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  1. - Top - End - #241
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    vikingofdoom's Avatar

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XIX

    Here's my judging, completed at last:
    Jacinta:
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    Originality: 4
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    Fairly unique backstory (+0.5), changeling rouge entrance was unique (+1), feats/skill tricks used fairly commonly in other builds (-0.5)

    Elegance: 4.5
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    Explained how you got the ship (+0.5), everything is legal RAW (+0.5), Sources Listed (+0.5)

    Power: 3.5
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    Good damage in melee combat (+0.5), with a wide variety of helpful skills.

    UoSI: 3.5
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    SI fits the build and enhances the power of it, adding some additional options. Overall increase to the build’s power is average(+0.5)

    Total: 15.5


    Cap’t Four Fingers:
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    Originality: 1.5
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    Backstory somewhat unique (+0.5), build is somewhat unique (+0.5), but fear-based fighters are incredibly common (-1), as is using Human Paragon for skill points (-0.5)

    Elegance: 3
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    Ship explained (+0.5) Used UA variants (-1), sources listed (+0.5)

    Power: 3.5
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    Build is a one-trick pony (no change) that’s main ability is to render enemies cowering for one turn, which gives you a fairly viable ability to help in combat (+0.5).

    UoSI: 4
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    The secret ingredient helps your build, making a fairly powerful improvement (+1).

    Total: 12


    Van:
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    Originality: 3
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    I didn’t expect Dread Necro or Dread Witch to show up (+0.5), using the cutlass was a nice touch (+0.5), backstory was acceptable, fear based builds are apparently all over the place (-1)

    Elegance: 4
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    Everything is legal and sources listed (+0.5), boat explained (+0.5)

    Power: 4
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    You’re a decent fear build (+0.5), with everything that goes with that. Your spells are helpful to you. (+0.5)

    UoSI: 3.5
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    The secret ingredient helps you in melee combat, at the expense of your spellcasting. This comes out to being a moderate boost in power (+0.5)

    Total: 14.5


    Darrigan:
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    Originality: 2.5
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    Fear builds are apparently all over the place (-1). Backstory was nice and unexpected, as was the use of Scarlet Corsair (+0.5).

    Elegance: 4
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    Sources listed and everything is legal (+0.5), boat explained (+0.5).

    Power: 4
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    You have a decent fear build (+0.5), which is hindered by everything that hinders fear effects. Your spells are able to help fairly well. (+0.5)

    UoSI: 3.5
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    The secret ingredient adds a minor boost to your build, with only a small amount of costs (+0.5)

    Total: 14


    Halavin:
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    Originality: 4
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    Use of honorable pirate and being a dragonmarked character was fairly unique. (+0.5). Backstory was well done, but not exceptional (+0.5).

    Elegance: 4
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    Everything is legal and listed, build flows nicely (+0.5), ship explained (+0.5)

    Power: 4
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    Able to handle yourself well in melee combat, has both attack and defense abilities (+0.5). Spells are fairly minor, but still useful (+0.5)

    UoSI: 4
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    SI made sense for the build, and added fairly significant boosts in melee power and skills (+1).

    Total: 16


    Vincent:
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    Originality: 3.5
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    Being an honourable pirate and a dragon marked character was fairly unique (+0.5), backstory was fairly drab (+0).

    Elegance: 3.5
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    Used UA variants (-0.5), sources listed and everything legal (+0.5), boat explained (+0.5)

    Power: 3.5
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    Able to handle yourself fairly well in combat, but note exceptionally (+0.5). Arcane strike adds some power to your attacks, but not an impressive amount. (+0)

    UoSI: 3.5
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    The SI helps out your build fairly well, but not exceptionally (+0.5).

    Note: Something went weird with your tables and your math, so I recalculated BAB (I’m getting +15, not +16) and saving throws (but those seem to be correct) while marking this. Also, build entry says Bard while table says Beguiler.
    Total: 14


    Oltur:
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    Originality: 4
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    Merfolk was unique, as was binding. Swashbuckler was uncommon in the competition (though not entirely unexpected) (+0.5), backstory was well done but not exceptional. (+0.5)

    Elegance: 4
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    Everything’s legal with sources listed (+0.5), boat explained (+0.5)

    Power: 2.5
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    LA is a fairly powerful penalty to any build (-2), but what you gain a fairly good boost from doing so (+1). Able to do okay in combat, but nothing exceptional (+0.5)

    UoSI: 3.5
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    The secret ingredient helps your build, adding power and accuracy to your attacks, and fits fairly well. (+0.5)

    Total: 14


    Alria:
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    Originality: 4
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    Backstory interesting, scarlet corsair unexpected (+1)

    Elegance: 2
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    Sources listed, everything legal, boat explained (+1). Mixed dis/honouralbe abilities from dread pirate, which is illegal, but covered for that elsewhere in the build (-2)

    Power: 4
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    You’re very capable in melee combat, dealing out high damage/turn and debuffing enemies very effectively. (+1).

    UoSI: 4.75
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    You make excellent use of the SI, increasing your power by a large amount (+2). Not taking all 10 levels in this class is a minor deduction (-0.25) but understandable

    Total: 14.75


    Ghost:
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    Power: 1.5:
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    Your power is worse than a straight hexblade, losing spells, curses, and Aura of Unluck (-3). Instead you gain ghost features (+1) and various benefits from Pirate Lord, of which only two help you in combat (+1). The powers that you do get are fairly standard (most creatures at level 20 are at best shaken (-2 to hit/damage) for 5 rounds; or takes 1 minute and is fairly useless in combat (-0.5).

    Originality: 2:
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    You used a unique concept for this competition (+1), but it was a fairly obvious cliche (-1). Your backstory was adequate but not exceptional (+0). Fear based characters are quite common (-1)

    Elegance: 1:
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    No sources listed(-1). You don't qualify for Force of Will, so that feat is illegal (-0.5). Not taking full levels in Ghost, while legal, is inelegant and likely to get a book thrown at you, but no deduction as it is legal. Web-based material is questionable as useable material, due to not being an official rule-book (-0.5).

    UoSI: 3.5:
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    You manage to make good use of some of the features of the SI (+1), but gain no benefit from the majority of them (-0.5). Those that are used aren't the most useful ones from the class, but that is recorded under Power above.

    Total: 8


    EDIT: Dealt with a concern raised to me by a separate judge, dealt with math errors.
    Last edited by vikingofdoom; 2011-04-04 at 02:22 PM.
    Thanks to Vrythas for the awesome Myrddraal avatar.

  2. - Top - End - #242
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    HalflingPirate

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XIX

    Your score for Halavin's Originality seems to have drifted out of your spoiler.
    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.
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    Check out the Versatile Domain Generalist.

  3. - Top - End - #243
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    vikingofdoom's Avatar

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XIX

    Indeed it did, fixed now.
    Thanks to Vrythas for the awesome Myrddraal avatar.

  4. - Top - End - #244
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XIX

    Some of your total scores seem at odds with the individual categories when added.

    • Captain Four Fingers (total 11, categories 12)
    • Hendrik Van Der Decken (total 12.5, categories 14.5)
    • Oltur Seadweller (total 15, categories 14)
    • Dread Ghost (total 8, categories 9)


    Which is correct?
    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 - #245
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    vikingofdoom's Avatar

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XIX

    The categorical scores are correct, dealt with.
    Thanks to Vrythas for the awesome Myrddraal avatar.

  6. - Top - End - #246
    Banned
     
    GnomePirate

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XIX

    Quote Originally Posted by OMG PONIES View Post
    Some of your total scores seem at odds with the individual categories when added.

    • Captain Four Fingers (total 11, categories 12)
    • Hendrik Van Der Decken (total 12.5, categories 14.5)
    • Oltur Seadweller (total 15, categories 14)
    • Dread Ghost (total 8, categories 9)


    Which is correct?
    I don't see any tallying!

  7. - Top - End - #247
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XIX

    I just wanted to make sure that I had correct numbers in my table.

    Tallies after Two Judges (before disputes)
    {table=head]Entry|Place|Total|Average
    Halavin d'Lyrandar|GOLD|29.75|3.71875
    Alria Almaiath|SILVER|29.25|3.65625
    Jacinta Marzoni|BRONZE|29|3.625
    Captain Four Fingers|Fourth|28.5|3.5625
    Darrigan the Gray Death|Fifth|28|3.5
    Vincent Alzey d'Lyrandar|Sixth|27.5|3.4375
    Hendrik Van Der Decken|Seventh|25.75|3.21875
    Oltur Seadweller|Eighth|22.75|2.84375
    The Dread Ghost|Ninth|17.75|2.21875[/table]
    Last edited by OMG PONIES; 2011-04-04 at 03:17 PM.
    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

  8. - Top - End - #248
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    GnomePirate

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XIX

    It looks like the only person guaranteed a medal is the one who did Alria. Everyone else in the top tier moved around completely.

  9. - Top - End - #249
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XIX

    I don't think any of the medals are guaranteed--this is a pretty tight round, and I'm expecting some in-depth analysis from Zaq.
    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

  10. - Top - End - #250
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XIX

    Yep, real tight.

    The first positions are divided by half a point, and the difference between second and third is one-fourth of a point. The first five positions, except second and third, have differences of half a point, and all in all the fifth position only need to have two-three points higher than the top position to swing a win, the rest of the scores roughly the same.

    Still, Zaq's scores should be good. Hoping to see the full word total, given that it should be wordy enough. Perhaps he can beat my top word score at judging a competition?
    Retooler of D&D 3.5 (and 5e/Next) content. See here for more.
    Now with a comprehensive guide for 3.5 Paladin players porting to Pathfinder. Also available for 5th Edition
    On Lawful Good:
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    My friend is currently playing a paladin. It's way outside his normal zone. I told him to try to channel Santa Claus, Mr. Rogers, and Kermit the Frog. Until someone refuses to try to get off the naughty list. Then become Optimus Prime.
    T.G. Oskar profile by Specter.

  11. - Top - End - #251
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    ArcanistSupreme's Avatar

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XIX

    Unless I'm missing something, the math for Captain Four Fingers' originality score is off in vikingkingofdoom's post. It's only one point, but every point counts when it's neck and neck like this.

    I must say, I'm really enjoying this round. Good work everyone.
    Awesome avatar by starwoof

  12. - Top - End - #252
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XIX

    Finally finished! My total word count is 11,165, so I'm going to need several posts for this. Let's get started.

    Jacinta Marzoni

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    I can see right off the bat that you're quite good at “initimidating.” I'm not sure what “initimidating” is, but you seem to have max ranks in “initimidate.” It may be related to “diguise,” but I'm not quite sure. Pro tip: If you're going to copy and paste something over and over, make sure that it's spelled correctly first. Also, I don't know whether it's dedication to the cause or just some really interesting copying and pasting, but I find it noteworthy that you stuck doggedly to these spellings even in your stat block.

    Originality: Rogue gets a yawn, but the changeling sub levels and Uncanny Trickster at least sort of got my attention. That's at least a lot more Rogue than I'm used to seeing here. (0) Total: 3

    Power: The Changeling Rogue sub level ability to take 10 on Intimidate is quite useful here, but I don't really see much else in the way of fear optimization. (0) Your 7d6 SA is respectable, but I don't see any good way of getting it on a full attack; Improved Feint is acceptable at lower levels, but at higher levels (especially with TWF), it's important to get in more than a single good strike. You do mention that “Group Fake-Out lets you deal sneak attack damage to lots of foes at once,” but what exactly do you mean by that? Are you planning on throwing your daggers at multiple enemies? I really don't see anything here that actually flows. You have SA and TWF, but you're not really a blender. You have Scourge of the Seas and the ability to take 10, but you don't have any way of decreasing the action time or worsening the fear. In short, you seem unfocused. Your skill tricks are cute, and you're not going to be totally useless, but you're never really going to shine, either. (–1) Staggering Strike is a good trick (and I wish it had come earlier in your build), so that at least lets your one sneak attack per round function as a debuff instead of just a few dice of damage. (+0.25) Total: 2.25

    Elegance: I admit, I laughed out loud when I saw your footnote claiming that the “substituion” level wasn't a typo. You really would have benefited from a quick proofreading. Between “initimidate,” “diguise,” “substituion,” and a few other spelling errors (not to mention a few questionable unformatted hyphens which were meant as en dashes but should have been em dashes), I can't let you go by without some red ink. (–0.25) I do think that this is one of the only times that I've seen Uncanny Trickster actually used for skill tricks instead of just for progressing something that you shouldn't progress or nabbing a few extra skill points on an otherwise normal build, so that's pretty cool. (+0.25) Overall, I don't see anything impressively good or impressively bad. Total: 3

    Use of Secret Ingredient: I was a little bit surprised to see a changeling, since a disguised DP does not gain the benefit of Fearsome Reputation. That said, since you don't have that many ranks in Disguise (or “Diguise”), it's obvious to me that you aren't planning on going around in a false form most of the time. (0) Moving right along, I'm rather displeased by the fact that you dropped P: Sailor like a hot potato the minute you qualified for Dread Pirate. Seamanship or no Seamanship, you need to have some strong ranks if you want to actually sail a vessel. More than anything, that made it feel like you forgot that you were on a boat. (–0.25) Skill Mastery is nice, but nothing special. Between Improved Feint, Tumbling Feint, and your movement-based skill tricks, it's clear to me that you're not planning on standing in one spot long enough to really use TWF. I'm repeating myself, but I just don't see what you really do with any of the DP class features. In short, I'm not convinced that you need to be a Dread Pirate. (–0.5) Total: 2.25

    Final Evaluation: I like skillmonkeys and skill-heavy characters. I expected to get a lot more out of your build than I actually saw. I just didn't see anything special or terribly interesting. Changeling Rogue was cool, but you didn't do much with it.

    Final Total: 10.5


    Captain Four Fingers

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    You know, I expected to see more people use some of your tricks. No time to waste; let's get started.

    Originality: Good job expertly dodging all of the expected entry classes. No Rogue, no Bard, no Swashbuckler. Quite refreshing. Barbarian actually fits the class quite well in both fluff and crunch (hell, the Vikings were basically seafaring pirates in a lot of ways). I like what I'm seeing. (+1) Total: 4

    Power: I think this is the most elegant (not necessarily Elegant; elegant) use of fear I've seen out of Dread Pirate. Dreadful Wrath is much better than most Frightful Presence-style abilities, and you use it to good effect. Scourge of the Seas and Imperious Command are standard, but the way you trigger them isn't. I'm almost having a hard time keeping track of how many different sources of AoE fear you have, and they all flow seamlessly together with excellent action economy. (+0.5) I find your assertion that Dread Blade gives you SA and Craven to be contentious; it's quite specific about being “for the purpose of sudden strike,” not for anything else. As such, I don't think that your actual damage output is quite as high as you say it is. That said, a cowering enemy loses its DEX bonus to AC, so once you're started your fear cycle, you should be OK. (0) I was thrilled to see Pounce show up, given that DP gives you TWF and Acrobatic Charge. I also believe that you're the only (or perhaps one of the only; forgive me if I'm mistaken, but I've been at this for a while) one to use GTWF, which is a mark in your favor. You're a terrifying blender, and you're quite good at it. (+0.5)

    You do get off to a slow start; you're pretty much nothing but Dreadful Wrath at low levels, especially if we listen to your fluff and tactics and say that you use an axe at low levels (I somehow doubt that you're using a handaxe, and with 8 STR, you really need a finesse weapon). I mean, really, a charger with 8 STR and 11 CON? It's really a slower start than I'd like. (–0.25) The standard note about fear-immune foes applies, of course, but at least you acknowledged your weakness and mentioned it. UMD helps, definitely. We'll call that even. (0) Total: 3.75

    Elegance: K: Geography as your Adaptive Learning? Most classy, sir! Most classy! I played in a seafaring campaign once where, despite being well-trained, our navigator could not make a K: Geography check to save his life. We were really good at our P: Sailor checks, and we'd stay dead on course to go to whatever hilariously wrong point we set our course for, but since that damned K: Geo check always failed, we'd always end up somewhere bizarre. I'm very glad to see someone recognize that it's such an important part of seafaring. (+0.5) I can't decide how I feel about your sudden low-rank training in a bunch of piratey skills once you hit DP. On the one hand, I suppose it's easier to swallow than “last level I barely knew which end of the horse was the front, but this level I've got eight ranks in Ride and the Mounted Combat feat.” On the other, those single ranks only do you the barest amount of good until you get around to boosting 'em. We'll call it even. (0) I must say that I love your level progression; you meet your prereqs perfectly, and your level breakpoints make perfect sense. (+0.25) Also, I adore your rationale for Quick Draw. It was an obvious prereq feat for everyone else, but your little triple-free-action trophy snatch trick is just a thing of beauty. (+0.25) I really don't see much that I don't like. Total: 4

    Use of Secret Ingredient: I believe that this build came the closest to using every part of the buffalo. Pounce and the TWF feat chain are great with Acrobatic Charge; you took Craven to make your 2d6 SA worthwhile; you found clever uses for the prereq feats; you remembered that you're on a boat; your tactic of killing your own crew to activate both Motivate the Scum and Bloody Murder is very classy— I love it. It just works. This build is obviously a Dread Pirate through and through, building on and very neatly meshing with its other 10 levels. Bravo. (+1.5) The only thing I see to quibble about is that Motivate the Scum does require that you kill a helpless target, so you'll have to have your victim properly prepared prior to combat. Nonetheless, excellent work. Total: 4.5

    Final Evaluation: What can I say? This build just works. It's smooth, it's unique, it's effective in ways that I didn't expect, and it was downright refreshing to see. I didn't expect to give you so high of a score, honestly, but when I go through and tally up my notes, you've earned it.

    Final Total: 16.25


    Hendrick Van der Decken

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    I have a hunch that I know how Mr. der Decken wears his hair. The answer is dreadlocks. But you knew that.

    Originality: I know what you're thinking. You're thinking about how you came up with a clever and unique combination that has cool name synergy and great potential, and how cool you are for having thought of it when no one else did. You're feeling pretty smug and self-satisfied, aren't you? Well, you know what? You go ahead and feel as smug as you want. You've earned it. Congrats. (+2) Total: 5

    Power: OK, first the good part. I love seeing Dread Witch here. It gives a bigger bonus to Intimidate in 4 levels than Dread Pirate does in 10, but since the two work well together, Dread Witch is an excellent addition to the build. (+0.5) Your strategies are pretty obvious; between the fear aura, Frightful Presence, Daunting Presence, Scourge of the Seas, and so on, you're a nasty fear machine. Unfortunately, you're totally shut down by anything immune to fear, but that's the nature of the beast. Frightful Presence isn't that useful, of course—almost anything worth bothering with has more HD than you and is thus immune, which is kind of a real shame. I kind of feel like Intimidating Strike (PHB2) would have been more effective than Daunting Presence, since (as your build aptly demonstrates) it's much easier to get an enormous bonus to Intimidate than it is to increase the save DC on Daunting Presence, and it would have triggered Frightful Presence as well. If you're truly comfortable in melee, I think it would have been worth the risk.

    Your spells provide some good tricks at low levels, though you don't get terribly many spells that stay useful at high levels, mostly since the save DCs just aren't going to cut it after too long. By my count, you've got 3rd level spells (note that your table is incorrect: DNs don't get cantrips, so it looks like you're one spell level behind where you actually are) from ECL 6 until ECL 19, so your actual spells aren't going to be astounding after you start taking Dread Pirate (though Ray of Exhaustion is going to be useful for quite some time to come). This means that you kind of falter a bit between around when you enter (or perhaps leave) Dread Witch and until you hit Scourge of the Seas; you're still mostly casterlike at that point, but your spells are kind of lagging. You're fine at low levels and you're pretty good at high levels, but there's kind of a donut hole there. (–0.25) While it's not quite unique, I would have loved to have seen Arcane Strike in here, just so that your spells aren't dead weight at higher levels. (Netherese Battle Curse would have been even better, of course, but it requires Power Attack, and I don't blame you for not taking PA.) Your SA damage is pretty laughable; I can see you putting on your game face and desperately trying to say that it's relevant (Wracking Touch is a nice flourish), but 1d6 at ECL 11 and 2d6 at ECL 15 is, well, forgettable. We all know you're in this for the fear, though, which you do quite well. Total: 3.25

    Elegance: So, this may be inadvertent, but it turns out that Greater Master of Terror doesn't actually help you. Perhaps you noticed this, but whether you did or not, this is what I got out of it. I was all set to berate you for getting Dread Witch 4 way too late; I had misremembered GMoT as letting you punch through ALL fear immunity, when it in fact only works on spells you cast on enemies who have no more than 3 HD more than your (rather low) caster level. At level 20, it does nothing for you. So, lucky for you, that's really a wash; GMoT doesn't really help you at all, but it also means that you didn't delay what I thought would be a critical part of your build to an insultingly late level. Since GMoT's not the only thing you get at that level (Delay Fear isn't amazingly useful, but it's damn funny when it works), Dread Witch 4 is a fine capstone. (0)

    Anyway, it took me a few minutes to try to figure out what was up with your saves. I eventually got that you were giving me your full saves instead of your base saves, but I was quite taken aback for a while there. That was hard to read. (–0.25) I do approve of the fact that you took Tomb-Tainted Soul even though you eventually went Necropolitan. (Speaking of Necropolitan, I'm not 100% convinced that a human keeps getting the extra skill point every level after undergoing crucimigration, but since it's ambiguous, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt.) Sure, Necropolitan means that you can't benefit from Absorb Fear, but I've played a Dread Witch, and Absorb Fear is not exactly why you're in the class. I'm pretty sure that it never came up in that entire campaign, actually. At any rate, Tomb-Tainted Soul gets you some points in my book, because it shows that you realize that you might not start at level 10, which is an attitude that's depressingly uncommon in circles like this. (+0.25) I do approve of your use of rebuked minions as crew; that's an excellent way to use your relatively small undead control pool (which is, if I'm not mistaken, 24 HD; hardly overwhelming) and relatively low rebuking level (which limits how powerful the undead you can control are) to very flavorful effect. Most of your crew will still probably be alive, but I can't argue with the image of a literal skeleton crew. (+0.25) Total: 3.25

    Use of Secret Ingredient: First, a small quibble. While I adore the idea of crewing your ship with rebuked undead, Motivate the Scum simply won't work on them; it gives a morale bonus, and Rules Compendium p. 21 states that morale bonuses are always mind-affecting, which your undead crew members are immune to. It was a nice idea, but at least that small bit of it doesn't work. As I said in another build, I understand that you took Frightful Presence to try to get some use out of Acrobatic Charge, but since Frightful Presence also triggers on an attack, that's kind of a wash. I do see what you were trying to do, at least, so I won't take off anything, but I also can't really reward it. (0) You really did try gamely to use pretty much every feature that DP gives, even if it didn't always work. Given Skill Mastery, I was shocked to not see a single rank in Tumble. Also, given your relatively late entry, I was impressed to see that you hit DP 10 at one of the lowest ECLs in the contest. I will confess that DP does feel like it didn't have to be the focal point of the build, at least not for 10 levels; a lot of your tricks come from Dread N. and Dread W. rather than Dread P. (OK, I kind of just wanted to use all those abbreviations in one sentence, but my point stands), you know? Still, you tried. I love the image of Seamanship letting mindless skellies be competent (if not amazing) sailors, and (most importantly) your fluff tied everything together in a relatively convincing manner. (The only part I found odd was that your beloved master forced you to undergo crucimigration, apparently against your will, but hey, hiccups happen.) Overall, I think you earned a solid 3. Total: 3

    Final Evaluation: This one was kind of a thrill ride. I laughed out loud when I saw the class combo, I got really excited when I thought that DW would let you beat the fear immunity that plagues most dishonorable pirates, I got affronted when I realized that you took DW 4 at ECL 20, and I had a rather humbling moment of realization when I checked the wording on GMoT and realized that it didn't do what I think it did. It was a bit of work, but I think I had the most fun reading your build out of any so far. For that, if nothing else, bravo.

    Final Total: 14.5
    Last edited by Zaq; 2011-04-06 at 01:51 AM. Reason: Muphry's Law
    In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    Gentlefolk, learn from Zaq's example, and his suffering. Remember, seven out of eleven players who use truenamer lose their ability to taste ice cream.
    Come join the Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground E6 Appetizer Edition! We're currently cooking for round 32. Everyone is welcome!

    My compiled Iron Chef stuff!

    Queer pride isn't limited to one month, but still, happy Pride!

  13. - Top - End - #253
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XIX

    Post 2.

    Darrigan

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    Ah, the Scarlet Corsair. Very similar flavor to the Dread Pirate, and very tempting to take in conjunction. Did you make it work? Let's find out.

    Originality: Bard. Swashbuckler. Scarlet Corsair. Yawn. (–1) Total: 2

    Power: Finally, someone takes the feat Scourge of the Seas! That feat is perfect for a dishonorable Dread Pirate, and I'm glad to see it getting some use. (+0.5) I'm frankly baffled why no one else decided to take it, but hey, all the better for you. Persuasive is kind of a confusing feat. As far as I can tell, it isn't a prerequisite for anything, and it's not exactly interesting or powerful. I understand that you use both Bluff and Intimidate, but honestly, I expect more out of a feat than a pair of +2 skill bumps. Hell, by the time you take it, you could have sunk two more points into Perform and taken Combat Panache (or something similarly interesting). You qualified for Imperious Command and Scourge of the Seas by that point, but you took Persuasive instead of getting one of your two strongest feats earlier. You've already got no shortage of Bluff and no shortage of Intimidate, so this is just a burned feat. (–0.25) You have the basic fear optimization tactics down, so that's a mark in your favor. (+0.25) I can see that you were trying to have some SA (even to the point of shockingly dropping the last 2 levels of the SI for another die), but you didn't do enough with it to really make me give you too much credit for it. If your fear tactics don't work, you're not going to be bringing too much to the table. Total: 3.5

    Elegance You never explicitly told me that you were a human. I had to guess from your bonus feat, use of Able Learner, and number of skill points. (No, having a bonus feat and/or Able Learner does not automatically make you a PHB human. Not even the bonus skill points are specific to the PHB human.) I shouldn't have to hunt that down. You should tell me. (–0.25) Anyway, in your notes, you mention that “Dread Pirate abilities add to Bardic abilities for party support.” With the level of DP that you take, actually, no they don't. They technically would if you had Motivate the Scum (which you do not), but as a dishonorable pirate, you don't have anything that makes your Barditude better. I understand trying to use every part of the buffalo, but you're using parts of the buffalo that you didn't kill.

    While I'm talking about your notes, you don't want to use a stingray whip, because you're not proficient with it. You're proficient with the normal whip, yes, but the stingray whip does not share proficiencies with that. Furthermore, since using a whip provokes an AoO, you can't really TWF with a rapier and a whip (cool as the image may be) without sucking up a lot of AoOs. Unless you find a way of increasing your reach, anything you can hit with the rapier can probably smack you back if you start waving a whip around. That said, I do approve of your use of the whip to aid another; that's quite a classy trick. I'm not sure what you mean by “using the whip for Combat Expertise,” though. None of these observations are sufficiently praiseworthy or blameworthy to make me change your score, but they're worth mentioning. Moving on, I similarly don't see too much that's actually too praiseworthy or blameworthy in your build itself. The fact that you don't get Imperious Command until 12th and Scourge of the Seas until 15th as a direct result of taking Persuasive really gets to me; you very much do not want to delay your ability to use fear tactics, since the higher level you get, the more foes will be immune to fear. (–0.25) Other than that, I don't see too much out of the ordinary here. Your level breaks mostly make sense. The only one that looks weird to me is Bard 3; I don't see anything special about exactly 3 levels of Bard, and I think that sticking it out until Bard 4 for 2nd level spells would have been worthwhile. Still, the level breaks are pretty sensible, the skills are mostly reasonable, and I do applaud the few tiny nods to flavor that you threw into your skill list (specifically, Speak Language and Whip Climber). (+0.25) Total: 2.75

    Use of Secret Ingredient: Whoa whoa whoa. Dread Pirate 8?! Really? In exchange for a redundant Scourge of the Seas and an extra die of SA? At level 20?! You should know better. (–1.5) You make average use of standard fear tactics (no one is going to say that Imperious Command and Scourge of the Seas don't taste great together), and I like your tactic of using Steady Stance and Grease to shift the balance of an encounter, so to speak. (+0.5) Overall, though, I'm not seeing much here that you couldn't have just done with Scarlet Corsair. This build feels like it wanted to be about Scarlet Corsair, but you had to put in Dread Pirate just because it's the SI. Total: 2

    Final Evaluation: I was underwhelmed with your build, but at least you pretty much covered the basics of fear optimization. I was sorely tempted to take off more for not finishing Dread Pirate; the fact that you really didn't get anything in return for those two levels is really bad. Still, this is at least a decent Scarlet Corsair build that happens to have some Dread Pirate in it.

    Final Total: 10.25


    Halavin d'Lyrandar

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    Wow. That's a story right there. I'll be flat-out honest with you: I read it, but I don't remember much of it. You're not a bad writer, but when we've got so many builds to get through, it's damned tempting to just tl;dr the whole thing and move on. Please don't take this the wrong way, but I would have been a lot happier with it if it were about 60% shorter.

    Originality:OK, Bard was expected, but Storm Sentry wasn't. (+0.5) It's good to see House Lyrandar being well-represented; this is pretty much the one chance that half-elves have to shine. Total: 3.5

    Power: You're spreading yourself a little thin. What you do, you do quite well, but I found myself wishing that you could have found room to advance a lot of the tricks you started on. Storm Sentry is quite flavorful, but taking only 2 levels of it doesn't really seem that amazing in context, you know? Warblade was a nice choice. Your maneuvers were well-chosen (though I don't see what you took at ECL 5); it's a little sketchy whether or not you can use prereqs the way that you did, but since it is sketchy, I'll let it slide. You obviously knew exactly what maneuvers you wanted, and you used them to good effect. (+0.5) As for your use of Bard—I mostly noticed what you didn't do with it. Frankly, I'm a little surprised that you didn't take the Half-Elf Bard substitution level in Races of Destiny, given the amount of attention you pay to Diplomacy. I really would have liked to have seen Song of the Heart in there somewhere (it's practically the most basic form of Inspire Courage optimization, after all), as well. Overall, though, you didn't do too much else to stand out. Your build is solid, but not overwhelming; respectable, but not noteworthy. Total: 3.5

    Elegance: You, like so many others in this contest, did not realize that Diplomacy is not a class skill for Dread Pirate. This means that your skills are illegal at ECL 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, and 19. (–0.5) Also, reading through that wall of text gave me a headache. The interview format was cute at first, but by the time it was over, I had been ready to be done with it for pages. Please don't do that again. (–0) [What? I did explicitly say that I wouldn't punish you for having poor fluff. I'm a man of my word, so you won't lose points, but I have to put a minus of some kind out there.] You did, however, do exactly what I warned you against. You misused the word “whom,” using it when you really meant to say “who.” If you had only done so once, I would have forgiven you, but twice? Man, that's exactly what I said to be careful about. (–0.25) Furthermore, you overspent your point-buy. Four 14s at 6 points each is 24, and a 16 at 10 points is 34 point buy. (–0.5) Another thing that I noticed is that you don't qualify for Improved Two-Weapon Fighting, since it requires 17 DEX. You've only got 15 DEX by that level. (Yes, in a real game you'd almost certainly have a +2 DEX item by that point, but as it stands, you still don't qualify.) (–0.5) I do approve of you taking ITWF, but you can't actually do so. Anyway, your build wasn't entirely inelegant. Your levels of Warblade were expertly timed, and using Storm Sentry to get Use Rope was a nice touch. (+0.5) Total: 1.75

    Use of Secret Ingredient: This build did feel like it needed Dread Pirate. Using Warblade to turn Acrobatic Charge into Pouncing Acrobatic Charge is an excellent example of using non-SI material to augment SI abilities. Everything just seemed to fit. I don't have a lot more to say about it. (+0.5) Total: 3.5

    Final Evaluation: This build took me longer to judge than any other so far. It took me forever to figure out exactly what you were trying to do and what was important to you. Your fluff didn't help; it was easy to lose track of what I was looking for. Overall, your build is relatively well-rounded compared to a lot of the other builds here. I would have liked to have seen a little more direct explanation of what your build goals were; really, I think that's what took me the longest.

    Final Total: 12.25


    Vincent Alsey d'Lyrandar

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    Oh joy! A Windwright Captain! I was so hoping to see one of these. Let's see what you do with it, shall we?

    Originality: Well, you weren't the only member of House Lyrandar, but you were the only Windwright Captain, and those are pretty awesome. (+1) I also was glad to see a Beguiler in the mix . . . most people probably didn't want to have to explain why they gave up their casting progression, but hey, it does have Appraise. (+0.5) Good show. Total: 4.5

    Power: Where to start? Your Diplomacy score is, of course, quite scary (Really, taking Skill Focus? That's dedication!), which is always a strong ability (even if a lot of tables houserule it into submission). That's a nice touch. (+0.5) Arcane Strike is a beautiful way to bridge the gap between casting and noncasting classes; you get to keep the utility spells (who doesn't like Haste?) for when you need them, but Arcane Strike means that you have something to do with the low-level slots that just can't really scare the enemy anymore. Sure, we all know that being a full caster is the most powerful choice, but this clearly isn't a caster build. (+0.25) Stacking Master Pilot and Seamanship is a very nice touch; I'd be terrified of this guy in ship-to-ship combat. Between Master Pilot, Seamanship, and Lesser Shipbond, your only hope against Vincent is to attack him face-to-face. If you're engaging his ship instead of his person, you're not going to do too well. (+0.5) Your skills are a little weird. I'm confused as to why you'd completely neglect Sense Motive; even if you don't max it out (I consider it to be an essential skill for a party face, but you may disagree), I'd have expected to see at least 5 ranks for the synergy bonus. That's honestly a big enough oversight that I'm going to have to ding you for it. (–0.25) Total: 4

    Elegance: OK, here's where things are going to start to get hairy. Your quick stat line lists you as a Bard rather than a Beguiler . . . probably an artifact of a build revision, and an easy enough mistake to make. The problem, though, comes with your skills. By my count, you sold yourself short on skills at level 6 and at level 10. If I counted correctly, you spent 2 of your 8 possible skill points at level 6, and you spent 5 of your possible 9 at level 10. Selling yourself short like that isn't a heinous crime—perhaps it's a bit sloppy, but it's better than fudging in your favor, right? Unfortunately, that's not the end of the story. Unless you've got some method of making Diplomacy a class skill for Dread Pirate, you're at least 1 point over the limit for most of your build. I got that you should have 9 skill points per level for your entire Dread Pirate career. By my count, you spent 11 at level 12, 12 at level 13, 10 at level 14, 10 at level 15 (but see below), and 10 at every level thereafter. Level 15 also has something weird . . . you bumped Use Rope up from 4 to 5, but at level 16, it's down to 4 again. I'm going to assume that was a typo—but that's almost even weirder, because if we grant that you didn't actually increase Use Rope at 15, that's the only Dread Pirate level in which you didn't go over the limit. Bizarre. Between the sloppiness and the extra skill points, I've gotta take off something. (–0.5) Also, I'm almost positive that your BAB is incorrect. No class has a +0 at level 2—but once you start increasing it, I'm pretty sure that you increase it too quickly. 2 levels of Beguiler would give you +1. 2 levels of Rogue would give you another +1, total +2. Your third level of Beguiler wouldn't increase it; you'd still be at +2 until you took Beguiler 4 (ECL 6), when you'd have +3. Beguiler 5 (ECL 7) doesn't increase it, so you'd still be at +3. Windwright Captain 2 (ECL 9) will be your next boost, up to +4. Windwright Captain 3 puts you at +5, and Windwright Captain 4 puts you at +6. From there, Dread Pirate gives you full BAB, so you should end with +15, not +16. You're not an attack-heavy character, but you still don't get to claim that much-desired four swings. Fractional BAB is delightful, but we don't get to assume that it's the case in Iron Chef. (–0.5)

    Anyway, while I did say above that this isn't a caster build (and I stand by that statement), your choice of when to take your rogue dip strikes me as odd. While you are a most capable skillmonkey at low levels, to still have nothing but spells of 1st level as late as ECL 5 is really rough. I don't see why you took the levels when you did. It's such an obvious prereq-grabbing dip (not that those are automatically bad, of course; just usually so) that there's no truly GOOD time to take it, but it really does seem to clog up your progression a bit. (–0.25) Trading away your second Trapfinding for Mimic was a nice touch; sure, it's not useful for very long (especially since a disguised Dread Pirate can't use Fearsome Reputation), but it beats doubling up. Man, this has all just been negative, hasn't it? I do have to give you credit for using Windwright Captain to completely unambiguously fulfill the special requirement of Dread Pirate. Yes, it's what we expect from Windwright Captain, but it does the job really well. (+0.5) You didn't tell me what you took for Advanced Learning, either, but I guess that's an easy mistake to make. One last thing—on a formatting level, I find your use of en dashes to be most suspect, good sir. I think that you really meant to use em dashes in most of those cases. Between that and a few minor comma issues, I feel compelled to deliver this slap on the wrist. (–0.25) Total: 1.5

    Use of Secret Ingredient: 9 levels? You just had to make this difficult for me, didn't you? I cannot look you in the eye and tell you that Lesser Shipbond is neither useful nor appropriate. The fact that House Lyrandar provides you with a crew does make the loss of Pirate King more bearable, and you've already got a really high bonus to Diplomacy. Losing Dread Pirate 10 really doesn't weaken the build the way it could have. That said . . . well, I can't very well condone it, can I? I wouldn't have taken points off if you had explained to my exactly why you made the decision to skip the capstone, but since you left me to figure it out myself, I can't really let it go untouched. (–0.25) I would have taken off more if you hadn't perfectly filled the niche with your other classes, but at least you've earned only a minor penalty. For the rest of the class . . . honestly, I like what I'm seeing here. I like that you've taken the skill-boosting aspects of the class and run with them. Arcane Strike is a decent source of bonus damage for TWF; not amazing, but definitely noticeable. Steady Stance has some overlap with Shipboard Fighter, but oh well. In the end, though, it comes down to one thing: is your build better off with Dread Pirate, or could it have achieved similar or superior ends with 10 (well, 9) levels in some other class? Did you do something with Dread Pirate that you couldn't do with anything else? I'm kind of torn. On the one hand, I think you would have made a perfect Exemplar (hell, you have all of the prerequisites in place by the time you leave Windwright Captain); on the other hand, Dread Pirate still fits. The shift between skill-heavy caster to swashbuckling fighter is kind of abrupt and a little bit forced, but the build still feels like it should be a Dread Pirate. Perhaps a nontraditional Dread Pirate, but still a Dread Pirate. (+0.5) Total: 3.25

    Final Evaluation: I liked this build a lot. I really wish that you had been more careful with the skills and BAB; that cost you rather a bit, but it's important to make sure that all the numbers line up. You've got skills, you've got spells, you've got a terrifying ship; everything fits together. Good job.

    Final Total: 13.25
    Last edited by Zaq; 2011-04-05 at 02:54 PM. Reason: Fixed calculation; thanks, T. G.!
    In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    Gentlefolk, learn from Zaq's example, and his suffering. Remember, seven out of eleven players who use truenamer lose their ability to taste ice cream.
    Come join the Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground E6 Appetizer Edition! We're currently cooking for round 32. Everyone is welcome!

    My compiled Iron Chef stuff!

    Queer pride isn't limited to one month, but still, happy Pride!

  14. - Top - End - #254
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XIX

    Post 3. This should do it.

    Oltur Seadweller

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    Another Paimon-loving build, eh? We certainly see a lot of them in Iron Chef, it would seem. It's no surprise why, of course; Paimon's an excellent vestige and certainly capable of defining a character. That said, let's get down to business.

    Originality: I didn't expect to see any merfolk, so you've got me there. (+0.5) Interesting use of Dark to get your speed up to that of only a halfling in full plate (instead of a halfling in full plate who stepped on a caltrop). Rogue and Swashbuckler are probably the most common classes in this competition, but at least Binder was refreshing. (0) Fortune's Friend is a neat way to fill out the last few levels of the build. (+0.25) Total: 3.75

    Power: 2 LA? Yeah, that's gonna cost you. A character that can't even hit the table until ECL 3 and who can't really do much to survive until much later? No sir, I don't like it. (–1) I might have been kinder if it seemed like you got much out of the LA, but you never really mentioned why you were a merfolk—or, perhaps more importantly, why you were Dark. I don't see much mention of using any of Dark's features except for the speed increase; I see a brief mention of hiding near the beginning, but not really what you do with it. You don't take a single rank in Move Silently, and you wait for quite a ways until you really pump Hide. Furthermore, when you take ranks in Hide, you're at ECL 19, and you don't have Darkstalker. Everything worth fighting at ECL 19 will see you if you don't have Darkstalker. This makes me believe that you don't really care about the sneaky parts of Dark, which makes me seriously question why you lit a level on fire to take it. (–0.5) I understand if you didn't want to focus on hiding much because doing so negates Rally the Crew, but you didn't even give it a nod. If you just wanted a swim speed, you'd have been better off as an aventi.

    Anyway, moving on. Your build left me with a feeling of “that's very nice, but what does it do?” I'm really not sure how you survive long enough to hit Dread Pirate. You seem to have very few abilities that would help out a party; if we go by your fluff (you did say that you lived alone in a cave for a few levels), I'm not sure what you have that would allow you to fight on your own, either. (Again, I would have accepted “sneaky bastard who plinks at you until you die,” but you needed to say something to that effect.) Your abilities really don't come together in any way that I can see. Paimon's Dance of Death (if you could use it, that is; see below) really doesn't work with a move speed of 15 feet. If you had a reliable way of throwing your enemies into the drink, that might have been interesting, but right now I can't see you hitting more than two enemies with DoD. Also, with only a +2 on your binding check (no CHA bonus, only 2 Binder levels), you'll make a good pact with Paimon roughly 15% of the time (that is, on a roll of 18, 19, or 20). While it's unlikely that your enemies will know to play music against you, if you just happen to have a bard (friendly or enemy) anywhere on the map, you'll drop your movement speed by 50% . . . and in D&D, we round down, so you're at 5 ft. The almost guaranteed poor pact isn't alone enough to drop your score, but the fact that I really can't figure out what your character is supposed to do is another story. (–0.5) The luck feats are a nice touch and are quite thematically appropriate, so I'll give you credit there. (+0.25) Total: 1.25

    Elegance: First, a few points of order. Point the first: Your skills aren't quite right. Skill caps are based on HD, not ECL. You can't actually have 6 Appraise as a 1 HD Rogue, for instance. You're lucky in that you get your skills in line with what's actually legal by the time you hit Dread Pirate; if you hadn't, I'd be taking off a lot more. (–0.25) Point the second: Your build was hard to read and definitely inspired a bit of grammar rage (for instance, I counted fourteen unambiguous times when you had a problem with commas and several more where I gave you the benefit of the doubt). If it had just been your three spelling errors, I would probably have let you go, but man, those commas were painful. (–0.25) Point the third, and this is the big one: You can't bind Paimon. You have 2 levels in Binder. Your Improved Binding feat gives you an effective Binder level of 4. Paimon is a 3rd level vestige and thus cannot be bound without at least an EBL of 5. Since you keep mentioning Paimon as being such an important part of your tactics (and even include him in your stat block), this is a pretty big problem. It seems like Paimon is a real cornerstone of your build, but you can't actually use him. This is . . . bad. (–1) I really do like the way you link the Luck of the Wind reroll to the Complete Scoundrel luck feats and Fortune's Friend class. Sure, one reroll from 10 levels in a class isn't exactly character-defining on its own, but I like that you managed to bring it to the forefront instead of just offhandedly mentioning “oh, and he has a reroll once per day, I guess.” (+0.5)

    I will say that your skills confuse me. You have Hide with no Move Silently (and no, the +6 from Dark is not enough). You have Disable Device with no Search. You have Spot (pretty decent Spot, actually) from square 1, but you don't bring in Listen until ECL 15. The fact that you took ranks in Jump at all (what with your awful move speed) had me baffled for quite a while . . . basically until I realized that you were using the “leap from water” rules in Stormwrack. At least, I certainly hope that you are. I really would have liked to have seen more Tumble, since you're going to be trying to move past a LOT of foes before you hit ECL 16. None of your skills are bad, really (I'm certainly fond enough of Sense Motive to at least partially overlook the fact that you go from 0 ranks to 4 ranks to 10 ranks in the space of 2 levels), but they're still kind of erratic. (0) Your life before Dread Pirate is . . . strange. I did say that I wouldn't penalize dips if you gave me a reason for them, but I don't see a reason for exactly 2 levels of Binder. The level of Rogue doesn't bother me. Those skills are tasty enough to tempt anyone. Swashbuckler is a three-level class, so in my eyes, you finished it. Binder, though? I'd almost be less confused by only 1 level of Binder than I am with 2. The only benefits that 2 levels of Binder gives over 1 level of Binder are Suppress Sign (which requires a good pact, something that's rather unlikely with your 10 CHA and low Binder level) and a minor Pact Augmentation bonus (which is nice, but probably not worth a level). So, from a mechanical standpoint, the 2 levels of Binder come right out of nowhere and disappear into Swashbuckler just as mysteriously. Looking at your story for an explanation, all I got was that he “quickly lost interest in the development of his abilities” with no real reason why. If you had taken enough levels to bind Paimon and mentioned something about how Paimon really resonated with you and that you wanted to explore more swashbucklery tactics, that would have been enough. As it stands? The 2 levels are just confusing. (–0.25) Total: 1.75

    Use of Secret Ingredient: Well, you at least mention Seamanship, which is more refreshing than it really should be. TWF doesn't seem to give you that much; with no sources of bonus damage other than INT from Insightful Strike and your own Rally the Crew, you're not going to be bringing a flurry of death to the table anytime soon. You say yourself that Fearsome Reputation does you no real good; with no ranks in Diplomacy and no CHA to speak of, it's a pretty useless ability. You do as much with Rally the Crew as any non-Bard can, so I can't fault you for that. If you actually had Paimon, I could see Acrobatic Charge being fairly useful: use Dance of Death to slice up a bunch of foes, then charge back to where you started. You can't use Paimon, of course, but I don't want to count that against you too many separate times. Steady Stance and Skill Mastery pretty much work for themselves. I've mentioned my approval of your use of Luck of the Wind already. I hate to say it, but it seems like the bulk of what you actually do comes from your (nonexistent) pact with Paimon; you don't seem to get much out of Dread Pirate other than skill points, Luck of the Wind, and Rally the Crew. I don't see what Dread Pirate really does for you. I do find it amusing that Acrobatic Charge (well, a normal charge, but Acrobatic Charge makes it hard to stop) lets you move as fast as a normal character, so if you had mentioned that you were using it pretty much constantly, that might have helped. There's enough elements there that kind of work that I'll only take off a little bit (if for no other reason than that your early levels don't make it clear what else you would or could be doing if you weren't a Dread Pirate, so it at least contributed to your build almost by accident), but I can't really reward what I'm seeing (or, more importantly, not seeing). (–0.25) Total: 2.75

    Final Evaluation: I'm just really not sure how the pieces of this build fit together. You want to be a lightly armored skirmisher, but you give up 2 HD. You talk about great speed and mobility, but you have a land speed of 15 feet. Honestly, I think that the race hurt you more than anything else. I understand trying to stand out, but I think there would have been better ways of doing so. Just offhand, an Aventi with the Dark template would have kept the template, given you an extra level to play with (maybe getting enough Binder levels to get Paimon), increased your move speed dramatically, and really not lost much other than your stat bumps and a bit of your swim speed. Your race was unique, but you didn't do anything with it. I never saw a reason why you needed or wanted to be a merfolk. I really did like the use of Fortune's Friend, but it wasn't enough to pick up the slack left by your lack of focus.

    Final Total: 9.5


    Alria Almaiath

    Spoiler
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    So, first off, you kind of did precisely what I warned you against and used “whom” when you meant “who” (“. . . hid a community of elven cousins whom were marveled by . . .” should be “. . . who were marveled by . . .”). You only did it once, so I'll let you off with a warning, but still. Tsk, tsk. Also, there's an error in your build. You say in the table that you get Rally the Crew and Fight to the Death, but you also claim that Dread Pirate gives you Scourge of the Seas and that you get a bonus to Intimidate from Fearsome Reputation. So, are you honorable or dishonorable? With all your talk about use of fear and how “both of your classes” give you SA, I would assume that you're dishonorable, but that's not what you actually wrote. Truth be told, I would have liked to have seen you go honorable just so that you didn't waste the Scourge of the Seas that Scarlet Corsair gives you, finding bonuses to Intimidate from some other source. That would have gotten you an Originality boost. This honorable/dishonorable confusion also makes it hard to keep track of how many SA dice you have at any given level, and the late level at which you get Daring Outlaw doesn't help clarify matters, either. In short, while it wasn't the hardest build that I had to read, you could have done a little more to make it go smoothly.

    Originality: Rogue, Swashbuckler, Dread Pirate, Scarlet Corsair . . . yup, pretty stock-standard. We all saw this coming pretty much note-for-note. Not a bad combo by any means, but I really wish you had done something to make yourself stand out a little bit. (–1) Your choice of race is slightly unexpected. In retrospect, of course, having bonuses to DEX and INT makes being a gray elf something of a natural choice for a skill-using swashbuckler (and Swashbuckler, for that matter). I'm not used to thinking of gray elves as being anything other than casters, so good job on surprising me there. Personally, I can't stand gray elves, but I won't let my prejudices get in the way. (+0.25) Total: 2.25

    Power: Let's see here. Respectable (if hardly maxed) SA, almost full BAB, solid fear usage. That's pretty much what I expected from a Dread Pirate/Scarlet Corsair. (0) Your last two feats seem like they could have been chosen better, though. Frightful Presence, while thematically appropriate, suffers from the same problem that most (perhaps even all) sources of Frightful Presence that PCs can acquire suffer from; namely, in the majority of encounters, you'll be facing foes who have HD that is, at a minimum, equal to your own, and in most cases who have HD that exceed your own. If you wanted to go with something that serves the same thematic purpose but would have been much more effective, the feat Scourge of the Seas would have been perfect. Deadly Defense seems tacked on— the fact that you took Combat Expertise at 1st level indicates to me that Deadly Defense's bonus will almost always be in effect, but quite honestly, I expect more from an 18th level feat than just +1d6 damage. Deadly Defense is a decent bonus to damage in the early game, but by level 18 it's honestly kind of laughable. For those two subpar feat choices, I'm going to have to take off a bit. (–0.5) Taking Surprising Riposte might have been a better choice, since it meshes very well indeed with Corsair's Feint, but that's neither here nor there.

    I do appreciate your judicious use of skill tricks. This is exactly the kind of character who should be using a lot of them, and I think you chose them pretty well. They also appear to be pretty much your only native uses for your swift actions, so I'm glad that you managed to find a way to avail yourself of such a useful action type. (+0.5) You had a tough choice to make when it came to taking Never Outnumbered . . . while it would eventually be replaced by Scourge of the Seas, there were quite a few levels where it would have been very useful. I tend to judge the early levels of a build as being more important than (or at least equally important to) the later levels, so the fact that you went without a group fear tactic for so long makes me somewhat inclined to penalize you . . . but I certainly understand the desire to avoid any sort of redundancy in an Iron Chef build. You didn't really have any good options there, so we'll call it even. (0) You pointed out your build's big weaknesses on your own: anything immune to fear is going to give you fits, and anything that's immune to crits is going to give you a different flavor of frustration. That said, pretty much anyone who plays up the swashbuckling archetype is going to suffer from that weakness, and there's not terribly much that you can do within the limits of the tools you've given yourself. Just mentioning some kind of alternative tactic that you can use against enemies resistant to your chosen tricks would have gotten you a solid boost in Power, but since I'm not sure what you could have said in particular, I can't really hold that against you, especially since you indicated that you know your limitations. (0) Total: 3

    Elegance: Even though I dinged you for it under Power, I do have to give you credit for using Frightful Presence to give your charges a little bit of a kick, thereby making Acrobatic Charge not completely incompatible with your chosen fighting style. Sure, the feat also applies when you attack without charging, but I can still see what you were going for, and I approve. (+0.5) I do have to penalize your mixed-up and confusing honorable/dishonorable muddle somewhere, and the fact that your build was, in parts, a bit hard to follow really doesn't make me feel too sympathetic. (–0.5) Now, while your Originality suffered for it, the Rogue/Swashbuckler/Rogue setup that you used to enter into Dread Pirate flows very nicely. Sure, you technically incur multiclassing penalties, but a pox on any DM who enforces those. I could absolutely see someone taking that class combination in that order in an actual 1-to-20 game. (+0.5) I'm not sure why you took your levels of Scarlet Corsair when you did. It's not really clear to my why you would go DP 3/SC3/DP +4/SC +3/DP +2. If there are natural breakpoints there, you didn't make them clear to me. The only one that was obvious was getting out of SC after level 3, because Corsair's Feint is the last really remarkable ability it gives you. As it stands, it seems like you just ended up slowing your progression of Dread Pirate for reasons that I didn't find entirely clear. I think that if you explained why you took what you did when, I might have bought it, but in a vacuum, it doesn't seem very elegant. (–0.5) Total: 3

    Use of Secret Ingredient: To be blunt, I don't really think that your reason for not finishing the class was terribly justified. Another average of 3.5 damage against vulnerable foes isn't bad, but compared to having a bevy of followers? It just doesn't compare. Sure, they're useless in a direct fight against an opponent of appropriate CR, but having a swarm of loyal minions can be enormously useful in noncombat scenarios. Not to mention that Motivate the Scum gives you bonuses for killing your own crew . . . you really want a class feature that says that your crew is loyal! You don't want a mutiny! I'd take having a loyal crew over an extra die of damage any day. (–1) That said, you do make decent use of the fear effects that DP gives you (even if you do bafflingly double up on Scourge of the Seas), and I'll give credit where credit is due, even if you didn't do anything to differentiate yourself. (+0.5) I understand that you took Frightful Presence to try to get some use out of Acrobatic Charge, but since Frightful Presence also triggers on an attack, that's kind of a wash. I do see what you were trying to do, at least, so I won't take off anything, but I also can't really reward it. (0) You . . . never really mention your ship or your ability to fight aboard it. You take a few ranks in Profession (Sailor), but you don't actually say what you do with it. You didn't even mention the bonus from Seamanship! You have 19 ranks in Profession (Sailor) and a –1 penalty from your WIS, giving you the +18 that you mention in your “Skills at 20th level” section, but you should have had another +9 on top of that! You're not a pirate; you're just a swashbuckling scurvy dog. (–1) Total: 1.5

    Final Evaluation: I was kind of disappointed in what you gave me. You didn't do anything to stand out from the crowd, and Dread Pirate gives you very little that Scarlet Corsair doesn't. What really nailed it for me was the fact that you seemed to forget that your ship was even there—you took your perfunctory ranks in Profession (Sailor), but with your disregard for Seamanship and your crew, well, you didn't really seem to mean it. You seem more like a Rogue who may happen to be on a ship than a true terror of the waves. Rogue/Swashbuckler/DP/SC is a decent baseline on which to build a fearsome pirate, but you really didn't do anything beyond that.

    Final Total: 9.75


    Captain Ironbones

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    Hoo boy. Just so you know, I feel bad being so harsh on this build, but I'm afraid that there's quite a lot to criticize. See, the build is illegal on several fronts. First, Able Learner or no Able Learner, Hexblade doesn't have Appraise as a class skill, so you can't have more than half ranks in it. With just Hexblade (and Ghost, I suppose), you couldn't qualify for Dread Pirate until level 13, taking your first level at level 14. Second, your levels in Ghost neither give you feats nor get you closer to gaining feats, since feats are based on HD, not ECL. Oh, and from what I can tell, you use levels in Ghost (not at the beginning, but once you start taking it again after Dread Pirate) to advance BAB and saves, which is explicitly illegal Yeah, I'm gonna have to take off for those. Let's get down to business.

    Originality: While I'm certainly not fond of the savage progression classes (especially the online ones), I have to admit that I wasn't expecting them. The ghostly pirate is indeed a flavorful stock character. Good show on that front. (+1) I don't see anything new here as far as tactics go—pretty much stock-standard fear tactics. The only thing that differentiates you on that front is the use of Frightful Moan, but since you do at least have that I can't really dock you points. (0) Hexblade was unexpected, but the fact that it can't qualify you for Dread Pirate makes me disinclined to reward it. I do have to take off points for the illegal way in which you used the Ghost levels (specifically, advancing BAB and saves). (–1) Total: 3

    Power: As I said, Hexblade really isn't helping you here. I respect the BAB, the Intimidate, and the CHA to saves, but the Hexblade's Curse, familiar (which it's uncertain if you can take, given the “Undeath” feature of your template and its specific antifamiliar language), and mystery spells are just kinda . . . there. I'd be more lenient if the class actually qualified you for Dread Pirate, but that's just not the case. I have to take off points for the illegal parts of your build somewhere, after all. We'll call that –1 for the illegal skills and –1 for the illegal feat progression, then let the useful and useless parts of Hexblade cancel each other out. (–2) Your use of Power Attack kind of baffles me. I know that it's a prerequisite for Ghost-Faced Killer, but it kind of directly conflicts with the swashbuckling nature of the rest of your build (Weapon Finesse and TWF really don't go with Power Attack, especially if there isn't a spiked chain or something similar on the table). Prereq or no prereq, either it's dead weight for ten levels, or you're disregarding key feats and class features. Neither option bodes well for you. (–0.5) Frightful Moan is a pretty sweet ability, no doubt about that, and you do have the CHA to make it halfway decent. Of course, it'll also send your crew running away in a blind panic, but I guess a dishonorable pirate can't be bothered with such things. (+0.5) Total: 1

    Elegance: Right off the bat, you lost points for failing to cite your sources. (–1) Hey, I did specifically warn you about that. Anyway, you're damned lucky that people in the thread linked me to the online savage progression templates, since I wouldn't have had any clue where to look, and I wouldn't have seen the rule that you don't have to take all of the levels at once; I would have applied the Savage Species rules, which would have made this even more illegal. You got lucky. I also had to look harder than I would have liked for your race and spells known. You really didn't make this easy to read—the only thing keeping me from counting off even more is that I feel bad for how much I'm already having to dock you. Moving along, why did you take Ghost-Faced Killer? Going invisible for one round once per day at ECL 20 is, quite bluntly, pathetic. If something that you're fighting at ECL 20 can't see invisible things, that creature doesn't matter. If it were just a filler level for another BAB, I wouldn't count off, but since you spent two feats on qualifying for it, that useless level is going to cost you. (–0.5)

    Speaking of Power Attack, while you're manifesting on the Material, you're incorporeal, so you have no Strength score (Rules Compendium, p. 64). I won't count off for that, since you can still have Power Attack while you're on the Ethereal, but I feel compelled to point it out. As a matter of fact, there's a lot of aspects to being ethereal and manifesting as an incorporeal creature that you failed to take into consideration. Any of your ranks in Move Silently that go beyond what you need for prerequisites are wasted against nonethereal foes; when you're manifesting, once again, you're incorporeal, and incorporeal creatures can be heard only if they wish to be. Only other ethereal creatures can hear you, and you didn't mention anything about sneaking away from the Ethergaunts and Ethereal Reavers. Use Rope, once again, will only function against ethereal foes. You will have a devil of a time actually attacking the Material Plane with your weapons, since you need to have had a given weapon with you when you died if you want it to be part of your Ghostly Equipment. Ghostly Equipment also says that attacking the Material Plane as a manifested ghost requires an ethereal (i.e., with you when you died and part of your Ghostly Equipment) magic weapon. Since you appear to have died at level 1, I strongly doubt that you had any magic weapons to speak of. You'll have to find ethereal or ghost touch versions of any equipment you want to have, which I'm going to come out and say is exceedingly unlikely. You'll have an easier time than your average adventurer against ethereal foes, sure, but against material foes? You'll be lucky to do anything. (–0.5) Total: 1

    Use of Secret Ingredient: Dread Pirate, even if you could qualify for it (which you can't, as written) does precious little for you. Let's go through the class features . . . Seamanship is more useful than most of the other features, so it's a shame that you never mentioned it. TWF, even if you could comfortably attack the Material, gets no mention in your tactics, and the presence of Power Attack makes it seem pretty useless. Fearsome Reputation does boost your Intimidate check, but we'll get into that in a moment. You don't seem to have any particular way of getting SA, but at least it's something. Acrobatic Charge is wasted on an incorporeal character, as is Steady Stance. Again, we'll get into Scourge of the Seas in a moment. I doubt that a ghost will find much use for taking 10 on Balance, Climb, and Tumble, but you might be able to find something. You make no mention of using Motivate the Scum (and I have a hilarious mental image of you trying to stab a helpless crew member but failing to do so because your incorporeal weapon just goes through them). Pirate King is useful, since you need someone with physical hands to actually run your ship. So yeah, you don't make too much use of most of your class features. (–0.5) But wait, you say. What about all those fear abilities? Well, the thing is, it looks like Frightful Moan is doing most of your fear-related dirty work for you. In fact, since Frightful Moan renders your enemies panicked already, it doesn't stack with your normal demoralization. Yes, your Intimidate check is somewhat harder to resist, but it's pretty clearly taking a back seat to your ghost tricks. Ghost is the real heavyweight here, not Dread Pirate. (–0.5) There's really no reason for you to be a Dread Pirate other than the fact that it has “pirate” in the name. You don't use most of your class features, you don't do anything unique with it, and you don't do anything to build on your Hexblade base. Total: 2

    Final Evaluation: This was a really rough build to judge. I feel bad for being so harsh, but I'd give you more points if the build had earned them. Being clearly illegal in three separate areas (the illegal ranks in Appraise, the illegal feat progression, and the illegal use of Ghost levels to advance BAB, saves, and skills) would have me disqualifying you if I had the power to do so. Add in the fact that you didn't really use your class features and didn't think through the ramifications of being an immaterial character . . . I really can't justify giving you any more points.

    Final Total: 7
    In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    Gentlefolk, learn from Zaq's example, and his suffering. Remember, seven out of eleven players who use truenamer lose their ability to taste ice cream.
    Come join the Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground E6 Appetizer Edition! We're currently cooking for round 32. Everyone is welcome!

    My compiled Iron Chef stuff!

    Queer pride isn't limited to one month, but still, happy Pride!

  15. - Top - End - #255
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XIX

    So yeah. I think I was definitely the harsh judge this time, but at least I was mostly harsh across the board. There were a few tricks I expected to see that I didn't (we had how many Bards, and not one of them took Windsinger?), a few tricks I didn't expect to see that I did, and way too many tricks that I expected all too well to see and did. I did not expect some of the similarities I saw to pop up, really—nothing to the level of, oh, two VoP prostitutes, but hey, that can't happen every time. (I hope.)

    I had fun, though. It was a lot of work, but it was pretty satisfying overall. I hope that everyone feels like I gave them a fair shake.

    So, let's see some tallies, deal with disputes if we have to, and move on to ICOC XX!
    Last edited by Zaq; 2011-04-05 at 01:52 AM.
    In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    Gentlefolk, learn from Zaq's example, and his suffering. Remember, seven out of eleven players who use truenamer lose their ability to taste ice cream.
    Come join the Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground E6 Appetizer Edition! We're currently cooking for round 32. Everyone is welcome!

    My compiled Iron Chef stuff!

    Queer pride isn't limited to one month, but still, happy Pride!

  16. - Top - End - #256
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XIX

    Curses, Zaq! Why must you post your scores when I tell myself I'm going to bed at a normal hour?

    Tallies After Three Judges (Before Disputes):
    {table=head]Entry|Place|Total|Average
    Captain Four Fingers|GOLD|44.75|3.73
    Halavin d'Lyrandar|SILVER|42|3.5
    Vincent Alzey d'Lyrandar|BRONZE|40.75|3.4
    Hendrik Van Der Decken|Fourth|40.25|3.35
    Jacinta Marzoni|Fifth|39.5|3.29
    Alria Almaiath|Sixth|39|3.25
    Darrigan the Gray Death|Seventh|38.25|3.19
    Oltur Seadweller|Eighth|32.25|2.69
    The Dread Ghost|Ninth|24.75|2.06[/table]
    Last edited by OMG PONIES; 2011-04-05 at 01:58 AM.
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    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

  17. - Top - End - #257
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XIX

    I know official tally poster OMG Ponies noticed, but...Halavin is supposed to have 12.25 instead of 11.5. Double and triple-checked the sum, as well as the individual sums, and the latter result is that.

    Just in case someone else finds odd and claims it's really 41.25. Unless the judge skipped on one or two of the points, actually.

    Still: no 15k or 18k monster, but it's actually pretty large. I guess there should be a competition where Zaq and I judge just to see whom is harsher. That should be a fun competition; it will take time to do so but it will be a competition of the harshest judges ;P
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  18. - Top - End - #258
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XIX

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    I know official tally poster OMG Ponies noticed, but...Halavin is supposed to have 12.25 instead of 11.5. Double and triple-checked the sum, as well as the individual sums, and the latter result is that.

    Just in case someone else finds odd and claims it's really 41.25. Unless the judge skipped on one or two of the points, actually.

    Still: no 15k or 18k monster, but it's actually pretty large. I guess there should be a competition where Zaq and I judge just to see whom is harsher. That should be a fun competition; it will take time to do so but it will be a competition of the harshest judges ;P
    You did that on purpose.

    Anyway, I don't think I can keep up quite that level of word output (average of 1,240 per build), at least not if I want to take a reasonable amount of time for each contest. I'm just happy that I finished on the same day as the other remaining judge. I guess I was pretty harsh . . . I gave out a total of 102.5 points, or an average of 11.389 per build, which is a bit below average (in that a 12 would be, in some respects, a perfectly average score). Did I give out the lowest score in ICOC history? I don't remember ever seeing a score lower than 7, not that I was trying to break any records. Again, I just hope that everyone thinks that I gave them a mostly fair deal. I tried to explain as much as I could, so hopefully my scores won't seem too arbitrary.

    How long are we going to wait for disputes? A day or so?
    In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    Gentlefolk, learn from Zaq's example, and his suffering. Remember, seven out of eleven players who use truenamer lose their ability to taste ice cream.
    Come join the Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground E6 Appetizer Edition! We're currently cooking for round 32. Everyone is welcome!

    My compiled Iron Chef stuff!

    Queer pride isn't limited to one month, but still, happy Pride!

  19. - Top - End - #259
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XIX

    I have some complaints but even if I succeeded with them, I wouldn't end up with enough points to matter.

  20. - Top - End - #260
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XIX

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaq View Post
    Did I give out the lowest score in ICOC history? I don't remember ever seeing a score lower than 7, not that I was trying to break any records
    Don't worry, Zaq; you're not the first Iron Chef judge to give a 7, and you won't be the last. Let us now look back on those who have gone before...

    *sad music*

    • Round 1: clockworkmonk gave Butters a 7
    • Round 2: 9mm gave Glum a 6*
    • Round 2: 9mm gave Maiyr a 4*
    • Round V: The Vorpal Tribble refused to score Human Crusader, effectively a 0.
    • Round IX: 9mm gave Felix a 6
    • Round IX: Keld Denar gave Bertram Urrni a 6
    • Round XI: Keld Denar gave Raakhama'Karma a 5
    • Round XII: Keld Denar gave Tanis Bloodblade a 7
    • Round XVII: OMG PONIES gave Aesh Duan Dee a 6
    • Round XVII: OMG PONIES gave Annette the Impure a 7


    *A score of 0 was given for at least one category.
    Quote Originally Posted by Vaz View Post
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XIX

    So how long until the next contest to FUBAR?

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XIX

    Time for disputes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gbprime x Jacinta
    Four characters further down the list have received a +0.25 bonus for maxing out the skills used in Acrobatic Charge, Steady Stance and Skill Mastery. I have also maxed out these skills (at the expense of advancing the required skills, which I accept the penalty for), yet do not seem to have received the bonus. It may only be +0.25, but every bit counts, especially when the contest is so close.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ghost vs vikingofdoon
    Hiya! I've been an avid follower of the IC competition for a while, and noticed something I thought sounded odd in Viking's judging of the Ghost. I didn't want to call out in the thread, so I thought you could include it in the dispute round if the Ghost's creator doesn't. Just my two cents.

    Web-based material is questionable as useable material, due to not being an official rule-book (-0.5).
    This sounds like a very fishy criterion to mark down for. The last Secret Ingredient was from a web-supplement. If it's not illegal (Dragon Mag, etc.), it's legal. There's no questionableness.
    Shinken's special note: I actually agree with this, btw
    Quote Originally Posted by Everyone vs vikingofdoom
    Just pointing out that as I read it, vikingofdoom is deducting points from any of the Dishonorable Dread Pirates for using their class feature effectively, since he's taking a point away from any build that focuses on "fear." If the complaint is that the space of "fear-inspiring melee warrior" has been done a lot, could he elaborate on some ways to use the Dread Pirate's class features that haven't been done a lot?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jacinta x Zaq
    As with my dispute with gbprime, my other skills seem to have been ignored with only Profession (Sailor) being considered as appropriate for being on a ship. I thought that high ranks in Balance, Climb, Jump and Tumble would show that Jacinta is very capable on a boat, especially in rough conditions. +18 is also a pretty respectable modifier for Profession (Sailor), but more importantly I'd like to point out that my impression of this whole class was more of a leader than a crewmember - Jacinta knows enough about sailing to get by and lend a hand, but her role is to be in command. She is the face of the ship, leading the charge and keeping the morale up, as well as plotting the next big haul and deciding where to head next.

    Additionally, as a player of many rogue characters over the years, I have never had any trouble using multiple sneak attacks in a single round, even at high levels. With a little forward planning I find it relatively easy to keep multiple foes in melee range for flanking manouvers and with a large crew it should be very easy to flank lots of foes.

    I also apologise for the number of spelling mistakes, they annoy me too, but with so little time to write up the build I had to cut a few corners to get it submitted in time.


    Jumilk has yet to get herself used to Gimp. She promises we will see those trophies eventually... but don't hold your breath.

  23. - Top - End - #263
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XIX

    Originally Posted by gbprime x Jacinta
    Four characters further down the list have received a +0.25 bonus for maxing out the skills used in Acrobatic Charge, Steady Stance and Skill Mastery. I have also maxed out these skills (at the expense of advancing the required skills, which I accept the penalty for), yet do not seem to have received the bonus. It may only be +0.25, but every bit counts, especially when the contest is so close.
    You are entirely correct. I must have deleted a sentence by mistake. Accordingly, I have edited my post and added 0.25 to Jacinta's Score. Record keepers, please recalculate.
    .
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  24. - Top - End - #264
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XIX

    Quote Originally Posted by Jacinta x Zaq
    As with my dispute with gbprime, my other skills seem to have been ignored with only Profession (Sailor) being considered as appropriate for being on a ship. I thought that high ranks in Balance, Climb, Jump and Tumble would show that Jacinta is very capable on a boat, especially in rough conditions. +18 is also a pretty respectable modifier for Profession (Sailor), but more importantly I'd like to point out that my impression of this whole class was more of a leader than a crewmember - Jacinta knows enough about sailing to get by and lend a hand, but her role is to be in command. She is the face of the ship, leading the charge and keeping the morale up, as well as plotting the next big haul and deciding where to head next.

    Additionally, as a player of many rogue characters over the years, I have never had any trouble using multiple sneak attacks in a single round, even at high levels. With a little forward planning I find it relatively easy to keep multiple foes in melee range for flanking manouvers and with a large crew it should be very easy to flank lots of foes.

    I also apologise for the number of spelling mistakes, they annoy me too, but with so little time to write up the build I had to cut a few corners to get it submitted in time.
    First of all, I will mention that Stormwrack indicates that it is in fact the captain (or at least the helmsman, but it's strongly implied that, since you have to have a crew to do it properly, you're ordering them around in an appropriate manner. Hence, captain) who makes the biggest and most important P: Sailor checks. If anything, ignoring P: Sailor indicates to me that you're less of a leader and more of a crew member. I do concede the point about your movement skills, but not to the degree that I'd be willing to totally reverse my ruling. (If I had a finer granularity to it, I'd be willing to give back some but not all of the points, but I don't want to get into ratings below the quarter-point level, for that way lies madness. Since I only took off 0.25 for it, I'm sticking to my guns.)

    You didn't make it obvious to me in any way that you had a plan for getting SA on full attacks. As I indicated, you have no shortage of abilities that lend themselves to attacking as a standard action at best (Tumbling Feint requires you to move, Improved Feint requires you to use a move action, Acrobatic Strike involves moving, Acrobatic Backstab requires moving, and you don't have any way to pounce), which (in the absence of any information to the contrary) makes me think that the character is meant to either be bouncing all over the field (which is fine, but not a blender of full SA) or standing and feinting (which, again, isn't up to blender-levels of slicing and dicing). (If I tried, I could probably add some more parentheses to that sentence, but I think I'm good.) Remember when I said in my criteria that you need to explain everything that you want me to know about your build? I did mean that. If you're planning on setting up a bunch of flanks and relying on them as much as (or more than) Improved Feint and Acrobatic Backstab, then tell me. If you really value your ranks in Climb more than I would otherwise guess, then tell me. If you feel that P: Sailor is beneath you, then tell me. If you had put some more effort into explaining exactly what you wanted to do and what you considered to be really important, I would have judged accordingly.

    In short, while I do somewhat understand what you're saying, I would have been much more sympathetic if that was actually what you had really told me what you were planning to do in the first place. I'm sorry, but I'm going to stand by my scores. I hope you understand.
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  25. - Top - End - #265
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XIX

    Adjusted spreadsheet to reflect disputes resolved so far. Waiting for vikingofdoom's responses before posting updated tallies. Also, viking:

    Quote Originally Posted by ArcanistSupreme View Post
    Unless I'm missing something, the math for Captain Four Fingers' originality score is off in vikingkingofdoom's post.
    You listed the following adjustments:
    Quote Originally Posted by vikingofdoom View Post
    Backstory somewhat unique (+0.5), build is somewhat unique (+0.5), but fear-based fighters are incredibly common (-1), as is using Human Paragon for skill points (-0.5)
    Starting with a base score of 3, those adjustments provide a final originality score for the character of 2.5, rather than the 1.5 you've listed. Which is correct?

    P.S: Good catch, ArcanistSupreme.
    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

  26. - Top - End - #266
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XIX

    So...no more disputes? ICOC - Pimp My Vehicle Edition is in full force, but this one hasn't seen resolution just yet. I think we can await the trophies, but letting this go out while the trophy-forger is still getting used to her new tools might be a bit lethargic.
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    My friend is currently playing a paladin. It's way outside his normal zone. I told him to try to channel Santa Claus, Mr. Rogers, and Kermit the Frog. Until someone refuses to try to get off the naughty list. Then become Optimus Prime.
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XIX

    This is the day that you'll always remember as the day...

    OK, so no word from vikingofdoom. I'm wrapping this up.
    Gentlemen, I'm very sorry for the lack of trophies. I promise we'll have them eventually.

    In 1st place, we have OMGPonies' Captain Four Fingers!
    In 2nd place, we have TG Oskar's Halavin d'Lyrandar!
    In 3rd place, we have Fearan's Vincent Alzey d'Lyrandar!
    In 4th place, we have Amphetryon's Van der Decken!
    In 5th place, we have Xodion's Jacinta!
    In 6th place, we have TG Oskar's Alria!
    In 7th place, we have Cartigan's Darrigan!
    In 8th place and honorable mention, we have Quirp's Oltur Seadweller!
    In 9th place, we have unosarta's The Dread Ghost!

    Thanks to all conestants, guests and judges. Stay tuned for Iron Chef XX in a few minutes.
    Last edited by true_shinken; 2011-04-09 at 07:20 PM.

  28. - Top - End - #268
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XIX

    Congrats to all, and I'll see you in some way, shape, or form in round XX!
    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

  29. - Top - End - #269
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XIX

    You know just how frustrating it is to, at one point in the competition, I almost embraced both the gold and the silver trophies? It's really, really, really frustrating.

    Having said that: VINDICATION!!!!

    After three competitions, the first where my character was the absolute worst and still a pox on my build-making skills and the second which was just plain average, knowing I had reached the top just for a while was just exhilarating. I was quite surprised to reach the top on a while and manage to keep it at least once.

    Quite frankly, I had more going for Halavin than for Almia, though Almia was definitely the simplest of the builds. I find it terrible to still have great troubles with apparently minor stuff even though I have experience on both this competition (as a competitor and a judge), as a sheet-checker and competitor on the Test of Spite, and using an online character builder to sum up the scores.

    In Almia's case, the reason why there was a mix of honorable and dishonorable features applies to a late-hour decision of shifting the entire course of the build into one side, because of how the background was developing. The original idea was to go Rogue/Swashbuckler, then Honorable Dread Pirate for Rally the Crew and Fight to the Death, then Scarlet Corsair for Scourge of the Seas and Intimidate, but when I noticed the synergy between Dread Pirate and Scarlet Corsair, I just had to make her dishonorable, specifically at the point where she meets the Malenti whom scarred her. I was actually thinking on using Drow of the Underdark to add Terrifying Strike and Imperious Command to the list, but then I realized I couldn't justify using a Drow book for an Elf. Not using the Scourge of the Seas feat and giving more importance to her combat skills rather than her leadership skills was meant to reinforce her idea of an avenger, and someone who would rather be alone and find alone than drag other people with her. In fact, going alone just by how she fights, you might notice that she's odd in being a loner rather than a pirate leader.

    In Halavin's case, it was much, much harder. Storm Sentry was used in order to exploit the Dragonmarks, but it was hard to decide whether I should get more maneuvers or get more of Storm Sentry; the idea was to go all the way to 4th level to add the shocking property to Halavin's attacks, but that would have affected negatively the Warblade side, and I really wanted Pouncing Maneuver to click in because it definitely served as the key combat ability of the character. I also wanted to get Pirate King with this guy, if only because Halavin and Almia are opposites in many ways (a half-elf versus a full elf, honorable vs. dishonorable, sky vs. sea, corsair vs. avenger, magic-inclined vs. pure swordsmanship, etc.) Since the use of Bard was quite specific (the ability to use wands, Inspirational Boost, and the songs), magic was never that important instead of stacking IC as high as possible.

    So, I'm quite surprised I reached at least silver. I would have really liked to have Almia, whom I think was the slightly sharper-built character to also be at the top, but you can't go for everything, right?
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    Quote Originally Posted by firebrandtoluc View Post
    My friend is currently playing a paladin. It's way outside his normal zone. I told him to try to channel Santa Claus, Mr. Rogers, and Kermit the Frog. Until someone refuses to try to get off the naughty list. Then become Optimus Prime.
    T.G. Oskar profile by Specter.

  30. - Top - End - #270
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    GnomePirate

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XIX

    What? We get to make as many entries as we want?

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