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  1. - Top - End - #121
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Dec 2006

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XX

    Entry delayed by migraine. Hope to finish up tonight or tomorrow morning.
    Iron Chef in the Playground veteran since Round IV. Play as me!


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  2. - Top - End - #122
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XX

    Migraines are miserable. Best of luck, man.
    In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers

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

    My compiled Iron Chef stuff!

  3. - Top - End - #123
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XX

    Just finishing up moving the fluff to the computer, entry should be submitted later tonight.

    And Amphetryon? I feel for you. Just finished finals myself, so my brain is kinda on melt-down. Probably not the best time to try and optimize... oh well.

  4. - Top - End - #124
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XX

    ...and build submitted!

    Let's see the effects of brain-burnout on optimization!

  5. - Top - End - #125
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Z3ro's Avatar

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    Sep 2010

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XX

    Build submitted earlier. Can't wait to see the builds.

  6. - Top - End - #126
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    OMG PONIES's Avatar

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XX

    Can't wait to judge the builds. One particular incarnum trick jumped out at me in considering possible builds, so I really hope someone's been able to make use of it.
    A few busy weeks IRL...should be back by 4/10.

    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

  7. - Top - End - #127
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Private-Prinny's Avatar

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XX

    Quote Originally Posted by OMG PONIES View Post
    Can't wait to judge the builds. One particular incarnum trick jumped out at me in considering possible builds, so I really hope someone's been able to make use of it.
    I had an Incarnum trick in mind, but Curmudgeon shot me down when I went to double-check the RAW with him. So now I'm judging, because I couldn't think of anything else to exploit.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Moron View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Optimystik View Post
    'Adding up numbers' is completely independent of roleplay. What you're saying makes as much sense as "peeling a banana is not a good way to drive."


  8. - Top - End - #128
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XX

    Quote Originally Posted by Private-Prinny View Post
    I had an Incarnum trick in mind, but Curmudgeon shot me down when I went to double-check the RAW with him. So now I'm judging, because I couldn't think of anything else to exploit.
    Can't wait 'til this is closed - I want to know what trick got shot down.

    ...And now I'm paranoid that I may have been liberal with RAW. Curses.

  9. - Top - End - #129
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Xodion's Avatar

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XX

    An hour late this time - I'm making a bad habit of this.

    Note to self: never think "oh, I've got plenty of time, I'll do it later" regardless of how long there is left...
    DM: You exit the temple. Cleric, roll a knowledge(religion) check...
    Cleric: *passes* "Ah yes, now I recognise it, it was a temple to the god of traps!"
    Thief: *punches Cleric*

    Iron Chef Contest Gallery:
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    IC XVII: Snow (Silver)
    IC XX: Sir Karel (Bronze)
    IC XXXII: 'Aundair' Yannedge-Owens (Gold)
    IC XXXII: Sir Arminel Rayne (Bronze)
    IC XXXIX: Hardy (Bronze)


  10. - Top - End - #130
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XX

    *pant pant* Build submitted. *pant pant*
    Iron Chef in the Playground veteran since Round IV. Play as me!


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  11. - Top - End - #131
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XX

    Talk about skating in at the eleventh hour. Hope it all goes well!
    Iron Chef Award!

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  12. - Top - End - #132
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    true_shinken's Avatar

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XX

    Ladies and gentlemen, be ready for the great reveal in a few moments.
    OK, get ready for the great reveal!

    Our first build somewhat surprised me. I mean with that name, I expected someone faster. A lot faster.


    Quote Originally Posted by Sena

    WHO (background)
    Spoiler
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    My name is Sena. I am a warrior of my Vanaran people, chosen by the life essence around us that our totemists call “incarnum” to guide my people to greatness, and this is my chronicle.

    I was raised a wild thing, more creature than person. We had some trade with the city makers, who valued our hunting skills as much as we valued their smithing. I was gifted with my falchion when I finished the rites that made me an adult in the eyes of my kind.

    In battle I have always entered what some called a rage, but my tribe teaches as a terrible clarity of vision. Distractions melt away and the world becomes my weapon, my strength, and my opponent. In this clarity of vision, I could see motes of life essence floating around everything. The council of totemists told me this was incarnum, when I thought to ask. Their ways were odd, even to my tribe, but I learned enough to call that life essence, that incarnum, to me and to my falchion.

    The more I learned of it, the more frightful a fighter I became. This spiral of events encouraged me, so I pursued it with an almost obsessive resolve. The person you see before you, relating this chronicle, is the result of that resolve.


    WHAT
    (Tables)
    Spoiler
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    Chaotic Good Vanara (1) Barbarian 5/Incarnum Blade 5/Incandescent Champion 10
    Starting stats: STR 14 DEX 12 CON 14 INT 12 WIS 10 CHA 16
    Boost STR at level-ups. Chart does not include stat modifiers for saves or skills.
    SENA
    {table=head]Level|Class|Base Attack<br>Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Skills|Feats|Class Features

    1st|Barbarian 1|
    +1
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |Climb 4, Concentration 1, Intimidate 4, Jump 4, Ride 1, Survival 4, Swim 1|Power Attack|Rage 1/day, Fast Movement, Illiteracy

    2nd|Barbarian 2|
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |Climb 5, Concentration 1.5, Intimidate 5, Jump 5, Survival 5|-|Uncanny Dodge

    3rd|Barbarian 3|
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |Climb 6, Concentration 2.5, Intimidate 6, Jump 6|Cobalt Rage (MoI 37)|Trap Sense +1

    4th|Barbarian 4|
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |Climb 7, Concentration 3.5, Intimidate 7, Jump 7|-|Rage 2/day

    5th|Barbarian 5|
    +5
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |Climb 8, Concentration 4, Intimidate 8, Jump 8, Survival 6|-|Improved Uncanny Dodge

    6th|Incarnum Blade 1 (MoI 121)|
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |Climb 9, Concentration 5, Intimidate 9|Cobalt Charge (MoI 35)|Shape Blademeld, Blademeld Chakra Binds

    7th|Incandescent Champion 1 (MoI 116)|
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |Concentration 6, Intimidate 10, Ride 2|-|Incandescent Strike, +1 Essentia Pool

    8th|Incandescent Champion 2|
    +7
    |
    +6
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Concentration 7, Intimidate 11, Ride 3|-|Fast Healing (self), +1 Essentia Pool

    9th|Incandescent Champion 3|
    +8
    |
    +7
    |
    +2
    |
    +4
    |Concentration 8, Intimidate 12, Ride 4|Shape Soulmeld (Blink Shirt)|Unbearable Countenance, +1 Essentia Pool

    10th|Incandescent Champion 4|
    +9
    |
    +7
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |Concentration 9, Intimidate 13, Ride 5|-|Incarnum Overload 1/day

    11th|Incarnum Blade 2|
    +10
    |
    +8
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |Climb 10, Concentration 10, Intimidate 14|-|Blademeld Chakra Binds

    12th|Incarnum Blade 3|
    +11
    |
    +8
    |
    +3
    |
    +6
    |Climb 11, Concentration 11, Intimidate 15|Shape Soulmeld (Threefold Mask of the Chimera: MoI 90-1)|Rebind Blademeld, Blademeld Chakra Binds

    13th|Incandescent Champion 5|
    +11
    |
    +8
    |
    +3
    |
    +6
    |Concentration 12, Intimidate 16, Ride 6|-|Incandescent Ray, +1 Essentia Pool

    14th|Incandescent Champion 6|
    +12
    |
    +9
    |
    +4
    |
    +7
    |Concentration 13, Intimidate 17, Ride 7|-|+1 Essentia Pool

    15th|Incandescent Champion 7|
    +13
    |
    +9
    |
    +4
    |
    +7
    |Concentration 14, Intimidate 18, Ride 8|Cobalt Power (MoI 37)|Incarnum Overload 2/day, +1 Essentia Pool

    16th|Incandescent Champion 8|
    +14
    |
    +9
    |
    +4
    |
    +8
    |Concentration 15, Intimidate 19, Ride 9|-|Incandescent Aura

    17th|Incarnum Blade 4|
    +15
    |
    +10
    |
    +4
    |
    +8
    |Climb 12, Concentration 16, Intimidate 20|-|Blademeld Chakra Bind (Heart)

    18th|Incarnum Blade 5|
    +16
    |
    +10
    |
    +4
    |
    +8
    |Climb 13, Concentration 17, Intimidate 21|Open Least Chakra: Crown (Threefold Mask of the Chimera: MoI 39-40)|Dual Chakra Binding, Blademeld Chakra Bind (Soul)

    19th|Incandescent Champion 9|
    +16
    |
    +11
    |
    +5
    |
    +9
    |Concentration 18, Intimidate 22, Ride 10|-|Fast Healing (Allies), +1 Essentia Pool

    20th|Incandescent Champion 10|
    +17
    |
    +11
    |
    +5
    |
    +10
    |Concentration 19, Intimidate 23, Ride 11|-|Incandescent Transcendence, Incarnum Overload 3/day, +1 Essentia Pool[/table]

    INCARNUM TABLE

    {table=head]Level|Essentia Pool|Typical Essentia Investment
    1|
    1
    |-
    2|
    1
    |-
    3|
    2
    |1 in C. Rage
    4|
    2
    |1 in C. Rage
    5|
    2
    |1 in C. Rage
    6|
    3
    |Blademeld to Hands Chakra, 1 Rage, 1 C. Charge
    7|
    4
    |Blademeld: Hands, 2 in Incandescent Strike, 1 C. Rage, 1 C. Charge
    8|
    5
    |Blademeld: Hands, 2 Incandescent Strike, 2 C. Rage, 1 C. Charge
    9|
    6
    |Blademeld: Hands, 2 Incandescent Strike, 2 C. Rage, 1 C. Charge, 1 Blink Shirt
    10|
    6
    |Blademeld: Hands, 2 Incandescent Strike, 2 C. Rage, 1 C. Charge, 1 Blink Shirt
    11|
    6
    |Blademeld: Arms, 2 Incandescent Strike, 2 C. Rage, 1 C. Charge, 1 Blink Shirt
    12|
    6
    |Blademeld: Throat, 2 Incandescent Strike, 2 C. Rage, 1 C. Charge, 1 Blink Shirt
    13|
    7
    |Blademeld: Throat, 3 Incandescent Strike, 2 C. Rage, 1 C. Charge, 1 Blink Shirt
    14|
    8
    |Blademeld: Throat, 3 Incandescent Strike, 2 C. Rage, 1 C. Charge, 2 Blink Shirt
    15|
    10
    |Blademeld: Throat, 3 Incandescent Strike, 2 C. Rage, 2 C. Charge, 2 Blink Shirt
    16|
    10
    |Blademeld: Throat, 3 Incandescent Strike, 2 C. Rage, 2 C. Charge, 2 Blink Shirt
    17|
    10
    |Blademeld: Heart, 3 Incandescent Strike, 2 C. Rage, 1 C. Charge, 2 Blink Shirt
    18|
    10
    |Blademeld: Heart/Throat, 3 Incandescent Strike, 2 C. Rage, 1 C. Charge, 2 Blink Shirt, 1 Mask
    19|
    11
    |Blademeld: Heart/Throat, 3 Incandescent Strike, 2 C. Rage, 1 C. Charge, 2 Blink Shirt, 2 Mask
    20|
    12
    |Blademeld: Arms, 3 Incandescent Strike, 2 C. Rage, 2 C. Charge, 2 Blink Shirt, 2 Mask[/table]
    Any incarnum not allocated above goes first to Incandescent Ray, then Incandescent Aura (when available).


    WHERE (Highlights)
    Spoiler
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    At 7th level, Sena is adding +6 to damage on any charge attacks before Rage, Power Attack, Strength or weapon damage is factored in, and 5 on every other attack before those factors. Cobalt Charge negates the reduced BAB of Incandescent Champion.

    At 12th level, the Blink Shirt protects him with better mobility, the Threefold Mask prevents him from being flanked, and the Throat Blademeld stacks fear effects with the Unbearable Countenance ability. In times of need, Sena can allocate incarnum to either the Mask or the Blink Shirt to gain better Search/Spot or greater mobility, respectively.

    At 18th level, when the need is great, the Blink Shirt’s teleportation ability can be combined with the Threefold Mask’s faux Haste effect to make a devastating first round attack sequence. Because of the inherent limitations to movement in the following round, this option should be carefully weighed before being used.


    WHEN (Sweet Spot)
    Spoiler
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    The Incandescent Aura ability, gained at 16th level in the build, meshes with the fear-stacking abilities of Incarnum Blade and Incandescent Champion to let Sera deal steady damage to nearby opponents who are Frightened and find it difficult to flee. The damage he does while Raging is prodigious in those cases where fear is not an option, especially on the initial charge routine, while the Incandescent Ray gives a weapon against those he cannot charge. With a Falchion and the Arms Blademeld option, Sera can play the crit-fisher when it’s the best choice instead, though he’d have to decide to do so before the fight.


    WHY (Explanation of build choices and role)
    Spoiler
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    Vanara was chosen as one of the few LA+0 racial choices with a Climb speed, which increases mobility options greatly. The Cliffwalker Shifter and the Mountain Spirit Folk are the other two options I could find, and both are even more setting specific than the Vanara. That climbing ability reduces - but does not eliminate - the dependence a non-caster has on other party members and magic items for help in getting to hard-to-reach opponents. The image of a blue monkey-like being infused with the blue essence of incarnum was another factor, as was the Near-East flavor mesh of the Vanara with chakra binding.

    Sena is a solid damage-dealing option who is not solely a charger, a fear-monger, or a crit-fisher, though he can excel in any of those roles. Against foes he cannot easily charge, he can stack fear effects and/or stack crit enhancers. If facing undead that he cannot charge, his incarnum ray and aura become even more useful choices. The Incandescent Champion’s ability to overload chakras, combined with the Blademeld abilities and the malleability of incarnum investment means the damage from a chosen attack mode will be assured of relevance.

    With a simple Barbarian base, Sena has solid damage capacity and decent utility thanks to good INT. The high HP totals are obviously of great use, and mesh well with the prodigious +40 HP bonus the Incarnum Blade’s Heart Bind provides, to make Sena exceptionally sturdy. Incarnum Blade, like Incandescent Champion, works with the incarnum system without forcing the players to delve too deeply into the incarnum system. This means that Sena is a good choice for a player who wants a versatile primary damage dealer that can introduce a group that is unfamiliar with incarnum to the system, while still fitting into a more standard campaign.


    HOW (Changing things up with potential options, and Source List)
    Spoiler
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    (1) Oriental Adventures received an update to 3.5 in Dragon (April, 2004) which removed all ability score adjustments for the Vanara. This results in the stats listed here. Confer also with AZNsupermarket's excellent Master Race compilation. A DM that does not accept this update as valid gives us starting stats of STR 12 DEX 12 CON 14 INT 14 WIS 12 CHA 14. The increased INT would give more skill points to devote to Ride as a Barbarian, and to Jump once Prestige Classes are started. To further avoid rules debates about accessing Power Attack as a Barbarian with a base STR of 12 under this ruling, move Cobalt Rage to 1st level, Cobalt Charge to 3rd level, and Power Attack to 6th level.

    Take two Flaws - Shaky and Vulnerable, for preference - and Shock Trooper and Leap Attack can fit in for a true Ubercharger in a campaign where that level of power is more appropriate. Alternately, Extra Rage and Intimidating Rage would be a slightly less over-the-top pair of choices that would emphasize the fear-monger aspects of Sena while keeping his damage output a mite higher. Additionally, Fractional BAB/Fractional Saves should always be considered when available, for a smoother progression.

    If Unearthed Arcana is allowed, consider the Dragon Totem ACF for Barbarian to get the fear stacking in full effect. Sena might alternately consider the ever-popular Lion Totem ACF in Complete Champion, for the most reliable source of Pounce outside of spellcasting.

    Any magic item that grants Flight, or increases CHA, should be top priorities at Ye Olde Magick Mart.

    Source List
    1. SRD
    2. Magic of Incarnum
    3. Oriental Adventures
    Last edited by true_shinken; 2011-04-24 at 05:08 PM.

  13. - Top - End - #133
    Banned
     
    true_shinken's Avatar

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XX

    This is the first time I heard (well, read) someone saying shifters were underpowered.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ushlaka

    Ushlaka, aka Brother Justice
    Shifter
    32 Point Buy
    Str 15 Dex 10 Con 16 Int 10 Wis 14 Cha 10
    Ending Stats
    Str 24(30) Dex 10 Con 22(28) Int 10 Wis 14 Cha 12(18)
    (4 stat points to Str, 1 stat point to Con, +5 book to Str and Con, +2 book to Cha, +6 item to Str, Con, and Cha)
    The Build
    Spoiler
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    {table=head]Level|Class|BAB|Fort|Ref|Will|Skills|Feats|Class Features|Essentia

    1st|Barbarian (Spirit Lion Totem)|
    +1
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |(16)Intimidate 4 Jump 4 Listen 4 Survival 4|Shifter Ferocity|Pounce, Illiteracy, Rage 1/day|
    0

    2nd|Ranger|
    +2
    |
    +4
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |Knowledge(nature) 4 Jump 1 Survival 1|| Favored Enemy (Humans), Track, Wild Empathy|
    0

    3rd|Ranger|
    +3
    |
    +5
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |Concentration 3 Jump 1 Listen 1 Survival 1|Shape Soulmeld (Thunderstep Boots)|Combat Style (Two Weapon Fighting)|
    0

    4th|Warblade|
    +4
    |
    +7
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |Concentration 2 Intimidate 1 Jump 1||Battle Clarity (reflex save), Weapon Apttitude|
    0

    5th|Warblade|
    +5
    |
    +8
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |Survival 2||Uncanny Dodge|
    0

    6th|Weretouched Master|
    +5
    |
    +10
    |
    +5
    |
    +0
    |Jump 1 Survival 1|Bonus Essentia|Weretouched 1 (Bear)|
    2

    7th|Weretouched Master|
    +6
    |
    +11
    |
    +6
    |
    +0
    |Jump 1 Survival 1|Shifter Multi-Attack|Wild Empathy, Shifter Feat|
    2

    8th|Incandescent Champion|
    +6
    |
    +11
    |
    +6
    |
    +2
    |Concentration 2||Incandescent Strike|
    3

    9th|Incandescent Champion|
    +7
    |
    +11
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    |Concentration 2|Extra Rage|Fast Healing (self)|
    4

    10th|Weretouched Master|
    +8
    |
    +11
    |
    +6
    |
    +4
    |Jump 1 Survival 1||Weretouched 2 (improved grab)|
    4

    11th|Weretouched Master|
    +9
    |
    +12
    |
    +7
    |
    +4
    |Jump 1 survival 2|Shifter Savagery|Frightful Shifting, Shifter feat|
    4

    12th|Incandescent Champion|
    +10
    |
    +13
    |
    +8
    |
    +4
    |Concentration 2|Shape Soulmeld (bluesteel bracers)|Unbearable Countenance|
    5

    13th|Weretouched Master|
    +10
    |
    +13
    |
    +8
    |
    +4
    |Jump 1 Survival 1||Alternate Form, Weretouched 3|
    5

    14th|Incandescent Champion|
    +11
    |
    +13
    |
    +8
    |
    +5
    |Concentration 2||Incarnum Overload 1/day|
    5

    15th|BloodClaw Master|
    +11
    |
    +15
    |
    +10
    |
    +5
    |Jump 1 Survival 1|Great Bite|Shifting 1/day, Claws of the Beast|
    5

    16th|BloodClaw Master|
    +12
    |
    +16
    |
    +11
    |
    +5
    |Jump 1 Survival 1||Superior Two Weapon Fighting, Tiger Claw Synergy (stance)|
    5

    17th|Incandescent Champion|
    +12
    |
    +16
    |
    +11
    |
    +5
    |Concentration 2||Incandescent Ray|
    6

    18th|Incandescent Champion|
    +13
    |
    +17
    |
    +12
    |
    +6
    |Concentration 2||Shape Soulmeld (Incarnate Avatar (good)|
    7

    19th|Incandescent Champion|
    +14
    |
    +17
    |
    +12
    |
    +6
    |Concentration 2||Incarnum Overload 2/day|
    8

    20th|Incandescent Champion|
    +15
    |
    +17
    |
    +12
    |
    +6
    |Concentration 2||Incandescent Aura|
    8
    [/table]

    Martial Maneuvers
    3rd Level – Sudden Leap, Wolf Fang Strike, Moment of Perfect Mind
    4th Level – Claw at the Moon
    15th Level – Dancing Mongoose

    Martial Stances
    3rd Level – Hunter’s Sense

    Background
    Spoiler
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    The earliest memories of Ushlaka were pure and simple rage. He fought to survive alone against a world the barely understood and outright rejected him simply for what he was. Mindless rage was all he knew.

    But then they found him. He never learned what chance encounter led them to him, but they showed him a better way. They started by training and refining the wilderness skill he already had. Even when the training started to focus more on swordplay, the beast inside was ever-present, and his style reflected that beast. The champions persisted, and he came to understand the higher path.

    Learning the deeper truth of the world around him he embraced their teachings and their cause. He shown as a light, incandescent, in the darkness. He would bring the enemies of what was good and right to justice. Out in the wilderness where he hunted his prey, he was no longer Ushlaka; he was known by another name. Out in the wilds he was called Brother Justice.

    Even after his training, the internal turmoil persisted. As he grew in his understanding of the world around him and the goodness all around, so to did the monster inside him. For it was impossible to separate the two; monster and man. Instead, Brother Justice embraced the beast and used it for good, where before there was only rage. Pity those who find themselves on the wrong end of Brother Justice!


    General build notes:
    Spoiler
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    This build attempts to fuse two generally underpowered things (shifter race, Incandescent Champion) into one powerful package. The biggest problem with shifting is the combination of the required investment and limited usage. While shifted and raging, this character is pretty powerful, but loses a lot when it’s not. In an attempt to help fix this, all Incandescent Champion abilities seamlessly shift between shifted form and non-shifted form. This allows the character to utilize TWF with an extra damage boost and other abilities that otherwise wouldn’t be there when no longer shifting.

    Besides combat, this build can fill several other roles, thanks to its component classes. Besides combat, the build is an excellent tracker and can use wands off the Ranger list, likely making him the party healer at low levels courtesy of various wands.

    Essentia only has a few sources to shuffle between in this build. Generally, the build maxes out thunderstep boots when charging, then shifts the essential to Incandescent strike and bluesteel bracers once combat is joined. 2/day the build can go nova, dumping all 8 essentia into the boots, dealing an extra 8d4 damage per attack on a charge. Other abilities, such as healing, gaze, and ray, can have essential put into them when needed, usually in maximum amounts.


    Level Progression:
    Spoiler
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    Note: At each level above 3 or so, this build will assume liberal use of the braid of dire shifting, a one-shot item costing 100gp that allows the user to become one size larger when shifting. At such a low cost, and relatively few shifts per day, there is no reason that the majority of the time the character is shifted, they also aren’t large.

    Levels 1-5
    Spoiler
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    The build is, at all points, a strong melee combatant, starting with levels in Barbarian, Ranger, and Warblade. Barbarian starts the build with good HP and attack bonuses, and shifting gives the character another attack. At level three the character begins fighting with two weapons, giving him three attacks when shifting. Using pounce and Thunderstep boots gives all three attacks an extra 1d4 damage, not bad for a 3rd level character. Warblade gives a few useful maneuvers, notably helping to shore up the weak will save, and using sudden leap to charge on consecutive rounds. Hunter’s Scent was chosen for thematic rather than power purposes, as Blood in the Water would be more useful at most levels.


    Levels 6-10
    Spoiler
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    This is the point were the build really starts coming into its own. Bonus essentia at level 6 gives you 3d4 bonus damage on each charging attack. The levels of weretouched master boost your strength and give claw attacks along with improved grab, which lets you grapple if necessary (you should be large while shifting most of the time). Incandescent champion at this point is used primarily for its abilities granting essentia boosts to all damage, as well as its limited healing. TWF is still the predominate method of attack, though when shifting claws+bite may result in more damage thanks to the bonus shifters receive in damage as they level up.


    Levels 11-15
    Spoiler
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    This section, like many builds, is really the sweet spot. At level 11 you get shifter savagery, which gives a big boost to damage while raging and shifting. At level 13, while shifting and raging, the character gets +14 str, +4 con, plus damage bonuses to all its natural attacks. This, combined with the extra damage granted by Incandescent strike, Thunderstep boots, and Bluesteel bracers, gives the character big boosts to damage in both shifted and non-shifted forms. The levels of Incandescent Champion give the character some options, including a decent ranged attack and a gaze attack which can be combined with standard actions, such as Wolf Fang Strike to attack foes with weak will saves. Thunderstep boots can be combines with dumping essential into them with Incarnum Overload to go nova during an initial charge.


    Levels 16-20
    Spoiler
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    At this point any build should be swinging for the fences, and this one is no exception. The levels of Bloodclaw master give a nice flex upwards in power, including losing penalties to TWF, full strength to both attacks (which this build has plenty of), an extra shift/day, as well as picking up Dancing Mongoose, which combined with the damage stacking given by the various essential boosts can result in a devastating amount of damage. A typical attack involves charging in with an extra 5d4 on five attacks (three weapon, claw, bite). The great bite feat might seem out of place, but the feat is really more about getting an extra shift per day than any damage increase. Shape Soulmeld (Incarnate Avatar) is less immediately useful, but is selected both for flavor reasons and at 21st level open chackra(soul) can be taken, giving the character fulltime flight.

    Final damage while raging and shifting:
    Claw – 2d6+5(shifter)+5(Necklace natural attacks)+8(Essentia)+17(Str)=2d6+35
    Bite – 2d8+5(shifter)+5(Necklace natural attacks)+8(Essentia)+8(Str)=2d8+26
    Full Round, w/Dancing Mongoose – 5 attacks, average damage 203


    Alternative Options
    Spoiler
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    A couple of different things can be done to strengthen this build, but are not necessary. The first would be to select whirling frenzy instead of rage, granting an extra attack. I chose not to, given that the con boost from rage helps while shifted, and a DM’s ruling would be needed on if whirling frenzy counted for shifter savagery.

    The option would be to take 1 or 2 flaws, but those would strengthen any build. The resulting feats would probably be used for either more shapesoulmeld feats or more shifter feats.

  14. - Top - End - #134
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XX

    I have a soft spot for musical freedom fighters such as this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Camden
    Camden Dale, Knight of the Blue

    Human – Chaotic Good – Bard 2 / Paladin of Freedom 8 / Incandescent Champion 10

    Backstory
    Spoiler
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    Camden had always been able to feel the energy, like a physical surge just beyond his reach. It called to him, made him feel like… moving. But he didn’t know what to make of it, or what to do with it. It wasn’t until he was near the completion of his apprenticeship to the Knights of the Blue that he made his first discovery.

    The Paladins had taught him to focus his anger, to strike down the foes of his order. But he found that in battle, he had precious little time to be angry. A village, raiders… cut off from his brethren, young Camden was the last one standing between a barn full of villagers and their attackers. He struck out with all his vigor, but not from anger. Instead he concentrated on the WHY of it, the lives taking shelter behind him and preserving them from harm.

    The power flowed. His arm quickened, his eyes shone, and his weapon trailed ghostly blue fire. He smote his foes not once, but twice in rapid succession. And his master, riding to his rescue, saw him do it.

    In the aftermath, the surviving paladins were at a loss to figure out exactly what the young paladin had tapped into. It took an advisor to their order, an aged bard named Darian, to discover the source of Camden’s unusual power… Incarnum, the energy of souls. With the permission of the order, Darian agreed to take on Camden as a student and teach him to fully unlock the power.

    Under Darian’s tutelage, there was a lot to learn. He had to blend both bardic and paladin traditions together and then learn how to move. More akin to dance moves than actual katas or martial routines, Camden learned to feel the Incarnum around him and move WITH it, letting it guide and empower his actions. He refined his smiting power with it and developed a martial dance of sorts that let him move with supernatural grace.

    The fluid lethality was the last piece of the puzzle. Darian described him as an Incandescent Champion now, able to channel Incarnum through his body at will. When he rejoined the order, they were still unsure what to make of his abilities, but his soul was pure and he was a fluid engine of vengeance. Camden officially became a Knight of the Blue that day, serving the order for decades to come.


    The Build
    Spoiler
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    {table=head]STR|DEX|CON|INT|WIS|CHA|-|Level Bonuses
    14|14|14|10|8|16|-|+1 CHA every 4 levels[/table]
    {table=head]Level|Class|Base Attack<br>Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Skills|Feats|Class Features

    1st|Paladin of Freedom 1|
    +1
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |Heal Bluff 4, Concentration4, Kno (Religion) 4|Power Attack, Sapphire Smite|Aura of Good, Detect Evil, Smite Evil 1/day, Essentia (1)

    2nd|Paladin of Freedom 2|
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    | Bluff 5, Concentration 5, Kno (Religion) 5|-|Divine Grace, Lay on Hands

    3rd|Bard 1|
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    | Perform 6 (Dance), Diplomacy 1|Devoted Performer| Bardic Music, Bardic Knowledge, Countersong, Fascinate, Inspire Courage +1

    4th|Paladin of Freedom 3|
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    | Kno (Religion) 6, Ride 2|-|Aura of Resolve, Divine Health
    5th|Paladin of Freedom 4|
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    | Kno (Religion) 7, Ride 4| Improved Smiting|Turn Undead, Holy Warrior Alt Ability

    6th|Bard 2|
    +5
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    | Perform 9 (Dance), Diplomacy 5|Snowflake Wardance| -
    7th|Paladin of Freedom 5|
    +6
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    | Kno (Religion) 9, Ride 5|-|Smite Evil 2/day, Charging Smite Alt Ability
    8th|Incandescent Champion 1|
    +6
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +6
    | Kno (Religion) 10, Intimidate 2| -| Incandescent Strike, Essentia (2)

    9th| Incandescent Champion 2|
    +7
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +7
    | Kno (Religion) 11, Intimidate 4| Divine Soultouch|Fast Healing (Self), Essentia (3+)

    10th| Incandescent Champion 3|
    +8
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +7
    | Kno (Religion) 12, Intimidate 6|-| Unbearable Countenance, Essentia (4+)

    11th| Incandescent Champion 4|
    +9
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +8
    | Kno (Religion) 13, Intimidate 8|-| Incarnum Overload 1/day

    12th| Incandescent Champion 5|
    +9
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +8
    | Kno (Religion) 14, Intimidate 10|Divine Might| Fast Incandescent Ray, Essentia (5+)

    13th| Incandescent Champion 6|
    +10
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +9
    | Kno (Religion) 15, Intimidate 12|-| Essentia (6+)

    14th| Incandescent Champion 7|
    +11
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +9
    | Kno (Religion) 16, Intimidate 14|-| Incarnum Overload 2/day, Essentia (7+)
    15th| Incandescent Champion 8|
    +12
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +10
    | Kno (Religion) 17, Intimidate 16|Avenging Strike| Incandescent Aura

    16th| Incandescent Champion 9|
    +12
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +10
    | Kno (Religion) 18, Intimidate 18|-| Fast Healing (Allies), Essentia (8+)

    17th| Incandescent Champion 10|
    +13
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +11
    | Kno (Religion) 19, Intimidate 20|-| Incandescent Transcendance, Incarnum Overload 3/day,, Essentia (9+)

    18th|Paladin of Freedom 6|
    +14
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    +12
    | Kno (Religion) 21, Bluff 6|Martial Study (Shadow Stride)| Remove Disease 1/week

    19th| Paladin of Freedom 7|
    +15
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    +12
    | Kno (Religion) 22, Bluff 8|-|-
    20th| Paladin of Freedom 8|
    +16
    |
    +9
    |
    +8
    |
    +12
    | Kno (Religion) 23, Bluff 10|Extra Turning|Holy Warrior Alt Ability [/table]

    Spells per day/Spells Known
    Spoiler
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    {table=head]Level|0|1|2|3|4|Bard Spells Known

    3rd|2|-|-|-|-|Cantrips (Mage Hand, Mending, Prestidigitation, Read Magic)

    6th|3|0|-|-|-|Cantrips (Open/Close), 1st (Feather Fall, Swift Expeditious Retreat) [/table]


    Level Highlights
    Spoiler
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    NOTE – The special ingredient is poor at using incarnum, so I decided to keep incarnum content minimal and utilize the class abilities in other ways. The build focuses on charisma synergy for melee combat. Divine Might, Smite (Basic, Charging Smite, Improved Smite, Sapphire Smite), Snowflake Wardance (powered by Bardic Music) and Avenging Strike all put Charisma to use for hit and damage purposes, augmented by desired equipment such as Slippers of Battledancing. Divine Soultouch is used to provide temporary power boosts. Prestige Class features Incarnum Overload, Incandescent Aura, Unbearable Countenance, and Incandescent Trancendence all benefit from the focus on Charisma and the Divine Soultouch boosts.

    Equipment Priorities – Given a choice of what magical equipment to pick up over his career, the main focus goes onto both a CHA boost item and (by level 12) Slippers of Battledancing. Secondarily, a CON item will be needed by level 12 to increase the CON limit on Essentia investment. Other key items are the usual things that a melee combatant needs (STR, DEX, armor class (light armor in this case), and a decent 1 handed slashing weapon) plus bardic spell wands, but such things are not central to the build.

    Level 6 – Camden has harnessed the Snowflake Wardance at this level, freeing up his natural BAB to be used for Power Attack damage (though he is using 1 handed weapons with it). He can sustain it for 9 rounds and can use it 6 times daily.

    Level 10 – With 4 points of Essentia and the ability to put 2 into any given ability, Camden usually puts 2 into Sapphire Smite and alternates the other 2 between Incandescent Strike and Unbearable Countenance, and is able to boost either one to 3 with Divine Soultouch.

    Level 15 – Sweet Spot – Divine Might and Avenging Strike are online now, as is Incandescent Aura which is now a preferred location for Essentia points. Normal allocation is 3 into Sapphire Smite, 1 in Incandescent Strike, and 3 alternating between Unbearable Countenance and Incandescent Aura. Divine Soultouch can boost by 1, and Incarnum Overload can be used to put pretty much everything into Incandescent Aura or even Incandescent Ray when needed. With Slippers of Battledancing as well, a charge is looking at bonuses of +(4xCHA) to hit and +(3xCHA+7) to damage, plus Incandescent Strike and/or Incandescent Aura, Power attack, and the rest. All of this is powered with a 25 charisma, and his Intimidate Skill is pretty good at stacking with Unbearable Countenance to bump opponents to Shaken and then Frightened with a single round’s actions.

    Level 20 – Camden has picked up more mobility with Incandescent Transcendence and Shadow Stride, and more staying power with Extra Turning.


    Source Books
    Spoiler
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    {table=head]Sourcebook|Class/Race|Feats
    Complete Adventurer|-|Devoted Performer
    Complete Champion|Holy Warrior Alt|-
    Complete Divine|-|Improved Smiting
    Complete Warrior|-|Divine Might
    Frostburn|-|Snowflake Wardance
    Magic of Incarnum|Incandescent Champion|Divine Soultouch, Sapphire Smite
    Player’s Handbook|Bard|Extra Turning, Power Attack
    Player’s Handbook 2|Charging Smite Alt|-
    Tome of Battle|-|Avenging Strike, Martial Study
    Unearthed Arcana|Paladin of Freedom|-[/table]

  15. - Top - End - #135
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XX

    For some reason, this builds reminds me of this guy.
    Spoiler
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    Quote Originally Posted by Azuki
    Azuki Sharass, Totemist 10/Incandescent Champion 10

    The Legend of the Huntress’s Hand
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    “The Huntress’s Hand? Bah, lad, that wench is naught but a legend. A woman with four arms and the head of a wolf? Sounds like the boy’s been doing a little bit too much drinking!”

    -the Lord Reynolds, the Year of the Howling Moon (1130 DR)

    There’s been dozens of rumours as to her origins. Some say that she was the illegal child of a skarn and a rilkan, and was abandoned in the wild after her parents were killed by outraged members of both races. Another story places her as the sole survivor of a skarn expeditionary party. Regardless of the source, one thing stays constant throughout the tales.

    She had been goddess-touched.

    Again, not much is truly known of her earlier days. As far as scholars can tell, she was apprenticed to the great elven totemist Aelindel underneath the boughs of the Grandfather Tree sometime after 1100 DR. She learned much from him, from summoning the spirits of magical beasts to aid her in battle to surviving in the wild for weeks at a time.

    The first true account of her comes from the journal of Sayyara ne Retheil, a Knight of the Crescent Moon. It reads...

    Our party was surrounded by a raiding party of orcs. They had taken us by surprise, and after an hour of heavy fighting, we were down to a pair of Knights, nearly a half dozen squires and I. We could see the orcs gathering for a final charge, and prepared to breathe our last. A smoky figure darted out of the shadows and coalesced into a.... beast. A loose, heavy braid of dark hair hung over her mottled blue and silver cloak, while an additional set of clawed arms hung loosely at her sides. She stood in the path of the orcish horde, and sprang at them as they charged. She parted them like a stone in a stream, leaving behind a trail of bloodied corpses. Rallying ourselves, we charged in behind her, not second-guessing our mysterious benefactor.

    After the battle had ended, I saw her face... and was surprised to see a blood-spattered bone white wolf mask staring back at me. Nodding in recognition, she gestured and he mask faded into nothingness, leaving behind a hint of azure traceries before dissipating entirely.

    I was stunned to see the features of a skarn staring back at me. They were rare even in the Order, which spanned the width and breath of Faerûn. I noticed that her eyes were a hint of blue instantly recognisable to any schooled in incarnum.

    “You’re... you’re the Huntress’s Hand” I had stuttered at the moment, astonished to meet a living legend.

    With a nod, she agreed with me. Noticing my injured companions, she stomped her foot and her eyes flared brightly. I felt the incarnum inside me reacting to her presence and speeding my wounded body to health. As it flowed through me, I realised that I recognised it as one of the abilities that the greatest of my Order possessed; the ability to use incarnum to heal one’s allies.

    “You’re of the Order, aren’t you?”

    She nodded once more. Her voice whispered through the air, possessing an unearthly quality. “Azuki Sharass, Totemist and Champion Incandescent, at your service.”


    17 Tarsahk, 1115 DR (the Year of the Haunted Herald)

    Levelling Information
    Spoiler
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    AZUKI SHARESS
    {table=head]Level|Class|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Skills|Feats|Class Features
    1st| Totemist 1 |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |Concentration 4 ranks, Spellcraft 4 ranks, Survival 4 ranks, Knowledge (the planes) 4 ranks|Expanded Soulmeld Capacity|Meldshaping, illiteracy, wild empathy
    2nd|Totemist 2 |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |Spellcraft 1, Survival 1, Knowledge (the planes) 1, Listen 1| |Totem chakra bind (+1 capacity)
    3rd|Totemist 3 |
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |Spellcraft 1, Survival 1, Knowledge (the planes) 1, Listen 1|Multiattack|Totem’s Protection
    4th|Totemist 4|
    +3
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    | Spellcraft 1, Survival 1, Knowledge (the planes) 1, Listen 1||
    5th|Totemist 5 |
    +3
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    | Spellcraft 1, Survival 1, Knowledge (the planes) 1, Listen 1||Chakra binds (crown, feet, hands)
    6th|Totemist 6|
    +4
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    | Spellcraft 1, Survival 1, Knowledge (the planes) 1, Listen 1|Open Least Chakra (hands)|Totem chakra bind (+1 meldshaper level)
    7th|Totemist 7|
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    | Spellcraft 1, Survival 1, Knowledge (the planes) 1, Listen 1| |
    8th|Totemist 8|
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +2
    | Spellcraft 1, Survival 1, Knowledge (the planes) 1, Listen 1||Rebind totem chakra 1/day
    9th|Incandescent Champion 1 |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +4
    |2 skill points for literacy, Heal 2|Double chakra (totem)|Incandescent Strike
    10th|Incandescent Champion 2|
    +7
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +5
    |Heal 1, Knowledge (the planes) 1||Fast healing (self)
    11th|Incanescent Champion 3|
    +8
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +5
    | Heal 1, Knowledge (the planes) 1||Unbearable Countenance
    12th|Incandescent Champion 4|
    +9
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +6
    | Heal 1, Knowledge (the planes) 1|Improved Natural Attack (Girallon Claws)|Incarnum overload 1/day
    13th|Incandescent Champion 5|
    +10
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +6
    | Heal 1, Knowledge (the planes) 1||Incandescent Ray
    14th|Totemist 9|
    +10
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    | Spellcraft 1, Survival 1, Knowledge (the planes) 1, Listen 1| |Chakra binds (arms, brow, shoulders)
    15th|Totemist 10|
    +11
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    +7
    | Spellcraft 1, Survival 1, Knowledge (the planes) 1, Listen 1|Split Chakra (shoulders) |
    16th|Incandescent Champion 6|
    +12
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    |
    +8
    | Heal 1, Knowledge (the planes) 1| |
    17th|Incandescent Champion 7 |
    +13
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    |
    +8
    | Heal 1, Knowledge (the planes) 1||Incarnum overload 2/day
    18th|Incandescent Champion 8|
    +14
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    | Heal 1, Knowledge (the planes) 1|Bonus Essentia|Incandescent Aura
    19th|Incandescent Champion 9|
    +14
    |
    +10
    |
    +10
    |
    +9
    | Heal 1, Knowledge (the planes) 1||Fast healing (allies)
    20th|Incandescent Champion 10|
    +15
    |
    +10
    |
    +10
    |
    +10
    | Heal 1, Knowledge (the planes) 1||Incandescent transcendence, Incarnum overload 3/day[/table]

    Meldshaping
    {table=head]Level|Soulmelds|Essentia|Chakra binds
    1st|2|1|0
    2nd|3|2|1
    3rd|3|2|1
    4th|4|3|1
    5th|4|3|1
    6th|4|4|2
    7th|5|5|2
    8th|5|5|2
    9th|5|6|2
    10th|5|7|2
    11th|5|8|2
    12th|5|8|2
    13th|5|9|2
    14th|5|10|2
    15th|6|11|3
    16th|6|12|3
    17th|6|13|3
    18th|6|15|3
    19th|6|16|3
    20th|6|17|3[/table]
    *Note: Azuki may choose one soulmeld a day to be affected by her Improved Essentia Capacity feat.

    General Information
    Spoiler
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    Azuki Sharass, NG female Skarn
    Levels: Totemist 8/Incandescent Champion 5/Totemist 2/Incandescent Champion 5

    Stats at 1st level: 32 PB

    Str: 16 (+2 racial)
    Dex: 12 (-2 racial)
    Con: 18
    Int: 10
    Wis: 10
    Cha: 14


    Build: Basically? We have a pseudo-holy guardian beast.

    Combining the best of both Totemist (Natural attacks and Constitution SAD) with Incandescent Champion (essentia to damage, aura, incarnum overload) into a single beast of war.

    Inspiration for this build was actually the Book of Exalted Deeds – specifically, some of the ranger/druid feats/PrCs. With that in mind, I created this – the animal-paladin-esque skarn. I chose Skarn as the race for two reasons – the first, hard crunch, was because they receive a pair of natural weapons that I can stack onto her full attack. The second was because the skarn themselves are a strongly Lawful aligned race. The way I see it, they’d be naturally drawn to a knightly order such as the Incandescent Champions, especially considering how they already gravitate towards Incarnum.

    6 Soulmelds shaped, 4 chakra binds (one to hands) and 17 essentia: Girallon Arms (bound to totem, occupying arms), Sphinx claws (bound to hands, occupying hands), Phase Cloak (bound to shoulders chakra, occupying shoulders), Totem Avatar (occupying the heart), Dread Carapace (occupying the feet), and one more bound to the totem for taste. For everyday situations, Azuki usually binds the Winter Mask (bound to totem chakra, occupying throat) soulmeld.

    Essentia Investment (typical)
    Spoiler
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    Soulmelds
    Girallon Arms: 7 essentia
    Sphinx Claws: 0 essentia
    Phase Cloak: 0 essentia
    Totem Avatar: 2 essentia
    Dread Carapace: 0 essentia (essentia can be moved here if the enemy has a low AC for more damage)
    Winter Mask: 4 essentia

    Class Features
    Incandescent Strike: 4 essentia
    Incandescent Ray: 0 essentia (if she needs a ranged attack, she shifts 4 essentia from her Winter Mask soulmeld into this class feature)
    Incandescent Aura: 0 essentia (if she ever finds herself surrounded by mooks, shift 3 essentia from Winter Mask and 1 from Incandescent Strike.)

    Azuki and Incandescent Champion: Possible combinations...
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    1. Incarnum overload is a powerful weapon in Azuki’s hands, and one that I noticed had some potential. For one round (three times a day), I can effectively add +5 to both attack and damage from my Girallon Arms soulmeld (for a total investment of 11 essentia, giving me +11 to attack and damage with each claw attack). Add in one of your rounds of Haste granted by your boots of speed for extra fun.
    2. Incandescent Strike is an easy +4 damage to each melee attack, while lighting up the area (compensating for a skarn’s lack of low-light/darkvision) with the equivalent to a light spell.
    3 Incandescent Ray gives her a fairly reliable ranged damage output. The sole ranged Totemist soulmeld is the Manticore Belt, but she’s got more interesting things to do with her totem chakra.
    4. Incandescent Aura and Unbearable Countenance can both be used against hordes of low-level/challenge mooks. DC 19 at 20th level isn’t too impressive of a save, and she’s got other things to do with her actions.
    5. Fast healing is nice, but at the levels that I’m getting it at (10 for self, 19 for allies) it becomes nearly superfluous. Still, free healing is free healing, especially at level 10.

    Tactics
    Spoiler
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    Level 1-5
    First level for Azuki will likely be scouting and some light skirmishing with a longspear (Your mileage here may vary – ever DM I’ve played with using this strategy (skarn/race with natural attack and reach weapon) has let me use my arm spines to make AoOs. This isn’t explicitly covered in any rules that we’ve found, so my DMs have always ruled on the side of RAI). Once she hits second level, things start getting interesting as she unlocks her Totem Chakra, and all the possibilities that that opens up. Third level is really the key level for her in the earliest stages of her career. The reason? Multiattack. This reduces the penalty from all your (natural) secondary attacks from the painful -5 to a more manageable -2. Starting here on out (for the rest of your career), you’ll want to max out essentia capacity on your totem meld and go to town (don’t forget to use your Expanded Capacity feat on your totem meld).
    (+1 to Constitution at 4th)

    Level 6-13
    Level 6 is a game-changer. Not only do you grab Open Least Chakra (hands) so you have a free chakra bind (hands only, though, but you’ll see that that’s not a problem) for your Sphinx Claws. Binding these to your hands gives you virtual Pounce, as long as you use only natural attacks. You’ve hit your main strategy for the rest of your career. You also get the potent ability to rebind your totem chakra at 8th, possibly completely changing your play style. Level 9 gives us our first taste at both our Secret Ingredient, as well as the ability to have two melds bound to our totem chakra (Double Chakra (totem)). Your fighting skills continue to develop at an alright pace, while you get a good defensive bonus: IC’s saves include a good Will save, your one bad save. You’re now less of a worry to get dominated. Straight levelling here until she finally gets her reliable ranged attack, the Incandescent ray.
    (+1 to Constitution at 8th, +1 to Strength at 12th)

    Level 14-20
    You’ve returned to Totemist for a pair of levels now that you’ve obtained a decent ranged attack, and grabbing not only another chakra bind, but three more places to bind it to (arms, brow, shoulders). The Phase Cloak is probably the best option here for this build. The ability to go Ethereal is just too potent to pass up, especially considering that each round spent Ethereal gives your party another chance at XP (10% encounter rate on the Ethereal plane). Your ability to engage multiple opponents scales with your IC levels, especially with the Incandescent aura. The fast healing obtained at tenth level now applies to your allies as well, making maintaining your team’s health just that much simpler. You’ve hit Incarnum overload 2/3 times per day now, greatly increasing your ability to nova (choose your Girallon Arms soulmeld). If you’re using action points, the Incarnum overload becomes even better when combined with a wand of Heroism (grab a fighter feat that grants (temporary, in this case) action points) because you can expend an action point to gain another use of a per-day class feature... and guess what Incarnum overload is.
    (+1 to Strength at 16th, +1 to Charisma at 20th)

    Equipment:
    Spoiler
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    Azuki needs little in the way of equipment. Phoenix Cloak grants a fly speed, while an Animated shield and armour help boost her lacklustre AC. Her Incarnum bracers raise her essentia cap on her arms chakra, giving her claws additional attack/damage.

    Her necklace of Natural attacks was calculated using the following formula:

    +3 weapon (+1 Holy) +600 (for odd slot) *7 (for 7 different natural weapons)= 130’000gp

    Belt of Magnificence +6 (200K), Ring of Freedom of Movement (40K), Manual of Bodily Health +4 (110K), Vest of Resistance +5 (25K), Phoenix Cloak (50K), +2 Animated Heavy Wooden Shield (16K), +3 Blurring Mithral Breastplate (20K), Incarnum bracers (15K), Boots of Speed (12K), Third Eye Conceal (120K), +1 Holy Necklace of Natural Attacks (7 attacks) (130K), Ring of Protection +2 (8K), 14K left


    Final stat block:
    Spoiler
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    Azuki Sharass
    Totemist10/Incandescent Champion 10
    Medium Outsider (Good, Incarnum, Native, Reptilian)
    HD: 10d8+10d10+211 (321 hp)
    Initiative: +4
    Speed: 30ft, fly 30ft (+30ft 10/rds/day with Boots of Speed)
    AC: 29 (+1 natural, +4 dex, +8 armour, +4 shield and +2 deflection)
    Base Attack/Grapple: +15/+38
    Attack: Winter Mask +23, damage (per hit): 1d6+16+4d4 cold (+2d6 if opponent is evil)
    Full Attack: Winter Mask +23, damage (per hit): 1d6+16+4d4 cold (+2d6 if opponent is evil), Girallon claws +27/+27/+27/+27, damage per hit: 1d6+16 (+2d6 if opponent is evil) and 2 arm spines +21/+21, damage per hit: 1d6+11 (+2d6 if opponent is evil)
    Saves: +25 Fort, +19 Reflex, +18 Will. Freedom of movement.
    Stats: Str 24, Dex 18, Con 30, Int 16, Wis 16, Cha 21
    Feats: Expanded Soulmeld Capacity (1st), Multiattack (3rd), Open Least Chakra (hands) (6th), Double Chakra (totem) (9th), INA (Girallon Claws) (12th), Split Chakra (shoulders) (15th), Bonus Essentia (18th)
    Skills:
    *Note: all of Azuki’s attack count as Good for overcoming DR.


    Flaws/Notes in the build:
    Spoiler
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    -Low AC: even with various boosts, Azuki’s AC never hits 30 (unless you invest more essentia in Totem Avatar).
    -Low meldshaper level (starting about level 15): your souldmelds stand a decent chance of being dispelled (they’re effectively CL11). Once those are down, so are you for the few rounds until they resume (Soulmelds are treated as magic objects, rather than ongoing spells, for the purposes of dispel magic).
    -Another weakness of this build is it’s vulnerability to DR. If you think that you’ll be fighting a wide variety of DR creatures, it’s entirely possible (by RAW) to apply Transmuting instead of Holy to your Necklace of Natural Attacks. This will, of course, drop your overall damage (against evil creatures).
    -I could have split the levels Totemist11/IC9 to get the totem chakra (double bind), letting me either rend with my claws for 2d6+24 or have a pretty good cold breath weapon (12d6 cold/d4 rounds, DC 25 Reflex for half). But in doing so, I would have lost the capstone. And thematically, it’s a nice capstone (and it doubles my subtypes!), so I decided that it was worth it to get the last level.
    -If your game is using action points, it might be worth it to change around some feat choices (or nab a flaw) to take Shape Soulmeld (Mage’s Spectacles, or Elder Spirit (if your subtype has the [dragonblood] tab)) to get access to UMD, so you can use things like wands of Heroism, Mass Vigour, etc... (or help with general buffing)

    Books used
    Spoiler
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    Primary books used: Core, Magic of Incarnum
    Secondary: MIC, MiHB, Dragon Magic, Savage Species
    Last edited by true_shinken; 2011-04-24 at 05:15 PM.

  16. - Top - End - #136
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XX

    I was secretly hoping someone would use Umbral Disciple. I was not disappointed.


    Quote Originally Posted by Salvagio
    Spoiler
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    He Who Watches in Bright Shadow
    Spoiler
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    {table=head]Level|Class|Base Attack<br>Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Skills|Feats|Class Features|Essentia Pool|PP per Day|Powers Learned

    1st|Psychic Rogue|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |28 Hide 4, Move Silently 4, Concentration 4, Sleight of Hand 4, Spot 4, Knowledge Arcana 2, Listen 4|Able Learner, Indigo Strike|Sneak Attack 1d6|2|0|Control Light

    2nd|Psychic Rogue|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |+1 Hide, +1 Move Silently,+1 Concentration, +1 Spot, +1 Sleight of Hand, +1 Listen, Autohypnosis 1||Evasion|2|2|My Light

    3rd|Psychic Rogue|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |+1 Hide, +1 Move Silently,+1 Concentration, +1 Spot, +1 Sleight of Hand, +1 Listen, +1 Autohypnosis|Two Weapon Fighting||2|3|Dimensional Pocket

    4th|Psychic Rogue|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |+1 Hide, +1 Move Silently,+1 Concentration, +1 Spot, +1 Sleight of Hand, +1 Listen, +1 Autohypnosis||Sneak Attack 2d6, +1 Dex|2|6|

    5th|Sneak Attack Fighter|
    +4
    |
    +3
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |+1 Hide, +1 Move Silently, +1 Concentration||Sneak Attack 3d6|2|6|

    6th|Sneak Attack Fighter|
    +5
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |+1 Hide, +1 Move Silently, +1 Sleight of Hand|Psycarnum Infusion||2|6|

    7th|Sneak Attack Fighter|
    +6
    |
    +4
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |+1 Hide, +1 Move Silently, +1 Concentration||Sneak Attack 4d6|2|6|

    8th|Incandescent Champion|
    +6
    |
    +4
    |
    +5
    |
    +4
    |+1 Hide, +1 Move Silently, +1 Sleight of Hand||Incandescent Strike, +1 Dex|3|6|

    9th|Incandescent Champion|
    +7
    |
    +4
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |+1 Hide, +1 Move Silently, +1 Concentration|Psionic Meditation|Fast Healing (Self)|4|6|

    10th|Incandescent Champion|
    +8
    |
    +5
    |
    +6
    |
    +5
    |+1 Hide, +1 Move Silently, +1 Sleight of Hand||Unbearable Countenance|5|6|

    11th|Incandescent Champion|
    +9
    |
    +5
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |+1 Hide, +1 Move Silently, +1 Concentration||Incarnum Overload 1/day|5|6|

    12th|Umbral Disciple|
    +9
    |
    +5
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |+1 Hide, +1 Move Silently,+1 Concentration, +1 Spot, +1 Sleight of Hand, +1 Listen, +1 Autohypnosis|Improved Two Weapon Fighting|Sept Knowledge, Step of the Bodiless, +1 Dex|6|6|

    13th|Umbral Disciple|
    +10
    |
    +5
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    |+1 Hide, +1 Move Silently,+1 Concentration, +1 Spot, +1 Sleight of Hand, +1 Listen, +1 Autohypnosis||Sneak Attack 5d6|6|6|

    14th|Umbral Disciple|
    +11
    |
    +6
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    |+1 Hide, +1 Move Silently,+1 Concentration, +1 Spot, +1 Sleight of Hand, +1 Listen, +1 Autohypnosis||Embrace of Shadow|7|6|

    15th|Incandescent Champion|
    +11
    |
    +7
    |
    +10
    |
    +9
    |+1 Hide, +1 Move Silently, +1 Sleight of Hand|Azure Talent|Incandescent Ray|9|6|

    16th|Incandescent Champion|
    +12
    |
    +8
    |
    +11
    |
    +10
    |+1 Hide, +1 Move Silently, +1 Concentration||+1 Cha|10|6|

    17th|Incandescent Champion|
    +13
    |
    +8
    |
    +11
    |
    +10
    |+1 Hide, +1 Move Silently, +1 Sleight of Hand||Incarnum Overload 2/day|11|6|

    18th|Incandescent Champion|
    +14
    |
    +8
    |
    +11
    |
    +11
    |+1 Hide, +1 Move Silently, +1 Concentration|Craven|Incandescent Aura|11|6|

    19th|Incandescent Champion|
    +14
    |
    +9
    |
    +12
    |
    +11
    |+1 Hide, +1 Move Silently, +1 Sleight of Hand||Fast Healing (Allies)|12|6|

    20th|Incandescent Champion|
    +15
    |
    +9
    |
    +12
    |
    +12
    |+1 Hide, +1 Move Silently, +1 Concentration||Incarnum Overload 3/day, Incandescent Trancendence, +1 Cha|13|6|[/table]


    CG Azurin Psychic Rogue 4/SA Fighter 3/Incandescent Champion 4/Umbral Disciple 3/Incandescent Champion +6

    32 PB
    Str 10 (2 points)
    Dex 14 (+3 from levels, 6 points)
    Con 13 (5 points)
    Wis 13 (5 points)
    Int 12 (4 points)
    Cha 16 (+2 from levels, 10 points)

    Typical Investments Table
    Spoiler
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    {table=head]Level|Essentia Pool|Typical Essentia Investment
    1|
    2
    |Indigo Strike (1)
    2|
    2
    |Indigo Strike (1)
    3|
    2
    |Indigo Strike (1)
    4|
    2
    |Indigo Strike (1)
    5|
    2
    |Indigo Strike (1)
    6|
    2
    |Indigo Strike (2)
    7|
    2
    |Indigo Strike (2)
    8|
    3
    |Indigo Strike (2)/Incandescent Strike (1)(While not being sneaky)
    9|
    4
    |Indigo Strike (2)/Incandescent Strike (2)(While not being sneaky)/Fast Healing (2) (While being sneaky)
    10|
    5
    |Indigo Strike (2)/Incandescent Strike (2)(While not being sneaky)/Fast Healing (2) (While being sneaky)/Unbearable Countenance (1)
    11|
    5
    |Indigo Strike (3)/Incandescent Strike (2)(While not being sneaky)/Fast Healing (2) (While being sneaky)
    12|
    6
    |Indigo Strike (3)/Incandescent Strike (2)(While not being sneaky)/Fast Healing (1) (While being sneaky)/Step of the Bodiless (2) (While being sneaky; 1 when not being sneaky)
    13|
    6
    |Indigo Strike (3)/Incandescent Strike (2)(While not being sneaky)/Fast Healing (1) (While being sneaky)/Step of the Bodiless (2) (While being sneaky; 1 when not being sneaky)
    14|
    7
    |Indigo Strike (3)/Incandescent Strike (2)(While not being sneaky)/Step of the Bodiless (2) (While being sneaky)/Embrace of Shadows (2)
    15|
    9
    |Indigo Strike or Azure Talent (3, split between the two)/Incandescent Strike (3)(While not being sneaky)/Step of the Bodiless (3) (While being sneaky)/Embrace of Shadows (3)
    16|
    10
    |Indigo Strike or Azure Talent (3, split between the two)/Incandescent Strike (3)(While not being sneaky)/Step of the Bodiless (3) (While being sneaky)/Embrace of Shadows (4)
    17|
    11
    |Indigo Strike or Azure Talent (3, split between the two)/Incandescent Strike (3)(While not being sneaky)/Step of the Bodiless (4) (While being sneaky)/Embrace of Shadows (4)
    18|
    11
    |Indigo Strike or Azure Talent (3, split between the two)/Incandescent Strike/Aura (3)(While not being sneaky)/Step of the Bodiless (4) (While being sneaky)/Embrace of Shadows (4)
    19|
    12
    |Indigo Strike or Azure Talent (4, split between the two)/Incandescent Strike/Aura (3)(While not being sneaky)/Step of the Bodiless (4) (While being sneaky)/Embrace of Shadows (4)
    20|
    13
    |Indigo Strike or Azure Talent (4, split between the two)/Incandescent Strike/Aura (4)(While not being sneaky)/Step of the Bodiless (4) (While being sneaky)/Embrace of Shadows (4)[/table]


    Backstory

    Spoiler
    Show
    "So, please, speak clearly into the recording device. State your name."
    "My name is Salvagio sin Servic, and I fight for the freedom of my oppressed peo-"
    "Please, only answer the question. We don't want any of your rebel rhetoric on the record. Tell me, how did you fall in with the rebels?"
    "First off, I was born blind; I was healed at age two by our village mystic, who was then reported to be in possession of illegal, none-Vancian magic, and was then subsequently Stripped and executed. I was six when the execution occurred, and I watched him die with the eyes he gave me."
    "Can you please advance to a more relevant section of your personal history?"
    "Alright, fine, whatever you say. I was found to have a very basic grasp of non-Vancian magics by the time I was seven, and didn't have many friends due to it, due to the stigma involved. Of course, due to how my eyes had been healed, my first few tricks dealt with light and darkness..."
    Spoiler
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    Level 1
    Say hello to our nice young rebel Psychic Rogue. Yep, he has some very basic abilities at the moment, most noticeably, the ability to manipulate ambient light, which is very useful when connected to his Hide skill. Yep, we're gonna see a little Hide optimization while we're doing this.

    "And you were eventually caught. Mind if you tell us why?"
    "Well, I was found stealing jewelry from one of my mother friends at 15. I had palmed the necklace, and it just sorta vanished. Of course, since my offense wasn't severe, I got away with just an exiling."
    "And you fell in with a traveling group, who you successfully got to hire you on as a scout?"
    "Yep. Officially, that merchant kept me to help scout ahead for bandits; in reality... let's just say that, after I came into town, most other merchants lost their secrets. Of course, I... No."
    "No what?"
    "I'm not going to share the next portion of my life with you. It is none of your business what I did for those 8 years; so I suggest you don't ask questions."
    Spoiler
    Show
    Level 5
    Sal has the same amount of sneak attack most rogues have at this level, and a slightly higher BAB. He also has TWF, meaning he is getting in an extra hit for his buck. And don't discount Indigo Strike; +2 damage might seem small, but it will get better, especially since it's layered with an average of 10.5 points of precision damage, due to hiding.

    "So then, after that period, I read here that you managed to join the high guards?"
    "Yes. By then, my personal magic began showing as a certain incandescence around my hands whenever I struck someone. For some reason, bandits didn't want to come near me, and my body healed faster. Or at least, that's what they said. I didn't have any overt representations of my magic-"
    "Except for your glowing blue eyes and all the light?"
    "The official story was that my mother drank magic-tainted water when she had me as a child."
    "I... see."
    Spoiler
    Show
    Level 10
    Sal has entered the secret ingredient, and has more uses for his Incarnum (YAY!) For one thing, he now has limited Fast Healing, which can be pretty damn nice. He can also fill any of his incarnum receptacles to full with a single expenditure of his psychic focus, which means that he can get a +2 to attack and damage with his Incandescent Strike, or some quick Fear Effect with his Unbearable Countenance (which, since Sal is a sneaky bastard, he ignores mostly.) Tactics remain pretty much the same, with the following tricks being used: he uses Psycarnum Infusion to fill his Incandescent Strike just as he's attacking, trusting in his 3 attacks and extra damage to carry the day. He then uses Fast Healing later on, to alleviate his wounds should he be caught. The reason the Incandescent Strike isn't kept full is because of the whole "hands shine like LIGHT was cast on them."

    "So, how did you end up falling in with the terrorist group you were a part of?"
    "For one thing, we weren't a terrorist group; we were working to free our brethren from the massive amount of oppression you keep them under. For another, it all started when I met my girlfriend. She was a librarian at the local Library of the Occult, and she was one of the most beautiful girls I've ever met. I mean, I could-"
    "On topic, please."
    "Alright. Anyway, we both were outraged by your treatment of the Azuranisti people. As you know, I am half Azuranisti, enough so that I can pass as human."
    "By Azuranisti, you mean Dusklings, correct?"
    "Do I call you a pinky? anyway, I digress. The important part is that she brough home a text one day. The Book of the Shadow's Counting, it was called, and it taught me how to use my birthright."
    "Come again?"
    "My magical birthright. I learned to control shadows, wrap them around me, use them to hide me. And by day, I still portrayed the shining figure that the guards knew me as; I had become quite popular by then."
    Spoiler
    Show
    Level 15
    Now, let's meet Mr. Sal's dark side; namely, Umbral Disciple. He uses this quick detour to shore up on sneak attack, make his hiding better, and to add a permanent miss chance, which also pretty much grants him Hide in Plain Sight. And of course, Incarnum Overload, combined with Psycarnum Infusion, gives critical boosts when they are really needed; for example, when necessary, his capacity for any receptacle increases to 7, which means a neat +14 damage with Sneak Attacks (which, with 4 attacks, adds up a lot), or +7 to attack and damage, which can means that those 4 attacks will hit much more often, by filling up Incandescent Strike. And don't get me started on filling up Fast Healing; Fast Healing 7 for 5 rounds strikes me as lovely. And Incandescent Ray? It isn't Sal's main weapon (which is most probably a pair of daggers), but a situational, fully-charged 7d8+5d6+(some damage bonus from Indigo Strike and Incandescent Strike) can make for nice sniping.

    "So, then we caught you."
    "Yep, I knew I shouldn't have gone all out in that goblin raid. I did get slightly noticeable-"
    "We could see you from half a mile away, and when we caught you, you did admit to all of your terrorist activities-"
    "Look, disrupting your communication lines with the Azuristani Occupational government is barely a crime from my people's point of view, and-"
    "This interview is over; please don't try to use your Transcendence trick, we have warded the walls against Ethereals. I believe your trial will be in 7 days."
    Spoiler
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    Level 20
    Yep, levels 16 and up treated Sal well. Craven means that his Sneak Attacks deal an extra 20 damage each, which with all his other layering gets to be quite stabbity. 3 uses of Incarnum Overload mean that those earlier situational uses for the ability become more frequent, with the addition of the fact that, by level 20, the filled capacity is 9. Just for show, Sal can hit a 90% miss chance; of course, this is more useful for stuff like Incandescent Aura, for an actually decent save DC and for 9d6 damage to everyone around him (not End to Strife, but good enough.) Of course, stealth is still this fellow's modus operandi!


    Wish List
    Spoiler
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    If items are available, a Ring of the Darkhidden is a must, for foiling our good friends (those with Darkvision) Deathstrike Bracers and Gloves of the Balanced Hands are also nice, especially since the latter item opens up a feat for Darkstalker. Other than that, a pair of daggers with Assassinating and a couple of other sneak attack classics, Charisma boosters, and a friendly caster to cast Haste... who could want anything else? (besides little pieces of equipment.)

  17. - Top - End - #137
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XX

    You know the time is right to take control,
    We gotta take offense against the status quo
    No way, not gonna stand for it today, fight for your rights,
    It's time we had our say

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Karel
    Sir Karel of the Five Rivers
    CG Lesser Aasimar Bard 1/Paladin of Freedom 5/Mythic Exemplar 4/Incandescent Champion 10

    Backstory
    Spoiler
    Show

    From the VITAE SANCTORUM

    VITA SANCTI KARELI QUINQUE FLUMINUM

    The most holy knight champion Sir Karel of the Five Rivers was born to humble parents in the town of Elinar, and, it being immediately apparent that the child was blessed with uncommon poise and grace, was apprenticed to a troubadour of local renown whose name the chronicles do not record. At the age of seven he went on the road with his mistress for the first time, performing with a capability beyond his years to the rude folk of the Five River Valleys. In one such hamlet, they met by providence with a paladin of the Harmonious Order, who recognised what the common folk had not - that the young Karel was blessed with the touch of the celestial realms, and destined for divine service. By the offices of this paladin it was swiftly arranged that the boy should be sent to the nearest monastery of the Order, there to learn the ways of knighthood and turn his gift to the glorification of the Gods.

    As the holy Karel grew, he learned the teachings of the good gods, and in especial found himself drawn to the divine Milil, who as we may readily recall holds guardianship over troubadours and minstrels; and Karel resolved to go into the special service of this god. In the ancient books of the monastery he found the stories of the ancient Knight Marshal Sir Reikhardt, who had followed much the same path many hundreds of years before, and in them found guidance and inspiration. Thus armed with patrons both earthly and divine, in his middle twenties Karel bid farewell to the monastery and set off on the road, retracing the steps of his patron who had, hundreds of years before, wandered between the towns and villages paying his respects to the shrines of Milil, offering his aid to those in need, and all the way lifting his voice in praise of the glory of his God.

    One day, in a small village high up in the mountains, he aided the villagers in fighting off a marauding band of orcs. In that fight, the village shaman - who despite clinging tightly to his ancestral beliefs and refusing the truth of Milil, was as hardy a defender of right and good as Karel had ever encountered - wielded a strange blue energy that shaped itself into weaponry and armour even as he moved. Struck by the transcendent beauty of the shifting blue radiance, and seeing in the deep purity of the colour a blending of lights that seemed almost to mimic in visible form the harmonies of Milil, the paladin asked the shaman what the strange substance was, and was told that it was incarnum, the living energy of the soul. Utterly entranced, Karel stayed that winter with the ancient shaman, learning all the old man could teach him of the magic of incarnum, and learned to channel essentia for himself. At the end of the long mountain winter he left the village to resume his retracing of his patron's path; but his heart was heavy, and he did not forget the old shaman in his prayers.

    Over the years Karel grew swifter and more adept with the use of incarnum, blending its strange capabilities with his natural talent for music and his paladin training to create symphonies of light and sound and steel that lifted up the hearts of his allies and made evil creatures flee in fear. There were rumours, too, that towards the end of his tragically short life he mastered the slippery magic of incarnum to such a degree that he was able to throw off the shackles of embodiment itself and transform himself into a shimmering cloud, bright with divine light; but whether those rumours are true, nobody knows.

    Those who fought alongside him told afterwards that he was gentle, and kind, and burnt above all with the desire to do good in the world; not one to plan battles or concoct crafty plans, but a born leader, ready to shoulder the burden of command in any righteous fight. It was in just such a battle, leading a brave but hideously outnumbered band of his fellow paladins against a swarm of the vilest undead and their necromancer masters, that the noble Karel was martyred, in the sixty-seventh year of his life. His last request was that his body be buried in the little village in the mountains, next to that of his old mentor. His name shall live forever in the song of Milil. Amen.


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

    1st|Bard 1|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |Bluff 3, Concentration 4, Diplomacy 4, Intimidate 2, Knowledge (History) 3, Perform (Dance) 4, Perform (Sing) 4, UMD 4|Apprentice (Entertainer)|Bardic music, bardic knowledge, countersong, fascinate, inspire courage +1

    2nd|Paladin 1|
    +1
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |Bluff 3, Concentration 5, Diplomacy 4, Intimidate 2, Knowledge (History) 3, Perform (Dance) 5, Perform (Sing) 5, UMD 4||Aura of good, detect evil, smite evil 1/day

    3rd|Paladin 2|
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |Bluff 3, Concentration 6, Diplomacy 4, Intimidate 2, Knowledge (History) 3, Perform (Dance) 6, Perform (Sing) 6, UMD 4|Snowflake Wardance|Divine grace, lay on hands

    4th|Paladin 3|
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |Bluff 3, Concentration 7, Diplomacy 4, Intimidate 2, Knowledge (History) 3, Perform (Dance) 7, Perform (Sing) 7, UMD 4||Aura of resolve, divine health

    5th|Paladin 4|
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |Bluff 3, Concentration 8, Diplomacy 4, Intimidate 2, Knowledge (History) 3, Perform (Dance) 8, Perform (Sing) 8, UMD 4|Bonus Feat: Extra Smiting|Turn undead, holy warrior bonus feat

    6th|Paladin 5|
    +5
    |
    +4
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |Bluff 3, Concentration 8, Diplomacy 7, Intimidate 2, Knowledge (History) 3, Perform (Dance) 8, Perform (Sing) 8, UMD 4|Devoted Performer|Smite evil 2/day, stand fast

    7th|Mythic Exemplar 1|
    +5
    |
    +4
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |Bluff 3, Concentration 9, Diplomacy 7, Intimidate 2, Knowledge (History) 3, Perform (Dance) 9, Perform (Sing) 9, UMD 6||Paragon's path (Reikhardt), Will save bonus +1

    8th|Mythic Exemplar 2|
    +6
    |
    +4
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |Bluff 4, Concentration 10, Diplomacy 7, Intimidate 2, Knowledge (History) 3, Perform (Dance) 10, Perform (Sing) 9, UMD 8||Least paragon's gift (inspire courage)

    9th|Mythic Exemplar 3|
    +7
    |
    +5
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |Bluff 5, Concentration 12, Diplomacy 7, Intimidate 2, Knowledge (History) 3, Perform (Dance) 10, Perform (Sing) 9, UMD 10|Midnight Dodge|Archetype advancement (Marshal aura - Motivate Charisma), Will save bonus +2

    10th|Incandescent Champion 1|
    +7
    |
    +5
    |
    +4
    |
    +6
    |Bluff 5, Concentration 13, Diplomacy 7, Intimidate 4, Knowledge (History) 3, Perform (Dance) 10, Perform (Sing) 9, UMD 10||Incandescent strike

    11th|Incandescent Champion 2|
    +8
    |
    +5
    |
    +4
    |
    +7
    |Bluff 5, Concentration 14, Diplomacy 7, Intimidate 6, Knowledge (History) 3, Perform (Dance) 10, Perform (Sing) 9, UMD 10||Fast healing (self)

    12th|Incandescent Champion 3|
    +9
    |
    +6
    |
    +5
    |
    +7
    |Bluff 5, Concentration 15, Diplomacy 7, Intimidate 8, Knowledge (History) 3, Perform (Dance) 10, Perform (Sing) 9, UMD 10|Divine Soultouch|Unbearable countenance

    13th|Incandescent Champion 4|
    +10
    |
    +6
    |
    +5
    |
    +8
    |Bluff 5, Concentration 15, Diplomacy 7, Intimidate 9, Knowledge (History) 3, Perform (Dance) 10, Perform (Sing) 9, UMD 10|Skill Trick: Never Outnumbered|Incarnum overload 1/day

    14th|Incandescent Champion 5|
    +10
    |
    +6
    |
    +5
    |
    +8
    |Bluff 5, Concentration 15, Diplomacy 7, Intimidate 12, Knowledge (History) 3, Perform (Dance) 10, Perform (Sing) 9, UMD 10||Incandescent ray

    15th|Incandescent Champion 6|
    +11
    |
    +7
    |
    +6
    |
    +9
    |Bluff 5, Concentration 16, Diplomacy 7, Intimidate 14, Knowledge (History) 3, Perform (Dance) 10, Perform (Sing) 9, UMD 10|Initiate of Milil|

    16th|Incandescent Champion 7|
    +12
    |
    +7
    |
    +6
    |
    +9
    |Bluff 5, Concentration 17, Diplomacy 7, Intimidate 16, Knowledge (History) 3, Perform (Dance) 10, Perform (Sing) 9, UMD 10||Incarnum overload 2/day

    17th|Incandescent Champion 8|
    +13
    |
    +7
    |
    +6
    |
    +10
    |Bluff 5, Concentration 18, Diplomacy 7, Intimidate 18, Knowledge (History) 3, Perform (Dance) 10, Perform (Sing) 9, UMD 10||Incandescent aura

    18th|Incandescent Champion 9|
    +13
    |
    +8
    |
    +7
    |
    +10
    |Bluff 5, Concentration 19, Diplomacy 7, Intimidate 20, Knowledge (History) 3, Perform (Dance) 10, Perform (Sing) 9, UMD 10|Imperious Command|Fast healing (allies)

    19th|Incandescent Champion 10|
    +14
    |
    +8
    |
    +7
    |
    +11
    |Bluff 5, Concentration 20, Diplomacy 7, Intimidate 22, Knowledge (History) 3, Perform (Dance) 10, Perform (Sing) 9, UMD 10||Incandescent transcendence, incarnum overload 3/day

    20th|Mythic Exemplar 4|
    +15
    |
    +8
    |
    +7
    |
    +11
    |Bluff 5, Concentration 23, Diplomacy 7, Intimidate 23, Knowledge (History) 3, Perform (Dance) 10, Perform (Sing) 9, UMD 10||Lesser paragon's gift (Charisma)[/table]


    Spells & Essentia
    Spoiler
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    Spells per day and Spells Known
    {table=head]Level|0lvl per Day|1st per Day|0lvl Known|1st Known

    1st|2|-|4|-

    2nd|2|-|4|-

    3rd|2|-|4|-

    4th|2|-|4|-

    5th|2|-|4|-

    6th|2|-|4|-

    7th|2|-|4|-

    8th|3|2|5|2

    9th|3|2|5|2

    10th|3|2|5|2

    11th|3|2|5|2

    12th|3|2|5|2

    13th|3|2|5|2

    14th|3|2|5|2

    15th|3|2|5|2

    16th|3|2|5|2

    17th|3|2|5|2

    18th|3|2|5|2

    19th|3|2|5|2

    20th|3|3|6|3[/table]

    Spell List:
    0 - Songbird, Detect Magic, Lullaby, Ghost Sound, Message, Read Magic
    1 - Cure Light Wounds, Inspirational Boost, Critical Strike

    Essentia
    {table=head]Level|Essentia Pool|Typical Essentia Investment

    1|
    -
    |

    2|
    -
    |

    3|
    -
    |

    4|
    -
    |

    5|
    -
    |

    6|
    -
    |

    7|
    -
    |

    8|
    -
    |

    9|
    1
    |Midnight Dodge 1

    10|
    2
    |Midnight Dodge 1, Incandescent Strike 1

    11|
    3
    |Midnight Dodge 1, Incandescent Strike 2 (move to Fast Healing when necessary)

    12|
    4
    |Midnight Dodge 1, Incandescent Strike 3 or Unbearable Countenance 3 (move to Fast Healing when necessary)

    13|
    4
    |Midnight Dodge 1, Incandescent Strike 3 or Unbearable Countenance 3 (move to Fast Healing when necessary)

    14|
    5
    |Midnight Dodge 2, Incandescent Strike 3 or Incandescent Ray 3 or Unbearable Countenance 3 (move to Fast Healing when necessary)

    15|
    6
    |Midnight Dodge 3, Incandescent Strike 3 or Incandescent Ray 3 or Unbearable Countenance 3 (move to Fast Healing when necessary)

    16|
    7
    |Midnight Dodge 3, Incandescent Strike 1, Incandescent Ray 3 or Unbearable Countenance 3 (move to Fast Healing when necessary)

    17|
    7
    |Incandescent Aura 3, Midnight Dodge 1, Incandescent Strike 3 or Incandescent Ray 3 or Unbearable Countenance 3 (move to Fast Healing when necessary)

    18|
    8
    |Incandescent Aura 4, Incandescent Strike 4 or Incandescent Ray 4 or Unbearable Countenance 4 (move to Fast Healing when necessary)

    19|
    9
    |Incandescent Aura 4, Midnight Dodge 1, Incandescent Strike 4 or Incandescent Ray 4 or Unbearable Countenance 4 (move to Fast Healing when necessary)

    20|
    9
    |Incandescent Aura 4, Midnight Dodge 1, Incandescent Strike 4 or Incandescent Ray 4 or Unbearable Countenance 4 (move to Fast Healing when necessary)[/table]


    Additional Build Information
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    Lesser Aasimar:
    Humanoid (Planetouched)
    +2 Wis and +2 Cha
    60ft Darkvision
    +2 racial bonus to Spot and Listen
    Daylight 1/day
    Acid, Cold and Electricity resistances 5

    Attributes:
    STR 10
    DEX 13
    CON 13
    INT 12
    WIS 8 (+2 racial makes it 10)
    CHA 18 (+2 racial makes it 20, and all five points due to levelling up make it 25 at level 20)

    Alternative Class Features:
    Holy Warrior (Complete Champion) – swaps Paladin spells for bonus feats at 4th and higher levels
    Stand Fast (Cityscape Web Enhancement) – swaps Special Mount for 1/day ability to add Charisma modifier to allies' saves or to a roll to resist a Special Attack such as a Bull Rush or a Trip


    Tactics
    Spoiler
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    Levels 1-5: Early on, Karel is pretty weak in combat, but has other abilities to make himself useful. Inspire Courage is limited to 1/day until level 6, but is still useful and lasts as long as he keeps singing. Smite Evil with high Charisma gives him a big bonus to hit, as does Snowflake Wardance when it kicks in at level 3, although for a few levels he has to give up using Inspire Courage to use it. More paladin levels increase the Smite damage and the Extra Smiting bonus feat at level 5 means he can use it frequently, and his high Charisma also means he has a lot of healing from Lay On Hands to use when he isn't smiting. He also gains Turn Undead at level 5, but sadly he cannot make good use of this until later on.

    Levels 6-9: At level 6 Devoted Performer means Karel's paladin levels count for uses of Bardic Music per day, so Snowflake Wardance and Inspire Courage become much more available at this point. Maximum ranks in Perform (Dance) means the Snowflake Wardance should last for the whole encounter, and singing for Inspire Courage can continue for as long as necessary. Stand Fast allows him to aid allies in a saving throw or prevent himself from a special attack such as a trip as an Immediate action once per day, adding to his repertoire of abilities that benefit both himself and his party as a whole. At level 9 he gains the Marshal minor aura Motivate Charisma from Mythic Exemplar, giving himself and his allies his +6 Charisma modifier to all Charisma checks, including Charisma-based skills. Combining this with his new ranks in Use Magic Device gives him a total modifier of +22, meaning automatic success using items such as wands (although staves based on Charisma spellcasting (Sorcerer and Favoured Soul) would make better use of his attributes.) Mythic Exemplar also gives him a bit more Bard spellcasting - just enough to use Inspirational Boost a few times a day to improve his near-constant Inspire Courage singing.

    Levels 10-14: Level 10 is the start of Incandescent Champion, and the very first ability lets us increase Karel's damage, which is the one thing that has been lacking so far outside of Smite attacks. Level 11 provides Fast Healing to back up his Lay On Hands, and Level 12 gives him both Divine Soultouch (which allows him to use a Turn attempt to boost his essentia pool and all essentia capacity limits by 1 for a round) and Unbearable Countenance. At this point Intimidate ranks are being increased rapidly, and with his Charisma bonus added twice (thanks to Motivate Charisma) he should be able to start stacking fear effects from demoralising and Unbearable Countenance, as the latter is not limited to just Shaken. Levels 13 and 14 give him the Incandescent Ray ability, a ranged touch attack for dealing with any foes he cannot reach, and the skill trick Never Outnumbered which allows him to start demoralising large numbers of enemies simultaneously. He also gains his first use per day of Incarnum Overload which lets him move all of his essentia into a single ability, allowing for bonus damage or fast healing in an emergency, or a nasty 5d8 damage (6d8 with Divine Soultouch) ranged touch attack for a particularly tough foe.

    Levels 15-20: Initiate of Milil increases Karel's ever-present Inspire Courage bonus to a base of +2 at level 15, and at level 17 he gains the superpower of the class – Incandescent Aura. This should be maxed out at all times, doing 4d6 of damage to everyone adjacent with a base Will save DC of 21 from level 18 onwards. Level 18 brings in Imperious Command to improve his demoralisation some more, and also lets his Fast Healing heal allies nearby too. Level 19 brings him to the capstone, Incandescent Transcendence, allowing him to turn into an invulnerable cloud of energy for some time while still maintaining any active auras and abilities. He cannot attack, cast spells or activate any new abilities, but every single one of his auras remains active for his allies and his foes. Incandescent Aura continues to damage the enemy, the Paladin of Freedom's Aura of Resolve continues to give allies bonuses to saves against compulsions, Motivate Charisma continues to boost their Charisma-based skill checks, and he can continue to sing for Inspire Courage (I checked with true_shinken). Level 20 finally brings in his last level of Mythic Exemplar, giving him a four-round buff that increases Charisma by 4 as an insight bonus, increasing nearly all of his abilities and save DCs by 2 and his Charisma-based skill checks by 4. With Intimidate (and Concentration) maxed out at this point, his demoralisation check with this +4 insight bonus should come in at +43 without equipment, which will beat almost anything vulnerable to fear without even rolling.


    Notes
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    Why Mythic Exemplar? I started out looking at combining Paladin, Bard and Marshal, but I couldn't get enough levels in to gain all the abilities I wanted without sacrificing Incandescent Champion levels. In the end I had to sacrifice Marshal altogether, but Mythic Exemplar let me continue improving Bard abilities whilst giving me the important Motivate Charisma aura, and a nice Charisma buff ability too. The skills I added to the Mythic Exemplar list are from Bard: Bluff, Concentration, Diplomacy and Use Magic Device, and Perform was added already in the Complete Champion errata.
    So what about the other classes? The Paladin is all about Charisma, as is the Incandescent Champion. It's an obvious entry route, but with 3/4 BAB and poor Strength I needed the Smite ability to improve my to-hit. Bard is also Charisma-based, but this was more about Inspire Courage – after I saw the Incandescent Aura and Transcendence abilities, I knew I needed auras and buffs to make the most of it.
    How many paladin variants? The build didn't require either the paladin spells or the special mount, so I swapped them out for a bonus feat that I would actually use (Extra Smiting) and the Stand Fast special abilities. Paladin of Freedom does not conflict with either of these changes, and suits both the character and the class progression much better, as well as replacing the Aura of Courage (which does not stack with Inspire Courage) with the Aura of Resolve (which does stack, because it buffs against compulsion effects instead)
    Initiate of Milil and Imperious Command kick in pretty late on... This was due, as always, to a lack of feats. I originally thought IoM would be great at level 6, as the table said it allowed Turn attempts to active Bardic Music. Sadly, the text didn't say this, so I decided to put Devoted Performer in front for the extra Bardic Music uses. Imperious Command was my attempt to improve demoralisation, and if I had had the feats I would have thrown in Intimidating Strike too. Intimidate only really came into its own at around level 12 onwards, so it wasn't too bad putting the feat at level 18.
    Incandescent Champion is entered fairly late too. This was mostly due to BAB constraints, as BAB +6 is only reached at level 8, so level 9 would have been the earliest I could have entered. I felt leaving the Incarnum feat I required until level 9 was a reasonable delay to help the build early on, as the Snowflake Wardance and Devoted Performer feats help strengthen it when it is at its weakest point.
    Lesser Aasimar? It's a bit cheesy, but after using some other Forgotten Realms material it seemed to fit in. I also have to fall on the side that not having the Outsider template is a big deal – being an Outsider in a previous game has saved my entire party before now (Dominate Person is nasty like that). Adding the +1 LA for a full Aasimar shouldn't make too much of a different to the build either, as you would only really lose a few skill points and the Charisma buff from Mythic Exemplar.
    So, with all this considered, how does it use Incandescent Champion? Everything in this build is based around the Incandescent Champion and its basis in Charisma. Smite Evil and Incandescent Strike work well together, Unbearable Countenance can combine with Intimidate for stacking feat effects, and a high Charisma modifier increases all the DCs and allows vast amounts of damage for Incandescent Ray and Incandescent Aura. Divine Soultouch also allows us to raise the capacities of these abilities many times per day, and the many additional auras and buffs continue to function even after he retreats into the cloud form of Incandescent Transcendence. For this build, I can't think of another class that would both improve it and be improved by it to the same degree that Incandescent Champion is.

    Variants
    If flaws are allowable, Extra Music would make the first few levels run more smoothly, and the Dreadful Wrath regional feat from the Player's Guide to Faerun would give you a nice Frightful Presence effect whenever you attacked or cast spells.

    Flexible Mind, a Dragon Magazine feat, would work better than the unusual Apprentice feat from DMG II for gaining Perform as a class skill.

    For truly cheesy optimisation, if you didn't mind crossing settings, you could look at Haunting Melody and Song of the Heart, two excellent Eberron feats for improving bardic abilities. I suppose technically the Mythic Exemplar uses Greyhawk-specific material, but Greyhawk and Faerun cross over a lot already, and you can easily replace the Six of Shadow with another group of setting-appropriate legendary heroes.

    Allowing LA buyoff would let you play the (somewhat superior) full Aasimar without cost, or another race with a larger racial Charisma bonus. You could even play a Ghost, for even more ridiculous Charisma/buff/invulnerability synergy.

    Equipment Suggestions
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    A Cloak of Charisma is the most important item to get, as Charisma is the key aspect of the whole build. Everything is based on it, so improving it as much as possible and as soon as possible will make everything work much better. Consider finding a Tome of Leadership and Influence too, they're expensive but every point of Charisma counts, and just a +1 Tome will turn that odd Charisma score at level 20 into an even one.

    At first glance, medium or heavy armour would suit this character, but as Snowflake Wardance requires light armour to work, a mithral breastplate and some Gloves of Dexterity would be the best option. The Fearsome armour enhancement from Drow of the Underdark will help speed up Intimidate checks too.

    Snowflake Wardance also requires the use of a slashing weapon in one hand, possibly a bastard sword so that it can be wielded in one or two hands depending on the situation. There are many useful weapon enhancements for this build: Harmonic (MIC) will help with bardic music, Mighty Smiting (MIC) improves smiting abilities, and Holy Surge (DMG II) grants extra damage to evil enemies 1+Charisma modifier times per day. Another nice combination is Stunning Surge (MIC) and Sudden Stunning (DMG II), both of which have a Charisma-based save (Fort and Reflex respectively) to stun for a short time and 1+Charisma modifier uses per day.

    Other useful items include the Slippers of Battledancing (DMG II) which add your Charisma modifier to attacks and damage if you move at least 10ft that round; the Badge of Valor (MIC) and the Vest of Legends (DMG II) both improve bardic music abilities; and the Veil of Allure (MIC) increases the DCs by 2 of any Charisma-based supernatural and extraordinary abilities, which in this build is nearly every ability with a save.


    Sources
    Spoiler
    Show

    Complete Adventurer - Devoted Performer
    Complete Warrior - Extra Smiting
    Complete Scoundrel - Never Outnumbered skill trick
    Complete Champion - Mythic Exemplar, Holy Warrior ACF
    DMG II - Apprentice (Entertainer), equipment suggestions
    Magic Item Compendium - equipment suggestions
    Spell Compendium - non-core Bard spells
    Magic of Incarnum - Incandescent Champion, Sapphire Smite and Divine Soultouch
    Frostburn - Snowflake Wardance
    Drow of the Underdark - Imperious Command, Fearsome armour enhancement
    Player's Guide to Faerun - Lesser Aasimar
    Champions of Valor - Initiate of Milil
    Cityscape Web Enhancement - Stand Fast ACF

  18. - Top - End - #138
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XX

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

  19. - Top - End - #139
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XX

    Huh. Lots of variety here. I don't think that there's a single repeated entry (well, there's the pair of barbs, but even they diverge quite a bit).

    Can't wait to see the judge's comments!

  20. - Top - End - #140
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XX

    Actually, a pair of Barbarians isn't the thing. They're quite different.

    I actually look at the pair of Bards with levels in Paladin of Freedom. If it had one that was a vanilla Paladin and another that has Paladin of Freedom, then it may have been different; however, they also have a few feat similarities.

    At least they didn't have any of the tricks I was planning for, but then again, it would have been a bit throw-away for what it's worth. Plus, it would have been thematically similar to the above-mentioned, so probably loss of points for that.
    Retooler of D&D 3.5 (and 5e/Next) content. See here for more.
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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.

  21. - Top - End - #141
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XX

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    Actually, a pair of Barbarians isn't the thing. They're quite different.

    I actually look at the pair of Bards with levels in Paladin of Freedom. If it had one that was a vanilla Paladin and another that has Paladin of Freedom, then it may have been different; however, they also have a few feat similarities.

    At least they didn't have any of the tricks I was planning for, but then again, it would have been a bit throw-away for what it's worth. Plus, it would have been thematically similar to the above-mentioned, so probably loss of points for that.
    ...How did I miss that? I guess that I got so caught up in reading them as they came out that I must have merged them in my head.

    I have to admit, I'm kind of surprised to see an Incarnum Blade here.

  22. - Top - End - #142
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XX

    OK, I've got a rules question for one of the builds. I see something that doesn't quite add up, but I'm open to the possibility that I'm missing something. Since I'm trying to be as charitable as possible, I'd like to get this cleared up. Should I post the question here for all to see (and then let Shink answer it after the chef in question PMs him), or should we conduct this whole thing through PM? If I'm confused, another judge might be as well, but I don't want to unduly influence them.
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    Gentlefolk, learn from Zaq's example, and his suffering. Remember, seven out of eleven players who use truenamer lose their ability to taste ice cream.
    Come join the Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground E6 Appetizer Edition! We're currently judging for round 22. All you have to do to be an instant authority is to tell us what you think of the builds on display!

    My compiled Iron Chef stuff!

  23. - Top - End - #143
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XX

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaq View Post
    OK, I've got a rules question for one of the builds. I see something that doesn't quite add up, but I'm open to the possibility that I'm missing something. Since I'm trying to be as charitable as possible, I'd like to get this cleared up. Should I post the question here for all to see (and then let Shink answer it after the chef in question PMs him), or should we conduct this whole thing through PM? If I'm confused, another judge might be as well, but I don't want to unduly influence them.
    As a fellow judge, I think it would be better to do this out in the open. That way, we can get a clear, decisive ruling, and it allows the other judges to have a more complete understanding of the build, leading to more accurate scores.

    Plus, someone else might be able to answer your question.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Moron View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Optimystik View Post
    'Adding up numbers' is completely independent of roleplay. What you're saying makes as much sense as "peeling a banana is not a good way to drive."


  24. - Top - End - #144
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XX

    Quote Originally Posted by Private-Prinny View Post
    As a fellow judge, I think it would be better to do this out in the open. That way, we can get a clear, decisive ruling, and it allows the other judges to have a more complete understanding of the build, leading to more accurate scores.

    Plus, someone else might be able to answer your question.
    Good enough for me. I'll put it in a spoiler just in case anyone doesn't want to see it.

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    Sena: Your essentia table says that you have 1 point of essentia at levels 1 and 2, and it raises accordingly. Where does that first point come from? I don't see where you could get any before you take Cobalt Rage. Am I missing something, or do you have more essentia than you should?
    In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers

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

    My compiled Iron Chef stuff!

  25. - Top - End - #145
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XX

    Hmmm....
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    It's entirely possible that Sena started life as a Duskling/Azuring. That'd explain the spare essentia point.

  26. - Top - End - #146
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XX

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuulvheysoon View Post
    Hmmm....
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    It's entirely possible that Sena started life as a Duskling/Azuring. That'd explain the spare essentia point.

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    It is a Vanara (monkey race from Oriental Adventures) so no
    Just call me Dusk
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    Dming: Eyes of the Lich Queen IC OOC


  27. - Top - End - #147
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XX

    Heh...I forgot all about this ^^;; My build sketch was either to do something involving Incarnum Dragon with some binder class levels or a paladin build similar to Sir Karel.

    I liked that Pennywise song btw
    Handbooks: (Hosted on the new MixMax forums)
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    [3.5 Base Class] Healer's Handbook

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

  28. - Top - End - #148
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XX

    Quote Originally Posted by Dusk Eclipse View Post
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    It is a Vanara (monkey race from Oriental Adventures) so no
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    What I meant was perhaps in an earlier version of the submission, he used an Azurin or Duskling (both of whom get a bonus point of essentia as a racial feature). Then he forgot to update the essentia table to reflect this.

    *shrug* It's my best guess. The creator can give us a definitive answer after judging.

  29. - Top - End - #149
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XX

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuulvheysoon View Post
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    What I meant was perhaps in an earlier version of the submission, he used an Azurin or Duskling (both of whom get a bonus point of essentia as a racial feature). Then he forgot to update the essentia table to reflect this.

    *shrug* It's my best guess. The creator can give us a definitive answer after judging.
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    Not the first thing I would have thought of; but it is certainly plausible
    Just call me Dusk
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    Dming: Eyes of the Lich Queen IC OOC


  30. - Top - End - #150
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XX

    Quote Originally Posted by Dusk Eclipse View Post
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    Not the first thing I would have thought of; but it is certainly plausible
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    I may have gone through a race change or two myself...


    Akal, the dragon would have been EPIC. You would have been able to grab a Young dragon (7HD, LA +3) and still manage to cap out IC. You totally would have gotten huge points in originality, no doubt.

    Or maybe a wyrmling (4HD, LA+2) for 4 Binder levels. Anything would have been crazy awesome.

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