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  1. - Top - End - #271
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge In The Playground XLIV

    Jack of all trades, but Master of None.

    Quote Originally Posted by Master of None

    Master-of-None

    The Dish
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    Illumian Factotum 5/Chameleon 5/City-Bonded Urban Soul of Sigil 10
    {table=head]Level|Class|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Skills|Feats|Class Features

    1st|Factotum 1|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |Bluff 4, Diplomacy 1, Disable Device 1, Disguise 4, Gather Information 4, Intimidate 1, Knowledge(Arcana) 1, Knowledge(Architecture & Engineering) 4, Knowledge(Dungeoneering) 1, Knowledge(Local) 2, Knowledge(Nature) 1, Knowledge(Nobility & Royalty) 1, Knowledge(Religion) 1, Knowledge(The Planes) 1, Open Locks 1, Sense Motive 4, Spellcraft 4|Able Learner|Inspiration, Cunning Insight, Cunning Knowledge, Trapfinding

    2nd|Factotum 2|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |Bluff 5, Disguise 5, Gather Information 5, Intimidate 2, Knowledge(Architecture & Engineering) 5, Knowledge(Local) 3, Use Magic Device 1, Collector of Stories| |Arcane Dilettante (1 spell)

    3rd|Factotum 3|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |Bluff 6, Disguise 6, Intimidate 6, Knowledge(Local) 6|Knowledge Devotion|Brains Over Brawn, Cunning Defense

    4th|Factotum 4|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |Bluff 7, Diplomacy 2, Disguise 7, Intimidate 7, Knowledge(Local) 7, Listen 1, Search 1, Spot 1, Use Magic Device 2| |Arcane Dilettante (2 spells), Cunning Strike

    5th|Factotum 5|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |Bluff 8, Diplomacy 4, Disguise 8, Intimidate 8, Knowledge(Local) 8, Listen 2, Spot 2, Use Magic Device 3| |Opportunistic Piety

    6th|Chameleon 1|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |Bluff 9, Diplomacy 5, Intimidate 9, Knowledge(Local) 9, Listen 3, Spot 3, Use Magic Device 4|Imperious Command|Aptitude Focus 1/day (+2)

    7th|Chameleon 2|
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |Bluff 10, Diplomacy 6, Intimidate 10, Knowledge(Local) 10, Listen 4, Spot 4, Use Magic Device 5|Weapon Specialization(Rapier)|Bonus Feat

    8th|Chameleon 3|
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |Diplomacy 7, Intimidate 11, Gather Information 7, Listen 5, Spot 5, Tumble 1, Use Magic Device 6| |Mimic Class Feature 1/day

    9th|Chameleon 4|
    +6
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |Diplomacy 8, Intimidate 12, Forgery 1, Gather Information 8, Use Magic Device 8, Never Outnumbered|Iron Will|Ability Boon +2

    10th|Chameleon 5|
    +6
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |Diplomacy 11, Intimidate 13, Gather Information 9, Listen 6, Spot 6, Use Magic Device 9| |Aptitude Focus 2/day (+4)

    11th|Urban Soul 1|
    +6
    |
    +4
    |
    +7
    |
    +2
    |Diplomacy 14, Intimidate 14, Gather Information 12, Listen 7, Spot 7, Use Magic Device 10| |City Ramparts 1/day, Urban Sustenance

    12th|Urban Soul 2|
    +7
    |
    +5
    |
    +8
    |
    +2
    |Diplomacy 15, Intimidate 15, Gather Information 15, Knowledge(Arcana) 4, Listen 8, Spot 8|Obtain Familiar|Citybred Senses +2

    13th|Urban Soul 3|
    +8
    |
    +5
    |
    +8
    |
    +3
    |Diplomacy 16, Intimidate 16, Gather Information 16, Listen 10, Spot 10, Use Magic Device 13| |Meld Into City

    14th|Urban Soul 4|
    +9
    |
    +6
    |
    +9
    |
    +3
    |Diplomacy 17, Intimidate 17, Gather Information 17, Listen 13, Spot 13, Use Magic Device 14| |See the City

    15th|Urban Soul 5|
    +9
    |
    +6
    |
    +9
    |
    +3
    |Diplomacy 18, Intimidate 18, Gather Information 18, Knowledge(Nobility & Royalty) 5, Listen 14, Spot 14, Use Magic Device 15|Urban Tracker|City Ramparts 2/day

    16th|Urban Soul 6|
    +10
    |
    +7
    |
    +10
    |
    +4
    |Diplomacy 19, Intimidate 19, Gather Information 19, Listen 17, Spot 19, Use Magic Device 16| |Citybred Senses +4, Urban Skill Mastery

    17th|Urban Soul 7|
    +11
    |
    +7
    |
    +10
    |
    +4
    |Diplomacy 20, Intimidate 20, Gather Information 20, Knowledge(The Planes) 4, Listen 20, Spot 20, Use Magic Device 17| |Hear the City 1/day

    18th|Urban Soul 8|
    +12
    |
    +8
    |
    +11
    |
    +4
    |Diplomacy 21, Intimidate 21, Gather Information 21, Knowledge(The Planes) 9, Listen 21, Spot 21, Use Magic Device 18|Quick Reconnoiter|Mob Violence

    19th|Urban Soul 9|
    +12
    |
    +8
    |
    +11
    |
    +5
    |Diplomacy 22, Disguise 10, Intimidate 22, Gather Information 22, Knowledge(The Planes) 10, Listen 22, Sense Motive 5, Spellcraft 5, Spot 22, Use Magic Device 19| |City Ramparts 3/day

    20th|City-Bonded Urban Soul 10|
    +13
    |
    +9
    |
    +12
    |
    +5
    |Diplomacy 23, Intimidate 23, Gather Information 23, Listen 23, Sense Motive 10, Spot 23, Use Magic Device 20| |Citybred Senses +6, Hear the City 2/day, City Bond, Intra City Teleport, Urban Renewal[/table]

    Illumian Power Sigils: Vaul, Naen
    Languages: Common, Illumian, Celestial, Draconic, Infernal


    Stats
    Spoiler
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    Starting Ability Scores:
    Str - 10
    Dex - 13
    Con - 12
    Int - 16
    Wis - 12
    Cha - 15

    Final Ability Scores:
    Str - 10
    Dex - 13
    Con - 12
    Int - 20 (4 levels - 4, 8, 12, 16)
    Wis - 12
    Cha - 16 (1 level - 20)


    Spells per day/Spells Known
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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|4|2|0|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    7th|4|3|1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    8th|4|3|2|0|-|-|-|-|-|-

    9th|4|4|3|1|-|-|-|-|-|-

    10th|4|4|3|2|0|-|-|-|-|-

    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]

    In addition, Master-of-None can cast 2 spells per day as spell like abilities. These spells must come from the sorcerer/wizard list, one can be up to 2nd level, and the other can be up to 1st level.

    Spells Known
    Master-of-None's Arcane Dilettante ability lets him pick any sorcerer/wizard spell of up to 2nd level that does not have an XP component.

    Master-of-None's Spellcasting from Chameleon does not limit his spells known. His arcane casting draws from a spellbook (which can contain spells from any arcane casting class (like Bard or Dread Necromancer), and his divine casting does not restrict his spell selection.

    Below is a small selection of spells he often employs, but is not limited to:
    Arcane (up to 4th level):
    Alter Self, Fly, Glibness, Polymorph

    Divine (up to 4th level):
    Divine Insight, Guidance of the Avatar


    Belfry, Familiar
    Spoiler
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    Belfry, Bat Familiar; CR -; Diminutive Magical Beast; Init +2; Spd. 5ft, fly 40ft. (good); AC 21 (+4 size, +2 dex, +5 natural), touch 16, flat-footed 24; Base attack 13; Grap -4; SQ Blindsense 20ft, low-light vision, familiar abilities; SV Fort +9, Ref +14, Will +7; Str 1, Dex 15, Con 10, Int 10, Will 14, Cha 4
    Skills and Feats: Hide +14, Listen +8, Move Silently +6, Spot +8; Alertness


    Level Breakdown
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    Level 1
    "When recording events, it is best to start at the beginning, I suppose. I was called Malashnuon back then, and my early years were filled with constant study. I was born into and raised in the Heaven's Door Cabal. It was what we Illumians refer to as an Ascension cabal. Our purpose was to study and puzzle out how we might reach immortality, and divinity. Yeylea, our leader, was considered to be the one member of our cabal who had the best shot at achieving immortality, and he felt that our natural prediliction for versatility was the key. As for me, I was groomed by Lorekeeper Xiroth to be one who would gather and catalogue knowledge that might be useful to the cabal. I devoured every book, scroll, and tablet I came across, and I'd like to think that I did old Xiroth proud." - Excerpt from "Heaven's Door to the City of Doors", by Master-of-None.

    Crunch
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    Master-of-None begins his adventuring career like many Illumians; with a thirst for knowledge. He's already quite the skill-monkey. He functions as a second-line combatant, trapspringer, lore expert, and face. His cabal has taught him well in a wide variety of subjects, and his versatility will continue to grow. While he can pick up a weapon and swing it with roughly as much skill as any other medium BAB class, he's doesn't really have a significant taste for violence. Even though he isn't proficient in their use, he'll focus on disabling foes with intimidation, nets, bolas, and tanglefoot bags before moving into flank position. Cunning Insight can give him a nice damage boost when he starts to swing.


    Level 5
    "I'll never forget the first time old Xiroth took me out of the enclave. I was an accomplished scholar by that time, and becoming quite a skilled diplomat and negotiator. Xiroth had told me of the various wonders to be found outside the enclave walls, of course, but nothing could have prepared me for my first visit to the City of Doors. Such sights! Such sounds! We stayed only long enough to conduct a deal with a merchant in the Clerk's Ward to acquire some rare books, and departed fairly swiftly, but even that brief glimpse was enough to stir my heart and fire my imagination.

    On our return, we got a bit lost and needed to consult one of the curious residents of Sigil, a Dabus. Ah yes, the Dabus! My first conversation with one left me giddy, and I felt a kind of kinship for them at once. I promptly devoted almost a month in a fruitless effort at attempting to duplicate their curious speech with my own power sigils. I suppose, even back then, at least some part of me had an inkling of the destiny that awaited me."
    - Excerpt from "Heaven's Door to the City of Doors", by Master-of-None

    Crunch
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    At this point, Master-of-None is about as versatile as they come. He's been groomed by his cabal to be as flexible as possible, and is ready to enter the Chameleon prestige class. He remains an excellent face and lore expert, and can function for almost any skill thanks to Cunning Knowledge. Collector of Stories, combined with Cunning Knowledge and Knowledge Devotion means that his damage output becomes more respectable, but he continues to use disabling tactics before wading into melee. His two spells per day thanks to Arcane Dilettante can be used to augment his fighting ability (via Alter Self), do a little blasting (Scorching Ray), or aid in his role as a face (Tongues, Divinations, etc.).


    Level 10
    "My time with Master Corthalus was well spent, I feel, and he taught me many things. I will forever be grateful for his mentorship after Xiroth passed. I remember that he was exceptionally fond of the saying, 'Jack of all trades, master of none'. And his curriculum certainly fit that philosophy perfectly. Unfortunately, my studies with him came to an abrupt halt in the wake of Yeylea's Final Utterance. The cabal had worked diligently over the years, and amassed a wealth of knowledge that was nothing short of incredible. I was given leave from my studies when the word came down that Yeylea would be attempting Ascension. Hundreds of us gathered in the middle of the enclave and silence reigned as we all waited to witness the fruits of our labor.

    I'm sure, if you were to track them down, you'd hear accounts of that event that differ from mine, but on this one point I believe most of them would agree, the only effect Yeylea's Final Utterance had was to serve as the death knell of our cabal. People I had known for years were crushed under the weight of despair and disappointment as they witnessed their life's work turn to ruin. I'd like to think that hearing that final, ululating wail of a weak old man didn't have an effect on me, but I know better. In that sound of utter despair, I could hear death coming for me, and could feel it's cold embrace.

    Upon his failure to Ascend, Heaven's Door was closed, and its members went their separate ways. Master Corthalus fell into a deep melancholy from which he never recovered, and I was adrift in my grief at the loss of friends, family, and purpose. Thinking back on it now, it is no surprise that my wandering led me back to Sigil, my home away from home. The physical embodiment of the saying, 'When one door closes, another opens'. I took a new name, one that I felt would honor my mentors, and inspire me to continue seeking knowledge. And so, Master-of-None, scholar and information broker, moved into a little apartment in the Clerk's Ward and set up shop. While I made my living, I never stopped searching for something to give meaning to all that had come before, and to the years yet to come.

    Imagine my surprise when, in all my searching, a new purpose found me."
    - Excerpt from "Heaven's Door to the City of Doors", by Master-of-None

    Crunch
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    Disillusioned by the self-destruction of his cabal, Master-of-None begins to wander in search of meaning. His wandering lands him in Sigil, where he finds that his talents are quite valuable. He's got up to 4th level Arcane or Divine casting (some of which can be spontaneous thanks to his Vaulnaen racial ability), a floating feat, and a floating +2 bump to an ability score. Now that several of his tricks are online, Master-of-None blossoms as an expert skill-user. His ability to directly damage opponents is low-average, but his value as a disabler and ally are top-notch. Besides, the Lady doesn't take kindly to people who get violently out of hand.

    Many of Master-of-None's tricks are online by this point, and will only get better as he strives to find new purpose:

    "I have taken all knowledge to be my province." - There is pretty much no skill check Master-of-None cannot succeed on. While he can only do it a few times per day, the spell Divine Insight (Cleric 2) from Chameleon adds an insight bonus of 5+Caster Levek (so +15 from Chameleon) to a skill for a check, combined with the spell Guidance of the Avatar (Cleric 2) from Chameleon (for +20 competence bonus), and finally combined with Cunning Knowledge (+5 untyped bonus) for a total +40. Usable with any skill with at least 1 rank. On top of that, as an Illumian with the Naen and Vaul sigils, he gets +2 (untyped bonus) on all Int and Cha based checks, including Int and Cha skills. Brains Over Brawn lets him add his Int bonus to all Str and Dex based checks, indluing Str and Dex skills. So depending on the skill, he can add an additional +4 to the check.

    "You wouldn't like me when I'm angry." - Fear shenanigans. Combined with the trick above, Master-of-None can throw Intimidate checks in the 60's-70's! Master-of-None has an Intimidate check of +19(+30 at 20th level) before adding in bonuses from the trick listed above, items, other spells, aid another, and class features. Combined with Imperious Command and Never Outnumbered, he can quickly cow even the surliest of crowds.

    - Between his mundane disguise skill and bluffing ability, Disguise Self, Alter Self, and Polymorph, Master-of-None can wheedle his way into almost any situation unnoticed. In particular, given their ubiquity in Sigil, he's fond of disguising himself as a Dabus using Silent Image (for Rebus Speak), Alter Self (Dabus are Humanoid(Extraplanar)), and possibly Fly (if the Ex floating ability of Dabus isn't granted by Alter Self). Combining the skill trick above with the Glibness spell lets him hit mind-boggling Bluff DC's.

    "Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room." - Diplomancy. Master-of-None has a Diplomacy check of +17(+34 at 20th level) before adding in bonuses from the trick listed above, items, spells, aid another, and class features.

    "Variety is the spice of life." - Master-of-None's floating bonus feat from Chameleon can be used to augment skills (Skill Focus, the various +2/+2 skill feats, or Open Minded to scatter 5 skill points around), low-level Item Creation (Factotum gives him a caster level of 5), Metamagic, or for the Subtle Sigil feat, which lets him hide his power sigils and still benefit from them (useful for a disguise).


    Level 17 "Sweet Spot"
    "I still think back to the deal Urbanus offered me, and I do not regret it for an instant. I knew that as long as I looked after the city, the city looked after me. I no longer hungered for food and drink, though I still indulged. Far more importantly, my eyes no longer grew heavy with sleep. I think I read nearly half the books in the Library of the Lady in a few months. I knew the city better than any tout, and felt capable of giving the King of the Cross-trade a run for her money when it came to the kinds of information I could acquire. I even seemed to be in good standing with the Dabus, as much as such a thing is possible, after my familiar, Belfry, led me to an injured one that had been caught up under a collapsed wall. I rescued it from the rubble, and healed its injuries. It babbled out what I'm fairly certain was a thank you in some of that delightful Rebus-speak of theirs, and drifted off to continue repairs in a different part of the city.

    Yes, life was good, and my only fear was that, in serving Urbanus, I might anger the Lady of Pain. I soon came to realize that by serving one, I was serving the will of the other."
    - Excerpt from "Heaven's Door to the City of Doors", by Master-of-None

    Crunch
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    Following in the footsteps of Urbanus has led Master-of-None to the very center of the multiverse, and it is here that he has found a home. The City Ramparts ability ensures that he can continue his disabling tactics in a fight and survive. His familiar gives him an extra set of eyes, can "hold the charge" on one of his two divine skill boosting spells for use at the necessary time, and the ability to drive his skill checks even further into the stratosphere. And thanks to Urban Soul, he has become a consummate information broker:

    "The only barrier to acquiring information is how much you are willing to pay." - Information Broker. Master-of-None now knows the goings on in Sigil better than almost any resident, aside from the Lady. See the City lets him see anywhere in Sigil. 4th level arcane/divine spells provide plenty of great divinations for information gathering. And thanks to Hear the City, Urban Tracking, and Citybred Senses, there isn't much that escapes Master-of-None's notice. Master-of-None has a Listen check of +23 (27 in Sigil) and a Spot check of +23 (27 in Sigil) before adding in bonuses from the trick listed above, items, spells, aid another, and class features. He can scry it, spot it, hear it (Meld into City gives new meaning to the phrase "the walls have ears"), and spy on it in disguise (and hide if detected thanks to Meld into City).If something happens in Sigil and Master-of-None didn't see it or divine it, Hear the City can ensure that Sigil itself will tell him about it. He's got his finger on the pulse of Sigil. Urban Sustenance ensures that he won't miss a beat by eliminating the need for food, drink, and sleep.


    Level 20
    "At last I had earned what was promised in that dream so long ago. An old goal with a new purpose, immortality in service to Sigil. And true to his word, I have not aged a day since then, and it has been nearly a century. One might think that such a thing might get boring, but there is still so much to be done. The Sensates want to add an addition on the Civic Festhall, the Library of the Lady needs a new roof, and the Styx Oarsman is in dire need of a new sewer connection after the damned Xaositects somehow spiked every cask of alcohol in that establishment with an enchanted laxative. I still sell my services as an information broker, of course, though I do my best to ensure that I don't overshadow my competitors. After all, making enemies is bad for business, but offering competitive services only serves to enhance the market and, by extension, the city.

    I may not share a belief in all of his dogma, but I will say this, when it comes to Sigil, I think Urbanus, the Lady, and I are all on the same page."
    - Excerpt from "Heaven's Door to the City of Doors", by Master-of-None

    Crunch
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    Master-of-None, a directionless remnant of a failed Ascension Cabal, has achieved immortality. He has succeeded where his former masters failed. The City Bond language states that the Urban Soul no longer ages, but it lacks the language that other such abilities include to specify that the character still dies when their time is up. Thus, Master-of-None is immortal, unless he angers the wrong entities. Everything here is an enhancement to what has come before. The three new abilities he's gained are quite useful.

    Master-of-None now has a Listen check of +28 (34 in Sigil) and a Spot check of +28 (34 in Sigil) before adding in bonuses from the trick listed above, items, spells, aid another, and class features. Thanks to Quick Reconnoiter, making listen a listen or spot check is a free action, so Master-of-None's detection skills are, in effect, "always on".

    Intra City Teleport means that Master-of-None can be anywhere in the City of Doors in the blink of an eye. Closed doors no longer matter.

    Urban Renewal lets Master-of-None gain entry into buildings in Sigil that are warded against teleportation, eliminate evidence of his passing, and provides some minor battlefield control.

    And to top it all off, Master-of-None has a fantastic Use Magic Device score (+27 to +29 depending on synergy) before adding in bonuses from the trick listed above, items, spells, aid another, and class features.


    Optional Spices
    Spoiler
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    Options/modifications
    If, for some reason, Illumians are not considered Human, Master-of-None can be a regular human with only a slight loss of utility. The human bonus feat can be used on Open Minded or Font of Inspiration to try and get some of that utility back.

    As a special mention, I desperately wanted to fit the Jack of All Trades feat into this build (which is why the character is named what he is), but unfortunately, it wouldn't have provided much benefit (as Cunning Knowledge requires 1 rank, not 1/2 rank). An alternative to Factotum 5/Chameleon 5 would have been to ditch Chameleon and take Factotum 8/Bard 2 with the Bardic Knack ACF and Jack of All Trades. While this would have effectively given him 1 rank (and treated him as trained) in all skills, the versatility he'd give up by losing access to 4th level spells just seemed to be way too much. After all, it's difficult to disguise yourself as the various non-humanoid planar races without Polymorph.

    As far as Obtain Familiar is concerned, I wasn't certain if levels in Urban Soul counts as "a class that allows you to cast arcane spells", given that it grants spell-like abilities. I made the assumption that it does not, and only counted Factotum and Chameleon levels for determining familiar abilities, and only used the Factotum caster level for qualify for the feat (since Chameleon abilities can't be used to qualify for feats and Prestige Classes).


    Pantry
    Spoiler
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    Spell Compendium (Divine Insight)
    Dungeonscape (Factotum)
    Drow of the Underdark (Imperious Command feat)
    Races of Destiny (Chameleon, Able Learner feat, Urban Tracker feat)
    Complete Champion (Knowledge Devotion feat)
    Complete Adventurer (Quick Reconnoiter feat)
    Complete Scoundrel (Skill Tricks)
    Complete Arcane (Obtain Familiar feat)
    Wizard's Website (Guidance of the Avatar)

    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.

  2. - Top - End - #272
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge In The Playground XLIV

    He's the Soul of the City.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nekaph
    Nekaph; Sigilsoul
    Neutral Good Human Druid 10/Urban Soul 10
    "Have you heard of the Sigilsoul? The Lady of Pain isn't the only thing that keeps the city in line. They say he's everywhere, sees everything. That he cannot be found unless he wants to be found. He can talk to the city; and the city talks back. That he isn't just one man, but ten, a hundred! Nay, a THOUSAND! And should you transgress; there's nothing on this plane or the next that will stop him from finding you." The first man looked around fearfully.
    "Aye, lad. And I've heard that every other man, woman, child, bird, rat, cat, dog, toad or fish in the Cage is in his pocket, telling him of our secret meetings when we think nothing can see us. Even the bugs are in his employ." Added a second, stamping on a cockroach which scuttled under the table for added emphasis.
    "His appearance never stays the same, and he has a wicked tongue, he knows just what to say, even the hardest heart cannot fail to be swayed by his talking." The third speaker just stared into his cups. "Not only that, but walls are no stop to him. Either blasts right on through or just phases right through it. And before you can say 'owt, he just sprints right on through; quick as greased lightning. Did that to my Da' few year back."
    "Immune to poison too, I tell ya. Ol' Harron down in the foundry stabbed him once with his poisoned spear; told me once that old spike had megapede poison on, could kill a Dragon that could. The Sigilsoul just passed ignored it, before hitting Ol' Harron so hard they found his head in the next street, all smushed up like an overripe pear." Said the first.
    "Aye, and I hear he's immortal, but he's only a man. No man can do all that, someone's being telling a few tales. He'll be killed easy enough with steel; you can't run forever in Sigil; it's a closed ring!" The newcomer thought his show of bravery had been enough to impress the inbred luddites of this extraplanar city. However, they were too busy staring at the dusk-skinned man sitting comfortably in one of the vacated chairs at the table of the "Styx Oarsman" inn. The man hadn't been there 5 seconds ago.

    "Ah, yes, but you're new to the city I guess. Let my introduce myself, I'm Nekaph, what people like to call the Sigilsoul. The name suits, so I let them keep it. I saw you talking about me..."
    "Saw? You mean, heard, surely?"
    "No, Saw. I could not hear you, but I could read your lips."
    "How? You weren't here."
    "I see all that goes on in my city. Not even the Lady of Pain can stop that, her Dabus try to exile me if I damage the city too much, but I do fix it up afterwards. Eventually. You want to know more about me?"
    "N... n-n-n... n-nooo."
    "Tough, you're having it anyway. Jodrell, you tell it better than I do. You've seen it all."
    The bird cocked what might have been an exasperated face at Sigilsoul, before hopping up onto the table.
    "All right then." At that, one of the men fainted. They had seen some wierd stuff in their time, devils and angels drinking together without blowing each other up, frogmen and floating uglies, but a talking bird was new to them entirely...

    "His tale starts in the Realms. Living in Sigil can be a short brutal life. Nekaph avoided that. Chosen at birth to aid in Skuld's defence, the capital city of the Mulhorandi, he eschewed the way of the warrior and the priest to become one of the "Jackal's", an elite group of individuals; The eternal watchers, who day and night would protect the city against the supernatural threats of Thay and the naval armada's of Unther. Like all who were trained to be a Jackal, they have a loyal friend, one who can aid them in the defence of the city and realm of Mulhorand, the strong and powerful Jodrell, almightiest of all the creatures...

    One of the Red Wizards was a bit mental; wanted to get a Demon Horde. Aside from opening a portal to the Hells, the easiest thing would be to purchase one from here. Well, we discovered the plot, and followed the bugger through. Ended up here. Perfect. And we were stuck. Decided to hunt this red wizard down; he was apparently causing a bit of trouble all over when he didn't get what he wanted; well, they were demons after all. When we got him, apparently there was this temple of a god called Urbanus. Gave us their blessing they did, help us keep protecting the city they said.

    Well, we're were our own men, so to speak. So, thanks but no thanks, we said. Still, their words woke something within us; gave us a purpose we had lacked since the death of the Red Wizard. I have completely forgotten his name though by now. It's been, what? 4000 years since?

    Anyway, yeah, there's that. Keep out of trouble, or not even the Lady herself can save you from us..."

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

    1st|Druid 1|
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |Bluff 2, Diplomacy 4, Gather Information 3, K. (Architecture) 1, K. (Local) 4, K. (Nobility) 2, Spot 4|Able Learner, Martial Study (Mountain Hammer), Track|Urban Companion, Urban Sense, Voice of the City, AC Bonus, 1st Favoured Enemy, Spontaneous Rejuvenation, Skilled City-Dweller

    2nd|Druid 2|
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |Bluff 2, Diplomacy 5, Gather Information 4, K. (Architecture) 2, K. (Local) 5, K. (Nobility) 2, Spot 5||Crowd Walker

    3rd|Druid 3|
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    | Bluff 2, Diplomacy 6, Gather Information 4, K. (Arcana) 1, K. (Architecture) 2, K. (Local) 6, K. (Nobility) 3, Spot 6|Southern Magician|Go To Ground, Fast Movement (+10 ft.)

    4th|Druid 4|
    +3
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Bluff 2, Diplomacy 6, Gather Information 5, K. (Arcana) 1, K. (Architecture) 2, K. (Local) 6, K. (Nobility) 3, K. (Planes) 4, Spot 6||Resist Planar Might

    5th|Druid 5|
    +3
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Bluff 2, Diplomacy 6, Gather Information 5, K. (Arcana) 1, K. (Architecture) 4, K. (Local) 7, K. (Nobility) 4, K. (Planes) 5, Spot 6||AC Bonus (+1), 2nd Favoured Enemy

    6th|Druid 6|
    +4
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    | Bluff 2, Diplomacy 6, Gather Information 5, K. (Arcana) 4, K. (Architecture) 4, K. (Local) 7, K. (Nobility) 4, K. (Planes) 6, Spot 7|Obtain Familiar|Fast Movement (+20ft.)

    7th|Druid 7|
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |Bluff 2, Diplomacy 7, Gather Information 5, K. (Arcana) 4, K. (Architecture) 5, K. (Local) 8, K. (Nobility) 5, K. (Planes) 7, Spot 7||

    8th|Druid 8|
    +6/+1
    |
    +6
    |
    +2
    |
    +6
    | Bluff 2, Diplomacy 8, Gather Information 5, K. (Arcana) 4, K. (Architecture) 5, K. (Local) 10, K. (Nobility) 5, K. (Planes) 9, Spot 7||Swift Tracker

    9th|Druid 9|
    +6/+1
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    |
    +6
    | Bluff 2, Diplomacy 8, Gather Information 5, K. (Arcana) 4, K. (Architecture) 5, K. (Dungeoneering) 1, K. (Local) 10, K. (Nature) 1, K. (Nobility) 5, K. (Planes) 10, K. (Religion) 1, Spot 8|Bind Vestige|Venom Immunity, Fast Movement (+30ft.)

    10th|Druid 10|
    +7/+2
    |
    +7
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    | Bluff 5, Diplomacy 8, Gather Information 5, K. (Arcana) 4, K. (Architecture) 5, K. (Dungeoneering) 1, K. (Local) 10, K. (Nature) 1, K. (Nobility) 5, K. (Planes) 10, K. (Religion) 1, Spot 10 ||AC Bonus (+2), 3rd Favoured Enemy

    11th|Urban Soul 2|
    +7/+2
    |
    +9
    |
    +5
    |
    +7
    | Bluff 5, Diplomacy 9, Gather Information 6, Hide 2, K. (Arcana) 4, K. (Architecture) 5, K. (Dungeoneering) 1, K. (Local) 10, K. (Nature) 1, K. (Nobility) 5, K. (Planes) 10, K. (Religion) 1, Spot 10, Tumble 3||City Ramparts 1/day

    12th|Urban Soul 2|
    +8/+3
    |
    +10
    |
    +6
    |
    +7
    | Bluff 5, Diplomacy 11, Gather Information 8, Hide 2, K. (Arcana) 4, K. (Architecture) 7, K. (Dungeoneering) 1, K. (Local) 10, K. (Nature) 1, K. (Nobility) 5, K. (Planes) 10, K. (Religion) 1, Spot 11, Tumble 3|Practised Spellcaster|Citybred Senses +2

    13th|Urban Soul 3|
    +9/+4
    |
    +10
    |
    +6
    |
    +8
    | Bluff 5, Diplomacy 12, Gather Information 9, Hide 2, K. (Arcana) 4, K. (Architecture) 8, K. (Dungeoneering) 1, K. (Local) 10, K. (Nature) 1, K. (Nobility) 5, K. (Planes) 10, K. (Religion) 1, Spot 13, Tumble 5||Meld Into City

    14th|Urban Soul 4|
    +10/+5
    |
    +11
    |
    +7
    |
    +8
    | Bluff 5, Diplomacy 14, Gather Information 10, Hide 2, K. (Arcana) 4, K. (Architecture) 9, K. (Dungeoneering) 1, K. (Local) 10, K. (Nature) 1, K. (Nobility) 5, K. (Planes) 10, K. (Religion) 1, Spot 14, Tumble 7||See The City

    15th|Urban Soul 5|
    +10/+5
    |
    +11
    |
    +7
    |
    +8
    | Bluff 5, Diplomacy 15, Gather Information 11, Hide 2, K. (Arcana) 4, K. (Architecture) 10, K. (Dungeoneering) 1, K. (Local) 10, K. (Nature) 1, K. (Nobility) 5, K. (Planes) 10, K. (Religion) 1, Spot 16, Tumble 9|Planar Familiar|City Ramparts 2/day

    16th|Urban Soul 6|
    +11/+6/+1
    |
    +12
    |
    +8
    |
    +9
    | Bluff 5, Diplomacy 17, Gather Information 12, Hide 3, K. (Arcana) 4, K. (Architecture) 11, K. (Dungeoneering) 1, K. (Local) 10, K. (Nature) 1, K. (Nobility) 5, K. (Planes) 10, K. (Religion) 1, Spot 17, Tumble 10||Citybred Senses +4, Urban Skill Mastery

    17th|Urban Soul 7|
    +12/+7/+2
    |
    +12
    |
    +8
    |
    +9
    | Bluff 5, Diplomacy 18, Gather Information 13, Hide 3, K. (Arcana) 4, K. (Architecture) 12, K. (Dungeoneering) 1, K. (Local) 10, K. (Nature) 1, K. (Nobility) 5, K. (Planes) 10, K. (Religion) 1, Spot 19, Tumble 12||Hear The City 1/day

    18th|Urban Soul 8|
    +13/+8/+3
    |
    +13
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    | Bluff 5, Diplomacy 20, Gather Information 15, Hide 3, K. (Arcana) 4, K. (Architecture) 14, K. (Dungeoneering) 1, K. (Local) 10, K. (Nature) 1, K. (Nobility) 5, K. (Planes) 10, K. (Religion) 1, Spot 20, Tumble 12|Improved Bind Vestige|Mob Violence

    19th|Urban Soul 9|
    +13/+8/+3
    |
    +13
    |
    +9
    |
    +10
    | Bluff 5, Diplomacy 21, Gather Information 17, Hide 3, K. (Arcana) 4, K. (Architecture) 16, K. (Dungeoneering) 1, K. (Local) 10, K. (Nature) 1, K. (Nobility) 5, K. (Planes) 10, K. (Religion) 1, Spot 22, Tumble 12||City Ramparts 3/day

    20th|Urban Soul 10|
    +14/+9/+4
    |
    +14
    |
    +10
    |
    +10
    | Bluff 5, Diplomacy 23, Gather Information 18, Hide 3, K. (Arcana) 4, K. (Architecture) 19, K. (Dungeoneering) 1, K. (Local) 10, K. (Nature) 1, K. (Nobility) 5, K. (Planes) 10, K. (Religion) 1, Spot 23, Tumble 12||Citybred Senses +6, Hear The City 2/day, City Bond, Intracity Teleport, Urban Renewal[/table]

    Spells
    We all know how versatile Druid spellcasting is; so rather than rehashing it all out again, I might as well link to the Druid Handbook’s spell guide.
    http://www.minmaxboards.com/index.ph...940.0;msg=5874

    Spells per day; Note that this does not include increased Wisdom from level up as it’s left open to choices; add +1 to all spells per day if 20 Wisdom is achieved.
    {table=head]Level|0lvl|1st|2nd|3rd|4th|5th|6th|7th|8th|9th

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

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

    3rd|4|3|2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

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

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

    7th|6|5|4|3|1|-|-|-|-|-

    8th|6|5|4|4|2|-|-|-|-|-

    9th|6|5|5|4|2|1|-|-|-|-

    10th|6|5|5|4|3|2|-|-|-|-

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

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

    13th|6|5|5|4|3|2|-|-|-|-

    14th|6|5|5|4|3|2|-|-|-|-

    15th|6|5|5|4|3|2|-|-|-|-

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

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

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

    19th|6|5|5|4|3|2|-|-|-|-

    20th|6|5|5|4|3|2|-|-|-|-[/table]

    Ability Scores
    Strength; 10
    Dexterity; 12
    Constitution; 14
    Intelligence; 10
    Wisdom; 16
    Charisma; 14

    Increases go to Constitution, Charisma or Wisdom depending on whether it's HP/Fort, Spells/AC/Will or Party Face is needed within the party.

    Items
    None of these are needed per se. These are instead an ideal shopping list; which given the nature of Sigil (and my ability to make Simulacra of individuals I like to make me items for free for TO/Cheese perspectives), I should have easy access to them, rendering difficulty of access to not be a problem.

    - Wands; of various kinds. Guidance of the Avatar I can use (eventually; due to DC22 and only a +2 to the check without augmentation) to gain myself bonuses with regards to checks out of combat, such as Knowledge (Architecture), Gather Information, Disguise on the Mephit when he uses Simulacrum etc. At 18th level with the ability to Bind Karsus, I can treat Wizard spells as if they were on my casting list, giving even wider out of combat utility, such as Eternal Wands from Eberron like Knock, say.
    - Staffs; as a Druid, I have some excellent combat spells to empower a staff. With the ability to bind Karsus I can take Druid and Wizard spells bound into the staff, and still use it in combat, and perhaps as a “Masterwork Tool” for just when I really need all the help I can get when making a Jump (+2 benefit from Tumble, and that’s about it aside from the take 10 by Urban Skill Mastery).
    - Masterwork Tools for all city-based mobility and diplomacy skills, as well as Spot to help with my ability to understand Lips being spoken. Disguise, for my Mephit. Knowledge quite possibly.
    - Wisdom Periapts and Charisma Cloaks aid my most used skills.
    - For the purposes of my Simulacra and Diplomanced followers, some form of item to allow communication over the entire city at speed. (e.g Aspect Mirrors (hopefully, 5 is not the limit), Bracelet of Friends, Sending Stones, some similar themed weapon, or in a pinch, a wand of animal messenger )
    - Pearl's of Power to reuse spell slots on spells for every combat; like Shillelagh, Lion's Charge, etc.
    - Item of Permanent Tongues; considering where I am. (8K).

    Abilities; Assuming 20th is my snap shot, this is a quick overview for those who don't want to read The Iliad the breakdown below.
    In Combat;
    Hitting things; a Staff/Q'Staff with Shillelagh, Spikes, and Entangling Staff combined with Lion's Charge. Alternatively, Bite of the Weretiger (creature).
    Not getting hit; spells like Wind Wall, Barkskin, Halo of Sand, in addition to Dex and Wis to AC. In the event of threat of death, I have the ability to run into a crowd, meld into city, or use Winged Watcher etc. I can avoid AoO's by dint of my ability to Take 10 under stress on tumble checks with a +23; compared to other humans, tumbling at their full speed through area's of AoO is good fun.
    Surviving; Assuming the clause "normal" in the "healing damage at twice normal rate" refers to natural healing, as opposed to magical, then Spontaneous Rejuvenation heals 6*Spell Level, otherwise, 3*Spell Level. Heart of Earth grants 28 Temporary Hit Points 14 hours a day, with the option to discharge that effect for Stoneskin without the need for the components. In addition I can escape combat with good speed (60ft), Crowd Walker, Meld Into City or the use of Aquatic Escape/Winged Watcher dependent on which portal/city I've gone into. If it comes to the worst case scenario, I can always

    Out of Combat;
    Party Face; Maxed Diplomacy, Synergy from K. Nobility and Bluff, +2 from High Charisma (perhaps higher from Items/Leveling), with Naberius, I'm rocking a Swift Action +39 to diplomacy; Hostile to Friendly in the blink of an eye. With some items dedicated to +Diplo (like a Courtiers Obi, from OA; remember - Sigil, go anywhere? and the Guidance of the Avatar), I can fairly easily rock out a +72, rendering everyone helpful (even Hostile ones), and initially helpful ones I can turn into "my creatures"; my spies, militia, crowd to hide in, contacts, etc, ones who will pose for a "perfect recreation" by the Mephit. In addition, I can use Voice of the City to try and talk to individuals although I might not share a language; however I can rock out (I do like that saying) with +14 to speaking, and a +15 to understanding, on a DC20 even without Charisma or Wisdom increased.
    Money-Maker; I can always make a bit of cash on the side; my Mirror Mephit can Simulacrum things to kingdom come; these Simulacra are under his control til the end of days. Although they lack the HD and Skill Levels and number of feats they used to have, they can flood the market with lots of low end goods. Incidentally, this can be used to maximise the profits of my Diplomanced followers, increasing their social standing, and ability as spies etc. Still, you all know how Diplomacy+Leadership-esque style power comes about without relying on a Cohort.
    Scouting; I'm putting out a Spot check of +32 even without a Hawk/Owl Familiar or spells/items like Eyes of the Avoral. I have Clairvoyance for 30minutes a day, which is amplified by a load of clones of my 15-16 HD self also using Clairvoyance (at a lower spot check, admittedly; +18 most likely) to provide good intel on persons of interest; I am able to read lips meaning that I can understand what people are saying. This can eventually be replaced by a permanent Tongues spell/item, but it's there in the event of emergency/need for stealth. My ability in the other scouting skills is not brilliant; Listen and Move Silently have no ranks, but due to decent Ability Scores and the Urban Soul class features, I have +9 to Listen in the City (and I'm always in the city, thanks, little Acorn!), and +11 with the take 10 (Urban Skill Mastery), allowing me to avoid mooks and none dedicated scouts. Hide is at a +4, so not exactly decent, but it's not that relevant with Meld Into Stone At Will. In addition, I can sense by remove; the Clairvoyance network, and the eyes on the ground, combined with a Raven and Mirror Mephit who can speak to me.
    Information Guy; I have 1 Knowledge maxed; Architecture; given Sigil's nature, it makes more sense than geography so that I know where I am, and where my targets/allies are for me to get to. The other Knowledges I have; Local and Planes give me the basic info I need to go up against threats in combat with the right knowledge, while the other Knowledges have the 1 rank to allow trained checks, which out of combat, in combination with a Guidance of the Avatar means I know a few decent things about targets with enough time to research. As I can use Mountain Hammer to bring the roof down as it were, good Architecture knowledge is the best way to locate the building's weak spots to make the best use of traps.

    If there is any job in Sigil I cannot effectively do, please ask away or make aware. I believe I have pretty much all bases covered.

    Sources; non-Core
    Unearthed Arcana; Deadly Hunter Druid
    Races of Destiny; Urban Soul, Urban Soul Substitution Level, Able Learner
    Tome of Battle; Martial Study, Mountain Hammer
    PHB2; Spontaneous Rejuvenation
    Planar Handbook; Resist Planar Might, Planar Familiar, Sigil Information
    Races of Faerun; Southern Magician
    Complete Arcane; Obtain Familiar, Practised Spellcaster
    Tome of Magic; Bind Vestige, Improved Binding
    Expedition to the Demonweb Pits; Mirror Mephits, Sigil information
    Various Spells; Druid Spell book Guide http://www.minmaxboards.com/index.ph...940.0;msg=5874
    Acorn of Far Travel; http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/fw/20040710a
    Guidance of the Avatar; http://www.wizards.com/dnd/article.a...sb/sb20010504a
    Urban Class Features; http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/we/20070228a

    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.

  3. - Top - End - #273
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge In The Playground XLIV

    cont. (minimum length)

    Quote Originally Posted by Nekaph
    Level 1-3;
    Nekaph at this stage was an apprentice to the City Guard of Skuld, the Capital of the Mulhorandi people. He had been accepted by Ceianre, the Chief of the Church of Horus-Re, and trained by Teldartham himself. While not the most military minded of individuals, and his martial skill was not particularly stand out, his ability as a "Jackal", to detect those who would do harm to the city; particularly assassins from Unther, a great naval military power who were long standing enemies of the Mulhorandi people.

    Taking the Urban Companion Feat, he chooses typically a Hawk or an Owl for their flying utility, and bonus to spot; at first level, I gain a +10 to spot, and it's a bit more durable than a normal familiar for a Wizard thanks to my above average Con and it's 3/4 Master's HP clause in the ACF. Alternatively, a Raven, for its ability to speak. Frequently, in splat books, many references are made to birds using the stats for Raven's, despite having their own unique appearance; be worth asking if a more "Mulhorandi native bird" would count. The requirement for a Familiar to be able to speak is less urgent than that of a normal Wizard's Familiar, due to its ability to talk to animals of its own kind, but if that message really needs to be passed on without written materials, then the Raven is the go to guy. Either way, it has fantastic scouting possibilities, as well as thanks to its Speak with Animals at first level, the ability to use an untrained "Gather Information" on its own accord with a flock of birds, trying to get a picture of exactly what they saw. Nobody expects the birds. Alfred Hitchcock would be proud. And even if it does get blasted, it's easy enough to get another one.

    As a typical loner; his fast speed and good scouting abilities often letting him outpace his supporting City Guard, he needs to keep aware of his surroundings; Able Learner gives him easier access to cross-class skills, which combined with the Human bonus skill points gives me 5 ranks each level. His ability to maximise the use of the surroundings, which when coupled with the birds eye view from his empathic link with the familiar giving him instructions (through feelings of anger/happiness, or physically guiding), and his knowledge of architecture lets him utilise buildings and their structural weaknesses to aid him, such as collapsible floors, or with makeshift barricades. His knowledge of the nobility, and how to use their name or influence leads him to getting better use of his favours and social skills. Local knowledge is a given, of course. His equipment should match those tactics early on; aside from his staff, he should be simply be a skill-monkey, aiding with alchemical items and traps (purchased; I don’t have the skills points for Craft Poison or Trapmaking). Track is a nice little aside when combined with Scent; a spell that could see a lot of use tracking down the annoying, slightly trickier Invisible/Disguised customers that the city guard may have to face. Mountain Hammer; there for just when that wall/roof/floor has to come down. Voice of the City; not everyone speaks the same language; being able to try and influence and understand with a decent Charisma and Wisdom is a good plus; it can even be used in a pinch to signal to when silence is of the essence.

    He takes Humans as his Favoured Enemies at 1st level; they can range from Commoners, all the way up to Elminster-esque power, so there's decent scope for potential there. Against these, he uses his speed and wisdom to keep himself alive (+1 Dex, +3 Wis to AC) in combat, while using his quarterstaff to hit and trip and do all sorts of Druid based fun; Shillelagh, eventually leading to Brambles, Spikes, Entangling Staff, etc.

    Spontaneous Rejuvenation was taken because it is a lovely little boost when healing is needed in a pinch. Sacrifice a spell, and gain Fast Healing 3 for an equal number of rounds; it can be an emergency buff to keep a downed character fighting, automatically stabilizing them even if they are unconcious. With Pearls of Power, I can be reasonably effective healbot in battle; although for downtime, you still can't beat a Wand of Lesser Vigor. It will only get more powerful as I increase my spell-level access. With Urban Sense, I get bonuses to Knowledge and social skills; I have less of a need for nature knowledge here, which is why it's traded (ALL the relevant feats are traded out for the Skilled City-Dweller alternatives). WHY NO SUMMONS? Because Sigil. Eventually. However, it does cut down a bit on the length of time your turns take, which makes everyone happy, especially that Fighter who's no longer outclassed by your Animal Companion, Summon and Wild Shape all in the same encounter.

    Crowd Walker; it means that the baddies I'm hunting won't get away; with my Bird up above guiding me onto target through the empathic link, and my faster movement through a group of people, very little can stop me. At 3rd level, my notoriety is getting ahead of me; the ability to avoid any dedicated trackers looking for me in some anti-City Guard attack, or in revenge for the death/capture of the assassins sent by Unther and Thay is very handy. Lay Low at night, and let my bird do a bit of scouting/info gathering. Alternatively, use a Rat to get to another side of the city. Also; the Southern Magician feat; and not a theurge in sight? Whatever for? For the later access to Obtain Familiar of course. Plus, with the useful ability to screw with some counter-speller caster who thinks they've got me sussed.

    Level 4-6;
    Having now transferred to the city of Sigil, Nekaph is a little out of his depth; but he has adapted in true style, becoming adept at warding off Outsider's abilities. His first job is to locate himself an area where he can cultivate an oak tree in utter security, his own little private area. This is to make use of the Acorn of Far Travel; which is something he uses when portal hopping, but that is an aside. He's no longer in Kansas Mulhorand, he's in the bright lights of the big (very big) city; Sigil.

    A few Outsiders make their home here; according to the Planar Handbook, there's over 50,000 Planetouched and 20% "Other"; time to start scratching up on them monster based Knowledge Skills; yes even Nature. He quickly adapts however; being the good little druid he is, and becomes a bit more effective in making saves against Outsiders; he now gains Knowledge (Planes) as a class skill as well; so, in the immortal words of Danzel, pump it up. Why Danzel? I really don't know. Beat's Joe Budden anyday.

    Nice little bump to my AC here for free; and another Favoured Enemy. I have a wide variety here; any of the outsiders according to the campaigns most urgent threat. They like getting up to mischief. Level 6 though is where the fun starts; ANOTHER familiar? Yes please. Another Bird of some sort, or perhaps a Rat. All of the above usages of the Familiar, only doubled up. Thanks to Southern Magician, I have a Master Level equal to my Druid Level; so I have a lovely little guy helping me out. I can also use my Spot check to read lips. With a Hawk/Owl Familiar/Companion, and max Spot Ranks, I have a Spot check of +13 thanks to my Wisdom Score; I can now Read Lips on the roll of a 2 or higher.

    Differences are that he's not as tough, and less useable in general scouting; the Urban Companion can speak to animals of his own kind from 1, the standard one only at 7; at 7, the Urban Companion can speak with animals as the spell. A raven is the best option here by far. It can even use Voice Command on Spell Triggers (As well Wand of Lesser Vigour? Lion’s Charge, etc Combat Utility Spells which I don’t really want to waste actions on if I can help it); although my lack of UMD could be troubling for none Druid Spells.

    However Language difficulty can be an issue; which is where Voice of the City comes in. Although it’s limited to Human, Fey, Giant or Monstrous Humanoid, meaning Outsiders cannot benefit from it; Lesser Planetouched CAN, and if the DM is lenient, ask to allow it to work with normal Planetouched who share a humanoid form (like Aasimar, Tieflings, etc, who are used to the Human way of life, due to their heritage). By Level 10, this means I have a +12 to checks to talk (cha), and +13 to understand (wis), without the use of stat boosters.
    Level 7-10;
    A few more stacking abilities here; Speed and AC boost and Favoured Enemy once more (another logical opponent, depending on demographics.) Swift Tracking pops online here, as does venom immunity to let me make a few poisoned traps, although untrained; so perhaps use a group of like-minded individuals to help me. To aid with some of the costs of creation of poisons, a slight detour. The costs of the refined poisons are fairly expensive, so being able to make my own gives me something to do on nights when I'm laying low (hence being immune to Urban Track) letting my Familiars scout for me.

    At Level 9, I take the ability to Bind a Vestige. It's not exactly a Binder with Improved Binding Dip (in favour of more spells), but you can see what's coming here. Naberius. At this level, I can also choose Amon, Aym, Leraje, and Ronove to get some abilities out of. Each as a few decent benefits that lend well to a good old bind, according to what I need most. Darkvision for scouting from Amon, from Leraje, I can get a Hide Boost (+4 Competence), and from Ronove, Feather Fall. These are superficial benefits, however, compared to Naberius' Silver Tongue (the most useful ability, and one like to get the most use), or his At Will Disguise Self (Scouting in a crowd? What a brilliant idea! Just let me change my face while I walk through the crowd unimpeeded, then double back and observe once more), or Faster Ability Healing. Even the skills can be of use, as can Persuasive Words, but I got it for Silver Tongue and followed shortly by the Disguise Self ability. Lay Low, having changed appearance with Disguise Self? Nobody will know who I am.
    Level 11-14;
    MORE SKILL POINTS. I like these. So now, Nekaph has recieved the blessing of the temple of Urbanus in Sigil, they are protecting the city. Remember that Acorn of Far Travel bonsai I have? Well, it's only gone and got me an Acorn. And where am I? Sigil; The city of doors.. I can use the portals to leave the city, but still use the Acorn to travel and benefit from the city-reliant abilities.

    At 2nd level; within Sigil (or indeed any city) I get the ability to no longer need to Eat, Drink, or Sleep, and heal at twice the normal rate. Not sure really what “normal rate” refers to; I couldn’t find a definition anywhere. However; Fast healing is expressly considered natural healing; just faster. So, whenever I am injured and I use Spontaneous Regeneration to heal, if I understand it correctly, that gives me Fast Healing 6 for a number of rounds equal to the spell level; injured? In a pinch, sacrifice a 5th level spell slot, and off I trot back up 30HP. Thanks to the Acorn of Far Travel, I can do this anywhere. As for drinking; well Sigil’s water is 10 times the Material Plane’s price; so why bother paying for it at all?

    The annoying damage over time effect for long distance traveling away from cities is lost (even if normal rest will heal the ability damage) thanks to the Acorn of Far Travel.

    My senses now start to increase as well, starting of slow (+23 Spot checks by this stage, however; Bird/Wis/Ranks/Senses), but gradually increasing to the ability of epic usages, by 20th, having the ability to pinpoint Invisible foes, or notice the present of Unmoving, Invisible Undead.

    Meld into City; getting chased? Turn a corner, get out of sight, meld into stone, congrats, you’re hidden! Can be very useful to help set up ambushes; such as running into a dead end filled with traps, letting the enemy run past you, get to the dead end, and be confused as to where you are, before you trigger the traps. Lots of dead enemies. Meld Into Stone is a lovely little escape route. Enemies who are not aware of the effect might even go looking on the other side of the wall/floor/ceiling; and I can use my Familiar’s to give me the all clear as to when I can exit the stone safely. At 14, I can “See the City”, which allows me to “I spy” while in the wall. While it is unclear if I can actually pass through walls using Meld Into City in such a manner (Meld Into Stone, then voluntarily exit the stone on the opposite facing; assuming it’s near enough for me to touch it; such as a partition wall no more than 3ft thick.), as some sort of slow Earth Glide, at 20th, I get At Will Greater Teleport; so I can meld into stone, then teleport anywhere in the city over the course of 2 turns, rendering it a moot point. That escape may be on the other side of the wall, or other side of the city.

    See The City; can be used while I’m in the stone, but it can also be used as a long range sensor, perhaps targeting known “badmen”. I can also use it to Read Lips, to get an idea of exactly what they’re planning. As it’s not limited to the normal range, however, I can target it all over the city. LOVELY. Very handy to have while laying low, being immune to Urban Tracking, while having changed my appearance so no-one knows who I am, using my familiars to scout for me (talking to other animals to gather information for me to act on it). After all, I don’t need to sleep, eat or drink; so it’s a simple matter to stay up all night “seeing what’s on the box”.
    Level 15-17
    So Planar Familiar comes online now; thanks once more to Southern Magician. I can summon a mephit. So I choose a Mirror Mephit. A Mirror Mephit is lovely. It has this wonderful ability called "At Will Mirror Image"; with 1d4+1 mirror images. Keeps it alive in the big bad world. My favourite part about it though? 1/day Simulacrum at CL8. Sure, no Simulcrum'ing the 40HD Great Wyrm Demon Lord I just diplomanced a scale from. But what's a better source of information than a well paid tout? A tout who seems to have met with an accident but replaced with an utterly loyal Simulacrum who is able to near enough seemlessly blend in? Yes please. Although I have no ranks in disguise (my Disguise Self via Naberius and Bluff Synergy combined with a decent charisma and likely a few items buffing them meaning it’s mostly adequate even without ranks); my Mephit does have 8. Loading up on a few Disguise boosters for the Mephit is a decent plan here if I intend him to get anywhere near; perhaps using my Guidance of the Avatar Wand for when I really need to keep them close to the mark.

    I can even clone myself; although how that reacts with regards to my feats, I don't know. If I can choose, it's likely losing the familiars is going to be the best way to go; (as a 15-16HD Human, I have 1 Racial and 6 HD based feats; resulting in 3 lost feats; Southern Magician, Obtain and Planar Familiar I would choose to have the Simulcra remove. How do I keep myself alive? I kill myself. Or rather, my clone. How else to keep them dogs off my back? The best bits? I can make it look real, but be in no real danger, as I can have my Mephit instruct him to keep me alive, but to look real enough to the onlookers. Of course; this is after I've bound Naberius's Disguise Self so I look nothing like I actually do. Perhaps make a few more Simulacra of myself, and either keep them as watchers, or use them as "the batman, baby", to hit them all over. My own personal army.

    At 15th, I get City Ramparts 2/day; thanks to the big population, I have at least 15 rounds of +4 Con, +2 Will, DR5/Adamantine, twice a day. Thanks to the Acorn; ANYWHERE. Not just in the city.

    Urban Soul 6 gets me better senses for locating my targets (seriously; between a bird urban companion, wisdom score, skill ranks, and this ability, I’m at around +29 Spot ANYWHERE (thanks to the Acorn of Far Travel being from my tree within the city). By 20th level, this is around +35 without any items; I should be pretty much able to read any lips.

    Urban Skill Mastery is very nice; taking 10 on Tumble Checks and Move Silently can be useful. Hear the City is where this is getting good. I get 7 minutes a day of being able to interrogate the stones as to actually what went on around them. Not much can now escape Nekaph (between his familiars/scouts/touts/informers, fast movement speed and good skills); and that which does, he can use his Spell-likes and abilities to aid in their location. At 17, I can no longer be cloned by Simulacrum, but hey, I’ve got a ton of Half-HD goofs who will follow my Mirror Mephit Familiar implicitly (who’ll tell them what I tell him) with scouting abilities of a similar scale, using their Clairvoyance’s to help with my city-wide CCTV footage and with a lot of birds (Ravens) flying around giving notes to the city officers/chatting up the local fauna in the event of gaining some useful local knowledge.
    Level 18-19
    Okay, so Mob Violence has come online, giving me 3d6 points of damage for 10 rounds a day, split as I so choose. Combined with a Wand of Lion’s Charge from my familiar for Pounce, and my Favoured Enemy Bonus, each Pounce gains me +9d6+18 damage. Not exactly an ubercharger, but decent; averaging out at around 50 extra damage per round against humanoids (44 versus second Favoured Enemy, 38 versus third, 32 versus non favoured enemies), provided all the attacks hit, of course.

    As a feat, I took Improved Bind Vestige, for the ability to bind up to 3rd level vestiges, even though it is only 1 ability gained. Malphas gives my yet another scouting option with Bird’s Eye Viewing, Dahlver-Nar’s Wisdom damaging/draining immunity, Natural Armour or Shield Self, Andromalius’ Locate Item (in the event of theft), or his See the Unseen, while the Sneak Attack is a helpful damage boost in addition to Mob Violence, Focalor’s Aura of Sadness to help with my AC, or the quite spectacular Lightning Bolt as a ranged attack, Haagenti’s weapon proficiency in the event of needing it, Karsus’s Senses, and Karsus’s Will if I ever get a Wizard’s staff. Malphas’ secondary ability can give me Invisibility for 5 rounds every 5 rounds (after the Invisibility has disabled); it’s secondary because it’s too late in the day and most people have some form of see Invisibility, while Disguise Self is a little bit harder to defeat. Sudden Strike is useless compared to the Sneak Attack of Andromalius; if I needed the damage boost, it would come from Sneak attack. In the need of combat; Paimon’s Dance of Death or Whirlwind Attack can be useful. If I’m in the need of armour, Savnok can call me some Masterwork Full Plate, but a) I’m not proficient, and b) I lose my Wis to AC from Deadly Hunter Druid, as well as my Speed boost AND Druid casting (as the Full Plate is not listed as being made from Skins/Wood etc).

    So, clearly, Naberius still has the benefit of being the best utility bind, however the ability to, with a minute’s notice, bind a vestige that’s got a helpful trick (even if it is only just the one ability) once a day can be very, very nice; Karsus’ Spell Trigger can be useful; Sigil has an amazing magical item stock, as well as large number of casters (presumably) who can craft items; getting the Scrolls or Staffs or Wands to use can be very nice to use. Thanks to Simulacrum, I’m limited to 8HD monster forms unless I target those who are my true supporters, but Polymorph can get me some nice little buffs. Just a shame that my Familiar doesn’t count as having my HD for the purposes of being targeted by spells, or else I’d have cracking fun. And I WILL be able to get my items that I need; it’s a simple matter of cloning them.

    At 19th, City Ramparts becomes a 3/day, which is grand total of 45 rounds of lovely little stat increases a day. Just to reiterate; ANYWHERE.
    Level 20
    Yes, yes, I took the Substitution Level. Remember where I am? Sigil? Well there was this annoying little clause I found in the Planar Handbook.

    Furthermore, there’s no way around the portals, no special back door to get into or out of the Cage. You can’t call or summon creatures into or out of Sigil (even with a gate spell), nor can you use plane shift to get in or out. You can’t use astral projection, though, strangely enough, the various teleportation spells work just fine within Sigil itself. Since the city resides on the Outer Planes, no connection to the Ethereal Plane exists. Even the deities themselves can’t (or don’t want to) overcome these restrictions.
    So, you can see why no Summons. Anyhow, check the emphasised statement (my own). Look at the Intracity Teleport. At will, yada yada, greater teleport, full round, yada yada, BOTH THE ORIGIN AND DESTINATION. MUST BE WITHIN YOUR CITY.

    So, this little tree I have been watering...

    As long as you carry the acorn (and as long as the acorn is not stored in an extradimensional space like a bag of holding), you are considered to be standing under that oak tree's canopy (and thus within an area of forested terrain).
    Combined with Practised Spellcaster, I am now Yippee-kay-yay-ing around the Multiverse for two whole weeks solid with the ability to as a full round action, to get out of jail free, and teleport instantly back to anywhere within the city. Of course, that only serves as a get-away, I can't teleport out of Sigil with it. Still, adventuring around everywhere with access to everywhere (for the right price/sneaky bird) with 2 weeks of playtime is always going to be fun. Might as well and see what shenanigans I can get up to with the Acorn. Something to do with Mystrals? Collar of Umbral Metamorphosis for permanent Hide in Plain Sight?

    On top of that, I have more utility features; to help with my abilities in using the local environment as a weapon, I gain “Urban Renewal”; Disintegrating objects isn’t just a handy way of removing garbage (although it can be helpful to remove the dead body I’ve just killed without leaving a trace; although “Laying low”, Disguise Self and Meld Into Stone helps a lot on that side. Stone Shape, again, very handy to make a quick exit window and if there’s enough time, to close the whole in the wall I’ve just made, while Wall of Stone can stop people pursuing me, and block of those I am pursuing; which with my bird and informer army, and knowledge of the city (assuming Architecture here, due to the nature of Sigil; Geography is more about the lands, rather than specific locations), I can quickly corral them off, forcing them into alleyways without portals; making them an “easy” catch; after all there is a limited ceiling in Sigil; and with the informers I have gained from Simulacrum on the Mirror Mephit, combined with See/Hear The City (incidentally, now 2/day on the latter), I am able to quickly locate my target, and then teleport to them. Thanks to “See the City” as well, I can in the process of seeing something going on with known “crims”, teleport into the middle of them, to deal with the situation.

    My Citybred senses have the lovely little ability to (with a little optimization) Pinpoint an Invisible Creature (needs to get +5 to the check from somewhere; his Spot Check is a lovely +35 by this stage; and that’s without improving his Wisdom score or Spot Check by levelling, items etc).

    By the way, I’m now Immortal. ANYWHERE.

    Adaptations
    If Alternate Class Feature Chaining is on the table, or the DM is feeling generous, ask if you can use the Cityscape Web Enhancement to trade the "Track (as Ranger)" gained from the Druid ACF to Urban Tracking, and Arcane Hunter to gain benefits against Spellcasting Enemies (rearranging Skills as required).

    If Flaws are allowed, perhaps ones which increase his ability to scout effectively up-close would be a boon; such as Darkstalker could help, while Knowledge Devotion offsets my mediocre BAB (swapping Bind Vestige to 1st level). However, none of these are needed; he Scouts via remote. In combat I have Druid 10 Casting at Caster Level 14; which is enough for many threats and with decent duration on self-buffs.

    An alternative build would be Druid 8/Binder 1/Druid +1/Urban Soul 10, going for Improved Binding. However, the increased flexibility of the Binder I felt was not worth it, when I was primarily taking the Bind Vestige for Naberius, and his Silver Tongue or Disguise Self, and they don’t necessarily need to be on at the same time. Thanks to my features, I can pick and choose when and where I want to fight.

    If the DM rules that The Cant of Sigil is a Language that must be learned, then taking ranks in it is a must, due to the nature of the character running around in all the seedy parts of the city, and needing to make use of the Gather Information but not do so conspicuously.

    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 - #274
    Troll in the Playground
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    Apr 2011
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    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge In The Playground XLIV

    He's got friends on the other side.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaladin
    Kaladin
    Human Cloistered Cleric 4 / Warlock 1 / Eldritch Disciple 5 / Urban Soul 10

    When he was young Kaladin embraced the spirit of the city. Whilst most fey are bound to the life force of ancient forests, plains or even oceans: the city of Dalathrim is so old, and so teeming with life, the it has acquire it's own Spirit of the Land. This spirit is most unusually benign, which could help to expain the longevity of Dalathrim.

    Kaladin learned much from the many varied inhabitants of Dalathrim in his youth, and tried his hand at a wide variety of jobs before coming upon his true vocation.

    Kaladin is a Cloistered Cleric of Urbanus. Unlike other religions, his Cloister is the city itself which he defends against malign influences. The raw life energy of the spirit of the city also flows through him, giving him powers which others might mistake for infernal. The spiritual power of the city makes him quite intimidating and he can harness this to instil a sense of fear into wrongdoers.

    His diverse studies lead to his discovery of how to merge the divine power of urbanus and the chaotic energies the city itself.

    Finally he works out how to tap into the energy of the spirit of the city in further ways, surely Urbanus must approve.



    Spoiler
    Show
    Alignment CG

    {table=head]|
    Str|8
    Dex|14
    Con|12
    Int|12
    Wis|13
    Cha|17
    [/table]

    Bump Wis once at 4th, then Cha for all of the rest


    Spoiler
    Show

    {table=head]Level|Class|BAB|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Skills|Feats|Class Features
    1st|Cloistered Cleric 1|+0|+2|+0|+2|Concentration[4+1], Knowledge(religion)[4+1], Knowledge(the planes)[4+1], Knowledge (architecture and engineering)[4+1], Knowledge (local)[4+1], Gather Information[4+5], Spellcraft[4+1], Intimidate[+5], Spot[2+1], Search[2+1], Listen[+1]|Nymph's Kiss, Jack of all trades|Spontaneous Casting ACF, Knowledge and City Domains, Knowledge Devotion, Turn undead, Lore
    2nd|Warlock 1|+0|+0|+0|+2|Concentration[4+1], Knowledge(religion)[4+1], Knowledge(the planes)[4+1], Knowledge (architecture and engineering)[4+1], Knowledge (local)[4+1], Gather Information[4+5], Spellcraft[4+1], Intimidate[5+5], Spot[2+1], Search[2+1], Listen[0+1]||Eldritch blast 1d6, Frightful Blast
    3rd|Cloistered Cleric 2|+1|+3|+0|+5|Concentration[6+1], Knowledge(religion)[6+1], Knowledge(the planes)[4+1], Knowledge (architecture and engineering)[6+1], Knowledge (local)[6+1], Gather Information[5+7], Spellcraft[4+1], Intimidate[5+5], Spot[2+1], Search[2+1], Listen[0+1]|Combat Reflexes|
    4th|Cloistered Cleric 3|+1|+3|+1|+5|Concentration[7+1], Knowledge(religion)[7+1], Knowledge(the planes)[4+1], Knowledge (architecture and engineering)[7+1], Knowledge (local)[7+1], Gather Information[6+8], Spellcraft[4+1], Intimidate[7+6], Spot[2+1], Search[2+1], Listen[0+1]||
    5th|Cloistered Cleric 4|+2|+4|+1|+6|Concentration[8+1], Knowledge(religion)[8+1], Knowledge(the planes)[4+1], Knowledge (architecture and engineering)[8+1], Knowledge (local)[8+1], Gather Information[7+8], Spellcraft[4+1], Intimidate[8+6], Spot[3+2], Search[2+1], Listen[0+2]||
    6th|Eldritch Disciple 1|+2|+6|+1|+8|Concentration[9+1], Knowledge(religion)[8+1], Knowledge(the planes)[4+1], Knowledge (architecture and engineering)[9+1], Knowledge (local)[9+1], Gather Information[7+8], Spellcraft[4+1], Intimidate[9+6], Spot[3+2], Search[2+1], Listen[0+2]|Imperious Command|Healing Blast, Turn undead, Spiderwalk
    7th|Eldritch Disciple 2|+3|+7|+1|+9|Concentration[10+1], Knowledge(religion)[8+1], Knowledge(the planes)[4+1], Knowledge (architecture and engineering)[9+1], Knowledge (local)[10+1], Gather Information[9+8], Spellcraft[4+1], Intimidate[10+6], Spot[3+2], Search[2+1], Listen0+2]||Eldritch blast 2d6
    8th|Eldritch Disciple 3|+4|+7|+2|+9|Concentration[11+1], Knowledge(religion)[8+1], Knowledge(the planes)[4+1], Knowledge (architecture and engineering)[9+1], Knowledge (local)[11+1], Gather Information[11+8], Spellcraft[4+1], Intimidate[11+6], Spot[3+2], Search[2+1], Listen0+2]||
    9th|Eldritch Disciple 4|+5|+8|+2|+10|Concentration[12+1], Knowledge(religion)[8+1], Knowledge(the planes)[4+1], Knowledge (architecture and engineering)[9+1], Knowledge (local)[12+1], Gather Information[11+8], Spellcraft[4+1], Intimidate[12+6], Spot[3+2], Search[3+1], Listen[0+2]|Practised Spellcaster|Protective Aura, Eldritch Glaive, Eldritch blast 3d6
    10th|Eldritch Disciple 4|+5|+4|+1|+4|Concentration[13+1], Knowledge(religion)[8+1], Knowledge(the planes)[4+1], Knowledge (architecture and engineering)[9+1], Knowledge (local)[13+1], Gather Information[13+8], Spellcraft[4+1], Intimidate[13+6], Spot[3+2], Search[4+1], Listen[0+2]||Eldritch spellweave, Flee the Scene
    11th|Urban Soul|+5|+10|+4|+10|Concentration[14+1], Knowledge(religion)[8+1], Knowledge(the planes)[4+1], Knowledge (architecture and engineering)[9+1], Knowledge (local)[14+1], Gather Information[14+8], Spellcraft[4+1], Intimidate[14+6], Spot[5+2], Search[6+1], Listen[0+2]||City ramparts 1/day, urban sustenance
    12th|Urban Soul|+5|+11|+5|+10|Concentration[15+1], Knowledge(religion)[8+1], Knowledge(the planes)[4+1], Knowledge (architecture and engineering)[9+1], Knowledge (local)[15+1], Gather Information[15+8], Spellcraft[4+1], Intimidate[15+6], Spot[7+4], Search[8+3], Listen[0+4]|Extra Invocation (See the Unseen)|Citybred senses +2
    13th|Urban Soul|+6|+11|+5|+11|Concentration[16+1], Knowledge(religion)[8+1], Knowledge(the planes)[4+1], Knowledge (architecture and engineering)[9+1], Knowledge (local)[16+1], Gather Information[16+8], Spellcraft[4+1], Intimidate[16+6], Spot[9+4], Search[10+3], Listen[0+4]||Meld into city
    14th|Urban Soul|+6|+12|+6|+11|Concentration[17+1], Knowledge(religion)[8+1], Knowledge(the planes)[4+1], Knowledge (architecture and engineering)[9+1], Knowledge (local)[17+1], Gather Information[17+8], Spellcraft[4+1], Intimidate[17+6], Spot[11+4], Search[12+3] ,Listen[0+4]||See the city
    15th|Urban Soul|+6|+12|+6|+11|Concentration[17+1], Knowledge(religion)[8+1], Knowledge(the planes)[4+1], Knowledge (architecture and engineering)[11+1], Knowledge (local)[18+1], Gather Information[18+8], Spellcraft[4+1], Intimidate[18+6], Spot[13+4], Search[14+3], Listen[0+4], Jump[0+5], Tumble[0+8], Balance[0+8]|Extra Invocation (Leaps and Bounds)|City ramparts 2/day
    16th|Urban Soul|+7|+13|+7|+12|Concentration[17+1], Knowledge(religion)[8+1], Knowledge(the planes)[4+1], Knowledge (architecture and engineering)[13+1], Knowledge (local)[19+1], Gather Information[19+9], Spellcraft[4+1], Intimidate[19+7], Spot[15+6], Search[16+5], Listen[0+6],Jump*[0+5],Tumble*[0+8],Balance*[0+8],* Urban skill mastery||Citybred senses +4, Urban skill mastery
    17th|Urban Soul|+7|+13|+7|+12|Concentration[17+1],Knowledge(religion)[8+1],Knowledge(the planes)[4+1], Knowledge (architecture and engineering)[15+1], Knowledge (local)[20+1], Gather Information[20+9], Spellcraft[4+1], Intimidate[20+7], Spot[17+6], Search[18+5], Listen[0+6], Jump*[0+5], Tumble*[0+8], Balance*[0+8],* Urban skill mastery||Hear the city 1/day
    18th|Urban Soul|+7|+14|+8|+12|Concentration[17+1], Knowledge(religion)[8+1], Knowledge(the planes)[4+1], Knowledge (architecture and engineering)[17+1], Knowledge (local)[21+1], Gather Information[21+9], Spellcraft[4+1], Intimidate[21+13], Spot[19+6], Search[20+5], Listen[0+6], Jump*[0+5], Tumble*[0+8], Balance*[0+8],* Urban skill mastery, Bluff(0+13), Diplomacy(0+13)|Extra Invocation (Beguiling Influence)|Mob violence
    19th|Urban Soul|+8|+14|+8|+13|Concentration[17+1],Knowledge(religion)[8+1],Knowledge(the planes)[4+1], Knowledge (architecture and engineering)[19+1], Knowledge (local)[22+1], Gather Information[22+9], Spellcraft[4+1], Intimidate[22+13], Spot[21+6], Search[22+5], Listen[0+6], Jump*[0+5], Tumble*[0+8], Balance*[0+8],* Urban skill mastery, Bluff(0+13), Diplomacy(0+13)||City ramparts 3/day
    20th|Urban Soul|+8|+15|+9|+13|Concentration[17+1], Knowledge(religion)[8+1], Knowledge(the planes)[4+1], Knowledge (architecture and engineering)[22+1], Knowledge (local)[23+1], Gather Information[23+9], Spellcraft[4+1], Intimidate[23+13], Spot[23+8], Search[23+7], Listen[0+8], Jump*[0+5], Tumble*[0+8], Balance*[0+8],* Urban skill mastery, Bluff(0+13), Diplomacy(0+13)||Citybred senses +6, Hear the city 2/day, City bond, Intracity teleport, Urban renewal
    [/table]


    Level 5
    Spoiler
    Show

    Kaladin is a Cloistered Cleric of Urbanus.

    His domains add Gather Information and all Knowledge skills to his cleric class list. He also takes Knowledge Devotion instead of a third domain. Humanoids are very common in cities and are covered by Knowledge(Local), he also has some Knowledge(Religion) and Knowledge(the Planes).

    He uses the Spontaneous Cleric ACF to keep his focus tight and to give more tactical options.

    His relationship with the Spirit of the City gives him more skill points, +2 on Cha based skills and +1 on all saves against Spells.

    This is a multi-threat build which starts in Tier 2 and ends in Tier 3.

    I find it odd that Urbanus doesn't get the planning domain. If he did, then Kaladin could have gone for DMM persist dropping various other feats to achieve this. This would use up his turning uses, which he does have other options for.

    Kaladin's early role will be as a healer, though once he has taken 2nd level he will be able to use what will become his signature attack: Fear debuffs. Divine Favour provides a small (+1/+1) boost here. A BAB of 2 is quite low, but since he is only making Touch attacks this should matter less. At 3rd level he takes Combat Reflexes which should allow for the occasional extra attack, his dex would need buffing for this to become truly useful though. From 3rd level he can use City Lights for a further debuff, which would be a spooky way to signal an attack.

    With Jack of all trades and Guidance of the Avatar he can be an occasional, though exceptional, skill monkey. He can achieve stealth by using this trick with Disguise or even Hide rolls.

    Although he will never have Deceive Item, Jack of all trades and Guidance of the Avatar means that he won't ever need that; he can UMD at +20 almost any time. Obviously another Warlock would be able to UMD more often, but Kaladin can do it when required. He can also use this trick for opening locks; Finding and Removing traps will come shortly.

    With Detect Thoughts he is starting to develop another of his roles — that of remote sensing.

    His Lore ability tops out at +5

    By 5th level, in addition to your domain spells, he will know three first level spells, and one second.

    These should probably look something like this:

    {table=head]1st level|2nd level
    Rooftop Strider|City Lights
    Detect Secret Doors|Detect Thoughts
    Divine Favour|Guidance of the Avatar
    Lesser vigour|
    Comprehend Languages|
    [/table]


    Level 10
    Spoiler
    Show

    Kaladin's next career move is into Eldritch Disciple.

    He takes the Skilled City-Dweller ACF from Cityscape on Eldritch Disciple to make Knowledge(Local) a class skill, instead of Knowledge(nature).

    Find Traps allows him to fill the trap monkey role; especially with Guidance of the Avatar and Divine Insight available, should they be necessary. Guidance of the Avatar and Divine Insight can stack for +35 with Jack of all trades for any other skill challenge.

    His array of divination spells allow him to do scry and die in a number of ways. With Flee the Scene he can even do short range bamfs, albeit self only.

    Divine Favour is now adding +3/+3, with Divine Power setting his BAB to 10 as well as it's other benefits such as increasing his strength. This strength increase obviates the need for Weapon Finesse though it does not increase damage.

    Knight's Move will enable more full attacks.

    Eldritch Glaive is useful only when he has access to Divine Power, since the resultant BAB will enable multiple attacks which should trigger multiple saves against Frightful Blast. Frightful Blast has no effect if the target is already shaken so that should be used first; he can then use Imperious Command with his high Intimidate skill and if both are successful then the debuff should escalate to Frightened, after the one round of cowering. By RAW Frightful Blast should stack against targets which are cowering due to Imperious Command, but this is a less reliable tactic. He could even stack Guidance of the Avatar and/or Divine Insight with the intimidate check for Imperious Command.

    His damage output is modest at 3d6 (+3 for Divine Favour, plus any bonus from Knowledge Devotion) but he has reach and can debuff from the second line. Given his BAB, Divine Power is an obligatory buff before melee.

    His healer role is slacking a little though the Healing Blast essence should help here. With Eldritch Glaive you should be able to get off two such blasts, and another couple if you can persuade your friends to provoke an AoOs — possibly by standing up again. Obviously you can also use it at range, which is also useful. Well do you have a better use for your turning attempts ? Oh I guess there is Protective Aura too: this creates a magic circle against evil which might be useful, on occasion. Any additional healing options would have to be wanded.

    I can't see too much use for Eldritch spellweave, but this is always tricky to find a good use for without greater essences and more offensive spells. He can Stack Frightful Blast on City Lights for a double debuff to open an attack; though the resultant Shock and Awe, well the Blindness part, only last for 1 round; though following this with Imperious Command could be hilarious. It should be possible to stack Healing Blast on a self buff, but 3d6 is hardly amazing, and he could beat himself up with his Glaive for more effect, albeit at the cost of an action.

    Spiderwalk gives him Spiderclimb at will, which should make up a little for his lack of flight; there are many tall buildings in the city. He is immune to Web spells also, which can be handy.

    Kaladin has one Lesser Invocation, which means that he qualifies, in future, for the Extra Invocation feat.

    There were a number of options for this one Lesser Invocation: Fell Flight is obviously good, Walk Unseen would give him unlimited invisibility and Beshadowed Blast would be another debuff. The ability to Dimension Door short distances is useful in many more situations however.

    His spells Known should probably look something like this.

    {table=head]1st level|2nd level|3rd level|4th level
    Rooftop Strider|City Lights|Winding Alleys|Commune with City
    Detect Secret Doors|Detect Thoughts|Clairaudience/Clairvoyance|Divination
    Divine Favour|Divine Insight|Knight's Move|Divine Power
    Lesser vigour|Find Traps|Tongues*
    Comprehend Languages|Guidance of the Avatar
    *Identify
    Obscuring Mist
    [/table]

    *Cloistered Cleric spell list. Tongues is a level 3 spell for Cloistered Clerics.

    He also knows 8 Orisons, but I haven't bothered specifying these.



    Level 15
    Spoiler
    Show

    Although more caster levels are always good, Kaladin has all that he needs from them.

    Two more levels of Eldritch Disciple for True Seeing, Righteous Might and another Lesser invocation are very tempting; but Urban Soul has much to offer. I cannot imagine any character could meet the fluff requirement of the SI better than a cleric of Urbanus.

    City ramparts increases Con by 4, Adds DR 5/Adamantine and +2 on Will saves. As a melee character this will help enormously.

    Urban Sustenance is pretty meh, though it could be useful on long stakeouts. Being in the sticks sucks though, well nothing new here as far as Kaladin is concerned.

    He uses Extra Invocation to obtain See the Unseen which gives him See Invisible and Darkvision, these are always very useful in the city.

    Citybred senses help with his search and spot, which are becoming quite useful now. These work through Clairvoyance also.

    Meld into city is usable at will: stealth at last. Whilst melding Kaladin can use Detect Thoughts and Clairvoyance to maintain a stakeout. He can also use this to bug out, heal up and also buff.

    Kaladin has had Clairvoyance for a while; whilst this is already a long range spell See the city extends this to cover the whole city. This is a weaker form of Clairvoyance though due to lower CL and lack of sound. He does get three more uses per day however, which frees up some spell slots.

    Extra Invocation(Leaps and Bounds) pumps three skills Kaladin has neglected, though Rooftop Strider has offered a small buff here since 1st level. This feat is really a prep for urban skill mastery, which comes next level.

    At this stage Kaladin can hide out anywhere and he should know almost everything which is happening in the city.


    His buffs give him BAB 15, high Strength, high con, DR 5 and a further +4/+4 since his CL is now 12.


    Level 20
    Spoiler
    Show

    Urban skill mastery means he can always get an 15 on Jump as well as 18 on Tumble and Balance. Whilst this is a little late it does have the occasional use. Normally Tumble can't be used untrained, but Jack of all Trades allows him to always hit the benchmark of 15 giving him another option in melee. With Spiderwalk and Flee the Scene; use of Jump and Balance is even more situational than normal, but should he have to make any such checks he will make them more easily. Skill mastery on climb is obsolete because of Spiderwalk, and he rarely uses Move Silently preferring to Dimension Door.

    Hear the city adds to his divination repertoire with a unique power. More information is always a good thing.

    Taking Beguiling Influence adds a further untyped +6 bonus to Bluff, Diplomacy and Intimidate. This gives him +36 on Intimidate, which he could easily buff up to +73. Bluff and Diplomacy can be similarly buffed up to +50.

    Mob Violence: more damage is always helpful, especially since we should be getting 4 attacks per round now. It's a shame this didn't come earlier.

    Kaladin takes the City Bonded ACF at 20th.

    City Bond means that he will live forever, a perpetual guardian of the city.

    Intracity Teleport is a nice upgrade to Flee the Scene. Because it's a full round action there are times when Flee the Scene will still be useful, but overall this is an improvement; he can even take passengers.

    Urban Renewal gives you a few more options, but there are no special uses for these SLAs. Kaladin's extremely high Knowledge (Architecture and Engineering) should help him use these to maximum effect though.

    Overall Kaladin should know almost everything of import which happens in the city, and what he doesn't know cannot be hidden from him for long. He is an excellent skill-monkey and a reasonable threat in combat, provided that he has time to buff. He is hard to surprise with a spot of 29 and can escape almost any dangerous situation. He can take care of traps and locks, is a minor healer and can use any skill at +37 should the need arise.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    7th|5|5|4|2|-|-|-|-|-|-

    8th|5|5|5|3|-|-|-|-|-|-

    9th|6|6|5|3|2|-|-|-|-|-

    10th|6|6|5|4|3|-|-|-|-|-

    11th|6|6|5|4|3|-|-|-|-|-

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

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

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

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

    16th|6|6|5|4|3|-|-|-|-|-

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

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

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

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

    Sources
    Spoiler
    Show

    Deities
    Urbanus: Races of Destiny p18

    Classes
    Cloistered Cleric: UA, SRD
    Warlock: Complete Arcane
    Eldritch Disciple: Complete Divine
    Urban Soul: Races of Destiny p141

    ACFs
    Skilled City-Dweller from Cityscape, available online
    Spontaneous Casting: UA, SRD

    Domains
    Knowledge: PH, SRD
    City: Races of Destiny 162-163
    Knowledge Devotion instead of a third domain: Complete Champion

    Feats
    Combat Reflexes: PH, SRD
    Imperious Command: Drow of the Underdark, p50
    Nymph's Kiss: Book of Exalted Deeds p44
    Extra Invocation, Practised Spellcaster: Complete Arcane
    Jack of all trades: Complete Adventurer p110

    Invocations
    Eldritch Glaive: Dragon Magic
    Beguiling Influence: Complete Arcane
    Eldritch spellweave: Eldritch Disciple class feature: Complete Divine
    Flee the Scene: Complete Arcane
    Frightful Blast: Complete Arcane
    Healing Blast: Eldritch Disciple class feature: Complete Divine
    Leaps and Bounds: Complete Arcane
    Protective Aura: Eldritch Disciple class feature: Complete Divine
    See the Unseen: Complete Arcane
    Spiderwalk: Complete Arcane

    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.

  5. - Top - End - #275
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge In The Playground XLIV

    He's here to clean House.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Custodian

    The Custodian
    Changeling Warblade 3/Rogue 3/Warshaper 4/Urban Soul 10

    Background
    Spoiler
    Show
    The Piper's Rest common room was a hub of activity that evening, as usual. Only a few eyes turned when the young, ashen faced man stumbled through the door and sat numbly down at the bar. He mumbled out a drink order to the bartender, and then sat there, staring at the amber liquid in his glass.

    "Tell me lad, what troubles ye?" The old man's voice startled him out of his shock and he turned wary, fear filled eyes to the stranger that addressed him. The man was disheveled, his clothing and unkempt hair and beard almost gave him the appearance of a vagrant, though he did not seem out of place in the tavern.

    "I ... I .." the young man stammered a moment before leaning in close to the old man and whispering, "I seen him! I seen The Custodian!" The lad visibly shook and took a sip of his drink. "Me and the boys was just out for some fun. We was just giving this lady down by the docks a bit of a scare. Colin, he takes her purse and is holding it up outta her reach, and she's jumping at it and asking fer it back. She seemed like a nice lady, and we didn't mean no harm, so I tell Colin to let her have it back. But he won't give it back. He keeps dancing away from her and teasing. I was about to try and get it from him, when ... something yanks him around the corner. And then he ... he screams." The young man shuddered at the memory. "A couple of the lads run up to help, and this ... thing starts knocking them about. Pelor help me, but I ran." He downed the contents of his glass to calm his shaking hands.

    "I hear tell he was once a ne'er-do-well like you." The old man nodded, "Though he got lucky, and was taken in by a well to do merchant family. They say his life was pretty good, up until they sent him off to a prestigious fighting academy. While he was away, his whole family was killed in a raid on his home city. They say he that when he came home, he fell back to his ne'er do well ways, and hunted down the brigands who raided his city. He stalked 'em one by one, sending them screaming into the night before he hunted them down." The old man's face darkened and he got quiet. He lit his pipe and drew the smoke in deep.

    The young man, fixated on the stranger's story, asked, "What did he do then?"

    The old man let out a puff of smoke, "Well, that's where the rumors get sketchy. Some say he started his own band of raiders and plagued the countryside. Others claim he returned to his studies. But they all agree that eventually, he got a personal visit from Urbanus, and he changed his ways." The old man closed his eyes and blew a couple of smoke rings. "And now, he don't take kindly to brigands, thieves, or ne'er-do-wells looking for trouble." He opened his eyes and glanced at the lad, "It don't much surprise me that ye saw him, and I think ye'd do well to find that young lady and apologize to her before he catches up with ye." The old man's gaze shifted to the entrance and he whispered, "Before it's too late."

    The young man's eyes went wide with fear, and his head snapped quickly to the door. But he saw nothing there. He turned back to the old man, but he was gone. The only trace that he'd been there was a still smoking pipe, and the woman's purse that Colin had taken.


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

    1st|Changeling Rogue 1|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |Balance 4, Concentration 2, Gather Information 4, Hide 4, Jump 4, Knowledge(Architecture & Engineering) 4, Knowledge(Local) 4, Listen 4, Move Silently 4, Search 4, Sense Motive 4, Spot 4, Tumble 4|Racial Emulation|Sneak Attack +1d6, Social Intuition

    2nd|Warblade 1|
    +1
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |Balance 5, Concentration 5, Jump 5, Knowledge(Local) 5, Tumble 5| |Battle Clarity(Reflex Saves), Weapon Aptitude

    3rd|Rogue 2|
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |Concentration 6, Gather Information 6, Knowledge(Local) 6, Listen 5, Move Silently 5, Sense Motive 6, Spot 5, Tumble 6|Urban Tracking|Evasion

    4th|Changeling Rogue 3|
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |Bluff 5, Disguise 2, Gather Information 7, Hide 5, Knowledge(Architecture & Engineering) 5, Knowledge(Local) 7, Sense Motive 7, Tumble 6, Use Magic Device 1| |Sneak Attack +2d6, Minor Lore +1

    5th|Warblade 2|
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |(2)Concentration 8, Knowledge(Local) 8, Tumble 8| |Uncanny Dodge

    6th|Warshaper 1|
    +4
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |Concentration 9, Disguise 4, Knowledge(Local) 9|Ironheart Aura|Morphic Immunities, Morphic Weapons

    7th|Warshaper 2|
    +5
    |
    +7
    |
    +4
    |
    +2
    |Concentration 10, Disguise 6, Knowledge(Local) 10| |Morphic Body

    8th|Warshaper 3|
    +6
    |
    +8
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |Concentration 11, Disguise 8, Knowledge(Local) 11| |Morphic Reach

    9th|Warshaper 4|
    +7
    |
    +9
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |Concentration 12, Disguise 12| |Morphic Healing

    10th|Urban Soul 1|
    +7
    |
    +11
    |
    +4
    |
    +2
    |Concentration 13, Gather Information 12, Knowledge(Local) 12, Tumble 9|Stormguard Warrior|City Ramparts 1/day, Urban Sustenance

    11th|Urban Soul 2|
    +8
    |
    +12
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |Concentration 14, Gather Information 13, Hide 6, Knowledge(Local) 13, Tumble 13| |Citybred Senses +2

    12th|Urban Soul 3|
    +9
    |
    +12
    |
    +5
    |
    +3
    |Concentration 15, Gather Information 14, Hide 7, Knowledge(Local) 14, Listen 6, Move Silently 6, Spot 6, Tumble 14| |Meld Into City

    13th|Urban Soul 4|
    +10
    |
    +13
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    |Concentration 16, Gather Information 15, Hide 8, Knowledge(Local) 15, Listen 7, Move Silently 7, Spot 7, Tumble 15|Martial Study(Shadow Hand, Cloak of Deception)|See the City

    14th|Urban Soul 5|
    +10
    |
    +13
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    |Concentration 17, Gather Information 16, Hide 9, Knowledge(Local) 16, Listen 9, Move Silently 8, Spot 8| |City Ramparts 2/day

    15th|Urban Soul 6|
    +11
    |
    +14
    |
    +7
    |
    +4
    |Concentration 18, Gather Information 17, Hide 10, Knowledge(Local) 17, Listen 10, Move Silently 9, Spot 10| |Citybred Senses +4, Urban Skill Mastery

    16th|Urban Soul 7|
    +12
    |
    +14
    |
    +7
    |
    +4
    |Concentration 19, Gather Information 18, Knowledge(Local) 18, Listen 11, Move Silently 10, Spot 11, Acrobatic Backstab|Martial Stance(Assassin's Stance)|Hear the City 1/day

    17th|Urban Soul 8|
    +13
    |
    +15
    |
    +8
    |
    +4
    |Concentration 20, Gather Information 19, Hide 11, Knowledge(Local) 19, Listen 12, Spot 12, Back on Your Feet| |Mob Violence

    18th|Urban Soul 9|
    +13
    |
    +15
    |
    +8
    |
    +5
    |Concentration 21, Gather Information 20, Hide 12, Knowledge(Local) 20, Listen 13, Spot 13, Draconic, Goblin| |City Ramparts 3/day

    19th|Urban Soul 10|
    +14
    |
    +16
    |
    +9
    |
    +5
    |Concentration 22, Gather Information 21, Hide 13, Knowledge(Local) 21, Listen 14, Spot 14, Celestial, Infernal|Multiattack|Citybred Senses +6, Hear the City 2/day, Citywalk

    20th|Warblade 3|
    +15
    |
    +16
    |
    +10
    |
    +6
    |Concentration 23, Gather Information 23, Tumble 17| |Battle Ardor(Crit confirmation)[/table]

    Racial Abilities:
    Medium Humanoid(Shapechanger)
    Speed: 30ft.
    +2 racial bonus on saving throws against sleep and charm effects
    +2 racial bonus on bluff, intimidate, and sense motive checks
    Natural Linguist: Speak language is always a class skill
    Languages: Celestial, Common, Draconic, Dwarven, Elven, Giant, Goblin, Infernal

    Class Abilities:
    [Changeling Rogue Substitution Level] - Social Intuition(Ex) (replaces Trapfinding)
    - Making a Gather Information Check to gain knowledge takes 1d4+1x10 minutes, instead of the normal 1d4+1 hours
    - A gut assessment of a social situation with a Sense Motive check can be made as a full-round action instead of taking a full minute
    - A changeling rogue can take 10 on Bluff, Diplomacy, Gather Information, Intimidate, and Sense Motive checks, even if stress or distractions would normally prevent him from doing so.
    [Changeling Rogue Substitution Level] - Minor Lore(Ex) (replaces Trap Sense)
    - +1 bonus on all Knowledge checks


    Stats
    Spoiler
    Show

    Starting Ability Scores:
    Str - 14
    Dex - 14
    Con - 12
    Int - 16
    Wis - 10
    Cha - 12

    Final Ability Scores:
    Str - 23 (+4 from Warshaper, +5 levels)
    Dex - 14
    Con - 16 (+4 from Warshaper)
    Int - 16
    Wis - 10
    Cha - 12


    Maneuvers/Stances Known
    Spoiler
    Show

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

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

    2nd|-|3(1s)|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    3rd|-|3(1s)|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    4th|-|3(1s)|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    5th|-|3(1s)|1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    6th|-|3(1s)|1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    7th|-|3(1s)|1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    8th|-|3(1s)|1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    9th|-|3(1s)|1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    10th|-|3(1s)|1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    11th|-|3(1s)|1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    12th|-|3(1s)|2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    13th|-|3(1s)|2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    14th|-|3(1s)|2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    15th|-|3(1s)|2|(1s)|-|-|-|-|-|-

    16th|-|3(1s)|2|(1s)|-|-|-|-|-|-

    17th|-|3(1s)|2|(1s)|-|-|-|-|-|-

    18th|-|3(1s)|2|(1s)|-|-|-|-|-|-

    19th|-|3(1s)|2|(1s)|-|-|-|-|-|-

    20th|-|3(1s)|2|(1s)|-|-|1|-|-|-[/table]

    Stances: Punishing Stance (1st, Ironheart)
    Maneuvers: Moment of Perfect Mind (1st, Diamond Mind), Steel Wind (1st, Ironheart), Steely Strike (1st, Ironheart), Action Before Thought (2nd, Diamond Mind), Cloak of Deception (2nd, Shadow Hand), Greater Insightful Strike (6th, Diamond Mind)


    Level Breakdown
    Spoiler
    Show

    Level 1
    The Custodian is a skilled infiltrator. At this level he plays much like a skilled Rogue/Bard. He's got some great skills, and enough skill with a blade to be a serious threat in melee. His Racial Emulation feat lets him infiltrate enemy cities, camps, bandit organizations, etc, and get report that information to his allies. He doesn't really feel the loss of Trapfinding, because he doesn't do the traditional "breaking and entering" that a rogue does.

    Level 5
    The Custodian has turned into quite the combatant by this point. He is still a top-notch infiltrator, and a very credible threat in melee. His warblade levels give him increased durability, and some fantastic beatdown options. He can get two attacks (from Steel Wind), and his Punishing Stance really lets him dish out the damage on a flanked foe. Moment of Perfect Mind and Action Before Thought means that he can pass pretty much any Reflex or Will save if he needs to. Thanks to his Urban Tracker feat, he can find his prey with relative ease.

    Level 10
    Two Words. Melee. Monster.

    By this point in his career (at 8th level), The Custodian has picked up his main melee schtick. Warshaper has given us Morphic Weapon cheese which we combine with Combat Rhythm from Stormguard Warrior. Any time The Custodian is attacking a foe that isn't granting him his Sneak Attack damage, he can instead use the Combat Rhythm ability granted by Stormguard Warrior for that round, and then drop the hammer on his foe in the following round with a huge damage boost. Basically, use your arbitrary number of attacks from morphic weapon as touch attacks to power up every one of those attacks next round using Combat Rhythm. Let's assume The Custodian has his two iteratives with a sword, a bite, a gore, a claw, and, say, 2 tentacles. Using Combat Rhythm, if all of those touch attacks hit in the first round, each one made in the second round will be scoring +35 damage (so using our example, if all of those attacks hit in the second round, he's dropping 245 extra damage on his opponent). And his Ironheart aura feat empowers anyone who stands with him in combat.

    Urban Sustenance lets him sustain himself in any city, and means he can avoid drinking the water or eating the food if he is somewhere especially unpleasant. And City Ramparts makes him near unkillable, with the boost to his Con also affecting all three saves (Ref and Will through maneuvers), and the DR combined with Morphic Healing and his Morphic Immunities makes him one tough nut to crack.

    He is a scout, infiltrator, and hammer, all rolled up into one package. This is the low-sugar "sweet spot" that The Custodian will fall back on when forced to occupy a form other than human.

    NOTE: The drawback of the SI that prevents a character from spending much time outside of a city is a class feature. And so, when The Custodian is not in human form, he loses all class features he no longer qualifies for, including this rather large drawback. He still gets to keep the BAB, Saves, HP, and skills from Urban Soul, he just loses access to abilities that would only be useful in a city anyway.

    Level 15
    This level adds a little bit of versatility and power to The Custodian. Assassin's stance bumps his sneak attack damage, and the Cloak of Deception maneuver can help him ensure delivery of that sneak attack damage without a flanking buddy. Meld Into City and See the City add some good spying tricks to his repertoire.

    Level 20 "Sweet Spot"
    This is the official "sweet spot", at least when The Custodian is in a city. Mob Violence contines to keep his damage up, Greater Insightful Strike gives him a nice damage dealing option when he can only make a single attack, and the skill tricks keep him mobile and provide more opportunities for sneak attack. Hear the City adds to his information gathering abilities, and Citywalk gives him the ability to travel rapidly between all the cities he patrols.


    Use of the Secret Ingredient
    Spoiler
    Show

    When I saw the SI, I knew that I had to try and create an Urban Soul that would be viable both in a city, and out of it. That meant I had to find some way around the drawback listed in Urban Sustenance. There were a few methods I considered, but in the end I felt that the Changeling method was the most elegant.

    The SI screams out for a skillful character, and its medium BAB indicates someone reasonably competent in melee. This build combines both in a way that maintains versatility without sacrificing power. The lack of spellcasting hurts less with the addition of Maneuvers, which help keep the SI spell-likes feeling special and useful.

    With the ambiguity of Morphic Weapon, I didn't think that squeezing in +16 BAB was important to the build, as The Custodian already gets as many attacks as he likes (and has time to morph).

    I think I've successfully achieved my goals, and hope you agree.


    Sources
    Spoiler
    Show

    Player's Handbook
    Races of Destiny (Urban Tracking)
    Monster Manual (Multiattack)
    Complete Warrior (Warshaper)
    Complete Scoundrel (Skill Tricks)
    Tome of Battle (Warblade, Martial Study, Martial Stance, Ironheart Aura, Stormguard Warrior)
    Races of Eberron (Racial Emulation, Changling Rogue Substitution levels)

    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.

  6. - Top - End - #276
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge In The Playground XLIV

    He's the man for every job.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rashid Abd al-Haqq
    Rashid Abd al-Haqq
    LN Human Savant 5/Unseen Seer 2/Urban Soul 10/Unseen Seer 3
    Spoiler
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    Stats
    Spoiler
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    Str: 14
    Dex: 10
    Con: 14
    Int: 18 (all increases here)
    Wis: 10
    Cha: 8
    Languages Spoken: Common, Abyssal, Celestial, Draconic, Infernal (later Giant, Goblin, Sylvan, Undercommon)

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

    1st|Savant 1|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |Gather Information 4, Hide 4, Knowledge (Arcana) 4, Knowledge (Architecture and Engineering) 4, Knowledge (Local) 4, Move Silently 4, Sense Motive 4, Spellcraft 4, Spot 4, Tumble 4, UMD 4|Able Learner, Practiced Spellcaster|Academic Lore, Skill Assistance 5 feet (Hide), Trapfinding

    2nd|Savant 2|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |Gather Information 5, Hide 5, Knowledge (Architecture and Engineering) 5, Knowledge (Local) 5, Move Silently 5, Search 3, Spot 5, Tumble 5, UMD 5|Darkstalker|Talent Lore (Bonus Feat)

    3rd|Savant 3|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |Hide 6, Iaijutsu Focus 2, Knowledge (Local) 6, Move Silently 6, Search 6, Spot 6, Tumble 6, UMD 6|Craven|Sneak Attack +1d6

    4th|Savant 4|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Hide 7, Iaijutsu Focus 6, Knowledge (Local) 7, Move Silently 7, Search 7, Spot 7, Tumble 7, UMD 7| |Skill Assistance 10 feet (Move Silently)

    5th|Savant 5|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Balance 2, Hide 8, Iaijutsu Focus 8, Knowledge (Local) 8, Move Silently 8, Search 8, Spot 8, Tumble 8, UMD 8| |Arcane Lore

    6th|Unseen Seer 1|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +6
    |Balance 5, Concentration 2, Hide 9, Iaijutsu Focus 9, Knowledge (Local) 9, Move Silently 9, Tumble 9, UMD 9|Obtain Familiar (Raven)|Sneak attack +2d6

    7th|Unseen Seer 2|
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +7
    |Concentration 7, Hide 10, Iaijutsu Focus 10, Knowledge (Local) 10, Move Silently 10, Tumble 10, UMD 10|Silent Spell (Bonus)|Advanced Learning, Bonus Silent Spell

    8th|Urban Soul 1|
    +4
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    | Autohypnosis 3, Concentration 11, Hide 11, Iaijutsu Focus 11, Move Silently 11, Tumble 11, UMD 11| |City Ramparts 1/day, Urban Sustenance

    9th|Urban Soul 2|
    +5
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +7
    |Autohypnosis 9, Concentration 12, Hide 12, Iaijutsu Focus 12, Move Silently 12, Tumble 12, UMD 12|Scorpion’s Sense|Citybred Senses +2

    10th|Urban Soul 3|
    +6/+1
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +8
    |Acrobatic Backstab (2), Autohypnosis 13, Concentration 13, Hide 13, Iaijutsu Focus 13, Move Silently 13, Tumble 13, UMD 13| |Meld Into City

    11th|Urban Soul 4|
    +7/+2
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +8
    |Autohypnosis 14, Concentration 14, Escape Artist 1, Hide 14, Iaijutsu Focus 14, Move Silently 14, Speak Language 4(Giant, Goblin, Sylvan, Undercommon), Tumble 14, UMD 14| |See the City

    12th|Urban Soul 5|
    +7/+2
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +8
    |Autohypnosis 15, Concentration 15, Escape Artist 6, Hide 15, Iaijutsu Focus 15, Move Silently 15, Tumble 15, UMD 15|Improved Familiar (Imp)|City Ramparts 2/day

    13th|Urban Soul 6|
    +8/+3
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +9
    |Autohypnosis 16, Concentration 16, Escape Artist 12, Hide 16, Iaijutsu Focus 16, Move Silently 16, UMD 16| |Citybred Senses +4, Urban Skill Mastery

    14th|Urban soul 7|
    +9/+4
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +9
    |Autohypnosis 17, Concentration 17, Escape Artist 17, Hide 17, Iaijutsu Focus 17, Move Silently 17, UMD 17| |Hear the City 1/day

    15th|Urban Soul 8|
    +10/+5
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +9
    |Autohypnosis 18, Concentration 18, Escape Artist 18, Hide 18, Iaijutsu Focus 18, Move Silently 18, Spot 13, UMD 18|Staggering Strike|Mob Violence

    16th|Urban Soul 9|
    +10/+5
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +10
    |Spot the Weak Point (2), Autohypnosis 19, Concentration 19, Escape Artist 19, Hide 19, Iaijutsu Focus 19, Move Silently 19, Spot 17, UMD 19| |City Ramparts 3/day

    17th|Urban Soul 10|
    +11/+6/+1
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    +10
    |Autohypnosis 20, Concentration 20, Diplomacy 3, Escape Artist 20, Hide 20, Iaijutsu Focus 20, Move Silently 20, Spot 20, UMD 20| |Citybred Senses +6, Hear the City 2/day, Citywalk

    18th|Unseen Seer 3|
    +12/+7/+2
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    |
    +10
    |Autohypnosis 21, Concentration 21, Diplomacy 8, Escape Artist 21, Hide 21, Iaijutsu Focus 21, Move Silently 21, Spot 21, UMD 21|Martial Study (Sapphire Nightmare Blade)|Divination Spell Power +1

    19th|Unseen Seer 4|
    +13/+8/+3
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    |
    +11
    |Autohypnosis 22, Concentration 22, Diplomacy 14, Escape Artist 22, Hide 22, Iaijutsu Focus 22, Move Silently 22, Spot 22| |Sneak Attack +3d6

    20th|Unseen Seer 5|
    +13/+8/+3
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    |
    +11
    |Autohypnosis 23, Concentration 23, Diplomacy 20, Escape Artist 23, Hide 23, Iaijutsu Focus 23, Move Silently 23, Spot 23| |Advanced Learning, Guarded Mind[/table]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    8th|-|7|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

    10th|-|7|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    11th|-|7|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    12th|-|7|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    13th|-|7|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    14th|-|7|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    15th|-|7|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    16th|-|7|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

    18th|-|9|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    19th|-|9|2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    20th|-|9|5|-|-|-|-|-|-|-[/table]
    In order learned 1st: True Strike, Detect Secret Doors, Grease, Feather Fall, Disguise Self, Jump, Detect Fire*, Unseen Servant, Alarm
    2nd: Alter Self, Detect Thoughts, Glitterdust, Levitate, Tactical Precision*
    * Indicates Advanced Learning Spell

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

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

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

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

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

    5th|-|0*|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

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

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

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

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

    11th|-|1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    12th|-|1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

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

    15th|-|1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

    17th|-|1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

    19th|-|1|0*|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    20th|-|1|0*|-|-|-|-|-|-|-[/table]
    *Int bonus means there will be spells per day here

    Level 5
    Spoiler
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    Yep, it’s a savant. Play’s a little odd at this point, as savant has a little of everything. Academic Lore seems to be able to function in place of all knowledge rolls for identifying monsters and the like, talk with your DM. Able learner means that every skill is a class skill forever. It’s too good not to get as a savant. Skill Assistance lets Rashid substitute his rolls and rank for others, which comes in handy considering hide and move silently are always maxed out on him. Darkstalker means he stays hidden when he means to, craven adds on to his SA progression, which will only get better later. Iaijutsu focus applies when you draw your weapon and strike a flatfooted foe in the same round, and your sneaking means you can get the drop on guys. To make it easier, get a shield sheath on your shield. It allows you to draw your weapon as a free action, and it's only 25 gp on to the shield's cost. While not exactly official, this mentions that savant should be able to cast in light armor with no penalty, though shields will still impose one. A mithral shield negates that problem. You have a bit of casting, feel free to use wands to supplement your spells per day, as you always succeed on a check to cast a spell from your spells known. Unfortunately there are no ACFs that allow you as a savant to trade away your trapfinding, but you can talk with your DM about the possibility of using the ACF for another class. If not, trapfinding certainly doesn't hurt anything.

    Level 10
    Spoiler
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    Urban Soul begins to enter the party. Meld into city is fantastic, especially for Rashid. If he hears someone coming, he can enter a wall, then wait until he senses their approach with scorpion’s sense. When they’re close enough, he exits the wall, via 5-foot step if it’ll get him close enough, drawing his short sword and striking, dealing on average 6d6 extra damage from Iaijutsu focus and sneak attack. If he can, he’ll pop right back into the wall so he can repeat. Unseen Seer gives you a bonus spell known. Detect fire is deceptively good as it allows you to detect any living creature that isn’t of the cold subtype. Autohypnosis lets you roll again against those fear effects to cover up for craven, and do other neat things like stabilize and act at negative hitpoints with no penalty. Acrobatic Backstab lets you treat an enemy as flatfooted if you tumble through their square, which means more chances to use SA and Iaijutsu focus. You have a familiar now, and that’s great for a skillful guy like Rashid. He can give you a +2 bonus to everything through aid another, or just make checks with your ranks. He even talks. He can’t come into the walls with you, but he can keep an eye out.

    Level 15 (Sweet Spot)
    Spoiler
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    It’s all looking nice now. UMD has gotten to the point where you’re succeeding on most rolls, so make full use of it. Urban Skill Mastery helps you not to spread yourself so thin on all these skills, same goes for Citybred Senses. Urban Skill Mastery let you stop putting ranks in tumble, and makes you superb at move silently. Mob Violence and more uses of City Ramparts help you fight better when it gets messy. See and Hear the City let you track down whoever you want to look for, or just find out what you want to know. Staggering strike means when you smack guys coming out of the wall, you have a much easier time running right back into it if you want to. Or just press your advantage in combat. Rashid has traded his raven familiar in for an imp. An imp is fantastic in many ways. He can disguise himself inconspicuously as a raven. He speaks several languages. He can detect magic at will. He can turn into combat forms like boar to give you a flanking buddy for SA. He can turn invisible to spy on people. Most importantly, he has hands. That means he can make full use of all your ranks in Iaijutsu focus. Ask your DM if he can have quick draw as his feat instead of the useless weapon finesse, if not, worst case scenario is he can’t make a full attack with Iaijutsu focus, and only makes one. If this is the case, have him use a greatwsord so it’s only scaled down to 1d8. He’s still allowed to use his dex to attack with it due to familiar abilities. In combat, because he’s invisible, enemies are treated as flatfooted. Thus he applies Iaijutsu, average around 4d6 now, to that attack. Then he’s free to shift to a boar or move around to attack again as the situation calls for.

    Level 20
    Spoiler
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    Unseen Seer’s sweet capstone means people have to make a DC 35 caster level check if they want to spy on Rashid. He’s free to find out what he wants to know, especially with his ability to teleport to any city he wants. The description of the ability refers us to transport via plants, so he can take his little buddy along with no problem. Sapphire Nightmare Blade lets you use a concentration check (good thing Rashid maxed it) to render your foe flatfooted. That means more Iaijutsu focus and SA! With average roll, you get 8d6 extra damage, just 2 dice behind full sneak attack progression. 8d6+20 damage is a very nice thing to be throwing around, so being able to use it as often as possible is good. Tactical precision is another neat little spell from unseen seer that improves flanking attack and damage, great for a guy who can flank with his familiar like Rashid. All the tactics from before still apply, just in better form.

    Backstory
    Spoiler
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    Rashid had always sought to learn. Growing up, he was taught well, as befitted his social standing. His tutors came from a variety of regions and backgrounds, and while he enjoyed the subjects they taught, he always enjoyed more the stories they brought with them from their home regions. He paid attention during his math and anatomy lessons, but he was enthralled when he could get his tutors to tell the tales that had been passed down through the generations. He loved the tales of the gods, their epic adventures and great battles. He never matched his tutors’ dedication to a single deity, though. He always found that he admired aspects of several gods, but never all the attributes of one. He admired St. Cuthbert’s strength of conviction, but not his merciless nature. He admired Vecna’s dedication to uncovering secrets, as the best knowledge always seemed the one kept most closely guarded, but not his motives to use them for evil. He admired Gruumsh’s strength and resilience, Pelor’s benevolence, Olidammara’s humor. He could never focus on one deity for complete dedication. Many of them seemed too similar at times. He once made the mistake of asking his father why Heironeous and Hextor fought so, when they were half-brothers and so similar in nature. He got a boxing on the ears for his question and was sent off to study more about the difference between good and evil.

    His city’s patron deity was Heironeous, a strong protector who kept them safe, or so they said. The city had not fallen while Rashid had been there, but he was a young boy, and the area was a peaceful one. That changed one day when the city was attacked. An army bearing the banner of Erythnul appeared at the gates, demanding battle or surrender. The city barely had a militia, much less a standing army. The townsfolk prayed to Heironeous for aid for days while they tried to wait out the army behind the city walls. When their supplies ran out, they fled with all they could carry quickly, leaving the army to pillage and burn. Many citizens burdened themselves with small reserves of gold, including his father. Rashid took as many books as he could fit in the largest satchel he owned, grabbing at random from the small bookshelf in their house. Looking back, he wept as they tore into the library and cast the books out to be used as kindling. All that knowledge lost.

    Rashid was inconsolable. He raged at Heironeous in prayer, not caring if he was struck down for his insolence. He needed to know how a good deity could allow this evil to take place, how such reckless hatred could be allowed to exist. The skies were silent. No response came. After waiting hours for a sign of some sort, Rashid lost his temper and kicked his satchel. Out popped one of the few books he was able to salvage. It landed on its spine falling open to a page containing an illustration of a tesseract. The book was largely on math beyond Rashid’s understanding, but this was a concept he had heard before. It was a shape in which every face was a cube, almost impossible to comprehend and completely impossible to represent as a drawing. It was at this moment that Rashid had his epiphany.
    What if all the warring gods that the inhabitants of the world prayed to were not warring gods at all, but aspects of the same being? Any one piece of a tesseract would seem conflicting with another, here pointed, there smooth. Even what seems a complete view is only a fraction of the whole. It made frightening sense to a young Rashid, especially coupled with the bizarre concept one of his tutors had only begun lecturing him on the last week: the concept of truenaming. The truenamers discovered that everything has many names in many languages, but only one true name. This one name is the name from which the concept of the thing itself flows, from which all other names are ultimately derived. The truenamers’ use of these names was byzantine and flawed, but their theory clearly held. Rashid then knew what he must do. If the one true name of something was where all other names are derived, then if one could find every name, one could analyze them like so many data points to discover the nature of the true name. If Rashid found this one true name of this single being (The Unity, as he came to call it) finally he could find a way that prayers could reach it, that questions could be answered. The nature of this one being would be the single fundamental truth of the universe on which all knowledge rests. He would have ultimate understanding.

    He tried to explain this to his father, but the man wouldn’t listen. He was still reeling from losing everything he had, and he was in no mood to explain the folly of what he saw as a young boy’s wild fantasies. Rashid knew he would have to pursue it on his own.

    Years passed, father and son relocated to a small village, and Rashid studied the names, the lore, and the nature of the deities with ever increasing fervor. His father hoped silently that Rashid would become a cleric of Heironeous and bring his family respect and admiration. These dreams were shattered the day he saw his son conversing with an imp. When he heard that Rashid had bonded the thing to himself, he was horrified. He screamed about how compacts with demons would lose him his soul. Rashid corrected his father, saying that it was a devil and that regardless, his soul was in no danger, as he only after knowledge, and knowledge could not be evil and could not corrupt. His father was livid. He cast his son out, disowning him and declaring him a heretic.

    Rashid did the only thing he could, and left for the city. He was able to get by, as his studies had made him skilled at many tasks, and odd jobs for such talents could always be found. He worked as a builder, as a vendor, even as a guest lecturer when such spots could be found. When he had money, he bought books. If there was anything left over, he bought food. His work was slowed by his meager funds, but little progress was better than no progress at all.

    After a time he had a strange dream in which he was approached by a figure seemingly made out of the buildings themselves. He spoke to Rashid in many languages, changing mid-sentence to each with all the ease of a native speaker. Rashid was glad he had learned so many himself, or he wouldn’t have been able to follow. The figure told him how he had worked well for the improvement of the city, and how he should go to the temple in the town square for his next job, one in which he would find fulfillment.

    Rashid awoke the next day and decided to take the strange figure’s advice. If nothing else, he had still to visit that particular temple to gather more knowledge for his most important task of all. When he reached the temple, the doors were open and the high priest stood ready to receive him. Rashid was welcomed in and taken to large, open room filled with priests of various orders. When he asked what he could do for them, the high priest laughed. He told Rashid that he would not be working for the priests, but for the city itself.

    As they explained what it was he was tasked with, it slowly dawned on him. He was to become a citywalker. He had heard tales of these beings, the men and women tied to the very soul of the city itself. These were the ones who were welcomed in any city as keepers of order, who could walk into the walls as if they were so much mist. The citywalkers held the power to step effortlessly from one city to the next, with no regard for the distance in between. With this power, Rashid could reach every city in the world. No library would be off limits to him. No reference too distant to check. With this power, Rashid might be able to truly finish his work, to see the true nature of the Unity.

    After a brief time explaining that he would be a servant of the great Urbanus, they asked him if he had any questions.
    “I have one,” Rashid said as he pulled out a quill and a massive tome filled with his tight, spidery scrawl. “How do you spell that?”


    Sources
    Spoiler
    Show
    Savant: Dragon Compendium
    Unseen Seer: Complete Mage
    Acrobatic Backstab: Complete Scoundrel
    Practiced Spellcaster, Obtain Familiar: Complete Arcane
    Able Learner: Races of Destiny
    Darkstalker: Lords of Madness
    Scorpion’s Sense: Sandstorm
    Staggering Strike, Tactical Precision: Complete Adventurer
    Martial Study: Tome of Battle
    Detect Fire: Frostburn
    Silent Spell, Improved Familiar: srd
    Rashid: Haroun and the Sea of Stories, The Nine Billion Names of God

    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 - #277
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge In The Playground XLIV

    He's got a giant presence.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dorn Cratemaker

    “The Crimson Comet”

    Dorn Cratermaker
    ("The Crimson Comet")

    Character Information
    Spoiler
    Show
    Race: Half-Giant
    Type: Humanoid (Human)(Giant)
    Alignment: Neutral
    Deity:Urbanus
    Age: Unknown
    Height: 7’11”
    Weight: 320 lbs.
    Eyes: Brown
    Hair: Long red ponytail in a topknot
    Languages:Giant, Common.


    Attributes
    Spoiler
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    Without Items
    Spoiler
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    Str 22
    Dex 13
    Con 14
    Int 12
    Wis 14
    Cha 8

    Breakdown
    Spoiler
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    Str16+2 Racial+4 level=22 final strength
    Dex15-2 Racial= 13 final constitution
    Con 12+2 Racial= 14 final constitution
    Int 12
    Wis 14
    Cha 8

    With Items

    Spoiler
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    Str 32
    Dex 17
    Con 24
    Int 12
    Wis 20
    Cha 8

    Breakdown
    Spoiler
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    Str 16+ 2 racial+ 4 inherent+ 4 level+ 6 enhancement=32 final strength
    Dex 15- 2 racial+ 4 enhancement= 17 final dex
    Con 12+ 2 racial+ 6 enhancement+ 4 inherent= 24 final constitution
    Int 12
    Wis 14+ 6 enhancement= 20 final wisdom
    Cha 8


    Skyreach City
    Spoiler
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    Skyreach City

    Skyreach City is named for it's tall buildings that seem to reach for the sky. It is a sprawling metropolis with a steam punk feel.


    Story
    Spoiler
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    The Alley
    Spoiler
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    “We have to get out of here”, Hersh said nervously, “You all read the note! He said he knows what we have done and our lives are forfeit if we stay in Skyreach.”

    Terg laughed at his cowardly comrade, “You expect us all to just run because someone wrote a note? We don’t even know if it was him. Prolly’ some scared shop owner trying to bluff us away from his coffers.”

    “Just leave em’ if he’s sceert,” Tweeter scoffed, “ We gotta git’ ta tha meetin’. Boss is wanting us all tagether jus in case tha threat is re- By toothless Genny’s bastard! He’s here, the Comet is coming, LOOKOUT!”

    Hersh jumped three feet in the air and started to turn to run when he heard the guffaws come from Terg and Tweeter. “Awe make fun then, ya fools. I’ve seen him. I’ve seen what he does. You won’t find it so funny after he has crushed you into a ‘Bloodpuddle’,” he said angrily.

    Hersh turned to storm off while Terg and Tweeter just laughed harder. This would of made Hersh madder but all the anger in his body quickly turned to fear when he heard the loud crash behind him, when he felt the ground shudder and heard the crack of bone. He risked a quick glance before he bolted. Through the cloud of dust he saw the giant man in bloody spiked armor and a huge demon faced shield with bloody teeth and horns. He was standing next to a mangled corpse driven into a crater in the alley. Hersh could see Terg drawing daggers and slinking into the shadows in response. Hersh took off running down the alley before he looked back again. Peeking around the corner of a building he couldn’t resist watching the fight play out. He had caught the tail end of Terg’s attack from the shadows and it seemed the Crimson Comet held little concern for the comparatively tiny weapons. Most of the attacks landed solid but if they had, the behemoth’s face never showed it, not even a wince of pain. Terg slashed one more time as the hulking man turned his back to move away, however his blade was avoided. The giant man ran to the alley wall and did not stop. He somehow kept running five, ten, fifteen, TWENTY feet up the alley wall. He launched himself off the alley wall and drove straight down on top of Terg. The carnage was unbelievable as the giant hammered Terg into the ground with both hands on his shield. As Terg hit the ground and bounced back up the giant turned in mid air to slam a spiked shoulder firmly into him and send him slamming back into the ground. The beast used the momentum of the slam to spin off and land on his feet. Without a moment’s hesitation the Comet ran in Hersh’s direction. Alarmingly, he ran very fast! The bloody spiked giant covered the distance in a flash and was almost within arms reach of Hersh before he could get his legs to moving. Hersh tore off down the alley hoping to make the street where he could lose the big man in a crowd. He couldn’t believe it. As he had raced for the end of the alley, suddenly the city changed shape and where only a moment ago the alley spilled out into the street, now there was only a dead end wall.

    Hersh put his back to the wall and threw down his weapons pleading, “Please don’t! I told them, I told them we should leave. I was leaving when you came. Please don’t kill me. I’m sorry they killed that shopkeeper! If I’d have tried to stop them, they would have killed me too.”

    The giant man kept his distance, staring Hersh down. “Your crew is meeting in the old warehouse district, Building 29D. Go to them. Tell them there is no where filth can hide in my city. They have until sunrise to leave,” As he turned to leave he called over his shoulder, “Oh, and Hersh… tell the other ten members of the crew I know them well. Clever tricks will only make me angry.” With that he walked directly into the alley wall, disappearing into the stone.

    The Department of City Planning and Development
    Spoiler
    Show
    “This Crimson Comet character is a vigilante menace!! Every year we go over budget cleaning up his mess. Now we are stuck cleaning up a demolished warehouse in a slum district for the next month.” Arkon Dorinth, the chairman of the DoCPD, ranted. His voice carried through his office walls and into the workroom.

    Vice-chairman Lorn Greymaster’s softer voice could barely be heard through the walls. “It is unfortunate for sure, but perhaps we can seize the opportunity for a reclamation project.” Lorn reasoned, “The slums aren’t doing anything but providing refuge and hiding places for riff raff. Maybe we can turn the old warehouse district into a park or a garden, maybe an arena?”

    “I don’t give a damn about the slums. I wouldn’t spend a cloud piece on them if it were up to me. But thanks to this criminal, we are forced to waste money cleaning up these toppled buildings. The city officials have already made it quite clear to me that demolished buildings must at least be cleared back to safe empty lots.”, His voice dropped low to a whisper, “I don’t want to hear about your silly reclamation ideas. I would rather spend money to get RID of the problem. Here is one thousand sky pieces. Hire better assassins this time.”

    The Meeting
    Spoiler
    Show
    Lorn Greymaster stopped at the bottom of the stairs. It was pitch black but he had memorized the way. After a moment or two of silence he was convinced no one had followed him into the abandoned building’s basement. He walked to the opposing wall and pushed until he felt the familiar scrape of the hidden door sliding open. After he had pushed the door closed he felt for the lantern on the wall. With the way well lit he was able to easily remember the way through the maze of tunnels to the meeting room. As he rounded the last corner the warm glow of a fire reached his eyes and he saw his old friend, Dorn Cratermaker, lounged against a stone bench near the fire.

    “Your boss is cranky again no doubt?” Dorn called out.

    “You shouldn’t antagonize him so much, he is a powerful man.” Lorn reasoned. He went on to say, “For someone who worships a god of the City you sure do destroy a lot of buildings.”

    “Your boss is a greedy fool who can not even begin to fathom the will of Urbanus,” Dorn snapped, “In my God’s vision for a perfect city, let me ask you where the slums and the warrens fit in? Where do the abandoned districts belong? They are nothing more than a self inflicted sickness. And I would see this sickness dealt with. I should not antagonize him?! Ha, that worthless man should not antagonize me.”

    “Alright, alright calm down.” Lorn conceded, “I don’t need to be yelled at by any more people today. I just thought you should know, he has hired killers again.”

    “Do we know who?”

    “Well, yes I am the one who did the hiring.” Lorn chuckled, “Three locals and one out of town. Here is the list. Watch your back my friend.”

    “You are a good friend Lorn, one day we will meet openly in the streets again.”

    “You always say that.” Lorn called back as his lantern light disappeared around the corner.


    Character Sheet
    Spoiler
    Show
    Dorn Cratermaker “The Crimson Comet”
    {table=head]Level|ECL|Class|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Skills|Feats|Class Features

    -|1st|LA +1 |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |-|-|-

    1st|2nd|Martial Rogue|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |Concentration 2, Balance 4, Knowledge (local) 4, Knowledge (Architecture and Engineering) 2, Psicraft 2, Jump 4, Gather Information 4, Spot 4, Listen 4, Tumble 4|Expeditious Dodge, Human Heritage|Fighter Bonus Feat, Trapfinding

    2nd|3rd|Fighter|
    +1
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    | Concentration 2, Balance 4, Knowledge (local) 4, Knowledge (Architecture and Engineering) 2.5, Psicraft 2, Jump 5, Gather Information 4.5, Spot 4, Listen 4, Tumble 4 |Weapon Focus (Spiked Shield)|Fighter Bonus Feat

    3rd|4th|Dungeon Crasher Fighter|
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    | Concentration 2, Balance 4, Knowledge (local) 4, Knowledge (Architecture and Engineering) 3, Psicraft 2, Jump 6, Gather Information 5, Spot 4, Listen 4, Tumble 4 |Power Attack|Dungeon Crasher

    4th|5th|Martial Rogue|
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    | Concentration 2, Balance 5, Knowledge (local) 7, Knowledge (Architecture and Engineering) 3.5, Psicraft 2, Jump 6, Gather Information 5, Spot 6, Listen 6, Tumble 4 |Improved Bull Rush| Fighter Bonus Feat, Evasion

    5th|6th|Psychic Warrior|
    +3
    |
    +5
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    | Concentration 3, Balance 5, Knowledge (local) 7.5, Knowledge (Architecture and Engineering) 4, Psicraft 2, Jump 6, Gather Information 5, Spot 6, Listen 6, Tumble 4 |Knockback|Bonus Feat (Fighter/Psionic)

    6th|7th|Psychic Warrior|
    +4
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    | Concentration 4, Balance 5, Knowledge (local) 8, Knowledge (Architecture and Engineering) 4.5, Psicraft 2, Jump 6, Gather Information 5, Spot 6, Listen 6, Tumble 4 |Mobility, Weapon Focus (Spiked Armor)|Bonus Feat (Fighter/Psionic)

    7th|8th| Psychic Warrior |
    +5
    |
    +6
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    | Concentration 5, Balance 5, Knowledge (local) 8.5, Knowledge (Architecture and Engineering) 5, Psicraft 2, Jump 6, Gather Information 5, Spot 6, Listen 6, Tumble 4 |-|-

    8th|9th| Psychic Warrior |
    +6
    |
    +7
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    | Concentration 6, Balance 5, Knowledge (local) 9.5, Knowledge (Architecture and Engineering) 5, Psicraft 2, Jump 6, Gather Information 5, Spot 6, Listen 6, Tumble 4 |-|-

    9th|10th| Psychic Warrior |
    +6
    |
    +7
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    | Concentration 8, Balance 5, Knowledge (local) 10, Knowledge (Architecture and Engineering) 5, Psicraft 2, Jump 6, Gather Information 5, Spot 6, Listen 6, Tumble 4 |Up the Walls, Blood-Spiked Charger| Bonus Feat (Fighter/Psionic)

    10th|11th|Urban Soul|
    +6
    |
    +9
    |
    +6
    |
    +1
    | Concentration 8, Balance 7, Knowledge (local) 11, Knowledge (Architecture and Engineering) 6, Psicraft 2, Jump 7, Gather Information 5, Spot 7, Listen 7, Tumble 4 |-| City ramparts 1/day, Urban Sustenance

    11th|12th| Urban Soul |
    +7
    |
    +10
    |
    +7
    |
    +1
    | Concentration 8, Balance 7, Knowledge (local) 11, Knowledge (Architecture and Engineering) 7, Psicraft 3.5, Jump 8, Gather Information 5, Spot 8, Listen 8, Tumble 4 |-| Citybred senses +2

    12th|13th| Urban Soul |
    +8
    |
    +10
    |
    +7
    |
    +2
    | Concentration 8, Balance 7, Knowledge (local) 11, Knowledge (Architecture and Engineering) 8, Psicraft 4, Jump 9, Gather Information 5, Spot 10, Listen 10, Tumble 4 |Roofwalker| Meld into city

    13th|14th| Urban Soul |
    +9
    |
    +11
    |
    +8
    |
    +2
    | Concentration 8, Balance 7, Knowledge (local) 11, Knowledge (Architecture and Engineering) 9, Psicraft 4, Jump 10, Gather Information 5, Spot 12, Listen 12, Tumble 5 |-| See the city

    14th|15th| Urban Soul |
    +9
    |
    +11
    |
    +8
    |
    +2
    | Concentration 8, Balance 8, Knowledge (local) 12, Knowledge (Architecture and Engineering) 10, Psicraft 4, Jump 11, Gather Information 6, Spot 13, Listen 13, Tumble 5 |-| City ramparts 2/day

    15th|16th| Urban Soul |
    +10
    |
    +12
    |
    +9
    |
    +3
    | Concentration 8, Balance 9, Knowledge (local) 13, Knowledge (Architecture and Engineering) 11, Psicraft 4, Jump 12, Gather Information 7, Spot 14, Listen 14, Tumble 5 |Roof-jumper| Citybred senses +4, urban skill mastery

    16th|17th| Urban Soul |
    +11
    |
    +12
    |
    +9
    |
    +3
    | Concentration 8, Balance 10, Knowledge (local) 14, Knowledge (Architecture and Engineering) 12, Psicraft 4, Jump 13, Gather Information 8, Spot 15, Listen 15, Tumble 5 |-| Hear the city 1/day

    17th|18th| Urban Soul |
    +12
    |
    +13
    |
    +10
    |
    +3
    | Concentration 8, Balance 11, Knowledge (local) 15, Knowledge (Architecture and Engineering) 13, Psicraft 4, Jump 14, Gather Information 9, Spot 16, Listen 16, Tumble 5 |-| Mob violence

    18th|19th| Urban Soul |
    +12
    |
    +13
    |
    +10
    |
    +4
    | Concentration 8, Balance 12, Knowledge (local) 15, Knowledge (Architecture and Engineering) 15, Psicraft 4, Jump 15, Gather Information 10, Spot 17, Listen 17, Tumble 5 |Practiced Manifester (Psychic Warrior)| City ramparts 3/day

    19th|20th|City-Bonded Urban Soul |
    +13
    |
    +14
    |
    +11
    |
    +4
    | Concentration 8, Balance 15, Knowledge (local) 15, Knowledge (Architecture and Engineering) 15, Psicraft 4, Jump 15, Gather Information 14, Spot 17, Listen 17, Tumble 5 |-| Citybred senses +6, hear the city 2/day, city bond, intracity teleport, urban renewal [/table]


    Psionics
    Spoiler
    Show
    The interesting thing about Dorn's psionic capabilities is that none of it is needed to perform any of his combos. The powers do however compliment the pre-existing combos. And the S.I.'s at will Meld into City has good synergy with the buffing and healing potential of his powers. While his power points are a little on the low side, luckily almost all his powers do not need to be augmented to max to be effective. Use your power points sparingly when an extra bit of oomph is needed in a round.

    Psi-like Ability
    Stomp 1/day at 1/2HD manifester lvl

    Powers Known
    Spoiler
    Show
    {table=head]Level|Manifester Level| Power Points|1st|2nd

    1st|-|2pp|-|-

    2nd|-|2pp|-|-

    3rd|-|2pp|-|-

    4th|-|2pp|-|-

    5th|1|3pp|Expansion|-

    6th|2|5pp|Expansion, Vigor|-

    7th|3|8pp|Expansion, Vigor, Catfall|-

    8th|4|11pp| Expansion, Vigor, Catfall|Hustle

    9th|5|14pp|Expansion, Vigor, Catfall|Hustle, Body Adjustment

    10th|5|14pp|Expansion, Vigor, Catfall|Hustle, Body Adjustment

    11th|5|16pp|Expansion, Vigor, Catfall|Hustle, Body Adjustment

    12th|5|16pp|Expansion, Vigor, Catfall|Hustle, Body Adjustment

    13th|5|19pp|Expansion, Vigor, Catfall|Hustle, Body Adjustment

    14th|5|19pp|Expansion, Vigor, Catfall|Hustle, Body Adjustment

    15th|5|21pp|Expansion, Vigor, Catfall|Hustle, Body Adjustment

    16th|5|21pp|Expansion, Vigor, Catfall|Hustle, Body Adjustment

    17th|5|21pp|Expansion, Vigor, Catfall|Hustle, Body Adjustment

    18th|9|31pp|Expansion, Vigor, Catfall|Hustle, Body Adjustment

    19th|9|31pp|Expansion, Vigor, Catfall|Hustle, Body Adjustment [/table]

    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 - #278
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge In The Playground XLIV

    Continued (minimum length)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dorn Cratemaker
    Level Breakdown
    Spoiler
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    Dorn is a street-wise back alley bruiser who specializes in hurling his humungous spiked body into his foes from various angles. He wields his Heavy Spiked Shield in 2 hands and on charges brings his spiked armor to bare. It all comes together for a powerful albeit unorthodox fighting style.

    Level 5 (ECL6)
    Spoiler
    Show
    These are Dorn’s weakest levels compared to the rest of the build. However, compared to other characters, Dorn is sitting pretty. Dungeoncrasher in conjunction with powerful build gives some reliable early game damage and crowd control, a tactic that only becomes stronger with the addition of Improved Bull Rush, Knockback and Expansion power. Outside of combat he doesn’t have much strength but he has significantly broader skill point coverage than your typical Beatstick.


    Level 10(ECL11)
    Spoiler
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    Dorn is now starting to move away from other predictable brute melee builds. He has picked up the first lvl of the S.I and the future looks bright. Like standard brutes he has some devastating damage combos. He can now throw blood-spiked charger into the mix. Here is a quick rough synopsis of dmg from a blood-spiked charge with knockback and dungeoncrasher combo’d.

    Shield- changes to hit +2 charge -2 Two weapon fighting penalty – Variable Power attack= net +0 – Variable Power Attack
    Damage- Base Damage(size fluctuates) + Str x1.5 + Str x2 + Power attackx2 (if you have bought Valorous enhancement on your spikes double this damage).
    Free Bull Rush attempt with a Power Attack x2 bonus to the roll
    Damage 4d8+ Str x2

    Armor Spikes- changes to hit same as shield
    Damage- Base Damage(size fluctuates) + Str x0.5 + Str x2 + Power Attack (If you have bought Valorous enhancement on your spiked double this damage.)
    Free Bull Rush attempt with a bonus to the roll equal to the power attack penalty
    Damage 4d8+ Str x2

    This is some serious mid game damage.

    Unlike standard bruisers, he is starting to get some nifty tricks that either ensure his damage or afford him other options.

    Hustle power is now available to grant a free move action in exchange for a swift action. This can be used to help set up angles for perfect smashing charges. This can be used in conjunction with the Up the walls feat to make daring escapes.

    Up the Walls as previously mentioned is a great tool for escape, but it also gives Dorn some real solid mobility within the city. At this stage it won’t be crucial in every fight, but sometimes it can cause Dorn to simply outclass his opponents. When he can parkour his way to the roof of a building and be 2 blocks over by the end of his turn, it allows him to dictate when and where he fights. This tactic can combo well with his psionics. Stalling will allow him time to buff and heal if needed.

    City Ramparts provides some extra durability in combat and in case of a fall. Dorn already has a pretty hefty con score but the +4 con and Dr 5/ adamantine just compound on his tankiness.


    Level 15(ECL16)
    Spoiler
    Show
    This is the sweet spot for me. Lvl 19(ECL20) is definitely stronger, but this is the level where Dorn’s signature comet fall combat style solidifies.

    But first lets talk about the wonderful addition of meld into city. This might be one of Dorn’s strongest class abilities. With Up the Walls, and Hustle Dorn can break line of sight and effect to his enemies with ease leaving his standard to simply meld into the city. Talk about a wonderful way to simply drop agro. And it gets better, with see the city Dorn can even spy on the enemy while they look for him. He can casually buff and heal and/or just wait for the right moment to pop out. Later on in his career this ability will get even stronger when he can peel agro mid fight, then go from melded into the street into a teleport wherever he wants to be. He will also eventually be able to set up Walls of Stone from inside a meld if he needs time to shape a battle.

    So now lets talk about the combo.

    Up the walls lets us run up the wall at least 20 feet. Then Roof jumper lets us plummet down to do an attack that counts as a charge and gives bonus dmg. Roofwalker lets us ignore 20 feet of the dmg to ourselves. Blood-spiked charger lets us make 2 attacks with the “charge” instead of one. And knockback gives us a free bull rush attempt when we hit someone with power attack. Then since knockback will push the poor soul straight into the ground, dungeoncrasher will activate to add 4d8+ Str x2 dmg. With a 1 power point catfall and a movement 30 feet up a wall, Dorn can leap off to deal the above mentioned Spiked shield and armor dmg + and extra 2d6 damage per attack( I am unclear if Valorous would double this damage but for the sake of the contest I will assume it does not). An odd note, roof jumpers damage is not capped, but falling damage you could possibly take IS capped. So theoretically you could fall 1010 feet and deal an extra 100d6 per attack while only taking 20d6 yourself (reduced to 18d6 from roofwalker and then 13d6 from catfall and then halved by anti-impact armor property and then reduced by DR5/Adamantine= an average of like 20 dmg). I think this was likely a designer mistake so for the sake of the contest I WILL NOT BE EXPLOITING THIS GLITCH. I will impose a 20d6 bonus damage cap on myself to match the max falling damage I could take. This means for this build there is no benefit for falling from a height greater than 210 feet.
    Sometimes Dorn will get surprise his foes from above. With the tall buildings of Skyreach City, getting to start combat leaping from a high rise is a real treat.

    Some things worth noting about this combo: Dorn does not have to land directly on top of the target. He can land in the adjacent square. His successful roofwalker jump check to reduce damage will allow him to land on his feet (catfall will redundantly also allow him to land on his feet). The fall does not have to be a straight downward fall, it only requires the distance fallen to be 20 feet at least. Dorn can leap off of walls to reach foes as long as he falls the prerequisite distance. Dorn will usually try to factor in the opponents height into the equation so as to get his attacks in mid air. This way he can drive them into the ground and also gain a +1 to hit via the elevation bonus.


    Level 19(ECL20)
    Spoiler
    Show
    This is by far Dorn’s most powerful level. All his previous combos remain solid, but now he has some new nova options.

    Intracity Teleport aside from being an immensely powerful escape and mobility tool, can now be used to jaunt Dorn to the top of the tallest buildings. This greatly increases the chances of him bringing a maximum cometfall attack to bare.

    Urban Renewal is also a powerful addition to his arsenal. Aside from allowing him to freely create hideouts and meeting halls (super secret super hero lair engage!), The Wall of Stone ability ensures that no matter where he finds himself, he always has a wall to run up, or a wall to smash someone against. Another powerful use Dorn finds for Urban Renewal is to use Stone shape and/or Disintegrate in conjunction with his architecture and engineering ranks to topple whole buildings. Disintegrate the right support beam or create tunnel under the right foundation and whamo!

    Mob Violence is a solid damage steroid that stacks on nicely to his already massive assault.

    Hear the City provides a invaluable intelligence tool for finding the na’er do wells he must punish.

    And lastly, his manifester level bump from practiced spellcaster has spiked his power points and allowed him to augment his powers further. expansion 2 sizes if he wants/needs to. 9d6 reduced falling damage from catfall if needed. Ect ect.


    Build Goals
    Spoiler
    Show
    Goal 1: To build a street-wise back alley brawler.

    I felt I accomplished this goal through brutish base classes in conjunction with the streetwise martial rogue.

    Goal 2: Use the S.I. to boost a melee brute into what you kids like to call “tier 3”.

    I discuss this goal in depth in the use of S.I. section.

    Goal 3: To take a common build (knockback+dungeoncrasher+psionics) and turn it into an uncommon build by adding my own unique spin.

    I felt I accomplished this goal through the addition of blood-spiked charger, roofwalker, roof-jumper, up the walls, see the city, intracity teleport, catfall, urban renewal (wall of stone) and city ramparts. This new meteor style of attack adds an extra dimension of threat to my entry and has an entirely different feel than that of a typical charger/bull rush build.


    Use of the S.I.
    Spoiler
    Show
    My goal in using the S.I. was to take a standard brute melee and jazz him up. Put a little flair on him. Most melee builds peter off around lvl 10 when they realize that bashing something just doesn’t solve all the problems the game can throw at you. I felt like this S.I. was a perfect fit to pull a one dimensional brute up to a well rounded adventurer able to handle multiple situations and be useful even when there wasn’t anything around to smash. I chose city-bonded urban soul because I felt the devotion to a single city held a more dynamic Hero story and the abilities themselves meshed so well with the build I was going for.

    City Ramparts- The con bump provides a nice temporary hp bump but the real benefit here is the DR 5/ Adamantine. This DR works so well to reduce the falling damage as well as the random damage from attackers. With Dorn’s already existing Con focus and the massive size of Skyreach City, this ability lasts for a sizable duration as well.

    Urban Sustenance & City Bond- These abilities in game remove a minor hassle. The main benefit here is some serious super hero defender of the city type role-play fluff.

    Citybred Senses & Urban Skill Mastery- Surprisingly this ability is pretty valuable to me. This build has some tight skillpoint moments. It is nice to get such a large boost to needed skills.

    Meld into the City- As I stated in the Lvl by Lvl breakdown, this is one of my favorite class abilities. It not only projects a “one with the city” role-play feel, but it actually gives Dorn an instant reprieve from danger whenever he feels he needs it. Whether he finds himself in a bad spot and needs to retreat or he feels he needs to stall to put buffs up, or he just wants to impress the hell out of a commoner, Dorn can make great use of this ability.

    See the City- Works great in conjunction with Meld into the City. It allows him to track a battle from almost complete safety. It can also be used in conjunction with Hear the City to remotely track a lead, or for general spying purposes. Pay close attention to your uses per day though. Three uses can go by quickly!

    Hear the City- gives Dorn an instant investigator kit. He doesn’t have to run around beating his head against rocks to sniff out a clue in order to figure out who killed the merchant in the alleyway. He just ASKs the rocks! This ability is a must have for a Super hero guardian of the city.

    Mob Violence- Who wouldn’t want 10 rounds of 3d6 bonus damage on attacks?
    (Unsure if Valorous doubles Mob Violence so for the sake of the contest I am pretending it doesn’t)

    Intracity Teleport & Urban Renewal- discussed in detail within the Lvl by Lvl breakdown.


    Items
    Spoiler
    Show
    Used
    Spoiler
    Show
    Heavy Spiked Shield- Shield at least +1; Spikes at least +1 Valorous
    Spiked Armor (any light armor)- Armor at least +1 Anti-Impact Armor; Spikes at least +1 Valorous
    +6 Str Stat item
    Tome/Manual of Con +4
    Tome/Manual of Str +4
    +6 Con stat item
    +6 Wisdom stat item
    +4 dex stat item


    Suggested
    Spoiler
    Show
    Any items that raise manifester level
    Consumable power trigger items for healing
    Useful weapon and armor enhancements
    Defensive items
    Standard fare


    An Artists rendition of Dorn's Heavy Spiked Shield. The painting is named "The Red Demon"
    Spoiler
    Show



    Feat Prerequisites
    Spoiler
    Show

    I made a list of my feat prerequs to double check myself while building. I was going to delete it but I figured it might save a judge some time. So I just added sources and put it here in the back of the entry

    Power attack-(PHB) Str 13

    Human Heritage-(Races of Destiny) be a half human race or human descendant

    Expeditious Dodge-(Races of the Wild) 13 dex

    Mobility- (PHB) dodge, 13 dex

    Weapon Focus(spiked armor)-(PHB) base attack bonus +1, Proficiency with selected weapon

    Weapon Focus(spiked shield)-(PHB) base attack bonus +1, Proficiency with selected weapon

    Improved Bull Rush-(PHB) Str 13, Power attack

    Knockback-(Races of Stone) Improved Bull Rush, Power Attack , size Large(or powerful build racial trait)

    Blood-spiked charger-(PHBII) Power Attack, Weapon Focus(spiked armor), Weapon Focus(spiked shield), STR 13, base attack bonus +6, Proficiency with spiked armor and spiked shields

    Roofwalker- (CityScape) Dodge , Mobility , Balance 5 ranks, Jump 5 ranks

    Roofjumper-(Cityscape) Dodge , Mobility , Roofwalker , Balance 7 ranks, Jump 7 ranks

    Up the Walls- (XPH) Wisdom 13

    Practiced Manifester- (Cpsi) Psicraft 4


    Sources
    Spoiler
    Show
    Core
    Races of Destiny
    Races of the Wild
    Complete Psionics
    XPH
    Dungeonscape
    Cityscape
    Races of Stone
    PHBII
    Unapproachable East
    Unearthed Arcana

    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 - #279
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge In The Playground XLIV

    I can't believe it - he stole my intro.

    Quote Originally Posted by Walter Penstapho
    In 2006, Richard Wolf, creator and executive producer of the popular Law and Order franchise, had planned to produce a show featuring an entirely new genre: urban fantasy. This newest program was to be named Law & Order: Sharn Watch.

    Though the show never did air, or even get past the initial negotiation stages, the main character’s career was planned out: Master Detective Sergeant Walter Penstapho.

    Opening Monologue: In Sharn, the City of Towers, the worst criminal elements are pursued by the inquisitives that make up the Sharn Watch. These are their stories. Dun Dun.


    Master Detective Sergeant Walter Penstapho

    Character Profile
    Spoiler
    Show
    NG Male Human Artificer 5/Master Inquisitive 5/Urban Soul 10
    32 point buy
    Str 10, Dex 14, Con 12, Int 16, Wis 12, Cha 14
    all ability increases go to Intelligence

    {table=head]Level|Class|BAB|Fort|Ref|Will|Skills|Feats|Class Features

    1st|Artificer 1|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    | Craft (blacksmithing) 4, Craft (carpentry) 3, Disable Device 4, Gather Information 4, Knowledge (architecture & engineering) 1, Knowledge (local) 4, Search 4, Sense Motive 4, Use Magic Device 4|City Slicker, Martial Study (mighty throw), Scribe Scroll (B)| artificer knowledge, artisan bonus, disable trap, item creation

    2nd|Artificer 2|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    | Craft (blacksmithing) +1, Craft (carpentry) +1, Gather Information +1, Knowledge (architecture & engineering) +1, Knowledge (local) +1, Search +1, Sense Motive +1, Use Magic Device +1|Brew Potion (B)|

    3rd|Artificer 3|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    | Craft (blacksmithing) +1, Craft (carpentry) +1, Gather Information +1, Knowledge (architecture & engineering) +1, Knowledge (local) +1, Search +1, Sense Motive +1, Use Magic Device +1|Craft Wondrous Item (B), Investigate|

    4th|Artificer 4|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    | Craft (blacksmithing) +1, Craft (carpentry) +1, Gather Information +1, Knowledge (architecture & engineering) +1, Knowledge (local) +1, Search +1, Sense Motive +1, Use Magic Device +1|Exceptional Artisan (B)|craft homunculus

    5th|Artificer 5|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    | Craft (blacksmithing) +1, Craft (carpentry) +1, Gather Information +1, Knowledge (architecture & engineering) +1, Knowledge (local) +1, Search +1, Sense Motive +1, Use Magic Device +1|Craft Magic Arms and Armor (B)|retain essence

    6th|Master Inquisitive 1|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    +4
    | Bluff 1, Decipher Script 1, Disguise 1, Forgery 1, Gather Information +1, Knowledge (local) +1, Listen 1, Search +1, Sense Motive +1, Spot 1|Heroic Destiny|zone of truth

    7th|Master Inquisitive 2|
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    | Bluff +1, Decipher Script +1, Disguise +1, Forgery +1, Gather Information +1, Knowledge (local) +1, Listen +1, Search +1, Sense Motive +1, Spot +1|Urban Tracking (B)|contact (3rd)

    8th|Master Inquisitive 3|
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +4
    |
    +5
    | Bluff +1, Decipher Script +1, Disguise +1, Forgery +1, Gather Information +1, Knowledge (local) +1, Listen +1, Search +1, Sense Motive +1, Spot +1, Use Magic Device +0.5| |discern lies

    9th|Master Inquisitive 4|
    +6
    |
    +3
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    | Bluff +1, Decipher Script +1, Disguise +1, Forgery +1, Gather Information +1, Knowledge (local) +1, Listen +1, Search +1, Sense Motive +1, Spot +1, Use Magic Device +0.5|Iron Will (B), Urban Stealth|contact (6th)

    10th|Master Inquisitive 5|
    +6
    |
    +3
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    | Bluff +1, Decipher Script +1, Disguise +1, Forgery +1, Gather Information +1, Knowledge (local) +1, Listen +1, Search +1, Sense Motive +1, Spot +1, Use Magic Device +0.5| |true seeing

    11th|Urban Soul 1|
    +6
    |
    +5
    |
    +7
    |
    +5
    | Climb 1, Escape Artist 1, Gather Information +1, Hide +1, Knowledge (local) +1, Listen +1, Move Silently +1, Search +1, Sense Motive +1, Spot +1, Tumble 1| |city ramparts 1/day, urban sustenance

    12th|Urban Soul 2|
    +7
    |
    +6
    |
    +8
    |
    +5
    | Climb +1, Escape Artist +1, Gather Information +1, Hide +1, Knowledge (local) +1, Listen +1, Move Silently +1, Search +1, Sense Motive +1, Spot +1, Tumble +1|Fearless Destiny|citybred senses +2

    13th|Urban Soul 3|
    +8
    |
    +6
    |
    +8
    |
    +6
    | Climb +1, Escape Artist +1, Gather Information +1, Hide +1, Knowledge (local) +1, Listen +1, Move Silently +1, Search +1, Sense Motive +1, Spot +1, Tumble +1| |meld into city

    14th|Urban Soul 4|
    +9
    |
    +7
    |
    +9
    |
    +6
    | Climb +1, Escape Artist +1, Gather Information +1, Hide +1, Knowledge (local) +1, Listen +1, Move Silently +1, Search +1, Sense Motive +1, Spot +1, Tumble +1| |see the city

    15th|Urban Soul 5|
    +9
    |
    +7
    |
    +9
    |
    +6
    | Climb +1, Escape Artist +1, Gather Information +1, Hide +1, Knowledge (local) +1, Listen +1, Move Silently +1, Search +1, Sense Motive +1, Spot +1, Tumble +1| Quick Reconnoiter|city ramparts 2/day

    16th|Urban Soul 6|
    +10
    |
    +8
    |
    +10
    |
    +7
    | Balance 1, Climb +1, Escape Artist +1, Gather Information +1, Hide +1, Knowledge (local) +1, Listen +1, Move Silently +1, Search +1, Sense Motive +1, Spot +1, Tumble +1| |citybred senses +4, urban skill mastery

    17th|Urban Soul 7|
    +11
    |
    +8
    |
    +10
    |
    +7
    | Balance +1, Climb +1, Escape Artist +1, Gather Information +1, Hide +1, Knowledge (local) +1, Listen +1, Move Silently +1, Search +1, Sense Motive +1, Spot +1, Tumble +1| |hear the city 1/day

    18th|Urban Soul 8|
    +12
    |
    +9
    |
    +11
    |
    +7
    | Balance +1, Climb +1, Escape Artist +1, Gather Information +1, Hide +1, Knowledge (local) +1, Listen +1, Move Silently +1, Search +1, Sense Motive +1, Spot +1, Tumble +1| Force of Personality|mob violence

    19th|Urban Soul 9|
    +12
    |
    +9
    |
    +11
    |
    +8
    | Balance +1, Climb +1, Escape Artist +1, Gather Information +1, Hide +1, Knowledge (local) +1, Listen +1, Move Silently +1, Search +1, Sense Motive +1, Spot +1, Tumble +1| |city ramparts 3/day

    20th|Urban Soul 10|
    +13
    |
    +10
    |
    +12
    |
    +8
    |
    Balance +1, Climb +1, Escape Artist +1, Gather Information +1, Hide +1, Knowledge (local) +1, Listen +1, Move Silently +1, Search +1, Sense Motive +1, Spot +1, Tumble +1| |citybred senses +6, hear the city 2/day, city bond, intracity teleport, urban renewal
    [/table]

    Infusions per day
    {table=head]Level|1st|2nd|3rd

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

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

    3rd|3|1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

    5th|3|3|1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    6th|3|3|1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    7th|3|3|1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    8th|3|3|1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    9th|3|3|1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

    11th|3|3|1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    12th|3|3|1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    13th|3|3|1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    14th|3|3|1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

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

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

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

    19th|3|3|1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

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



    Seasons 1-5: Rookie Forensic Investigator
    Spoiler
    Show
    In the early part of his career, Walter is pretty much a standard artificer but works within the city as part of the forensic team. Born and raised in Sharn, Walter has always wanted the city to be better for his fellow man. He knows these streets and towers like the back of his hand. For the Sharn Watch, he can make and repair magical items as needed and can use expeditious messenger homunculi to get messages to superiors quickly. His study of the Sublime Way, which is part of his martial training, helps him to understand the human psyche better.


    Seasons 6-10: Intrepid Sleuth
    Spoiler
    Show
    Walter’s natural curiosity and investigative prowess has gotten himself noticed by the upper echelon of the Sharn Watch and he undergoes training to become a master inquisitive. His world is turned upside down during Season 7 when a murder investigation leads to a Law and Order major planar crossover event. Walter makes contact with a Temple of Urbanus operating in the city. His contact tells him that the murderer in Sharn comes from a place called New York City. A planar rift had been opened as the killer stepped through from his home city to this one. Luckily for Walter and the Temple two detectives from the Major Case Squad had followed the killer through.
    Spoiler
    Show
    Detectives Robert Goren (left) and Mike Logan (right) peer into the portal that leads to Sharn
    With the abilities of true seeing, discern lies, and zone of truth, the killer is caught and eventually brought back to New York City to face justice there. But Walter knew that there were more threats to Sharn than met the eye. Walter, now a fully fledged Master Inquisitive seeks out the Temple of Urbanus to see if there is a more meaningful way to protect his home city of Sharn from all threats. The Temple of Urbanus gives Walter their blessing. End Season 10.


    Seasons 11-15: Burgeoning City Protector
    Spoiler
    Show
    Walter discovers the Secret Ingredient and finds that these abilities are exactly what he needs to find and face any and all threats. Each of the Urban Soul class features help make Walter a better detective. How better to search the city than by using the eyes of the city? How better to follow a suspect than to meld into the stone itself? How better to face the suspect than by using the power of the city itself to protect himself? Crime in Sharn is decreasing thanks to Walter and the City thanks him with more abilities.


    Seasons 16-20: Sharn’s Greatest Detective
    Spoiler
    Show
    Walter only gets better at being Sharn’s Greatest Detective with the increase of abilities of the SI. How better to chase a fleeing suspect than with urban mastery? How better to investigate the scene of a crime then by asking the stones around it what they “saw?” How better to smite the suspect than with mob violence? To finish the SI Walter uses the City-Bonded Substitution Level to further his connection to his hometown, his base of power, and his protectorate.

    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 - #280
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge In The Playground XLIV

    He's got the draconic groove, man...

    Quote Originally Posted by Randal Ras
    Origins of Greyhawk’s dark hero:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Most of Greyhawk’s denizens knew Randal as a dwarf from out of town - with a human great uncle from way back, from whom he got his frame - who’d found work with his distant kin in the city development division. The general understanding was that he consulted on approval for new structures, roadways and byways within Greyhawk City proper, and then served as a liaison between the developers and the Cartographer’s Guild, who took the responsibility of drawing up the new plans and maps to his specifications. He was a nice enough fellow, who could be quite charming in his way - for a dwarf - when necessary.

    The dwarves, on the other hand, knew him as Ras, an offspring of the union between a dragontouched half-ogre father and a human mother, who grew that bushy blonde beard both as a way of fitting in and explaining his continued close dealings with the dwarven people. The dwarves had discovered a large silver vein that ran halfway between the lands of the city proper and Diamond Lake; they needed to ensure that the city’s grand plans of expansion neither stumbled across their new-found riches, nor justified the requirement of a levy to the city under the pretenses of eminent domain. As such, they employed Ras to make sure both development above ground and excavation below ground were unlikely to provide clues to the activities of the silver mining dwarves. When necessary, Ras would make small but significant changes to the submitted building and excavating plans submitted by various parties, or forge an approval or disapproval of a permit, in the name of maintaining the dwarves’ secret.

    In reality, neither of these firmly believed stories were entirely true. Randal Ras was born right there in Greyhawk City to mongrelfolk parents with an acknowledged tinge of white dragons’ blood in his veins. Randal Ras was raised to love his city, and to understand that - while some petty crimes are inevitable in as densely populated a place as Greyhawk City - the greatest single destructive force within the city walls was the long-term collaboration of different aspects of the criminal element, whose activities would escalate when they were allowed to mingle, trade secrets, and push each other to more and more devious acts. As such, the changes and forgeries he made on various documents were carefully orchestrated to keep the various bad seeds of the city from doing works in too close a proximity to each other within the same time frame, in a continual covert effort to keep criminal activity to manageable levels.

    Moreover, he was not content merely to use legerdermain with slips of paper to prevent crime from escalating. When word reached him that one or another of the disreputable guilds within Greyhawk City had plans for works beyond their normal scope of larceny or thuggery, he would become proactive. Gathering a few heroes-for-hire from amongst the various venues they frequented, he would venture with them to the heart of the known criminal’s enterprise. He would call upon his draconic heritage to spew forth controlled gouts of frost and manage the battlefield, while allowing the outrage the hard-working citizens of Greyhawk City felt at the illegal activities of these ne’er-do-wells to fuel his own energy. Within Greyhawk City itself, he was more alert and nimble than elsewhere, and he knew how to use that to his advantage. When he concentrated, he could see or hear the goings on anywhere within Greyhawk City proper, and transport himself anywhere he saw fit within its confines. Even the walls behind which his targets would seek to hide eventually proved no obstacle as his determination grew.


    Randal Ras of Greyhawk City
    Starting Stats: STR 10 DEX 10 CON 19 INT 14 WIS 10 CHA 11 (Neutral Good, some Lawful tendencies, hides his alignment with class abilities)
    Spoiler
    Show
    {table=head]Level|Class|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Skills|Feats|Class Features

    1st|Dragonfire Adept 1|
    +0
    |
    +6
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |Bluff +4, Diplomacy +2, Disguise +4, Forgery +2, Gather Information +2, Knowledge (Architecture & Engineering) +2, Knowledge (Local) +4, Knowledge (Religion) +2, Sense Motive +2|City Slicker (Races of Destiny, 150), Dragontouched (Dragon Magic, 18)|Breath Weapon 1d6, Least Invocations (Endure Exposure)

    2nd|Dragonfire Adept 2|
    +1
    |
    +7
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |Bluff +5, Disguise +5, Gather Information +3, Knowledge (Architecture & Engineering) +3, Knowledge (Local) +5, Sense Motive +3|-|Breath Effect (Frost Breath), Scales +2

    3rd|Dragonfire Adept 3|
    +1
    |
    +7
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |Bluff +6, Diplomacy +3, Disguise +6, Forgery +3, Knowledge (Local) +6, Knowledge (Religion) +3|Skill Focus (Bluff)|Breath Weapon 2d6, Least Invocation (Beguiling Influence)

    4th|Dragonfire Adept 4|
    +2
    |
    +9
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Bluff +7, Disguise +7, Gather Information +4, Knowledge (Architecture & Engineering) + 4, Knowledge (Local) +7, Sense Motive +4|-|Dragonkin, +1 CON

    5th|Dragonfire Adept 5|
    +2
    |
    +9
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Bluff +8, Diplomacy +4, Disguise +8, Forgery +4, Knowledge (Local) +8, Knowledge (Religion) +4|-|Breath Weapon 3d6, Breath Effect (Shaped Breath)

    6th|Dragonfire Adept 6|
    +3
    |
    +10
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |Bluff +9, Disguise +9, Gather Information +5, Knowledge (Architecture & Engineering) +5, Knowledge (Local) +9, Sense Motive +5|Knowledge Devotion: Knowledge (Religion) now always Class Skill (Complete Champion, 60)|DR 2/Magic, Lesser Invocations (Charm)

    7th|Spymaster 1|
    +3
    |
    +10
    |
    +3
    |
    +5
    |Bluff +10, Diplomacy +5, Disguise +10, Forgery +5, Gather Information +6, Knowledge (Architecture & Engineering) +6, Knowledge (Local) +10, Knowledge (Religion) +5, Sense Motive +6|-|Cover Identity, Undetectable Alignment

    8th|Spymaster 2|
    +4
    |
    +10
    |
    +4
    |
    +5
    |Bluff +11, Diplomacy +6, Disguise +11, Forgery +6, Gather Information +7, Knowledge (Architecture & Engineering) +7, Knowledge (Local) +11, Knowledge (Religion) +6, Sense Motive +7|-|Quick Change, Scrying Defense, +1 CON

    9th|Urban Soul 1|
    +4
    |
    +12
    |
    +6
    |
    +5
    |Bluff +12, Disguise +12, Forgery +7, Gather Information +8, Knowledge (Architecture & Engineering) +8, Knowledge (Local) +12, Knowledge (Religion) +7|Urban Tracking (Races of Destiny 154/Cityscape 64)|City Ramparts 1/Day, Urban Sustenance

    10th|Urban Soul 2|
    +5
    |
    +13
    |
    +7
    |
    +5
    |Bluff +13, Diplomacy +7, Disguise +13, Knowledge (Local) +13, Sense Motive +8|-|Citybred Senses +2

    11th|Urban Soul 3|
    +6
    |
    +13
    |
    +7
    |
    +6
    |Bluff +14, Disguise +14, Forgery +8, Gather Information +9, Knowledge (Architecture & Engineering) +9, Knowledge (Local) +14, Knowledge (Religion) +8|-|Meld Into City

    12th|Spymaster 3|
    +7
    |
    +15
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |Bluff +15, Diplomacy +8, Disguise +15, Forgery +9, Gather Information +10, Knowledge (Architecture & Engineering) +10, Knowledge (Local) +15, Knowledge (Religion) +9, Sense Motive +9|Dragonfire Strike (Dragon Magic, 18)|Magic Aura, Sneak Attack +1d6, +1 CON

    13th|Urban Soul 4|
    +8
    |
    +16
    |
    +8
    |
    +7
    |Bluff +16, Diplomacy +9, Disguise +16, Knowledge (Local) +16, Sense Motive+10|-|See The City

    14th|Urban Soul 5|
    +8
    |
    +16
    |
    +8
    |
    +7
    |Bluff +17, Diplomacy +10, Disguise +17, Forgery +10, Knowledge (Local) +17, Knowledge (Religion) +10|-|City Ramparts 2/Day

    15th|Urban Soul 6|
    +9
    |
    +17
    |
    +9
    |
    +8
    |Bluff +18, Disguise +18, Gather Information +11, Knowledge (Architecture & Engineering) +11, Knowledge (Local) +18, Sense Motive +11|Exhaled Barrier (Races of the Dragon, 101)|Citybred Senses +4, Urban Skill Mastery

    16th|Urban Soul 7|
    +10
    |
    +17
    |
    +9
    |
    +8
    |Bluff +19, Diplomacy +11, Disguise +18, Forgery +11, Knowledge (Local) +19, Knowledge (Religion) +11|-|Hear The City 1/Day, +1 CON

    17th|Urban Soul 8|
    +11
    |
    +18
    |
    +10
    |
    +8
    |Bluff +20, Gather Information +12, Knowledge (Architecture & Engineering) +12, Knowledge (Local) +20, Knowledge (Religion) +12, Sense Motive +12|-|Mob Violence

    18th|Urban Soul 9|
    +11
    |
    +18
    |
    +10
    |
    +9
    |Bluff + 21, Diplomacy +12, Disguise +21, Forgery +12, Knowledge (Local) +21|Entangling Exhalation (Races of the Dragon, 101)|City Ramparts 3/Day

    19th|Urban Soul 10*|
    +12
    |
    +19
    |
    +11
    |
    +10
    |Bluff +22, Disguise +22, Forgery +13, Gather Information +13, Knowledge (Local) +22, Sense Motive +13|-|Citybred Senses +6, Hear the City 2/Day, City Bond, Intracity Teleport, Urban Renewal

    20th|Spymaster 4|
    +13
    |
    +19
    |
    +12
    |
    +10
    |Bluff +23, Diplomacy + 13, Disguise +23, Forgery +14, Gather Information +14, Knowledge (Architecture & Engineering) + 13, Knowledge (Local) +23, Knowledge (Religion) +13, Sense Motive +14|-|Cover Identity, Slippery Mind, +1 CON[/table]

    *Substitution Level

    1st level:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Randal contributes with a breath weapon that is respectably hard to resist and the ability to take a decent hit, both thanks to his racially-granted high CON; he can swing a morningstar or fire a crossbow as needed in a pinch. His above-average INT gives him a wide variety of skills, which he invests primarily toward information and fulfilling a ‘face’ role to make himself useful outside of a fight. Mongrelfolk provides some stiff penalties to his mental stats, but provides a huge number of small bonuses to skills he finds useful throughout his career, as well as toward maintaining cover identities. The two most important saves - FORT and WILL - are both excellent to decent thanks to Dragonfire Adept, while he lets his robust health serve as a substitute for a better REF save. He’s a pretty SAD character who functions just fine in a MAD role. City Slicker is a thematic fit that provides him vital access to the Disguise skill as a class skill from the start, with Dragontouched as a nice bonus (though the lack of “even if you do not meet the prerequisites” verbiage is annoying, keeping his starting CON below 20 to avoid tanking any particular stat). Endure Exposure helps in his whole “tough guy survival mode” shtick and allows one of his buddies to attack with impunity the bad guy that Randal is about to breathe on.


    5th level:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Randal picks up Beguiling Influence at 2nd level, to more than offset the penalties to his social skills borne of his mongrelfolk heritage. The scales he’s grown help him further with his defenses, and his breath weapon has a new energy type. He continues to pick invocations that reduce his MAD while maintaining face benefits, or that increase the efficacy of his breath weapon - which is still scaling decently with level - by keeping friends from harm. While his INT isn’t high enough to allow him to max out all the skills he’s invested in, he continues to invest in all of them as he can, not letting any of them lag behind appreciably. Skill Focus (Bluff) isn’t the sexiest feat available, but it’s necessary to his progression and aids in his role as a Face. When he hits 4th level, he gains a bonus against dragons that may be situational, but may also be life-saving. At 4th level (indeed, at every relevant level) he also increases CON to give his breath weapon more bite and his body more staying power. This combination allows him to continue to function as a particularly sturdy sort of BFC/Face hybrid.


    10th level:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Randal delays getting into Spymaster by a level in order to get a bit of DR and access to a lesser invocation, because the Charm invocation is far too useful to pass up for his purposes. It gives him someone in town to lend further credence to his cover stories, or a faithful sidekick to accompany him on missions without delving into Leadership cheese. Knowledge Devotion helps out his damage output a mite in combat, and makes keeping up all his various skills a mite easier. 7th level is when Randal starts working with the dwarves as Ras, as Spymaster gives him a cover identity and the ability to mask his intentions, while also boosting his weak REF save. At 8th level, Randal becomes more adept at switching between his identities, and gains an additional boost to an important section of his WILL saves. The diversion into Spymaster has delayed his entry into Urban Soul slightly, but he starts his progression there at 9th, where City Ramparts allows him to draw upon the city’s strength to significantly improve both his defenses and the DC of his breath weapon, and Urban Sustenance allows him to recover more quickly from dangerous missions; Urban Tracking gives him a mundane method of finding those he needs, while giving additional utility to an already-invested skill. 10th level gives Randal valuable bonuses to perception-based skills, without a further feat investment or any dilution of his focus on specific skills.


    15th level:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Meld into City, gained at 11th, meshes well with his Spymaster gig to give him a way of staying undetected as he sees fit within Greyhawk City. At 12th level, Randal delves back into Spymaster for its Sneak Attack ability, which he pairs with the Dragonfire Strike feat for a boost to his offensive prowess on par with an extra swing of a greatsword every hit, as well as a nifty misdirection-type ability with Magic Aura. The fact that his breath weapon is cold-based and Dragonfire Strike is fire-based also increases the breadth of enemies he can more readily handle. 13th level sees him back as an Urban Soul, wher See The City grants him the means of determining where his presence is most needed. At 14th level, he gains a second use of the powerful City Ramparts buffs, which last a fairly long time given the size of Greyhawk City and the size of his CON modifier. With his 15th level, Randal gets a two-fold benefit to a plethora of skills, thanks to the increase in Citybred Senses and Urban Skill Mastery (see Chairman’s note, below), while Exhaled Barrier breathes new life into his otherwise lagging breath weapon by allowing it to act as a barrier to separate multiple foes.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kuulvheysoon
    Quote Originally Posted by Randal Ras
    "At 6th level, you have become so familiar with moving through cities that you can do so with extraordinary ease. While in a city, you can Take 10 on the following skill checks, even when under stress: Balance, Climb, Jump, Move Silently, and Tumble."

    Can a 6th level Urban Soul Take 10 on these skill checks if the skills are untrained for him or her?
    Since Balance, Climb, Jump and Move Silently are all untrained skills anyways, I see no problems there. It's Tumble that gets me. I'll rule it as a case of Specific Trumps General and let you (and everyone else) have it.


    20th level:
    Spoiler
    Show
    At 16th level, Randal gains the ability to use Hear The City, and with it the ability to do recon work in ways unavailable to the vast majority of folks. The next level, 17th, is the sweet spot of Randal Ras’ build, as Mob Violence in a city the size of Greyhawk City gives his offense enough punch to matter in most non-corner cases within a non-TO campaign, particularly when paired with his other contributions. 18th level gives Randal an additional use of City Ramparts, which he has for a fairly ridiculous 57 rounds a day by this point before considering any magic items he may have. He uses the feat at this level for Entangling Exhalation, getting yet another different use from his breath weapon. At 19th level, Randal uses the optional city-bonded substitution level to get access to four different SLAs - Greater Teleport, Disintegrate, Stone Shape, and Wall of Stone - within his chosen stomping grounds, as well as an additional usage of Hear the City. Having finished Urban Soul, Randal goes back to Spymaster with his final pre-Epic level, gaining another Cover Identity to use with those he adventures with and the relatively rare Slippery Mind ability, which gives him a second saving throw against certain enchantments and helps offset his weakest save, WILL, by giving him two chances at success.


    Why Urban Soul?
    Spoiler
    Show
    A cursory glance at Randal Ras’ progression table and play tips may lead one to question why he is primarily an Urban Soul, rather than - for the obvious example - primarily a Spymaster, or even primarily a DFA. There are a couple of reasons for this. Spymaster, while supporting all the skills that Randal Ras utilizes, offers comparatively little for offensive punch or defensive survivability, outside its small (but, in this case, useful) sneak attack ability. If Randal Ras is to function as a vigilante adventurer within Greyhawk City, he needs the additional offensive and defensive abilities gained through Urban Soul to be able to stay a viable member of an actual strike force, rather than just a behind-the-scenes functionary. The second reason not to be primarily a Spymaster is metagame based: Spymaster is not a 10-level class, and so is relatively harder to make the focal point of a concept in the same way that Urban Soul can be. As for the notion of focusing more on DFA, that particular base class suffers a bit from diminishing returns, where your options are basically to stick with it to the bitter end in order to utilize it effectively, or else stay in for those particular cookies you find most tasty - in this case, the shaped breath weapon, the long-term Beguiling Influence invocation, and the very stylish Charm invocation - and then move on to greener pastures.


    Options:
    Spoiler
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    An Acidic Burst Collision Morningstar would serve Randal Ras pretty well as a primary offensive weapon, giving him three different energy types with which to harm enemies and an additional ‘always on’ source of extra damage. Any magical items that increase his CON, AC, Saves, or other aspects of general survivability will be welcome, as always. With the Flaws Shaky and Vulnerable, Randal would take Improved Initiative and Insightful Reflexes to gain a lot more than he gave up.


    Sources:
    Spoiler
    Show
    1. SRD
    2. Races of Destiny
    3. Dragon Magic
    4. Complete Adventurer
    5. Complete Champion

    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 - #281
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge In The Playground XLIV

    For Hyborea! ...Wait, what do you mean he's not Conan?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cornan
    NAME OF ENTRY
    Cornan, CG Human Barbarian/Urban Soul "Guardian of the Streets"
    Str 18(16) Dex 10 (2) Con 16 (10) Int 12 (4) Wis 8 (0) Cha 8 (0)
    All Level ups in STR
    The Build

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

    1st|Spirit Lion Urban Barbarian|
    +1
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |4 Ranks Jump, 4 Ranks knowledge (local), 4 Ranks Gather information, 2 Ranks knowledge (architecture) |Power Attack, City Slicker|Ferocity 1/day, Pounce, Illiteracy

    2nd|Spirit Lion Urban Barbarian|
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |5 Ranks Jump, 5 Ranks knowledge (local), 4 Ranks Gather information, 2 Ranks knowledge (architecture), remove illiteracy ||Uncanny dodge

    3rd|Spirit Lion Urban Barbarian|
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |6 Ranks Jump, 6 Ranks knowledge (local), 6 Ranks Gather information, 2 Ranks knowledge (architecture)|Improved Bull Rush|Trap sense+1

    4th|Spirit Lion Urban Barbarian |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |7 Ranks Jump, 7 Ranks knowledge (local), 7 Ranks Gather information, 2.5 Ranks knowledge (architecture)|| Ferocity 2/day

    5th|Spirit Lion Urban Barbarian|
    +5
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |8 Ranks Jump, 8 Ranks knowledge (local), 8 Ranks Gather information, 3 Ranks knowledge (architecture)||Improved uncanny dodge

    6th|Spirit Lion Urban Barbarian|
    +6/+1
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |9 Ranks Jump, 9 Ranks knowledge (local), 9 Ranks Gather information, 3.5 Ranks knowledge (architecture)|Shock Trooper|Trap sense+2

    7th|Spirit Lion Urban Barbarian|
    +7/+2
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |10 Ranks Jump, 10 Ranks knowledge (local), 10 Ranks Gather information, 4 Ranks knowledge (architecture)||Streetfighter

    8th|Spirit Lion Urban Barbarian|
    +8/+3
    |
    +6
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |11 Ranks Jump, 11 Ranks knowledge (local), 11 Ranks Gather information, 4.5 Ranks knowledge (architecture)|| Ferocity 3/day

    9th|Spirit Lion Urban Barbarian|
    +9/+4
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |12 Ranks Jump, 12 Ranks knowledge (local), 12 Ranks Gather information, 5 Ranks knowledge (architecture)|Leap Attack |Trap sense+3

    10th|Spirit Lion Urban Barbarian|
    +10/+5
    |
    +7
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |13 Ranks Jump, 13 Ranks knowledge (local), 13 Ranks Gather information, 5 Ranks knowledge (architecture), 1 Rank Forgery||Streetfighter, improved

    11th|Urban Soul|
    +10/+5
    |
    +9
    |
    +5
    |
    +3
    |14 Ranks Jump, 14 Ranks knowledge (local), 14 Ranks Gather information, 5 Ranks knowledge (architecture), 1 Rank Forgery, 5 Ranks Spot||City Ramparts 1/day, Urban Substance

    12th|Urban Soul|
    +11/+6/+1
    |
    +10
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    |15 Ranks Jump, 15 Ranks knowledge (local), 15 Ranks Gather information, 5 Ranks knowledge (architecture), 1 Rank Forgery, 10 Ranks Spot|Martial Study (Wall of Blades)| Citybred Senses +2

    13th|Urban Soul|
    +12/+7/+2
    |
    +10
    |
    +6
    |
    +4
    |16 Ranks Jump, 16 Ranks knowledge (local), 16 Ranks Gather information, 5 Ranks knowledge (architecture), 1 Rank Forgery, 15 Ranks Spot|| Meld Into City

    14th|Urban Soul|
    +13/+8/+3
    |
    +11
    |
    +7
    |
    +4
    |17 Ranks Jump, 17 Ranks knowledge (local), 17 Ranks Gather information, 5 Ranks knowledge (architecture), 1 Rank Forgery, 17 Ranks Spot, 3 Ranks Intimidate|| See The City

    15th|Urban Soul|
    +13/+8/+3
    |
    +11
    |
    +7
    |
    +4
    |18 Ranks Jump, 18 Ranks knowledge (local), 18 Ranks Gather information, 5 Ranks knowledge (architecture), 1 Rank Forgery, 18 Ranks Spot, 7 Ranks Intimidate|Martial Study (Iron Heart surge)| City Ramparts 2/day

    16th|Urban Soul|
    +14/+9/+4
    |
    +12
    |
    +8
    |
    +5
    |19 Ranks Jump, 19 Ranks knowledge (local), 19 Ranks Gather information, 5 Ranks knowledge (architecture), 1 Rank Forgery, 19 Ranks Spot, 11 Ranks Intimidate|| Citybred Senses +4, Urban Skill Mastery

    17th|Urban Soul|
    +15/+10/+5
    |
    +12
    |
    +8
    |
    +5
    |20 Ranks Jump, 20 Ranks knowledge (local), 20 Ranks Gather information, 5 Ranks knowledge (architecture), 1 Rank Forgery, 20 Ranks Spot, 15 Ranks Intimidate|| Hear the city 1/day

    18th|Urban Soul|
    +16/+11/+6/+1
    |
    +13
    |
    +9
    |
    +5
    |21 Ranks Jump, 21 Ranks knowledge (local), 21 Ranks Gather information, 5 Ranks knowledge (architecture), 1 Rank Forgery, 21 Ranks Spot, 19 Ranks Intimidate|Destructive Rage| Mob Violence

    19th|Urban Soul|
    +16/+11/+6/+1
    |
    +13
    |
    +9
    |
    +6
    |22 Ranks Jump, 22 Ranks knowledge (local), 22 Ranks Gather information, 5 Ranks knowledge (architecture), 2 Ranks Forgery, 22 Ranks Spot, 22 Ranks Intimidate|| City Ramparts 3/day

    20th|Urban Soul (City-Bonded sub level)|
    +17/+12/+7/+2
    |
    +14
    |
    +10
    |
    +6
    |23 Ranks Jump, 23 Ranks knowledge (local), 23 Ranks Gather information, 7 Ranks knowledge (architecture), 3 Ranks Forgery, 23 Ranks Spot, 23 Ranks Intimidate|| Citybred Senses +4,Hear the city 2/day, City Bond, Intracity Teleport, Urban Renewal[/table]

    How It Plays
    Spoiler
    Show

    1st to 10th level, to play as a standard charger-focused barbarian. You have slightly better out of combat opinions with knowledge (local) and GI at full ranks, and at 10th level get the ability to do a 90 turn in a charge, increasing the ease of charging foes.

    When you start getting levels in Urban Soul, the first two don't give much in the way of massive improvements, although City ramparts stacks nicely with Rage to make you a true walking HP tank. You do have to make sure the city picked has alot of cobblestone streets, for reasons explained below. You still get your 3rd iterative attack, if a level late.

    The build really gets unique at 3rd level. Meld into city explicitly allows you to meld into the city streets, meaning that you can easily ambush opponents from below. More than that, it allows you to eavesdrop and move to any stone street in the city, as long as it is connected to the one you entered the streets from. As the Meld Into Stone spell says,
    While in the stone, you remain in contact, however tenuous, with the face of the stone through which you melded. You remain aware of the passage of time and can cast spells on yourself while hiding in the stone. Nothing that goes on outside the stone can be seen, but you can still hear what happens
    Note that it says face. The face of the stone you enter by is obviously the top one, which people walk on, as the other are surrounded by dirt. Since Streets are interconnecting, the face of the street you meld into is the same face as a street on the other side of the city, as long as the cobbled streets go there. Note also that you still have your sense of hearing, so you can hear everything that people on the streets are talking about. This has huge potential for gathering information about threats to your city, as who expects for the streets themselves to be listening? As for moving through the streets, the spell says
    Any time before the duration expires, you can step out of the stone through the surface that you entered
    The same argument above applies to this, allowing you to leave the streets directly next to two thugs whispering to themselves about mugging as defenseless individual... or ambush a evil cult heading to sacrifice to their evil god. It gives you a huge increase in information and mobility.

    The level after that, you get the ability to cast clairvoyance 3 times a day inside the city. This combos nicely with the meld into stone from last level, because if you hear something interesting you can use this first to see what your jumping into before doing so.

    You don't get as good abilities for the next few levels, getting the ability to take 10 on a few skills and another use of city ramparts. Hear the City allows you to ask buildings or other stone structures what you miss from keeping an eye on the street, and mob violence increases your damage a bit, but nothing huge. 8th level gets your final iterative attack. At 10th level, you get Intracity teleport, allowing you to ambush evil doers even when they stay off the streets, meaning its even harder to avoid you.

    A point about all the ability requiring familiarly with the location in question, knowledge (local) and gather information at full ranks should allow you to learn enough about any location to use these abilities.

    Also, if you have any troubles with authorities, the rank in forgery plus a few kits and the like to boost your check should allow you to make a badge or pass of some kind to give you authority to ignore or override city watch and the like, since Forgery is only opposed by Forgery (and who takes forgery?)

    In short, you use the abilities from barbarian to be able to charge for huge damage, and then use the abilities from Urban soul to learn who to charge and where they are, and then to move to a position you can charge as a surprise with a 90 degree turn.


    Sources
    Spoiler
    Show

    Spirit Totem Barbarian ACF (Complete Champ)
    City-Slicker Feat (Cityscape)
    Street-Fighter AFC (Cityscape Web Enchantment)
    Shock Trooper Feat (Complete Warrior)
    Leap Attack Feat (Complete Adventurer)
    Marital Study feat (ToB)
    Destructive Rage feat (Complete Warrior)
    Last edited by Kuulvheysoon; 2013-04-20 at 08:58 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.

  12. - Top - End - #282
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge In The Playground XLIV

    From beneath the whips of the Red Wizards...

    Quote Originally Posted by Dorian the Gray
    Abilities
    Spoiler
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    str 10
    dex 14 (increases here)
    con 12
    int 16 (bonus languages: under common, drow sign language, giant)
    wis 10
    cha 15


    Backstory[spoiler]

    The Life of a Bodyguard
    Spoiler
    Show


    The life of a Thayan bodyguard was not a glamorous one. Dorian had accompanied his master on an unremarkable adventure. Something about obtaining fell magical ingredients. Not that the Red Wizard that accompanied him had actually told him these things. Dorian went solely off of what he overheard. Red Wizards seemed to make a living off underestimating the intelligence of those around them.

    His master was exceedingly paranoid, going so far as to withhold his name from Dorian and the other, less fortunate members of his personal guard under the assumption that one of them might try to exert control over him with it somehow. It was a very long way back to Thay, and Dorian's master had no means to teleport them back until the morning.

    They trekked on until they found the ruins of an abandoned city to shelter themselves in for the night.

    It would be more accurate to say they found the city to shelter Dorian for the night. His master apologized there was room only for one in his rope trick. Dorian knew he was lying, but knew it wasn't his place to question. Besides, every man was due his privacy.

    He bid his master good night and took shelter in the town's square, his back against a hulking statue to some long-forgotten king.

    Facing the city's decrepit gates, he felt satisfied that he would awaken should there be any danger. It was the best vantage point he had at his disposal.

    Dorian awoke the next day and felt something was off. He closed his eyes and took a cleansing breath, the scent of rot and decay thick around him. His training prepared him for this eventuality, though he couldn't say it was characteristic of his master to wander off like this.

    He didn't shout out to him in case he had been abducted. It would serve only to give away his position, and he couldn't protect anyone if he were captured or killed.

    His master had an unusual scent. He was still new to the order of Red Wizards, and had been treating the tattoo on his cheek with a foul-smelling tincture of mustard seed and alcohol, his skin still tight and red from the fresh wound. His smooth, bald head meant his sweat lingered for a shorter time on his body, but it was still noticeable to one who had had Dorian's training.

    It was a balmy day, and Dorian, his skin thicker than his pampered master's, hadn't yet broken a sweat. Due to Thay's desert climate, he thought it was unusual his master had, until he detected the pungent tang of fear on the wind.

    He doubled his speed and unsheathed his sword. He was getting close now, and felt his master's presence on the outskirts of the city. Dorian felt his muscles burn as he beat his path forward, covering many feet with each stride.

    An old mining shaft stood before him. It was abandoned now, but a rusted track told him it once serviced the city behind him. Dorian saw a massive boulder in his path, but did not slow down, knowing his momentum would give him strength.

    He leapt high into the air, giving a mighty shout, and cleft the boulder in twain with his sword, the halves falling neatly to either side as he came down lightly on the balls of his feet.

    The air was thick with dust and sulfur, but didn't smell poisonous. Dorian continued onwards and heard the shouts of an uncomfortably familiar language.

    Thay, needing labor for its vast fields of wheat, and for the Red Wizards' multifarious experiments, often poached slaves from nearby cities, including drow encampments. He recognized the low hum of Undercommon even from a distance. Though he couldn't understand their exact words, he was well-trained enough to recognize the tone of battle commands in any language.

    Dorian detected several distinct individuals further down the tunnel. His heartbeat quickened as he smelled blood in the air.

    The tunnel was too crowded for him to determine if it was human or not. He closed his eyes and threw a flash bang.

    His master would forgive him if he saw stars for a while if it meant that it would prevent him from being roasting on a drow's spit.

    The drow in the cavern emitted a piercing shriek, their milky white eyes burning in the darkness.

    Dorian opened his eyes after the initial blast, the smoldering jelly from the inside of the bomb emitted small amounts of light, enough for him to see the interior of the tunnel.

    A patrol of half a dozen drow were circling around him, getting shakily into position. One of them brandished a spear at him, the severed head of his master still adorning the tip.

    Dorian exhaled and changed his footing, the smell of his master's blood suddenly turning his stomach. He took to the skies and came down hard on the drow nearest him, driving the point of his sword into his eye. He gave it a twist and a fountain of blood sprayed from his enemy's gullet, showering the rough, rocky ground under his feet.

    He couldn't read fear in his enemies' alien faces, their eyes devoid of soul or expression. What he could read was the fluttering motions of their hands, their strange sign language telegraphing to him who was moving where and when.

    Pressing his advantage, he was able to cut down all but one, the one with his master's head brandished before him like some kind of protective totem.

    Dorian lowered his blade and sheathed it. He readjusted himself and felt the coppery tang of the drow's sweat in his nostrils once more.

    He crouched down and spread his arms wide, snarling out a sentence in the drow's guttural language.

    "I smell your fear."

    The chieftain lunged forward at him with his spear, put off balance by its new adornment. Dorian grabbed its shaft and jerked it downward with great force, the drow coming within arm's reach of him. He snapped the spear in half with a blow from the heel of his hand, turning it around in his palm and clubbing the drow in the temple with the blunt end until he lost his footing.

    Dorian straddled his chest and pulled a dagger from his belt.

    "Where is the rest of him?" he growled, pulling his master's head from the stone tip of the spear.

    "G-gone," the chieftain croaked.

    Dorian weighed his options and drew a dagger from his belt, idly balancing it on his thumb.

    "No, p-please.."

    "I'm sure that's what Sir said. Before you ate him."

    "No! We don't do that."

    "Lying," Dorian said dully.

    The chieftain swallowed. "I'm not…"

    Dorian gripped his dagger tight and slammed its pommel forcefully into the drow's stomach.

    He grabbed the drow's neck and turned his head to the side as he vomited onto the ground, blood and bones and stringy bits of meat pooling around his cheek.

    Dorian ground his face into it, his heartbeat slowing with a cold hatred.

    "Like I said. Lying. Get up." Dorian got to his feet and fixed the chieftain with a baleful glare. He stood up, like Dorian knew he would. A pair of manacles swung from Dorian's belt, there to intimidate potential slaves. Just what stood before him.

    He clapped them around the slave's wrists and nodded to the mouth of the cavern.

    "Outside."

    "But-"

    Dorian lazily fingered the handle of a whip clipped to his thigh and listened to his prisoner's complaints evaporate. The two marched outside, his slave shielding his eyes from the blinding light of the sun.

    "Where are we going?" he said after they had walked for some time. They were just within the bounds of the ruined city, walking over a low, iron fence.

    "Graveyard."

    "What?!"

    Dorian snorted.

    "Wouldn't bury you. Not worth it."

    He threw down a shovel.

    "Dig."

    "But you just said-"

    "Not for you. Dig a grave for Sir."

    There was a silence as the drow picked it up and cracked the hard packed earth with the tip of the shovel.

    The slave's back turned, Dorian could speak freely, even if it was just for a moment. He was able to slip back into his comfortable mother tongue and looked his master in the eye.

    "You weren't always good to me," he said, running his thumb along his master's cheek, wiping away a small bit of dirt.

    "Weren't always bad either." Dorian slowly closed his eyelids with his thumb before rigor mortis set in.

    "Not sure where I am now. Wouldn't be prudent to try to get back home without knowing that, you'd say. Have to make alternate arrangements."

    The slave interrupted Dorian with a modest clearing of his throat. He was learning fast.

    Dorian knelt by the grave, knowing the drow would not dare strike him, even while his back was turned. His will was broken, Dorian could hear it even in the way he drew breath, and could smell it wafting off his dark skin.

    "I may not be able to bring you back, but the least I can do is make it up to you."

    He held his master's head in front of him and kissed each of its cheeks twice.

    "Goodbye, Sir. "

    Dorian lay his master into his grave and filled it in himself, piling stones to serve as a marker.

    "I'm so relieved," said the slave behind him.

    "What?" Dorian barked, annoyed that he had to switch back to Undercommon.

    "That you didn't throw me in after him. We've used the trick a few times ourselves." His tone was far too familiar for Dorian's liking. Perhaps he wasn't as quick a learner as he had initially surmised.

    "Don't address me as an equal, slave. I'm not like you. Whatever I do to you in the following days, I promise, I will never kill you."

    The drow's face fell, his chumminess evaporating.

    "You're not going to ransom me?"

    "No."

    "Then why did you take me prisoner?"

    "That's for me to worry about." He pointed to the statue jutting from the city's square he and his master had made camp at the night before. The slave began to set up his tent.

    Dorian didn't speak to him again that night, letting him brag and boast about how well regarded he was underground and how high his standing was there. Most of all, he told of how very populous the city underground was, and how while retribution may not find Dorian right away, when it did, it would be great and terrible. He chose not to dignify it with a response.

    Dorian wasn't worried. He knew he would need his rest if he was to figure out what to do next, and when it came time, simply shackled the slave to a tent peg and went to sleep.


    The Call to Action
    Spoiler
    Show

    Sleep came quickly to him, his body and soul tired from what had transpired that day.

    He found himself dreaming, not something he did often. Dorian found this dreamscape to look much like the city he was now in, long long ago.

    The streets were full of people. The dilapidated carts that littered the streets were in good repair and were stocked with fruits and bread and leather goods. It looked like a real city instead of the bare bones of one.

    What caught his attention most of all was the statue. When he had seen it the first time, he had assumed it to be of a man, though under the rust and vines, it was difficult to make out its precise features.

    Now though, he saw the metal that made up its skin gleaming in the bright sunlight. There was a grid pattern carved into it, as though the figure it was depicting had skin made of roughly hewn bricks. Its eyes were hollow rectangles, looking not unlike arrow slits, the teeth it bared in a broad smile looked like tombstones, and the spiked helmet Dorian had assumed it to be wearing looked now more like an elaborate haircut.

    Dorian took a step back when the shutters on its window eyes fluttered at him.

    "I'm in no mood, monster." He reached for his sword by instinct, but found himself in a clean, white robe, as though he were one of his master's virgin sacrifices.

    The giant figure in front of him laughed with a sound like an avalanche, and Dorian covered his ears.

    "I'm no monster, little one." It sat down on its large, square pedestal, its face coming closer to Dorian's own as it seemed to inspect him.

    "If you've come for my soul, I'll have to disappoint you, for it belongs to another."

    The creature leaned over Dorian and sniffed at him with a great accordion-like bellows that served at its nose.

    "I can tell that much. But I'm not here to judge you, Dorian, I'm here to help you."

    "How do you know my name?" Whether his master had been right or wrong, Dorian was used to the idea of names holding power. If this thing had his name, it had power over him.

    "I am a god. Urbanus, the god of cities. And I've come to you because I can tell you're homesick."

    "What of it?" Were he truly a god, Dorian wouldn't need to verbalize his feelings. If not, there was no need to tip his hand.

    "Why not make this your home? I'm afraid my ability to help you spruce the place up is limited with just the two of you here. But the bigger the population is, the more I'll be able to lend a hand when you're rebuilding my streets or patching up my buildings."

    "Two of us?"

    "Yes, you and your companion."

    Was Urbanus counting the drow? Dorian may have an idea of what to do next after all.

    "Ah. Yes. I will take you up on your offer, Sir." Though he wasn't addressing his real master, the word felt comforting and safe in his mouth.

    "Splendid splendid splendid!" Urbanus shouted joyously with the sound of raucous applause jangling forth from his toothy maw.

    He stepped down from his perch and pressed his craggy thumb to Dorian's forehead.

    "Now you don't need to eat or sleep anymore, I've taken care of all that. It should speed reconstruction efforts if you don't have to bother with all that nonsense."

    Dorian smirked. "Yes. In that case, shouldn't you wake me up? I'll need more manpower if you want this place looking respectable any time soon."

    "Of course! Remember, the more people you get here, the stronger I'll grow, and you as well, of course, so get people here however you can."

    "I will do just that, Sir."

    "Well then, I bid you adieu."

    "Huh?"

    "Oops, wrong city. Think nothing of it. Just get to work."

    With that, Dorian awoke, feeling invigorated in a way he never truly had before. He kicked his slave awake and pulled him to his feet.

    "Where are you taking me?" he groaned.

    "Hunting."


    Any Means Necessary[spoiler]
    Between Dorian's many years working as a slaver in Thay, and the intelligence the chieftain had unwittingly let slip the night before, he had more slaves than he could count on two hands before the week was out.

    The first thing he had them do was repair the city's gate. While he could keep watch over them 24 hours a day, he had better things to do with his time if he was going to keep his promise, both to his master and to Urbanus.

    The work on the gate went slowly at first, but more quickly once he broke out his whip. Once the drow saw their chieftain bawling in a heap on the ground, they were much more pliable. Every scar that latticed his back was another brick laid in place for Dorian's city.

    Of course, they sent raiding parties, just like they were supposed to. Dorian ordered the gates opened to let them in, and shut once they were inside the city with nowhere else to go. The holes in the walls they were used to scrabbling into and out of were no longer there as an escape route, and they were stuck inside a maze of Dorian's design.

    Streets, intersections, and tunnels were walled off seemingly at random to confuse the raiders who came looking for their quarry.

    They only seemed hodgepodge to the slaves who built them. Dorian was careful to break them into groups and not to have any one crew work on too many parts of the city. As he had surmised, now that the population of the city had swelled into the hundreds, Urbanus had blessed him with greater power.

    He clung more easily than ever to craggy walls, and leapt silently from rooftop to rooftop, alighting on enemies on his way and beating them into unconsciousness, stripping them of their gear and taking it to one of his hidey-holes.

    This achievement, he was proudest of. Through trial and error, he found that Urbanus, like all masters, had rules. Though Dorian found himself able to step into stone walls with ease, in order to convince his slaves that he was indeed everywhere at once, and could move around the city on a whim, he found that try as he might, he could not emerge again on the other side, so more inventive measures were necessary.

    A number of buildings in town had stone walls constructed just behind their doors. This left them only accessible through the upper stories. Dorian could easily climb or leap into and out of them in short order, and it was here he stored the raiders' equipment. Any slave that was able to slip away from his watchful eye wouldn't be able to get into the upper story of the building, get an item of use, and get down before he noticed they were missing. The plan was foolproof.

    And, though it took many days of prowling, waiting, and hiding in back alley walls when he found himself outnumbered, eventually, Dorian had stripped every member of the rescue party that had been sent out until they were no longer a threat to him.

    During this time, the slaves had, of course, tried to open the gate, figuring that while Dorian was busy fighting, he couldn't possibly be keeping an eye on them.

    He went out of his way to make an example of these slaves and to show them how wrong they truly were. As ruthless as his beatings were, his training had taught him where to focus his attacks to inflict as much pain as possible while not permanently damaging the merchandise. A slave who pissed blood for a few days after a good kick in the kidneys would lift just as many bricks into place as one who did what it was told.

    They didn't know his true priorities. Before growing his ranks, he had to make sure that not one single drow left his city.

    And not a single one did.

    He monitored them closely. He wouldn't risk leaving the city again until the last of the rescue team had his spirit broken. By now, those who were part of his original construction crews genuinely believed that he could come from anywhere at any time, having seen him walk out of a wall on several occasions and that he could see and hear everything after he had referred to bits of conversations they'd known they'd had in private.

    Once this groundwork was laid, he knew he could leave the city quietly overnight and none of his slaves would dare step out of line, fearing that he could be back at any time.

    Dorian simply waited until he had put his slaves to bed in their cells and vaulted over the wall, so he didn't have to give the command to open the gate.

    He landed without a sound and made his way toward the drow encampment. As he ran, he felt a deep, searing pain in his chest as he left the limits of his city. Hopefully it wouldn't be too long before he reached his destination.

    The boulder no longer lay in front of the entrance to the cave. Instead it was a shrine to those who had gone missing, relocated to Dorian's city with garlands, candles, and an eternal flame in its center.

    Dorian skimmed a few of the words, seeing a few names, but nothing of real interest until he neared the bottom.

    Apparently, they knew that Dorian never left the city, so left their doors open to anyone who could manage to escape, if anyone ever did. They must have reasoned that the time it took to move the boulder would be enough time for Dorian to reclaim his property. They were probably right.

    There was a blank face on the side of the entrance, a space for those who had escaped to sign their names.

    There was not a single name underneath it, but there was the under common word for "hope." Dorian wet his thumb. He rubbed away the dot on the last character and replaced it with a curved line, scraping it in with a white-colored rock that lay at the cavern mouth. One subtle change and the meaning of the calligraphy before him was now "despair."

    Someone cleared his throat next to Dorian. It was a pair of drow leaning on spears.

    "Certainly took you savages long enough. I've been here making noise for five minutes. What if I'd been an intruder?"

    They readied themselves for battle.

    "You're not?"

    "No. I came unarmed for a reason and carry with me a white flag. I trust you know what that means."

    He had found the scrap of cloth in the street of his city, lodged in the spokes of a wagon wheel. It was the same color as the robe he'd worn in his dream all those months ago.

    "Yes. Come. We'll take you to our matriarch."

    "The chieftain's wife? Ruling in his stead?"

    The drow nearest him quirked an eyebrow.

    "No. She always has been our leader."

    Dorian said nothing; his expression conveyed his amusement. What a queer little people.

    He lolled his head back and forth, appearing to lazily survey the tunnels as the guardsmen led him deeper and deeper into their lair. In actuality, he was mapping out a detailed blueprint of the tunnel network, keeping track of the loops and dead ends the guards took him to in order to confuse him. He hadn't slept in almost a year, and his mind had been working feverishly ever since. He could create blueprints in his head without any effort at all now, doubtless a blessing from Urbanus.

    The closer he got to the heart of the city, the more powerful he felt. They must have been nearing the throne room.

    The guards before him led him to a tunnel like the ones before it and raised a rusty iron portcullis. While this may not look like a city, he could feel the buzz of thousands of drow around him, swarming like insects around Dorian, the fabled interloper.

    The queen before him sat perched in an austere throne of black marble. Her breasts rose and fell with each breath, contained by some unknown means in a diaphanous garment made of spider's web.

    "It is customary to bow when seeking audience with royalty."

    "No, thank you."

    She arched an eyebrow, clearly expecting resistance.

    "Because I'm a woman?"

    Dorian shook his head.

    "Because you're a slave, even if you don't know it yet."

    The guardsman behind him lunged forward, ready to kick his knees out from behind him, but the queen stopped him with a gesture of her hand.

    "Why have you come here, interloper? Surely you know I could have my men cut you down where you stand."

    Dorian laughed and elbowed the guardsman next to him in the throat, nudging him to the ground with his foot when he fell to his knees gagging.

    "If you meant to do so, surely you would have tried by now. You know I have something to say that I you need to hear."

    Dorian's nostrils flared as he smelled he sickly-sweet nervousness of the queen's sweat.

    "You speak of our people?"

    "My slaves, yes." He watched as she tried vainly to contain her indignation. "As you know, my city is located in a most inhospitable desert. I have recently begun distributing the contents of the city's last edible larders. The rest have succumbed to the ravages of time. What I propose is, since your subjects plainly have some means of feeding themselves, that you make a monthly tithe of food to my city, along with one hundred head of fresh slaves."

    The queen was clutching the arm of her throne so tightly, the black flesh of her knuckles was looking almost ashen.

    "And if I refuse?"

    Dorian turned on his heel and walked through the doorway, glaring the other guardsman out of the way to go attend to his wounded partner.

    "Then I'll let them starve to death. The decision is yours, and that's just what I'm going to tell them," he shouted behind him, not waiting for a response.

    He made his own way out unguided, to show them that their roundabout hadn't worked on him.

    He leapt back into the city undetected, the trek through the desert leaving him physically exhausted. It was a strange sensation to feel such an ache in his muscles yet to have no desire for sleep.

    In the morning, he was true to his word and told the people of his talk with their queen. They had not seen him leave, nor had they seen him return, so believed, as he told them, that he could be in any city he wanted whenever he wished.

    Once he was finished speaking, he vanished into the stonework of the city to eavesdrop on their murmurings. Some were hopeful that they would receive help from home. More were anxious that their homeland had abandoned them, just as Dorian had planned.
    Last edited by Kuulvheysoon; 2013-04-20 at 09:13 PM.

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  13. - Top - End - #283
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    Continued (with another to come)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dorian the Gray
    He knew that no matter how cold the queen had tried to seem, eventually, she would give in. It wouldn't be right away, but it would happen.

    As he had predicted, in a few weeks, a caravan loaded with food showed up at the city's gates. His tithes were there as well, dressed in the white robes he recognized from his dream.

    The royal palanquin was there as well, a veil of spider's web shielding the queen from the sun.

    Dorian commanded the city bell to be rung to gather the populace by the gate. He leapt over the wall in full view of everyone on both sides of the gate and stood in front of the palanquin, the veil rustling with the breeze from his landing.

    "I'm here as requested, monster. Open the gates and let me see my people," the queen said without getting out of her palanquin.

    "If you wish to see them, you'll have to come inside. And no one leaves my city."

    There was a long pause.

    "How do I know there's anyone left?"

    "You don't."

    Dorian saw the silhouette of the queen nod behind her veil, and gave the command to open the gates.

    He led her in personally, her hands encased in the manacles he wore on his belt.

    He leapt onto the city wall as the gates closed after the last tithe had made its way in. It was time to address them.

    There was a wave of delight seeing that their people hadn't abandoned them, and as it ebbed, he saw it replaced with fresh despair that their queen was with them to stay.

    "What else needs to be said? I've beaten you all. Get back to work." [/spoiler]

    Culmination
    Spoiler
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    With a steady stream of new blood coming in, renovations progressed more quickly than Dorian had planned. In only a few years, they had repaired nearly every part of the city, and were even successful in digging wells where Dorian knew there was water.

    The underground streams felt like his veins, and it was as easy as breathing to point them out to his crews.

    Still though, there was one structure in the city that refused to be restored. No matter how many slaves he tasked with clearing off the overgrowth, how many hours he made them rub off the tarnish, or how many blows he struck secretly at night once they were all asleep, the statue of Urbanus would not be fixed.

    If anything, it somehow looked worse than it had when he first came here. The metal of its skin was pitted and scarred, the vines that grew in clumps around it dying and snarled. Every day, chunks of it sloughed off, revealing some kind of underlying structure. Perhaps it had once been a statue of something else and had been added to.

    No matter. Even if his statue would not be repaired, Dorian had followed Urbanus's commands to the letter. His ever-increasing power with every new birth was proof of Urbanus's tacit approval. Still though, this excrescence in Dorian's city felt as painful and unnatural as a tumor on his very body. As time wore on, he found it occupying more and more of his thoughts.

    He kept scrupulous records of population, new milestones making him feel more alive than ever. Dorian knew that population growth was exponential, and the more people he had, the faster the city would grow.

    On one not so very special day, the twenty five thousand and first citizen was born.

    Dorian was an old man now. His hair had grown white, and his beard was beginning to gray.

    He was in the middle of the town square when there was a great cracking noise from the statue of Urbanus. Its exterior cascaded down like an avalanche and revealed a monstrous figure beneath it.

    Its back was stooped, its knees bending backwards like a cat's. It had a sinuous whip for a tail and was swathed in chains. A sneer contorted its toothy maw at the end of a bestial snout. Its arms dragged onto the pedestal, swollen with bulbous, oversized muscles, ending in jagged claws.

    "What the hell is that?" Dorian said to himself.

    The slaves around the base of the statue cowered and looked to him, confused.

    "Do you know what that is?" He grabbed one of them by the arm and pulled him over.

    "You, Sir, it's a statue of you."

    Dorian let the slave go and collapsed to his knees.

    Now he understood what he was supposed to have gleaned from his dream with Urbanus. The robe he had been dressed in wasn't sacrificial garb, but a christening gown. He was brought before Urbanus not as a vassal, but as a petitioner.

    When he had seen the town bustling with people, it was what Urbanus had wanted him to bring back, not just what he missed.

    He saw in the crowd the fear in the eyes of the youngest slaves. They had been born here, and this life was all they knew. Because of him. He knew at once that he had failed, and that nothing he could do would ever redeem himself.

    He got unsteadily to his feet and drew his sword, the blade unwieldy in his hands. He had ruled by intimidation for so long, he had truthfully forgotten the last time he had drawn it.

    Dorian swung it cleanly through the statue's ankles and leapt up to drive his shoulder into its rump. It lurched forward with a groan and collapsed onto the city gates, pulverizing them into dust.

    The crowd scurried out of the way of falling debris like roaches and when the dust cleared, Dorian saw them quivering in front of him as though he truly were the monster he had just toppled. He dropped his sword and drew his whip from his thigh.

    "Well, what are you waiting for? Get out!"

    No one moved. He roared with anger and frustration and lashed out at the nearest slave, catching her across the stomach.

    "Get out! Get out, you filthy animals, before I change my mind!"

    There was an exodus of great proportions as they stampeded through the fallen gates. In no time at all, Dorian was the only one left in the city.

    Just as the populace had infused him with power beyond his imagining, he now felt a terrible chill grasping at his aged heart of stone. Just as he had felt running between the cities all those years ago, he felt now, but a thousand times worse. He collapsed to the ground, the scent of death and decay around him once more.

    He had no more strength in him to even lift his head. There was a blast from a horn in the drow encampment, amplified by the tunnels. It was anyone's guess if it signified the return of their missing fellows, or the outset of a raiding party to come and kill him.

    If it were the latter, they needn't bother, he thought. He raised his hand to wipe the sweat from his leathery brow and was unsurprised when it crumbled to dust before his eyes.

    Before long, there was nothing left of him. He had blown away to join the sands of his city with no name, forgotten forever, the only legacy of him his fallen statue in a dead city.


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

    1st|Warblade 1|
    +1
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |Appraise 4, Balance 2, Climb 4, Intimidate 4, Jump 4, Know (architecture/engineering) 4, Know (local) 4, Tumble 4, Use Rope 4|Able Learner, Apprentice (Craftsman)|Battle clarity (ref saves), weapon aptitude

    2nd|Fighter 1|
    +2
    |
    +4
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |Gather Info 5, Tumble 1 (5)||Sneak Attack +1d6

    3rd|Fighter 2|
    +3
    |
    +5
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |Appraise 1 (5), Intimidate 2 (6), Jump 1 (5), Know (architecture/engineering) 1 (5), Know (local) 1 (5)| Darkstalker|

    4th|Zhentarim Soldier Fighter 3|
    +4
    |
    +5
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |Bluff 5, Intimidate 1 (7)||Sneak attack +2d6, Skill Focus (intimidate)

    5th|Warblade 2|
    +5
    |
    +6
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |Appraise 3 (8), Balance 2 (4), Intimidate 1 (8), Never Outnumbered||Uncanny dodge

    6th|Warblade 3|
    +6/+1
    |
    +6
    |
    +2
    |
    +1
    |Appraise 1 (9), Balance 1 (5), Climb 1 (5) Intimidate 1 (9), Know (local) 4 (9)|Leap of the Heavens|Battle ardor (critical confirmation)

    7th|Warblade 4|
    +7/+2
    |
    +7
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |Appraise 1 (10), Intimidate 1 (10), Know (local) 1 (10), Tumble 5 (10)||

    8th|Thayan Slaver 1|
    +7/+2
    |
    +7
    |
    +4
    |
    +2
    |Hide 2, Intimidate 1 (11), MS 3, Tumble 2 (12)||Ruthless beating, enervating attack

    9th|Thayan Slaver 2|
    +8/+3
    |
    +7
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |Hide 2 (4), Intimidate 1 (12), Jump 4 (9), Tumble 1 (13)|Imperious Command|Break will

    10th|Warblade 5|
    +9/+4
    |
    +7
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |Hide 2 (6), Intimidate 1 (13), MS 3 (6), Extreme Leap ||Bonus Feat (Combat Reflexes)

    11th|Urban Soul 1|
    +9/+4
    |
    +9
    |
    +7
    |
    +2
    |Hide 4 (10), Intimidate 1 (14), MS 5 (11)||City ramparts 1/day, urban sustenance

    12th|Urban Soul 2|
    +10/+5
    |
    +10
    |
    +8
    |
    +2
    |Hide 2 (12), Intimidate 1 (15), Jump 4 (13), MS 3 (14)|Evasive Reflexes|Citybred senses +2

    13th|Urban Soul 3|
    +11/+6/+1
    |
    +10
    |
    +8
    |
    +3
    |Climb 4 (9), Hide 2 (14), Intimidate 1 (16), Jump 1 (14), MS 2 (16)||Meld into city

    14th|Urban Soul 4|
    +12/+7/+2
    |
    +11
    |
    +9
    |
    +3
    |Hide 1 (15), Intimidate 1 (17), Jump 1 (15), MS 1 (17)||See the city

    15th|Urban Soul 5|
    +12/+7/+2
    |
    +11
    |
    +9
    |
    +3
    |Climb 4 (13), Hide 1 (16), Intimidate 1 (18), Jump 3 (18), MS 1 (18) |Robilar's Gambit|City ramparts 2/day

    16th|Urban Soul 6|
    +13/+8/+3
    |
    +12
    |
    +10
    |
    +4
    |Hide 1 (17), Intimidate 1 (19), Jump 1 (19), MS 1 (19), Tumble 4 (17), Acrobatic Backstab||Citybred senses +4, urban skill mastery

    17th|Urban Soul 7|
    +14/+9/+4
    |
    +12
    |
    +10
    |
    +4
    |Climb 2 (15), Hide 2 (19), Intimidate 1 (20), Jump 1 (20), MS 1 (20), Tumble 3 (20)||Hear the city 1/day

    18th|Urban Soul 8|
    +15/+10/+5
    |
    +13
    |
    +11
    |
    +4
    |Bluff 3 (8), Hide 1 (20), Intimidate 1 (21), Jump 1 (21), MS 1 (21), Tumble 1 (21), Twisted Charge|Martial Study (Pouncing Charge)|Mob violence

    19th|Urban Soul 9|
    +15/+10/+5
    |
    +13
    |
    +11
    |
    +5
    |Bluff 5 (13), Hide 1 (21), Intimidate 1 (22), Jump 1 (22), MS 1 (22), Tumble 1 (22)||City ramparts 3/day

    20th|Urban Soul 10|
    +16/+11/+6/+1
    |
    +14
    |
    +12
    |
    +5
    |Bluff 5 (18), Hide 1 (22), Intimidate 1 (23), Jump 1 (23), MS 1 (23), Tumble 1 (23)||Citybred senses +6, hear the city 2/day, citywalk[/table]



    Maneuvers known/available
    Spoiler
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    warblade 1: 3 maneuvers known: rabid wolf strike, sudden leap (1 tiger) , mountain hammer (3 readied)

    stance: hunter's sense (1 tiger claw)

    warblade 2: +1 maneuver known: wall of blades (no prereq)

    warblade 3: +1 maneuver known: soaring raptor strike (1 tiger)

    warblade 4: +1 stance known: leaping dragon stance (1 tiger claw) (4 maneuvers readied)

    warblade 5: +1 maneuver known: Death from above (1 tiger claw)


    Spells
    Spoiler
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    Spells per day
    {table=head]Level|0lvl|1st

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

    9th|-|1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-[/table]

    1st level—arcane lock, alarm, burning hands,
    change self, command, detect thoughts, knock,
    ray of enfeeblement, true strike.
    2nd level—alter self, fear, hold person, invisibility,
    misdirection, remove paralysis.
    3rd level—dominate person, greater command,
    hold monster, improved invisibility,
    nondetection.
    4th level—enervation, locate creature,
    mind fog, sequester, veil.

    You cast spells like a wizard, so don't have to pick any spells known.


    Playtips[spoiler]

    lvl 5
    Spoiler
    Show

    Dorian explodes onto the scene with the world at his fingertips! He samples from a variety of different combat techniques in order to make the largest impression on the battlefield. Able learner lets him sample freely from his surprisingly eclectic repertoire of skills thanks to skilled city-dweller and warblade's rather decent list in addition to his admittedly rough apprenticeship in stonemasonry.

    Scare the pants off your enemies with a decently high intimidate modifier (8 ranks + 2 cha + 2 synergy + 3 skill focus = +15 mod at lvl 5), a number that multiple slightly lower level adversaries (the kind you'll usually see in textbook random encounters) will likely have trouble beating with their modified level checks.

    Darkstalker is here to lay groundwork for the time being. Since it lacks any prerequisites, it's best enjoyed at low levels, even though due to the SI's stringent prerequisites, you don't have skill points to spare in hide and MS right now, you'll appreciate being able to skulk around the guard dogs and the like that plague low level adventurers.

    IN COMBAT Dorian has a number of maneuvers at his beck and call for different situations.

    Rabid wolf strike lets you deal a rather respectable amount of bonus damage at low levels to foes in exchange for a bonk to AC. You don't care about that too much because you've got…

    Wall of bladeswho cares what kind of penalty you take to AC if you can replace it with an attack roll? it's an immediate action and you can wait till you know whether your enemy will hit your AC or not too. what's not to love?

    When you run into enemies with dr, mountain hammer comes to bear on them with a little bonus damage to boot. stone dragon, in the tradition of Antaeus, requires you touch the ground while you initiate its maneuvers, but at this point (and as you will see later on as well, Dorian has no problem with this restriction.)

    In order to move into position to use your maneuvers effectively, or to move into position to refresh them, Dorian also has access to sudden leap giving unparalleled mobility on the battlefield.

    To know where to move, hunter's sense gives you the scent ability to sniff out hiding/invisible foes, so not only is dorian a capable sneak, he's a canny anti-sneak as well.

    GENERAL STRATEGIES
    Flank with allies to get off your sneak attack against flat-footed foes and try not to be flat-footed yourself. You get int to ref saves as long as you keep your eyes peeled, so watch your back. You've got uncanny dodge too, so this shouldn't come up especially often.

    Dorian specializes in hitting hard and fast. A rabid wolf strike or mountain hammer with sneak attack dice on the side can easily kill a level appropriate enemy, so make sure you engineer circumstances to make it happen as often as possible.

    Intimidate to soften up foes for your friends when not in position, and use sudden leap to put yourself in the best position for never outnumbered

    OUT OF COMBAT
    Mountain hammer can be used to bypass hardness and if you can't think of something creative to do with that, you're frankly not trying. Reshape the world in your own image. One blow at a time.

    Hunter's sense is also very fun out of combat and is a good stance to remain in when not fighting. Scent has a multitude of interesting uses (confirming identities of disguised persons, etc) that will abound in the RP element of any game, and might put Dorian onto a clue.


    Level 10
    Spoiler
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    The reason for zhentarim fighter is now revealed. First, it's something for nothing, which is always good. Second, it bolsters Dorian's ability to strike fear into the hearts of his enemies. It also gives bluff as a class skill, nabbing a +2 synergy bonus to intimidate.

    Why did Dorian bother with sneak attack and all those horrible ranks in appraise and use rope?

    Thayan Slaver.

    This little-known class is the glue that holds Dorian's build together. As you will notice, there is very little of this potent, pungent spice in my dish, so as not to overwhelm the subtle, earthy flavor of the secret ingredient.

    Why bother with Thayan slaver?

    Look back up at its spell list. Yep. Get your hands on wands of those suckers and just start altering yourself, becoming invisible (or improvedly invisible),throwing negative levels around, or turning your campaign into a mystery with the absurdly potent sequester spell (which you get a full three levels early)

    Wands are in no way required for Dorian to be effective, but they're certainly a good use of WBL if they're on the table since he gets so many spells at such a nice discount.

    Even without this, though, Thayan slaver's other abilities are worth the price of admission.

    Ruthless beating allows Dorian to go nova on a victim with his most powerful attacks, like soaring raptor strike or death from above, using his extreme jump checks (modified by leap of the heavens to deal fistfuls of d6s in bonus damage...

    …all non lethally.

    Dorian can overkill to his heart's content, and ruthless beating will ensure that the victim is alive, if not kicking when the dust settles. He can even use sneak attack in exchange for a -2 to attack. Notable since sneak attack cannot normally be used to inflict nonlethal damage with a lethal weapon.

    enervating attack is cool thematically and is a viable option in combat for enemies with poor fort saves. paralyzing a foe for 1d6+class level rounds is great, especially if you have sneak attack dice to dish out. see also out of combat uses below

    Break will is the part of Thayan slaver that makes it really fit well thematically with the idea of Dorian. Any time you beat an enemy's opposed check with your intimidate by 10 or more (with your +20 bonus at this level, it shouldn't be especially difficult) they take 1 point of wisdom damage. As with normal ability damage, it takes a day to go away, so with enough time, determination (and maybe a little bit of rope) you can literally scare your enemies into submission. Just tie them up and shout at them until they drop like flies.

    Also useful in straight-up combat since everyone loves ability damage. It will make it more difficult for enemies to resist subsequent intimidation attempts, and will lower will saves for your allies' attacks.

    It's no coincidence imperious command comes online at the very same level. Make your foes cower, and if you do it well enough, it'll deal wisdom damage! what's not to love?

    The piece de resistance though is the weapon proficiencies: sap, spiked chain, whip, and net. Yep. Thayan slaver's gotcha covered.

    IN COMBAT
    This looks, as you would imagine, largely the same. Dorian is being distilled as his levels wear on to become better and better at what he does in combat: be really good at jumping, use jumping to deal bonus damage, use bonus damage to kill enemies, and scaring people.

    battle ardor is up, making crits easier to confirm when you get 'em.

    You've learned two more maneuvers: soaring raptor strike (make a jump check = a large or larger foe's AC, hit with a melee attack, and deal normal damage +6d6 with a +4 to attack)

    and death from above, which lets you hit a DC 20 jump check when adjacent to an enemy, then hit with a melee attack, deal+4d6 damage (he's flat-footed too, so sneak attack comes on top of it) and land in any square next to the enemy as long as it's not more than 20 feet away from where you started.

    Combat reflexes is online now thanks to warblade's coveted fifth level. In tandem with the spiked chain proficiency Dorian has from Thayan slaver, you know the general direction we're going in.

    However, Dorian's unparalleled mobility on the battlefield allows him to put a new twist on this old trick.

    It's worth examining at this point how good exactly he is at jumping:

    JUMPING

    leap of the heavens

    This allows Dorian to make jump checks without a 20 foot running start without doubling the DC, and when he does have a running start of 20ft, he makes them with a +5 competence bonus.

    His second stance, Leaping Dragon Stance is also online, and it gives a +10 foot enhancement bonus to jump checks. This isn't a +10 bonus to jump checks, but +10 feet to the check. This is especially useful when Dorian is jumping vertically, which is normally very difficult. While this means that it by definition does not help him hit the DCs needed in some tiger claw maneuvers (such as soaring eagle strike) it's an invaluable resource when moving about the battlefield, especially in tandem with his extreme leap skill trick (+10 feet to a horizontal jump as a swift when 10+ feet are traveled in a horizontal jump)

    As you can see, he can move around the battlefield with impunity. In tandem with a spiked chain and combat reflexes, Dorian is going to attack you whether it's his turn or not, and no matter where you run to on the battlefield, he'll be a step ahead of you.

    OUT OF COMBAT

    Dorian's jumping abilities are extremely useful in reconnoitering areas and pursuing leads or plot hooks. He can scale and leap tall buildings in relative short order, punch through brick walls, and run faster than a freshly loosed arrow. He's the ultimate urban explorer and should be able to get just about anywhere with his unique brand of parkour.


    Level 15 (sweet spot)[spoiler]
    Dorian has entered the secret ingredient. He no longer needs to eat or sleep, allowing him to track down his quarries 24 hours a day.

    There is no clause in the text of urban soul that the city you are in has to be friendly towards you. Dorian exploits this fact to poach slaves from the nearby enemy encampment, stealing strength from the vitality of their city.

    Darkstalker begins to come into its own here. You can use it to skulk around and hide in walls until you sense it's safe to come out again. Given the speed with which Dorian can ascend buildings and cover large areas of open space, you will likely be able to get into and out of combat before enemies can give chase.

    Conserve your city ramparts ability for when you know you will be going nova in combat to give yourself the boost you need.

    Citybred senses helps Dorian reconnoiter for more slaves and to know when reinforcements are coming to hinder him and thus time for him to take his leave.

    In a similar vein, See the city also does not have any sort of save for the city, even if you're using the information it gives to poach its citizenry.
    Last edited by Kuulvheysoon; 2013-04-20 at 09:13 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.

  14. - Top - End - #284
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge In The Playground XLIV

    Continued (Last one, I swear)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dorian the Gray
    IN COMBAT

    none of your old tricks have stopped working. on the contrary, they're better than ever now. two new twists on your AoO strategy are now up.

    evasive reflexes allows you to instead immediately take a 5 foot step when enemies would provoke an AoO from you. you can immediately see how this would be useful to someone who uses a spiked chain. an enemy swings at you from next to you, you then step back 5 feet so he'll have to move up to you and provoke another AoO from you later on after you attack him on your turn proper.

    robilar's gambit is the peanut butter to evasive reflexes' jelly. Here's how it works on Dorian, who, as you can see, is no Jack. B. Quick.

    1) get into robilar's stance when it's your turn
    2) wait until an enemy attacks you
    3) they provoke an AoO from you
    4) if they hit your AC, counter with wall of blades as an immediate, replacing your AC with your attack roll
    5) now that they've (likely) missed, enjoy your AoO against them

    or

    5) if you'd rather move away to prepare to smack them with the chain some more, you can do that too.

    Evasive reflexes and robilar's gambit are a natural fit with the earlier explained tiger claw maneuvers, helping you have more options once you're in position

    OUT OF COMBAT
    Imperious command will likely manifest itself in roleplay-oriented ways, as will break will. Citybred senses will help Dorian notice things he'd likely otherwise miss, and meld into city is largely an out of combat power, as is see the city, both being better suited to spy work than something one would do in combat. [/spoiler]

    Level 20
    Spoiler
    Show

    Dorian has now finally completed the secret ingredient and has the appropriately epic power of picking his foot up in one city and setting it down in another.

    Urban skill mastery is a vital part of Dorian's schtick. It allows him to scale very difficult walls without chance of failure, tumble through enemies' squares (in conjunction with acrobatic backstab, it means you have a 1/encounter guaranteed sneak attack in addition to whatever other damage you can deal with a normal melee attack or with a maneuver.

    It also allows him to take 10 on jump checks which, in tandem with his other jump-boosting things explained earlier on, allows him not only to nail any jump check his tiger claw maneuvers ask for, but also to cover great distances on the battlefield essentially at will, especially through use of sudden leap.

    IN COMBAT
    Combat looks much the same, but you now have things making your job considerably easier. Mob violence boosts your damage when it counts, as does city ramparts, and pouncing charge is online.

    It works like anything else that gives you pounce. Charge and then full attack. Enjoy! This in tandem with Robilar's gambit next turn will get you a ridiculous amount of attacks in a round.

    You also have twisted charge come online at 18, when you nab pouncing charge, allowing you to change directions during a charge if you like.

    Use in tandem with extreme leap if you haven't expended it for the encounter, or with sudden leap if you have and still have a swift handy.

    OUT OF COMBAT

    Citywalk, as mentioned earlier, can be used to infiltrate hostile cities. It drops you just outside the city anyway, so it won't be an issue. Since it's keyed off transport via plants, you can bring others with you.

    Use urban skill mastery (move silently) to creep up on targets, meld into city to wait till the coast is clear, and your jumping related abilities to close the gap with them. From this point, deal huge amounts of (nonlethal) damage to KO them, and bing bang boom, you've grown your city's population some more. One blow at a time.

    Quote Originally Posted by srd
    Target or Targets
    Unconscious creatures are automatically considered willing
    [/spoiler]

    Sources
    Spoiler
    Show

    tome of battle- warblade, martial study, evasive reflexes
    srd- fighter
    champions of valor web enhancement- zhentarim soldier
    races of destiny- able learner, secret ingredient
    phb2- apprentice, leap of the heavens, robilar's gambit
    lords of madness- darkstalker
    unapproachable east- thayan slaver
    drow of the underdark- imperious command
    skilled city-dweller- cityscape web enhancement:
    Last edited by Kuulvheysoon; 2013-04-20 at 09:12 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.

  15. - Top - End - #285
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge In The Playground XLIV

    She's hunting some damned big game...

    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Eboshi
    Lady Eboshi

    Stats
    Spoiler
    Show
    N Human Ranger 5/Leviathan Hunter 5/Urban Soul 10
    Str:14
    Dex:16 (Increases Here)
    Con:16
    Int:14
    Wis:8
    Cha:8
    Languages Spoken: Common, Sylvan, Goblin

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

    1st|Ranger 1|
    +1
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |Gather Information 4, Heal 4, Hide 4, Knowledge (Architecture and Engineering) 4, Knowledge (Local) 4, Knowledge (Nature) 4, Move Silently 4, Survival 4, Tumble 4|Education, Iron Will, Track (Bonus)|Favored Enemy (magical beasts), Bonus Track, Voice of the City, Skilled City Dweller

    2nd|Ranger 2|
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |Climb 1, Gather Information 5, Heal 5, Hide 5, Knowledge (Architecture and Engineering) 5, Knowledge (Local) 5, Move Silently 5, Survival 5, Tumble 5|Two-Weapon Fighting (Bonus)|Combat Style

    3rd|Ranger 3|
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |Climb 4, Heal 6, Hide 6, Knowledge (Local) 6, Move Silently 6, Survival 6, Tumble 6|Endurance (Bonus), Steadfast Determination|Bonus Endurance

    4th|Ranger 4|
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |Climb 7, Heal 7, Hide 7, Knowledge (Local) 7, Move Silently 7, Survival 7, Tumble 7| Weapon Finesse (Bonus)|Distracting Attack, Champion of the Wild

    5th|Ranger 5|
    +5
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |Climb 8, Gather Information 7, Heal 8, Hide 8, Knowledge (Local) 8, Move Silently 8, Survival 8, Tumble 8| |Favored Enemy (Humanoid (Human))

    6th|Leviathan Hunter 1|
    +6/+1
    |
    +6
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |Gather Information 9, Hide 9, Knowledge (Arcana) 1, Knowledge (Local) 9, Move Silently 9, Survival 9|Darkstalker|Hunter’s Insight, Trophy +2

    7th|Leviathan Hunter 2|
    +7/+2
    |
    +7
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |Climb 10, Gather Information 10, Hide 10, Knowledge (Local) 10, Move Silently 10, Survival 10||Fell the Leviathan +1d6

    8th|Leviathan Hunter 3|
    +8/+3
    |
    +7
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |Climb 11, Gather Information 11, Hide 11, Knowledge (Arcana) 3, Move Silently 11, Survival 11|Clever Wrestling (Bonus)|Bonus Clever Wrestling

    9th|Leviathan Hunter 4|
    +9/+4
    |
    +8
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |Climb 12, Gather Information 12, Hide 12, Knowledge (Arcana) 5, Move Silently 12, Survival 12|Combat Reflexes|Fell the Leviathan +2d6

    10th|Leviathan Hunter 5|
    +10/+5
    |
    +8
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |Climb 13, Gather Information 13, Hide 13, Knowledge (Arcana) 7, Move Silently 13, Survival 13| |Immunity to Fear, Trophy +4

    11th|Urban Soul 1|
    +10/+5
    |
    +10
    |
    +7
    |
    +2
    |Gather Information 14, Hide 14, Move Silently 14, Tumble 14||City Ramparts 1/day, Urban Sustenance

    12th|Urban Soul 2|
    +11/+6/+1
    |
    +11
    |
    +8
    |
    +2
    |Balance 4, Gather Information 15, Hide 15, Move Silently 15, Tumble 15|Two-Weapon Pounce|Citybred Senses +2

    13th|Urban Soul 3|
    +12/+7/+2
    |
    +11
    |
    +8
    |
    +3
    |Balance 5, Escape Artist 5, Hide 16, Jump 1, Move Silently 16| |Meld into City

    14th|Urban Soul 4|
    +13/+8/+3
    |
    +12
    |
    +9
    |
    +3
    |Escape Artist 11, Hide 17, Jump 2, Move Silently 17| |See the City

    15th|Urban Soul 5|
    +13/+8/+3
    |
    +12
    |
    +9
    |
    +3
    |Escape Artist 17, Hide 18, Jump 3, Move Silently 18,|Supernatural Instincts|City Ramparts 2/day

    16th|Urban Soul 6|
    +14/+9/+4
    |
    +13
    |
    +10
    |
    +4
    |Climb 17, Escape Artist 19, Hide 19, Jump 4, Move Silently 19,| |Citybred Senses +4, Urban Skill Mastery

    17th|Urban Soul 7|
    +15/+10/+5
    |
    +13
    |
    +10
    |
    +4
    |Climb 20, Escape Artist 20, Hide 20, Jump 7, Move Silently 20,| |Hear the City 1/day

    18th|Urban Soul 8|
    +16/+11/+6/+1
    |
    +14
    |
    +11
    |
    +4
    |Escape Artist 21, Hide 21, Jump 13, Move Silently 21,|Martial Study (Rapid Counter)|Mob Violence

    19th|Urban Soul 9|
    +16/+11/+6/+1
    |
    +14
    |
    +11
    |
    +5
    |Escape Artist 22, Hide 22, Jump 19, Move Silently 22,| |City Ramparts 3/day

    20th|City-Bonded Urban Soul 10|
    +17/+12/+7/+2
    |
    +15
    |
    +12
    |
    +5
    |Escape Artist 23, Gather Information 17, Hide 23, Jump 23, Move Silently 23| |Citybred Senses +6, Hear the City 2/day, City Bond, Intracity Teleport, Urban Renewal[/table]

    Level 5
    Spoiler
    Show
    Lady Eboshi is a ranger at this point, but she’s a bit different from your average ranger. Champion of the Wild lets her trade her casting for a bonus feat, which allows her to make better use of her high Dex, as well as reduces the need for Wis. Voice of the City allows her to trade her wild empathy for the ability to communicate with other sentient beings regardless of language differences. Skilled City Dweller trades Handle Animal and Ride for Gather Information and Tumble, respectively. Steadfast Determination gets rid of the last need for Wis, and Iron Will covers until it comes online. She trades her animal companion for Distracting attack, which allows her allies to treat an enemy as flanked whenever she hits it. A good bonus for a commander such as Eboshi, and she certainly isn’t the animal companion type. Magical beast as a favored enemy type is an obvious choice to combat the giant beasts of the forest. Human as a second favored enemy aids Eboshi in fighting the samurai who wish to claim her town. Ranks in Heal help her ease the suffering of the lepers of Irontown. The effect of some of these ACFs may not be enormous, but urban type skills better match Eboshi’s character and fit Urban Soul’s theme.

    Level 10
    Spoiler
    Show
    Lady Eboshi has now finished Leviathan Hunter, which aids her in fighting the many giant beasts of the forest. Darkstalker helps her evade the keen scent and other senses of the beasts of the forest. Hide and MS are kept maxed to catch her foes unawares. Knowledge Arcana combine with Hunter’s Insight helps her know just what matter of creature she’s going up against. Survival is high enough that she can reliably track most foes across up to firm ground. Fell the Leviathan will apply often enough, as Morro, as well as most of the boars are certainly Huge. Trophy lets her be better protected against the types of creatures she’s fought before. Clever Wrestling helps her in escaping from the grapples of the bigger beasts, but she’s smart enough not to try to initiate grapples. Ask your DM if it can apply to Escape Artist checks, because her modifier is certainly going to be high in later levels. The capstone of immunity to fear is quite useful, as Lady Eboshi knows that when killing a god, the trick is not to fear him. Combat Reflexes lets her make more use of her high Dex, and it will become more important later as other tricks come online.

    Level 15 (Sweet Spot)
    Spoiler
    Show
    Midway into Urban Soul and the bonuses are already coming up. Meld into City lets Eboshi move about quickly in her city, and See the City keeps her updated on what happens in the parts of Irontown where she isn’t present. A ruler like Eboshi needs to know what’s going on in her town, especially the things people don’t want her to know. Gather information is high enough that Eboshi can find out the goings on in her city with no real problem. It helps to be informed. Her Escape Artist modifier is nice and high, so getting out of grapples shouldn’t be a problem. Her ranks in Tumble are high enough that when urban skill mastery comes online, she’ll be able to nail the DCs with no problem, so no need to waste points. City Ramparts will help out during those fights when San invades the city. Citybred Senses may only apply when in Irontown, but it’s positioned on rather high ground, so Eboshi can use the bonus to see into the forest from within her city. Two-Weapon Pounce allows Eboshi to make full use of her Two-Weapon Fighting when charging into a fight. Men follow a leader who isn’t afraid to fight herself. Supernatural Instincts allows her to make attacks of opportunity when her foes use supernatural abilities, which is a great aid as magical beasts tend to have supernatural abilities instead of SLAs. Combat Reflexes now becomes greatly useful.

    Level 20
    Spoiler
    Show
    Now it all comes together. Lady Eboshi naturally took the City-Bonded substitution level, as her allegiance is very strongly to Irontown. Teleporting around Irontown lets Eboshi get just where she’s needed quickly, and being able to count Irontown as a metropolis will be of great use, as it may not be quite of metropolis size. Hear the city helps her keep even more informed to the goings-on in her city. The SLAs help her to modify the ever-changing Irontown with more defenses from walls of stone. Stone shape and disintegrate let her shift the existing structures to suit her needs or whims. Halting the process of aging while in the city means that Eboshi can continue ruling Irontown for decades to come. She’s got all 4 iteratives, so Urban Soul didn’t mess with BA too much. Normal Climb DCs only go up to 30, and Eboshi can nail them through Urban Skill Mastery. If the DC is low enough she can take the penalty to climb faster, so she can climb with the best of them. Her Jump modifier is another healthy one, which aids her mobility, as she can move 30 feet forward or 8 feet up in a single jump with no problem. Rapid Counter allows Eboshi to make another attack whenever an enemy provokes an attack of opportunity without it counting against her total number allowed that round, which is great, because Supernatural abilities often get used multiple times in an encounter.

    Backstory
    Spoiler
    Show
    Lady Eboshi knows that the wild must give way to the city. Man is destined to triumph over the vast chaos of the wilderness. There are the idealists who believe that man and beast can live in peace, but there can be no peace when gods and monsters seek man’s active destruction. As the city grows, the forest shall weaken, the monsters will become mindless animals. As the ore from the mountain is forged into useful iron, man shall have the tools to quicken the spread of the city and the end of the rule of the gods. There are many who wish to expand the city peacefully through trade and construction. Such pacifists have the luxury in living in areas where the wild has been cleared. Before the city can expand, groundwork must be laid, invaders repelled, and the forest cleared. A city cannot grow from the earth like a tree. It must be built on a foundation and a framework, and there is no stronger framework than iron.

    Adaptations
    Spoiler
    Show
    Seeking an alignment for Lady Eboshi is a bit of a problem as it depends somewhat on how you see here. Here she was built as neutral to represent the fact that she is neither a classic hero nor a cackling villain. She does what she deems is necessary to protect her people, and as such has been built here as neutral. You may choose to have Eboshi with a different alignment. If you decide to build Eboshi as good, consider putting some points back into Wis and swapping out Steadfast Determination for Nemesis. It fits her dedication to fight the beasts of the forest rather well. Eboshi as she appears in the film is likely going to land at about level 10 in this build. Whether you want to play a wiser Eboshi after the end of the film, with a possibly friendlier attitude toward the forest, or a more eager Eboshi from the beginning is up to you.

    Sources
    Spoiler
    Show

    Voice of the City, Skilled City Dweller: Cityscape Enhancement
    Darkstalker: Lords of Madness
    Steadfast Determination, Distracting Attack, Two-weapon Pounce: Player’s Handbook II
    Education: Eberron Campaign Setting
    Leviathan Hunter: Stormwrack
    Martial Study, Rapid Counter: Tome of Battle
    Supernatural Instincts: Fiendish Codex II
    Ranger, Weapon Finesse, Iron Will, Combat Reflexes: srd
    Lady Eboshi: Princess Mononoke

    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 - #286
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge In The Playground XLIV

    Can you build yourself into a clockwork city?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mehka DoHickie
    Mehka DoHickie
    Spoiler
    Show
    Neutral Good Human
    Artificer 5/Human Paragon 2/Urban Soul 10/Renegade Mastermaker 3


    Stats:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Str 10, Dex 10, Con 13, Int 18, Wis 10, Cha 13
    Level increases (in order): Int, Int, Int, Int, Cha


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

    1st|Artificer|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |Appraise 1(1), Craft (alchemy) 4(4), Craft (blacksmithing) 4(4), Craft (weaponsmithing) 4(4), Craft (stonemasonry) 4(4), Disable Device 4(4), Kn (arch&eng) 1(1), Open Lock 4(4), Search 4(4), Spellcraft 4(4), UMD 4(4)|H: Apprentice (Craftsman), 1st: Extraordinary Artisan, A1: Scribe Scroll|Artificer Knowledge, Artisan Bonus, Disable Trap, Item Creation, Craft Reserve 20

    2nd|Artificer 2|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |Appraise 1(2), Craft (alchemy) 1(5), Craft (blacksmithing) 1(5), Craft (weaponsmithing) 1(5), Craft (stonemasonry) 1(5), Disable Device 1(5), Kn (arch&eng) 1(2), Open Lock 1(5), Search 1(5), Spellcraft 1(5), UMD 1(5)|A2: Brew Potion|Craft Reserve 40

    3rd|Artificer 3|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |Appraise 1(3), Craft (alchemy) 1(6), Craft (blacksmithing) 1(6), Craft (weaponsmithing) 1(6), Craft (stonemasonry) 1(6), Disable Device 1(6), Kn (arch&eng) 1(3), Open Lock 1(6), Search 1(6), Spellcraft 1(6), UMD 1(6)|3rd: Shape Soulmeld (Mage's Spectacles), A3: Craft Wondrous Item|Craft Reserve 60

    4th|Artificer 4|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Appraise 1(4), Craft (alchemy) 1(7), Craft (blacksmithing) 1(7), Craft (weaponsmithing) 1(7), Craft (stonemasonry) 1(7), Disable Device 1(7), Kn (arch&eng) 1(4), Open Lock 1(7), Search 1(7), Spellcraft 1(7), UMD 1(7)|B: Legendary Artisan|Craft Homunculus, Craft Reserve 80

    5th|Artificer 5|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Appraise 1(5), Craft (alchemy) 1(8), Craft (blacksmithing) 1(8), Craft (weaponsmithing) 1(8), Craft (stonemasonry) 1(8), Disable Device 1(8), Kn (arch&eng) 1(5), Open Lock 1(8), Search 1(8), Spellcraft 1(8), UMD 1(8)|A5: Craft Magic Arms and Armor|Retain Essence, Craft Reserve 100

    6th|Human Paragon|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +6
    |Appraise 1(6), Craft (alchemy) (8), Craft (blacksmithing) (8), Craft (weaponsmithing) (8), Craft (stonemasonry) (8), Disable Device (8), Gather Info 5(5), Kn (arch&eng) 1(6), Kn (local) 3(3), Open Lock (8), Search (8), Spellcraft (8), UMD 1(9)|6th: Craft Rune Circle|Adaptive Learning (UMD)

    7th|Human Paragon 2|
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +7
    |Appraise 1(7), Craft (alchemy) (8), Craft (blacksmithing) (8), Craft (weaponsmithing) 1(9), Craft (stonemasonry) (8), Disable Device (8), Gather Info (5), Kn (arch&eng) 1(7), Kn (local) 7(10), Open Lock (8), Search (8), Spellcraft (8), UMD 1(10)|B: Craft Wand|--

    8th|Urban Soul|
    +4
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    |Appraise (7), Balance 5(5), Craft (alchemy) (8), Craft (blacksmithing) (8), Craft (weaponsmithing) (9), Craft (stonemasonry) (8), Disable Device (8), Gather Info (5), Kn (arch&eng) 2(9), Kn (local) (10), Open Lock (8), Search 3(11), Spellcraft (8), Spot 3(3), UMD 1(11)|--|City Ramparts 1/day, Urban Sustenance

    9th|Urban Soul 2|
    +5
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +7
    |Appraise (7), Balance (5), Craft (alchemy) (8), Craft (blacksmithing) (8), Craft (weaponsmithing) 2(10), Craft (stonemasonry) (8), Disable Device 2(9), Gather Info (5), Kn (arch&eng) 2(11), Kn (local) (10), Listen 6(6), Open Lock (8), Search 1(12), Spellcraft (8), Spot (3), UMD 1(12)|9th: Landlord|Citybred Senses +2

    10th|Urban Soul 3|
    +6/1
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +8
    |Appraise (7), Balance (5), Craft (alchemy) (8), Craft (blacksmithing) (8), Craft (weaponsmithing) (10), Craft (stonemasonry) (8), Disable Device (9), Gather Info (5), Kn (arch&eng) 2(13), Kn (local) (10), Listen 7(13), Open Lock (8), Search 1(13), Spellcraft (8), Spot 1(4), UMD 1(13)|--|Meld Into City

    11th|Urban Soul 4|
    +7/2
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +8
    |Appraise 2(8), Balance (5), Climb 10(10), Craft (alchemy) (8), Craft (blacksmithing) (8), Craft (weaponsmithing) (10), Craft (stonemasonry) (8), Disable Device (9), Gather Info (5), Kn (arch&eng) (13), Kn (local) (10), Listen 1(14), Open Lock (8), Search 1(14), Spellcraft (8), Spot (4), UMD 1(14)|--|See the City

    12th|Urban Soul 5|
    +7/2
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +8
    |Appraise 2(9), Balance 5(10), Climb (10), Craft (alchemy) (8), Craft (blacksmithing) (8), Craft (weaponsmithing) (10), Craft (stonemasonry) (8), Disable Device (9), Gather Info (5), Kn (arch&eng) (13), Kn (local) (10), Listen (14), Open Lock (8), Search 1(15), Spellcraft (8), Spot 5(9), UMD 1(15)|12th: Craft Construct|City Ramparts 2/day

    13th|Urban Soul 6|
    +8/3
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +9
    |Appraise 2(10), Balance (10), Climb (10), Craft (alchemy) (8), Craft (blacksmithing) (8), Craft (weaponsmithing) (10), Craft (stonemasonry) (8), Disable Device (9), Gather Info (5), Jump 4(4), Kn (arch&eng) (13), Kn (local) (10), Listen (14), Move Silently 1(1), Open Lock (8), Search 1(16), Spellcraft (8), Spot (9), Tumble 5(5), UMD 1(16)|--|Citybred Senses +4, Urban Skill Mastery

    14th|Urban Soul 7|
    +9/4
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +9
    |Appraise (10), Balance (10), Climb (10), Craft (alchemy) (8), Craft (blacksmithing) (8), Craft (weaponsmithing) (10), Craft (stonemasonry) (8), Disable Device (9), Gather Info (5), Jump (4), Kn (arch&eng) 2(15), Kn (local) (10), Listen 3(17), Move Silently (1), Open Lock (8), Search 1(17), Spellcraft (8), Spot 7(16), Tumble (5), UMD 1(17)|--|Hear the City 1/day

    15th|Urban Soul 8|
    +10/5
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +9
    |Appraise (10), Balance (10), Climb (10), Craft (alchemy) (8), Craft (blacksmithing) (8), Craft (weaponsmithing) (10), Craft (stonemasonry) (8), Disable Device (9), Gather Info 4(9), Jump (4), Kn (arch&eng) 2(17), Kn (local) 3(13), Listen 1(18), Move Silently (1), Open Lock (8), Search 1(18), Spellcraft (8), Spot (16), Tumble (5), UMD 1(18)|15th: Improved Homunculus|Mob Violence

    16th|Urban Soul 9|
    +10/5
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +10
    |Appraise (10), Balance (10), Climb (10), Craft (alchemy) (8), Craft (blacksmithing) (8), Craft (weaponsmithing) (10), Craft (stonemasonry) (8), Disable Device 2(10), Gather Info 3(12), Jump (4), Kn (arch&eng) 2(19), Kn (local) 2(15), Listen 1(19), Move Silently (1), Open Lock (8), Search 1(19), Spellcraft (8), Spot 3(19), Tumble (5), UMD 1(19)|--|City Ramparts 3/day

    17th|Urban Soul 10 (Sub Level)|
    +11/6/1
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    +10
    |Appraise 2(11), Balance (10), Climb (10), Craft (alchemy) (8), Craft (blacksmithing) (8), Craft (weaponsmithing) 2(11), Craft (stonemasonry) (8), Disable Device (10), Gather Info 3(15), Jump 1(5), Kn (arch&eng) 1(20), Kn (local) (15), Listen 1(20), Move Silently (1), Open Lock 2(10), Search 1(20), Spellcraft (8), Spot 1(20), Tumble (5), UMD 1(20)|--|Citybred Senses +6, Hear the City 2/day, City Bond, Intracity Teleport, Urban Renewal

    18th|Renegade Mastermaker |
    +11/6/1
    |
    +10
    |
    +8
    |
    +12
    |Appraise 1(12), Balance (10), Climb (10), Craft (alchemy) (8), Craft (blacksmithing) 2(10), Craft (weaponsmithing) 1(12), Craft (stonemasonry) (8), Disable Device 6(16), Gather Info (15), Jump (5), Kn (arch&eng) 1(21), Kn (local) (15), Listen (20), Move Silently (1), Open Lock (10), Search 1(21), Spellcraft (8), Spot (20), Tumble (5), UMD 1(21)|18th: Construct Grafter|Battlefist, Craft Master

    19th|Renegade Mastermaker 2|
    +12/7/2
    |
    +11
    |
    +8
    |
    +13
    |Appraise 1(13), Balance (10), Climb (10), Craft (alchemy) (8), Craft (blacksmithing) (10), Craft (weaponsmithing) (12), Craft (stonemasonry) 3(11), Disable Device 6(22), Gather Info (15), Jump (5), Kn (arch&eng) 1(22), Kn (local) (15), Listen (20), Move Silently (1), Open Lock (10), Search 1(22), Spellcraft (8), Spot (20), Tumble (5), UMD 1(22)|--|Battlefist +1, Self Repair

    20th|Renegade Mastermaker 3|
    +13/8/3
    |
    +11
    |
    +10
    |
    +13
    |Appraise 1(14), Balance (10), Climb (10), Craft (alchemy) (8), Craft (blacksmithing) (10), Craft (weaponsmithing) 8(20), Craft (stonemasonry) (11), Disable Device 1(23), Gather Info (15), Jump (5), Kn (arch&eng) 1(23), Kn (local) (15), Listen (20), Move Silently (1), Open Lock (10), Search 1(23), Spellcraft (8), Spot (20), Tumble (5), UMD 1(23)|--|Supporting Construction[/table]


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

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

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

    3rd|4|2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

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

    6th|4|4|2|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

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

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

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

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

    12th|5|4|3|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

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

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

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

    17th|5|5|3|-|-|-|-|-|-

    18th|5|5|3|-|-|-|-|-|-

    19th|5|5|3|-|-|-|-|-|-

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


    Level 1-5:

    Spoiler
    Show
    Artificer 5 and acting like it! Mehka is an apprentice, so he's pretty busy. He spends a lot of time at the forge, learning how to hammer out horseshoes correctly. In his off hours, he scribes scrolls and tucks them away for a rainy day. Once he gains Retain Essence, he unravels all of those scrolls he made to get his craft reserve back up.
    The time that he has free beyond this, he spends on his own projects -- creating a homunculus buddy (everyone needs a chess opponent!) and working on making himself a nice, masterwork light crossbow. (And, of course, some bolts to go with it.)


    Level 6-7:

    Spoiler
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    The apprenticeship has ended. Time to head out into the world on his own and make something of himself. But he's not quite sure how, so he spends some time "finding himself", discovering what it means to be human. He's tweaked out his crossbow, added his own goodies and modifications. In combat, he hides behind whatever cover he can find -- doors, walls, over-turned tables, etc -- and uses a wand of invisibility (makes 'em himself) to be able to see through his cover. Brilliant Energy bolts (makes 'em himself) glide through cover and won't harm his homunculi.
    Gather Information and Knowledge (local) become good skills to have as he tries to navigate the bureaucracy and red tape of trying to start and run his own business...


    Level 8-17:

    Spoiler
    Show
    ...which he runs to help out the city he loves. Once he's got himself set up with a sweet workshop [via the Landlord feat] (complete with rune circles to help the crafting along), he's able to pick up plenty of contracts. He works so long and so hard that he sometimes forgets to step away from the forge to eat or sleep. (So its a good thing that he doesn't have to anymore.) Tinkering away at his passion: homunculi and effigy creatures takes time and effort, but he still finds opportunities to help the community.

    But he's not just tied to the forge. He roams about the city, too, where newly found skills come in handy. Balance, Climb, Jump, Tumble are helpful for those hard to reach jobs (like the top of a clock tower, for instance), until Intracity Teleport comes online. Hear the City lets him talk to the creations he's built in, around, and for the city, so they can let him know what's wrong, why it stopped working, who caused the problem(s). See the City lets him peek into those hard to see places (in the sewers, in the gear workings of the clock towers, in the pipework of his patented AquaDuct500, etc.) to find the malfunctions and gremlins (sometimes literal).

    When it comes to having to fight (pesky little gremlins!), his favored tactic continues to shine. Meld into City lets him sink right into the street (or similar). Wand of invisibility on a cobblestone makes a window, and shoot those that need shooting. (A little Mob Violence helps, too.)

    And for a builder who spends his time shaping and creating the city around him, the importance of Urban Renewal simply speaks for itself.


    Level 18-20:

    Spoiler
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    Through his years of work on the city, molding it and shaping it into what it has become, so too has the city molded him. Mehka begins to take bits of the city into himself. Literally. Slowly, as time ticks on, he'll take more and more of the construction into himself. Perhaps, someday, he'll become a permanent part of the city he loves so much.



    Stuff:

    Spoiler
    Show
    • Light Crossbow, Quickloading (MIC), Precise (MIC), Seeking (DMG), Speed (DMG), Exit Wound (CW), with wand chamber (CS)
    • Brilliant Energy bolts
    • Other bolts of various ability
    • Wand(s) of Invisibility
    • One mega-awesome, supped up workshop/lab/mansion/library, complete with manuals of construction and blueprints, masterwork tools, magical forges, rune circles of everything you can imagine....
    • And then, of course, all the standard stuff, too. Int boosters and bags of holding and yadda, yadda, yadda.


    Story:
    Spoiler
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    Oh, hello. I didn't see you there. Welcome to the Mechanical Museum. I'm Artherwold Tinkertwit, the curator here at the MM. You can call me Art. And you are?
    Oh, I see. With the Daily Gazette, are you? Doing a story on...? Mehka, did you say?
    Yes, yes, we have an exhibit opening next week.

    He grew up here, you know. Just down the road a spell. Happy little childhood. Normal. But he had brains and aptitude. When he was old enough, he was sent to Gharl Caverns. Its a dwarven city, on the other side of the Golden Mountains. Which is to say, well, the underside of the Golden Mountains. A huge city underground, in a giant cavern. How they keep the ceiling way up there....

    Sorry. Where were we? Oh, yes, Mehka was sent to Gharl Caverns to apprentice at the Forge of the Tempered Steel. One of the best crafting guilds in all the world. That they even allowed a human into the program was a rare feat indeed. He must have shown considerable talent even then. But it was a strained relationship for him. We've got letters he'd written home about his troubles there. "Hammers should be made this way." "The right way to create an axe is like so." "Why are you curving the blade of that sword?!? That isn't how we do it..." They kept trying to teach him the traditions of the forge; he kept trying to explore the realm of crafting to build something new.

    It was a strained relationship, indeed.

    Not that he didn't learn anything, of course. He did. They molded quite the craftsman from his talents, as you no doubt are aware. But I think, in everything he went through there, the one thing Mehka learned most, was humanity. Its a curious thing, really. When you're the only one of your kind, you see the differences so clearly. Mehka had a hard time with that loneliness, I think. Didn't adjust well, had trouble making friends there.

    Except, of course, for the friend that he actually made. Chester was his first homunculus. That's him, there. The painting was done in 472 by Father Brennin. After Mehka had moved back here, of course. It was a gift the Father gave Mehka after all his generosity with the orphanage. Mehka built that orphanage and added on rooms throughout the years. When he invented his aquaduct system, the orphanage was the first building in which he installed his hot-watered shower. This, in fact, is a piece of the original pipework from that very first shower system. You can still see some of the etched markings of the mini rune circle he'd built inside the pipe to heat the water as it flowed through.

    That was the basis for the aquaducts, you know. The rune circles. He'd crafted all the pipes just so. A marvelous work of architecture in and of themselves. Water flows down from a cistern above the city, channels through the pipes, into our homes for us to use, then flows out, underground into the sewers. There are rune circles down there that clean and purify the water that flows through the pipes, then it all trickles through a filter, into a teleportation circle and poof -- back in the cistern to flow, now perfectly clean, back into our homes.

    Its the same type of thing he used in creating the Public Teleportation System. I'm sure you've used it yourself to get around the city. You see, Mehka installed stations all around the city where--

    I'm sorry. What was that? Oh you don't want to hear about his inventions? You're already aware of his technological contributions to the city? Then what it is that you--? Oh. Oh, yes. Of course. The rumor.

    Well, its become quite the wide-spread myth. Yes, I've heard of it several times before. How as he mechanized the city, the city mechanized him. And how he eventually molded right into the city, that he's still here, amongst the buildings, the essence of him in the very stone, watching over us. I've even heard some go so far as to say that he brings an intelligence to the city, that he's infused every structure with a sense of will. Haha... It does seem a bit far-fetched to me. No, no you're right, his grave has not been located. No resting place is known. So, who knows? Maybe its all just legend and myth. Or, perhaps, he really has become the city he helped forge. With Mehka, really, imagination was the only limit....


    Resources:

    Spoiler
    Show
    Eberron Campaign Setting: Artificer, Extraordinary Artisan feat, Legendary Artisan feat
    Magic of Eberron: Renegade Mastermaker, Improved Homonculus feat
    SRD: Human Paragon
    DMGII: Apprentice feat
    Magic of Incarnum: Shape Soulmeld feat
    Races of Stone: Craft Rune Circle feat
    Races of Destiny: Urban Soul
    Stronghold Builder's Guidebook: Landlord feat
    Monster Manuel: Craft Construct feat
    Faiths of Eberron: Construct Grafter feat

    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 - #287
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge In The Playground XLIV

    Univrse262 Batman?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kylar Antilles
    Kylar Antilles


    Backstory
    Spoiler
    Show
    Kylar sat behind his desk, glaring at the servant of one of Luskan’s High Captains. The man shifted in his seat, nervousness setting in as Kylar stared him down. He was little more than a boy, this one. Scrawny and pasty, likely little more than a boy one of them had one day picked off the streets. He glanced down at Kylar’s hand; he was drumming his fingers on top of the papers the boy had delivered to him. He looked everywhere, barring Kylar’s eyes. “Well? What is it?” Kylar stopped drumming his fingers. He picked up the papers, thumbing through them as he spoke. “Which one of them sent you? Rethnor’s usually a bit pickier with his subjects.” The boy shifted in his seat again. “Well, out with it! Who sent you here?” The boy flinched at the sudden edge in his voice, and opened his mouth in a stammering attempt at speech.

    “Cap-Captain Taerl, sir. He said he needed t-to speak with you. I have no idea wh-what for.” The last remnants of color had drained from the child’s face, leaving him looking more like a wight than a human child. ‘No, not human’, Kylar noted; ‘Half-elven. Interesting.’ “Do you need anything else from me?” Kylar looked him in the eyes as he spoke; he’d been lost in thought for a moment and forgotten the boy was there. He looked as though he were about to faint on the floor, which meant Kylar had been get him to leave before he had to clean up the mess.

    “No. You can go. Tell Taerl I’ll meet him by the Ruins on the outskirts of the city. Four hours. I have business to attend to before I may meet him.” The boy sat there a moment more, watching Kylar’s eyebrows furrow as he scowled. “What are you, deaf? I said go!” The boy shot up as Kylar raised his voice, mumbling something Kylar assumed was a ‘Yes, sir’ and bolted from the room and down the steps of his tower. Kylar stood up from behind his desk; it had been a gift from Taerl some years earlier after he had ousted a traitor from the High Captain’s ranks. It was of Thayan origin, Kylar had never asked Taerl where he had found it. The man was a pirate, after all. “What does Taerl want with me, I wonder? He has no need for my information, unless one of the other High Captain’s is conspiring against him. But I’ve heard nothing, seen nothing.” Kylar wandered about his room, picking up objects that he found as he puzzled through the reasons the High Captain would wish to speak with him.

    His hand brushed the small shrine to Urbanus that now adorned the front of his desk as he passed it. He did not worship the God of Cities, per say. He paid him tribute, had received his blessing, but he was no cleric. He had grown up on the streets of Luskan as an orphan, after his father had died on a ship serving one of the High Captains. He had been learning magic from a man that was once a member of the Arcane Brotherhood, until his father’s death found him without the money to continue his training. Instead, he was thrown out onto the streets, where he survived until he met what he considered to be an avatar of the God of Cities. After the man had led him to Urbanus’s church, he had received the deity’s blessing and later developed a talent for hearing the things the city told him. He became something of an information broker, trading and selling the information he acquired to those who wanted it or didn’t want anyone else to find it. He had eventually attracted the attention of the High Captains, who used him in their plans to scheme against one another. None knew the others contacted him, none knew that Kylar played him. They always had enough information to never quite be a step ahead of each other, but all of them were a step behind Kylar.

    When he later arrived at a building overlooking the Ruins of Illusk at the edge of the city, Kylar was not surprised by what he saw. There was an ambush lying in wait behind the crumbled exteriors of the long-destroyed buildings. He spied a small, human child behind a particularly large part of an old chimney. ‘No, not human. Half-elf,’ Kylar thought to himself, chuckling. He felt the ground shift beneath his feet as he teleported to the ground, around the corner from where the ambush lied in wait. As he stepped around the corner, arcane mutterings slipped from his lips as the ambushers rounded the corner. As they charged, Kylar watched their eyes glaze over and their pupils widen as his magic took effect. Half of them turned against the others, starting a battle amongst themselves. Another word, and Kylar was hidden from their eyes. The child had run, but the largest of them, a man adorned what appeared to be ornate full-plate, that had been holding him by the scruff of the neck was still alive, and appeared unaffected by Kylar’s spell. As the last of the men threw themselves against him, Kylar mumbled another word and sneered as the man’s body went rigid. He re-appeared in front of him, stabbing the man who had his spear lodged in the warrior’s stomach in the side of the neck as he materialized.
    “How did you know there was an ambush? We were careful. We found his sigil, his papers, everything! How did you discover us?” The spear still sat in the man’s stomach as his chest heaved. Blood boiled out from beneath the layers of metal that covered his body. Kylar stepped forward, pulling the spear from the man’s stomach and kicking him down onto the ground. He let the point hover above the man’s neck. “How did I know?” Kylar mocked him, the tip of the spear pressing ever so slightly against his adam’s apple. “You idiot,” he said as he forced the spear downwards, “Taerl hates half-elves.”


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

    1st|Beguiler 1|
    +0
    |
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |Bluff 4 ranks, Diplomacy 4 ranks, Disable Device 2 ranks, Gather Information 4 ranks, Hide 4 ranks, Knowledge (Local) 4 ranks, Listen 2 ranks, Move Silently 4 ranks, Sense Motive 4 ranks, Spot 4 ranks, Use Magic Device 4 ranks |Improved Initiative, Spell Focus (Enchantment)|Armored Mage, Trapfinding

    2nd|Beguiler 2|
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +4
    |Search 5 ranks, Spellcraft 4 ranks, Spot 5 ranks ||Cloaked Casting (+1 DC), Surprise Casting

    3rd|Beguiler 3|
    +1
    |
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Gather Information 5 ranks, Hide 6 ranks, Knowledge (Local) 6 ranks, Knowledge (Arcana) 6 ranks, Search 6 ranks, Spot 6 ranks|Master of Poisons|Advanced Learning (Power Word: Pain)

    4th|Beguiler 4|
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +5
    |Balance 2 ranks, Bluff 5 ranks, Diplomacy 5 ranks, Hide 7 ranks, Knowledge (Local) 7 ranks, Search 7 ranks, Spot 7 ranks ||

    5th|Beguiler 5|
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +5
    |Diplomacy 6 ranks, Hide 8 ranks, Knowledge (Local) 8 ranks, Spot 8 ranks, Search 8 ranks, Use Magic Device 6 ranks||Silent Spell

    6th|Unseen Seer 1|
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +7
    |Bluff 9 ranks, Diplomacy 7 ranks, Knowledge (Architecture and Engineering) 5 ranks|Darkstalker|Damage Bonus +1d6

    7th|Unseen Seer 2|
    +3
    |
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +8
    |Balance 3 ranks, Bluff 10 ranks, Climb 5 ranks, Diplomacy 10 ranks, Gather Information 7 ranks||Advanced Learning (Scrying)

    8th|Beguiler 6|
    +4
    |
    +3
    |
    +2
    |
    +9
    |Knowledge (Local) 10 ranks, Listen 6 ranks, Search 10 ranks, Sense Motive 7 ranks||Surprise Casting

    9th|Beguiler 7|
    +4
    |
    +3
    |
    +2
    |
    +9
    |Balance 5 ranks, Bluff 13 ranks, Climb 8 ranks, Diplomacy 13 ranks, Hide 9 ranks, Move Silently 9 ranks, Sense Motive 8 ranks, Use Magic Device 8 ranks|Arcane Strike|Advanced Learning (Phantasmal Killer)

    10th|Beguiler 8|
    +5
    |
    +3
    |
    +2
    |
    +10
    |Bluff 11 ranks, Diplomacy 11 ranks, Gather Information 9 ranks, Hide 11 ranks, Listen 8 ranks, Move Silently 11 ranks, Sense Motive 12 ranks, Use Magic Device 11 ranks||Cloaked Casting

    11th|Urban Soul 1|
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +4
    |
    +10
    |Balance 8 ranks, Escape Artist 5 ranks, Intimidate 3 ranks||City ramparts 1/day, Urban Sustenance

    12th|Urban Soul 2|
    +6/+1
    |
    +6
    |
    +5
    |
    +10
    |Balance 10 ranks, Hide 15 ranks, Move Silently 15 ranks, Search 11 ranks |Smiting Spell|Citybred senses +2

    13th|Urban Soul 3|
    +7/+2
    |
    +6
    |
    +5
    |
    +11
    |Listen 13 ranks, Spot 14 ranks||Meld Into City

    14th|Urban Soul 4|
    +8/+3
    |
    +7
    |
    +6
    |
    +11
    |Listen 16 ranks, Spot 16 ranks, Tumble 6 ranks||See The City

    15th|Urban Soul 5|
    +8/+3
    |
    +7
    |
    +6
    |
    +11
    |Gather Information 12 ranks, Intimidate 9 ranks, Tumble 8 ranks|Practiced Spellcaster|City Ramparts 2/day

    16th|Urban Soul 6|
    +x
    |
    +8
    |
    +7
    |
    +12
    |Intimidate 12 ranks, Jump 5 ranks, Search 14 ranks||Citybred senses +4, Urban Skill Mastery

    17th|Urban Soul 7|
    +9/+4
    |
    +8
    |
    +7
    |
    +12
    |Hide 18 ranks, Listen 19 ranks, Move Silently 18 ranks, Spot 19 ranks||Hear The City 1/day

    18th|Urban Soul 8|
    +10/+5
    |
    +9
    |
    +8
    |
    +12
    |Hide 20 ranks, Listen 20 ranks, Move Silently 20 ranks, Spot 20 ranks|Greater Spell Focus (Enchantment)|Mob Violence

    19th|Urban Soul 9|
    +11/+6/+1
    |
    +9
    |
    +8
    |
    +13
    |Bluff 15 ranks, Diplomacy 14 ranks, Gather Information 16 ranks, Intimidate 13 ranks, Search 18 ranks||City Ramparts 3/day

    20th|Urban Soul 10**|
    +12/+7/+2
    |
    +10
    |
    +9
    |
    +13
    |Bluff 17 ranks, Diplomacy 17 ranks, Listen 21 ranks, Spot 21 ranks ||Citybred senses +6, Hear The City 2/day, City Bond, Intracity Teleport, Urban Renewal[/table]

    *Skills do not reflect ability score modifiers or synergy bonuses
    ** City-Bonded Substitution Level


    Stat Array
    Spoiler
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    Original Stat Array
    Strength: 12
    Dexterity: 10
    Constitution: 12
    Intelligence: 16
    Wisdom: 12
    Charisma: 15

    Final Stat Array
    Strength: 12
    Dexterity: 10
    Constitution: 12
    Intelligence: 20
    Wisdom: 12
    Charisma: 16


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

    1st|5|4|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    2nd|6|5|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    3rd|6|6|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    4th|6|7|4|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

    6th|6|7|6|4|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

    8th|6|7|7|6|4|-|-|-|-|-

    9th|6|7|7|7|5|-|-|-|-|-

    10th|6|7|7|7|6|3|-|-|-|-

    11th|6|7|7|7|7|3|-|-|-|-

    12th|6|7|7|7|7|3|-|-|-|-

    13th|6|7|7|7|7|3|-|-|-|-

    14th|6|7|7|7|7|3|-|-|-|-

    15th|6|7|7|7|7|3|-|-|-|-

    16th|6|7|7|7|7|3|-|-|-|-

    17th|6|7|7|7|7|3|-|-|-|-

    18th|6|7|7|7|7|3|-|-|-|-

    19th|6|7|7|7|7|3|-|-|-|-

    20th|6|8|7|7|7|4|-|-|-|-[/table]


    Spells Known
    Spoiler
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    0th Level
    Spoiler
    Show
    Dancing Lights, Daze, Detect Magic, Ghost Sound, Message, Open/Close, Read Magic

    1st Level
    Spoiler
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    Charm Person, Color Spray, Comprehend Languages, Detect Secret Doors, Disguise Self, Expeditious Retreat, Hypnotism, Mage Armor, Obscuring Mist, Power Word: Pain, Rouse, Silent Image, Sleep, Undetectable Alignment, Whelm

    2nd Level
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    Blinding Color Surge, Blur, Daze Monster, Detect Thoughts, Fog Cloud, Glitterdust, Hypnotic Pattern, Invisibility, Knock, Minor Image, Mirror Image, Misdirection, See Invisibility, Silence, Spider Climb, Stay the Hand, Touch of Idiocy, Vertigo, Whelming Blast

    3rd Level
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    Arcane Sight, Clairaudience/Clairvoyance, Crown of Veils, Deep Slumber, Dispel Magic, Displacement, Glibness, Halt, Hesitate, Hold Person, Inevitable Defeat, Invisibility Sphere, Legion of Sentinels, Major Image, Nondetection, Scyring, Slow, Suggestion, Vertigo Field, Zone of Silence

    4th Level
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    Charm Monster, Confusion, Crushing Despair, Freedom of Movement, Invisibility (Greater), Locate Creature, Mirror Image (Greater), Phantasmal Killer, Phantom Battle, Rainbow Pattern, Solid Fog, Whelm (Mass)

    5th Level
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    Break Enchantment, Dominate Person, Etherealness (Swift), Feeblemind, Friend to Foe, Hold Monster, Incite Riot, Mind Fog, Rary's Telepathic Bond, Seeming, Sending


    Explanations
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    Unseen Seer
    While I really didn't just want to dip Unseen Seer, I also really wanted to add it to the build because not only does Advanced Learning net me Scyring (more on that in a minute), but because it fits him thematically as a Waterdeep Spymaster who uses his magic to find valuable information and track down subjects of interest. While I might take a hit for the dip, I wanted to explain that it was originally for a thematic purpose and later also used for actual mechanical benefits.

    Scrying
    Scrying is typically a 4th level spell for arcane classes like the Wizard or Sorcerer, or 5th level for Clerics, but I grabbed it as a 3rd level spell. I did this through Unseen Seer, which allows Advanced Learning from any spellcasting class, as long as the spell is of a level I can cast. At the time, Kylar could cast 3rd level spells, so I grabbed Scrying off of the Bard spell list, where it is only a 3rd level spell.


    Equipment/Tactics
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    Equipment
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    Essentials
    Kylar's only essential equipment includes short sword, and a shortbow, both obviously scaled to a useful enhancement bonus for his level. In addition, he also carries a variety of poisons for the arrows on his shortbow, and uses a variety of poisons that target various ability scores. He would likely poisoned arrows beforehand, with different fletching on each set of arrows to identify the poisons.

    Optional
    Kylar, if wearing armor, would probably enchant it to increase his hide/move silently skill. Carrying a Crystal Ball, particularly one with True Seeing, would make sense, but is not by any means required. Barring that, he would likely buy any items to grant him extra spells per day, such as a Ring of Wizardry.


    Tactics
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    Beginning Combat
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    Typically, Kylar uses his abilities such as Clairaudience/Clairvoyance, Scrying, or Hear/See the City to locate his targets before they have any idea he's coming. Thanks to Darkstalker, he can use spells like Invisibility to sneak up on targets that would otherwise locate him, or travels with spells like Dimension Door. Depending on the target, he may use Meld into Stone to lay in wait for an ambush.


    Ranged
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    Kylar will often initiate combat at range with his bow, using poisons to weaken or take down targets completely. He will also often use Touch of Idiocy with Smiting Spell to target either spellcasters (to weaken their spellcasting) or melee combatants (to reduce their Int/Wis/Cha to 0). While attacking in such a fashion he will likely use Greater Invisibility to remain hidden.


    Melee
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    Kylar will always begin melee combat with spells such as Mirror Image/Displacement and Haste, to make him difficult to hit and to grant him extra attacks, along with utilizing Arcane Strike for his bonus damage. He may also utilize spells like Crushing Despair, Slow, Hold Person, or Hesitate in such a situation to gain the advantage. In addition, if in danger, he will likely use abilities such as Mob Violence or City Ramparts to defend himself.

    Against large groups of enemies, he may use Invisibility in conjunction with Mirror Image (or Greater Mirror Image), and resort to using spells such as Charm/Dominate Person,Friend to Foe, or Incite Riot to turn combatants against each other. In that situation, he will likely using spells like Phantom Battle or Legion of Sentinels to fight for him. In this situation, spells like Obscuring/Solid Fog, Vertigo Field, or Rainbow Pattern may also be used.


    Use of Secret Ingredient
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    Kylar uses the Secret Ingredient in a number of ways. While it's likely less powerful than a straight Beguiler, what it loses in power it does in some ways make up for it in utility. Kylar uses abilities such as City Ramparts or Mob Violence in combat, as well as using things like See/Hear the City or Citybred Senses to gather information, making him better at his job as an information broker. Meld into City is useful for information or ambushes, and he uses things like Urban Skill Mastery or the abilities granted from his City-Bonded Substitution level like Intracity Teleport or Urban Renewal to cut off escapes or to merely traverse the city itself in a manner much faster than others would have access to.


    Level Snapshots
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    Level 5
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    Kylar has recently picked up Master of Poisons and will obviously begin using them in his combat repertoire. He uses spells such as Mirror Image an Invisibility to confuse enemies and Charm Person to turn them against one another. He has a significant amount of prowess at lying and manipulating others into getting what he wants through his ranks in Diplomacy and Bluff, and is no slouch at sneaking about or scouting, either due to both his spells and skill points.


    Level 10
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    Kylar begins to use strategies with things like Friend to Foe, Incite Riot, or Dominate Person to create in-fighting against any who oppose him. He uses his Unseen Seer spell Scrying to acquire his targets, and has recently just finished pre-reqs for secret ingredient. He also now has significant access to skills such as Bluff and Diplomacy to help him trick his enemies into becoming his unwitting allies.


    Level 15
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    Kylar has acquired his first five levels of Urban Soul and uses the abilities he has gained primarily for scouting purposes with every intent of using them for his job as Luskan's chief information broker. Things like See the City allow him to spy on others without using his spells, and he can infiltrate sensitive areas and hide using Meld Into City.


    Level 20
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    With his final Urban Soul level, Kylar gains the ability to travel about Luskan with impunity and is able to manipulate the entire city to suit his needs with his newly gained SLAs. His ability to sneak about and gain his information, as well as to smooth talk others are now also at their peak, with a great skill selection and a variety of useful spells and SLAs.


    Citations
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    Complete Arcane (Practiced Spellcaster)
    Complete Mage (Unseen Seer)
    Complete Warrior (Arcane Strike)
    Drow of the Underdark (Master of Poisons)
    Lords of Madness (Darkstalker)
    Player's Handbook
    Player's Handbook II (Beguiler, Smiting Spell)
    Races of Destiny (Urban Soul)

    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 - #288
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge In The Playground XLIV

    He's there... no, wait, he's over there now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Robin
    The diary of King Antaeus
    Spoiler
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    Prince d'Basco crept into the royal library. It was late, and the halls around him were deserted, his heartbeat pounding behind him like a set of loud footsteps following his every move.

    The city's soul was becoming a thorn in his side. He had heard tales of before his omnipresence in the city, that it had not always been this way.

    He found what he was looking for, the diary of his grandfather, and sat at a desk, lighting a candle as he sat down to read. Perhaps it may provide some insight as to how to defeat the city's soul.

    Year 3434
    I feel an unconscionable amount of joy upon being crowned king. Though I do, of course, miss father dearly, I have always known I would be a better ruler. His policy was too insular. I know that the best way to spread our country's wealth and prosperity is to colonize, and that's what I plan to do.

    I am apprehensive about this test I must undergo to "live as one of the people" for a day. I see little merit in living on the streets when there are matters of state to attend to.

    The prince glanced further down the scroll and found his grandfather's recollection of this trial

    This was much more difficult than I had anticipated. I surely would have perished had it not been for the aid of a passing nomad I encountered while deigning to beg for food. He took me under his cloak and warned me that this spot of street had been claimed. I couldn't imagine who would claim it, but he assured me that space was as valuable a commodity as anything in the city. It was something I'd never honestly considered.

    He gave me shelter in his little hovel and broke bread with me. Fortunately I saw no one I knew.

    I didn't know that the city was still recovering from the last war. I felt its sting much less in the palace.

    The prince saw his grandfather had learned much of how the other side lived from this nomad. Eventually the trial was over and he had passed it. He promoted the nomad to minor nobility despite his protestations, saying that he had to somehow reward his kindness.

    As was custom, before making any such official declarations on policy, I had to obtain somehow the blessing from Urbanus's temple. I had no particular gift for interacting with the clergy. I learned my new friend, the nomad, Robin, was on good terms with them. He met them regularly to disperse food to his former fellows.

    He was able to word my proposal in a pleasing fashion, and obtained permission to expand our empire. I was ecstatic, but that was not the most important thing that happened that day. As we were speaking to the priests, a cameo of Urbanus himself in a stained glass window came to life and chose Robin as his emissary to our city. From that day forward, he never again cut his bare feet on broken glass in the road, and always seemed to be able to find the most favorable path to his destination in short order.

    Our mission to expand the empire was met with more resistance than I initially thought. This resistance came not only from outside the city, but from my own populace.

    The taxes imposed from the war effort, Robin let me know, affected his brethren most strongly, leading to acts of sabotage and other lesser rebellions around the city.

    I took this to mean that I needed to crack down more swiftly on them. I thanked Robin for his aid and dismissed him.

    The Prince was confused. Was this not the year that the city's soul first came to prevalence?

    Year 3435

    A new year, I hoped, would bring better luck to me.

    I found almost immediately, that I couldn't have been further from the truth.

    The very day my new security measures were put into place, Robin was waiting for me in my private chamber. I was indignant and asked how he got in. He told me that being the soul of the city meant walls opened and closed when he told them to, and he asked what I thought I was doing oppressing my people the way I was.

    I told him sacrifices needed to be made, and he said I didn't understand the meaning of the word. I tripped the alarm on the door to summon my guards, but by the time I had touched the button, Robin had dived out the window and disappeared into an alley.

    I expunged any record of his nobility and declared him an enemy of the state. Though to this day the bounty on him grows, I have no one who has been able to claim it in my kingdom.

    The prince was shocked. This was where the city's soul had come from? He read on

    Year 3464
    I have made a shambles of my city. People are starving in the streets, and I am no closer to colonizing the neighboring kingdom. Public support for the city's soul grows by the day, no matter how strongly I denounce him to the people. There are so many outwardly displaying allegiance to him, I no longer bother to have them arrested. They would only be martyrs for what they view as a noble cause.

    My patrols say trying to get their hands around him is like trying to catch dust in their hands. When he runs, walls and gates open for him and close to my men. When he hides, he slips into a wall and pops out again on the other side of the city.

    I have no patience for this anymore. The last time I saw him, he said he felt sorry for me. He said I had wasted my life, and I saw no way to disagree with him. He was in my chamber again, and I didn't bother ringing for the guards. I took my decorative sword from over he mantelpiece and threw it at his feet.

    Though it shames me to say it, I begged him to get it over with and just kill me. He said he wouldn't, and that it was never what he wanted. Besides, if I were dead, I could never stop the war and let the city heal.

    He didn't understand that I couldn't just snap my fingers and end it now. I has gone too far to do so. I told him I would think about it and he left.

    He hadn't aged a day since he'd received the blessing of Urbanus. He still had the youthful shine in his eyes and the idealism of a young man. He didn't understand how the world works.

    I left a dagger on my pillow and pricked my finger, writing "sic semper tyrannis" on the wall.

    I stood on my balcony and he was already gone. I took one last breath and readied myself. No one besides my descendants shall know this. As far as the city is concerned, I am a martyr for the war, cut down in my prime by the soul of the city.

    When the time comes for this to be read, know this, my ancestor:

    Robin, I'm sorry for what I've forced myself to do. I know in my heart there can be no end to this. The city is your strength, and there is no way to weaken you without hurting my people. Though it may not always have seemed it, that was never my goal. You have won. It may not show today, or the day after, or the year after, but eventually, you will wear my legacy down, and this senseless violence will stop.

    -Your Friend, Antaeus.

    The prince was conflicted. He understood the position his grandfather had been in. And now understood his father's obstinance in maintaining the war. He wasn't sure what he would do with this knowledge, but knew he wouldn't view the city's soul in the same way again



    classes: human paragon1/cmonk3/hp3/jaunter1/urban soul 10/jaunter4

    abilities
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    str 10
    dex 14
    con 14
    int 16
    wis 10
    cha 14


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

    1st|Human Paragon 1|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |Bluff 4, Gather info 4, k:planes 4, k:local 4, k:architecture 4, move silently 4, UMD 4|Able learner, Darkstalker|Adaptive learning (Knowledge: local) HP skills (autohypnosis, bluff, forgery, gather info, K; planes, local, architecture, hide, ms, UMD)

    2nd|Cobra Strike Monk 1|
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +4
    |Balance 5, Jump 3||bonus feat (dodge) Flurry of blows, unarmed strike

    3rd|Cobra Strike Monk 2|
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +5
    |Hide 3, jump 2 (5), Tumble 3|Trickery Devotion|bonus feat (mobility) Evasion, speed boost +10 feet (40)

    4th|Cobra Strike Monk 3|
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +5
    |Hide 1 (4), move silently 1 (5), Tumble 4 (7), UMD 2 (6)||Darkvision 60ft

    5th|Human Paragon 2|
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +6
    |Balance 2 (7), gather info 1 (5) k:architecture 1 (5), k:local 3 (8), Tumble 1 (8)||Bonus Feat (Roofwalker)

    6th|Human Paragon 3|
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +6
    |Autohypnosis 5, k:local 1 (9), UMD 2 (8)|Spring Attack|Ability boost +2

    7th|Jaunter 1|
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |hide 3 (7), k:local 1 (10), move silently 3 (8), tumble 1 (9)||Travel power, benign transposition

    8th|Urban Soul 1|
    +4
    |
    +6
    |
    +8
    |
    +6
    |hide 1(8), jump 8 move silently 1 (9)||City ramparts 1/day,urban sustenance

    9th|Urban Soul 2|
    +5
    |
    +7
    |
    +9
    |
    +6
    |diplo 4, hide 1 (9) jump 4 (12), move silently 1 (10)|Roofjumper|Citybred senses +2

    10th|Urban Soul 3|
    +6/+1
    |
    +7
    |
    +9
    |
    +7
    |diplo 3 (7), hide 1 (10), move silently 1 (11) sense motive 5||Meld into city

    11th|Urban Soul 4|
    +7/+2
    |
    +8
    |
    +10
    |
    +7
    |diplo 7 (14), hide 1 (11), jump 1 (11)move silently 1 (12)||See the city

    12th|Urban Soul 5|
    +7/+2
    |
    +8
    |
    +10
    |
    +7
    |balance 1 (8), diplo 1 (15), hide 1 (12), move silently 1 (13), tumble 6 (15)|Master Manipulator|City ramparts 2/day

    13th|Urban Soul 6|
    +8/+3
    |
    +9
    |
    +11
    |
    +8
    |balance 8 (16), hide 1 (13), move silently 1 (14)||Citybred senses +4, urban skill mastery

    14th|Urban Soul 7|
    +9/+4
    |
    +9
    |
    +11
    |
    +8
    |hide 1 (14), move silently 1(15), sense motive 8 (13)||Hear the city 1/day

    15th|Urban Soul 8|
    +10/+5
    |
    +10
    |
    +12
    |
    +8
    |diplo 3 (18), hide 1 (15), move silently 1 (16), sense motive 5 (18)| Wanderer's diplomacy|Mob Violence

    16th|Urban Soul 9|
    +10/+5
    |
    +10
    |
    +12
    |
    +9
    |bluff 6, diplo 1 (19), hide 1 (16), move silently 1 (17), sense motive 1 (19)||City ramparts 3/day

    17th|Urban Soul 10|
    +11/+6/+1
    |
    +11
    |
    +13
    |
    +9
    |bluff 6 (12), diplo 1 (20), hide 1 (17), move silently 1 (18), sense motive 1 (20)||City-bonded substitution lvl, Citybred senses +6, hear the city 2/day, city bond, intracity teleport, urban renewal

    18th|Jaunter 2|
    +12/+7/+2
    |
    +12
    |
    +14
    |
    +10
    |bluff 2 (14), tumble 6 (21)|Martial Study (Sudden Counter)|Baleful transposition, fast movement +10 (50 ft)

    19th|Jaunter 3|
    +13/+8/+3
    |
    +12
    |
    +14
    |
    +10
    |bluff 7 (21), tumble 1 (22)||Dimension door, teleport

    20th|Jaunter 4|
    +14/+9/+4
    |
    +12
    |
    +15
    |
    +10
    |diplo 3 (23), bluff 2 (23), tumble 1 (23), sense motive 2 (22)||Freedom of movement, plane shift[/table]


    playtips
    Spoiler
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    5
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    Pretend like you're a monk with a little more meat on your bones. Trickery devotion lets you trip up your opponents and misdirect their efforts to attack you. If your DM allows retraining in your game, retrain dodge into one of the useful variants (expeditious dodge, midnight dodge if you rework the build to accommodate a meld or two, etc)

    You have dark vision to go with your darkstalker, and roof walker to work in tandem with your jump, balance, and tumble, making mobility much easier for you. Darkstalker lets you do stealth competently, and able learner lets you keep skills up to snuff.


    10 sweet spot
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    You are now in the secret ingredient with a garnish of jaunter. Benign transposition's up to help you shoofly friends around the battlefield, and you're in the SI with meld into city and roof jumper online, making it easier to soar through the air with the greatest of ease, jump onto enemies and deal bonus damage, and take less damage from falls. Swing from rooftop to rooftop like a spider monkey and make use of spring attack when it's possible.


    15
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    You're wrapping up the SI now and have master manipulator and wanderer's diplomacy online to make all your social skills (thanks to able learner) pull double duty. Urban skill mastery is online, and your movement skills are through the roof (literally thanks to roof jumper) Move around and between trickery devotion and meld into city, be impossible to find.


    20
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    Your capstone is online now. Enjoy your immortality. Your SLAs help you become more elusive than ever, and jaunter's fast movement, being untyped, stacks with monk's fast movement. Remember that your movement speed indirectly boosts your ability to jump. Between this and your urban skill mastery, you can easily leap tall buildings in a single bound like max fleishcer's superman. Sudden counter gives you a way to hit back when someone tries to run away, and jaunter gives you mobility outside your city. While it's obviously for emergencies only, you can teleport elsewhere or even plane shift when severely outgunned. Freedom of movement for 8 rounds/day split up as you like, triggering as a swift too! Enjoy keeping your enemies guessing with trickery devotion in tandem with your teleportation abilities.



    Sources
    Spoiler
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    SRD- cobra strike monk, dodge, mobility, spring attack, human paragon
    champions of valor web enhancement- dark moon disciple monk sub lvl
    expedition to the demonweb pits- jaunter
    races of destiny-SI, able learner
    lords of madness- darkstalker
    cityscape- skilled city dweller, roof jumper, roof walker
    PHB2- wanderer's diplomacy
    complete champion- trickery devotion
    tome of battle- martial study
    Last edited by Kuulvheysoon; 2013-04-21 at 10:30 AM.

    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 - #289
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge In The Playground XLIV

    These are not the droids that you are looking for.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oscar Twinkle
    Oscar Twinkle, trickster of many lands

    General Information
    Spoiler
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    Race: Human
    Classes: Beguiler 5/Mindbender 7/Urban Soul 8
    Alignment: Chaotic Neutral

    Abilities:
    Str 10
    Dex 15
    Con 12
    Int 16
    Wis 10
    Cha 14

    Points: +1 Dex (lvl 4), +4 Int (lvls 8, 12, 16, 20)

    Roles: monkey (diplomat and trickster, sub scout and sub acrobat), enchanter.


    Story of the Trickster
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    Oscar was a man who loved fun. He lived the life of the casual con man, manipulating others everywhere he went. Because honestly, it was usually better for people to be lied to.
    Most of his life was games and trickery. To some he was a dashing rogue, others a soft-spoken diplomat, others still a silver-tongued worm, and even more others a nearly unnoticeable scholar. Everything was cultivating a different image to a different person, and never letting his true self be seen. Sometimes he twisted words and lives for his own benefit, but other times it was for what he saw as someone’s own good. He had a soft spot for people of the city; he wasn’t out to harm them, just making his own life fun, while sometimes helping theirs.
    Over time he became even greater at manipulating others. His words became smoother, and his spells, while limited, were potent and twisting the minds of others. Though his whole life was devoted to cons, deceptions, and manipulations, still he always thought he at least tried to serve the greater good. He had no love for blatant robbers, thugs, corrupt nobility, and murderers
    And then came the night with the strange dream. The calling, to use his powers of manipulation for something above himself. For his home and his people. He heard the call of Urbanus, and it was a call that struck a chord in his heart he could not forget.
    So what became of the liar, the trickster, the rogue? He still wanders the city, his potent words now with a greater purpose. Whether it be settling disputes amongst the common man, shaming a crooked guard, or ridding the world of another gang of brutes, Oscar Twinkle was a man and a legend of the great city.


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

    1st|Beguiler 1|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    | Balance 4 ranks, Bluff 4 ranks, Diplomacy 4 ranks, Gather Information 4 ranks, Intimidate 2 ranks, Knowledge (architecture) 2 ranks, Knowledge (local) 4 ranks, Search 4 ranks, Sense Motive 4 ranks, Spot 4 ranks, Tumble 4 ranks| Able-Learner (human bonus feat), Spell Focus (enchantment)| Armored Mage, Trapfinding

    2nd|Beguiler 2|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    | Balance +1 rank, Bluff +1 rank, Diplomacy +1 rank, Gather Info +1 rank, Intimidate +1 rank, Local +1 rank, Search +1 rank, Spot +1 rank, Spellcraft +1 rank, Tumble +1 rank || Cloaked Casting (+1 DC), Surprise Casting

    3rd|Beguiler 3|
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    | Bluff +1, Diplomacy +1, Gather Info +1, Intimidate +1, Architecture +1, Local +1, Search +1, Concentration +1, Spot +1, Tumble +1| Unsettling Enchantment | Advanced Learning

    4th|Beguiler 4|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    | Bluff +1, Diplomacy +1, Gather Info +1, Local +1, Concentration +3, Search +1, Spot +1, Tumble +1||

    5th|Beguiler 5|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    | Bluff +1, Diplomacy +1, Gather Info +1, Intimidate +1, Architecture +1, Local +1, Concentration +1, Search +1, Spot +1, Tumble +1| Silent Spell (bonus feat)|

    6th|Mindbender 1|
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +6
    | Concentration +1, Diplomacy +1, Architecture +1, Local +1, Sleight of Hand +1| Touch of Distraction | Telepathy, +1 Beguiler casting

    7th|Mindbender 2|
    +3
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +7
    | Bluff +1, Concentration +2, Diplomacy +1, Local +1, Sleight of Hand +1|| Boost the weak Mind 1/day, Skill Boost

    8th|Mindbender 3|
    +3
    |
    +4
    |
    +2
    |
    +7
    | Bluff +1, Diplomacy +1, Intimidate +1, Sleight of Hand +3|| Mindread 2/day, +1 Beguiler casting

    9th|Urban Soul 1|
    +3
    |
    +6
    |
    +2
    |
    +7
    | Bluff +1, Diplomacy +1, Gather Info +2, Local +2, Search +1, Spot +1, Conceal Spellcasting trick | Mobile Spellcasting | City Ramparts 1/day, Urban Sustenance

    10th|Urban Soul 2|
    +4
    |
    +7
    |
    +5
    |
    +7
    | Bluff +1, Concentration +2, Diplomacy +1, Search +1, Spot +1, Tumble +2, Timely Misdirection trick || Citybred Senses +2

    11th|Urban Soul 3|
    +5
    |
    +7
    |
    +5
    |
    +8
    | Bluff +1, Concentration +2, Diplomacy +1, Gather Info +1, Spellcraft +1, Tumble +2, Swift Concentration trick || Meld into City

    12th|Urban Soul 4|
    +6
    |
    +8
    |
    +6
    |
    +8
    | Bluff +1, Concentration +2, Diplomacy +1, Local +1, Spellcraft +2, Group Fake-Out trick | Practiced Spellcaster | See the City

    13th|Mindbender 4|
    +7
    |
    +9
    |
    +6
    |
    +9
    | Bluff +1, Concentration +2, Diplomacy +1, Gather Info +2, Spellcraft +1|| Eternal charm (1)

    14th|Urban Soul 5|
    +7
    |
    +9
    |
    +6
    |
    +9
    | Bluff +1, Diplomacy +1, Gather Info +2, Search +3, Spot +3, Tumble +1|| City Ramparts 2/day

    15th|Mindbender 5|
    +7
    |
    +9
    |
    +6
    |
    +9
    | Bluff +1, Concentration +2, Diplomacy +1, Spellcraft +3| Combat Expertise | Push the Weak Mind 2/day, +1 Beguiler spellcasting

    16th|Urban Soul 6|
    +8
    |
    +10
    |
    +7
    |
    +10
    | Bluff +1, Diplomacy +1, Local +3, Search +2, Spot +2, Tumble +2|| Urban skill mastery, Urban senses +4

    17th|Mindbender 6|
    +9
    |
    +11
    |
    +8
    |
    +11
    | Bluff +1, Concentration +2, Diplomacy +1, Sleight of Hand +3|| Eternal charm (2), Enchantment spell power +2

    18th|Urban Soul 7|
    +10
    |
    +11
    |
    +8
    |
    +11
    | Balance +1, Bluff +1, Diplomacy +1, Architecture +1, Sleight of Hand +2, Spellcraft +2, Tumble +2, False Theurgy trick | Swift Tumbler | Hear the City 1/day

    19th|Mindbender 7|
    +10
    |
    +11
    |
    +8
    |
    +11
    | Bluff +1, Concentration +2, Diplomacy +1, Intimidate +1, Search +1, Spot +1|| Mindread 4/day, Dominate, +1 Beguiler casting

    20th|Urban Soul 8|
    +11
    |
    +12
    |
    +9
    |
    +11
    | Bluff +1, Diplomacy +1, Intimidate +1, Local +2, Sleight of Hand +2, Spellcraft +2, Nimble Charge trick || Mob Violence [/table]


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

    1st|5|3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    2nd|6|4|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    3rd|6|5|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

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

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

    7th|6|6|5|3|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

    9th|6|6|6|4|-|-|-|-|-|-

    10th|6|6|6|4|-|-|-|-|-|-

    11th|6|6|6|4|-|-|-|-|-|-

    12th|6|6|6|4|-|-|-|-|-|-

    13th|6|6|6|4|-|-|-|-|-|-

    14th|6|6|6|4|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

    16th|6|6|6|5|3|-|-|-|-|-

    17th|6|6|6|5|3|-|-|-|-|-

    18th|6|6|6|5|3|-|-|-|-|-

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

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


    Level Breakdown
    Spoiler
    Show
    Level 5
    Spoiler
    Show
    By level 5, Oscar is still considerably good with his limited magic and his words. He is far greater outside of combat or avoiding it. He is limited to light armor and has weak combat skills, so he tends to avoid battle with illusions like invisibility, mirror image, and disguise self, while many of his other spells help twist people the way he wants them like harm person, stay the hand, detect thoughts, hypnotic pattern, and more. He also is very good with social skills, like lying or honest diplomacy. His place in a team would be as a party face and battlefield control, but he needs to stay far away from combat.


    Level 10
    Spoiler
    Show
    At this point we are getting a small taste of the Secret Ingredient, as well as a little of the other special ingredient Mindbender. His abilities still focus on manipulating others and his combat skills are still very much suffering. But what changes is how he can do this. Touch of Distraction, Unsettling Enchantment, Mobile Spellcasting, Timely Misdirection, and Conceal Spellcasting keep people guessing and confused as he wanders around, casting spells but keeping them laced in his words, throwing off those few who can resist his enchantments. Though his spellcasting isn’t as great than if he had stayed beguiler, mindbender keeps the abilities he wants to work on strong, and urban soul allows him to keep up those many skills and make him a little better at surviving.


    Level 15
    Spoiler
    Show
    Here he continues his work for Urbanus on the city, but now he fills in a new role well; scout. With meld into city, citybred senses, see the city, and many of his beguiler spells, he is good at scoping out things in the city, and avoiding fights. He still hasn’t improved much as far as combat goes, and his spellcasting ability has slowed in its improvements. With this comes push the weak mind and Practiced Spellcaster to keep foes on his strings. And now he is greater at avoiding battle with Combat Expertise and a few tricks like Group Fake-Out and meld into city. All in all this is where he officially switches from mostly spellcaster to skill monkey with some spells and spell-like support.


    Level 20
    Spoiler
    Show
    Here he is at his peak. His spellcasting is good, but not grand. But his skills reign supreme, with focuses on information gathering, dealing with people through words, and mobility. He is also strong with his concentration. With his other talents he is good at twisting others with his mindreading, false theurgy trick to keep other spellcasters from predicting his actions, and potent dominate effect. While his spellcasting is weaker, he still manages with enchantment power keeping his most important spells ready to work. On the common people of the city, he is still able to tumble and roll circles around them, turn them on each other, and avoid fights quickly with greater invisibility, confusion, charms, and even hold person if he absolutely must. For him, the spells are just a boost to his skill abilities, while his tricks allow him to always have some way of surprising his enemies. Tie that in with divination magic, good skills with gathering knowledge, city ramparts, and mob violence, and he is great for avoiding fights or subverting them, or making it so that when he has to fight he has many advantages. Like possibly his foes’ allies?


    Sources
    Spoiler
    Show
    Player’s Handbook, Races of Destiny, Player’s Handbook 2, Complete Arcane, and Complete Mage.

    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 - #290
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge In The Playground XLIV

    These citizens are under my protection.

    Quote Originally Posted by Deitoreth
    Backstory
    Spoiler
    Show
    In a starving city on a bright and sunny day, Deitoreth ran on the rooftops, the sound of his feet hitting the shingled roofs mistaken for the pattering of squirrels.

    He leapt off and landed softly on the balcony of a rich manor. He stood and brushed his small and lithe frame off before turning his attention to the lock on the door before him. He cracked a smile, after all he had just bypassed the manor guards, the only obstacle that remained was a small and measly little lock.

    With a quick poke of his dagger, he was through the door. Into a large, rich, and decadent chamber full of valuables, where a whole wall was devoted to being a window. A single chair stood facing a lit fireplace, it’s back casting the largest shadow in the room. A man’s sleeping arm dangled over the armrest.

    “Too easy” he whispered and ran up to the chair, plunging his dagger into the man’s chest. Deitoreth cursed, for the man vanished out from thin air. Suddenly a cold hand pressed on his back.

    He felt a wave of magic overtake him, compelling him to stop moving...compelling him not to fight. He couldn’t resist it, for it took him by surprise. The man to which the hand belonged planned it so.

    “You’re a hard man to learn about, thief. I exhausted all my scholarly contacts trying to find even a shred of information about you. But it seems to have paid off, for here I am very much alive and here you are at my mercy.” The man came into view, a merchant by dress.

    “You call yourself a protector of the people, a vigilante. But yet here you are attempting to kill me, a poor old merchant trying to make some coin.” He paused.

    “Trying to kill me for no more reason than to put some food in the mouths of the common rabble. Good for nothing peasants.” The merchant walked over to the window, and stared out into the city. Deitoreth had a clear shot, but the potent magic stopped him from completing the task.

    “My...” the merchant continued, wagging his finger “...sources...have uncovered some interesting history about you, Deitoreth. Only a couple of months ago you were still a petty thief, conscripted into the city’s army as a forward scout. But killed your general just weeks later to save some black marketeers.”

    “Then the trail runs dry for a five whole months. Though you pop up again, surely enough. Both helping and killing people at random. The cherry on the cake though,” his greasy face giggled. “And the secret that will make me rich, is the person behind the murders of three council members. When I hand you to the city watch, I will be made into a hero, with all the power I wish.” he turned then stopped still, Deitoreth was gone.

    The merchant felt it then, the dagger slipping cleanly through his ribs. “Your evidence is both strong and valid.” Deitoreth whispered from behind him. “But, you make the same mistake that many people have, I am not a man of the people, but a man of the city. The city itself released me from your spell.” He twisted the wound viciously.

    “I do whatever it takes to make the city prosper, so it helps me in return. The black marketeers brought good coin to the city so I allowed them to remain. The council members and many others like you were corrupted with personal wealth in mind, planning to destroy all the cities along this coast for personal gain. But I can’t allow that, so now you die.”

    The dagger slipped out of the man’s body. “As I bring nourishment to the blood of the city, food for the people.” And in that instant, Deitoreth leaped through the door he had entered, returning the the rooftops.


    The Build
    Spoiler
    Show
    Deitoreth, The Lord Protector
    {table=head]Level|Class|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Skills|Feats|Class Features

    1st|Rogue|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |Balance 4, Gather Information 4, Climb 4, Disguise 4, Escape Artist 4, Hide 4, Open Lock 4, Search 4, Use Magic Device 4, Tumble 4, Knowledge (architecture & engineering) 2, Knowledge (local) 4, Move Silently 4|Weapon Finesse, Apprentice (Soldier)|Sneak Attack +1d6, Trap Finding

    2nd|Scout|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +4
    |
    +0
    |Balance 5, Gather Information 4(.5), Climb 5, Disguise 4(.5), Escape Artist 5, Hide 5, Open Lock 4(.5), Search 4(.5), Use Magic Device 4(.5), Tumble 5, Knowledge (architecture & engineering) 2(.5), Knowledge (local) 4(.5), Move Silently 5||Skirmish +1d6

    3rd|Scout|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +5
    |
    +0
    |Balance 6, Gather Information 5, Climb 6, Disguise 5, Escape Artist 6, Hide 6, Open Lock 5, Search 5, Use Magic Device 5, Tumble 6, Knowledge (architecture & engineering) 3, Knowledge (local) 5, Move Silently 6|Acrobatic|Battle Fortitude +1, Uncanny Dodge

    4th|Scout|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +5
    |
    +1
    |Balance 7, Gather Information 5(.5), Climb 7, Disguise 5(.5), Escape Artist 7, Hide 7, Open Lock 5(.5), Search 5(.5), Use Magic Device 5(.5), Tumble 7, Knowledge (architecture & engineering) 3(.5), Knowledge (local) 5(.5), Move Silently 7||Fast Movement +10ft, Skirmish +1d6/+1ac, Trackless Step

    5th|Scout|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +6
    |
    +1
    |Balance 8, Gather Information 6, Climb 8, Disguise 6, Escape Artist 8, Hide 8, Open Lock 6, Search 6, Use Magic Device 6, Tumble 8, Knowledge (architecture & engineering) 4, Knowledge (local) 8, Move Silently 8|Swift Ambusher| Sneak Attack +3d6, Skirmish +2d6/+1ac

    6th|Assassin|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +8
    |
    +1
    |Balance 9, Gather Information 7, Climb 8, Disguise 6, Escape Artist 8, Hide 9, Open Lock 6, Search 6, Use Magic Device 6, Tumble 9, Knowledge (architecture & engineering) 4(.5), Knowledge (local) 9, Move Silently 9|Improved Skirmish|Sneak Attack +4d6, Death Attack, Poison Use, Spells

    7th|Assassin|
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +9
    |
    +1
    |Balance 10, Gather Information 8, Climb 8, Disguise 6, Escape Artist 8, Hide 10, Open Lock 6, Search 6, Use Magic Device 6, Tumble 10, Knowledge (architecture & engineering) 5, Knowledge (local) 10, Move Silently 10||+1 Saves Against Poison, Improved Uncanny Dodge

    8th|Urban Soul|
    +0
    |
    +3
    |
    +11
    |
    +1
    |Balance 11, Gather Information 9, Climb 9, Disguise 6, Escape Artist 9, Hide 101, Open Lock 6, Search 7, Use Magic Device 6, Tumble 11, Knowledge (architecture & engineering) 6, Knowledge (local) 11, Move Silently 11||City Ramparts 1/day, Urban Sustenance

    9th|Urban Soul|
    +1
    |
    +4
    |
    +12
    |
    +1
    |Balance 12, Gather Information 10, Climb 10, Disguise 6, Escape Artist 10, Hide 12, Open Lock 6, Search 8, Use Magic Device 6, Tumble 12, Knowledge (architecture & engineering) 7, Knowledge (local) 12, Move Silently 12|Dodge|Citybred Senses +2

    10th|Urban Soul|
    +2
    |
    +4
    |
    +12
    |
    +2
    |Balance 13, Gather Information 11, Climb 11, Disguise 6, Escape Artist 11, Hide 12, Open Lock 6, Search 9, Use Magic Device 6, Tumble 13, Knowledge (architecture & engineering) 8, Knowledge (local) 13, Move Silently 13||Meld Into City

    11th|Urban Soul|
    +3
    |
    +5
    |
    +13
    |
    +2
    |Balance 14, Gather Information 12, Climb 12, Disguise 6, Escape Artist 12, Hide 14, Open Lock 6, Search 10, Use Magic Device 6, Tumble 14, Knowledge (architecture & engineering) 9, Knowledge (local) 14, Move Silently 14||See The City

    12th|Urban Soul|
    +3
    |
    +5
    |
    +13
    |
    +3
    |Balance 15, Gather Information 13, Climb 13, Disguise 6, Escape Artist 13, Hide 15, Open Lock 6, Search 11, Use Magic Device 6, Tumble 15, Knowledge (architecture & engineering) 10, Knowledge (local) 15, Move Silently 15|Mobility|City Ramparts 2/day

    13th|Urban Soul|
    +4
    |
    +6
    |
    +14
    |
    +4
    |Balance 16, Gather Information 14, Climb 14, Disguise 6, Escape Artist 14, Hide 16, Open Lock 6, Search 12, Use Magic Device 6, Tumble 16, Knowledge (architecture & engineering) 11, Knowledge (local) 16, Move Silently 16||Citybred Senses +4, Urban Skill Mastery

    14th|Urban Soul|
    +5
    |
    +6
    |
    +14
    |
    +4
    |Balance 17, Gather Information 15, Climb 15, Disguise 6, Escape Artist 15, Hide 17, Open Lock 6, Search 13, Use Magic Device 6, Tumble 17, Knowledge (architecture & engineering) 12, Knowledge (local) 17, Move Silently 17||Hear The City 1/day

    15th|Urban Soul|
    +6/1
    |
    +7
    |
    +15
    |
    +4
    |Balance 18, Gather Information 16, Climb 16, Disguise 6, Escape Artist 16, Hide 18, Open Lock 6, Search 14, Use Magic Device 6, Tumble 18, Knowledge (architecture & engineering) 13, Knowledge (local) 18, Move Silently 18|Spring Attack|Mob Violence

    16th|Urban Soul|
    +6/1
    |
    +7
    |
    +15
    |
    +5
    |Balance 19, Gather Information 17, Climb 17, Disguise 6, Escape Artist 17, Hide 19, Open Lock 6, Search 15, Use Magic Device 6, Tumble 19, Knowledge (architecture & engineering) 14, Knowledge (local) 19, Move Silently 19||City Ramparts 3/day

    17th|Urban Soul|
    +7/2
    |
    +8
    |
    +16
    |
    +5
    |Balance 20, Gather Information 18, Climb 18, Disguise 6, Escape Artist 18, Hide 20, Open Lock 6, Search 16, Use Magic Device 6, Tumble 20, Knowledge (architecture & engineering) 15, Knowledge (local) 20, Move Silently 20||Citybred Senses +6, Hear The City 2/day, Citywalk

    18th|Assassin|
    +8/3
    |
    +9
    |
    +16
    |
    +6
    |Balance 21, Gather Information 19, Climb 18, Disguise 6, Escape Artist 18, Hide 21, Open Lock 6, Search 16, Use Magic Device 6, Tumble 21, Knowledge (architecture & engineering) 16, Knowledge (local) 21, Move Silently 21|Whirlwind Attack|Sneak Attack +5d6

    19th|Assassin|
    +9/4
    |
    +9
    |
    +17
    |
    +6
    |Balance 22, Gather Information 20, Climb 18, Disguise 6, Escape Artist 18, Hide 22, Open Lock 6, Search 16, Use Magic Device 6, Tumble 22, Knowledge (architecture & engineering) 17, Knowledge (local) 22, Move Silently 22||+2 Saves Against Poison

    20th|Assassin|
    +9/4
    |
    +9
    |
    +17
    |
    +6
    |Balance 23, Gather Information 21, Climb 18, Disguise 6, Escape Artist 18, Hide 22, Open Lock 6, Search 16, Use Magic Device 6, Tumble 23, Knowledge (architecture & engineering) 18, Knowledge (local) 23, Move Silently 23||Sneak Attack +6d6[/table]


    Breakdown:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Level 5:
    At level five, Deitoreth is purely a scout with sneak attack. All his tactics rely on him moving, catching his opponents off guard, and using as many skills as he can to stay alive (tumble, climb, bluff, jump). he is equally as powerful in the city as out.

    Level 10:
    At level ten, Deitoreth starts to shape up. He’s taken his first three levels in Urban Soul and two levels in Assassin. So now he can use spells to mingle in with his environment, escape unwanted situations with Meld into City, survive longer in combat with City Ramparts, and use his skill to greater effect.

    His tactics now revolve around moving around the battlefield unnoticed to deliver death attacks and as much precision damage as possible. But if he can’t remain hidden, he can still survive and dish out a reasonable amount of damage through skirmish. Deitoreth is now slightly more powerful in cities, but can still hold his own in the wild.

    Level 15:
    Deitoreth is now the perfect city assassin. He can easily locate his quarries through Hear and See The City and quickly reach them with his urban skill mastery and Meld into City. See the City allows him to perform his three rounds of study for Death Attack before even arriving at the scene, which allows for quick executions.

    In combat, Mob Violence allows you to deal extra damage against creatures that are immune to your sneak, skirmish, and death attacks. While your skills become more potent which allows you to have battlefield control.

    Level 20:
    At level twenty, Deitoreth can now execute cross city assassinations with ease because of Citywalk. His skills have continued to improve as well as his combat, now dealing 6d6 of sneak attack, mob violence, and 4d6 of skirmish. While his skills allow him to have total battlefield control due to movement.


    General Information
    Spoiler
    Show
    Race: Human

    Alignment: Neutral Evil

    Abilities (32 point buy, after level bonuses):
    intelligence - 18
    Wisdom - 13
    Charisma - 8
    Strength - 10
    Constitution - 14
    Dexterity - 18


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

    1st|-|-|-

    2nd|-|-|-

    3rd|-|-|-

    4th|-|-|-

    5th|-|-|-

    6th|1|-|-

    7th|2|-|-

    8th|2|-|-

    9th|2|-|-

    10th|2|-|-

    11th|2|-|-

    12th|2|-|-

    13th|2|-|-

    14th|2|-|-

    15th|2|-|-

    16th|2|-|-

    17th|2|-|-

    18th|3|1|-

    19th|4|2|-

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

    Spells Known:
    1st Level; Disguise Self, Jump, Feather Fall, Truestrike

    2nd Level; Spider Climb, Invisibility, Cat’s Grace

    3rd Level; Deeper Darkness, False Life


    Sources
    Spoiler
    Show
    Rogue, Most Feats - Players Handbook
    Scout - Complete Adventurer
    Swift Ambusher, Improved Skirmish, Skill Tricks - Complete Scoundrel
    Assassin - Dungeon Masters Guide
    Urban Soul - Races of Destiny
    Dungeon Masters Guide 2 - Apprentice Feat
    Last edited by Kuulvheysoon; 2013-04-21 at 10:46 AM.

    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 - #291
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge In The Playground XLIV

    Let's hope that he can dodge better than his city.

    Quote Originally Posted by Atlas
    Atlas, avenger of Atlantis

    Neutral Evil Aventi Aquatic Druid 6/Wavekeeper 4/Urban Soul 10

    The city may have sunk beneath the waves, but it never drowned like the landlubbers like to think. It merely rests and waits. It basks and lets the sea wash over it. There are barnacles now, and pillars have fallen, and men of the land call this ruin. Atlantis, the once great city, destroyed beneath the ocean.

    It is no ruin. Do the corals in the sunken marketplace consider their multicoloured metropolis a ruin? Do the great moray eels winding through the collapsed pillars consider their ambush grounds a ruin? Do those who collect and hoard the treasure of foolish merchant ships fallen from above call their home a ruin?

    Atlas is an Atlantean. He may well be one of a tiny number of human Atlanteans, but an Atlantean all the same. As a youth he swam out from his shore-side fishing village and... never swam back. He had found his home, his realm, and it would become his right and his duty to reclaim this fine city.

    Maybe gods had sank it, not men of the earth. It did not matter now, they would be the ones to pay. They called him a pirate, a sea monster, he called himself a defender and in lighter moments, a tax official. Any ships of the land-men sailing above would be subject to a tithe. Is this not what customs men did on shore?

    Thus Atlas waits and sleeps and communes with his marine council, calling storms and sinking ships, and yet for all of the brave shouts and boasts he hears from adventurers when he occasionally slips into shore ports, few ever find him. And then, only briefly. Nothing can catch him in his realm, and his shark friends put paid to those who chase. Or the Kraken does.

    Let them try to chase him. In the mean time, his palaces and treasures grow. They call him Scylla, Charybdis, demon. They will learn to know him by his true title, Atlas, scion of Poseidon, new king of Atlantis.


    NAME OF ENTRY
    {table=head]Level|Class|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Skillz|Feats|Class Features

    1st|Aquatic Druid 1 |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |Know Local 4, Survival 4, Know Nature 4, Concentration 4, Gather Info 1, Swim 1, Know Architecture 1, Handle Animal 1|City Slicker|Animal Companion, Wild Empathy, Nature Sense

    2nd|Aquatic Druid 2|
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |Know Local 5, Survival 5, Know Nature 4, Concentration 4, Gather Info 2, Swim 2, Know Architecture 2, Handle Animal 1|-|Woodland Stride (Aquatic version)

    3rd|Aquatic Druid 3|
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |Know Local 6, Survival 6, Know Nature 4, Concentration 4, Gather Info 3, Swim 3, Know Architecture 3, Handle Animal 1|Rapid Swimming|Trackless Step

    4th|Aquatic Druid 4|
    +3
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Know Local 7, Survival 7, Know Nature 4, Concentration 4, Gather Info 4, Swim 4, Know Architecture 4, Handle Animal 1|-|Resist Nature's Lure

    5th|Aquatic Druid 5|
    +3
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Know Local 8, Survival 8, Know Nature 5, Concentration 4, Gather Info 5, Swim 5, Know Architecture 5, Handle Animal 1|-|Wild Shape (1/day)

    6th|Aquatic Druid 6|
    +4
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |Know Local 9, Survival 8, Know Nature 6, Concentration 4, Gather Info 5, Swim 5, Know Architecture 5, Spot 1, Listen 1, Handle Animal 2|Natural Spell|Wild Shape (2/day)

    7th|Wavekeeper 1|
    +5
    |
    +7
    |
    +2
    |
    +7
    |Know Local 10, Survival 8, Know Nature 7, Concentration 4, Gather Info 5, Swim 5, Know Architecture 5, Spot 2, Listen 2, Handle Animal 3|-|Masterful Swimmer, Mysteries of the Sea (Blackwater domain)

    8th|Urban Soul 1|
    +6
    |
    +9
    |
    +4
    |
    +7
    |Know Local 10, Survival 8, Know Nature 8, Concentration 5, Gather Info 5, Swim 5, Know Architecture 5, Spot 3, Listen 3, Handle Animal 4|-|City Ramparts (1/day), Urban Sustenance

    9th|Urban Soul 2|
    +6
    |
    +10
    |
    +5
    |
    +7
    |Know Local 10, Survival 8, Know Nature 9, Concentration 6, Gather Info 5, Swim 6, Know Architecture 5, Spot 4, Listen 4, Handle Animal 5|City Magic|Citybred Senses

    10th|Urban Soul 3|
    +7
    |
    +10
    |
    +5
    |
    +8
    |Know Local 10, Survival 8, Know Nature 10, Concentration 7, Gather Info 6, Swim 6, Know Architecture 6, Spot 5, Listen 5, Handle Animal 5|Quick Swimmer skill trick|Meld into City

    11th|Urban Soul 4|
    +8
    |
    +11
    |
    +6
    |
    +8
    |Know Local 11, Survival 8, Know Nature 11, Concentration 8, Gather Info 6, Swim 6, Know Architecture 7, Spot 6, Listen 6, Handle Animal 5|-|See the City

    12th|Urban Soul 5|
    +9
    |
    +11
    |
    +6
    |
    +8
    |Know Local 12, Survival 8, Know Nature 12, Concentration 9, Gather Info 7, Swim 6, Know Architecture 7, Spot 7, Listen 7, Handle Animal 5|Natural Bond|City Ramparts (2/day)

    13th|Urban Soul 6|
    +9
    |
    +12
    |
    +7
    |
    +9
    |Know Local 12, Survival 9, Know Nature 13, Concentration 10, Gather Info 7, Swim 7, Know Architecture 7, Spot 7, Listen 7, Handle Animal 5|-|Urban Skill Mastery, Citybred Senses +4

    14th|Urban Soul 7|
    +10
    |
    +12
    |
    +7
    |
    +9
    |Know Local 12, Survival 9, Know Nature 14, Concentration 11, Gather Info 8, Swim 7, Know Architecture 8, Spot 8, Listen 8, Handle Animal 5|-|Hear the City (1/day)

    15th|Urban Soul 8|
    +11
    |
    +13
    |
    +8
    |
    +9
    |Know Local 12, Survival 9, Know Nature 15, Concentration 12, Gather Info 9, Swim 8, Know Architecture 9, Spot 9, Listen 9, Handle Animal 5|Practiced Spellcaster|Mob Violence

    16th|Urban Soul 9|
    +12
    |
    +13
    |
    +8
    |
    +10
    |Know Local 12, Survival 9, Know Nature 15, Concentration 13, Gather Info 10, Swim 8, Know Architecture 10, Spot 10, Listen 10, Handle Animal 5 |-|City Ramparts (3/day)

    17th|Urban Soul 10|
    +12
    |
    +14
    |
    +9
    |
    +10
    |Know Local 12, Survival 9, Know Nature 15, Concentration 14, Gather Info 10, Swim 9, Know Architecture 10, Spot 11, Listen 11, Handle Animal 6|-|Citybred Senses +6, Hear the City (2/day), City Bond, Intracity Teleport, Urban Renewal

    18th|Wavekeeper 2|
    +13
    |
    +14
    |
    +10
    |
    +10
    |Know Local 13, Survival 10, Know Nature 16, Concentration 14, Gather Info 11, Swim 10, Know Architecture 10, Spot 12, Listen 12, Handle Animal 7|Dragon Wildshape|Beast of the Sea, Wave Master (1/day)

    19th|Wavekeeper 3|
    +14
    |
    +15
    |
    +10
    |
    +11
    |Know Local 13, Survival 11, Know Nature 17, Concentration 15, Gather Info 11, Swim 11, Know Architecture 10, Spot 13, Listen 13, Handle Animal 8|-|Mastery of Breath, Water Breathing

    20th|Wavekeeper 4|
    +15
    |
    +15
    |
    +10
    |
    +11
    |Know Local 13, Survival 12, Know Nature 18 Concentration 16, Gather Info 12, Swim 12, Know Architecture 10, Spot 14, Listen 14, Handle Animal 9|-|Wave Master (2/day)[/table]

    Starting stats: Str 12, Dex 10, Con 14,Int 14, Wis 16, Cha 12
    2 level boosts go to Cha, 3 to Wis.

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

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

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

    3rd|4|2|1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

    5th|5|3|2|1|-|-|-|-|-|-

    6th|5|3|3|2|-|-|-|-|-|-

    7th|5|3|3|2|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

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

    10th|5|3|3|2|-|-|-|-|-|-

    11th|5|3|3|2|-|-|-|-|-|-

    12th|5|3|3|2|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

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

    15th|5|3|3|2|-|-|-|-|-|-

    16th|5|3|3|2|-|-|-|-|-|-

    17th|5|3|3|2|-|-|-|-|-|-

    18th|6|4|3|2|1|-|-|-|-|-

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

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

    Snapshots:
    Level 5 - he is simply an aquatic Druid. Wildshape has started and he swims around as a fish for speed much of the time. His Aventi blood means he is amphibious and has a swim speed and +1 CL to water spells. These are vital. His feat and skills reflect that he is bred in Atlantis, a place where the boundaries of nature and the city are blurred.

    Level 10 - his protection within his area is already very strong. He swims very fast even out of wildshape and can now use Atlantis itself to hide in simply by reaching loose seaweed and stone. The Blackwater domain power allows him to truly retreat, down below into oceanic trenches, even scrying and teleportation will not help against the huge pressures only he can tolerate. At this point his swim speed even as a human is 70ft, and as a fish it is whatever +20 (feat), +10 (skill trick), +10 (Wavekeeper). He is essentially now safe within Atlantis.

    Level 15 - his animal companion is now as good as a giant barracuda or shark and see the city, his huge observational skills and his spells mean he is unlikely to be seen let alone fought while in Atlantis. If he does have to fight, wild shape, concentration, city ramparts and mob violence will help.

    Level 20 - several tricks happen in these later levels, all helpful in his effort to be the ultimate pirate looter for him and Atlantis. He can wildshape into a black or yellow dragon so he can both fly and swim extremely fast with his boosts. Urban Soul gives him the capability to Disintegrate ships' hulls now, to make them sink, while Wave Master and the 5th level Druid spells allow him to drag boats under the water.

    Wall of stone helps him rebuild his fine city, along with the treasure from sunken ships.

    Note: of the Urban Soul powers, I confess he doesn't use much of Urban Skill Mastery. This is a neccessary compromise becuase he is often underwater, there is no points wasting skill ranks on Jump and move sliently for instance. His observation remains high. On the other hand, See/Hear the city, Meld into City and Citybond are vital, his speed and hit and run tactics are such that better perception and ability to hide in Atlantis makes him hugely elusive.

    I am basing my Atlantis on the Greek myth as I could not find a d&d setting equivalent. Atlantis is therefore a sunken, broken city in shallow, coastal waters, certainly shallow enough that the location is known and that the waters above to the surface are not deep and close enough to still be considered part of the city.

    The piracy angle is because I very much like Atlas, but his geography-bound needs (likely with several Urban Soul builds) meant that while he is playable, adventures have to come to him. I do accept he probably makes a better bad guy, especially as Urban Soul give him super hiding skills but not much opportunity to use them in a party. By making him a sea Druid he can do it alone (with his companion and other fishy friends) and may well be better as a powerful enemy. I see no reason why he wouldn't pal up with a kraken, they share language, alignment and outlook. Aboleths?

    Equipment - nothing is vital. Smashing treasure ships will give him the good stuff, but remember he is still able to pass as an ordinary human, even under scrying, so he can go shopping when he goes shoreside.

    His spells are not amazing, but Practiced Spellcaster and +1 racial CL and the Blackwater domain shore it up a bit. He still gets 5th level spells, Call Lighting Storm, Control Winds,Animal Growth and Blackwater Tentacles are his obvious choices.
    Sources:
    Races of Destiny
    Stormwrack
    Draconomicon (for dragon wildshape)
    Complete Scoundrel (for the quick swimmer skill trick)
    Races of Faerun (rapid swimming)
    Last edited by Kuulvheysoon; 2013-04-21 at 11:31 AM.

    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 - #292
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge In The Playground XLIV

    [reserved just in case]

    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 - #293
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge In The Playground XLIV

    Alright, folks, that should be all. Excuses for the delay.

    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 - #294
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge In The Playground XLIV

    26 entries. I think this is the most we've had, ever.

    Long live Iron Chef Optimization Challenge In The Playground!

  25. - Top - End - #295
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge In The Playground XLIV

    My vote for Honorable Mention goes to St. Poive. Just wow. I think the only other time I've seen a "stay-at-home" build was with the stay-at-home-hexer (and that required PF content!).

  26. - Top - End - #296
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    Phippster's Avatar

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge In The Playground XLIV

    I felt pretty confident when I finished my build today, but looking at some of these other ones I feel like I'm almost out of my league. I guess that's to be expected on your first entry though. I kind of wished I'd finished my second character, even though he may have been immediately disqualified.

    I was considering making something with Psychic Rogue and having him been in service to one of the Sorcerer-Kings in Dark Sun. I was contemplating it because I used nothing mechanical from Dark Sun, and arguably could have been within the bounds of the rules because of it, but I feared it may be disqualified on these merits and opted to not complete the build.

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge In The Playground XLIV

    Wow that is a lot of entries. Whoo!

    Phippster, you are not alone here. I like what I did with mine but am still having lingering doubts that I could have done something better. Oh well! Too late to worry now!

    So many entries...I plan to read through all of them bit by bit thoroughly but that is too many to see in one sitting. But I feel like it'll help me improve for future Iron Chef Character Optimization Challenges. I already see a couple basic things I wish I had included. Assuming I'll be allowed to enter more, if others aren't annoyed by my online babbling.
    Spoiler: Sigs about the Internet and Life
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    Yeah... even if it's a fairly friendly place by the internet's standards... it's still the internet. A certain level of pedantic bickering is to be expected.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    The forums can't universally agree that the sun will rise in the east. Disagreement is what we do.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jacior
    If I can get a pet dinosaur, I totally will. My low wisdom means a raptor looks like a great guard dog.


    Awesome Holy Knight Haluesen avatar done by the uber skilled Grinner!

  28. - Top - End - #298
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Imp

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge In The Playground XLIV

    Quote Originally Posted by Kazyan View Post
    26 entries. I think this is the most we've had, ever.

    Long live Iron Chef Optimization Challenge In The Playground!
    I counted 22. You sure you didn't count continued entries multiple times? Maybe Amph might want to tip the new chairman about how to condense the entries. I know most of the time when I would send Amphetryon an entry in 2 posts it would always end up as 1 post at the final submission (not sure about how he did that...I always figured it was just chairman magic).

  29. - Top - End - #299
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge In The Playground XLIV

    Quote Originally Posted by Gotterdammerung View Post
    I counted 22. You sure you didn't count continued entries multiple times? Maybe Amph might want to tip the new chairman about how to condense the entries. I know most of the time when I would send Amphetryon an entry in 2 posts it would always end up as 1 post at the final submission (not sure about how he did that...I always figured it was just chairman magic).
    ...Right, I only subtracted posts numbers instead of manually tallying the entries. 22 sounds more correct.

  30. - Top - End - #300
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge In The Playground XLIV

    Quote Originally Posted by Gotterdammerung View Post
    I counted 22. You sure you didn't count continued entries multiple times? Maybe Amph might want to tip the new chairman about how to condense the entries. I know most of the time when I would send Amphetryon an entry in 2 posts it would always end up as 1 post at the final submission (not sure about how he did that...I always figured it was just chairman magic).
    Manipulation of the spoilers. Words in spoilers don't count the same way against the character limit of posts, and PM character limits don't match those of posts on the forum proper.
    Iron Chef in the Playground veteran since Round IV. Play as me!


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