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  1. - Top - End - #331
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLV

    For the Horde!

    Quote Originally Posted by Wyrmlord Kranzon
    Wyrmlord Kranzon


    The Build

    Spoiler
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    Supreme Wyrmlord Kranson of the Kulkor Zhul of the Wyrmsmoke Mountains
    Draconic/Half-Blue Dragon Sunscorch Hobgoblin Paladin of Tyranny 6/Talon of Tiamat 10

    Alternate Class Features Used:
    Paladin of Tyranny
    Dragonscale Husk
    Rebuke Dragons
    Stand Fast

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

    1st|Level Adjustment|
    |
    |
    |
    |—|—|—

    2nd|Paladin of Tyranny 1|
    +1
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |Bluff (CC) 2 ranks, Intimidate (CC) 2 ranks, Knowledge (arcana) (CC) 2 ranks|Dragon Wings|Aura of evil, detect good, smite good 1/day, +2 Intimidate and Spot checks, Dragonscale Husk

    3rd|Draconic Racial Class|
    +1
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |—|—|Claws, low-light vision, natural armor (+1), +4 racial bonus on saves against sleep and paralysis

    4th|Paladin of Tyranny 2|
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |Bluff (CC) +0.5 ranks, Intimidate (CC) +0.5 ranks, Knowledge (arcana) (CC) +0.5 ranks|—|Divine grace, deadly touch

    5th|Paladin of Tyranny 3|
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |Bluff (CC) +0.5 ranks, Intimidate (CC) +0.5 ranks, Knowledge (arcana) (CC) +0.5 ranks|Reinforced Wings|Aura of dispair, divine health

    6th|Paladin of Tyranny 4|
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |Bluff (CC) +0.5 ranks, Intimidate (CC) +0.5 ranks, Knowledge (arcana) (CC) +0.5 ranks|—|Rebuke dragons

    7th|Paladin of Tyranny 5|
    +5
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |Bluff (CC) +0.5 ranks, Intimidate (CC) +0.5 ranks, Knowledge (arcana) (CC) +0.5 ranks|—|Smite food 2/day, Stand Fast

    8th|Paladin of Tyranny 6|
    +6
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |Sense Motive +3 ranks|Dragonthrall|Cause disease 1/week

    9th|Talon of Tiamat 1|
    +6
    |
    +7
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |Bluff +1 rank, Sense Motive +2 ranks|—|Breath weapon (cone of cold)

    10th|Talon of Tiamat 2|
    +7
    |
    +8
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |Bluff +1 rank, Intimidate +1 rank, Sense Motive +1 rank|—|Voice of the dragon +2

    11th|Talon of Tiamat 3|
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |Bluff +1 rank, Intimidate +1 rank, Sense Motive +1 rank|Improved Dragon Wings|Breath weapon (line of acid)

    12th|Talon of Tiamat 4|
    +9
    |
    +9
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |Bluff +1 rank, Intimidate +1 rank, Sense Motive +1 rank|—|Keen senses

    13th|Talon of Tiamat 5|
    +9
    |
    +9
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |Bluff +1 rank, Intimidate +1 rank, Sense Motive +1 rank|—|Breath weapon (cone of corrosive gas)

    14th|Draconic Racial Class|
    +9
    |
    +9
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |—|—|Bite, breath weapon (weak), claws, immunity to energy (electricity), natural armor (+2)

    15th|Draconic Racial Class|
    +9
    |
    +9
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |—|—|Breath weapon (full), dragon type, natural armor (+4)

    16th|Talon of Tiamat 6|
    +10
    |
    +10
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |Bluff +1 rank, Intimidate +2 ranks, Sense Motive +1 rank|Dragon Breath|Immunities, voice of the dragon +4

    17th|Talon of Tiamat 7|
    +11
    |
    +10
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |Bluff +2 ranks, Intimidate +1 rank, Sense Motive +1 rank|—|Breath weapon (line of lightning)

    18th|Talon of Tiamat 8|
    +12
    |
    +11
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |Bluff +1 rank, Intimidate +1 rank, Sense Motive +2 ranks|—|Keen senses, frightful presence

    19th|Talon of Tiamat 9|
    +12
    |
    +11
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |Bluff +2 ranks, Intimidate +1 rank, Sense Motive +1 rank|Improved Speed|Breath weapon (cone of fire)

    20th|Talon of Tiamat 10|
    +13
    |
    +12
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |Bluff +1 rank, Intimidate +1 rank, Sense Motive +2 ranks|—|Dominate dragon, voice of the dragon +6[/table]

    Paladin of Tyranny Spells per day
    {table=head]Level|1st|2nd|3rd|4th

    1st|-|-|-|-|

    2nd|-|-|-|-|

    3rd|-|-|-|-|

    4th|-|-|-|-|

    5th|-|-|-|-|

    6th|1|-|-|-|

    7th|1|-|-|-|

    8th|2|-|-|-|

    9th|2|-|-|-|

    10th|2|-|-|-|

    11th|2|-|-|-|

    12th|2|1|-|-|

    13th|2|1|-|-|

    14th|2|1|-|-|

    15th|2|1|-|-|

    16th|2|1|-|-|

    17th|2|1|-|-|

    18th|2|2|-|-|

    19th|2|2|-|-|

    20th|2|2|0|-|[/table]


    Backstory and Breakdown

    Spoiler
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    Kranzon always knew he was special, born apart from his hobgoblin cousins, blessed by Tiamat with draconic power beyond that granted by his blue dragon ancestor. In the generation since the failed invasion of the Elsir Vale, the goblinoids of the People of the Dragon, the Kulkor Zhul, had rebuilt, as mainly the men of fighting age joined the horde of the Red Hand, leaving their wives, sons, and daughters behind. When the Red Hand of Doom had swept across the Elsir Vale, the Kulkor Zhul thought that this was their chance at reclaiming the lands of their ancestors lost to the humans. Instead, even with the guidance of Lady Tiamat, the Chomatic Dragon herself, the Kulkor Zhul was defeated by a handful of so-called heroes that had rallied the humans of the Elsir Vale to defeat the horde of the Red Hand.

    Kranzon grew up in a tribe ruled by women and old men too old to fight in the horde of the Red Hand. He grew up on stories of the glory of battle, and how it was the reliance on the Kilkor Zhul on Tiamat, rather than Maglubiyet, that led to their downfall. Kranzon, though, believed differently. He believed it was that the Wyrmlords were divided, that they had biked amongst themselves, that the horde of the Red Hand had been divided by different leaders rather than united in their quest to reclaim the land that was rightfully theirs.

    It was this belief, this acceptance of truth, that led Kranzon to devoting his life to Tiamat as a holy, or rather unholy, warrior, a Paladin of Tyranny. His devotion to Tiamat, as well as his awakened draconic ancestry, revealed itself with his scale-like skin, a dragonscale husk, as well as his wings (though they were not yet strong enough to bear him while encumbered). He used his claws as a natural weapon against his enemies within the tribes of the Kulkor Zhul, and in time, he grew in power.

    5th Level

    Kranzon's devotion to Tiamat, as well as his acclimation of power, allowed him to strengthen his wings, such that he could now glide even while wearing his armored husk. Combined with his aura of despair, Kranzon makes an excellent leader of the small band of goblins of the Kulkor Zhul, raiding the farms and villages on the edge of the Elsir Vale, as well as Thornwaste to the south, the Endless Plains to the north, and the Westdeep and Witchwoods forests to the west and east, respectively, of the Wyrmsmoke Mountains. While not as strong as a non-draconic paladin of his level, Kranzon is strong enough to be the frontline warrior (and occasional aerial sniper) of his goblin adventuring/raiding party.

    10th Level

    Kranzon has now received a concrete boon from Tiamat in the form of a breath weapon, usable once per day. He is also able to support his allies against enemy mages with his Stand Fast ability (since he has wings, he has not use for a mount, even a drakkensteed). He has also been known to infect enemies with disease, release them back to their village, and then let the contagion sweep through, allowing the Kulkor Zhul to expand beyond the Wyrmsmoke Mountains without risking their warriors. By now there is talk amongst the Kulkor Zhul of declaring Kranzon a Wyrmlord, and having them lead them across the Elsir Vale where they had failed a generation before.

    15th Level

    Now fully declared as Wyrmlord, with the might of the Kulkor Zhul behind him, Kranzon is now leading the reclamation of the Elsir Vale from the front of the horde, though under the banner of the Prismatic Claw, rather than the failed Red Hand of a generation ago. The domain of the Kulkor Zhul stretched from the Wyrmsmokes and the Westdeep to the Giantshield Mountains, the Marth Forest, and the Golden Plains, and from the Endless Plains to the Thornwastes and the Wyvernswatch Mountains. West to east, and north to south, the formerly human lands of the Elsir Vale now belong to the Kulkor Zhul and Wyrmlord Kranzon.

    16th Level - Highlight Level

    This is the point as which Wyrmlord Kranzon has achieved all of the powers, aside from a frightful presence and the ability to dominate dragons, that he will ever need. He is a full half dragon, which he was the previous level, but now he can use his line of electricity (and depending on your reading of the Dragon Breath feat, all of his Talon of Tiamat breath weapons as well) every 1d4 rounds. Combined with his true flight, just now gained with his twelfth hit die, he can rain lightning (and cold and acid) from above while leading his horde of the Prismatic Claw. His dragonscale husk provides him with an armor bonus of +10, combined with a heavy shield and his natural armor, as well as whatever magical enhancements he can add, makes him a well protected half-dragon hobgoblin. Add in the fire and electricity immunity (the first from Talon of Tiamat and the second from half-blue dragon) and the resistance to cold and acid from the husk, and he's well protected indeed (though force effects and sonic damage, as expected, as still a problem).

    20th Level

    By now the Kulkor Zhul has begun to spread beyond the Elsir Vale, and Supreme Wyrmlord Kranzon still leads, though now with a few dragons alongside him and above his horde of the Prismatic Claw. While not as fast in the air as a true dragon, Kranzon is faster than a horse, and nearly as fast as the true dragons he has dominated (preferably metallics, but a weak willed chromatic if needed will also serve).


    Stats and Options
    Spoiler
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    Base Ability Scores
    Str 14 (6 points)
    Dex 10 (2 points)
    Con 14 (6 points)
    Int 12 (4 points)
    Wis 12 (4 points)
    Cha 16 (10 points)

    Sunscorch Hobgoblin
    Con +2
    Wis +2

    Draconic
    Str +2
    Con +2
    Cha +2

    Half-Dragon (not including draconic)
    Str +6
    Int +2

    Level-based Ability Score Increases
    Cha +4 (6th, 10th, 16th, 20th)

    20th Level Ability Scores
    Str 22 (+6)
    Dex 10 (+0)
    Con 18 (+4)
    Int 14 (+2)
    Wis 14 (+2)
    Cha 22 (+6)

    Non-Half-Blue Dragon Option
    Rather than take the two Draconic Racial Class levels at 14th and 15th level, Kranzon can continue to progress Talon of Tiamat, taking Profane Lightleach at 14th level (12 HD) and Extra Turning at 18th level (16 HD), and then adding two levels of Cleric of Tiamat for 19th and 20th level. I didn't progress this way because it seemed that the half-blue dragon as well as the Dragon Breath and Improved Speed feats gave Kranzon more power rather than first level cleric spells.


    Sources
    Spoiler
    Show

    Draconomicon - Talon of Tiamat, Improved Speed
    Dragon Magic - Sunscorch Hobgoblin, Dragonscale Husk, Rebuke Dragons
    Races of the Dragon - Dragon Wings, Improved Dragon Wings, Reinforced Wings
    Monster Manual - Hobgoblin
    Unearthed Arcana - Paladin of Tyranny
    Cityscape Web Enhancement - Stand Still
    Red Hand of Doom - Dragonthrall

    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 - #332
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLV

    Riding the Winds of Eternity

    Quote Originally Posted by Aleksander

    -----

    The smoke rising over Erichsford was the color of Father's beard; the color Aleksander imagined his voice would have been, flat and gray and full of the past.

    "There is more to power than the strength of your sword arm," Aleksander could remember him saying. "The dragons of the mountains, the ones your grandfather spoke of...they are great and mighty beasts, yes, with claws and teeth and muscles that men cannot match, but they, too, seek the other kind of power. The kind that comes when men such as you and I speak of their great and terrible deeds, done in days when everything done by men is lost and forgotten. The kind of power you wield when whole tribes still speak of you when no-one alive remembers your face."

    The blood and soot that stained the snow around the ruins of Erichsford's timber cottages and thatched rooves stood out to Aleksander as wrong, somehow; they stained the pure, dim gray of the scene with a nagging reminder that the carnage here was his doing, his fault, when he preferred to view it as merely an expression of his progress along the path that had been laid out for him.

    "This power, my son, this influence...it is the kind of power you must wield when you lead this tribe. I am old; I have won my wars and outlived my wives, and our people are the stronger for my rule, but they will not sing of me in a hundred years. It has been too long since a true dragon of a man sat in my throne. You will face a choice, some day, whether to lead as a man does, or as a dragon. Choose greatness, my son."

    Billowing gusts of wind began to toss the stained snowfall across Aleksander's field of view, obscuring the wreckage he surveyed, as the hulking white form of Csevenskjarych's scaled bulk settled to the ground beside him.

    "Yes, this is as requested," her voice rumbled out. "The master will be pleased. You are ready."

    Aleksander stood still for a moment longer, watching his home burn. "You promised me power, the kind I could not wield with a sword," he said softly, turning to look at the dragon. "It is to be found in the service of Tiamat?"

    "For one such as you?" Csevenskjarych chuckled, an odd sound from such an enormous creature. "In spades."

    The dragon lowered her head to allow Aleksander to clamber up onto her neck. Ash and snow eddied around them as they took off together, and soared into the gray, empty sky.

    -----

    Aleksander, CE Human, Barbarian 1/Human Paragon 3/Warlock 2/Talon of Tiamat 10/Binder 1/Hellfire Warlock 3
    Spoiler
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    {table=head]Level|Class|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Skills|Feats|Class Features
    1st|Dragon Totem Barbarian 1|
    +1
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |Bluff 2 (cc), concentration 2 (cc), diplomacy 2 (cc), handle animal 4, intimidate 4, jump 4, ride 4, tumble 1 (cc), use magic device 1 (cc)|Intimidating rage, extra rage, blind fight (b)|Illiteracy, rage 1/day
    2nd|Human Paragon 1|
    +1
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |Bluff 5, diplomacy 5, intimidate 5, spellcraft 1||Adaptive learning (diplomacy)
    3rd|Warlock 1|
    +1
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +4
    |Diplomacy 6, intimidate 6, knowledge (arcana) 2, knowledge (the planes) 2|Dragonthrall|Eldritch blast 1d6, least invocations
    4th|Warlock 2|
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +5
    |Diplomacy 7, intimidate 7, knowledge (arcana) 4, knowledge (the planes) 4||Detect magic
    5th|Human Paragon 2|
    +3
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +6
    |Diplomacy 8, handle animal 5, intimidate 8, jump 5, knowledge (the planes) 6, SKILL TRICK: Never outnumbered|Imperious command (b)|Eldritch blast 2d6
    6th|Human Paragon 3|
    +4
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +6
    |Balance 5, knowledge (the planes) 9|Instantaneous rage|Ability boost (con)
    7th|Talon of Tiamat 1|
    +4
    |
    +5
    |
    +1
    |
    +8
    |Bluff 7, diplomacy 10, intimidate 10||Breath weapon (cone of cold)
    8th|Talon of Tiamat 2|
    +5
    |
    +6
    |
    +1
    |
    +9
    |Bluff 8, diplomacy 11, intimidate 11, spellcraft 2, SKILL TRICK: Social recovery||Eldritch blast 3d6, voice of the dragon +2
    9th|Talon of Tiamat 3|
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +2
    |
    +9
    |Diplomacy 12, intimidate 12, spellcraft 6|Quicken breath|Breath weapon (line of acid)
    10th|Talon of Tiamat 4|
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +2
    |
    +10
    |Concentration 6, diplomacy 13, intimidate 13||Keen senses
    11th|Binder 1|
    +7
    |
    +9
    |
    +2
    |
    +12
    |Concentration 7, diplomacy 14, intimidate 14, knowledge (the planes) 12||Soul binding (1 vestige)
    12th|Hellfire Warlock 1|
    +7
    |
    +9
    |
    +2
    |
    +14
    |Bluff 9, concentration 9, diplomacy 15, intimidate 15, knowledge (arcana) 5|Entangling Exhalation|Eldritch blast 4d6, hellfire blast +2d6
    13th|Hellfire Warlock 2|
    +8
    |
    +9
    |
    +2
    |
    +15
    |Bluff 11, concentration 11, diplomacy 16, intimidate 16||Hellfire blast +4d6, hellfire infusion, resistance to fire 10
    14th|Hellfire Warlock 3|
    +9
    |
    +10
    |
    +3
    |
    +15
    |Bluff 13, concentration 13, diplomacy 17, intimidate 17||Eldritch blast 5d6, hellfire blast +6d6, hellfire shield
    15th|Talon of Tiamat 5|
    +9
    |
    +10
    |
    +3
    |
    +15
    |Bluff 15, concentration 15, diplomacy 18, intimidate 18|Mortalbane|Breath weapon (cone of corrosive gas)
    16th|Talon of Tiamat 6|
    +10
    |
    +11
    |
    +4
    |
    +16
    |Bluff 17, concentration 17, diplomacy 19, intimidate 19||Immunities (cold), voice of the dragon +4
    17th|Talon of Tiamat 7|
    +11
    |
    +11
    |
    +4
    |
    +16
    |Bluff 19, concentration 19, diplomacy 20, intimidate 20||Breath weapon (line of lightning)
    18th|Talon of Tiamat 8|
    +12
    |
    +12
    |
    +4
    |
    +17
    |Bluff 21, concentration 21, diplomacy 21, intimidate 21|Quicken spell-like ability|Eldritch blast 6d6, frightful presence, keen senses
    19th|Talon of Tiamat 9|
    +12
    |
    +12
    |
    +5
    |
    +17
    |Bluff 22, concentration 22, diplomacy 22, intimidate 22, ride 6||Breath weapon (cone of fire)
    20th|Talon of Tiamat 10|
    +13
    |
    +13
    |
    +5
    |
    +18
    |Bluff 23, concentration 23, diplomacy 23, intimidate 23, ride 8||Dominate dragon, voice of the dragon +6[/table]


    Skills:
    Spoiler
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    Total Skill Ranks:
    Balance: 5
    Bluff: 23
    Concentration: 23
    Diplomacy: 23
    Handle animal: 5
    Intimidate: 23
    Jump: 5
    Knowledge (arcana): 5
    Knowledge (the planes): 12
    Ride: 8
    Spellcraft: 6
    Tumble: 1
    Use magic device: 1

    Starting languages (4): Common, Draconic, Infernal, Abyssal

    Skill tricks: Never outnumbered, social recovery


    Ability Scores:
    Spoiler
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    Starting (32-point buy): Str 14, Dex 8, Con 16, Int 16, Wis 8, Cha 14

    Increase Cha at levels 4, 12, 16 and 20, and Con at level 8. Ability bonus from Human Paragon goes to Con.

    Final: Str 14, Dex 8, Con 19, Int 16, Wis 8, Cha 18


    Invocations:
    Spoiler
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    1 -
    2 -
    3 - Beguiling Influence
    4 - Frightful Blast
    5 -
    6 - Eldritch Glaive
    7 -
    8 -
    9 -
    10 - Hellrime Blast
    11 -
    12 -
    13 - The Dead Walk
    14 -
    15 -
    16 - Flee the Scene
    17 -
    18 - Vitriolic Blast
    19 -
    20 -


    Suggested Equipment:
    Spoiler
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    In addition to the usual stat-boosting equipment (which should focus on Cha and Con), the following items may prove useful:
    • Warlock goodies (Greater Chasuble of Fell Power, Warlock's Scepter, Gloves of Eldritch Admixture) to increase your Eldritch Glaive damage.
    • Swift action movement (Anklet of Translocation, Quicksilver Boots, etc.), to make sure you can deliver your full-round action Eldritch Glaive attacks even in cases where you don't have a mount to move for you.
    • A Novice Ring of the Diamond Mind to let you sub your excellent Concentration check for your terrible Reflex save with Action Before Thought.
    • Wands of useful utility spells (your Cha mod gets high enough that even with only 1 rank in UMD, you'll have a decent chance of success using wands, and failure doesn't use charges). Don't expect to be using wands in combat, though.


    Build Snapshots
    Spoiler
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    Level 5
    Spoiler
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    At this level, Aleksander is already an outstanding party face, capable of negotiating, lying, or bullying as needed to get what he wants, thanks to high social skill ranks and Beguiling Influence. In combat, he relies primarily on his fear-stacking shenanigans. Intimidating Rage + Never Outnumbered + Imperious Command lets him do serious demoralization work, with Frightful Blast (which doesn't escalate itself but can be escalated from) helping to reach Panicked status. Against opponents immune to fear, like the undead, he can do reliable damage with Eldritch Blast, and his rage and high Con modifier make him a relevant combatant in melee as well. At-will detect magic provides some investigatory utility.


    Level 10
    Spoiler
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    By level 10, iterative attacks have come online and Aleksander has picked up Eldritch Glaive, which will be his main form of offense from here on. In order to reliably deliver his attacks (which require a full-round action), Aleksander will be mounted as much as possible, at this level relying on purchased or captured living mounts (which he can teach tricks or train as Warbeasts using Handle Animal), or using wands of Phantom Steed with UMD. His Intimidating Rage can now be activated out-of-turn, even when flat-footed, thanks to Instantaneous Rage. The secret ingredient has beefed up his abilities as both party face and fear-stacker (via Voice of the Dragon), and improved his blasting with a couple of breath weapons, which he can use as a swift action every few rounds thanks to Quicken Breath.


    Level 15
    Spoiler
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    Aleksander can now take 10 on Diplomacy checks, and use the skill in combat with a standard action, thanks to binding Naberius every day. Hellfire Warlock has vastly improved his blasting abilities (along with Mortalbane), and the Con damage is mitigated by Naberius' ability healing. The breath weapons provided by Talon of Tiamat can now be used to debuff as well as blast, thanks to Entangling Exhalation. Finally, having picked up The Dead Walk as an invocation, Aleksander no longer needs to rely on purchased or captured animals for mounts; he can instead animate undead versions of whatever defeated foes suit his needs. For fluff reasons, as well as good stats and fly speeds, Zombie Dragon templated metallic dragons come highly recommended for this purpose.


    Level 20
    Spoiler
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    By max level, Voice of the Dragon has kicked in two more times, now providing a total of +6 to Bluff (part of the party face skillset) and Intimidate (the core of Aleksander's fear schtick). The secret ingredient has also provided a frightful presence (for more fear-stacking goodness), immunity to cold (which, along with Hellfire Warlock's fire resistance, means Aleksander is protected against the two most common energy types), darkvision, and more/better breath weapon options with which to blast/entangle. Quicken Spell-like Ability lets Aleksander use his until-now-underutilized swift actions to deliver an extra round's worth of Eldritch Glaive attacks 3/day. Finally, Talon of Tiamat's capstone ability Dominate Dragon means he can expect to be riding a live, dominated metallic dragon into combat, rather than a dead, animated one.


    Tips and Tricks
    Spoiler
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    Rules Lawyering
    Spoiler
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    You can't make a full melee attack after your mount moves for you. Are you sure you can use Eldritch Glaive?

    Yes. Eldritch Glaive is not a full attack; it's a spell-like ability with a non-standard activation action (full round rather than standard) whose resolution happens to have some mechanics in common with full attacks. According to this Rules of the Game article, anything on Table 8-2 in the PHB that isn't listed (including SLA's) and takes a full-round action can be used after your mount's movement.

    Are you sure you can use SLA's while raging?

    Pretty sure. Spells are explicitly disallowed, but SLA's aren't. The clause about "abilities that require patience or concentration" might mean you can't use them defensively, which would be a pity, but not game-breaking, especially since Eldritch Glaive has reach. Ask your DM.


    Adaptation
    Spoiler
    Show
    If flaws are allowed, you might consider inceasing Dex to pick up Combat Reflexes to take more advantage of Eldritch Glaive's AoO abilities. You may also consider shuffling feats forward to pick up Maximize Spell-like Ability for more blasting power. Finally, although you've already picked it up once, you can't go wrong with more Extra Rage.


    Use of the Secret Ingredient
    Spoiler
    Show
    Talon of Tiamat has 7 features: 5/10 casting, breath weapons, voice of the dragon, keen senses, immunities, frightful presence, and dominate dragon. It also has one feat prerequisite and skill prerequisites. Aleksander utilizes them in the following ways:
    • Casting advancement gives Eldritch Glaive damage and Warlock invocations, Aleksander's core tricks in combat.
    • The breath weapons are combined with Quicken Breath and Entangling Exhalation to take advantage of swift actions (which Warlocks normally have little use for), improve Aleksander's blasting capability, which might otherwise be lackluster due to low Eldritch Blast damage, and allow him to debuff fear-immune opponents who he might otherwise have few options against.
    • Voice of the dragon improves Aleksander's Intimidate score, the core of his fear-stacking ability. It also gives him a bonus to Bluff, part of his party face skillset.
    • Keen senses isn't exactly emphasized in the build (can you really build around getting Darkvision that late in a character's career?), but at least as a human, Aleksander doesn't put the feature completely to waste.
    • Along with the fire resistance from Hellfire Warlock, the cold immunity from the secret ingredient allows Aleksander to be protected against the two most common energy types. The other immunities (sleep and paralysis) are things the build would otherwise be vulnerable to, and don't hurt a bit either.
    • Frightful presence synergizes with Aleksander's other fear abilities to make it even easier for him to get his opponents to Panicked or Cowering.
    • Dominate dragon is a good ability for anybody (who doesn't want a mind-controlled draconic minion?), but Aleksander takes particular advantage of it, since he has particular need of a tough, flying mount to deliver his main combat ability reliably.
    • Dragonthrall grants bonuses to Bluff (part of Aleksander's party face schtick) against dragons, and to Ride when mounted on a dragon (which should be as often as possible at high levels). For such a crappy feat, Aleksander takes as much advantage of it as he can.
    • Talon of Tiamat requires ranks in Bluff, Intimidate, and Knowledge (arcana). Bluff is maxed and used to become a better party face, which is especially useful since it can sub for flubbed diplomacy via the Social Recovery skill trick; Intimidate is maxed and used for fear shenanigans; Knowledge (arcana) is admittedly only bumped up to 5 ranks for the synergy bonus to Spellcraft.


    Sources
    Spoiler
    Show
    • Book of Vile Deeds: Mortalbane feat.
    • Complete Arcane: Warlock, most invocations.
    • Complete Scoundrel: Skill tricks.
    • Complete Warrior: Extra Rage, Instantaneous Rage, and Intimidating Rage feats.
    • Draconomicon: Talon of Tiamat; Dragonthrall and Quicken Breath feats.
    • Dragon Magic: Eldritch Glaive invocation.
    • Fiendish Codex II: Hellfire Warlock.
    • Monster Manual: Quicken Spell-like Ability feat.
    • Races of the Dragon: Entangling Exhalation feat.
    • SRD: Dragon Totem Barbarian, Human Paragon.
    • Tome of Magic: Binder, Naberius.
    Last edited by Kuulvheysoon; 2013-05-27 at 09:30 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.

  3. - Top - End - #333
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLV

    Mastering the Power of the Dragonheart

    Quote Originally Posted by Tristyn R'yr
    Tristyn R'yr
    Spoiler
    Show



    They say Elves are the masters of combining might and magic together, but they had to learn from
    somewhere. I have learned from those masters.
    - Tristyn R'yr

    All men should know their fathers. At times I wish I had never known who mine was. R'yrxalanos a Wurm of great power called for me on my 15th birthday. Since then I have been serving him. Learning to blend the power of my body along with the innate magic of my soul to further his hold over the lands that he calls his own.

    (I do not own the picture all props goes to the original artist)


    Build
    Spoiler
    Show
    R'yr

    Human Sorcerer 6/ Talon of Tiamat 10/ Abjurant Champion 4

    Starting Stats:
    Str 14 (increase twice total of 16)
    Dex 10
    Con 12
    Int 14
    Wis 10
    Cha 16 (increase thrice total of 19)

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

    1st|Sorcerer|
    0
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |Bluff 2, Concentration 4, Intimidation 4, Knowledge Arcane 4, Spell Craft 4|(B) Combat Casting, Dragonthrall|Battle Sorcerer ACF, Summon Familiar

    2nd|Sorcerer|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |Bluff 2.5, Concentration 5, Intimidation 5, Knowledge Arcane 5, Spell Craft 5|-|-

    3rd|Sorcerer|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |Bluff 3, Concentration 6, Intimidation 6, Knowledge Arcane 6, Spell Craft 6|Power Attack|-

    4th|Sorcerer|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Bluff 3.5, Concentration 7, Intimidation 7, Knowledge Arcane 7, Spell Craft 7|-|-

    5th|Sorcerer|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Bluff 4, Concentration 8, Intimidation 8, Knowledge Arcane 8, Spell Craft 8|-|-

    6th|Sorcerer|
    +4
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |Concentration 9, Intimidation 9, Knowledge Arcane 9, Profession (Dragon Groomer) 1, Spell Craft 9|Heighten Spell|-

    7th|Talon of Tiamat|
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |Bluff 5, Concentration 10, Intimidation 10, Knowledge Arcane 10, Spell Craft 10|-|Breath Weapon (Cone of Cold)

    8th|Talon of Tiamat|
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |Bluff 6, Concentration 11, Intimidation 11, Knowledge Arcane 11, Spell Craft 11|-|Voice of the Dragon +2, +1 Spellcasting

    9th|Abjurant Champion|
    +6/+1
    |
    +5
    |
    +3
    |
    +8
    |Bluff 7, Concentration 12, Intimidation 12, Knowledge Arcane 12, Spell Craft 12|Practiced Spellcaster|Abjurant armor, Extended abjuration, +1 Spellcasting

    10th|Talon of Tiamat|
    +7/+2
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    |
    +8
    |Bluff 8, Concentration 13, Intimidation 13, Knowledge Arcane 13, Spell Craft 13|-|Breath Weapon (Line of Acid)

    11th|Talon of Tiamat|
    +8/+3
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    |
    +8
    |Bluff 9, Concentration 14, Intimidation 14, Knowledge Arcane 14, Spell Craft 14|-|Keen Senses, +1 Spellcasting

    12th|Talon of Tiamat|
    +8/+3
    |
    +7
    |
    +4
    |
    +9
    |Bluff 10, Concentration 15, Intimidation 15, Knowledge Arcane 15, Spell Craft 15|Dimensional Jaunt|Breath Weapon (Cone of Corrosive Gas)

    13th|Talon of Tiamat|
    +9/+4
    |
    +7
    |
    +4
    |
    +9
    |Bluff 11, Concentration 16, Intimidation 16, Knowledge Arcane 16, Spell Craft 16|-|Immunities, Voice of the Dragon +4, +1 Spellcasting

    14th|Talon of Tiamat|
    +10/+5
    |
    +8
    |
    +4
    |
    +9
    |Bluff 12, Concentration 17, Intimidation 17, Knowledge Arcane 17, Spell Craft 17|-|Breath Weapon (Line of Lightning)

    15th|Talon of Tiamat|
    +11/+6/+1
    |
    +8
    |
    +5
    |
    +10
    |Bluff 13, Concentration 18, Intimidation 18, Knowledge Arcane 18, Spell Craft 18|Draconic Heritage- Red|Keen Senses, Frightful Presense, +1 Spellcasting

    16th|Talon of Tiamat|
    +11/+6/+1
    |
    +9
    |
    +5
    |
    +10
    |Bluff 14, Concentration 19, Intimidation 19, Knowledge Arcane 19, Spell Craft 19|-|Breath Weapon (Cone of Fire)

    17th|Talon of Tiamat|
    +12/+7/+2
    |
    +9
    |
    +5
    |
    +10
    |Bluff 15, Concentration 20, Intimidation 20, Knowledge Arcane 20, Spell Craft 20|-|Dominate Dragon, Voice of the Dragon +6, +1 Spellcasting

    18th|Abjurant Champion|
    +13/+8/+3
    |
    +9
    |
    +5
    |
    +11
    |Bluff 16, Concentration 21, Intimidation 21, Knowledge Arcane 21, Spell Craft 21|Draconic Aura|Swift Abjuration, +1 Spellcasting

    19th|Abjurant Champion|
    +14/+9/+4
    |
    +10
    |
    +6
    |
    +11
    |Bluff 17, Concentration 22, Intimidation 22, Knowledge Arcane 22, Spell Craft 22|-|+1 Spellcasting

    20th|Abjurant Champion|
    +15/+10/+5
    |
    +10
    |
    +6
    |
    +12
    |Bluff 18, Concentration 23, Intimidation 23, Knowledge Arcane 23, Spell Craft 23|-|Arcane Boost, +1 Spellcasting[/table]

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

    1st|5/3|2/1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    2nd|6/4|3/1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    3rd|6/4|4/2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    4th|6/5|5/2|2/0|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    5th|6/5|5/3|3/1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    6th|6/6|5/3|4/1|2/0|-|-|-|-|-|-

    7th|6/6|5/3|4/1|2/0|-|-|-|-|-|-

    8th|6/6|5/4|5/2|3/1|-|-|-|-|-|-

    9th|6/7|5/4|5/2|4/1|2/0|-|-|-|-|-

    10th|6/7|5/4|5/2|4/1|2/0|-|-|-|-|-

    11th|6/7|5/4|5/3|5/2|3/1|-|-|-|-|-

    12th|6/7|5/4|5/3|5/2|3/1|-|-|-|-|-

    13th|6/8|5/4|5/3|5/2|4/1|2/0|-|-|-|-

    14th|6/8|5/4|5/3|5/2|4/1|2/0|-|-|-|-

    15th|6/8|5/4|5/4|5/3|5/2|3/1|-|-|-|-

    16th|6/8|5/4|5/4|5/3|5/2|3/1|-|-|-|-

    17th|6/8|5/4|5/4|5/3|5/2|4/1|2/0|-|-|-

    18th|6/8|5/4|5/4|5/3|5/3|5/2|3/1|-|-|-

    19th|6/8|5/4|5/4|5/3|5/3|5/2|4/1|2/0|-|-

    20th|6/8|5/4|5/4|5/3|5/3|5/3|5/2|3/1|-|-[/table]


    Notes
    Spoiler
    Show
    I chose battle Sorc for the better BaB. The loss of the spells does throw its progression back just a little but it only slows it down and stops at CL 15. With proper equipment he can hold his own in a fight. Not a frontliner but more than willing to get in the thick of it.

    The Dragon Aura at the end is sort of like a "Capstone" feat. You can pick 1 of the auras from Dragon Shaman or from the list on page 87 of Dragon Magic. I would personally pick +x Melee Damage since his is a tad low. +x Fast Healing up to half life isnt bad either, but its honestly up to how life has been going up to now.

    Heigthen Spell is for your lower level spells to take up Higher slots since you are gaining so few. Also to keep some of your lower level spells still handy.


    Sources
    Spoiler
    Show
    Players Handbook, Unearthed Arcana, Dragon Magic, Dragonomicon, 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.

  4. - Top - End - #334
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLV

    Shadows of the Abyss

    Quote Originally Posted by The Dead Mist


    The Dead Mists
    Necropolitan, Human Cloistered Cleric 1/Shadowcaster 5/Thrall of Juiblex 4/Talon of Tiamat 10

    Build
    Spoiler
    Show
    Starting stats:
    Str 8/Dex 13/Con 8/Int 14/Wis 13/Cha 18

    Bump Cha at levels 4/8/12/20, and Int at 16.

    After Necropolitan, gaunt and level-ups:
    Str 8/Dex 15/Con -/Int 15/Wis 13/Cha 22

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

    1st|Cloistered Cleric 1|
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |Bluff 2 ranks, concentration 4 ranks, escape artist 4 ranks, intimidate 2 ranks, knowledge (arcana) 4 ranks, knowledge (dungeoneering) 4 ranks, knowledge (religion) 4 ranks, knowledge (the planes) 4 ranks|Thrall to DemonV, Trickery DevotionB, Dragontouched, Draconic Heritage (Tarterian Dragon)|Rebuke undead, rebuke oozes, lore

    2nd|Shadowcaster 1|
    +0
    |
    +4
    |
    +0
    |
    +4
    |Bluff 2.5 ranks, concentration 5 ranks, escape artist 5 ranks, intimidate 4 ranks|-|Fundamentals of shadow, apprentice mysteries

    3rd|Shadowcaster 2|
    +1
    |
    +5
    |
    +0
    |
    +5
    |Bluff 3 ranks, concentration 6 ranks, intimidate 6 ranks|Still MysteryB, Profane Lifeleech|-

    4th|Shadowcaster 3|
    +1
    |
    +5
    |
    +1
    |
    +5
    |Bluff 3.5 ranks, concentration 7 ranks, knowledge (religion) 5 ranks, intimidate 7 ranks|-|Umbral sight (darkvision 30 ft.)

    5th|Shadowcaster 4|
    +2
    |
    +6
    |
    +1
    |
    +6
    |Bluff 4 ranks, concentration 8 ranks, knowledge (religion) 6 ranks, intimidate 8 ranks|Willing DeformityV|Bonus fundamental

    6th|Thrall of Juiblex 1|
    +3
    |
    +8
    |
    +3
    |
    +8
    |Bluff 4.5 ranks, knowledge (religion) 9 ranks, intimidate 9 ranks|Dragonthrall|Sickening slime

    7th|Thrall of Juiblex 2|
    +4
    |
    +9
    |
    +4
    |
    +9
    |Bluff 5 ranks, concentration 9 ranks, knowledge (religion) 10 ranks, intimidate 10 ranks|-|Corrosive touch

    8th|Thrall of Juiblex 3|
    +5
    |
    +9
    |
    +4
    |
    +9
    |Bluff 5.5 ranks, concentration 10 ranks, knowledge (religion) 11 ranks, intimidate 11 ranks|-|Summon ooze

    9th|Thrall of Juiblex 4|
    +6
    |
    +10
    |
    +5
    |
    +10
    |Bluff 6 ranks, concentration 11 ranks, knowledge (religion) 12 ranks, intimidate 12 ranks|Assume Supernatural Ability (Gaseous Form)|Contagion, alter self

    10th|Talon of Tiamat 1|
    +6
    |
    +12
    |
    +5
    |
    +10
    |Bluff 11 ranks|Abominable FormV|Breath weapon (cone of cold)

    11th|Talon of Tiamat 2|
    +7
    |
    +13
    |
    +5
    |
    +10
    |Bluff 14 ranks, intimidate 14 ranks|-|Voice of the dragon +2

    12th|Talon of Tiamat 3|
    +8
    |
    +13
    |
    +6
    |
    +11
    |Bluff 15 ranks, intimidate 15 ranks, knowledge (religion) 13.5 ranks|Entangling Exhalation|Breath weapon (line of acid)

    13th|Talon of Tiamat 4|
    +9
    |
    +14
    |
    +6
    |
    +11
    |Bluff 16 ranks, intimidate 16 ranks, knowledge (religion) 15 ranks|-|Keen senses

    14th|Talon of Tiamat 5|
    +9
    |
    +14
    |
    +6
    |
    +11
    |Bluff 17 ranks, intimidate 17 ranks, knowledge (religion) 16.5 ranks|-|Breath weapon (cone of corrosive gas)

    15th|Talon of Tiamat 6|
    +10
    |
    +15
    |
    +7
    |
    +12
    |Bluff 18 ranks, intimidate 18 ranks, knowledge (religion) 18 ranks|Deformity (face)V, Imperious Command|Immunities (acid), voice of the dragon +4

    16th|Talon of Tiamat 7|
    +11
    |
    +15
    |
    +7
    |
    +12
    |Bluff 19 ranks, concentration 12 ranks, intimidate 19 ranks, knowledge (religion) 19 ranks|-|Breath weapon (line of lightning)

    17th|Talon of Tiamat 8|
    +12
    |
    +16
    |
    +7
    |
    +12
    |Bluff 20 ranks, concentration 13 ranks, intimidate 20 ranks, knowledge (religion) 20 ranks|-|Keen senses, frightful presence

    18th|Talon of Tiamat 9|
    +12
    |
    +16
    |
    +8
    |
    +13
    |Bluff 21 ranks, concentration 14 ranks, intimidate 21 ranks, knowledge (religion) 21 ranks|Breath of Unlife|Breath weapon (cone of fire)

    19th|Talon of Tiamat 10|
    +13
    |
    +17
    |
    +8
    |
    +13
    |Bluff 22 ranks, concentration 15 ranks, intimidate 22 ranks, knowledge (religion) 22 ranks|-|Dominate dragon, voice of the dragon +6

    20th|Shadowcaster 5|
    +13
    |
    +17
    |
    +8
    |
    +13
    |Bluff 23 ranks, intimidate 23 ranks, knowledge (religion) 23 ranks|Deformity (gaunt)V|Sustaining shadow (eat 1 meal/week)[/table]
    VBonus Vile feat for being dedicated to Atropus.
    BClass-granted bonus feat.

    Spells and Mysteries
    Spoiler
    Show

    Mysteries:
    Fundamentals
    Umbral Hand, Mystic Reflections, Black Candle, Arrow of Dusk

    Apprentice
    Carpet of Shadow, Bend Perspective, Black Fire, Piercing Sight, Clinging Darkness, Killing Shadows

    Initiate
    Fearful Gloom, Shadow Evocation, Feign Life, Sickening Shadow

    Level by level mystery progression:
    2- Umbral Hand, Mystic Reflections, Black Candle, Carpet of Shadow
    3- Bend Perspective
    4- Black Fire
    5- Arrow of Dusk, Piercing Sight
    11- Clinging Darkness
    13- Killing Shadows
    15- Fearful Gloom
    17- Shadow Evocation
    19- Feign Life
    20- Sickening Shadow

    Spells

    The Dead Mists casts as a first level cleric, with the Ooze, Knowledge and Trickery domains (the latter of which was swapped out for Trickery Devotion). Typical spells prepared include Grease, Protection from Good, Obscuring Mist and Hide from Undead.



    Background
    Spoiler
    Show

    The black pudding was a glorious find, a foul, inky thing that knew nothing beyond a primitive hunger that thrilled Smythe. He had coaxed it into this cavern with a trail of dead, and it had grown fat and bulging under his care and feeding.

    The Crucimigration had gone well for Smythe. Pain was no stranger to him, and so the coffin nails had felt like they were simply fixing him in place, steadying him, making him stronger. Now he gloried in his dead flesh, and he would pay thanks to his Master.

    Trembling, he reached out and touched the black pudding. It wrapped an oozing tentacle around his hand, and he could smell his dead flesh sizzle. "Master," he whispered. "My Faceless Lord, I am here for you."

    The pudding shivered and began to boil. Several eyes, angry and red, opened in it. Smythe could feel his Master's dripping and greasy fingers turning the pages of his mind. An oily voice spoke, not from the ooze, but from somewhere deep inside Smythe.

    WELCOME TO THE OTHER SIDE, SMYTHE. WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF THE DEAD.

    "Thank you, Master," he said. "Thank you for this. How can I serve you?"

    ATROPUS GROWS NEARER. CAN YOU FEEL ITS PULL?

    "It was visible in the night sky, Lord Juiblex. Is it almost time?"

    ALMOST. WE MUST ACT SWIFTLY. ATROPUS COULD STILL PASS US BY.

    Smythe opened his mouth in horror. "No, Master! It shall not! We must bring it here!"

    THERE IS A WAY. ATROPUS IS KNOWN IN THE ANCIENT TEXTS. IT IS SAID THAT THE ELDER EVIL WILL COME IF A TRAGEDY OF TERRIBLE AND WIDESPREAD DEATH WERE TO OCCUR. WE MUST MAKE THIS HAPPEN.

    "Anything," Smythe whispered. "You know I will kill for you. I have done it before."

    FOR THIS WE NEED SOMETHING ON A... GRANDER SCALE. YOU HAVE DRAGONBLOOD WITHIN YOU, DO YOU NOT?

    "My great grandmother," said Smythe. "She was a Tarterian dragon, a jailer escaped from the depths of Carceri."

    GOOD. THEN YOU SURELY KNOW OF THE DRAGON QUEEN TIAMAT.

    Smythe nodded.

    THERE WAS A WARLORD MANY YEARS AGO, WHO SET MANY GREAT THINGS IN MOTION. ONE OF THEM WAS TO CREATE A PORTAL TO THE NINE HELLS WITH THE INTENTION OF SUMMONING TIAMAT TO THIS PLANE. HE WAS DEFEATED, BUT MUCH OF HIS WORK REMAINS.

    Again Smythe felt those cold tendrils worming their way through his mind. Before Crucimigration, this had always made him violently ill, but now, he could stand up to it.

    I CANNOT OPEN A PORTAL TO THE HELLS, SMYTHE. THAT POWER IS FORBIDDEN TO THE LORDS OF THE ABYSS. BUT YOU CAN. I HAVE LEFT THE KNOWLEDGE IN YOUR HEAD. IT WILL TAKE MANY LIVES, MANY SACRIFICES, BUT YOU MUST DO THIS THING. YOU MUST BRING TIAMAT'S WRATH UPON THIS CRUEL ROCK. AND WHEN ALL THE LAND IS AFLAME, ATROPUS WILL COME, AND UNMAKE THE WORLD...


    Level Breakdown
    Spoiler
    Show

    Levels 1-5
    In the early game, before young Johnathan Smythe has fully become the Dead Mists, he primarily focuses on trickery and utility. He has some limited battlefield control with spells and mysteries such as grease, carpet of shadow and black fire. Black candle lets him control the ambient light around him, and Trickery Devotion helps to keep him alive and distract enemies. He also has some utility in his general cleric spells and mysteries like bend perspective and piercing sight, and a mass damage option in Profane Lifeleech.

    When he reaches fourth level he undergoes the Ritual of Crucimigration, which turns him into a Necropolitan. This means spending a long time at level 3, but that's OK - the extra hit points and immunities that come alongside being undead easily make up for it, and you'll catch up fairly quickly. It also helps prepare you for the bigger ritual you are about to go through, in order to become a Thrall of Juiblex.

    Levels 6-10
    A lot has happened in the last few levels.

    Thrall of Juiblex gives you several new abilities in return for your devotion. You are surrounded by a sickening stench thanks to your slime-coated skin, giving yourself a passive debuff to go alongside your Abominable Form (more on that in a bit), and you can deal caustic damage with a touch. You can summon slimes, including gray ooze, green slime, ochre jelly and gelatinous cubes. Note that this ability is NOT limited to once per day, like the Summon Demon ability. Slimes are a handy thing to summon, allowing you to eat through items (green slime ignores metal's hardness, for instance) or trap enemies. And you become a disease carrier, able to spread diseases with the contagion spell.

    Most importantly, you pick up CL 4 alter self at will. This is a nice way to hide your terrible self-inflicted deformities, and it's also a powerful combat tool. While there are several good undead forms, such as skin kites and lacedons, your go-to form is the vampire spawn. Unlike the standard vamp, it is NOT a template, and provides a straightforward humanoid form with OK natural armor. The real draw, though, is the supernatural gaseous form, which you pick up via Assume Supernatural Ability.

    Let's look at this a little closer. Gaseous form at will is part of what makes vamps so infuriatingly hard to kill. This improved version of gaseous form lasts indefinitely and moves twice as fast. You cannot be contained short of being trapped in an airtight seal, you can travel through tiny cracks or spread yourself out wide, and more.

    The downside? Well, there's a lot you can't do in gaseous form. While you can use spells and SLAs (assuming they have no verbal, somatic or material components), you can't use supernatural abilities, you can't talk, and you can't manipulate physical objects.

    For you, though, this is not a terrible drawback. You can spend most of your time in gaseous form, using Trickery Devotion to appear "real." By level 5 you can use it as a major image spell, and by level 10 you can transfer your perceptions to the simulacrum and even make skill checks through it, so enjoy living as a cloud while your simulacrum bluffs enemies into walking into traps.

    Your summoning and sickening slime are (Sp) and (Ex), and so still can be used while in gaseous form. Also, thanks to Still Mystery, you can use any of your apprentice and (when you get them) initiate mysteries as well.

    When you do coalesce from the mist into a corporeal form, you are a terror to behold. Any who views your abominable form must immediately make a DC 19 Will save or be shaken in fear, and you have a +24 to Intimidate checks already, without using a single item or spell to boost that. You also get your first breath weapon. It's not a big deal now, but it's going to be soon...

    Levels 11-15
    As you dedicate yourself more and more to the task of bringing Tiamat's aspect to wreak havoc on this plane, you can several new abilities.

    First of all, the spellcasting. Talon of Tiamat is one of the few classes that actually advances Shadowcasting without any chicanery. In these levels you learn to create clinging shadows that trap enemies, gain more directly offensive attacks alongside Profane Lifeleech that can also be used in gaseous form, and create giant areas of fear and darkness.

    You also get a decent bonus to bluff and intimidate. Now your intimidate checks are up to +36 without a single item. You also pick up Imperious Command at the same time that your Trickery Devotion simulacrum can actually threaten enemies in combat, meaning that you can have your illusory double force enemies into cowering. Your bluff checks are also quite high, at +27 without items (or +31 against dragons), for tricking your enemies into walking into the Dead Mists.

    When you do go in for the final kill, your mist coalescing into your true shape, your enemies will view your abominable form, and the DC has now gone up to 21. You have also, in a cruel parody of the dragon queen, learned to vomit up caustic bile that imitates Tiamat's five breath weapons. Though this seems like a standard breath weapon, it oozes and sticks to enemies and traps them in place, entangling them. This helps with your fear stacking and stench auras, preventing enemies from escaping and giving your oozes time to devour them.

    Your senses are excellent as well. Though you do not have spot/listen as skills, Talon of Tiamat's keen senses will explicitly stack with the Shadowcaster's umbral sight, and work well alongside the bend perspective mystery (which acts as clairvoyance but also allows you to move the sensor).

    Finally, acid immunity is a big deal for you, allowing you to ignore much of the damage of your own oozes.

    Levels 16-20
    Things continue to improve. Your "breath weapons" begin dealing negative energy damage in addition to their base damage as you vomit and spray acid, bile and burning gases on your enemies and trap them in place.

    Frightful presence adds on yet another fear effect, and because it is not (Su), it actually works while in gaseous form. The range on this one is incredible, and it becomes your most potent fear tool. That means that you've got frightful presence, abominable form, fearful gloom and Imperious Command to make sure that your enemies fear the Dead Mists.

    Thanks to Voice of the Dragon, your intimidate checks are now up to +46 without items, and your bluff checks are at +35.

    Your mysteries also continue to improve. In particular, you pick up the ever-versatile shadow evocation, a new area debuff in [i]sickening shadow[i], and a nice offensive/utility power in feign life. That latter is especially fun, allowing you to animate objects and cloak them in shadows. Animated objects make for surprisingly good fighters, especially if you can get ones with cords or sheets to make blinding and strangling attacks. This also helps you set up ambushes, allowing you to take over and control things like wagons and ox-carts.

    And as you get closer and closer to summoning Tiamat, you begin collecting members of a dragon army. With bluff checks of +39 (pre-item!) against dragons and immunity to many of their negative attacks (being undead completely removes the drawbacks of the Dragonthrall feat), you can easily coerce dragons to come to your aid, debuff them and dominate them.


    Summary of Abilities
    Spoiler
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    The Dead Mists spends much of his time in mist form, floating through the air like a cloud. Sometimes he obscures himself in advance with spells like obscuring mist.

    While in this form, he has a number of passive area attacks to confuse, debuff and destroy enemies. He has a fear aura, can create difficult terrain, walls of cold, clinging areas of shadow, dark areas that nauseate enemies or cause them to feel yet more fear, and more. He can attack enemies with killing shadows or drain them with Profane Lifeleech, and use summoned oozes, animated objects and even dominated dragon puppets to fight.

    To further confuse and confound his foes, he has a simulacrum that he can summon when necessary. This gets more and more real as he gets stronger, letting him talk to enemies, see from afar, bluff or intimidate foes, and even directly attack them.

    When the Dead Mists have sufficiently battered or confused his enemies, they draw together, and Smythe's true form is revealed. He is a foul undead creature, marred by acid and coated in slime, with a sickening stench about him. The mere sight of him causes enemies to tremble. His touch deals caustic damage, and he can vomit forth bile that deals negative energy damage alongside cold, acid or fire damage and sticks to enemies, entangling them.

    Of course, the ability to change his form at will means that he doesn't have to reveal his true form. He is free to choose a less disturbing visage at any point, and he uses this freedom to act in society when necessary. He is intimidating, yes, but also a skilled liar, and very intelligent.

    Talon of Tiamat offers several abilities for the Dead Mists, including...

    Breath Weapon: As Tiamat has five great breath weapons, so do you. But you are not Tiamat. You are the Dead Mists, foul servant of Juiblex, bringer of destruction. Your breath weapons are tainted by your death, and are in many ways little more than parodies of Tiamat's own. Thanks to Breath of Unlife, they deal negative energy damage now (although still deal normal damage against undead or constructs). And Entangling Exhalation means they also entangle enemies, forcing them in place to suffer your area debuffs, fear and summoned enemies. Remember, a panicked enemy who can't escape becomes a cowering enemy!

    Spellcasting: Shadowcaster is perfect for you here, as you can use its spells and spell-like abilities while in gaseous form. Talon of Tiamat is one of the very few prestige classes that can advance Shadowcaster.

    Voice of the Dragon: This represents a +6 untyped bonus to your two most important skills. That's good, very good...

    Keen Senses: You now have low-light vision, darkvision and the ability to see invisible, and several ways of seeing from afar (via bend perspective or Trickery Devotion). Furthermore, the shadowcaster's umbral sight will explicitly extend the range of your darkvision, giving you 90 feet.

    Immunities: Immunity to acid allows you to ignore the damage of your slimes and oozes.

    Frightful Presence: Wow, this one is huge. It's (Ex) but not based on form, so it works while in gaseous form. It has a HUGE range (even without Charisma boosting items, you're looking at a radius of 180 feet), an excellent DC (DC 26 without +Cha items), and a long duration - all without requiring any actions. Considering that the Dead Mists is all about stacking on passive abilities, this is as good as it gets. Once enemies are shaken from your frightful presence, simply retake your normal form, and Abominable Form will upgrade the effect to frightened for 2d6 rounds, without any action required.

    Dominate Dragon: If your goal is to imitate the warlord of old and summon Tiamat to wreak havoc on this world, how can you even begin without five dragons at your beck and call? Use your draconic affinities to attract dragons, bluff them into letting their guards down, and then hit them with this. Soon you will build your army.


    Additional Notes
    Spoiler
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    Atropus, Juiblex and Tiamat
    This entry introduces several major D&D figures, but does not give them much of a background. This is not the place to go into great detail, but for a brief summary, Atropus is a great elder evil, sometimes called the World Born Dead. It is a world of negative energy that is considered the "afterbirth of creation", about the size of a small moon, and it travels through the cosmos, unmaking any living things it reaches. According to the book of vile darkness (the artifact, not the D&D book), it can be attracted by mass tragedy and widespread death.

    Juiblex is a demon lord of the Abyss and the lord of oozes. Unlike many demon lords, Juiblex cares for little beyond absolute destruction, and so would happily see the world unmade by Atropus. Juiblex has as much hatred for his fellow demon lords as he does for devils and for the living. He is a cruel, foul creature.

    Tiamat is the five-headed Dragon Queen, and a great warlord did indeed attempt to summon her. I won't mention the source on that or go into any more details so as to avoid spoilers, but if you aren't familiar with what I'm talking about, I'm sure you can use your imagination.

    Playing the Dead Mists?
    As long as you are playing in an evil campaign, the Dead Mists should fit in well in any party. Juiblex, Tiamat and Atropus all appear in multiple settings and sources, and various sources have specific instructions for how to adapt them to Eberron, FR, etc.

    The Dead Mists' role in a party will be an interesting one. He has a decent bit of battlefield control, a little bit of utility, a lot of debuffing, and some pretty decent social skills. He can scout, act as party face, disable enemies or even work as a (somewhat limited) minionmancer. What he focuses on will depend on the party, but he would even work well in a solo or smaller campaign.

    Items
    There is very little that the Dead Mists considers a required item. Ability score boosters, especially to Charisma, are important. Skill boosts to bluff, intimidate and knowledge (religion) are also nice. Wands and scrolls of cleric spells can increase his utility, while nightsticks or reliquary holy symbols can give him even more uses of his turn-based powers.

    Alternate Rules
    If flaws are allowed, there are several feats that would do well. Extra Turning would not go amiss, working on both your rebuke undead and your rebuke oozes, and giving you even more uses of Trickery Devotion and Profane Lifeleech without relying on items.

    Lifesense is another excellent feat to consider taking, giving you yet another sensory method.

    If your DM would allow Talon of Tiamat to progress psionics instead of shadow magic, consider taking five levels of telepath instead of shadowcaster, and take the Mind's Eye ACF that grants you telepathy at 5th-level. You can also replace Assume Supernatural Ability with Metamorphic Transfer if you go this route.


    Sources
    Spoiler
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    Book of Vile Darkness (Thrall of Juiblex, ooze domain)
    Complete Champion (Trickery Devotion)
    Dragons of Faerun (Breath of Unlife)
    Drow of the Underdark (Imperious Command)
    Elder Evils (info on Atropus, Vile feats, rules for dedicating yourself to an Elder Evil)
    Libris Mortis (Profane Lifeleech)
    Races of the Dragon/Draconomicon (Dragontouched, Draconic Heritage, Entangling Exhalation, Tarterian dragons)
    Savage Species (Assume Supernatural Ability)
    Tome of Magic (Shadowcaster, Still Mystery, mysteries/fundamentals)
    Urban Magic (Fearful Gloom, Sickening Shadow)


    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 - #335
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLV

    You know how heroes always overcome the loss of their parents to become great? What if they weren't really inclined to Good?

    Quote Originally Posted by Abrasa Kul
    Abrasa Kal

    Introduction
    He remembered her well. She was a cute kid, always charming. Back in the days she used to sing songs of heroes and dragons for him and his fellow lions of Brindol. Later in her teens she was a beauty already but still stopping by from time to time enjoying the attention she got. Back then once a young lion flirted with her and asked her: "Why don't you dance for us? A body like yours surely is able to do more then sing." She smirked, came closer to him, started a little dance, pulled out his dagger and brought it to his throat. Still smiling she whispered: "Honey, my song is lovely, but my dance is deadly." She then sheathed the dagger back into the scabbard and left giggling. The young lion was aroused, he wasn't the only one.

    It was hard to believe that this woman was standing right in front of him now. Blade unsheathed, singing, dancing, bleeding. Corpses left and right of her. It didn't take them long to figure out she was deadly. The wounds she caused burned and she did breathe out ice and acid ensnaring all hit by it. But now she was done for. She was cornered by three of them. "Surrender, young lady!" Kel called out. She answered with a swift stroke that cut Kel down. That opening was enough for him to strike her with his longsword. A wound opened on her back. His fellow lion Arew also hit her. Her answering strikes seemed weak and they parried them. He knew she was done for. Now or never he brought his longsword forward to strike her down. All of a sudden she spinned. He couldn't stop anymore. She had tricked him and Arew. Arews head came off. He spun around immediately and there she was, still vulnerable. In one flow he continued his stroke and his sword gashed open a wound across her chest. She fell to the ground. Finally. He turned around. In horror he saw he was one of the few left. The battle field was soaked in blood. He still couldn't believe that the young lady did all this. In his head the memory of her favourite song came back. He imagined her sitting in front of all the men she slaughtered here: "Once there was a dragon, powerful und proud, telling everyone: 'don't believe what i say out loud....'" In this very moment her blade pierced his chest.



    NE Human Bard 9/ Fighter 1/ Talon of Tiamat 10


    Ability scores
    Spoiler
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    Str 14
    Dex 12
    Con 14
    Int 12
    Cha 16 [21]
    Wis 10


    Every increase by level goes into Charisma.


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

    1st|Bard|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |Bluff 4, Intimidate 4, Perform (dance) 4, Knowledge (arcana) 4, Use magic device 4, Concentration 4, Spellcraft 4, Perform (singing) 4|Dragontouched, Dragonfire inspiration|Bardic music, bardic knowledge, countersong, fascinate, inspire courage +1

    2nd|Bard|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |Bluff 5, Intimidate 5, Perform (dance) 5, Knowledge (arcana) 5, Use magic device 5, Concentration 5, Spellcraft 5, Perform (singing) 5|-|-

    3rd|Bard|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |Bluff 6, Intimidate 6, Perform (dance) 6, Knowledge (arcana) 6, Use magic device 6, Concentration 6, Spellcraft 6, Perform (singing) 6|Song of the heart|Inspire competence

    4th|Bard|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |Bluff 7, Intimidate 7, Perform (dance) 7, Knowledge (arcana) 7, Use magic device 7, Concentration 7, Spellcraft 7, Perform (singing) 7|-|-

    5th|Bard|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |Bluff 8, Intimidate 8, Perform (dance) 8, Knowledge (arcana) 8, Use magic device 8, Concentration 8, Spellcraft 8, Perform (singing) 8|-|-

    6th|Fighter|
    +4
    |
    +3
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |Bluff 9, Intimidate 9, Perform (dance) 8, Knowledge (arcana) 8, Use magic device 8, Concentration 8, Spellcraft 8, Perform (singing) 8, Ride 1|Dragonthrall, Combat Panache[Fighter]|-

    7th|Talon of Tiamat|
    +4
    |
    +5
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |Bluff 10, Intimidate 10, Perform (dance) 8, Knowledge (arcana) 8, Use magic device 8, Concentration 9, Spellcraft 9, Perform (singing) 8, Ride 1|-|Breath weapon (Cone of cold)

    8th|Talon of Tiamat|
    +5
    |
    +6
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |Bluff 11, Intimidate 11, Perform (dance) 8, Knowledge (arcana) 8, Use magic device 8, Concentration 10, Spellcraft 10, Perform (singing) 8, Ride 1|-|Voice of the dragon +2

    9th|Talon of Tiamat|
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |Bluff 12, Intimidate 12, Perform (dance) 8, Knowledge (arcana) 8, Use magic device 8, Concentration 11, Spellcraft 11, Perform (singing) 8, Ride 1|Entangling Exhalation|Breath weapon (line of acid)

    10th|Bard|
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |Bluff 13, Intimidate 13, Perform (dance) 11, Knowledge (arcana) 8, Use magic device 8, Concentration 12, Spellcraft 11, Perform (singing) 11, Ride 1|-|Suggestion

    11th|Talon of Tiamat|
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |Bluff 14, Intimidate 14, Perform (dance) 11, Knowledge (arcana) 8, Use magic device 8, Concentration 13, Spellcraft 12, Perform (singing) 11, Ride 1|-|Keen senses

    12th|Talon of Tiamat|
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |Bluff 15, Intimidate 15, Perform (dance) 11, Knowledge (arcana) 8, Use magic device 8, Concentration 14, Spellcraft 13, Perform (singing) 11, Ride 1|Snowflake wardance|Breath weapon (cone of corrosive gas)

    13th|Talon of Tiamat|
    +9
    |
    +9
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |Bluff 16, Intimidate 16, Perform (dance) 11, Knowledge (arcana) 8, Use magic device 8, Concentration 15, Spellcraft 14, Perform (singing) 11, Ride 1|-|Immunities, voice of the dragon +4

    14th|Talon of Tiamat|
    +10
    |
    +9
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |Bluff 17, Intimidate 17, Perform (dance) 11, Knowledge (arcana) 8, Use magic device 8, Concentration 16, Spellcraft 15, Perform (singing) 11, Ride 1|-|Breath weapon (line of lightning)

    15th|Talon of Tiamat|
    +11
    |
    +10
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |Bluff 18, Intimidate 18, Perform (dance) 11, Knowledge (arcana) 8, Use magic device 8, Concentration 17, Spellcraft 16, Perform (singing) 11, Ride 1|Power Attack |Keen senses, frightful presence

    16th|Talon of Tiamat|
    +11
    |
    +10
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |Bluff 19, Intimidate 19, Perform (dance) 11, Knowledge (arcana) 8, Use magic device 8, Concentration 18, Spellcraft 17, Perform (singing) 11, Ride 1|-|Breath weapon (cone of fire)

    17th|Talon of Tiamat|
    +12
    |
    +11
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |Bluff 20, Intimidate 20, Perform (dance) 11, Knowledge (arcana) 8, Use magic device 8, Concentration 19, Spellcraft 18, Perform (singing) 11, Ride 1|-|Dominate dragon, voice of the dragon +6

    18th|Bard|
    +13
    |
    +11
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |Bluff 21, Intimidate 21, Perform (dance) 14, Knowledge (arcana) 8, Use magic device 8, Concentration 19, Spellcraft 18, Perform (singing) 14, Ride 1|Arcane Strike|-


    19th|Bard|
    +14
    |
    +11
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    |Bluff 22, Intimidate 22, Perform (dance) 17, Knowledge (arcana) 8, Use magic device 8, Concentration 19, Spellcraft 18, Perform (singing) 17, Ride 1|-|Inspire courage +2

    20th|Bard|
    +14
    |
    +12
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    |Bluff 23, Intimidate 23, Perform (dance) 20, Knowledge (arcana) 8, Use magic device 8, Concentration 19, Spellcraft 18, Perform (singing) 20, Ride 1|-|Inspire greatness[/table]


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

    1st|2/4|-|-|-|-|-|-

    2nd|3/5|1/2|-|-|-|-|-

    3rd|3/6|2/3|-|-|-|-|-|-

    4th|3/6|3/3|1/2|-|-|-|-

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

    6th|3/6|4/4|2/3|-|-|-|-

    7th|3/6|4/4|3/3|-|-|-|-

    8th|3/6|4/4|3/3|-|-|-|-

    9th|3/6|4/4|3/3|-|-|-|-

    10th|3/6|4/4|4/4|1/2|-|-|-

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

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

    13th|3/6|4/4|4/4|3/3|-|-|-

    14th|3/6|4/4|4/4|3/3|-|-|-

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

    16th|3/6|4/4|4/4|3/4|1/2|-|-

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

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

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

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

    Spell suggestions:
    0: prestidigitation, detect magic, ghost sound, daze, songbird, read magic
    1: Silent image, Inspirational Boost, Grease, charm person
    2: Alter self, glitterdust, whirling blade, silence
    3: Alter Fortune, Haste, Listening coin, scrying
    4: ruin delver's fortune, celerity, dominate person, greater invisibility
    5: mind fog, leomund's hidden lodge, renewed vigor


    Breakdown, item and roleplaying suggestions
    Spoiler
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    Level 1-5
    Spoiler
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    Abrasa starts out as a bard and takes the roll of a buffer / face. In my build she lacks diplomacy for a simple reason: she claims dragon heritage and therefor is incredible arrogant and confident. She enjoys deceiving people with her lies, playing with them in every matter possible. Mechanically we start with the dragonfire inspiration cheese. She has very low AC but can stand her ground in melee and reasonable casting to back her up. Pick up a badge of valor and harmonizing weapon as soon as possible.

    Level 6-10
    Spoiler
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    On level six Abrasa takes a little detour. She takes one level fighter to do what she loves the most: deceiving and toying with enemies. Combat panache allows her to transfer her superb bluff and intimidate skills into combat. This adds some utility and roleplaying options. Dragonthrall is the entry feat for ToT but still adds something to the build. A bonus on will saves against the frightfuil presence surely is handy. The penalty on enchantement saves vs dragons makes perfect sense and another great roleplaying option. Then she finally enters ToT and adds breath weapons and voice of the dragon, which contributes nicely to combat panache, to her repertoire. At level nine she will start to make excessive use of Entangling Exhalation. Since the damage of her breath weapons at this level are underwhelming this feat is great adding a lot of battlefield control. At level ten Abrasa gets another level of bard to prepare herself for snowflake wardance and ramping up her perform skills while picking up suggestion.

    Level 11-15
    Spoiler
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    At this levels Abrasa shines the most. At twelve she picks up snowflake wardance to further her melee potential without going MADness. She gets Keen Senses she actually profits from since she is a human. More breath weapons, more spells and at this point the equipment cheese with dragonfire inspiration continues (vest of legends should be affordable).

    Level 15-20
    Spoiler
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    The nice finishing touch to the build: frightful presence and dominate dragon and upgrades on everything else. Power Attack and Arcane Strike further your claim as a real melee threat. With your last levels you get back to bard to get to the level 9 bard which nets you 14 levels of inspire courage with a vest of legends.

    Summary
    • strength
    • You end up with a bluff and intimidate roll of +29 + Cha modifier (+23 ranks +6 voice of the dragon)
    • At level 20 your inspire courage is +4 (+2 base, +1 song of the heart +1 vest of legends) optional to be boosted to +6 (badge of valor 3/day + inspirational boost lvl 1 spell) with the option of going +xd6 fire dmg instead
    • You have five breath weapons, all of which can be modified to do half dmg but entangle for 1d4 rounds doing 1d6 of energy type dmg per round (no save; only way to avoid this is evasion or immunity to the energy type), which significantly buffs the weaker ones (although be careful: still 1d4 rounds cooldown).
    • You can add your Cha to attack rolls for [perform dance ranks] rounds by using 1 bardic music (free action). Afterwards you are fatigued for 10 minutes, which can be circumvented by renewed vigor later on.
    • Combat Panache adds some nice utility in combat, allowing you to either use intimidate for a pretty devastating debuff on attack rolls (- your Cha modifier) or use bluff to play dead or redirect an attack.
    • You end up with 5th level bard spells.
      Weakness
    • Your AC is very low. You could wear heavy armour without a penalty for the price of not being able to cast properly and losing snowflake wardance. Moreover you want to be hit from time to time to pull off some maneuver with combat panache.
    • Fire immunity and protection is rather common and you don't have the option to change your energy type of dmg when using dragon fire inspiration.
    • With the exception of your breath weapons you target Will saves all the time.



    Sources used
    Spoiler
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    Players Handbook, Players Handbook II, Draconomicon, Races of the dragon, Dragon Magic Eberon campaign setting, Complete Warrior, Frostburn, Spell Compendium, Magic Item Compendium


    Background - WARNING -Red hand of doom spoiler
    Spoiler
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    The starting point for this build was the (to me) disappointing ending of the red hand of doom campaign. The final grind in the temple simply didn't do it for me. So I came up with a different ending and a villain inside of Brindol who might be the real threat in the long run. Abrasa Kal is the daughter of Azarr Kul and Lady Verrasa Kal (Kul and Kal!). When Brindol is attacked and the PCs stand their last ground, they have to face a (restated) Azarr Kul, while it's possible for them to find out the connection to Lady Kal. Abrasa therefor losing one or both of her parents swears an oath to conquer the elsirvale but doing it her way. With wits and charm.
    Note: Some of the choices in the build depended on this background. For example not going for a crazy draconic heritage which would allow to switch out the dmg type of dragon fire inspiration.
    Last edited by Kuulvheysoon; 2013-05-27 at 09:37 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.

  6. - Top - End - #336
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLV

    My Dragonsense is tingling...

    Quote Originally Posted by Majeed Azar
    Majeed Azar
    Spoiler
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    Exiled from my home for committing murder I traveled the lands. While in my adventures I came across a battle between a Blue Dragon and a small group of adventurers. Debating on weather to join in or hide the Blue Dragon lets out a roar and breaths a long line of lighting through the group dropping 2 of them.

    Realizing who was going to win and realizing that the dragon will think I was part of that group I draw my short swords and I get up behind one of them and backstab him. He screams and then looks back at me and Roars?! Then he starts to change shape and turns into a Gold Dragon and takes to the Air. The Blue Dragon seeing an Ally takes off after the Gold and me and the last man face off. Trading blows and using all the tricks in my book hearing the roars of battle above. Then with a mighty roar it goes silent and CRASH... the Gold Dragon falls dead squishing his companion.

    The Blue lands and confronts me and after some heated tense exchange I am whisked away to be a human protector and Justicar.
    (there is no picture to use for this guy lol. I mean a Xeph is a Xeph and I am no artist.)


    Build
    Spoiler
    Show
    Majeed Azar

    Psychic Rogue 7/ToT 10/ Shadowmind 3
    Xeph

    str 10
    dex 18 (all stat increases here*)
    con 12
    int 14
    wis 12
    cha 12

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

    1st|Psychic Rogue|
    +0
    |
    +x0
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |Autohypnosis 4, Bluff 4, Hide 4, Intimidate 4, Knowledge Arcana 2, Move Silently 4, Search 1, Sleight of Hand 3, Use Psionic Device 4|Dragonthrall|Sneak Attack +1d6, Trapfinding

    2nd|Psychic Rogue|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |Autohypnosis 5, Bluff 5, Disable Device 1, Hide 5, Intimidate 5, Knowledge Arcana 2.5, Move Silently 5, Use Psionic Device 5|-|Evasion

    3rd|Psychic Rogue|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |Autohypnosis 6, Bluff 6, Intimidate 6, Knowledge Arcana 3, Search 2, Disable Device 3, Use Psionic Device 6|Weapon Finess|-

    4th|Psychic Rogue|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |Autohypnosis 7, Bluff 7, Intimidate 7, Knowledge Arcana 3.5, Search 4, Disable Device 4, Use Psionic Device 7|-|Sneak Attack +2d6

    5th|Psychic Rogue|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |Autohypnosis 8, Bluff 8, Intimidate 8, Knowledge Arcana 4, Search 5, Disable Device 6, Use Psionic Device 8|-|Danger Sense

    6th|Shadowmind|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    |Autohypnosis 9, Bluff 9, Disable Device 7, Intimidate 8.5, Search 6, Use Psionic Device 8.5|Two Weapon Fighting|Read Thoughts*, +1 Manifesting Level

    7th|Shadowmind|
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +7
    |
    +4
    |Autohypnosis 10, Bluff 10, Disable Device 8, Intimidate 9, Search 7, Use Psionic Device 9|-|Sneak Attack +1d6(3d6)

    8th|Shadowmind|
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +7
    |
    +4
    |Autohypnosis 11, Bluff 11, Disable Device 10, Intimidate 11, Search 10|-|Cloud Mind*, +1 Manifesting Level

    9th|Talon of Tiamat|
    +5
    |
    +4
    |
    +7
    |
    +4
    |Autohypnosis 11.5, Bluff 12, Intimidate 12, Use Psionic Device 11.5|Xeph Celerity|Breath Weapon (Cone of Cold)

    10th|Talon of Tiamat|
    +6/+1
    |
    +5
    |
    +7
    |
    +4
    |Autohypnosis 12, Bluff 13, Intimidate 13, Use Psionic Device 12|-|Voice of the Dragon +2, +1 Manifesting Level

    11th|Talon of Tiamat|
    +7/+2
    |
    +5
    |
    +8
    |
    +5
    |Autohypnosis 12.5, Bluff 14, Intimidate 14, Use Psionic Device 12.5|-|Breath Weapon (Line of Acid)

    12th|Talon of Tiamat|
    +8/+3
    |
    +6
    |
    +8
    |
    +5
    |Autohypnosis 13, Bluff 15, Intimidate 15, Use Psionic Device 13|Craven|Keen Senses, +1 Manifesting Level

    13th|Talon of Tiamat|
    +8/+3
    |
    +6
    |
    +8
    |
    +5
    |Bluff 16, Intimidate 16, Search 10.5, Use Psionic Device 13.5|-|Breath Weapon (Cone of Corrosive Gas)

    14th|Talon of Tiamat|
    +9/+4
    |
    +7
    |
    +9
    |
    +6
    |Bluff 17, Intimidate 17, Search 11, Use Psionic Device 14|-|Immunities, Voice of the Dragon +4, +1 Manifesting Level

    15th|Talon of Tiamat|
    +10/+5
    |
    +7
    |
    +9
    |
    +6
    |Bluff 18, Intimidate 18, Search 11.5, Use Psionic Device 14.5|Practiced Manifester|Breath Weapon (Line of Lightning)

    16th|Talon of Tiamat|
    +11/+6/+1
    |
    +8
    |
    +9
    |
    +6
    |Bluff 19, Intimidate 19, Search 12, Use Psionic Device 15|-|Keen Senses, Frightful Presence, +1 Manifesting Level

    17th|Talon of Tiamat|
    +11/+6/+1
    |
    +8
    |
    +10
    |
    +7
    |Bluff 20, Intimidate 20, Search 12.5, Use Psionic Device 15.5|-|Breath Weapon (Cone of Fire)

    18th|Talon of Tiamat|
    +12/+7/+2
    |
    +9
    |
    +10
    |
    +7
    |Bluff 21, Intimidate 21, Search 13, Use Psionic Device 16|Xeph Burst, Extra|Dominate Dragon, Voice of the Dragon +6, +1 Manifesting Level

    19th|Psychic Rogue|
    +13/+8/+3
    |
    +10
    |
    +11
    |
    +8
    |Autohypnosis 15 Bluff 22, Intimidate 22, Use Psionic Device 18|-|-

    20th|Psychic Rogue|
    +14/+9/+4
    |
    +10
    |
    +11
    |
    +8
    |Bluff 23 Intimidate 23, Search 15, Use Psionic Device 20|-|Sneak Attack +3d6(4d6), Danger Sense[/table]

    Psionics
    {table=head]Level|PP|Powers Known|Maximum Level|

    1st|0*|1|1|

    2nd|1|2|1|

    3rd|2|3|1|

    4th|4|3|1|

    5th|6|4|2|

    6th|8|5|2|

    7th|8|5|2|

    8th|10|6|2|

    9th|10|6|2|

    10th|12|6|2|

    11th|12|6|2|

    12th|16|7|3|

    13th|16|7|3|

    14th|20|8|3|

    15th|20|8|3|

    16th|24|9|3|

    17th|24|9|3|

    18th|28|9|3|

    19th|32|10|4|

    20th|40|11|4|[/table]



    Notes*
    Spoiler
    Show
    This build as Options Options Options! With the Shadowmind Option on page 74 of Comp Adv you can trade out the powers you get a lvl 1 and 3 for OTHER POWERS! So Feel free to pick at lvl 1 ANY 1st level power and at lvl 3 ANY 2nd level power. Yes even Powers on other classes Lists. Its a better version of Expanded Knowledge because you dont have to pick a power 1 less than what you can cast. Suggested powers Astral Construct for a flanking buddy, Dimension Hop, and Minor Creation. For lvl 2 powers is Psionic's Lion Charge, Chameleon (if you didnt grab as a class power and going stealthy), and Clairvoyant Sense.
    (Warning. Interpretation ahead)
    If you can weasel this train of thought it would be my suggestion. According to This. Under the key terms section there is "Power or Psionic Powers". It says "The psionic equivalent of a spell." For this to work we use the section of the definition of Equivalent "Equal in Function". So Spell = Power. Feel free to pick Spells from any class list. I suggest at lvl 1 picking Haste from the Trapsmith and at lvl 2 getting Hunters Eye from the PHB 2 Ranger. If that dont work then refer to the previous paragraph and sulk a bit.

    Placing all the stat increases in Dex helps with your to hit. Adding a few points into Int is a good Idea for some bonus PP but I honestly didnt feel like redoing skills AGAIN But feel free to consider that a suggestion for advancement.

    A Psychic Rogue starts with 0 PP. So you only have your bonus and racial PP at lvl 1 to use to manifest powers.

    Xeph Celerity is an awesome feat and im glad I found it. Being able to take your burst speed and change it to giving you 1 extra attack x number of times a day is not a bad trade off and with Extra Burst you get it a total of 5 times. Its like a poor mans haste.


    Sources
    Spoiler
    Show
    Dragonomicon, Complete Adventurer,Psychic Rogue, Expanded Psionics, Complete Psionics,

    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 - #337
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLV

    Grey Eyes Steel Dragon?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Grey

    Lady Grey, Shadow of the Dark Queen
    LE Steel Dragon Wyrmling Talon of Tiamat 10/Soul Eater 2/Spellsword 1/Mindbender 1

    Background
    Spoiler
    Show
    King Leonard Braithwaite awoke in darkness with a dull ache in his head. His mind reeled for a few moments as he tried to recall where he was, and how he had arrived. He remembered riding forth with a column of his best knights to slay the foul dragon that had been spoiling the countryside near his castle. He remembered the surge of excitement as, once the beast had been spotted, he lowered his lance and charged. There was a solid impact and then ... nothing. As he struggled to look around, he realized that he was chained to the wall of a dank cell. As he tried to figure out just who had imprisoned him, the door to his cell opened and bright light flooded into the room, momentarily blinding him.

    "Ah, your majesty, I'm glad to see you are awake." A velvety female voice slid around the room. He recognized it at once as belonging to one of his vassals, Lady Grey.

    As his eyes became accustomed to the light, he squinted at her always alluring form. "What is the meaning of this! Why have you taken me pri-"

    Lady Grey laid a firm finger on his lips and whispered, "Hush, my liege, I will tell you all you wish to know and more." She trailed her fingers along his cheek and turned the edge of her mouth up into a smile. "You nearly killed my pet on the field of battle, I had to intervene personally to ensure my plans were not spoiled by your heroics." She let out a quiet sigh, "Not that my poor, dimwitted cousin will surivive his encounter with Sir Adahn. Slaying the beast who killed the king will place Adahn right where I want him, and he is a much more suitable puppet than I could have ever hoped."

    The King glowered at her, his mind racing. "What ... what are you?"

    Lady Grey smiled approvingly, "Always the quick study, my liege. A trait you no doubt inherited from your mother." Her brow furrowed. "My family tree has a more ... colorful past. Though it is not unlike human nobility. The taking of prisoners, ransoming, fostering, and betrayal around every corner. I was a fosterling myself, if you can believe it. My ... mother was not what you might call a nurturing sort. But my time with her was very educational. She was quite knowledgeable and devout, despite her obsessions and proclivities. Her most valuable lesson to me was on the importance of trust, and how easily most sentients fall into its trap."

    She turned her back to the king and laid her head on his shoulder. "I learned that lesson so well, I mastered it where she had not. Her trust in me was her undoing. I spent with years with the Cult of the Shadowed Vessel learning the secrets of the Dark Feast, plotting, planning, and waiting. The mad wyrm never saw me coming." She stood and strode into the center of the cell. "You see, she forgot one of the most basic tenets of the mother of dragons - Never forgive a slight. And what is a slight if not the usurpation of your childhood and the murder of your family?"

    "Which brings us to you, my liege." Lady Grey spun on her heel and regarded the King with disdain. "Believing yourself to be superior to one of my kind. Such arrogance. And we can't have that, oh no." She shook her head as it sprouted scales and her form rippled and shifted, "But now I will take from you my due." The door closed, plunging the cell into darkness, and Lady Grey's voice whispered from every corner, "Feel free to scream, I do so love the taste of terrified nobility."


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

    6th|Steel Dragon Wyrmling|
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |Bluff 7, Diplomacy 5, Escape Artist 7, Hide (2), Intimidate 7, Knowledge(Arcana) 6, Listen 7, Move Silently (1), Sense Motive 4, Spot 7|Dragonthrall, Alertness|60ft. Speed, fly 150ft. (Average), +2 Con, +2 Cha, Breath Weapon (40ft. Line of Acid (1d6) or 20 ft. Cone of Poisonous Gas (Fort Save, 1 Con damage)), +3 Natural Armor, Bite and 2 Claw attacks, Spell Resistance 16, Immunity to Acid, Immunity to Sleep and Paralysis, Poison Resistance, Alternate Form, Casts spells as a 1st level sorcerer, Blindsense 60ft., Keen Senses

    7th|Talon of Tiamat 1|
    +4
    |
    +6
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |Bluff 8, Escape Artist (8), Intimidate 8| |Breath Weapon (Cone of Cold - 3d6)

    8th|Talon of Tiamat 2|
    +5
    |
    +7
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |Bluff 9, Intimidate 9, Never Outnumbered|Weapon Focus(Claw)|Voice of the Dragon +2, +1 level of existing spellcasting class

    9th|Soul Eater 1|
    +6
    |
    +9
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |Escape Artist (9), Hide 3, Intimidate 10, Move Silently 3| |Energy Drain 1

    10th|Talon of Tiamat 3|
    +7
    |
    +9
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |Bluff 10, Intimidate 11, Easy Escape| |Breath Weapon (Line of Acid - 8d4)

    11th|Talon of Tiamat 4|
    +8
    |
    +10
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |Bluff 11, Escape Artist (10), Intimidate 12|Improved Unarmed Strike|Keen Senses, +1 level of existing spellcasting class

    12th|Talon of Tiamat 5|
    +8
    |
    +10
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |Bluff 12, Escape Artist (11), Intimidate 13| |Breath Weapon (Cone of corrosive gas - 10d6)

    13th|Talon of Tiamat 6|
    +9
    |
    +11
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |Bluff 13, Escape Artist (12), Intimidate 14| |Immunities(Fire), Voice of the Dragon +4, +1 level of existing spellcasting class

    14th|Talon of Tiamat 7|
    +10
    |
    +11
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |Bluff 14, Escape Artist (13), Intimidate 15|Entangling Exhalation|Breath Weapon (Line of Lightning - 12d8)

    15th|Talon of Tiamat 8|
    +11
    |
    +12
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |Bluff 15, Escape Artist (14), Intimidate 16| |Keen Senses, Frightful Presence, +1 level of existing spellcasting class

    16th|Talon of Tiamat 9|
    +11
    |
    +12
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    |Bluff 16, Escape Artist (15), Intimidate 17| |Breath Weapon (Cone of Fire - 14d8)

    17th|Talon of Tiamat 10|
    +12
    |
    +13
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    |Bluff 17, Escape Artist (16), Intimidate 18|Darkstalker|Dominate Dragon, Voice of the Dragon +6, +1 level of existing spellcasting class

    18th|Soul Eater 2|
    +13
    |
    +14
    |
    +10
    |
    +10
    |Hide 5, Move Silently 5, Spellcraft 1, Escape Attack| |Soul Strength

    19th|Mindbender 1|
    +13
    |
    +16
    |
    +10
    |
    +12
    |Bluff 18, Escape Artist (17), Sense Motive 5| |Telepathy, +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class

    20th|Spellsword 1|
    +14
    |
    +18
    |
    +10
    |
    +14
    |Escape Artist (18), Quick Escape|Mindsight|Ignore Spell Failure 10%, +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class[/table]


    Stats
    Spoiler
    Show

    Starting Ability Scores:
    Str - 12
    Dex - 14
    Con - 14
    Int - 14
    Wis - 10
    Cha - 18

    Final Ability Scores:
    Str - 12
    Dex - 14
    Con - 14
    Int - 14
    Wis - 10
    Cha - 22 (+4 levels)


    Spells per day/Spells Known
    Spoiler
    Show

    Spells per day (not adjusted for high ability scores)
    {table=head]Level|0lvl|1st|2nd|3rd|4th|5th|6th|7th|8th|9th

    1st|5|3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    2nd|5|3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    3rd|5|3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

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

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

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

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

    9th|6|4|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    10th|6|4|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    11th|6|5|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    12th|6|5|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

    14th|6|6|3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    15th|6|6|4|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    16th|6|6|4|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

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

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

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

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

    1st|4|2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

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

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

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

    6th|4|2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

    8th|5|2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    9th|5|2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

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

    12th|5|3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    13th|6|3|1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    14th|6|3|1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    15th|6|4|2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

    17th|7|4|2|1|-|-|-|-|-|-

    18th|7|4|2|1|-|-|-|-|-|-

    19th|7|5|3|2|-|-|-|-|-|-

    20th|8|5|3|2|1|-|-|-|-|-[/table]
    Detect Magic(0-level), Read Magic(0-level), Prestidigitation(0-level), Disrupt Undead(0-level), Cure Minor Wounds(0-level), Create Water(0-level), Purify Food and Drink(0-level), Acid Splash(0-level)

    Shield(1st), Charm Person(1st), Nerveskitter(1st), Mage Armor(1st), Orb of Sound, Lesser(1st)

    Mirror Image(2nd), See Invisibility(2nd), Invisibility(2nd)

    Girallon's Blessing(3rd), Protection from Energy(3rd)

    Divine Power(4th)


    Level Breakdown
    Spoiler
    Show

    Level 6
    At this level, Lady Grey is a fresh young Steel Dragon wyrmling. She has all the goodies a small dragon could have, flight, blindsense, SR, breath weapon, natural attacks and armor, and can cast spells as a 1st level sorcerer (with access to learn spells on the cleric list, as well as those from the Knowledge and Trickery domains as arcane spells). She makes a good skirmisher at this level, and is a capable infiltrator thanks to her Alternate Form ability and the Charm Person spell. With solid Bluff and Intimidate skills, she can also play the party face and debuff foes in combat with intimidation. She makes an excellent scout at this level, with good Spot and Listen skills, draconic senses, and the Alertness feat.

    Level 11
    Lady Grey now has the groundwork laid for the fearsome opponent she will become. She has picked up many new tricks to aid her in hunting her prey. She continues to advance her Bluff and Intimidate scores, and Voice of the Dragon from Talon of Tiamat enhances them further. Talon of Tiamat's spellcasting advancement improves her innate casting ability, giving her the effective spellcasting of a 3rd level sorcerer. She's picked up a few handy skill tricks with Never Outnumbered and Easy Escape. The former lets her debuff groups of foes with her impressive Intimidate score, and the latter lets her slip out of any tight spot she might find herself in. With Energy Drain from Soul Eater and Improved Unarmed Strike, she can drop 5 negative levels on any foe she full attacks (assuming she can hit with her touch attacks). Talon of Tiamat has also provided her with two very nice new breath weapons. The last big thing she gets from Talon of Tiamat is one that is easy to miss; Lady Grey is now proficient with all simple and martial weapons, as well as all armor and shields. This may not seem very useful, but it lets Lady Grey function well while in humanoid form, and serves as an important pre-requisite later.

    Level 17 "Sweet Spot"
    This is where Lady Grey really hits her stride. She can drop 6 negative levels on a foe with a single full attack, casts as a 6th level sorcerer, and has 3 new potent breath weapons (so she can put the breath weapon hurt on pretty much any creature, so long as it isn't immune to all energy types), all thanks to Talon of Tiamat. But the goodies don't stop there. Entangling Exhalation gives her breath weapons a new use as battlefield control rather than just damage. Talon of Tiamat immunities grant her immunity to fire, in addition to her natural immunity to acid. Her Frightful Presence DC is a very respectable 25 before items, so with fear stacking and her sky-high Intimidate score, she can send groups of foes running for the hills. At this level, buffed with Girallon's Blessing, Lady Grey only needs one or two full attacks to render any challenge appropriate dragon into a level drained mess that will easily fail the DC 25 will save to her Dominate Dragon ability. As an Example, assuming she could land 2 full attacks against their touch ACs, a Mature Adult Gold Dragon (CR19 - Touch AC 8), or an Old Red Dragon (CR18 - Touch AC 6) will both be reduced to only saving against her Dominate Dragon ability on a natural 20. Lady Grey is free to wreak havoc in the name of evil dragon kind. She can send her metallic dragon minions to raze and pillage the countryside, or smite her enemies. And woe betide the chromatic dragon that underestimates this terrifying little hitman of Tiamat, lest she bind them to her will and steal their hoards. The Secret Ingredient has turned Lady Grey into a better dragon than she would be if she had just gotten older, like most dragons. These abilities all work in her alternate forms as well, should she decide she needs to go after prey in a different guise.

    Level 20
    There are plenty of goodies in these last 3 levels. Lady Grey's social skills slow down a little, but still remain far ahead of where they would normally be thanks to the SI. She can now attempt to escape a grapple as a swift action in addition to her normal escape attempt, and if she escapes a grapple, she gets to smack her opponent with a negative level touch attack on her way out. Soul Strength from Soul Eater gives a nice boost to strength after level draining something, so she can always have this up assuming she drains a small animal or gives a foolish courtier the last kiss of his life. Given her mental control over dragons and her social manipulation of others, her progression into Mindbender dovetails nicely, and gives her the excellent telepathy ability as well as advancing her spellcasting. She finishes out the build with a level in Spellsword, which she qualifies for thanks to the weapon and armor proficiencies from the SI. Now she can cast in most light armors, and casts as an 8th level sorcerer. This gives her one final boost in power by granting her access to 4th level spells. She selects Divine Power as her spell known for this level, meaning that with Girallon's Blessing up, her full attack routine is 4 unarmed strikes, 4 claws, and a bite - all of which are capable of inflicting negative levels if used as touch attacks.

    I'd like to take a moment to discuss Lady Grey's spell selections. As you can see from her list, most of her spells are long duration defensive spells, very few are short duration spells. Lady Grey is not someone who will generally cast spells during combat (at least not beyond the first round). Her spellcasting is utility and defense based only, as she lacks sufficient Concentration ranks to reliably cast while threatened. However, she has unparalelled versatility when items are brought into play - even compared to most sorcerers. Runestaves will expand her repertoire of buffs immensely, and will likely be the source for Shivering Touch, Haste, Stinking Cloud, Polymorph, Solid Fog, Rebuking Breath, and the like. In addition to runestaves, wands will be a huge boon to Lady Grey. Thanks to her extensive spell list, Lady Grey can use any sorcerer/wizard or cleric wand.


    Use of the Secret Ingredient
    Spoiler
    Show

    Talon of Tiamat. When I first read through this class, all I could think about was making this work with a dragon. I tried numerous approaches. I knew I wanted a small assassin type dragon that preyed on larger dragons, but I just couldn't make it work. I started with a pseudodragon Totemist/Dragonfire Adept but couldn't make anything work right. I shoe-horned Ur-priest onto it to try and make that work, but the end result just wasn't flavorful, and didn't make sense. I tried a faerie dragon Divine Crusader into Talon of Tiamat, and while it made me smile, the end result was surprisingly weak. I had just about given up hope on this idea, when I came across the Steel Dragon. It's low ECL and innate casting ability were perfect for the SI, and the build uses the class to make a little wyrmling into a monstrosity capable of downing or controlling some of the biggest, most iconic creatures in the game.


    Adaptations
    Spoiler
    Show
    If LA buyoff is allowed, Lady Grey takes the next two levels of Mindbender. This gets her some additional spell-likes for mental manipulation, as well as further boosting her Bluff and Intimidate scores.


    Sources
    Spoiler
    Show

    Complete Arcane
    Complete Warrior
    Lords of Madness
    Dragons of Faerun
    Draconomicon
    Book of Vile Darkness
    Monster Manual
    Races of the Dragon
    Complete Scoundrel
    Spell Compendium

    Avatar by Iron Penguin.

    The Power of the Orient: A Wu Jen Handbook

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

  8. - Top - End - #338
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLV

    If you're expecting Vlad Dracul, you're going to be sorely mistaken.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vox Dracul

    Image Source
    Vox Dracul
    NE Silverbrow Human Bard 8/Evangelist 1/Sublime Chord 1/Talon of Tiamat 10

    Background
    Spoiler
    Show
    We interrupt this broadcast to bring you an announcement. Your regularly scheduled programming will not be seen tonight. A special presentation of Management and Monsters will be shown instead.

    Bob: "Morning Jim."

    Jim: "Morning Bob. Say, did you notice there's a new security guy at the door? What happened to Sam?"

    Bob: "You didn't hear? The goblin janitorial staff told me all about it. It turns out that Sam fell asleep at his post yesterday, and some Adventurers snuck in."

    Jim: "No way! I thought they were problems for strictly bush league places. Chromacorp stock is going to take a hit if it gets out that we had those losers in here."

    Bob: "It gets worse. You know Mr. Calcryx, from Sales?"

    Jim: "That little wyrm? Yeah, he's been busy running his department into the ground from what I hear."

    Bob: "Yeah, well not anymore. They busted into the Executive Washroom and ..."

    Jim: "They didn't!"

    Bob: "Yep, they slew him right while he was doing his business. Security caught them rifling through his office a few minutes later."

    Jim: "Yikes, I'll bet management wasn't happy about that."

    Bob: "No kidding. If the Adventurers hadn't slit his throat while he was sleeping, you can bet that Sam would have been fired. And after that, they probably would have eaten half of the Security personnel."

    Jim: "Actually, I'm betting the new director of Sentient Resources would have stepped in and dealt with that."

    Bob: "You mean Mr. Dracul?"

    Jim: "Yeah, some of the guys have been calling him the 'Voice of the Dragon'. Rumor has it that the multi-headed honcho herself brought him in to clean house. I hear he even scares the color out of some of the senior management. It turns out that he doesn't put up with unjustifiably wasting resources."

    Bob: "I don't know, that guy gives me the creeps. Any human, dragon blooded or no, who can make management take notice when he speaks has got too much power if you ask me. And I heard that some of his most vocal opponents are now backing him all the way. His whole career stinks like a Troglodyte."

    Jim: "Well, you can't argue with results. And you'd better keep a lid on that kind of talk, because he's the motivational speaker at our 2:00. I've heard that every division he's spoken to has a minimum increase of 150% productivity."

    Bob: "Aw man! I thought they canceled that meeting. Crap, that means I have to get those TPK reports to Mr. Aulicus before lunch! I'll catch you later Jim."

    Jim: "See you this afternoon Bob."


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

    1st|Bard 1|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |(6+Int)Bluff 4, Gather Information 4, Intimidate (2), Knowledge(Arcana) 4, Knowledge(Religion) 4, Listen 4, Perform(Oratory) 4, Profession(Astrologer) 4, Spellcraft 4|Dragonthrall, Melodic Casting|Bardic Music, Bardic Knowledge, Countersong, Fascinate, Inspire Courage +1, Spells

    2nd|Bard 2|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |(6+Int)Bluff 5, Gather Information 5, Intimidate (2.5), Knowledge(Arcana) 5, Knowledge(Religion) 5, Listen 5, Perform(Oratory) 5, Profession(Astrologer) 5, Spellcraft 5| |

    3rd|Bard 3|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |(6+Int)Bluff 6, Intimidate (3), Knowledge(Arcana) 6, Listen 6, Perform(Oratory) 6, Profession(Astrologer) 6, Sense Motive 2, Spellcraft 6|Persuasive|Inspire Competence

    4th|Bard 4|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |(6+Int)Bluff 7, Intimidate (3.5), Knowledge(Arcana) 7, Listen 7, Perform(Oratory) 7, Sense Motive 5, Spellcraft 7| |

    5th|Bard 5|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |(6+Int)Bluff 8, Intimidate (4), Knowledge(Arcana) 8, Listen 8, Perform(Oratory) 8, Sense Motive 8, Spellcraft 8| |

    6th|Bard 6|
    +4
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |(6+Int)Bluff 9, Diplomacy 3, Knowledge(Arcana) 9, Listen 9, Perform(Oratory) 9, Sense Motive 9, Spellcraft 9|Dragonfire Inspiration|Suggestion

    7th|Talon of Tiamat 1|
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |(2+Int)Bluff 10, Intimidate 8| |Weapon and Armor Proficiencies, Breath Weapon (Cone of Cold - 3d6)

    8th|Evangelist 1|
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +5
    |
    +7
    |(6+Int)Bluff 11, Intimidate 10, Knowledge(Arcana) 11, Listen 11, Perform(Oratory) 11| |Great Orator(Inspire Dread or Inspire Hope)

    9th|Bard 7|
    +5
    |
    +4
    |
    +5
    |
    +7
    |(6+Int)Bluff 12, Diplomacy 4, Intimidate (11), Knowledge(Arcana) 12, Listen 12, Perform(Oratory) 12, Never Outnumbered|Doomspeak|

    10th|Bard 8|
    +6
    |
    +4
    |
    +6
    |
    +8
    |(6+Int)Bluff 13, Diplomacy 5, Intimidate (12), Knowledge(Arcana) 13, Listen 13, Perform(Oratory) 13, Sense Motive 11| |Inspire Courage +2

    11th|Sublime Chord 1|
    +6
    |
    +4
    |
    +6
    |
    +10
    |(4+Int)Listen 14, Perform(Oratory) 14, Aquan, Auran, Terran, Giant, Goblin| |Spells

    12th|Talon of Tiamat 2|
    +7
    |
    +5
    |
    +6
    |
    +10
    |(2+Int)Bluff 15, Concentration, Intimidate 15|Imperious Command|Voice of the Dragon +2, +1 level of existing spellcasting class

    13th|Talon of Tiamat 3|
    +8
    |
    +5
    |
    +7
    |
    +11
    |(2+Int)Bluff 16, Intimidate 16, Perform(Oratory) (14), Sense Motive 12| |Breath Weapon (Line of Acid - 8d4)

    14th|Talon of Tiamat 4|
    +9
    |
    +6
    |
    +7
    |
    +11
    |(2+Int)Bluff 17, Intimidate 17, Perform(Oratory) (15), Sense Motive 13| |Keen Senses(Low-light vision), +1 level of existing spellcasting class

    15th|Talon of Tiamat 5|
    +9
    |
    +6
    |
    +7
    |
    +11
    |(2+Int)Bluff 18, Intimidate 18, Perform(Oratory) (16), Sense Motive 14|Entangling Exhalation|Breath Weapon (Cone of Corrosive Gas - 10d6)

    16th|Talon of Tiamat 6|
    +10
    |
    +7
    |
    +8
    |
    +12
    |(2+Int)Bluff 19, Intimidate 19, Perform(Oratory) (17), Sense Motive 15| |Immunities(Fire), Voice of the Dragon +4, +1 level of existing spellcasting class

    17th|Talon of Tiamat 7|
    +11
    |
    +7
    |
    +8
    |
    +12
    |(2+Int)Bluff 20, Intimidate 20, Perform(Oratory) (18), Sense Motive 16| |Breath Weapon (Line of Lightning - 12d8)

    18th|Talon of Tiamat 8|
    +12
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    +12
    |(2+Int)Bluff 21, Intimidate 21, Perform(Oratory) (19), Sense Motive 17|Haunting Melody|Keen Senses(Darkvision 60ft.), Frightful Presence, +1 level of existing spellcasting class

    19th|Talon of Tiamat 9|
    +12
    |
    +8
    |
    +9
    |
    +13
    |(2+Int)Bluff 22, Intimidate 22, Perform(Oratory) (20), Sense Motive 18| |Breath Weapon (Cone of Fire - 14d8)

    20th|Talon of Tiamat 10|
    +13
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    |
    +13
    |(2+Int)Bluff 23, Intimidate 23, Perform(Oratory) (21), Sense Motive 19| |Dominate Dragon, Voice of the Dragon +6, +1 level of existing spellcasting class[/table]


    Stats
    Spoiler
    Show

    Starting Ability Scores:
    Str - 8
    Dex - 12
    Con - 14
    Int - 16
    Wis - 10
    Cha - 16

    Final Ability Scores:
    Str - 8
    Dex - 12
    Con - 14
    Int - 16
    Wis - 10
    Cha - 21 (+5 levels)


    Spells per day/Spells Known
    Spoiler
    Show

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

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

    2nd|3|0|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

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

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

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

    7th|3|3|2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

    9th|3|3|2|0|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

    11th|3|3|3|1|2|1|-|-|-|-

    12th|3|3|3|1|2|2|-|-|-|-

    13th|3|3|3|1|2|2|-|-|-|-

    14th|3|3|3|1|3|2|1|-|-|-

    15th|3|3|3|1|3|2|1|-|-|-

    16th|3|3|3|1|3|3|2|-|-|-

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

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

    19th|3|3|3|1|3|3|2|1|-|-

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

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

    1st|4|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    2nd|5|2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    3rd|6|3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

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

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

    7th|6|4|3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    8th|6|4|3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    9th|6|4|4|2|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

    11th|6|4|4|3|3|1|-|-|-|-

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

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

    14th|6|4|4|3|4|2|1|-|-|-

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

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

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

    18th|6|4|4|3|4|3|2|1|-|-

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

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

    Read Magic(0-Level), Detect Magic(0-Level), Prestidigitation(0-Level), Mending(0-Level), Ghost Sound(0-Level), Mage Hand(0-Level)

    Grease(1st), Inspirational Boost(1st), Nerveskitter(1st), Charm Person(1st)

    Mirror Image(2nd), Alter Self(2nd), See Invisibility(2nd), Glitterdust(2nd)

    Fly(3rd), Haste(3rd), Glibness(3rd)

    Polymorph(4th), Ruin Delver's Fortune(4th), Greater Invisibility(4th), Celerity(4th)

    Greater Dispel Magic(5th), Reciprocal Gyre(5th), Stunning Breath(5th), Boreal Wind(5th)

    Otto's Irresistable Dance(6th), True Seeing(6th), Nixie's Grace(6th)

    Limited Wish(7th), Greater Teleport(7th)


    Level Breakdown
    Spoiler
    Show

    Level 1
    Early in his career, Vox is a mild mannered, draconically aligned, evil Bard. He picks up Melodic Casting at 1st level, and snag Dragonthrall. He plays like any other ranged Bard at this level does. He makes a terrific face character and generally serves as a force multiplier. Also worth noting is that he speaks Common, Draconic, Ignan, and Infernal.

    Level 5
    At this point, Vox is just about ready to jump into the SI. He's still a terrific face character (with the addition of Charm Person) and force multiplier, and he has a nice spell selection to pull from (he's got all his 2nd level spells except for See Invisibility at this point). He still prefers to stay at range, and engage targets with his ranged weapon after he has used the spells he cares to use.

    Level 10
    Now Vox is really starting to shape up. Perhaps most importantly, the one level of the SI he has picked up has given him Intimidate as a class skill, a breath weapon, and better weapon options (due to weapon proficiencies granted by the SI). Vox can now add significant damage to the attacks of his allies with Dragonfire Inspiration. And access to Intimidate as a class skill brings with it a nice fear-stacking and save debuffing combo with Inspire Dread (from Evangelist) and Never Outnumbered. Doomspeak is notable here, mainly for the huge save debuff it can inflict on one target, rendering it ripe for the picking by any of Vox's allies. The first breath weapon from the SI doesn't get much love here, but is still very useful when Vox needs to deal with large groups of foes. His tactics remain unchanged, and he now has his full complement of 3rd level and lower spells known to boost his allies and ruin his enemies.

    Level 15
    Vox is nearing the height of his power by this level. His spellcasting ability has taken a sharp upward turn with the inclusion of Sublime Chord casting, and it is a welcome addition. He has his full complement of 4th level spells known, and has Greater Dispel Magic and Stunning Breath for his 5th level known spells, and one 6th level known spell, probably Nixie's Grace (to further boost his social skills). The Imperious Command and Entangling Exhalation feats have built on his fear stacking effects, and made his Breath Weapon an excellent implement of battlefield control. Coupled with Stunning Breath, Vox is capable of potentially disabling entire groups of foes. Voice of the Dragon is here to give a nice boost to Vox's two main social skills, Bluff and Intimidate. As a minor addition, Vox has learned several new languages to better fill his role as a social character.

    Level 20 "Sweet Spot"
    It all comes together with the capstone of the SI. Vox's most potent trick is subjugating pretty much any dragon using Inspire Dread + Haunting Melody in one round, followed up by Doomspeak, Celerity, and Dominate Dragon (for a total -14 save modifier). If Vox has a set of Fearsome Armor, he can add an Imperious Command fueled Intimidate move action to that chain. For non-dragons, Vox can still send enemies screaming with his fear stacking antics coupled with Fearful Presence. Voice of the Dragon has made his Bluff and Intimidate skills the stuff of legends. As a final note, when Vox picked up his Immunities from the SI, he chose fire for two reasons. The first and most important is that it is the most common damage type likely to be encountered. The second is that it renders him immune to the damage his allies gain from Dragonfire Inspiration, just in case they decide to turn on him. His array of spells from 7th level down will also continue to make him a dangerous foe to face in combat.

    Vox has another trick, but it is somewhat DM dependent. Vox's Bluff skill is through the roof, which gives him an incredible weapon to use on pretty much any non-dragon target. Using a bluff check, Vox convinces the target to allow him to use Polymorph on them to turn them into a powerful dragon. If the check passes and they agree, then he does indeed Polymorph them into a dragon, which means they now become a valid target for his Dominate Dragon ability. This trick generally isn't something that can be done in combat, but it does let Vox turn pretty much any available, sentient creature into a meat shield when necessary, as long as he can convince them to accept a few minutes of incredible power.


    Use of the Secret Ingredient
    Spoiler
    Show

    This SI was an interesting one to be sure. It's benefits are all over the place - middling BAB, half-casting advancement, social skills, and a handful of neat tricks. The jack of all trades nature of the SI guided me to the Bard class. The fit was beautiful. The dip into Evangelist for Inspire Dread felt right, given the already impressive social abilities of a Bard, and a half-casting class is well-suited to be used with a rapid casting advancement class like the Sublime Chord. The best part about the SI in this case is that it advances casting on every even level, meaning there was room to include the first level of Sublime Chord in the build and still finish out the SI. The result is a flavorful, versatile build, that almost always has something useful or powerful to do in any situation.


    Sources
    Spoiler
    Show

    Player's Handbook
    Dragon Magic
    Complete Divine
    Complete Arcane
    Complete Scoundrel
    Draconomicon
    Eberron Campaign Setting
    Drow of the Underdark
    Races of the Dragon
    Spell Compendium
    Champions of Ruin

    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 - #339
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLV

    I can't figure out who his soul belongs to - Tiamat or one of the Demonlords.

    Quote Originally Posted by Suspect 1
    Suspect 1
    Chaotic Evil Human Warlock 9 - Dragonfire Adept 1 - Talon of Tiamat 10

    The Suspect
    Spoiler
    Show




    Magipol hereby alerts all peasants, Nobles, mages, and militia:

    All law-abiding citizens of the Realm are to maintain constant vigilance and watchfulness for the whereabouts and activities of a Human male "Suspect 1", height 10 hands, weight 12 stone, with short-cropped dark hair, blue eyes, and a burn scar about his left temple.

    This man is wanted by Magipol for numerous acts of wanton destruction including the attack on High Parliament last Moonday. Suspect 1's name and origin are unknown. This man is known to be wizardry- or sorcery-capable and should be considered extremely dangerous. Suspect 1 has been known to attack unprovoked, including attacks on peasants and women.

    DO NOT attempt to confront or approach Suspect 1. If you see this man or have information regarding his whereabouts or activities, report this information to Magipol at once.

    A cash reward of 500 gold crowns will be awarded for any information leading to the capture or destruction of Suspect 1.



    The Build
    Spoiler
    Show


    Starting Stats
    {table=head]STR|DEX|CON|INT|WIS|CHA
    8|13|15|14|8|17[/table]
    All Increases to Charisma

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

    1st|Warlock 1|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |Bluff, Concentration, Intimidate, Knowledge (Arcana), Use Magic Device (Henceforward "The Big 5") 4 ranks each|Weapon Focus: Ray, Skill Focus: Use Magic Device|Eldritch Blast 1d6, Least Invocation (Hideous Blow)

    2nd|Warlock 2|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |The Big 5, 5 ranks||Detect Magic, Least Invocation (Devil's Sight)

    3rd|Warlock 3|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |The Big 5, 6 ranks|Dragonthrall|Eldritch Blast 2d6, DR 1/Cold Iron

    4th|Warlock 4|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |The Big 5, 7 ranks||Deceive Item, Least Invocation (See the Unseen)

    5th|Warlock 5|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |The Big 5, 8 ranks||Eldritch Blast 3d6

    6th|Warlock 6|
    +4
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |The Big 5, 9 ranks|Empower Spell-Like Ability (Eldritch Blast)|Lesser Invocation (Hellrime Blast)

    7th|Dragonfire Adept 1|
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |The Big 5, 10 ranks|Dragontouched|Breath Weapon 1d6, Least Invocation (Acquatic Adaptation)

    8th|Talon of Tiamat 1|
    +4
    |
    +6
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |Bluff, Concentration, Intimidate, Use Magic Device 11 ranks ("The Small 4")||Breath Weapon (Cone of Cold 3d6)

    9th|Talon of Tiamat 2|
    +5
    |
    +7
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |Small 4, 12 ranks|Clinging Breath|Voice of the Dragon +2, Eldritch Blast 4d6

    10th|Talon of Tiamat 3|
    +6
    |
    +7
    |
    +3
    |
    +6
    |Small 4, 13 ranks||Breath Weapon (Line of Acid 8d4)

    11th|Talon of Tiamat 4|
    +7
    |
    +8
    |
    +3
    |
    +6
    |Small 4, 14 ranks||Keen Senses, Lesser Invocation (Fell Flight)

    12th|Talon of Tiamat 5|
    +7
    |
    +8
    |
    +3
    |
    +6
    |Small 4, 15 ranks|Shape Breath|Breath Weapon (Cone of Gas 10d6)

    13th|Talon of Tiamat 6|
    +8
    |
    +9
    |
    +4
    |
    +7
    |Small 4, 16 ranks||Voice of the Dragon +4; Immune to Sleep, Paralysis, and Electricity; Eldritch Blast 5d6

    14th|Talon of Tiamat 7|
    +9
    |
    +9
    |
    +4
    |
    +7
    |Small 4, 17 ranks||Breath Weapon (Line of Lightning 12d8)

    15th|Talon of Tiamat 8|
    +10
    |
    +10
    |
    +4
    |
    +7
    |Small 4, 18 ranks|Spreading Breath|Keen Senses, Frightful Presence, Lesser Invocation (Flee the Scene)

    16th|Talon of Tiamat 9|
    +10
    |
    +10
    |
    +5
    |
    +8
    |Small4, 19 ranks||Breath Weapon (Cone of Fire 14d8)

    17th|Talon of Tiamat 10|
    +11
    |
    +11
    |
    +5
    |
    +8
    |Small 4, 20 ranks||Dominate Dragon, Voice of the Dragon +6, Eldritch Blast 6d6, Greater Invocation (Eldritch Cone)

    18th|Warlock 7|
    +12
    |
    +11
    |
    +5
    |
    +8
    |Small 4, 21 ranks; Knowledge (Arcana) 11 ranks|Lingering Breath|DR 4/Cold Iron

    19th|Warlock 8|
    +13
    |
    +11
    |
    +5
    |
    +9
    |Small 4, 22 ranks; Knowledge (Arcana) 12 ranks||Fiendish Resilience 1, Greater Invocation (Repelling Blast)

    20th|Warlock 9|
    +13
    |
    +12
    |
    +6
    |
    +9
    |Bluff, Concentration, Intimidate, Use Magic Device 23; Knowledge (Arcana) 13||Eldritch Blast 7d6[/table]


    Levels 1-5
    Spoiler
    Show

    Suspect 1 begins as a run-of-the-mill Warlock, albeit a mad one. Whatever his story, whatever his motives, Suspect 1 is intent on simply inflicting as much suffering as he can in any given situation. Whether firing his Eldritch Blast at enemies (or even bystanders) or channeling it through whatever weapon comes to hand, Suspect 1 loves to cause pain. If he is confronted with a challenging foe, he may choose to use his Bluff or Intimidate skills to back his opponent down. He also enjoys looting wands and other magic items from those he defeats. It is worth noting that by Level 4, Suspect 1's UMD modifier is high enough for him to take 10 and automatically activate any wand he may acquire.


    Levels 6-10
    Spoiler
    Show

    Where did Suspect 1 learn the secrets of dragonkind? Perhaps we will never know, but we can observe that by this point Suspect 1 has sworn himself to some Draconic agent, and experimented with the power of breath weapons before diving fully into Talon of Tiamat. Using Hellrime Blast to impair his enemies' Dexterity gives him a better chance to affect those same enemies with his breath weapon. Since Eldritch Blast is his primary means of combat, Suspect 1 has no difficulty delaying his breath weapons through the use of Clinging Breath. In fact, he will stack several instances of Clinging Breath onto a single breath to employ against the strongest enemy in a group.

    Upon beginning his experiments with breath, Suspect 1 somehow acquired (bought, stole, looted, or coerced) a wand of Breath Weapon Substitution which he uses readily to defeat any protections his enemies may enact.
    Why does Suspect 1 feel a need to inflict such suffering on folk? Is it at the behest of his mysterious Draconic patron? Perhaps Suspect 1 has been sent out into the populace to instill fear and weaken the Realm for some attack by a sinister scaly agent. By the time we learn the truth, it may be too late.


    Levels 11-15
    Spoiler
    Show

    By Level 15, Suspect 1 is a force of pure destruction. By stacking Spreading Breath with Clinging Breath, he can cause significant damage to a sizeable group of victims. His flight invocation allows him to retreat beyond his enemies' range while his favored electricity breath clings and continues to wear them down. If a battle goes ill, he can simply Flee the Scene.


    Levels 15-20
    Spoiler
    Show

    When Lingering Breath and Eldritch Cone come online, Suspect 1 is now entirely focused on blasting large areas with as much damage as possible. With his wand of Substitution and electricity immunity, he can transmute any breath weapon into shock damage and stand untouched amidst a field of deadly current that can persist almost indefinitely, thanks to Lingering Breath. While this effectively limits Suspect 1 to a single breath per enconter, his Eldritch Cone and Repelling Blast ensure that none can approach close enough to disable him.


    Tactics and Gear
    Spoiler
    Show

    As a mad perpetrator of violence, Suspect 1 has little use for niceties such as social skills or maneuver abilities. He is focused singly on dealing as much damage as he can to anyone in a wide area, which he does frequently, often without provocation. His only critical piece of gear is his Wand of Breath Weapon Substitution, which he uses readily to transmute his breath to Electricity damage (having reasoned that this is one of the less-common energy types for his foes or victims to be protected against). Against a prepared and focused caster, of course, Suspect 1's single-minded strategy may get him into trouble. In such instances, he is not too proud to escape using his flight and dimension door invocations.


    Sources
    Spoiler
    Show

    Warlock: Complete Arcane, p.5
    Dragonfire Adept: Dragon Magic, p. 24
    Talon of Tiamat: Draconomicon, p. 134
    Clinging Breath, Lingering Breath, Shape Breath, Spreading Breath feats: Draconomicon, p. 67-74
    Breath Weapon Substitution spell: Draconomicon, p.78

    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 - #340
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLV

    And here I was, hoping for an Anthropomorphic Octopus...

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc D'Oc
    DOC’ D’OC
    Ten years had sinced passed, and the good doctor is no closer to finding his goal. However, his ability to speak to those between the realms has increased, and he is now considering moving on. In that time, however, he has learned why exactly they were lacking a Witch Doctor; a powerful black dragon dracolich had moved into the island mountain. Attempting to bargain with the undead dragon, the Witch Doctor was obliterated, leaving the tribe without direction. The appearance of Doctor D’Oc had given the tribe something to believe in; but still they were continually annoyed by the Dracolich’s continual sending his undead to raid the burial cairns and to steal the riches and bodies within. It was at this point that the Doctor decided to try and rectify the balance of power; whereupon he learned the Staff Oracle was present in the Dracolich’s horde.

    Why the Dracolich had it, none knew. Why the Doctor wanted it, none knew. The knowledge of the undead over the years had turned the Doctor into a minor Necromancer; but the Dracolich’s ability to control the Undead rendered the raised dead unuseable in direct conflict. In return, a complete stalemate was unearthed. The Doctor had grown an appreciate of the Dracoliches power, however, and wanted to learn how to get that power for himself, as well as that of the Staff Oracle; through silver tongue’d lies and flattery, the two came together, master and student. However, the Dracolich had grown clever in his time, and made sure never to teach his student the secret power of fire, that to which he was vulnerable, but instead, the Doctor learned and through ritual, was able to breathe the breath of dragons, gas clouds, lightning breath, and blizzard.

    And yet, through that time, the Doctor never forgot his goal; one day, he suddenly left the Dracolich’s mentorship; the Dracolich was not surprised, his arrogance outweighing his curiosity, but that may yet cause the Dracolich to learn the meaning of fear, for there are rumours in the southern lands, that there has arisen one at the head of an immense horde of the Undead, sundering all before him, swelling his ranks with each passing battle. At the vanguard is a flight of a score strong of dragons, razing everything. The Dracolich needs to beware...


    Doc’ D’doc; Half-Elf Bard 4/Binder 1/Anima Mage 5/Talon of TiamatAfflux
    {table=head]Level|Class|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Skills|Feats|Class Features

    1st|Bard 1|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |Bluff 4, Diplomacy 4, Intimidate 4, K. Arcana 4, K. Planes 4, Perform (Sing) 4, Ride cc 2, Use Magic Device 4|Extend Spell|Bardic Sage, Bardic Music, Bardic Knowledge, Healing Hymn, Inspire Awe, Soothing Voice

    2nd|Bard 2|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |Bluff 5, Diplomacy 5, Intimidate 5, K. Arcana 5, K. Planes 4, K. Religion 2, Perform (Sing) 5, Ride cc 2.5, Use Magic Device 5||

    3rd|Binder 1|
    +1
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +5
    |Bluff 6, Diplomacy 6, Intimidate 5, K. Arcana 6, K. Planes 4, K. Religion 3, Perform (Sing) 5, Ride cc 2.5, Use Magic Device 5|Improved Binding|Soul Binding

    4th|Bard 3|
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +5
    |Bluff 7, Diplomacy 7, Intimidate 5, K. Arcana 7, K. Planes 5, K. Religion 4, Perform (Sing) 7, Ride cc 2.5, Use Magic Device 6||Hymn of Fortification

    5th|Bard 4|
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +6
    |Bluff 8, Diplomacy 8, Intimidate 5, K. Arcana 8, K. Planes 6, K. Religion 5, Perform (Sing) 8, Ride cc 2.5, Use Magic Device 8||

    6th|Anima Mage 1|
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +8
    |Bluff 9, Diplomacy 9, Intimidate 5, K. Arcana 9, K. Planes 7, K. Religion 5, Perform (Sing) 8, Ride cc 2.5, Use Magic Device 8|Arcane Disciple (Undeath)|Soul Binding +1

    7th|Anima Mage 2|
    +4
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +9
    |Bluff 10, Diplomacy 10, Intimidate 5, K. Arcana 10, K. Planes 8, K. Religion 5, Perform (Sing) 8, Ride cc 2.5, Use Magic Device 8||Exploit Vestige, Soul Binding +2

    8th|Anima Mage 3|
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +2
    |
    +10
    |Bluff 11, Diplomacy 11, Intimidate 5, K. Arcana 10, K. Planes 8, K. Religion 5, Perform (Sing) 8, Ride cc 3.5, Use Magic Device 8||Soul Binding +3, Vestigial Awareness

    9th|Anima Mage 4|
    +5
    |
    +4
    |
    +2
    |
    +11
    |Bluff 12, Diplomacy 12, Intimidate 5, K. Arcana 10, K. Planes 8, K. Religion 5, Perform (Sing) 8, Ride cc 4.5, Use Magic Device 8|Dragonthrall|Soul Binding +4

    10th|Talon of Afflux 1|
    +5
    |
    +6
    |
    +2
    |
    +11
    |Bluff 13, Diplomacy 12, Intimidate 5, K. Arcana 10, K. Planes 8, K. Religion 5, Perform (Sing) 8, Ride 7.5, Use Magic Device 8||Breath Weapon (Cone of Cold)

    11th|Talon of Afflux 2|
    +6/+1
    |
    +7
    |
    +2
    |
    +11
    |Bluff 14, Diplomacy 12, Intimidate 5, K. Arcana 10, K. Planes 8, K. Religion 5, Perform (Sing) 8, Ride 10.5, Use Magic Device 8||Voice of the Dragon +2

    12th|Talon of Afflux 3|
    +7/+2
    |
    +7
    |
    +3
    |
    +12
    |Bluff 15, Diplomacy 12, Intimidate 5, K. Arcana 10, K. Planes 8, K. Religion 5, Perform (Sing) 8, Ride 13.5, Use Magic Device 8|Planar Touchstone (Catalogues of Enlightenment: Deathbound)|Breath Weapon (Line of Acid)

    13th|Talon of Afflux 4|
    +8/+3
    |
    +8
    |
    +3
    |
    +12
    |Bluff 16, Diplomacy cc 12.5, Intimidate 5, K. Arcana 10, K. Planes 8, K. Religion 5, Perform (Sing) 8, Ride 15.5, Use Magic Device 8||Keen Senses

    14th|Talon of Afflux 5|
    +8/+3
    |
    +8
    |
    +3
    |
    +12
    |Bluff 17, Diplomacy cc 13.5, Intimidate 5, K. Arcana 10, K. Planes 8, K. Religion 5, Perform (Sing) 8, Ride 16.5, Use Magic Device 8||Breath Weapon (Cone of Corrosive Gas)

    15th|Talon of Afflux 6|
    +9/+4
    |
    +9
    |
    +4
    |
    +13
    |Bluff 18, Diplomacy cc 14.5, Intimidate 5, K. Arcana 10, K. Planes 8, K. Religion 5, Perform (Sing) 8, Ride 17.5, Use Magic Device 8|Entangling Exhalation|Voice of the Dragon +4

    16th|Talon of Afflux 7|
    +10/+5
    |
    +9
    |
    +4
    |
    +13
    |Bluff 19, Diplomacy cc 15.5, Intimidate 5, K. Arcana 10, K. Planes 8, K. Religion 5, Perform (Sing) 8, Ride 18.5, Use Magic Device 8||Breath Weapon (Line of Electricity)

    17th|Talon of Afflux 8|
    +11/+6/+1
    |
    +10
    |
    +4
    |
    +13
    |Bluff 20, Diplomacy cc 16.5, Intimidate 5, K. Arcana 10, K. Planes 8, K. Religion 5, Perform (Sing) 8, Ride 19.5, Use Magic Device 8||Keen Senses

    18th|Anima Mage 5|
    +11/+6/+1
    |
    +10
    |
    +4
    |
    +13
    |Bluff 21, Diplomacy 18.5, Intimidate 5, K. Arcana 10, K. Planes 8, K. Religion 5, Perform (Sing) 8, Ride cc 20, Use Magic Device 8|Persistent Spell|Soul Binding +5, Vestige Metamagic 1/day

    19th|Talon of Afflux 9|
    +11/+6/+1
    |
    +10
    |
    +5
    |
    +14
    |Bluff 22, Diplomacy cc 19, Intimidate 5, K. Arcana 10, K. Planes 8, K. Religion 5, Perform (Sing) 8, Ride 22, Use Magic Device 8||Breath Weapon (Cone of Fire)

    20th|Talon of Afflux 10|
    +12/+7/+2
    |
    +11
    |
    +5
    |
    +14
    | Bluff 23, Diplomacy cc 20, Intimidate 5, K. Arcana 10, K. Planes 8, K. Religion 5, Perform (Sing) 8, Ride 23, Use Magic Device 8||Dominate Dragon, Voice of the Dragon +6[/table]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    8th|3|5|3|1|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

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

    11th|3|5|4|3|1|-|-|-|-|-

    12th|3|5|4|3|1|-|-|-|-|-

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

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

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

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

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

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

    19th|3|5|5|4|4|1|-|-|-|-

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

    Spells 20th Level
    0; Dancing Lights, Daze, Detect Magic, Know Direction, Prestigidation, Ghost Sound, Minor Disguise
    1; Locate Touchstone, Scholar’s Touch, Comprehend Languages, Disquietude, Remove Fear
    2; Desecrate, Know Vulnerabilities, Undeniable Gravity, Cloud of Bewilderment, Glitterdust
    3; Animate Undead, Know Opponent, Suppress Breath Weapon, Curse of the Putrid Husk, [1 Divination Spell]
    4; Legend Lore, Greater Invisibility, Voice of the Dragon, Sirine’s Grace, Blinding Beauty
    5; Hide From Dragons, Greater Blinking, Boreal Wind, Improvisation

    ATTRIBUTES
    Str; 8
    Dex; 8
    Con; 8
    Int; 14+1 Stat up
    Wis; 16
    Cha; 18+4 Stat ups

    BUILD HIGHLIGHTS
    Levels 1-5
    At this level, I am a typical Knowledge helper and support character who is more at home in the social aspect. I am a little weaker than a typical Bard going for a Dragonfire Inspiration build, due to Bardic Sage’s lack of run on, but between the additional Divination spells, Naberius, my Social Skills, Bardic Knowledge, and Healing Hymn, during the downtime, I can quickly help a party get back in the fight quicker, or stronger, or get the concessions out of people that are relevant. Extending my spells isn’t such a viable tactic, however it is the only way to qualify for Anima Mage at 6th and retain the skill points. Due to my high Intelligence, I am able to pick up some additional languages; Dragon is one of them to allow me to qualify later on.

    In combat, my main shtick is to bypass it entirely; full ranks in Diplomacy and Bluff, alongside Intimidate gives me a lovely bit of synergy alongside my high Charisma to Calm Emotions from the Half-Elf Bard, or diplomance my way into the targets good books, especially when aided with some dedicated items; masterwork tools, etc. In the event that fails, I have a small fear effect; I rely on my perform check (CHECK, not RANK) to give me a small fear aura. While some should be able to pass it, by 5th level, I’ve got 8 ranks, a masterwork item, high charisma, meaning a DC13 or higher skill check to make someone shaken. Combined with “Cause Fear”, I should be able to quickly cause a couple of fear tests to control the battlefield with.

    Levels 6-10
    I have now taken my first level in the SI; this gives me a bit more capability on the combat front; which combined with binding Savnok (free Masterwork Full Plate) can make me quite a reasonable character on the combat front to survice, even though I cannot rely on my spells during that period. I am now realizing that life isn’t always a long one, and despite my already long years, I need to find some way of living after my time; so my search turns to Necromancy; picking up Arcane Disciple (Undeath Domain), I pick up both Desecrate and Animate Dead at 8th Level; Although I only have one casting of each, it’s all I need, using them to raise the Dead as my slaves. I can now choose to become a bit of a cleric as well; if I don’t need to bind Naberius for whatever reason, with Undead, the usage of Tenebrous could be useful. In the event of some deadly dangerous attack as well, I also get a 1/day Immediate Action Teleport, through the Flicker ability. Combining Buer with the ability to summon the Undead, I can begin to start solo’ing a little bit more, although I am more of a supporting act at the moment, while the true strength of the party

    In the meanwhile, I am maintaining the role of the party face; even with the lower skill points, I am maintaining maximum ranks in Bluff and Diplomacy; as well as learning a bit more about the planes, I discover a location called the Catalogues of Enlightenment it becomes my desire to go there. How do I do that? Well between my Knowledge of Dragons, Bardic Knowledge’s, and the ability to bluff a nearby Dragon (Glibness is now online as well) into taking me, or giving me the knowledge to get there, in return for eternal servitude.

    Levels 11-15
    So, full advancement from now on with the Talon of Tiamat. It is refluffed as a Talon of Afflux; I am a seeker of history, and between seeking help from the Vestiges and the Dragons, the god of Inquiry seems to be a perfect match. Oddly enough, other than advancing the cause of Evil Dragons, there is very little that the class requires to be associated with Tiamat. As I eventually describe, I will be able to do so; but in the meanwhile, I am progressing my Necromancy powers. I am currently Casting as a Bard 12 at 15th, so I have Bard 4th’s.

    I continue to advance my Breath Weapon to help out if I get caught in the open, but I’m increasingly using my risen creatures to keep me alive. However, with Entangling Exhalation, I can choose to make it more of a supporting attack, entangling enemies, making them easier for my Undead (or living) allies and party members catch them.

    My ability to blag my way through the world; my Bluff courtesy of Dragonthrall, Voice of the Dragon (Class Feature and Spell), Glibness, Synergies, Charisma, and High Bluff rank is now reaching epic levels and I can implant Suggestions in none-aware foes. Intimidating is less useful against the type of things I’m dealing with so it is not amplified by as much; especially when it lacks the ability to gain an effect similar to Glibness, and even with Scrolls of Divine Insight/Guidance of the Avatar, the lack of having a “Karsus” for Cleric spells is a bit of a bummer for it.

    Levels 16-20
    And here is where it really kicks off. I’m now using Anima Mage to Persist my most useful spell; Glibness, usually. If the DM rules I can apply Extend after using Anima Mage’s ability, awesome, 48 Hour protection for 1 less 4th level spell slot; expending usage for 5 rounds has no effect as I use it at the start of the day. With my Dominate Dragon as a Capstone, I use my Naberius to stop the fighting quickly; and then use my Bluff to either implant a Suggestion to lower Will Saves, or just flat out lower will saves regardless. To give an example of Sense Motive DC’s (as most Dragon’s aren’t statted out), a Great Wyrm Black Dragon in the Draconomicon has a Sense Motive of 21 ranks, with a +5 to Wisdom; so 26. I’m putting out a 23 Ranks, Take 10, +6 Cha, +2 Masterwork Item, Persist Glibness, 2 Synergies, my Dragonthrall Feat with Voice of the Dragon (Spell and Feature), I have 95 to Bluff; although my UMD isn’t majorly high (+21 to the check, with Improvisation), with enough items, I can get Scrolls of Divine Insight and Wands of Guidance of the Avatar; stacking for a grand total of 130 bluff; which can likely be buffed even more so. Although I cannot use Glibness to work on my Diplomacy check, I can use said Diplomacy check to trigger on my Soothing Voice with a nigh unbeatable DC as well to a) Calm Emotions, and b) then Diplomance.

    The build gives me 3 options to get Dragons to serve me; either “voluntarily”, through Bluff/Diplomacy to make even the most hostile of foes friendly, or just having them work alongside me anyway (In which case I should diplomance them anyway to the utter best of my abilities to get them Fanatical, doing everything under my power to get my check up high enough), I can Dominate up to 19 of them before I need to renew them Dominate effect; or I can then, as mentioned raise the Dead who follow my command.

    With a Battle Bridle, I get the Mounted Combat Feat; obviously it would need rearranging and resizing to fit a Colossal+ Dragon, but with it, I can use my Ride Check as it’s AC 1/turn. If I’m not using my Scrolls or Wands of Skill Check increases for diplomacy, they get used for Ride Bonuses; between the Battle Bridle, binding Andras, and my ranks, I have a +41 to the check. Although I have a small Dexterity penalty, items will rectify that, and -1 Dex is hardly much. If Divine Insight and Guidance of the Avatar stack (using Improvisation to qualify), I effectively have an AC of 65 1/turn, upping to 72 if I use my Improvisation luck pool. Alternatively, I could Bind Dahlver-Nar and let the mount take half the damage.

    My Frightful Presence stacks on my high Charisma; a bonus of +6 without augmentation gives me a DC26 180ft aura, equivalent to an Adult Gold Dragon. When out of combat, I can bind Malphas to scout with (although I’m not a particularly good scout), and also to apply some poisons to my weapons, if need be.

    For no particular reason, other than I think it’s extremely awesome, I’d prefer to go for the Purple Dragons, mentioned in the Dragon Compendium, the self-styled “lords of dragons” replaced by Doc’ D’oc strokes his ego a lot, although he’s intelligent enough to seek out Dragons that will give him the most benefit.

    Combinations
    1) Desecrate+Deathbound Domain; I can create up to twice my usual allowance while casting Animate Undead within a Desecrated Area. Deathbound increases my normal allowance to 3, rather than 2. Hence, I can create up to 6 times my caster level when casting Animate Dead; at CL14, this means I am capable of raising a 64 HD Zombie Dragon. While the trick is getting a Dragon to that level of dead-ness, once it’s dead, it is mine. Note that this requires a Rod of Undead Mastery to be control it, however.

    2) Planar Touchstone+Normal Metamagic Rod of Maximise; the Planar Touchstone for the Catalogues of Enlightenment give me the ability to cast a spell from the Domain up to 3 times before I need to recharge its uses, but it’s unlikely I’ll need more than that. Not only does the Deathbound domain ability have the brilliant 3HD/Level maximum, but it allows me to cast Awaken Undead guaranteeing me the maximum HD possible.

    3) Animate Dead; not really a combination, but worth mentioning that Zombie (preferable to Skeletal) Dragons can be raised through the Animate Dead spell. In Libris Mortis as well, there are alternate zombies; of particular interest is the “fast” zombie for the ability to take multiple actions in a round; this allows me to have flyby attacks (although I’d need to level it to do so, as I lose the feats otherwise; Psychic Reformation may work if I can find someone capable of doing so). If I find one I like a lot, then the Unkillable Zombie for Fast Healing 5 and an additional 2hp per HD (at my top limit, that’s a further 128); it can help keep alive, which lacking a Dread Necromancer’s Charnel Touch or Inflict Spells to heal it becomes nearly invaluable.

    4) Voice of the Dragon+Dragonthrall+Naberius+Persisted Glibness; Anima Mage allows me to Persist a spell for no increase in Spellslot, at the expense of 5 rounds of usage of a Vestige. With Persist, this is not an issue. Between having Bluff as a Class Skill at all levels, I get Max ranks. These provide me with a +40 to the check against Dragons, and the ability to use it as Standard with no penalty. Add on my max ranks, and it’s +23; High Charisma and the 2 Synergies stack it even further.

    5) Andras+Battle Bridle = While not exactly over optimised, the Battle Bridle gives me Mounted Combat Bonus Feat, and a +10 to Ride Checks, and Andras gives me Lance proficiency which can help me in between the rounds I’m waiting for my breath weapon to recharge. With my ranks, and small Dexterity penalty, I’ve got a +40 to Ride Checks. Throw on additional bonuses, such as from Improvisation, Guidance of the Avatar, Divine and Insight, add +32, for +72.

    6) Karsus+Scroll of Animate Dread Warrior; this spell is at the core of a Necromancer’s Undead Army. No sense in beating around the bush; as a Bard and not having an Advanced Learning ability (or similar) to gain it as a 4th or 5th level spell, I’m out of luck to gain it. While it’s not strictly necessary to bind Karsus to do so, and relying on having several scrolls which I can continually UMD, it’s much more elegant this way. As Dread Warriors do not count against my HD limit, then they’re not limited to my Animate Dead HD limit, making them effective in addition to my Dragons.

    7)Boreal Wind+Undead; If I’m feeling really cheesy and haven’t expended my Vestige Metamagic yet, then I can even Persist it. However, Undead are immune to Cold Damage, meaning I can freely order them into battle while flying around on my Dragon hitting them with Boreal Wind, Curse of the Putrid Husk and Lines of Electricity from my Breath attack.

    8)Vestige Metamagic+Persist; Persist normally requires immense investiture with excess spell levels, or the typical Divine Metamagic or Incantatrix Shenanigans; neither of which are particularly abuseable by a Bard. However; a Bard has a couple of brilliant spells that are outstanding for such an occurrence; firstly; Glibness, and another of my favourites is the Sirine’s Grace; it gives an Intelligence Damage attack, as well as Dex and Cha Enhancement bonuses, all the while giving Cha to AC, even while Armoured; in battle, this can give me Savnok’s +1 Full Plate, and at least +8 to AC, if not more from Charisma optimization (Scrolls of Snowsong, etc) for +16 to AC. Alternatively, Greater Invisibility, or as mentioned before, Boreal Wind.

    ADAPTATIONS
    Undead have their Con-based abilities trigger off Charisma instead. For the purposes of the competition, where you're limited to a certain XP, I didn't take Necropolitan. However, there is NO reason why NOT to take it as soon as possible. I don't have any self-Mind Affecting abilities or Morale bonuses like Inspire Courage that I'd need to stay alive for. Instead, this simply increases my SAD. While I might not be the toughest of combatants, The fact my spells’ DC’s, social skills, supernatural abilities and breath weapon is all keyed off of a single stat makes the build that much easier to work with.

    If Flaws were allowed, an additional level of Binder would have been taken, as well as Versatile Spellcaster and Extra Music. Entry for Anima Mage would have been 2 levels earlier. I’d have received another level of Vestige for Acererak, and another use of my Vestige Metamagic, AND the ability to bind 2 vestiges.

    ITEMS; not all of these are needed.
    - Rod of Undead Mastery; allows me to make full use of my ability to ability to animate up to 64HD of Undead.
    - Ring of Desecration (Lesser or Greater); further buffs to my Undead
    - Multiple Items of +Int; likely gained from my Dominated Dragons or Undead Dragon Hoards. Allows my Dragons to be of at least above average intelligence; up to 16 Intelligence.
    - Cloak of Charisma; grants me improved Socials, and Domination.
    - Normal Rod of Maximise; for if I find an Undead I wish to Awaken
    - Battle Bridle; reshaped to fit any dragon I’m riding. This grants me Mounted Combat feat.
    - Scrolls of Divine Insight and Wands of Guidance of the Avatar; triggered before combat or bluff/diplomancy situation.
    - Scrolls of Animate Dread Warrior; useable by binding Karsus; allows me to bypass limit on Animated Dead control.
    - Wands of Inflict Wounds; needed to Heal my Undead Dragons.
    - Masterwork items; used to gain competence bonuses to help with all the little checks here and there; especially UMD.
    - Binding items; Several Vestige Phylacteries for utility, Implements of Binding, etc.

    SOURCES; Non-Core
    Tome of Magic; Binder, Anima Mage, Improved Binding, Vestige Phylactery
    Draconomicon; Talon of Tiamat, Dragonthrall
    Unearthed Arcana; Bardic Sage
    Races of Destiny; Half-Elf Bard Substitution
    Dragon Magic; Inspire Awe
    Complete Champion; Healing Hymn, Hymn of Fortification
    Complete Divine; Arcane Disciple
    Planar Handbook; Planar Touchstone, Catalogues of Enlightenment
    Races of the Dragon; Entangling Exhalation
    Complete Arcane; Persistent Spell
    Dragon Magazine Compendium Volume 1; Purple Dragons
    Spell Compendium; Deathbound Domain, Undeath Domain
    Libris Mortis; Variant Zombies, Rod of Undead Mastery
    http://www.wizards.com/dnd/article.a...d/dx20021031x; Ring of Desecration, Greater/Lesser
    http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/fw/20040131a; Sirine’s Grace
    Unapproachable East; Animate Dread Warrior
    Magic Item Compendium; Battle Bridle

    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 - #341
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLV

    Welcome to the Jerry Springer Disillio Show!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigismundo Celine
    Sigismundo Celine, Lover of Dragons
    Forestlord half-elf (Aerenal), Bard 3/Swashbuckler 4/Talon of Tiamat 10/Vigilant Sentinel of Aerenal 3

    He has pledged his life to service evil dragonkind...

    DISILLIO: Thanks, folks. I'm your host, Jordan Disillio. Now, I'm going to have to ask our studio audience to start casting resist energy, because the focus of today's episode is.... dragons!

    *gasps from the crowd*

    DISILLIO: That's right. We have four dragons of Argonnessen with us today just waiting to come out on stage. What these four lovely creatures have in common is that all of them have fallen in love... with the same man! Let's give a great big round of applause for Goldie, Apophis, Greeneyes and Moddokh, Bringer of Flames!

    *applause, screams*

    DISILLIO: Moddokh, Bringer of Flames, let's start with you. What can you tell us about your mystery lover?

    MODDOKH: MODDOKH WILL BURN YOUR FAMILY ALIVE AND EAT THEIR CHARRED --

    DISILLIO: Now, now, Moddokh, we're all friends here.

    APOPHIS: Is he always this dramatic?

    MODDOKH: MODDOKH SORRY. MODDOKH STILL SENSITIVE ABOUT WHOLE ISSUE. MODDOKH WAS RAIDING IN AERENAL WHEN MODDOKH FOUND YOUNG HALF-ELF, NICE MAN WITH DRAGONBLOOD.

    DISILLIO: Mmm. And this was Sigismundo?

    MODDOKH: MODDOKH LIKES TO CALL HIM SIGGY.

    *hissing from other dragons*

    DISILLIO: Calm down, folks. Moddokh's not your enemy here.

    GOLDIE: Actually, Moddokh and I have a long history of enmity dating back more than --

    GREENEYES: Oh, no one wants to hear your ssstupid ssstories, Goldie. Thisss isssn't about you for onssse.

    MODDOKH: MODDOKH TRUSTED SIGGY. SIGGY ALWAYS KNEW WHAT MODDOKH WANTED. SIGGY LISTENED. SIGGY AND MODDOKH WOULD TALK FOR HOURS, AND MODDOKH TRUSTED SIGGY WITH ALL MODDOKH'S SECRETS.

    DISILLIO: All your secrets?

    MODDOKH: MODDOKH... MODDOKH IS SO EMBARASSED!

    Sigismundo Celine, Lover of Dragons
    {table=head]Level|Class|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Skills|Feats|Class Features

    1st|Bard 1|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |Bluff 4 ranks, diplomacy 4 ranks, hide 4 ranks, intimidate 2 ranks, knowledge (arcana) 4 ranks, knowledge (nobility & royalty) 4 ranks, move silently 4 ranks, perform (oratory) 4 ranks, sense motive 4 ranks|Dragonthrall|Bardic music, bardic knowledge, soothing voice, fascinate, inspire awe

    2nd|Swashbuckler 1|
    +1
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |Bluff 5 ranks, diplomacy 5 ranks, intimidate 2.5 ranks, knowledge (nobility & royalty) 4.5 ranks, perform (oratory) 5 ranks, sense motive 5 ranks|Weapon Finesse|

    3rd|Swashbuckler 2|
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |Bluff 6 ranks, diplomacy 6 ranks, intimidate 3 ranks, knowledge (nobility & royalty) 5 ranks, perform (oratory) 6 ranks, sense motive 6 ranks|Martial Study (Leading the Attack)|Arcane stunt (blur)

    4th|Bard 2|
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |Bluff 7 ranks, diplomacy 7 ranks, disguise 4 ranks, intimidate 3.5 ranks, perform (oratory) 7 ranks, sense motive 7 ranks||

    5th|Bard 3|
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |Bluff 8 ranks, diplomacy 8 ranks, disguise 8 ranks, intimidate 4 ranks, perform (oratory) 8 ranks, sense motive 8 ranks||Inspire competence

    6th|Swashbuckler 3|
    +5
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |Bluff 9 ranks, diplomacy 9 ranks, disguise 8.5 ranks, intimidate 4.5 ranks, perform (oratory) 9 ranks, sense motive 9 ranks|Wanderer’s Diplomacy|Insightful strike

    7th|Swashbuckler 4|
    +6/+1
    |
    +5
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |Bluff 10 ranks, diplomacy 10 ranks, disguise 9 ranks, intimidate 5 ranks, perform (oratory) 10 ranks, sense motive 10 ranks||Seduction

    8th|Talon of Tiamat 1|
    +6/+1
    |
    +7
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |Diplomacy 11 ranks, intimidate 10 ranks||Breath weapon (cone of cold)

    9th|Talon of Tiamat 2|
    +7/+2
    |
    +8
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |Bluff 12 ranks, diplomacy 12 ranks, intimidate 12 ranks, sense motive 11 ranks|Imperious Command|Voice of the dragon +2

    10th|Vigilant Sentinel of Aerenal 1|
    +7/+2
    |
    +8
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |Bluff 13 ranks, diplomacy 13 ranks, disguise 11 ranks, intimidate 13 ranks, perform (oratory) 13 ranks, sense motive 13 ranks||Code of conduct, master of disguise, nondetection

    11th|Vigilant Sentinel of Aerenal 2|
    +8/+3
    |
    +8
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |Bluff 14 ranks, diplomacy 14 ranks, disguise 14 ranks, intimidate 14 ranks, perform (oratory) 14 ranks, sense motive 14 ranks, Never Outnumbered skill trick||Sneak attack +1d6

    12th|Vigilant Sentinel of Aerenal 3|
    +9/+4
    |
    +9
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |Bluff 15 ranks, diplomacy 15 ranks, disguise 15 ranks, intimidate 15 ranks, knowledge (arcana) 5 ranks, perform (oratory) 15 ranks, sense motive 15 ranks, Second Impression skill trick|Exhaled Barrier|Thought theft

    13th|Talon of Tiamat 3|
    +10/+5
    |
    +9
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |Bluff 16 ranks, diplomacy 16 ranks, intimidate 16 ranks, perform (oratory) 16 ranks, sense motive 16 ranks||Breath weapon (line of acid)

    14th|Talon of Tiamat 4|
    +11/+6/+1
    |
    +10
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |Bluff 17 ranks, diplomacy 17 ranks, intimidate 17 ranks, perform (oratory) 17 ranks, sense motive 17 ranks||Keen senses

    15th|Talon of Tiamat 5|
    +11/+6/+1
    |
    +10
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |Bluff 18 ranks, diplomacy 18 ranks, intimidate 18 ranks, perform (oratory) 18 ranks, sense motive 18 ranks|Martial Study (White Raven Tactics)|Breath weapon (cone of corrosive gas)

    16th|Talon of Tiamat 6|
    +12/+7/+2
    |
    +11
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    |Bluff 19 ranks, diplomacy 19 ranks, intimidate 19 ranks, perform (oratory) 19 ranks, sense motive 19 ranks||Immunities (fire), voice of the dragon +4

    17th|Talon of Tiamat 7|
    +13/+8/+3
    |
    +11
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    |Bluff 20 ranks, diplomacy 20 ranks, intimidate 20 ranks, perform (oratory) 20 ranks, sense motive 20 ranks||Breath weapon (line of lightning)

    18th|Talon of Tiamat 8|
    +14/+9/+4
    |
    +12
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    |Bluff 21 ranks, diplomacy 21 ranks, intimidate 21 ranks, perform (oratory) 21 ranks, sense motive 21 ranks|Extra Music|Keen senses, frightful presence

    19th|Talon of Tiamat 9|
    +14/+9/+4
    |
    +12
    |
    +10
    |
    +10
    |Bluff 22 ranks, diplomacy 22 ranks, intimidate 22 ranks, perform (oratory) 22 ranks, sense motive 22 ranks||Breath weapon (cone of fire)

    20th|Talon of Tiamat 10|
    +15/+10/+5
    |
    +13
    |
    +10
    |
    +10
    |Bluff 23 ranks, diplomacy 23 ranks, intimidate 23 ranks, perform (oratory) 23 ranks, sense motive 23 ranks||Dominate dragon, voice of the dragon +6[/table]

    Alternate Class Features
    Spoiler
    Show

    Half-Elf Bard racial substitution levels (Soothing Voice, replaces Countersong)
    Inspire Awe (replaces Inspire Courage)
    Arcane Stunt (replaces Grace)
    Seduction (Dead Levels article)


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

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

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

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

    4th|3|0|-|-|-|-|-

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

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

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

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

    9th|3|2|0|-|-|-|-

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

    11th|3|2|0|-|-|-|-

    12th|3|2|0|-|-|-|-

    13th|3|2|0|-|-|-|-

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

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

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

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

    18th|3|3|2|0|-|-|-

    19th|3|3|2|0|-|-|-

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

    Spells known
    0- Prestidigitation, detect magic, lullaby, message, songbird, ghost sound
    1- Disguise self, grease, silent image, improvisation
    2- Alter self, tongues, whirling blade, shatter
    3- Glibness, haste, scrying


    Ability Scores
    Spoiler
    Show

    32-point buy:

    Str 8/Dex 14/Con 12/Int 16/Wis 10/Cha 16

    Level 4: Int +1
    Level 8: Int +1
    Level 12: Cha +1
    Level 16: Cha +1
    Level 20: Cha +1


    Level Snapshots
    Spoiler
    Show

    Level 5: Bard 3/Swashbuckler 2.

    Sigismundo really doesn't start out looking like the standard bard, focusing far more on disabling enemies with fear and diplomacy than on buffing his allies. With a diplomacy check of +17 before items, the saving throw on Soothing Voice to calm attackers down is going to be almost unbeatable. Inspire Awe is an alternative to Soothing Voice, although as his only real fear effect right now, it needs some work. It gets better soon, though. Siggy's also competent in melee alongside the party with Weapon Finesse, Leading the Attack and almost full BAB, and a swift action blur effect helping to shore up defenses.

    Level 10: Bard 3/Swashbucker 4/Talon of Tiamat 2/Vigilant Sentinel of Aerenal 1

    Several new abilities here. Most of these are abilities tied to how well Siggy can make various social skill checks - diplomacy, intimidate and bluff. On the bluffing side, Wanderer's Diplomacy lets him make bluff checks as a standard action that act as temporary diplomacy checks to shift attitude, without any penalties. He also gets access to Seduction, a powerful and overlooked ability given to 4th-level Swashbucklers in the Dead Levels series.

    Diplomacy also gets a boost from Wanderer's Diplomacy, although Soothing Voice is still his main use for diplo. Intimidate gets a major boost in Imperious Command, and the two-round effect combines particularly well with Inspire Awe, to create a lasting frightened effect. Bluff and intimidate both get a scaling bump from Voice of the Dragon.

    Vigilant Sentinel of Aerenal gives a boost to disguise checks and a constant nondetection effect, tied to character level. The latter is pretty important, as Siggy does not want to be tracked down, nor does he want to reveal his alignment to every detect spell.

    Level 15: Bard 3/Swashbuckler 4/Talon of Tiamat 5/Vigilant Sentinel of Aerenal 5

    Vigilant Sentinel has given a few more minor abilities, but Siggy's really interested in Thought Theft. This lets him make a Sense Motive check to read a creature's surface thoughts, with no save. He uses this to help steal more secrets from dragonkind, to help him decide what the dragon he is talking to wants, and to discover if there is anything hidden worth seducing. Disguise self, alter self and tongues are a big part of Siggy's seduction tactics.

    Talon of Tiamat has given him two more breath weapons to use, for a total of three. His favorite tactic is to use these with Exhaled Barrier alongside stacking fear effects that force enemies to either remain and cower, or run through his dragonbreath walls and take damage.

    Combat-wise, in addition to sneak attack, decent BAB, Insightful Strike, Weapon Finesse and Leading the Attack, Siggy also now has White Raven Tactics to help grant his allies multiple attacks on fearful or cowering enemies that he does not try to convert.

    Level 20: Bard 3/Swashbuckler 4/Talon of Tiamat 10/Vigilant Sentinel of Aerenal 3

    Siggy's tactics remain much the same, but are improved across the board. He has five breath weapons now of far bigger power, his spells give him reliable access to things like glibness, and he has a constant frightful presence that he can use to further stack fear effects. His Voice of the Dragon gives him a fat +6 bonus to two of his most important skills, and he can even dominate dragons to become near-permanent thralls.


    Explanation
    Spoiler
    Show

    FEAR & SEDUCTION IN AERENAL

    1. Soothing Voice

    Soothing Voice allows Siggy to make Diplomacy checks to act as a calm emotions spell, with the DC being equal to the check. How powerful is this? Well, even without items, Siggy is tossing around +36 diplomacy checks. That means that, without a single item, he has better than a 50% chance to successfully soothe a CR 27 great wyrm gold dragon. It means that he is almost guaranteed to stop a rampaging tarrasque.

    2. Wanderer's Diplomacy

    Once he's got enemies subdued, either by fear, luck or intimidation, it only takes a standard action to convert enemies into allies. Wanderer's Diplomacy is a standard action to use bluff to influence an enemy's attitude for one minute. Standing naked, without using spells to boost his bluff checks, Siggy will succeed on a 4 to use Wanderer's Diplomacy to turn an enemy helpful (or auto-succeed if using this against a dragon - thanks, Dragonthrall!).

    With glibness on the table, Siggy instead will be looking at the epic uses of bluff to provide a nonmagical, no-save suggestion in his enemies.

    Also, as a 4th-level Swashbuckler, Siggy gets access to the very cool ability. This lets Siggy "use charm, flirtation, or seduction to learn a coveted secret that is known by a nonplayer character." The DC scales depending on the target's friendliness and the value of the secret, but even naked without spells to boost him, Siggy can seduce a valuable secret from a hostile dragon more than 50% of the time. Against an indifferent dragon, he can even learn completely unutterable secrets that entire kingdoms don't know.

    3. Fear Stacking

    A more-than-maxed intimidate check, Never Outnumbered, Imperious Command, Inspire Awe and Frightful Presence all lead to a lot of different ways Siggy can frighten his enemies. For example, Frightful Presence causes all within 150' or more to become shaken. In that same round, Siggy makes a demoralize attempt, which thanks to Imperious Command + Never Outnumbered causes all those within 10' to start cowering (and to be frightened in subsequent rounds, since they are already shaken). Next round, he moves and begins inspiring awe, causing all within 30' to become shaken - but since they are already frightened, instead they become panicked. With Fearsome Armor from DotU, he can instead do this all in a single round.

    Siggy also combines this with Exhaled Barrier and his breath weapon to trap enemies, and give them the choice of remaining where they are and turning cowered, or running through his energy walls and taking extra damage.

    MORE ON THE SOCIAL FRONT

    In addition to epic bluff checks, seduction of hostile dragons, crazy intimidation tactics, and a calm and soothing voice, Siggy also has excellent disguise skills and the ability to read minds with no save.

    Thought Theft lets him make a Sense Motive check to read surface thoughts of an enemy. The DC is based on the enemy's hit die, but this should not be a problem for Siggy to succeed against most enemies. If successful, there is no save - he simply reads their surface thoughts as with a detect thoughts spell.

    He is also a master of disguise. 15 ranks in disguise, disguise/alter self and Master of Disguise from his Vigilant Sentinel levels, plus the Second Impression skill check, really helps here.

    TALON OF TIAMAT LEVELS
    • Dragonthrall: A required feat, Dragonthrall is quite handy for Siggy. He pledges to service evil dragons, and in return gets a big boost to his bluff checks against them, which drives Seduction, nonmagical suggestions and Wanderer's Diplomacy. I'm, er, pretty sure he'll figure out SOMETHING to do with the bonus to ride checks when mounting dragons as well.
    • Spellcasting: Five levels of spellcasting is enough to give Sigismundo access to many important spells, the big one being glibness.
    • Breath weapons: Not only do these give Siggy some combat use, they also combine with Exhaled Barrier to wall in terrified enemies.
    • Voice of the Dragon: +6 bonus to bluff and intimidate? This is about as good as it gets - I don't know of any other class that gives such a large bonus (even Mindbender tops out at +5).
    • Keen senses: Forestlord half-elves don't get any sort of low-light vision. This remedies that fact. Seeing in the dark is an important skill for the Lover of Dragons.
    • Immunities: Sometimes things can get a little heated, and Siggy always appreciates the immunity to fire (one of the most common elements in D&D).
    • Frightful Presence: An important tool for fear stacking, especially since it doesn't require an action of its own to activate. And thanks to Sigismundo's Charisma focus, this has a HUGE area.
    • Dominate dragon: High DC dominate effect? Don't mind if I do! Oh, nuts, it only works on the most powerful creatures in D&D. Seriously, if you can't figure out why this is so useful to Sigismundo Celine, you're not even trying.



    Is this actually a serious build?
    Spoiler
    Show

    No, of course not. It's a totally silly build based around a funny reading of the Dragonthrall feat. But it's actually a pretty effective one even if you tone down the silliness.

    In all seriousness, Sigismundo Celine could fit in to almost any group. He's got excellent social skills, he's party friendly (what group doesn't love White Raven Tactics?), and he can stop most enemies cold. He's a competent fighter, can lay down area effects and battlefield control, has huge-reaching debuff and stall tactics, and he can seduce information out of basically anybody. This write-up treats him in a silly way, but all of his abilities are very real, and very effective.

    In other words, if you want to play Sigismundo Celine, feel free to play up or play down the silliness as fits your campaign. He'll be a fun character either way.


    Source List
    Spoiler
    Show




    GOLDIE: As an experience, it was comparable to that marked down by noted gnome historian Myranis d'Sivis of House Sivik, whose chronicle of the mourning of his house matriarch, Lysse d'Sivis, after her second lover's betrayal, is widely considered to be the best --

    DISILLIO: I'm sorry, Goldie, we're going to have to cut you off there. Thank you for that heartbreaking and, er, thorough tale.

    GOLDIE: Oh, but I have merely scratched the surface. We have not even reached the key moment in my relationship with Siggy and Siggy's subsequent duplicity, which I really feel is --

    APOPHIS: He said to give it a rest, Goldie.

    DISILLIO: I'm sure the rest of your tale is very fascinating, Goldie, and we would love to hear it, but as our time here is almost done, I wanted to bring out a very... special... guest!

    GREENEYES: No... you don't mean... sssertainly you wouldn't...

    DISILLIO: That's right, folks. Sigismundo Celine, please come on out!

    *boos and hisses from the crowd*

    GREENEYES: Prepare to feel your flesh boil from your -

    APOPHIS: I have been waiting for my revenge for -

    GOLDIE: There are no words to describe the terror you should be feeling, scum!

    MODDOKH: MODDOKH HATES YOU NOW! YOU DIE NOW, LITTLE ELF-MAN!

    SIGISMUNDO: Wait, just wait. Hear me out first. You aren't going to believe all those nasty little lies everyone has been telling you, are you? Just... listen, and calm down, and then you can tell me everything. Don't worry, everything I told you before was true. Can you hear my voice? Just relax your breathing, calm down and listen...

    MODDOKH: MODDOKH... MISSED YOU, SIGGY. MODDOKH WILL LISTEN.

    APOPHIS: He was talking to me, moron. Come closer, Siggy. I'm sorry I overreacted just now. It's just been... so long, you know?

    DISILLIO: Before you get too settled in, folks, there's still more reveals to come. What would you say if I told you that I have proof here that Sigismundo is, in fact, an agent of the Undying Court of Aerenal? What if I told you that his very purpose was to infiltrate and seduce you all, to learn secrets that the Undying Court could use to wage war against the dragons of Argonnessen? That he has been stealing the power of you, and many other dragons like you, to make his own?

    SIGISMUNDO: Oh come now, you don't really believe that, do you? I actually only came here to tell you the truth. Jordan Disillio has been the one spreading these lies the whole time. He's jealous, you know, and he doesn't want to see us together. He's the one responsible for those other lies, too. I'd never take advantage of your trust - never! Jordan Disillio's simply been lying to you all for so long...

    DISILLIO: Please, that's completely ridiculous. I'd never even heard of - hey, Moddokh? Greeneyes? What are you doing? What are you - AAAGH! Goldie, please, that hurts! Apophis, will you help? No, please, he's lying! He's just lying to you!

    MODDOKH: MODDOKH WILL BURN YOUR FAMILY ALIVE AND EAT THEIR CHARRED --
    Last edited by Kuulvheysoon; 2013-05-27 at 10:20 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.

  12. - Top - End - #342
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLV

    Serving Tiamat even unto death

    Quote Originally Posted by Emrys
    Excerpt from the fabled “twelfth book” of the Mabinogion, long considered lost, updated to contemporary spelling:

    Spoiler
    Show
    And so it came to pass that Vortigern’s champion, Emrys of Lludd, was vanquished by the great red dragon of Caer Belli. And Emrys, knowing himself defeated and feeling his life’s blood pouring from grievous wounds about his body, did prostrate himself before the dragon of Caer Belli, crying out with his fading breath in the dragon’s own tongue:

    “O, terrible and powerful dragon, forgive this humble knight’s folly in obeying his fickle and mean-spirited lord’s command to see you defeated by force of arms. Clearly, such defeat is impossible. If it be in your immeasurable power, I ask only to be brought back from the brink of death that I might learn from you, and serve by your side as senechal and lackey among the common folk of this land.”

    And the great red dragon of Caer Belli, whether moved or bemused by Emrys of Lludd’s plea, did cause his witch, Caewilla, to intercede and bring Emrys of Lludd back from the gates of death itself. And Emrys of Lludd’s gratitude was such that he kept to his dying oath. And he studied with the great red dragon, as well as the witch Caewilla. And from Caewilla he learned to harness strange and powerful magics, which weakened the resolve - even the very life-force - of those who stood before him. And from the great red dragon, Emrys of Lludd learned to vomit forth gouts of many elements known among the kin of dragons. And he learned to pay closer attention to his surroundings, so that his senses appeared heightened to those who saw him. And he learned to project his life essence in a way that mimicked the great and terrible power of the red dragon, so that those who saw him, or heard him speak, knew awe, and fear. . . .


    Boost CHA with level-ups
    EMRYS OF LLUDD
    LE Human Knight 5/Death Delver 5/Talon of Tiamat 10
    In order:
    14 (Strength)
    14 (Dexterity)
    12 (Constitution)
    12 (Intelligence)
    14 (Wisdom)
    14 (Charisma)

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

    1st|Knight (PH2, p24) 1|
    +1
    |
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +4
    |Bluff 1.0, Concentration 4, Handle Animal 1, Heal 1.0, Intimidate 2, Knowledge (Arcana) 1.0, Knowledge (Religion) 1.0, Ride 1|Martial Study (Diamond Mind: Moment of Perfect Mind)(ToB, p31 & p64), Dragonthrall|Fighting Challenge +1, Knight’s Challenge, Knight’s Code

    2nd|Knight 2|
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +4
    |Concentration 5, Handle Animal 2, Knowledge (Religion) 1.5, Ride 2|Mounted Combat|Bonus Feat (Mounted Combat), Shield Block +1

    3rd|Knight 3|
    +3
    |
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +4
    |Concentration 6, Heal 2.0, Knowledge (Religion) 2.0|Combat Reflexes|Bulwark of Defense

    4th|Knight 4|
    +4
    |
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +5
    |Bluff 1.5, Concentration 7, Knowledge (Religion) 3.0|-|Armor Mastery (Medium), Test of Mettle

    5th|Knight 5|
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +5
    |Bluff 2.0, Concentration 8, Knowledge (Religion) 4.0|Ride-By Attack|Bonus Feat (Ride-By Attack), Vigilant Defender

    6th|Death Delver (HoH, p93) 1|
    +5
    |
    +4
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    |Bluff 2.5, Intimidate 2.5, Knowledge (Arcana) 3|Extra Turning|Deathsense, Rebuke Undead, Spellcasting

    7th|Death Delver 2|
    +6
    |
    +5
    |
    +3
    |
    +8
    |Bluff 3.0, Intimidate 3.0, Knowledge (Arcana) 4, Knowledge (Religion) 5|-|Deadened Soul, Spontaneous Casting

    8th|Death Delver 3|
    +7
    |
    +5
    |
    +4
    |
    +8
    |Bluff 3.5, Concentration 9, Intimidate 3.5, Knowledge (Arcana) 5|-|Death Ward 1/Day

    9th|Death Delver 4|
    +8
    |
    +6
    |
    +4
    |
    +9
    |Bluff 4.0. Intimidate 4.0, Ride 3.0|Empower Spell|Diehard

    10th|Death Delver 5|
    +8
    |
    +6
    |
    +4
    |
    +9
    |Intimidate 5.0, Ride 4.0|-|Fear Aura

    11th|Talon of Tiamat (Dr,p134) 1|
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    +4
    |
    +9
    |Bluff 5, Concentration 10, Intimidate 6, Ride 5|-|Breath Weapon (Cone of Cold)

    12th|Talon of Tiamat 2|
    +9
    |
    +9
    |
    +4
    |
    +9
    |Bluff 6, Concentration 11, Intimidate 7, Ride 6|Divine Metamagic: Empower (CD, p80)|Voice of the Dragon +2, +1 Spellcasting level

    13th|Talon of Tiamat 3|
    +10
    |
    +9
    |
    +5
    |
    +10
    |Bluff 7, Concentration 12, Intimidate 8, Ride 7|-|Breath Weapon (Line of Acid)

    14th|Talon of Tiamat 4|
    +11
    |
    +10
    |
    +5
    |
    +10
    |Bluff 8, Concentration 13, Intimidate 9, Ride 8|-|Keen Senses, +1 Spellcasting level

    15th|Talon of Tiamat 5|
    +11
    |
    +10
    |
    +5
    |
    +10
    |Bluff 9, Concentration 14, Intimidate 10, Ride 9|Dragon Steed (Dr, p105) |Breath Weapon (Cone of corrosive gas)

    16th|Talon of Tiamat 6|
    +12
    |
    +11
    |
    +6
    |
    +11
    |Bluff 10, Concentration 15, Intimidate 11, Ride 10|-|Immunities (Acid), Voice of the Dragon +4

    17th|Talon of Tiamat 7|
    +13
    |
    +11
    |
    +6
    |
    +11
    |Bluff 11, Concentration 16, Intimidate 12, Ride 11|-|Breath Weapon (Line of Lightning)

    18th|Talon of Tiamat 8|
    +14
    |
    +12
    |
    +6
    |
    +11
    |Bluff 12, Concentration 17, Intimidate 13, Ride 12|Spirited Charge|Keen Senses, Frightful Presence

    19th|Talon of Tiamat 9|
    +14
    |
    +12
    |
    +7
    |
    +12
    |Bluff 13, Concentration 18, Intimidate 14, Ride 13|-|Breath Weapon (Cone of fire)

    20th|Talon of Tiamat 10|
    +15
    |
    +13
    |
    +7
    |
    +12
    |Bluff 14, Concentration 19, Intimidate 15, Ride 14|-|Dominate Dragon, Voice of the Dragon +6[/table]


    Death Delver Casting: (The Death Delver spell list appears on page 94 of Heroes of Horror).
    Spoiler
    Show
    Spells per day/Spells Known
    {table=head]Level|0lvl|1st|2nd|3rd|4th|5th|6th|7th|8th|9th

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    8th|-|1|0|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

    10th|-|1|1|0|-|-|-|-|-|-

    11th|-|1|1|0|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

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

    14th|-|2|1|1|0|-|-|-|-|-

    15th|-|2|1|1|0|-|-|-|-|-

    16th|-|2|1|1|1|-|-|-|-|-

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

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

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

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


    First Level:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Emrys starts out as a fairly straightforward Human Knight. He carries a longspear, a club for emergencies, a heavy steel shield, and the best armor he can afford - scale mail. As soon as he’s able, he adds a crossbow. He’s neither a skill-focused character, nor one with an especially high INT, so his skills are spread thin in anticipation of the class progression to come. He’s an able rider, a decent if unspectactular party face, and has a bit of knowledge in magical or religious matters. As a Knight, he’s fairly MAD by default, so he lets his d12 HD pick up a little slack for his HP. Although WILL is his best save, the ability to avoid an auto-fail on a Natural 1 and to strengthen that save regardless of class (albeit once a day) makes the Diamond Mind counter an attractive option, while its ability to make Concentration a class-skill is vital to his intended progress. Dragonthrall, while not immediately useful, is required for his intended path and will provide handy bonuses as he advances as a mounted combatant.


    Fifth Level:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Feat-wise, Emrys is still fairly typical for a Knight. Combat Reflexes combines with his reach weapon to help him in his role of mundane battlefield control, which is further aided by Vigilant Defender, Bulwark of Defense, Armor Mastery (Medium) and Shield Block. Mounted Combat and Ride-by Attack make him effective at more than one role on the battlefield, while his continued attention to his thinly-spread skills (neglecting, per force, Heal and Handle Animal) gives him something to do when there’s no fight in the offing.


    Tenth Level:
    Spoiler
    Show
    As Vigilant Defender is the last Knight ability Emrys truly covets, he ducks out of Knight at 6th level for the Death Delver class (which his choice to scrimp on CON probably helps him enter), giving him an interesting and focused spell-list to aid him and his allies. Deathsense lets him know instantly which of his allies may best benefit from his protection. Deadened Soul is useful throughout his career, particularly as his attentions turn toward dragons, with their natural ability to instill fear by their mere presence. Emphasis on boosting CHA, plus the Extra Turning feat, further broadens Emrys’ options for contributing to an encounter. Death Ward and Diehard may be “niche” abilities, but when you want them, you REALLY want them, so gaining them in addition to the spell-list of a Death Delver is certainly worthwhile. Because of the quirky nature of the Death Delver’s spell list, Emrys eschews Extend Spell in favor of Empower Spell at 9th level. At 10th level, Emrys is not only immune to fear himself, but projecting fear at other folks, which he can then stack with other demoralizing effects, either from his Intimidate skill, or his spell-list. This ability gets even better later.


    Fifteenth Level:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Starting at 11th level, Emrys has entered his true calling, as a Talon of Tiamat. His breath weapons make better, more stylish options for ranged combat than his crossbow ever could, with an array of choices so that, in time, he should never be without an appropriate energy weapon if such a weapon exists. Voice of the Dragon gives more power to the social skills in which Emrys invested and which his paltry skill point allotment prevents him from maximizing otherwise. With the appearance of undead typically waning by this point in the campaign, Emrys chooses Divine Metamagic as a way of both continuing to utilize the Rebuke Undead attempts he has and increasing his potency in combat; an Empowered Bull’s Strength goes a long way to offsetting the delays in his BAB caused by Death Delver and Talon of Tiamat, for example. Because his caster level is entirely based on a unique caster list prestige class, the half-progression pace of Talon of Tiamat will still allow him to complete that caster progression, rather than crippling his progression as he would had he chosen a base class with a caster level to progress. Keen Senses gives him the Low-Light Vision ability, improving his perceptive senses without needing to pay for a spell or an item. At this point, he gains a Dragonnel as a steed, for a flying mount with the ability to induce the Shaken condition - remember the earlier comment about stacking demoralizing effects? - that also counts as a dragon for purposes of the bonuses from his Dragonthrall feat at 1st level.


    Twentieth Level:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Emrys gained immunity to fear long ago; now, at 16th level, he gains immunities to sleep effects, paralysis effects, and acid damage as well; he selects acid immunity as it’s generally the hardest to obtain from among his choices in a default campaign. His class-based bonuses to Bluff and Intimidate increase, as well, pairing with his continued investment in them. He adds lightning to his breath weapon options, then gains another Fear-inducing ability at a greater range than that created by his Death Delver ability; between his Dragonnel, his Cause Fear spell, his Fear aura, and his Frightful Presence, he stands an excellent chance of turning vulnerable foes from eager-to-fight to cowering within a single round, and has several ways to deal with those who are either immune or make some or all of the saves. His final feat selection, at 18th, highlights one of those options, as Spirited Charge makes him a dangerous damage-dealing combatant who is not limited to ground-based foes, thanks to his flying mount. His 19th level breath weapon, a cone of fire, gives him the complete iconic set, so that his options are as good as hinted at earlier. The capstone ability, at 20th level, gives him a reasonable chance to make a dragon his very own pet, or else compel the dragon to accept the next spell aimed at it; there’s Rigor Mortis, for a stylish example from Emrys’ own list, or Enervation, for those who prefer the classics. With +20/+21 to Bluff and Intimidate before items at this point, most mundane social situations are well within Emrys’ control, in addition to the combat and fear-stacking potential uses for both skills. In all, Emrys has several tricks at his disposal, for a variety of situations, which CAN overlap without NEEDING the overlap in order to function.


    Options:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Nightsticks. LOTS of nightsticks. Emrys will happily fuel his DMM with as many nightsticks as he can get before the DM starts chucking books at the player’s head. As mentioned early on, Emrys is also MAD, so items that boost his ability scores help him out, almost without regard to which particular ability score in particular is boosted - though CHA, STR, and CON are the highest priorities, in order. He also benefits from any and all ways whereby he might increase his reach, for both general combat and BFC purposes. Enlarge Person castings from any allies, potions, rings, amulets. . . anything that improves his reach. This includes the notion that - given the option of Flaws - Emrys would find room for both Lunging Strike and Improved Initiative, juggling existing feats as needed and taking Shaky and Vulnerable to make room.


    Sources:
    Spoiler
    Show
    SRD
    Player’s Handbook II (PH2)
    Heroes of Horror (HoH)
    Complete Divine (CD)
    Draconomicon (Dr)
    Last edited by Kuulvheysoon; 2013-05-27 at 07:24 PM.

    Avatar by Iron Penguin.

    The Power of the Orient: A Wu Jen Handbook

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

  13. - Top - End - #343
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLV

    Hope that he's packed his lead underwear *cue maniacal laughter*

    Quote Originally Posted by Calsus
    He who binds dragons

    Name: Calsus
    Race: Human
    Ability score layout:

    Str: 8
    Dex: 8
    Con: 8
    Int: 14
    Wis: 17 (18 at level 4, 19 at level 8)
    Cha: 17 (18 at level 12, 19 at level 16, 20 at level 20)

    Languages: Common, Draconic, any

    Alignment: Chaotic Evil

    Note: Thaumaturgist and Talon of Tiamat will be progressing Ur-Priest casting.

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

    1st|Savage Bard|
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |Bluff 4, Knowledge (arcana) 4, Knowledge (the planes) 4, Knowledge (religion) 4, Spellcraft 4, Intimidate 2 CC, Diplomacy 4, Sense Motive 4, Perform (Oratory) 4|Spell focus (Evil), Apprentice (Performer)l|Bardic music, bardic knowledge, countersong, fascinate, Inspire Awe

    2nd|Savage Bard|
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |Bluff 5, Knowledge (arcana) 5, Knowledge (the planes) 5, Knowledge (religion) 5, Spellcraft 5, Intimidate 2-1/2 CC, Diplomacy 5, Sense Motive 5, Perform (Oratory) 5|Iron Will (Otugh hole)|

    3rd|Savage Bard|
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |Bluff 6, Knowledge (arcana) 5, Knowledge (the planes) 5, Knowledge (religion) 6, Spellcraft 6, Intimidate 3 CC, Diplomacy 6, Sense Motive 6, Concentration 2, Perform (Oratory) 6|Spell Focus (Conjuration)|Inspire competence

    4th|Savage Bard|
    +3
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Bluff 6, Knowledge (arcana) 5, Knowledge (the planes) 5, Knowledge (religion) 7, Spellcraft 7, Intimidate 3-1/2 CC, Diplomacy 7, Sense Motive 7, Concentration 5, Perform (Oratory) 7||

    5th|Savage Bard|
    +3
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Bluff 8, Knowledge (arcana) 5, Knowledge (the planes) 5, Knowledge (religion) 8, Spellcraft 8, Intimidate 4 CC, Diplomacy 7, Sense Motive 8, Concentration 8, Perform (Oratory) 8|||

    6th|Ur-Priest|
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +7
    |Bluff 9, Knowledge (arcana) 5, Knowledge (the planes) 5, Knowledge (religion) 8, Spellcraft 9, Intimidate 4 1/2 CC, Diplomacy 7, Sense Motive 8, Concentration 9, Perform (Oratory) 9|Divine Metamagic|

    7th|Ur-Priest|
    +5
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +8
    |Bluff 10, Knowledge (arcana) 5, Knowledge (the planes) 5, Knowledge (religion) 8, Spellcraft 10, Intimidate 5 CC, Diplomacy 7, Sense Motive 8, Concentration 10, Perform (Oratory) 10||Rebuke Undead

    8th|Ur-Priest|
    +6/+1
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +8
    |Bluff 11, Knowledge (arcana) 5, Knowledge (the planes) 5, Knowledge (religion) 8, Spellcraft 11, Intimidate 5 1/2 CC, Diplomacy 7, Sense Motive 8, Concentration 11, Perform (Oratory) 11||

    9th|Ur-Priest|
    +6/+1
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +9
    |Bluff 12, Knowledge (arcana) 5, Knowledge (the planes) 5, Knowledge (religion) 8, Spellcraft 12, Intimidate 6 CC, Diplomacy 7, Sense Motive 8, Concentration 12, Perform (Oratory) 12|Dragonthrall|Divine Spell Resistance 15

    10th|Thaumaturgist|
    +6/+1
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +11
    |Bluff 12, Knowledge (arcana) 5, Knowledge (the planes) 5, Knowledge (religion) 8, Spellcraft 12, Intimidate 6 CC, Diplomacy 12, Sense Motive 8, Concentration 12, Perform (Oratory) 12||Improved Ally

    11th|Talon of Tiamat|
    +6/+1
    |
    +7
    |
    +2
    |
    +11
    |Bluff 12, Knowledge (arcana) 5, Knowledge (the planes) 5, Knowledge (religion) 8, Spellcraft 12, Intimidate 10, Diplomacy 12, Sense Motive 8, Concentration 12, Perform (Oratory) 13||Breath Weapon (Cone of Cold)

    12th|Talon of Tiamat|
    +7/+1
    |
    +8
    |
    +2
    |
    +11
    |Bluff 12, Knowledge (arcana) 5, Knowledge (the planes) 5, Knowledge (religion) 8, Spellcraft 12, Intimidate 14, Diplomacy 12, Sense Motive 8, Concentration 12, Perform (Oratory) 14|Imperious Command|Voice of the Dragon +2

    13th|Talon of Tiamat|
    +8/+2
    |
    +8
    |
    +3
    |
    +12
    |Bluff 12, Knowledge (arcana) 5, Knowledge (the planes) 5, Knowledge (religion) 8, Spellcraft 12, Intimidate 16, Diplomacy 12, Sense Motive 8, Concentration 12, Perform (Oratory) 16||Breath Weapon (Line of Acid)

    14th|Talon of Tiamat|
    +9/+3
    |
    +9
    |
    +3
    |
    +12
    |Bluff 15, Knowledge (arcana) 5, Knowledge (the planes) 5, Knowledge (religion) 8, Spellcraft 12, Intimidate 17, Diplomacy 12, Sense Motive 8, Concentration 12, Perform (Oratory) 17||Keen Senses

    15th|Talon of Tiamat|
    +9/+3
    |
    +9
    |
    +3
    |
    +12
    |Bluff 18, Knowledge (arcana) 5, Knowledge (the planes) 5, Knowledge (religion) 8, Spellcraft 12, Intimidate 18, Diplomacy 12, Sense Motive 8, Concentration 12, Perform (Oratory) 18|Fell Animate|Breath Weapon (Cone of Corrosive Gas (Acid))

    16th|Talon of Tiamat|
    +10/+4
    |
    +10
    |
    +4
    |
    +13
    |Bluff 19, Knowledge (arcana) 5, Knowledge (the planes) 5, Knowledge (religion) 8, Spellcraft 12, Intimidate 19, Diplomacy 12, Sense Motive 8, Concentration 14, Perform (Oratory) 19||Immunities, Voice of the Dragon +4

    17th|Talon of Tiamat|
    +11/+5
    |
    +10
    |
    +4
    |
    +13
    |Bluff 20, Knowledge (arcana) 5, Knowledge (the planes) 5, Knowledge (religion) 8, Spellcraft 12, Intimidate 20, Diplomacy 12, Sense Motive 8, Concentration 16, Perform (Oratory) 20||Breath Weapon (Line of Lightning)

    18th|Talon of Tiamat|
    +12/+6/+1
    |
    +11
    |
    +4
    |
    +13
    |Bluff 21, Knowledge (arcana) 5, Knowledge (the planes) 5, Knowledge (religion) 8, Spellcraft 12, Intimidate 21, Diplomacy 12, Sense Motive 8, Concentration 18, Perform (Oratory) 21|Extra Music|Keen Senses, Frightful Presence

    19th|Talon of Tiamat|
    +13/+7/+2
    |
    +11
    |
    +5
    |
    +14
    |Bluff 22, Knowledge (arcana) 5, Knowledge (the planes) 5, Knowledge (religion) 8, Spellcraft 12, Intimidate 22, Diplomacy 12, Sense Motive 8, Concentration 20, Perform (Oratory) 22||Breath Weapon (Cone of Fire)

    20th|Talon of Tiamat|
    +14/+8/+3
    |
    +12
    |
    +4
    |
    +
    14|Bluff 23, Knowledge (arcana) 5, Knowledge (the planes) 5, Knowledge (religion) 8, Spellcraft 12, Intimidate 23, Diplomacy 12, Sense Motive 8, Concentration 22, Perform (Oratory) 23||Dominate Dragon, Voice of the Dragon +6[/table]

    Spellcasting (For ease of writing, the following tables only note changes to Spells per day/Known):

    Bard:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Spells per day
    {table=head]Level|0lvl|1st|2nd|

    1st|2|-|-

    2nd|3|0|-

    3rd|3|1|-

    4th|3|2|0

    5th|3|3|1

    Bonus|0|2|1[/table]

    Spells Known
    {table=head]Level|0lvl|1st|2nd|

    1st|4|-|-

    2nd|5|2|-

    3rd|6|3|-

    4th|6|3|2

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


    Bard Spells chosen:

    [spoiler]
    0 level: Songbird (Spell Comp), any X5

    1st level: Improvisation (Spell Comp), Focusing Chant (Spell Comp), Inhibit (Spell Comp), Any

    2nd level: Tounges, Know Vulnerabilities (Spell Comp), Wave of Grief (Spell Comp)

    Ur-Priest:

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

    6th|4|2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    7th|5|3|0|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    8th|5|3|1|0|-|-|-|-|-|-

    9th|6|3|2|1|0|-|-|-|-|-

    10th|6|3|3|2|1|0|-|-|-|-

    12th|6|3|3|3|2|1|0|-|-|-

    14th|6|4|3|3|3|2|1|0|-|-

    16th|6|4|4|3|3|3|2|1|0|-

    18th|6|5|4|4|4|4|3|2|1|0

    20th|6|5|5|4|4|4|4|3|2|1[/table]


    Important skills, final boost at level 20, Inc Bard spell bonuses (and Wail of Grief penalty on foe), assuming +6 Item of Wis/Cha (+/- 1/2):

    Bluff: +42
    Intimidate: +42
    Diplomacy: +23 (Does not Include Wail of Grief)
    Perform (Oratory): +36
    Concentration: +23 (Does not Include Wail of Grief)


    Breakdown:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Level 1: At the start of his carear, Calusis is a savage, physicaly average, but his mind is as sharp as a tack. Near superhuman levels of charisma and wisdom and an above average inteligence are what he uses to get by.

    Level 5: He's still a Bard, and a pretty good one at that.

    Level 10: By this level, he's finaly decided to give the gods the two finger salute, stealing their spells. His thurmaturge level allows him to get some extra boost out of Planar Ally spells. And now Tiamat has taken note...

    Level 15: Although his spellcasting abilities have been somewhat neglected, it remains extremely strong. His physical prowess has been greatly improved, and Tiamat has blessed him with breath attacks, although he doesn't tend to use them much.

    Level 20 (Sweet spot): He is an acomplished spell caster now, having learned the final secrets of magic, he is the equal to any spellcaster. But that is not all, Tiamat has blessed her favoured son with the power to dominate her kindred. And it is then that Calsus

    remembered his fondess for summoning...



    Tricks:
    Spoiler
    Show
    (Note: This following text assumes that Calusis has purchased a +6 item of charisma and wisdom. Stacking them onto one item, optional)

    His biggest trick culminates at level 20, the thing that we have been preparing for since Level 1. Taking Planar Dragons and Binding them to our will.

    As a Supernatural Ablity, Dominate Dragons has a Caster Level of 20, meaning that each Dragon will stay Dominated for 20 days, then the domination needs to be refreshed. Dominate Dragons has a Will Save DC of 27, add in Bestow Curse and the Dragon has to beat a DC 34 check, just remember to get rid of it once dominated. Most, if not all, dragons you will try to dominate need to roll a 20 in order to not be dominated. If it fails, or hell, even if it doesn't, we just kill the Dragon with some DMMed Fell Animate Implosion (Since it functions as Animate Dead, it creates a lovely, lovely Zombie Dragon), in the area of a Dessicrate spell, natch, and try again in (1 + Number of Dragons dominated) days. We keep dominating until we have 20 dragons. Fell Animate will give us a few more, but they're going to be pulling Guard Duty, more than anything else.

    Or, we hit it with a Geas to fail all saves caused by you. Which, as an open ended task, lasts for about 12-13 days. We only need it for one (But refreshing it does have uses). Obviously, it won't affect Chaos Dragons, so use the Bestow Curse method, above.

    Since we have the ability, we are going to use Greater Planar Binding (Alongside all required Magic Circles) to bind ourselves some Junvenile Planar Dragons. Why Juvenile? Because that's the strongest dragon that doesn't have Spell Resistance. Generaly

    speaking.

    In order to escape your Trap, the Dragons need to beat a DC 34 Charisma Check. Here are a list of all Dragons from the Dracomonicon that are reccomended for capture:

    Etheral Dragons, requires Dimensional Anchor.
    Chaos Dragon, since Dominate Dragons is an Su ability, it lacks any tags.
    Oceanus Dragon
    Radiant Dragon

    Idealy, you would have 5 Dragons of each type, under your direct control. Meaning that you will be refreshing the domination of one dragon a day.

    Now, Dominate Monster explicitly states that they will not do anything obviously self destructive, meaning we have a problem. But, we have a way around that. Send more than one. Now, if you send a long one dragon of each type, so you have 5 groups of

    four dragons, each group is roughly a CR 32 encounter, capable of handling pretty much anything that crosses their path. Things suicidal for one become far less so for four.

    So, what do we do now? Well before we send them into battle, and I mean, minuites before, we have a few preperations to make. Once they are under your Thrall, you hit then all with a Geas, or refresh an earlier one, to, again, fail all saves caused by you. Fortunately, we don't need to do this on Chaos Dragons. But the others? They all get hit with Morality Undone, turning them all EVIL, and we then Greater Teleport your small group to wherever you need them, and then give them some orders.

    Because most of them are now evil, and Chaos Dragons are CN, you can order them to kill, maim and destroy. And all but the Chaos Dragons will do so for about 2 hours (Curse FC's 10 minuite per level update!). We then use rope trick or something to keep ourselves safe. Two hours later, GT home.

    Now, that's his main trick, but certainly not his only one.

    Thanks to his Thurmaturge level, he has another trick up his sleeve:

    Since he has a +23 bonus to Diplomacy checks, he can petition Tiamat to send aid, and such aid will usualy cost half price. This allows him to bring in the big guns, in the form of an extremely strong dragon, or even an Aspect of Tiamat itself.

    Thanks to Voice of The Dragon, his Bluff and Intimidate are boosted, giving him an edge when cajoling and coerecing bound dragons.

    Frightful Prescence though, is extremely useful to us. Albeit, not on the Dragons.

    First off, we hit them with Intimidate, combined with Imperious Command. Then they get blasted by Frightful Prescence, causing them to Cower for 2d6 rounds. Add in Inspire Awe and it lasts for as long as you damn well please (And thanks to Extra Music filling

    all spare slots, we can inspire a lot of Awe.) (Page 53 of the Rules Comp (Paraphrased): Worst stage of fear from one source lasts the duration of fear from a different one.)

    His breath weapons are, nice but their limit is restricting. All in all, they're best as a backup, since he does have 9th level spells rather than as a main source of damage.

    He's also got 9th level cleric spells and all the fun that brings to the table. Seriously, if you don't know what to do with 9ths, then I can't help you.


    Why Talon of Tiamat?:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Now, you're probably wondering why ToT is here, instead of sticking with Ur-Priest.

    While staying as a Ur-Priest would have given me my spells sooner, I would have missed out on that lovely, lovely Dominate Dragons. As a Supernatural ability, it has a few bonuses. For one it's not subject to Spell Resistance, so we can use it on terrestrial

    dragons without a problem. As a Ur-Priest, we wouldn't have that option.

    Additionally it can't be interrupted, meaning the only thing stopping that Dragon from becoming Dominated is a Will Save.

    There's also that lovely, lovely Voice of the Dragon ability, granting me a +6 bonus to my Intimidate score, which is a really nice boost. Made even better thanks to Imperious Command.



    Notes:
    Spoiler
    Show
    This build previously contained 4 levels of Thurmaturge and 1 level of Archivist. So anything that appears on levels 5 and 7-9 that does not appear on Bard/Ur-Priest, but does appear on Archivist/Thurmaturge, is a typo and is to be ignored.


    Build Stub: Savage Bard 5/Ur-Priest 4/Thurmaturgist 1/Talon of Tiamat 10

    Sources:
    Savage Bard: Unearthed Arcana
    Ur-Priest: Complete Divine
    Thurmaturge: Dungeon Master's Guide
    Morality Undone: Fiendish Codex I
    Some Bard spells: Spell Compendium
    Last edited by Kuulvheysoon; 2013-05-27 at 11:16 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.

  14. - Top - End - #344
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLV

    I had a clever citation, but they were only coming out as 50 Shades of Grey puns.

    Quote Originally Posted by Firenequis
    Firnesquis, the dragon devourer.

    Story
    Spoiler
    Show
    Firnesquis was most like many raptoran’s at first. He lived amongst his people and had quite an eye for travel. Eventually the crowded forests of his people could no longer satisfy him, so he left to seek greater adventures and excitement.

    It started as a simple love of fighting, killing, and exploring his boundaries. Though his allies weren’t exactly straight arrows, he out of all of them loved the thrill of combat, the danger, the excitement of being near death. So he fought, and traveled, and learned more as he went. When they found that tome written in a long-lost language, he just saw it as one more challenge, one more trick. So he followed the path of the Suel Empire’s great magic warriors.

    But eventually even his spirit could become daunted. The large gold dragon had come from nowhere, he and his allies had stood no chance against the behemoth. It left, leaving carcasses everywhere, Firnesquis barely able to move, only surviving by chance. It wasn’t until later that he found the reason for the dragon’s attack; judgement. Bias. The thing had seen them and sensed the darkness in Firnesquis, and so attacked on a whim, and thus created the greatest foe of dragonkind.

    The scaled fiend who had saved him watched with sly grins as Firnesquis’s rage grew, until the wild raptoran had to follow along his path in service of the dark dragon god. He never did find out the name of the person who saved him, or what he even was, but it mattered no longer. Firnesquis had a path.

    And so for years he traveled as a wandering sword, seeking only to bring death to the self-righteous metallic dragons and all who served them. For years he grew mightier, more bloodthirsty, slaying all in his path who even respected his quarry…he would take this power of theirs, and use it to tear them all to the ground.

    Some say he still wanders, still hunts. If you see him, do not cross him. Bow your head, walk away. For that dark bird of prey, he hunts. And you do not want to be his next target.


    Basic Stats
    Spoiler
    Show
    Race: Raptoran
    Class: Duskblade 3/Swashbuckler 3/Suel Arcanamach 4/Talon of Tiamat 10
    Philosophy: Neutral Evil follower of Tiamat
    Starting Abilities: Str 10, Dex 15, Con 14, Int 15, Wis 8, Cha 15
    Ending Abilities: Str 10, Dex 16, Con 14, Int 16, Wis 8, Cha 17


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

    1st|Duskblade 1|
    +1
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    | Concentration 4, Intimidate 2, Arcana 4, Spellcraft 4|Iron Will| arcane attunement, armored mage (light)

    2nd|Duskblade 2|
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    | Concentration 5, Intimidate 2, Arcana 5, Sense Motive 1, Spellcraft 5| Combat Casting (B)|

    3rd|Duckblade 3|
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    | Concentration 6, Intimidate 3, Arcana 5, Sense Motive 1| Knowledge Devotion | Arcane Channeling

    4th|Swashbuckler 1|
    +4
    |
    +5
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    | Bluff 4, Concentration 6, Intimidate 3, Arcana 5, Sense Motive 1, Spellcraft 6, Tumble 2| Weapon Finesse (B)|

    5th|Swashbuckler 2|
    +5
    |
    +6
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    | Concentration 6, Intimidate 4, Arcana 5, Sense Motive 1, Speak Language (Ancient Suloise), Spellcraft 6, Tumble 5| | Arcane Stunt (blur 4/day for 1 round)

    6th|Swashbuckler 3|
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +2
    |
    +4
    | Bluff 5, Concentration 6, Jump 5, Intimidate 4, Arcana 5, Sense Motive 1, Spellcraft 6, Tumble 6| Dragonthrall | Insightful Strike

    7th|Suel Archanamach 1|
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +4
    |
    +6
    | Bluff 6, Concentration 6, Jump 6, Intimidate 4, Arcana 6, Search 2, Sense Motive 1, Spot 2, Spellcraft 6, Tumble 6| | Tenacious Spells, Ignore Spell Failure 5%

    8th|Suel Archanamach 2|
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +5
    |
    +7
    | Bluff 8, Concentration 8, Jump 6, Intimidate 4, Arcana 8, Search 2, Sense Motive 2, Spot 2, Spellcraft 6, Tumble 6| | Dispelling Strike 1/day

    9th|Suel Archanamach 3|
    +8
    |
    +7
    |
    +5
    |
    +7
    | Bluff 10, Concentration 10, Jump 6, Intimidate 5, Arcana 8, Search 2, Sense Motive 2, Spot 2, Spellcraft 8, Tumble 6| Practiced Spellcaster (Suel Arcanamach)| Extended Spellstrength

    10th|Talon of Tiamat 1|
    +8
    |
    +9
    |
    +5
    |
    +7
    | Bluff 12, Concentration 10, Jump 6, Intimidate 6, Arcana 8, Search 2, Sense Motive 2, Spot 2, Spellcraft 8, Tumble 6| Group Fake-Out | Breath Weapon (cone of cold)

    11th| Talon of Tiamat 2|
    +9
    |
    +10
    |
    +5
    |
    +7
    | Bluff 14, Concentration 10, Jump 6, Intimidate 6, Arcana 8, Search 2, Sense Motive 2, Spot 2, Spellcraft 8, Tumble 7| Timely Misdirection | Voice of the Dragon +2, Suel spellcasting +1

    12th| Talon of Tiamat 3|
    +10
    |
    +10
    |
    +6
    |
    +8
    | Bluff 14, Concentration 10, Jump 6, Intimidate 6, Arcana 8, Search 3, Sense Motive 2, Spot 3, Spellcraft 8, Tumble 10| Ability Focus (breath weapon)| Breath Weapon (line of acid)

    13th| Talon of Tiamat 4|
    +11
    |
    +11
    |
    +6
    |
    +8
    | Bluff 16, Concentration 10, Jump 6, Intimidate 6, Arcana 8, Search 2, Sense Motive 2, Spot 4, Spellcraft 8, Tumble 12| | Keen Senses, +1 Suel spellcasting

    14th| Talon of Tiamat 5|
    +11
    |
    +11
    |
    +6
    |
    +8
    | Bluff 16, Concentration 10, Jump 6, Intimidate 6, Arcana 8, Search 4, Sense Motive 2, Spot 5, Spellcraft 8, Tumble 12| Back on Your Feet | Breath Weapon (cone of corrosive gas)

    15th| Talon of Tiamat 6|
    +12
    |
    +12
    |
    +7
    |
    +9
    | Bluff 18, Concentration 10, Jump 6, Intimidate 6, Arcana 8, Search 6, Sense Motive 2, Spot 6, Spellcraft 8, Tumble 12| Clinging Breath | Immunities (sleep, paralysis, cold), Voice of the Dragon +4, +1 Suel spellcasting

    16th| Talon of Tiamat 7|
    +13
    |
    +12
    |
    +7
    |
    +9
    | Bluff 18, Concentration 13, Jump 6, Intimidate 6, Arcana 8, Search 6, Sense Motive 2, Spot 6, Spellcraft 8, Tumble 14| | Breath Weapon (line of lightning)

    17th| Talon of Tiamat 8|
    +14
    |
    +13
    |
    +7
    |
    +9
    | Bluff 19, Concentration 13, Jump 6, Intimidate 6, Arcana 8, Search 8, Sense Motive 2, Spot 8, Spellcraft 8, Tumble 14| | keen senses (darkvision), frightful presence, +1 Suel spellcasting

    18th| Talon of Tiamat 9|
    +14
    |
    +13
    |
    +8
    |
    +10
    | Bluff 21, Concentration 13, Jump 6, Intimidate 6, Arcana 8, Search 9, Sense Motive 2, Spot 9, Spellcraft 8, Tumble 15| Heighten Breath | Breath Weapon (cone of fire)

    19th| Talon of Tiamat 10|
    +15
    |
    +14
    |
    +8
    |
    +10
    | Bluff 22, Concentration 13, Jump 6, Intimidate 6, Arcana 8, Search 11, Sense Motive 2, Spot 11, Spellcraft 8, Tumble 15| | Voice of the Dragon +6, Dominate Dragon, +1 Suel Spellcasting

    20th|Suel Archanamach 4|
    +16
    |
    +14
    |
    +9
    |
    +11
    | Bluff 23, Concentration 13, Jump 6, Intimidate 6, Arcana 8, Search 14, Sense Motive 2, Spot 14, Spellcraft 8, Tumble 15| | Ignore Spell Failure 10% [/table]

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

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

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

    3rd|5|4|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

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

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

    7th|5|4+1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    8th|5|4+1|-+0|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

    10th|5|4+2|-+1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    11th|5|4+2|-+2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    12th|5|4+2|-+2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    13th|5|4+3|-+2|-+1|-|-|-|-|-|-

    14th|5|4+3|-+2|-+1|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

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

    17th|5|4+3|-+3|-+2|-+1|-|-|-|-|-

    18th|5|4+3|-+3|-+2|-+1|-|-|-|-|-

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

    20th|5|4+4|-+4|-+3|-+2|-+1|-|-|-|- [/table]

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

    1st|4|2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

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

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

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

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

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

    8th|4|4+2|-+1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    9th|4|4+2|-+2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    10th|4|4+2|-+2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

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

    13th|4|4+3|-+2|-+2|-|-|-|-|-|-

    14th|4|4+3|-+2|-+2|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Duskblade Spells Known: (0) acid splash, disrupt undead, ray of frost, touch of
    fatigue; (1) chill touch, ray of enfeeblement, Bigsby’s tripping hand, shocking grasp.
    Suel Archanamach Spells Known: (1) shield, fist of stone (CA), karmic aura (CM), true casting (CM); (2) animalistic power (PHBII), alter self, heart of air (CM), whirling blade (CA); (3) dragon breath (Draco), dragon skin (Draco), keen edge; (4) antidragon aura (Draco), greater invisibility; (5) draconic might (Draco), lightning leap (CM).


    *The first number is the duskblade, the second is the Suel. Spells per day does not include bonus spells.


    Breakdown
    Spoiler
    Show
    Level 6
    Spoiler
    Show
    Level 6: I chose to do a level break down here rather than at 5th level because here marks the full foundations of the class, a simple basis on which the rest of the character shall build. With even levels of swashbuckler and duckblade, there are quite a few options as far as combat. Firnesquis can move quickly into combat with a finessable weapon (preferably the rapier for ease) and strike while adding both his strength and intellect to damage, which is a major boon at this level. He can also channel touch spells into these quick strikes a few times a day, either chill touch or shocking grasp at his whim. He also benefits from a quick blur ability 4 times a day currently to make it that much harder for enemies to hit him. The duskblade’s armored mage synergizes well with the swashbuckler’s abilities. To top it off, Firnesquis has a limited flight ability here, to take to the skies for escape or to unleash a ray of frost or ray of enfeeblement of hapless foes below.

    Level 10
    Spoiler
    Show
    Level 10: Here is where Firnesquis’s abilities truly shine. With those levels of Suel Archanamach he can shore up his somewhat lacking combat abilities with freely extended spells like shield and animalistic power. He can even take an alternate humanoid form if need be for combat or infiltration, and this too can be extended. The fact that his spells are hard to dispel and that he has a chance to dispel opponent’s spells with an attack is just a little extra on the side. And of course here is where the secret ingredient starts to make itself known. Although it is only a single usage per day, a lot can be done with a cone of cold blasted from on high. He also tries to benefit from a few tricks on his enemy. Keeping that Bluff skill high allows him to throw his foes off guard with feint maneuvers, and Group Fake-Out means that he gets as much out of a feint as he can. To top it all off, he can now fly freely! That means easier escape and flying charges for extra damage!

    Level 15
    Spoiler
    Show
    Now that secret ingredient is really showing! Now Firnesquis can unleash a few dragon breaths per day, both from his ToT levels and from his new dragon breath spell, which he uses from out of his enemies’ reach to batter them a bit before moving in close to finish things off. He doesn’t have great constitution and took the secret ingredient later than usual, so that Ability Focus makes it hit just a little bit better. That plus the Clinging Breath means that his limited breath attacks get just a little more usage out of them, and let him hit more people at a range than if he had simply trained with ranged weapons. The extended cooldown on the breath doesn’t matter much with his uses per day, he wants to make them spread out over a day. This level rounds it all up with even more Suel spellcasting to keep his combat abilities going strong. This plus his great skills with feinting and tumbling to move around the battlefield, his flight to aid that even more, and his improved senses to keep him from being ambushed and always on top of things make his limited armor usage barely even matter in the long run.

    Level 20
    Spoiler
    Show
    Here at the peak level you get all of that SI, as well as all the stacking benefits of the other ingredient classes. He now can use the breath attacks many times a day, which he can boost with Heighten Breath and Ability Focus to make them that much harder to dodge. He has also almost maxed out his Suel spellcasting, which gives him all kinds of combat buffs like dragon skin and draconic might, as well as a strong anti-good dragon spell, antidragon aura. He is a blur in combat, moving in for quick painful strikes while aiding his movement capabilities with spells and skills. He benefits as much as he can from the ToT’s keen senses with many points in Spot and Search. Lastly, with the power to dominate a dragon 1/day, he can use that to turn a small family against each other.


    Use of Secret Ingredient
    Spoiler
    Show
    The Talon of Tiamat was hard to make effective use of. The one ability that defined them was their breath attack, so I focused on how that could be used. A few added feats made the limited uses more effective, and the raptoran’s natural flight gave an effective way to deliver these attacks in relative safety. Keen sense are all sight based, so Firnesquis had to have good sight skills, Spot and Search, which was the only way I could see to benefit from that feature. The immunities were a nice extra bit, nothing wrong with a few free defenses. Voice of the Dragon only focused on boosting two skills, so I had to see how those skills could be used. An Intimidate-based build would take too many more feats than I had available, so I had to work with Bluff skill uses, which suit the swashbuckler quite well. Lastly was the dominate dragon capstone of the class. All that really relies on is the opportunity to be around dragons often and good Charisma to make it stick, so I worked with that.


    Sources
    Spoiler
    Show
    Player’s Handbook, Races of the Wild, Draconomicon, Complete Arcane, Complete Warrior, Player’s Handbook 2, 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.

  15. - Top - End - #345
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLV

    This guys reminds me of what would happen if Starscream threw in his lot with the Autobots (You know, if the Autobots were evil)

    Quote Originally Posted by Zeddicus
    FOOL! You have failed me for the last time Zeddicus,“ the voice boomed throughout the chamber.

    “Lord Venger! Please give me another chance! I can get the children’s weapons for you!” He pleaded, kneeling on the floor with a pair of lizard man guards holding him down. Zeddicus looked up at his master: a being dressed like an archmage with white skin, fangs, and black bat like wings extended to their full length while enraged. Venger is the Force of Evil in the Realm and only two beings have more power than he does. One of them is Tiamat the Queen of Dragons.

    Your hexblade’s curse did nothing against them or their Weapons of Power! You are useless!” Venger bellowed. He then turned his attention to his lizard men guards, “Get him out of my sight!
    The lizard men obeyed and dragged Zeddicus away though he did not go quietly. “Venger! NOOOO!”

    The lizard men were taking him toward the prison cells when Zeddicus was able to escape their clutches and fled to the wilderness outside Venger’s castle. Once he was sure he was safe and alone he exclaimed, “Curse you, Venger! You have made a grave mistake this day! You will regret your actions when I return and force you to call me Master!”

    What Zeddicus did not know was that he was not alone. Five pairs of eyes were fixated upon this being who just declared Venger a nemesis. Five pairs of eyes that already had an enmity with Venger. Five pairs of eyes that have happened upon someone with the same goals. Zeddicus was startled when he noticed five dragon heads appearing from darkness within a cave and he knew it could be none other than Tiamat herself.

    You oppose Venger as do I,” Tiamat sneered. “If you agree to serve me, I will give you the power you need to defeat him. You will become one of my Talons.

    Zeddicus immediately dropped to one knee and declared his allegiance to Tiamat.


    Zeddicus
    LE human male Hexblade 4/Talon of Tiamat 10/Blackguard 6
    32 point buy
    Str 15, Dex 12, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 10, Cha 15
    ability increase at 4th to Cha, rest to Strength

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

    1st|Hexblade 1|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    | Bluff 4, Concentration 2, Diplomacy 2, Intimidate 4, Knowledge (arcana) 4|Cleave, Power Attack|hexblade's curse 1/day
    2nd|Hexblade 2|
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    | Bluff +1, Diplomacy +1, Intimidate +1, Knowledge (arcana) +1| |arcane resistance
    3rd|Hexblade 3|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    | Bluff +1, Diplomacy +1, Intimidate +1, Knowledge (arcana) +1|Dragonthrall|mettle
    4th|Hexblade 4|
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    | Bluff +1, Diplomacy +1, Intimidate +1, Knowledge (arcana) +1| |dark companion
    5th|Talon of Tiamat 1|
    +4
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    | Bluff +1, Intimidate +1, Search +1, Sense Motive +1| |breath weapon (cone of cold)

    6th|Talon of Tiamat 2|
    +5
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    | Hide 2, Knowledge (religion) 1|Martial Study (shadow jaunt)| voice of the dragon +2

    7th|Talon of Tiamat 3|
    +6
    |
    +4
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    | Hide +1, Intimidate +1, Knowledge (religion) +1| |breath weapon (line of acid)

    8th|Talon of Tiamat 4|
    +7
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    | Bluff +1, Hide +1, Intimidate +1, Search +1| |keen senses (low light vision)

    9th|Talon of Tiamat 5|
    +7
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    | Bluff +1, Hide +1, Intimidate +1, Search +1|Improved Sunder|breath weapon (cone of corrosive gas)

    10th|Blackguard 1|
    +8
    |
    +7
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    | Diplomacy +1, Handle Animal 1, Intimidate +1, Ride 1| |aura of evil, detect good, poison use

    11th|Blackguard 2|
    +9
    |
    +8
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    | Diplomacy +1, Handle Animal +1, Intimidate +1, Ride +1| |dark blessing, smite good 1/day

    12th|Blackguard 3|
    +10
    |
    +8
    |
    +3
    |
    +6
    | Diplomacy +1, Handle Animal +1, Intimidate +1, Ride +1| Imperious Command|aura of despair, command undead

    13th|Talon of Tiamat 6|
    +11
    |
    +9
    |
    +4
    |
    +7
    | Bluff +1, Intimidate +1, Search +1, Sense Motive +1| |immunities, voice of the dragon +4

    14th|Talon of Tiamat 7|
    +12
    |
    +9
    |
    +4
    |
    +7
    | Bluff +1, Intimidate +1, Search +1, Sense Motive +1| |breath weapon (line of lightning)

    15th|Talon of Tiamat 8|
    +13
    |
    +10
    |
    +4
    |
    +7
    | Bluff +1, Intimidate +1, Search +1, Sense Motive +1| Clinging Breath|frightful presence, keen senses (darkvision 60 ft)

    16th|Talon of Tiamat 9|
    +13
    |
    +10
    |
    +5
    |
    +8
    | Bluff +1, Intimidate +1, Search +1, Sense Motive +1| |breath weapon (cone of fire)
    17th|Talon of Tiamat 10|
    +14
    |
    +11
    |
    +5
    |
    +8
    | Bluff +1, Intimidate +1, Search +1, Sense Motive +1| |dominate dragon, voice of the dragon +6

    18th|Blackguard 4|
    +15
    |
    +12
    |
    +5
    |
    +8
    | Diplomacy +1, Handle Animal +1, Intimidate +1, Ride +1|Sudden Recovery|sneak attack +1d6

    19th|Blackguard 5|
    +16
    |
    +12
    |
    +5
    |
    +8
    | Diplomacy +1, Handle Animal +1, Intimidate +1, Ride +1| |fiendish servant (dragonnel), smite good 2/day

    20th|Blackguard 6|
    +17
    |
    +13
    |
    +6
    |
    +9
    | Diplomacy +1, Handle Animal +1, Intimidate +1, Ride +1| | [/table]
    These are the base saving throws not adjusted for arcane resistance or dark blessing

    Hexblade spells
    Spoiler
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    Hexblade Spells per day
    {table=head]Level|1st

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

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

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

    4th|0|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

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

    7th|0|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Hexblade spells known:
    1: casuse fear, karmic aura, phantom threat (known at Level 8)


    Blackguard spells
    Spoiler
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    Blackguard Spells per day
    {table=head]Level|1st|2nd|3rd|4th

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    10th|0|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

    12th|1|0|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

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

    15th|1|1|0|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    16th|1|1|0|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

    18th|2|1|1|0|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

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

    typical Blackguard spells prepared per day
    1: blade of pain and fear, corrupt weapon
    2: execration, wave of grief
    3: unholy storm
    4: freedom of movement


    Levels 1-5
    Spoiler
    Show
    Zeddicus is a standard hexblade but thanks to having Bluff, Intimidate, and Knowledge (arcane) all as class skills, he can enter the SI at level 5. Zeddicus decides to forgo the use of a familiar to gain the dark companion class feature at level 4. This is the start of making Zeddicus a debuffer against those who stand against him. The cone of cold breath weapon can be more effective when the dark companion can be in the middle of the cone’s effect. Of course, this strategy with the dark companion and breath weapons will continue throughout Zeddicus’ career.


    Levels 6-10
    Spoiler
    Show
    Zeddicus is now continuing through the SI. His choice of learning the shadow jaunt maneuver is basically a means of a quick escape plan if things get too far out of hand for Zeddicus. It also gives him the Hide skill as a class skill allowing him to more easily enter the Blackguard class. There would be multiple choices for the special requirement of peaceful contact with an evil outsider: Venger (a half fiend sorcerer 13/archmage 5), his servant shadow demon, or even Tiamat herself.


    Levels 11-15
    Spoiler
    Show
    Here is when Zeddicus really starts to become more of a force to be reckoned with. His second level of Blackguard gives him another boost to his saving throws via dark blessing. Once he hits level 12 he gains his third Blackguard level and the feat Imperious Command. Along with his other debuffs he now has an aura of despair that makes his enemies have an additional -2 to saving throws. Imperious Command can make those who oppose him cower in fear. Since he has 14 ranks of Intimidate at this point, along with a (non enhanced) Charisma bonus of +3, and a synergy bonus of +2 through Bluff ranks, Zeddicus has at least a +19 bonus to his demoralize check. These bonuses only increase each level since Intimidate is a class skill for Blackguard and Talon of Tiamat. So a cowering opponent is frozen in fear and can take no actions. A cowering character takes a -2 penalty to Armor Class and loses her Dexterity bonus (if any). It is a devastating condition to say the least. To add to this at level 15, Zeddicus gains the frightful presence class feature and the Clinging Breath feat. As a free action he can activate another aura that will at least make opponents shaken if they do not make their saving throw. He can now breathe his more lethal breath weapons on cowering foes and with no Dexterity bonus these foes are without any ability to evade. Their saving throws are already hit hard through dark companion, aura or despair, and possibly the hexblade’s curse. The next round after being breathed upon they have to take half of that damage again thanks to the Clinging Breath feat.


    Levels 16-20
    Spoiler
    Show
    The rest of Zeddicus’ pre epic career finishes the SI and then ends with Blackguard. Level 16 gives Zeddicus his most powerful breath weapon which can be used against cowering or shaken foes that are near him. His last class ability to dominate a dragon can be used to gain a powerful ally and with his debuffing suite active, chances are decent that the dragon will become a servitor of Zeddicus. His additional blackguard levels give him a sneak attack, another smite good, and a fiendish servant, which the dragonnel becomes available as per the rules for alternate fiendish servants in the Draconomicon. His usual choice for his 4th level blackguard spell would be freedom of movement. Sudden Recovery gives him another use of his escape maneuver.


    Design Notes
    Spoiler
    Show
    Zeddicus is mainly a melee opponent with minor arcane (and divine) support who at later levels has great fear capability. Any kind of two handed weapon would be fine for Zeddicus to use since he has a great base attack bonus, high strength, and no shield proficiency for most of his early career. For equipment Zeddicus would like things that enhance his Strength and Charisma. A wand of enlarge person would help with the demoralization route. Note that Zeddicus needs to have some kind of enchancement to his Wisdom by the time he enters Blackguard to be able to cast spells at all. This should be easily acquired though by that time in standard games. Zeddicus’ hexblade levels would also be more effective if Mearls’ hexblade fix is in play. It would not change his build much however though he could choose to finish his career with hexblade instead of blackguard becoming Hexblade 7/Talon of Tiamat 10/Blackguard 3. Of course YMMV.


    Source List
    Spoiler
    Show
    Animated Series Handbook: most of the fluff
    Complete Champion: execration spell (p 120)
    Complete Mage : karmic aura spell (p 108)
    Complete Warrior: Hexblade class (p 5), phantom threat spell (p 118)
    Draconomicon: Talon of Tiamat prestige class (p 134); Clinging Breath (p 67) and Dragonthrall feats (p 105); dragonnel fiendish servant (p 140)
    Drow of the Underdark: Imperious Command feat (p 50)
    Dungeon Master's Guide: Blackguard prestige class and corrupt weapon spell (SRD)
    Player's Handbook II: Hexblade alternate class feature (p 47)
    Spell Compendium: the spells blade of pain and fear (p 30) unholy storm (p 227), wave of grief (p 236)
    Tome of Battle: Martial Study (p 31) and Sudden Recovery (p 33) feats, shadow jaunt maneuver (p 79)
    Last edited by Kuulvheysoon; 2013-05-27 at 10:12 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.

  16. - Top - End - #346
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLV

    Well, that's a piece of my childhood that I can never recover

    Quote Originally Posted by Spyro
    SPYRO

    Spoiler
    Show

    Spoiler
    Show
    “Hullo, Spyro, come to give me lots of gems today? I know lots and lots of secrets, such as the password to this door!” The obese anthropomorphic bear stood next to an oaken gateway, its stone arch and solid door looking nearly indestructible. The bear’s monocle and top hot glinted in the sun. “You’re in luck! I just saw a pair of dragon egg thieves run through this door! Well… actually they paid me to guard their hideout, but that’s irrelevant.”
    “Out of my way, fatso, I’m coming through!” A small purple-blue blur shot straight past Moneybags, followed by the sound of melting stone as its acid breath dissolved the door. “What an amateur, hey, Sparx?”, the purple-blue blur spoke to an invisible companion.

    * * *

    <Moneybags>“And that was just the latest episode Mr Psychiatrist! That Spyro, he’s a menace. All I ever try to do is help him out, but the greedy little blighter is wanting to keep it all for himself! He keeps expecting me to give it back, I’m just an honest businessman, sure I’ve made mistakes, but in this time of Gnorc invasions and broken portals, I’ve got to make some money.”

    <Mr. Psychiatrist>“I see; and have you thought why that might be?

    <Moneybags>”Well I heard he had found this female “evil” dragoness just like him, but he was that bad he scared her into being good. And while he was quite good for business, he became a bit too possessive. Can you remember when he did that interview; he acted out an entire conversation, pretending it was his best friend “Sparx” the Dragonfly. I’ve heard rumours he made it all up, used MAGIC to play the role. Have you EVER seen a Dragonfly around him? Me neither. I think he must have suffered some trauma when he was stolen from his nest as an egg.”

    <Mr. Psychiatrist>That seems like it might be the case. Well, Moneybags, there’s not much I can do to help you at the moment. Perhaps you should give it one more try at trying to reconcile whatever differences you have with the dragon?

    * * *

    “Hullo, Spyro! Fancy buying a Dragon Egg? I’ve er… come into possession of a Dragon Egg! Fancy making a load of money selling it in… Wait, why are you looking at me like that?

    * * *

    <Mr. Psychiatrist>”Whatever is the matter, Moneybags? You look terrible! Where is your top hat and monocle?

    <Moneybags>”He’s a m… m… monster! He…. Help me!

    +++ 1 hour later +++

    <Mr. Psychiatrist>”And so that’s your cover story. You’re a haiku poet living the spooky swamp; got it? Here’s your Fez, and your new clothes. Good luck Moneybags!

    Just hope we never meet again...” said the purple-blue blur as the humanoid form slipped back into its’ dragon shape. “Isn’t that right, Sparx?” Said Spyro to thin air. And yet, to Spyro, his best friend nodded right back…


    Spyro the Dragon; Wyrmling Steel Dragon Loredrake Spirit Shaman 1/Ur-Priest 1/Talon of Tiamat 10/Contemplative 1/Dispassionate Watcher of Chronepsis 1
    Spoiler
    Show
    {table=head]Level|Class|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Skills|Feats|Class Features

    1st|Wyrmling Steel Dragon HD 1|
    +1
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |Bluff 4, Intimidate 5, K. Arcana 4, K. Religion 4, K. Planes 4, Spellcraft (cc) 4|Iron Will|

    2nd|Wyrmling Steel Dragon HD 2|
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |Bluff 5, Intimidate 5, K. Arcana 5, K. Religion 5, K. Planes 5, Spellcraft (cc) 5||

    3rd|Wyrmling Steel Dragon HD 3|
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |Bluff 6, Intimidate 5, K. Arcana 6, K. History 2, K. Religion 6, K. Planes 5, Spellcraft (cc) 6|Spell Focus (Evil)|

    4th|Wyrmling Steel Dragon HD 4|
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |Bluff 7, Intimidate 5, K. Arcana 7, K. History 4, K. Religion 7, K. Planes 5, Spellcraft (cc) 7||Alternate Form, Immunity to Acid, Poison Resistance, Sorcerer Spellcasting CL 1st, Spell Resistance 16

    5th|Spirit Shaman 1|
    +4
    |
    +6
    |
    +4
    |
    +6
    |Bluff 7, Intimidate 5, K. Arcana (cc) 8, K. History 4, K. Religion (cc) 8, K. Planes 5, Spellcraft 8||Spirit Guide, Wild Empathy,

    6th|Ur-Priest 1|
    +4
    |
    +6
    |
    +4
    |
    +8
    |Bluff 8, Intimidate 5, K. Arcana 9, K. History 4, K. Religion 9, K. Planes 5, Spellcraft 8|Dragonthrall|

    7th|Talon of Tiamat 1|
    +4
    |
    +8
    |
    +4
    |
    +8
    |Bluff 8, Intimidate 5, K. Arcana 10, K. History 4, K. Religion (cc) 10, K. Planes 5, Spellcraft 8||Breath Weapon (Cone of Cold)

    8th|Talon of Tiamat 2|
    +5
    |
    +9
    |
    +4
    |
    +8
    |Bluff 8, Intimidate 5, K. Arcana 11, K. History 4, K. Religion (cc) 11, K. Planes 5, Spellcraft 8||Voice of the Dragon +2

    9th|Talon of Tiamat 3|
    +6/+1
    |
    +9
    |
    +5
    |
    +9
    |Bluff 8, Intimidate 5, K. Arcana 12, K. History 4, K. Religion (cc) 12, K. Planes 5, Spellcraft 8|Dragonfoe|Breath Weapon (Line of Acid)

    10th|Talon of Tiamat 4|
    +7/+2
    |
    +10
    |
    +5
    |
    +9
    |Bluff 8, Intimidate 5, K. Arcana 13, K. History 4, K. Religion (cc) 13, K. Planes 5, Spellcraft 8||Keen Senses

    11th|Contemplative 1|
    +7/+2
    |
    +10
    |
    +5
    |
    +11
    |Bluff 8, Intimidate 5, K. Arcana (cc) 14, K. History 4, K. Religion 14, K. Planes 5, Spellcraft 8||Bonus Domain (Trickery), Divine Health

    12th|Talon of Tiamat 5|
    +7/+2
    |
    +10
    |
    +5
    |
    +11
    |Bluff 8, Intimidate 5, K. Arcana 15, K. History 4, K. Religion (cc) 15, K. Planes 5, Spellcraft 8|Dragon Hunter|Breath Weapon (Cone of Corrosive Gas)

    13th|Talon of Tiamat 6|
    +8/+3
    |
    +11
    |
    +6
    |
    +12
    |Bluff 8, Intimidate 5, K. Arcana 16, K. History 4, K. Religion (cc) 16, K. Planes 5, Spellcraft 8||Immunities, Voice of the Dragon +4

    14th|Talon of Tiamat 7|
    +9/+4
    |
    +11
    |
    +6
    |
    +12
    |Bluff 8, Intimidate 5, K. Arcana 17, K. History 4, K. Religion (cc) 17, K. Planes 5, Spellcraft 8||Breath Weapon (Line of Lightning)

    15th|Talon of Tiamat 8|
    +10/+5
    |
    +12
    |
    +6
    |
    +12
    |Bluff 8, Intimidate 5, K. Arcana 18, K. History 4, K. Religion (cc) 18, K. Planes 5, Spellcraft 8|Practised Spellcaster|Keen Senses

    16th|Talon of Tiamat 9|
    +10/+5
    |
    +12
    |
    +7
    |
    +13
    |Bluff 8, Intimidate 5, K. Arcana 19, K. History 4, K. Religion (cc) 19, K. Planes 5, Spellcraft 8||Breath Weapon (Cone of Fire)

    17th|Talon of Tiamat 10|
    +11/+6/+1
    |
    +12
    |
    +7
    |
    +13
    |Bluff 8, Intimidate 5, K. Arcana 20, K. History 4, K. Religion (cc) 20, K. Planes 5, Spellcraft 8||Dominate Dragon, Voice of the Dragon +6

    18th|Dispassionate Watcher of Chronepsis 1|
    +11/+6/+1
    |
    +14
    |
    +7
    |
    +15
    |Bluff 9, Intimidate 5, K. Arcana 20, K. History 5, K. Religion (cc) 20, K. Planes 5, Spellcraft 8|Dragon Hunter Defense|Divine Conversion, Calming Aura, Draconic Knowledge[/table]

    Spells per day/Spells Known; as of 20th level; Sorcerer/Spirit Shaman/Ur-Priest
    {table=head]Level|0lvl|1st|2nd|3rd|4th|5th|6th|7th|8th|9th

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

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

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

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

    5th|6/3|6/3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    6th|6/4|6/3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    7th|6/4|6/3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    8th|6/4|8/3|4|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    9th|6/4|8/3|4|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    10th|6/4|8/3|5|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    11th|6/5|8/4|5/1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    12th|6/5|8/4|5/1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    13th|6/5|8/4|6/1|4|-|-|-|-|-|-

    14th|6/5|8/4|6/1|4|-|-|-|-|-|-

    15th|6/5|8/4|7/1|5|-|-|-|-|-|-

    16th|6/5|8/4|7/1|5|-|-|-|-|-|-

    17th|6/5|8/4|7/1|6|4|-|-|-|-|-

    18th|6|6|6|5|4|4|4|3|2|1[/table]

    Typical spells, 20th Level
    {table=head]Level|Spells Prepared

    0 | Read Magic x2, Cure Minor Wounds x2
    1 | Ebon Eyes, Conviction, Entropic Shield, Lesser Vigor x2, Comprehend Languages
    2 | Invisibility, Owl's Wisdom, Eagle's Splendour, Divine Insight, Close Wounds
    3 | AntiDragon Aura, Divine Retaliation, Suppress Glyph, Magic Circle Against Good, Mass Lesser Vigor
    4 | Divine Power, Greater Blindsight, Panacea, Revenance
    5 | Righteous Might, True Seeing, Light of Xymor, Righteous Wrath of the Faithful
    6 | Fiery Vision, Heal, Energy Immunity, Mislead
    7 | Greater Consumptive Field, Any two of Blasphemy/Slime Wave/Radiant Assault/Withering Palm
    8 | Polymorph Any Object, Lion's Roar (to aid allies against Dragon's Fear)
    9 | Time Stop (or Greater Visage when I know I'm facing Dragons I want to Dominate)[/table]

    BUILD
    Spoiler
    Show
    Level 1-5
    The build starts out as a standard Wyrmling Loredrake Steel Dragon, maintaining appearances as either one of the members of the party, either as a Pet/Familiar Form (courtesy of it's Polymorph based Alternate Form) when required to. I cast as a 3rd level Sorcerer, nothing glamourous, (Detect Secret Doors as one of the spells to qualify later on, Silent Image to keep it useful.) The Spirit Shaman has their Spirit Guardian take the form of a Dragonfly - despite it not being an actual option, there's no mechanical benefit to its form. The Wild Empathy and my natural Charisma gives me a bit of Diplomacy against threats. My feats are qualifying for later in the build. I have a decent number of low level spells; used as if it was an extremely odd Sorcerer/Spirit Shaman Mystic Theurge. In combat, he uses one of his two Breath Weapons, alongside an Alternate Form with a high Constitution to deal Con damage to targets (which admittedly, is only around 4+ HP at this stage).
    To get through doors, if there's no-one capable of pick-locking or just breaking a lock, my Acid breath can cut through the door, regardless of how hard it is; but it might take some time. I use my Social Skills (alongside Alternate Form) to get where I need to be.

    Level 6-10
    First port of call is Ur-Priest, followed quickly by Talon of Tiamat. Whereas a Talon of Tiamat is meant to further the cause of Evil Dragons, Spyro has quickly realised that there is no light and dark; each dragon is out for themselves. Working for a God, and working for a cause is just not what an evil dragon should be doing. If an evil dragon is not number one, it's not evil enough. Stealing power from the gods is his answer. While this is beginning to look convoluted, with 3 spell progressions, don't worry, it will sort itself out. The large (ish) number of low level spells per day at this point are used to get me all the utility I need. The first few levels of Talon of Tiamat are taken; these advance My Innate Sorcerer Spellcasting, getting me to Sorcerer 5th/Ur-Priest 1. My Breath Weapon becomes more varied however; gaining a stronger Acid Line, and a Cold-Cone. Voice of the Dragon is aiding my ability to Bluff, and Intimidate, while my Keen Senses as a Dragons already exceed them. The Talon's acid line deals average damage equal to an Adult Steel Drake.

    Level 11-15
    The initial fury and euphoria of stealing power from the gods is wearing thin, and Spyro realises he needs to keep himself alive, and being alive is staying hidden. The Trickery Domain is the best way to keep oneself hidden; not to mention this goes well with the Bluff centric, Alternate Form abilities of the Steel Dragon. To pick it up, and still advance my Spellcasting is Contemplative. This obviously goes to Ur-Priest. I then further advance the Talon of Tiamat on Sorcerer. I am currently casting as a Sorcerer 6/Ur-Priest 2. I gain another Immunity; I am already Immune to Acid, but Fire is a common one. While it would normally come down to individual campaign I am participating in, Fire being the most common monster type seems to be a decent choice. Breath Weapons and Social skills improve; his acid cloud Breath Weapon now has the damage of an Ancient Dragon of his type, in the much more easily useable Cone shape.

    Level 16-18
    The Level Adjustment cuts this build a bit short, but it at these levels I get all the goodies. Frightful Presence triggers; based off my Charisma; something unaccessible normally until Young Adult Form. The advance in Spellcasting, gets me Sorcerer 7/Ur-Priest 3, while the Dragon Breath Caps off at Adult Red Dragon capabilities. I then cap the build off with the Dispassionate Watcher of Chronepsis; now he has become more aware of himself and his capabilities, the young Spyro has decided to become an avenging fury of the Dragon's. He is not yet powerful enough to combat the Dragon Gods, and is steadily biding his time, watching from the shadows; while the slight alignment overlap that is only just met (Neutral Evil), he has determined to wait out the passage of time destroying those who encroach on his territory, or just subject them to his dominion (up to 17 dragons of any HD).

    How does he do this with Sorcerer 7/Ur-Priest 3 Casting, though? Because of the DW's ability acting as the Capstone to transfer ALL Racial Sorcerer Spellcasting to Divine. In its least cheesy application, and likely intended format, this gives me Casting as Ur-Priest 10 (with CL14 from Practised Spellcaster). In its RAW form, however, it gives me Ur-Priest 10 Casting; however if your DM is outright bonkers to not veto that, then they are likely to allow LA buy-off. At which point you should gain two further Divine Caster spell-lists, preferably those with unique spells; each one instantly gains a free seven levels of spellcasting. Say I chose, for example, Druid and Divine Bard, it would net me D8/DB8/UP10, with an UP CL of 22.

    If your DM is so bonkers to actually all of that; you can use Polymorph Any Object to take the form of another creature with Sorcerer Casting which is instantly lost and then added to all my Divine Casters once and twice to my Ur-Priest Caster Level (do it enough times for Druid 20/Divine Bard 20/UP10, with CL 20/20/42, and after then it starts getting ridiculous). PAO is obviously completely broken and poorly written, so I'm not going into that; however, but typical CharOp tends to reason that it allows you to exceed HD=CL cap, as well as all the other stuff that comes with "becoming another creature"; such as Racial Spellcasting ability. You can use this to pump your Divine casting classes up arbitary amounts by continually recasting it into another form, losing innate Sorcerer Casting each time, and adding it to Divine. Because it's instantly lost and added to Divine Levels, it's not lost when the PAO'd form is lost.

    If your Caster Level still isn't high enough, Greater Consumptive Field is a thing for Ur-Priests as well (CL42*1.5=61 sound fun?)

    What other abilities does it have outside of this big power tactic? Well, it has a Calming Aura ability; I lose the Frightful Presence in return for a DC20+Cha Calm Emotions aura. If we say that by the stage this is on the table, I have a Charisma mod of ~+10, I'm pushing out a DC30 300ft Calm Emotions aura, which lasts at long as I don't attack. While Calm Emotions is a cleric spell, it's hardly one in which I'm capable of putting out to such levels for such lengths of time (a lot of work would have to go into making a Calm Emotions Caster Level last more than forever). This is better than I also gain a particular Bardic Knowledge, which is buffed by my Intelligence and Age Category. Again, PAO Shenanigans (not relying on it being permanent, however, but it can be, if you need it).

    Party Member; Oh here's a clue, but what does it mean?
    Spyro; Excuse me a second, make way
    PM; ??
    Spyro; *PAO into Great Wyrm Gold Dragon (or larger), rolls a d20+12+11 to determine result of his knowledge check*
    PM: Whoa
    Spyro; We go *that* way.

    Other Shenanigans include using PAO to improve my own personal racial breath weapon damage; (without getting into ever more ridiculous levels of CharOp); even if you don't subscribe to the usage of massively boosting your Caster Levels, it undeniably allows me to improve my racial Poison Gas breath weapon; not only does the massive Constitution increase help, (DC30-32), but as the Poison Gas deals damage based on my Age Category, PAO'ing into a Great Wyrm (or higher!) gets me a Poison Gas Breath Weapon doing a DC30ish Poison for 12 Con Damage followed again a minute later; against another 20th level opponent, that's around 240 HP damage, if not immediate death.

    Dragon Hunter and Dragon Hunter Defence combine to give me Evasion, +2 Dodge to AC, +11 Save Bonus against their SLA's and Su's (Breath Weapon? What Breath Weapon?), and +2 versus their Spells. Dragonfoe is used to make my Dominate hit home at an effective further +2 DC.

    All of that before your 3rd birthday as well. Awesome.


    USE OF THE SI FOR THE BUILD
    *And Vice-versa

    Spoiler
    Show
    Well, firstly, the Wyrmling Dragon, while pretty cool isn't exactly much of a power build; but it is more of a utility build; indeed in those most rare of occasions as a mono-race party, you can take that, and use your Alternate Form to appear as whatever humanoid (or Animal pet) when walking talking poison gas breathing dragons are a none-entity.

    1) Spyro is a small Dragon, much smaller than the rest of the Dragonlanders or Dragonshores. Gnasty Gnorc must have just missed him, that -1 to hit for being small must have been a major help. He's also small; a larger Steel Dragon has a more metal-like appearance; while "at birth, a steel dragon's scales are a deep blue-grey with steel highlights"; near enough purplish. He has a good buddy that follows him everywhere; a glowing Dragonfly, Sparx. No matter the danger, he's always there. Some people don't know this, but he's actually a figment of Spyro's imagination; ever noticed he actually never dies and keeps coming back? He's no familiar, or animal companion. In short, an older, larger Steel Dragon wouldn't look like Spyro, and the Spirit Guide is Sparx.

    2) The problem with being a newborn is that I lack the power coming from a Dragons hit dice; the racial casting, frightful presence and breath weapon DC's. While the builds overall capstone allows me some polymorphing shenanigans (generating additional power gained via PAO'ing into older Dragons for Age Category related abilities), the main part of the build is recreating the usage of older Dragon abilities; I gain a Frightful Presence and the Breath Attack equal to that of an older age category, while as a Bluff Centric social-centric Steel Dragon, who goes around stepping on crystal plynths awakening IceCrystal to Flesh'd Dragons, the bluff benefits are always helpful; intimidate less so; small versus Colossal(+?)? I doubt it.

    3) Despite lacking the extreme caster level of a straight caster, I still have a Caster level of 14 and with 9th level spells, which for a Half-Advancement class and 2 LA is pretty good going. Although I lose access to the Spirit Shaman Spellcasting, I *think* I still have access to a Druid's Spell-list, which gives me one of the big strengths or an Archivist. While I'm not suggesting it's anywhere near the same amount of power of an Archivist 20, it's capable of mirroring some of an Archivist's main shtick.

    4) Ever wondered why every Dragon ever met was friendly to Spyro? Evil little bugger Dominated them. Between Calm Emotions aura, and earlier on, Wild Empathy (and the abilities related to social side of it - provided he can stay away from any monocle wearing anthropomorphic bears) always calm the situation right down. Combine with a Greater Consumptive Field, and suddenly all them Sheep have turned into Caster Levels and Temporary HPButterflies for Sparx. Dominates DC is effectively 27 without item autmentation, possible to get 42 (see below for how), alongside several debuffs to saves (perhaps a -9 to -15 from a Witchlight Reservoir and Lesser Wish).

    5) Talking of Calm Emotions aura; it has the distinct advantage of being useable while Invisible; very useful considering the Trickery Domain spells; Mislead/Invisibility, etc. Calm Emotions is an encounter finisher a save or suck. While all it takes is one person to save against the effect to render it ineffective, it is still capable of achieving a very high DC. None of spells from Trickery are available for Druid OR Cleric, they are typically Arcane only, shows a bit of its heritage and a bit of its heritage, and also that it's a bit more utility; something that's always lovely. It's also more effective against higher HD foes; against Dragons as well, which considering they are one of the largest threats to the build, is always a lovely benefit (while as a Dragon, I myself am immune to theirs). On the earliest entry for a Dispassionate Watcher, an 18HD Steel Dragon has a 150ft DC21 Aura; mine is with a possible 31 Charisma from items, reaching 300ft and DC30 (without items and buffs, it's a 150ft DC25 Aura); possible to get a further +20 from Charm Domain, Righteous Aura, Nixie's Grace, Devil's Ego, Snowsong (friendly Bard to cast some spells, and Incantatrix to Persist some spells for greater buffs, and assuming Substitute Domain works on Ideals), getting me a 600ft Radius, DC40 Calm Emotions. But that's highly unlikely to ever come about, and one creature immune to [Mind Affecting] intent on anger is enough to ruin the whole thing. Oddly, though, provided I don't attack, anything so affected for the rest of its life is incapable of being subject to extremes of emotions (until they see violence, anyway).

    6) About the only thing this ingredient doesn't use is the Keen senses; minor buffs that are of no relevance (you should have them in some form at least); and the fact that I get them from emulating a Dragon as a Dragon is a bit stupid; I've got the same from my type. Really, against the type of targets I am going up against later in the game, my Bluff (and Intimidate even less so) is unlikely to beat any Sense Motive check to actually get the unlikely lies out. Early on, however, my decent Bluff and Charisma and Synergy (along with some Competence items) is enough to get small lies past none-extreme guardians. The fact I can shift into the requisite form, or turn invisible (and later Mislead) to hide when I'm doing something I shouldn't be and caught should also help that case)

    7) Dominate Spell is not a spell accessible to Clerics or Druids without going into Domains invested into it; the high Charisma along with the Calming Influence, and potential to use my bluff to convince it that this ability is helpful, and that it should let it's save fail. It's not super optimized, though.

    8) To get a bit more out of the build, then you can afford to tank Constitution in return for increasing Charisma and then become a Dracolich; aside from the idea of a 3ft tall Dracolich dominating dragons and causing immense Calming Aura's is quite humourous, as Undead use Cha as their Con-based abilities modifier, along with it's +2 Cha, increased ability immunity (so Sonic is the only type not protected against), along with the Phylactery (representing a Save point, guarded by some Unseelie Fey something or others?) to give me that survivability.

    9) The only thing I was disappointed in was that I could think of no-way to get Ice to Flesh on my spell list, so I'm forced to use items to recreate it.


    ABILITY SCORES
    Health; 46+3d10+13d8+d6 (63-124-186HP)
    Str 8
    Dex 9
    Con 14+2
    Int 13
    Wis 16, +3 level ups
    Cha 16+2, +2 level ups

    Items
    None of these are needed; the build works straight out of the box, but benefits from what they can add.
    Charisma and Constitution boosters are always helpful for the class abilities. Wisdom helps the DC (heh) of my spells. Strength and Dexterity to offset the minor penalties incurred. (Although Alternate Form and Polymorphing eventually covers this).
    Items to boost Charisma based checks.
    Druidic and Sorcerer wands, scrolls, etc; especially one of Limited Wish for a -7 to enemy Will Saves; that is only if you keep the ability to use items from the spell-lists.
    Necklaces of Natural Weapons for my Claws and Bite; Ideally, any of the following; Keen, Cursespewing, Dessicating Burst, Enfeebling, Thundering, Weakening, Enervating, anything which might lower enemy Will Saves (or helping me out when I make that typical Crit requisite).
    Witchlight Reservoir Crystal (multiple if they stack); reduce will saves before Dominating the opponent.
    Shrink Collar; use if tinkering with PAO shenanigans.

    Notes on Setting
    Spyro is most at home in Eberron; the grey-area's regarding the alignments making the Neutral-Evil Steel Dragon much more likely. It's not exactly setting specific, and while the build works by RAW, it works better in a campaign that's not too hung up on archetypal slavish devotion to the alignments. However, Eberron does have anthropomorphic were-bear shifter things, and all sorts, so I guess Moneybags is catered for.

    This build is also dedicated on all those who have played Spyro the Dragon games and fancied just completely blowing up and Moneybags after he stole everything off you.


    Quote Originally Posted by Moneybags, Aspiring Haiku Poet
    Haiku's are quite hard,
    They do not always make sense,
    Refridgerator
    Sources; Non-core
    Dragons of Faerun; Wyrmling Steel Dragon
    Dragons of Eberron; Loredrake Sovereign Archetype
    Complete Divine; Spirit Shaman, Ur-Priest, Contemplative, Spell Focus (Evil), Practised Spellcaster
    Draconomicon; Talon of Tiamat, Dispassionate Watcher of Chronepsis, Dragonthrall, Dragonfoe, Dragon Hunter, Dragon Hunter Defense
    Spell Compendium; Various Spells
    Last edited by Kuulvheysoon; 2013-05-27 at 11:09 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.

  17. - Top - End - #347
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLV

    A Class entry. Wonder if it'll get censored.

    EDIT - Nope. I wonder if I should self-censor? It's used correctly (and not intended to be offensive)...

    Quote Originally Posted by Krumbalt
    Krumbalt Tauric (Kobold/Riding Dog) 3/Sorc 2/Talon of Tiamat 10/Dread Witch 5

    The Dracohunds or Dragon Dogs are rightly feared. Half Kobold, half Dog, often winged: these creatures are embellished in tales — tales which describe Kobalds, wrongly, as dog headed humans don't do Dracohunds justice for these creatures combine the upper half of a Kobold with the body of a Mastiff. As fitting their, partial at least, draconic heritage; many of these creatures sport wings. They are also renowned for their magical abilities.

    Krumbalt is a Dracohund bitch. She loves to strike fear into her foes. Struck always by her draconic heritage and spurning the scorn of her smaller two legged brethren, making them run away crying feeling scared, she feels drawn to the majestic dragons whom she is sure she resembles. No end of fools have been convinced, by her, of her true dragon status — well she has four legs, wings and can breath fire (don't mention the arms, really) — and if they don't believe her words then she can always beat the truth into them.

    Because she is a true dragon it is clearly in her interest to work for theirs. Her interests are their interests.

    Spoiler
    Show

    RAW (Tauric) is unclear whether you end up with 2 Monstrous Humanoid RHD + 1 class level, or just 3 Monstrous Humanoid RHD. I'm going to go with the latter, though the former would be stronger.
    This makes our composite stat mods Str +4, Dex +4, Con +4
    Our class skills are those of a Dog or a Kobold (FF p90) ?
    Since neither template alters our favoured class, this remains Sorcerer.
    By RAW we keep Scent and the bonus Track feat, though this is arguably not RAI. In any event these are minor features of this character.

    {table=head]Stat||

    Str|14+4|18

    Dex|8+4|12

    Con|14+4|18

    Int|12|12

    Wis|8|8

    Cha|18|18[/table]

    Cha boosts at all levels

    Tauric ( Kobald, Riding Dog ) has the (dragonblood) subtype.
    • RHD 3 (Monsterous Humanoid)
    • Str +4, Dex +4, Con +4
    • Favoured Class Sorcerer
    • Medium Size
    • 40’ Movement
    • Darkvision 60’, Scent
    • +4 Natural Armor bonus to AC
    • Craft (trapmaking) always in-class
    • Natural Weapons — 2 claws (1d4) & 1 bite (1d4) — we are now medium size.
    • Automatic proficiency with Light & Heavy Picks.
    • Weapon Familiarity – Greatpick is considered a Martial Weapon.
    • +2 Racial bonus on Craft(trapmaking), Profession(miner), Search
    • +4 Racial bonus on Tracking by Scent and Jump checks.
    • Light Sensitivity: –1 to Attack rolls, Spot checks, & Search checks in bright light


    Our Dragon Wings give us a further +10 bonus on Jump checks, as well as Gliding


    Level 5
    Spoiler
    Show

    We have excellent mobility and reasonable combat ability.

    Critical Strike[SpC] (swift) is a poor man's Arcane Strike though it only works whilst flanking. Since this is a swift action, as most of our combat spells will be, we don't need Concentration.

    Wielding a Heavy Pick in two hands we are an effective flanking buddy.

    The Scent/Tracking debate is irrelevant because our survival skill is dumped.

    Our Jump is high because of Wings (+10), Dog Racial (+4), Strength (+4): this can also be used to allow us limited flight by leaping upwards and gliding along.


    Level 10
    Spoiler
    Show

    We can fly somewhat better now and take 4 levels of the SI to prepare to enter our 2nd PrC Dread Witch.

    These two PrCs combine to boost our Intimidate skill which we can employ with Imperious Command and the Never Outnumbered skill trick to lock down/debuff foes in combat. We need a couple more levels before this really shines though.

    Cause Fear and Scare are of marginal use but we need them for the Dread Witch entry.

    Unnatural Will gives us Cha to Will saves against fear.


    Level 15
    Spoiler
    Show

    From 12th we can use Fearful empowerment with Breath Flare[SpC] (swift) to grant our breath weapons the ability both to dazzle (1 minute) and also cause fear (shaken 1d4 rounds). This does stack with Imperious Command, but can only be done with fire or lightning breath weapons — which ToT doesn't give us until later. This is why we take Draconic Breath at 12th. The breath weapons this feat gives us are less powerful than the ones from ToT but have higher availability.

    The tactic here would be to use Imperious Command/Never Outnumbered in round one; followed by a Fearful Empowerment Breath Flare breath weapon on the second round.

    We get various combat buffs from spells, the one of note being Voice of the Dragon [SpC] (not to be confused with the class feature of the same name) which adds +10 enhancement bonus to Bluff, Diplomacy and Intimidate — with a reasonable duration. We should expect out Intimidate to be +46 at this point.

    At 15th we take Arcane Strike to increase our combat options.

    Greater Master of Terror allows our fear spells to cut through fear immunities, which would include some of our breath weapons. So much for those great heroes and their dog's breakfast.


    Level 20
    Spoiler
    Show

    At last we have proper breath weapons for our Fearful empowerment combo, and we can also do both twice a day.

    Frightful Presence is another fear type effect this time with a very large area of effect. Using different fear effects is useful since it forces more saves which can stack beyond shaken.

    Horrific Aura is a nice capstone for the class. Now the AoE version is pointless, but the touch attack has no HD threshold and cuts through fear resistance. Since it's (Su) it can also be stacked with Vampiric Touch.

    We have finally found space for Alter Self, which provides plenty of interesting options for a Monsterous humanoid. I won't detail this smorgasboard here.

    Breath Weapon Substitution allows us to dodge energy resistance.

    Draconic might is of debatable use since this doesn't stack with items, but it is a good spell never the less.


    Krumbalt
    Spoiler
    Show

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

    1st|Monstrous Humanoid 1|
    +1
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |Bluff [2+4], Intimidate [2+4], Jump [4+18]|Track(B), Dragon Wings|

    2nd|Monstrous Humanoid 2|
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |Bluff [2+4], Intimidate [2+4], Knowledge(Arcana) [1+1], Jump [5+18]||

    3rd|Monstrous Humanoid 3|
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |Bluff [2+4], Intimidate [2+4], Knowledge(Arcana) [2+1], Jump [6+18]|Dragonthrall|

    4th|Dragonblood Sorcerer 1|
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |Bluff [3+4], Intimidate [3+4], Knowledge(Arcana) [3+3], Jump [6+18]||Arcane Insight, Dragon Heritage (Red)

    5th|Dragonblood Sorcerer 2|
    +4
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +4
    |Bluff [4+4], Intimidate [4+4], Knowledge(Arcana) [4+3], Jump [6+18]||

    6th|Talon of Tiamat 1|
    +4
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    |
    +4
    |Bluff [5+4], Intimidate [6+6], Knowledge(Arcana) [4+3], Jump [6+18]|Improved Dragon Wings|Breath weapon (cone of cold)

    7th|Talon of Tiamat 2|
    +5
    |
    +7
    |
    +3
    |
    +4
    |Bluff [5+6], Intimidate [9+8], Knowledge(Arcana) [4+3], Jump [6+18]||Voice of the dragon +2, Sorcerer 3 casting

    8th|Talon of Tiamat 3|
    +6
    |
    +7
    |
    +4
    |
    +5
    |Bluff [6+7], Intimidate [11+9], Knowledge(Arcana) [4+3], Jump [6+18]||Breath weapon (line of acid)

    9th|Talon of Tiamat 4|
    +7
    |
    +8
    |
    +4
    |
    +5
    |Bluff [6+7], Intimidate [12+9], Knowledge(Arcana) [4+3], Jump [6+18],Never Outnumbered|Imperious Command|Keen senses (Low light vision), Sorcerer 4 casting

    10th|Dread Witch 1|
    +7
    |
    +8
    |
    +4
    |
    +8
    |Bluff [8+7], Intimidate [13+11], Knowledge(Arcana) [4+3], Jump [6+18]||Master of terror, Unnatural Will

    11th|Dread Witch 2|
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    +4
    |
    +9
    |Bluff [10+7], Intimidate [14+13], Knowledge(Arcana) [4+3], Jump [6+18]||Absorb fear, Sorcerer 5 casting

    12th|Dread Witch 3|
    +8
    |
    +9
    |
    +5
    |
    +9
    |Bluff [12+7], Intimidate [15+15], Knowledge(Arcana) [4+3], Jump [6+18]|Dragon Breath|Fearful empowerment 1/day, Sorcerer 6 casting

    13th|Talon of Tiamat 5|
    +8
    |
    +9
    |
    +5
    |
    +9
    |Bluff [14+7], Intimidate [16+15], Knowledge(Arcana) [4+3], Jump [6+18]||Breath weapon (cone of corrosive gas)

    14th|Talon of Tiamat 6|
    +9
    |
    +10
    |
    +6
    |
    +10
    |Bluff [16+9], Intimidate [17+16], Knowledge(Arcana) [4+3], Jump [6+18]||Immunities, voice of the dragon +4, Sorcerer 7 casting

    15th|Dread Witch 4|
    +10
    |
    +10
    |
    +6
    |
    +11
    |Bluff [18+9], Intimidate [18+18], Knowledge(Arcana) [4+3], Jump [6+18]|Arcane Strike|Delay fear, Greater master of terror, Sorcerer 8 casting

    16th|Talon of Tiamat 7|
    +11
    |
    +10
    |
    +6
    |
    +11
    |Bluff [19+10], Intimidate [19+19], Knowledge(Arcana) [5+3], Jump [6+18]||Breath weapon (line of lightning

    17th|Talon of Tiamat 8|
    +12
    |
    +11
    |
    +6
    |
    +11
    |Bluff [20+10], Intimidate [20+19], Knowledge(Arcana) [6+3], Jump [6+18]||Keen senses, frightful presence, Sorcerer 9 casting

    18th|Talon of Tiamat 9|
    +12
    |
    +11
    |
    +7
    |
    +12
    |Bluff [21+10], Intimidate [21+19], Knowledge(Arcana) [7+3], Jump [6+18]|Practiced Spellcaster|Breath weapon (cone of fire)

    19th|Talon of Tiamat 10|
    +13
    |
    +12
    |
    +7
    |
    +12
    |Bluff [22+12], Intimidate [22+21], Knowledge(Arcana) [8+3], Jump [6+18]||Dominate dragon, voice of the dragon +6, Sorcerer 10 casting

    20th|Dread Witch 5|
    +13
    |
    +12
    |
    +7
    |
    +12
    |Bluff [23+12], Intimidate [23+23], Knowledge(Arcana) [9+3], Jump [6+18]||Fearful empowerment 2/day, Horrific aura, Reflective fear, Sorcerer 11 casting
    [/table]


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

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

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

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

    4th|5:4|3:Critical Strike, Mage Armour|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    5th|6:5|4:Critical Strike, Mage Armour|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    6th|6:5|4:Critical Strike, Mage Armour|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    7th|6:5|5:Critical Strike, Mage Armour, Cause Fear|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    8th|6:5|5:Critical Strike, Mage Armour, Cause Fear|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    9th|6:6|8:Critical Strike, Mage Armour, Cause Fear|4:Scare|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    10th|6:6|8:Critical Strike, Mage Armour, Cause Fear|4:Scare|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    11th|6:6|8:Critical Strike, Mage Armour, Cause Fear, Breath Flare|5:Scare, Wraithstrike|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    12th|6:7|8:Critical Strike, Mage Armour, Cause Fear, Breath Flare|6:Scare, Wraithstrike|4:Dragonskin|-|-|-|-|-|-

    13th|6:7|8:Critical Strike, Mage Armour, Cause Fear, Breath Flare|6:Scare, Wraithstrike|4:Dragonskin|-|-|-|-|-|-

    14th|6:7|8:Critical Strike, Mage Armour, Cause Fear, Breath Flare, Expeditious Retreat|7:Scare, Wraithstrike, Scintillating Scales|4:Dragonskin, Arcane Sight|-|-|-|-|-|-

    15th|6:8|8:Critical Strike, Mage Armour, Cause Fear, Breath Flare, Expeditious Retreat|7:Scare, Wraithstrike, Scintillating Scales|6:Dragonskin, Arcane Sight|4:Voice of the Dragon|-|-|-|-|-

    16th|6:8|8:Critical Strike, Mage Armour, Cause Fear, Breath Flare, Expeditious Retreat|8:Scare, Wraithstrike, Scintillating Scales|6:Dragonskin, Arcane Sight|4:Voice of the Dragon|-|-|-|-|-

    17th|6:8|8:Critical Strike, Mage Armour, Cause Fear, Breath Flare, Expeditious Retreat|8:Scare, Wraithstrike, Scintillating Scales, Alter Self|7:Dragonskin, Arcane Sight, Displacement|5:Voice of the Dragon, Fear|-|-|-|-|-

    18th|6:8|8:Critical Strike, Mage Armour, Cause Fear, Breath Flare, Expeditious Retreat|8:Scare, Wraithstrike, Scintillating Scales, Alter Self|7:Dragonskin, Arcane Sight, Displacement|5:Voice of the Dragon, Fear|-|-|-|-|-

    19th|6:9|8:Critical Strike, Mage Armour, Cause Fear, Breath Flare, Expeditious Retreat|8:Scare, Wraithstrike, Scintillating Scales, Alter Self|7:Dragonskin, Arcane Sight, Displacement|6:Voice of the Dragon, Fear|4:Breath Weapon Substitution|-|-|-|-

    20th|6:9|8:Critical Strike, Mage Armour, Cause Fear, Breath Flare, Expeditious Retreat|8:Scare, Wraithstrike, Scintillating Scales, Alter Self, See Invisibility|7:Dragonskin, Arcane Sight, Displacement, Vampiric Touch|7:Voice of the Dragon, Fear, Dim Door|5:Breath Weapon Substitution, Draconic might|-|-|-|-
    [/table]
    Cantrips known omitted for brevity


    References
    Spoiler
    Show
    Feats
    Dragon Wings ( Races of the Dragon, p100)
    Improved Dragon Wings ( Races of the Dragon, p100)
    Track (PH)
    Dragonthrall ( Draconomicon p105) Draconic is the character's mother tongue
    Imperious Command ( Drow of the Underdark p50)
    Dragon Heritage [Red] (CArc) bonus from Dragonblood Sorcerer ACF
    Dragon Breath (CArc)
    Arcane Strike(CArc)
    Practiced Spellcaster(CArc)

    Skilltrick
    Never Outnumbered (CSco p087)

    Templates
    Tauric (MM2 p216)

    PrCs
    Dread Witch (Heroes of Horror p. 98)

    ACFs
    Dragonblood Sorcerer Substitution Levels Races of the Dragon, p107): lose craft and profession, gain UMD
    1st level: Arcane Insight (+2 knowledge: arcana), Dragon Heritage (Red), lose familiar
    +1 on saves against Sleep, Paralysis and Fire spells/abilities. Intimidate is now a class skill.
    Last edited by Kuulvheysoon; 2013-05-27 at 10:19 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.

  18. - Top - End - #348
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLV

    I'm surprised at the distinct lack of Dragonsong Lyrist... (no, I'm not)

    Quote Originally Posted by Leide Magora
    Leide Magora

    Build Breakdown:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Human Bard 7/Talon of Tiamat 3/ Sublime Chord 3/Talon of Tiamat 7

    Alternate Class Features:

    - Bardic Knack (PHBII) (Lose Bardic Knowledge to gain the ability to use 1/2 bard level instead of skill ranks.)
    - Inspire Awe (DM) (Lose Inspire Courage and gains a Bard Song that causes enemies to become shaken within 30'.)
    - Spellbreaker Song (CM) (Lose Countersong to give enemy spellcasters a 20% spell failure for songs with verbal components.)

    Ability Scores:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Initial Point Buy - Str: 8, Dex: 10, Con: 14, Int: 14, Wis: 10, Cha: 18
    Final Scores (Including Magic Items + Level Bonuses) - Str: 8, Dex: 10, Con: 14, Int: 14, Wis: 10, Cha: 34
    Breakdown:
    Charisma: +5 from Level, +5 from Tome of Leadership and Influence, +6 from Cloak of Charisma


    Levels:
    Spoiler
    Show

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

    1st|Bard 1|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |Bluff 4 ranks, Diplomacy 4 ranks, Knowledge (Arcana) 4 ranks, Listen 4 ranks, Perform (Singing) 4 ranks, Profession (Astrologer) 4 ranks, Sense Motive 4 ranks, Spellcraft 4 ranks, Use Magic Device 4 ranks|Able Learner (RoD), Melodic Casting (CM)|Bardic Music, Bardic Knack, Fascinate, Inspire Awe, Spellbreaker Song

    2nd|Bard 2|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |Bluff 5 ranks, Diplomacy 5 ranks, Intimidate 2 ranks, Knowledge (Arcana) 5 ranks, Listen 4 ranks, Perform (Singing) 5 ranks, Profession (Astrologer) 5 ranks, Sense Motive 4 ranks, Spellcraft 5 ranks, Use Magic Device 5 ranks||

    3rd|Bard 3|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |Bluff 6 ranks, Diplomacy 6 ranks, Intimidate 3 ranks, Knowledge (Arcana) 6 ranks, Listen 5 ranks, Perform (Singing) 6 ranks, Profession (Astrologer) 6 ranks, Sense Motive 5 ranks, Spellcraft 6 ranks, Use Magic Device 6 ranks|Jack Of All Trades (CA)|Inspire Competence

    4th|Bard 4|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |Bluff 7 ranks, Diplomacy 7 ranks, Intimidate 3 ranks, Knowledge (Arcana) 7 ranks, Listen 7 ranks, Perform (Singing) 7 ranks, Profession (Astrologer) 6 ranks, Sense Motive 6 ranks, Spellcraft 7 ranks, Use Magic Device 7 ranks||

    5th|Bard 5|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |Bluff 8 ranks, Diplomacy 8 ranks, Intimidate 4 ranks, Knowledge (Arcana) 8 ranks, Listen 8 ranks, Perform (Singing) 8 ranks, Profession (Astrologer) 6 ranks, Sense Motive 7 ranks, Spellcraft 8 ranks, Use Magic Device 8 ranks||

    6th|Bard 6|
    +4
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |Bluff 9 ranks, Diplomacy 9 ranks, Intimidate 4 ranks, Knowledge (Arcana) 9 ranks, Listen 9 ranks, Perform (Singing) 9 ranks, Profession (Astrologer) 6 ranks, Sense Motive 9 ranks, Spellcraft 9 ranks, Use Magic Device 9 ranks|Dragonthrall (DR)|Suggestion

    7th|Bard 7|
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |Bluff 10 ranks, Diplomacy 10 ranks, Intimidate 5 ranks, Knowledge (Arcana) 10 ranks, Listen 10 ranks, Perform (Singing) 10 ranks, Profession (Astrologer) 6 ranks, Sense Motive 10 ranks, Spellcraft 10 ranks, Use Magic Device 10 ranks||

    8th|Talon of Tiamat 1|
    +5
    |
    +4
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |Bluff 10 ranks, Diplomacy 10 ranks, Intimidate 8 ranks, Knowledge (Arcana) 11 ranks, Listen 11 ranks, Perform (Singing) 10 ranks, Profession (Astrologer) 6 ranks, Sense Motive 10 ranks, Spellcraft 10 ranks, Use Magic Device 10 ranks||Breath Weapon (Cone of Cold)

    9th|Talon of Tiamat 2|
    +6
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |Bluff 10 ranks, Diplomacy 10 ranks, Intimidate 11 ranks, Knowledge (Arcana) 12 ranks, Listen 12 ranks, Perform (Singing) 10 ranks, Profession (Astrologer) 6 ranks, Sense Motive 10 ranks, Spellcraft 10 ranks, Use Magic Device 10 ranks|Doomspeak (CoR)|Voice of the dragon +2

    10th|Talon of Tiamat 3|
    +7
    |
    +5
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |Bluff 10 ranks, Diplomacy 10 ranks, Intimidate 13 ranks, Knowledge (Arcana) 13 ranks, Listen 13 ranks, Perform (Singing) 11 ranks, Profession (Astrologer) 6 ranks, Sense Motive 10 ranks, Spellcraft 10 ranks, Use Magic Device 10 ranks||Breath Weapon (Line of Acid)

    11th|Sublime Chord 1|
    +7
    |
    +5
    |
    +6
    |
    +8
    |Bluff 14 ranks, Diplomacy 10 ranks, Intimidate 14 ranks, Knowledge (Arcana) 13 ranks, Listen 13 ranks, Perform (Singing) 12 ranks, Profession (Astrologer) 6 ranks, Sense Motive 10 ranks, Spellcraft 11 ranks, Use Magic Device 10 ranks||

    12th|Sublime Chord 2|
    +8
    |
    +5
    |
    +6
    |
    +9
    |Bluff 15 ranks, Diplomacy 12 ranks, Intimidate 15 ranks, Knowledge (Arcana) 13 ranks, Listen 13 ranks, Perform (Singing) 12 ranks, Profession (Astrologer) 6 ranks, Sense Motive 10 ranks, Spellcraft 12 ranks, Use Magic Device 12 ranks|Haunting Melody (HoH)|Song of Arcane Power,
    13th|Sublime Chord 3|
    +8
    |
    +6
    |
    +7
    |
    +9
    |Bluff 16 ranks, Diplomacy 14 ranks, Intimidate 16 ranks, Knowledge (Arcana) 13 ranks, Listen 13 ranks, Perform (Singing) 12 ranks, Profession (Astrologer) 6 ranks, Sense Motive 10 ranks, Spellcraft 14 ranks, Use Magic Device 13 ranks||

    14th|Talon of Tiamat 4|
    +9
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +9
    |Bluff 17 ranks, Diplomacy 16 ranks, Intimidate 17 ranks, Knowledge (Arcana) 13 ranks, Listen 13 ranks, Perform (Singing) 12 ranks, Profession (Astrologer) 6 ranks, Sense Motive 10 ranks, Spellcraft 15 ranks, Use Magic Device 13 ranks||Keen Senses (LLV)

    15th|Talon of Tiamat 5|
    +9
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +9
    |Bluff 18 ranks, Diplomacy 17 ranks, Intimidate 18 ranks, Knowledge (Arcana) 13 ranks, Listen 13 ranks, Perform (Singing) 12 ranks, Profession (Astrologer) 6 ranks, Sense Motive 10 ranks, Spellcraft 16 ranks, Use Magic Device 14 ranks|Lyric Spell (CA)|Breath weapon (Cone of Corrosive Gas)

    16th|Talon of Tiamat 6|
    +10
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    +10
    |Bluff 19 ranks, Diplomacy 19 ranks, Intimidate 19 ranks, Knowledge (Arcana) 13 ranks, Listen 13 ranks, Perform (Singing) 13 ranks, Profession (Astrologer) 6 ranks, Sense Motive 10 ranks, Spellcraft 16 ranks, Use Magic Device 14 ranks||Immunities (Fire), voice of the dragon +4

    17th|Talon of Tiamat 7|
    +11
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    +10
    |Bluff 20 ranks, Diplomacy 20 ranks, Intimidate 20 ranks, Knowledge (Arcana) 13 ranks, Listen 13 ranks, Perform (Singing) 15 ranks, Profession (Astrologer) 6 ranks, Sense Motive 10 ranks, Spellcraft 16 ranks, Use Magic Device 14 ranks||Breath Weapon (Line of Lightning)

    18th|Talon of Tiamat 8|
    +12
    |
    +9
    |
    +8
    |
    +10
    |Bluff 21 ranks, Diplomacy 21 ranks, Intimidate 21 ranks, Knowledge (Arcana) 13 ranks, Listen 13 ranks, Perform (Singing) 17 ranks, Profession (Astrologer) 6 ranks, Sense Motive 10 ranks, Spellcraft 16 ranks, Use Magic Device 14 ranks|Extra Music (CA)|Keen Senses (Darkvision 60'), Frightful Presence

    19th|Talon of Tiamat 9|
    +12
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    |
    +11
    |Bluff 22 ranks, Diplomacy 22 ranks, Intimidate 22 ranks, Knowledge (Arcana) 13 ranks, Listen 13 ranks, Perform (Singing) 19 ranks, Profession (Astrologer) 6 ranks, Sense Motive 10 ranks, Spellcraft 16 ranks, Use Magic Device 14 ranks||Breath Weapon (Cone of Fire)

    20th|Talon of Tiamat 10|
    +13
    |
    +10
    |
    +9
    |
    +11
    |Bluff 23 ranks, Diplomacy 23 ranks, Intimidate 23 ranks, Knowledge (Arcana) 13 ranks, Listen 13 ranks, Perform (Singing) 19 ranks, Profession (Astrologer) 6 ranks, Sense Motive 10 ranks, Spellcraft 16 ranks, Use Magic Device 14 ranks||Dominate Dragon, Voice Of The Dragon +6[/table]


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

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

    2nd|3|0|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

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

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

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

    7th|3|3|2|0|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

    9th|3|3|2|0|-|-|-|-|-|-

    10th|3|3|2|1|-|-|-|-|-|-

    See Sublime Chord Spells Per Day

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    19th|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

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

    1st|4|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    2nd|5|2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    3rd|6|3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

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

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

    7th|6|4|4|2|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

    9th|6|4|4|2|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

    See Sublime Chord Spells Known

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    19th|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

    Spell List:
    Spoiler
    Show
    0: Dancing Lights, Detect Magic, Ghost Sound, Light, Message, Open/Close, Prestidigitation
    1: Silent Image, Grease, Swift Invisibility, Improvisation
    2: Alter Self, Glitterdust, Suggestion, Miser's Envy (DR)
    3: Dispel Magic, Glibness, Slow


    Sublime Chord Spells:
    Spoiler
    Show


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    See Bard Spells Per Day for Bard Spells.

    11th|-|-|-|-|2|1|-|-|-|-

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

    13th|-|-|-|-|3|2|1|-|-|-

    14th|-|-|-|-|3|3|2|-|-|-

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

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

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

    18th|-|-|-|-|4|3|3|2|-|-

    19th|-|-|-|-|4|3|3|2|-|-

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    See Bard Spells Known for Bard Spells.

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

    12th|-|-|-|-|4|2|-|-|-|-

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

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

    15th|-|-|-|-|4|3|2|-|-|-

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

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

    18th|-|-|-|-|4|4|3|2|-|-

    19th|-|-|-|-|4|4|3|2|-|-

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

    Spell List:
    Spoiler
    Show
    4: Celerity (PHBII), Shadow Conjuration, Spell Theft (CS), Enervation.
    5: Draconic Polymorph (DR), Overland Flight, Cloudkill, Shadow Evocation
    6:
    Otto's Irresistible Dance, Transmute Rock to Mud, Greater Dispel Magic
    7: Reverse Gravity, Limited Wish
    8: Polymorph Any Object

    Sources:
    Spoiler
    Show

    SRD: Anything unmarked or unattributed to another source.
    Complete Mage (CM): Spellbreaker Song, Melodic Casting
    Complete Adventurer (CA): Jack of All Trades, Lyric Spell, Extra Music
    Complete Scoundrel (CS): Spell Theft
    Draconomicon (DR): Dragonthrall, Miser's Envy, Draconic Polymorph
    Dragon Magic (DM): Inspire Awe
    Player's Handbook II (PHBII): Bardic Knack, Celerity
    Magic Item Compendium (MIC)
    Races of Destiny (RoD): Able Learner
    Heroes of Horror (HoH): Haunting Melody
    Champions of Ruin (CoR): Doomspeak

    Story:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Leide grew up surrounded by sounds. Crying, moaning, loud grieving; the sounds of fear and tragedy. Her small village had been subjugated by a powerful red dragon since before her birth. The people around her lived in fear of the dragon's power, cruelty and madness.

    So had Leide, at least at first; though as time passed, she craved the power that caused the strongest men to wilt at the sound of the dragon's roar. She trained herself in the power of music and used it to gain power.

    The dragon didn't know it yet, but she had through her own charm had siphoned away some of the fear that it generated for her own use. She eventually was noticed by the Talons of Tiamat and invited to join their ranks. As a Talon, Leide found fulfillment for only a short period of time. She took to the skills of the Talons fairly quickly, but she longed for so much more than the small power the Talons focused on. So while she continued to accomplish missions she focused on the power of magic.

    While at first she contemplated returning to her studies of bardic music, she found that course to be less appealing for her. Music was a mere stepping stone to something more. So she poured herself into looking for something more, knowing that magic and music were inextricably tied together. She learned how to take that power for her own use, taking what she had learn from both music and dragons as inspiration.

    After forming a respectable basis of arcane power, she wanted to use her arcane power to give her power and the Talons were a vehicle to that end so she returned to them. She rose in their ranks, insidiously being the perfect Talon, manipulative and cruel but never having enough of those qualities to threaten.

    As she reached the peak of her power, she began to find that she could start relationships with dragons where she used their own arrogance against them. She slowly wormed her way into their hearts until they were snared within her web. She studied every kind of dragon and used the talents of the Talons to dominate several dragons who let their guards down at the wrong moment. Finally she had the power she deserved.


    Highlights:
    Spoiler
    Show
    1-5: Leide relies on Inspire Awe as a debuff and her own skills to bluff and diplomatically deal with problems. She has several spells at this point, which she uses at the right time to solve problems without having to put herself in too much danger. She relies on Grease, Silent Image, Suggestion and Alter self as her in combat options. She can also use fascinate to assist in out of combat situations.

    6-10: Leide gets 3rd level Bard spells, opening up one of her staple spells, Glibness. Which she uses as much as possible to get the most out of her already high bluff score. Voices of the Dragon at level 9 makes her Bluff modifier even higher. And she has gained a few breath weapons to mix up combat a little when she needs something that can blast. She also picks up Doomspeak at 9, another staple for her, a fantastic debuff that she uses on powerful opponents to soften them up.

    11-15: At level 11 Leide gains her first level in Sublime Chord, taking advantage of the fast casting progression and Song of Arcane Power. The Song of Arcane Power is used when she needs a buff to her casting, such as when she's buffing herself or needs to dispel someone else's magic. After Sublime Chord she uses the spellcasting progression from Talon of Tiamat to progress her Sublime Chord casting. Haunting Melody is used to add a bit of fear with other Bardic Songs, especially Inspire Awe, since fear effects stack. Her spells should be her main contribution in combat now, though she's not adverse to using her Bardic Music when appropiate.

    16-20: Where the real meat of the build lies. She picks up Voice of the Dragon at +6, has several nifty immunities, as well as yet another way of adding fear with her Frightful Presence. Finally she picks up 8th level spells, and she gets to (ab)use the Powerful Polymorph Any Object. At the capstone she gets Dominate Dragon, which has a 32 Save DC (10 + 10 (Class Levels) + 12 (Charisma) and she can use that to gain powerful dragon servants for a long period.

    Also, if I'm correct about characters under compulsion being convinced to give up saving throws (see Other Notes) then she can use Glibness + a extremely high bluff check vs. dragons (23 from ranks + 12 from Charisma, + 4 from Dragonthrall, + 6 from Voice of The Dragon + 2 from masterwork tool = +47 before Glibness) to convince dragons to accept a powerful buff (hint: actually Dominate Dragon) and to lower their spell resistance and forgo saving throws.


    Equipment:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Note: Leide obviously has much more gp than I am spending here as a 20th level character, however, this is simply a list of the most basic items that she needs.

    Cloak of Charisma +6: +6 Enhancement Bonus to Charisma; Shoulders; 36,000gp
    Tome of Leadership and Influence +5; Other; 137,500 gp
    Third Eye, Conceal (MIC): All day Mind Blank (to fool pesky Divination spells); Face; 120,000 gp
    Ring Of Freedom of Movement; Continous Freedom of Movement; Ring; 40,000 gp
    Ring of Spell Battle (CA); Detect spellcasting within 60' and a 1/day spell redirection or counterspell; 67,600 gp
    Gem of Seeing; True Seeing for 30 minutes; No Slot; 75,000 gp


    Other Notes:
    Spoiler
    Show
    If the suggestion + forgo saving throw + Dominate Dragon trick works, then Leide will use that trick as much as possible. As for the RAW, it seems like it could work. Under Voluntarily Giving Up Saving Throws we are told that a creature may willingly accept a spell. If they are under the suggestion from an epic bluff check then convincing them that it is best for them to accept a fake buff that is actually a dominate spell should work.

    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 - #349
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLV

    Avast, mateys! That be Moby **** on the horizon!

    Quote Originally Posted by The White Whale
    The White Whale
    NE Darfellan Ranger 2/Thug Fighter 2/Talon of Tiamat 1/Zhentarim Thug Fighter 3/Scaled Horror 2/Talon of Tiamat 10/Avenging Executioner 3

    Stats
    Spoiler
    Show
    Before Racial Adjustments
    Str 16
    Dex 12
    Con 14
    Int 10
    Wis 14
    Cha 12
    After Racial Adjustments
    Str 18
    Dex 10
    Con 14
    Int 10
    Wis 14
    Cha 12 (All Increases Here)


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

    1st|Ranger 1|
    +1
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |Hide 4, Knowledge (Arcana) 4, Move Silently 4, Speak Language (Draconic) (Common), Survival 4, Swim 4|Education, Track (Bonus)|Favored Enemy (Humanoid (Human)), Bonus Track, Wild Empathy

    2nd|Ranger 2|
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |Handle Animal 2, Hide 5, Move Silently 5, Survival 5, Swim 5|Two-Weapon Fighting|Combat Style

    3rd|Thug Fighter 1|
    +3
    |
    +5
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |Bluff 2, Intimidate 2|Dragonthrall|

    4th|Thug Fighter 2|
    +4
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |Bluff 4, Intimidate 4|Power Attack|Bonus Feat

    5th|Talon of Tiamat 1|
    +4
    |
    +8
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |Intimidate 6| |Breath Weapon (Cone of Cold)

    6th|Zhentarim Thug Fighter 3|
    +5
    |
    +8
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |Intimidate 8, Never Outnumbered|Improved Bullrush, Skill Focus (Intimidate)|Bonus Skill Focus (Intimidate)

    7th|Scaled Horror 1|
    +5
    |
    +10
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |Survival 7, Swim 7||Improved Grab, Keen Scent

    8th|Scaled Horror 2|
    +6/+1
    |
    +11
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |Survival 10, Swim 8||Freedom of Movement

    9th|Talon of Tiamat 2|
    +7/+2
    |
    +12
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |Intimidate 10|Shock Trooper|Voice of the Dragon +2

    10th|Talon of Tiamat 3|
    +8/+3
    |
    +12
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |Intimidate 12||Breath Weapon (Line of Acid)

    11th|Talon of Tiamat 4|
    +9/+4
    |
    +13
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |Intimidate 14||Keen Senses (Low-light Vision)

    12th|Talon of Tiamat 5|
    +9/+4
    |
    +13
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |Bluff 5, Intimidate 15|Dragontouched|Breath Weapon (Cone of Corrosive Gas)

    13th|Talon of Tiamat 6|
    +10/+5
    |
    +14
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    |Bluff 6, Intimidate 16||Immunities (Fire), Voice of the Dragon +4

    14th|Talon of Tiamat 7|
    +11/+6/+1
    |
    +14
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    |Bluff 7, Intimidate 17||Breath Weapon (Line of Lightning)

    15th|Talon of Tiamat 8|
    +12/+7/+2
    |
    +15
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    |Bluff 8, Intimidate 18|Imperious Command|Keen Senses (Darkvision), Frightful Presence

    16th|Talon of Tiamat 9|
    +12/+7/+2
    |
    +15
    |
    +7
    |
    +4
    |Bluff 9, Intimidate 19||Breath Weapon (Cone of Fire)

    17th|Talon of Tiamat 10|
    +13/+8/+3
    |
    +16
    |
    +7
    |
    +4
    |Bluff 10, Intimidate 20||Dominate Dragon, Voice of the Dragon +6

    18th|Avenging Executioner 1|
    +13/+8/+3
    |
    +16
    |
    +9
    |
    +6
    |Bluff 15, Intimidate 21|Extra Exhalation|Bloody Blade, Sudden Strike +1d6

    19th|Avenging Executioner 2|
    +14/+9/+4
    |
    +16
    |
    +10
    |
    +7
    |Bluff 17, Intimidate 22||Rapid Intimidation

    20th|Avenging Executioner 3|
    +15/+10/+5
    |
    +17
    |
    +10
    |
    +7
    |Bluff 19, Intimidate 23||Sudden Strike +2d6[/table]


    Level 5
    Spoiler
    Show
    Look at you, you’re in the SI already! At level 5, the 2d6 cold breath weapon still isn’t awesome, but it’s better than it would be later. Power Attack is a nice little addition to your damage rolls when you want it. To maximize its usefulness, you’re going to have to do something kind of weird. Use a one-handed weapon in two hands, and then use spiked armor as your offhand weapon. If you do this, you can TWF and Power Attack together. A trident fits nautical themes well, doesn’t invoke underwater penalties, and can be thrown in a pinch. As a Darfellan, you have a bite, so go ahead and throw that on there, too. As a natural weapon, it can also benefit from Power Attack. For armor you will want to keep light armor so two-weapon fighting can work, and so the ACP doesn’t drown you. Mithral Chain Shirt or Breastplate with a keel is your best bet. Racial swim speed means that you don’t need that many ranks in the swim skill itself. Tracking in the water is weird and difficult, but the scent that you get later will help with that. Intimidate will be important, so it will be kept as high as possible. Favored enemy helps to fight humans, and Darfellan racial hatred works against the Sahuagin. Darfellan also gives blindsense in a 20 ft radius while underwater, a useful thing.


    Level 10
    Spoiler
    Show
    There’s a few more levels of Talon of Tiamat under the belt. That third level of fighter progresses your BA to qualify for Scaled Horror and gives free skill focus intimidate. Never Outnumbered is great for intimidation builds, and you’ll definitely use it. Scaled Horror gives several wonderful things. First it gives improved grab, which you can make use of with Darfellan bite. Second, it gives keen scent, which allows detection out to 180 feet in the water and likely allows for tracking by scent. It gives continuous freedom of movement while underwater, meaning you can essentially ignore underwater fighting penalties. Finally, it gives an accelerated version of ranger casting. The spells per day themselves are not too important, as this means you can use wands of the entire ranger list without making any checks. This casting will be advanced by Talon of Tiamat, which is why these levels must come before level 2 of ToT. Shock Trooper allows you to shunt Power Attack penalty onto AC, as well as do a little bit of battlefield control. At this point you’ve already got 2nd level spells. The second breath weapon is jam, and voice of the dragon makes intimidate even stronger. You now have access to a rather nasty little attack routine. When raiding a human ship, bite your enemy and start grappling. Take him with you into the water. Then make like a crocodile. Improved grab means you deal bite damage every round, and you get to add on the damage from spiked armor. Once in the water, you can hold your breath for in excess of eleven minutes before you have to make any checks, so you’ll outlast the human easily. When one is dispatched, resurface and repeat to safely deal with any number of humans on a ship. If any grapple doesn’t go your way, use freedom of movement to escape from it. If your foe escapes your grapple underwater, you can chase him down with your 40ft swim speed and bite to initiate another grapple.


    Level 15
    Spoiler
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    You have 3rd level spells at this point, so make full use of them. Low-light vision and Darkvision help when navigating the murkier waters, and allow for nighttime raids. It’s not crucial, but an item allowing underwater breathing, like the necklace of adaptation, would be a good idea because it allows you to lull the humans into a false sense of calm by staying underwater for extended periods of time. Fire Immunity is useful, as it’s the most common type of energy damage, and it means you can set vessels alight without fear of being hurt yourself. A creature of the sea walking unharmed through flames makes for an imposing figure. Intimidation is really taking off now, as imperious command and frightful presence mean in a single round you can have a guy cowering and frightened. Max ranks, more voice of the dragon, and skill focus mean your enemies chances of saving are going down. Two more breath weapons mean more variety and another energy type, very handy in a pinch when the fight’s not going your way.


    Level 20
    Spoiler
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    4th level spells are online at this point, so make full use of them. The SI is finished and we have some levels in avenging executioner. It gives 2d6 of sudden strike, which is nice, but the real bonus is bloody blade and rapid intimidation. Now combat can begin with attacking a flatfooted opponent if you get the drop on someone or go first, dealing sudden strike damage and triggering bloody blade, causing foes around to be shaken. Follow it with intimidate as a move action against several foes with never outnumbered, moving them up to frightened. Then activate the SI’s fear aura, moving them up to panicked. Varying radii for these abilities mean that not everyone will be in the same stage of fear, but whoever fails all the saves and is close enough, such as the guy you’re attacking, will be panicked. Anybody who is cowering, from being panicked or from imperious command, loses Dex to AC and as such can be targeted with sudden strike, activating bloody blade again. The description for the ability doesn’t mention a successful save granting immunity, so you can keep using it until everyone is affected. You get to throw favored enemy bonus on when using intimidate, so don’t hesitate to do so. Every bonus counts. Extra Exhalation gives you another use of your breath weapon. How that interacts with Talon of Tiamat is undetermined. You certainly get another use of at least one type, in which case line of lightning is your best bet. It’s possible it gives you another use of every type, which would be great. Intimidate is a great tool of yours as your total modifier is +35 (+37 against humans) before you roll. Bluff is another useful skill for you, as it lets you build up your reputation and increase your fearsome persona. Your last breath weapon is actually a good one, as ships are very flammable things. Once the sails and rigging go up they are hard to put out, and it can leave a ship dead in the water. Don’t let the fire on deck stop you, as you’ve got fire immunity from earlier. Dominate dragon is very neat, as once a dragon fails its save, it’s yours forever, since you can command it to fail later saves when you have to renew the effect. Humans are scared enough of dragons. They’ll be terrified of someone who can command them.


    Backstory
    Spoiler
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    The White Whale is one of those peculiar figures of history who was not born great and did not achieve greatness, but rather had greatness thrust upon him. When he was born his grandmother’s eyes went as wide as sand dollars as she beheld him. She explained to his mother that a completely white Darfellan was a very rare thing, and it signaled a being of importance. His mother took no stock in such old superstitions, and raised her son with no real attention to his auspicious skin.
    His life changed on a day like any other, when he and the other hunters had set out to fish. The schools had been smaller lately, so they were having to swim farther and stay out longer to catch enough for everyone to eat. This meant they were in greater danger of encountering the sahuagin. The monsters had already killed most of the Darfellan, but they would never be satisfied. The younger ones during such a hunting foray scouted ahead, using their boundless energy and excitement to spot the roaming schools that were a community’s sustenance. The White Whale was one of those young ones, swimming on the fringes separated from the rest of the group. He was far enough away that when the sahuagin struck, they didn’t see him. When he heard their harsh battle cries and smelled the tang of blood in the water, he panicked and took cover behind a protruding rock on the shallow seabed. It was over quickly. The hunters were armed, but they were no match for the sahuagins’ sadism and ferocity. The monsters didn’t even leave the bodies behind and left as quickly as they came. The White Whale wept for the loss of his clan members, but set out determined to bring something back to those waiting for a successful party.
    After hours of swimming he encountered a modest-sized school. Here he could prove his worth. He dove straight for them, trident outstretched, foolishly not seeing the enclosing net.
    He was hauled above the sea and onto the deck of an enormous ship. He looked around him quickly, trying to find the giant who must wield this net. He was surprised to see a ship full of humans, all of them smaller than him. They stepped back as he stood from the opening net, clearly wary of a being his size. A crewman called for the captain, worry on his face. The captain strode on deck unsteadily, his lack of experience on the open ocean clear. The captain was surprisingly young, younger than most captains, or even most first mates. He was a spoiled rich boy whose father had bought him a ship and rank. His clothing was an assault on the eyes, full of bright colors and expensive fabrics that could not be well laundered on the open seas. Regardless of his inexperience, the captain still clearly believed himself to be deserving of respect. He spoke to the White Whale in Common, believing him to simply be a large, pale human.
    “It is a good thing we rescued you. There isn’t a safe port for miles around here.”
    “I was not aware I needed saving. In fact you interrupted my fishing. I believe I spotted this school first. As such I request first choice on it. You may have the rest, friend.”
    The captain was taken aback. He was not used to being spoken to on such familiar terms. His tone became indignant.
    “Listen here, sir. We have caught these fish, and have worked hard for them. It’s becoming damn hard to find the things, since the bigger trawlers took the bigger ones.”
    “You mean to tell me that your kind has been taking the fish from these seas?”
    “But of course. Aren’t you doing the same?”
    “We take in balance with the ocean. If you gorge yourself on the bounties this year, there will be nothing left the next.”
    The captain paused.
    “Where are you from, sir? What is your name? I cannot say I have met a man with so foolish a philosophy.”
    “I am from the islands to the west. I have no name in your language. Allow me to tell you in mine.”
    What followed was a series of sharp whines and clicks. The captain brought his hands to his ears, wincing. Realization dawned on him.
    “Ah, so you are one of the natives. We can surely make some arrangement for the fish you seek.” His tone was patronizing, like a teacher talking to a stupid child. He issued a command to some of his crewman, and they brought forth a small chest of beads and shining stones.
    “If none of these are to your liking, then perhaps you might like this,” the captain said, pulling a large, sharp tooth on a necklace from his pocket. “It’s a little gift I received from trading with the Sahuagin, a sharktooth necklace. I have many others in the cabin.”
    The White Whale froze. No good being dealt with the sahuagin. They were murderers and thieves, and they dealt in nothing but death. He looked closer at the necklace. His blood ran cold as he realized what it was he beheld.
    “That is no shark tooth. That is a Darfellan tooth. You have dealt with our enemies and stolen from the bodies of our fallen. There can be no peace between us sir. You shall die for your evils.”
    He leapt at the captain in a blind rage, biting at the hand thrown up to shield its owner. It came off in his mouth, the marbled meat a taste sweeter than any fish he had ever eaten. He ran from the ship as the crewmen rushed for him, jumping off the deck and into the water.
    The captain clutched his stump to his chest, screaming down at the water below. “I will kill you, savage! You have made a mortal enemy today!”
    The White Whale swam away from the ship to arm himself for the coming fight. The captain had made an enemy himself. The captain had foolishly strayed too far from waters known to humans. Here be dragons.


    Sources
    Spoiler
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    The White Whale: Herman Melville, J. M. Barrie
    Darfellan: Stormwrack
    Zhentarim Fighter: Champions of Valor
    Scaled Horror: Savage Species
    Avenging Executioner, Never Outnumbered: Complete Scoundrel
    Education: Eberron Campaign Setting
    Dragonthrall: Draconomicon
    Power Attack, Improved Bullrush, Thug Fighter, Ranger, Track, Skill Focus: srd
    Shock Trooper: Complete Warrior
    Dragontouched: Dragon Magic
    Imperious Command: Drow of the Underdark
    Extra Exhalation: Races of the Dragon
    Last edited by Kuulvheysoon; 2013-05-27 at 10:27 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.

  20. - Top - End - #350
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLV

    You know, from what I recall, the Baudelaire siblings weren't this... vicious.

    Quote Originally Posted by Violet Ruskin
    Her Ladyship Violet Ruskin

    abilities
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    LE human hexblade 3/paladin of tyranny 2/marshal1/fatemaker1/talon of tiamat 10/uncanny trickster 3

    str 8
    dex 12
    con 14
    int 16: draconic, abyssal, infernal
    wis 10
    cha 16 (increases here)


    Belle of the ball
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    Violet was growing weary of debutante balls. Once more, she smiled and waved at the young lady blossoming into womanhood before all of her high society friends, enemies, acquaintances, and all that lay in the no man's land between. She had a conversation she must have had a hundred times over with the girl's parents about what their plans were now, and if they had their eye on any particular man to ensnare on her behalf.

    As Violet expected, she received the expected non-answers, buttressed with bricks of propriety and secrecy. However, it was appended with something she didn't quite expect.

    "Well, truthfully, we'll be satisfied if we can keep her away from that dreadful viscount for the night," said Lord Waugh.

    "Oh?" said Violet without moving her eyebrows.

    "That's former viscount, dear," said Lady Waugh.

    "How exactly did that come to pass?" Violet asked. This was beginning to arouse her curiosity.

    "Oh, well, not in any way that can be discussed in mixed company, let's just say." Lord Waugh punctuated this with a well-intentioned elbow to Violet's side.

    "I see." But the truth was, she didn't see. Far too many conversations for her liking ended this way; stymied by her sex. "Where is this so-called former viscount?"

    Lady Waugh covertly pointed him out to Violet with her eyes. He was engaged in a dance with a young lady who looked as though she would rather be doing anything else. He was facing away from her, so she had a poor view of him, but could at least admire the quality of his wig with the opera glasses she'd been clutching in her hand the entire night, glad to at last have found a use for them.

    "Well, then, I suppose I shall have to see for myself, shan't I?" she said, the words thick and cloying between her cheeks.

    Lady Waugh forced a laugh, but looked genuinely uncomfortable.

    "Don't say we didn't warn you, my dear," Lord Waugh said with a wink, and with that, Violet was rid of the proud parents.

    She'd had about enough of high society for the night, and was determined to find what this man had done to distance himself from it. Perhaps there was hope for people like her after all.

    Violet made her way across the dance floor until she was upon the viscount and his quarry. She tapped his shoulder, coming away with a hand sticky with flakes of face powder that had settled there over the course of the evening.

    He turned his head slightly and replied with a mere quirk of his eyebrow which had been plucked nearly into oblivion and then redone with a dark, black pencil.

    "Do you mind if I cut in?" She gave what was supposed to be a sympathetic look to the girl in question, but judging from her reaction, Violet had missed the mark somewhat.

    She left without a word. This elicited a titter from the viscount.

    "A bit unorthodox, that," he said. Violet had forgotten the unseemliness of a woman interposing herself in between a couple dancing. She thought she'd been doing her a favor.

    "Well, it looks like we have something in common then, viscount."

    She took his hand and he her waist.

    "It's former viscount now, I regret to say."

    The music slowed and she allowed herself to press closer to him, close enough to see the pockmarks under his thick, white makeup. The room was oppressively hot, and the odd bead of sweat was making its way from his natural hairline nestled somewhere under his voluminous wig down to his neck, where she could see a slice of his natural skin, almost as pale as the powder showing through.

    "I gather you're here to fish for details on my sordid past."

    Violet allowed herself a small smirk.

    "What ever gave you that impression?"

    "You're the first one to deign to speak to me all evening. I'm sure your curiosity has gotten the better of you. Surely you were told my misdeeds were not to be discussed in polite society."

    Violet scoffed. "Mixed company, but I'm beginning to see a certain pattern in what topics both of these things keep from me."

    The viscount wet his lips, and Violet was close enough to smell some form of exotic spice on his breath.

    "If we were in more forgiving company, all would become clear to you. Allow me to help things along," he said.

    With that, the hand the viscount had on her hip slithered to the small of her back and she found herself looking at the proceedings of the dance upside-down as he dipped her deeply as a Spaniard.

    There was a muffled gasp that surged through the room as the viscount helped her right herself. Violet regained her breath from being tilted so far back and felt a flush being brought to her cheeks quite against her intention.

    As the viscount had doubtless planned, the crowd respectfully averted their gaze from them after their display and the pair were able to make a hasty exit unburdened by their usual symphony of goodbyes.

    They came to a coach that opened for them when the viscount snapped his fingers. A footman helped Violet up the stairs into the belly of the coach, and she repressed a shudder as she brushed his pallid flesh.

    The viscount scrabbled in after her and tapped the outside of the coach with his cane.

    "Where is it we're going?" Violet asked.

    "Somewhere I can lay myself bare for you, my lady."

    The blush in her cheek deepened as she realized they still had not yet been properly introduced. There was something of a thrill in the sense of anonymity she enjoyed at the moment.

    They arrived in relative short order and the viscount disembarked first, helping Violet down and sparing her the touch of his sallow footman.

    A placard hung outside an iron gate that now swung open and freely in the wind. "Fais ce sue tu voudras," it read.

    "Do what thou wilt," the viscount said, anticipating her first question, but not her second.

    "You haven't yet answered me. Where are we?"

    "My home away from home. If you like it, yours as well."

    The two of them trudged up the steps and the viscount banged on the door with a large brass knocker. They were let in by an impeccably dressed young man in a waistcoat.

    "Sir is bringing company today?" he said with a condescension even Violet found unbecoming.

    The viscount laughed again the way he had at the dance. "Indeed sir is." He produced a coin between his fingers with a gesture of his hand and slid it into the man's waistcoat pocket. They left their coats with him and made their way into a large study in front of a fireplace.

    "Are you sure it's all right for me to be here?" Violet asked unsteadily. This place looked like a gentleman's club, and while she couldn't say she'd ever been in one herself, this would match up rather admirably with the accounts she'd heard.

    "You worry too much," he said as he slumped into an overstuffed chair. His wig lagged behind, and Violet was surprised when instead of settling on his head, it remained in perfect stillness in the air above him.

    She made a small noise of shock, and the viscount tilted his head up slightly.

    "Ah. Cholmondeley, you can show yourself now, you're among friends."

    A small, red-skinned devil appeared in the air, clutching onto the viscount's wig, his tiny leather wings beating like a hummingbird's to keep his portly body aloft.

    " 'bout time. Couldn't deal with much more'a that not seen and not heard stuff."

    Violet collapsed into the chair opposite the viscount. While this wasn't the first she'd heard of devil, having had a weekly lecture on them in church, and having heard many an evil deed blamed on their corrupting influence, this was the first time she'd actually seen one.

    "Is this why you lost your title?" she said once she'd regained her composure.

    The viscount shrugged. "Something like that." He made a small gesture with his fingers and Cholmondeley returned with two snifters of brandy, their weight throwing him off balance in the air. The viscount had his hand outstretched awaiting the glass as the devil set it comfortably between his fingers. Violet needed more convincing.

    "Oh, there's no symbolic gesture here, my dear. It's just the sort of news I thought would be best handled over a brandy."

    Violet took the glass in a trembling hand and began to drink.

    "You see, like yourself, I grew weary with the oppressive nature of the society we live in, so I thought it might be rather a better option to seek out like-minded individuals. It would allow me to get away from it all on occasion. After all, there's only so much of the high-society crowd one can take."

    Violet nodded and set her glass down, only to find Cholmondeley spiriting it away.

    "What is it you do here?" she asked.

    The viscount shrugged. "Whatever we like. Away from the prying eyes outside, of course." He gave her a look Violet could only describe as predatory, but for some reason couldn't say was entirely unpleasant.

    Now that she was less overwhelmed, she was able to take in the decor. There were a few expected boar heads and the like pinned on the wall atop mahogany plaques. However, alongside it were curios Violet hadn't seen among her fellows' journeys to the mystic Orient or elsewhere.

    She nodded with her chin and, feeling extravagant, even allowed herself to point to direct the viscount to the object of her curiosity, a five-headed dragon rendered in brass.

    "What is that queer little thing?"

    The viscount broke into a wide grin.

    "I knew from the start you were the right choice, my dear." He stood and walked over to it, admiring the craftsmanship on each of its segmented necks, the metal almost seeming to change color under Violet's gaze.

    "You're aware of the current popularity of blasphemy in certain circles," he said dully. She was, of course, but had never heard it discussed in so blunt a manner devoid of the socially expected shock and horror.

    "But there are only so many black masses one can attend before it begins to feel just as much an obligation as what we're trying to get away from. So we had hoped to perform a new method of worship. One so antediluvian that it's come all the way back 'round to being novel again," he continued. He stroked under the statue's chins and Violet could swear she saw them undulate ever so slightly.

    "We've discovered this primitive deity here, originally from Mesopotamia. The five-headed Tiamat; queen of the dragons or something to that effect. From our best guesses, each of her heads represents some differing form of vice. We've experimented in front of it in every way…"

    He and the statue made eye contact with Violet at once. She felt a shiver of something nothing like fear going through her spine.

    "…but one."

    The viscount threw down a handful of bright purple dust he must have produced while Violet was looking away. In front of the statue, a five-pointed star inlaid with a goat's head that looked more confused than malevolent blossomed into being. It pulsated with a glow that was more calming than terrifying.

    The viscount extended his hand and gestured to the circle before him. "May I have this dance?"

    Violet strode towards him and pulled open his shirt. "You may indeed, sir," she said with a smirk.

    The statue looked on approvingly.

    They lay in a pool of crumpled finery, catching their breath together in between breaths of opium.

    "You weren't really expecting anything to happen, were you?" Violet asked as she gestured at the statue with the viscount's pipe.

    "One can hope. Besides, it's all about new experience," he took it back and blew a smoke ring around one of the dragon's necks, "as is life, I suppose."

    The earth beneath them shook in a way much more literal than the earth-shaking that had just transpired between them.

    The statue moved in a much more overt way, flapping its little bronze wings and landing in between them in the center of the goat's snout. As it did so, the crude outline in chalk or whatever the viscount had scratched on the floor began to change from a confused goat into a fearsome dragon. The floor cracked and groaned along the lines drawn in it, and from each point of the star, a scaled head rose from the earth. A broad, flat body followed it, capped off by four squat, powerful legs. A thick, sinuous tail the size of a python slithered out after it and coiled lazily behind the beast's body.

    "Looks like you've bitten off more than you can chew, little ones," it said in five voices that, though harsh and grating, were decidedly female.

    The viscount crawled away and went for a fire poker. He made no motions back towards the dragon. It must have been simply to make himself feel better than to actually defend himself.

    Violet wanted to take a step back, but found herself paralyzed with awe in front of this beast, no doubt the real Tiamat.

    "I see that my rituals are a game for you. Revering the carnality I've granted to your species is indeed a way to summon me forth. But it appears you do not fully grasp the gravity of the situation."

    Violet shook her head.

    "I understand you've grown dissatisfied with your current title in your mortal society. A ritual has been performed, so you are indeed entitled a boon, if one at a price."

    The viscount cleared his throat, but Tiamat's tail lashed out and pressed its tip against his lips.

    "You're well beyond redemption, you vile degenerate. There's nothing you have left to sell to me." The viscount shrugged.

    "You on the other hand will serve as my emissary as penance," she said to Violet. "It should give you a decidedly different circle than the one you run in now."

    Before she could speak her protests, Tiamat's claw touched her shoulder and drew blood. Violet gasped as the trickle of blood snaked around her neck and shoulders, changing hue as it went until she had a pattern of five colors around her neck and shoulders, a representation of Tiamat's heads bobbing and weaving with her pulse, which was racing.

    Tiamat withdrew her claw and let out five deep chuckles.

    "There now. You enjoy your work, my lady," she said mockingly. "I'll be watching." With that, she sunk into the earth just as suddenly as she came. The ground closed up around her, and the ground was marred only by the goat's uneven stare once more.

    The tattoos on Violet's naked skin, however, remained. The viscount came out of the ball he'd curled himself into in the corner and touched one to make sure it was real.

    There was an insistent knock on the door outside the study.

    "Viscount? Is it safe to come in yet? What the devil are you doing in there?"

    The viscount clapped his hands giddily and bounced towards the door, not bothering to dress himself.

    "You wouldn't believe me if I told you. I'll leave that to our newest member…" the viscount threw open the double doors and Violet saw a gaggle of other club members, men and women alike in varying states of undress. She remembered the viscount still did not yet know her name, so figured this was as good a time as any to begin her new life.

    "The former Lady Violet Ruskin," she made a mock-curtsy, clutching handfuls of invisible fabric in her hands and drawing it to her naked thighs, "talon of Tiamat."


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

    1st|Hexblade 1|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |bluff 4, concentration 4, diplo 4, intimidate 4, know (arcana) 4, tumble 4 |Ordered Chaos, Force of Personality|Hexblade's curse 1/day

    2nd|Hexblade 2|
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |bluff 1 (5), concentration 1 (5), diplo 1 (5), intimidate 1 (5), know (arcana) 1 (5), tumble 1 (5)||Arcane resistance

    3rd|Hexblade 3|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |bluff 1 (6), concentration 1 (6), diplo 1 (6), intimidate 1 (6), sense motive 1, tumble 1 (6)| Dragonthrall|Mettle

    4th|Paladin of Tyranny 1|
    +4
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |know (nobility/royalty) 5, sense motive 1 (2)||Aura of evil, detect good, smite good 1/day

    5th|Paladin of Tyranny 2|
    +5
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |diplo 2 (8), sense motive 2 (4), tumble 2 (8)||Divine grace, deadly touch

    6th|Marshal 1|
    +5
    |
    +6
    |
    +1
    |
    +5
    |bluff 2 (8), diplo 1 (9) intimidate 3 (9), never outnumbered|imperious command|skill focus (diplomacy), minor aura (motivate charisma)

    7th|Fatemaker 1|
    +5
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    |UMD 10||Take-charge appeal

    8th|Talon of Tiamat 1|
    +5
    |
    +8
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    |bluff 2 (10), intimidate 2 (11), social recovery||Breath weapon (cone of cold)

    9th|Talon of Tiamat 2|
    +6/+1
    |
    +9
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    |bluff 1 (11), intimidate 1 (12), timely misdirection, spellcraft 2| snatch trophy|Voice of the dragon +2

    10th|Talon of Tiamat 3|
    +7/+2
    |
    +9
    |
    +4
    |
    +8
    |bluff 1 (12), intimidate 1 (13), spellcraft 4 (6)||Breath weapon (line of acid)

    11th|Talon of Tiamat 4|
    +8/+3
    |
    +10
    |
    +4
    |
    +8
    |bluff 1 (13), intimidate 1 (14), spellcraft 2 (8), false theurgy||Keen senses

    12th|Talon of Tiamat 5|
    +8/+3
    |
    +10
    |
    +4
    |
    +8
    |bluff 2 (15), intimidate 1 (15), tumble 3 (11)| bloodsoaked intimidate|Breath weapon (cone of corrosive gas)

    13th|Talon of Tiamat 6|
    +9/+4
    |
    +11
    |
    +5
    |
    +9
    |bluff 1 (16), intimidate 1 (16), tumble 4 (15)||Immunities, voice of the dragon +4, energy immunity (fire)

    14th|Talon of Tiamat 7|
    +10/+5
    |
    +11
    |
    +5
    |
    +9
    |bluff 1 (17), intimidate 1 (17), sense motive 4 (7) ||Breath weapon (line of lightning)

    15th|Talon of Tiamat 8|
    +11/+6/+1
    |
    +12
    |
    +5
    |
    +9
    |bluff 1 (18), intimidate 1 (18), sense motive 4 (11)|master manipulator|Keen senses, frightful presence

    16th|Talon of Tiamat 9|
    +11/+6/+1
    |
    +12
    |
    +6
    |
    +10
    |bluff 1 (19), intimidate 1 (19), sense motive 4 (15)||Breath weapon (cone of fire)

    17th|Talon of Tiamat 10|
    +12/+7/+2
    |
    +13
    |
    +6
    |
    +10
    |bluff 1 (20), intimidate 1 (20), sense motive 2 (17), timely misdirection||Dominate dragon, voice of the dragon +6

    18th|Uncanny Trickster 1|
    +12/+7/+2
    |
    +13
    |
    +8
    |
    +10
    |bluff 1 (21), disguise 5, intimidate 1 (21), sleight of hand 5|wanderer's diplomacy|Bonus trick (assume quirk), favorite trick (never outnumbered)

    19th|Uncanny Trickster 2|
    +13/+8/+3
    |
    +13
    |
    +9
    |
    +10
    |bluff 1 (22), disguise 5 (10), intimidate 1 (22), sleight of hand 5 (10) ||Bonus trick (second impression), favorite trick (social recovery), (advance talon of tiamat)

    20th|Uncanny Trickster 3|
    +14/+9/+4
    |
    +14
    |
    +9
    |
    +11
    |bluff 1 (23), disguise 5 (10), intimidate 1 (23), sleight of hand 5 (15)||Bonus trick (conceal spellcasting), favorite trick (conceal spellcasting), tricky defense, + 1 spellcasting, (advance talon of tiamat)[/table]


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

    7th|-|0|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

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

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

    11th|-|2|0|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

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

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

    15th|-|3|2|0|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

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

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

    19th|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

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


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

    7th|-|2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

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

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

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

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

    13th|-|4|3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

    15th|-|4|3|2|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

    17th|-|4|4|3|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

    19th|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

    1s: charm person, disguise self, sanctuary, expeditious retreat
    2s: invisibility, spider climb, resist energy, eagle's splendor
    3s: haste, suggestion, protection from energy
    4s: charm monster, stoneskin



    playtips
    Spoiler
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    5
    Spoiler
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    You're something of an odd duck at this level. Ordered chaos serves to allow you to be considered non lawful for fate maker while retaining a lawful alignment to retain paladin's abilities (most importantly divine grace and aura of despair)

    Divine grace and arcane resistance give you 2xcha to your saves vs spells. Divine grace applies to stuff that's not spells as well, and force of personality adds cha another time to mind-affecting effects. your base attack is respectable, but your cha is your real strength. take out your enemies socially with a carefully placed word, your competence in this regard will only improve.


    10
    Spoiler
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    you have your minor aura up, and now receive your charisma bonus an extra time on all charisma-based checks. you're pulling double-duty with staples like bluff and intimidate. never outnumbered is online so you can demoralize large swaths of enemies at a time.

    skills take a detour for your fate maker level (to provide spells for talon of tiamat. better to lose levels from a 10 lvl class than a 20 level one) and you sink all of your points into UMD. why?

    10 ranks + 2 synergy from 5 in arcana + 4 cha (base) + 4 cha (motivate cha) = 20.

    you can use wands for stuff that's not even on your list without a roll from now on. congrats! all it took was one level's skills. your cha is big and mean enough too thanks to fate maker's take-charge appeal (16 + 1 from lvl 4 + 1 from take-charge appeal = 18)

    social recovery and timely misdirection are both up, enabling you to get more mileage out of bluff when something goes awry. make use of imperious command. if possible, turn it on within 10 feet of enemies to aura of despair can debuff their saves against it by a further -2.

    you're in the SI proper now and have two of your breath weapons and voice of the dragon handy. you're slinging intimidates with:

    13 (ranks) + 2 (synergy) + 4 (cha) + 4 (motivate cha) = 23, hard to beat for an equal CR'ed challenge.


    15 (sweet spot)
    Spoiler
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    you've finally got your incredibly sweet fear aura and are rocking a DC 23 save against it. remember to stack it with demoralization via never outnumbered and imperious command to ruin your enemies. your immunities and keen senses are up and you have two more breath weapons, so be aware of them in your repertoire since they allow you to vary your attacks somewhat.


    20
    Spoiler
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    uncanny trickster? in my talon of tiamat? why?

    well, unlike many other classes, there's something that's actually keyed off your class level:

    frightful presence (10 + class lvl + cha) and breath weapons (10 + class lvl + con)

    since this isn't a cha based check, your marshal aura doesn't help beef up the DC. however, uncanny trickster advances talon of tiamat's class features at lvl 2 and 3, allowing you to have your maximum class lvl for the two equations function as 12 instead of 10, getting you better dcs.

    talon of tiamat also progresses spell casting at even levels, so at 12, you gain another level of casting, enabling you to nab 4th level fate maker spells, which are pretty good.

    it gets you a whole ton of skill tricks and lets you use your best ones more often than normal, so that's something good too in addition to its larger amount of skills.


    Sources
    Spoiler
    Show

    cwar- hexblade
    srd- pally of tyranny
    minis handbook- marshal
    planar handbook- fatemaker
    draconomicon- secret ingredient
    champions of ruin- snatch trophy, bloodsoaked intimidate
    drow of the underdark- imperious command
    complete scoundrel- uncanny trickster
    cityscape web enhancement
    phb2- master manipulator, wanderer's diplomacy

    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 - #351
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLV

    Well, this has been a literal flight of dragons, hasn't it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Doraanar Gireen
    Doraanar Gireen
    Loredrake Steel Dragon 6/Talon of Tiamat 10/Warblade 1/Abjurant Champion 3
    The Story
    Spoiler
    Show

    Have you I ever told you the tale, my child, of how the Talons of Tiamat have come to fight so far from the Lords of Dust? They seek but one Rajah to free, but why? What makes them the only ones?

    The tale begins on the shores of distant Argonnessen. It was different, then, my child; but two generations had passed for the dragons since the time of the Rajah, but dozens for us. Back there, many remembered the terror of the Age of Demons, and had fought valiantly against the armies of the Rajah. But, as few remember today, there were those who had opposed the war, who wanted to let Khyber claim the body of Eberron. Neither had spawned them, so why should they care? In the war, they refused to fight, and when the war was won, they were pariah.

    They were the first of the Lords of Dust. They were known, those dragon-traitors, and were shunned. Their wishes to release the Rajah from the depths of Khyber was well known, and they were unable to act by the scrutiny of the dragons around them. And so, they had to resort to drastic measures.

    They had stolen a dragon egg from its mother, and raised it in secret. They changed it; they warped its mind with sorcery, so that it would believe their words as truth. They groomed it, taught it the arts of sorcery, and gave it knowledge of the magics surrounding it. It would be their eyes and ears, their cats-paw in the world. It would be the first of many; it would be their Talon. And so, the Doraanar Gireen, the prophet and assassin, was made.

    He was true to his title; he was among the best of the agents of the world. He operated, across Argonnessen and Khorvaire, doing all he could in the name of the Lords. He tore through monsters guarding the depths of Khyber to allow foolish adventurers through, and manipulated royal families into abandoning policies that would lead to the end of the persecution of demons, hags, and Rakshasa. He would even impersonate other dragons to advance his masters' agenda in the labyrinthine game of Argonnessen politics. And no one ever suspected him. Who would believe a puny Wyrmling to be a threat? To be able to trap his foes in nets of acid, able to tear through even dragonflesh without effort? And who, outside of Argonnessen, would believe that a Dragon was trying to free the Lords of Dust? Such was an impossibility.

    However, even as his skill and deeds grew, he found himself a different calling.

    Locked down, in the deepest pit in Khyber, the Pit of Five Sorrows, laid the lady Tiamat, a God of the dragons reduced to living in chains. As Doraanar plied his trade, and grew closer both to dragons and the Rajah, he grew even closer to her. In his dreams, she would whisper; in his orders, her voice could be subtly heard. She taught him secrets even his masters never knew; ways to trap others in the breaths he breathed, ways to inspire terror in the hearts of others. Eventually, Doraanar had abandoned his task of freeing the Rajah, and moved to only one: Freeing the Daughter of Khyber.

    Slowly but swiftly, plying the trade he learned all his life, he began to take down those who were so adamantly devout in freeing all of the Lords of Dust. The others began to grow suspicious, and so he began to ply their own trades against them. He warded his mind with the demands of his mistress, forcing himself to follow them over the orders of his superiors. And slowly but surely, he began to force others to do the same. In but 10 years from the time the Daughter of Khyber first spoke to him, there were no Lords of Dust among the dragons, or among the dragonborn. There were only the Talons of Tiamat. And no one suspected that that one poor indoctrinated Wyrmling was the driving force behind it all.

    Abilities
    Spoiler
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    Strength 14 + Level increases
    Dexterity 10
    Constitution 18+2 Race
    Intelligence 10
    Wisdom 8
    Charisma 14+2 Race

    Also, a note on skills:
    The list of class skills for Steel Dragons is the same as for other True Dragons (Concentration, Diplomacy, Escape Artist, Intimidate, Knowledge (any), Listen, Search, Sense Motive, Spot, and Use Magic Device) with the addition of Bluff, Craft (any), and Profession (any), as per the Monster Mayhem web enhancement.

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

    1st|Racial HD 1|
    +1
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |Knowledge (Arcana) 4, Intimidate 4, Bluff 4, Listen 4, Spot 4, Concentration 4|Dragonthrall|Dragon Racial Features

    2nd|Racial HD 2|
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |Knowledge (Arcana) 5, Intimidate 5, Bluff 5, Listen 5, Spot 5, Concentration 5||Polymorph, Poison Resistance

    3rd|Racial HD 3|
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |Knowledge (Arcana) 6, Intimidate 6, Bluff 6, Listen 6, Spot 6, Concentration 6|Multiattack|Spell Resistance 16

    4th|Racial HD 4|
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |Knowledge (Arcana) 7, Intimidate 7, Bluff 7, Listen 7, Spot 7, Concentration 7||Breath Weapons

    5th|LA 1|
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |Knowledge (Arcana) 7, Intimidate 7, Bluff 7, Listen 7, Spot 7, Concentration 7||

    6th|LA 2|
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |Knowledge (Arcana) 7, Intimidate 7, Bluff 7, Listen 7, Spot 7, Concentration 7||

    7th|Talon of Tiamat 1|
    +4
    |
    +6
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |Knowledge (Arcana) 7, Intimidate 8, Bluff 8, Listen 7, Spot 7, Concentration 7||Breath Weapon (Cone of Cold)

    8th|Talon of Tiamat 2|
    +5
    |
    +7
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |Knowledge (Arcana) 7, Intimidate 9, Bluff 9, Listen 7, Spot 7, Concentration 7|Quicken Breath|Voice of the Dragon +2

    9th|Talon of Tiamat 3|
    +6/+1
    |
    +7
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |Knowledge (Arcana) 7, Intimidate 10, Bluff 10, Listen 7, Spot 7, Concentration 7||Breath Weapon (Line of Acid)

    10th|Talon of Tiamat 4|
    +7/+2
    |
    +8
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |Knowledge (Arcana) 7, Intimidate 11, Bluff 11, Listen 7, Spot 7, Concentration 7||Keen Senses

    11th|Talon of Tiamat 5|
    +7/+2
    |
    +8
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |Knowledge (Arcana) 7, Intimidate 12, Bluff 12, Listen 7, Spot 7, Concentration 7|Entangling Exhalation|Breath Weapon (Cone of Corrosive Gas)

    12th|Talon of Tiamat 6|
    +8/+3
    |
    +9
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |Knowledge (Arcana) 7, Intimidate 13, Bluff 13, Listen 7, Spot 7, Concentration 7||Immunities, Voice of the Dragon +4

    13th|Talon of Tiamat 7|
    +9/+4
    |
    +9
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |Knowledge (Arcana) 7, Intimidate 14, Bluff 14, Listen 7, Spot 7, Concentration 7||Breath Weapon (Line of Lightning)

    14th|Talon of Tiamat 8|
    +10/+5
    |
    +10
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |Knowledge (Arcana) 7, Intimidate 14, Bluff 14, Listen 7, Spot 7, Concentration 7|Power Attack, Never Outnumbered|Keen Sense, Frightful Presence

    15th|Talon of Tiamat 9|
    +10/+5
    |
    +10
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |Knowledge (Arcana) 7, Intimidate 16, Bluff 14, Listen 7, Spot 7, Concentration 7||Breath Weapon (Cone of Fire)

    16th|Talon of Tiamat 10|
    +11/+6/+1
    |
    +11
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |Knowledge (Arcana) 7, Intimidate 17, Bluff 15, Listen 7, Spot 7, Concentration 7||Dominate Dragon, Voice of the Dragon+6

    17th|Warblade 1|
    +12/+7/+2
    |
    +13
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |Knowledge (Arcana) 7, Intimidate 18, Bluff 15, Listen 7, Spot 7, Concentration 8|Combat Casting|Battle Clarity (Reflex Saves), Weapon Aptitude

    18th|Abjurant Champion 1|
    +13/+8/+3
    |
    +13
    |
    +7
    |
    +9
    |Knowledge (Arcana) 7, Intimidate 19, Bluff 15, Listen 7, Spot 7, Concentration 9||Abjurant Armor, Extended Abjuration

    19th|Abjurant Champion 2|
    +14/+9/+4
    |
    +13
    |
    +7
    |
    +10
    |Knowledge (Arcana) 7, Intimidate 20, Bluff 15, Listen 7, Spot 7, Concentration 10||Swift Abjuration

    20th|Abjurant Champion 3|
    +15/+10/+5
    |
    +14
    |
    +8
    |
    +10
    |Knowledge (Arcana) 7, Intimidate 21, Bluff 15, Listen 7, Spot 7, Concentration 11|Improved Multiattack|[/table]

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

    1st|5/4|3/2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    2nd|6/5|4/2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    3rd|6/5|5/3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

    5th|6/5|5/3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    6th|6/5|5/3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    7th|6/5|5/3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    8th|6/6|6/3|3/1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    9th|6/6|6/3|3/1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    10th|6/6|6/4|4/2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    11th|6/6|6/4|4/2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    12th|6/7|6/4|4/2|3/1|-|-|-|-|-|-

    13th|6/7|6/4|4/2|3/1|-|-|-|-|-|-

    14th|6/7|6/4|5/3|4/2|-|-|-|-|-|-

    15th|6/7|6/4|5/3|4/2|-|-|-|-|-|-

    16th|6/8|6/5|5/3|4/2|3/1|-|-|-|-|-

    17th|6/8|6/5|5/3|4/2|3/1|-|-|-|-|-|-

    18th|6/8|6/5|6/4|5/3|4/2|-|-|-|-|-|-

    19th|6/9|6/5|6/4|5/3|4/2|3/1|-|-|-|-|-

    20th|6/9|6/5|6/5|6/4|5/3|4/2|-|-|-|-|-[/table]

    Spells Known (in the order in which they were selected):
    0th: Prestidigitation, Detect Magic, Read Magic, Mending, Ghost Sound, Message, Mage Hand, Arcane Mark, Dancing Lights
    1st: Blood Wind, Mage Armor, Nerveskitter, Blade of Blood, Shield
    2nd: Heroics, Wraithstrike, Wings of Cover, Scintillating Scales, Alter Self
    3rd: Bestow Curse, Haste, Heart of Water, Greater Mage Armor
    4th: Remove Curse, Heart of Earth, Dimension Door
    5th: Greater Blink, Wall of Force

    Maneuvers Known: Wall of Blades, Moment of Perfect Mind, Action before Thought

    The Life and Times of Draanar
    Spoiler
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    Level 6:
    Spoiler
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    This is a Wyrmling Steel Dragon right out of the box, though it can be a surprisingly versatile character. Doraanar's main role right now is that of a mobile skirmisher and scout; between a fly speed of 150ft, and the ability to make full attacks at range from Blood Wind, he's able to do stay out of range of most attacks and can pick off characters from a distance. The racial Polymorph SLA comes in handy for scouting, as well: at caster level 3, it's able to take the form of most humanoids, granting Doraanar the ability to blend into crowds, as well as the forms of many small animals, which grants Doraanar considerable stealth ability despite his lack of investment in the Hide or Move Silently skills. Additionally, between a good Charisma and maxxed Bluff and Intimidate ranks, Doraanar makes for a good Face character throughout his career.

    Level 12: (Sweet Spot)
    Spoiler
    Show
    At this level, Doraanar's build has finally come online. In addition to his previous role of skirmisher and scout, Doraanar is now able to take on a role similar to most Gish builds: That of a glass cannon and battlefield controller. By grabbing Power Attack with Heroics ahead of time and combining that with his racial natural attacks and Wraithstrike, Doranaar is able to do a significant amount of damage to anyone who attempt to close to melee combat with the ranged skirmisher and battlefield controller. In a pinch, (when caught by surprise or when out of 2nd level spell slots) Doraanar's Polymorph ability has a high enough caster level to take on potent melee forms, especially the 6-headed Hydra, whose Constitution score of 20 allows Quicken Breath Weapon to still be used.

    In addition to Doranaar's combat prowess, another trick has come online: Quicken Breath + Entangling Exhalation. This gives Doraanar the ability to Entangle and damage nearby opponents as free actions. As swift actions are precious and free action attacks are hard to come by, this is incredibly useful to Doraanar, as well as giving his racial breath weapon new use.

    However, the true highlight of level 12 is getting third level spells. Namely, Bestow Curse. Normally, this is a rather poor option for Gishes, as it's a save or suck spell that requires a standard action to cast. However, on a Dragon, it's one of the most powerful buffs in the game. Using the rules from the Book of Vile Darkness, Bestow Curse can be used to advance a chararacter 1 age category. On Doraanar, this grants the following benefits: +2 Racial bonus to Int, Wis, and Str, +3 Natural Armor, +2 Spell Resistance, +3 d10 HD, granting full BAB and advancing all good saves, increased spell resistance against low-level spells, and, most importantly, an additional 2 levels of sorcerer spellcasting. Unfortunately, in gaining these benefits, Doraanar's ECL increases by 4, meaning reduced experience points in each encounter where the Very Young form is needed. Nevertheless, this spell gives Doraanar a very potent ace in the hole when it's needed.

    Level 16:
    Spoiler
    Show

    Not much has changed between levels 12 and 16 aside from increases sorcerer spellcasting and more powerful and varied breath weapons. However, there are two new, useful abilities brought to the table: Frightful Presence, and Dominate Dragons. Frightful Presence stands next to the breath weapons as a powerful free action debuff ability. Combined with the Never Outnumbered skill trick, this can reduce an entire room to Frightened.

    The other trick, with Dominate Dragon, is a bit more subtle. At the end of each day when the ability is not, in fact, used on another Dragon, Doraanar uses it on himself. While this might seem like an odd, it grants Doranaar something he very much needs: Resistance to mind control effects. Looking on page 172 of the Player's Handbook:
    Quote Originally Posted by Player's Handbook
    Multiple Mental Control Effects: Sometimes magical effects that establish mental control render each other irrelevant. For example, a hold person effect renders any other form of mental control irrelevant because it robs the subject of the ability to move. Mental controls that don't remove the recipient's ability to act usually do not interfere with each other. For example, a person who has received a geas/quest spell can also be subjected to a charm person spell. The charmed person remains committed to fulfilling the quest, however, and resists any order that interferes with that goal. In this case, the geas/quest spell doesn't negate charm person, but it does reduce its effectiveness, just as nonmagical devotion to a quest would. If a creature is under the mental control of two or more creatures, it tends to obey each to the best of its ability, and to the extent of the control each effect allows. If the controlled creature receives conflicting orders simultaneously, the competing controllers must make opposed Charisma checks to determine which one the creature obeys.
    As Doraanar has a higher charisma than most other entities in the game world, this essentially grants him more saving throws against enchantment effects. Given a low wisdom, mostly poor Will saving throw, and a -2 penalty to saving throws against mind control effects by other evil dragons, this is a godsend for him.

    Level 20:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Not many new abilities have come into play at this level; most of the benefits have been defensive in nature. Doraanar's armor bonus has increased significantly from Greater Mage Armor and Abjurant Armor, and Quicken Abjuration with Shield and Scintillating Scales allows for an armor class that scales rapidly, and the Warblade dip, in addition to giving Doraanar the weapon and armor proficiencies that he needs to qualify for Abjurant Champion, has helped shore up Doraanar's saves and allows him to negate attacks on himself without using a spell slot.

    Sources
    Spoiler
    Show

    Dragons of Faerun/Monster Mayhem Web Content for Steel Dragon.
    Draconomicon for Quicken Breath, Scintillating Scales and Talon of Tiamat.
    Tome of Battle for Warblade.
    Races of the Dragon for Entangling Exhalation and Wings of Cover.
    Complete Mage for Abjurant Champion, Heart of Water, and Heart of Earth.
    Player's Handbook 2 for Blade of Blood.
    Spell Compendium for every spell not listed above and not in core.
    Complete Scoundrel for Never Outnumbered.
    Last edited by Kuulvheysoon; 2013-05-27 at 10:40 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 - #352
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLV

    And those who say that Fear is a choice... they've clearly never met this guy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ornixen
    Ornixen
    The game breaker


    Story
    Spoiler
    Show
    The keep is as the old knight described it, a ruin that somehow despite the time is still standing. The gates were unbarred and entering it wasn't difficult. The long forgotten halls have marks of residents over the ages, from the most recent knife inscriptions, perpetrated by young couples in heat, to the ancient etchings. Those figures engraved in the walls are the ones that catch your eye. Several worn down statuettes seem to be in perpetual fight. The theme is easy to grasp, knights fighting dragons. It fills your heart with pride and valour, for the chance of killing a dragon is a chance to prove your honour. But at the same time it itches you with an unsettling thought, how did this fort fall?

    As you go deeper into the hold the figurines become clearer, as if they had not eroded that much there. You soon can differentiate the dragons, there are not two equal among them. The myriad of draconic creatures, and the uncountable knights slaying them, threatens to disorient you. It is hard to tell how long have you been in the hallway, it is even hard to tell how long the hallway is. And it is then that a shimmering light catches your attention. Reflecting the light of your torch a small golden coin lies ahead. Upon close examination it is an old coin, covered in dust and webbing. Perhaps its a trick of the eye, but you cannot read the inscription, it even looks alien. How did this coin remain here through all the ages? Kneeling besides it you contemplate it further, the coin lies in what appears to be a square in the ground, perhaps a loosened tile? A trap! It must be.

    You keep advancing, resolute on your objective. Save the dame, slay the evil dragon. There is a simplicity on that objective. An inherent easiness derived from a clarity of mind. Step after step you find more golden coins, each as unique and as alien as the first one. But you keep ignoring them, pressing the pace forward.

    Then after all that hurrying and motion you are confronted with a serene instant of stillness. In front of you there is a large door. A wooden door that somehow lures you further. Carelessly, or valiantly, you push it. The planks creak an old forgotten noise. In front of you there is a large room. You cannot fathom to see an end to it, as it is a forest of columns. In the centre of it lies a pond filled with golden coins, spoils and riches. It doesn't take a lot of effort to recognize it as a dragon's hoard. Strangely no dragon is to be seen. In the far end rests a throne and sitting on it lies a man. Or what might had been a man once. His skin is parched with patches of scales. No scale has the same colour, length or tone. They all combine to give him a blackish appearance, but whenever his chests raises for breath, the coloration shifts slightly. He might had been handsome once, now he was far from it, still there was a powerful magnetism towards his persona. His eyes are wide open, and his pupils are huge, almost displacing the irises, which as his scales seem to lack a defined colour. On his temples rests an old platinum crown, from it tiny metal busts of the five metallic dragons look at you. His torso is bare, only with two leather bandoleers crossing it, in them rest four bone daggers, each looking sharp and poignant. One of his hands rests in one thick metal rod, while the other caresses the golden hair of a young woman. And she is the one. She is the one that has haunted your dreams since you met that old knight in the crossroad. She is the one sequestered by the dragon. Beautiful beyond point, with a fair skin vaguely hidden under a thin tunic. Her hair more bright and glittering that the coins laying around.

    As the man stands the scene is disrupted with movement, he starts walking towards you. His steps are firm and powerful, each leg as a column holding the heavy weight of his body. Movements in the shadows catch your eye, and you can see draconic forms slithering among the columns. There are dragons of all the forms and colours you could think of. You observe them without fear, but you cannot help to suppress a cry of surprise when the woman throws her tunic away and also starts to change into a dragon.

    When the draconic sorcerer approaches you he looks at you in the eye. And you, who hadn't feared anything since before you can remember fear that creature. You cannot help but to contemplate your own death. Fear grips your soul and pushes you away, soon you find yourself bolting towards the door. The old knight that draw you here, enters the room, and as you hope for aid you can see how he closes the door. Your eyes fixed on the knight, lost as he too transform into a scaled dragon. You cannot avert the gaze of the dragon in front of you. But you can hear your enemy breathing after you, it is not a long breath, when the man exhales a cloud of gas that freezes you in place. Your heat beats fast.

    The sorcerer walks towards you, and examines you intently, he waves a hand and one of the small coins flies towards his palm. You recognize it, it is a golden duck of Ortheria, the city was lost when the foul red dragon Ashxasr took it. The man peels his lips, in a pale imitation of a smile, as recognition springs into your mind.

    -Little pawn, play my game.


    Build
    Spoiler
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    {table=head]Stats|STR|DEX|CON|INT|WIS|CHA*
    Point buy|8|14|18|10|10|16
    After template|10|14|18|12|10|16
    At level 19|10|14|18|12|10|20[/table]
    *Increments go here

    {table=head] Level |Class |Bab |Fort save |Ref save |Will save |Skills |Feats |Class features

    0 |Half red dragon (LA) |- |- |- |- |- |- |Str +2, Int +2, resistance fire (10), natural armor +2, darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision

    1 |Sorcerer |0 |0 |0 |2 |Bluff 4, Concentration 4, Intimidate 4, Knowledge (arcana) 4 |dreadful wrath, draconic persuasion |Arcane insight +2, Draconic Heritage (red)

    2 |Sorcerer |1 |0 |0 |3 |Bluff 5, Concentration 5, Intimidate 5, Knowledge (arcana) 5 | |-

    3 |Sorcerer |1 |1 |1 |3 |Bluff 6, Concentration 6, Intimidate 6, Knowledge (arcana) 6 |Dragonthrall |-

    4 |Sorcerer |2 |1 |1 |4 |Bluff 7, Concentration 7, Intimidate 7, Knowledge (arcana) 7 | |-

    5 |Dread witch |2 |1 |1 |6 |Bluff 7, Concentration 8, Intimidate 8, Knowledge (arcana) 7, Never outnumbered | |Master of terror, Unnatural will

    6 |Dread witch |3 |1 |1 |7 |Bluff 8, Concentration 9, Intimidate 9, Knowledge (arcana) 8, Never outnumbered |Imperious command |Absorb fear

    7 |Dread witch |3 |2 |2 |7 |Bluff 9, Concentration 10, Intimidate 10, Knowledge (arcana) 9, Never outnumbered | |Fearful empowerment 1/day

    8 |Dread witch |4 |2 |2 |8 |Bluff 10, Concentration 11, Intimidate 11, Knowledge (arcana) 10, Never outnumbered | |Delay fear, greater master of terror

    9 |Talon of tiamat |4 |4 |2 |8 |Bluff 11, Concentration 12, Intimidate 12, Knowledge (arcana) 11, Never outnumbered |Dragon breath |Breath weapon (cone of cold)

    10 |Talon of tiamat |5 |5 |2 |8 |Bluff 12, Concentration 13, Intimidate 13, Knowledge (arcana) 12, Never outnumbered | |Voice of the dragon +2

    11 |Talon of tiamat |6 |5 |3 |9 |Bluff 13, Concentration 14, Intimidate 14, Knowledge (arcana) 13, Never outnumbered | |Breath weapon (line of acid)

    12 |Talon of tiamat |7 |6 |3 |9 |Bluff 14, Concentration 15, Intimidate 15, Knowledge (arcana) 14, Never outnumbered |Clinging breath|Keen senses

    13 |Talon of tiamat |7 |6 |3 |9 |Bluff 15, Concentration 16, Intimidate 16, Knowledge (arcana) 15, Never outnumbered | |Breath weapon (cone of corrosive gas)

    14 |Talon of tiamat |8 |7 |4 |10 |Bluff 16, Concentration 16, Intimidate 17, Knowledge (arcana) 16, Spellcraft 1 Never outnumbered | |Immunity (cold), voice of the dragon +4

    15 |Talon of tiamat |9 |7 |4 |10 |Bluff 17, Concentration 16, Intimidate 18, Knowledge (arcana) 17, Spellcraft 2, Never outnumbered |Lingering breath |Breath weapon (line of lightning)

    16 |Talon of tiamat |10 |8 |4 |10 |Bluff 18, Concentration 16, Intimidate 19, Knowledge (arcana) 18, Spellcraft 3, Never outnumbered | |Keen senses, frightful presence

    17 |Talon of tiamat |10 |8 |5 |11 |Bluff 19, Concentration 16, Intimidate 20, Knowledge (arcana) 19, Spellcraft 4, Never outnumbered | |Breath weapon (cone of fire)

    18 |Talon of tiamat |11 |9 |5 |11 |Bluff 21, Concentration 16, Intimidate 21, Knowledge (arcana) 20, Never outnumbered |Practiced spellcaster (sorcerer)|Dominate dragon, voice of the dragon +6

    19 |Dread witch |11 |9 |5 |11 |Bluff 22, Concentration 16, Intimidate 22, Knowledge (arcana) 22, Never outnumbered | |Fearful empowerment 2/day, horrific aura, reflective fear [/table]

    {table=head]Spells per Day|Spells Known

    {table=head]Level|0lvl|1st|2nd|3rd|4th|5th|6th
    1st|5|4|-|-|-|-
    2nd|6|5|-|-|-|-
    3rd|6|6|-|-|-|-
    4th|6|7|4|-|-|-
    5th|6|7|4|-|-|-
    6th|6|7|5|-|-|-
    7th|6|7|6|4|-|-
    8th|6|7|7|5|-|-
    9th|6|7|7|5|-|-
    10th|6|7|7|6|4|-
    11th|6|7|7|6|4|-
    12th|6|7|7|7|5|-
    13th|6|7|7|7|5|-
    14th|6|7|7|7|6|3
    15th|6|7|7|7|6|3
    16th|6|8|7|7|7|5
    17th|6|8|7|7|7|5
    18th|6|8|7|7|7|6|3
    19th|6|8|7|7|7|7|4[/table]
    |{table=head]Level|0lvl|1st|2nd |3rd|4th|5th|6th
    1st|4|2|- |-|-|-|-
    2nd|5|2|-|-|-|-|-
    3rd|5|3|-|-|-|-|-
    4th|6|3|1|-|-|-|-
    5th|6|3|1|-|-|-|-
    6th|6|4|2|-|-|-|-
    7th|7|4|2|1|-|-|-
    8th|7|5|3|2|-|-|-
    9th|7|5|3|2|-|-|-
    10th|8|5|3|2|1|-|-
    11th|8|5|3|2|1|-|-
    12th|8|5|4|3|2|-|-
    13th|8|5|4|3|2|-|-
    14th|9|5|4|3|2|1|-
    15th|9|5|4|3|2|1|-
    16th|9|5|5|4|3|2|-
    17th|9|5|5|4|3|2|-
    18th|9|5|5|4|3|2|1
    19th|9|5|5|4|4|3|2[/table][/table]

    Spells known
    0lvl: Prestidigitation, ghost sound, dancing lights, mage hand, detect magic, read magic, message, light, launch item
    1st: sticky floor, cause fear, treacherous weapon, enlarge person, extract drug
    2nd: scare, wings of cover, magic of the dragonheart, glitterdust, alter self
    3rd: wall of chains, stinking cloud, fly, unluck
    4th: curse of the elemental lords, greater mirror image, bestow curse, ruin delver's fortune
    5th: Draconic might, draconic polymorph, breath weapon substitution
    6th: Aura of terror, superior resistance


    Tactics & considerations
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    LVL 1 ECL 2
    • The half dragon template, has a savage progression here Ornixen has only one level of it. Its benefits will be more apparent later, for now it grants him an increase in strength and intelligence, a small resistance, some natural armor and better sight.
    • One doesn't need to take all the levels of a savage progression (at least those presented in the web) as stated here: “Characters are not required to complete all the levels of a given template class in uninterrupted succession.”
    • As a sorcerer Ornixen would normally gain a familiar, but as a dragonblood sorcerer he has it traded for draconic heritage and arcane insight. Among other benefits it makes intimidate a sorcerer class skill. Draconic heritage was presented both in races of the dragon, and dragon magic (Ornixen is using dragon magic version, as it references races of the dragon, and is then an updated version).
    • His intelligence modifier of +1 allows Ornixen to have an additional language, which in his case is draconic. It also gives him one extra skill point.
    • His feats are: dreadful wrath gives Ornixen frightful presence whenever he charges, makes a full attack or casts a spell that either targets an enemy or includes an enemy in its area. And draconic persuasion, improves his bluff and intimidate checks whenever he casts a spell.
    • At first level Ornixen knows sticky floor, and cause fear. Both help his fear effects escalate, sticky floor impeding movement, and cause fear saving for frightened (and no save for shaken).


    LVL 5 ECL 6
    • More spells means new ways of instilling fear in the heart of its enemies. treacherous weapon scalates nicely and can be cast as a swift or standard action. If they are panicked and unable to move they cower. Scare has a long range, can affect several targets, and the save is for frightened. Ornixen can use it in combination with its dreadful wrath, when a group of enemies closes unto him, to render groups of enemies panicked at once.
    • Dragonthrall improves Ornixen's base bluff in addition to draconic persuasion. The bonus to resist frightful presence interacts nicely with unnatural will (from dread witch). And the ride bonus will become relevant once he can ride a dragon.
    • Master of terror increases the DC of most of Ornixen's spells and gives a +2 to intimidate checks. Unnatural will also gives him a bonus to resist fear effects and to someone who interacts with dragons on a daily basis those are normal.
    • Never outnumbered makes demoralizing a better tactic. Ornixen can move close to an enemy, cast sticky floor as a swift action, activating dreadful wrath and draconic persuasion, and then demoralizing as a standard action (with the bonus of draconic persuasion). Resulting in its enemies cowering for 1 minute.


    LVL 9 ECL 10
    • At sixth level Ornixen gains Imperious command, being able to make enemies cower whenever he demoralizes them. In addition it gains absorb fear, increasing its casting level whenever subjected to a fear effect (such as the frightful presence of a dragon).
    • Also a fearsome armour (from drow of the underdark) becomes easily affordable at sixth level, making fear escalation much easier.
    • Fearful empowerment is a bonus, for whenever an extra fear effect is needed.
    • New spells,magic of the dragonheart lasts for hours/level, gives a bonus to intimidate, and improves Ornixen's saves against paralysis, sleep and [fire] abilities, wall of chains battlefield control that deals damage if someone intends to cross it, stinking cloudarea spell that targets fort save and reduces enemies to take a standard or move action (in conjunction with sticky floor completely prevents movement as a standard action is needed to break loose).
    • Delay fear means that all fear effects can activate at the same time, rendering people cowering directly, so there is no way of running away.
    • Greater Master of terror makes enemies normally immune to fear vulnerable to Ornixen main shtick.
    • Four levels of Dread Witch give a (+8) bonus to the intimidate checks of Ornixen.
    • At ninth level, having a breath weapon and being a half dragon qualifies Ornixen to take dragon breath (races of the dragon), allowing him to use his breath weapon every 1d4 round. Not being limited to one use a day Ornixen can use it freely.
    • Whenever a creature cowers it loses its dexterity bonus, so after demoralizing its enemies Ornixen breath weapon is more effective (by being harder to avoid).


    LVL 15 ECL 16
    • Voice of the dragon synergies with master of terror, increasing Ornixen's bonus to intimidate.
    • Keen senses is sadly wasted, since as a half dragon, Ornixen already has low light vision (and darkvision)
    • More breath weapons are nice, each one of them requiring the 1d4 rounds of cool down, and Ornixen not being able to use them in less than 1d4 rounds, combines nicely with clinging breath. Even if he has to wait 1d4+1 rounds to use the breath weapon that he used initially he can use a different one. Clinging breath weapon requires a full round action to avoid the secondary damage, and since Ornixen's enemies will probably suffering his fears effects they will hardly be able to take the full round action required to have a second save.
    • Practiced spellcaster improves Ornixen caster level (thanks captain obvious) but also improves his greater master of terror ability, allowing him to affect more enemies. Magic of the dragonheart is particularly dependant on caster level.
    • Ornixen also gets new spells. Curse of the elemental lords is great, has medium range, 24 hour duration, a visual manifestation (fearful empowerment can be applied to it), is cast as swift action, activates both dreadful wrath and draconic persuasion, and also improves Ornixen's breath weapons. Greater mirror image gives a nice defence edge at close range. Draconic might increases both constitution (Breath DC are constitution based) and charisma (Fear DC are charisma based)
    • Immunities are always nice, since Ornixen has already an affinity to resist fire, and he might appear vulnerable to ice magic he becomes immune to cold energy.
    • Overall Ornixen's tactics keep being the same, Fear, battlefield control and ludicrous breath attacks.


    LVL 19 ECL 20
    • Max ranks in intimidate (22), Master of Terror (+10), Voice of the dragon (+6), Magic of the Dragonheart (+10) and draconic persuasion (up to +10) give Ornixen a good chance of intimidate his opponents, even if they are dragons. Due to having imperious command whenever he does enemies will cower. He also has never outnumbered, that allows him to intimidate several opponents at once. Magic items can easily improve this, particularly a fearful armour would be great to allow intimidate as a move action.
    • Ornixen has 3 fear auras. Dreadful wrath is short range and is activated whenever Ornixen casts spells. Horrific aura, will hardly come into play, except for the touch attack. Frightful presence has a medium range (30 per point of charisma modifier). All this effects are improved by Aura of terror.
    • Spell wise Ornixen has access to sixth level spells. With a good selection of fear effects, battlefield control, buffs and debuffs. Combining all of them Ornixen is adept at stranding his enemies in place. Those normally immune to fear effects, are subject to Ornixen's fear spells, due to greater master of terror. Several of his spells have added benefits, those that have visual manifestations can be affected with fearful empowerment, those that target enemies activate dreadful wrath. Also draconic polymorph and enlarge person allow Ornixen to increase his size, and the area/reach of his breath weapon.
    • As a half dragon with dragon breath Ornixen can use his breath weapon, gained from levels in Talon of Tiamat once every 1d4 rounds. This bypasses the normal limitations of the Talon enabling Ornixen to blast without remorse. His battlefield control spells (and fear effects) greatly improve his ability to damage with breath weapons. He can also use metabreath spells (such as breath weapon substitution) and metabreath feats (he has clinging breath and/or several applications of lingering brath) to lay great areas of elemental damage to his enemies. If first Ornixen fixes them in place (via fear effects) enemies will have to take the full force of its breath.
    • Ornixen also has access to dominate dragon. This is a great ability for Ornixen since he can benefit greatly of dominated dragons. With max ranks in knowledge (arcana) he can easily learn which dragons to dominate.
    • Having 19 HD his uses of dominate dragon would last for 19 days. Potentially he can have 18 dragon underlings.
    • Being targeted by the dominated dragon frightful presence will improve his caster level or grant him free spell slots.
    • Ornixen can also dominate the dragon into casting dragonblood spell-pact to customize his spell list beyond that normally available to a sorcerer since some dragons have access to domains and cleric casting (it gets even better if Eberron archetypes are in play). Dragonblood spell-pact: “[…] This spell allows two willing dragonblood creatures to trade known spells. The two creatures agree upon a spell to swap. These spells must be of the same level, though not of the same school. This effect does not grant the creatures the ability to learn more spells. When a spell is traded, it is no longer in the repertoire of the trader. [...]”
    • Since he has 4 levels of sorcerer he can also force a dragonpact, gaining several spell like abilities (such as an elusive disciple of shadow pact, that would grant him expeditious retreat 3/day, nondetection 3/day, dimension door 2/day). Due to the dragon being dominated Ornixen won't pay neither for the establishment of the pact nor for breaking it. Allowing once again to gain extra spells beyond those of a sorcerer. He has enough concentration to auto succeed in any dragon pact that he might choose to make. If new dragon pacts can be created, the customization of Ornixen improves greatly.
    • His skill ranks in concentration allow Ornixen to cast spells even if distracted by an extraordinary violent motion. Thus he can probably cast them while riding a dragon.
    • Bestow curse effect can be: “The victim effectively ages, moving him or her to the beginning of the next age category.” (per the book of vile darkness), granting dragons an extra age category. This might make easier for the dragons to save against Ornixen dominate, but if he treats them nicely and commands them to fail their saves it should not be a problem.
    • Extract drug gives Ornixen easy access to Mordayn Vapor (or “Dreammist”) a highly addictive drug, that with regular uses (on the dragons) will help to keep the dragons complacent even if they break out of his dominion.
    • He also has maxed ranks in bluff (22), a (+4) bonus on checks made against dragons (dragonthrall), a (+6) bonus (voice of the dragon), and a bonus (up to +10) when he casts a spell (draconic persuasion). Ornixen can convince the dragons to take the drugs on their own volition.
    • Ornixen can make the save against the frightful presence of his dominated dragons, unnatural will gives him his CHA modifier against fear effects and dragonthrall gives him an additional +4.
    • He has enough concentration to cast spells in an earthquake, and thus can probably cast spells while riding a dragon without trouble. Dragontrall gives him a +2 to riding dragons, that combined with a military saddle and his DEX modifier so he can stay in the saddle and guide with knees (if a dominated dragon needs to be guided). It can also easily make the DC to use the mount as cover (if necessary).
    • Dominated dragons also complement Ornixen's vanilla tactics (that is fear effects and breath weapons) adding fear effects and breaths of their own.


    Dragons to dominate
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    Ornixen isn't limited to dominate (true) dragons. Half dragons also have the dragon type, and he can dominate dragons with class levels. Linnorns also are of the dragon type and have great spellcasting capabilities. Avatars of Tiamat are also cool and flavourful (with loads of breath weapons). Iterations are to many to list, thus here will only be listed some unusual (true) dragons that have abilities particularly useful for Ornixen.
    • Xorvintaal dragons (Monster Manual V; pg. 38): Xorvintaal dragons have some great abilities, such as Dragon eyes, intimidating presence and recall exarch, they can also make exarchs to give Ornixen more pawns at his disposal.
    • Battle dragon (Draconomicon; pg. 176): Fear breath weapon, basically grants Ornixen an extra caster level and helps to escalate his fear effects.
    • Brown dragon (Monsters of Faerun; pg. 38): Burrow speed and tremorsense, will annoy anyone trying to sneak on Ornixen by ground.
    • Chaos dragon (Draconomicon; pg. 177): Confusion breath weapons, “A confused character who can’t carry out the indicated action does nothing but babble incoherently.” And they won't be able if they are panicked, so it can escalate to cower. Confusion is anyways a great effect.
    • Deep dragon (Drow of the Underdark; pg. 115) Continuous true seeing and can cast spells from the cleric list and from the following domains: Earth, Evil, and Trickery.
    • Emerald dragon (Monster manual II; pg. 82): Object reading at will, plane shift and psionics (as a seer)
    • Fang dragon (Draconomicon; pg. 159): The dragon brute, CON draining bite, and deals damage as a size larger.
    • Howling dragon (Draconomicon; pg. 180): WIS damage with breath weapon, reduces will saves, eases domination of other dragons and fear effects.
    • Incarnum dragon (Magic of Incarnum; pg. 172): Some soulmelds and ability to damage incarnum with its breath weapon. Niche, but Ornixen can have a lot of dragons at his disposal.
    • Mercury dragon (Dragons of Faerun; pg. 138): Awesome speed, has access to cleric spells, and those from the Luck and Sun domain (in effect Ornixen has access to those too, due to the dragonblood spellpact) and has color spray at will, that can stun enemies and negate movement.
    • Mist dragon (Dragons of Faerun; pg. 142): At will gaseous form and a sickening breath weapon (that reduces saves).
    • Oceanus dragon (Draconomicon; pg. 181): Breath weapon that dazes (negates actions, movement). Works underwater too.
    • Pyroclastic dragon (Draconomicon; pg. 183): Breath weapon that disintegrates.
    • Shadow dragon (Draconomicon; pg. 191): Breath weapon that deals negative levels
    • Steel dragon (Dragons of Faerun; pg. 140): Spellcasting (and access to Cleric spells and to Knowledge and Trickery domains) starting at wyrmling and alternate form.
    • Song dragon (Monster of Faerun; pg. 40): True seeing, tongues, alternate form, they can also access cleric spellcasting and spells from the Healing, Travel, and Trickery domains.
    • Yellow dragon (Dragon Compendium; pg. 199): A breath weapon that binds enemies in place. And an always good fly speed.


    Equipment & magic items
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    • Mordayn vapor (Book of vile darkness; pg. 42, 200gp) Ornixen uses extract drug to create it, and feeds it to his dragons, to keep them in check.
    • Artificer monocle (Magic item compendium; pg. 72, 1500 gp) allows anyone with ranks in knowledge arcana and the ability to cast detect magic to identify magic items. Some dragons have detect magic at will.
    • A fearsome armor (Drow of the underdark; pg. 97, +5000 gp) would grant Ornixen a +5 to intimidate checks, and to demoralize as a move action.
    • A dragon spirit cincture (Magic item compendium; pg. 95, 2000 gp) increases Ornixen damage with his breath weapons by 1 die, in conjunction with dragonfang weapons (Draconomicon; pg. 117, +300 gp) it also increases the DC.
    • Mask of the matriarch (Drow of the underdark; pg. 100, 9000 gp) for Ornixen dragon buddies, 3/day gaze attack that makes creatures that fail cower. If Ornixen is in the area he gains +3 to caster level or a 2nd spell slot.
    • Runestaves (Magic item compendium; varies) are really good for all those spells that Ornixen wants daily, but would be wasted as a spell known.
    • Gorget of tempest breath (Draconomicon; pg. 83, 10000 gp) if Ornixen uses enlarging means (enlarge person, draconic polymorph) he gains the benefit of tempest breath, without needing power attack.
    • An amulet of fearsome might (Dragon magic; pg. 93, 11000 gp) increases the save of Ornixen's fear effects, and might improve his frightful presence.
    • A ring of theurgy (Complete arcane; pg. 145, 20000 gp) can be combined with the dragonblood spellpact or just with dragons casting to give Ornixen access to spells that he would otherwise not be able to cast.
    • A rod of many wands (Complete mage; pg. 128, 27000 gp) plus metabreath spells wands, three metabreath effects (plus a fourth one if Ornixen cast it before breathing) can wreck an encounter. Add clinging/lingering breath (to keep the breath effects going on even after the round it was breathed) for more sillines. How does an admixtured, enervating, stunning breath that lingers for several rounds sound?
    • A crown of the north wind (Dragons of Faerun; pg. 126, 70000gp) grants a +2 enhancement bonus to charisma, a +8 bonus to resist fear (since it has the effect of cloak of bravery and allows Ornixen to use the non-lethal breaths of the metallic dragons (slow gas, paralysis, sleep, weakening gas, repulsion gas).


    Optional rules, Cross setting & dubious readings
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    • LA buyoff (Unearthed arcana; pg. 18) would allow Ornixen to gain an extra level. Anything that advances sorcerer spellcasting (such as a level of sorcerer) would give Ornixen access to 7th level spells.
    • Dragonpacts (dragon magic; pg. 90) can be customized with DM intervention.
    • Draconic power (races of the dragon; pg. 104) is dubious at best, “Your caster level increases by one, and you add 1 to the save DC of all arcane spells with the descriptor or subschool associated with your draconic heritage.” Due to the coma placement it might indeed increase Ornixen's spellcaster level, if it does it grants access to seven level spells.
    • Flaws Ornixen doesn't normally make attacks so he can easily gain extra feats using flaws, draconic bloodline (dragon compendium; pg. 96) grants (useful) extra spells known and is flavourful. Draconic power is borked, but also powerful. Draconic presence (races of the dragon) gives an extra frightful presence.
    • The dread witch has the following adaptation section (Heroes of horror; pg. 101): “Dread witches excel in campaigns that make use of the various fear and dread rules presented in Heroes of Horror. In games that do not use those rules, the class becomes a bit less effective because less fear means fewer fear effects to empower her class abilities. In these circumstances, the DM might consider creating more situations that invoke the dread witch’s fear abilities or allowing the empowerment to last for longer periods.” That would obviously increase Ornixen's power.
    • Sovereign archetypes (Dragons of Eberron; pg. 30) are great for increasing draconic power. And benefit Ornixen greatly thanks to dragonblood spellpact since he gains access to Druid spells (Child of Eberron); and to spells from the following domains: Animal (stalking wyrm), Air (stalking wyrm), Charm (master of the hoard), Commerce (master of the hoard), Community (guide of the weak), Earth (stalking wyrm), Feast (fortune's fang), Glory (lightkeeper), Law (lightkeeper), Luck (fortune's fang), Madness (passion's flame), Passion (passion's flame), Protection (guide of the weak), Sun (lightkeeper), Trickery (fortune's fang), Travel (master of the hoard), War (lightkeeper).


    Adaptations & possible changes
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    • If Ornixen used Sha'ir (dragon compendium; pg. 51) instead of sorcerer it would get a better spellcasting, but it would lose the dragonpacts, some good sorcerer spells magic of the dragonheart, wings of cover, would need another way of getting intimidate as a class skill for the 4 first levels (apprentice (soldier), or martial study (devoted spirit)) and draconic flavor. Overall I feel that sorcerer is better here (even if it is an obvious choice).
    • Ornixen could use Pact bound-adept (Dragon magic; pg. 46) instead of the late level abilities of the dread witch (even scrapping it completely for more sorcerer levels) but overall I think that it relies in a more niche trick (dragon pacts) than the fear reliance of the dread witch.
    • Ornixen could be a descendant of other kind of dragons (there certainly are stronger than red dragons) but it would need to gain intimidate as a class skill by another mean, and probably won't benefit as much when casting magic of the dragonheart.
    • If Ornixen is in Eberron dreadful wrath becomes inaccessible, he could move practiced spellcaster (sorcerer) to a lower level, and at a later point gain frightful presence (as a feat, Draconomicon; pg. 106). The lose of steel dragons, can be easily alleviated with sovereign archetypes. Dragonblood spell-pact is from a Faerun source, but drake-helms (explorer's handbook; pg. 151) are in eberron so Ornixen still has some versatility. Of course, half dragons in Eberron are problematic at best.
    • Ornixen could go dragonfire adept (Dragon magic; pg. 24) instead of sorcerer (and dread witch) it loses spells, but gains a focus on breath weapons, and slow breath effect is just plain silly. It doesn't add much more, and breath weapons are one of the cool things of Talon of Tiamat.


    Sources used
    Spoiler
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    • SRD (Human, Sorcerer)
    • web ( Half-red dragon progression)
    • Player's guide to Faerun pg. 38 (Dreadful wrath)
    • Dragon magic pg. 17 & 87 (Draconic Heritage, Dragonpacts)
    • Races of the dragon pg. 107 & 104 (Dragonblood sorcerer substitution level; Draconic Persuasion)
    • Heroes of Horror pg. 98 & 124 (Dread Witch, Unnatural Will)
    • Draconomicon pg. 134 & 105 (Talon of Tiamat, Dragonthrall)
    • Monster Manual IV pg. 202 & 203 (clinging breath, lingering breath)
    • Complete Arcane pg. 82 (Practiced spellcaster)
    • Dragons of Faerun pg. 115 (Dragonblood spell-pact)


    Magic items are sourced on the equipment section; dragons are sourced on the dominating dragons section.

    Sources on spells
    0lvl: Prestidigitation (SRD), ghost sound (SRD), dancing lights (SRD), mage hand (SRD), detect magic (SRD), read magic (SRD), message (SRD), light (SRD), launch item (Spell compendium; pg. 130)
    1st: sticky floor (Races of the Dragon; pg. 117), cause fear (SRD), treacherous weapon (Exemplars of evil; pg. 29), enlarge person (SRD), extract drug (Book of Evil Darkness; pg. 94)
    2nd: scare (SRD), wings of cover (Races of the Dragon; pg. 119), magic of the dragonheart (Dragon magic; pg. 70), glitterdust (SRD), alter self (SRD)
    3rd: wall of chains (Book of evil darkness; pg. 108), stinking cloud (SRD), fly (SRD), unluck (Spell compendium; pg. 227)
    4th: curse of the elemental lords (Dragon magic; pg. 65), greater mirror image (PHB II; pg. 120), bestow curse (SRD & Book of Vile Darkness; pg. 28), ruin delver's fortune (Spell compendium; pg. 178)
    5th: Draconic might (Spell compendium; pg. 72), draconic polymorph (Draconomicon; pg. 79), Breath weapon substitution (Spell compendium; pg. 39)
    6th: Aura of terror (Spell compendium; pg. 18), superior resistance (Spell compendium; pg. 174)

    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 - #353
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLV

    The Dark Queen's Luck

    Quote Originally Posted by Haylee
    The Beginning:
    Spoiler
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    The stars were already waning from the sky, constellations winking out.

    Takhisis turned her attention instead to Krynn, to the snow-frosted foothills where a ruined village still smoldered. She looked and listened and waited, and in the growing cold she found the child. Just a baby, weak, wounded, helpless, freezing in the snow.

    "Tsosysss," called the Queen.

    The Great White responded, following Her direction, and found the human child. Tsosysss, elder dragon of the Icewall, followed his Queen's command and brought the lowly mortal from the edge of Death, found her warmth and shelter.

    As he worked, Takhisis looked again to the sky and watched the stars shift before Her eyes. "We haven't much time left."

    Tsosysss began the ritual, following each step as his Queen instructed. The scale prepared, the blood awash against the snow, the breath hissed out. The child let forth a wailing cry that shivered Tsosysss to the core, the fell silent. Tsosysss waited for further instruction, but the voice of his Queen grew ever more distant, fading into silence.

    "Leave her be. Release her upon the face of Krynn and let her find her own way. She will find her path back to all that I would have her be...."

    Takhisis took a last, lingering look at the child. This mortal was Her legacy, Her last remaining chess piece on the board of Krynn. By leaving her here, the Queen left a piece of herself behind. She whispered a darkened blessing to the girl, a gentle protection that luck would see her through. But already, Her breath had been quieted in this realm.

    The stars shifted once more in the sky. The Dragons in the Stars disappeared. There were no constellations left to look down upon the world.

    When the child, no longer shivering in the cold, opened her eyes, she looked out at a world newly born and alone.



    Chaotic Evil White Dragonspawn Ice Folk Nomad
    Spoiler
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    Monstrous Humanoid (Augmented humanoid [Human], Cold)
    Human Paragon 1/Sorcerer 1/HP +2/Dread Witch 5/ Talon of Tiamat 10 (LA +1)

    Starting Languages:
    Common, Icespeak, Draconic

    {table=head]Stat|Start|Race|Lvl 4|Human Paragon|Lvl 8|Lvl 12|Lvl 16|Total

    Str|14|--|--|--|--|--|--|14

    Con|16|+2|+1|+2|+1|+1|+1|24

    Dex|10|+2|--|--|--|--|--|12

    Int|12|--|--|--|--|--|--|12

    Wis|8|--|--|--|--|--|--|8

    Cha|16|--|--|--|--|--|--|16[/table]


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

    1st|White Dragonspawn (LA +1)|
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |--|--|Breath Weapon (cone of cold 2d6, recharge time: 2d4 rounds), Death Throes, Fly Speed (2x land speed), +7 NA, Bite/claw/claw, Access to dragon feats, Spellcasting

    2nd|Human Paragon 1|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |Autohypnosis 4, Concentration 4, Intimidate 4, Listen 4, Spellcraft 4, Use Magic Device 4|H:Flyby Attack, 1st: Entangling Exhalation|Adaptive Learning (UMD)

    3rd|Sorcerer 1|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +4
    |Autohypnosis 4, Concentration 4, Intimidate 4, K: Arcana 4, Listen 4, Spellcraft 4, Use Magic Device 4|--|Summon Familiar

    4th|Human Paragon 2|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +5
    |Autohypnosis 6, Concentration 5, Intimidate 6, K: Arcana 4, Listen 4, Spellcraft 4, Use Magic Device 5|B:Flyby Breath, 3rd: Strafing Breath|--

    5th|Human Paragon 3|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +5
    |Autohypnosis 7, Concentration 7, Intimidate 7, K: Arcana 4, Listen 4, Spellcraft 4, Use Magic Device 7|--|+2 Con

    6th|Dread Witch 1|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +7
    |Autohypnosis 7, Bluff 4, Concentration 7, Intimidate 7, K: Arcana 4, Listen 4, Spellcraft 4, Use Magic Device 7|B: Unnatural Will|Master of Terror

    7th|Dread Witch 2|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +8
    |Autohypnosis 7, Bluff 5, Concentration 7, Intimidate 9, K: Arcana 4, Listen 4, Spellcraft 4, Use Magic Device 8|6th: Improved Speed|Absorb Fear

    8th|Dread Witch 3|
    +3
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +8
    |Autohypnosis 7, Bluff 5, Concentration 7, Intimidate 10, K: Arcana 4, Listen 4, Spellcraft 4, Use Magic Device 9, Skill Trick: Never Outnumbered|--|Fearful Empowerment 1/day

    9th|Dread Witch 4|
    +4
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +9
    |Autohypnosis 7, Bluff 5, Concentration 8, Intimidate 11, K: Arcana 4, Listen 4, Spellcraft 4, Use Magic Device 11, Skill Trick: Never Outnumbered|--|Delay Fear, Greater Master of Terror

    10th|Dread Witch 5|
    +4
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +9
    |Autohypnosis 7, Bluff 5, Concentration 10, Intimidate 12, K: Arcana 4, Listen 4, Spellcraft 4, Use Magic Device 12, Skill Trick:Never Outnumbered|9th: Dragonthrall|Fearful Empowerment 2/day, Horrific Aura, Reflective Fear

    11th|Talon of Tiamat 1|
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +2
    |
    +9
    |Autohypnosis 8, Bluff 5, Concentration 10, Intimidate 13, K: Arcana 4, Listen 4, Spellcraft 4, Use Magic Device 13, Skill Trick:Never Outnumbered|--|BW (Cone of Cold)

    12th|Talon of Tiamat 2|
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +9
    |Autohypnosis 9, Bluff 5, Concentration 10, Intimidate 14, K: Arcana 4, Listen 4, Spellcraft 4, Use Magic Device 14, Skill Trick:Never Outnumbered|--|Voice of the Dragon +2

    13th|Talon of Tiamat 3|
    +6/1
    |
    +5
    |
    +3
    |
    +10
    |Autohypnosis 10, Bluff 5, Concentration 10, Intimidate 15, K: Arcana 4, Listen 4, Spellcraft 4, Use Magic Device 15, Skill Trick:Never Outnumbered|12th: Shape Breath|BW (Line of Acid)

    14th|Talon of Tiamat 4|
    +7/2
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    |
    +10
    |Autohypnosis 11, Bluff 5, Concentration 10, Intimidate 16, K: Arcana 4, Listen 4, Spellcraft 4, Use Magic Device 16, Skill Trick:Never Outnumbered|--|Keen Senses

    15th|Talon of Tiamat 5|
    +7/2
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    |
    +10
    |Autohypnosis 12, Bluff 5, Concentration 10, Intimidate 17, K: Arcana 4, Listen 4, Spellcraft 4, Use Magic Device 17, Skill Trick:Never Outnumbered|--|BW (Cone of Corrosive Gas)

    16th|Talon of Tiamat 6|
    +8/3
    |
    +7
    |
    +4
    |
    +11
    |Autohypnosis 13, Bluff 5, Concentration 10, Intimidate 18, K: Arcana 4, Listen 4, Spellcraft 4, Use Magic Device 18, Skill Trick:Never Outnumbered|15th: Spreading Breath|Immunities (Fire), Voice of the Dragon +4

    17th|Talon of Tiamat 7|
    +9/4
    |
    +7
    |
    +4
    |
    +11
    |Autohypnosis 14, Bluff 5, Concentration 10, Intimidate 19, K: Arcana 4, Listen 4, Spellcraft 4, Use Magic Device 19, Skill Trick:Never Outnumbered|--|BW (Line of Lightning)

    18th|Talon of Tiamat 8|
    +10/5
    |
    +8
    |
    +4
    |
    +11
    |Autohypnosis 15, Bluff 5, Concentration 10, Intimidate 20, K: Arcana 4, Listen 4, Spellcraft 4, Use Magic Device 20, Skill Trick:Never Outnumbered|--|Keen Senses, Frightful Presence

    19th|Talon of Tiamat 9|
    +10/5
    |
    +8
    |
    +4
    |
    +12
    |Autohypnosis 16, Bluff 5, Concentration 10, Intimidate 21, K: Arcana 4, Listen 4, Spellcraft 4, Use Magic Device 21, Skill Trick:Never Outnumbered|18th: Extend Spreading Breath|BW (Cone of Fire)

    20th|Talon of Tiamat 10|
    +11/6/1
    |
    +9
    |
    +4
    |
    +12
    |Autohypnosis 17, Bluff 5, Concentration 10, Intimidate 22, K: Arcana 4, Listen 4, Spellcraft 4, Use Magic Device 22, Skill Trick:Never Outnumbered|--|Dominate Dragon, Voice of the Dragon +6[/table]


    ECL 1-5:
    Spoiler
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    (I am NOT a dragon, I am a Monstrous Human(oid) being!)

    The feat selections to this point allow Haylee to fly 120' (as a double move) and use her breath weapon at any point during the movement as a free action. From 30' above, the cone hits a 30' radius area that gets strafed out along 60'. 1d6 cold damage, Ref save for half (DC 17) -- anyone that takes damage is entangled for 1d4 rounds, during which they take 1d6 cold damage each round.
    As her friends sweep into the area to attack, Haylee swoops down from above and pokes at people with a reach weapon or uses Intimidate to strike fear into the hearts of her enemies. Spells can also be tossed about. And when her breath weapon has had enough time to recharge, she'll blow again.

    Haylee has a raven familiar, Edgar. Edgar speaks Draconic, and very much enjoys sharing spells. (See the spells section.) As they go through their careers, Edgar uses Haylee's skill ranks, namely in Autohypnosis (to memorize text and verse and to overcome fear effects), Intimidate (to try to escalate fear in enemies when it's safe to try), and Use Magic Device (for reading scrolls and activating wands.) As a general rule, Edgar stays close to Haylee, often riding her shoulder or back as though she was his mount.


    ECL 6-10:
    Spoiler
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    (I'm not your wife, I'm a witch!)

    Things are getting spooky!
    Haylee now adds +10 to her Intimidate checks (bringing her total to 27 before the roll at ECL 10). With Never Outnumbered, she can be a very frightening figure, indeed. Her Horrific Aura only affects creatures of 6HD or lower, but Fearful Empowerment can affect almost anybody. By adding FE to Kelgore's Grave Mist or Palin's Pyre (neither spell offers a save), she'll have plenty of enemies staining their undies. (Will save DC 20 or shaken for 1d4 rounds.)
    If Haylee is subject to a fear effect (by diving into her own FE KGM, for example), she gets her Will save as normal. If she fails, she can try an Autohypnosis check on the following round. Success in either case allows her to utilize Absorb Fear to increase her caster level for a short time.

    Meanwhile, she's still flying above the crowd, strafing with her breath weapon as before. Improved Speed improved her fly speed (big shock there, huh?). (Her speed increases to either 80' or 100'; consult your DM.) The increase in speed increases the area of effect of her breath weapon while strafing, giving her even more battlefield control.


    ECL 11-15:
    Spoiler
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    (Enter the dragon!)

    Right off the bat -- new breath weapon!! It's a...cone of cold. (I'd be a lot happier about this if it weren't for that last sentence in the ability description. A case can be made RAI, but RAW seems pretty clear. Again, consult your DM.) Haylee can (by RAW) breathe with a Dragon Breath spell, then her racial ability, then her class ability. Round after round after round. Strafing and entangling with each. The spell, of course, is limited by duration; the class ability limited to one use per day per energy type. If each BW has its own recharge time, there's a good change that Haylee will be able to breathe with her spell again on round 4.

    But recharge time doesn't worry Haylee too much anyway. With fear tactics and spells, she has plenty of options during down times. At each odd level, she gains a new breath weapon type, offering more versatility and letting her function against creatures with various elemental resistances or immuntities. The Shape Breath feat lets her augement each breath weapon, changing lines into cones and cones into lines as appropriate for the situation. Versitility is now the name of the game.


    ECL 16-20:
    Spoiler
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    With maxed out ranks in Intimidate, Master of Terror, Voice of the Dragon, and Never Outnumbered, Haylee is a fearsome foe. (1d20 +43 can demoralize quite a lot of things.) Her Horrific Aura only works against foes of 6HD or fewer and only at a range of 10'; but now she adds Frightful Presence which affects those with fewer HD than she has at a range of 90'. And she can still frighten anything with a touch. And she has spooky, spooky spells.

    With the inclusion of Extend Spreading Breath, Haylee can now fly 60' above the crowds and strafe a breath weapon along the ground 15' radius wide, (1/2 her fly speed)' long as a burst. Screw the people hiding under rooftops or cowering beneath tower shields! Cold, electricity, corrosive gas, fire, acid all creep through open windows, cracks in the ceilings, around shields and walls!

    Haylee gains immunity to fire. Not only is it a fairly common energy type to run into in a D&D world, but it also covers one of Haylee's weaknesses. With the [Cold] subtype comes a vulnerability to fire, and now Haylee need not worry about the flames.


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

    1st|5/4|4/2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    2nd|5/4|4/2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    3rd|6/5|5/2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

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

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

    7th|6/6|7/4|5/2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    8th|6/7|7/4|6/2|4/1|-|-|-|-|-|-

    9th|6/7|7/5|7/3|5/2|-|-|-|-|-|-

    10th|6/8|7/5|7/3|6/2|3/1|-|-|-|-|-

    11th|6/8|7/5|7/3|6/2|3/1|-|-|-|-|-

    12th|6/8|7/5|7/4|7/3|4/2|-|-|-|-|-

    13th|6/8|7/5|7/4|7/3|4/2|-|-|-|-|-

    14th|6/9|7/5|7/4|7/3|5/2|3/1|-|-|-|-

    15th|6/9|7/5|7/4|7/3|5/2|3/1|-|-|-|-

    16th|6/9|7/5|7/5|7/4|6/3|4/2|-|-|-|-

    17th|6/9|7/5|7/5|7/4|6/3|4/2|-|-|-|-

    18th|6/9|7/5|7/5|7/4|6/3|5/2|3/1|-|-|-

    19th|6/9|7/5|7/5|7/4|6/3|5/2|3/1|-|-|-

    20th|6/9|7/5|7/5|7/4|6/4|6/3|4/2|-|-|-[/table]


    Known Spells:
    Spoiler
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    0th: Read Magic, Detect Magic, Message, Mage Hand, Prestidigitation, Unnerving Gaze, Resistance, Preserve Organ, Light

    1st: Cause Fear, Mage Armor, Hoard Gullet, Comprehend Languages, Shield

    2nd: Scare, Kelgore's Grave Mist, Cloud of Knives, Vision of Entropy, Mirror Image

    3rd: Palin's Pyre, Blade of Pain and Fear, Dragonskin, Evard's Manacing Tentacles

    4th: Dragon Breath, Enervation, Fear, Aerial Alacrity

    5th: Touch of Vecna, Lord of the Sky, Etheral Breath

    6th: Dragonshape (Lesser), Dispel Magic (Greater)


    0th:

    Spoiler
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    Message (SRD): This spell is perfect for keeping in communication with the rest of the party while Haylee is flying around scouting an area. Long duration, no save/SR, great utility -- it should see plenty of use.

    Preserve Organ (BoVD): Haylee can rip someone's heart from his/her chest and, with this spell, let her victim watch the heart continue to beat strong even as the cold and darkness of Death comes. It's the kind of thing that would inspire Edgar to write a story!

    Read Magic (SRD): Shareable with Edgar, which lets Edgar read scrolls.

    Detect Magic/Mage Hand/Prestidigitation/Resistance/Light (SRD)/Unnerving Gaze (BoVD): Typical 0th level spells, really.


    1st:

    Spoiler
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    Cause Fear (SRD): The HD cap here stinks. But it's a requirement for Dread Witch.

    Mage Armor/Shield (SRD): Both are spells Haylee can (and will) share with Edgar. With a +7 NA bonus, Haylee can probably do without, but it all stacks, so why not? The big draws here are Mage Armor's duration and, of course, Shield offering protection from Magic Missles. MM can destroy a familiar and Edgar is happy to have the protection.

    Comprehend Languages (SRD): Shareable with Edgar. Which means that the raven can now hear, say, an epic poem in Common. With a well-rolled Autohypnosis check, said raven could recite the poem verbatem.

    Hoard Gullet (DM): Useful for carrying around stuff. Shareable with Edgar, who can swallow smaller things (coins, perhaps? Rings. Little gems.)



    2nd:

    Spoiler
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    Scare (SRD): Seriously? It affects creatures of 5 HD or fewer, and Haylee is getting it at ECL 5. So, it'll be useful to her for about a day. But it's a requirement for Dread Witch.

    Cloud of Knives (PHBII): Free action ranged knife attacks for multiple rounds. And Haylee can share it with Edgar!

    Kelgore's Grave Mist (PHBII): An area spread that fatigues and deals cold damage each round with no save. Nice for enemies that have already been entangled by exhalation. A good choice for Fearful Empowerment.

    Vision of Entropy (FCI): Demands a Will save every round with escalating fear effects with each failure (up to and including unconsciousness). Enemy Clerics will probably handle this spell from Haylee easily enough, but enemy Rogues (who are a pain with that damned evasion ability of theirs) will fall to this spell.

    Mirror Image (SRD): Another fine spell to be shared with Edgar. Imagine an almost-dragon-thing diving out of the sky at you, making your knees quiver. Imagine a raven with tentacles (see 3rd level spells) diving with her. Now imagine that there are eight of each. Harder to land attacks against them when you don't know which one to hit.


    3rd:

    Spoiler
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    Palin's Pyre (DLCS): Flame bursts from the ground. It makes for a good spell against enemies holding their tower shields above their heads for cover from breath weapons. (Stupid tower shields!) Damage with no save; Ref. to avoid catching on fire. Targets multiple 5' squares, making it easy for Haylee to hit enemies and avoid allies. Useful spell for Fearful Empowerment.

    Evard's Menacing Tentacles (PHBII): Gain two tentacles that each attack as a free action at a range of 10'. But here's the kicker: Haylee can share this spell with Edgar. Now Edgar (riding on Haylee) has a 10' reach. That means the he can use a standard action to try to demoralise a foe (using Haylee's ranks in Intimidate, though with his own size modifier) and then still make two attacks as a free action (using Haylee's BAB), all while riding Haylee (as a mount) to use her movement.

    Blade of Pain and Fear (SpC): If Haylee gets backed into a corner (or when she's dive bombing enemies from above), she can use this spell to get melee touch attacks that force a Will save to those damaged. Failure equals frightened. (How this spell doesn't have the [Fear] descriptor is beyond me. Consult your DM for a houserule for Master of Terror to affect this spell, too.)

    Dragonskin (SpC): Enhancement bonus to NA, with an energy resistance kicker. Shareable with Edgar (gotta keep that bird alive). Decent duration will last a full fight. Haylee casts at +1 caster level (as a sorcerer).


    4th:

    Spoiler
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    Dragon Breath (SpC): Offers Haylee another breath weapon with a 1d4 recharge time. She can choose the element of damage to reflect the current battle, or by casting it as a spell with the [Good] descriptor (prefectly legal) she can choose to cause sleep, slow, or paralysis to target Will, Will, or Fort. Also, it's shareable with Edgar and the spell specifies a fixed size of the breath weapon. (Note: The original spell specifically stated that the breath weapon gained from the spell was a seperate ability from any other breath weapon(s) the target may have, thus recharge rounds from one didn't affect the other(s). The spell was re-written in the Spell Compendium, and makes no mention of how one breath weapon's recharge time may or may not affect another's. In fact, I find no RAW rulings at all as to the matter. I believe each breath weapon gained from different sources should be treated as a seperate ability with their own recharge times. Your milage, of course, may very. As always, consult your DM.)

    Enervation (SRD): Who doesn't like this spell? Negative levels are fun to hand out, but useful moreso to Haylee than others, perhaps. By knocking an enemy's level lower, Haylee gets more use out of her Frightful Presence and Horrific Aura abilities. Why only freak out the henchmen and the mooks when you can spook the BBEG, too?

    Fear (SRD): Cone shaped burst causes enemies to be panicked (Will save for shaken instead). Haylee can certainly escalate that further and futher.

    Aerial Alacrity (RotW): A 30' untyped increase to flight speed with a bump in maneuverability. The increase in speed increases Haylee's distance when strafing with her breath weapon. Duration should last all combat long.


    5th:

    Spoiler
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    Touch of Vecna (CM): Touch attack that causes damage and shaken (creature immune to fear aren't shaken, except that they are because Haylee's a Dread Witch). On a failed Fort., paralysis is permanent. Eek!

    Lord of the Sky (DM): Useful spell against flying enemies. Bump in speed/maneuverability is nice. A ranged touch attack as a swift action each round against airborne opponents for damage and speed reduction is good. Shareable with Edgar (and two such ranged attacks per round is better than one.)

    Etheral Breath (SpC): This requires specific circumstances to be useful, of course. But when those circumstances rear their ugly heads, Haylee'll be glad she's got this in her back pocket.



    6th:

    Spoiler
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    Dragonshape (Lesser) (SpC): This spell (though of Personal range) isn't for Haylee. Losing her feats, spellcasting, and class abilities would make her weaker. But she can cast it on Edgar. And suddenly, that tiny raven becomes a large young red dragon. Intimidate just got A LOT better (from the size modifiers alone). And by casting it on Edger, as opposed to sharing the spell, the two won't have to stay within 5'.

    Dispel Magic, Greater (SRD): Handy little spell to keep around.


    Items of Interest:

    Spoiler
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    Haylee isn't much interested in either weapons or armor, saving money instead for other items:

    Dragon Spirit Cincture (MIC p.95) -- To increase breath weapon damage.

    Amulet of Fearsome Might (DM p.93) -- Increases Frightful Presence radius and DC. Increases DC of [Fear] spells. (Consult your DM to determine for sure if this stacks with Master of Terror.)

    Veil of Allure (Sand. p.135) -- Increase DC of Horrific Aura, Frightful Presence, Fearful Empowerment, and enchantment spells (which include many of Haylee's [Fear] spells.)

    Ring of Entropic Deflection (MIC p.123) -- With Flyby Attack and Flyby Breath, Haylee's going to qualify for this a lot. Being in the air will attract ranged attacks, and using this ring offers a nice miss chance.

    Armor of Easy Travel on a robe(MIC p.10) -- Treat a medium load as though it were a light load, allowing flight with a medium load.

    Pectoral of Maneuverability (Drac. p.83) -- Increases Haylee's maneuverability from average to good.

    Tongue Studs of Hell Breath (BoVD p.117) -- It's not technically a breath weapon and so can't use BW feats and spells. Still fun, though.

    Tomes and items to increase Con/Cha.


    Items for Edgar: (Yes, familiars can have magic items.)

    Items that increase strength and/or charisma would be handy.
    Wands and scrolls (strapped to Haylee's back for easy access.)
    The Tongue Studs of Hell Breath could be extra surprising coming from the mouth of a familiar.


    References:
    Spoiler
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    DLCS -- Dragonspawn (White), Nomad (Ice Folk), Flyby Breath, Strafing Breath
    HoH -- Dread Witch, Unnatural Will
    Drac -- Talon of Tiamat, Improved Speed, Dragonthrall, Shape Breath, Spreading Breath, Extend Spreading Breath
    RotD -- Entangling Exhalation
    SRD -- Everything else
    (Spells and Magic Items are referenced in their respective sections.)


    SRD: System Reference Document
    BoVD: Book of Vile Darkness
    CM: Complete Mage
    DM: Dragon Magic
    PHBII: Player's Handbook II
    FCI: Fiendish Codex I
    DLCS: Dragonlance Campaign Setting
    SpC: Spell Compendium
    RotW: Races of the Wild
    Drac: Draconomicon
    HoH: Heroes of Horror
    RotD: Races of the Dragon

    Last edited by Kuulvheysoon; 2013-05-27 at 10:50 AM.

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    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 - #354
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLV

    ...And that's the last of them. Feel free to chime in if I missed anything, competitors!

    Avatar by Iron Penguin.

    The Power of the Orient: A Wu Jen Handbook

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

  25. - Top - End - #355
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Goblin

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLV

    Lots of entries... wow.


    Also can you put the Pic that is throwing the page off in a spoiler. Its really really annoying.

  26. - Top - End - #356
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLV

    {table=head]Num.|Entry|Race|Alignment|Build
    1|Wyrmlord Kranzon|Draconic Half dragon Sun Scorched Hobgoblin|LE| LA 4 / Paladin of Tyranny 6 / Talon of Tiamat 10
    2|Aleksander|Human|CE|Barbarian 1/Human Paragon 3/Warlock 2/Talon of Tiamat 10/Binder 1/Hellfire Warlock 3
    3|Tristyn R'yr|Human|Any Evil (not listed)|Sorcerer 6/ Talon of Tiamat 10/ Abjurant Champion 4
    4|The dead mists (Johnathan Smythe)|Necropolitan (Human)|Any Evil (not listed)|Cloistered Cleric 1/Shadowcaster 5/Thrall of Juiblex 4/Talon of Tiamat 10
    5|Abrasa Ka|Human|NE|Bard 9/ Fighter 1/ Talon of Tiamat 10
    6|Majeed Azar|Xeph|Any Evil (not listed)|Psychic Rogue 7/ToT 10/ Shadowmind 3
    7|Lady Grey|Steel Dragon Wyrmling|LE|Talon of Tiamat 10/Soul Eater 2/Spellsword 1/Mindbender 1
    8|Vox Dracul|Silverbrow Human|NE|Bard 8/Evangelist 1/Sublime Chord 1/Talon of Tiamat 10
    9|Suspect 1|Human|CE|Warlock 9 - Dragonfire Adept 1 - Talon of Tiamat 10
    10|Doc’ D’doc|Half-Elf|Any Evil (not listed)|Bard 4/Binder 1/Anima Mage 5/Talon of Tiamat
    11|Sigismundo Celine|Forestlord half-elf (Aerenal)|Any Evil (not listed)|Bard 3/Swashbuckler 4/Talon of Tiamat 10/Vigilant Sentinel of Aerenal 3
    12|Emrys of Llud|Human|Any Evil (not listed)|Knight 5 / Death Delver 5 / Talon of Tiamat 10
    13|Calsus|Human|CE|Savage Bard 5/Ur-Priest 4/Thurmaturgist 1/Talon of Tiamat 10
    14|Firenequis|Raptoran|NE|Duskblade 3/Swashbuckler 3/Suel Arcanamach 4/Talon of Tiamat 10
    15|Zeddicus|Human|LE|Hexblade 4/Talon of Tiamat 10/Blackguard 6
    16|Spyro the Dragon|Wyrmling Steel Dragon Loredrake|NE|Spirit Shaman 1/Ur-Priest 1/Talon of Tiamat 10/Contemplative 1/Dispassionate Watcher of Chronepsis 1
    17|Krumbalt|Tauric (Kobold/Riding Dog)|Any evil (not listed)|RHD 3/Sorc 2/Talon of Tiamat 10/Dread Witch 5
    18|Leide Magora|Human|Any evil (not listed)|Bard 7/Talon of Tiamat 3/ Sublime Chord 3/Talon of Tiamat 7
    19|The White Whale|Darfellan|NE|Ranger 2/Thug Fighter 2/Talon of Tiamat 1/Zhentarim Thug Fighter 3/Scaled Horror 2/Talon of Tiamat 10/Avenging Executioner 3
    20|Violet Ruskin|Human|LE|hexblade 3/paladin of tyranny 2/ marshal 1 / fatemaker 1 / talon of tiamat 10 / uncanny trickster 3
    21|Doraanar Gireen|Loredrake Steel Dragon|Any evil (not listed)| RHD +LA 6/Talon of Tiamat 10/Warblade 1/Abjurant Champion 3
    22|Ornixen|Half - red Dragon Human|NE|LA 1 / Sorcerer 4 / Dread Witch 5 / Talon of Tiamat 10
    23|Haylee|White Dragonspawn Human|CE|Human Paragon 1/Sorcerer 1/HP +2/Dread Witch 5/ Talon of Tiamat 10 (LA +1)[/table]

    I'm really glad that I didn't actually use my second idea, as it is really close to some builds.

    It seems that dread witch and steel dragon mesh well with talon of tiamat. I wonder how a steel dragon / dread witch / talon of tiamat would have worked out.

    If I missed something (I put the table together while skimming over entries) please let me know.
    Last edited by thethird; 2013-05-27 at 02:29 PM.
    Thanks a lot Gengy for the awesome... just a sec... avatar. :)

  27. - Top - End - #357
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLV

    *Whistles* 23 entries? Wow. Lots of interesting builds here, now that I've seen what I'm up against, my confidance in my build is somewhat shakey.
    Last edited by Sgt. Cookie; 2013-05-27 at 10:57 AM.
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    Chaotic neutral. Might rob you blind. Might save your life. Might do both.

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLV

    Ho~ly (or in this contests case perhaps unholy) crap! More entries than before? I had no clue there were that many submissions! And there are some really cool ideas in here.

    Have fun judges! ^^

    Out of curiosity can someone tell me where to find the steel dragon?
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    Awesome Holy Knight Haluesen avatar done by the uber skilled Grinner!

  29. - Top - End - #359
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLV

    Yowza... twenty-three entries, which should beat out last round for most ever. Judges certainly have their work cut out for them!

    Potentially ninja'ing Thurbane, OMG and all, here's the table of race/class breakdown:

    • Wyrmlord Kranzen: Draconic/Half-Blue Dragon Hobgoblin, Paladin of Tyranny 6/Talon of Tiamat 10
    • Aleksander: Human, Barbarian 1/Human Paragon 3/Warlock 2/Talon of Tiamat 10/Binder 1/Hellfire Warlock 3
    • Tristyn R'yr: Human, Sorcerer 6/Talon of Tiamat 10/Abjurant Champion 4
    • The Dead Mists: Necropolitan Human, Cloistered Cleric 1/Shadowcaster 5/Thrall of Juiblex 4/Talon of Tiamat 10
    • Abrasa Kal: Human, Bard 9/Fighter 1/Talon of Tiamat 10
    • Majeed Azar: Xeph, Psychic Rogue 7/Talon of Tiamat 10/Shadowmind 3
    • Lady Grey: Steel Dragon Wyrmling, Talon of Tiamat 10/Soul Eater 2/Spellsword 1/Mindbender 1
    • Vox Dracul: Silverbrow Human, Bard 8/Evangelist 1/Sublime Chord 1/Talon of Tiamat 10
    • Suspect 1: Human, Warlock 9/Dragonfire Adept 1/Talon of Tiamat 10
    • Doc' D'doc: Half-elf, Bard 4/Binder 1/Anima Mage 5/Talon of Tiamat 10
    • Sigismundo Celine: Forestlord Half-Elf, Bard 3/Swashbuckler 4/Talon of Tiamat 10/Vigilant Sentinel of Aerenal 3
    • Emrys: Human?, Knight 5/Death Delver 5/Talon of Tiamat 10
    • Calsus: Human, Savage Bard 5/Ur-Priest 4/Thaumaturgist 1/Talon of Tiamat 10
    • Firnesquis: Raptoran, Duskblade 3/Swashbuckler 3/Suel Arcanamach 4/Talon of Tiamat 10
    • Zeddicus: Human, Hexblade 4/Talon of Tiamat 10/Blackguard 6
    • Spyro the Dragon: Wyrmling Steel Dragon Loredrake, Spirit Shaman 1/Ur-Priest 1/Talon of Tiamat 10/Contemplative 1/Dispassionate Watcher of Chronepsis 1
    • Krumbalt: Tauric (Kobold/Riding Dog), Sorcerer 2/Talon of Tiamat 10/Dread Witch 5
    • Leide Magora: Human, Bard 7/Sublime Chord 3/Talon of Tiamat 10
    • The White Whale: Darfellan, Ranger 2/Thug Fighter 3/Scaled Horror 3/Talon of Tiamat 10/Avenging Executioner 3
    • Violet Ruskin: Human, Hexblade 3/Paladin of Tyranny 2/Marshal 1/Fatemaker 1/Talon of Tiamat 10/Uncanny Trickster 3
    • Doraanar Gireen: Loredrake Steel Dragon Wyrmling, Talon of Tiamat 10/Warblade 1/Abjurant Champion 3
    • Ornixen: Half-Red Dragon Human, Sorcerer 4/Dread Witch 5/Talon of Tiamat 10
    • Haylee: White Dragonspawn Human, Human Paragon 3/Sorcerer 1/Dread Witch 5/Talon of Tiamat 10


    Lots of bards this time around (I count 6), four Sorcerers, three Dread Witches, and a whopping three wyrmling steel dragons.

    I was actually surprised we didn't see more builds going the early entry route, using Paladin of Slaughter or Hexblade - far as I can tell, Zeddicus is the only one. I also expected that we'd see more DFAs, and we only got the one.

    The entry I didn't put in was a Cloistered Cleric 2/Paladin of Tyranny 3/Talon of Tiamat 10/Evangelist 5. With the Dragon and Death domains, the fluff would have been that he was a cleric of Falazure the Night Dragon, Tiamat's older brother, tasked to protect her and convert others to her cause. I was going to base much of the character off of Tiberius from I, Claudius - you know, "let them hate me as long as they fear me" and all that.

    Relevant crunch involved decent save debuffing (-6 to saves from Inspire Dread and PoT's aura), combined with Blade of Pain and Fear + Death Devotion to force saves versus fear and negative levels on every attack. Weakened enemies, then converted them via the Evangelist class feature or Wanderer's Diplomacy. Used Voice of the Dragon from ToT along with the Voice of the Dragon spell to get massive bluff/intimidate/diplomacy checks.

    Glad I didn't end up submitting it, since several builds here went a similar direction.

    Very interesting stuff! I scanned through the crunch of each build as Kuulvheysoon posted it, and later today I'm going to go back through and read all the fluff. Lots of fun entries this time around!

    EDIT: And of course, my attempt to get the table up before Thurbane or OMG is ninja'd
    Last edited by Piggy Knowles; 2013-05-27 at 11:07 AM.
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  30. - Top - End - #360
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLV

    I'm loving MODDOKH. I kinda just want to make all my posts like that, now.

    MODDOKH SINCERELY REGRETS THE NUMBER OF ENTRIES THE JUDGES MUST READ. MODDOKH HOPES IT WILL NOT PROVE TOO INCONVENIENT.

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