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  1. - Top - End - #301
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge In the Playground XLIII

    Is there a collective list where the build winners are kept? I'd love to see the assassin one.
    Path of the Nefarious: A Way of the Wicked Journal.
    Please take a look at the adventures of my group going through Fire Mountain Games's Way of the Wicked, An evil based Pathfinder Compatible adventure path.
    http://d20evil.blogspot.com/

  2. - Top - End - #302
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

    Join Date
    Dec 2006

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge In the Playground XLIII

    Quote Originally Posted by killem2 View Post
    Is there a collective list where the build winners are kept? I'd love to see the assassin one.
    The assassin contest was won by Spoons McGee.
    Iron Chef in the Playground veteran since Round IV. Play as me!


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  3. - Top - End - #303
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge In the Playground XLIII

    If I recall correctly, wasn't Ponies trying to set up an archive of all the gold place winners somewhere?

    Avatar by Iron Penguin.

    The Power of the Orient: A Wu Jen Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul S. Kemp
    Frankly, I think the designers and novelists did great work in the post-Spellplague Realms. But, in the end, this wasn’t a new setting. It was the Realms, the Realms 100 years later, and therein lay the problem.

  4. - Top - End - #304
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

    Join Date
    Dec 2006

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge In the Playground XLIII

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuulvheysoon View Post
    If I recall correctly, wasn't Ponies trying to set up an archive of all the gold place winners somewhere?
    It's way back beyond page 10 now, due to the Demon Real-Life interfering with his plans.
    Iron Chef in the Playground veteran since Round IV. Play as me!


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  5. - Top - End - #305
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    dysprosium's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    the periodic table
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge In the Playground XLIII

    and there goes my entry into the competition . . .

    almost time for the big reveal and then the tasting and judging!

    I think the more times I enter the easier the formatting is going to be for me.

  6. - Top - End - #306
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge In the Playground XLIII

    And now, it's time for the reveal! Please avoid posting in this thread until I give the all-clear. Much obliged.

    Avatar by Iron Penguin.

    The Power of the Orient: A Wu Jen Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul S. Kemp
    Frankly, I think the designers and novelists did great work in the post-Spellplague Realms. But, in the end, this wasn’t a new setting. It was the Realms, the Realms 100 years later, and therein lay the problem.

  7. - Top - End - #307
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge In the Playground XLIII

    The itsy bitsy spider crawled up the water spout...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tarantella

    Tarantella
    CE Drider Fighter 1/Bladesinger 9

    Backstory
    Spoiler
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    "I will not fail again."

    The ornate silver mirror held a vision of dark beauty. Cold, calculating intilligence glittered in the eyes set in a face framed with luminous silver curls. Tarantella let her memories drift back to better times...

    She was powerful once, favored in her house. Where she walked conversations hushed to a whisper. Those who fell in her shadowed felt fear and awe. Her rise to greatness had begun to concern her peers. It was said she held the favor of the goddess, and in her heart she knew the Queen of Spiders had special plans for her. Many nobles only endured a handful of tests, but Tarantella had endured and passed no less than a dozen in the three years. She handled every hardship, and every triumph with the grace and perfection of the Goddess herself. She commanded respect and envy from all who beheld her.

    The memory brought a wicked smile to Tarantella's lips, and the image in the mirror showed a flash of white teeth and ... fangs. Tarantella's face darkened with shame and despair, as another memory washed over her...

    She had regained consciousness to a confusing sight, the world appeared to be upside down. A moment of panic set in as she realized that she was hanging from a ceiling thick with webs. She struggled and fell to the floor quickly, and a loud thump on the floor announced that something large had fallen with her. She hadn't heard the Goddess announce a challenge, so she was likely dealing with an assassin. She lunged for her bedside table, and the knife concealed within. But something was wrong, when she tried to walk she felt heavy, uncoordinated. And worse yet, there was the sound of a massive body sliding closer to her. She pulled herself to her concealed weapon, drew it, and turned. She barely took the time to process the sight of the body of a massive spider before her blade struck home and she felt white-hot pain. She reeled back, shouting for the guards and trying to keep the spider in view. When she stumbled by her massive floor mirror, she froze, and everything became clear. There was no attacker, there was no spider. The massive spider body she had stabbed was her own. As the first tear of shock and realization rolled down her ebon cheek, her guards burst into the room. Her shame and failure to Lolth plain to see, the guards advanced on her with murder in their eyes. Her instincts took over, and she slew one of the guards as she fled.

    She didn't know how long she fled, or how long she lurked in the depths of the Underdark. But she eventually came upon a small dwelling on an island in the middle of a subterranean lake. She was weary, and stopped briefly to rest. The sound of a familiar voice roused her senses, and she realized that she had company. Her arcane tutor, Semosalia, was watching her. At first, Tarantella had recoiled in shame and fear of what her former mistress would do to her. But to her surprise, Semosalia had naught buy enticing, even encouraging words. She spoke of Lolth's disfavor, and that it was clear to her that Tarantella deserved better than her cursed form. She spoke of a holy ritual to deliver a worthy recipient into Lolth's favor. In her fear and desperation, Tarantella agreed to undergo the ritual. With a small smile, Semosalia annointed her in arcane oils, and began the ritual.

    As Semosalia let the last sibilant words of the ritual pass her lips, a tingling sensation flashed through Tarantella's body, and she began changing. She held up a small silver mirror to behold the change, and saw that her beautiful features began to wash away the monsterous visage she had become. Her hair, her eyes, her skin, all were returning to normal. But when the transformation reached her abdomen, the tingling turned to intense pain, and the Goddess spoke to her for the last time. FAILURE, a voiced echoed in her mind. As Tarantella writhed in pain, the mocking laughter of her former mistress echoed across the lake. Tarantella tried to lash out and slay her, but Semosalia had vanished. Tarantella had let weakness into her mind, and doubt into her heart. She had failed the Test of Doubt, she had failed her Goddess.

    The memory brought up old feelings of weakness, and Tarantella clutched the mirror tightly. She closed her eyes until she could force the rage and despair from her mind.

    A vibration in a strand of her web indicated fresh prey, and Tarantella gracefully set her mirror aside. She could hear two bumbling fools in a side passage.

    "Move yer namby-pamby elven backside Mialee! If ye had let me lead the way to begin with, we'd ne'er have gotten seperated in the first place!" A woman's disgusted sigh was the only response.

    Excellent, fresh prey. Tarantella had not eaten in some time, and an elf would make a fitting sacrifice to the Goddess. As she quietly stalked the pair of adventurers, she whispered to herself,

    "I will prove to the Goddess that I am worthy. I will not fail again."


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

    1st|Drider 1|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |(24)Balance (4) 2, Concentration 4, Perform(Dance) (4) 2, Perform(Sing) (4) 2, Spellcraft 4, Tumble (4) 2|Combat Casting|+2 Natural Armor, Spells (as Wizard 1), Climb Speed: 15ft, +4 Racial Bonus to Hide and Move Silently, +8 Racial Bonus to Climb

    2nd|Drider 2|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |(6)Concentration 5, Listen 2, Spellcraft 5, Spot 2| -- |Bite 1d4, poison (1d3 Str, 1d3 Str) (DC = HD/2 + Con), +2 Str, Spells (as Wizard 2)

    3rd|Drider 3|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    | -- | -- |+2 Wis, Spell-like abilities: 1/day - [i]clairaudience/clairvoyance, dancing lights, darkness, detect good, detect law, detect magic, dispel magic, faerie fire, levitate, suggestion

    4th|Drider 4|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |(6)Balance (2) 3, Perform(Sing) (2) 3, Tumble (2) 3|Combat Expertise|+4 Natural Armor, +2 Dex, Spells (as Wizard 3)

    5th|Drider 5|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    | -- | -- |Poison (1d4 Str, 1d4 Str), +2 Con

    6th|Drider 6|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |(7)Concentration 7, Listen 4, Spellcraft 7, Spot 3| -- |+2 Int, +2 Wis, Spell Resistance (11 + HD), Spells (as Wizard 4)

    7th|Drider 7|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    | -- | -- |+6 Natural Armor, +2 Con, +2 Cha

    8th|Drider 8|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |(7)Balance (2) 4, Concentration 8, Perform(Sing) (2) 4, Tumble (2) 4| -- |Large Size, +2 Str, Spells (as Wizard 5)

    9th|Drider 9|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    | -- | -- |Poison (1d6 Str, 1d6 Str), +2 Wis

    10th|Drider 10|
    +4
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |(7)Concentration 9, Listen 6, Spellcraft 9, Spot 5|Dodge|+2 Con, +2 Cha, Spells (as Wizard 6)

    11th|Fighter 1|
    +5
    |
    +4
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |(7)Balance (2) 5, Jump 1, Perform(Sing) (2) 5, Tumble (2) 5|Weapon Focus(Rapier)|Fighter Bonus Feat

    12th|Bladesinger 1|
    +6
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +7
    |(8)Concentration 11, Jump 5, Spellcraft 11| -- |Bladesong Style, +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting

    13th|Bladesinger 2|
    +7
    |
    +4
    |
    +5
    |
    +8
    |(8)Concentration 12, Knowledge(Arcana) 2, Perform(Sing) 7, Spellcraft 12, Tumble 7|Arcane Strike|Lesser Spellsong

    14th|Bladesinger 3|
    +8
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +8
    |(8)Concentration 13, Knowledge(Arcana) 4, Perform(Sing) 9, Spellcraft 13, Tumble 9| -- |+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting

    15th|Bladesinger 4|
    +9
    |
    +5
    |
    +6
    |
    +9
    |(8)Concentration 14, Knowledge(Arcana) 6, Perform(Sing) 11, Spellcraft 14, Tumble 11| -- |Song of Celerity (2nd)

    16th|Bladesinger 5|
    +10
    |
    +5
    |
    +6
    |
    +9
    |(8)Concentration 15, Knowledge(Arcana) 8, Perform(Sing) 13, Spellcraft 15, Tumble 13|Practiced Spellcaster|+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting

    17th|Bladesinger 6|
    +11
    |
    +6
    |
    +7
    |
    +10
    |(8)Concentration 16, Knowledge(Arcana) 10, Perform(Sing) 15, Spellcraft 16, Tumble 15| -- |Greater Spellsong

    18th|Bladesinger 7|
    +12
    |
    +6
    |
    +7
    |
    +10
    |(8)Concentration 17, Knowledge(Arcana) 12, Perform(Sing) 17, Spellcraft 17, Tumble 17| -- |+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting

    19th|Bladesinger 8|
    +13
    |
    +6
    |
    +8
    |
    +11
    |(8)Concentration 18, Knowledge(Arcana) 16, Perform(Sing) 18, Spellcraft 18, Tumble 18|Versatile Performer|Song of Celerity (4th)

    20th|Bladesinger 9|
    +14
    |
    +7
    |
    +8
    |
    +11
    |(9)Concentration 19, Knowledge(Arcana) 19, Perform(Sing) 19, Spellcraft 19, Tumble 19, Swift Concentration Skill Trick| -- |+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting[/table]


    Stat Array
    Spoiler
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    Initial Ability Scores:
    Str - 14
    Dex - 14 (16)
    Con - 14
    Int - 16 (18)
    Wis - 10
    Cha - 10 (12)

    Final Ability Scores:
    Str - 14 (18)
    Dex - 14 (18)
    Con - 14 (20)
    Int - 16 (24)
    Wis - 10 (16)
    Cha - 10 (16)


    Wizard Spells per day
    Spoiler
    Show

    {table=head]Level|0lvl|1st|2nd|3rd|4th|5th|6th|7th|8th|9th

    1st|3|2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    2nd|4|3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    3rd|4|3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    4th|4|3|2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    5th|4|3|2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    6th|4|5|3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    7th|4|5|3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    8th|4|5|3|2|-|-|-|-|-|-

    9th|4|5|3|2|-|-|-|-|-|-

    10th|4|5|4|3|-|-|-|-|-|-

    11th|4|5|4|3|-|-|-|-|-|-

    12th|4|6|5|3|2|-|-|-|-|-

    13th|4|6|5|3|1|-|-|-|-|-

    14th|4|6|5|4|3|-|-|-|-|-

    15th|4|6|5|4|3|-|-|-|-|-

    16th|4|6|6|4|3|2|-|-|-|-

    17th|4|6|6|4|3|2|-|-|-|-

    18th|4|6|6|4|4|3|-|-|-|-

    19th|4|6|6|4|4|3|-|-|-|-

    20th|4|6|6|6|4|3|2|-|-|-[/table]


    Explanations and Options
    Spoiler
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    Explanations
    That glaring Fighter dip
    I wanted to avoid base classes entirely, but I needed +5 BAB, Proficiency with longsword or rapier, and Weapon Focus with either. My initial thought was to shoot for 2 levels of Swordsage, but that would have meant losing access to 6th level spells (without LA Buyoff). In the end, I felt 6th level spells were much more versatile than a few low-level maneuvers.
    Drider racial class
    I used the Drider racial class from Savage Species to allow this character to be played all the way from level 1, but if I were shooting for running this character myself (or DMing for it), I'd play a Drow Wizard to ECL 8, then jump straight to Drider ECL 10 after the transformation. The slight bump in ECL would be far easier to manage than acquiring Lycanthrope, and the progression would better reflect the story of the character. However, I wanted this dish to be playable all the way through, so I presented the racial class.
    But a Drider isn't an Elf or a Half-Elf!
    While this is true, and I could probably grumble all day in my ponderings about why the Drider doesn't have the augmented elf subtype (entirely appropriate given how the Monster Manual describes their creation), the way around this is simple. No, not Ruathar in Races of the Wild (why doesn't it work like Stoneblessed, why?!). In Savage Species (pg 148), you will find the minor Ritual of Association. This ritual grants the recipient a racial type or subtype. This subtype lets you count as that race for all manner of purposes. Given that an elf is a Humanoid (Elf), I'm operating off the opinion that it is the Elf subtype that determines if one qualifies for Bladesinger. So, at level 11 (her first Fighter level), Tarantella spends almost all of her worldly wealth (the ritual costs 56,000gp) and undergoes the Ritual of Association to gain the Elf subtype. She is now an Aberration (Elf), and qualifies for Bladesinger.

    Options
    There are a three main options here. The first is taking two levels of Swordsage instead of the fighter level. These two levels net you the last of the prerequisites for the SI, and give you some nice low-level maneuvers. If you do this, you should also use the LA Buyoff rules so that you can still fit in 9 levels of Bladesinger and get to 6th level spells.

    The second option is to take Improved Initiative instead of Versatile Performer if you are interested only in power and not in flavor.

    The last option relies entirely on DM fiat. If the DM decides that Driders have the augmented elf subtype, then the Ritual of Association is unnecessary, and you save 56,000gp of your WBL.


    Level Breakpoints
    Spoiler
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    Level 1
    At 1st level Tarantella plays very similar to any other Wizard. She is medium sized, has a small array of spells, and can use simple weapons. She surpasses a 1st level Wizard in that she also has decent Hide, Move Silent, and Climbing abilities at this level, so she can perch up out of reach and engage at range. She also has decent Str, Dex, HP, and Natural Armor, meaning she can wade briefly into melee - essentially operating as a Gish right from the start.
    Level 5
    BAB +2, Bite attack (1d4 Str), +4 Nat armor, +2 Con, +2 Dex, +2 Str, Spell-like abilities, Max HP of 33
    By 5th level, Tarantella is still working as a Gish. Her Natural Armor, Str, Dex, and Con have all gained a boost, she's picked up a Bite attack so she can dish out two attacks a round, and she's got her Spell-like abilities in place. With Mage Armor, Shield and False Life up, she's got better defenses than an equivalent level fighter. She'll still rely on her spells as her primary attack.
    Level 11
    At 11th level Tarantella has the BAB of an equivalent level wizard, better HP than an equivalent level wizard, spell resistance 18, full Drider stats (increases to Str, Dex, Con, Int, Wis, Cha, and Natural Armor), 6th level wizard casting, more potent poison for her bite attack, and large size. She is still fragile, but landing a hit is still difficult. She also now meets all the prerequisites for the SI. Given that all but 10,000gp of her WBL will be going to the Ritual of Association, this is her weakest level.
    Level 16 "Sweet Spot"
    By this point, Tarantella is back to being a defensive Gish, dropping spells (up to 5th level) and smiting foes with her rapier whilst nimbly moving about the battlefield. She's got a much improved AC thanks to Bladesong style, won't be failing many Concentration checks thanks to Lesser Spellsong and has some excellent skills. The Arcane Strike feat she picked up a few levels ago has been a significant melee damage boost, and she can buff herself much more quickly thanks to Song of Celerity. Practiced Spellcaster gives her spells staying power and punch.
    Level 20
    Tarantella caps off her progression with 6th level spells, +14 BAB, great AC, and HP, decent Saves, some excellent skills, and the Swift Concentration skill trick. Note that she also picked up Versatile Performer last level, meaning that her blend of the performing arts, swordplay, and the arcane let her put on a delightful and terrifying display worthy of any Bladesinger.


    Use of the Secret Ingredient
    Spoiler
    Show

    This was one truly ... unique ingredient. Given that pretty much any class is better than Bladesinger, I wanted to create a dish that not only benefitted from the SI, but was really filled with the flavor of the SI as well. As it says in the SI description, Bladesingers are masters at mixing art, martial talent, and the arcane arts. This meant that any dish would have to capitalize on not just the normal Gish goals (high BAB and high level spellcasting), but would also have to have a strong taste of the arts as well. I've often heard it mentioned that artists suffer for their art, and what better way to reflect this than with a creature who has suffered the ultimate rejection of her goddess.

    The SI really enhances the Drider, which is a Gish monster to begin with. Her spellcasting and BAB advances well, she gets access to quickened spells (which would eat far too many feats without the SI), and her AC is high thanks to Bladesong style (and goes up significantly once she can wear light armor with Greater Spellsong). Unfortunately she simply couldn't qualify for the SI prior to 11th level, or she would have all 10 levels (the Song of Fury would be an excellent addition to her Gish repertoire). As far as skill requirements, she didn't just meet the minimums and abandon the skills. Balance went up to 5 ranks (pretty much the maximum useful number of ranks for that skill) to enhance Tumble, which was then kept near max. Concentration was also maxed, along with Knowledge(Arcana) and Spellcraft, as befitting the flavor of a master of the Arcane. Rather than keeping just the two Perform skills at maximum, Tarantella goes a different route. Bladesingers are masters of the arts, which cried out for Versatile Performer. Now, because of the Int synergy with Bladesinger, Tarantella effectively has max ranks in 8 different Perform skills - truly a master of the arts.

    This giant spider-centaur can fight, cast spells, and get down with fancy footwork.


    Sources Used
    Spoiler
    Show

    Player's Handbook (Fighter, all other feats)
    Monster Manual (Drider)
    Savage Species (Drider Racial Class, Ritual of Association)
    Complete Warrior (Arcane Strike, Bladesinger)
    Complete Arcane (Practiced Spellcaster)
    Complete Adventurer (Versatile Performer)
    Complete Scoundrel (Swift Concentration)

    Avatar by Iron Penguin.

    The Power of the Orient: A Wu Jen Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul S. Kemp
    Frankly, I think the designers and novelists did great work in the post-Spellplague Realms. But, in the end, this wasn’t a new setting. It was the Realms, the Realms 100 years later, and therein lay the problem.

  8. - Top - End - #308
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge In the Playground XLIII

    He's certainly not full of hot air.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lakota Windsong


    That mark on your skin, little one - many would tell you it is a mark of the Dragons of Argonnessen, the great Prophets... I tell you this is only a half-truth. That mark there is the mark of the Wakiya, the sacred Bird whose beating wings stir the air and call the thunder. It is the great secret of our House, known only to those who bear Wakiya’s mark from birth.

    It is said that once a generation, the Wakiya tilts back its beak like a mask, lifts off its feathers like a blanket, and takes the shape of a man. It does this so that those of us who share the blood of Lyran and of Selevash may know the secret song carried by the wind...


    The Build
    Spoiler
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    Lakota Windsong of House Lyrandar
    Half-Elf, Fighter 4/Dragonmark Heir 5/Wizard 1/Bladesinger 10

    ACFs:
    Half-Elf Fighter
    Immediate Magic (Abrupt Jaunt)
    Martial Wizard
    Skilled City Dweller

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

    1st|Half-elf Fighter 1|
    +1
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |Tumble 4 ranks, Gather Information 4 ranks, Perform (dance) 2 ranks, Perform (sing) 2 ranks, Concentration 2 ranks, Balance 2 ranks, Jump 4 ranks|Least Dragonmark (Gust of Wind)|Blade focus

    2nd|Fighter 2|
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |Tumble 5 ranks, Gather Information 5 ranks, Balance 2.5 ranks, Jump 5 ranks, Concentration 2.5 ranks|Combat Expertise|

    3rd|Fighter 3|
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |Tumble 6 ranks, Gather Information 6 ranks, Balance 3 ranks, Bluff 4.5, Concentration 3 ranks|Favored in House|

    4th|Fighter 4|
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |Tumble 7 ranks, Gather Information 7 ranks, Balance 3.5 ranks, Bluff 5 ranks, Concentration 3.5 ranks|Expeditious Dodge|

    5th|Dragonmark Heir 1|
    +4
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |Tumble 8 ranks, Gather Information 8 ranks, Balance 4 ranks, Bluff 8 ranks, Concentration 4 ranks|Lesser Dragonmark (Sleet Storm)|House status

    6th|Dragonmark Heir 2|
    +5
    |
    +7
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |Tumble 9 ranks, Gather Information 9 ranks, Balance 4.5 ranks, Bluff 9 ranks, Concentration 4.5 ranks, Intimidate 2 ranks|Dragonmark Prodigy (Updraft)|Additional action points, improved least dragonmark (Updraft)

    7th|Dragonmark Heir 3|
    +6/+1
    |
    +7
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |Tumble 10 ranks, Gather Information 10 ranks, Balance 5 ranks, Bluff 10 ranks, Concentration 5 ranks, Intimidate 4 ranks||Improved lesser dragonmark (Sleet Storm)

    8th|Dragonmark Heir 4|
    +7/+2
    |
    +8
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |Tumble 11 ranks, Gather Information 11 ranks, Bluff 11 ranks, Concentration 5.5 ranks, Intimidate 7 ranks|Greater Dragonmark (Control Winds)|

    9th|Dragonmark Heir 5|
    +7/+2
    |
    +8
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |Tumble 12 ranks, Gather Information 12 ranks, Bluff 12 ranks, Concentration 6 ranks, Intimidate 10 ranks|Combat Casting|Improved greater dragonmark

    10th|Wizard 1|
    +7/+2
    |
    +8
    |
    +5
    |
    +7
    |Tumble 13 ranks, Concentration 9 ranks|Improved Unarmed Strike|Abrupt Jaunt

    11th|Bladesinger 1|
    +8/+3
    |
    +8
    |
    +7
    |
    +9
    |Tumble 14 ranks, Concentration 13 ranks||Bladesong style

    12th|Bladesinger 2|
    +9/+4
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    +10
    |Tumble 15 ranks, Concentration 15 ranks, Acrobatic Backstab skill trick|Improved Grapple|Lesser spellsong

    13th|Bladesinger 3|
    +10/+5
    |
    +9
    |
    +8
    |
    +10
    |Tumble 16 ranks, Concentration 16 ranks, Bluff 12.5 ranks, Swift Concentration skill trick||

    14th|Bladesinger 4|
    +11/+6/+1
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    |
    +11
    |Tumble 17 ranks, Concentration 17 ranks, Bluff 14 ranks||Song of celerity (2nd)

    15th|Bladesinger 5|
    +12/+7/+2
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    |
    +11
    |Tumble 18 ranks, Concentration 18 ranks, Bluff 15.5 ranks|Dragonmark Visionary (Storm Touch)|

    16th|Bladesinger 6|
    +13/+8/+3
    |
    +10
    |
    +10
    |
    +12
    |Tumble 19 ranks, Concentration 19 ranks, Bluff 17 ranks||Greater spellsong

    17th|Bladesinger 7|
    +14/+9/+4
    |
    +10
    |
    +10
    |
    +12
    |Tumble 20 ranks, Concentration 20 ranks, Bluff 18.5 ranks||

    18th|Bladesinger 8|
    +15/+10/+5
    |
    +10
    |
    +11
    |
    +13
    |Tumble 21 ranks, Concentration 21 ranks, Bluff 20 ranks|Mighty Dragonmark|Song of celerity (4th)

    19th|Bladesinger 9|
    +16/+11/+6/+1
    |
    +11
    |
    +11
    |
    +13
    |Tumble 22 ranks, Concentration 22 ranks, Bluff 21.5 ranks||

    20th|Bladesinger 10|
    +17/+12/+7/+2
    |
    +11
    |
    +12
    |
    +14
    |Tumble 23 ranks, Concentration 23 ranks, Bluff 23 ranks||Song of fury[/table]

    Stats
    Spoiler
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    Starting Stats (32-point buy):
    Str 16/Dex 12/Con 12/Int 16/Wis 8/Cha 12

    Level boosts:
    4: Dex +1
    8: Str +1
    12: Str +1
    16: Int +1
    20: Int +1


    Spells and Dragonmarks
    Spoiler
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    Dragonmark Powers
    Gust of Wind 4/day
    Updraft 4/day
    Sleet Storm 3/day
    Control Winds 3/day
    Storm Touch 2/day

    All dragonmark SLAs have a caster level of 17 before items.

    Wizard spells per day
    {table=head]Level|0lvl|1st|2nd|3rd|4th|5th|6th|7th|8th|9th

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

    11th|4|2+1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    12th|4|2+1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    13th|4|2+1|1+1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    14th|4|2+1|1+1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    15th|4|3+1|2+1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

    17th|4|3+1|2+1|1+1|-|-|-|-|-|-

    18th|4|3+1|2+1|1+1|-|-|-|-|-|-

    19th|4|3+1|3+1|2+1|-|-|-|-|-|-

    20th|4|3+1|3+1|2+1|-|-|-|-|-|-[/table]

    Conjurer, Abjuration/Evocation banned.

    Sample Spell Lists
    Lakota focuses on touch attack spells that can be pre-cast to hold the charge, as well as buffs and teleportation spells that work well with Song of Celerity. Some common spells prepared include:

    1- Blockade, Mage Armor, Enlarge Person, Benign Transposition, Silent Image, Lesser Shivering Touch
    2- Dimension Leap, Heroics, Wraithstrike, Fearsome Grapple, Mirror Image
    3- Haboob, Regroup, Haste, Shivering Touch, Vampiric Touch

    On a typical day, Lakota might have the following spells prepared:

    0- Detect Magic x2, Caltrops x2
    1- Benign Transposition, Enlarge Person x2, Silent Image, Lesser Shivering Touch
    2- Dimension Leap, Heroics x2, Mirror Image, Fearsome Grapple
    3- Regroup, Haste, Shivering Touch x2

    Good feats to pick up via Heroics:
    Improved Combat Expertise, Improved Disarm, Improved Trip, Martial Study (Iron Heart Surge), Martial Study (Mountain Hammer), Single Blade Style, Riposte


    Suggested Items
    Spoiler
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    Stat boosters that increase Lakota's Strength, Intelligence and Constitution or Charisma are always vital. While Lakota's dragonmark DCs are based off of Charisma, most of them have rider effects even on a successful save, so Charisma is less essential if you wish to shore up Lakota's hit points.

    There are several dragonmark-specific items that are not essential, but will assist Lakota. Dragonmark scepters are a steal at 1000gp each, and provide more uses per day of your dragonmarks. A dragonshard focus can improve your CL - I highly recommend getting at least a +1 focus, as CL 18 will allow you to go from a completely calm sky to tornado level winds with Control Winds. Channeling Rods, especially Quicken and Empower varieties, are also quite useful.

    With your preferred fighting style, you will want a decent longsword made of pandemonic silver, preferably with a wand chamber. Wands and pearls of power are a great way to extend your daily spells. You'll have an excellent AC boost from your Bladesinger levels, but once you learn Greater Spellsong, a decent suit of light armor would also not go amiss. Before then, you will either want to rely on Mage Armor, or get a nice suit of padded thistledown armor.



    The Wakiya and the Sea Drake
    Spoiler
    Show

    Steady now, little one. These shores seem calm now, but the Dragonreach is deceptive. See that rocky outcropping there? Steer the boat that way, and I will tell you how it came to be. It is the place where the great Wakiya had terrible battles with the Sea Drake of Dragonreach.

    The Sea Drake was an old thing, and tired. She slept for hundreds of years at a time, carried about by the secret currents underneath the waves of the Dragonreach. But when she awoke, she was a terror to behold, destroying the boats that dotted the sea. These were the days before the Windwrights, when our House used its mastery of the wind not to fly through the air, but to control sea-bound boats such as these.

    And so it was that the Sea Drake woke off the shores of Aerenal, and she was hungry, and she was wrathful. First she ate all the fish off the shore, so that the fishermen brought home naught but empty nets to their families. When that did not satisfy her, she began to eat the men and women who worked those boats. And each day, she drew closer to the island of Aerenal.

    Now, as it happens, the Wakiya had taken man-shape, and was living in one of these towns on the island. He was a handsome half-elf, who bore all the marks of Lyran’s house, and even in man-shape he knew the singing of the winds. And the Wakiya knew that the Sea Drake would bring grief to all his house.

    And so the Wakiya took a boat, and filled it with fish, and set out on the turbulent waters of the Dragonreach. As he sang, the winds carried him to where the Sea Drake was resting. The Sea Drake heard his singing, and smelled the fish, and she was hungry.

    The Sea Drake swung her great talons to strike the boat, but just then, the singing winds blew the boat away. Again and again the Sea Drake struck, and again and again the boat was blown just out of her grasp. Frustrated, the Sea Drake drew herself out of the water entirely and flung herself at the Wakiya and his boat.

    Now, it is known that we of House Lyrandar have great mastery over the winds, but it is told that when the Sea Drake surfaced, the Wakiya called a storm such has never before been seen. And he drew power from the storm, and drew his singing blade. And the whirling winds carried the blade’s song even as they blew to a frenzy, and though the Sea Drake was a mighty and brave creature, suddenly she knew fear.

    The Wakiya did not hesitate. He struck her with his blade and with his mighty fists that crackled with lightning. He grabbed the Sea Drake and, with a whisper of song, the winds drew them high in the air, far above the churning waters of the Dragonreach. And when the winds brought them to their highest point, the Wakiya threw the Sea Drake down, down, down, where she crashed into the ground and was still.

    For many years, neither beast nor man would go near the place where the Sea Drake fell. But as time passed, her body hardened to stone and became this outcropping that we are sailing toward. And it is here that we of House Lyrandar take those that bear signs of being this generation’s Wakiya, come to re-teach us the songs of wind and thunder and steel. And it is here that I take you, little one...



    The Legendary Wakiya (Build Explanation)
    Spoiler
    Show

    Lakota Windsong combines the powerful Mark of Storm with the unique fighting style of the Bladesinger to harry and destroy enemies.

    His dragonmark powers come online fairly early thanks to Dragonmark Heir. By level 8 he is tossing out the powerful Control Winds, and by level 9 he can use it to bring about hurricane-force winds from completely still air. In areas with any wind at all, or with the addition of a dragonmark focus, he can instead summon tornados.

    His other abilities are also useful. Gust of Wind provides excellent utility and also helps him deal with fliers at the low levels. Sleet Storm provides battlefield control not subject to SR. Updraft, which he learns via Dragonmark Prodigy, is especially handy. He uses it to shift position or "fly" as a swift action, to activate the AC boost from Expeditious Dodge, and offensively when combined with grapples. Storm Touch (learned via Dragonmark Visionary) is a powerful multi-touch spell like Produce Flame, which deals 9d6 points of damage per strike and can stun enemies.

    He begins all fights with his sword, a longsword made of pandemonic silver, sheathed. Often he will open with a Control Winds or Sleet Storm, then move and draw his longsword. When he draws it, the moaning of the pandemonic silver is carried by the winds to instill fear in all enemies within 30 feet. This is his bladesong, and it forces all enemies to save or begin cowering. The DC increases with the power of the winds, all the way up to DC 28 in tornado-force winds.

    Lakota does not focus on raw damage. He mixes up unarmed strikes and slashes with his longsword, using his open hand to deliver devastating touch spells such as Shivering Touch and Storm Touch.

    Because his fighting style is not worried about damage, Lakota is surprisingly defensive. With items, Lakota's Intelligence of 28 adds a significant boost to his AC thanks to Bladesong Style. When combined with Combat Expertise and Expeditious Dodge, this is a hefty dodge bonus of +16 to AC (or +28 to AC, with Improved Combat Expertise via Heroics) - and, as a dodge bonus, it even applies against things like touch attacks. With close to full BAB and attacks that trigger off of touches, Lakota can easily swallow the Combat Expertise penalty without hurting.

    In addition to Storm Touch, Shivering Touch and other touch spells, Lakota also uses those touch attacks to begin grapples. This can be mixed seamlessly with the rest of his attack routine. Once he has an enemy grabbed, he can spend a swift action to use Updraft and shoot himself 170+ feet in the air. At the apex, he can drop his enemy as a free action, dealing an additional 17d6 damage, then float down safely himself.

    Although he does not consider himself a mage, Lakota uses some basic magics to augment his abilities. Song of celerity is especially important here, as he can do things like swift action Enlarge Person, standard action Control Winds to summon a tornado, move and draw his pandemonic silver longsword (causing all within 30' to make a DC 28 will save or cower) on the first round. On the second, he can full attack including an unarmed touch attack to grapple, then swift action Updraft and drop his enemy.

    At the highest levels, this is even more potent. Song of fury plus Haste means he can cast Haste as a swift action, attack six times with Storm Touch (dealing 54d6 damage and forcing six saves version stun), grapple his enemy, and the following round Updraft, drop him for more falling damage, land next to him, and do it all over again.

    Out of combat, Lakota is still useful. Favored in House, House Status, decent social skills (particularly Bluff and Gather Info) and fear effects all play well here. Gust of Wind and Control Winds both have non-combat utility options, as well. And his spells also can assist him in this regard.


    Lakota Windsong in your game
    Spoiler
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    Lakota Windsong should be easy to add to any Eberron campaign, or non-Eberron campaigns where the DM allows dragonmarks.

    If your DM does not mind mixing setting specific material, consider taking the Zhentarim Fighter ACF, which will give you Skill Focus (Intimidate) at third level. If you do this, I would recommend replacing the ranks in Gather Information with Intimidate.

    This build was made assuming action points were not in use and therefore ignored the additional AP that Dragonmark Heir provides. However, if your game includes them, you may want to consider replacing Mighty Dragonmark with Storm's Riposte. This will give you a counter-attack as an immediate action any time someone makes a melee attack against you. This triggers even on a miss, and lets you do things like set up off-turn grapples. If you do this, consider picking up a +3 dragonmark focus instead of the +1 variety, so that you can still create tornadoes from no wind. Also, look into the Unfettered Heroism spell to be able to use Storm's Riposte every round.

    If flaws are allowed, there are several feats that could come in handy. Scorpion's Grasp can allow you to initiate grapples as part of an unarmed attack, which can come in handy. Martial Study (Iron Heart Surge) is always an excellent choice and will aid you defensively. Dragonmark Spellturning is another excellent defensive option.

    Build Snapshots

    Level 5: Half-Elf Fighter 4/Dragonmark Heir 1

    Starting off with a level in the half-elf fighter sub level dramatically improves your skill totals. Blade focus lets you switch between longswords and rapiers, while later qualifying you for Bladesinger.

    You begin as a standard fighter with a magical flair, supplementing your sword swings with Gust of Wind (which is especially nice against flying enemies that would otherwise be your bane) and Sleet Storm.

    Level 10: Half-Elf Fighter 4/Dragonmark Heir 5/Wizard 1

    Dragonmark Heir gives you a pretty significant power boost. By ECL 9 you're tossing around CL 15 Control Winds. Go ahead and flip to the SRD, and see how powerful tornadoes and hurricanes are. We're talking effects strong enough to destroy entire armies. If you've managed to pick up a pandemonic silver longsword, you're also tossing around a DC 25 or 28 fear effect to boot.

    Updraft pulls triple duty, giving you a way to reposition yourself as a swift action, allowing you to trigger Expeditious Dodge while still full attacking, and working offensively when combined with grapples.

    You also start dabbling in spellcasting. This is especially handy for immediate action teleportation, but immediate access to wands and first level spells such as Enlarge Person certainly doesn't hurt here.

    Level 15: Half-Elf Fighter 4/Dragonmark Heir 5/Wizard 1/Bladesinger 5

    Bladesinger augments your spellcasting a bit while also keeping up your melee potential. Bladesong style is worth an easy +5 to AC at this point, which stacks with Combat Expertise and Expeditious Dodge. Lesser spellsong means that you are guaranteed to successfully cast defensively even in melee range, and song of celerity is allowing you to quicken an Enlarge Person, Fearsome Grapple or Heroics when necessary. Swift Heroics is especially handy, letting you pick up things like Improved Combat Expertise, Improved Disarm or Martial Study (Iron Heart Surge) and use them in the same round.

    All of your relevant combos are online, and you can grapple, Updraft and drop your enemies for an additional 15d6 damage as a swift action. Improved Grapple and Dragonmark Visionary give you yet more touch attack options and combine nicely with your fighting style, letting you take advantage of Combat Expertise without fear.

    Level 20: Half-Elf Fighter 4/Dragonmark Heir 5/Wizard 1/Bladesinger 10

    Third level spells mean you can consistently toss out Shivering Touches, which completely ravage just about anyone without spell resistance. Song of celerity can now quicken third level spells like Haste and Regroup. For a capstone, combine song of fury with Haste and Storm Touch. Make six Storm Touch attacks for 54d6 damage (including six chances to stun), grapple your enemy, Updraft as a swift action, and drop him for another 17d6 damage (or more, with dragonmark focii).

    Mighty Dragonmark boosts your DCs slightly, which is nice for things like Storm Touch (the stun rider on that is pretty nasty, considering you get one touch per caster level) but the big draw is the CL boost. Now, with just a +1 focus, you can go from completely still air to tornado with a single Control Winds.

    Sources
    Spoiler
    Show

    Pandemonic silver weapons: Complete Warrior
    Dragonmarks, Dragonmark Heir prestige class, Favored in House: Eberron Campaign Setting
    Mighty Dragonmark, Dragonmark Prodigy, Dragonmark Visionary: Dragonmarked
    Expeditious Dodge: Races of the Wild
    Half-Elf Fighter substitution: Races of Destiny
    Martial Wizard: SRD
    Immediate Magic: PHB2
    Skilled City Dweller: Cityscape web enhancement



    The Song of the Wind (Thoughts on Bladesinger)
    Spoiler
    Show

    Bladesinger is an interesting prestige class. There is a lot of flavor behind it, but its mechanics seem a bit off. It immediately reads like a gish class, with full BAB and casting requirements, but with its odd fighting style and laundry list of required feats, it would not fit in most gish builds.

    Thinking about what interested me in Bladesinger, I realized that the biggest trap was looking at the class and focusing on the "+1 to existing spellcasting level." The Bladesinger is NOT a spellcasting class; in that it is thoroughly outclassed by Abjurant Champion, Swiftblade, Spellsword, and even the lowly Eldritch Knight. I knew that I did not want to focus on the casting element, because if I did, there would be no way to justify not taking one of the above classes.

    So, what are we left with? We've got a class that is clearly intended to fight in melee, with a particular one-handed style meant to invoke thoughts of dancing and song. The smattering of magic is obviously intended to be used in melee, as abilities such as Lesser Spellsong (which, alongside Combat Casting, allows you to always successfully cast defensively) indicate. The one-handed style immediately made me think of using that open hand for touch attacks and unarmed strikes, and of a light-footed character who dances around enemies, switching between striking with his sword and his fist.

    This is the image that I kept in my head when cooking Lakota. I wanted a character that, more than anything else, takes advantage of the longsword/open hand style. Improved Unarmed Strike was a must, and that led me to think about grappling. But what about the sword? What would draw this character to use a blade, rather than solely fighting unarmed?

    The name of the class is what gave me the next bit of inspiration. I had recently been reading a post on pandemonic silver, a special material found in Complete Warrior. Blades made of pandemonic silver release an unearthly moan when drawn. This terrible noise causes all enemies to save or begin cowering, and it is carried by the howling of the wind. In windy areas, the DC increases, from a piddling DC 10 in areas of no wind, to the incredible DC 28 in tornado-level winds.

    From there, it all fell together. Instead of focusing on casting, I decided to make a member of House Lyrandar, whose blade carried the song of the wind. The Mark of Storm both gave me an incentive to play an elf/half-elf, and provided scaling abilities that weren't dependent upon caster level. Thanks to Dragonmark Heir, the character could bring hurricane-force winds from completely still air as early as ECL 9, draw his pandemonic silver sword, and proceed to fight with a mix of unarmed strikes and sword slashes. I built on the wind and storm theme, taking inspiration from the Lakota and Ojibwe mythology about thunderbirds or the Wakiya.

    Avatar by Iron Penguin.

    The Power of the Orient: A Wu Jen Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul S. Kemp
    Frankly, I think the designers and novelists did great work in the post-Spellplague Realms. But, in the end, this wasn’t a new setting. It was the Realms, the Realms 100 years later, and therein lay the problem.

  9. - Top - End - #309
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge In the Playground XLIII

    Once upon a time in Eberron.

    Quote Originally Posted by Throavel Shiorell’siffiath
    The following are excerpts from the scrolls allegedly penned by Throavel Shiorell’siffiath, bladesinger of the Broken Blade, devotee of Dol Dorn and master of steel and spell.

    From On the journey; the tale of Throavel, by his student Solon Maiyrath
    Spoiler
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    "Master Throavel is a very reserved man, but every now and then, he speaks a tale of how he reached mastery of spell and steel.

    He claims he was born at the 14th of Nymn, in the year 836 of the King. Most have asked him why he's so sure of that, as he was found by the Monastery of the Broken Blade. I know for sure one of his long-time friends (if it can be called that) is a student of the planes, and claims that date was a time when Fernia, the Sea of Fire, was coterminous with our plane. I heard once that the place of his birth, or his conception...whatever it is, was linked to a strong manifest zone with Fernia, and thus he was born with a rare affinity to fire. Maybe that's why he can cause his hands to burst into flames...

    From what I've gathered, Master Throavel was raised at a small monastery of the Broken Blade in the outskirts of Aundair, near the Crying Fields. He reached the title of blademaster at a very young age, at least for elves: around the 70 to 80 years, when he was still a child to elven standards.

    The rest is a bit vague, but he speaks a lot about his teacher in the arts of the 'dusk-blade', lady Amavellia. She was a bladesinger of great repute, one of the few adventurers during the age of the Last War, though she barely participated in the horrible war itself. She was near her twilight, but she was a skilled warrior; even when Master Throavel was an adept bladesinger, she still could defeat him. Because of this, Master Throavel never participated in the War either, instead devoting to form a monastery of his own; the very monastery I've trained.

    There are few tales of repute I've heard from Master Throavel: the tale of how he developed the Seven Deadly Strikes of Withering Pain, for example, to defeat a long-time rival of his master. Another was a personal tale, when we asked why he had developed a maneuver from one of the Nine Swords if his name mocks their main practitioners (he insists he learned it from watching 'a glory-hound, not one who claims to have mastered a sword').

    But, this is just a small introduction. Telling the tale requires a much, much larger book, and even I don't know all that he has done. There is much to learn about this mysterious man: how he mastered the arts of the enlightened fist almost on his own, for example. I hope this brief introduction makes him justice..."


    Build
    Spoiler
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    Lawful Neutral fire elf monk 2/duskblade 5/enlightened fist 3/bladesinger 10
    Starting ability scores (32 pt. buy): Str 14, Dex 14, Con 16, Int 12, Wis 14, Cha 8
    Fire Elf racial modifiers: +2 Dex, +2 Int, -2 Con, -2 Cha
    Ability scores (after racial modifiers): Str 14, Dex 16, Con 14, Int 14, Wis 14, Cha 6

    {table=head]Level|Class|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Skills|Feats|Class Features
    1st|Monk 1|
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |Balance 4 ranks, Concentration 4 ranks, Knowledge (arcana) 4 ranks, Knowledge (religion) 4 ranks, Perform (dance) 2 ranks, Perform (sing) 2 ranks, Tumble 4 ranks|Improved Unarmed Strike*, Stunning Fist*, Weapon Focus (longsword)|AC bonus (Wis), flurry of blows, unarmed strike (1d6)

    2nd|Monk 2|
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |Balance +1, Concentration +1, Jump 1 rank, Knowledge (arcana) +1, Knowledge (religion) +1, Tumble +1|Whirling Steel Strike*|Evasion

    3rd|Duskblade 1|
    +2
    |
    +5
    |
    +3
    |
    +5
    |Concentration +1, Knowledge (arcana) +1, Spellcraft +2 |Dodge|Arcane attunement, armored mage (light)

    4th|Duskblade 2|
    +3
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    |
    +6
    |Concentration +1, Knowledge (arcana) +1, Spellcraft +2|Combat Casting*|--

    5th|Duskblade 3|
    +4
    |
    +6
    |
    +4
    |
    +6
    |Concentration +1, Jump +1, Knowledge (arcana) +1, Spellcraft +1||Arcane channeling

    6th|Enlightened Fist 1|
    +4
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +8
    |Balance +1, Concentration +1, Knowledge (arcana) +1, Knowledge (religion) +1, Spellcraft +1, Tumble +1|Combat Expertise|Fast movement +10 ft., ki strike (magic)

    7th|Enlightened Fist 2|
    +5
    |
    +6
    |
    +7
    |
    +9
    | Balance +1, Concentration +1, Knowledge (arcana) +1, Knowledge (religion) +1, Spellcraft +1, Tumble +1||Fist of energy, unarmed strike (1d8)

    8th|Enlightened Fist 3|
    +6/+1
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +9
    | Balance +1, Concentration +1, Knowledge (arcana) +1, Knowledge (religion) +1, Spellcraft +1, Tumble +1||Arcane fist, armor bonus (Wis +1)

    9th|Duskblade 4|
    +7/+2
    |
    +8
    |
    +7
    |
    +10
    | Concentration +1, Jump +1, Knowledge (arcana) +1, Spellcraft +1|Snap Kick|Armored mage (medium)

    10th|Duskblade 5|
    +8/+3
    |
    +8
    |
    +7
    |
    +10
    |Concentration +1, Jump +1, Knowledge (arcana) +1, Spellcraft +1||Quick cast 1/day

    11th|Bladesinger 1|
    +9/+4
    |
    +8
    |
    +9
    |
    +12
    |Balance +1, Concentration +1, Jump +1, Tumble +1||Bladesong style

    12th|Bladesinger 2|
    +10/+5
    |
    +8
    |
    +10
    |
    +13
    | Balance +1, Concentration +1, Jump +1, Tumble +1|Arcane Strike|Lesser spellsong

    13th|Bladesinger 3|
    +11/+6/+1
    |
    +9
    |
    +10
    |
    +13
    |Balance +1, Concentration +1, Jump +1, Tumble +1||--

    14th|Bladesinger 4|
    +12/+7/+2
    |
    +9
    |
    +11
    |
    +14
    | Balance +1, Concentration +1, Jump +1, Tumble +1||Song of celerity (2nd)

    15th|Bladesinger 5|
    +13/+8/+3
    |
    +9
    |
    +11
    |
    +14
    |Balance +1, Concentration +1, Jump +1, Tumble +1|Martial Study (sudden leap)|--

    16th|Bladesinger 6|
    +14/+9/+4
    |
    +10
    |
    +12
    |
    +15
    |Balance +1, Concentration +1, Tumble +1, Skill Trick: Extreme Leap||Greater spellsong

    17th|Bladesinger 7|
    +15/+10/+5
    |
    +10
    |
    +12
    |
    +15
    |Balance +1, Concentration +1, Jump +2, Tumble +1||--

    18th|Bladesinger 8|
    +16/+11/+6/+1
    |
    +10
    |
    +13
    |
    +16
    | Balance +1, Concentration +1, Jump +2, Tumble +1|Two-Weapon Fighting|Song of celerity (4th)

    19th|Bladesinger 9|
    +17/+12/+7/+2
    |
    +11
    |
    +13
    |
    +16
    | Balance +1, Concentration +1, Jump +2, Tumble +1|||--

    20th|Bladesinger 10|
    +18/+13/+8/+3
    |
    +11
    |
    +14
    |
    +17
    | Balance +1, Concentration +1, Jump +2, Tumble +1||Song of fury [/table]
    *Bonus feats

    Ability Score Increases per Character Level
    4th – Strength
    8th – Strength
    12th – Intelligence
    16th – Intelligence
    20th – Wisdom

    Skills at 20th level
    Balance +23, Concentration +25, Jump +19 (+23), Knowledge (arcana) +16, Knowledge (religion) +12, Perform (dance) +0, Perform (sing) +0, Spellcraft +13, Tumble +26

    From From On the Core of the Art of the Song of Steel and Spell: the Skill scroll
    Spoiler
    Show
    "To become a blade-singer, the trainee must learn the basics of acrobatics: a good balance and the ability to tumble past opponents is a must. The trainee must also have high concentration, as the lesser spellsong thrives upon it. The trainee must interpret well the blade-song and be capable of dancing to it; thus, training involves the basics of song and dance, though I don't enforce this maxim.

    The monastery of the Broken Blade teaches the basics of the dogma of Dol Dorn; knowledge in religion is a must, and I enforce it. I have also found that proper training in the nature of magic and how it specifically works is a must: because of this, I could identify the key component of my dangerous and forbidden technique, and those who chafe on this cannot understand how to imbue spells through their fists as part of the Whirling Steel Strike or enchant their fists with flames or electricity.

    Some people ask me why I emphasize long jump training. I would say 'why not?', but there is a reason: one of the techniques I teach is to leap in the blink of an eye, and that requires superior jumping ability. Once the adept learns how to suddenly leap upon the target, I teach how to provide a further boost; an 'extreme' leap, to put it succintly. This allows the user to extend their distance an extra ten feet, up to a maximum distance of 40 ft. in a single leap. I have been capable of reaching a distance of 50 feet, but not measuring carefully the distance can end up ruining the execution of the technique. This has other uses, such as crossing a chasm of up to 50 feet long; do not think it is useful only in battle."


    From On the Core of the Art of the Song of Steel and Spell: the Steel scroll
    Spoiler
    Show
    "If you're reading this, you want to know the basics of my art, right? Of course you do.

    Before you read this: are you an elf? Say, one of the many living in Khorvaire, or one of the Aereni Tairnadal who didn't abandon the ways of the straight-edge and became the Valaes Tairn, masters of the curve blade? The Broken Blade focuses on the champion's blessed weapon, the longsword; anything else will take too little time.

    The first part of the training is how to master the art of the Broken Blade. The monastery's secret technique is the Whirling Steel Strike; only a master of the longsword can do so, and thus, you must focus on mastering the sword. This allows you to combine sword strikes with unarmed strikes when unleashing the deadly flurry of blows. Disregard those who call it the 'flurry of misses'. You can learn it right at the moment you learn how to evade wide-area attacks, instead of the usual tactics of tripping opponents or disarming them of their weapons*.

    Once that training is complete, you must learn about how to use magic. This can be in any way, but I always recommend my students to focus on arcane studies. I learned my arts from my master, who taught me the skills of the 'dusk-blade': this, I find, is the most effective way to learn the arts of the song of steel and spell because, during the course of the training, you learn more advanced methods of defensive casting;
    combat casting, if you'd prefer.

    By the time you learn how to channel spells through your weapons, it's time for the third leg of your training. Here, you should learn how to blend your martial arts styles with your spellcasting capabilities. This should allow your fists to bypass magical protections. I also learned how to turn my fists into flames, because of my natural predilection for fire, but some of my students have reported the ability to imbue their fists with electricity. I generally stop my training when you learn how to imbue your fist with a weapon while using the Whirling Steel Strike. Then, you may retake your former studies in magic: some of my students choose to return to their old magical discipline, and some choose to remain training their martial arts and spellcasting in conjunction.

    Once you have learned how to imbue a touch spell through your fist while executing the Whirling Steel Strike, then it's time to learn the arts of the bladesinger. The bladesong style requires keen intellect; thus, why I recommend my students to learn as much as they can, and often lead them towards the path of wizardry or that of the 'dusk-blade'.

    The bladesong style requires the use of a longsword (or a rapier) in one hand, and the other hand must be free. However, no one has ever mentioned, not even my teacher in the bladesong style, that unarmed strikes are never allowed. Thus, the bladesong style defensive maneuvers can be used in combination with strikes from fist or foot, and with the Whirling Steel Strike, you can take advantage of both. Treating the fist as a weapon just as powerful as the sword allows for an unorthodox method of two-weapon combat, which can be further improved by delivering the occasional 'snap' kick here and there. Oftentimes, I simply move upon my enemy, channel a spell through my fist or through my sword, and deliver a single strike, with a 'snap' kick on the side; by sacrificing spell slots, I can empower these attacks in order to deal greater damage and hit more accurately. If the enemy dares attempt to strike me up front, I simply empower this attack (an 'arcane strike', if you wish to call it that way) and unleash a veritable barrage of cuts and blows. I often deliver eight attacks at once: most experienced warriors deliver up to four, but I can deliver up to five when I unleash the dreaded flurry of blows. The bladesong style superior technique, the song of fury, shares the same nature as a flurry of blows, so that adds another attack. With my unorthodox method of two-weapon combat, that implies an extra attack, and then I deliver a 'snap' kick as a finisher. That's eight attacks, although at a hefty penalty to their accuracy; then again, at least five of those attacks are done at their maximum potential. The arcane fist technique allows to unleash a spell with a range of touch as part of any unarmed attack done during a five-second routine of blows: deliver that attack right at the first unarmed strike, to ensure maximum effect.

    But I'm afraid I cannot speak any more. To speak any further would reveal my dangerous, forbidden technique: the Seven Deadly Strikes of Withering Pain."


    (the rest is almost indecipherable, but let's assume you have Decipher Script)
    Spoiler
    Show
    "If you understand this cipher, then you are ready to understand the nature of the ultimate technique: the Seven Deadly Strikes of Withering Pain.

    This technique can be executed on a standing position, without moving, or against a far-away enemy (but no further than 30 ft.) by making an extreme sudden leap; the reason I teach my students the art of the long jump. This allows them to reach far-away enemies with the basic version of the technique.

    Once the enemy is in range, begin by making a Whirling Steel Strike: this will enable up to eight attacks, as I mentioned above in the scrolls. Being the most dangerous technique, you must empower your attack with the most powerful spell you have at your disposal: the more powerful, the better. This will take no action: for all purposes, it is free.

    As you execute your first unarmed attack, execute your arcane fist technique, but the spell must be very specific: Chill Touch. You may ask why: as grandmaster Williams of the Western Coast explains, a spell with a range of touch can be delivered through an unarmed attack. Chill Touch enables you to deliver more than one melee touch once cast: the arcane fist allows you to deliver that first attack, and then retain the charge for all other attacks during the round. This effect can only be used a few times: about five to seven times per day, and only if you haven't imbued your fists with flames or lightning, as that reduces their uses roughly by half.

    The reason it is called the "Seven Deadly Strikes of Withering Pain" implies you make seven successful unarmed strikes imbued with the power of the Chill Touch spell. Against an enemy with poor physical fortitude, this reduces their physical strength immensely, not to mention each strike unleashes a small burst of negative energy. As part of the Whirling Steel Strike, all your attacks (save one) can be unarmed strikes: this includes the one from your flurry, that of the song of fury, and the 'snap' kick as well, alongside the four attacks typical of experienced warriors. Of those, four are almost sure hits, with the latter three becoming increasingly difficult to land. Your 'arcane strike' will empower your attacks even further, and grant you the insight to land those hits; you are advised to enchant your fists with the Greater Magic Weapon spell for even more damage and accuracy with each hit.

    This is the basic move; it can be used only a limited amount of times per day, but only once if the enemy is mobile. There is one way to do it up to three times per encounter against a moving enemy, but only once: by learning the spell of Dimension Hop, you can use the blade-song of celerity to warp a certain distance and approach the target. The 'dusk-blade' teaches a similar technique, which can be used for a third attempt if it's necessary.

    Two variants of the tactic exist: the first implies using the blade-song of celerity or its variant to release a spell, using the lesser blade-song to execute a defensive casting in the blink of an eye. This allows adding another spell, such as a barrage of Scorching Rays, or a Touch of Fatigue, or a Ray of Enfeeblement to weaken the enemy even further; however, this only works against a moving target. A more advanced variant combines the arcane fist with the fist of energy for the highest possible damage output, and channels the power of another Chill Touch through your sword, retaining the charge on the sword before executing the Seven (Eight?) Deadly Strikes of Withering Pain."


    From On the Core of the Art of the Song of Steel and Spell: the Spell scroll
    Spoiler
    Show
    "Training as a 'dusk-blade' requires carefully considering which spells are important. I consider only those who can master all of the 'dusk-blade' cantrips, which really doesn't require much.

    There are three spells I always recommend to my students: one is the spell of Dimension Hop, because it can be used both offensively and defensively. Another is the spell of Greater Magic Weapon, as while weapons can be magically enchanted, fists are difficult to enchant. The third is the spell of Chill Touch; I only disclose the reasons if the adept is ready to master the dangerous forbidden technique.

    As for the others, I like to provide the adept with diversity. The spell of Resist Energy allows the adept to protect from the most dangerous spells bound to an element. The spell of Shocking Grasp grants a decent strike charged with electricity. Dispelling Touch can be used to disable a creature from its strongest spell effect. Touch of Fatigue and Touch of Idiocy can be deployed to weaken an enemy's physique or mental scores. Ray of Enfeeblement and Ray of Exhaustion can be used for long-distance weakening, particularly when combined: against strong combatants, this and Chill Touch can end them in an instant. And, if the enemy has wounded you to the brink of death, sap their vitality with a well-landed Vampiric Touch.

    The rest is left to choice: my affinity towards the flames has made me choose Burning Hands and Scorching Ray, but choosing them is not necessary; I find them excellent attacks against enemies at a distance or when they're grouped closely. The spell of Acid Arrow can be deployed to harm an enemy slowly, often a great opening salvo against the dangerous, forbidden technique."


    Spoiler
    Show
    Spells per day/Spells Known
    {table=head]Level|0lvl|1st|2nd|3rd

    1st & 2nd|-|-|-|-

    3rd|3/2+Int|2/2|-|-

    4th|4/2+Int|3/3|-|-

    5th|5/2+Int|4/4|-|-

    6th|5/2+Int|4/4|-|-

    7th|6/2+Int|5/5|-|-

    8th|6/2+Int|5/5|2/1|-

    9th|6/2+Int|5/5|3/2|-

    10th|6/2+Int|6/5|5/3|-

    11th|6/2+Int|6/5|5/3|-

    12th|6/2+Int|6/5|6/4|-

    13th|6/2+Int|6/5|6/4|-

    14th|6/2+Int|7/5|6/4|2/1

    15th|6/2+Int|7/5|6/4|2/1

    16th|6/2+Int|8/5|7/4|3/2

    17th|6/2+Int|8/5|7/4|3/2

    18th|6/2+Int|8/5|7/4|5/3

    19th|6/2+Int|8/5|7/4|3/2

    20th|6/2+Int|8/5|8/4|6/4[/table]

    0—acid splash, disrupt undead, ray of frost, touch of fatigue
    1st—burning hands, chill touch, ray of enfeeblement, resist energy, shocking grasp
    2nd—dimension hop, Melf’s acid arrow, scorching ray, touch of idiocy
    3rd—dispelling touch, greater magic weapon, ray of exhaustion, vampiric touch


    From a scroll without a title:
    Spoiler
    Show
    "While I have no trouble fighting on my own, with naught but a sword in my hand and my closed fist on the other, I recognize the worth of enchanted items now and then. When a pupil asks me 'what magic item should I choose', I point them towards these.

    Training as a blademaster of the Broken Blade and a bladesinger grants incredible capabilities to dodge and parry; you learn how to use your wits, your perception and your natural agility to dodge and parry just about any attack. However, I learned a lot about wearing at least the most basic armor from my teacher, and thus I point towards Bracers of Armor if the chance arises.

    Improving physical and mental scores is often a necessity. A combination of Belt of Giant Strength, Headband of Intellect, Gloves of Dexterity and Periapt of Wisdom seem to work wonders. I heard once of a mysterious belt, a 'Belt of Magnificence', that grants this benefit to all physical and mental scores; I wonder if it truly exists?

    I've also heard of some cord belts that improve the traits of a monk; the so-called 'Monk's Belt'. This improves the strength of your fists, your dodging skills and your fleetness of foot. I've even heard that it allows extra uses of the arcane fist and fist of energy techniques! That is, because they are both based off the stunning fist attack.

    As I mentioned, the style I teach precludes the use of armor. Yet, the body can use some defense: a Robe of the Archmagi can provide some protection, but I have heard of a legendary Vest of the Archmagi that provides an even higher amount of protection.

    Ring-wise, I've heard that, aside the base Rings of Protection, there are a few other strong choices. The Rings of Force Armor provide an extra punch to damage, while the Fanged Ring makes unarmed strikes even more lethal. The hands can be boosted with some Gloves of the Balanced Hand; this adds yet another attack to the Whirling Steel Strike maneuver, though it ends up being a longsword attack.

    There are other belts that provide utility. A Belt of Battle allows you to execute even more times per day the dangerous, forbidden technique of our school; a Belt of Growth grants you an increase in size that sacrifices some dodging skill for increased ranged and more dangerous blows.

    I've heard many things about Boots of Speed, which give you a massive boost to speed, and yet another attack that can be used on a Whirling Steel Strike routine, or even as part of the deadly forbidden technique of our school. The Blindfold of True Darkness allows the wearer to perceive the hidden and the invisible, a trait that can cause trouble to just about anyone.

    Finally, I wish to point two special items, one an entire collection of spells and another a fabled item I've never heard of before. The first, runestaffs, can be used for unavailable spells, but cannot be used as part of the bladesong style, so forget about using them as weapons. The other, so-called a Sparring Dummy of the Master, makes for short lunges and backsteps reach a range of 10 feet; however, this is only a rumor I've heard, long when I was but a sword-brother at the monastery of the Broken Blade where I was raised."


    Bibliography:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Player's Handbook: Monk, most feats & spells
    Player's Handbook II: Duskblade, spells
    Complete Arcane: Enlightened Fist
    Complete Warrior: Bladesinger, Arcane Strike feat
    Tome of Battle: Book of the Nine Swords: Snap Kick and Martial Study feats, Sudden Leap discipline
    Eberron Campaign Setting: Whirling Steel Strike feat, as well as the option to gain it at 2nd level.
    Unearthed Arcana: fire elf racial variant.
    Magic Item Compendium; magic item potions
    Arms and Equipment Guide: Sparring Dummy of the Master
    Races of the Wild: Elven names.
    The Monastery of the Broken Blade, how spells with a range of touch interact with unarmed strikes

    Avatar by Iron Penguin.

    The Power of the Orient: A Wu Jen Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul S. Kemp
    Frankly, I think the designers and novelists did great work in the post-Spellplague Realms. But, in the end, this wasn’t a new setting. It was the Realms, the Realms 100 years later, and therein lay the problem.

  10. - Top - End - #310
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge In the Playground XLIII

    He's gone over the moon.

    Quote Originally Posted by Runs with Wolves
    Runs With Wolves, Selûne's Huntmaster, Sword Howler

    Forestlord Half-Elf Bard 2/Sohei 1/Werewolf Lord 7/Bladesinger 10


    Chosen by Selûne, he was marked from birth; hair shaggy and unkempt, gruff of voice, and a talent with nature, he was more at home in the wilds than he was in any hamlet, town or city. Shunned as a child, among both humans and elves for his half-caste nature, he would often run away to spend time in the trees around his home. At first, it was a day, maybe two, then it would grow to become weeks or even months.

    During these forays, he became aware of the beauty of the natural world; he would quickly attempt to emulate the patterns of nature; dancing a weaving like boxing hares, the weave of the winds. The calling of the wider world dragged at his subconcious. Learning the ways of the animal kingdom, he could almost speak to them; though he could not write a single word of his own language, he understood the primal nature of the world.

    Wherever he travelled, he could turn the tides in his favour, a forceful personality, almost animalistic in nature matched his cunning ways, in a manner that spoke of only the most dangerous of animals. Whether he came across bandits ambushing a carriage, or the wolves that he frequently ran into the hunt with. He learned how to work with a pack, directing them with barks and howls.

    On the day of Selûne's Hallowing, with the crispest, brightest moon on an unshrouded evening, the goddess revealed herself to her chosen one, for he had not been found wanting. It was now time for him to be the Huntmaster, one who lead the Wild Hunt through the forests of Faerûn. Rumours state that the illiterate boy who would become the Huntmaster, having no knowledge of who this Goddess was or her deity received the knowledge regarding the so-called "Heresy of the New Moon". What this was, he will not tell, but the upper echelon's of her priesthood are keen to discover what, at all cost.

    Throwing aside the life of the wildman, for that was Selûne's will should he not prove worthy, lest her power corrupt him and place him so strong as to be unassailable, he traded the life of the wild, for a wandering ascetic. The freedom of nature, replaced by a constant inner quest to discover his strengths.

    After several years, such enlightenment came. He was now one of the fabled Lythari; the old elves of the forest, who were able to switch into the form of the wolf and back, ancient and terrible foes of the lycanthopes who plagued the forests of Evermeet. It was he who lead the beasts of the forest in hunts to slay the were-creatures, but despite his culls, and his own ever-increasing power as Selûne imbued him with her strength, did he notice that such tactics would not be enough to secure victory against the afflicted.

    Returning once more to seeking enlightenment, he discovered another path; one which would allow him a the strength to defeat the Lycanthropes; the Sword Howler. He now seeks to restore the Pact of the New Moon, but that requires other friends...

    Race; Forestlord Half-Elf

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

    1st|Half-Elf Savage Bard 1|
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |Balance 4, Bluff 4, Concentration 4, Diplomacy 4, Listen 4, Move Silently 4, Perform (Sing) 4, Perform (Dance) 2, Survival 4, Tumble 2, Use Magic Device 4|Dodge|Bardic Music, Bardic Knowledge, Soothing Voice, Fascinate, Inspire Courage +1, Illiterate

    2nd|Half-Elf Savage Bard 2|
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |Balance 5, Bluff 5, Concentration 5, Diplomacy 5, Listen 5, Move Silently 5, Perform (Sing) 5, Perform (Dance) 3, Survival 5, Tumble 3, Use Magic Device 5||

    3rd|Sohei 1|
    +1
    |
    +5
    |
    +0
    |
    +5
    |Balance 5, Bluff 5, Concentration 6, Diplomacy 6, Listen 5, Move Silently 5, Perform (Sing) 6, Perform (Dance) 3, Survival 5, Tumble 3, Use Magic Device 5|Weapon Focus (Longsword), Combat Casting|Ki Frenzy 1/day

    4th|*Natural Werewolf Template 1|
    +1
    |
    +5
    |
    +0
    |
    +5
    |Balance 5, Bluff 5, Concentration 6, Diplomacy 6, Listen 5, Move Silently 5, Perform (Sing) 6, Perform (Dance) 3, Survival 5, Tumble 3, Use Magic Device 5|Track|Wis +2, Natural Armour +2, Alternate Form (Wolf), Low-light Vision, Shapechanger Subtype

    5th|Dire Wolf Animal 1|
    +1
    |
    7
    |
    +2
    |
    +7
    |Balance 5, Bluff 5, Concentration 6, Diplomacy 6, Hide 3, Listen 6, Move Silently 6, Perform (Sing) 6, Perform (Dance) 3, Survival 6, Tumble 3, Use Magic Device 5||Str +2, Con +2, Natural Armour +2, Wolf Abilities, Bite

    6th|Dire Wolf Animal 2|
    +2
    |
    +8
    |
    +3
    |
    +8
    |Balance 5, Bluff 5, Concentration 6, Diplomacy 6, Hide 6, Listen 7, Move Silently 7, Perform (Sing) 6, Perform (Dance) 3, Survival 7, Tumble 3, Use Magic Device 5||Dex +4, Con +2, Scent, Trip

    7th|Dire Wolf Animal 3|
    +3
    |
    +8
    |
    +3
    |
    +8
    |Balance 5, Bluff 5, Concentration 6, Diplomacy 6, Hide 9, Listen 8, Move Silently 8, Perform (Sing) 6, Perform (Dance) 3, Survival 8, Tumble 3, Use Magic Device 5||Str +2, Natural Armour +1

    8th|Dire Wolf Animal 4|
    +4
    |
    +9
    |
    +4
    |
    +9
    |Balance 5, Bluff 5, Concentration 6, Diplomacy 6, Hide 10, Listen 10, Move Silently 10, Perform (Sing) 6, Perform (Dance) 3, Survival 9, Tumble 3, Use Magic Device 5|Run|Str +2, Large

    9th|Dire Wolf Animal 5|
    +4
    |
    +9
    |
    +4
    |
    +9
    |Balance 5, Bluff 5, Concentration 6, Diplomacy 6, Hide 11, Listen 11, Move Silently 11, Perform (Sing) 6, Perform (Dance) 3, Survival 11, Tumble 3, Use Magic Device 5||Str +4

    10th|Dire Wolf Animal 6|
    +5
    |
    +10
    |
    +5
    |
    +10
    |Balance 5, Bluff 5, Concentration 6, Diplomacy 6, Hide 12, Listen 12, Move Silently 12, Perform (Sing) 6, Perform (Dance) 3, Spot 2, Survival 12, Tumble 3, Use Magic Device 5|Alertness, Combat Expertise|Str +4, Con +2

    11th|Bladesinger 1|
    +6/+1
    |
    +10
    |
    +7
    |
    +12
    |Balance 6, Bluff 5, Concentration 7, Diplomacy 7, Hide 13, Listen 12, Move Silently 12, Perform (Sing) 7, Perform (Dance) 3, Spot 2, Survival 12, Tumble 4, Use Magic Device 5||Bladesong Style

    12th|Bladesinger 2|
    +7/+2
    |
    +10
    |
    +8
    |
    +13
    |Balance 7, Bluff 5, Concentration 9, Diplomacy 8, Hide 14, Listen 12, Move Silently 12, Perform (Sing) 8, Perform (Dance) 3, Spot 2, Survival 12, Tumble 5, Use Magic Device 5||Lesser Spellsong

    13th|Bladesinger 3|
    +8/+3
    |
    +11
    |
    +8
    |
    +13
    |Balance 8, Bluff 5, Concentration 10, Diplomacy 9, Hide 15, Listen 12, Move Silently 12, Perform (Sing) 9, Perform (Dance) 3, Spot 2, Survival 12, Tumble 6, Use Magic Device 5|Surrogate Spellcasting|

    14th|Bladesinger 4|
    +9/+4
    |
    +11
    |
    +9
    |
    +14
    |Balance 8, Bluff 5, Concentration 10, Diplomacy 9, Hide 15, Listen 12, Move Silently 12, Perform (Sing) 9, Perform (Dance) 3, Spot 2, Survival 12, Tumble 7, Use Magic Device 5||Song of Celerity (2nd)

    15th|Bladesinger 5|
    +10/+5
    |
    +11
    |
    +9
    |
    +14
    |Balance 9, Bluff 5, Concentration 11, Diplomacy 10, Hide 16, Listen 12, Move Silently 12, Perform (Sing) 10, Perform (Dance) 3, Spot 2, Survival 12, Tumble 8, Use Magic Device 5||

    16th|Bladesinger 6|
    +11/+6/+1
    |
    +12
    |
    +10
    |
    +15
    |Balance 10, Bluff 5, Concentration 12, Diplomacy 11, Hide 17, Listen 12, Move Silently 12, Perform (Sing) 10, Perform (Dance) 4, Spot 2, Survival 12, Tumble 9, Use Magic Device 5|Dragonfire Inspiration|Greater Spellsong

    17th|Bladesinger 7|
    +12/+7/+2
    |
    +12
    |
    +10
    |
    +15
    |Balance 11, Bluff 5, Concentration 12, Diplomacy 12, Hide 17, Listen 12, Move Silently 12, Perform (Sing) 10, Perform (Dance) 5, Spot 2, Survival 12, Tumble 10, Use Magic Device 5, Skill Trick; Shrouded Dance||

    18th|Bladesinger 8|
    +13/+8/+3
    |
    +12
    |
    +11
    |
    +16
    |Balance 12, Bluff 5, Concentration 12, Diplomacy 14, Hide 17, Listen 12, Move Silently 12, Perform (Sing) 10, Perform (Dance) 5, Spot 2, Survival 12, Tumble 11, Use Magic Device 5, Skill Trick; Shrouded Dance, Skill Trick; Nimble Charge||Song of Celerity (4th)

    19th|Bladesinger 9|
    +14/+9/+4
    |
    +13
    |
    +11
    |
    +16
    |Balance 13, Bluff 5, Concentration 12, Diplomacy 16, Hide 17, Listen 12, Move Silently 12, Perform (Sing) 10, Perform (Dance) 5, Spot 2, Survival 12, Tumble 12, Use Magic Device 5, Skill Trick; Shrouded Dance, Skill Trick; Nimble Charge, Skill Trick; Twisted Charge|Snowflake Wardance|

    20th|Bladesinger 10|
    +15/+10/+5
    |
    +13
    |
    +12
    |
    +17
    |Balance 14, Bluff 5, Concentration 12, Diplomacy 18, Hide 17, Listen 12, Move Silently 12, Perform (Sing) 10, Perform (Dance) 5, Spot 2, Survival 12, Tumble 13, Use Magic Device 5, Skill Trick; Shrouded Dance, Skill Trick; Nimble Charge, Skill Trick; Twisted Charge, Skill Trick; Acrobatic Backstab||Song of Fury[/table]
    NB - All italicised abilities, stat increases etc are only gained while using the Alternate Form abilities. Levels with an * Asterisk do not grant Hit Dice, and so delay the gaining of Feats and Skill Points based on Hit Dice by 1. Skills listed in Red are increased during the level up. Cross Class Skills are Blue.

    Avatar by Iron Penguin.

    The Power of the Orient: A Wu Jen Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul S. Kemp
    Frankly, I think the designers and novelists did great work in the post-Spellplague Realms. But, in the end, this wasn’t a new setting. It was the Realms, the Realms 100 years later, and therein lay the problem.

  11. - Top - End - #311
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge In the Playground XLIII

    Continued...
    Quote Originally Posted by Runs With Wolves
    {table=head]Ability Score|Starting Stats|Leveling Increases|Final Stats|Animal Form (20th)

    Strength | 8 |- | 8 | 22
    Dexterity | 12 | - | 12 | 16
    Constitution | 13 | - | 13 | 19
    Intelligence | 18 | - | 18 | 18
    Wisdom |10 | +2 (ECL4), +1 (ECL13) | 13 | 13
    Charisma | 13 | +3 (ECL5, 9, 17) | 16 | 16[/table]

    Spells per day/Spells Known
    {table=head]Level|0lvl|1st|2nd|3rd|Spells Known 0lvl|Spells Known 1st|Spells Known 2nd|Spells Known 3rd

    1st|2|-|-|-|Songbird, Lullaby, Resistance, Daze|-|-|-

    2nd|3|1|-|-|Songbird, Lullaby, Resistance, Daze, Flare|Sleep, Summon Nature's Ally I|-|-

    3rd|3|1|-|-|Songbird, Lullaby, Resistance, Daze, Flare|Sleep, Summon Nature's Ally I|-|-

    4th|3|1|-|-|Songbird, Lullaby, Resistance, Daze, Flare|Sleep, Summon Nature's Ally I|-|-

    5th|3|1|-|-|Songbird, Lullaby, Resistance, Daze, Flare|Sleep, Summon Nature's Ally I|-|-

    6th|3|1|-|-|Songbird, Lullaby, Resistance, Daze, Flare|Sleep, Summon Nature's Ally I|-|-

    7th|3|1|-|-|Songbird, Lullaby, Resistance, Daze, Flare|Sleep, Summon Nature's Ally I|-|-

    8th|3|1|-|-|Songbird, Lullaby, Resistance, Daze, Flare|Sleep, Summon Nature's Ally I|-|-

    9th|3|1|-|-|Songbird, Lullaby, Resistance, Daze, Flare|Sleep, Summon Nature's Ally I|-|-

    10th|3|1|-|-|Songbird, Lullaby, Resistance, Daze, Flare|Sleep, Summon Nature's Ally I|-|-

    11th|3|2|-|-|Songbird, Lullaby, Resistance, Daze, Flare, Detect Magic|Sleep, Summon Nature's Ally I, Balagarn's Iron Horn|-|-

    12th|3|2|-|-|Songbird, Lullaby, Resistance, Daze, Flare, Detect Magic|Sleep, Summon Nature's Ally I, Balagarn's Iron Horn|-|-

    13th|3|3|1|-|Songbird, Lullaby, Resistance, Daze, Flare, Detect Magic|Sleep, Summon Nature's Ally I, Balagarn's Iron Horn|Alter Self, Song of Festering Death|-

    14th|3|3|1|-|Songbird, Lullaby, Resistance, Daze, Flare, Detect Magic|Sleep, Summon Nature's Ally I, Balagarn's Iron Horn|Alter Self, Song of Festering Death|-

    15th|3|4|2|-|Songbird, Lullaby, Resistance, Daze, Flare, Detect Magic|Sleep, Summon Nature's Ally I, Balagarn's Iron Horn, Inspirational Boost|Alter Self, Song of Festering Death, Elation|-

    16th|3|4|2|-|Songbird, Lullaby, Resistance, Daze, Flare, Detect Magic|Sleep, Summon Nature's Ally I, Balagarn's Iron Horn, Inspirational Boost|Alter Self, Song of Festering Death, Elation|-

    17th|3|4|3|-|Songbird, Lullaby, Resistance, Daze, Flare, Detect Magic|Sleep, Summon Nature's Ally I, Balagarn's Iron Horn, Inspirational Boost|Alter Self, Song of Festering Death, Elation|-

    18th|3|4|3|-|Songbird, Lullaby, Resistance, Daze, Flare, Detect Magic|Sleep, Summon Nature's Ally I, Balagarn's Iron Horn, Inspirational Boost|Alter Self, Song of Festering Death, Elation|-

    19th|3|4|3|1|Songbird, Lullaby, Resistance, Daze, Flare, Detect Magic|Sleep, Summon Nature's Ally I, Balagarn's Iron Horn, Inspirational Boost|Alter Self, Song of Festering Death, Elation, Glossolalia|Summon Nature's Ally III, Roar of the Waves

    20th|3|4|3|1|Songbird, Lullaby, Resistance, Daze, Flare, Detect Magic|Sleep, Summon Nature's Ally I, Balagarn's Iron Horn, Inspirational Boost|Alter Self, Song of Festering Death, Elation, Glossolalia|Summon Nature's Ally III, Roar of the Waves[/table]

    Tactics
    Level 1-5 - ECL 5 HP = 6+(d6+d10+d8)+4 = Average 23.5 HP
    Okay, and welcome to the build of "Hunts With Wolves". He's a Dragon-blooded Half-Elf; also known as a Forestlord. As awesome as the fluff is, I'm refluffing it slightly that it was the Goddess Selune who granted him the bloodline powers, and it is that which marks him out from other Elves and Half Elves.

    Let's kick this off; Ability Scores favour intelligence for lots of skills, the SI has a low score, and these help a little bit. Charisma focus for spellcasting, and eventual Snowflake Wardance, Wisdom high enough to qualify eventually for Surrogate Spellcasting, the rest attributed to whatever takes your fancy, knowing that Strenth will be ramped up by the Werewolf Lord prestige class.

    Savage Bard fits the bill nicely, getting some Bardic Music, and a couple of uses there-of; Soothing Voice gets me Calm Emotions which is lost from my Spell-list through the Savage Bard alternate class feature. I left Illiteracy despite the skill points, because I felt it was fairly good without literacy, and thematically cool. I also have Fascinate AND Inspire Courage. First feat goes to Dodge. On the long trek to Bladesinger'dom, and it starts with a terrible feat. Spell-wise, Songbird gives a Competence to Social, Lullaby makes Sleepy time, Flare blinds those who pass their sleeping saves, while Daze gets me in on the action.

    Savage Bard 2 opens up spellcasting 1st level spells; Sleep and SNA I get me a Battlefield Control and a Summon Monster. Hardly Batman yet, but it's a start.

    Sohei is where our young chaotic reckless Bard begins to take a bit of responsibility for himself, and becomes lawful; I can now no longer advance in Bard until I become chaotic; but I don't want to. Ki-Frenzy opens up a nice way of extra damage, off-setting my lower strength, and getting me free Weapon Focus.

    At 4th level, the Template Class comes online; it has no HD, so no skill or feat progression, and from thenceforth on, everything is slowed by 1. I'm sure you would have liked me to progress to 3rd level, but a) it wouldn't have done me any good, but also the 2nd level ability for Hybrid Form is one that the Lythari of Faerunian legend aren't known for. I will buck that trend later to make the character viable outside of being a pseudo druid.

    So with 1st level taken, it's time to advance the animal HD. And whoa boy those stat increases. Loverly.
    Level 6-10 ECL 10 HP = 6+(d6+d10+6d8)+9 = Average 51 HP
    Most of these levels are the same, so they are all lumped in together. Spellcasting is not advanced during these levels. Skill Ranks are attributed to his forest experience and dedication to his cause. The stat increases here only affect animal form; I need to wait until Alter Self is on the table (ECL13) before I get that option to utilize it properly in a humanoidal form. A few bonus feats here and there, mostly useless however. I do get Track which is nice alongside my Scent ability. Feat progression is just pushing to meet the prerequisites.
    Level 11-15 ECL 15 HP = 6+(d6+d10+11d8)+14 = 89.5 HP
    ECL 11, and I have now fulfilled all the prerequisites of the class. Is it worth it? Well, we get Full BAB, giving me BAB+6 straight off the bat, and +1 Spellcasting, giving me another 0 and 1st level spell known. Balagarn's Iron Horn is a thematic usage of a Battlefield Control spell, while Detect Magic is a thematic expansion of the characters' abilities as he's progressed. Big thing here is the Intelligence to AC, up to class level. Without Augmentation, I have +4 Dodge to AC, while Enhancement Bonus's or Tomes will allow me to Max it out by the time my WBL can afford it. Skill Progression as well from now own takes a turn towards a bit more of a social nature.

    ECL12 gets lesser spellsong, getting me the ability to take 10 while casting defensively; I have a decent Concentration check, and a small boost from my Con Score.

    At ECL13, I get access to Second Level Spells; including Alter Self. Lycanthropy's Alternate Form does not change your Type. This has the slightly odd effect of changing you into all fours, and then replacing you with the appearance of, well, whatever you want to be. I lack a hybrid form, which is where this spell comes into its own. This has a couple of benefits. Although I lose my bite, I can gain the usage of my Melee weapons, my Snowflake Wardance (when I get it, eventually) doesn't look like a dog chasing its tail, and the potentially arguable wording of "movement capabilities" would allow me to move at my Wolf Form's speed - 50ft. It also allows me to maintain my excellent stat boosts - the Con bonus is +4 to Fort Saves, while my excellent Strength allows me to wing it in Close Combat at a decent level - I have a similar Strength to an unoptimized Barbarian, even if I only have 2 attacks at this moment (3 if you include punching with me free hand). At this level, I pick up the Ability Score adjustment to allow me to choose Surrogate Spellcasting, and it is Surrogate Spellcasting which allows me to cast my spells/Alter Self while in Wolf Form. With a necklace strung with "Memento Magicka" (see item list, below, and perhaps a Rod of Extend), I can keep up enough Alter Self for whatever is required. Surrogate Spellcasting helps me cast as well while I am otherwise unable to speak or Move. I do get a lovely little spell called Song of Festering Death; an Evil little spell that works on a Perform Singing Check, doing a small-ish amount of damage each round. I'd refluff it so that it was the howl that caused them to explode, rather than the pus/pores inside. It is evil however, so it's to be used sparingly. It's a decent use to take out enemy spellcasters, or other living low-Con characters.

    ECL 14; here we gain Song of Celerity (2nd), and Inspirational Boost. I still have 2-3 uses of Bardic Music (see Items section below), and a Morale Bonus to attack and damage to the party is usually well recieved. With the Inspirational Boost spell and a Badge of Valour, I gain +3 Morale Bonus. For a 2 Handed Power Attacker, that's +9 extra Damage per attack, while for myself and other Two Weapon Fighters, it's only a matter of waiting for Dragonfire Inspiration.

    ECL 15 is a dead level. I do get another Spell Known, however; I chose Elation from the BoED for the good descriptor to even up the casting of naughty spells to stay lawful neutral. Plus, I get Snowflake Wardance later on which fatigues me; Elation is a quick stop gap in an emergency for such an occasion. Meanwhile, I'll enjoy the stat boost, regardless of how meaningful it is. Tasha's Hideous Laughter is gained late on, but really, it's a Save or Suck, and Sonic. Not sure I like the Laughter part of the fluff, I'd much prefer screaming in agony at the intensity of the Wolf Howl.
    Level 16-20 ECL 20 HP = 6+(d6+d10+16d8)+19 = 113.5 HP
    ECL 16; Greater Spellsong. What a waste of an ability. Sadly, I couldn't think of any base class that didn't either granted benefits of casting in Light Armour, while those that didn't were typically full casters, and hence taking the SI would have been severely limited. Just to name a few; Bard, Duskblade, Battle Sorcerer, and Hexblade (in CW, no less!) all have 3/4 BAB or better, but also Armoured Casting of Light armour. Considering the name of the class, you'd have thought that it would have placed that ability a) earlier to make it useful for other casters, or b) ignored it. In other news; Dragonfire Inspiration is now kicking off. With Inspirational Boost, and a Badge of Valour, it's now a bonus +3d6 acid damage on each strike, which considering I have 2 attacks base, and a natural attack from my spare hand, that's a further +9d6 potentially each round. Singing, though? He HOWLS.

    ECL 17; Dead level here. Spellcasting is boosted by only a single 2nd level spell. Yay? Only other thing of note is the Shrouded Dance skill trick. I can hide 1/encounter as a move action, gaining concealment. Sure, it's hardly a game winner, but no sense in being less survivable, particularly with low-ish HP.

    ECL18; Song of Celerity (4th) Comes online. While at the moment, it has no additional effect, and sadly, I don't get access to 4th level spells at all, I do get the benefit of it on my next level. Nimble Charge comes online. It's not amazing, but it's a nifty trick to avoid dangerous terrain. Good against a Knight thinking he's safe as well. Again, sadly it's 1/encounter, but for 2 skill points in this build, they are hardly lacking.

    At ECL19, I now have access to my highest level of spells. 7! Woo. Hoo. Not brilliant, but my main usage of the Caster Level so far has been obviously Alter Self for the buff to stats. This gives me 70 minutes (140 with a Rod of Extend) per casting, or roughly 7 hours for 6 casts; 12 Memento Magica is highly unlikely to be required, but 14 hours of any form I wish is useful here. Even without the extra spell-slots, I do get up to 4 castings of it if I'm really really desperate. I took Twisted Charge here as a Skill Trick; once per encounter, charge with a 90 degree turn. Combine with Nimble Charge, and provided I can see the target, and my 50-60ft speed (assuming that the woolly wording of Alter Self's movement speed is upheld, and if not, oh well) gives me a large surprise round on the enemy at least twice in an encounter; and that's assuming I've not taken a flying form for utility purposes. Spell-wise, I have another 2nd and also gain access to 3rd level spell's known; 2nd level I take for Glossolalia to give me the ability to Stun clever people, and hurt their concentration. It's easy enough to save against the stun, but the penalty to Concentration is always going to be useful. For my 3rds, I have a Mind Affecting Will Save in Roar of the Waves. It has the benefit of being easy to represent by a big long howl. (Seeing a pattern here at all?) Sure, by this stage, every man and his dog have a Will Save out the wazoo and/or resistance to mind affecting, but it's a save or suck; Deafen is always useful for 1/5th spell failure regarding Verbal Spells (something thanks to Surrogate Spellcasting I can ignore if I get hit with similar), while Shaken can stack, and is not limited to HD. Summon Nature's Ally 3 is a little late, but it's fairly awesome to have a Dire Wolf/1d4+1 Wolves running around, helping set up flanks or act as speed bumps or meat shields for squishy party members. Feat-wise, Snowflake Wardance lets me use one of my sadly super-rare Bardic Music abilities to prance around, looking silly, but in return get myself a charisma bonus to attack. Without augmentation, this is just a +3 (enough to cover the penalties of Song of Fury, gained next level), but also worthy of augmenting with my most technicolour of Dreamcoats (Cloak of Charisma). Song of Celerity hits its own here, casting a quickened howl, either as one of my several sonic/sound based spells, or to quickly change form on the fly.

    ECL20, and the build is coming to a head. I've hit BAB15, and now kicking myself I didn't manage to hit 16+, but luckily Bladesinger is here to help! Song of Fury gives me +1 attack, which my decent Strength Bonus helps offset (ish), and I can also make a Natural Attack in the chain with the un-used arm, for a total of 5 attacks. Acrobatic Backstab is a Skill trick I just qualify for; it lets me tumble, and automatically make them Flat-footed. It's not brilliant, and I have no Sneak Attack synergy; however with the sheer amount of skill points I have, this tumble gives me at least 1 guaranteed hit, at the cost of 2 skill points I honestly struggled to find anywhere to put. Combine it with Snowflake Wardance, and it's a fairly decent buff to hit, even if it's 1/encounter. I think we are pretty much done with this one.

    Also, depending on how the DM looks at it, it is a free action to change hands on a weapon; you can make a full attack, add your additional hand to it as a free action before the attack, and then gain the extra strength bonus, before dropping a hand as a free action, and then getting in the Unarmed Strike.

    Alter Self Forms
    For the purposes of fluff, and matching my theme, I'm suggesting that the Alter Self makes me hairier and with more pronounced wolfish features. I hope this lets it fit in better with the backstory.

    My typical form taken is that of a Gnoll. Although the Gnoll itself is typically Hyena-based, this one should look more wolfish.

    Other forms include a Skulk (Fiend Folio - excellent stalker), Varag (Monster Manual IV - fast movement, Spring Attack Feat, good tracker), Troglodyte (Pseudo-Hybrid Form with Bite and Claws), and Avariel (Races of the Wild; Flight is extremely useful, even if it is 5 levels behind the Wizard).


    Items List
    All items below are not necessities, but obviously have good use within the build. Their usage is lined out within the build when it's ideal for them to be brought in.
    - Longsword, obviously. If magical, then +1 Harmonizing (MIC) is a good start. If I can munchkin it out, a Songblade (CAdv) with Aptitude (ToB) and Harmonizing. Harmonizing allows me to do other things than "Sing" during a battle. Aptitude allows me to use a Rapier with Snowflake Wardance (the Songblade being a +1 Rapier). The Songblade is there to grant an additional Bardic Music use, for a total of 3 a day at 20th.
    - Badge of Valour (MIC); three if possible - 3/day boost to increase Inspire Courage's effect by +1. With only 2-3 usages of Bardic Music each day, I have little cause for more.
    - Lesser Metamagic Rod of Extend; to extend the duration of Alter Self (or any other pertinent need. Extended at ECL20, with CL7 (without Augmentation), I have Alter Self up for 2 Hours 20 minutes).
    - Memento Magica (2nd) - these are reasonably cheap and allow me to cast Alter Self again, freeing up Spell slots elsewhere, especially considering how little access a Bard has to spells. Can include access to 1st and 3rd, as needed; however not entirely needed as opposed to the Alter Self usage.
    - Cloak of Charisma - to look awesome, and to boost my Charisma skills and Snowflake Wardance. A +6 Cloak nets me +6 to attack.
    Adaptations
    None of the comments under this heading are considered assumed as per the nature regarding the competition judging to keep it a level playing field. However, those below would be ideal to use and make the build as potentially as powerful as it can be.
    1. If I am allowed to take the Harmonizing Aptitude Songblade, then swap Weapon Focus (Longsword) to Rapier. It is not much, but gains me +1 Attack Bonus with it.

    2. If Flaws are allowed, then drop Sohei for another level in the Werewolf Template Class (So it's Bard 2/Werewolf Template 2/Dire Wolf Animal 6/Bladesinger 2), and take Weapon Focus and Combat Casting for a flaw. This allows me to assume the form of a hybrid wolf shape (benefitting from the stat boosts gained from the Animal Class) without the need for using Alter Self; giving me extra spells.

    3. I gain several "useless" feats through the usage of the template class; I'm not entirely sure Run is all that useful (Run, with 50ft speed), if I can get access to the old Dark Chaos Shuffle trick, there are several useful feats I can get in place of Run, Track (although with Scent it can be useful-ish), Alertness can get me at least Extra Music, and a Draconic Aura (Likely, Senses, to make up for my low-ish Dexterity, but others are interesting; Presence can help my (already decent, but not spectacular) Social Skills, and Vigor can give me yet another support option mid or post battle at later levels as I heal (19 HD Dragonblood giving me Fast Healing (3))). I'm sure there are a ton of other feats out there which give bonuses that I can use to continue buffing the party that didn't immediately come to mind as well. Possibly Greenbound Summoning. At worst, Wild Cohort on a [Dire] Wolf for thematics, or a better animal for power, while Practised Spellcaster increases my Alter Self

    4. For the purposes of elegance, I made Wisdom advance to 13 to take Surrogate Spellcasting. If it's allowed, then I'd use a Periapt of Wisdom sized for a Large Creature to gain the additional bonus Wisdom, and qualify through that. I could then enhance my Dexterity or Charisma somewhat.

    5. I don't assume that Natural Spell, Wildling Clasp or Wild Enchanted Armour (or any other Wild Shape reliant item) work with Lycanthropy, but I don't see any reasonable DM banning Natural Spell or the ability to wear such armour during the usage of my Alternate Form.

    6. If Gestalt is used, the role is as a party buffer. Although for sheer power, a Dragon Shaman would fit, but the whole "Breath Weapon and Growing Wings" thing doesn't really fit, unless you know of Flying Acid Cloud breathing Wolves anywhere, even if they are blessed by the Moon God? Marshal (would require more Investment in Charisma; but again, more out of Combat utility with the Motivate X aura's, I've got Skill Focus (Diplomacy) as well which is useful for free), War Chief (if Half-Elf counts as Elf AND Human - as per Races of Destiny), Tribal Frenzy is good. If Lycanthropy allows wolves, then obviously [Greenbound] Summon Nature's Ally will give me a lovely little boost. Sadly, due to the limitations of my BAB, unless I take 3 levels of full BAB at L1-3, I cannot qualify for it, and as Dual Prestige Progression would not be allowed, Warchief 7 would be the limit, so no Summoning Devoted Bodyguards). Crusader 2 has obvious boosts, Wilder is useful - Psionics works whereas spellcasting doesn't.

    7. I came up with this build while having a mooch through the Epic Handbook, searching for Epic Skill Usage's. I remembered Paragon Template. While not technically legal for the Template Class, you can easily take a Dire Wolf Lycanthrope Template; with the Paragon Template added onto the Dire Wolf; the Type is unchanged. Of course a) not available for the build here, b) utter abhorent cheese.

    8. Lacking Wild Empathy (gained at 2nd level of Werewolf Template Class), I had to make a choice between Wild Empathy, or Bardic Music (as limited as it is) through the Nature Bard ACF. I decided I preferred the flavour of Bardic Music, considering the SI and Snowflake Wardance's "Synergy" with the SI's weapon style was too "good" to pass up. Hopefully, a lenient DM may allow me to use my Wolf Form to speak to another wolf/canine creature at least, and consequently, my diplomacy to affect them. Understandable if not, however, and not a deal breaker.

    Sources
    Any non-Core sources listed here;
    • Half Elf Bard Racial Substitution Levels; Races of Destiny
    • Savage Bard; Unearthed Arcana
    • Sohei; Oriental Adventures
    • Werewolf Template Class and Dire Wolf Animal Class; http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/sp/20040117a
    • Bladesinger; Complete Warrior
    • Skill Tricks; Complete Scoundrel
    • Surrogate Spellcasting; Savage Species
    • Dragonfire Inspiration; Dragon Magic
    • Snowflake Wardance; Frostburn
    • Song of Festering Death; Book of Vile Darkness
    • Elation; Book of Exalted Deeds
    • Glossolalia; Expanded Psionic's Handbook
    • Roar of the Waves; Stormwrack

    Avatar by Iron Penguin.

    The Power of the Orient: A Wu Jen Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul S. Kemp
    Frankly, I think the designers and novelists did great work in the post-Spellplague Realms. But, in the end, this wasn’t a new setting. It was the Realms, the Realms 100 years later, and therein lay the problem.

  12. - Top - End - #312
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge In the Playground XLIII

    She's singing in the rain...

    Quote Originally Posted by May K. Haste
    May K. Haste
    April Showers
    Spoiler
    Show
    Moisture glistened on the long blades of grass. The child's laugh rang through the sweet air, the sound as bright as swallow-song. She sat on her fathers lap, watching the horizon as the sun made it's slow pilgrimage, beckoning the night to cast her charcoal shadow upon the lands.

    “Sing the song again, Daddy.” Requested the little girl, clapping her hands and smiling up at her father.

    The man laughed, a soft and melodious sound, and ruffled the child's reddish-brown hair.

    “Alright, May. But only one more time.”

    May giggled and leaned against her fathers chest, and gazed up at him. Tucked firmly into her fathers jacket, she yawned.

    Her father looked down at her and smiled, before looking up to the sunrise and opened his mouth.

    And from his parted lips did dance a sound as smooth and sweet as honey.

    On foreign land, I make my home
    Upon these shores, my bed
    On painted skies, I find my place
    Upon these clouds I rest

    The child smiled, closing her eyes sleepily.

    Though the ship that bore me has long been gone
    I pray not for its return
    For on these new found fields and plains
    Much truly have I learned

    The man stood, taking the child gently in his arms.

    So now, let night come once again
    let day find rest once more
    And let me lay a parting kiss
    upon my one amour

    The child's breathing became even and soft. The man's smile softened, and he turned from the sun, walking back towards their home. His voice, inaudible except if you were to stand beside him and listen intently, continued the song.

    So take these words and carry home
    My final pleas and praise
    Goodnight, Adieu, my precious love
    Tonight I walk my final days.

    The smile that traced his jaw was full of sadness.


    *

    Rain pounded the walls of the house with immense force, windows rattled and candles flickered. Close by, thunder rumbled.

    May screamed in fright as the deep sound rolled over the house.

    Her father sprinted from his room.

    May expected him to stop, kneel, and comfort her. That was what her father always did.

    He did not.

    Her father sprinted straight past her to a window, looking frantically into the roaring gale. His hands clutched the windowsill, the wood beneath his finger splintered and broke.

    “Damn.” He swore, obviously observing something May could not see.

    He turned and returned to her, kneeling, he gripped her shoulders with either arm.

    “May, I need you to listen to me and do exactly what I tell you, Okay?”

    “Daddy?” Asked May, confused.

    “May, there isn't time. I need you to go and hide under your bed. Okay?”

    May could tell from her father's eyes that she shouldn't question him.

    May nodded.

    “Good girl.” Said her father, the hints of a proud smile playing the corners of his mouth.

    May scrambled under her bed, the fear of the unknown clutching her chest.

    Moments after she had taken shelter under the wooden furniture, the sound of the front door flying open rent the air.

    The storm became significantly louder, and May had to focus to make out her father's voice.

    “I was wondering how long it would be before you came.”

    Another voice, deep and gravely, one she did not know, spoke back, over the sound of the wind and rain.

    “A shame it had to end this way, Jack. But orders are orders.”

    “Don't give me that. This is entirely of your own volition.”

    A deep, rumbling laugh shook the house, “How'd you guess, Jack?”


    There was a pause, and the sound of metal sliding across leather tickled the night air.

    “Die.” said the voice.

    And then havoc ensued.

    *
    When the noise was gone, May lay, under her bed, silent tears leaking down her face.

    Suddenly, a figure stepped into the room. May watched the heavy boot meet the floorboards. She caught her breath.

    The figure stepped up, and kneeled. A hand shot under the the bed and pulled May out. She gazed straight into the face of an orc.

    The beast was scarred and ugly, with brutal, loveless eyes.

    It laughed at the sight of May's frightened tears. The same laugh that had sounded when the door had flown open.

    “A waste.” It said, before letting her fall to the ground. The orc turned, stood up, and walked away.

    After she was sure it was gone, May rushed into the hallway.

    And found her father.

    There he lay, sprawled across the ground, in a pool of his own blood.

    His eyes barely moved, but they found May and focused.

    Her father's voice was gruff and pained.

    “Oh thank god,” He said, tears leaking down his face, “May. Thank god.”

    “DADDY!” Yelled May, running to her father, “Daddy, what happened?”

    Her father chuckled, “The past caught up with me.”

    Tears leaked down May's face, “Daddy?”

    “Hush now, May,” Said her father, before wheezing and coughing up blood, “The important thing is you're alive.”

    “Daddy, what's happening?”

    “May, I'm sorry. I'm sorry I couldn't watch you grow. I'm sorry.....”

    “DADDY, DON'T SAY THAT, DADDY!” Bawled May.

    “Goodbye, May.” Said her Father, his eyes beginning to close.

    “Daddy?”

    “I love you.”

    Then he became still.

    And May cried.

    *
    “NO.” Said the woman, slamming the door on May.

    “You have to!” Screamed May through the door as the torrential rain poured around her.

    “No, I don't. I told you. I no longer take students.” Stated the woman sternly from the other side of the oak portal.

    “But my father....”

    “Was a promising student, and would not want his daughter to pursue such a study.”

    “IS DEAD.” Said May.

    There was a pause, and the door creaked open. The elven woman peered out the crack at May.

    May met her gaze with every molecule of determination in her body.

    The woman's eyes softened, and she opened, the door.

    “Come inside, child. You should rest.”




    The Build

    Spoiler
    Show


    Starting Ability scores
    STR: 10
    DEX: 16
    CON: 10
    INT: 18
    WIS: 10
    CHA: 10

    All Level-up Points go into Intelligence

    Ending scores

    STR: 10
    DEX: 16
    CON: 10
    INT: 25
    WIS: 10
    CHA: 10


    May K Haste (Elven female Fighter 1/Duskblade 2/Wizard 2/Bladesinger 9/Swiftblade 6)
    {table=head]Level|Class|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Skills|Feats|Class Features

    1st|Fighter 1 |
    + 1
    |
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    | Perform (dance) (+2), Perform (sing) (+2) |Expeditious Dodge, Combat Expertise| (Extra feat)

    2nd|DuskBlade 1 |
    + 2
    |
    +4
    |
    +3
    |
    +2
    |Balance (+1) Tumble (+1) Spellcraft (+4) |N/A| Arcane Attunement, Armored Mage (Light)

    3rd|Duskblade 2 |
    +3
    |
    +5
    |
    +3
    |
    +4
    |Balance (+1) Tumble (+1) Concentration (+4) |Weapon Focus (Longsword) Combat Casting|Combat Casting

    4th|Wizard 1 |
    +3
    |
    +7
    |
    +3
    |
    +6
    |Balance (+1) Tumble (+1) Spellcraft (+1) Concentration (+1)|Mobility|Combat Wizard Variant (+1 Feat) Animal Companion (Rat (+2 Fortitude Save))

    5th|Wizard 2 |
    +4
    |
    +7
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    |Balance (+1) Tumble (+1) Concentration (+1) Spellcraft (+1)|N/A|

    6th|Bladesinger 1|
    +5
    |
    +7
    |
    +5
    |
    +9
    |Tumble, Spellcraft, Concentration, Balance, Jump, Perform (Dance), Perform (Sing)|Practiced Spellcaster| Bladesong style, +1 Caster level (Wizard)

    7th|Bladesinger 2|
    +6/1
    |
    +7
    |
    +6
    |
    +10
    |Tumble, Spellcraft, Concentration, Balance, Jump, Perform (Dance), Perform (Sing)|N/A|Lesser Spell Song

    8th|Bladesinger 3|
    +7/1
    |
    +7
    |
    +6
    |
    +10
    |Tumble, Spellcraft, Concentration, Balance, Jump, Perform (Dance), Perform (Sing)|N/A| +1 Caster Level (Wizard)

    9th|Bladesinger 4|
    +8/3
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +11
    |Tumble, Spellcraft, Concentration, Balance, Jump, Perform (Dance), Perform (Sing)|Extend Spell|Song of Celerity (2nd Level)

    10th|Bladesinger 5|
    +9/4
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +11
    |Tumble, Spellcraft, Concentration, Balance, Jump, Perform (Dance), Perform (Sing)|N/A|+1 Caster Level (Wizard)

    11th|SwiftBlade 1|
    +10/5
    |
    +7
    |
    +9
    |
    +13
    |Tumble, Spellcraft, Concentration, Balance, Jump, Perform (Sing)|Spring Attack|Spring Attack, Swift Surge +1/+0 ft.

    12th|SwiftBlade 2|
    +11/6/1
    |
    +7
    |
    +10
    |
    +14
    |Tumble, Spellcraft, Concentration, Balance, Jump, Perform (Sing)|Versatile Spellcaster| Blurred alacrity (20% miss chance vs melee and ranged while under haste) +1 Caster Level (Wizard)

    13th|Bladesinger 6|
    +12/7/2
    |
    +8
    |
    +11
    |
    +15
    |Tumble, Spellcraft, Concentration, Balance, Jump, Perform (Dance), Perform (Sing)|N/A|Greater Spellsong

    14th|SwiftBlade 3|
    +13/8/3
    |
    +9
    |
    +11
    |
    +15
    |Tumble, Spellcraft, Concentration, Balance, Jump, Perform (Sing)|N/A| Sudden casting (Blurred Alacrity = 30%) +1 Caster Level (Wizard)

    15th|Bladesinger 7|
    +14/9/4
    |
    +9
    |
    +11
    |
    +15
    |Tumble, Spellcraft, Concentration, Balance, Jump, Perform (Dance), Perform (Sing)|Travel Devotion| +1 Caster level (Wizard)

    16th|Bladesinger 8|
    +15/10/5
    |
    +9
    |
    +12
    |
    +16
    |Tumble, Spellcraft, Concentration, Balance, Jump, Perform (Dance), Perform (Sing)|N/A| Song of Celerity (4th level)

    17th|SwiftBlade 4|
    +16/11/6/1
    |
    +9
    |
    +13
    |
    +17
    |Tumble, Spellcraft, Concentration, Balance, Jump, , Perform (Sing)|N/A|Arcane (+5 to Initiative) Swift Surge +1/+10, Blurred Alacrity (40% Miss chance)

    18th|Bladesinger 9|
    +17/12/7/2
    |
    +10
    |
    +13
    |
    +17
    |Tumble, Spellcraft, Concentration, Balance, Jump, Perform (Sing)|Persist Spell| +1 Caster Level (Wizard)

    19th|SwiftBlade 5|
    +18/13/8/3
    |
    +10
    |
    +14
    |
    +18
    |Tumble, Spellcraft, Concentration, Balance, Jump, Perform (Sing)|N/A| Evasive Celerity (20% miss chance vs targeted spells) (Blurred Alacrity 50%) +1 Caster Level (Wizard)

    20th|SwiftBlade 6|
    +19/13/9/4
    |
    +11
    |
    +15
    |
    +19
    |Tumble(19 Ranks), Spellcraft(21 ranks), Concentration(21 ranks), Balance(19 ranks), Jump(15 ranks), Perform (Dance) (13 ranks), Perform (Sing)(16 ranks)|N/A|Fortified Hustle (Miss chance vs spells =30%) +1 Caster Level (Wizard) [/table]



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

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

    2nd|3|3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    3rd|4|4|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    4th|8|6|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    5th|9|7|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    6th|9|7|3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    7th|9|7|3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    8th|9|8|4|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    9th|9|8|4|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    10th|9|8|4|3|-|-|-|-|-|-

    11th|9|8|4|3|-|-|-|-|-|-

    12th|9|8|4|4|-|-|-|-|-|-

    13th|9|8|4|4|-|-|-|-|-|-

    14th|9|9|4|4|3|-|-|-|-|-

    15th|9|9|4|5|4|-|-|-|-|-

    16th|9|9|4|5|4|-|-|-|-|-

    17th|9|9|4|5|4|-|-|-|-|-

    18th|10|9|9|5|4|3|-|-|-|-

    19th|10|9|9|5|4|3|-|-|-|-

    20th|10|9|9|6|5|3|2|-|-|-[/table]


    Snapshots (Levels 5,10,15)
    Spoiler
    Show


    Level 5
    Spoiler
    Show

    “Good, child. Good.” Said Elestia, watching May practice, “Keep your sword high, otherwise you will be quickly killed.”

    May nodded, adjusting the longsword in her grip, and returned to striking at the training dummy.

    *

    “Focus. Focus. Channel the energy.” said Elestia, pacing around May.

    “I'm trying...” Protested May

    “Try. Harder.”
    May grumbled and focused on the tome in her hands.
    The symbols were twisted and contorted, nonsensical.

    FOCUS. She told herself.

    Focus. Relax, and focus.

    She breathed in, gazing into the mess of lines and runes.

    Suddenly, it made sense. She could understand! The knowledge was glorious.

    She raised a palm into the air, and flames, springing from thin air, engulfed the hand.

    May laughed, and looked to Elestia, who nodded, “Well done, May. Well done.”

    Spoiler
    Show
    Level 5: At level 5, May is doing rather well.
    She’s got 4 BAB, is able to cast in light armor without having to deal with Arcane Spell Failure.
    And thanks to her levels in both duskblade and wizard, she’s got a pretty decent amount of spells.
    As well as the fact that she’s got decent AC thanks to her dexterity.
    But she’s not quit shining yet.
    So let’s wait.


    Level 10
    Spoiler
    Show

    “All have their enemies, May. And, over the past decade, I presume you have realized that the Bladesingers are not an exception. ” Elestia said, walking slowly, leaning on her cane.

    “I know.” Said May, striding alongside her master, significantly taller and stunningly beautiful.

    “Your father knew this. He had made many enemies himself.”

    “The orc....”

    “Tursk'at.” Sighed her master, “Yes. He was the most vengeful.”

    “Why?”

    “Your father had killed his shield-brothers.” explained Elestia.

    May looked at her, confused.

    “His brothers-in-arms. Tursk'at is an orc of duty, but not of honor. Your father had shown him mercy, and Tursk'at took this to be an insult, an accusation of weakness. He slew many of your father's friends in his attempts to draw your father out.

    It was not until he killed your mother that your father feared for your safety and fled from this place.”

    “My mother...” May's eyes burned.

    “May...” Began Elestia.

    May turned away and marched swiftly towards the door.

    “May! Where are you going?”

    May turned back, tears welling in her eyes, “To pay him back.”


    Spoiler
    Show
    Level 10: Level 10, May’s starting to take off.
    9/4 BAB helps her effectiveness in combat.
    She’s casting 3rd level spells, but is using them exclusively for haste.
    She’s also got her INT to AC, which makes her just harder to hit.
    Song of Celerity gives her some more combat versatility, able to hit her opponents with 2nd level spells during FAAs (which is 3 attacks when she’s under the effects of haste) And Practiced Spellcaster has given her the CL that she's lost from taking the two PrCs
    .


    Level 15
    Spoiler
    Show
    They were not a challenge.

    May danced in between their blades like wind between branches. Her longsword moved as if of its own accord, slicing and slashing. The orcs fell before her like dry leaves before the flame.

    With a vicious swipe, she sent the head of one orc flying. The next slash made a wave of acid reduce another warrior to nothing but a smouldering, moaning heap.

    The last warrior dropped his weapon, raising his hands in surrender.

    May stalked towards him, blood-stained blade pointed towards his chest.

    The orc's eyes were full of fear, which gave May a visceral pleasure.

    May glared at the orc “Tell Tursk'at that I am coming for him.”

    The orc stammered “Who...who...are you?”

    “I am the past, catching up with him.” She snarled, before swinging her longsword, as fast as lightning, upwards. The orc screamed with pain as his hand was severed from his wrist.

    May kicked the orc in the knee, sending him toppling, before turning away and walking back down the alleyway.

    As the orc wailed in pain, a smile spread across May's face. It felt good.

    Spoiler
    Show
    15:Level 15, May’s rocking her stuff, and is almost where we want her to be. Not quite. But she’s still good.
    14/9/4 BAB.
    Up to 4th level spells.
    Versatile Spellcaster (which will matter soon)
    Swiftblade has helped our young lady out quite a bit.
    She has +1 to attack rolls, AC AND reflex saves.
    While under the effects of haste,(Quite often) anybody wanting to attack her with a melee or ranged attack has to deal with a 30% miss chance.
    Sudden casting allows her to drop haste easily in the middle of combat and keep moving.



    Sweet spot (Level 20)
    Spoiler
    Show

    A whistling upon the wind.

    A tune.

    A verse.

    Tursk'at the orc spun around in the field, searching frantically for the source.

    The ambush had been rapid.
    He hadn't even seen the attacker.
    But as the sounds of his elite guards' slaughter ripped through the air, he had fled.

    Now he stood in the field of tall grass, gripped with terror as a hauntingly beautiful and petrifying voice danced upon the wind.

    On foreign land, I make my home
    Upon these shores, my bed
    On painted skies, I find my place
    Upon these clouds I rest

    Tursk'at ran, ran like nothing in the world could stop him, through the tall foliage, running for his life.

    Though the ship that bore me has long been gone
    I pray not for its return
    For on these new found fields and plains
    Much truly have I learned

    A house! Ahead! He could take shelter from whatever she-demon now pursued him.

    It was not to be.

    The air in front of the house morphed and coalesced, and a young woman stood in his way, a longsword in her hand.

    Tursk'at now recognized the house.

    The field.

    The girl.

    “Jack.....” Was all he could manage.

    The girl was beautiful, and her voice was more melodious and beautiful than even her father's, but the words curving from her elven lips bore the cadence of a funeral march.

    His funeral march.

    So now, let night come once again
    let day find rest once more
    And let me lay a parting kiss
    upon my one amour

    She sang, walking towards the terrified orc, who stood petrified.

    “Please...” Began the Orc.

    The woman's eyes hardened. And she leaped forwards.

    She moved faster than he could follow, the grain parting on either side of her to make way for the blur that she had become.

    Suddenly, she was upon him, her longsword naught but a vicious series of blurs.

    Tursk'at stumbled backwards, roaring with rage as her blade cut deep into his flesh.

    She suddenly withdrew, stepping backwards, her longsword spinning in an elaborate flurry, and fire poured, an angry wave of combustion, from the tip of her longsword. The orc scrambled backwards, roaring with pain and swatting at his shirt as the conflagration claimed sections of his clothes.

    Enraged, Tursk'at grabbed his sword from his belt and slashed at the woman, his expert skills finding the holes in her guard.

    Yet his wicked falchion did not taste blood. No crimson leapt from her flesh to stain the ground. The blade passed clean through her, the slash catching naught but air.

    He looked at her, stunned with fear and amazement.

    May stepped forwards, and speared the orc like a hunting prize upon her longsword.

    He gasped with pain, then slid off her vorpal blade, and fell to the ground.

    May wiped her blade upon the grass as the orc wheezed for breath, his eyes fluttering.

    May to him, and her voice melded air to beauty and her lucid tongue pressed breath into angelic melody.

    So take these words and carry home
    My final pleas and praise
    Goodnight, Adieu, my precious love
    Tonight I walk my final days.

    Tursk'at's eyes closed as the last line was repeated once more upon the breeze.

    Tonight I walk my final days

    “For my mother.” Whispered May, raising the longsword high above the prone orc.

    And, with a pure and beautifully musical note of steel swinging through air, the blade swung.

    And claimed life one last time.

    Spoiler
    Show

    Level 20 is when May is kicking it with the big dogs. She’s got damn-near close to
    full BAB, and up to 6th level spells. Using versatile spellcaster to sacrifice her two 6th level spells to grab a persisted Haste at the start of the day, she is then able to run around profiting from all the advantages that Swiftblade gets while under haste for THE ENTIRE DAY. Here are her big advantages.
    When combat starts, she’s rocking a nice +7 to Initiative just to start. She is then able to activate travel devotion to quickly close in on the enemies. She can then release a FAA AND a spell as a part of that (Preferably something like Orb of Acid or Fire) when the opponent returns fire, they’ve got to get past a 50% miss chance for ranged and/or melee attacks or a 20% miss chance for a single targeted spell. She’s also, quite often, thanks to Travel devotion, profiting from not only the extra d6 from swift surge, but she’s also getting the +2 dodge bonus to AC from expeditious dodge. This makes her a rather difficult to hit, as she’s also got a +5 dodge bonus to AC from Bladesinger AND a +3 to AC from her dex, this leaves her with a +10 to AC total (not to mention the +5 armor she likely has, and any other defensive items)

    Here’s a basic showcase of a combat round for May at 20th level: Initiative = +9, so she’s got a good chance of going first. She activates Travel Devotion, uses the granted movement to move as a free action to move up to the opponent (not only allowing that extra d6 damage, but also giving her the +2 dodge bonus to AC from Expeditious dodge, which stacks with her INT to AC and the +1 to AC from swiftblade, making her harder to hit.)
    She can then unleash a Full Attack Action (5 Attacks because she’s under haste) + A 4th level spell, in this example, it’s an Orb of Fire, dealing 15d6 damage (Gotta love that +4 CL from Practiced Spellcaster)
    If the enemy has thrown off the fortitude save from Orb of Fire that makes them dazed for the round, and decides to try and hit her, she’s got 50% miss chance vs melee and 30% miss chance on targeted spells.
    If they haven’t thrown off the fort save, and are dazed, then May can go to town again next turn
    Last edited by Kuulvheysoon; 2013-03-16 at 07:57 PM.

    Avatar by Iron Penguin.

    The Power of the Orient: A Wu Jen Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul S. Kemp
    Frankly, I think the designers and novelists did great work in the post-Spellplague Realms. But, in the end, this wasn’t a new setting. It was the Realms, the Realms 100 years later, and therein lay the problem.

  13. - Top - End - #313
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge In the Playground XLIII

    Born to be Wild.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tahllas
    Tahllas’ Tale:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Even more than most half-elves, Tahllas was a child of two worlds, although both her parents were of half-elven birth themselves. Her father was a guard in the employ of the local duke, and well-accustomed to the civilized life of city dwelling. By contrast, her mother was affected with the wanderlust and longing for nature that exemplifies many of those with Forestlord heritage, and found herself so stifled with a city-based existence that she left her husband when Tahllas was young, taking the girl with her.

    There was almost no animosity between the two estranged mates, and both remained active in Tahllas’ upbringing. She spent half of each year with her mother, learning to live off the land as a Ranger would, and the other half with her father, learning the civilized magic and combat forms of a Duskblade. As she matured, the ability to compartmentalize parts of her world in that way - separating what she learned in the wild from what she learned in the city - became second nature to her, leading to a consistent splitting of her focus, but she found ways to blend the lessons of both parents into a method all her own, forging a singular path that paid homage to her half-elven heritage, both civilized and wild.


    Tahllas, Female CG Forestlord Half-Elf
    Starting stats: STR 14 DEX 12 CON 14 INT 16 WIS 10 CHA 12
    Ending stats (without equipment): STR 18 DEX 13 CON 14 INT 16 WIS 10 CHA 12
    Skills are listed without stat modifiers; Hide is always a class skill for Forestlord Elf/Half-Elf.

    Tahllas, the Wild Blade
    Spoiler
    Show
    {table=head]Level|Class|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Skills|Feats|Class Features

    1st|Ranger 1|
    +1
    |
    +4
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |Balance 2.0, Concentration 4, Hide 4, Knowledge (Arcana) 1.0, Knowledge (Nature) 2, Move Silently 4, Perform (Dance) 2.0, Perform (Sing) 2.0, Survival 4, Tumble 2.0|Combat Expertise, Track|Favored Enemy (Arcanist), Track, Wild Empathy

    2nd|Duskblade 1|
    +2
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    |
    +2
    |Concentration 5, Knowledge (Arcana) 2, Perform (Dance) 2.5, Perform (Sing) 2.5, Tumble 2.5|-|Arcane Atunement, Armored Mage (Light)

    3rd|Ranger 2|
    +3
    |
    +7
    |
    +4
    |
    +2
    |Balance 2.5, Concentration 6, Hide 5, Knowledge (Nature) 3, Listen 5, Move Silently 5, Perform (Dance) 3.0, Perform (Sing) 3.0, Survival 5, Tumble 3.0|Two-Weapon Fighting (B), Weapon Focus (Longsword)|Combat Style

    4th|Duskblade 2|
    +4
    |
    +8
    |
    +5
    |
    +3
    |Concentration 7, Knowledge (Arcana) 3, Sense Motive 2, Tumble 3.5|Combat Casting (B)|Bonus Feat; +1 DEX from level

    5th|Ranger 3|
    +5
    |
    +8
    |
    +5
    |
    +4
    |Balance 3.0, Concentration 8, Hide 6, Knowledge (Nature) 4, Move Silently 6, Survival 8, Tumble 4.0|Endurance|Bonus Feat

    6th|Duskblade 3|
    +6
    |
    +8
    |
    +6
    |
    +4
    |Concentration 9, Knowledge (Arcana) 4, Knowledge (Nature) 5, Sense Motive 4|Expiditious Dodge|Arcane Channeling

    7th|Bladesinger 1|
    +7
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    +6
    |Balance 5, Concentration 10, Knowledge (Arcana) 5, Tumble 5|-|Bladesong Style; + 1 Duskblade Caster Level

    8th|Bladesinger 2|
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    +9
    |
    +7
    |Concentration 11, Knowledge (Arcana) 6, Perform (Dance) 4, Sense Motive 5.0|-|Lesser Spellsong; +1 STR from level

    9th|Wildrunner 1|
    +9
    |
    +10
    |
    +11
    |
    +7
    |Concentration 12.0, Hide 7, Knowledge (Nature) 6, Move Silently 7, Survival 10|Battle Casting|Fast Movement, Trackless Step

    10th|Bladesinger 3|
    +10
    |
    +11
    |
    +11
    |
    +7
    |Knowledge (Arcana) 7, Perform (Dance) 5, Perform (Sing) 5, Tumble 6|-|+1 Duskblade Caster Level

    11th|Bladesinger 4|
    +11
    |
    +11
    |
    +12
    |
    +8
    |Balance 6, Hide 8, Tumble 7; Skill Trick: Shrouded Dance|-|Song of Celerity (2nd)

    12th|Wildrunner 2|
    +12
    |
    +12
    |
    +13
    |
    +8
    |Balance 7, Hide 9, Knowledge (Nature) 7, Move Silently 9, Survival 12|Karmic Strike|Primal Scream, Scent; +1 STR from level

    13th|Bladesinger 5|
    +13
    |
    +12
    |
    +13
    |
    +8
    |Hide 10, Knowledge (Arcana) 9; Skill Trick: Twisted Charge|-|+1 Duskblade Caster Level

    14th|Bladesinger 6|
    +14
    |
    +13
    |
    +14
    |
    +9
    |Hide 11, Knowledge (Arcana) 10, Tumble 8; Skill Trick: Swift Concentration|-|Greater Spellsong*

    15th|Wildrunner 3|
    +15
    |
    +14
    |
    +14
    |
    +10
    |Balance 8, Move Silently 11, Survival 14; Skill Trick: Collector of Stories|Einhander|Endure Elements

    16th|Bladesinger 7|
    +16
    |
    +14
    |
    +14
    |
    +10
    |Concentration 13, Hide 12, Knowledge (Arcana) 11; Skill Trick: Nimble Charge|-|+1 Duskblade Caster Level; +1 STR from level

    17th|Bladesinger 8|
    +17
    |
    +14
    |
    +15
    |
    +11
    |Balance 9, Hide 13, Knowledge (Arcana) 12, Tumble 10|-|Song of Celerity*

    18th|Wildrunner 4|
    +18
    |
    +15
    |
    +16
    |
    +11
    |Balance 10, Knowledge (Nature) 8, Move Silently 12, Survival 16; Skill Trick: Nimble Stand|Draconic Aura (Senses)|Primal Scream (Enemies Shaken)

    19th|Bladesinger 9|
    +19
    |
    +16
    |
    +16
    |
    +11
    |Concentration 15, Knowledge (Arcana) 13, Tumble 12|-|+1 Duskblade Caster Level

    20th|Bladesinger 10|
    +20
    |
    +16
    |
    +17
    |
    +12
    |Concentration 17, Knowledge (Arcana) 14, Tumble 14|-|Song of Fury[/table]
    *Denotes a granted ability that is not usable without outside interference in already extant abilities


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

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

    2nd|3|2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

    4th|4|3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

    6th|5|4|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    7th|6|5|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

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

    10th|6|5|2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

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

    13th|6|6|3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

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

    16th|6|6|5|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

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

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

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


    Tahllas’ Starting Point: (Early levels)
    Spoiler
    Show
    Tahllas starts out as a Ranger, giving her a wide base of skills from which to draw, with a focus on performance as a nod to her culture and the cultured nature of her father’s lifestyle, and on stealthy movement that pairs well with the native abilities of the Forestlord half-elves. The Treewalk ability of the Forestlord half-elves is particularly good at low levels as a “get out of jail free” card for difficult situations in the wild. That stealth focus points most naturally toward a cautious combatant, which Combat Expertise matches well, with Track as an obviously useful ability outside combat, while Favored Enemy (Arcanist) is one that should provide a useful benefit throughout her career. With Duskblade, Tahllas acquires magical abilities her native Wisdom score would have closed off to her as a Ranger, without slowing down her base attack bonus or significantly shifting from her martial role, and without compromising her ability to gird herself in armor; spells at this point are Acid Splash, Disrupt Undead, Ray of Frost, Touch of Fatigue, Magic Weapon, and Shocking Grasp. Her second Ranger level lets her pair her longsword with spiked armor for a two-weapon attack routine that will serve her well (see note from the chairman, below), while allowing her to increase her abilities with the longsword further with Weapon Focus. With her second Duskblade level, she picks up Combat Casting as a bonus feat - very useful given Bladesinger’s annoyingly extensive prerequisites - along with Color Spray. She also takes this opportunity to improve her Dexterity a mite, for future prerequisites (all other level-based stat increases are in Strength). Her third and final Ranger level gets Tahllas Endurance as another bonus feat (her 4th), which she’ll use for Wildrunner down the road. Staggering her levels in this way prevents any possible multi-class penalties, and allows all her saving throws to advance at a relatively steady rate.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kuulvheysoon
    Quote Originally Posted by Tahllas
    Would a character using - for example - a Rapier and Razored Armor count as having something in his off-hand for the purposes of Bladesinger, or not?
    Clever. I'd be inclined to rule that so long as the hand is free (eg. free to cast, or to quaff a potion), it counts as free for the purposes of the Bladesinger class features.


    Tahllas’ Continuation: (Mid levels)
    Spoiler
    Show
    Duskblade’s third level nets Tahllas the Arcane Channelling ability that is the hallmark of the Duskblade fighting style. With the feat obtained at this point, she chooses Expiditious Dodge, which is strictly superior to the straight Dodge feat while fulfilling the same prerequisites and not introducing any additional rulebooks. For her next spell, she takes Blade of Blood. Careful attention to skills to this point, in conjunction with the four bonus feats she’s acquired, has allowed her to fulfill all her prerequisites. This allows her to start Bladesinger as a 7th level character, adding a bit of her Intelligence modifier to her AC and another effective Duskblade caster level, used for True Strike for those melee encounters that she absolutely needs to hit. The next Bladesinger level allows her to Take 10 on Concentration checks for casting defensively, making a roll for such checks almost always unnecessary. With her 9th character level, Tahllas continues her pattern of splitting up her class level progression by delving into Wildrunner, improving her movement rate, her Fort save, and her ability to sneak (thanks to Trackless Step), as well as Battle Casting for those times when her lack of defensive spells or heavy armor put her at risk. Tenth level sees her back to Bladesinger, gaining Animalistic Power as her first 2nd level spell along with another small boost to Fort.


    Tahllas’ Maturation: (Upper levels)
    Spoiler
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    Level 11 - Tahllas’ 4th level as a Bladesinger - allows her to Quicken Spell her Animalistic Power for an immediate boost in combat prowess. At 12th level, the 2nd Wildrunner level taken nets her Scent (for in-combat and out-of-combat utility), the Karmic Strike feat (which builds nicely on her prefered fighting style and choices to date), and the Primal Scream ability that improves her Strength and Dexterity - and stacks with Animalistic Power. It also gives her a bite attack, though she finds scant few situations in which to use it. Altogether, this arguably makes 12th level the build’s sweet spot. With her next level, Tahllas uses her effective increase in Duskblade levels for gain the Scorching Ray spell, improving her options at range, while taking advantage of the skill choices she’s made to obtain the skill trick Twisted Charge to improve her melee abilities. 14th level’s Greater Spellsong is unfortunately superfluous for Tahllas, given her Duskblade levels, making the skills and skill trick (Swift Concentration) the gains here. With her 15th level, Tahllas gains Endure Elements at will, and takes the Einhander feat to further improve her offensive and - especially - her defensive prowess with her chosen fighting style, while the Collector of Stories skill trick allows her to more quickly identify foes, benefiting her entire party.


    Tahllas’ Completion: (Final pre-epic levels)
    Spoiler
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    Her 7th Bladesinger (and 16th character) level nets Tahllas the Ghoul Touch spell as a shiny new “save or lose” toy, and two extra 2nd level castings a day with which to take advantage of her options. She also picks up yet another skill trick in Nimble Charge to improve her ability to maneuver around a battlefield. The next Bladesinger level, unfortunately, is not very exciting for Tahllas, though, as she lacks the necessary spellcasting abilities to take advantage of the second iteration of Song of Celerity. With her last foray into Wildrunner, at 18th level, Tahllas channels her Forestlord half-elf heritage to choose the Draconic Aura (Senses) feat, giving her nearby allies and herself a small but potentially significant boost to Listen, Spot, and Initiative checks, as well as a rider ability to her Primal Scream that potentially leaves enemies Shaken. Bladesinger 9 (character level 19) nets another effective Duskblade caster level and the Stretch Weapon spell; Tahllas has consistently eschewed movement-based spells due to her native Treewalk abilities, and perception-based spells due to her native elvish senses, so will need equipment to pick up any slack left over. The capstone of Bladesinger is the capstone of her pre-epic career, allowing Tahllas an extra attack.


    Why Bladesinger?
    Spoiler
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    Within the lore of D&D, Rangers and Duskblades are particularly intertwined with (half)-elvish culture, making these “traditional” choices for playing a Half-elf, while dragons and the dragon-blooded are particularly intertwined with magic in the setting. Bladesinger and Wild Runner - as racially exclusive PrCs that build on those bases - are thus natural extensions of these traditional choices, combining to make Tahllas a character with deep roots in D&D’s lore for her race, and - ultimately - an expression of “the elfiest elf who ever elfed,” outside of Legolas.


    Tahllas’ Options:
    Spoiler
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    Given the option to take Flaws, Tahllas would benefit immensely from Combat Reflexes at 1st level, along with a shuffling of feats to put Weapon Focus at 1st and Expiditious Dodge at 3rd, thus opening up 6th level to snag Knowledge Devotion for better combat prowess; Shaky and Murky-Eyed are solid choices for Flaws in this scenario. AttilaTheGeek’s recent math-related thread would indicate her best enchantment choices for her longsword are Vicious and Collision, while her abilities are MAD enough to want a Belt of Magnificence if at all possible, in addition to the normal defensive-boosting and self-healing options usually coveted, and movement or perception oriented options considered above.


    Tahllas’ Sources:
    Spoiler
    Show
    SRD: Ranger, Skills, some Feats, most Spells (see Duskblade list)
    Player’s Handbook 2: Duskblade, some Spells (see the Duskblade list), Einhander Feat
    Dragon Magic: Forestlord Half-Elf, Draconic Aura (Senses) Feat
    Races of the Wild: Wildrunner Prestige Class, Battle Caster Feat, Expiditious Dodge Feat
    Complete Warrior: Bladesinger Prestige Class, Karmic Strike Feat
    Complete Scoundrel: Skill Tricks

    Avatar by Iron Penguin.

    The Power of the Orient: A Wu Jen Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul S. Kemp
    Frankly, I think the designers and novelists did great work in the post-Spellplague Realms. But, in the end, this wasn’t a new setting. It was the Realms, the Realms 100 years later, and therein lay the problem.

  14. - Top - End - #314
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge In the Playground XLIII

    Tempered by fire.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aermai
    Aermai, first of the Bladesingers

    Story:
    Spoiler
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    Blades and Magic are two sides of the same coin. Both have the potential to destroy, but they are also tools to build, free, and bring peace. For many mortals, they have to choose which side of the coin should face up, permanently hiding the other. But for the elves, they sought to create the perfect warrior. An elf that wouldn’t choose a side but would constantly be spinning on the edge. Perfect balance, perfect harmony of two opposing forces.

    Aermai was one such case. Chosen from birth to become the perfect weapon. Taught spell lore by powerful mages and sword craft by famous warriors. At the age of thirty, a child among elves, Aermai had almost no equal among other races. But, such a child could not be kept secret from the gods. Correllon Lartethian was pleased, his children had managed the impossible, they had created the perfect warrior, the perfect weapon. A defender of his people and a destroying of their enemies.

    But other gods were not as happy that the elves now had such a powerful tool in their grasps. Grummsh, god of the orcs, decided to take direct action. Raining down unholy fire upon Aermai’s village. Killing everyone in a blink of an eye. Aermai suffered terrible burns, scars that would never heal due to their unholy nature. He would have died had it not been for the intervention of his god in his time of need.

    Aermai traveled the world, his anger raging inside of him, revenge on his mind. Slaying all orcs in his path for the deaths of his kin. He became more powerful than anyone would have ever believed, his anger fueling his spells to new heights and giving his sword arm the energy and power he needed to slay his enemies, his only weakness being fire. Fire had destroyed his home, destroyed his body, and had destroyed his future.

    His thirst of revenge was never sated, even after killing hundreds of orcs. Neither was his thirst for power. And once again the gods noticed him, this time though it was Imix, prince of the elemental plane of fire, chaos and power incarnate. A trickster at heart, Imix approached Aermai and promised him even greater power if he continued to kill.

    Blinded by revenge, Aermai readily agreed, not stopping to question who Imix was or what his decision would do in the future. So the pact was sealed and Imix brought forth the anger from within Aermai and fused it with fire, the element that had destroyed Aermai’s home and body. The pain was unbearable, driving him insane and full of fear. Fire was the enemy, not his weapon.

    Years past, nothing could save Aermai, no one approached his constantly burning and scarred form, nobody could help him. Only one thing kept him going again, revenge. Not on the orcs anymore, but on Imix and his own naivety. He now had the power, but at a terrible price, his own body was no longer his own, every moment, constant agony.

    Aermai turned to the only thing he could, war. The calming, clear dance that was the chaos of battle, the song of clashing blades and bursting spells took the pain away. He had found his place, he had become the weapon that his race had intended, he had made fire his tool. But now, his wisdom tempered his blade. Revenge became meaningless. The only thing that mattered was the bladesong to defend his people. The coin stopped spinning, coming to rest right on it’s edge. He had become a Bladesinger.


    Build:
    Spoiler
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    Aermai, first of the Bladesingers
    {table=head]Level|Class|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Skills|Feats|Class Features

    1st|Duskblade 1|
    +1
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |Balance 2 Ranks, Perform (dance) 2 Ranks, Perform (sing) 2 Ranks, Tumble 2 Ranks, Concentration 4 Ranks|Dodge|Arcane Attunement, Armored Mage (light), Spells

    2nd|Duskblade 2|
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |Balance 2 Ranks, Perform (dance) 2 Ranks, Perform (sing) 2 Ranks, Tumble 2 Ranks, Concentration 5 Ranks, Knowledge (arcana) 4 Ranks|Combat Casting|

    3rd|Duskblade 3|
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |Balance 2 Ranks, Perform (dance) 2 Ranks, Perform (sing) 2 Ranks, Tumble 2 Ranks, Concentration 6 Ranks, Knowledge (arcana) 6 Ranks, Spellcraft 2 Ranks|Weapon Focus (rapier)|Arcane Channeling

    4th|Duskblade 4|
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Balance 2 Ranks, Perform (dance) 2 Ranks, Perform (sing) 2 Ranks, Tumble 2 Ranks, Concentration 7 Ranks, Knowledge (arcana) 7 Ranks, Spellcraft 5 Ranks||Armored Mage (medium)

    5th|Duskblade 5|
    +5
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Balance 2 Ranks, Perform (dance) 2 Ranks, Perform (sing) 2 Ranks, Tumble 2 Ranks, Concentration 8 Ranks, Knowledge (arcana) 8 Ranks, Spellcraft 8 Ranks||Quick Cast 1/day

    6th|Abjurant Champion 1|
    +6/1
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +6
    |Balance 2 Ranks, Perform (dance) 2 Ranks, Perform (sing) 2 Ranks, Tumble 2 Ranks, Concentration 9 Ranks, Knowledge (arcana) 9 Ranks, Spellcraft 9 Ranks, Jump 2 Ranks|Combat Expertise|Abjurant Armor, Extended Abjuration, +1 Arcane Spell Casting

    7th|Abjurant Champion 2|
    +7/2
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +7
    |Balance 2 Ranks, Perform (dance) 2 Ranks, Perform (sing) 2 Ranks, Tumble 2 Ranks, Concentration 10 Ranks, Knowledge (arcana) 10 Ranks, Spellcraft 10 Ranks, Jump 4 Ranks||Swift Abjuration, +1 Arcane Spell Casting

    8th|Abjurant Champion 3|
    +8/3
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +7
    |Balance 2 Ranks, Perform (dance) 2 Ranks, Perform (sing) 2 Ranks, Tumble 2 Ranks, Concentration 11 Ranks, Knowledge (arcana) 11 Ranks, Spellcraft 11 Ranks, Jump 6 Ranks|| +1 Arcane Spell Casting

    9th|Abjurant Champion 4|
    +9/4
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +8
    |Balance 2 Ranks, Perform (dance) 2 Ranks, Perform (sing) 2 Ranks, Tumble 2 Ranks, Concentration 12 Ranks, Knowledge (arcana) 12 Ranks, Spellcraft 12 Ranks, Jump 8 Ranks|Arcane Strike|Arcane Boost, +1 Arcane Spell Casting

    10th|Abjurant Champion 5|
    +10/5
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +8
    |Balance 2 Ranks, Perform (dance) 2 Ranks, Perform (sing) 2 Ranks, Tumble 2 Ranks, Concentration 13 Ranks, Knowledge (arcana) 13 Ranks, Spellcraft 13 Ranks, Jump 10 Ranks||Martial Arcanist, +1 Arcane Spell Casting

    11th|Bladesinger 1|
    +11/6/1
    |
    +5
    |
    +4
    |
    +10
    |Balance 2 Ranks, Perform (dance) 2 Ranks, Perform (sing) 2 Ranks, Tumble 2 Ranks, Concentration 14 Ranks, Knowledge (arcana) 14 Ranks, Spellcraft 14 Ranks, Jump 11 Ranks, Sense Motive 1 Rank||Bladesong style, +1 Arcane Spell Casting

    12th|Bladesinger 2|
    +12/7/2
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +11
    |Balance 2 Ranks, Perform (dance) 2 Ranks, Perform (sing) 2 Ranks, Tumble 2 Ranks, Concentration 15 Ranks, Knowledge (arcana) 15 Ranks, Spellcraft 15 Ranks, Jump 12 Ranks, Sense Motive 2 Ranks|Mobility|Lesser Spellsong

    13th|Bladesinger 3|
    +13/8/3
    |
    +6
    |
    +5
    |
    +11
    |Balance 2 Ranks, Perform (dance) 2 Ranks, Perform (sing) 2 Ranks, Tumble 2 Ranks, Concentration 16 Ranks, Knowledge (arcana) 16 Ranks, Spellcraft 16 Ranks, Jump 13 Ranks, Sense Motive 3 Ranks||+1 Arcane Spell Casting

    14th|Bladesinger 4|
    +14/9/4
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +12
    |Balance 2 Ranks, Perform (dance) 2 Ranks, Perform (sing) 2 Ranks, Tumble 2 Ranks, Concentration 17 Ranks, Knowledge (arcana) 17 Ranks, Spellcraft 17 Ranks, Jump 14 Ranks, Sense Motive 4 Ranks||Song of Celerity (2nd)

    15th|Bladesinger 5|
    +15/10/5
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +12
    |Balance 2 Ranks, Perform (dance) 2 Ranks, Perform (sing) 2 Ranks, Tumble 2 Ranks, Concentration 18 Ranks, Knowledge (arcana) 18 Ranks, Spellcraft 18 Ranks, Jump 15 Ranks, Sense Motive 5 Ranks|Elusive Target|+1 Arcane Spell Casting

    16th|Bladesinger 6|
    +16/11/6/1
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +13
    |Balance 2 Ranks, Perform (dance) 2 Ranks, Perform (sing) 2 Ranks, Tumble 2 Ranks, Concentration 19 Ranks, Knowledge (arcana) 19 Ranks, Spellcraft 19 Ranks, Jump 16 Ranks, Sense Motive 6 Ranks||Greater Spellsong

    17th|Bladesinger 7|
    +17/12/7/2
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +13
    |Balance 2 Ranks, Perform (dance) 2 Ranks, Perform (sing) 2 Ranks, Tumble 2 Ranks, Concentration 20 Ranks, Knowledge (arcana) 20 Ranks, Spellcraft 20 Ranks, Jump 17 Ranks, Sense Motive 7 Ranks|| +1 Arcane Spell Casting

    18th|Bladesinger 8|
    +18/13/8/3
    |
    +7
    |
    +8
    |
    +14
    |Balance 2 Ranks, Perform (dance) 2 Ranks, Perform (sing) 2 Ranks, Tumble 2 Ranks, Concentration 21 Ranks, Knowledge (arcana) 21 Ranks, Spellcraft 21 Ranks, Jump 18 Ranks, Sense Motive 8 Ranks|New Feats|Song of Celerity (4th)

    19th|Bladesinger 9|
    +19/14/9/4
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    +14
    |Balance 2 Ranks, Perform (dance) 2 Ranks, Perform (sing) 2 Ranks, Tumble 2 Ranks, Concentration 22 Ranks, Knowledge (arcana) 22 Ranks, Spellcraft 22 Ranks, Jump 19 Ranks, Sense Motive 9 Ranks||+1 Arcane Spell Casting

    20th|Bladesinger 10|
    +20/15/10/5
    |
    +8
    |
    +9
    |
    +15
    |Balance 2 Ranks, Perform (dance) 2 Ranks, Perform (sing) 2 Ranks, Tumble 2 Ranks, Concentration 23 Ranks, Knowledge (arcana) 23 Ranks, Spellcraft 23 Ranks, Jump 20 Ranks, Sense Motive 10 Ranks||Song of Fury[/table]


    Spells per day/Spells known:
    Spoiler
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    Spells per day/Spells Known
    {table=head]Level|0lvl|1st|2nd|3rd|4th

    1st|3|3|0|0|0

    2nd|4|4|0|0|0

    3rd|5|5|0|0|0

    4th|6|6|0|0|0

    5th|6|6|3|0|0

    6th|6|7|4|0|0

    7th|6|7|6|0|0

    8th|6|8|7|0|0

    9th|6|8|7|3|0

    10th|6|9|8|4|0

    11th|6|9|8|6|0

    12th|6|9|8|6|0

    13th|6|9|9|7|0

    14th|6|9|9|7|0

    15th|6|10|9|7|2

    16th|6|10|9|7|2

    17th|6|10|9|8|3

    18th|6|10|9|8|3

    19th|6|10|9|8|5

    20th|6|10|9|8|5[/table]

    Spells Known:
    Cantrips: All
    1st: Burning Hands, Shocking Grasp, Kelgore’s Firebolt, Swift Expeditious Retreat, True Strike.
    2nd: Deflect, Ghoul Touch, Swift Invisibility, Bear’s Endurance.
    3rd: Doom Scarabs, Vampiric Touch, Dispelling Touch, Energy Aegis.
    4th: Dimension Door, Enervate, Channeled Pyroburst.


    General Information:
    Spoiler
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    Race: Fire Elf
    Stats (after Racial Adjustment):
    Str 8
    Dex 20
    Con 12
    Int 17
    Wis 10
    Cha 6

    All level up stat points go either to Int or Con, the prior being more important


    Sweet Spots:
    Spoiler
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    Level 5: At level 5, Aermai can channel spells through his rapier with Arcane Channeling. Quicken one spell per day with quick cast. Cast spells in light and medium armor.

    Level 10: At level 10, Aermai has the abilities previously mentioned plus can extend all of his abjuration spells and quicken any of them up to 3rd level for free. Anytime he gains an armor bonus from an abjuration spell it gains an additional +5. His caster level becomes equal to his base attack bonus. And finally, he can sacrifice any spell and gain bonuses to attack, damage, elemental resistance, and armor class.

    Level 15: At level 15, Aermai has a bonus to his armor class equal to his intelligence bonus to a maximum of +5. He can take ten on any of his concentration checks to cast spells in combat. He can negate the effects of opponent’s power attack feat and force flanking enemies to hit each other through the use of the Elusive Target feat. Also, he can now quicken a spell for free twice per day.


    Equipment/Tactics:
    Spoiler
    Show

    Aermai has a rapier and a mithral breastplate. This allows customization as to where the remainder of the gold should be placed. Some good ideas are items that boost intelligence and/or dexterity and items that grant extra attacks/bonuses to attack, to make full use of Arcane Strike.

    Tactics:
    In combat, Aermai focuses on one opponent at a time. In the opening round, he charges the closest opponent, channeling a spell like shocking grasp, ghoul touch, or dispelling touch.
    After the opening round, Aermai makes full use of his Arcane Strike feat, sacrificing one of his higher level spells to try shortening the time he remains in combat, though he does try to allow enemies to flank him so that his Elusive Target feat comes into effect.
    If he takes too much damage, he tries to channel a vampiric touch or doom scarabs to heal himself. In the off chance that he can’t keep a reasonable portion of his hit points, he either casts a quickened dimension door, swift expeditious retreat, or swift invisibility.


    Sources:
    Spoiler
    Show

    Complete Warrior - Bladesinger, Elusive Target
    Players of Handbook 2 - Duskblade
    Complete Mage - Abjurant Champion
    Players Handbook - most Feats
    Unearthed Arcana - Fire Elf

    Avatar by Iron Penguin.

    The Power of the Orient: A Wu Jen Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul S. Kemp
    Frankly, I think the designers and novelists did great work in the post-Spellplague Realms. But, in the end, this wasn’t a new setting. It was the Realms, the Realms 100 years later, and therein lay the problem.

  15. - Top - End - #315
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge In the Playground XLIII

    Did you hear the one about the guy who wouldn't stop reincarnating?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyuth Baelavel
    Kyuth Baelavel
    Spoiler
    Show

    Class Progression
    Neutral Fire Elf Conjuration Domain Combat Wizard 1/Elf Paragon 3/Warblade 2/Jade Phoenix Mage 4/Bladesinger 10
    Starting Abilities: STR 14, DEX 16, CON 14, INT 18, WIS 8, CHA 6
    (includes racial adjustments: DEX +2, CON -2, INT +2, CHA -2)

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

    1st|Conjuration Domain Combat Wizard1|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |Concentration(4)4, Spellcraft(4)4, Knowledge(Arcana)(4)4, Craft(Painting)(2)2, Knowledge(Local)(2)2, Knowledge(Nature)(2)2, Knowledge(History)(2)2, Knowledge(Religion)(2)2, Knowledge(Architecture)(2)2 |Combat Casting, Dodge(B)|Summon Familiar, Bonus Feat

    2nd|Elf Paragon1|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |Spellcraft(1)5, Knowledge(Arcana)(1)5, Perform(Sing)(2)1, Perform(Dance)(2)1||Elfsight, resist enchantments

    3rd|Elf Paragon2|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |
    +2
    |Spellcraft(1)6, Knowledge(Arcana)(1)6, Perform(Sing)(2)2, Perform(Dance)(2)2|Practiced Spellcaster(Wizard), Weapon Focus(longsword)(B)|Bonus Feat

    4th|Elf Paragon3|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |Spellcraft(1)7, Knowledge(Arcana)(1)7, Knowledge(Nature)(5)7||Ability boost(int +2)

    5th|Warblade1|
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |Concentration(4)8, Balance(3)3, Tumble(2)2||Battle Clarity(Reflex saves), weapon aptitude

    6th|Warblade2|
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |Concentration(1)9, Balace(2)5, Tumble(3)5, Knowledge(Local)(3)5|Combat Expertise|Uncanny dodge

    7th|Jade Phoenix Mage1|
    +5
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |Concentration(1)10, Knowledge(Local)(6)8||Arcane wrath, rite of waking

    8th|Jade Phoenix Mage2|
    +6/+1
    |
    +7
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |Concentration(1)11, Knowledge(Local)(6)11, Ride(1)1||Mystic phoenix stance

    9th|Jade Phoenix Mage3|
    +7/+2
    |
    +7
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |Concentration(1)12, Knowledge(Local)(2)12, Ride(5)6|Combat Reflexes|

    10th|Jade Phoenix Mage4|
    +8/+3
    |
    +8
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |Concentration(1)13, Knowledge(Local)(2)13, Ride(5)11||Empowering strike

    11th|Bladesinger1|
    +9/+4
    |
    +8
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |Concentration(1)14, Spellcraft(2)9, Knowledge(Arcana)(3)10, Knowledge(Local)(2)14||Bladesong style

    12th|Bladesinger2|
    +10/+5
    |
    +8
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |Concentration(1)15, Spellcraft(2)11, Knowledge(Arcana)(2)12, Knowledge(Nature)(1)8, Knowledge(Local)(2)15|Knowledge Devotion(Nature)|Lesser spellsong

    13th|Bladesinger3|
    +11/+6/+1
    |
    +9
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |Concentration(1)16, Spellcraft(2)13, Knowledge(Arcana)(2)14, Knowledge(Nature)(1)8, Knowledge(Local)(2)16||

    14th|Bladesinger4|
    +12/+7/+2
    |
    +9
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |Concentration(1)17, Spellcraft(2)15, Knowledge(Arcana)(2)16, Knowledge(Nature)(1)9, Knowledge(Local)(2)17||Song of celerity(2nd)

    15th|Bladesinger5|
    +13/+8/+3
    |
    +9
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |Concentration(1)18, Spellcraft(2)17, Knowledge(Arcana)(2)18, Knowledge(Nature)(1)10, Knowledge(Local)(2)18|Robilar's Gambit|

    16th|Bladesinger6|
    +14/+9/+4
    |
    +10
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    |Concentration(1)19, Spellcraft(2)19, Knowledge(Arcana)(1)19, Knowledge(Nature)(2)12, Knowledge(Local)(2)19, Craft(Painting)(1)3||Greater spellsong

    17th|Bladesinger7|
    +15/+10/+5
    |
    +10
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    |Concentration(1)20, Spellcraft(1)20, Knowledge(Arcana)(1)20, Knowledge(Nature)(3)15, Knowledge(Local)(2)20, Craft(Painting)(1)4||

    18th|Bladesinger8|
    +16/+11/+6/+1
    |
    +10
    |
    +10
    |
    +10
    |Concentration(1)21, Spellcraft(1)21, Knowledge(Arcana)(1)21, Knowledge(Nature)(3)18, Knowledge(Local)(2)21, Craft(Painting)(1)5|Arcane Strike|Song of celerity(4th)

    19th|Bladesinger9|
    +17/+12/+7/+2
    |
    +11
    |
    +10
    |
    +10
    |Concentration(1)22, Spellcraft(1)22, Knowledge(Arcana)(1)22, Knowledge(Nature)(3)21, Knowledge(Local)(2)22, Craft(Painting)(1)6||

    20th|Bladesinger10|
    +17/+13/+8/+3
    |
    +11
    |
    +11
    |
    +11
    |Concentration(1)23, Spellcraft(1)23, Knowledge(Arcana)(1)23, Knowledge(Nature)(2)23, Knowledge(Local)(2)23, Craft(Painting)(2)8||Song of fury[/table]

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

    1st|3|2+1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    2nd|3|2+1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    3rd|4|3+1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    4th|4|4+1|2+1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    5th|4|4+1|2+1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    6th|4|4+1|2+1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    7th|4|4+1|2+1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    8th|4|5+1|4+1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    9th|4|5+1|4+1|2+1|-|-|-|-|-|-

    10th|4|5+1|5+1|3+1|-|-|-|-|-|-

    11th|4|6+1|5+1|3+1|2+1|-|-|-|-|-

    12th|4|6+1|5+1|3+1|2+1|-|-|-|-|-

    13th|4|6+1|5+1|4+1|3+1|-|-|-|-|-

    14th|4|6+1|5+1|4+1|3+1|-|-|-|-|-

    15th|4|6+1|6+1|4+1|3+1|2+1|-|-|-|-

    16th|4|6+1|6+1|5+1|3+1|2+1|-|-|-|-

    17th|4|6+1|6+1|5+1|4+1|3+1|-|-|-|-

    18th|4|6+1|6+1|5+1|4+1|3+1|-|-|-|-

    19th|4|6+1|6+1|6+1|4+1|3+1|2+1|-|-|-

    20th|4|6+1|6+1|6+1|4+1|3+1|2+1|-|-|-[/table]


    Maneuvers/Stances
    Spoiler
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    {table=head]Level|Maneuver|Readied|Stance|Learned

    5th|3|3|1|Battle Leader's Charge, Action Before Thought, Moment of Perfect Mind, Leading the Charge

    6th|4|3|1|Wall of Blades

    7th|5|3|1|Foehammer

    8th|5|3|1|

    9-20th|6|4|1|Defensive Rebuke[/table]


    Life and times of Kyuth Baelavel
    Spoiler
    Show

    The spell
    Spoiler
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    As he climbed the slope of Iatasel to bask in the warm glow of it's caldera one last time, Kyuth thought back on many happy memories from growing up in the town hidden in the forest at the base of the silent but warm valcano. The days at the lake hunting waterfowl with his cousins; while he could bring them down with a bow as easily as any of his cousins, he preferred to put his prey to sleep so he wouldn't damage the choice cuts. The way Great Uncle Sylessahel's laughter would below through the trees as he told stories from his front stoop. The way Aunt Kash'Sheumilthir would bite her lip when holding back instruction in the proper jestures to go with the spells until he figured it out on his own or asked for help. The singing and dancing late into the night follwed by long discussions on a myriad of topics to the wee hours of the morning.

    Kyuth would miss his family and friends, but he would be back this way eventually. The school that the stranger who had passed through town a few months before sounded intriguing. Kyuth could improve is already ample prowess with the blade and get some practical experience because it was much closer to the contested boarder with the orcs.


    Level 5
    Spoiler
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    Kyuth only has 2nd level spells at this point, but he practices extensively with the spells he does know so keeps up in caster level and has an extra spell at each level in the Conjuration Domain. He mostly uses his spells for defense and crowd control with mage armor, mirror image, grease, web, kelgore's grave mist and fog cloud being his favorites. He can hold his own with a longsword or rapier, can protect himself while casting in melee, and has a few maneuvers to bolster his Reflex and Will saves and his AC. He gets an additional dodge bonus to a designated opponent and has a rat familiar to improve his Fort saves and Battle Clarity helps his reflex saves a little.


    The sword
    Spoiler
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    Kyuth already enjoyed the aesthetic of the song of the blade as it whistle through the air, the ring of the steel as it met another blade, and the motion of the body as it followed through and reset for another strike. The Blade school brought the strikes and counters and stances to the pinicle of high art. It was a beautiful thing to behold and Kyuth felt at one with his blade and the rhythm of battle. As an ambassador of his people, Kyuth enjoyed getting to know the people of various races and cultures that attended The Blade school.

    Presently he found out that the stranger that had piqued his interest in The Blade school had not happened on Kyuth's village by accident. The stranger, Howard Whitestaff, could not help in Kyuth's instruction in the blade because his chosen weapon was the quarterstaff; however, Howard had set Kyuth on the path to the school and later awakend the memories of the Order of the Jade Phoenix in him. The Jade Phoenix opened Kyuth to a new order of techniques which he mastered from his memories. Soon after his waking Kyuth left The Blade school.


    Level 10
    Spoiler
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    Kyuth now never loses his Dex to AC unless he's imobilized, he can sacrifice spells to improve his attack and damage on the next hit, and he can make any knowledge check even if he has no training and gets a +2 on all knowledge checks as well. By sacrificing a spell when entering Mystic Phoenix stance Kyuth now can have up to DR 6/Evil along with +2 dodge bonus to AC and +1 caster level on his arcane spells. Kyuth can also force an opponent to attack only him every other round and increase his AC by up to +5 by sacrificing attack due to Combat Expertise. He can also take multiple attacks of opportunity if they present themselves. He can now cast 3rd level spells and can enlarge a spell, once an encounter, after connecting with a martial strike. His spell of choice for enlargement is vampiric touch for a 5d6*1.5 damage and the same amount of temprary hps. His familiar can now protect itself a little better by using ride checks to gain cover when attacked.

    Kyuth now has a few new buffs, such as haste, blur, greater magic weapon, and keen available if he has time before an encounter, but still starts an encounter with crowd control then into melee. If he's having trouble hitting throw out a wraithstrike and he can probably go full Combat Expertise and still hit a touch AC.


    The Mind
    Spoiler
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    On his many journeys, Kyuth innovated new ways to use his intellegence to turn the tide of battle and wandered the lands to help the oppressed and route out tyranny and evil wherever he saw it.


    Level 15
    Spoiler
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    Kyuth gets a dodge bonus equal to the minimum of his INT bonus or bladesinger level, so he now has up to a +8 dodge bonus on one opponent and +7 on all others thanks to the dodge feat and Mystic Pheonix Stance. He can cast 5th level spells, so can get DR 10/Evil again thanks to Mystic Pheonix stance. He can quicken a spell up to 2nd level once a day, so now his favorite combo, once all the crowd controlling is set, is to charge in with Battle Leader's Charge then quicken an enlarged ray of enfeeblement. Any other encounter during the day go back to enlarging vampiric touch in the round after a strike and he should easily be able to hit his concentration check now that he can take 10. He can use Robilar's Gambit to get attacks of opportunity on opponents he has enduced to attack him using Deffensive Rebuke, and Kyuth can now use knowledge checks(which he can make untrained) to increase damage and help offset any attack penalties taken for using Combat Expertise and/or Robilar's Gambit.

    Kyuth still uses fogs and now adds walls and tentacles into the mix for crowd control. He can now diminsion door out of serious trouble and teleport if there is a need and the best spells in the bite of the were line come in handy too.


    Level 20
    Spoiler
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    Kyuth's dodge bonus can now be up to +13/+12 if he's managed to get a +6 headband. He can now wear light armor without interfering with spellcaster, so if he can find something better than +6 armor bonus he's getting from greater mage armor he'll put it on. He can quicken a spell up to level 4, so he'll use quicken enlarged vampiric touch or enervation after a charging strike. He can use Arcane strike to further increase his attack and damage especially in a round in which he uses Defensive Rebuke to force opponents to attack him provoking attacks of opportunity from Robilar's Gambit. He also gets and additional attack in a full round attack which he happens to be doing often to refresh his maneuvers.

    Now that Kyuth can cast level 6 spells, he will start imbuing his familiar with spells so he can be sure he has haste, keen, and greater magic weapon in every encounter if needed. Other spells that are useful to imbue are scale weakening and vortex of teeth. If he has the funds available, Kyuth will cast create magic tatoo to increase his attack and/or caster level.


    Options
    Spoiler
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    Ask your DM about the skill list for Jade Phoenix Mage; from the prereqs it should have at least knowledge(arcana, history, religion) and probably spellcraft, but you could make a case for all knowledge skills being on th elist based on the Rite of Waking.

    INT is your most important stat so get it to 30 as soon as you can. After 30 it doesn't help quite as much, but extra spells and higher DCs are always a plus. Additional DEX improves your AC, helps on ray attacks, and gets you more AOOs. It can't hurt to pick up extra STR or CON either.

    Always use the best longsword or rapier you can find, you can always change your Weapon Focus using weapon aptitude. If you can use flaws, fit Sense Weakness into the build somewhere to ignore 5 points of DR on any attack.

    If you want a more melee heavy build you could drop a couple levels of Bladesinger and one level of JPM and add 3 levels of Swashbuckler to get some more damage out of your High INT.


    Sources
    Spoiler
    Show

    Complete Arcane - Practiced spellcaster
    Complete Champion - Knowledge Devotion
    Complete Warrior - Bladesinger, Arcane Strike
    Players Handbook - wizard, feats, spells
    Players Handbook II - spells, Robilar's Gambit
    Spell Compendium - spells
    Tome of Battle - Warblade, Jade Phoenix Mage
    Unearthed Arcana - Fire Elf, Elf Paragon, Combat/Domain wizard
    Last edited by Kuulvheysoon; 2013-03-16 at 06:13 PM.

    Avatar by Iron Penguin.

    The Power of the Orient: A Wu Jen Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul S. Kemp
    Frankly, I think the designers and novelists did great work in the post-Spellplague Realms. But, in the end, this wasn’t a new setting. It was the Realms, the Realms 100 years later, and therein lay the problem.

  16. - Top - End - #316
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge In the Playground XLIII

    He's reckless, arrogant, impetuous, probably be dead by sundown, but I like the kid.

    Quote Originally Posted by Devon Ambrose

    Devon Ambrose
    Half-Elf Swashbuckler 3/Fighter 4/Suel Archanamach 1/Bladesinger 10/Dragonslayer 1/Spellsword 1

    Background
    Spoiler
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    Everyman has his price. Every man can be bought. This Ambrose feller seems to be worth his weight in gold. Even so, an ambitious man is like a rabid dog. Never turn your back on 'em.
    - Excerpt from the Log of Pirate Captain Arcus Wright

    Ambrose is a dabbler and a dreamer. He is easily distracted, shows more love for frivolous things than is healthy, and left my tutelage before he completed his training. And the worst of it is, he is perhaps my greatest student.
    - From the Diary of Master Aurellion

    I could not let such an insult stand, of course, so I challenged Lord Eryl to a duel. While I'm sure the look on my face when he revealed that he was a silver dragon was the source of some amusement to the court, the look on his face when I buried my blade to the hilt in his scaly chest was the vision of comedy.
    - Excerpt from Memoirs of a Life Truly Lived, by Devon Ambrose

    It's said that a man is what he wills himself to be. A man can accomplish anything if his will is strong enough. Good ser, you are known throughout the ocean kingdoms as the greatest swordsman alive. You've used your skills to amass a veritable dragon's hoard of historical treasures. I am but a humble aspirant in comparison, but I have come before you all the same. Some have called me a brute, but you will find that I know how to play this game, how to dance this dance. As one swordsman to another I say to you, today we cross blades! Today, I show you the strength of my will.
    - Devon Ambrose to Carmichael Kane at The Duel of the Emerald Islands, from the Collected Histories of the Gilded Age.


    The Main Course
    Spoiler
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    Devon Ambrose
    {table=head]Level|Class|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Skills|Feats|Class Features

    1st|Swashbuckler 1|
    +1
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |Balance 4, Concentration 2, Jump 4, Perform(Dance) 2, Perform(Sing) 2, Spellcraft 2, Tumble 4|Iron Will, Weapon Finesse|Weapon Finesse Bonus Feat

    2nd|Fighter 1|
    +2
    |
    +4
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |Balance 5, Jump 5, Tumble 5|Dodge|Fighter Bonus Feat

    3rd|Fighter 2|
    +3
    |
    +5
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |Concentration 3, Jump 6, Spellcraft 3|Combat Casting, Combat Expertise|Fighter Bonus Feat

    4th|Swashbuckler 2|
    +4
    |
    +6
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |Balance 7, Jump 7, Knowledge(Arcana) 1, Tumble 7| |Grace +1

    5th|Swashbuckler 3|
    +5
    |
    +6
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |Balance 8, Concentration 4, Jump 8, Spellcraft 4, Tumble 8| |Insightful Strike

    6th|Fighter 3|
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |Balance 9, Jump 9, Tumble 9|Weapon Focus(Rapier)|

    7th|Fighter 4|
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |Jump 10, Speak Language(Ancient Suloise), Spellcraft 5|Weapon Specialization(Rapier)|Fighter Bonus Feat

    8th|Suel Archanamach 1|
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |Concentration 8, Knowledge(Arcana) 3, Tumble 11| |Ignore Spell Failure Chance 5%, Tenacious Spells, Spellcasting

    9th|Bladesinger 1|
    +8
    |
    +7
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |Concentration 12, Knowledge(Arcana) 4, Tumble 12|Improved Combat Expertise|Bladesong Style, +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting

    10th|Bladesinger 2|
    +9
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |Concentration 13, Knowledge(Arcana) 5, Spellcraft 8, Tumble 13| |Lesser Spellsong

    11th|Bladesinger 3|
    +10
    |
    +8
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |Concentration 14, Perform(Dance) 5, Spellcraft 9, Tumble 14| |+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting

    12th|Bladesinger 4|
    +11
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |Balance 10, Concentration 15, Knowledge(Arcana) 7, Spellcraft 10, Tumble 15|Melee Weapon Mastery(Piercing)|Song of Celerity (2nd)

    13th|Bladesinger 5|
    +12
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |Concentration 16, Knowledge(Arcana) 10, Spellcraft 11, Tumble 16| |+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting

    14th|Bladesinger 6|
    +13
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    |Concentration 17, Knowledge(Arcana) 11, Perform(Dance) 7, Spellcraft 12, Tumble 17| |Greater Spellsong

    15th|Bladesinger 7|
    +14
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    |Concentration 18, Knowledge(Arcana) 12, Perform(Dance) 9, Spellcraft 13, Tumble 18|Combat Acrobat|+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting

    16th|Bladesinger 8|
    +15
    |
    +9
    |
    +10
    |
    +10
    |Concentration 19, Knowledge(Arcana) 13, Perform(Dance) 12, Spellcraft 14, Tumble 19| |Song of Celerity (4th)

    17th|Bladesinger 9|
    +16
    |
    +10
    |
    +10
    |
    +10
    |Concentration 20, Knowledge(Arcana) 14, Perform(Dance) 13, Spellcraft 17, Tumble 20| |+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting

    18th|Bladesinger 10|
    +17
    |
    +10
    |
    +11
    |
    +11
    |Concentration 21, Knowledge(Arcana) 16, Perform(Dance) 15, Spellcraft 18, Tumble 21|Versatile Performer|Song of Fury

    19th|Dragonslayer 1|
    +18
    |
    +12
    |
    +11
    |
    +13
    |Concentration 22, Knowledge(Arcana) 18, Spellcraft 19, Tumble 22| |Aura of Courage, Damage Bonus, +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting

    20th|Spellsword 1|
    +19
    |
    +14
    |
    +11
    |
    +15
    |Concentration 23, Knowledge(Arcana) 20, Spellcraft 21, Tumble 23| |Ignore Spell Failure 10%, +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting[/table]


    Stats
    Spoiler
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    Starting Ability Scores:
    Str - 10
    Dex - 14
    Con - 14
    Int - 16
    Wis - 10
    Cha - 14

    Final Ability Scores:
    Str - 10
    Dex - 14
    Con - 14
    Int - 20 (4 stat bumps - 4, 8, 12, 16)
    Wis - 10
    Cha - 15 (1 stat bump - 20)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    9th|-|2|1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    10th|-|2|1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

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

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

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

    15th|-|4|3|1|-|-|-|-|-|-

    16th|-|4|3|1|-|-|-|-|-|-

    17th|-|4|4|2|0|-|-|-|-|-

    18th|-|4|4|2|0|-|-|-|-|-

    19th|-|4|4|2|1|-|-|-|-|-

    20th|-|5|4|3|2|0|-|-|-|-[/table]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    8th|-|1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    9th|-|2|1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    10th|-|2|1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

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

    13th|-|2|2|1|-|-|-|-|-|-

    14th|-|2|2|1|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

    16th|-|3|2|2|-|-|-|-|-|-

    17th|-|3|3|2|1|-|-|-|-|-

    18th|-|3|3|2|1|-|-|-|-|-

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

    20th|-|4|3|3|2|1|-|-|-|-[/table]

    Shield(1st), Expeditious Retreat(1st), Nerveskitter(1st), True Strike(1st), Mirror Image(2nd), Resist Energy(2nd), See Invisibility(2nd), Fly(3rd), Haste(3rd), Displacement(3rd), Polymorph(4th), Stoneskin(4th), Blink, Greater(5th)


    Level Breakdown
    Spoiler
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    Level 1
    Unsurprisingly, this plays much like any other Swashbuckler. You've got a decent selection of skills (and a few meager ones to qualify for Bladesinger) and some useful feats. You are a mobile fighter, essentially.

    Level 5
    By this level, your mobility skills are near maximum and you've got several good options for defense in combat. Grace gives you a bump to your poor reflex save, and Insightful Strike has come online, giving you much needed damage boost. You still play like a mobile, lightly armored fighter.

    Level 10
    Ah yes, now you've gotten a mouthful of the Secret Ingredient. Bladesinger progresses the spellcasting you picked up from Suel Archanamach (which seemed like a natural fit for the SI), and you've got some increased defenses thanks to Bladesong style. Your saves have been pulled from the dismal state they were in and are now good across the board. Shield and Nerveskitter pump up your AC and Initiative if needed. You are a frontline fighter. Between adding Str, Int, and Weapon Specialization to damage, and being able to sacrifice your ability to hit consistently to push your AC 9 points higher (Improved Combat Expertise), you can switch between damage dealing and defense as needed.

    Level 15 "Sweet Spot"
    At this point, pretty much all of your tricks have come online. Your saves and skills are excellent, your defenses are high, you can quickly cast your defensive spells (song of celerity), you're adding a good chunk to damage (+15-20) on every strike, you picked up Fly as your 3rd level spell, and the Combat Acrobat feat gives you some handy options for mobility. Everything has come together to emerge as a wielder of the sword (primarily), and practicioner of the arcane arts (secondarily). From here on out, you continue to play as a front-line fighter, switching between mobility, defense, and damage as needed. Pick up a keen rapier with some delightful crit enchantments and go to town.

    Level 20
    You've picked up additional spells (all selected to augment a melee fighter), and can flurry with your rapier. There isn't much else to be said at this point. The only other nice thing at this level is the Aura of Courage from Dragonslayer. Versatile Performer obviates the need to maintain multiple perform skills, and works far better than simply burning skill points to keep both pre-requisite skills near their max.


    Recipe for the Secret Ingredient
    Spoiler
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    Yikes, Bladesinger. The thing about this SI isn't just that it is bad, it's trying to find a way to showcase it that doesn't use classes that you would simply be better off taking instead of the SI. So that pretty much meant no Wizard, Duskblade, Abjurant Champion, or other classes that either give you better casting, or renders one of the SI features null and void. Unfortunately, this generally means that power must be sacrificed to stay true to the concept of the SI this time around.

    So what does the SI tell me I should be using? Well, it's got full BAB, and only half casting. Heavy emphasis on combat ability, secondary emphasis on spellcasting ability. In order to get the most out of that we would need arcane spellcasting from a source that provides its own spellcasting over a faster progression than usual. Suel Archanamach cried out to me from the pantry shelf. It's a Fighter/Mage combo that provides its own casting? Great! Bladesinger's half progression casting doesn't hurt when applied to a 10-level casting class. Suel Archanamach even shares one of it's pre-requisites with the SI. And better yet, Bladesinger has more to offer this build than extra levels of Archanamach!

    With casting covered, I needed to turn my attention to full BAB combat ability. The natural choice was Swashbuckler for the Int synergy with Bladesinger, and a mix of Swashbuckler and Fighter levels provides all the feats I need to qualify (and a few extra). The 4/3 mix of fighter and swashbuckler levels in the progression also allows any elf race to run with this build as well, since there will be no xp penalty due to favored class.

    The last two levels were a bit difficult, mainly because I wanted full BAB and casting progression after Bladesinger finished out. Dragonslayer works well as a 1 level dip, but would be strictly inferior to Bladesinger in this build. Likewise, the first level of Spellsword finishes the build off nicely (even though the 10% spell failure ignore is wasted because of Greater Spellsong).

    The end result is a strong fighter/mage build where none of the components overshadow the SI, merely enhance it.


    Pantry
    Spoiler
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    Player's Handbook
    Complete Warrior
    Complete Adventurer
    Player's Handbook 2
    Draconomicon

    Avatar by Iron Penguin.

    The Power of the Orient: A Wu Jen Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul S. Kemp
    Frankly, I think the designers and novelists did great work in the post-Spellplague Realms. But, in the end, this wasn’t a new setting. It was the Realms, the Realms 100 years later, and therein lay the problem.

  17. - Top - End - #317
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge In the Playground XLIII

    Lady Drowblood? Another cup, if you would.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barafina
    Story
    My mother loves me and has always loved me. This is mostly a good thing. Only mostly. When I was younger, though, it posed a problem. My mother could not accept that I was not the most beautiful young elf maiden in all the Swaying Woods. Thus, she insisted that I study as a Battle Dancer, and go into battle as a Battle Dancer, and bought for me equipment suitable for a Battle Dancer. Many scars and much frustration later, I left home – I ran away to the city of Wycliff.
    In Wycliff I first found work as a mercenary. I learned to love the long sword – much better than the toy weapons used by a Blade Dancer – but never really liked heavy armor. It chafed in all the wrong places. And a fighter’s life is a boring life outside the occasional battle. To keep my mind busy, I took to writing poetry. And one of my poems, “I am not a nymph, dammit!” was turned into a song by the bard Angry d’Flindco. This brief notoriety gained me access to Wycliff high society, and at a party I met Bernard Adamson. Oh, he was charming! And rich. And he loved me … or said he did. And freed me from being a mercenary, and paid for my training as a Wizard, saying that any girl as clever as I should wield a wand, not a sword. I kept my sword, though. It was still more solid and true than magic, or so it seemed.
    After a while Bernard and I started to go on what he called “training missions”. It did not take me long to realize that some of these “missions” involved breaking into the homes of the same people we met at parties and taking valuables. Bernard assured me that he returned these items; I don’t remember when I stopped believing him. I never mentioned it, though, just as I never mentioned it when I realized that he was in fact the leader of a gang of thieves.
    Any relationship in which there are truths which cannot be spoken develops strains. And Bernard’s affection for the attentions of other women added more strain. So, when word reached Wycliff that Drow raiders were infesting the Swaying Woods, it was not a difficult decision to return home. Bernard did have his men try to kill me when I told him I was leaving – but the effort seemed half-hearted. A Grease dropped the big guys in armor, a Glitterdust slowed down most of the fast ones, and the long sword was a great surprise to those who only knew me as a Wizard – a fatal mistake, to be certain.
    So I returned to the Swaying Woods, reconciled with my mother, and commenced fighting the Drow. It didn’t take long for my skills with both blade and spell to be noticed; and very soon I found myself initiated into the Circle of the Bladesingers, and learning their secrets to mixing sword and spell.
    I am given to understand that the Drow call me a name in their debased Elven which translates roughly to “Elf-maiden who brings light”. This is a great insult from the perspective of the Drow. And they call my old longsword, now heavily enchanted, “Ku’zu’aba” – which is the Drow word for the silence that ends a song. This pleases me.

    Build
    Elf: +2 Dex, -2 Con
    Initial 32 point buy: Str 14, Dex 14, Con 12, Int 16, Wis 10, Chr 12
    Adjusted 32 point buy: Str 14, Dex 16 Con 10, Int 16 Wis 10, Chr 12
    Levels 4, 8, 12, 16, & 20: Int +1
    Alignment: CN

    Barafina the Not-So-Fair Fey
    {table=head]Level|Class|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Skills|Feats|Class Features

    1st|Battle Dancer 1|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    | Balance 4, Escape Artist 4, Hide 4, Jump 4, Listen 4, Perform (Dance) 2, Perform (Sing) 2, Tumble 4 |Combat Expertise, Improved Unarmed Strike|AC Bonus(Chr)
    2nd| Battle Dancer 2|
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    | Balance 5+2, Climb 1, Escape Artist 5, Hide 5, Jump 5+2, Listen 5, Perform (Dance) 2, Perform (Sing) 2, Tumble 5+2 || Dance of Reckless Bravery
    3rd| Battle Dancer 3|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    | Balance 6+2, Climb 2, Escape Artist 6, Hide 6, Jump 6+2, Listen 6, Perform (Dance) 2, Perform (Sing) 2, Tumble 6+2 | Dodge|
    4th| Battle Dancer 4|
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    | Balance 7+2, Climb 3, Escape Artist 7, Hide 7, Jump 7+2, Listen 7, Perform (Dance) 2, Perform (Sing) 2, Tumble 7+2 | |Bonus speed +10 feet
    5th|Fighter 1|
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    | Balance 7+2, Climb 7, Escape Artist 7, Hide 7, Jump 8+2, Listen 7, Perform (Dance) 2, Perform (Sing) 2, Tumble 7+2 |Weapon Focus: Longsword | Martial Weapon Proficiency, Armor & Shield Proficiency
    6th| Wizard 1|
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    | Balance 7+2, Climb 3, Concentration 2+4, Escape Artist 7, Hide 7, Jump 7+2, Knowledge (Arcana) 1, Listen 7, Perform (Dance) 2, Perform (Sing) 2, Spellcraft 2, Tumble 7+2|Combat Casting|Summon Familiar(Rat), Scribe Scroll
    7th| Wizard 2|
    +6
    |
    +2
    |
    +4
    |
    +5
    | Balance 7+2, Climb 3, Concentration 4+4, Escape Artist 7, Hide 7, Jump 7+2, Knowledge (Arcana) 2, Listen 7, Perform (Dance) 2, Perform (Sing) 2, Spellcraft 4, Tumble 7+2 | |
    8th| Wizard 3|
    +6
    |
    +3
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    | Balance 7+2, Climb 3, Concentration 6+4, Escape Artist 7, Hide 7, Jump 7+2, Knowledge (Arcana) 4, Listen 7, Perform (Dance) 2, Perform (Sing) 2, Spellcraft 6, Tumble 7+2 | |
    9th| Wizard 4|
    +7
    |
    +3
    |
    +5
    |
    +6
    | Balance 7+2, Climb 3, Concentration 8+4, Escape Artist 7, Hide 7, Jump 7+2, Knowledge (Arcana) 5, Knowledge (Dungeoneering) 1, Listen 7, Perform (Dance) 2, Perform (Sing) 2, Spellcraft 8+2, Tumble 7+2 |Improved Initiative|
    10th| Wizard 5|
    +7
    |
    +3
    |
    +5
    |
    +6
    | Balance 7+2, Climb 3, Concentration 10+4, Escape Artist 7, Hide 7, Jump 7+2 Knowledge (Arcana) 5, Knowledge (Dungeoneering) 3, Listen 7, Perform (Dance) 2, Perform (Sing) 2, Spellcraft 10+2, Tumble 7+2 |Empowered Spell| Bonus Feat
    11th|Bladesinger 1|
    +8
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    |
    +8
    | Balance 7+2, Climb 3, Concentration 12+4, Escape Artist 7, Hide 7, Jump 7+2, Knowledge (Arcana) 5, Knowledge (Dungeoneering) 3, Listen 7, Perform (Dance) 2, Perform (Sing) 2, Spellcraft 12+2, Tumble 9+2| |Bladesong Style, Wizard Level 6
    12th| Bladesinger 2|
    +9
    |
    +3
    |
    +8
    |
    +9
    | Balance 8+2, Climb 3, Concentration 14+4, Escape Artist 7, Hide 7, Jump 7+2, Knowledge (Arcana) 5, Knowledge (Dungeoneering) 3, Listen 7, Perform (Dance) 2, Perform (Sing) 2, Spellcraft 14+2, Tumble 10+2|Combat Reflexes|Lesser Spellsong
    13th| Bladesinger 3|
    +10
    |
    +4
    |
    +8
    |
    +9
    | Balance 9+2, Climb 3, Concentration 16+4, Escape Artist 7, Hide 7, Jump 7+2, Knowledge (Arcana) 5, Knowledge (Dungeoneering) 3, Listen 7, Perform (Dance) 2, Perform (Sing) 2, Spellcraft 16+2, Tumble 11+2| |Wizard Level 7
    14th| Bladesinger 4|
    +11
    |
    +4
    |
    +9
    |
    +10
    | Balance 12+2, Climb 3, Concentration 17+4, Escape Artist 7, Hide 7, Jump 7+2, Knowledge (Arcana) 5, Knowledge (Dungeoneering) 3, Listen 7, Perform (Dance) 2, Perform (Sing) 2, Spellcraft 17+2, Tumble 12+2| |Song of Celerity (2nd)
    15th| Bladesinger 5|
    +12
    |
    +4
    |
    +9
    |
    +10
    | Balance 12+2, Climb 3, Concentration 18+4, Escape Artist 7, Hide 7, Jump 11+2, Knowledge (Arcana) 5, Knowledge (Dungeoneering) 3, Listen 7, Perform (Dance) 2, Perform (Sing) 2, Spellcraft 18+2, Tumble 12+2| Spell Penetration |Wizard Level 8
    16th| Bladesinger 6|
    +13
    |
    +5
    |
    +10
    |
    +11
    | Balance 13+2, Climb 3, Concentration 19+4, Escape Artist 7, Hide 7, Jump 13+2, Knowledge (Arcana) 5, Knowledge (Dungeoneering) 3, Listen 7, Perform (Dance) 2, Perform (Sing) 2, Spellcraft 19+2, Tumble 13+2| |Greater Spellsong
    17th| Bladesinger 7|
    +14
    |
    +5
    |
    +10
    |
    +11
    | Balance 14+2, Climb 3, Concentration 20+4, Escape Artist 7, Hide 7, Jump 14+2, Knowledge (Arcana) 6, Knowledge (Dungeoneering) 3, Listen 7, Perform (Dance) 2, Perform (Sing) 2, Spellcraft 20+2, Tumble 14+2| |Wizard Level 9
    18th| Bladesinger 8|
    +15
    |
    +5
    |
    +11
    |
    +12
    | Balance 15+2, Climb 3, Concentration 21+4, Escape Artist 7, Hide 7, Jump 15+2, Knowledge (Arcana) 7, Knowledge (Dungeoneering) 3, Listen 7, Perform (Dance) 2, Perform (Sing) 2, Spellcraft 21+2, Tumble 15+2|Extraordinary Concentration|Song of Celerity (4th)
    19th| Bladesinger 9|
    +16
    |
    +6
    |
    +11
    |
    +12
    | Balance 16+2, Climb 3, Concentration 22+4, Escape Artist 7, Hide 7, Jump 16+2, Knowledge (Arcana) 8, Knowledge (Dungeoneering) 3, Listen 7, Perform (Dance) 2, Perform (Sing) 2, Spellcraft 22+2, Tumble 16+2| |Wizard Level 10
    20th| Bladesinger 10|
    +17
    |
    +6
    |
    +12
    |
    +13
    | Balance 17+2, Climb 3, Concentration 23+4, Escape Artist 7, Hide 7, Jump 17+2, Knowledge (Arcana) 9, Knowledge (Dungeoneering) 3, Listen 7, Perform (Dance) 2, Perform (Sing) 2, Spellcraft 23+2, Tumble 17+2| |Song of Fury
    [/table]

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

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

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

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

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

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

    6th|3|2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    7th|4|3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    8th|4|3|2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    9th|4|4|3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    10th|4|4|3|2|-|-|-|-|-|-

    11th|4|4|4|3|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

    13th|4|5|4|3|2|-|-|-|-|-

    14th|4|5|4|3|2|-|-|-|-|-

    15th|4|5|4|4|3|-|-|-|-|-

    16th|4|5|4|4|3|-|-|-|-|-

    17th|4|6|5|4|3|2|-|-|-|-

    18th|4|6|5|4|3|2|-|-|-|-

    19th|4|6|5|4|4|3|-|-|-|-

    20th|4|6|5|4|4|3|-|-|-|- [/table]

    This PrC suffers from MAD, as do most sword and spell builds. The obvious base class is Bard; I decided to eschew that path for two reasons. The first is that a Bard is a spontaneous, charisma based caster, but the Bladesinger gains abilities keyed to intelligence, so Bard seemed to be compounding the MAD problem. The second is that the Bladesinger is primarily a combat class, and Bards do not gain full BAB. Hence, the Battle Dancer is the base class. This requires a Fighter dip to get long sword proficiency and weapon focus, and then 5 levels of Wizard to give the arcane casting capability.

    Since Battle Dancers don't wear armor, Wizards don't wear armor, and Bladesingers suffer spell failure for wearing armor until class level 6, it seems very likely that Barafina will never wear any armor at all except at level 5, when she discovers that it chafes her in all the wrong places. I therefore believe her equipment would include the best armored bracers, amulets of natural armor, and rings of protection she could afford - and wizard robes to add some special stuff. And boosting Constitution with items sounds like a good idea for several reasons.

    Notes: the FRW saves don't include the adds for ability bonuses; when I record a skill as, e.g., 7+2, that means 7 skill points invested plus 2 points for synergy. Again, the skills don't reflect the relevant ability scores.

    Avatar by Iron Penguin.

    The Power of the Orient: A Wu Jen Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul S. Kemp
    Frankly, I think the designers and novelists did great work in the post-Spellplague Realms. But, in the end, this wasn’t a new setting. It was the Realms, the Realms 100 years later, and therein lay the problem.

  18. - Top - End - #318
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge In the Playground XLIII

    From dust and bones comes a new cover of an old song.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryven Theolin
    Ryven Theolin
    CN Star Elf Duskblade 3 / Hexblade 4 / Suel Archanamach 3 / Bladesinger 10
    Spoiler
    Show


    NOTE: Use Skilled City Dweller ACF to exchange Ride for Tumble (as a class skill) for Duskblade and Hexblade.

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

    1st | Duskblade 1 |
    +1
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    | Balance 1, Concentration 4, Jump 4, Spellcraft 4, Tumble 2 | Combat Expertise | Arcane Attunement, Armored Mage (light)

    2nd | Hexblade 1 |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +4
    | Intimidate 3, Spellcraft 1 | | Hexblade's Curse 1/day

    3rd | Hexblade 2 |
    +3
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +5
    | Intimidate 2, Tumble 2 | Iron Will | Arcane Resistance

    4th | Duskblade 2 |
    +4
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |
    +6
    | Perform (dance) 1, Speak Language (ancient Suloise) | Combat Casting |

    5th | Duskblade 3 |
    +5
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +6
    | Perform (sing) 1, Tumble 2 | | Arcane Channeling

    6th | Hexblade 3 |
    +6
    |
    +4
    |
    +2
    |
    +6
    | Intimidate 4 | Expeditious Dodge | Mettle

    7th | Suel Arcanamach 1 |
    +6
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +8
    | Balance 1, Perform (dance) 1, Perform (sing) 1 | | Ignore Spell Failure 5%, Tenacious Spells

    8th | Suel Arcanamach 2 |
    +7
    |
    +4
    |
    +5
    |
    +9
    | Bluff 4, Intimidate 1 | | Dispelling Strike 1/day

    9th | Suel Arcanamach 3 |
    +8
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +9
    | Bluff 4, Intimidate 1 | Weapon Focus (longsword) | Extended Spellstrength

    10th | Bladesinger 1 |
    +9
    |
    +5
    |
    +7
    |
    +11
    | Balance 2; SKILL TRICK: Never Outnumbered | | Bladesong Style; Arcanamach casting +1

    11th | Bladesinger 2 |
    +10
    |
    +5
    |
    +8
    |
    +12
    | Balance 1, Jump 1, Tumble 2 | | Lesser Spellsong

    12th | Bladesinger 3 |
    +11
    |
    +6
    |
    +8
    |
    +12
    | Intimidate 1, Tumble 2 | Imperious Command | Arcanamach casting +1

    13th | Bladesinger 4 |
    +12
    |
    +6
    |
    +9
    |
    +13
    | Intimidate 1, Tumble 2 | | Song of Celerity (2nd)

    14th | Hexblade 4 |
    +13
    |
    +6
    |
    +9
    |
    +14
    | Intimidate 4 | | Dark Companion

    15th | Bladesinger 5 |
    +14
    |
    +6
    |
    +9
    |
    +14
    | Intimidate 1, Perform (sing) 2 | Karmic Strike | Arcanamach casting +1

    16th | Bladesinger 6 |
    +15
    |
    +7
    |
    +10
    |
    +15
    | Knowledge (arcana) 1, Perform (sing) 2, Spellcraft 1 | | Greater Spellsong

    17th | Bladesinger 7 |
    +16
    |
    +7
    |
    +10
    |
    +15
    | Perform (sing) 2, Spellcraft 2 | | Arcanamach casting +1

    18th | Bladesinger 8 |
    +17
    |
    +7
    |
    +11
    |
    +16
    | Bluff 1; SKILL TRICK: Twisted Charge | Arcane Strike | Song of Celerity (4th)

    19th | Bladesinger 9 |
    +18
    |
    +8
    |
    +11
    |
    +16
    | Bluff 1, Spellcraft 2 | | Arcanamach casting +1

    20th | Bladesinger 10 |
    +19
    |
    +8
    |
    +12
    |
    +17
    | Bluff 1, Spellcraft 2 | | Song of Fury[/table]

    Spells per day/Spells Known
    Spoiler
    Show
    {table=head]Level|Dusk 0|Dusk 1|Suel 1|Suel 2|Suel 3|Suel 4|Suel 5|Hex 1| Spells Learned

    1st|3|2|-|-|-|-|-|-| (0)Acid Splash, Disrupt Undead, Touch of Fatigue, (1)Swift Expeditious Retreat, Blade of Blood

    2nd|3|2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    3rd|3|2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    4th|4|3|-|-|-|-|-|-| Chill Touch

    5th|5|4|-|-|-|-|-|-| Shocking Grasp

    6th|5|4|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    7th|5|4|1|-|-|-|-|-| Fist of Stone

    8th|5|4|1|0*|-|-|-|-| (1)Enlarge Person; (2)Wraithstrike

    9th|5|4|2|1|-|-|-|-| Bladeweave

    10th|5|4|2|2|0*|-|-|-| Dolorous Blow

    11th|5|4|2|2|0*|-|-|-|-

    12th|5|4|3|2|1|-|-|-| (1)Nerveskitter; (3)Fly

    13th|5|4|3|2|1|-|-|-|-

    14th|5|4|3|2|1|-|-|0*| Catsfeet, Protection from Law

    15th|5|4|3|3|2|0*|-|0*| (2)Heroics; (4)Greater Mirror Image

    16th|5|4|3|3|2|0*|-|0*|-

    17th|5|4|3|3|2|1|-|0*| Celerity

    18th|5|4|3|3|2|1|-|0*|-

    19th|5|4|4|3|3|2|0*|0*| (1)Dispel Ward; (3)Anticipate Teleportation; (5)Greater Blink

    20th|5|4|4|3|3|2|0*|0*|-[/table]

    Ability Scores
    {table=head] Ability | Points | Base | Racial | Levels | Enhancement | Inherent | Total | Modifier
    STR | 8 | 15 | 0 | 1 | 6 | 2 | 24 | +7
    DEX | 2 | 10 | 0 | 0 | 4 | 0 | 14 | +2
    CON | 6 | 14 | -2 | 0 | 4 | 0 | 16 | +3
    INT | 6 | 14 | 0 | 0 | 4 | 0 | 18 | +4
    WIS | 0 | 8 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 8 | -1
    CHA | 10 | 16 | +2 | 4 | 6 | 2 | 30 | +10 [/table]

    Breakdown/Backstory
    Spoiler
    Show
    Level 5
    "Hold Person."

    Ryven froze still. The Lolth-Cleric approached, her steps impressively silent, a subtle smirk on her lips. She drew her snake-headed whip as she approached, ready to enjoy the not-so-stealthy elven maiden who had been waiting in ambush for the drow war party. For a moment, as the drow raised her whip, Ryven's memory of that other day, that other drow confrontation twelve years earlier, came flooding back to her.

    She saw spiders and driders overrunning her camp. She saw the Lolth-Cleric — the same one? — kissing Kevlune even while she placed a knife through his gut. And most of all, Ryven heard herself, twelve years ago, laughing. Laughing impotently while her friends were slaughtered. Helpless, in the clutches of a Hideous Laughter spell.

    "Not this time!" Ryven said, breaking out of her feigned paralysis with her arming sword swinging true at the cleric. Not content to fight back only with steel, she used her latest new trick. A Shocking Grasp channeled right through her sword, striking the drow like a bolt from the sky. The drow's whip flew from her convulsing hand; she collapsed to the ground with an astonished look (although that might have been the electric shock).

    "I'm not a helpless fledgeling student anymore," Ryven proclaimed. "I have trained my mind, my focus. First to repress the memories, the trauma. But I went beyond that, beyond what is needed to practice magic. I have been to some very dark places, to steel my will. And now? Now, you learn the hard way that your Hold spell has no power over me."

    The drow cleric vanished. Ryven cursed and lunged forward, aiming her blade where she knew the invisible cleric must be; but a drider leapt into her path, and it was too late. Avenging Kevlune against the powers of Lolth would have to wait for another day. Ryven would have to learn more, grow more powerful.
    Spoiler
    Show
    At this level, Ryven is a Duskblade who has stunted her casting a bit in favor of getting excellent saves, especially Will Save, through a Hexblade dip. (The others are good because of Arcane Resistance, adding her high Charisma to them against spells.) She has full BAB, good hit points, a strong selection of Level 1 spells, and the ability to channel Chill Touch or Shocking Grasp through her melee attacks. She is very charismatic for a Duskblade, and has particularly developed a talent for Intimidation — perhaps in an effort to fight against how terrified she once felt herself. Her training in elven fighter/mage arts already previews her study of the bladesinger style, and her travels to dark places in search of mental fortitude has already put her in contact with the long-dead language that will help her develop her unique style of bladesong.

    Note that she juggles her base class levels in a way that will never lead to XP penalties.

    Level 10
    "So." The ancient, withered body of Archlich Durmon was hideous to look at, but Ryven didn't care, as long as he could teach her ancient Suel secrets. "How did your mission against the rakshasa vizier go, my agent?"

    Ryven performed a flourishing kata before answering. Her blade's edge rang true as it sliced through the air, playing a melody that she could remember the bards playing many years ago. Only the presence of her no-nonsense mentor kept her from dancing with excitement — producing actual music through her sword had proved very difficult, and was only now starting to work with any consistency. It had let her dodge a particularly deadly Disintegrate ray on her mission. "Well enough," she replied. "I met some mercenaries who were already scheming to overthrow the Vizier, and I volunteered my services to them as if I were a mere fellow mercenary. My duplicity foiled the plans of the rakshasa's mole in the party; he was counting on me not knowing much about the vizier's defenses. Alas, I did not suspect him in time, and he got away. But his master is slain."

    "Very good," cackled Durmon. "In that case, I will be able to handle events here on the surface for a year or two. Your next mission will be to the Underdark."

    "Finally!" cried Ryven. She could almost taste sweet vengeance.

    "Yes," said the archlich, "I'm afraid a colony of illithids is completely in my way. Fortunately, they are already at war with a drow city. With your help, the drow may be able to finish off the mind flayers' elder brain ... eventually."

    "What?!"

    "Oh, don't worry. I've already prepared an incantation that will disguise you as a drow, impenetrably, for many months at a time. You shall put that clever tongue of yours to good use, and the drow will never know you are a surface elf."

    "I do not wish to work with drow," Ryven spat.

    The old leathery face of the lich twisted into a grimace. "You do not have a choice, minion."
    Spoiler
    Show
    Ryven's impressive Will save continues to grow quickly, and is now supplemented by the Mettle ability. She has started to learn the potent, accelerated spellcasting of a Suel Arcanamach, a class that has also allowed her to broaden her Skills slightly and learn to Extend all spells that she casts on herself (including Duskblade spells like Swift Expeditious Retreat and Blade of Blood).

    She has only barely started taking Bladesinger levels, and hasn't gotten any major benefit from them yet; just AC +1, really. But that's still nice. With Swift Expeditious Retreat, she should be able to apply the +2 bonus from Expeditious Dodge often. She can't yet cast her Arcanamach spells entirely free of arcane spell failure, but her failure chance will only be 5% in a mithral chain shirt. Reducing that to 0% using the Twilight enhancement is ideal. All told, her AC can be quite respectable.

    Most of her new features are Arcanamach self-buff spells that can make her offense quite potent. Fist of Stone, Enlarge Person, Bladeweave, Dolorous Blow, and best of all Wraithstrike — all Extended for free! That's right, extended Wraithstrikes!

    Level 15
    "It has been a glorious day for Lolth and the drow, young Vverynn Kel'khan," said the Priestess of Lolth, standing on a high ridge overlooking the illithid city. The elder brain pool was dark with blood and poison, the buildings were broken in pieces if not disintegrated, and mind flayer ichor filled the gutters.

    "Yes, a glorious day indeed," said the disguised Ryven, with a heavy tone of irony. "A pity that it cannot last." And with that and a Nerveskitter, her blade once again sparked with lightning as she dealt a blow to the Lolth-Cleric she had loathed for the past year as they hunted the mind-flayers together. The drow slammed into the cavern wall.

    "What treachery is this?" spat the priestess. "I do not know who you really are, or why you think you will benefit from my overthrow, but either way, I vow you will fail!"

    Ryven just smiled. And filled the ridge with Mirror Images. She knew the Lolth-Cleric well by this point, and she knew the time for her vengeance had finally come.
    Spoiler
    Show
    Ryven's basic focus of being a self-buffing gish continues. She can now buff herself with (Extended) Fly, Protection from Law, Heroics, and Greater Mirror Image. Catsfeet can help make up for her mediocre supply of athletic/mobility Skills.

    She has also learned to terrorize groups of enemies with Imperious Never Outnumbered Command, or to fear-lock one strong (but non-fear-immune) foe with repeated Commands. Even better, she can summon a Dark Companion to provide an insidious debuff of her foes — especially when she wants to daze them with Bladeweave.

    She can automatically cast defensively now, in spite of her non-maxed Concentration skill. Once per day, she can Quicken one of her spells — perhaps Enlarge Person, or Heroics if she realizes mid-battle that she needs a certain Feat in order to win. And her ugly prerequisite feats have qualified her for the excellent Karmic Strike feat (which, incidentally, becomes significantly better if she grabs Combat Reflexes via Heroics). In this manner I think she is making ideal use of the Bladesinger class features, such as they are.

    Level 20
    "Well, I guess this is it, old man," Ryven said to Archlich Durmon's ash-covered grave site.

    To her surprise, a misty form of the old geezer floated up out of the ashes and turned to address her. "Agent," he acknowledged with a nod. "I guess the rakshasa's old henchman proved a more worthy opponent than I expected."

    "And I guess you're still afraid of the afterlife, even after you've un-lived an extra life on top of what most people get," she observed.

    "I'll ... get around to it," said the ghost. "But first, I wanted to make sure you received the assignment to avenge my death. After all, you let the vizier's apprentice escape that one time, and he proved my undoing."

    "Sorry, old man," she said. "It was fun while it lasted ... but there are those to whom I've owed a debt a lot longer than you."

    "What are you going to do now, then?"

    "I go to find Kevlune's soul in the Outer Planes," she said. "True Resurrection hasn't worked ... but ..." Her confident demeanor wavered a rare moment. "But I still need to try. To apologize for letting the drow kill him. Slaughtering drow ... it just hasn't brought me the closure I hoped for. Maybe ... maybe his acceptance of his fate will bring me more peace than vengeance has." She perked back up and met the ghost's eye. "Let that be a lesson to you, you old fool. Forget about your political foe, move along to your final fate."

    "I just might, at that," said Durmon. "See you there?"
    Spoiler
    Show
    Ryven's build finishes with 19 BAB. She no longer has to worry about arcane spell failure from e.g. a mithral breastplate. She can cast spells up to Level 5, and Quicken one of up to Level 4. She has Celerity for some action-economy breakage, Greater Blink to get past many kinds of mundane and magical barriers, and Dispel Ward and Anticipate Teleport (along with fairly good Spellcraft) to mess with enemy casters. Extra spell slots (especially the less-useful Duskblade and Hexblade slots) can be used to power her melee attacks via Arcane Strike. With Song of Fury, a Haste effect (through Boots of Speed or a Speed Weapon or another item), and Bladeweave, she can easily make 7 attacks per turn — plus riposte from Karmic Strike. And one of those attacks, rather than dealing damage, forces a Save vs. Daze.

    All told, I think Ryven ends up being a reasonably strong melee-focused gish, with a balance of offense, defense, and utility in her flexible spell selection. She can be a pretty decent party face, has a few good anti-caster tricks, and is fairly mobile.

    Item Wishlist
    Spoiler
    Show
    Circlet of Persuasion: Boost social skills even more.
    Ring of Wizardry I-IV: endurance
    Hexbands: her Curse is only 1/day, but at high levels this item is very cheap. +1 DC to the Curse is nice, but the real idea is to add Charisma to all of Ryven's attacks in a boss fight if she's lucky enough to make the curse stick at the beginning.
    Fearsome Armor: standard Imperious Command combo.
    Ring of Spell-Battle: definitely improves her chances against casters.
    Quicksilver Boots: allow triggering Expeditious Dodge and still making a full attack. Supplement with a number of other items that can grant swift movement (Anklets of Translocation, Belt of Battle).
    Pearl of Speech: not at all needed for power, but potentially makes her infiltration of the drow in her backstory much more convincing.

    Adaptation Option
    Spoiler
    Show
    If you can pick up Iron Will via Otyugh Hole, then take your following feats early, then pick up Combat Panache (fun, but not especially strong) at Level 18. Otherwise, you can still pick up Panache through castings of Heroics.

    Sources
    Spoiler
    Show
    Complete Warrior: Hexblade, Bladesinger, Karmic Strike, Elusive Target
    Complete Adventurer: Swift Expeditious Retreat, Bladeweave
    Complete Arcane: Suel Arcanamach, Greater Blink
    Complete Mage: Catsfeet
    Complete Scoundrel: skill tricks
    Player's Handbook 2: Duskblade, Dark Companion ACF, Combat Panache, Celerity
    Spell Compendium: Anticipate Teleportation, Dolorous Blow, Heroics, Nerveskitter, Wraithstrike
    Magic Item Compendium: Hexbands, Ring of Spell-Battle, Quicksilver Boots, Twilight armor, Pearl of Speech
    Races of the Wild: Expeditious Dodge
    Drow of the Underdark: Imperious Command, Fearsome Armor
    Unapproachable East: Star Elf
    Web: Skilled City Dweller ACFs

    Avatar by Iron Penguin.

    The Power of the Orient: A Wu Jen Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul S. Kemp
    Frankly, I think the designers and novelists did great work in the post-Spellplague Realms. But, in the end, this wasn’t a new setting. It was the Realms, the Realms 100 years later, and therein lay the problem.

  19. - Top - End - #319
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge In the Playground XLIII

    With the Kiss of the Dragon.

    Quote Originally Posted by Adel Vita


    Adel Vita

    The Build:
    Spoiler
    Show
    NG Sun Elf Wildshape Order of the Shooting Star Ranger 5/Dragon Devotee 5/Bladesinger 10

    Stats
    Spoiler
    Show
    Point buy: 14/13/14/16/12/9
    Stats with racial adjustments: 14/13/12/18/12/9
    Level 4: Str +1
    Level 6: Cha +2 (Dragon Devotee)
    Level 8: Str +1, Con +2 (Dragon Devotee)
    Level 10: Str +2 (Dragon Devotee)
    Level 12: Dex +1
    Level 16: Dex +1
    Level 20: Dex +1
    Final Stats: 18/16/14/18/12/11

    Bonus Languages: Draconic, Gnoll, Goblin, Sylvan


    Level Breakdown:
    Spoiler
    Show
    {table=head]Level|Class|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Skills|Feats|Class Features
    1st|Ranger 1|
    +1
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |Balance 2 ranks, Concentration 4 ranks, Hide 2 ranks, Move Silently 2 ranks, Perform (Dance) 2 ranks, Perform (Sing) 2 ranks, Spellcraft 4 ranks, Survival 4 ranks, Tumble 2 ranks|Weapon Focus (Longsword), TrackB|Favored enemy (Undead), wild empathy, fast movement
    2nd|Ranger 2|
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |Concentration 5 ranks, Hide 5 ranks, Listen 5 ranks, Knowledge (Arcana) 1 rank, Move Silently 5 ranks, Spot 5 ranks, Survival 5 ranks, Tumble 2.5 ranks| |
    3rd|Ranger 3|
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |Balance 3 ranks, Concentration 6 ranks, Hide 6 ranks, Move Silently 6 ranks, Spellcraft 1 rank, Spot 6 ranks, Survival 6 ranks, Tumble 3 ranks|Expiditious Dodge|Weavespeak
    4th|Ranger 4|
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |Balance 3.5 ranks, Concentration 7 ranks, Hide 7 ranks, Listen 6 ranks, Move Silently 7 ranks, Spellcraft 2 ranks, Spot 7 ranks, Survival 7 ranks, Tumble 3.5 ranks| |Bonus Spells, Improved Spellcasting
    5th|Ranger 5|
    +5
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |Balance 4 ranks, Concentration 8 ranks, Hide 8 ranks, Listen 7 ranks, Move Silently 8 ranks, Spellcraft 3 ranks, Spot 8 ranks, Survival 8 ranks, Tumble 4 ranks| |Favored Enemy (Undead), Wild shape (1/day)
    6th|Dragon Devotee 1|
    +5
    |
    +7
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |Concentration 9 ranks, Hide 9 ranks, Listen 8 ranks, Spot 9 ranks, Survival 9 ranks, Tumble 4.5 ranks|Sword of the Arcane Order|Ability increase (+2 Cha), natural armor
    7th|Dragon Devotee 2|
    +6
    |
    +8
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |Balance 5 ranks, Concentration 10 ranks, Listen 9 ranks, Spot 10 ranks, Survival 10 ranks, Tumble 5 ranks|Combat ExpertiseB|Combat technique, draconic resistance
    8th|Dragon Devotee 3|
    +7
    |
    +8
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |Concentration 11 ranks, Hide 10 ranks, Listen 10 ranks, Spot 11 ranks, Survival 11 ranks, Tumble 5.5 ranks| |Ability increase (+2 Con), ignore spell failure
    9th|Dragon Devotee 4|
    +8
    |
    +9
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |Concentration 12 ranks, Hide 11 ranks, Listen 11 ranks, Spot 12 ranks, Survival 12 ranks, Tumble 6 ranks|Combat Casting, Improved DisarmB|Claws, combat technique
    10th|Dragon Devotee 5|
    +8
    |
    +9
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |Concentration 13 ranks, Hide 12 ranks, Listen 12 ranks, Move Silently 9 ranks, Spot 13 ranks, Survival 13 ranks| |Ability increase (+2 Str), draconic creature template
    11th|Bladesinger 1|
    +9
    |
    +9
    |
    +7
    |
    +4
    |Concentration 14 ranks, Survival 14 ranks, Tumble 9 ranks| |Bladesong style
    12th|Bladesinger 2|
    +10
    |
    +9
    |
    +8
    |
    +5
    |Concentration 15 ranks, Survival 15 ranks, Tumble 12 ranks|Combat Reflexes|Lesser spellsong
    13th|Bladesinger 3|
    +11
    |
    +10
    |
    +8
    |
    +5
    |Concentration 16 ranks, Survival 16 ranks, Tumble 13 ranks, Back On Your Feet| |
    14th|Bladesinger 4|
    +12
    |
    +10
    |
    +9
    |
    +6
    |Concentration 17 ranks, Hide 13 ranks, Move Silently 9.5 ranks, Survival 17 ranks| |Song of celerity (2nd)
    15th|Bladesinger 5|
    +13
    |
    +10
    |
    +9
    |
    +6
    |Concentration 18 ranks, Hide 14 ranks, Move Silently 10 ranks, Survival 18 ranks|Robilar's Gambit|
    16th|Bladesinger 6|
    +14
    |
    +11
    |
    +10
    |
    +7
    |Concentration 19 ranks, Hide 15 ranks, Move Silently 11 ranks, Survival 19 ranks| |Greater spellsong
    17th|Bladesinger 7|
    +15
    |
    +11
    |
    +10
    |
    +7
    |Concentration 20 ranks, Hide 16 ranks, Move Silently 11.5 ranks, Survival 20 ranks| |
    18th|Bladesinger 8|
    +16
    |
    +11
    |
    +11
    |
    +8
    |Concentration 21 ranks, Hide 17 ranks, Move Silently 12 ranks, Survival 21 ranks|Defensive Strike|Song of celerity (4th)
    19th|Bladesinger 9|
    +17
    |
    +12
    |
    +11
    |
    +8
    |Concentration 22 ranks, Hide 18 ranks, Move Silently 12.5 ranks, Survival 22 ranks| |
    20th|Bladesinger 10|
    +18
    |
    +12
    |
    +12
    |
    +9
    |Concentration 23 ranks, Hide 19 ranks, Move Silently 13 ranks, Survival 23 ranks| |Song of fury[/table]
    BBonus feat granted by class.


    Spells
    Spoiler
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    Ranger spells/day
    {table=head]Level|1st|2nd|3rd|4th
    1st|-|-|-|-
    2nd|-|-|-|-
    3rd|-|-|-|-
    4th|1|-|-|-
    5th|1|-|-|-
    6th|1|-|-|-
    7th|1|-|-|-
    8th|1|-|-|-
    9th|1|-|-|-
    10th|1|-|-|-
    11th|2|-|-|-
    12th|2|-|-|-
    13th|2|-|-|-
    14th|2|-|-|-
    15th|2|1|-|-
    16th|2|1|-|-
    17th|2|1|-|-
    18th|2|1|-|-
    19th|2|2|-|-
    20th|2|2|-|-[/table]

    Sorcerer spells/day
    {table=head]Level|0th|1st
    1st|-|-
    2nd|-|-
    3rd|-|-
    4th|-|-
    5th|-|-
    6th|-|-
    7th|-|-
    8th|5|3
    9th|5|3
    10th|6|4
    11th|6|4
    12th|6|4
    13th|6|4
    14th|6|4
    15th|6|4
    16th|6|4
    17th|6|4
    18th|6|4
    19th|6|4
    20th|6|4[/table]

    Sorcerer spells known
    {table=head]Level|0th|1st
    1st|-|-
    2nd|-|-
    3rd|-|-
    4th|-|-
    5th|-|-
    6th|-|-
    7th|-|-
    8th|4|2
    9th|4|2
    10th|5|2
    11th|5|2
    12th|5|2
    13th|5|2
    14th|5|2
    15th|5|2
    16th|5|2
    17th|5|2
    18th|5|2
    19th|5|2
    20th|5|2[/table]

    0th: Detect Magic, Light, Ghost Sound, Mending, Prestidigitation
    1st: Enlarge Person, Shield



    Story
    Spoiler
    Show
    "I tend to think of my life in parts. When I was a kid, I liked to sing and dance. When I got older, I liked to fight. Every winter undead came to our town, but the Shooting Stars fended them off. As soon as I was able, I joined their ranks. We tracked down the monsters and destroyed them before they could harm us, getting up even in the middle of the night when they attacked. I loved saving my town and I loved being part of the Shooting Stars."

    Levels 1-5: Adel starts out as a scout with good skills and the Track feat, and frontline fighter with full BAB and a Con bonus. Later he improves his scouting ability with Weavespeak, allowing him to call or warn allies from long distances, and both his scouting and combat abilities with first level ranger spells and the druid's wildshape. Both his fast movement, granted by the wildshape variant, and many of his animal forms allow him to use of expiditious dodge in combat.

    "Then one day we were tracking a really stubborn group of ghasts that we knew would slaughter the villagers if we didn't get to them first. They got the drop on us, though, and before I knew it both my partners were paralyzed and I staring down six of those creeps with my back to a wall. Then this brass dragon rips out of the rock right next to me and just lights the losers up! It was awesome. Right then and there I decided that I wanted to do what he could do, and I'd go to any lengths to get it. I begged him to teach me what he knew. He accepted. His name was Gram."

    Levels 6-10: Adel continues improving his tracking skills thanks to his high intelligence. He also gains the ability to prepare and cast wizard spells in his ranger spell slots, greatly widening his versatility. His natural armor and stats improve, he learns how to cast sorcerer spells to further enhance his combat and scouting abilities, and he can cast them while wearing armor. He also picks up a combat debuff with Improved Disarm.

    "After that, I got to be a hero. I had the power to protect not just my town, by my whole country. So I did."

    Levels 11-15: Adel's intelligence now benefits him even more in battle by boosting his AC (which can easily hit 28 touch AC before adding equipment), and his ranger spellcasting improves with the Bladesinger class thanks to Sword of the Arcane Order. His concentration is high enough that he can't fail to cast his spells defensively thanks to Lesser Spellsong, and he gains the ability to quicken spells as with Song of Celerity. Finally, he can use Robilar's Gambit to great effect, as described in the tricks section.

    "Things change. My enemies got stronger, and I got stronger to beat them. I faced creatures you've never heard of, seen things you couldn't imagine in your wildest dreams, beautiful and horrifying. I almost miss being young, when it was just me and the Shooting Stars against the undead. But there's no one who can touch me with a weapon now, not even that wanderer, Jack, and I love it. Besides, the Shooting Stars, Gram, and the goddess Mystra have helped me come this far, and I want to repay them. So I fight."

    Levels 16-20: Adel's Greater Spellsong allows him to cast even more spells in armor, which is good because now he's casting 2nd level spells. On top of having high AC, he learns how to be a turtle, so that anyone who strikes him finds themselves disarmed and Adel Fury attacking with +4 to hit for plenty of damage.


    Tricks
    Spoiler
    Show
    Ranger Spellcasting + Sword of the Arcane Order + Bladesong Spells/day + Dragon Devotee Spellcasting + Improved Spellcasting
    Sword of the Arcane Order allows Adel to prepare and cast wizard (read: arcane) spells in his ranger spell slots, making ranger an arcane spellcasting class for him for the purpose of Bladesinger advancing spells/day, which in turn grants Adel 2nd level spells. Then Improved Spellcasting sets his caster level equal to the sum of his arcane caster levels + 2 for ranger spells (like Barkskin), which means at levels 19 and 20 it's CL 14.

    Longsword + Robilar's Gambit + Bladesong Style
    The good thing about using a longsword is that there's no listed action for changing your grip. Presumably (given its ease) it's a free action, so Adel can fight defensively for a big AC bonus thanks to Bladesong Style while holding his sword with one hand, allow his enemy to provoke an attack of opportunity with Robilar's Gambit, then switch to two hands and counter-attack with a disarm attempt at +4 bonus (then switch back to single-handed to activate Song of Fury next turn). At level 20 that's AC 10 + 3 (Dex) + 4 (Int) + 1 (Natural Armor) + 2 (Expiditious Dodge) + 6 (Total Defense) + 5 (Barkskin) + 4 (Shield) = 35 before equipment.

    Song of Celerity + Dragon Devotee Spellcasting
    Song of Celerity quickens any spell, meaning Adel can quicken his sorcerer spells without bothering with Rapid Metamagic.

    Song of Fury + Improved Disarm + Enlarge Person
    Song of Fury gives Adel extra attacks, Improved Disarm gives him something to do with those attacks, and Enlarge person gives him the reach to do it (and a nice +4 size modifier).

    Defensive Strike + Robilar's Gambit + Improved Disarm + Song of Fury
    Who needs to attack on their own turn? Adel can use Total Defense and then punish anyone who tries to go after him with a disarm and follow-up with a +4 to hit next turn, turning the -2 from Song of Fury into a net +2.


    Sources:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Champions of Valor: Order of the Shooting Star, Sword of the Arcane Order
    Complete Warrior: Bladesinger, Defensive Strike
    Player's Handbook II: Robilar's Gambit
    Races of Faerun: Sun Elf
    Races of the Dragon: Dragon Devotee
    Unearthed Arcana: Wildshape Ranger
    Y's: Adol picture
    Last edited by Kuulvheysoon; 2013-03-16 at 06:43 PM.

    Avatar by Iron Penguin.

    The Power of the Orient: A Wu Jen Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul S. Kemp
    Frankly, I think the designers and novelists did great work in the post-Spellplague Realms. But, in the end, this wasn’t a new setting. It was the Realms, the Realms 100 years later, and therein lay the problem.

  20. - Top - End - #320
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge In the Playground XLIII

    Kung Fu Hostile

    Quote Originally Posted by Hyandalindë
    Hyandalindë

    Her manner slightly aloof, grey eyes darting all about, she moves easily in a short fawn robe. Wavy black hair catching on the long sword she bears effortlessly before her.

    Her conversation, whilst bright, quickly reveals her obsession with the art of the Longsword. She may tell, with some scorn, how her guardians would only teach her the basics of this art. Instead she was taught how to defend herself without weapons, which was deemed more suitable for an elven lady. A profound attunement to the Elven culture will also be revealed to those who can recognise it, as will some mastery of arcane lore.

    For those who have witnessed her fight, her style appears unusual though very fluid; blending acrobatics with bursts of arcane light. Sometimes she appears to move without moving, her sword though, always flashes before her.

    She calls herself Hyandalindë or the Bladesinger.

    As may be gleaned from the above, she began by learning self defence of the "Fight smart and fight hard" school. The style she learned is called The Passive way, but that didn't really suit her personality; still she persisted and even when focussing more heavily on combat her style was always highly agile, though this is born more out of sharp mental discipline than that of natural physique.

    Wanting to learn more about her elven culture she spent some time studying some of her uncles old books. This gave her a deep connection to elven culture and it was this which finally allowed her to master her weapon of choice. Still focussing on developing her knowledge of the arcane arts she tried first combining protection spells with sword fighting, before finally realising her true vocation.

    Overview
    Spoiler
    Show
    Gray Elf
    • +2 Dex, +2 Int, –2 Str, –2 Con
    • Immunity to magic sleep
    • +2 Racial bonus on Listen, Search, & Spot checks.
    • Automatic Search check if passes within 5’ of a secret or concealed door
    • Low-light Vision
    • Proficiency with all straight Bows, Longsword and Rapier
    • +2 Racial bonus to saves vs. Enchantments


    {table=head]Attribute +/- Racial||Points
    Str|16-2|10
    Dex|11+2|3
    Con|14-2|6
    Int|17+2|13
    Wis|8|0
    Cha|8|0
    [/table]

    Stat Boosts all go to Int.

    I don't like to have less than 14 Str on a non-finesse melee build. Int will be 20 at 4th, 22 at 7th 24 at 12th and 26 at 20th; this is before items and wishes (etc.). Dex is the minimum required for Dodge. Wis and Cha are dumped, so not too MAD.


    Hyandalindë
    Spoiler
    Show

    {table=head]Level|Class|BAB|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Skills|Feats|Class Features
    1st|Passive Way Monk 1|
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |Balance 4 Concentration 4 Perform (Dance) 2 Perform (Sing) 2 Tumble 4 Jump 4 Spot 4 Search 4 Listen 4|Carmendine Monk|Flurry, Combat Expertise, Improved Unarmed Strike||
    2nd|Passive Way Monk 2|
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |Balance 5 Concentration 5 Perform (Dance) 2 Perform (Sing) 2 Tumble 5 Jump 5 Spot 5 Search 5 Listen 5 Climb 1||Improved Trip, Evasion||
    3rd|Fighter 1|
    +2
    |
    +5
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |Balance 5 Concentration 6 Perform (Dance) 2 Perform (Sing) 2 Tumble 6 Jump 5 Spot 6 Search 5 Listen 7 Climb 1|Insightful Reflexes|Dodge||
    4th|Martial Wizard 1|
    +2
    |
    +5
    |
    +3
    |
    +5
    |Balance 5 Concentration 7 Perform (Dance) 2 Perform (Sing) 2 Tumble 6 Jump 5 Spot 6 Search 5 Listen 7 Climb 1 Spellcraft 6||Transumtation Specialist (Drop Evo and Ench), Abrupt Jaunt, Combat Casting||
    5th|Elf Paragon 1|
    +2
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |Balance 5 Concentration 7 Perform (Dance) 2 Perform (Sing) 2 Tumble 6 Jump 5 Spot 8 Search 5 Listen 7 Climb 1 Spellcraft 8 Knowledge(Arcana) 1||Elfsight (Racial Spot and Listen bonus now +4, Double range low light vision), Resist Enchantments (Racial now +4 Will v Ench)||
    6th|Elf Paragon 2|
    +3
    |
    +5
    |
    +6
    |
    +5
    |Balance 5 Concentration 7 Perform (Dance) 2 Perform (Sing) 2 Tumble 7 Jump 5 Spot 9 Search 5 Listen 8 Climb 1 Spellcraft 9 Knowledge(Arcana) 3|Whirling Steel Strike|Weapon Focus(Long Sword)||
    7th|Elf Paragon 3|
    +4
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |Balance 5 Concentration 7 Perform (Dance) 2 Perform (Sing) 2 Tumble 9 Jump 5 Spot 10 Search 5 Listen 9 Climb 1 Spellcraft 10 Knowledge(Arcana) 4||Stat boost: Int +2||
    8th|Wizard 2|
    +5
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +7
    |Balance 5 Concentration 11 Perform (Dance) 2 Perform (Sing) 2 Tumble 11 Jump 5 Spot 10 Search 5 Listen 9 Climb 1 Spellcraft 11 Knowledge(Arcana) 5|Skill Trick: Point It Out|||
    9th|Abjurant Champion 1 |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +9
    |Balance 5 Concentration 12 Perform (Dance) 2 Perform (Sing) 2 Tumble 11 Jump 5 Spot 12 Search 5 Listen 9 Climb 1 Spellcraft 12 Knowledge(Arcana) 5|Practiced spellcaster, Skill Trick: Clarity of Vision|Abjurant Armor, Extended Abjuration ||
    10th|Abjurant Champion 2|
    +7
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +10
    |Balance 5 Concentration 13 Perform (Dance) 2 Perform (Sing) 2 Tumble 11 Jump 5 Spot 13 Search 5 Listen 11 Climb 1 Spellcraft 13 Knowledge(Arcana) 5||Swift Abjuration||
    11th|Bladesinger 1|
    +8
    |
    +6
    |
    +8
    |
    +12
    |Balance 5 Concentration 14 Perform (Dance) 2 Perform (Sing) 2 Tumble 13 Jump 5 Spot 14 Search 5 Listen 11 Climb 1 Spellcraft 14 Knowledge(Arcana) 5|Skill Trick: Back on Your Feet|Bladesong style||
    12th|Bladesinger 2|
    +9
    |
    +6
    |
    +9
    |
    +13
    |Balance 5 Concentration 15 Perform (Dance) 2 Perform (Sing) 2 Tumble 15 Jump 5 Spot 15 Search 5 Listen 12 Climb 1 Spellcraft 15 Knowledge(Arcana) 5|Sun School|Lesser spellsong||
    13th|Bladesinger 3|
    +10
    |
    +7
    |
    +9
    |
    +13
    |Balance 5 Concentration 16 Perform (Dance) 2 Perform (Sing) 2 Tumble 16 Jump 5 Spot 16 Search 5 Listen 13 Climb 1 Spellcraft 16 Knowledge(Arcana) 7||||
    14th|Bladesinger 4|
    +11
    |
    +7
    |
    +10
    |
    +14
    |Balance 5 Concentration 17 Perform (Dance) 2 Perform (Sing) 2 Tumble 17 Jump 5 Spot 17 Search 5 Listen 14 Climb 1 Spellcraft 17 Knowledge(Arcana) 9||Song of Celerity (2nd)||
    15th|Bladesinger 5|
    +12
    |
    +7
    |
    +10
    |
    +14
    |Balance 5 Concentration 18 Perform (Dance) 2 Perform (Sing) 2 Tumble 18 Jump 5 Spot 18 Search 5 Listen 15 Climb 1 Spellcraft 18 Knowledge(Arcana) 11|Arcane Strike|||
    16th|Bladesinger 6|
    +13
    |
    +8
    |
    +11
    |
    +15
    |Balance 5 Concentration 19 Perform (Dance) 2 Perform (Sing) 2 Tumble 19 Jump 5 Spot 19 Search 5 Listen 16 Climb 1 Spellcraft 19 Knowledge(Arcana) 13||Greater Spellsong||
    17th|Bladesinger 7|
    +14
    |
    +8
    |
    +11
    |
    +15
    |Balance 5 Concentration 20 Perform (Dance) 2 Perform (Sing) 2 Tumble 20 Jump 5 Spot 20 Search 5 Listen 17 Climb 1 Spellcraft 20 Knowledge(Arcana) 15||||
    18th|Bladesinger 8|
    +15
    |
    +8
    |
    +12
    |
    +16
    |Balance 5 Concentration 21 Perform (Dance) 2 Perform (Sing) 2 Tumble 21 Jump 5 Spot 21 Search 5 Listen 18 Climb 1 Spellcraft 21 Knowledge(Arcana) 17|Repost|Song of Celerity (4th)||
    19th|Bladesinger 9|
    +16
    |
    +9
    |
    +12
    |
    +16
    |Balance 5 Concentration 22 Perform (Dance) 2 Perform (Sing) 2 Tumble 22 Jump 5 Spot 22 Search 5 Listen 19 Climb 1 Spellcraft 22 Knowledge(Arcana) 19||||
    20th|Bladesinger 10|
    +17
    |
    +9
    |
    +13
    |
    +17
    |Balance 6 Concentration 23 Perform (Dance) 2 Perform (Sing) 2 Tumble 23 Jump 5 Spot 23 Search 5 Listen 20 Climb 1 Spellcraft 23 Knowledge(Arcana) 20||Song of Fury[/table]


    Spells
    Spoiler
    Show
    Spells per day/Spells Known
    {table=head]Level|0th|1st|2nd|3rd|4th|5th|6th|7th|8th|9th
    1st|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-
    2nd|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-
    3rd|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-
    4th|3|1+1+2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-
    5th|3|1+1+2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-
    6th|4|2+1+2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-
    7th|4|2+1+2|1+1+2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-
    8th|4|3+1+2|2+1+2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-
    9th|4|3+1+2|2+1+2|1+1+1|-|-|-|-|-|-
    10th|4|3+1+2|3+1+2|2+1+1|-|-|-|-|-|-
    11th|4|4+1+2|3+1+2|2+1+1|1+1+1|-|-|-|-|-
    12th|4|4+1+2|3+1+2|2+1+1|1+1+1|-|-|-|-|-
    13th|4|4+1+2|3+1+2|3+1+2|2+1+1|-|-|-|-|-
    14th|4|4+1+2|3+1+2|3+1+2|2+1+1|-|-|-|-|-
    15th|4|4+1+2|4+1+2|3+1+2|2+1+1|1+1+1|-|-|-|-
    16th|4|4+1+2|4+1+2|3+1+2|2+1+1|1+1+1|-|-|-|-
    17th|4|4+1+2|4+1+2|3+1+2|3+1+1|2+1+1|-|-|-|-
    18th|4|4+1+2|4+1+2|3+1+2|3+1+1|2+1+1|-|-|-|-
    19th|4|4+1+2|4+1+2|4+1+2|3+1+1|2+1+1|1+1+1|-|-|-
    20th|4|4+1+2|4+1+2|4+1+2|3+1+2|2+1+1|1+1+1|-|-|-[/table]


    Level 5
    Spoiler
    Show
    Hyandalindë starts off as a Long sword wielding Carmendine Monk. This gives her Int to AC, at level 1; which duplicates, and synergises with, the SI's Class feature.

    She is able to run interference with her Trip attacks which is probably the best use of her flurry — following up with the Longsword if they fall over.

    She should be able to take point, possibly behind any scout, since her high Spot and Listen will warn of any ambushes most of the time.

    Her few early spells should be used to buff her own AC, movement and possibly damage. Abrupt Jaunt gives her limited dimension door from 4th level.

    Insightful Reflexes and Carmendine Monk give her Int to Reflex saves and AC

    She also has evasion and a solid Reflex save.

    BAB 2, Wizard 1 casting, Int to AC and Int to Reflex also. Int 22


    Level 10
    Spoiler
    Show
    6th level is a key one as she masters the Long sword getting 2 attacks per round via flurry. Amusingly this is mechanically identical to the SI's capstone, and looks like it synergises with it. 8th level sees her achieve the Tumble 14 milestone.

    She could enter the SI at 9th, but I delayed that two levels for the various boosts from Abjurant Champion. She gets three Longsword attacks per round at 9th (BAB=6 and Flurry).

    Her spellcasting is coming along getting 3rd level spells at 9th. She should still focus on Buffs and Utility, though due to her Int her DCs will be good.

    Equipment wise she should be aiming for Int and Strength Boosting Items, and something like a +1 Keen Longsword. This should give her a 20% chance of threatening a Crit on each attack. An Int boosting item would help with her skills, though she is not short of skill points, even having enough to allow pushing cross class skills.

    BAB 7, Wizard 6 casting (CL10), Int to AC and Int to Reflex also. Int 23 before items.


    Level 15
    Spoiler
    Show
    Bladesong Style kicks in from 11th, eventually giving her Int to AC for a second time.

    The combination of Swift Abjuration and Song of Celerity allows for faster buffing, though SoC is only 1/day.

    The combination of Sun School and Abrupt Jaunt allows her to have a full round of attacks, jump 10' and attack again. She can even use this to tank, by interposing charging attackers: Her high AC, and defensive buffs (Mage Armour, Shield (+6), Mirror Image, etc.), should make this viable.

    Arcane Strike allows her to boost her attacks and she has both the spell slots and the attacks per round to benefit from this.

    She gets 4 attacks per round from 14th, plus a Sun-School Jaunt and probably a hasted one also.

    I have noticed a minor exploit here in that she can still use her unarmed attacks whilst benefiting from Bladesong Style, so long as she holds a Long sword in her other hand. This is probably of minor interest, unless she needs to inflict non-lethal damage or trip someone.

    BAB 12, Wizard 9 casting (CL13), Int to AC (twice, well one capped at +5) and Int to Reflex also. Int 24 before items.


    Level 20
    Spoiler
    Show
    Should anyone miss her, Repost will generate an additional attack.
    From 19th she can full attack with 5 attacks, adding a 6th at 20th due to Song of Fury.

    A major fight could see her dishing out up to 9 attacks per round with her long sword (6 base, 1 Sun-School Jaunt, 1 Repost and one haste); combined with Arcane Strike. The Sun-School Jaunt can be triggered by an immediate action, albeit over short distances only, and this could include a trip. With Song of Celerity she can even use Sun-School with Dimension Door, for greater range, as a swift action once per day.

    Key equipment is still a good Long Sword, also Int and Strength boosters. With this many attacks per round, a +1 Keen Vorpel long sword might be funny, especially since she can cast greater magic weapon upon it.
    Inherent boosts to Int and also Strength are obviously desirable, as are the usual items to improve AC and saves etc. one normally sees on a Christmas tree. A level 3 or 4 Ring of Wizardry would help to fuel her Arcane Strike.

    Her spot and listen are excellent, and whilst her Wis lets her down the +4/+2 racial bonuses make up for this. Her concentration is excellent, and casting defensively should never be an issue. She is very good at tumbling, which allows her to move around the battlefield easily.

    Her Reflex and Will saves are good. Her Fort save is poor, but this should be OK since you don't normally target melee characters with these. The +4 bonus against enchantment is a good synergy, it is unlikely that Hyandalindë will be turned against her party.

    She ends with BAB 17, Wizard 11 casting (CL15), Int to AC (twice, well one capped at +10) and Int to Reflex also. Int is 24 before Items/Wishes, 34-35 afterwards.


    Sources
    Spoiler
    Show
    Name
    http://www.uib.no/People/hnohf/wordlists.htm

    Classes
    Passive Way Monk, Combat Wizard, Elf Paragon — SRD (UA also)
    Abjurant Champion — CMage
    BladeSinger — CWar

    Feats
    Combat Expertise, Improved Unarmed Strike, Improved Trip, Dodge
    Carmendine Monk — CVal p28
    Whirling Steel Strike — Eberron Campaign Setting p62
    Practised spellcaster — CArc
    Arcane Strike, Sun School — CWar
    Insightful Reflexes — CAdv
    Repost — Dragon Compendium

    Avatar by Iron Penguin.

    The Power of the Orient: A Wu Jen Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul S. Kemp
    Frankly, I think the designers and novelists did great work in the post-Spellplague Realms. But, in the end, this wasn’t a new setting. It was the Realms, the Realms 100 years later, and therein lay the problem.

  21. - Top - End - #321
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge In the Playground XLIII

    By the Power of Paimon!

    Quote Originally Posted by Leander Valentine
    Leander Valentine

    Spoiler
    Show
    Chaotic Good Half-Elf Bard 2/Battle Dancer 1/Binder 3/Half Elf Paragon 1/Human Paragon 3/Bladesinger 10


    Stat Array:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Str 13
    Con 10
    Dex 14
    Int 14
    Wis 8
    Cha 17 +1 (4th), +1 (8th), +2 (Human Paragon), +1 (12th), +1 (16th), +1 (20th)


    Build:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Leander Valentine
    {table=head]Level|Class|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Skills|Feats|Class Features

    1st|Bard (half-elf sub)|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |Bluff4(4), Balance2(2), Concentration4(4), K:Arcana1(1), K:Dungeoneering1(1), K:Local4(4), K:Nature1(1), K:Planes1(1), K;Religion4(4), P:Dance4(4), P:Sing2(2), Tumble4(4)|1st: Weapon Focus (Rapier)|Bardic Music, Bardic Knowledge, Soothing Voice, Fascinate, Inspire Courage +1

    2nd|Bard 2|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |Bluff1(5), Balance(2), Concentration(4), Diplomacy5(5), K:Arcana(1), K:Dungeoneering(1), K:Local1(5), K:Nature(1), K:Planes(1), K:Religion(4), P:Dance(4), P:Sing(2), Tumble1(5)|--|--

    3rd|Battle Dancer|
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +5
    |
    +3
    |Bluff(5), Balance(2), Concentration(4), Diplomacy(5), Jump4(4), K:Arcana(1), K:Dungeoneering(1), K:Local(5), K:Nature(1), K:Planes(1), K:Religion(4), P:Dance(4), P:Sing(2), Tumble(5), Skill Trick: Collector of Stories(2)|3rd: Knowledge Devotion (Planes), BD: Improved Unarmed Strike|AC Bonus, Unarmed Strike 1d6

    4th|Binder|
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |Bluff(5), Balance(2), Concentration(4), Diplomacy(5), Intimidate4(4), Jump(4), K:Arcana(1), K:Dungeoneering(1), K:Local(5), K:Nature(1), K:Planes(1), K:Religion(4), P:Dance(4), P:Sing(2), Tumble(5), Skill Trick: Collector of Stories|--|Soul Binding

    5th|Binder 2|
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +5
    |
    +6
    |Bluff2(7), Balance(2), Concentration(4), Diplomacy(5), Intimidate2(6), Jump(4), K:Arcana(1), K:Dungeoneering(1), K:Local(5), K:Nature(1), K:Planes(1), K:Religion(4), P:Dance(4), P:Sing(2), Tumble(5), Skill Trick: Collector of Stories|--|Pact Augmentation, Suppress Sign

    6th|Binder 3|
    +4
    |
    +3
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |Bluff2(9), Balance(2), Concentration(4), Diplomacy(5), Intimidate2(8), Jump(4), K:Arcana(1), K:Dungeoneering(1), K:Local(5), K:Nature(1), K:Planes(1), K:Religion(4), P:Dance(4), P:Sing(2), Tumble(5), Skill Trick: Collector of Stories|6th: Improved Binding|--

    7th|Half-Elf Paragon|
    +4
    |
    +3
    |
    +8
    |
    +6
    |Bluff1(10), Balance(2), Concentration(4), Diplomacy(5), Intimidate(8), Jump1(5), K:Arcana(1), K:Dungeoneering(1), K:Local(5), K:Nature(1), K:Planes(1), K:Religion(4), P:Dance4(8), P:Sing(2), Tumble(5), Skill Trick: Collector of Stories|HE: Dodge|Divided Ancestry, Elven Vision

    8th|Human Paragon|
    +4
    |
    +3
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |Bluff(9), Balance(2), Concentration(4), Diplomacy(5), Intimidate(8), Jump(5), K:Arcana(1), K:Dungeoneering(1), K:Local(5), K:Nature(1), K:Planes(1), K:Religion(4), P:Dance(8), P:Sing(2), Tumble6(11), Skill Trick: Collector of Stories|--|Adaptive Learning (K: Local)

    9th|Human Paragon 2|
    +5
    |
    +3
    |
    +8
    |
    +9
    |Bluff(9), Balance(2), Concentration(4), Diplomacy(5), Intimidate1(9), Jump(5), K:Arcana(1), K:Dungeoneering(1), K:Local4(9), K:Nature(1), K:Planes(1), K:Religion(4), P:Dance(8), P:Sing(2), Tumble1(12), Skill Trick: Collector of Stories|9th: Combat Casting; H: Combat Expertise|--

    10th|Human Paragon 3|
    +6/1
    |
    +4
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    |Bluff(9), Balance(2), Concentration(4), Diplomacy(5), Intimidate4(13), Jump1(5), K:Arcana(1), K:Dungeoneering(1), K:Local4(9), K:Nature(1), K:Planes(1), K:Religion(4), P:Dance(8), P:Sing(2), Tumble(12), Skill Trick: Collector of Stories, Extreme Leap(2)|--|Ability Boost (+2) (Charisma)

    11th|Bladesinger|
    +7/2
    |
    +4
    |
    +11
    |
    +11
    |Bluff(9), Balance(2), Concentration(4), Diplomacy(5), Intimidate(13), Jump4(9), K:Arcana(1), K:Dungeoneering(1), K:Local(9), K:Nature(1), K:Planes(1), K:Religion(4), P:Dance(8), P:Sing(2), Tumble(12), Skill Trick: Collector of Stories, Extreme Leap|--|Bladesong Style

    12th|Bladesinger 2|
    +8/3
    |
    +4
    |
    +12
    |
    +12
    |Bluff(9), Balance(2), Concentration(4), Diplomacy(5), Intimidate(13), Jump(9), K:Arcana(1), K:Dungeoneering(1), K:Local4(13), K:Nature(1), K:Planes(1), K:Religion(4), P:Dance(8), P:Sing(2), Tumble(12), Skill Trick: Collector of Stories, Extreme Leap|12th: Snowflake Wardance|Lesser Spellsong

    13th|Bladesinger 3|
    +9/4
    |
    +5
    |
    +12
    |
    +12
    |Bluff(9), Balance(2), Concentration(4), Diplomacy(5), Intimidate(13), Jump4(13), K:Arcana(1), K:Dungeoneering(1), K:Local(13), K:Nature(1), K:Planes(1), K:Religion(4), P:Dance(8), P:Sing(2), Tumble(12), Skill Trick: Collector of Stories, Extreme Leap|--|--

    14th|Bladesinger 4|
    +10/5
    |
    +5
    |
    +13
    |
    +13
    |Bluff(9), Balance(2), Concentration(4), Diplomacy(5), Intimidate(13), Jump3(16), K:Arcana(1), K:Dungeoneering(1), K:Local(13), K:Nature(1), K:Planes(1), K:Religion(4), P:Dance1(9), P:Sing(2), Tumble(12), Skill Trick: Collector of Stories, Extreme Leap|--|Song of Celerity (2nd)

    15th|Bladesinger 5|
    +11/6/1
    |
    +5
    |
    +13
    |
    +13
    |Bluff(9), Balance(2), Concentration(4), Diplomacy(5), Intimidate(13), Jump(16), K:Arcana(1), K:Dungeoneering(1), K:Local4(17), K:Nature(1), K:Planes(1), K:Religion(4), P:Dance(9), P:Sing(2), Tumble(12), Skill Trick: Collector of Stories, Extreme Leap|15th: Combat Panache|--

    16th|Bladesinger 6|
    +12/7/2
    |
    +6
    |
    +14
    |
    +14
    |Bluff(9), Balance(2), Concentration(4), Diplomacy(5), Intimidate(13), Jump(16), K:Arcana(1), K:Dungeoneering(1), K:Local1(18), K:Nature(1), K:Planes1(2), K:Religion(4), P:Dance(9), P:Sing(2), Tumble2(14), Skill Trick: Collector of Stories, Extreme Leap|--|Greater Spellsong

    17th|Bladesinger 7|
    +13/8/3
    |
    +6
    |
    +14
    |
    +14
    |Bluff(9), Balance(2), Concentration(4), Diplomacy(5), Intimidate(13), Jump(16), K:Arcana(1), K:Dungeoneering(1), K:Local2(20), K:Nature(1), K:Planes2(4), K:Religion(4), P:Dance(9), P:Sing(2), Tumble(14), Skill Trick: Collector of Stories, Extreme Leap|--|--

    18th|Bladesinger 8|
    +14/9/4
    |
    +6
    |
    +15
    |
    +15
    |Bluff(9), Balance(2), Concentration(4), Diplomacy(5), Intimidate(13), Jump(16), K:Arcana(1), K:Dungeoneering(1), K:Local(20), K:Nature(1), K:Planes(4), K:Religion(4), P:Dance(9), P:Sing(2), Tumble4(18), Skill Trick: Collector of Stories, Extreme Leap|18th: Power Attack|Song of Celerity (4th)

    19th|Bladesinger 9|
    +15/10/5
    |
    +7
    |
    +15
    |
    +15
    |Bluff(9), Balance(2), Concentration(4), Diplomacy(5), Intimidate(13), Jump(16), K:Arcana4(5), K:Dungeoneering(1), K:Local(20), K:Nature(1), K:Planes(4), K:Religion(4), P:Dance(9), P:Sing(2), Tumble(18), Skill Trick: Collector of Stories, Extreme Leap|--|--

    20th|Bladesinger 10|
    +16/11/6/1
    |
    +8
    |
    +16
    |
    +16
    |Bluff(9), Balance(2), Concentration(4), Diplomacy(5), Intimidate(13), Jump(16), K:Arcana(5), K:Dungeoneering(1), K:Local(20), K:Nature(1), K:Planes(4), K:Religion(4), P:Dance(9), P:Sing(2), Tumble4(22), Skill Trick: Collector of Stories, Extreme Leap|--|Song of Fury[/table]


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

    1st|2/4|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    2nd|3/5|1/2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    3rd|3/5|1/2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    4th|3/5|1/2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    5th|3/5|1/2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    6th|3/5|1/2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    7th|3/5|1/2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    8th|3/5|1/2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    9th|3/6|2/3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    10th|3/6|4/3|1/2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    11th|3/6|5/4|2/3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    12th|3/6|5/4|3/3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    13th|3/6|5/4|4/3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    14th|3/6|5/4|4/3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    15th|3/6|5/4|4/4|1/2|-|-|-|-|-|-

    16th|3/6|5/4|4/4|1/2|-|-|-|-|-|-

    17th|3/6|5/4|5/4|2/3|-|-|-|-|-|-

    18th|3/6|5/4|5/4|2/3|-|-|-|-|-|-

    19th|3/6|5/4|5/4|3/3|-|-|-|-|-|-

    20th|3/6|5/4|5/4|4/3|-|-|-|-|-|-[/table]


    Story:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Leander Valentine looked up at the grey stone rook before him. The keep walls rose higher and higher, towering above him, casting a long bleak shadow on the world. She was up there, in the highest room. He could see her lantern aglow in the window.

    He took a deep breath, his thoughts drifting back to how he got here.

    He had only wanted to dance. He had joined the Ballet at a young age. He played his way across the stage, a devil in the throng, an angel in a host. He'd been the pauper. He'd been the prince. He played hero and villian, satyr and lich. He captured audiences, held them enthralled. Gentlemen had watched him in awe, breaths caught in their throats, wanting to be him. Gentleladies had stared at him in wonder, bosoms heaving in their corsets, wanting to be with him. Peasants, businessmen, nobility -- they had all come to see him dance. And all had found their thrill.

    Beyond the stage, he was courted. Men of prestige desiring his aquaintence as a prize to be displayed. Their wives desiring his attentions as a secret to be enjoyed. He was wooed -- sometimes with inept clumsiness; sometimes with almost irresistible savvy. But resist them he did. He cared not for fame or fortune, nor frivolous frolicing.

    He cared only for the dance.

    Until he saw her.

    Late one night, after the theater had closed, the patrons long gone for their homes, he wandered the darkened auditorium. He was at peace here, alone, in the stillness. In these times, he was allowed the dance for the sake of the art and for nothing, and no one, else. It was his sanctum. And she swept into that solace. Literally. She entered stage right, pushing her broom across the floorboards. She moved with a natural grace and Leander found himself still, staring at her from the seats, watching the stage.

    Thinking herself quite alone, she stopped and pulled her broom close. She addressed it with a bow, then twisted around it, twirling across the stage. She danced like flame, graceful and lovely. She was unskilled, but with talent beyond measure, and Leander found himself staring, enthralled, to the very end. Night after night, Leander returned, hidden in the shadows, watching the girl. Sometimes she would simply sweep up, as was her job. Often, she would dance, as was her wont.

    Then, one night, he stepped up to the stage with her. Midstep, she noticed him and froze. Without a word, Leander moved toward her, picking up the dance where she'd left off. And soon, she joined him. They molded together, their motions gliding in fluid rapture, a passion expressed between them that left mere words inadequate.

    They met, night after night, dancing together through the silent hours.

    Until one night she was gone.

    Little had he known that she was on the run, flitting from villiage to village, town to town, picking up odd jobs as she could, always one step ahead of her father, the Marquess, who was intent on forcing her hand to the son of a wealthy Duke. Little had he known the risk she took, staying each night, drawn to their dance. Little had he known

    But much he learned.

    He hired the greatest instructors in the land and trained for the greatest role he would ever play. He took up the blade and fenced. He learned to thrust and parry, to advance and assult. He learned to reprise and reposte, to feint and fleche. All under the guise of the Ballet, taking up a role for a script written specifically for him, at his request, of the dashing swashbuckler fending off vile foes to protect the innocence of a fair maiden. The show opened to great success. He played the story out, again and again, absorbing his part, honing the role.

    And then he left the stage.

    He journeyed across field and fen and found himself here, staring up at the light from a lantern shining forth from the window of a tall tower. A tower that held the Hero of his heart.

    And now he was ready to fulfill his greatest role yet. Now, after all the preparation. Now, after all the training. Now, on the eve of her wedding day.

    He had no idea how many guarded the keep. A contingent to protect the groom, certainly. The personal guard of the Duke. The regiment of the Marquess. Not to mention the Duke and the Marquess themselves. He didn't care how many there were. Leander would swim through an ocean of blood to reach his Hero tonight.

    Leander stepped from the shadows and into the moonlight. He walked calmly, boldly toward the front gate, toward the guard standing at attention with the halberds crossed.

    "Gentlemen," Leander gave a slight bow as he drew his blade, "let's dance...."


    Levels 1-5:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Dance you fool, dance! You start out as a bard and a battle dancer. Your blade is your dance partner. Go knock 'em dead out there! Your fist makes a usable secondary weapon, feel free to use it from time to time. With Knowledge Devotion and Collector of Stories and a few ranks in each of the necessary skills, you should be able to act like a squishy fighter.

    Battle Dancer grants you Cha bonus to AC which should (hopefully) help keep you alive.

    Binder levels offer a few different options. Become friends with Nabarius for disguising yourself or Amon for the ram's horns or Aym if you like to play with fire. No need to lock yourself into using any one vestige, really.

    You're not much of a caster, just dabbling, really. But it is enough to be of some use. Focus your arcane attentions out of combat. Make some friends, charm the crowds, gain some intel, entertain the kiddies.


    Levels 6-10:
    Spoiler
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    With another level of Binder and Improved Binding, you can welcome Paimon the Dancer into your life. You'll be binding Paimon almost exclusively. Uncanny Dodge, Whirlwind Attack, Weapon Finesse with your rapier (and short sword, if you care), a bonus on tumble and p:dance, a bonus to Dex, and (best of all) the Dance of Death once every five rounds. What's not to love? With an effective Extreme Leap and Slippers of Battledancing, you'll have 50' of movement in your Dance of Death (Tumble checks at -10 lets you move the full distance without suffering attacks of opportunity) with an attack against everyone in your path.


    Levels 11-15:
    Spoiler
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    The secret ingredient is here! And so is Snowflake Wardance. That's right, folks. Snowflake War-Dance of Death! (What a...chilling...thought!) With Bladesong Style added to the mix, you now have Int, Cha, and Dex mods to AC, plus Dodge. And with Uncanny Dodge (thanks Paimon!) you'll keep those bonuses in most every situation. Intimidate someone with Combat Panache and s/he won't be hitting you. Bluff someone with Combat Panache, though, and s/he just might smack someone else in the face.


    Levels 16-20:
    Spoiler
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    More Bladesinger and all that goes with it. Makes you just quiver in your boots (or slippers, actually), doesn't it? Four attacks from BAB, Song of Fury makes it five. (A sixth, from time to time, from an off-hand attack with nothing in your hand!) Snowflake Wardance, Weapon Finesse, and Knowledge Devotion are helping you hit the people you duel, and now, along comes Power Attack to help make it count. Use a keen rapier during your Dance of Death and there's a good chance that some mook is going to feel the pain.


    Sources:
    Spoiler
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    Half-elf Bard Sub Level: Races of Destiny
    Battle Dancer: Dragon Companion
    Skill Tricks: Complete Scoundrel
    Knowledge Devotion: Complete Champion
    Binder (and Vestiges): Tome of Magic
    Improved Binding: Tome of Magic
    Half-elf and Human Paragon: Unearthed Arcana
    Snowflake Wardance: Frostburn
    Combat Panache: Player's Handbook II
    Slippers of Battledancing: Magic Item Compendium

    Avatar by Iron Penguin.

    The Power of the Orient: A Wu Jen Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul S. Kemp
    Frankly, I think the designers and novelists did great work in the post-Spellplague Realms. But, in the end, this wasn’t a new setting. It was the Realms, the Realms 100 years later, and therein lay the problem.

  22. - Top - End - #322
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge In the Playground XLIII

    He's good at his duty. And he looks damn fine doing it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zanthus
    Zanthus, High Martial Academician
    N Fire Elf Martial Rogue 2 / Swashbuckler 3 / Avenger 5 / Bladesinger 10
    Spoiler
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    Story
    Spoiler
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    Zanthus is a stuffy, snooty, boring personality. Take all the snootiness of elves, and make one of them into a confident, tenured professor of the arcane arts. At a prestigious university — the ancient hall of tradition to which the elves go to learn their traditional blend of swordplay and spellcasting. Don't forget to have this professor dress in all the latest fashions of upscale, swagger-worthy finery. Yeah, that's Zanthus.

    He's certainly NOT the type who would sneak out of the university nights and weekends, wearing disguises. He would never provoke tavern brawls, or play truth-or-dare with his old adventuring buddies. And thanks to the "dare," end up infiltrating the palaces of his friends' political rivals, in order to plant scandalous and incendiary messages or pictures. Nope, old Zanthus has always been far too proper to engage in such activities. In fact, I can't even imagine him ever having been an adventurer.

    He's so focused on the proper jargon of Schools of Arcane Spells, so dry in his description of the Duelist's stance. I can't imagine him picking a lock, or otherwise living on the streets as a thief and a burglar. He always had too much money to be interested in taking jobs as a bounty hunter, and anyway, why would he have needed to learn to fight in order to bounty-hunt, when he would have learned swordplay anyway just out of respect for the most traditional of elven traditions?

    And that nonsense about him having some kind of Fire Genasi in his bloodline, or having been born on the elemental plane of fire, or whatever the latest story is. Really, I wish he WOULD spontaneously combust in class sometime. Would be a lot more interesting than his lectures, that's for sure.

    I swear, if you believe any of these wild rumors about Zanthus that get circulated, you've had too much elven brandy to drink.

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

    1st | Martial Rogue 1 |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    | Bluff 4, Diplomacy 4, Disguise 4, Hide 4, Jump 2, Knowledge (local) 1, Listen 4, Move Silently 4, Open Lock 1, Perform (dance) 4, Sense Motive 4, Sleight of Hand 4, Tumble 4, Use Magic Device 4 | Expeditious Dodge, Combat Reflexes | Mimic

    2nd | Swashbuckler 1 |
    +1
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    | Balance 5, Jump 2, Tumble 1 | Weapon Finesse |

    3rd | Swashbuckler 2 |
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    | Concentration 3, Jump 1, Tumble 1 | Combat Expertise | Arcane Stunt

    4th | Martial Rogue 2 |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    | Bluff 3, Hide 3, Move Silently 3, Perform (sing) 2, Tumble 1 | Weapon Focus (rapier) | Evasion

    5th | Swashbuckler 3 |
    +4
    |
    +3
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    | Bluff 1, Concentration 1, Hide 1, Move Silently 1, Tumble 1 | | Insightful Strike

    6th | Avenger 1 |
    +4
    |
    +3
    |
    +6
    |
    +1
    | Bluff 1, Disguise 1, Hide 1, Move Silently 1, Use Magic Device 4 | Combat Casting | Sneak Attack +1d6, Poison Use, Death Attack

    7th | Avenger 2 |
    +5
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    |
    +1
    | Bluff 1, Diplomacy 1, Hide 1, Move Silently 1, Sense Motive 1, Sleight of Hand 1, Use Magic Device 2 | | Uncanny Dodge, Save +1 vs. Poison

    8th | Bladesinger 1 |
    +6
    |
    +3
    |
    +9
    |
    +3
    | Knowledge (arcana) 4, Spellcraft 1; second impression | | Bladesong Style

    9th | Bladesinger 2 |
    +7
    |
    +3
    |
    +10
    |
    +4
    | Bluff 2, Concentration 1; twisted charge | Karmic Strike | Lesser Spellsong

    10th | Bladesinger 3 |
    +8
    |
    +4
    |
    +10
    |
    +4
    | Bluff 1, Tumble 3; conceal spellcasting | |

    11th | Bladesinger 4 |
    +9
    |
    +4
    |
    +11
    |
    +5
    | Bluff 1, Knowlege (arcana) 1, Perform (dance) 1, Tumble 1; acrobatic backstab | | Song of Celerity (2nd)

    12th | Bladesinger 5 |
    +10
    |
    +4
    |
    +11
    |
    +5
    | Bluff 1, Spellcraft 3; shrouded dance | Staggering Strike |

    13th | Bladesinger 6 |
    +11
    |
    +5
    |
    +12
    |
    +6
    | Bluff 1, Spellcraft 3; social recovery | | Greater Spellsong

    14th | Bladesinger 7 |
    +12
    |
    +5
    |
    +12
    |
    +6
    | Bluff 1, Spellcraft 3; nimble charge | |

    15th | Bladesinger 8 |
    +13
    |
    +5
    |
    +13
    |
    +7
    | Bluff 1, Spellcraft 5 | Darkstalker | Song of Celerity (4th)

    16th | Bladesinger 9 |
    +14
    |
    +6
    |
    +13
    |
    +7
    | Bluff 1, Spellcraft 4; back on your feet | |

    17th | Bladesinger 10 |
    +15
    |
    +6
    |
    +14
    |
    +8
    | Bluff 1, Spellcraft 1, Perform (sing) 1, Use Magic Device 2 | | Song of Fury

    18th | Avenger 3 |
    +16
    |
    +7
    |
    +14
    |
    +9
    | Bluff 1, Knowledge (dungeoneering) 1, Knowledge (nature) 1, Knowledge (religion) 1, Knowledge (planes) 1, Use Magic Device 2 | Knowledge Devotion | Sneak Attack +2d6

    19th | Avenger 4 |
    +17
    |
    +7
    |
    +15
    |
    +9
    | Bluff 1, Sense Motive 2, Use Magic Device 5; collector of stories | | Save +2 vs. Poison

    20th | Avenger 5 |
    +17
    |
    +7
    |
    +15
    |
    +9
    | Bluff 1, Hide 2, Listen 4, Move Silently 2, Sense Motive 2, Use Magic Device 2 | | Improved Uncanny Dodge, Sneak Attack +3d6[/table]

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

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

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

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

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

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

    6th|0|-|-|-|(L1) Critical Strike, Ebon Eyes

    7th|1|-|-|-|(L1) Shadow Double

    8th|2|0|-|-|(L2) Invisibility, Pass without Trace

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

    10th|3|1|-|-|(L1) Mimicry; (L2) Undetectable Alignment

    11th|3|1|-|-|-

    12th|3|2|0|-|(L3) Magic Circle against Good, Wraithstrike

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

    14th|3|3|1|-|(L2) Alter Self; (L3) Enduring Scrutiny

    15th|3|3|1|-|-

    16th|3|3|2|0|(L4) Assassin's Darkness, Freedom of Movement

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

    18th|3|3|3|1|(L3) Fell the Greatest Foe; (L4) Glibness

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

    20th|3|3|3|3|(L4) Cursed Blade[/table]

    Ability Scores
    {table=head] Ability | Points | Base | Racial | Levels | Enhancement | Inherent | Total | Modifier
    STR | 2 | 10 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 12 | +1
    DEX | 10 | 16 | +2 | 0 | 6 | 2 | 26 | +8
    CON | 6 | 14 | -2 | 0 | 4 | 0 | 16 | +3
    INT | 10 | 16 | +2 | 5 | 6 | 5 | 34 | +12
    WIS | 2 | 10 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 10 | +0
    CHA | 2 | 10 | -2 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 8 | -1 [/table]

    Showcase
    Spoiler
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    Level 5
    Spoiler
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    At this level, Zanthus is a pretty typical swashbuckler. With DEX to attacks, INT to damage, and Expeditious Dodge and Combat Reflexes as his favorite feats, he's competent but not exceptional in combat.

    His main distinguishing features are a large and versatile list of skills (pretty much all the classic Rogue skills EXCEPT trap-monkeying), and a natural knack magical disguises, either for utility (Mimic ACF) or for combat (spell-like abilities via Arcane Stunt ACF, such as Blur).

    Level 10
    Spoiler
    Show
    At this point, Zanthus' main feature has started to come online: Intelligence synergy. Intelligence is the source of his plentiful skill points, it gets added to his melee damage, it's his casting stat, it gets added to the DC of his Death Attack, and now Bladesinger has started adding it to his Armor Class (+3 so far). With Combat Reflexes and Karmic Strike, he's able to put that bonus to his attack damage (including Sneak Attack!) to use many times per round, at least if a battle starts to go poorly for him.

    Another trick has also started to come online: bypassing the Bladesinger's fairly sad class skill list by spending a lot of his skill points on useful skill tricks. Twisted Charge is something every melee build wants, and Conceal Spellcasting is great for setting up a Death Attack to start off combat (preferably in social settings, such as a banquet or marketplace).

    Most of his spells, being from the Assassin list, are geared towards skillmonkey-ing rather than improving his melee ability. Invisibilty, Mimicry, Pass without Trace, and Undetectable Alignment are great in combination with his Second Impression skill trick and Mimic ability for making him an excellent social rogue or infiltrator. Critical Strike, on the other hand, is a nice buff (good rapier synergy), and Ebon Eyes and Shadow Double are kind of a combat/noncombat hybrid, since they can at least help him set up Sneak Attacks.

    Thanks to Lesser Spellsong and Combat Casting, having trouble casting defensively is a thing of the past.

    Level 15
    Spoiler
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    Magic Circle against Good for defense; Wraithstrike for offense; Enduring Scrutiny for utility (spying on a target); Alter Self for, well, anything.

    One Quickened spell per day, which is normally not something Assasins (er, Avengers) can use. Can now get another armor enhancement in place of Twilight, or switch from Bracers of Armor to a mithral shirt, without worrying about ASF.

    Acrobatic Backstab and Shrouded Dance (skill tricks) help set up Sneak Attacks, which now have a chance of Staggering their targets. AC continues to grow sky-high — although, at this level, Zanthus' Intelligence is probably still +7, which means he won't keep getting +1 AC with each Bladesinger level, until high levels when he can afford an inherent bonus.

    Social Recovery lets him use his solid Bluff skill to make him a good Diplomat (because, who really uses Diplomacy more than 1/encounter anyway?).

    Zanthus also takes Darkstalker in an attempt to keep his stealth skills relevant, although he may need magic item support here, since Bladesinger isn't giving him enough skill points to keep these skills maxed at cross-class rates.

    Level 20
    Spoiler
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    Glibness is arguably the most exciting thing about these levels. With Zanthus' skill tricks, it's effectively +30 to not only Bluff, but also Disguise and Diplomacy.

    Freedom of Movement is pretty nice too, though, especially when you can Quicken it 1/day with Greater Song of Celerity.

    In any case, Zanthus has completed Assassin casting: 10/10 caster levels.

    Song of Fury and BAB +17 combine with the earlier Combat Reflexes/Karmic Strike combo to add up to a lot of attacking. All attack rolls and damage rolls also gain a solid bonus from one last source of Intelligence synergy: Knowledge Devotion. This is especially reliable if the DM allows the Collector of Stories skill trick to apply to Knowledge Devotion, which seems to be the popular interpretation on GitP.

    Although Zanthus has gradually become more and more focused on melee combat, thanks to Bladesinger, his greatest strength is probably still in playing the skillmonkey role, especially as an infiltrator or spy or party face — that hasn't changed since the early levels. But his melee abilities, Bladesinger features, and especially spells should keep him from being a useless out-of-the-box-non-full-caster all the way through the game.

    Noteworthy Equipment
    Spoiler
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    Circlet of Persuasion (DMG): Single-handedly makes up for dumping Charisma.

    Feycraft Rapier (DMG2): Makes rapier a light weapon, which, oddly, makes it concealable with Sleight of Hand.

    Ring of Wizardry I-IV (DMG): Stretches out spell slots a lot farther.

    Ring of Spell Battle (MIC): Put Spellcraft to good use.

    Ring of Silent Spells (MIC): Preserve sneakiness while casting.

    Tome of Battle "Novice" items: Desert Wind Cloak (Burning Brand: turn rapier into reach weapon); Ring of the Diamond Mind (Mind over Body or Moment of Perfect Mind); Iron Heart Vest (Wall of Blades); Slippers of the Setting Sun (Counter Charge); Shadow Hands (Cloak of Deception or Shadow Jaunt); Stone Dragon Belt (Mountain Hammer); Tiger Claw Bracers (Sudden Leap).

    Collar of Umbral Metamorphosis (ToM): Help keep stealth skills competitive after he can't afford to put max ranks in them.

    Variations
    Spoiler
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    If April Fool's columns are taboo, or if the Avenger is ruled to not have access to splatbook-Assassin spell list expansions, the change from Avenger to Assassin really only affects Zanthus's fluff. He becomes his evil twin, Hallan'hanus. Change his alignment to NE.

    If Fractional BAB/Saves rules are used, BAB improves to +18, base Fortitude improves to +8, and base Will improves to +10. Meanwhile, base Reflex decreases to +11.

    If qualifying for feats via items isn't a problem, one of Zanthus's later feats could be replaced by Elusive Target, after purchasing Mobility Armor. Alternatively, an item could be used to learn a maneuver, then a feat spent on Martial Stance; for example, Cloak of Deception or Shadow Jaunt, followed by Assassin's Stance.

    Part of me is wondering if I should have gone for Factotum 3 instead of Swashbuckler 3. I'd still be able to add INT to damage *sometimes* (i.e. on crits!), and I'd also get INT to many skills, like Stealth. But Swashbuckler just felt a little more in the spirit of the Bladesinger class, and a little more original too. And of course not losing another point of BAB is good for getting into Bladesinger sooner.

    Of course Craven was tempting, but it's a little overused, and by the levels I would have gotten it, Heroes' Feast and other buffs that negate it are starting to become common anyway.

    Sources
    Spoiler
    Show
    Complete Warrior: Swashbuckler, Bladesinger, Karmic Strike, Elusive Target
    Complete Adventurer: Staggering Strike
    Complete Scoundrel: skill tricks, Assassin's Darkness, Mimicry
    Complete Mage: Arcane Stunt ACF; Enduring Scrutiny
    Spell Compendium: Critical Strike, Cursed Blade, Ebon Eyes, Wraithstrike
    Races of the Wild: Expeditious Dodge
    Lords of Madness: Darkstalker
    Draconomicon: Fell the Greatest Foe
    Exemplars of Evil: Mimic ACF
    Drow of the Underdark: Shadow Double
    Unearthed Arcana: Martial Rogue, Fire Elf
    WotC Website: Avenger

    Avatar by Iron Penguin.

    The Power of the Orient: A Wu Jen Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul S. Kemp
    Frankly, I think the designers and novelists did great work in the post-Spellplague Realms. But, in the end, this wasn’t a new setting. It was the Realms, the Realms 100 years later, and therein lay the problem.

  23. - Top - End - #323
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge In the Playground XLIII

    House of Flying... Dragonborn?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hadriath d'Phiarlan


    Hadriath d'Phiarlan, Excoriate, Argonessen Avenger

    "I you-shed to be a hero, y'know?" The wretch looked a sorry state in the bar. His clothes were dishevelled, his now featherless hat askew. His pointed ears stood out starkly, marking him as an elf, although the dirty straggly hair waved subtly despite the lack of wind.

    The traveller sat back and regarded his evenings drinking companion.

    "In the old playsh, the old daysh. I mean, not a true hero, that shtuff wash wayyyy to dangeroush, left that to the rest of my House."

    "Why?" The traveller was new to the area and knew little about the "House" system in Khorvaire. It seems this one knew a bit about it, and would tell about it. It never helped to learn if he was going to be locating new recruits for the Monastery back on Argonessen.

    "Why d'you mean, what? I mean, what do you mean, why, shorry?"

    "I'm curious as to why you didn't help your family? Fellow House members?"

    "Pleash, I wash an entertainer. A Dee-shent one too. Went through Phiarlan'sh Academy'sh. Shing, Dansh, you name, I can do it. I think sho anywaysh. Not done it for a long while."

    Silence held the conversation for a few moments.

    "Shure getsh thirshty, all thish talkin'."

    The traveller got the hint, and beckoned to the serving girl at the bar. He tipped her well, her eyes widening as she placed the wine bottle down, clearing the four other empty ones from around the drunkard. The money went down her low cut bodice, and a naughty wink as a gift for the tipper. "Business AND pleasure was always sought, and rarely achieved" the old sensei back on Argonessen used to say, he'd've been proud. Provided he hadn't already...

    "...daysh after I gotsh my Apprentish-ship at the Stage School, I wash set. Or sho I thought. Became an undershtudy of shum fool who thought they knew all there wash to know, you hate them people, don't you?" Before the traveller could answer, the drunk rambled on. "Anyway, went about my thing, learned a few tricks to impresh the ladiesh, but I always wash never very good around them. Shtill, I wash the hero once. Did I ever tell you that? Shtupid fool fell down some stairs..." At this, the drunk paused, and theatrically swivelled in his chair to ensure no-one was watching, and winked in the most conspicious manner possible, "and I gotsh his role."

    "Wash brilliant, the crowdsh loved me. Until he died of his injuriesh, and then I wash apparently the obvioush target. It washn't me, though." Another wink, this time, closing both his eyes. "I guesh they Excoriated me. I threw my Shignet away. Coulda done with a Dragonmark to help me, I'm tellin' ya."

    "Excoriated?" The term wasn't familiar to the traveller.

    "Yeah, Excoriated, means I'm taboo in the House. Almost shoot to kill on sight. Nephew to Elvinor, that's the Matriarch, mind you, Outlander, of House Phiarlan, wouldn't shtand a chansh. Sho here you shee me now, wanderer. Whatsh you shtory?"

    "Me? Just looking for some new recruits for our monastery back on Argonessen."

    "Going to have trouble with that." Said the drunk. "Why leave Khorvaire where itsh safe? Well, if you watch out for shtairsh at leasht.", snorting into his now empty goblet, reaching for, and taking a huge swig from the bottle.

    "Well, for one, there's no stairs in our monastery. And for two, the power of the Dragons will be yours to command."

    "Sherioushly?"

    "Yes."

    "Shign me up."

    Hadriath d'Phiarlan; Dragonborn Fire Elf
    {table=head]Level|Class|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Skills|Feats|Class Features

    1st|Wizard 1|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |Balance [2], Bluff [2] Concentration [4], Knowledge Arcana [1], Perform (Sing) [2], Perform (Dance) [2], Tumble [1]|Combat Casting, Dodge, Weapon Focus (Longsword)|Conjuration Specialist (Ban Enchantment and Evocation), Rapid Summoning, Abrupt Jaunt, Flaw (Excoriate)

    2nd|Swashbuckler 1|
    +1
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |Balance [5] (+3), Bluff [5] (+3), Jump [2]|Weapon Finesse|Arcane Stunt (Blur)

    3rd|Swashbuckler 2|
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |Balance [6] (+1), Bluff [6] (+1), Jump [6] (+4), Tumble [3] (+2)|Kung Fu Genius|

    4th|Swashbuckler 3|
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |Balance [7] (+1), Bluff [7] (+1), Jump [7] (+1), Sense Motive [1], Tumble [7] (+4)||Insightful Strike

    5th|Monk 1|
    +3
    |
    +5
    |
    +3
    |
    +5
    |Concentration [8] (+4), Hide [2], Jump [8] (+1), Tumble [8] (+1)|Combat Expertise|Skill Bonus (Bluff) +2, Flurry of Blows, Unarmed Strike (1d6), AC Bonus

    6th|Monk 2|
    +4
    |
    +6
    |
    +4
    |
    +6
    |Concentration [9] (+1), Hide [7] (+5), Jump [9] (+1), Tumble [9] (+1)|Improved Trip, Whirling Steel Strike|Invisible Fist, Dragonborn Template (Wings Aspect)

    7th|Warblade 1|
    +5
    |
    +8
    |
    +4
    |
    +6
    |Balance [10] (+3), Concentration [10] (+1), Jump [10] (+1), Tumble [10] (+1)||Battle Clarity (Reflex Saves), Weapon Aptitude

    8th|Warblade 2|
    +6
    |
    +9
    |
    +4
    |
    +6
    |Balance [11] (+1), Concentration [11] (+1), Jump [11] (+1), Tumble [11] (+1), Extreme Leap||Uncanny Dodge

    9th|Warblade 3|
    +7
    |
    +9
    |
    +5
    |
    +7
    |Balance [12] (+1), Concentration [12] (+1), Jump [12] (+1), Tumble [12] (+1), Back On Your Feat|Power Attack|Battle Ardor (Critical Confirmation)

    10th|Bladesinger 1|
    +8
    |
    +9
    |
    +7
    |
    +9
    |Balance [13] (+1), Concentration [13] (+1), Jump [13] (+1), Perform (Dance) [4] (+2), Tumble [13] (+1)||Bladesong Style

    11th|Bladesinger 2|
    +9
    |
    +9
    |
    +8
    |
    +10
    |Balance [14] (+1), Concentration [14] (+1), Jump [14] (+1), Perform (Dance) [6] (+2), Tumble [14] (+1)||Lesser Spellsong

    12th|Bladesinger 3|
    +10
    |
    +10
    |
    +8
    |
    +10
    |Balance [15] (+1), Concentration [15] (+1), Hide [8] (+2), Jump [15] (+1), Tumble [15] (+1)|Improved Bullrush|Fly Speed (30ft)

    13th|Bladesinger 4|
    +11
    |
    +10
    |
    +9
    |
    +11
    |Balance [16] (+1), Concentration [16] (+1), Hide [9] (+2), Jump [16] (+1), Tumble [16] (+1)||Song of Celerity (2nd)

    14th|Warblade 4|
    +12
    |
    +11
    |
    +9
    |
    +11
    |Balance [17] (+1), Concentration [17] (+1), Hide [10] (+2), Jump [17] (+1), Tumble [17] (+1)||

    15th|Bladesinger 5|
    +13
    |
    +11
    |
    +9
    |
    +11
    |Balance [18] (+1), Concentration [18] (+1), Hide [11] (+2), Jump [18] (+1), Tumble [18] (+1)|Shock Trooper|

    16th|Bladesinger 6|
    +14
    |
    +12
    |
    +10
    |
    +12
    |Balance [19] (+1), Concentration [19] (+1), Hide [12] (+2), Jump [19] (+1), Tumble [19] (+1)||Greater Spellsong

    17th|Bladesinger 7|
    +15
    |
    +12
    |
    +10
    |
    +12
    |Balance [20] (+1), Concentration [20] (+1), Hide [13] (+2), Jump [20] (+1), Tumble [20] (+1)||

    18th|Bladesinger 8|
    +16
    |
    +12
    |
    +11
    |
    +13
    |Balance [21] (+1), Concentration [21] (+1), Hide [14] (+2), Jump [21] (+1), Tumble [21] (+1)|Leap Attack|Song of Celerity (4th)

    19th|Bladesinger 9|
    +17
    |
    +13
    |
    +11
    |
    +13
    |Balance [22] (+1), Concentration [22] (+1), Hide [14] (+2), Jump [22] (+1), Tumble [22] (+1)||

    20th|Bladesinger 10|
    +18
    |
    +13
    |
    +12
    |
    +14
    |Concentration [23] (+1), Hide [15] (+2), Tumble [23] (+1), Shrouded Dance||Song of Fury[/table]
    Spells Per Day;

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

    1st|3+1|2+1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    2nd|3+1|2+1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    3rd|3+1|2+1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    4th|3+1|2+1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    5th|3+1|2+1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    6th|3+1|2+1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    7th|3+1|2+1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    8th|3+1|2+1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    9th|3+1|2+1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    10th|4+1|3+1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    11th|4+1|3+1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    12th|4+1|3+1|2+1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    13th|4+1|3+1|2+1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

    15th|4+1|4+1|3+1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    16th|4+1|4+1|3+1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    17th|4+1|4+1|3+1|2+1|-|-|-|-|-|-

    18th|4+1|4+1|3+1|2+1|-|-|-|-|-|-

    19th|4+1|4+1|4+1|3+1|-|-|-|-|-|-

    20th|4+1|4+1|4+1|3+1|-|-|-|-|-|-[/table]

    Typical Spells Prepared (ECL20)
    0-Level (4+1); Caltrops, Acid Splash, Pretigidation, Unnerving Gaze, Detect Magic
    1st Level (4+1); Blood Wind, Enlarge, True Strike, Obscuring Mist, Fetid Breath
    2nd Level (4+1); Belker Claws, Bladeweave, Glitterdust, Melf's Acid Arrow, Cloud of Knives
    3rd Level (3+1); Arms of Plenty, Girallon's Blessing, Magic Weapon (Greater), Haste

    Maneuvres and Stances
    Warblade 1
    3 Known | Wolf Fang Strike, Sudden Leap, Moment of Perfect Mind
    1 Stance | Blood in the Water
    Warblade 2
    4 Known | Wolf Fang Strike, Sudden Leap, Moment of Perfect Mind, Mind Over Body
    1 Stance | Blood in the Water
    Warblade 3
    5 Known | Wolf Fang Strike, Sudden Leap, Moment of Perfect Mind, Mind Over Body, Bounding Assault,
    1 Stance | Blood in the Water
    Warblade 4
    5 Known | Sudden Leap, Moment of Perfect Mind, Mind Over Body, Bounding Assault, Pouncing Charge
    2 Stance | Blood in the Water, Hearing the Air

    Ability Scores;
    Strength; 12 (+2) (Must be at least 13 before 9th, to qualify for power attack)
    Dexterity; 14 (+2 from Racial for 16, before Dragonborn template application, bringing it back to 14)
    Constitution; 14 (-2 from Racial for 12, before Dragonborn template application, bringing it back to 14)
    Intelligence; 18 (+3) Intelligence, and Max Out Int to AC)
    Wisdom; 8
    Charisma; 8 (-2 from Racial for 6)

    Snap-shots
    Level 5;
    At this moment, Hadriath has yet to become a Dragonborn; although he is now in the process of becoming as such.

    His apprenticeship at the Entertainment Guilds that House Phiarlan are famous for taught him a few useful tricks to entertain the audience he was intended for; given by the Wizard Level, (and its subsequent ability to hop around through Immediate Magic) and the Spell-like Ability from Swashbuckler gives me some useful tricks in combat as well as being fairly showy and with utility useage as well. At this moment, he is essentially new to the "Order" which attains Dragonborn, and learning their teachings.

    The Martial Wizard Variant from UA allows me to trade Scribe Scroll and Metamagic for a Fighter Bonus Feat; so Dodge was the first one. I see him as a bit of an action hero type character; sort of a Bruce Willis, or some other type of dull mono-faceted character who is obsessed with themselves. Having grown up in the Houses, he is unused to the ways of the world, and hence the low Wisdom, while the Low Charisma is caused by his Diva attitude; in the past his name and wealth would have made up for this, but no once he's gone to Argonessen.

    I do have to note, that I took a flaw, to fit in with backstory, but also simply because I couldn't bear to lose out on not taking Kung Fu Genius. I also feel it's fairly elegant in that taking the flaw only penalises me until I am actually able to gain a level in Monk, at which point it begins to work. It suggests that as an actor he has come across many different styles of being an action hero, and that he is now able to apply that knowledge to being a Monk, with the proper training; similar to how Movie Stars these days are typically ultra-fit individuals, and are trained by the very best teachers of their style. Combined with his ranks in Perform, tumble and balance, as well as Bluff (off setting the Charisma Penalty, which explains how he gets into jobs, as well as allowing a small opportunity for Feinting)

    Swashbuckler just furthers this ideal as well; further Bluff increases, and his acrobatic skills (he no longer really needs to Dance or Sing past basic training), the Arcane Stunt is an expression of him continuing some Magical Training (I'm sort of imagining a Bullet Time scene here), but his true abilities lie in being able to play the Hero in films. He can now to Intelligence to Damage as well; always going to be useful.

    The problem is, by this stage, he is Excoriate. He has already killed his rival actor in House Phiarlan, who just so happens to be the Matriarch's Nephew. So, Hadriath goes on the run. Finding work is hard, but, he's an action hero, it won't take him long to get work. It is at this point he meets his Teacher, and while deep in his cups, he agrees to follow him to the Monastery on Argonessen.

    This is where the levels in Monk come in. He learns the Passive Way; where avoiding the enemy is the most intelligent thing to do; once the enemy is exhausted and over-extended themselves, then is the time to strike. So, this gives me Bluff Bonus (for a grand total of +7 to Bluff Checks, without Charisma boosts, fairly decent considering the penalty to Charisma from Fire Elf), and Combat Expertise. At this point, I become an Unarmed Combatant, using my Dexterity to Finesse my Unarmed attacks, and with my Intelligence providing a damage boost. If Retraining is allowed, rather than Weapon Focus (Longsword), use unarmed strike, and retrain later.

    So, to recap, I get Dex to Attack with Rapier/Unarmed, Unarmed dealing D6+Str+Int, or a Rapier adding Int to its damage, while having decent Bluff, and acrobatics. I also have (due to being unarmoured) Int to AC and Dex to AC. With Feinting, I can also hit enemies easier; denied Dex to AC which further allows me to guarantee I hit them.

    Although I'm not a particularly good scout, it is at this point that I'm able to help the party with some skill challenges.

    Level 10;
    So, we have now taken our first level in Bladesinger, after having finished our Initiate Monkish training, and you have now become a Dragonborn. However, that is not the end of the training. Now that the "rehab" of the Elf is over, and he is one with the Dragonborn, he now focuses on his Martial abilities; advancing Warblade, and finally advancing into the Bladesinger class; which allows him to put his skills as an actor, and as a fighter and as a mage all in one, perfectly fitting for the Dragon form which the "Order" attempts to emulate.

    So, to finish off monk, we've taken Invisible Fist; combining with Blur and Abrupt Jaunt for them wise, it also allows me to deny Dexterity to my opponents.

    It is at this point that Dragonborn is applied; taking the Wing aspect gives me a Jump Check bonus of +20 at least, possibly +21, as well as a small amount of flight. I currently have a Flight time of 2 whole rounds without items or spells increasing my constitution, but it's enough. It opens up the ability for me to initiate a Dive Attack, which when used with a Piercing weapon, deals double damage; this is where a Rapier comes in useful.

    However, sadly, there is no ability to gain a Rapier as a Monk Weapon; the feat in Dragon Compendium states Light Weapons only, however, there is the Whirling Steel Strike, which grants a Longsword that ability to be used a Monk Weapon. This allows me to use it in a Flurry of Blows. The way around that is a +1 Rapier with the Aptitude Enchantment; I can now use the Rapier as if it were a Longsword, and consequently, use it with Flurry as well. A typical tactic is to fly up the first turn, and then on the second turn, activate his Invisibility, and charge, and then full attack for flurry.

    Warblade 1-3 gets me a few nice things; a good HD, Class level limited Int to Reflex (my poorest save by this point, although that's less relevant), and Aptitude (although Aptitude is useless, I cannot use it to apply Whirling Steel Strike to a Rapier, which is why i need the Weapon Enhancment). But most importantly, it allows me to select a few useful Maneuvres; namely Sudden Leap, and the Stance Blood in the Water. Wolf Fang Strike can be useful, but it's rarely going to be used.

    With Sudden Leap, I can make a Full Round Action in addition to the Leap; normally, a second round of Flurry. This means that my typical tactic is to fly up on the first round above the head of my opponents. On the second round, dive attack for double damage (without triggering AoO), followed by a Sudden Leap (tumble to avoid AoO) with Flurry, then on the third turn, withdraw from the enemy, and prepare to begin the process once more when Invisible Fist has recharged.

    Warblade 2 gives Uncanny Dodge, which is always useful, while Warblade 3 Improving Critical Confirmation is always a nice little aside for a Crit based build (undoutably what a Rapier with Blood in the Water is eventually used for).

    Power Attack is always going to be useful. True Strike Power Attacking is a little bit late compared to how early some builds (Duskblades, say) bring it on. However, it doesn't stop it's power, considering that it's effectiveness is doubled with Diving and Sudden Leaping for 2 attacks with doubled Int and Strength to Damage.

    Extreme Leap with Sudden Leap is going to be a bit of fun as well.

    And now, we're hitting Bladesinger at ECL10; which gives us a fair old bit. I'm now casting as Wizard 2 (WOOHOO!), but I'm also gaining my Intelligence to AC. While my Intelligence Bonus currently is +4 without improvements, this means I am not getting full benefit from it due to the Class Level cap until 4th, at which point Intelligence increasing items are the order of the day; I need 30 by the time I reach Bladesinger 10, for the whole +10 bonus Int to AC.

    Level 15;
    So, now we're getting further into Bladesinger territory. Lesser Spellsong, and Song of Celerity are now online, as is Warblade 4; giving me two stances (if I want it, but Blood In The Water is my main one for the Crit Fishing), but importantly, it gives me the ability to swap Wolf Fang Strike for Pouncing Charge; which allows me to make my Dive Attack as a Full Attack. Thanks to the Warblade recovery mechanic, this typically allows me to have my Invisible Dive Full Attack/Sudden Leap tumble Flurry combination ready every 4th turn, in between which I can use my spells, reposition, etc.

    At 12th level, I can fly permanently as well; always going to be useful, even if it does come online later than a Wizard with Fly (not that I can cast Fly myself).

    Song of Celerity (2nd) is placed perfectly for the level after I get 2nd level spells, but also because some of my spells would be brilliant when cast as a swift action; such as Fetid Breath (Nauseates opponents), or Bladeweave (used with Pouncing Charge to gain up to 6-7 attacks inflicting Will Save or Daze (by ECL20, courtesy of Haste, Unarmed Strike, and Song of Fury.

    Feat Choices are increasing my potential for Power Attacking. Improved Bullrush is a prerequisite for Shock Trooper, but combined with Enlarge, I can get a reasonable boost to it, if I really need to, although I fear by this stage, it has become too binary. Shock Trooper gives me some way to use that stupid high AC (Int to Intelligence to Twice, Unarmoured Dex to AC (boosted via Items), Dodge bonuses, etc), and just ensure that what wants to get hit does get hit.

    Level 20;
    So, here we are, finally. Hadrith has fully completed his training as one of the order, and now fully capable of following the roles of the Dragons in combat, as Spellcaster, and Fighter.

    Sadly, Greater Spellsong is useless to me, as I need to stay Unarmoured for Int to AC. While making this build, there was absolutely no way I could think of using this ability; classes either already had it (Bard, Duskblade, Hexblade, Battle Sorcerer), or had no need of it (i.e, Monk/Swordsage for Synergy). I'll be highly impressed to see any method of using said ability.

    Song of Celerity (4th) gives me the ability to cast my entire variety of spells as if quickened (only 1 spell per day though). Much of the choices as before still hold true in their utility,

    Song of Fury is excellent though. It's a nice little ability that stacks with Haste for 6 Attacks per turn. With spells up like (Quickened) Bladeweave, that's awesome, combined with Pouncing Charge Dive Shock Trooper Attacks (doubly so with Leap Attack), it is hitting a huge amount of damage.

    A Typical round by round at ECL20 therefore looks like;

    1st Round; fly up above 10ft and 30 ft away from enemy. Cast Haste on Self and Quickened Girallon Arms. Leave one hand free, 2 Handed Power Attack the Rapier. You can even use the fourth remaining hand to use another Rapier (at -10, sadly).
    2nd Round; Initiate Pouncing Charge (Dive Attack), Power Attack for +18 and Leap Attack while triggering Invisible Fist. This gives you 7 attacks at 2x(Rapier+Strength+Intelligence+(3*Power Attack)). Assuming that I have 30 Intelligence required to Max Out Bladesong Style, and 14 Strength, that's around 1120 Damage (if all hit) in a single turn. I'm attacking a Denied Dex opponent, with Full Attack Bonus, and a -18 to AC that's completely by Int to AC twice and Dex to AC.
    3rd Round; Sudden Leap for Flurry Power Attack with 7 attacks, doing 1d6+Str+Int+(2*Power Attack) for around 350 damage.
    Enemy Turn 3; during this turn, I take an Immediate action to Initiate Abrupt Jaunt, to place me at +10ft, and out of range of melee weapons, as well as provide line of sight for a Diving Leap Attack on Turn 3.
    Turn 4; Charge, and refresh maneuvres. Although I cannot Pounce this charge for flurry or benefit from Invisibility for Denied Dex, I still get the 3*Power Attack return and double damage for a Dive. If Charging is not an option, use my Considerable Hide bonus (15 ranks, +2 Dex, +3 Dex Boosting Item), I'm looking at instantly gaining Concealment from Shrouded Dance (Move action), and then trigger another Abrupt Jaunt (Immediate) if it's possible to get full Concealment by that movement, without using up a Blur per day use.
    Turn 5; Rinse and Repeat.

    Shrouded Dance skill trick gets me the ability to get Concealment for one turn; reasonably useful if I get caught with my pants down after a Shock Troop assault.

    Outside of Combat, I can fly, have a reasonable Intelligence bonus for Knowledge (Arcana), and a reasonable Hide Check for when I need to be sneaky.

    Equipment;
    - Items with Enhancement Bonuses to Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence, and Constitution are always going to be important. Intelligence requires a +3 Tome and a +6 Item to get 30 by level 20.
    - +1 Aptitude Rapier; absolute minimum by the time I get Whirling Steel Strike. Ideal weapon would be a pair of +3 Rapiers with Dessicating Burst, Enfeebling, Keen, Aptitude, Valourous, and Weakening Enchantments. In that case, I'd have a +3 to hit and damage, with increased Critical Range. Each Critical Hit fatigues an opponent, and thanks to Valorous and Enfeebling, I do 2*(1d6+2) Temporary Strength Damage. Not only that, but it doubles my Charge Damage (so my 1120 Damage is looking more like 1680). Combined with a Blood In The Water Stance, it rapidly increases my threat. The thing is, there's nothing that stops the Fatigue from stacking with itself, so an opponent hit by two Criticals becomes Exhausted.
    - Anything which grants me additional Swift Actions to allow me more Flurry.
    - If custom items are available, then a Uses per day item of Lion's Charge and Girallon's Arm. Using RAW, the Psionic Lion's Charge is an Instantaneous Duration, and allows (if I have Pounce from elsewhere) me to Charge, Flurry, Flurry for 14 attacks on the charge, but that's unlikely to fly, so I'll stick with items that grant Pounce for when I cannot just refresh my Maneuvre's in time or I really am in need of the extra arms.

    Spell Choices; 0 Level spells are mostly for flavour. Unnerving Gaze, combined with all my other defensive abilities.

    Blood Wind is interesting for the ranged Flurry+Song of Celerity(+Haste), although it's not the most ideal, it's stylistically fun. Enlarge combines with Blood Wind and Monk, True Strike Power Attacking, Obscuring Mist for obvious usage, Fetid Breath for causing nausea.

    Belker Claws do a small amount of Damage over Time, nothing spectacular, but is one of those spells (combined with Blood Wind) that I feel Bladesinger was designed for. Bladeweave too; as mentioned it's brilliant fun when combined with 7 attacks a round. The other spells are utility (Hearing the Air + Glitterdust, although late is useful for party aiding against Invisible enemies) and thematic spells (Cloud of Knives)

    Level 3 is what allows me to "nova"; GMW, Haste, Girallon Arms or Arms of Plenty all combine to give me +5 Damage on each attack, an additional attack, and the ability to power attack while still benefiting from Bladesong and Song of Fury; +2 attacks, +3 total with flurry.

    In short, by ECL20, it's a flying Ubercharger that breaks the opponents action economy by dazing, nauseating, and exhausting the opponents. Although it's not the fastest flyer without buffs that my spells per day don't typically allow room for outside of Haste, I'm still a decent skill monkey. If the party includes a small, lightweight scout as well, I can carry them as a Light load in the air, using their spot in the wilderness. In the event of a non-combat situation, I can hopefully use downtime over the course of the adventure to learn and prepare spells for such an eventuality.

    ADAPTATIONS
    - In the rush to get the build ready, I completely forgot about the Moment of Alacrity, and changed the position of the Warblade 4 from ECL 20, to ECL14 to get earlier access to Pouncing Charge. I do have the ability however to get the Moment of Alacrity for the +20 to Initiative, which is always going to be a massive help to get up in the air and set up the Dive Attack procedure. The ability swapped in place of that is probably going to be Mind Over Body out of the two Diamond Mind choices. Feel free to take this into account as well.

    Non-Core Sources

    UA; Wizard Fighter Feat List ACF, Passive Way Monk
    PHB2; Wizard Abrupt Jaunt, Monk Decisive Strike
    Complete Warrior; Swashbuckler, Bladesinger, Shock Trooper
    Complete Mage; Arcane Stunt
    Exemplars of Evil; Monk Invisible Fist
    Tome of Battle; Warblade
    Dragon Compendium; Kung Fu Genius
    Eberron Campaign Setting; Whirling Steel Strikes
    Complete Adventurer; Leap Attack, Bladeweave
    Races of the Dragon; Dragonborn
    Book of Vile Darkness; Unnerving Gaze
    Spell Compendium; Blood Wind
    Ghostwalk; Fetid Breath
    Lords of Madness; Arms of Plenty

    Avatar by Iron Penguin.

    The Power of the Orient: A Wu Jen Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul S. Kemp
    Frankly, I think the designers and novelists did great work in the post-Spellplague Realms. But, in the end, this wasn’t a new setting. It was the Realms, the Realms 100 years later, and therein lay the problem.

  24. - Top - End - #324
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge In the Playground XLIII

    He's got a chip the size of the Mirkwood hanging off his shoulder.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chip
    Chip
    N Star Elf Hexblade 5/Bladesinger 10/Witch Slayer 5

    Stats
    Spoiler
    Show
    Before Mods
    Str: 10
    Dex: 14
    Con: 14
    Int: 14
    Wis: 10
    Cha: 16
    After Mods
    Str: 10
    Dex: 14
    Con: 12
    Int: 14
    Wis: 10
    Cha: 18 (increases here)

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

    1st|Hexblade 1|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |Balance 4(2), Concentration 4, Perform (dance) 4(2)Tumble 4,|Dodge|Hexblade’s Curse 1/day, Skilled City Dweller ACF

    2nd|Hexblade 2|
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |Perform (sing) 4(2)| |Arcane Resistance

    3rd|Hexblade 3|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |Concentration 6, Tumble 6|Combat Expertise|Mettle

    4th|Hexblade 4l|
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Concentration 7, Diplomacy 2, Tumble 7| |Dark Companion (ACF)

    5th|Hexblade 5|
    +5
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Concentration 8, Diplomacy 4, Tumble 8|Combat Casting|Bonus Feat, Hexblade’s Curse 2/day

    6th|Bladesinger 1|
    +6/+1
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    +6
    |Balance 4, Concentration 9, Tumble 9|Weapon Focus (Rapier)|Bladesong Style

    7th|Bladesinger 2|
    +7/+2
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |
    +7
    |Knowledge (Religion) 4(2)| |Lesser Spellsong

    8th|Bladesinger 3|
    +8/+3
    |
    +2
    |
    +4
    |
    +7
    |Knowledge (Religion) 4(4)| |

    9th|Bladesinger 4|
    +9/+4
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |
    +8
    |Sense Motive 4(2)|Weapon Finesse|Song of Celerity (2nd)

    10th|Bladesinger 5|
    +10/+5
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |
    +8
    |Sense Motive 4(4)| |

    11th|Bladesinger 6|
    +11/+6/+1
    |
    +3
    |
    +6
    |
    +9
    |Balance 5, Concentration 11, Tumble 10| |Greater Spellsong

    12th|Bladesinger 7|
    +12/+7/+2
    |
    +3
    |
    +6
    |
    +9
    |Concentration 14, Tumble 11|Improved Combat Expertise|

    13th|Bladesinger 8|
    +13/+8/+3
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    |
    +10
    |Concentration 16, Tumble 13| |Song of Celerity (4th)

    14th|Bladesinger 9|
    +14/+9/+4
    |
    +4
    |
    +7
    |
    +10
    |Concentration 17, Tumble 16| |

    15th|Bladesinger 10|
    +15/+10/+5
    |
    +4
    |
    +8
    |
    +11
    |Concentration 18, Tumble 18|Combat Reflexes|Song of Fury

    16th|Witch Slayer 1|
    +16/+11/+6/+1
    |
    +6
    |
    +8
    |
    +13
    |Concentration 19, Spellcraft 5| |Smite Spirit Sharer

    17th|Witch Slayer 2|
    +17/+12/+7/+2
    |
    +7
    |
    +8
    |
    +14
    |Concentration 20, Spellcraft 10| |Mettle

    18th|Witch Slayer 3|
    +18/+13/+8/+3
    |
    +7
    |
    +9
    |
    +14
    |Concentration 21, Spellcraft 15|Robilar’s Gambit|Locate Possession

    19th|Witch Slayer 4|
    +19/+14/+9/+4
    |
    +8
    |
    +9
    |
    +15
    |Concentration 22, Spellcraft 20| |Slippery Mind

    20th|Witch Slayer 5|
    +20/+15/+10/+5
    |
    +8
    |
    +9
    |
    +15
    |Concentration 23, Spellcraft 23, Sense Motive 6| |Momentary Disjunction[/table]

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

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

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

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

    4th|0|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    5th|0|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    6th|1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

    8th|1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    9th|1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    10th|1|0|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    11th|1|0|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    12th|1|0|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    13th|1|0|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    14th|1|1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    15th|1|1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

    17th|1|1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

    19th|1|1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    20th|1|1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-[/table]

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

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

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

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

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

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

    6th|3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    7th|3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    8th|3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    9th|3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    10th|4|2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    11th|4|2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    12th|4|2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    13th|4|2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    14th|4|3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

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

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

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

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

    20th|4|3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-[/table]
    Spells Known
    1st
    Charm Person, Entropic Shield, Karmic Aura, Protection from Evil
    2nd
    Invisibility, Glitterdust, Karmic Backlash

    Level 5
    Spoiler
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    That’s right, he’s a hexblade. What’s it to you? His strength isn’t too high, but he’s not about damage, he’s about messing up the other guy. He’s got light armor and casts in it just fine. Full BA keeps him on par with other full BA people. Dodge got picked first because it is useful. Who doesn’t want +1 to AC against someone? Combat expertise helps out on AC; it’s early on enough that it really does make a difference. Combat Casting comes from the bonus list of hexblade feats, and he has his curse twice per day. He can use it in several circumstances, as it makes his enemies worse at just about everything and lasts for an hour. Dark Companion puts another -2 to AC and saves for anybody next to it. Mettle helps out where it can, and arcane resistance means his saves are pretty healthy. His table says he has 0 spells per day at 5th level, but his Cha affords him a bonus spell, so he qualifies.

    Level 10
    Spoiler
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    He made it into the SI on time, so nyah. Hexblade’s not so bad now, is it? Weapon Finesse lets him make good use of that rapier he’s using for Bladesinger. Strength isn’t too important, he’ll get more use out of Dex to attacks and AC. He would have taken it earlier, but Bladesinger’s a demanding mistress. Song of Celerity kicks on just in time for his 2nd level spells, too. Lesser spellsong ensures he’ll succeed on his concentration checks, and bladesong style stacking more and more onto AC. An Int-boosting item wouldn't be uncalled for. Dex boosting stuff would also help out. Also, 2nd level spells are available. It’s time to get invisible.

    Level 15 (Sweet Spot)
    Spoiler
    Show
    Finishing up with the SI nice and tidy now. Combat Reflexes is going to come into greater use in a little bit. Dex help becomes really good here, but he’ll be ok without it. Song of fury’s a neat little thing. Look at Chip flurry just like a monk! Unlike a monk, Chip’s still at full BA, so he can take the penalty. He can also take the penalty of Improved Combat Expertise, which can send his AC skyrocketing just to spite whoever attacks him. Anybody who does hit him wins the grand prize of karmic aura and karmic backlash, exhaustion for 2 rounds, fatigue for 3.

    Level 20
    Spoiler
    Show
    He made it out of it all with his BA intact. Witch Hunter’s great. Smite spirit sharer and locate possession work on any pesky binders you come across, but they also work on anybody possessed by any means. It’s more common than you think. Magic jar, ghosts, dybbuks, quori, the list goes on. Slippery Mind is great help for any of those enchantment effects he may fail due to chance. His healthy will save and arcane resistance mean he’ll probably make it the second time around. The real benefit is its capstone. Hit someone with an effective personal AMF for 1 round, every 5 rounds. He’s going to use it while invisible until it succeeds. Talk with your DM about whether they’ll even notice. Spells definitely allow them to know, but this is a supernatural ability. AMF is the great equalizer. It’s amazing what people are reduced to when they have no magic. His magic isn’t outstanding, but it’ll certainly be better than theirs.
    Now he can take full advantage of his neat little spiteful trick. He uses combat expertise to jack up his AC as far as he feels. He uses hexblade curse and plops his dark companion down to lower his enemy’s… well, everything, really. He hits them with momentary disjunction to negate any of their magical things. Momentary Disjunction is specific enough that it only negates their stuff, not his. Then he uses Robilar’s Gambit and yells his loudest “Come at me!” Hexblade’s curse means the enemy only gets +2 to attack and damage from Robilar’s Gambit, and his effective AC assuming no magic items can go as high as 41. The enemy, meanwhile, is at -2 to AC. He’s no mailman, but as Chip would say, it’s doesn’t matter if you’re not that good, as long as the other guy is worse than you.

    Adaptations
    Spoiler
    Show
    When using Hexblade, one must mention Mike Mearls’ Hexblade fix. If you think Hexblade is right for you, talk to your DM about this fix. It’s a great help.
    While Witch Slayer’s Momentary Disjunction is useful in a variety of circumstances, be sure to talk with your DM about exactly what it does and does not apply to. It’ll save you the trouble of having to hash it out during the middle of combat. See if your DM wants to use the rules from Fiendish Codex that allow fiendish possession. It makes demons more dangerous, but it means you’ll have more enemies to track and smite.
    Ask your DM about the effects of having mettle twice. Perhaps you want to have an improved mettle sort of effect, or perhaps you could get two saves on it. Be warned that your DM might say the two effects simply overlap.

    Backstory ('Tis a long one)
    Spoiler
    Show
    Chip hated the world. He always had. How could he not? How could he be like those other, happy-go-lucky people when he had never been happy or lucky himself? He did not grow up raised by his loving parents. His loving parents saw fit to leave him on the orphanage steps the day he was born. He was born with a single dubious gift from them: his elven, fair, delicate face. Were he a girl it would have been fitting, the object of much envy of the other girls. As a boy it only made him the subject of ridicule. It was no use trying to bully the other children into respecting him. Tough words sounded ludicrous coming out of his soft, feminine lips. His ever-present scrapes and bruises showed that when his truly awful luck caused him to get in the wrong place at the wrong time, he got hurt more than the hardier kids. Through it all, Chip hated everyone. He hated the strong kids for picking on him, and he hated the softer adults for pitying him. The orphanage gave him an official name for documents and such, but everyone knew him by Chip, a nickname given to him by one of the kids in the orphanage. It was the nickname given to him on account of the massive chip on his shoulder. Some adults told him that chip on his shoulder was what slowed him down in life. He knew it would make him stronger as his weak, thin shoulders got used to the weight.
    As he got older, he learned that it was never for him to make his own luck. He was not one who could leap on an opportunity and turn it into something good for him. His luck stayed rotten as ever. He did find that he could spread it around, though. He could focus on one person who really deserved it and make their luck even worse than his. It lasted a good long while, too. It came in real handy in those brawls with the kids who picked on him. Chip wasn't the best of fighters, but if he could make the other guy worse than he was, he didn't have to be.
    With time Chip grew old enough to leave the orphanage. He jumped at the chance to adventure. It was a chance to see the rest of the world, filled with new people and places. He was a fool to think it would be any different from the orphanage. He came to hate the outside world, as men and dwarves hated him for being a member of the haughty elves, and elves looked down on him for his very human-like behavior. But no matter; he was used to hating people, and on the outside people who hated each other were willing to band together when there was money on the line. He took all sorts of jobs, selling his services to anyone who set the right price. On the way he picked up some tricks to make him succeed in his calling, the first, and perhaps most useful being one to make people a little friendlier. He found that when it came time to negotiate price, a bright smile and a bit of mind-clouding magic were quite effective at bringing out the generosity in others.
    After some time doing odd jobs, he began to work more and more in the realm of “problem solving.” He was a mercenary, to put it bluntly. Here was a job where he felt content. Some jobs which needed more than one person brought him into contact with others of his kind. Their specific talents varied, but they all had a surprisingly similar mindset. They, like him hated everybody, each with their own intensity and reasons for doing so. They might not have always gotten along, but they could all agree that they were all in their line of work for the money. Money was one thing that they all liked, and together they could make more than if they worked apart.
    One particular day they were hired as a group to deal with a town’s inhabitants that had all gone mad. Their client said he didn't care how they stopped them; he just wanted them stopped before they damaged the buildings or livestock, or spread their madness to anyone else. On the journey there, he began to notice that the landscape was looking familiar.
    “Hey, what’s the name of this town we’re going to?” he asked the Moira, a sweet-faced halfling who carried far too many knives on her at all times.
    “Innsmouth. Why, you pulled a job here before?”
    “No. Actually, I grew up here. I should have recognized it before.”
    “What a nice homecoming for you then.”
    “Can it, Moira. How’d you like to have to kill the people from your town?”
    “I wouldn't mind it actually. The bastards would have it coming. Besides, they never said we had to kill ‘em, just fix the problem.”
    “Sure, because you can just talk crazy people into being normal again. Here’s the city gate up ahead. Let’s get ready for whatever it is we have to do here.”
    They were greeted by utter chaos in the city. People were running pell-mell in the town square, all engaged in their own activities. Some were setting fires to piles of straw, some were playing in the fountain like children, and still others were fighting like starving dogs. All of them, to a one, were laughing their heads off.
    “I don’t like the look of this,” said Percival, the group’s twitchy wizard. “It reminds me of the time with those mockery bugs.”
    Chip turned to him.
    “Why’d you have to bring that up, man? I didn't sleep right for a week after those damn bugs. Besides, you don’t like the look of anything.You’re paranoid, Percy.”
    “No I’m not, I’m just careful.”
    He was paranoid, but then again, everyone was a little paranoid in this line of work. Something Percy said set Chip thinking. The town’s inhabitants were all laughing, but it wasn't the slow, mechanical laughter of the mockery bugs. This was the laughter of those who were really enjoying themselves. Several of the townspeople were moving unsteadily, as if drunk. No, that wasn't quite it. More like newborn calves unsteady on their legs, unfamiliar with their limbs. But why would full grown men and women be unfamiliar with their own bodies?
    “Because they aren't their own bodies.”
    “You have to stop talking at the end of your moments of thought, Chip. It never makes any sense,” said Moira.
    “ We've got a case of possession on our hands, people. Judging by their actions, I’m thinking demonic.”
    Chip took a few moments to use the little trick he learned to keep his mind safe from intrusions. Not ten seconds after, he felt the odd little tickle that meant he cast it not a moment too soon. There were still more possessors flitting around. Once he had made sure the rest of the team had taken their own protective measures, he used the little trick he learned for seeing what didn't want to be seen. Littered on the ground were the unconscious bodies of demons, all with alien versions of what must be smiles on their faces. Chip and his colleagues went to work. When it was done, the townspeople looked up at their saviors, who were bloody and smiling grimly at their handiwork. One elderly woman stepped forward with a look of gratitude on her face.
    “Thank you for all you've done here. What can we do to repay you?”
    “No payment necessary, ma’am. The satisfaction of helping others is payment enough,” said Chip. He looked to the others. To their credit, they kept straight faces for a full ten seconds before bursting into laughter.
    The woman’s look of confusion suddenly changed, taking on a look of cockiness and contempt. Her eyes gleamed with a look of malign intelligence. Chip stopped laughing. He had seen that look before. That gleam. That was the same gleam he saw in the orphanage’s biggest bullies right before they did something really awful. That was the gleam he had seen in the eyes of the worst murderers he was called in to kill. It wasn't a similar gleam. It was the same gleam. That gleam had been everywhere. He had seen it all the time, but he had never realized it until he saw the change before his eyes.
    “Look at the big hero, killing all the nasty monsters. Think you can handle a little old lady?”
    “Who are you? Don’t tell me about who you’re wearing. Tell me who you are.”
    “I’m a dybbuk, boy. I’m the nasty little thought inside your head that comes in late at night. I’m the look on every man’s face when he kills someone just to see him die. I’m-“
    “Yeah yeah, you’re big and scary and you need an old woman to protect yourself. If you’re so strong, take your best shot.”
    Chip had already focused his rotten luck on the thing, and limbered himself up for the defense. The woman flung herself at him in a rage, but nothing connected. She kept trying, but she just couldn't hit him. Before long she had to stop, panting as her body ran out of breath.
    “Take your time,” Chip said. “I can do this all day. While I wait, I have to ask. Why me? You've been following me all my life. What could I have possibly done to piss you off?”
    “You…what do you…mean? I haven’t…wait. You’re…that brat… from the orphanage.”
    “Yeah, that’s me. Now what’s your problem with me?”
    The answer was infuriatingly slow, punctuated by wheezes and gasps
    “I…have nothing…against you. You were just…in the…wrong…place...”
    “At the wrong time,” Chip interrupted, completing the phrase he’d heard all too frequently. “Why’d you do all those things to me, though? I was just a kid!”
    The old woman had finally found her breath, but nearly lost it again as she broke out in harsh, barking laughter.
    “Are you joking? I’m a demon, kid! You expect me to be nice? I couldn't resist, seeing such sweet little face. You crying your eyes out was the funniest thing I've ever seen, and I've been around for a long time.”
    Chip lost his cool. He charged like an angry bull, rapier drawn and aimed for the heart.
    “Chip, don’t do it!” yelled Percival, trying to save the innocent woman.
    Chip wasn't able to stop his momentum. He tried to turn, but caught his foot on an outcropping cobblestone, feet getting tangled and landing him in the fountain.
    The dybbuk laughed, as did many of the townspeople now recovered from their possession. “See you later kid,” it said as it left, leaving the old woman to collapse onto the ground.
    He got up and dried himself off. It may not have been personal for the demon, but now it was personal for Chip. He’d track that thing down and kill it. He’d kill the thing’s whole damn species. He may not be that high and mighty, but he’d lay them as low as he could. After all, you can’t get much lower than the pits of the Abyss.

    Sources
    Spoiler
    Show
    Innsmouth: H. P. Lovecraft
    Hexblade, Improved Combat Expertise: Complete Warrior
    Witch Slayer: Tome of Magic
    Skilled City Dweller ACF: Cityscape Web Enhancement
    Dark Companion ACF, Robilar’s Gambit: Player’s Handbook II
    Karmic Aura, Karmic Backlash: Complete Mage
    Combat Casting, Combat Expertise, Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus: srd

    Avatar by Iron Penguin.

    The Power of the Orient: A Wu Jen Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul S. Kemp
    Frankly, I think the designers and novelists did great work in the post-Spellplague Realms. But, in the end, this wasn’t a new setting. It was the Realms, the Realms 100 years later, and therein lay the problem.

  25. - Top - End - #325
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge In the Playground XLIII

    *Hums Mission Impossible theme*

    Quote Originally Posted by Aelquis Kethten


    Aelquis Kethten

    The Build:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Fire Elf Rogue 4/Wizard 5/Bladesinger 10/Wizard 1

    Specialized school: Conjuration
    Banned schools: Enchantment, Evocation
    Alternative class features:
    -Martial Rogue (gain fighter bonus feats instead of sneak attack)
    -Combat Wizard (gain fighter bonus feats instead of Scribe Scroll and wizard bonus feats)
    -Immediate Magic: Abrupt Jaunt (teleport up to 10', Int mod times per day)

    Stats
    Spoiler
    Show
    Point Buy: Str 14/Dex 14/Con 16/Int 16/Wis 8/Cha 8
    Initial Stats: Str 14/Dex 16/Con 14/Int 18/Wis 8/Cha 6
    Level up bonuses: Int +3, Str +1 (at level 16), Int +1


    Level Breakdown:
    Spoiler
    Show
    {table=head]Level|Class|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Skills|Feats|Class Features
    1st|Rogue 1|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |Balance 4 ranks, Disable Device 4 ranks, Escape Artist 4 ranks, Hide 4 ranks, Knowledge(Local) 4 ranks, Listen 4 ranks, Move Silently 4 ranks, Perform(Dance) 2 ranks, Perform(Sing) 2 ranks, Search 4 ranks, Sleight of Hand 4 ranks, Spot 4 ranks, Tumble 4 ranks|Combat Expertise, Allied Defense (Shining South)|Trapfinding
    2nd|Rogue 2|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |Balance 5 ranks, Disable Device 5 ranks, Escape Artist 5 ranks, Hide 5 ranks, Knowledge(Local) 5 ranks, Listen 5 ranks, Move Silently 5 ranks, Search 5 ranks, Sleight of Hand 5 ranks, Spot 5 ranks, Tumble 5 ranks, Slipping Past 1 point|Combat Reflexes|Evasion
    3rd|Rogue 3|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |Balance 6 ranks, Disable Device 6 ranks, Escape Artist 6 ranks, Hide 6 ranks, Knowledge(Local) 6 ranks, Listen 6 ranks, Move Silently 6 ranks, Search 6 ranks, Sleight of Hand 6 ranks, Spot 6 ranks, Tumble 6 ranks, Slipping Past|Stand Still|Trap sense +1
    4th|Rogue 4|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |Balance 7 ranks, Disable Device 7 ranks, Escape Artist 7 ranks, Hide 7 ranks, Listen 7 ranks, Move Silently 7 ranks, Search 7 ranks, Sleight of Hand 7 ranks, Spot 7 ranks, Tumble 7 ranks, Collector of Stories|Dodge|Uncanny Dodge
    5th|Wizard 1|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |
    +3
    |Concentration 1 rank, Knowledge(Arcana) 1 rank, Knowledge(Religion) 1 rank, Spellcraft 1 rank, Conceal Spellcasting|Weapon Focus(Rapier)|Immediate magic: abrupt jaunt
    6th|Wizard 2|
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |Concentration 2 ranks, Knowledge(Arcana) 2 ranks, Knowledge(Nature) 1 rank, Knowledge(Dungeoneering) 1 rank, Knowledge(The Planes) 1 rank, Spellcraft 2 ranks|Combat Casting|
    7th|Wizard 3|
    +4
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |
    +4
    |Concentration 3 ranks, Knowledge(Arcana) 3 ranks, Knowledge(Nature) 2 ranks, Knowledge(Religion) 2 ranks, Knowledge(The Planes) 2 ranks, Spellcraft 3 ranks| |
    8th|Wizard 4|
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |Concentration 4 ranks, Knowledge(Arcana) 4 ranks, Knowledge(Nature) 3 ranks, Knowledge(Religion) 3 ranks, Knowledge(The Planes) 3 ranks, Spellcraft 4 ranks| |
    9th|Wizard 5|
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |Concentration 5 ranks, Knowledge(Arcana) 6 ranks, Knowledge(Nature) 4 ranks, Knowledge(Religion) 4 ranks, Knowledge(The Planes) 4 ranks, Spellcraft 5 ranks|Arcane Strike, Deceptive Dodge|
    10th|Bladesinger 1|
    +6
    |
    +2
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |Concentration 7 ranks, Knowledge(Arcana) 7 ranks, Spellcraft 7 ranks, Tumble 9 ranks| |Bladesong style
    11th|Bladesinger 2|
    +7
    |
    +2
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |Concentration 9 ranks, Knowledge(Arcana) 8 ranks, Spellcraft 9 ranks, Tumble 11 ranks| |Lesser spellsong
    12th|Bladesinger 3|
    +8
    |
    +3
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |Concentration 11 ranks, Knowledge(Arcana) 10 ranks, Spellcraft 11 ranks, Tumble 12 ranks|Combat Cloak Expert|
    13th|Bladesinger 4|
    +9
    |
    +3
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    |Concentration 13 ranks, Knowledge(Arcana) 12 ranks, Spellcraft 13 ranks, Back On Your Feet| |Song of celerity (2nd)
    14th|Bladesinger 5|
    +10
    |
    +3
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    |Concentration 15 ranks, Knowledge(Arcana) 12 ranks, Spellcraft 15 ranks, Swift Concentration| |
    15th|Bladesinger 6|
    +11
    |
    +4
    |
    +10
    |
    +10
    |Concentration 17 ranks, Knowledge(Arcana) 12 ranks, Spellcraft 17 ranks, Acrobatic Backstab|Improved Combat Expertise|Greater spellsong
    16th|Bladesinger 7|
    +12
    |
    +4
    |
    +10
    |
    +10
    |Concentration 19 ranks, Knowledge(Arcana) 14 ranks, Spellcraft 19 ranks| |
    17th|Bladesinger 8|
    +13
    |
    +4
    |
    +11
    |
    +11
    |Concentration 20 ranks, Knowledge(Arcana) 18 ranks, Spellcraft 20 ranks| |Song of celerity (4th)
    18th|Bladesinger 9|
    +14
    |
    +5
    |
    +11
    |
    +11
    |Concentration 21 ranks, Knowledge(Arcana) 21 ranks, Spellcraft 21 ranks, Tumble 13 ranks|Skewer Foe|
    19th|Bladesinger 10|
    +15
    |
    +5
    |
    +12
    |
    +12
    |Concentration 22 ranks, Knowledge(Arcana) 22 ranks, Spellcraft 22 ranks, Tumble 16 ranks| |Song of fury
    20th|Wizard 6|
    +16
    |
    +6
    |
    +13
    |
    +13
    |Concentration 23 ranks, Knowledge(Arcana) 23 ranks, Knowledge(Nature) 5 ranks, Knowledge(Religion) 5 ranks, Knowledge(The Planes) 5 ranks, Spellcraft 23 ranks| | [/table]


    Spells
    Spoiler
    Show
    Wizard Spells per day
    {table=head]Level|0lvl|1st|2nd|3rd|4th|5th|6th
    1st|-|-|-|-|-|-|-
    2nd|-|-|-|-|-|-|-
    3rd|-|-|-|-|-|-|-
    4th|-|-|-|-|-|-|-
    5th|3|1|-|-|-|-|-
    6th|4|2|-|-|-|-|-
    7th|4|2|1|-|-|-|-
    8th|4|3|2|-|-|-|-
    9th|4|3|2|1|-|-|-
    10th|4|3|3|2|-|-|-
    11th|4|3|3|2|-|-|-
    12th|4|4|3|2|1|-|-
    13th|4|4|3|2|1|-|-
    14th|4|4|3|3|2|-|-
    15th|4|4|3|3|2|-|-
    16th|4|4|4|3|2|1|-
    17th|4|4|4|3|2|1|-
    18th|4|4|4|3|3|2|-
    19th|4|4|4|3|3|2|-
    20th|4|4|4|4|3|2|1[/table]



    Story
    Spoiler
    Show
    Two elves sat facing each other in a cramped study. One was perched on the edge of his seat, the other sat composed behind his desk.

    "I want to protect the people I love." Aelquis said to the archmage.

    "Then improve as a wizard." Giler Kaemar replied. He would decide whether or not Aelquis could become a member of the prestigious order of Bladesingers, and his criteria for admittance were exacting. The Bladesingers were known throughout the land as the last, best pillar of the law, employing both might and magic as needed to bring down marauders, stay villains, and resolve disputes. "You can protect the people close to you far better with arcane might than with the art of a Bladesinger..."

    "But that's not who I am!" Aelquis interrupted. He paused. Kaemar was frowning at him. He realized he might have just thrown away his opportunity. But he felt that if he didn't speak now, he would never get another chance. "I can't just use a sword, or cast spells. I love both of them, just like I love Ruby, Koror, and Dox. Giving up either one or neglecting them would be like tearing out a piece of my heart!"

    Kaemar regarded Aelquis. Aelquis felt exposed, as if he stood armorless in front of an beholder.

    "I'm sorry I interrupted you." Aelquis said, but couldn't continue. He barely held Kaemar's gaze.

    "Aelquis." The archmage said, with power in his voice. "I agree with you. I think you know what you want, and that you will aid Ellisrae as a Bladesinger."

    Aelquis inhaled sharply.

    "Are you ready to begin?" Kaemar asked.

    "Yes. Any time!" Aelquis answered.

    "Good. Come with me." Kaemar said, and held out his hand. Aelquis took it, and the pair disappeared from the study.

    Three months later, Aelquis emerged from the Bladesinger's headquarters in the tan cloak emblazedoned with silver that designated him as one of their ranks. His job required him to perform great deeds from the start, and from that day on Aelquis fought blood and bone to achieve them. By the time of his final death 300 years later, Aelquis Kethten was a legend in Ellisrae as a hero who had saved countless lives, and yet never let down a friend.


    Hightlights
    Spoiler
    Show
    Levels 1-5: In the early levels, Aelquis is a scout and party support. He boosts everyone's AC with Combat Expertise and Allied Defense, he disarms traps, he does BFC with Stand Still, and each level boosts his abilities. At level 5, Aelquis has realized that relying on mundane skills alone isn't to survive as an adventurer, and begins studying magic. He picks up Abrupt Jaunt to increase his survivability on the battlefield, and can give each party member +3 AC, stop 3 foes per round from moving with Stand Still, identify a bunch of creatures with his Knowledge ranks and Collector of Stories skill trick, perform a few maneuvers (including Slipping Past and Conceal Spellcasting), and can still scout and disarm traps.

    Levels 6-10: Aelquis improves his magic ability and adds damage dealer to his roles of BFC and scout with his level 9 feats. Arcane Strike allows him to channel his magical powers into attacks like a low-level Arcane Fire, and Deceptive Dodge capitalizes on his ability to boost his AC, now both with expertise and magic, by making his enemies attack each other. At level 10 he takes his first Bladesinger level and gains the ability to pump his AC even higher for Deceptive Dodge. He also gains an additional use of Abrupt Jaunt thanks to his stat bonus at level 8.

    Levels 11-15: Aelquis further improves in his BFC role. Lesser Spellsong ensures he'll never lose a spell. Song of Celerity allows him to quicken spells like True Strike and Mirror Image on the fly. And Greater Spellsong allows him to don something aside from Mage Armor, which he is grateful for at this level. In addition, he gains the maneuvers of the Combat Cloak Expert, which further improves his BFC by allowing him to shield an ally from his opponent's AoOs (and it improves his AC on the side), Improved Combat Expertise which doubles the bonus he can grant himself and allies, and he gets few more useful skill tricks: Back On Your Feet, Swift Concentration, and Acrobatic Backstab.

    Levels 16-20: Near the end of his growth, Aelquis becomes even better at everything. He gains 5th and 6th level spells like Teleport and Planar Binding, or even Transformation, which is actually a viable option for him as a gish, and it boosts his BAB so that he can use Expertise to even greater effect. The improved Song of Celerity allows him to drop a quickened Polymorph at the start of battle, or Dimension Door if things go badly. And he gets great mileage out of Song of Fury thanks to Skewer Foe, which deals more damage the more he attacks. He solidly fills the BFC role and counterattacker roles. At level 20 his AC can be 10 + 3 (dex) + 6 (int) + 16 (expertise) + 2 (cloak expertise) + 1 (dodge) = 38 before any equipment or spells, and his full-attack is +16+x/+16+x/+11+x/+6+x/+1+x (1d6+2+xd4 Rapier), where x is the level of a spell he burns for an Arcane Strike, +1d6 damage for each strike that lands after the first.


    Tricks
    Spoiler
    Show
    Song of Fury + Skewer Foe + Arcane Strike
    As mentioned above, Skewer Foe and Arcane Strike both add damage on extra attacks, like the one granted by Song of Fury. If Aelquis burns a 5th level spell slot, his full attack is: +23/+23/+18/+13/+8 (1d6+2+5d4) +xd6 damage, where x is the number of hits -1.

    Bladesong Style + Deceptive Dodge
    Bladesong style adds Aelquis's formidable Int modifier to his AC, and Deceptive Dodge lets him make enemies attack each other if they miss him.

    Song of Celerity (2nd) + Mirror Image
    I activate my trap card: Magical Hats!

    Song of Celerity (4th) + Dimension Door
    A.K.A. pseudo-pounce.


    Sources:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Champions of Ruin: Skewer Foe
    Complete Warrior: Bladesinger, Arcane Strike, Improved Combat Expertise
    Dragon Compendium: Deceptive Dodge
    Expanded Psionics Handbook: Stand Still
    Players Handbook 2: Immediate Magic
    Shining South: Allied Defense
    Unearthed Arcana: Martial Rogue, Combat Wizard
    Elf picture: Adele Lorienne http://meadowhaven.net/
    Last edited by Kuulvheysoon; 2013-03-30 at 07:54 PM.

    Avatar by Iron Penguin.

    The Power of the Orient: A Wu Jen Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul S. Kemp
    Frankly, I think the designers and novelists did great work in the post-Spellplague Realms. But, in the end, this wasn’t a new setting. It was the Realms, the Realms 100 years later, and therein lay the problem.

  26. - Top - End - #326
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge In the Playground XLIII

    You Can't Stop the Rock.

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Paulson
    Abilities
    Spoiler
    Show

    before modifiers from fire elf
    str 14
    dex 14
    con 14
    int 16
    wis 12
    cha 8

    after mods
    str 14
    dex 16
    con 12
    int 18 (increases here)
    wis 12
    cha 6


    Backstory
    Spoiler
    Show

    "I'm sorry, sir, but I'm afraid you've only got enough money for one of these swords."

    Robert looked over the two swords locked safely behind the glass inside the shopkeeper's case.

    When in doubt, he thought to himself, and pulled out his lucky coin. Heads, the one on the left, tails, the right. He watched it dance in the air and caught it in the palm of his hand.

    "Tails it is." Robert pointed at the sword fate had chosen for him and gestured for the shopkeeper to hand it over.

    He gave it a few swings through the air and tested its weight.

    "Sounds good," said the shopkeeper, taking Robert's money.

    "Feels a little heavy in the handle."

    The shopkeeper turned and walked off behind the counter.

    "Sorry, no refunds."

    Robert muttered to himself and clipped the sword's sheath onto his belt.

    "Damnit, knew I shoulda made the other one heads."

    He pocketed his so-called lucky coin and made his way out of the shop and down to the fairgrounds. There was still time for him to register, even if his shopping excursion hadn't exactly gone as planned.

    There were a variety of other swordsmen in the line in front of him, each with a weapon stranger than the next. He saw saw-toothed blades and daggers of coral. Sharks' teeth, lumps of obsidian, little bumps of steel adorned the weapons around him. His own weapon looked rather plain, but Robert still liked his own chances.

    He signed his name at the registration desk and waited to square off against his first opponent. Robert competed every year in exhibitions of swordsmanship. He did well enough, but hadn't yet managed to place. With his savings from last year, he had hoped to be able to afford some better hardware.

    Robert's first match was with a lean fellow elf with a courtblade filigreed so severely that it must have weighed much more than normal. He noticed a weight embedded at the tip, most likely for balance.

    The two had crossed swords before. Archibald, a minor noble, had more money for tutors than he had determination to make use of their skills. While he had the finest training money could buy, he was far from the best available student.

    They took their positions and waited for the signal for combat to begin. As soon as the flare in the center of the arena dispersed, they drew their weapons and started towards one another.

    Robert was slow to get his guard up and got a scratch on his cheek for it. The handle was indeed heavy, and he couldn't quite find how to balance his grip in time. He put his weight behind the blade and leaned forward, pressing Archibald back, forcing him to readjust his footing.

    Robert angled his blade up and squeezed the grip as tightly as he could to stand his ground. Something in the hilt began to give and he bit back a nervous drop of bile he felt bubbling in the back of his throat, hoping he hadn't broken it.

    A small oval on the grip Robert had thought was simply part of the design had depressed, now revealing itself as a button of some sort. At once, the sword in his hand began to feel lighter.

    Unfortunately, that was because something was coming out of it at an alarming rate. A noxious, sweet-smelling green vapor hissed out of the pommel towards Archibald's face. He yelped in surprise and held up his free hand, clawing forward at the gas and making a complex gesture with his fingers.

    "Gust of wind!"

    The breeze shunted the gas directly towards Robert and he caught it full in the face. He reeled backwards and was ready to get his guard back up when he heard the sharp blast of a referee's whistle.

    Robert felt his limbs lock up and saw Archibald was in the same position, the combat halted until the panel of judges decided who was or was not in violation of the rules.

    Robert couldn't turn his head to see who was saying what, but could still hear the judges deliberating.

    "There aren't any foreign objects allowed in the blade, you know. It's why we don't allow poison anymore."

    "I know that. But I don't think he knew it was there. Look at his face, that caught him by surprise just as much as it did Archibald."

    "Hm. True. And Archibald did retaliate using magic, which is strictly forbidden."

    "I doubt it was a conscious effort on his part. A mere reflex like jumping away from a flame."

    "Very well. The combat shall continue. The penalty Robert shall suffer shall be continuing on with the effects of whatever unknown substance was in that blade."

    "Carried unanimously?"

    Robert heard the bang of a gavel. The match resumed as he felt his movements once more under his control.

    Archibald's courtblade lunged forward once and scratched at Robert's other cheek.

    He expected to feel a pinprick of blood blossom to the surface, but instead felt nothing. A little shaving of metal drifted down his cheek like a curl of chocolate atop a cake.

    "I got you that time, I'm sure of it." Archibald said, casting a quick glance at his sword. Robert zeroed in on his arched eyebrow upon noticing a fleck of gold was missing from the blade's tip. He sliced off the tip of that eyebrow and smirked with pride seeing the judges amend the score card to reflect his latest point.

    The strange secondhand blade felt much more natural to him, less heavy, and less even like a thing in his hand, but rather like a part of him.

    The judges called time and tallied the points, resulting in a tie. They couldn't determine what to do, so told the pair that they wished them a more decisive outcome next year.

    It was far from the worst possible outcome.

    As he left the arena to find a coach to carry him home, he saw the shopkeeper from earlier that day waiting for him.

    "Oh, I'm so glad I found you! You haven't used that blade yet, have you?"

    Robert rapped at the belt that swung from his hip. "I have."

    The shopkeeper uttered a curse, but shook his head, as if determined not to be distracted.

    "I'm afraid that it had an unintended bonus inside…"

    "You're daft if you think I'm paying extra for that poison that came out. It nearly got me disqualified, not to mention almost killing me."

    The shopkeeper looked embarrassed.

    "Well, you see, it's not a poison. At least, not exactly."

    "How can something be 'not exactly' a poison?"

    "Well, you will stop being technically 'alive' if you take enough of it…"

    Robert swallowed. "Was there 'enough' in that sword?"

    "No. But from now on, you're going to crave it. More than anything, you're going to crave it, and if you don't slake that craving, it's going to eat you up."

    Robert's hand drifted to finger the handle of the sword out of habit.

    "But if I take too much you said I would die."

    "No. Not die, live forever."

    Robert was stunned.

    "Look, I don't run that shop all year long. During the summers, some of the others and I go exploring. Treasure hunting, you might say."

    "For what?"

    Robert saw a faraway look come into the shopkeeper's eye, like a child dreaming of an excursion to the corner sweet shop.

    "Starstuff. It's what we're made of, all of us: elves, orcs, even humans. But it's diluted by the time it turns into living things. What we're about is getting back to the source."

    "The source of what?" Robert asked.

    "The source of life. Comets fell to the ground from the heavens long ago, and that's where we came from, no matter what you hear from the clerics. There's a meteor shower in Silverymoon next month. I'm going to sell the shop, move out there, and come back next year to do it all over again. I'm offering you a chance to join us."

    "I'm… not sure. Can't I have more time to decide?"

    The shopkeeper shook his head and offered a small mirror. Robert was aghast to see his skin had turned an otherworldly green and had a strange metallic glint to it.

    "But if you're…"

    Before Robert could finish his question, the shopkeeper wet his thumb and rubbed at the back of his hand, smearing off a bit of off-white makeup and showing through the green, metal flesh underneath.

    "Whether you like it or not, it's been made for you. For what it's worth, I'm sorry."

    Robert nodded.

    "Look on the bright side, you'll have lots of time to practice with that thing." He nodded at the sword.

    "That's true." As he often said to console himself when things didn't go his way, they could always be worse.


    Build
    Spoiler
    Show

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

    1st|Duskblade 1|
    +1
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |Balance 2, Concentration 4, Tumble 2, Perform (dance) 2, Perform (sing) 2, |Combat Expertise|Arcane attunement, armored mage (light)

    2nd|Duskblade 2|
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |Decipher script 2, know (architecture and engineering) 2, know (history) 2||Combat casting

    3rd|Duskblade 3|
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |know (arcana) 4, Know (geography) 2|Dodge|Arcane channeling

    4th|Duskblade 4|
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |concentration 3 (7), know (arcana) 3 (7)||Armored Mage (medium)

    5th|Duskblade 5|
    +5
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |concentration 1 (8), know (arcana) 1 (8), spellcraft 4||Quick Cast 1/day

    6th|Green Star Adept 1|
    +5
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +6
    |concentration 1 (9), know (arcana) 1 (9), spellcraft 4 (8)|Weapon Focus (longsword)|Damage reduction, improved caster level, starmetal dependency, starmetal rigor 1

    7th|Green Star Adept 2|
    +6/+1
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +7
    |appraise 2, concentration 1 (10), know (arcana) 1 (10), spellcraft 2 (10)||natural attack (slam 1d6 + 1/2 str), unnatural metabolism +2

    8th|Bladesinger 1|
    +7/+2
    |
    +4
    |
    +3
    |
    +9
    |Balance 3 (5), concentration 1 (11), tumble 3 (5)||Bladesong style

    9th|Bladesinger 2|
    +8/+3
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +10
    |Concentration 1 (12), tumble 6 (11)|Practiced Spellcaster|Lesser spellsong

    10th|Bladesinger 3|
    +9/+4
    |
    +5
    |
    +4
    |
    +10
    |Concentration 1 (13), jump 4, tumble 2 (13)||

    11th|Bladesinger 4|
    +10/+5
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +11
    |balance 4 (9), concentration 1 (14), jump 1 (5), tumble 1 (14)||Song of celerity (2nd)

    12th|Bladesinger 5|
    +11/+6/+1
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +11
    |balance 5 (14), concentration 1 (15), tumble 1 (15)|Arcane Strike|

    13th|Bladesinger 6|
    +12/+7/+2
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +12
    |balance 1 (15), concentration 1 (16), know (arcana) 4 (14), tumble 1 (16)) ||Greater spellsong

    14th|Bladesinger 7|
    +13/+8/+3
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +12
    |balance 1 (17), concentration 1 (17), know (arcana) 3 (17), spellcraft 1 (11), tumble 1 (17)||

    15th|Bladesinger 8|
    +14/+9/+4
    |
    +6
    |
    +7
    |
    +13
    |balance 1 (18), concentration 1 (18), know (arcana) 1 (18), spellcraft 3 (14), tumble 1 (18)| Poison Spell|Song of celerity (4th)

    16th|Bladesinger 9|
    +15/+10/+5
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +13
    |balance 1 (19), concentration 1 (19), know (arcana) 1 (19), spellcraft 3 (18), tumble 1 (19)||

    17th|Bladesinger 10|
    +16/+11/+6/+1
    |
    +7
    |
    +8
    |
    +14
    |balance 1 (20), concentration 1 (20), jump 2 (7), know (arcana) 1 (20), spellcraft 1 (20), tumble 1 (20)||Song of fury

    18th|Green Star Adept 3|
    +17/+12/+7/+2
    |
    +8
    |
    +9
    |
    +14
    |balance 1 (21), concentration 1 (21), jump 3 (11), know (arcana) 1 (21), spellcraft 1 (21), tumble 1 (21)| Versatile Spellcaster|Fortification 25%

    19th|Green Star Adept 4|
    +18/+13/+8/+3
    |
    +8
    |
    +9
    |
    +15
    |balance 1 (22), concentration 1 (22), jump 3 (15), know (arcana) 1 (22), spellcraft 1 (22), tumble 1 (22)||Otherworldly vision, starmetal rigor 2

    20th|Green Star Adept 5|
    +18/+13/+8/+3
    |
    +8
    |
    +9
    |
    +15
    |balance 1 (23), concentration 2 (23), jump 4 (16), know (arcana) 1 (23), spellcraft 1 (23), tumble ||Unnatural metabolism +4[/table]


    Spells
    Spoiler
    Show

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

    1st|3|2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    2nd|4|3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    3rd|5|4|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    4th|6|5|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    5th|6|5|2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    6th|6|5|2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    7th|6|6|3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    8th|6|6|5|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    9th|6|6|5|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    10th|6|7|6|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    11th|6|7|6|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    12th|6|7|6|2|-|-|-|-|-|-

    13th|6|7|6|2|-|-|-|-|-|-

    14th|6|8|7|3|-|-|-|-|-|-

    15th|6|8|7|3|-|-|-|-|-|-

    16th|6|8|7|5|-|-|-|-|-|-

    17th|6|8|7|5|-|-|-|-|-|-

    18th|6|8|7|5|-|-|-|-|-|-

    19th|6|8|8|6|-|-|-|-|-|-

    20th|6|8|8|6|-|-|-|-|-|-[/table]


    Spells known
    {table=head]Level|0lvl|1st|2nd|3rd|4th|5th|6th|7th|8th|9th

    1st|6|2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    2nd|6|3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    3rd|6|4|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    4th|6|5|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    5th|6|5|1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    6th|6|5|1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    7th|6|6|2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    8th|6|6|3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    9th|6|6|3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    10th|6|6|4|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    11th|6|6|4|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    12th|6|6|4|1|-|-|-|-|-|-

    13th|6|6|4|1|-|-|-|-|-|-

    14th|6|6|4|2|-|-|-|-|-|-

    15th|6|6|4|2|-|-|-|-|-|-

    16th|6|6|4|3|-|-|-|-|-|-

    17th|6|6|4|3|-|-|-|-|-|-

    18th|6|6|4|3|-|-|-|-|-|-

    19th|6|6|4|4|-|-|-|-|-|-

    20th|6|6|4|4|-|-|-|-|-|-[/table]

    Spell list
    Spoiler
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    0ths known
    Spoiler
    Show

    acid splash, disrupt undead, ray of frost, touch of fatigue


    1sts known
    Spoiler
    Show

    blade of blood, color spray, ray of enfeeblement, kelgore's fire bolt, chill touch, resist energy


    2nds known
    Spoiler
    Show

    see invisibility, touch of idiocy, seeking ray, dimension hop


    3rds known
    Spoiler
    Show

    doom scarabs, halt, protection from energy, ray of exhaustion


    playtips
    Spoiler
    Show

    lvl 5
    Spoiler
    Show

    You are, to the untrained eye, a normal duskblade for the time being. Enjoy two handed fighting while you can, since the secret ingredient will take this damage away from you in exchange for your dodge bonus. Also enjoy wearing medium armor if you feel so inclined, until you can enjoy blade singer's int to AC. Arcane channel, quick cast, and just generally go around bonking people with weapons.


    lvl 10
    Spoiler
    Show

    A blast from the past! Green star adept rears its ugly head once more. I'm sure you all have the same question in mind right now:

    Why?

    Well, duskblade is a bit of an odd duck in that it gets all the knowledges as class skills.

    fAt 2, GSA gives you a slam. While blade singer bars you from holding anything in your non-sword hand, it doesn't actively prevent you from using that hand for other stuff, like punching enemies in the face as a secondary natural attack. While the damage may not be the best, you can wear a necklace of natural attacks to give your fist magic weapon properties if you feel so inclined. You also get a boost to strength, which is pretty great.

    You also get DR 2/adamantine, which helps out at these low levels. If your DM throws enemies with adamantine weapons at you, then you can sell them for tons of money. If your DM doesn't, then you're taking less damage from attacks. Either way, you win.

    Unnatural metabolism also starts acting up, giving you +2 to saves vs poison, sleep, paralyze, stun, disease, death effects, and necromancy effects. These matter a bunch at these low-mid levels for when you fight ghouls and otherwise low CR monsters with unsportsmanlike, ruinous abilities. Helps against enemy casters too, since these are some of the most common effects dished out.

    Just buy a bunch of star metal when you're flush with money and save it for subsequent level ups, you won't be taking any more GSA levels for quite some time.

    You've only lost one caster level from the SI at this point and one from GSA, so your spell casting isn't too far behind. Practiced spell caster is up and running, so you're still casting at your character level.

    You'll have to discard your medium armor now, pop on a mithral breastplate, and boost your AC in traditional ways, since duskblade lacks both mage armor and UMD. Your int bonus to AC is probably more than the difference between heavy and mithral breastplate, so you're coming out ahead by at least a point or two, plus since it's dodge, you'll probably apply it more consistently to different things.


    lvl 15
    Spoiler
    Show

    Since you either get to keep one of your old caster levels or get a class feature at any given level, this block of your career is a bit scant on new abilities. You can quicken a few more of your spells per day, in addition to your quick cast, so that's something. Your base attack is pretty good, only losing being one point behind right now due to your GSA dip, and since you can deal some damage with your fist (1d6+1) and with your longsword (1d8+2), you end up doing more damage (both average and minimum) than if you were THFing, since you don't have power attack, you're not missing out on any source of bonus damage.


    lvl 20
    Spoiler
    Show

    You successfully finish up the secret ingredient and gain its fantastic and unique snap kick song of fury ability to make a full attack with one extra attack if you accept a -2 to all your iteratives. Don't forget, you get your slam too since it's a secondary natural attack. It might not hit, but every little bit helps, and making 6 attacks in a round is pretty cool. You save a little money on light fortification and gain dark vision too, plus your unnatural metabolism beefs up to protect you from all those nasty status effects

    You finish out with a CL of 19 (5 from duskblade, 5 from blade singer, 5 from GSA, and 4 from practiced spell caster) so enjoy tossing spells around and punching people with your green fist.


    Sources
    Spoiler
    Show

    PHB2 duskblade
    core- combat expertise, dodge, weapon focus
    complete arcane- green star adept, practiced spell caster
    complete warrior- blade singer, arcane strike
    drow of the underdark- poison spell
    races of the dragon- versatile spell caster

    Avatar by Iron Penguin.

    The Power of the Orient: A Wu Jen Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul S. Kemp
    Frankly, I think the designers and novelists did great work in the post-Spellplague Realms. But, in the end, this wasn’t a new setting. It was the Realms, the Realms 100 years later, and therein lay the problem.

  27. - Top - End - #327
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge In the Playground XLIII

    Crazy like a fox, you mean.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuniyoshi
    Kuniyoshi the Kitsune

    Spoiler
    Show

    One day, long ago,
    A Great and wise Emperor,
    Lord of all the world,

    Ruler of all lands,
    All between Heaven and Earth,
    Received in his hall

    A noble hunter
    Who bore with him in a cage
    A snowy white fox.

    "Great Emperor, may
    You live forever!" he said,
    "I have such a tale!"

    "As I was hunting,
    I found this snowy-white fox
    And raised up my spear

    To kill it, but lo!
    My spear warped and became bent
    And I could not strike.

    I then raised my bow
    To shoot the fox, but again
    My bow became bent.

    At last, in despair,
    I took up my net, to snare,
    And to trap this fox.

    My net did not bend,
    And I snared and trapped the fox.
    And lo! The fox spoke!

    The fox said to me,
    'Simple fool! Do you not know
    Who you have ensnared?

    You must now bring me
    Before your Wise Emperor
    Who rules all the world'

    And so, my Wise Lord,
    Who rules over all the World,
    I have brought this Fox."

    And the Emperor,
    Who rules the Middle Kingdom,
    Said unto the Fox,

    "Who are you, Friend Fox,
    To demand my audience?
    Why do you speak so?"

    And the Fox answered,
    "Great Wise Lord, Live Forever!
    I am a Spirit

    Sent from the Heavens
    To guide and to serve My Lord
    Always, in all things."

    And the Emperor
    Was angry at his Hunter,
    For hunting the Fox

    And the Emperor
    Ordered his Hunter to be
    Put to death that day.

    But the White Fox said,
    "My Lord, it is an ill thing
    To kill a servant

    Who was ignorant
    Of his crime. Might not
    He be caused, instead,

    To live for one year
    In the form of a white Fox
    To eat and to drink,

    To live and to know,
    To hunt, and fear the Hunter,
    As does every Fox?"

    And the Emperor
    Saw the wisdom in this path
    And ordered it so.

    And when the Hunter
    Was taken from the Lord's Hall,
    Then did the White Fox

    Stand up on two legs,
    As does a man, and his face
    Became as a man's.

    And the White Fox said,
    "Behold you now my true form,
    And that with which I

    Will serve you always;
    Will guide and serve in all things
    The Great Emperor."

    And the Emperor,
    Lord of the Middle Kingdom,
    Over all the lands

    And all the seas that
    Lay between Heaven and Earth
    Did accept to him

    The White Spirit Fox
    To serve and guide him always,
    And in all things."


    The Build
    Star Elf Werefox Warblade 5/ Wu Jen 2/ Kensai 2/ Bladesinger 8
    Spoiler
    Show

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

    1st|Level Adjustment||||||Iron Will(Bouns)|DR 10/Silver, Alternate Form, Low-Light Vision, Scent, Curse of Lycantropy Lycanthropic Empathy

    2nd|Level Adjustment|||||||Low-Light Vision, Immune to sleep spells, +2 Saves vs. Enchantment spells/effects, Otherworldly Touch, Extraplanar subtype.

    3rd|Level Adjustment|||||||+2 to Listen, Search, and Spot; Oriental Adventures variant: favored class is Wu Jen

    4th|Warblade 1|
    +1
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |Diplomacy 4, Tumble 4, Intimidate 4, Concentration 4, Perform (Sing) 2, Perform (Dance) 2, Balance 2, Ride 1|Weapon Focus: Rapier|Battle Clarity (Reflex Saves), Weapon Aptitude

    5th|Animal HD|
    +1
    |
    +4
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |Hide 5|Finesse (Bounus), Alertness|

    6th|Warblade 2|
    +2
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |Diplomacy 5, Tumble 6, Intimidate 5, Concentration 5, Ride 2|Combat Expertise|Uncanny Dodge

    7th|Warblade 3|
    +3
    |
    +5
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |Diplomacy 7, Tumble 7, Intimidate 6, Concentration 6, Ride 3||Battle Ardor (Critical Confirmation), Ability Up

    8th|Warblade 4|
    +4
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |Diplomacy 8, Tumble 8, Intimidate 7, Concentration 8||

    9th|Wu Jen 1|
    +4
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |Concentration 9, Knowledge (Nobility and Royalty) 4|Combat Casting, Extend Spell|Watchful Spirit, Taboo (Cannot direct, order, or instruct Humanoids)

    10th|Warblade 5|
    +5
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |Diplomacy 9, Tumble 9, Intimidate 9, Concentration 10, Ride 5|Blade Meditation (Diamond Mind)|

    11th|Kensai 1|
    +5
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    |
    +5
    |Diplomacy 11, Intimidate 11, Sense Motive 3||Signature Weapon, Ability Up

    12th|Kensai 2|
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    |
    +6
    |Diplomacy 12, Intimidate 12, Sense Motive 8|Expeditious Dodge|Power Surge

    13th|Bladesinger 1|
    +7
    |
    +6
    |
    +5
    |
    +8
    |Tumble 12, Sense Motive 9||Bladesong Style

    14th|Bladesinger 2|
    +8
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +9
    |Tumble 13, Diplomacy 13, Intimidate 13||Lesser Spellsong

    15th|Bladesinger 3|
    +9
    |
    +7
    |
    +6
    |
    +9
    |Tumble 13, Diplomacy 13, INtimidate 13|Arcane Strike|Ability Up

    16th|Bladesinger 4|
    +10
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +10
    |Diplomacy 15, Intimidate 15, Tumble 15||Song of Celerity (2nd)

    17th|Bladesinger 5|
    +11
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +10
    |Diplomacy 16, Intimidate 16, Tumble 16||

    18th|Bladesinger 6|
    +12
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    +11
    |Diplomacy 17, Intimidate 17, Tumble 17|Defensive Strike|Greater Spelsong

    19th|Bladesinger 7|
    +13
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    +11
    |Diplomacy 18, Intimidate 18, Tumble 18||Ability Up

    20th|Bladesinger 8|
    +14
    |
    +8
    |
    +9
    |
    +12
    |Diplomacy 19, Intimidate 19, Tumble 19||Song of Celerity (4th)[/table]



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


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

    13th|4|3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

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

    19th|4|4|3|2|-|-|-|-|-|-[/table]

    Typical Spells Prepared:
    1- Scales of the Lizard, Shield, True Strike, Magic Missile
    2- Invisibility, Blur, Wall of Gloom
    3- Haste, Extended Cat's Grace


    Maneuvers
    Spoiler
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    {table=head]Level|Maneuvers Known|Maneuvers Readied|Stances Known|Highest Level Maneuver

    4th|3|3|1|1

    6th|4|3|1|1

    7th|5|3|1|2

    8th|5|4|2|2

    10th|6|4|2|3[/table]

    Maneuvers Known:
    1-Sapphire Nightmare Blade, Stone Bones, Steel Wind, Moment of Perfect Mind
    2-Mountain Hammer, Emerald Razor, Stone Vise (traded for Perfect Mind)
    3-Insightful Strike

    Typical Maneuvers Readied:
    Insightful Strike, Sapphire Nightmare Blade, Stone Bones, Mountain Hammer, Stone Vise

    Stances Known:
    Blood in the Water, Pearl of Black Doubt


    Suggested Gear:
    Spoiler
    Show

    Twilight armor is useful for Kuniyoshi at lower levels, before he gains the ability to cast in light armor without penalty. Medium Mithral armor will be useful once he gains Greater Spellsong.
    A peculiar reading of RAW might argue that a 2nd-level Kensai could imbue the Fierce quality into his weapon, since the Kensi rules do not state that his bonded weapon must have a +1 bonus before receiving special abilities ("The weapon becomes magical and gains an enhancement bonus and/or special abilities"). If this passes the DM smell test, Kuniyoshi will use a Fierce rapier to capitalize on his increased DEX score while fighting in hybrid form.
    Other magical gear should be used to shore up weak points in out-of-combat ability; particularly Sneak and Move Silently.


    Sweet Spot: 15th Level
    Spoiler
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    Kuniyoshi always enters combat in Hybrid form, which increases his Dexterity by +6 and allows him use of his weapon and armor. If evenly matched, Kuniyoshi does not hesitate to employ his Combat Expertise and Pearl of Black Doubt stance to boost his AC. Kuniyoshi's spells are relatively weak against high-level opponents, so he focuses on self-buffs and battlefield control. Arcane Strike provides an option to exploit unused or useless spell slots, while strike maneuvers (many of which employ Kuniyoshi's significant Concentration skill) provide most damage potential and can be refreshed by spending a swift action.
    Kuniyoshi employs a Fierce rapier against weaker foes when armor class is not at issue.
    Outside combat, Kuniyoshi is a faithful advisor and diplomat to the Emperor of the Middle Kingdom. While he is forbidden by the Spirits to direct or order mortals about, his Diplomacy and Intimidate skills provide him ample recourse to persuade the Emperor or his subjects that Kuniyoshi's chosen path is a wise one.
    At successive levels, Kuniyoshi's combat and social patterns continue to follow this basic pattern.

    Avatar by Iron Penguin.

    The Power of the Orient: A Wu Jen Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul S. Kemp
    Frankly, I think the designers and novelists did great work in the post-Spellplague Realms. But, in the end, this wasn’t a new setting. It was the Realms, the Realms 100 years later, and therein lay the problem.

  28. - Top - End - #328
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge In the Playground XLIII

    Hums like a bee, stings like three feet of razor sharp steel.

    Quote Originally Posted by Calrissianna Shiningflower
    Calrissianna Shiningflower

    Chaotic Good Female Half Elf Half Elf Fighter 1/Duskblade 8/Warblade 1/Bladesinger 9/Dervish 1

    The entertainers’ guild presented themselves before the new queen of the elves to celebrate her coronation. Part of the performance was an interpretative dance that was supposed to represent both the elven creation myth and also the events of the latest war.
    The performance was superb and seemed to be well received by the queen and her guests. When the presentation was over a member of the royal contingent approached the guild members. He was intrigued by the newest member of the guild, a half elf woman who was said to be the illegitimate daughter of a human mercenary. The girl’s mother was a long standing member of the guild and saw to her upbringing. When she saw the royal advisor approach she began to worry that her daughter’s performance was not good enough. She met the advisor so as to come in between her daughter and him.
    “Greetings, your Lordship,” she bowed her head as she spoke so as not look into the advisor’s eyes. She also bade her daughter to avert her eyes and bow as well.
    “Greetings to you as well,” he nodded politely but his eyes were fixated on the young woman. “I presume this is your daughter.”
    “Yes, she is,” the woman acknowledged. The half elf smiled and curtsied.
    “Very good,” he responded in a kind tone. “She is to come with me at once.”
    “Forgive me, your Lordship!” the woman fell to her knees and begged. “Please do not execute my only daughter for her performance!”
    “Execute?” the elven lord chuckled. “Why would I want that? She is exactly the kind of person I am looking for to train in our ways.”
    “Our ways, your Lordship?” the woman responded both relived and shocked by this statement. “I thought that half elves were little better than humans in the eyes of the Crown.”
    “Indeed they were thought that way in the old regime. But our new queen is much more lenient and open minded. She is even married to a human!” He turned to the young woman with a smile. “Now please tell me your name.”
    “My name is Calrissianna Shiningflower,” the young woman answered with eyes opened wide.


    Calrissianna -- the Singer and Dancer
    Spoiler
    Show

    32 point buy
    Str 14, Dex 14, Con 12, Int 16, Wis 10, Cha 12
    all level ability increases go to Strength

    {table=head]Level|Class|BAB|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Skills|Feats|Class Features

    1st|Half Elf Fighter 1|
    +1
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |Climb 3, Intimidate 4, Jump 3, Perform (dance) 4, Perform (sing) 4, Ride 4, Sense Motive 4, Swim 4|Apprentice (entertainer)|blade focus

    2nd|Duskblade 1|
    +2
    |
    +4
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |Concentration 2, Knowledge (arcana) 1, Perform (dance) +1, Perform (sing) +1| |arcane attunement, armored mage (light)

    3rd|Duskblade 2|
    +3
    |
    +5
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |Concentration +1, Spellcraft 4|Combat Casting (B), Combat Expertise|

    4th|Duskblade 3|
    +4
    |
    +5
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |Perform (sing) +1, Perform (dance) + 1, Sense Motive +3| |arcane channeling

    5th|Warblade 1|
    +5
    |
    +7
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |Balance 3, Tumble 4| |battle clarity (Ref saves), weapon aptitude

    6th|Duskblade 4|
    +6
    |
    +8
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Concentration +1, Knowledge (arcana) +1, Perform (dance) +1, Sense Motive +1, Spellcraft +1|Dodge|armored mage (medium)

    7th|Duskblade 5|
    +7
    |
    +8
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Concentration +1, Knowledge (arcana) +1, Perform (dance) +1, Sense Motive +1, Spellcraft +1| |quick cast 1/day

    8th|Bladesinger 1|
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    +3
    |
    +6
    |Concentration +1, Knowledge (arcana) +1, Perform (dance) +1, Spellcraft +1, Tumble +1| |bladesong style

    9th|Bladesinger 2|
    +9
    |
    +8
    |
    +4
    |
    +7
    |Concentration +1, Knowledge (arcana) +1, Perform (dance) +1, Spellcraft +1, Tumble +1|Mobility|lesser spellsong

    10th|Bladesinger 3|
    +10
    |
    +9
    |
    +4
    |
    +7
    |Concentration +1, Knowledge (arcana) +1, Perform (dance) +1, Spellcraft +1, Tumble +1| |

    11th|Bladesinger 4|
    +11
    |
    +9
    |
    +5
    |
    +8
    |Concentration +1, Knowledge (arcana) +1, Perform (dance) +1, Spellcraft +1, Tumble +1| |song of celerity (2nd)

    12th|Dervish 1|
    +12
    |
    +9
    |
    +7
    |
    +10
    |Balance +1, Escape Artist 1, Jump +1, Listen 1, Perform (dance) +1, Swim +1, Tumble +1|Single Blade Style|dervish dance 1/day, movement mastery, slashing blades

    13th|Bladesinger 5|
    +13
    |
    +9
    |
    +7
    |
    +10
    |Concentration +1, Knowledge (arcana) +1, Perform (dance) +1, Spellcraft +1, Tumble +1| |

    14th|Bladesinger 6|
    +14
    |
    +10
    |
    +8
    |
    +11
    |Concentration +1, Knowledge (arcana) +1, Perform (dance) +1, Spellcraft +1, Tumble +1| |greater spellsong

    15th|Bladesinger 7|
    +15
    |
    +10
    |
    +8
    |
    +11
    |Concentration +1, Knowledge (arcana) +1, Perform (dance) +1, Spellcraft +1, Tumble +1|Einhander|

    16th|Duskblade 6|
    +16
    |
    +11
    |
    +9
    |
    +12
    |Concentration +1, Knowledge (arcana) +1, Perform (dance) +1, Sense Motive +1, Spellcraft +1| |spell power +2

    17th|Duskblade 7|
    +17
    |
    +11
    |
    +9
    |
    +12
    |Concentration +1, Knowledge (arcana) +1, Perform (dance) +1, Sense Motive +1, Spellcraft +1| |armored mage (heavy shield)

    18th|Duskblade 8|
    +18
    |
    +12
    |
    +9
    |
    +12
    |Concentration +1, Knowledge (arcana) +1, Perform (dance) +1, Sense Motive +1, Spellcraft +1|Melee Evasion|

    19th|Bladesinger 8|
    +19
    |
    +12
    |
    +10
    |
    +14
    |Concentration +1, Knowledge (arcana) +1, Perform (dance) +1, Spellcraft +1, Tumble +1| |song of celerity (4th)

    20th|Bladesinger 9|
    +20
    |
    +13
    |
    +10
    |
    +14
    |Concentration +1, Knowledge (arcana) +1, Perform (dance) +1, Spellcraft +1, Tumble +1| | [/table]

    Spells per day
    {table=head]Level|0lvl|1st|2nd|3rd|4th

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

    2nd|3|2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    3rd|4|3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    4th|5|4|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    5th|5|4|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    6th|6|5|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    7th|6|5|2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    8th|6|6|3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    9th|6|6|3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    10th|6|6|5|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    11th|6|6|5|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    12th|6|6|5|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    13th|6|7|6|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    14th|6|7|6|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    15th|6|7|6|2|-|-|-|-|-|-

    16th|6|8|7|3|-|-|-|-|-|-

    17th|6|8|7|5|-|-|-|-|-|-

    18th|6|8|8|6|-|-|-|-|-|-

    19th|6|9|8|6|2|-|-|-|-|-

    20th|6|9|8|7|3|-|-|-|-|-[/table]

    Spells Known:
    0: acid splash, disrupt undead, ray of frost, touch of fatigue
    1: shocking grasp, ray of enfeeblement, stand, true strike
    2: ghoul touch, scorching ray, stretch weapon, touch of idiocy
    3: dispelling touch, protection from energy, ray of exhaustion, vampiric touch
    4: toxic weapon

    Maneuvers Known (and Readied): Emerald Razor, Sapphire Nightmare Blade, Steel Wind
    Stances Known: Stance of Clarity


    Build Snapshots -- Watching the Song and Dance
    Spoiler
    Show
    Level 1-5, the Entertainer’s Daughter
    Spoiler
    Show
    Calrissianna has the Apprentice feat with allows the skills Diplomacy and Perform to become class skills (and give an extra skill point toward them). This helps greatly with the SI skill entry requirements. The Half Elf Fighter substitution level was taken for both the extra skill points gained (vs a standard fighter) and also granting the blade focus class feature. This class feature counts as the Weapon Focus requirement for the SI. The warblade level finishes off the remaining skill requirements and adds maneuvers and some Intelligence synergy to Calrissianna.


    Level 6-10, the Bladesinger
    Spoiler
    Show
    Calrissianna enters the SI at level 8 and begins to truly develop her one handed style of fighting. The Bladesinger class itself makes fighting in this manner a necessity for Calrissianna to make use of her class abilities. She makes full use of her Combat Expertise while fighting defensively. The addition of Mobility is for the requirement of her other class dip.


    Level 11-15, the Dancing Striker
    Spoiler
    Show
    Calrissianna dives into the SI now only taking a dip into Dervish, which coincidentally has nearly the same feat and skill entry requirements as the Bladesinger. It also adds mobility to her arsenal as well as another bonus to her Armor Class as well as being able to take 10 for her Tumble checks which by now means she can move about the battlefield without worrying about drawing attacks of opportunity. During this time Calrissianna takes the Einhander and Single Blade Style feats to improve upon her one handed weapon style.


    Level 16-20, the Tahlaera
    Spoiler
    Show
    According to Races of the Wild, the word Tahlaera means literally “blade singer.” Calrissianna first catches up on some caster levels as to gain the ability to cast fourth level spells and finishes her pre epic career with the SI. The ability to use the song of celerity for her fourth level spell makes her attack potentially that much more deadly. Though the capstone would be nice to have, it does not really fit with Calrissianna’s fighting style of making one strong strike. The feat selection at 18th level adds to her defensive repertoire. Another positive as that Calrissianna is able to have full BAB throughout her career and better saves than an equal level single classed Duskblade.


    Designer Notes -- Learning the Song and Dance
    Spoiler
    Show
    Calrissianna does not need a lot of specific magic items or equipment to make her work. She should always wear the best light armor available and her weapon must be a longsword. It is the only weapon that she can use to utilize all of her abilities. Obviously any equipment that would increase her Strength, Dexterity, or Intelligence would be welcomed. The purpose was to make a character that could be a useful one handed fighter and still be effective. By Level 20 Calrissianna has at least a +11 in dodge or untyped bonuses to her Armor Class while fighting defensively from her class features and can be further augmented with her Combat Expertise. Conversely she could use her Combat Expertise to its fullest extent without any Armor Class loss.
    The drawbacks of this design are obvious however. Firstly, Calrissianna can never take full advantage of her arcane channeling before epic levels. Also the greater spellsong class feature she gains at Level 14 is something that she has been enjoying since Level 2. Further to that Calrissianna can also not take advantage of her Duskblade levels being able to cast in medium armor and use a shield.


    Sources -- The Book of Songs
    Spoiler
    Show
    Book of Nine Swords: Warblade class and maneuvers
    Complete Warrior: Bladesinger and Dervish presitge classes
    Dragon Compendium: Single Blade Style feat
    Dungeon Masters' Guide II: Apprentice feat
    Player's Handbook II: Duskblade class and Einhander and Melee Evasion feats
    Races of Destiny: Half Elf Fighter substitution level

    Avatar by Iron Penguin.

    The Power of the Orient: A Wu Jen Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul S. Kemp
    Frankly, I think the designers and novelists did great work in the post-Spellplague Realms. But, in the end, this wasn’t a new setting. It was the Realms, the Realms 100 years later, and therein lay the problem.

  29. - Top - End - #329
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge In the Playground XLIII

    [reserved, in case I missed one]

    Avatar by Iron Penguin.

    The Power of the Orient: A Wu Jen Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul S. Kemp
    Frankly, I think the designers and novelists did great work in the post-Spellplague Realms. But, in the end, this wasn’t a new setting. It was the Realms, the Realms 100 years later, and therein lay the problem.

  30. - Top - End - #330
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge In the Playground XLIII

    And that's all, folks.

    On your marks... get set...

    Judge!

    Avatar by Iron Penguin.

    The Power of the Orient: A Wu Jen Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul S. Kemp
    Frankly, I think the designers and novelists did great work in the post-Spellplague Realms. But, in the end, this wasn’t a new setting. It was the Realms, the Realms 100 years later, and therein lay the problem.

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