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  1. - Top - End - #421
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLVI

    Quote Originally Posted by Deadline View Post
    I'd like to shoot for tomorrow night though.
    Good luck and good shooting, cowboy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Vaz View Post
    Ponies, the Kim Karsdashian of GITP.
    This is what happens when they let me DM:
    Beyond the Horizon IC / OOC
    A Time to Die: Alpha IC / Bravo IC / OOC

  2. - Top - End - #422
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLVI

    My failure to finish my build in time for submission fills me with shame . It's a testament to the powerful lure of vacation, and the difficulty of the SI.

    I was working on a Spiker Spirit Shaman 7/Cipher Adept 9/Sacred Fist 4 for my entry, but foresaw a bunch of "very technical" rules queries about the legalities of such a concept, particularly if I'd included the VoP "Options" section I wanted.

    Well done, contestants, for finishing this dastardly SI. Well done,Chairman, for breaking my record of consecutive, direct involvement in the IC contest.
    Iron Chef in the Playground veteran since Round IV. Play as me!


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  3. - Top - End - #423
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLVI

    Quote Originally Posted by Amphetryon View Post
    Well done, contestants, for finishing this dastardly SI. Well done,Chairman, for breaking my record of consecutive, direct involvement in the IC contest.
    Wow, holy crud, I didn't realize you hadn't competed this round. That makes it your first one missed since.... Seeker of the Song in November 2010?

    Someone needs to make a special Cal Ripken award for you for more than two and a half continuous years of Iron Chef.
    Optimization Showcase in the Playground

    Former projects:
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    GOLD
    IC LXXVI: Talos
    IC LXXV: Alphonse Louise Constant
    IC XLIX: Babalon, Queen of Bones
    IC XLV: Dead Mists
    IC XL: Lycus Blackbeak
    IC XXXIX: AM-1468
    IC XXXV: Parsifal the Fool
    IC XXX: Jal Filius

  4. - Top - End - #424
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLVI

    Quote Originally Posted by Piggy Knowles View Post
    Wow, holy crud, I didn't realize you hadn't competed this round. That makes it your first one missed since.... Seeker of the Song in November 2010?

    Someone needs to make a special Cal Ripken award for you for more than two and a half continuous years of Iron Chef.
    I was a judge for SotS, if memory serves.
    Iron Chef in the Playground veteran since Round IV. Play as me!


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  5. - Top - End - #425
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLVI

    Quote Originally Posted by Amphetryon View Post
    I was a judge for SotS, if memory serves.
    *checks the spreadsheet*

    Yup, somehow I missed that one. So that would make your first contest... Stonelord in April 2010, with an uninterrupted run from the very beginning?
    Optimization Showcase in the Playground

    Former projects:
    Shadowcaster Handbook
    Archer Build Compendium

    Iron Chef Awards!
    Spoiler
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    GOLD
    IC LXXVI: Talos
    IC LXXV: Alphonse Louise Constant
    IC XLIX: Babalon, Queen of Bones
    IC XLV: Dead Mists
    IC XL: Lycus Blackbeak
    IC XXXIX: AM-1468
    IC XXXV: Parsifal the Fool
    IC XXX: Jal Filius

  6. - Top - End - #426
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Deadline's Avatar

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLVI

    My weekend is being thoroughly enjoyed, but is leaving no time for judging. It'll be Monday or Tuesday before judging is complete. Sorry folks.
    Awesome avatar by Iron Penguin!

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  7. - Top - End - #427
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    The Viscount's Avatar

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLVI

    Hey, it's before the deadline, so it's all good. Thanks for keeping us updated.
    Kolyarut Avatar by Potatocubed.
    Quote Originally Posted by willpell View Post
    Only playing Tier 1s is like only eating in five-star restaurants [...] sometimes I just want a cheeseburger and some frogurt. Why limit yourself?
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  8. - Top - End - #428
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    dysprosium's Avatar

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLVI

    Quote Originally Posted by Amphetryon View Post
    My failure to finish my build in time for submission fills me with shame . It's a testament to the powerful lure of vacation, and the difficulty of the SI.

    I was working on a Spiker Spirit Shaman 7/Cipher Adept 9/Sacred Fist 4 for my entry, but foresaw a bunch of "very technical" rules queries about the legalities of such a concept, particularly if I'd included the VoP "Options" section I wanted.

    Well done, contestants, for finishing this dastardly SI. Well done,Chairman, for breaking my record of consecutive, direct involvement in the IC contest.
    If you want to continue your consecutive involvement, you could always judge . . .

  9. - Top - End - #429
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Oct 2010

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLVI

    A status update on judging. I've been having multiple issues going on in real life, the foremost being my computer breaking down, I should have time to finish by the deadline and I will endeavor to do so. I've gotten a decent amount done, but I'll wait until things are more certain before I can give a good ETA on when I'll be done.
    Quote Originally Posted by Phelix-Mu View Post
    We live in the land of the internets, where arguing is never pointless.

  10. - Top - End - #430
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    Devil

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLVI

    Thanks for the update, guys!

    Any more hints on the next SI?

  11. - Top - End - #431
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    Deadline's Avatar

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLVI

    Barbarian, Rogue, Ranger, Swordsage, and Factotum were all on my short list of expected entries. Human is high on the list of expected races. While all 13 entries were fantastic, you'll see that several had issues in both Elegance and Use of the Secret Ingredient. My comments aren't meant to be mean, just critical. Also, I tried to make mention that only having 5 ranks in Balance was fine for all of the entries, but for those where I forgot to say it, 5 ranks in Balance is fine.

    Joseph Knecht - 16
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    Originality: 4.5
    A Game Master Master of the Game who defeats his opponent with no apparent effort whilst side-stepping their attacks? Turning his foes to stone and then smashing the statues? Wonderful flavor! Heir of Siberys really caught me by surprise, as well as the use of Action Points (an alternate rule system). The ACFs coupled with Wilderness Rogue were a pleasant surprise as well. Totemist was nice to see. Human was definitely expected here. Midnight Dodge is neato frito.

    Power: 4
    So, you've built a stealthy scout who can act as a second-line fighter with some battlefield control. I like it, but let's take a look at what we've got power-wise. First off, your main high-level offensive trick doesn't work, as a petrified creature still counts as a creature, not an unattended object (making it ineligible for Strike the Weak Spot). I'm not docking any points for this here, but I'm also not factoring it into your power.

    That said, everything else pretty much works. You can still petrify foes that aren't immune to it, you are a fantastic stealthy scout, you have an array of versatile abilities (and UMD), and you are good at tripping. You can still use your Action Point mechanic to break the action economy a little. Unfortunately, you struggle with damage output as a two-handed fighter without power attack. The multiple tricks combined with Psycarnum Infusion are great, but the lack of Psionic Meditation is glaring (so many ways to use Psionic focus in combat, and no useful ways to regain it quickly in combat). You are very defensively focused, but unfortunately your ability to contribute loses some power when you aren't the focus of attacks.

    So, how do you stack up against, say, the party fighter? In a non-combat environment, you get a gold star. In combat, however, much of your power is unfortunately situational. For example, if your party is mobbed by zombies, you don't really contribute much more than the party fighter. However, against a foe that targets you at least some of the time, you can really muscle your way up the power scale. Best of all, you keep an array of useful tricks all the way through your progression.

    Elegance: 3.75
    The build is well sourced, and qualifies for everything. It was also easy to read and was nicely laid out, so thanks for that. The build flows reasonably well, with no dead levels. 2 level dips in Totemist and Psychic warrior feel awkward, but work out well together. The build relies on action points for it's one advertised offensive trick, which to my knowledge are an alternative rule system (unless the default assumption is that all characters have action points, which I don't think is true). You entered the SI as early as possible (and didn't just splash the first level to do it). Getting Evasion from the SI that you lost from Wilderness Rogue ACFs is smooth.

    Props for the Herman Hesse backstory.

    Use of the Secret Ingredient: 3.75
    This was a rough category for everyone. You managed to do quite well.

    You make use of Improved Unarmed Strike by using it as a prerequisite for Defensive Sweep. You make at least some use of Combination Strike by getting extra attacks on the foes you trip, as long as they can be disarmed. You utilize a few skills from the SI, and make good use of two of the prerequisite feats. Your build definitely needs the bonus feats that the SI delivers, and you stick to a solid theme that really feels like a Cipher Adept. You've got a use for Evasion and Improved Evasion with Cunning Evasion, and it's even more beneficial as you traded away Evasion from Wilderness Rogue.

    You don't do anything with the prerequisite skills aside from Survival, which you don't really advance (Tracking DC's can easily go higher than 20). You do have a trick or two to enhance this however, and you have a way of picking up Track.

    You invalidate some of Combat Instinct with the Mark of Stars feat (insight bonuses don't stack). You stop Balance at 5 ranks (which is expected), and stop Listen at 10 only to pick up Mindsight and effectively set 10 skill points on fire. Your use of Strike the Weak Spot doesn't work, which is a shame because it's neat. Lastly, you don't really "use" Move Without Barriers for anything, you just "have" it.

    While the fluff for your entry really ties this together, and you have some nice synergies, you also overshadow or don't use parts of the class.


    Seamus - 12.25
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    Originality: 5
    Kaorti? Fiend of Possession? What? I ... what?

    Ok, so Kaorti certainly caught me by surprise, and so did Fiend of Possession. I also wasn't really expecting Spellthief. A neutral fiend who possesses you or your stuff so that he can steal and break your stuff while he's in your stuff? Yo dawg, that's worth some points.

    Power: 2.75
    Well, you've got a 9th level spell usable at will at 6th level. Etherealness is a solid utility spell, and gives you some much needed survivability in your build, particularly when it only has 4 hit dice at 6th level. Your racial spell-likes provide handy versatility early on in your career. You are a mediocre scout, and an excellent infiltrator. As per the Fiend of Possession Animate Object ability, you have some combat utility with your possess object/animate object combo, but you lack the BAB to truly take advantage of it. Your saves are great across the board, which is good. Unfortunately, you are item dependent as you lose access to Power Attack and Combat Brute without a strength boosting item, which hinders the power of your one trick substantially (particularly since much of the power of your trick comes from WBL). Worse still, you are dependent on your Resin Suit item to, well, not die.

    You've got a jump in power early on, and a fairly minimal increase in ability after that. You struggle to contribute early on before you pick up FoP, after which you drift to a low Tier 3, high Tier 4. Most of your ability to contribute lies in non-combat utility.

    Elegance: 2.75
    The entry is well sourced, and you qualify for everything (except Power Attack and Combat Brute - see the Power entry for details). The layout was a bit confusing, and your skill points are all wonky (it looks like you consistently underspent your skill points at every level except the 1st - which hurts, because there are several skills you could have taken advantage of). Aside from those issues it was fairly easy to read.

    You entered the SI very late, which hurts the flow of the build. The rest of the build flows reasonably well, and you avoid random dips. It's also kind of neat that you only needed a single level of a base class. You explain every build choice sufficiently and leave nothing unjustified.

    Use of the Secret Ingredient: 1.75
    Yikes, you take a pretty severe hit here. Let's take a look at why. First the good things:

    You make a minor effort to optimize Combination Strike with your inclusion of the Improved Critical feat. Strike the Weak Point is the one trick of this one trick pony, and it is nicely focused on. You make use of the two bonus feats to enhance Strike the Weak Point and slightly optimize Combination Strike.

    Unfortunately, you ditch all three entry skills (5 ranks in Balance is fine) as soon as you meet prerequisites, and you don't really use them for anything. You don't utilize any of the entry feats for anything, they are just dead weight. The granted Improved Unarmed Strike feat doesn't see any use in your build. You don't use Combat Instinct for anything. The capstone is left out, but this is mitigated by the fact that you already have a superior ability from Fiend of Possession.

    This doesn't feel like a Cipher Adept, it feels like a Fiend of Possession with Cipher Adept tacked on at the end. Your comment regarding where to go after Fiend of Possession is, unfortunately for you, accurate. Cipher Adept is a place to go, but you give very little reason for doing so. The only thing you actually use from the class is the 2nd level ability. You pretty much have no reason to continue in the SI past that point.


    Vitarri Azile - 8
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    Originality: 3
    Well, I didn't expect an Elf. However, Ranger and Rogue were both expected. Fighter is not surprising, just bland. You seem to just be a mildly optimized crit-fisher that doesn't really ... Oh! Hey! You used Combat Focus! Why didn't you use the other feats in this chain? The Combat Form feats are sadly underused, and they seem like a natural fit for this SI.

    All told, this build looks to be pretty baseline in this department.

    Power: 1.75
    Your damage dealing capabilities are very weak for a melee fighter. You rely on inflicting crits (but with no extra damage), make use of two different kinds of weapons, yet only focus on enhancing the crits on one of them (or you dual-wield rapiers, which means you hit even less, it's not terribly clear from your writeup). Your utility outside of combat is limited, but there. Your utility skills weak, but you do have access to 1st level Ranger spells to help with some tasks. You have a precisely two options in combat, the option to full attack (which you focused on), or spring attack in and out making a single attack. At least on some level, you've essentially created a character with no Monk levels who has the Monk problem (split focus, not amazing at either).

    You do your chosen tactic reasonably well, and if the foe can be disarmed you have a good shot at doing it while also doing damage.

    Your power curve pretty much remains mostly flat throughout your career. You are able to hit reliably with a few attacks early on, but as you gain levels, the medium BAB of Cipher Adept coupled with TWF penalties means that your ability to hit things drops off with your iteratives. You fall behind the party fighter wielding a greatsword, and your only real tricks in combat function solely against opponents who can be disarmed. Against foes who can't be disarmed, you are functionally the same as your weak animal companion - your only apparent use is to flank and be a target to soak up a small amount of damage. Flying foes would render you moot.

    Outside of combat you are a moderately capable sneak against anything that doesn't have heightened senses of some kind, which means that many of the higher level challenges will render your sneaking ability moot. You can't fulfill the trapfinding role you mention in your build, because you have no ranks in Search. Meaning that the highest Search DC you can hit is 21, by taking a 20. Also, if you found a trap, what would you do with it? You have no ranks in Disable Device. You have a decent UMD score, which helps your utility, and you inexplicably have a high Handle Animal score (I can't figure out what you use this for?). And lastly, you selected Animals and Magical Beasts as your favored enemies for no apparent reason. I'm not docking you for this, it's just a curious observation. It's odd to me to get something and not make any real use of it.

    The final nail in your ability to contribute here is that you appear to rely on the ability to get lots of attacks until 17th level, where you pick up Spring Attack (which, if used, means you are wasting all those extra attacks). In order to deliver all those attacks, you have to Full Attack, which means you are standing next to your foe. In light armor. With 10 Con. Poor Vitarri is highly unlikely to make it to the end of his career, much less make it to Cipher Adept.

    Elegance: 1.75
    You don't qualify for the SI. I know I stated that not qualifying would drop you to the minimum score in UotSI, but given that this appears to be a typo because you've taken the Agile feat twice (and you can't do that), it means one of those is probably supposed to be Dodge. So instead of tanking your UotSI score, I'm going to assume it was a typo. Proof-read folks, it'll save you points! (Note: If the Chairman feels that I am being unfair here, then this entry will be changed to the minimum score in Use of the Secret Ingredient).

    The entry was well sourced and reasonably easy to read, but you do have a problem here. Your build is all over the place. Props for using such limited sources, but man does this build jump around. You pick up feats that don't really synergize with each other, random skills, and class abilities that see no apparent use in your build. You spend a little time explaining your main trick, but everything else in your build just feels like it was "tossed in" just because. Short of your one trick, I'm not sure just what this build is supposed to do.

    Also, you sadly don't qualify for Combat Focus (it requires 13 Wis).

    Use of the Secret Ingredient: 1.5
    You struggled with this category, but lots of people did, so don't feel bad. Basically, you hardly used the SI, and as a result your entry doesn't feel like a Cipher Adept. Let's start with the good. Your main focus is on Combination Strike, and you get some use out of one bonus feat to enhance it. You also very briefly touch on a use for Improved Unarmed Strike, albeit a very minor one. Your Sneak Attack ability gives you a use for Combat Instinct, but it's not much.

    Unfortunately, you ignore all three entry feats after you get them. The only one that seems to serve any purpose is Improved Initiative, which kind of gets a use in your build. Many folks here abandoned all three prerequisite skills (5 ranks in Balance is fine) after meeting the prerequisite, and you follow suit. Sure, you drop a couple of points into them, but this appears to serve no purpose (you don't do anything with them in your build). You even get Track for free from Ranger, yet you abandon Survival. Evasion and Improved Evasion are just "there". You don't make any use of Strike the Weak Spot. And lastly the capstone sees no use (and you dumped Wisdom). Basically, you just "have" all of the abilities, but don't do anything with them. It's hard to see just why you took the SI at all as opposed to, well, anything else.


    Blue Eyes - 14.25
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    Originality: 4.75
    A soul-powered primeval dinosaur who runs on instinct? Yeah, that's unexpected. I really wasn't expecting Azurin or Primeval. Wildshape Ranger was a nice twist on an expected entry, as was Bear Totem Barbarian. Midnight Dodge is interesting. Cobalt Rage fits nicely with the whole "instinctual hunter" bit.

    Power: 4
    You've got a powerful melee form, Rage, lots of attacks, and pounce. Your soulmeld gives your attack routine a boost, and arguably might improve your unarmed strikes. Unfortunately, you lose out on some versatility by not having sufficient wisdom for a bonus 1st level Ranger spell. Out of combat your versatility is nice, with the ability to function as a tracker and a moderately capable scout (with your wide array of wildshape forms to grant you various detection and movement abilities). Your UMD score is a little weak to get much benefit beyond long duration buff spells, but that at least adds to your versatility. Your will save is your Achilles heel, and given how potent a combatant you can be, this could make you into a big liability for your party.

    Your power curve has a few spikes in it (getting Wildshape, and getting your Primeval form), but otherwise it only seems to go up. You make a solid front-line fighter, and can really tear things up. You do decently out of combat, and have a few nice options available to you.

    Elegance: 2.75
    Nicely laid out, easy to read, and well sourced. You qualify for everything, and the build flows nicely. The only part that seems odd here is the Distracting Attack ACF, given that you are a melee character. You have some slightly odd skill choices here and there, but mostly everything synergizes well. Getting the fast movement from Wildshape Ranger that you lose from Bear Totem Barbarian is smooth.

    But there is one glaring problem, Azurin's don't have Ranger or Barbarian as a favored class, which means you are subject to an experience point penalty, starting as early as 6th level.

    Use of the Secret Ingredient: 2.75
    All in all, you did ok here.

    Let's start off with the good. You have a use for Survival with Track, and you keep it near maxed. You get a scaling use out of one of the entry feats (with Midnight Dodge). Improved Unarmed Strike has purpose by giving you extra attacks when in a form that can't use weapons (and it can be enhanced by your soulmeld). You have a good use for both bonus feats, they enhance Cipher Adept abilities/skills, and one does double duty as a prerequisite. Your soulmeld goes a little way towards enhancing Combination Strike.

    Unfortunately, you don't have a use for the capstone, Strike the Weak Spot, or Combat Instinct. Two of the entry feats see no use, and you abandon two of the entry skills (5 ranks in Balance is fine). Your trick for enhancing Combination Strike is left out in the cold because you don't have Improved Disarm to prevent failure when the AoO hits.

    Your entry was powerful and interesting, but I just had a hard time thinking of this entry as a Cipher Adept. Taking more levels in another class that grants Evasion seems like it would be way more beneficial to your build.


    The Fixer - 10.25
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    Originality: 4.5
    You ... you took Forsaker. Well surely using the capstone to go ethereal violates ... no? What about the psionics .. nope? And what the heck is a Karsite? *Looks it up* Ahahahaha, this is awesome! Karsite actually makes Forsakers almost playable!

    *whew* Ok, I'm better now. This build makes me smile, alot. I wasn't expecting Psychic Warrior either. Snatch Weapon was also a surprise.

    Power: 3.5
    Well, this is a bit of a mixed bag. You go with THF, but never pick up Power Attack. This means your damage output is going to be lower than it probably should be. Increased crit range helps, and you can certainly disarm your foes. The Forsaker/Karsite combo is great, and you get a nice power boost from those two. Your psychic powers bump your melee capability, which is always nice. Your out of combat utility is extremely limited, with your only two functions being ok at hiding (but not moving silently), and being a walking lie detector.

    As far as how you'd contribute to encounters, you fill the party fighter role about as well as the party fighter would. Against magic using foes, you are top notch, as they will pretty much be incapable of touching you with anything short of orb spells. Flying foes will cause you a tremendous amount of trouble though, as you only have mundane ranged weapons to engage them with.

    Elegance: 2.25
    The build is well sourced and easy to read. You qualify for everything, except Dodge (which requires Dex 13), which also means you don't qualify for the SI. Otherwise, the build flows well. My only gripe is that you enter the SI late in your career (the 2 LA from Karsite makes entering more than a level earlier impossible though).

    Use of the Secret Ingredient: 0
    Noooo! You don't qualify for the Secret Ingredient, because you don't qualify for Dodge (you still have to be able to qualify for the bonus feats from Psychic Warrior, they are like Fighters in that regard). I am saddened, and this competition is diminished in its level of awesomeness.

    I do want to say that the character did feel reasonably like a Cipher Adept, though it may have been better off with some full BAB class rather than the SI.


    Togashi Mitsu - 15.25
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    Originality: 4.5
    A ninja who scatters his foes Dynasty Warriors style from across planar boundaries? Awesome. I didn't expect ninja, and dungeoncrasher fighter is a nice addition. Lesser Shyft coupled with Magic in the Blood is an interesting and unexpected choice. I've never even heard of Forceful Staff before, it's a neat little style feat that you put to great use here with your main trick. It's a great combo.

    Power: 4
    You've got an interesting power curve, it spikes and drops throughout your build, but it always trends up, which is good. You start out well in a skirmisher role, and you have some out of combat utility as a scout, sneak, and trap finder. Your trap ability falls off midway through the build, as do your sneaking skills. Essentially, your out of combat utility starts to rely heavily on your ethereal abilities, which is a supremely limited resource for you. Your main combat trick is potent (but comes online late in the build), especially combined with Sudden Strike, and is the main way you seem to contribute in combat. Your racial ethereal ability lets you stay relatively safe, for up to 3 combats per day. Unfortunately, that leaves you without noteworthy sneaking abilities. With the SI capstone, you have a little extra leeway, but it's a very limited resource that you are running your entire build off of. Your reliance on your ethereal abilities to foil detection methods works well, when you have the resource to spend.

    Your out of combat versatility is good early on, but starts to take a bit of a hit later in the build, where you focus more on abilities that help you out in combat. You still stay viable as a scout, and your movement skills help you get into difficult to reach places.

    Elegance: 2.75
    First off, a minor administrative quibble. Good gravy shrink your images or spoiler them if they are Huge McLarge. The image on this one is cool, but enormous, and it deforms the entire entry.

    The build qualifies for everything, flows well, and is well sourced. There are a few problems, but they are mostly minor. You mention the Twisted Charge Skill trick in your writeup, but don't have it in your build writeup (you have Nimble Charge, is this a typo?). I'm not sure I can agree with your interpretation of how the Lesser Planetouched entry applies to Shyfts, as it implies that losing the outsider type is worth both 1 and 3 points of level adjustment. That said, I'm not sure I see why Shyfts don't have the same +1 LA as the other Planetouched races. You enter the SI late in your build.

    Use of the Secret Ingredient: 4
    Let's start with the good:

    You use Improved Unarmed Strike as a prerequisite for your primary trick. You have a use for Combat Instinct, as catching foes flat-footed activates Sudden Strike. A lack of armor also means you rely on alternative boosts to AC. Two of the prerequisite feats are used (Dodge as a prerequisite for Mobility, and Improved Initiative to activate Sudden Strike). You keep Balance maxed, key some skill tricks off of it, and key a skill trick off of Listen to keep it relevant. You do have a use for the capstone, but it is mostly overshadowed by the Shyft's racial power. You don't have much of a use for Combination Strike, but you do have a neat way to use it without having to get Improved Disarm.

    I'm not sure what you are using Spring Attack for, as when you are ethereal it's hardly necessary, and following your foe doesn't help as you can't make a full attack on a Spring Attack. You ditch survival. You don't have any use out of Evasion and Improved Evasion, you just "have" them.

    All in all, the build works as a Cipher Adept, and fits the feel reasonably well. I can't shake the feeling that the SI isn't the feature here, but it certainly has an important role in enhancing the dish, and that's no small trick with this ingredient.


    Master Du - 16.75
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    Originality: 4
    I like this entry, it oozes Cipher Adept. Master training pupil, pupil becoming master, it's excellent. I really wasn't expecting Savant or Exotic Weapon Master. Warblade was unexpected. Human is no surprise here.

    Power: 4
    Maneuvers are a great way to enhance the power of this class without overshadowing its abilities. You aren't high on the damage dealing scale, but you do better than the party fighter in general. You've got multiple attacks early on thanks to Steel Wind Strike, each of which is likely to hit. At later levels, you swap Steel Wind strike out for Greater Insightful Strike to really lay some hurt on a target. Avalanche of Blades really hammers it home against a single foe when needed, but doesn't come online until 20. The various save maneuvers are great, especially when coupled with Evasion on Reflex saves. Your stances provide a nice boost to either you, or your party, making you a great flanking buddy and more than just a meat shield. You even manage to squeeze in at least 16 BAB!

    Out of combat, you have a moderate cache of skills, feats, and skill tricks to help keep you useful as a moderately capable scout and trapspringer.

    Of the various foes you can face, flying foes are the ones most likely to give you fits.

    Overall, your power curve remains constant and steady all the way through.

    Elegance: 4
    Ain't gonna lie, this entry was one of the best of the bunch when it came to layout and ease of reading. Everything was easy to find, and well sourced. You qualified for everything you took, and the build flows well across the board. You enter the SI as early as possible.

    I don't see anything that is questionable in the build, and I have a hard time imagining that this build wouldn't be welcome at most tables. I really like what you've done with this build.

    Use of the Secret Ingredient: 4.75
    Let's start with the good:

    Improved Unarmed Strike is great when coupled with your Escape Artist skill tricks, and you enhance this further by using it as a prerequisite for Stunning Fist. Surprisingly, you carry listen all the way, and enhance it with skill tricks. You had a use for Dodge as a prerequisite for Karmic Strike, and you actually had a use for Agile! Your maneuvers give you a nice boost for Evasion and Improved Evasion. Battle Cunning gives you a use for both Improved Initiative and Combat Instinct. You use both bonus feats, Battle Ardor, Snatch Weapon, and Blood in the Water in concert to enhance Combination Strike. You have a use for several of the class skills.

    Your use for Strike the Weak Spot is a little hit or miss. Your listed use of destroying traps works for traps with a Search DC of 30 or less, since those are the only ones you can find. Granted, that's lots of traps (including magic traps with 5th level or lower spells). Smashing those magic traps is an iffy proposition, especially if they trigger a spell that doesn't allow a Reflex save. Having Disable Device to fall back on helps a lot. Steady Concentration pairs with Strike the Weak Spot nicely.

    Unfortunately, you ditch survival and balance (5 ranks in Balance is fine). You don't finish the SI, so you don't use the capstone, and you don't have anything that functionally replicates it. Failing to take the last 2 levels of the SI also weakens Combat Instinct. Ditching levels of the SI in favor of more power isn't necessarily a good thing, as otherwise you would be hard pressed not to just ditch the whole thing. Honestly, picking up the last two levels of the SI and figuring out even a weak use for the capstone would have netted you (combined with the uses you already employ) full points here. That said, you've really managed to capture the feel of the SI here, and the result is a surprisingly powerful, and flavorful, build.


    Princess Milania Pyrite - 10
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    Originality: 3.75
    Haha! I knew people were going to have to be creative with this one. Nice Spaceballs homage! Noble and Urban Druid were both quite unexpected. Deceptive Dodge was a neat extra. Human and Rogue were par for the course. A spoiled princess with connections to the merchant guilds who breaks unworthy gifts and fritters away her supernatural ability to step onto the Ethereal Plane as a method for dramatic exit? Yeah, points.

    Power: 2
    What can I say? You had to be expecting a hit here. You seem to be angling for the role of the party face, and that you can do reasonably well. Your utility through UMD is definitely there, and your small number of Druid spells give you a nice little bump. You struggle to accomplish much of anything in combat, however. Your only purpose seems to be to serve as a target in the hopes you can use your Deceptive Dodge feat to cause enemies to hurt each other. You'll struggle to pull your own weight even in combat encounters that are a bit below the party level. WBL shenanigans will make you more welcome in a party than your average walking target, but not by much.

    Your power curve is low, and mostly all comes online once you've picked up your WBL manipulation feats.

    Elegance: 2.5
    The build is well sourced, and easily read. The build flows surprisingly well. You seem to be missing the mandatory level writeup, as mentioned in the Chairman's OP:

    Quote Originally Posted by The Chairman
    You will need to present a write-up of your build at at least one of the following points: 5th level, 10th level, 15th, 20th, and a "sweet spot" that you feel is the high point of the build, as well as presenting a fully-fleshed out 20-level build in the table below.
    If the "Design Notes" section you listed is supposed to be this, it is unclear as to what level you are presenting (my guess is 20).

    You enter the SI late in your career. Your build fiddles with WBL using admittedly RAW rules, but you might be hard pressed to see your Druish Princess welcome at some tables.

    Use of the Secret Ingredient: 1.75
    Let's start with the good:
    You mostly kept at least one class skill maxed, and it's a useful one. And I'll go ahead and say that you have an admittedly lackluster use for the capstone.

    Unfortunately, you use pretty nothing else from the class. You use one of your bonus feats to enhance Combination Strike, and your use of Deceptive Dodge gives you a use for the Dodge prerequisite. Other than that, it's not a Cipher Adept. You would have been better off with more levels of Rogue.


    Hanil Gaenok - 14.5
    Spoiler
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    Originality: 4.25
    The amount of off the wall creativity with this SI is fantastic. A Ranger who wildshapes into a Rust Monster to break all your stuff is my kind of crazy! Wildshape Ranger is a nice variant. Swordsage was a bit unexpected, but a nice addition. Aberration feats? Wow. Human was the only expected element here.

    Power: 4
    This is an interesting build, to be sure. You've got some great out of combat utility with your wildshape forms, ranger spells, and skills (you make a solid tracker and a decent scout). In combat, things are a bit shakier. Early on, you'll have to focus on ranged combat to be an effective threat, pushing you into a skirmisher role. Once you pick up Wild Shape, you get access to some decent combat forms, and you can transition to a second line fighter. You keep your BAB high, which helps you land your attacks, and you rely on multiple attacks to do decent damage. You pick up a few maneuvers that add to your in-combat bag of tricks. Your rust monster schtick is potent, but it comes online late in the build, and you would be hard pressed to find a party that would be happy with the result. I do like it though, and I especially like your using Improved Unarmed Strike to give yourself a better attack routine (although Rust Monsters only have one Antennae attack, not two).

    Ranged enemies, or enemies that don't rely on metal equipment will definitely stick out as foes you have a harder time with, but you have methods to deal with them aside from falling back on using a bow (at least for ranged enemies).

    Your power curve consistently goes up, with a couple of spikes where you pick up Wild Shape and Aberration Wild Shape.

    Elegance: 3
    Easy to read, well sourced, good flow. The build flows nicely, and you qualify for everything you took. I see only two minor issues: How the heck would a rust monster put barding on? By that level it is mostly a moot point, because Wilding Clasps are a thing, but it was enough to give me a little bit of pause. The other issue is that you need to take care that you don't turn into a form that has a Dex less than 13, or you lose access to Dodge, and thusly you lose access to the SI. Given that you are restricted to Small and Medium forms, however, you are unlikely to have that crop up.

    The only other comment I have is to touch on something that many folks did; you enter the SI late in your career.

    Use of the Secret Ingredient: 3.25
    Let's look at the good:
    You have a use for Improved Unarmed Strike as a prerequisite and as a method for boosting your attack routine while in wildshape form. Both bonus feats are used to enhance Combination Strike, which works out neat with using your Antennae to sunder gear. Track gives you a use for Survival, and you use some of the class skills (particularly Concentration for the save Maneuvers). Your use for Combat Instinct essentially depends on your form. It is necessary for slower, poorly armored forms as opposed to being more of an afterthought on the faster, more highly armored builds. Remember, just "having" it isn't enough, because everyone gets it.

    Unfortunately, you don't really have a use for Strike the Weak Spot. The capstone is just sort of there, despite you being one of the only builds to have a lot of it. You abandon two of the prerequisite skills after you get sufficient ranks to qualify (5 ranks in Balance is fine). And lastly, you don't have a use for the prerequisite feats. You sadly don't have any real use for Evasion/Improved Evasion.

    I can see where you were going with this build, and it does benefit from the SI, but a little more focus on the SI here would have really helped.


    Frostlink - 12.5
    Spoiler
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    Originality: 5
    A warforged polymorphed into a chain golem shapeshifted into a shapeshift druid attack form all at the center of a 30ft. radius mini-blizzard with Chains whipping out to beat things down or take their stuff? Great Googly-Moogly do I not know what is going on here. I love it. Shapeshift druid was surprising. Warforged was definitely unexpected. And really, who could have seen being a chain golem/blizzard who balances on snowflakes?

    Seriously, what? Full points.

    Power: 3
    You can seriously tear some stuff up here. In combat, you are a force to be reckoned with. You have all sorts of options to disarm, trip, and batter your foes with multiple attacks. Obscuring Snow and Snowsight give you some hefty defensive and offensive options (the party rogue will love you for it, so long as they can see through it), and you have 5th level druid spells to help you both in combat and out of combat. Out of combat you have plenty of handy spells, as well as your aerial form for scouting or engaging flying foes.

    There are three notable problems. The first is not a huge issue, but your party likely can't see through your snow, and it is a 30 foot radius centered on you, so you'll likely have to burn a couple of spells each day for your party members in order for them to be able to see. The second is a Big ProblemTM. You don't have the Chain Golem's Magic Immunity, which means that you are susceptible to Dispel Magic. You are likely to be targeted, because of the portable snowstorm, and if it pops your Polymorph (which is set at CL 7 from the item), you get shut down for the rest of the day. You lose access to all class features of Cipher Adept, all of your Chain Golem shenanigans go away, and most of the feats you take after 6th level get shut off too, as you no longer qualify for them (Multiattack and (debatably) Improved Critical[Unarmed Strike] are the only feats past 9th that you keep access to). Sure, you fall back to being a 10th level Druid, but that's not a good thing in a 20th level party. The last issue is that you are hugely item dependent for your power.

    Your power curve goes up steadily until you pick up your Phylactery of change, at which point there is a crazy good spike. Losing out on druid spellcasting hurts here, but as long as your trick works, you mostly make up the difference in combat strength and versatility.

    Elegance: 2.25
    Ok, so I love the build, but hate you for making me wade through the Polymorph rules. I dug through the SRD and poked around in all the sources I could find, and have come to the conclusion that you've missed a few things about what you do and don't get with Polymorph. First off, you are correct that you get the Type and Subtype of the new form. You also gain the physical ability scores of the new form (but you keep your non-polymorphed con mod to hitpoints). You gain the movement modes of the new form, as well as natural attacks and natural armor. You gain the bonus feats. You gain all the extraordinary (EX) special attacks of the new form, but none of the extraordinary special qualities (EX), and none of the Supernatural (Su) or Spell-like (Sp) abilities. So as far as I can tell, you don't get the Chain Golem's Magic Immunity or Resistance to Ranged Attacks (both of which are listed as Special Qualities). It is also questionable as to what you get to keep when you use the Shapeshift ability. All three shapeshift forms you have access to specifically limit your reach to 5 feet, and it states that you lose any attacks that your new form is incapable of making. So I don't see a situation where you can get your Shapeshift natural attacks and still have your chain rake attacks. I understand this is a grey area that requires DM interpretation, which is why you take a hit here. I also want to say that balancing on snowflakes to fight aerial foes is awesome imagery, but unlikely to fly at any table.

    The build is well sourced and easy to read. You don't qualify for Defensive Throw at 9th (it requires Combat Reflexes, which you don't get until 16th). The flow deserves special mention here, because I really like the 10/10 split you put down here. However, you rely entirely on an item, an alternate form's stats, and some polymorph shenanigans for the whole thing to work, which is really jarring.

    Use of the Secret Ingredient: 2.25
    Everyone struggled with this category, so let's see how you did:

    First off, I want to congratulate you for finding a use for Balance! Sure, it's cheesy as heck, but balancing on snowflakes? Awesome. You have a use for Improved Unarmed Strike, which enhances your attack routine. You also pick up Improved Critical to enhance it, and by extension enhance Combination Strike. Speaking of Combination Strike, you get more mileage out of it with Improved Disarm. You don't really have a use for Listen and Survival, though you do throw some points into them. Dodge gets some love (qualifying for Mobility, Defensive Throw, and Elusive Target), as long as you are in your Chain Golem Form.

    Sadly, you don't have a use for Improved Initiative. Strike the Weak Spot doesn't see any use here. Combat Instinct is certainly nice to have, but you just "have" it. You don't have a use for Evasion/Improved Evasion. You don't have a use for the capstone, because as noted above you don't get the Chain Golem's Magic Immunity (and also non-magical force is apparently a thing, see the Orb of Force spell).

    Ultimately, given that a solid Dispel Magic will cut the SI completely out of your build, I have to ask why this build just wouldn't go with more levels in Druid?


    Mwareynaa - 12
    Spoiler
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    Originality: 3.5
    Wow, a Buomann! We've seen Totemist earlier, but it wasn't expected. I like your inclusion of Expeditious Dodge. However, Swordsage was an expected entry.

    Power: 3
    This entry seems middle of the road in this category. You appear to fill the role of a second line fighter or skirmisher, able to step in to the front line for brief periods of time. Your ability to dish out damage is ok, and you have a few options in combat with your ability to Disarm. Your maneuvers really help your versatility and power out here, and without them you'd be floundering in combat. Out of combat, Totemist bursts with options for you, and you can fulfill a number of roles, albeit as a second stringer.

    Your power curve does go up, but it is a slow climb with a plateau during the SI levels, as most of your useful abilities almost all come before you even get into the SI. You'll struggle with aerial foes, as the only real way you have to deal with them lies in your Totemist abilities. Overall you are versatile, but lacking in potency in some areas.

    Elegance: 2.75
    Everything is well sourced, easy to read, and nicely laid out. I like the simplicity of the 5/5/10 layout, and you make it work well. You qualify for everything you took. The one big problem you run into is that you suffer and xp penalty for your two base classes being more than two levels apart (Buomann favored class is Monk). That means you are expecting more xp than everyone else (from 6th level to 8th level).

    Use of the Secret Ingredient: 2.75
    You had a somewhat difficult time getting good uses out of the Cipher Adept abilities. You do have a use for Improved Unarmed Strike as a prerequisite for Superior Unarmed Strike and Snap Kick. Combination Strike gets some love from Snap Kick, Improved Disarm, and to a lesser extent, Combat Reflexes. Surprisingly, you kind of have a use for Agile in conjunction with Escape Artist. Expeditious Dodge is neat, and you sort of have a use for it.

    You don't really use the prerequisite skills. You put a few points into them after the minimum requirements, but there doesn't seem to be a purpose to it.

    Unfortunately, you don't have a use for Improved Initiative. Strike the Weak Spot, Evasion/Improved Evasion, Combat Instinct, and the capstone all see no love here.

    Despite not using half of the abilities that it grants, this still manages to look and feel somewhat like a Cipher Adept.


    Grey Lord - 14.75
    Spoiler
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    Originality: 4
    While human was expected, Human Paragon was not. Cleric of the Mockery dip? Divine Mind? Wow, you got me there. I did not see those coming. Serenity, Trickery Devotion, and Bind Vestige were fun additions.

    Power: 4
    So, where to begin here. There's a lot to cover, so maybe I'll just try to hit the highlights. When it comes to melee, you can play the role of a front line fighter reasonably well. You go the THF route, but lack Power Attack to truly take advantage of it. However, you have plenty of options and versatility to more than make up for that. You are very good at your sundering schtick, and once you pick up your Spring Attack chain, you shift more to a skirmish style combatant (which makes the low BAB hurt less). Your Mantles, Ectopic Ally, Trickery Duplicate, and buff spells all give you tons of options in combat. I didn't see anything that would let you reliably deal with aerial foes, so you'd suffer in such encounters, but so would most of the entries this time around.

    Out of combat, you are looking at the same sort of deal. You can be a good scout with great Listen and Spot skills, and you can sneak or gather information with the aid of spells. Your ability to bind a Vestige only adds to this further. You can even provide a little healing ability, if needed. You've got solid AC, and Divine Grace ensures that all of your saves are fantastic.

    Your power curve is consistently pointed upward. You have "ablatively useful" abilities as you progress, as several of your minor spells that allow saves become mostly useless at higher levels, but by that time you have new, useful abilities.

    Elegance: 3.5
    Ok, I get it. You didn't like being told to cite your sources, so you cited all the things. Har har.

    So, the build is very well sourced. It's also hard as heck to read. You qualify for everything you took. The build flows well, but that Cleric dip stands out. It's not a big enough deal to lose points over, but it does stand out. This build is very complex (you pull material in from nearly 30 sources), and was one of two in this competition that were the hardest to judge simply because I had to dig around so much in order to verify what was going on. It is also a testament to the kind of flexibility and power you can bring to the table by scouring the numerous sources available in 3.5.

    A couple of very minor quibbles:
    1. Nimble Charge does not let you auto succeed on a balance check, it lets you run or charge across a difficult surface without needing to make a balance check. There is actually a list of difficult surfaces in the PHB under the balance skill. There is also a separate list of narrow surfaces. If you look at the epic balance rules, you will see that it appears to be an extension of the narrow surfaces, not difficult surfaces, so I'm not sure Nimble Charge would let you charge across clouds.
    2. You use of Trickery Devotion to duplicate poisons is ... probably not going to go over ok at all tables. While I see what you are saying, it seems like the kind of thing a DM would generally veto (free duplication of poisons for a single feat seems a bit much, even if they have a limited shelf life).

    Use of the Secret Ingredient: 3.25
    Surprisingly, you have a use for Balance (with a skill trick and skill enhancing spells). You get some use out of Agile by using it and skill enhancing spells to boost Escape Artist. This usage is niche though. Listen and Survival aren't really used here, but you at least keep them maxed. Improved Unarmed Strike sees use as a prerequisite for Snap Kick and Superior Unarmed Strike. You use Dodge as a prerequisite for the Spring Attack chain, which is your main attack routine. You do have a use for Combination Strike, with Improved Sunder and your Conflict Mantle. You use both bonus feats to bring your main attack routine online.

    Unfortunately, you don't have a use for Improved Initiative. Strike the Weak Spot is just left hanging. Additionally, your Destruction Mantle, ability to expend psionic focus to improve sunder, and your vestige to double damage to objects all combine to make this ability mostly redundant. You don't have a use for Evasion/Improved Evasion. Combat Instinct and the capstone ability are just "there".

    I've got to say that while you did use some of the SI, the build had a hard time coming together and giving the feeling of the SI. Props for using Divine Mind though.


    Ssurssk - 9.5
    Spoiler
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    Originality: 3.75
    Wheee! A Muckdweller! I love these tiny guys. I like the imagery of a little lizard bouncing from foe to foe and knocking the weapons out of their hands. Swasbuckler and Martial Rogue are some neat additions. I had to look up the Antiquarian Rogue ACF. Swordsage and Factotum were both expected entries.

    Power: 3.5
    You've got some interesting options available to you here. Underfoot Combat lets you participate in combat against medium or larger creatures without suffering repeated AoOs, which is good. You make a great skirmisher. Your maneuvers give you some much needed punch and versatility, and your ability to add Dex and Int to your attacks helps keep your damage relevant. Out of combat you are a good sneak, and your UMD score gives you some nice versatility. I'm surprised that you didn't take Escape Artist very far, because a grapple completely shuts you down, and it's a tactic that is hard for you to counter otherwise. You have no listed way of dealing with flying foes, which is problematic (especially against foes who have the Snatch feat, because the Tiny Terror will make a tiny splatter when dropped from a great height!).

    Elegance: 2.25
    The build is easy to read, well sourced and you qualify for everything except the SI. You enter the SI late in your career.

    You seem to be missing the mandatory level writeup, as mentioned in the Chairman's OP:

    Quote Originally Posted by The Chairman
    You will need to present a write-up of your build at at least one of the following points: 5th level, 10th level, 15th, 20th, and a "sweet spot" that you feel is the high point of the build, as well as presenting a fully-fleshed out 20-level build in the table below.
    The build itself flows reasonably well, but the classes are all over the place which, coupled with using Muckdweller, is likely to get you the hairy eyeball at more than a few gaming tables. But you know what? I don't care because I like those little lizards.

    Use of the Secret Ingredient: 0
    You don't qualify for the SI. You have no ranks in Listen (10 are required) and you have no ranks in Survival (5 are required).
    It is dark in this entry, and you are likely to be eaten by a grue proofreader.


    I have to say I was surprised that with so few entries, we had 2 entries that didn't qualify for the SI (The Fixer and Ssurssk), and 1 entry that didn't qualify, but that looks like it was a typo, so I gave it a pass (Vitarri).

    So there you have it. Let the wailing and gnashing of teeth commence!
    Last edited by Deadline; 2013-07-06 at 10:06 PM.
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  12. - Top - End - #432
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLVI

    More than an hour and a half post-judging and no comments?

    For shame, guys.

    Deadline, looks like an awesome job here.

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLVI

    Just got back on. Woot a judging!

    Without giving myself up, I want to say that is actually better than I was expecting. All around fair judgments. Thank you Deadline for your hard work!
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLVI

    Good on you, deadline! Got your judging in before the...well, you know .

    Final[?] Tallies After One Judge (After Disputes)
    {table=head]Entry|Place|Total Score|Average Score
    Master Du|Gold|16.75|4.1875
    Joseph Knecht|Silver|16|4
    Togashi Mitsu|Bronze|14.75|3.6875
    Grey Lord|Bronze|14.75|3.6875
    Hanil Gaenok|Fifth|14.5|3.625
    Blue Eyes|Sixth|14.25|3.5625
    Frostlink|Seventh|12.5|3.125
    Seamus|Eighth|12.25|3.0625
    Mwareynaa|Ninth|12|3
    The Fixer|Tenth|10.25|2.5625
    Princess Milania Pyrite|Eleventh|10|2.5
    Ssurssk|Twelfth|9.5|2.375
    Vitarri Azile|Thirteenth|8|2[/table]

    EDIT: Updated to reflect dispute responses.
    Last edited by OMG PONIES; 2013-07-05 at 11:33 AM.
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLVI

    Is it funny that two builds that got no points of Use of the SI still did better than one (and two) other build(s)? That's just, well, amazing.
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  16. - Top - End - #436
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLVI

    I'd just like to say that I woke up specifically to view these judgings. I have an annoying app that I installed on my phone that alerts me whenever I get a message. I'm at work in about 5 hours, and had settled in for an early night.

    *Beep Beep*.

    As I get up to send a snarky text to the annoying bugger who decides to text me at stupid o'clock in the morning, I see it's this thread, and I'm all smiles when I see it's judging!

    Happy days.

    Oh, and sleep, yeah, that's not going to happen, so, here's a pre-dispute table!

    {table=head]Placing|Name|Class Breakdown|Score

    1st | Master Du | Human Savant 2/Warblade 7/Cipher Adept 8/Exotic Weapon Master 3 | 16.75

    2nd | Joseph Knecht | Human Wilderness Rogue 3/Totemist 2/Psychic Warrior 2/Cipher Adept 10/Heir of Siberys 3 | 15.25

    3rd | Togashi Mitsu | Lesser Shyft Ninja 8/Dungeon Crasher Fighter 2/Cipher Adept 10 | 14.75

    =4th | Blue Eyes | Azurin Wildshape Ranger 5/Bear Totem Barbarian 2/Cipher Adept 10/Primeval 3 | 14.25

    =4th | Grey Lord | Human Paragon 3/Cleric 1/Divine Mind 6/Cipher Adept 10 | 14.25

    6th | Hanil Gaenok | Human Wildshape Ranger 8/Swordsage 2/Cipher Adept 10 | 14

    7th | Frostlink | Warforged Shapeshift Druid 10/Cipher Adept 10 | 12.5

    8th | Seamus | Kaorti 2RHD+2LA/Spellthief 1/Fiend of Possession 6/Cipher Adept 9 | 12.25

    9th | Mwareynaa | Buomman Totemist 5/Swordsage 5/Cipher Adept 10 | 12

    10th | The Fixer | Karsite Psychic Warrior 3/Forsaker 5/Cipher Adept 10 | 10.25

    11th | Princess Milania Pyrite | Human Noble 4/Urban Druid 3/Rogue 3/Cipher Adept 10 | 10

    12th | Ssurssk | Muckdweller Factotum 3/Swashbuckler 3/Swordsage 2/Martial Rogue 2/Cipher Adept 10 | 9.5

    13th | Vitarri Azile | Elf Ranger 6/Rogue 1/Fighter3/Cipher Adept 10 | 8[/table]

    I believe that is it, and predict that I've been ninja'd twice.

    Edit; nope just the once. Quick glance looks that I tallied up correctly at least.
    Last edited by Vaz; 2013-07-03 at 05:06 AM.

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLVI

    Note to Ponies, Deadline and Vaz -

    Quote Originally Posted by Frostlink
    There is a mistake in the addition for my build, which changes my (low) placement. 5 + 3 + 2.25 + 2.25 = 12.5.

    Thank you for judging, Deadline, and allowing me to continue my streak of interesting builds that don't actually work. *Force Chokes self*

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    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 - #438
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLVI

    I just noticed that I forgot to submit my Honorable Mention vote. It was a 7-way tie, but I had to finally go with The Fixer, because Forsaker is awesome.
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLVI

    Thanks for judging Deadline!

    Very good explanations for your first time.

    Two of my builds are pretty much where I thought they would be.

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLVI

    Thanks for the judging, is hard following everything from bed :)

    I did much worse than expected in one category though, well, never mind.
    Last edited by thethird; 2013-07-03 at 04:26 AM.
    Thanks a lot Gengy for the awesome... just a sec... avatar. :)

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLVI

    Are you going to be alright? Why are you hospitalized? If me asking is alright. If not I'll just mind my own business, but I hope you feel well as soon as possible anyway.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amidus Drexel View Post
    Yeah... even if it's a fairly friendly place by the internet's standards... it's still the internet. A certain level of pedantic bickering is to be expected.
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    The forums can't universally agree that the sun will rise in the east. Disagreement is what we do.
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    If I can get a pet dinosaur, I totally will. My low wisdom means a raptor looks like a great guard dog.


    Awesome Holy Knight Haluesen avatar done by the uber skilled Grinner!

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLVI

    I had an unexpected reaction to a vaccine, at the moment my body might be mixing a common cold with tetanus and difteria or something weird. I am ok, well, I have a weird cold, but I must be under observation for a few weeks and computers aren't allowed here, I check the board sometimes when someone pays a visit with a phone though.
    Thanks a lot Gengy for the awesome... just a sec... avatar. :)

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLVI

    I have a typo under Hanil Gaenok's Originality entry that might lead to confusion. I stated "Swordsage was a bit unexpected, but a nice addition". What I meant was "Swordsage was a bit expected, but a nice addition." It's fine, as it doesn't modify any scores, it could just be confusing.

    Sorry for any confusion folks.
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLVI

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuulvheysoon View Post
    Note to Ponies, Deadline and Vaz
    Duly noted. Scoring table and Google Doc now reflect correct math. Shameless plug, anyone looking to kill some time over the weekend can volunteer to fill in a few rounds of the spreadsheet, as whatever idiot runs it had neglected it in recent rounds.

    Quote Originally Posted by dysprosium View Post
    If you want to continue your consecutive involvement, you could always judge . . .
    DO IT!

    Quote Originally Posted by thethird View Post
    I had an unexpected reaction to a vaccine, at the moment my body might be mixing a common cold with tetanus and difteria or something weird. I am ok, well, I have a weird cold, but I must be under observation for a few weeks and computers aren't allowed here, I check the board sometimes when someone pays a visit with a phone though.
    Get well soon, yeah? Sounds like an unpleasant experience, even if computers were allowed.
    Quote Originally Posted by Vaz View Post
    Ponies, the Kim Karsdashian of GITP.
    This is what happens when they let me DM:
    Beyond the Horizon IC / OOC
    A Time to Die: Alpha IC / Bravo IC / OOC

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLVI

    Quote Originally Posted by thethird View Post
    I had an unexpected reaction to a vaccine, at the moment my body might be mixing a common cold with tetanus and difteria or something weird. I am ok, well, I have a weird cold, but I must be under observation for a few weeks and computers aren't allowed here, I check the board sometimes when someone pays a visit with a phone though.
    Get well soon. As a nursing teacher i have to tell you that the "no computer rules" pretty much always has no viable explanation. It's just a rule that seems to be convenient for hospitals around the globe ;)


    At topic: finally been able to read through the entries. Chapeau to all contestants! There are some really really nice builds. My vote for honorable mention goes to Seamus.

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLVI

    Best wishes, thethird. Hope you get well soon.

    Thanks for the judgings, Deadline!

    I can't say I'm not disappointed with how I'm doing, but I really should have expected it.

    Ponies, I'll probably have some time this weekend to help fill out the doc.
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    Quote Originally Posted by willpell View Post
    Only playing Tier 1s is like only eating in five-star restaurants [...] sometimes I just want a cheeseburger and some frogurt. Why limit yourself?
    Awards

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLVI

    Quote Originally Posted by The Viscount View Post
    Ponies, I'll probably have some time this weekend to help fill out the doc.
    Sweet--feel free to claim any of the empty or partially-completed rounds. As always, volunteer help is much appreciated .
    Quote Originally Posted by Vaz View Post
    Ponies, the Kim Karsdashian of GITP.
    This is what happens when they let me DM:
    Beyond the Horizon IC / OOC
    A Time to Die: Alpha IC / Bravo IC / OOC

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLVI

    Disputes (come on, you were expecting these)!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mwareynaa
    Thank you very much with your judging. While I accept most of what you said, I do want to point out a few of the SI's features I did actually use. I made being quick into combat a big part of how he works, to most benefit from Snap Kick and in hopes Combination Strike. Initiative was a very important part to the character being a skirmisher as you called him, and since Combat Instincts boosts initiative too I feel I did try to use them both. It is partly why I picked Swordsage, for its own initiative boost. There are only so many ways to boost that after all. I also made a character that generally tries to not rely on armor or natural armor for AC (rather than an amulet of natural armor, a periapt of wisdom would get more uses for him). So Combat Instinct's AC bonus was a good way to raise Mwareynaa's otherwise low AC. Again, these are just my views and I hope explaining them helps, but otherwise I do accept your judging as you see fit. But I do feel you are right that I didn't use those other class features as well as I could. That's all I wanted to say.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hanil
    I have a few very minor quibbles about Hanil's judging. On the whole I think that Deadline was extremely fair and did a fantastic job, but there are a few small points that I'd like to contest, in the scoring of UoSI.

    I'll admit that my stated use of Move Without Barriers as a pseudo-pounce to start an encounter is a little sketchy at that level, given the number of ways Hanil's quarry might see him coming. However, I'd argue that he gets a bit more mileage than most out of the standard "everybody gets it" use of the ability as a "run away" button, as he's a very good tracker (Track, Scent, near maxed Survival with a solid Wis modifier and a +5 bonus from Primal Instinct) and he's good at attrition thanks to his schtick of breaking things, so he can track you and what's left of your gear down for a more favorable confrontation later on if the current fight is going badly. In both cases, I think he's at least getting something out of it.

    Second, you rewarded Togashi Mitsu for using Improved Initiative/Combat Instinct to get Sudden Strike, and marked me down for not having much use for them outside of slower Wildshape forms. Hanil does have 2d6 worth of Sneak Attack some of the time through Assassin's Stance, which is at least comparable to Sudden Strike as a use for more initiative. The bonuses also both stack with the +5 to Initiative from Primal Instinct, though admittedly that much initiative boosting is sort of overkill for a Dex focused build.

    You're right about Strike the Weak Point not doing a whole lot beyond the usual minor utility that all the builds have of punching through the occasional stone wall or whatever, but I would like to point out that he's at least pretty good at that thanks to his maxed concentration skill.

    I'll conclude by saying that I absolutely understand if none of these change my score either due to being too trivial or not being made plain in my writeup, which was a rushed job and shows it.

    Thanks again for the judging Deadline.
    Quote Originally Posted by Grey Lord
    There were a couple of comments on Deadline's judging:

    Elegance
    Indeed nimble charge reads as this: "Benefit: You can run or charge across a difficult surface without needing to make a Balance check (PH 67)." But the note on the epic use of balance was more a side joke, than a serious note (the point was to use balance). Still, I kind of disagree that Balance seems to indicate that a cloud is a narrow surface. It is listed as a surface, and whether it is difficult to balance in one is left to the DM.

    Trickery devotion is tricky. RAW it does allow to duplicate poisons. RAW it might duplicate psionic items. RAW it explicitly doesn't duplicate magic items nor alchemical items. Still it adds a lot of versatility and uses to the build.

    Were the mention of those two (side) tricks the things that penalized in elegance? I tried to keep the sourcing clear and to not detract from the reading, and I hope that it was not the use of obscure/several sources the things that penalized me.

    UoSI
    I don't think it is fair to say that the build doesn't use evasion/improved evasion and strike the weak spot. If the build doesn't use strike the weak spot because it is not relevant due to being too good at sundering (which is false, striking obduriumSB 35 or cut through magically treated wallsSRD with it becomes easy) it uses evasion because reflex is the worst save (even if serenity pushes it up like a lot).

    Improved initiative, well Grey lord's initiative is not really good, and with his skirmish tactics he can benefit from going first, since being flat footed means less AC and easier sundering cleaves. But every character gets better going first.

    Finally the capstone, the lacks of ranks in tumble for someone who spring attacks was intentional (to benefit more from the capstone), it also has a copy through which it can sense and can leave behind; and walls aren't a big deal whenever he is material. Grey Lord has some of the highest wisdom modifiers in the different entries, so he has a long duration, or several uses.

    Avatar by Iron Penguin.

    The Power of the Orient: A Wu Jen Handbook

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

  29. - Top - End - #449
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLVI

    Hey there, judging! Thanks, Deadline!

    Reading everything over, looks like it's all fair and well thought out. Not too shabby from your first judging attempt. Between this and the fact that you've landed two gold medals out of three Iron Chef competitions, I'm beginning to suspect you might have a pretty good handle on this ol' Iron Chef thing...
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLVI

    More disputes -

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Knecht
    First of all, Deadline, thanks for your fantastic judging.

    Second, regarding Joseph Knecht, I had a couple of small points. I don't know that either is enough to adjust scoring, but I thought it was worth clarifying.

    1. Strike the Weak Point + Petrified Enemies. I thought about this one a lot before submitting it. Strike the Weak Point requires unattended objects, but petrified enemies are still creatures. However, flesh to stone does also explicitly call them out as "mindless, inert statues," and even pings as neither dead nor alive via deathwatch. Statues are called out as objects in the DMG under dungeon terrain features (p63-p64), and it even mentions this when they are actually petrified creatures:

    Quote Originally Posted by DMG
    Statues in a dungeon could also be a sign indicating the presence of a monster with a petrifying power (such as a medusa or a cockatrice).
    Not really sure how that flies, since that means it would count both as a petrified creature and an object, so I won't be offended if the point still stands, but I did want to at least point that out.

    2. Action Points. Yeah, I thought there was a good chance I'd get dinged for this. However, even if the character does not gain any of the "base" AP per level, and just picks up what he gets from feats (Heroic Spirit), class abilities (Additional Action Points from Heir of Syberis) and unfettered heroism, he will still be able to pull off Action Surge tricks. It's still an alternate rules system, but I did want to point out that he is "self-contained" for the most part.

    In any case, if you take out AP, the build still stands, although obviously the action economy is less of a thing (although Joseph still gets some fun out of action economy thanks to off-turn attacks from things like diverting defense + Defensive Throw).

    3. Finally, this isn't a dispute but rather a clarification: I do know that Combat Insight and Mark of Stars' insight bonus to AC won't stack, and it was not used that way in any of his AC calculations. Mark of Stars was primarily used for the immunity to surprise/flat-footedness. I did try to time the levels to minimize overlapping, though, and Joseph does still need the initiative boost (unlike regular dodge, Midnight Dodge can only be switched on your turn, so even after he can no longer be flat-footed initiative is still important to him).

    Again, thanks for the excellent judging!

    Avatar by Iron Penguin.

    The Power of the Orient: A Wu Jen Handbook

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

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