A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #121
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XXXII

    Menteith, I'd edit your most recent post in the name of anonymity.

    EDIT: nevermind
    Last edited by Amphetryon; 2012-04-30 at 09:16 AM.
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  2. - Top - End - #122
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XXXII

    Quote Originally Posted by Venger View Post
    I'd initially planned on a couple of levels of bereft into my guy's build, since there was no minmum utterance level required, but it's just somehow even more worthless than straight truenamer. I know they can be done well, like milo brushscrubber, but they kinda have to be the "meat" of the build due to how many crutches they need, and that didn't end up being possible with the number of skills temple raider requires that aren't on the truenamer list.
    Milo didn't use any truespeak. My Truenamer entry was Sortes, but I also recall a halfling that used feats to pick up a few utterances entered by someone else.
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  3. - Top - End - #123
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XXXII

    Aundair Yannedge-Owens gets my vote for Honorable Mention. Indiana Jones is a perfect basis for the SI.
    Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Amphetryon View Post
    Menteith, I'd edit your most recent post in the name of anonymity.
    I didn't get a chance to submit my build....what do you mean?
    There is the moral of all human tales;
    'Tis but the same rehearsal of the past.
    First freedom and then Glory - when that fails,
    Wealth, vice, corruption - barbarism at last.
    And History, with all her volumes vast,
    Hath but one page...

  5. - Top - End - #125
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XXXII

    Okay folks, the Judger-naut is rolling. I should have scores by the weekend. Good luck all.
    .
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  6. - Top - End - #126
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XXXII

    Quote Originally Posted by Menteith View Post
    I didn't get a chance to submit my build....what do you mean?
    I mean that posting before coffee is bad.
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  7. - Top - End - #127
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XXXII

    Quote Originally Posted by Amphetryon View Post
    I mean that posting before coffee is bad.
    Oh. Good point : D.
    There is the moral of all human tales;
    'Tis but the same rehearsal of the past.
    First freedom and then Glory - when that fails,
    Wealth, vice, corruption - barbarism at last.
    And History, with all her volumes vast,
    Hath but one page...

  8. - Top - End - #128
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XXXII

    Eglath has sent the following errata:
    Quote Originally Posted by Eglath
    My apologies for any confusion this is going to cause. As I was reviewing my build I discovered some discrepancies in which I am technically illegal. This is easily rectified, and I will attempt to do so now. The changes I am posting in this errata should be the minimal to make the build legal. I know that judges may take this into account in their judging, but I want to get it on record that these discrepancies were inadvertent and unintended, as well as correct the record before questions are asked about it. Please append this note to the end of Eglath's build, or add a chairman's note in any fashion you desire. Thank you in advance.

    Secondly, upon reviewing Sir Arminel Rayne's build I noticed that Divine Seeker was updated to 3.5 in Player's Guide to Faerun, which I overlooked while constructing the character. The updated class requires the Stealthy feat as a prerequisite. Eglath should take Stealthy as a feat at level 9, replacing Natural Spell. This change makes the build legal again, and actually fits the feel of the character better than natural spell does.

    Improved Grapple requires dex 13, Eglath's dex is only 12 when not wildshaped. While he qualifies when in wildshape (and he already has wildshape at level 6 when he takes the feat), this may leave a sour taste in some judges' mouths. First level-up stat boost should go towards dex, not wis. Replace Tome of Understanding +4 with Tome +5 and we have the same final wis score and dex 13.

    Finally, Eglath does not take the Champion of the Wild ACF in the final, submitted build. Please disregard this portion of the sources, as it is not utilized.
    Just an FYI to the judges, the same poster did not submit both listed builds.
    Last edited by Amphetryon; 2012-04-30 at 09:24 AM.
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  9. - Top - End - #129
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XXXII

    As no one has done so yet, here's a quick reference to the entries this round:

    {table=head]Name|Race|Classes
    Star|Changeling|Rogue 2/Factotum 3/Thief-Acrobat 4/TRoO 10/Exemplar 1
    Dolus|Human|Human Paragon 3/Warlock 7/TRoO 10
    Unnamed|Tiefling|Rogue 6/Disciple of Mammon 7/TRoO 7
    Durbein|Desert Dwarf|Paladin 3/Master Inquisitive 2/TRoO 10/Deepwarden 5
    Aasterinian|Silverbrow Human|Swordsage 4/Barbarian 3/Ranger 3/TRoO 10
    Zed|Human|Bard 5/Human Paragon 3/TRoO 10/Warblade 2
    Aundair|Human|Archivist 2/Ranger 3/Extreme Explorer 5/TRoO 10
    Eglath|Goliath|Ranger 5/TRoO 8/Master of Many Forms 4/Dvine Seeker 2
    Arminel|Human|Human Paragon 1/Paladin 5/TRoO 10/Divine Seeker 4
    Theodore|Dark Human|Factotum 5/Mindbender 1/Hoardstealer 3/TRoO 10
    Tia|Changeling|Rogue 2/Divine Bard 8/TRoO 10[/table]

  10. - Top - End - #130
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XXXII

    My proposed build would have been Halfling Rogue/Fortune's Friend/Luckstealer/Temple Raider, though, as usual, I didn't get much beyond the initial idea.

    Judging will commence at a steady rate this evening, with at least 1 build judged per day selected at random (I don't get to use my d12 that often ) to further mix things up. I'll consider the errata posted when I get to the affected builds.
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  11. - Top - End - #131
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XXXII

    Quote Originally Posted by OMG PONIES View Post
    Milo didn't use any truespeak. My Truenamer entry was Sortes, but I also recall a halfling that used feats to pick up a few utterances entered by someone else.
    whoops! sortes was your enter for divine crusader, right? I think I just mixed up the names. was milo your entry for mindbender?
    I've got a new fantasy TTRPG about running your own fencing school in a 3 musketeers pastiche setting. Book coming soon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by weckar View Post
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  12. - Top - End - #132
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XXXII

    Like, Theodore Logan noticed that his most excellent entry had a totally bogus error:
    I noticed a typo on my chart. both spell progressions are labeled "temple raider" the second one should be "Hoardstealer" could you please correct it before I inadvertently confuse a judge? Thanks.
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  13. - Top - End - #133
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XXXII

    Very interesting round, I'm hoping for 20's, but Expecting 1's.

    Lots of humans this time around, but I guess since my first round had a required race, it really shouldn't surprise me that Human's are the norm here...

    And no Kobalds... I was very expecting at least one to try to combine with Dracolexi, but maybe that was just my first knee-jerk reaction.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Venger View Post
    whoops! sortes was your enter for divine crusader, right? I think I just mixed up the names. was milo your entry for mindbender?
    Nope--Mythic Exemplar.
    Quote Originally Posted by Vaz View Post
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  15. - Top - End - #135
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XXXII

    Quote Originally Posted by OMG PONIES View Post
    Nope--Mythic Exemplar.
    derp. thanks for the correction. I must've thought milo was a mindbender because of milo minderbinder from catch22. my bad. It was a surprise to see a truenamer in IC though.
    I've got a new fantasy TTRPG about running your own fencing school in a 3 musketeers pastiche setting. Book coming soon.

    Check out my new sci-fi TTRPG about first contact. Cool alien races, murderous AIs, and more. New book coming soon.

    Quote Originally Posted by weckar View Post
    Venger, can you be my full-time memory aid please?
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  16. - Top - End - #136
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XXXII

    Got my judging done, I just need to get home to my books and check some abilities I'm not 100% familiar with. Should have scores posted tomorrow.
    I don't know about angels, but it's fear that gives men wings - Max Payne

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Z3ro View Post
    Got my judging done, I just need to get home to my books and check some abilities I'm not 100% familiar with. Should have scores posted tomorrow.
    Damn, Z3ro. Another speedy judging.

    Colour me impressed.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuulvheysoon View Post
    Damn, Z3ro. Another speedy judging.

    Colour me impressed.
    Let's not get too hasty before the scores are actually posted...

    I appreciate all the judges who take time out of their probably busy schedules to rate all the entries. For all the time it took us to enter, it probably takes the judges twice that to evaluate, check, and rate all the entries.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by mattie_p View Post
    Let's not get too hasty before the scores are actually posted...

    I appreciate all the judges who take time out of their probably busy schedules to rate all the entries. For all the time it took us to enter, it probably takes the judges twice that to evaluate, check, and rate all the entries.
    as someone who's been on both sides of the curtain, you're definitely right. my entries usually take the better part of an evening, same for backstory. I had no idea how long judging would take, and I just did cryokineticist, which had rather fewer builds than the norm, so I can only imagine how long it'll take for a field of 11. best of luck to all the judges.
    I've got a new fantasy TTRPG about running your own fencing school in a 3 musketeers pastiche setting. Book coming soon.

    Check out my new sci-fi TTRPG about first contact. Cool alien races, murderous AIs, and more. New book coming soon.

    Quote Originally Posted by weckar View Post
    Venger, can you be my full-time memory aid please?
    Iron Chef Medals!
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  20. - Top - End - #140
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XXXII

    Quote Originally Posted by Venger View Post
    as someone who's been on both sides of the curtain, you're definitely right. my entries usually take the better part of an evening, same for backstory. I had no idea how long judging would take, and I just did cryokineticist, which had rather fewer builds than the norm, so I can only imagine how long it'll take for a field of 11. best of luck to all the judges.
    It definitely varies by entry, ingredient and number of contestants. I'd gander 1-3 hours an entry, with variances if I have to look things up to see how they work or if I decide to think about how I feel about the way a build handled a tactic. A good example of an extended entry examination that comes to mind was in IC:Assassin when I had to figure out the CL math of an Assassin/Master Spellthief/Unseen Seer with a couple other things and then confirm my math was right with others before providing judgement. More complex tricks definitely elicit bigger judging time investments.
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  21. - Top - End - #141
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XXXII

    Quote Originally Posted by Cieyrin View Post
    It definitely varies by entry, ingredient and number of contestants. I'd gander 1-3 hours an entry, with variances if I have to look things up to see how they work or if I decide to think about how I feel about the way a build handled a tactic. A good example of an extended entry examination that comes to mind was in IC:Assassin when I had to figure out the CL math of an Assassin/Master Spellthief/Unseen Seer with a couple other things and then confirm my math was right with others before providing judgement. More complex tricks definitely elicit bigger judging time investments.
    oh, yeah, definitely. in cryokineticist, bjorn alone took me an entire day because I had to learn how incarnum worked before I could properly judge about half of what he could do. on the plus side, now I know how to soulmeld, so that's something.
    I've got a new fantasy TTRPG about running your own fencing school in a 3 musketeers pastiche setting. Book coming soon.

    Check out my new sci-fi TTRPG about first contact. Cool alien races, murderous AIs, and more. New book coming soon.

    Quote Originally Posted by weckar View Post
    Venger, can you be my full-time memory aid please?
    Iron Chef Medals!
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  22. - Top - End - #142
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XXXII

    I learnt how to Soulmeld so that I could teach one of my new players how to

    And now I know what all the Totemist Soulmelds do, so that's something. I have also come to the conclusion that they simply don't have enough Totem Chakras. Never enough.

    Also, thanks to all the judges for putting in time for this. I can't wait to see how it all turns out.


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

    How do you guys go about judging, by the way? Do you check skill point distribution, feat choices and so on level by level? Do you actually "build" each character from the bottom up? Obviously, with a high enough system mastery, one should be able to spot discrepancies and such relatively easily. I'm asking, because I'd like to try my hand at judging, but I'm always worried I won't be thorough enough.
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  24. - Top - End - #144
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XXXII

    Quote Originally Posted by Feytalist View Post
    How do you guys go about judging, by the way? Do you check skill point distribution, feat choices and so on level by level? Do you actually "build" each character from the bottom up? Obviously, with a high enough system mastery, one should be able to spot discrepancies and such relatively easily. I'm asking, because I'd like to try my hand at judging, but I'm always worried I won't be thorough enough.
    What I did when I judged cryokineticist first of all was make sure I had at least a 2 hour block of time free. if you have less time than that at each sitting, you won't get much done. even if you do have a high degree of system mastery (I'm no tippy, but I usually only need to look to references when it comes to stuff like prereqs for classes/feats) a lot more of your judging time is spent checking the chefs' sources than it is actually writing down your reactions.

    what I did first was, as you said, check skills/feats level by level. scroll down to each chef's list of sources and open all of those up to save yourself a little time. checking skills doesn't take as long as you think, even for skillful characters. just calculate how many points they get at each level and look at what their class at the moment gets as class skills. make sure everything there adds up and if it does, great, if not, make a note of it depending on what exactly you deduct for. this is probably the part that takes the longest, but it's important since many feats have skill prereqs, and IC classes usually have some weird skill that needs a bunch of ranks to get in, which entrants sometimes forget (ardent dilettante had the most entrants that didn't qualify at one point or another) once you're in the swing, it goes faster, so I strongly suggest doing just skills first then moving to feats. if you try to switch back and forth, you slow way down.

    next: feats. same as when you're building a character, check the prereqs for all the feats in an entry by looking them up in the listed sourcebook and compare them to what the dish has at that level. people qualify for stuff more often than not, but everyone makes mistakes sometimes. the feats that most often are thrown in without meeting prereqs are the ones people usually get for free without having to meet them (monk feats, for example) so when you see a build with, for example, improved grapple, make sure they meet the stupid prereq of IUS and dex 13.

    looking up the prereqs for the classes/prcs that they're in is the same and often takes up less time. red flags are classes/prcs that require a specific alignment. depending on whether or not you care about alignment changes in order to fulfill a certain build (ex: being lawful for a monk dip early on and then changing to chaotic for the rest of the build) you may or may not deduct for this. some prcs are mutually exclusive with respects to alignment, so watch out for them when you are noting possible alignment bumps.

    it may seem like something you don't need to check, but make sure the entrants' saves/BAB make sense. you generally don't need to go and add everything up the way you do with skills, but if you are looking at it and it doesn't make sense, check the math, the chef may have just made a mistake. (I got a major headache trying to figure out how the antipodes had such a good BA when I realised this was not in fact the case) this can be important for, say, a melee oriented character, since they want to ideally at least keep all 4 iteratives, or for an entrant who touts their survivability (like, say monty back in mindbender) if the character has divine grace and arcane resistance, but due to weird multiclassing doesn't have the saves to back them up, this may merit a deduction to you.

    judging is essentially looking at what an entry says it can do vs. what it can actually do. if it fails to perform, note how in your notes. I found that phrasing things in the form of a question helped me organise my thoughts better when it came to stuff the build said it would do but didn't. (ex: you built a pouncer. why didn't you give him power attack?) because writing out declarative statements about a build can sometimes make structuring stuff properly a little weird.

    backstory is obviously subjective. I am a fiction writer by trade and understand the pressure of performing under a time crunch, so always keep it in mind when evaluating them, and also that not everybody enjoys the writing part as much as I do. as a result, and also because it's a character building contest rather than a writing contest, I view backstory as a kind of "bonus" where you can only gain points rather than lose them. possible additions include to originality (I never would have imagined a paladin as a spetsnaz officer, way to throw me a curveball), elegance (antipodes's writeup of how exactly their entry merged fire/cold made the transition feel a lot more natural than if I'd just seen the bare bones of the build without the explanation), or even UotSI (explaining in-story why they are a member of, say, the temple raiders is sort of important, especially when the class imposes a certain restriction on your backstory as this one does)

    personally, I like to just skim over a build first so I can have a quick breakdown of the levels and keep them distinct in my mind at least enough to have a mental callback for which one that was. (who am I judging next? oh yeah, sue. that's the duskblade) and then read their backstory. once I'm done with the backstory, I'll go back and do all the skills/feats/prereqs (do you qualify for x,y,z) stuff. reading the skeleton of the build also, for me, piques my curiosity a lot sometimes (how the hell do you get from black dog to green star adept?!)

    as far as worrying about not being thorough enough, you don't really need to. if you make any kind of mistake worth worrying about (saying someone doesn't qualify for such and such when they really do or misunderstanding how one of their tricks works) then the chairman will PM you with a dispute and you'll have a chance to fix it.

    as far as scoring goes, almost all the judges start everybody at straight 3s and give merits/demerits based on what they see in each category.

    judging isn't hard, it just takes a lot of time. as far as not noticing everything, don't worry about that too much. no judge can spot every single slip-up, so don't feel too bad if you do.

    spoiler your judgings too, so people who go after you don't accidentally contract a bias, and don't read other judgings before you do yours so you make sure each dish gets your opinion of it and nobody else's.

    best of luck with it. hope you like my entry.
    I've got a new fantasy TTRPG about running your own fencing school in a 3 musketeers pastiche setting. Book coming soon.

    Check out my new sci-fi TTRPG about first contact. Cool alien races, murderous AIs, and more. New book coming soon.

    Quote Originally Posted by weckar View Post
    Venger, can you be my full-time memory aid please?
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XXXII

    And... bookmarked for future reference, Venger.

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    Yeah, that helps a lot. Thanks.

    Thing is, I don't have a lot of time to devote to this in general, and especially not in the next week or so. And what I'm getting from this is "it takes all of the times".

    We'll see. Next one, maybe.
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    So I guess I have an internets? | And a trophy. | And a music cookie (whatever that is).

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XXXII

    Quote Originally Posted by mattie_p View Post
    And... bookmarked for future reference, Venger.
    wow, thanks.


    Quote Originally Posted by Feytalist View Post
    Yeah, that helps a lot. Thanks.

    Thing is, I don't have a lot of time to devote to this in general, and especially not in the next week or so. And what I'm getting from this is "it takes all of the times".

    We'll see. Next one, maybe.
    judging's not due till the 12th, but I know that everybody's doing finals this week (me included) if you can judge this time, super, if not, I look forward to hearing what you have to say next time. if you get a little time, practice judging one of the entries either in your head or writing stuff as it comes to you so when you do judge for real it's not a completely new experience to you.
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  28. - Top - End - #148
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Z3ro's Avatar

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XXXII

    Quote Originally Posted by mattie_p View Post
    Let's not get too hasty before the scores are actually posted...
    Pffff, as if there was ever any doubt.

    Star: 11.0
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    Originality: 1.5 Not a terribly original build, either in crunch or fluff. Several other builds saw use of both rogue and factotum, both of which were expected for this build. Making a skill-focused character was also expected. You took one level of Exemplar, which was interesting, but without further advancing the class I canít give you a higher score.

    Power: 3.5 The power of your build is hard to judge. You focus on skill use rather than strictly combat, which is not a negative in itself. In your chosen focus you manage to do well, remaining strong throughout the build. But combat is included in this category, so you lose points for starting off extremely weak, and only reaching average near the end of the build, resulting in an average score.

    Elegance: 2.5 You dipped rogue, but donít lose too many points on a skill focused build. Where you really lose points is using the Otyugh hole to gain a feat; I know it says you can, but very few DMs will allow it. The build follows the theme fairly well. You also lose points for being more gear dependent than Iíd like.

    Use of the Secret Ingredient: 3.5 You took all ten levels, and used the skill mastery to compliment your existing skills. All the sneaky things, like sneak attack, stack with your existing levels. However, the spells and luck domain are viewed almost as an afterthought, and are not really a part of your build. You basically left out one of the only things that make this prestige class unique, so I canít give you a better score.


    Dolus: 14.0
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    Originality: 3.5 I liked the way you laid out your characterís backstory, and wisely noted that the temple raiders are an organization, giving your characterís place in it. Warlock was unexpected and refreshing, though human paragon was used by several other builds. Iíd give a higher score if you had taken an interesting race and tied it all together, but overall not bad.

    Power: 3.5 Skill focused builds are always tough to judge power on, but youíve got several bases covered and bring a competent package. UMD is a strong skill, but hard to rate as itís based on having the right items, which you may not. Youíve got enough eldritch blast and sneak attack to give at least a decent showing, with craven shoring up your damage output. You lose points for not having a strong enough focus; while diversity is good, I think your build would have benefited from picking one or two things and focusing on them.

    Elegance: 3.0 Canít say itís not elegant; you donít have any dips, and the build flows fairly well together. You do lose points for having human paragon levels, which donít really fit in with the concept thematically, and for having them at seemingly random points. Also, the heavy reliance on items in the build, items that a DM may not give or allow you to buy (and you have no means of crafting) lose you points in this category.

    Use of the Secret Ingredient: 4.0 You take all ten levels, and use most of the abilities given. The abilities fit well with what you are trying to create. The thing that loses you points is, again, not utilizing the spells the build provides, one of its only unique features.


    Unnamed: 9.0
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    Originality: 4.0 InterestingÖdonít think Iíve seen a build without a name before. Tiefling is interesting and unexpected, as is Disciple of Mammon. Rogue loses you points in this challenge, however.

    Power: 2.0 Power level is fairly weak, given the standard of the contest. You donít have much going on in combat; sneak attack is ok, but you donít take the TWF route and leave off any other damage increaser, such as craven. Youíve got a decent set of skills and abilities, but nothing that a straight rogue couldnít have done. The Disciple of Mammon levels are interesting, but not enough to up your score in this category. While interesting, too many of the Disciple of Mammon abilities are extremely limited in their usage, often only 1/day. This leads to a situation where you either go on one mission a day, or you canít use some of your abilities when you need them.

    Elegance: 1.5 You left off your level 15 feat, take deformity (gaunt) twice (they donít stack) and appear to assume the use of LA buyoff, which I always take off points for, as not all DMs allow it. In addition, I feel that while Disciple of Mammon is interesting, it doesnít fit in thematically with a temple raider build. Temple raider tends more towards neutral, while Disciple of Mammon is distinctly evil.

    Use of the Secret Ingredient: 1.5 You do not take all ten levels, and do not use many of the abilities the levels grant you (beyond things like sneak attack, which stack with existing abilities). In addition, I donít see much here that couldnít be accomplished with more rogue levels.


    Durbein: 10.0
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    Originality: 3.5 Desert Dwarf was interesting, as were the paladin and master inquisitive levels (youíd get a bigger bonus if a fellow competitor didnít also use paladin). I enjoyed your backstory and how it tied the build together.

    Power: 2.0 Iíll be honest, Iím a little confused as to what role in the party your character is supposed to be filling. As near as I can tell, youíre a trap-setter-offer, a role usually reserved for a summon monster 1 wand. It looks like you can take a lot of punishment, but canít really dish it out. You donít even max UMD like many builds did, an easy bump to the power score. As it stands youíre hard to kill but easy to ignore.

    Elegance: 2.5 The dip in master inquisitive nets a penalty, as did you not taking a feat at level 12. On the whole, the build doesnít really seem to flow; your goal appears to be making yourself hard to kill, but temple raider doesnít really aid in that, making achieving it awkward.

    Use of the Secret Ingredient: 2.0 This category is tough to judge as well. You take all ten levels, which is good, but donít really use many of the abilities. It seems youíd rather just set off the traps and make your save than disarm them, which is kinda the opposite of what a temple raider normally does. The levels just feel shoe-horned in here, rather than something chosen to help the build.


    Aasterinian: 11.5
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    Originality: 3.0 Swordsage and ranger were expected, so you lose points there, but barbarian was not, so a bonus there. Silverbrow human in a nice touch, but the focus was predictably on dragon wings. Interesting to see a build that basically abandons Intelligence. In all, a wash.

    Power: 3.0 I really like what you have going here (and is the type of build I normally enjoy playing) but I canít give you a higher score because while the idea is solid, you make some mistakes and leave out much. You donít list your maneuvers and stances beyond island of blades, so I have no idea what direction these are going in. In addition, you waste three feats on unarmed strike, when youíd be better off just following the TWF tree; heck, you could have just gone unarmed variant of swordsage and saved some feats. I canít give you better than an average score given these problems.

    Elegance: 3.0 No dips, and nothing I can see in the way of questionable rules issues. The real problem is the theme of the build; You abruptly transition from what is a decent melee fighter into a sneak thief, and have little in the way of fluff or crunch to justify it. You also lose points for not listing maneuvers and stances.

    Use of the Secret Ingredient: 2.5 You take all ten levels and make decent use of skill mastery, but thatís all you really having going on in this build. Opening locks, spells, and trapfinding are essentially left out, in a build that would have accomplished its goals (melee) much better with just more levels of swordsage.


    Zed: 16.0
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    Originality: 4.0 I really didnít think Iíd like your build at first, but itís kinda grown on me. Bard was anticipated, and human paragon levels were used elsewhere, but warblade was interesting. More than that, attempting to make a flying, charging, temple raider was extremely original and rather delightful.

    Power: 4.0 This build has a lot going on in the power department. You diversify rather nicely, dishing out damage and acting as a superb scout. I love the phase cloak/charge trick; picturing it in my head makes me happy. This score could have been higher if youíd been able to fit in spirited charge (maybe instead of craven). The other thing you lose points for being weaker at low levels; not unplayable weak, but the build does ramp up significantly later.

    Elegance: 3.5 The warblade dip at the end seemed kind of out of place, but otherwise decent. The biggest problem with the build is that it seems all over the place, then comes together later. Taken as a whole Iíve got no problems with it, but as a progression it could have been neater.

    Use of the Secret Ingredient: 4.5 Temple raider really compliments this build. The sneak attack help up your damage, and the skill mastery makes ride checks a breeze, which really helps. You take all ten levels and use all of the abilities; if youíd made a bigger point out of the spell casting, you could have gotten a 5.0


    Aundair: 12.5
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    Originality: 3.5 An archivist that focuses on the whip? Not something I expected. But ranger and extreme explorer were both classes that I anticipated being used (and ranger was very popular). So the end result is a decent, not great score. Iím not sure how I feel about the Indiana Jones basis, so Iíll ignore that for this judging.

    Power: 2.0 Like many other builds, youíve got plenty of skills, and UMD in particular is a power by itself. But your other trick is just not impressive. You wonít be able to reliably disarm opponents at high levels (many of whom wonít even be carrying weapons). And while bleed damage is fun and interesting, even 10 or 20 points of bleeding damage is not an impressive benchmark at later levels.

    Elegance: 3.0 You start off archivist, then immediately jump into ranger. I just donít see why you couldnít have dropped those levels, or started off with something that fit the theme a bit better. The build flows from there, but towards the end I donít see why you selected some of the skill tricks you did. Overall an average build, the start of which just killed.

    Use of the Secret Ingredient: 4.0 You take all ten levels, and razing strike actually gives you options with regards to sneak attack, something no one else really focused on, so you get extra points for that. You donít get the full score as I feel other classes could have done just as well here for you.


    note: Eglath is my vote for honorable mention
    Eglath: 15.5
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    Originality: 4.5 You used ranger, as did others, but you took the wildshape variant, so thatís something. Everything else is brilliant, what with the grapple focused octopus thief and all. Well done.

    Power: 4.5 Oh wildshape, is there anything you canít do? Youíve really managed to kick up both the utility and the combat potential with Master of Many Forms, up to a level that most others donít even approach. In addition, combining sneak attack with craven and savage grapple was extremely inspired. The only reason this isnít a 5.0 is that the build starts off weak until it gets wildshape, a common problem with ranger builds.

    Elegance: 4.0 Iíll be honest, Iím not entirely sure how to rate this build with regard to elegance. No dips, no questionable rule readings, but it just doesnít flow well to me. Iím not sure what exactly it is. You do receive a deduction for not listing skill selections; on a challenge such as this, skills factor heavily into the builds, and a small penalty for the updating errata that was posted (it was that or a bigger penalty for an illegal build).

    Use of the Secret Ingredient: 2.5 Didnít take all ten levels, losing points. More than that, Iím not sure why you would take temple raider in this build. You use most of the abilities (natural spell would actually give you a little boost here, letting you cast temple raider spells while wildshaped), including creative use of sneak attack, but thereís nothing here that couldnít be done with straight rogue.


    Arminel: 10.0
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    Originality: 2.0 Human paladin, focused on charging? I think Iíve seen this before. Penalties for the unoriginal concept, as well as others using paladin and human paragon in the contest.

    Power: 2.5 Youíre a charger alright, though the lower BAB of temple raider weakens it somewhat, meaning youíre not that good of a charger. Youíve got the rogue skills, sure, but those only really come on line later, just as traps start to be much less relevant. And you donít take UMD; while a common skill, itís common because itís really, really good.

    Elegance: 3.5 You dip human paragon, but other than that the build is ok. You would score higher except thematically things donít quite fit; you transition from charging paladin to temple raider for no reason that is apparent, ruining any flow the build had.

    Use of the Secret Ingredient: 2.0 All ten levels taken, which is good, but you donít really do anything with them. Since youíre mostly charging sneak attack isnít used often, spells and trap-finding largely go to the wayside, and nothing in the SI boosts your main charging stick. More levels of paladin would have served you better.


    Theodore Logan: 12.0
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    Originality: 2.5 ???What did I just read??? Anyway, human factotum, weíve seen that before. Mindbender was interesting, and hoardstealer was the type of thing I was looking for (you get lucky, as no one else thought of it).

    Power: 2.0 Like a couple otherís, your build is great at fulfilling the sneak/thief role, but not much else. Mindbender is a nice one level dip that ups the power, but outside of the sneak/thief role, youíre not really doing much. And at later levels, when you should really be ramping up, itís just kinda more of the same, and not in a good way. Way too defensive for me.

    Elegance: 4.0 Fairly elegant, has a theme and sticks with it throughout. I do not understand the practiced spellcaster for temple raider; youíre really only going to be casting a few spells per day, why not take something like font of inspiration instead?

    Use of the Secret Ingredient: 3.5 Takes all ten levels, but you donít really do much with them. Thereís a focus on spell casting which is nice, but you donít really do anything else with the abilities, like sneak attack, making me question why you took the SI at all.


    Tia the Fox: 11.5
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    Originality: 2.0 Changeling rouge/bard? Both completely expected and done by other contestants. You get some points for divine bard, but in both appearance and theme your build is hardly breaking new ground.

    Power: 3.5 Not bad in the power department, overall. You really trick out the skills, with more social power than just about anyone. On top of that, DFI helps both your character and the rest of the party, something no one else really does. You lose points, however, for being exceedingly weak at lower levels, as well as topping off early; you reach a point at about 15 were you donít get appreciably more powerful. I see what you were trying to do with the dragon feats, but your build could have been more powerful if you had picked a single direction, such as IC optimization, and stuck with it.

    Elegance: 4.0 Small penalty on the rogue dip, but the classes are otherwise okay. Iím not sure why you went changeling instead of silverbrow human; it would have been stronger mechanically and flavor-wise, so you lose points for that.

    Use of the Secret Ingredient: 2.0 All ten levels taken, but several of the important abilities are not really used. You leave out trapfinding and skill mastery, donít really use your spells, and sneak attack is only an afterthought. Youíd have been much better off with more levels of bard.
    I don't know about angels, but it's fear that gives men wings - Max Payne

  29. - Top - End - #149
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XXXII

    Questions for Z3ro from Arminel, for what they're worth:
    Just a couple of things - you say twice that trapfinding is largely ignored or comes on too late, but I gain Trapfinding at level 7, have Search at max ranks throughout the build, and Disable Device and Open Lock at max or near max for pretty much the whole build.

    Also, you say as a charger I won't sneak attack much, but that's what Sacred Stealth is for - getting the jump on them, so you charge AND sneak attack before they get to act.
    Iron Chef in the Playground veteran since Round IV. Play as me!


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  30. - Top - End - #150
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Z3ro's Avatar

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XXXII

    Quote Originally Posted by Arminel View Post
    Just a couple of things - you say twice that trapfinding is largely ignored or comes on too late, but I gain Trapfinding at level 7, have Search at max ranks throughout the build, and Disable Device and Open Lock at max or near max for pretty much the whole build.
    Level 7 is about where traps start to become less relevant; not entirely, sure, but less so. Regardless, if I changed my mind I wouldn't bump your UoSI score any, as I only use .5, and that's not enough in my mind for a bump by itself (and divine seeker is what really hurt you here, forcing you to leave behind DD/OL for several levels).

    Also, you say as a charger I won't sneak attack much, but that's what Sacred Stealth is for - getting the jump on them, so you charge AND sneak attack before they get to act.
    You can only charge/sneak attack when you win initiative/surprise someone (and you have nothing to boost initiative). That's too situational (even with abilities to boost hide/move silently) to be considered anything but a rare bonus.
    I don't know about angels, but it's fear that gives men wings - Max Payne

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