barbarian who knows her way around the forest, Ogar starts out as a frontline fighting woman with plenty of out-of-combat utility. She's quite good at mounted combat and rides a warhorse whenever she gets the chance, though she's far from helpless on foot. Her climb speed can come in handy whether she's in the forest or in the dungeon. For obvious reasons, she favors using a lance, though she keeps a greatsword slung across her back just in case. She's stealthy enough to tail someone when she's tracking them, and Spiritual Connection (which allows her to speak with plants and animals 3/day) is useful whether she needs to ask where her quarry went, find out whether anything nasty lives in that cave, or just ask which branches are safe to climb on.


    Her Majesty's plans are subtle and far-reaching, and although many were surprised when she granted her so-called child a measure of arcane power, none dared question it. Upon swearing her new and formal vows to Her Majesty, Ogar felt a calling in her soul, as though a friend were reaching out to her. When she asked permission to reach out in return, Her Majesty just smiled an icy smile and ordered Ogar to wait, saying that the newly appointed Dark Hunter needed to wait for a greater power to awaken within her.

    The Queen of Air and Darkness is capricious, but her words are rarely to be disregarded. Sure enough, as Ogar explored her newly bestowed gifts, she did indeed feel a power awaken within her, roaring to life as though woken from a long winter's hibernation. The new awareness that Ogar felt and the new wind-kissed speed with which she moved excited and delighted her, but her greatest thrill came when she felt the power of a beast yawn and rumble to life within her. While Ogar had long been aware that a wild and emotional power yearned to be unleashed from her heart, she had never before felt her bestial instincts overtake her quite so literally in body and soul. Perhaps it was a side effect of the magic that the Queen had granted her, and perhaps it came from the call she felt from the power that burned to be shared, but whatever the source, Ogar discovered the feral instincts necessary to transform herself into a bear in the heat of the distorting battle-rage that caused her features to warp and spasm. What's more, as she felt the call in her soul beg more and more strongly to be shared with others, she found that her primal fury was not contained to just herself; instead, when she felt her rage overcome her, she saw that her faithful steed had likewise taken the form of a charging bear. Even though it was a little bit difficult to stay in the saddle when the change swept over them, Ogar's skill in the saddle also applied while she was riding bearback.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Ogar can now use a bit of magic, which is primarily useful out of combat. It is not useless in combat, though, and serves as a nice backup when she's not raging. Her greatest new asset, though, is not only that she now turns into a bear when she rages but also that she can share the effects of her rage (including improved rages, such as bear form) with her mount. She moves fast, her mount moves fast, and they can both turn into bears when the time is right.


    The bear resting in Ogar's soul had awoken from its long sleep, but as she explored the powers that it granted her over her own form and that of her steed, she found that the call in her soul had not quieted. She could still feel a friend calling out to her, as simultaneously close and far as a dream. When Her Majesty informed her that it was time to answer her friend's call, Ogar was overjoyed. Stilling her raging emotions in ritual meditation, Ogar called forth a familiar spirit. As she completed the ritual, she saw a Howler sitting patiently in front of her. Ogar felt that she knew it already, and addressed it as though she were unsure if she had just met an old friend for the first time in far too long. ". . . Jile?" The creature nodded, and without another word Ogar saddled up and rode off on the Howler's back, best friends acting on the Queen's latest mission.

    Ogar and Jile made an excellent team. The two ran as one, fought as one, and transformed into bears as one. They learned to track by scent, unleash bigger and stronger bear forms, and use the raw scariness of a stack of bears to send their enemies fleeing, as all proper prey should. Ogar's skill with the Queen's arcane gifts continued to grow, learning enough tricks that none who saw her in action would confuse her for an axe-wielding simpleton. Even in bear form, she was able to channel raw power through what she called "the Queen's rage," her muscles crackling with an awe-inspiring amount of energy.

    Nowadays, it seems that the Queen was right to spirit away this particular little changeling. Whether she's a spellslinging Illumian on Howlerback or a bear-riding bear surging with arcane might, she's one of the most feared and respected forces in the Wild Hunt.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Ogar and Jile work very well together. She has enough spells to provide herself and her familiar with basic buffs like Haste and Fly if she doesn't have a support caster, and she has Arcane Strike to burn off any slots she doesn't need. Jile also gets the benefit from Intimidating Rage, and since two successful demoralize attempts can render an enemy Frightened, the Bear Tower o' Fear can be quite useful. Ogar can't cast while raging, but she can still use Arcane Strike to burn off her excess spells . . . and since her bonus spells are based on STR, she gets quite a few extra slots in bear form. Freedom of Movement, both the spell and the class feature, makes her hard to pin down, and Discern Location's uses should be obvious.



    Strategy and Recommended Items:
    Spoiler
    Show

    Ogar is a frontliner through and through. No small amount of the build's power comes from the ability to channel her powers through her mount, a situation that only improves when her familiar becomes her mount and she gains the ability to share her spells. While she is by no means a wizard, she has enough spellpower to cover the basics and get to the face-bashing. Ogar trades away Wild Empathy from her Ranger class because it doesn't stack with the Wild Empathy she gets from Unseelie Dark Hunter; the same might be said of the Fast Movement she trades away from her Barbarian class, though this is slightly more ambiguous. Regardless, both she and her mount have no shortage of mobility. Her mount falters a bit at the higher levels but before Jile hits the scene, but Mounted Combat helps keep the warhorses safe and the ability to turn them into bears keeps them useful; if nothing else, the Mount spell means that you don't have to take a favorite steed into a suicide mission. Her Krau sigil boosts her caster level up high enough to qualify for Obtain Familiar and Improved Familiar. An exotic saddle is necessary to ride a bear or a Howler, but Ogar has enough ranks in Ride that she can easily handle the –5 penalty for an inappropriate mount.

    Ogar carefully trades away the Fast Movement, Wild Empathy, and Uncanny Dodge that she gets before taking Unseelie Dark Hunter, thereby ensuring that she gets the most benefit out of the PrC.

    As for items, be aware that Bear Form functions as Polymorph, which functions as Alter Self, which says that you keep any equipment that could still be used.
    In addition to basic stat boosters, defensive gear, and so on, if she has the choice, a wand of Lion's Charge (SpC) (ideally in a wand chamber) serves Ogar extremely well, since her Ranger class allows her to use it. Anything that enhances Rage boosts both Ogar and her mount. Ogar's Will save is kinda low, so if your GM will allow you to buy Iron Will through the Otyugh Hole (CS), it'd probably be worthwhile to do so. If there's any question about whether or not Jile can benefit from Intimidating Rage (I believe that it falls under "improved forms of rage," but I allow that some people may not like it), you may want to invest in Fearsome (DotU) barding. Before Jile comes online, if you GM rules that it is "trained for war," a Clockwork Steed (MM4) is a decent mount (and, honestly, quite funny). Mouthpick weapons (LoM) are good for Jile and, arguably, for Ogar; you may or may not need to have an Unseen Servant or something similar equip it on the newly bear-shaped Ogar, but in any case Jile can get some use out of one.


    Variants:
    Spoiler
    Show
    If Flaws are allowed, you can take Power Attack without Ape Totem Barbarian, thus freeing up Fast Movement to be traded away for the oh-so-sweet Pounce (Spirit Lion Totem, CC). If you do so, Climb becomes less important, so you can take Jump or something else instead. Alternately, you could use two flaws to get Ride-By Attack and Spirited Charge. Still alternately, Wild Cohort is always an option for getting a scaling mount before you can ride your familiar.

    You can pull off a similar build with a Small race (thereby fitting more easily on a mount in enclosed spaces), but the loss of the Krau sigil means that you'll have a lower caster level, thereby making you end up with a Medium (and weaker) Improved Familiar (like a Hell Hound or Krenshar) instead of a Large one. The tradeoff is that you'll have an easier time fitting in cramped spaces, but you'll have a lower caster level and you won't get all the lovely bonus spells from Aeshkrau.


    Sources:
    Spoiler
    Show

    Player's Handbook (Ranger, Barbarian, feats, spells)
    Complete Warrior (Bear Warrior, Arcane Strike, Intimidating Rage, Improved Familiar)
    Complete Arcane (Obtain Familiar)
    Monster Manual (Howler, Black Bear, Brown Bear)
    Complete Scoundrel (Never Outnumbered, Dismount Attack)
    Complete Champion (Spiritual Connection)
    Unearthed Arcana (Ape Totem Barbarian)
    Races of Destiny (Illumian)
    Fey Features (Unseelie Dark Hunter)
    Random Encounters: Wild Life (Mounted Fury)

  23. - Top - End - #113
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    true_shinken's Avatar

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XVIII

    A true fey knight!
    Quote Originally Posted by Tamlaine
    Tamlaine



    Statblock
    Spoiler
    Show
    {table=head]Level|Class|Base Attack<br>Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Skills*|Feats|Class Features

    1st|Ranger|
    +1
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |Knowledge (Nature) 4, Survival 4, Handle Animal 4, Ride 4, Hide 4, Move Silently 4, Concentration 4, Spot 4, Listen 4|Track, Improved Initiative, Able Learner|Favored Enemy (Fey), Wild Empathy

    2nd|Knight|
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |Survival 5, Ride 5, Move Silently 5, Hide 5, Handle Animal 5|| Fighting Challenge +1, Knight's Challenge, Knight's Code

    3rd|Knight|
    +3
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +3
    |Survival 6, Ride 6, Move Silently 6, Spot 5, Listen 5|Mounted Combat, Wild Cohort|Shield Block +1

    4th|Knight|
    +4
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |Survival 7, Ride 7, Move Silently 7, Spot 6, Listen 6||Bulwark of Defense, +1 Wis

    5th|Knight|
    +5
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +4
    |Survival 8, Ride 8, Move Silently 8, Spot 7, Listen 7||Armor Mastery (Medium), Test of Mettle

    6th|Unseelie Dark Hunter|
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +4
    |Survival 9, Ride 9, Knowledge (Nature) 5, Spot 8, Listen 8, Handle Animal 6, Concentration 6|Combat Reflexes|Spells, Low-Light Vision, Wild Empathy

    7th|Unseelie Dark Hunter|
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +4
    |Survival 10, Ride 10, Spot 8, Listen 8, Handle Animal 7, Concentration 7||Fast Mount, Fast Movement

    8th|Unseelie Dark Hunter|
    +7
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +5
    |Survival 11, Ride 11, Spot 9, Listen 9, Handle Animal 8, Concentration 9||Darkvision, +1 Wis

    9th|Unseelie Dark Hunter|
    +8
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +5
    |Survival 12, Ride 12, Spot 10, Listen 10, Handle Animal 10, Concentration 10|Stand Still|Uncanny Dodge

    10th|Unseelie Dark Hunter|
    +8
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +5
    |Survival 13, Ride 13, Spot 11, Listen 11, Handle Animal 11, Concentration 12||Fast Mount, Fast Movement

    11th|Silverwood Arcanist|
    +8
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |Survival 14, Ride 14, Spot 12, Listen 12, Handle Animal 12||Fast Handling, Skilled Rider

    12th|Silverwood Arcanist|
    +9
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +8
    |Survival 15, Ride 15, Spot 13, Listen 13, Concentration 13|Shape Soulmeld (Astral Vambraces)|Cohort Trick, +1 Dex

    13th|Silverwood Arcanist|
    +9
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |Survival 16, Ride 16, Spot 14, Listen 14, Handle Animal 13|Mounted Spellcasting|

    14th|Silverwood Arcanist|
    +10
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    +9
    |Survival 17, Ride 17, Spot 15, Listen 15, Concentration 14||Cohort Trick

    15th|Silverwood Arcanist|
    +10
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    +9
    |Survival 18, Ride 18, Spot 16, Listen 16, Handle Animal 14|Open Lesser Chakra (Arms)|Share Spells

    16th|Unseelie Dark Hunter|
    +11
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    |
    +10
    |Survival 19, Ride 19, Spot 17, Listen 17, Handle Animal 15, Concentration 16||Scent, +1 Dex

    17th|Unseelie Dark Hunter|
    +12
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    |
    +10
    |Survival 20, Ride 20, Spot 18, Listen 18, Handle Animal 16, Concentration 18||Improved Uncanny Dodge

    18th|Unseelie Dark Hunter|
    +13
    |
    +10
    |
    +10
    |
    +10
    |Survival 21, Ride 21, Spot 19, Listen 19, Handle Animal 18, Concentration 19|Share Soulmeld|Fast Mount, Fast Movement

    19th|Unseelie Dark Hunter|
    +13
    |
    +10
    |
    +10
    |
    +11
    |Survival 22, Ride 22, Spot 20, Listen 20, Handle Animal 19, Concentration 21||Freedom of Movement

    20th|Unseelie Dark Hunter|
    +14
    |
    +11
    |
    +11
    |
    +11
    |Survival 23, Ride 23, Spot 21, Listen 21, Handle Animal 21, Concentration 22||Discern Location, +1 Wis[/table]

    *Only skills being advanced at that level are shown on the table.

    Human Ranger 1/Knight 4/Unseelie Dark Hunter 5/Silverwood Arcanist 5/Unseelie Dark Hunter 5

    32 PB:
    Str 14
    Dex 14 (+2 levels)
    Wis 14 (+3 levels)
    Int 14
    Cha 10

    Spells
    Spoiler
    Show
    Spells per day/Spells Known
    {table=head]Level|0lvl|1st|2nd|3rd|4th|5th|6th|7th|8th|9th

    1st|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    2nd|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    3rd|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    4th|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    5th|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    6th|-|1/2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    7th|-|2/3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    8th|-|3/3|1/2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    9th|-|4/4|2/3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    10th|-|4/4|3/3|1/2|-|-|-|-|-|-

    11th|-|4/4|4/4|2/3|-|-|-|-|-|-

    12th|-|4/4|4/4|3/3|-|-|-|-|-|-

    13th|-|4/4|4/4|4/4|1/3|-|-|-|-|-

    14th|-|4/4|4/4|4/4|2/3|-|-|-|-|-

    15th|-|4/4|4/4|4/4|3/4|-|-|-|-|-

    16th|-|4/4|4/4|4/4|3/4|-|-|-|-|-

    17th|-|4/4|4/4|4/4|3/4|-|-|-|-|-

    18th|-|4/4|4/4|4/4|3/4|-|-|-|-|-

    19th|-|4/4|4/4|4/4|3/4|-|-|-|-|-

    20th|-|4/4|4/4|4/4|3/4|-|-|-|-|-[/table]

    Spells Known
    1st: Create Water, Detect Magic, Expeditious Retreat, True Strike
    2nd: Bull's Strength, Cat's Grace, Invisibility, Locate Object
    3rd: Dispel Magic, Fly, Haste, Hold Monster
    4th: Dimensional Anchor, Displacement, Ethereal Jaunt, Freedom of Movement


    Backstory

    Spoiler
    Show
    Hush now, child, and let me tell you,
    of a man they called Tamlaine.
    Beloved by the wood and town,
    of which his father was the kind and honest lord,
    yet hated by all the dark fae.
    Save one.
    Alas, this was his undoing

    Spoiler
    Show
    Woo! Level 1! Tamlaine is your standard 1st level Ranger, with the standard tracking abilities, empathy for wild creatures, and decent initiative. There isn't much tactics at this point; he goes up and hits things. Grab yourself a reach weapon, preferably a spiked chain, and do this in safety and style.


    But before this dark one could strike,
    Tamlaine was taken to court,
    where he learned the ways of knight of the king,
    but never lost his yearning for the woods.
    And so, one summer's evening,
    he went home
    Unwittingly into his doom.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Tamlaine goes through knighthood during levels 2-5. He gets good at it, and he has a new strategy; Mounted Combat on a specially bonded Wild Cohort. A horse will be used for now, but this will change (mostly for cool factor). And now the reach weapon adds even more fun, due to squares Tamlaine threatens are treated as difficult terrain; this is nice, since he can use Test of Mettle to get people to attack him, and can waltz around in medium armor without it slowing him down. In other words, Tamlaine is going through his tanking period.


    As he went home,
    and went a-walking with his lady-love;
    the Dark Queen,
    most vile of faeries,
    snatched him away,
    and had him join her court.
    His heart held in snare,
    he swore vows to follow this dread Lady.
    His love's heart,
    torn asunder by this happening,
    resolved to journey to save him

    Spoiler
    Show
    Tamlaine now begins his descent; first 5 levels of Unseelie Dark Hunter give him spells, which are quite a nice addition to his combat repertoire; True Strike and Haste are really helpful. He can also now use Standstill and Combat Reflexes to make people trying to pass him regret it, since he can just stop them in their traps. He can see perfectly in the dark, which is a pretty sweet ability; so sweet, in fact, that it requires a change in mount; yes folks, Tamlaine now rides a tiger into battle. Which is so freakin' sweet I shouldn't have to tell you, what with Pounce and Rake attacks and all. In all seriousness, though, Tamlaine is now faster, and so is his mount; besides that, he can't lose Dexterity through being flat-footed, and is quite a decent tracker; has been from level 1, in fact. Tamlaine now has rudimentary battlefield control, and rather good tracking abilities.


    And so she went to the Road,
    where the Unseelie are said to procession upon,
    and saw Tamlaine,
    riding as pretty as you please on a magnificent tiger.
    The Queen,
    seeing his lady love,
    said unto her,
    “If you can but hold on to him,
    he is yours.”
    And so she grasped his arm,
    and the Queen turned him into a loathsome serpent;
    but she held on.
    The Queen changed his skin to that of a hind,
    kicking in her grasp;
    but she held on.
    The Queen tried many a form,
    to make his love lose her grasp,
    but she held on yet.
    The Queen was filled with anger,
    but was held to her vow.
    “I return him to you,
    but by the time a score of years has passed,
    I will return to reclaim him.”
    And so they left,
    happily.
    Yet he was still in that most Dark of Lady's thrall;
    may the heavens help us all.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Tamlaine takes a 5 level break from Unseelie Dark Hunter, and goes into the tasty, 5-level, Silverwood Arcanist PrC, wherein he gains the ability to cast better while mounted, and he becomes closer to his tiger, allowing him to share spells with it. So now the tiger can fly/attack an extra time/turn ethereal/whatever. Tamlaine still plays mostly the same way as before, except his tiger has a few more tricks. So, that is, battlefield control and tracking. Oh, almost forgot; he can also now shape a single Soulmeld, the Astral Vambraces, and bind them to his Arms chakra, which gives him a single Astral Construct Menu A option for as long as the Soulmeld is shaped. This means he can fly at will, basically, the Fly spell being so that he can fly faster/take his awesome tiger mount with him. Alternatively, he could grab Power Attack, making him a slightly more dangerous melee combatant. Astral Vambraces are just nice; let's leave it at that.


    Tamlaine and his lady love lived on happily,
    his deeds on his mount were mighty to behold,
    and 9 years after he was freed,
    his lady love,
    now his wife,
    became with child.
    A beautiful boy it was,
    born on the day 10 years after his father's release.
    And so the Queen came,
    and took that child's father away.
    Now be careful,
    my son;
    wander not the dark in the woods,
    lest you be taken like your father.
    -Tom MacTamlaine, recounting a tale his mother told him as a child.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Tamlaine gains many tracking abilities in the levels of 16-20; one of my favorite is Scent, since he can already track things pretty damn well. He can also share his Astral Vambraces with his tiger, meaning that his tiger can fly with him, without the need for Fly; Fly lets them go fast, yes, but even with the inferior wings they get from the Soulmeld, they still go at 50ft a move action.Other than that, Improved Uncanny Dodge comes on line, which is nice for preventing being flanked. He can also act like he has Freedom of Movement up for up to a minute at 20th level; try to trap him now, on his flying tiger, bitches! Sorry about that. Anyway, he can also find something's location 1/day at 20th level, which kinda lets him find important stuff and people. All in all, if you need something tracked down, call Tamlaine, who will be able to retrieve whatever it is for you. Unless something really nasty took it, in which case you should have called the whole party, shouldn't you have? He also supplies some nice battlefield control, just to recap; after all, how many characters can turn the freakin' air into difficult terrain? Not many, that's who.


    Final Bonuses...
    Spoiler
    Show
    ...for his tiger

    +30 ft for all speeds
    Share Spells
    Share Soulmeld (Astral Vambraces)
    *Conservative reading of Wild Cohort*
    +5 HD
    +5 NA
    +2 Str/Dex
    5 bonus tricks (3 from Wild Cohort, 2 from Silverwood Arcanist)
    Evasion

    Tricks:
    Ambush
    Assist Track
    Attack (Anything) (Counts as 2)
    Defend
    Down
    Guard
    Hold
    Home
    Mark
    Subdue


    Sources
    Spoiler
    Show
    Core, Unseelie Dark Hunter, [url=http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/re/20031118a]Random Encounters 1[url], [url=http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/re/20031209a]Random Encounters 4[url], Player's Handbook II, a bunch of books for the tricks. Look at Realmshelp, they are all there.

  24. - Top - End - #114
    Banned
     
    true_shinken's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XVIII

    Is it just me or are nameless characters actually becoming a trend here?

    Quote Originally Posted by Servant
    The Loyal Servant

    Spoiler
    Show

    I have been a servant for as long as I've known the speech of man, and always with too many masters. I was first awakened by a powerful Wizard, the Netyarch(wizard-king) Zalathorm Kirkson of Halarahh. I was to be an unusual pet and companion for his bastard son (who's name I still may not reveal to this day), who had just begun training as a Shadow Marauder of the Crinti nobility. And because the Crinti were traditionally the enemies of the Halruaa, I was also to be a spy among them. And so I was born with two masters, my creator and my owner. My life has never been as simple again.

    I was sworn by oath and Gaes to not reveal myself for what I was, and sworn again to protect and serve the Kirkson blood, and sworn a third time to avenge that bloodline should it be ended, and then I was sent to Dambrath, two days after my rebirth from a simple desert animal, to deliver a message from father to son. The man-child, for his age could have been no more than ten years, delighted in my strangeness. I became a bauble to be shown about to the other rich and idle Crinti among his peers, and as such I fulfilled my duty as spy, learning much about the Crinti and their way of life and war, reporting what I could back to my maker through the chain of messenger owls he enchanted for my use.

    Years passed, and being a simple desert creature, I looked upon this life and considdered it terribly complicated. My future years would prove my folly in this, but resentment at ones lot in life is one of the many common failings of youth. I fulfilled my duties, teaching and being taught by my young master, watching the activities of the Crinti, learning and growing stronger. A strange and wise creature, another captive of the Crinti, began sharing secrets with me, who he saw as a fellow slave. He preached to me the wisdom and power of Bahamut, as filtered through an even stranger religion based around the spirits of Totem Animals and the power of dragons as totems. I absorbed this knowledge and even learned to tap the powers he spoke of, but at the time I had no intention of adding a new master to what I already considdered too many.

    Then, disaster. A marauding army of kobolds marched from the mountains to the East, normally believed to be impassable and left unguarded. My master, now fifteen, was among the few on that side of the region. He quickly raised a band of serfs and minor warriors to meet the invaders, but the odds were against us a hundred to one. But my master was clever, inheriting more than me from his father, and we used the tactics of bandits and brigands against the force as it moved, striking at stragglers and cutting away small groups to be slaughtered. We wittled down hundreds each day they traveled and slowed them down enough that there would be a force to meet them at the walls of Cathyr. But this enraged the leader of the band, a canny and cunning old kobold called Smoke. He marched out alone from his forces, and despite knowing it to be a trap, my master could not pass up such tempting bait.
    Spoiler
    Show

    We struck at dusk, when shadows ruled the landscape, to give us maximum advantage. Or so we thought. But my master was not the only being to draw power from darkness - Smoke turned out to be not a kobold, but a Shadow Dragon! The small war band my master had forged now shattered under the weight of the dragon's fearsome aura of power. Nine men out of ten ran, though this did not save them. My master, reckless as any man-child of fifteen years, attempted to use shadow against a creature of shadow, and payed for it. Appearing behind the beast, he managed to land several blows, but none of them so powerful as to prevent the counter stroke. And Smoke was a most potent foe, wielding both great strength and arcane power. He cast a single spell, and tore my master from this plane of existence.

    Of course, at the time, I believed my master to be destroyed and so my third duty was activated. I became enraged, and swooped upon this foul creature. But knowing that the most dangerous of the band had been vanquished and seeing that the majority of the defenders still ran, the dragon merely withdrew from the field of battle by the simple expedient of a dimension door.

    I did the only thing I could that might yield any vengence - I returned to the Crinti and reported what had happened. My master had bought them sufficient time to prepare their defenses, and the kobold force smashed themselves against the well defended walls of Cathyr. But despite my searching gaze, I could find no sign of Smoke in the battle - either he had fled, knowing defeat to be inevitable, or the entire invasion had been a mere distraction for some other plot.

    On inertia, I remained with the Crinti. I would have immediately set out to fulfil my final duty to my master, save that I had no way of knowing where Smoke had disappeared to. According to the rumors I heard from the nobility, he was known to pop up in every region and kingdom within the Realm to cause some minor trouble, with no rhyme or reason behind the incidents. I was promised information on any new sightings, for the Crinti understood well the lust for revenge, but that just chained me ever more to the people of Dambrath.

    My hatred for Smoke and the Kobolds that followed him was enough to make me a willing disciple of the Dragonborn slave. I offered to purchase and emancipate him in return for undergoing the Rite of Rebirth, seeking any edge I could in hunting down my master's destroyer. And despite my ambivilence towards the morality of humans, I was accepted by Bahamut for my strong sense of loyalty and honor.
    Spoiler
    Show

    As I awaited word from the Crinti about my nemesis, they decided it would be poetic to train me in the ways of the Shadow Marauder, to use the darkness that failed my master to hunt down his killer. Seeking any source of power that I could, I accepted this training and took to it with great fervor. I learned from my tutors not just the ways of riding and killing, but also how to hunt and track, skills I knew would serve me well in my quest.

    I grew strong, perhaps as strong as my master had been, and in time rumors finally drifted south to Dambrath of Smoke having struck once more, this time in the Yuirwood. Having no better lead to go on, I set off at once. The Crinti wished me well on my quest for vengeance, having never once suspected me of being a spy among them, or else never caring.

    My quest took me all across the Realms, and in my travels I took every opportunity to bolster my strength. I traded my Crinti-bred mount and a few trinkets for the egg of a Gryphon, which I hatched and raised. I encountered a pack of dire wolves and was forced to kill them, but took to raising the three wolf pups as my own. I had little desire to see the many strange lands I passed through, but I ever sought to be stronger. My quests and loyalties drove me, beyond even what the old wizard who laid those gaes upon me so long ago could have expected.

    I found a fresh trail in the Yuirwood and followed it, but in time it turned stale. I had to stop travelling once more, and this time I swore to find not just Smoke's latest 'prank', but also the base of his operation. Many questions and not a few bribes later led me to a place few would have expected to look and fewer still would have dared - the court of the Unseelie fey. But my loyalty and my duty took me there, and sealed my doom.
    Spoiler
    Show


    "What brings such an interesting morsel before me? Tell me, dragon-bird." Queen Mab sits upon her throne, ever-changing around her eternally beautiful form.

    "I seek vengeance against the Dragon of Shadow known as Smoke." My reply is simple, but provokes a reaction from the court.

    "Really? You seek revenge upon the traitor-dragon? Such delicious irony, one half-dragon to hunt another. And you bring with you a full hunting pack as well! Oh, the Wild Hunt shall be well served by you indeed! Tell me, why do you seek vengeance?"

    I think for a moment, but see no harm in answering. "Oh great Queen Mab, Smoke took from me my beloved master, son of my creator, who I was sworn to protect or avenge. I could not protect him from Smoke's magic, but I will avenge him."

    Mab smiles then, and this is a truly scary sight to behold. It strikes fear into my heart even as the words promise all I desire. "Well, fearsome hunter, I will offer this bargain. If you swear to serve me, and me alone, for all the rest of your days, then I will send you to the realm of shadow from which the traitor Smoke makes his raids. Your first service to me will be to slay him, his mount, and all his hounds, and then I will bring you back to finish your term. Do you agree to my bargain, little bird-dragon?"

    I did not hesitate or question my good fortune. Perhaps I should have, but I did not know the ways of the Unseelie court then and even now I might not have suspected the truth. "I will do so happily, My Queen." I bowed before Mab, Queen of Air and Darkness, and swore my oath of service and loyalty. In turn, she appointed me one of her hunters and gifted me with many tools that would make my coming battle easier.
    Spoiler
    Show


    The battle was hard fought and hard won. My hounds were outnumbered, but Dire Wolves will beat Worgs any day of the week (with or without shadow goblin riders). It may have helped that I managed to catch more than a few in my breath weapon strikes at their leader, of course. My Gryphon was on equal footing against the Nightmare that smoke rode, each magnificent beast tearing strips of flesh from the other. I managed to unmount Smoke, who had taken the guise of a drow, but was soon after thrown from my own saddle.

    We took to the sky, then. My breath against his spell in a struggle for dominance. The gifts of Mab were used, one by one, each one allowing me to avoid or counter Smoke's tricks. I wore him down, and finally, with great satisfaction, forced him from the sky.

    He lay, bloody and helpless at my feet. The battle was done, his hounds were dead and his nightmare lay bleading to death from a great wound to its neck. He spoke to me in the dragon's tongue as I moved in to kill him. "So, Aunt Mab has finally found an assassin she deemed worthy of killing me. I wonder what took her so long. I find it strange, small one, that I do not recognize you. My aunt, she likes so very much to play her little jokes, and I would have though she would have sent someone I would recognize to end me. Have we ever met?"

    Knowing this to be only a ruse to halt my hand, I did not reply until after I had landed a killing blow. "We met just once, on the field of Dambrath. I was the owl-man who watched over the princeling marauder who you vanished. I have hunted you ever since, pledging myself to any master who would help me avenge my first lord."

    As the light faded from the monster's eyes, the half shadow dragon chuckled. "Yes, a fine joke it is. For even as you slew me, you also slew my mount..." So saying, the half-fey slipped away into death. Curious, I moved over to the dying nightmare who was also gasping its last. And as I watched, the spell which gave it the shape of a nightmare ended. And there, dead at my feet by my own claw, was my young master, gray haired and not so young anymore, with a set of horseshoes nailed cruelly through his hands and feet, and a cruel barbed bridle set in his mouth.

    My pack gathered around me and mourned with me. I spent half a day in that in-between place making a pyre for my master's body, knowing that final death would be a kinder fate than bringing his flesh back to Mab for her to play with. Then, to enact final vengeance upon my master's killer, I returned to Mab. I bowed to her and swore to serve her. And perhaps, some day, when I have punished myself enough, I will take my oath of fealty to her one last time as I strangle the life from her.


    Spoiler
    Show

    Name: None. He was never given a name, and never took one. If a title must be given, he asks that he be called simply 'Servant'.
    Race: Dragonborn (Heart) Anthropomorphic Owl
    Align: LN
    Starting stats: 16 str, 14 dex, 16 con, 14 int, 20 wis, 6 cha

    Servant
    {table=head]Level|Class|BAB|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Skills|Feats|Class Features
    1st|Ninja 1|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |Hide 4, MS 4, Bluff 4, Ride 2, Search 4, Balance 4, Disguise 4, Sense Motive 4|Stealthy|Wis to AC, Sudden strike, trapfinding, Ki power
    2nd|Totemist 1|
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +4
    |
    +0
    |Handle Animal 5, Ride 3||Soulmelds, Wild Empathy
    3rd|Totemist 2|
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    +5
    |
    +0
    |Ride 6, Know(Nature) 3|Mounted Combat|Totem Chakra(+1 Capacity)
    4th|Ninja 2|
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +6
    |
    +0
    |Hide 6, MS 6, Search 5, Ride 7||Ghost Step
    5th|Ninja 3|
    +3
    |
    +4
    |
    +6
    |
    +1
    |Hide 8, MS 8, Ride 8, Bluff 5, Sense Motive 5||+2d6 sudden strike, poison use
    6th|Crinti Shadow Marauder 1|
    +3
    |
    +4
    |
    +8
    |
    +1
    |Survival 3|Improved Init|Shadow Ride
    7th|Crinti Shadow Marauder 2|
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +9
    |
    +1
    |Survival 6||+3d6 sudden strike
    8th|Crinti Shadow Marauder 3|
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +9
    |
    +2
    |Survival 8, Handle Animal 7|Trample|Shadow Walk
    9th|Crinti Shadow Marauder 4|
    +6
    |
    +5
    |
    +10
    |
    +2
    |Hide 10, MS 10, Handle Animal 9|Track|+4d6 sudden strike
    10th|Crinti Shadow Marauder 5|
    +6
    |
    +5
    |
    +10
    |
    +2
    |Ride 12, Handle Animal 11||Shadow Pounce
    11th|Unseelie Dark Hunter 1|
    +6
    |
    +7
    |
    +12
    |
    +2
    |Handle Animal 13, Survival 12||Low Light, Spells
    12th|Unseelie Dark Hunter 2|
    +7
    |
    +8
    |
    +13
    |
    +2
    |Ride 15, Survival 15|Bonus Essentia|Fast Mount, Fast Movement (+10)
    13th|Unseelie Dark Hunter 3|
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    +13
    |
    +3
    |Handle Animal 16, Ride 16, Survival 16, Know(Nature) 4||Darkvision
    14th|Unseelie Dark Hunter 4|
    +9
    |
    +9
    |
    +14
    |
    +3
    |Handle Animal 17, Ride 17, Hide 12, MS 12||Uncanny Dodge
    15th|Unseelie Dark Hunter 5|
    +9
    |
    +9
    |
    +14
    |
    +3
    |Handle Animal 18, Ride 18, Hide 14, MS 14|Entangling Exhalation|Fast Mount, Fast Movement (+20)
    16th|Unseelie Dark Hunter 6|
    +10
    |
    +10
    |
    +15
    |
    +4
    |Handle Animal 19, Ride 19, Hide 16, MS 16||Scent
    17th|Unseelie Dark Hunter 7|
    +11
    |
    +10
    |
    +15
    |
    +4
    |Handle Animal 20, Ride 20, Hide 18, MS 18||Improved Uncanny Dodge
    18th|Unseelie Dark Hunter 8|
    +12
    |
    +11
    |
    +16
    |
    +4
    |Handle Animal 21, Ride 21, Hide 20, MS 20|Soulsight|Fast Mount, Fast Movement (+30)
    19th|Unseelie Dark Hunter 9|
    +12
    |
    +11
    |
    +16
    |
    +5
    |Handle Animal 22, Ride 22, Hide 22, MS 22||Freedom of Movement
    20th|Unseelie Dark Hunter 10|
    +13
    |
    +12
    |
    +17
    |
    +5
    |Handle Animal 23, Ride 23, Hide 23, MS 23, Balance 5||Discern Location[/table]

    Soulmelds:
    Spoiler
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    Levels 3-9: Kruthik Claws bound to Totem, Dragon Tail, Blink Shirt
    Levels 10+: Blink Shirt bount to Totem, Wyrm Claws, Dragon Tail


    Spells:
    Spoiler
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    Only spells available are granted by UDH, so here are spell choices.
    1 - command, true strike, expeditious retreat, mount
    2 - detect thoughts, invisibility, speak with animals, hold person
    3 - haste, clairvoyance, dispel magic, hold monster
    4 - dimension door, greater invisibility, scrying, sending


    Equipment:
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    Since we have no real need to pick up either weapons or armor (natural attacks + wis-to-AC + arcane spells = wide open budget) there are a couple of big-ticket items that we should try to acquire. The most important gear is going to be a belt of magnificence (since any unarmored fighter is going to be at least a bit MAD, and the only stat that we don't get much out of raising is Intelligence), although individual items of Strength and Wisdom enhancement could suffice. Also very nice would be an Necklace of Natural Weapons enchanted for 3 weapons (2 claws + tail) with a +damage enchantment (acid damage is nice). A ring of Evasion is a good idea, since our Reflex save is ridiculously high anyway, and a ring of Blinking would be worthwhile just for its ability to guarantee us a surprise strike.
    Speaking of surprise strike, getting a few weapon augment crystals to allow us to critical undead and constructs (and thus deal surprise strike damage to them) might be a good plan. Even if they cannot be attached to the Necklace (which really should work, since you can enchant it with +x enhancements), you can still pick up a dagger and use that.
    Any magic item you can find that grants an additional 'natural' attack (for example, a mask that allows you to make a bite attack) is a must have. I'm sure they exist, but was unable to find an example.
    Once we hit 11th level, we get a number of nice spells on our 'spell list', which means we can pick up wands for a number of useful low level spells. Aside from that, standard equipment (cloak of resistence, +AC items, etc.).


    Use of Secret Ingredient:
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    Spells - Perhaps the most unique aspect of the entire class is the Wisdom based arcane spellcasting. This puts a limitation on the armor that the Hunter wears and even at the high end only provides a small selection of spells up to 4th level. However, if you combine this with a monk-like class that grants wisdom to AC when unarmored, you get a serious incentive to have a high wisdom and no armor, making this apparent deficit into a point of synergy.
    low-light vision - Owls would normally not need this, but like most of the other racial features of the character's former owlness, it is stripped away by the Dragonborn rebirth. For a character who's primary mode of operation is stealth in darkness, this is an invaluable tool.
    Fast mount - A useful mount-boosting ability that combos quite well with the ability to move one's mount through shadow given by the Crinti Shadow Marauder. This class is obviously inteded to be highly maneuverable, with a specialization in tracking down (and then chasing down) chosen prey. For this reason, in addition to the mounted combat feat, the Trample feat allows us to overrun our foes on our mounts. Follow this up with a shadow jump BACKWARDS to right next to the trampled foe, and you can trample them and then use Shadow Ride at the end of your movement (as far as I can tell, it's not a seperate action) to teleport backwards and add serious injury to the insult from trample.
    fast movement - More mobility! So not only are we expected to ride down our enemies, but engage them on foot? Well, that's still not a problem since our at-will move action teleport ability won't let us take our mount with us anyway. But more importantly, this ability doesn't limit itself to land speed - this is also a 10'-30' boost to our fly movement, which gives us a real edge in aerial combat!
    Darkvision - A real godsend for the stealthily inclined, and being in total darkness generally means that EVERYTHING is in shadow (and if not, a few small light sources tossed about can be quite disorienting to the enemy).
    Uncanny dodge/Improved Uncanny dodge - Getting surprised or flanked is always a pain to the unarmored fighter
    Scent - Yet another tool for tracking ones prey. This is a skill that is well suited for use in chasing a fleeing opponent through a misty forest or dank cave, where line of sight is a difficult thing to maintain. For an invisible, teleporting stalker? It's a terrifying tool for hunting down prey that has gone to ground.
    Freedom of movement - Get out of jail free! Just like the Cleric domain power that grants freedom of movement just on the one or two rounds where you really need it, this power might not last all that long, but you've got it when you need it. In the case of the invisible, teleporting hunter/stalker? The cases where you need it are even rarer, but with it there is literally nothing that can stop you.
    Discern location - One of the most powerful scrying spells available, 1/day? Yes please! Does the big nasty wizard use mind blank to stop you from finding him? Discern location on his spellbook. Going after a specific nasty dragon? Find their horde. This is in many ways the best way to begin a scry&die, and if you can't find your target today, you can always try again tomorrow. More, for someone who's very nature is that of a spy, you can just use it every day to find the location of someone or something important, effectively maintaining a magical spy network right from your own home!


    Tactics:
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    Level 5: Right out of the gate, you're a nasty piece of work. On the ninja side, we get wisdom to AC, poison use, 2d6 sudden strike damage and swift greater invisibility 6/day. From totemist, we've got 3 soulmelds, one bound to the totem chakra. To start out with, we can bind Kruthik Claws to the totem chakra (which is where we'll be putting our essentia most of the time), which by itself gives us +8 to both stealth skills (for a total of +20!) in addition to the two primary claw attacks that each deal 1d6+2d4 acid damage (+strength). Add in the Dragon Tail soulmeld (from Dragon Magic) for an extra tail attack, and a utility soulmeld (like, say, blink shirt) and we're talking some real flexibility at low levels. On top of that, we've got a breath weapon and a fair number of useful skills, making for a versatile and well rounded package.
    Level 10: And we've already hit the big combo - breath weapon + (totem bound, move action) blink shirt + shadow pounce = breath weapon + mobility + full attack. That's right, we can use our (standard action, at will) breath weapon, and the move action teleport from Blink Shirt (effectively a 10' step if we don't have any essentia invested) to initiate our shadow pounce. On top of this, we've got a few more options for initiating shadow pounce (like Shadow Ride), we've swapped out the Kruthik Claws (goodbye +8 stealth) for Wyrm Claws (which give 2 claw attacks without needing to be bound to a chakra), and we're up to 4d6 surprise strick damage.
    Level 15: At last, the secret ingredient. While it doesn't add anything directly to our damage dealing combo, it complements our other strengths very nicely. A variety of spells up to 3rd level, a couple of movement abilities, darkvision and uncanny dodge. While these might seem like general utility enhancements, each one has its place in our combat style and generally makes up for a deficiency or weak point (see use of secret ingredient above). The addition of 2 more essentia (doubling our essentia pool!) from the bonus essentia feat, and a mobility limiter from Entangling Exhalation (allowing us to put less essentia into the Blink Shirt soulmeld) go a long way towards keeping our 3 meager soulmelds relevant. Also, by this time, we've got enough Handle Animal skill to take on and train both our special mount (Gryphon) and Hunting Dogs (Dire Wolves). While Gryphons are magical beasts and not normally subject to Handle Animal, they're explicitly trainable if you raise them from an early age. Whether we acquire an egg or buy one trained, they make for an excellent mount, and can handle themselves equally well in the ground or the air. Dire wolves are animals, and as such you can use Handle Animal to raise and train them just like any other animal. In effect, these companions are the answer to the eternal question of 'how do you play a frontline fighter with low hit dice' - bring more hit dice!
    Level 20: We get Dimension Door and Greater Invisibility, in addition to a few other useful spells. But in truth, that's all we need. Greater invisibility is our best self-buff because it means we can surprise strike to our hearts content without expending those daily uses or attempting to sneak up on people (though we've got more uses now thanks to a higher wisdom and we're really good at sneaky). Dimension door as a spell now lets us teleport our entire pack around for awesome mobility or a really surprising entry (and surprise round full attack, in our case). The Soulsight feat is there to either provide an extra point of essentia or to make us even more difficult to evade or hide from. Having maximum ranks in handle animal also means having a small army of woodland creatures (and dire beasts) to strike terror into the hearts of anyone invading your territory - or any poor sap unlucky enough to get a wild hunt chasing after them. Really, being chased by Dire Squirrels is equal parts humiliating and terrifying, and having them lead by an ice-breathing saurian owl just makes it into a really bad acid trip.


    Build Notes:
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    For any judge who missed it, Anthropomorphic Owl is an LA+1 race (and 1d8 hit dice, which is replaced by taking the Ninja level). That means either LA Buyoff or not taking the last level of the secret ingredient. While not having LA buyoff available does put a bit of a damper on the build, it does not in any way make it untennable, it just removes the rather nice capstone of 1/day discern location (freedom of movement isn't nearly as nice for a capstone) and pushes all the good stuff back by a level. So, having LA buyoff is nice (and assumed for the build above) but not vital.
    Flaws could allow for some nice additions to the build. With 1 flaw, you could make a dex-focused build (replacing Anthropomorphic Owl with the ever popular Anthropomorphic Bat), taking the Weapon Finesse as your 3rd level feat by making Mounted Combat a 1st level feat. With a second flaw, you could add Multiattack at 6th level (again, moving Improved Init down to 1st level), giving you a much higher attack bonus for each attack while also improving your stealth ability significantly.


    Sources:
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    Complete Adventurer - Ninja
    Magic of Incarnum - Totemist, Bonus Essentia, Soulsight, Blink Shirt, Kruthik Claws
    Dragon Magic - Wyrm Claws, Dragon Tail
    Races of the Dragon - Dragonborn
    Savage Species - Anthropomorphic Owl, Necklace of Natural Attacks
    Miniature Handbook - Belt of Magnificence
    Magic Item Compendium - Weapon augment crystals

    Everything else is from the SRD.

  25. - Top - End - #115
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    true_shinken's Avatar

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XVIII

    That's the last of them. Ready, set, JUDGE!

  26. - Top - End - #116
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XVIII

    OK, I know that the secret ingredient requires track, but...that's a LOT of ranger.

  27. - Top - End - #117
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by kestrel404 View Post
    OK, I know that the secret ingredient requires track, but...that's a LOT of ranger.
    Yeah, but it's all pretty original. For those keeping track at home, there are 9 submissions. Listing race and base classes (omitting other PrC's) they are...

    Krenshar Ranger
    Bamboo Spirit Ranger
    Elf Tribal Ardent
    Fiendish Goblin Rogue/Warlock
    Kiloren Ranger
    Azurin Totemist
    Illumian Ranger/Barbarian
    Human Ranger/Knight
    Dragonborn Anthro Owl Totemist/Ninja
    .
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    Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone you may still exist but you have ceased to live. - Samuel Clemens

    Oh, and DFTBA.

  28. - Top - End - #118
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XVIII

    Heh...only two base races out of nine submissions =P

    Glad to see the interesting mix of characters here - there's a few PrC's I've never heard of, and I've never seen a build focused on Wild Empathy either.

    Now get cracking, judges!
    Handbooks: (Hosted on the new MixMax forums)
    [3.5] The Poison Handbook
    [3.5] (New) Master of Shrouds Handbook
    [3.5 Base Class] Healer's Handbook

    Trophies!
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    Thanks to Strategos and Jumilk for the awesome Iron Chef trophies!

  29. - Top - End - #119
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XVIII

    Wow, I'm amazed that there are 9 submissions and none of them are like the builds I was gonna submit. Now I'm slightly disappointed that I decided to be lazy. Well, I suppose I could post my builds later after the judging is done.

  30. - Top - End - #120
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XVIII

    Dang, no one took my second idea; too bad I couldn't get the fluff right. Le sigh.

    I'll post it after the judging, sans backstory, because it is seriously a fun looking build.
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    If you see me try to discuss the nitty-gritty of D&D 5e, kindly point me to my signature and remind me that I shouldn't. Please and thank you!

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