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

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLIX

    He's far more reminiscent of one of Grimm's tales than the Disney one
    Quote Originally Posted by Siegfried
    The Frog Prince
    Levels
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    CE Neraph Ranger 3/ Paladin of Slaughter 2/ Mortal Hunter 5/ Thrall of Orcus 10


    abilities
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    str 16 dex 12 con 14 int 10 wis 8 cha 16

    increases to cha

    at 20: str 16 dex 10 con 16 int 10 wis 8 cha 21


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

    1st|Ranger 1|
    +1
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |climb 4, know (dungeoneering) 3, know (nature) 3, listen 4, Speak Language (Common), spot 4, Survival 4|Alertness, Elder Evil (Evil Brand)|Favored enemy (aberrations), Track, Celestial Slayer

    2nd|Ranger 2|
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    | climb 1 (5), know (dungeoneering) 1 (5), know (nature) 1 (5), listen 1 (5), spot 1 (5), Survival 1 (5)||Combat Style (melee)

    3rd|Ranger 3|
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |climb 1 (6), know (dungeoneering) 1 (6), know (geography), know (nature) 1 (6), listen 1 (6), spot 1 (6)|Mortalbane|Endurance

    4th|Paladin of Slaughter 1|
    +4
    |
    +5
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |know (religion) 2||Aura of Evil, detect good, smite good 1/day

    5th|Paladin of Slaughter 2|
    +5
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |know (religion) 2 (4)| Elder Evil (Thrall to Demon)|Divine Grace, deadly touch

    6th|Mortal Hunter 1|
    +6/+1
    |
    +8
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |disguise 2, know (arcana) 2|Power Attack|Mortal hunting +1, mortal skin (any humanoid)

    7th|Mortal Hunter 2|
    +7/+2
    |
    +9
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |disguise 4 (6)||Detect mortals, Boost Spell-Like Ability

    8th|Mortal Hunter 3|
    +8/+3
    |
    +9
    |
    +4
    |
    +2
    |disguise 4 (10)||Mortal hunting +2

    9th|Mortal Hunter 4|
    +9/+4
    |
    +10
    |
    +4
    |
    +2
    |disguise 2 (12), climb 2 (8)|Iron Will|Smite mortals

    10th|Mortal Hunter 5|
    +10/+5
    |
    +10
    |
    +4
    |
    +2
    |disguise 1 (13), know (planes) 3 | Elder Evil: (Lichloved)|Spurn mortal magic, mortal skin (any nondragon)

    11th|Thrall of Orcus 1|
    +11/+6/+1
    |
    +12
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |bluff 4|Orcus (Shape soulmeld (phase cloak))|Carrion stench

    12th|Thrall of Orcus 2|
    +12/+7/+2
    |
    +13
    |
    +4
    |
    +5
    |bluff 4 (8)|Open chakra (shoulders)|Touch of fear

    13th|Thrall of Orcus 3|
    +13/+8/+3
    |
    +13
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |bluff 3 (11), know (religion) 1 (5)||Demon wings

    14th|Thrall of Orcus 4|
    +14/+9/+4
    |
    +14
    |
    +5
    |
    +6
    |know (religion) 4 (9)|Orcus (Willing Deformity)|Massive girth

    15th|Thrall of Orcus 5|
    +15/+10/+5
    |
    +14
    |
    +5
    |
    +6
    |bluff 1 (17), know (arcana) 3 (5)| Divine Denial, Elder Evil (Evil's Blessing)|Summon minor undead

    16th|Thrall of Orcus 6|
    +16/+11/+6/+1
    |
    +15
    |
    +6
    |
    +7
    |bluff 1 (18), know (religion) 1 (5), know (planes) 2 (7)||Pallor of death

    17th|Thrall of Orcus 7|
    +17/+12/+7/+2
    |
    +15
    |
    +6
    |
    +7
    |know (religion) 2 (7), know (planes) 2 (9)|Orcus (Flyby Attack)|Demon wings (at will)

    18th|Thrall of Orcus 8|
    +18/+13/+8/+3
    |
    +16
    |
    +6
    |
    +8
    |know (arcana) 4 (9)|Steadfast Determination|Death touch

    19th|Thrall of Orcus 9|
    +19/+14/+9/+4
    |
    +16
    |
    +7
    |
    +8
    |know (religion) 2 (9), know (planes) 2 (9)||Summon major undead

    20th|Thrall of Orcus 10|
    +20/+15/+10/+5
    |
    +17
    |
    +7
    |
    +9
    |know (arcana) 2 (11), know (religion) 2 (11)| Orcus (Deformity: Parasite), Elder Evil (Willing Deformity: Madness)|Summon Nightwing 1/week[/table]


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


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

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

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

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

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

    Progression does not advance after 10.[/table]

    Mortal hunter spells known:
    1st Level: cause fear, charm person, detect good, heartache, protection
    from good, sleep, unnerving gaze.
    2nd Level: detect thoughts, evil eye, hold person, magic circle
    against good, see invisibility, web, wither limb.
    3rd Level: flesh ripper, mirror sending, nondetection, scrying,
    suggestion, vile lance, wrack.


    Suggested play tips
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    level 5
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    you're something of an odd duck here. a charisma focused ranger seems odd at first, but paladin helps you defensively with its divine grace. Power attack isn't online yet, so you might like to take advantage of your free TWF while it's still relevant before your second attack comes online and you can begin dealing more damage by THFing with power attack.

    aberrations are what a neraph is likely to encounter in limbo, especially chaos beasts, and it's a very broad type that's likely to remain relevant throughout low, mid, and high levels. celestial slayer is up from the start and provides a good degree of versatility. it gives SR 10 + ranger lvl against [good] subtype spells and SLAs, which is handy at low levels, and provides a +4 competence bonus to confirm crits against [good] subtype creatures.

    for right now, make use of your str to deal damage in melee and enjoy divine grace having your back. don't forget about neraph camouflage to deny enemies their dex.

    neraphim have a +2 racial to spot/listen (along with +5 to jump should it come up) so with that on top of a few ranks and alertness, you should be a decent scout at low levels.

    endurance helps you with those little checks if you need to make forced marches and the like.

    use thrall to demon in tight spots. it may be minor, but it is a nice little boost 1/day that stacks with just about everything


    level 10
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    Now we've gotten serious.

    This month's secret ingredient invited us to dive into the deep end of the alignment pool, and there are few classes deeper in that end than the mortal hunter. Ranger helps lay foundation here giving relevant abilities.

    Mortal hunter builds on the platform ranger starts off by continuing your full BA along with paladin and the SI, helping you get a perfect 20 by the time you're all done.

    Power attack is up here for the standard reasons. Helps with damage, etc. Now that you're done qualifying for stuff (for now), you have room to take it and enjoy it with your full BA.

    You get some nice little bonuses against mortals with mortal hunting, applying to bluff, listen, sense motive, spot, and survival, same as favored enemy in addition to attack and damage (all damage not just weapon damage) rolls against mortals.

    Mortals are everybody except outsiders, undead, constructs, and fey.

    Mortal skin is up, granting the ability to skin your enemies and steal their power by turning into them. You can use this 1/day and it works as polymorph. Judiciously used, you can make it last as long as you like. If you turn into the same creature whose flesh you harvested, the duration is permanent. If it's the same type, you retain the shape for an hour, and even if it's not the same type, you retain the shape for 10 minutes, so you can use this ability on the fly in combat to turn into something bigger and meaner than the enemies you're fighting in addition to using this ability for long-term disguise/infiltration work.

    There are no provisions made for the condition of the flesh, so if your DM is strict, carry around some unguent of timelessness to keep pieces of your favorite forms handy for different situations as with any shape changing character.

    You can only do it once a day, as mentioned, so be careful with it and if it's possible try to maximize how often you can permanently retain a shape.

    Initially you can only turn into humanoids, but at 5 you can turn into any creature that's not a dragon, outsider, undead, construct, or fey.

    This offers one important edge over polymorph. Polymorph doesn't let you turn into elementals, while mortal skin does.

    Iron will's up to boost your lowish will save and serve as groundwork for divine denial at 15. trust me, it's worth it

    detect mortals does exactly what you think it does and is a very useful little ability, even nullifying darkstalkers! boost spell-like ability helps make your touch of fear and death touch stronger when that comes online later, and you get a smite attack against a mortal 1/day (every little bit helps)

    Atropus, in its infinite generosity, graces you with the lichloved feat, the last thing you need to get into thrall of orcus.

    your basic combat style is largely the same, however you rely more on THFing than TWFing at this point since PA's up. use your shape changing from mortal skin well and beat the bejeezus out of aberrations with murderous intent. you've got tons of ranks in disguise, so you should be able to pull off stealth/infiltration missions with relative ease between ranks, your good cha, and the +10 bonus mortal skin gives

    mortal hunter also gives spells from a short but potent list. while your base allotment is a little puny, there's always wands which can provide a lot of use all throughout the game.


    level 15
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    Hoo-ah, you're in the secret ingredient!

    Having learned to slip through the spaces between planes, the worlds between worlds, you have unlocked the power of the phase cloak. the climb bonus is kind of handy, and retaining your AC while climbing is awfully nice. the real reason you want the phase cloak though is the shoulder bind effect.

    when bound, you turn ethereal whenever you move at least 5 feet, letting you go through difficult terrain and walk through walls, avoiding aoos (unless enemies can see/target ethereal creatures)

    use this in tandem with your demonic wings and really confuse your enemies on the battlefield.

    willing deformity allows orcus to grace you with his preternatural fatness via your massive girth ability, beefing up your con to make your carrion stench ability harder to resist, and helping you get more mileage out of steadfast determination later on.

    for a shape changer, a high con actually makes a difference since your HP are tabulated from your base con and not the con of the monster you turn into. you have no real reason to care about dex since you can just assume a shape with a higher dex such as a jungle giant and it gets you all the concordant benefits of a good dex score, hence the rationale for fatness instead of skininess

    you've got your summons online now, so have fun with them. they're handy flanking buddies and can provide a variety of fun status effects, inflicting ability damage, granting negative levels, and getting to otherwise difficult to access enemies.

    mortal hunter's boost spell-like ability bumps touch of fear's dc by 2. it works 3/day/sla, so will be able to enhance touch of fear every time you use it.

    you have a lot more mobility around the battlefield now and you should make use of it. demon wings, being a su ability that's not tied to your physical form like a breath weapon, can still be used while you are polymorphed into another monster that can't fly, so keep this in mind when deciding when to time your use for the levels that you don't have demon wings at will.

    evil's blessing adds cha to your saves yet again (as a profane bonus, so it stacks with divine grace) for 5 rounds when you make a standard action. if you damage a creature with an aura of good or with the [good] subtype, the bonus doubles for the round, which can get your saves pretty darn high. extremely useful ability if you have the time to prebuff, and you can use it as often as you like, so it'll help you out with all your day's encounters.

    divine denial helps strengthen your defense even further, giving a +2 bonus to all saves vs divine spells that allow saves and allowing you to make a will save vs divine spells that don't! useful to the max and built upon later with steadfast determination

    combat is similar to levels before it. when your mortal skin ability is available, turn into something big and mean to beat the hell out of your enemies. use your slas from orcus, they're still just as useful.

    now that you have your carrion stench online, remember that the save is keyed off your con. this is also the level you hit the cap for polymorph, so if you pick a shape with a good con (such as mountain troll with a 31) it makes your stench much harder for enemies to resist


    level 20
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    You are now truly a sight to behold. Due to the way pallor of undeath has been ruled to work, it can provide great utility for you since you're an outsider. standard uses of alter self apply, and if you really wanted to, you could use it in tandem with your mortal skin ability to change shape for a short period of time into a non-outsider form.

    use your pallor of death's fear aura with your touch of fear to stack, and remember that mortal hunter has cause fear on its list as well, wands of which are dirt cheap to make up for its rather anemic base allotment of spells.

    flyby attack makes you even more flexible on the battlefield popping in and out of walls and keeping enemies on their toes. Demon wings is at will now, so you don't need to worry about timing it right, and you can grow them when you're polymorphed by mortal skin and hide them if you're incognito.

    don't forget that you don't provoke AoOs due to the phase cloak unless enemies can both see and target ethereal foes, nullifying one of flyby attack's biggest headaches

    mortal hunter's boost SLA helps out again by making death touch harder to resist 3/day and you've got your appropriately epic capstone of summoning a night wing. this is an absolutely brutal monster to fight with and should help make a dent in almost any combat, even at 20.

    deformity madness gives immunity to mind affecting, and steadfast determination earlier on keeps it from negatively affecting your will saves. it also helps you get more punch out of divine defiance by nudging your will save north a few points

    fly around the battlefield and hide, spring out when your enemy least expects it, and keep tabs on them with detect mortals. you're all about versatility, so keep your options open and you should do fine

    The Tale of Siegfried: Being the Story of a Frog, a Princess, Some Meat, and a Book of Stories

    A Frog Is Born
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    The story begins with the birth of a frog. A special kind of frog, called a neraph.

    Neraphim aren't born just once like you and me. They're born twice. First they chew through the rubbery shells of their eggs and swim out into the water as little red tadpoles, slithering and jostling and bumping each other in the communal lagoon where the adults in their tribe have their young, pooling them together to keep everyone's offspring safe.

    Because of this, neraphim don't know their parents the same way we do. They're said to belong to their whole tribe. Everyone is their mother, their father, their brother or sister. Or no one is, depending on your perspective.

    Life as a tadpole, as you might imagine, is far from glamorous, and the whole time those little froglets are tail to tail and cheek to cheek, they're dreaming of what life outside the pond will be like.

    Once they are able, they climb out of the pool on their own two feet and breathe the peppery air of Limbo, their gills sealing shut forever as they set foot on land for the first time.

    Land in Limbo came in little chunks at irregular intervals. If we have to crawl before we can walk, neraphim have to swim before they can stand and stand before they can fly.

    There isn't an up or a down there. Up is whatever you want it to be, which can be terribly confusing when on the run from a slavering chaos beast.

    This wasn't a terribly rare occurrence in Limbo, and it was where the neraphim got much of their food and clothing since, due to the chaotic environment, it was difficult to say when travelers would come to trade.

    It was during one of these raids by the chaos beasts, jumbled messes of teeth and ears and eyes and tentacles that they were, that a particular neraph had his first personal encounter with one of the things.

    Once the other members of his tribe had finished kicking it to death, he made his way through the crowd and looked at its deflated form.

    "This one looks different," he said, gingerly using a stick to raise one of the beast's tentacles tipped with a bulbous eye.

    "So what?" the neraph who had delivered the deathblow grunted. "They all look different. It's what separates them from us."

    The blood from the beast had stopped flowing. Gravity had changed again in the middle of his sentence and drops of blood hung for a while in round, wobbling beads, drifting through the air like mercury. The crowd began to disperse, floating in different directions towards little hunks of land.

    "Is it, though?" the curious neraph said. He supposed his comrade had a point. After all, if pressed to tell you how exactly he looked different from any other neraph, he wouldn't be able to. Perhaps that was why none of them had names.

    "What's that supposed to mean?" the other said, an edge to his voice, the sack in his throat wavering a little and stretching his skin taut out of habit.

    "Well," he continued hesitantly, his own breath sac not quite so grown yet, "we change from tadpoles into adults. That's not so different from what these creatures do, is it?"

    His companion's eyes widened, their thin nictitating membranes flicking over them reflexively as some dirt from a nearby landmass sprinkled down on them.

    "I'll pretend I didn't hear that," he said, and floated upwards to join some other neraphim for a dinner of the fleshiest parts of this beast.

    The remaining neraph sighed to himself.

    "You and everyone else."

    At times, though he was surrounded by individuals like himself as far as meat and bones were concerned, he still felt lonely in a way he couldn't put words to.

    He saw little circular rings lined up along the underside of the beast's tentacle, arranged in the neatest, most perfect rows. To see anything orderly in Limbo was quite unusual. To see anything familiar was more unusual still.

    It wasn't his imagination, he could surely say this time. He'd seen this part on a beast before a few days ago during the evening meal. It was as though they were using some other kind of creatures as reference.

    It was difficult for him to imagine a creature that wasn't a neraph having parts that all fit together. All the same shape and size and color and not a patchwork quilt like the chaos beasts.

    He was just getting ready to take it up to the tribe's cook when he heard a great tearing noise from behind him. He whirled on a point in space just as you or I might turn on our heels and saw it.

    A perfect, smooth circle right through space. For someone whose life was all jagged lines and uneven rhythms, there was something alien about a perfect circle.

    What he saw through that circle was something else entirely. A group of four leapt through the circle at his feet and hovered in the air before him, seeming unsure of their bodies in the ambiguous gravity that surrounded them at the moment.

    "Hello," he said, his tongue feeling dry in his mouth.

    The creature in front of him recoiled in what he guessed was disgust, likely as a result of the chaos beast he still held on the end of his stick. Its flesh hadn't yet stabilized, and despite his fascination with them, he had no desire to be afflicted by their cursed touch.

    "Oh, no, don't worry, it's quite dead," he said, nodding towards the beast. The four uncomprehending looks before him told him they didn't speak his language.

    They were odd looking things. They had tiny little mouths that barely stretched wider than the space between their eyes. They had a strange patch of fur on top of their heads and some kind of bowl-shaped growth on either side of their heads. Their skin was smooth like porcelain and was a different color for each of them, and none of it close to the red of his own hide. Other than that, they had two arms and legs and no discernible tails, so whatever they were, they had entered the adult stage of their life cycle.

    He tried his greeting again in Slaadi, knowing a phrase here or there, but this didn't seem to improve this group's attitude. They backed away from him as though afraid, and one of them held a trembling hand in front of its face and surrounded his companions in a shimmering bubble of force by speaking a few beautiful, musical syllables with a short, thick little tongue.

    He watched them drift away and noticed that in their haste, they had left something behind.

    It was made of skin of some sort and roughly rectangular. Narrow sheafs of paper filled out its middle and there was some kind of language he didn't quite recognize on the inside along with some pictures of more of the strange creatures he had just seen.

    Not wanting to push his luck further after his argument about the chaos beast earlier, he tucked the thing into his bag and went home to peruse it later on.


    The Shadow That Was
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    Once he had read the first book, he was hungry for more in a way that he felt would be sacrilegious to compare to food. The need to eat was something that happened on its own. This book had lit his soul on fire. Nothing he could do would quench it. All that could be done was to obtain more books.

    When he had found the artifact's proper appellation, he was able to negotiate with traders in the tribe. There were adventuring parties that drifted through Limbo occasionally, he learned, and they were prone to losing things. Since no one else in his tribe seemed to have much use for the things, he was able to barter for them cheaply, and before long had filled his tent with books.

    That first one still remained his favorite all this time later. The others had much to tell him indeed, yes. Those tentacles with little round rings were from a creature called an octopus from the prime material, and there were other creatures there that chaos beasts had taken other traits from. Sharp teeth from serpents, large snouts from alligators, and bulbous eyes from neraph-like creatures called frogs.

    Once he had the Common word in his mind, he clung to it and sought out information on the subject wherever it became available.

    Frogs were apparently quite prominent in the predominant culture in the prime material. There was no dearth of literature about them. Some peoples, from his studies, even revered them as gods.

    As far as the ones who had left the book in his care in the first place, men, they were called, seemed to have a complex relationship with frogs. Some took frogs as familiar spirits, and still others put those people to death for doing so. It was all terribly confusing.

    That was until one day he discovered a very special book. It was emblazoned with a wide, friendly neraphim face. Its cheeks were nice and round, thick rolls of fat under its chin showing his prowess as a great hunter.

    His skin appeared to be green to the eye, but it might have just been the unusual material used to bind the book. He couldn't quite be sure, but thought it might be leather of some sort.

    Warts dotted his cheeks and his mouth was cracked open in a toothy smile. He appeared friendly and genial, and the inside of the book was no different.

    "Welcome, gentle reader. You must ask yourself not what you can do for Orcus, but what Orcus can do for you?"

    The rest of the page was blank. This was most unusual since from what he understood, paper was quite the valuable commodity in the prime material.

    What happened next surprised even a resident of Limbo.

    The words on the page swirled and danced around his clawed hand as it rested against the blank page.

    "Well? What'll it be, gentle reader?"

    He blinked.

    "Are you speaking to me?" he asked aloud.

    "Who else?" the book said.

    "Am I addressing Orcus?"

    "In a manner of speaking," said the book. "I am but a shadow of what once was."

    "What once was?

    "You truly are an inquisitive sort…" it trailed off as though searching for his name.

    "You can save yourself some time. Our kind doesn't have names."

    The ink swam on the page and formed into the smiling face he'd seen on the cover.

    "A wise decision. Never let anyone name you against your will. Names have power. It's why I'm not Orcus, at least not anymore."

    He nodded, looking at the book without blinking his eyelids, his nictitating membranes flicking back and forth in excitement.

    "So what have you named yourself?" he asked.

    If it could be said that an ink drawing on a page drew itself up with pride, then that's exactly what happened as he asked Orcus or whoever he was this question.

    "You may call me Tenebrous," it said, pride oozing from its lips as the ink coalesced into words under its many chins.

    "So, you suggest I name myself? Take control of my own fate as you have yours?"

    The head turned a little to the side as if to shrug

    "Perhaps not exactly as I have. After all, you seem a decent sort of fellow, I'd hate to consign you within the pages of this tome of magic. It's not an entirely pleasant place to be. Although perhaps…" it trailed off.

    The page was full, so he flipped it over to see if Tenebrous was still speaking.

    The face reappeared as soon as he had laid the corner flat, looking as though it were chuckling, little "ha ha has" slipping from between his teeth.

    In the books he had read, this was generally the part where the entity offered the reader something of value.

    "I might transport you into one of these other books. In a more metaphorical sense, of course. Take you to this prime material you so fancy."

    He stroked his chin and opened a book so it faced Tenebrous. It had an elaborate bird's feather filigree on its cover. He faced a meticulous illustration of a prince facing an evil wizard, a beautiful maiden clinging to his arm in fear or adulation, he wasn't sure which. He lightly traced his finger across the prince.

    "You may call me Siegfried."

    "Ah, a Renaissance man. I can respect that," the illustration purred in a florid cursive script.

    "I'm not a man, per se," he said, "but I do appreciate Tchaikovsky."

    "Well, would you like to be?"

    Siegfried blinked his eyelids.

    "Is such a thing possible?"

    "My amphibian friend, anything is possible. I would expect a denizen of Limbo to know that. All I ask in return is that you visit a friend of mine."

    Siegfried chewed on his thick, ropy tongue.

    "Is it really like these stories? All I have to do is get a kiss from a beautiful maiden, and that will make a man of me?"

    Tenebrous gave a lecherous wink so emphatic that he made ripples across the sea of his cheeks that traveled all the way down to the bay of his chins.

    "You'll need to get a little more than just a kiss from her, but that is the general idea."

    Had Siegfried been a man, he may have blushed. As it was, his red skin was able to hide his shock at Tenebrous's impropriety. As his books had taught him, such behavior was unbecoming of a gentleman.

    "Well, all right then. What is it I must do?"

    "Nothing too strenuous. Those creatures you hunt, do they have skulls?"

    "Sometimes," said Siegfried. "Sometimes more than one."

    "Do you know where they're kept?"

    Siegfried nodded. "In the tannery. It's what we make clothes and tools out of."

    "Fascinating. Do you think you could arrange for a live one to make its way there?"

    "I could. What am I to do with it?" Siegfried asked.

    "Kill it," said Tenebrous.

    Siegfried felt a little sick. "If… if I must."

    "Then we have a deal," Tenebrous said.

    ***

    Siegfried tried not to look as he dashed the chaos beast's brains out against the makeshift dais Tenebrous had asked him to construct out of the chaos beasts' oddly shaped skulls.

    He lit a tallow candle from a particularly greasy beast.

    "There," he muttered. "I've done your distasteful deed."

    The book smirked at him and opened its mouth wide, clearly laughing.

    "You have no idea. Anyway, just smear some of that good stuff on my mouth here." Tenebrous opened his jaws.

    Siegfried grimaced and wiped his finger through the slurry running down the altar of misshapen skulls and smudged it onto the page where it soaked in for a second and disappeared with a satisfied smack of Tenebrous's rubbery lips and impressive tongue.

    "That's the ticket. Anyway, hang on, this might sting a little," Tenebrous said.

    Siegfried was about to ask, but his question was answered with a searing pain in his finger.

    He yanked it back in shock and popped it into his wide mouth, working hard not to make a noise, lest he be discovered in the tannery when he wasn't supposed to be there.

    Siegfried looked to his hand and saw there was an odd, dark symbol that didn't look anything like a bite.

    "What is this?" he said, feeling as though it was a gross understatement.

    "Surely you're familiar with the mark of the beast," Tenebrous said, licking his lips.

    "You're not telling me I've made some Faustian pact?"

    Tenebrous's head rocked and rolled back and forth until it rolled off the page and onto the next one, forcing Siegfried to turn the page to see his bloated form again.

    "I suppose you could say you're more von Rothbart than Siegfried."

    Siegfried scowled. "You said not to let anyone else name me."

    "Oh, yes, yes. Now do you want to see the world or not?"

    Siegfried blew lightly on his finger.

    "I suppose so."

    "Just turn the page. You're good at that," he punctuated with a raspberry.

    Siegfried rolled his bulging eyes and turned the page seeing Tenebrous pointing out his long, fat tongue at some text on the opposing page, giving a time, date, and location a short time from now.

    "What is this?"

    "You remember that odd group that you encountered a while ago. They traveled here through a portal. This is the location of the next one so you can find what you think you need to fill that hole in your heart."

    Siegfried tried not to let the hurt show on his face, but it didn't seem to fool Tenebrous.

    "And I'm supposed to believe that? I know what happens to the men in these sorts of stories"

    Tenebrous rolled his eyes so forcefully they fell out of his head and rattled along the bottom of the page.

    "As one predator to another, frogface, I've got what I need from you. If you don't want to collect, that's your problem. You've got the information. Whether you act on it or not's up to you. You want Odette? Go get her." He punctuated this with an eyeless wink that was truly unnerving to Siegfried.

    He shut the book and drummed his fingers on the cover. Tenebrous's face still shifted beneath them, but he was at least free of his snide comments.

    He wanted to pretend he had some choice in the matter. Being familiar with themes of fate, he knew that since he was embroiled in this choice in the first place, he would end up going along with Tenebrous's plan in the end.

    A Frog In Love
    Spoiler
    Show

    The time came, and Siegfried held himself in position to wait for the portal to open.

    The leader of the group of four opened the portal again, just as she had last time. She looked far different from how he had seen her last. Her hair was tied tightly away from her face and was showing streaks of gray. She looked as though she had scarcely eaten or slept since the last time Siegfried had last laid eyes on her. She had a look of determination burning in her eyes that Siegfried recognized from the illustrations in his books. She looked like Odette when she was facing von Rothbart in the final scene.

    "Where is my book, slaad?" she hissed in Slaadi with a thick, Common accent, full of lips and teeth.

    Siegfried snorted and reached into his bag to withdraw it.

    "It's easier for me to speak your language, madam," he said in Common, pinching the sides of his mouth towards the center of his face to sound more human. "And for the record, I'm neraphim, not slaadi."

    "Potayto, potahto," she said in Common, one hand on her hip and the other swirling some magic around her finger with the other. "Will you make this easy or difficult?" Her lip curled up into a sneer.

    Siegfried followed her gaze to his wrist, submerged in his bag. She must have thought he was grabbing for a weapon. He took out the book and tossed it in her general direction, leaving it to hover between them.

    "It was really quite a delightful little romp. Who was that fair maiden on page 46?" he said politely. The part of the page containing the caption had been damaged.

    The woman in front of him made an odd face and gestured towards the book. It opened before her and turned to the page in question. She grimaced in disgust.

    "You're sick! You know that?" she shouted. In a puff of smoke and foul-colored light, she was gone.

    Siegfried shrugged and walked through the portal undeterred.

    He found himself in a beautiful stone room. It wasn't just a little crumb of rock like the ones in Limbo. He appeared to be inside of a permanent structure, something unheard of in Limbo. When the landscape was so mutable, it didn't make sense to erect anything more than a tent.

    There was a raised rectangular platform in the center of the room, a perfect shaft of sunlight beaming right down onto it. The room was all straight, clean lines, nothing jagged or irregular anywhere.

    Siegfried walked over to the stone structure and saw a human shape on the top of it, a tradition for their royalty, he had read. There was no name on it.

    When he was closer to it, he recognized the face as the symmetrical vision of loveliness that had greeted him on page 46 of the book he'd just returned to what he assumed to be its rightful owner. Her face looked slightly different cast in stone. Her eyes were closed, her cheeks much fuller than they appeared on the page.

    "Hello there," Siegfried said, resting a hand on the lid. He was quite familiar with the story of the sleeping beauty. Imprisoned wrongfully by an evil witch until awoken by the ministrations of an amorous prince.

    He was a prince, Siegfried thought. Despite his rough treatment, Tenebrous had had a point about the power experienced when one named himself.

    Siegfried shoved the stone lid gingerly off the rectangular box and brought it to rest on the floor with a delicate scraping sound.

    What lay before him was just what he'd seen on page 46. Her eye were black holes, empty as when Tenebrous's had rolled out of their sockets. Her face was clean and white, ivory cheeks and off-white teeth just like the tusks he'd seen on chaos beasts pasts, borrowed from what he now knew to be an elephant.

    Her dress lay in tatters, making the task fate had appointed him somewhat easier. His fingers wandered across her long, smooth bones, searching for the magic splinter that kept his princess slumbering.

    His palm rubbed across the round crests of her pelvis as he lowered himself into her resting place.

    Siegfried lowered his face to her glimmering rictus and made the best approximation of a kiss he could to a princess with no lips.

    Just as he did, two burning pinpricks of light flared to life in the middle of his lady's eye sockets, bathing the two of them in a deep red light the color of the sunset in his books.

    Siegfried felt the bite of his lover's pointed phalanges digging into the back of his scalp, kissing him back far more adeptly than he would have thought she was able.

    Since he knew she wouldn't have to come up for air, Siegfried was the first to pull away.

    "What a treat," she purred.

    Siegfried yelped as her bony hand pinched the bare flesh of his buttock.

    "I'm here to-"

    "Did Tenebrous send you?" she said, somehow inserting a yawn midway through the sentence. She stretched her arms wide over her head and climbed over the edge onto the floor.

    Siegfried blinked and gratefully accepted his trousers when his lady handed them to him.

    "In a manner of speaking. He told me when and where a mage would be opening a door here from Limbo in exchange for the book I first glimpsed you in." He leaned on the lip of the stone sarcophagus.

    "Are you the friend he wished me to see, milady?"

    She laughed, an odd, hollow noise without a tongue.

    "Oh, you are precious," she said, her teeth chattering with every word as she watched him get dressed.

    "He told me you would make a man of me," Siegfried said, feeling indecent. "And how did you know he sent me?"

    "I'd say you took care of that yourself, Romeo." One of her gas lamp eyes flickered out for a second in what he guessed was supposed to be a wink. "You're bearing his mark," she said, pointing to his hand as he buttoned his shirt.

    He cleared his throat, making his vocal sac swell a little, bulging like a balloon and eliciting a little giggle from his princess.

    "It's Siegfried, actually," he said. "But I was speaking in a more literal sense."

    "Ah. Well, that's simple enough." She reached through a hole in her dress and drew a withered scrap of meat that clung to the edge of her coccyx. "Bottoms up," she said said with another wink. Siegfried supposed without flesh, one's means of expressing oneself was rather limited.

    Siegfried flicked his long tongue to his lady's hand and let it snap back to his mouth, savoring her salty aroma.

    He swallowed and felt a strange sensation in his skin. It reminded him of the last stage in his life cycle when he went from tadpole to adult.

    His skin faded from its normal scabby red to a pale, creamy color, like the Siegfried in his book. He felt hair shoving its way out of his scalp and his mouth shrinking to a human proportion.

    His bones readjusted themselves until he was standing just a shade above his lady, as Siegfried should for his Odette.

    "And that's all there is to it?" he said, his voice feeling reedy and thin coming from such a small mouth with no vocal sac to give his words some meat.

    "Yes. It's not a bad trade for your soul, is it?" she said.

    Siegfried swallowed. He'd heard reference to souls in a few of his books. It was what Anderson's little mermaid had so lacked and traded her life for. Was this what he had given up to do just the opposite?

    "I suppose not. Can I turn into anything besides men?"

    His lady shrugged. "I'm not sure. I asked for something else. You'll figure it out."

    "What did you ask for?"

    She looked at him blankly. "You're serious."

    Siegfried simply waited.

    "Eternal life. Of a sort, anyway. He does have a nasty sense of humor, our shadow that was."

    "What's his twist for me?" he asked.

    "My guess would be that you'll have an insatiable taste for mortal flesh."

    Siegfried snorted. "I'm perfectly satisfied in this shape. Why should I want to metamorphose again?"

    "You may not have a choice."

    Siegfried didn't like the sound of that, but it did sound just like something out of his fairy tales.



    Final chapter/Sources found here
    Last edited by Kuulvheysoon; 2013-09-23 at 08:51 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.

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

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLIX

    By the Power of Greyskull!
    Quote Originally Posted by Cara Skerritt
    Cara Skerritt, Nightchild; Chaotic Evil Strongheart Halfling Lich Death Master 10/Thrall of Orcus 10
    Hush little baby, don't you cry
    Daddy's gonna sing you a lullaby
    Of death and darkness and eerie things
    That travel the night on gilded wings
    Of witches and demons and monsters so fierce
    Of battles and swords and arrows that pierce
    Of the spells and secrets of my sacred Art
    That darken even the purest heart
    And if, through it all, you begin to fear
    Remember that I am always here
    So take the legacy I gift to thee
    And when I am gone, remember me.


    Cara Skerritt was a troubled child. Born into the ruins on the outskirts of the city whose-name-is-unspoken, portents of doom heralded her arrival; for some she was a messiah, one who would protect them and lead them to victory against the oppressive overlords and barons, while to others, she would be the destroyer of everything. The signs that preceded and followed her birth rained down as the followers of the cults within the city fought to have her killed or saved. Things were looking grim for her followers until the dead rose to help them, unbidden from their graves. The birthsign which marred the skin on her heart was that of the shape of a skull.

    All thought she was lost to the ruins when the signs that portended doom when fire-from-the-sky landed on her shelter, destroying it utterly. Yet blessed by her patron which she didn’t yet know of was watching these signs as the stillborn moon descended, Cara arose from the ashes of her broken shack; the dead spontaneously arising around her. She was one of them, and all bowed before her. None could stop her; for every man woman and child that was slain, they would arise but moments later under her will. Even the greatest of the Undead could not defend themselves, the darker-darkness above the heralded the arrival of Nightwings, while Vampires and the unbodied spirits of those who died with a grievance came at her bidding. Even the greatest of the dragons could not fail to heed her call from beyond the grave, and with but the slightest of touches, she would slay the strongest of foes.

    When one would arise who would kill her, Cara would somehow reappear sometime later, and the slayer would meet a death that would be inexplicable, without even a sign of a scratch on them. Some reports would fancifully state that they would be later seen at the vanguard of an undead horde, but these reports are dismissed as fanciful exaggerations.

    Over the centuries, there have been stories about cities, fortresses, strongholds, planar defences, dwarven undermountains, elven treetop homes all being besieged by the undead, closely following the fleeing hordes of the lay peoples who surrounded such locations. These attacks are seemingly random, but each and every occasion seems to make special awareness of a little orphan girl, alone and frightened, starving and with wyrdlight in her eyes…

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

    1st|Death Master 1|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    | Concentration 4, Disguise 4, K. Arcane 4, K. Planes 4, K. Religion 4|Evil Brand, City Slicker|Rebuke Undead, Undead Minion

    2nd|Death Master 2|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |Concentration 5, Disguise 5, K. Arcane 5, K. Planes 5, K. Religion 5||

    3rd|Death Master 3|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |Bluff 0.5, Concentration 6, Disguise 6, K. Arcane 6, K. Planes 6, K. Religion 5|Thrall to Demon (Orcus)|

    4th|Death Master 4|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Bluff 1, Concentration 7, Disguise 7, K. Arcane 7, K. Planes 7, K. Religion 5||

    5th|Death Master 5|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Bluff 1.5, Concentration 8, Disguise 8, K. Arcane 8, K. Planes 8, K. Religion 5||Master of the Dead

    6th|Death Master 6|
    +4
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |Bluff 2, Concentration 9, Disguise 9, K. Arcane 9, K. Planes 9, K. Religion 5|Lichloved|

    7th|Death Master 7|
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |Bluff 3, Concentration 10, Disguise 10, K. Arcane 10, K. Planes 9, K. Religion 5||

    8th|Thrall of Orcus 1|
    +6/+1
    |
    +4
    |
    +2
    |
    +7
    |Bluff 4, Concentration 10, Disguise 10, Intimidate 4, K. Arcane 10, K. Planes 9, K. Religion 5|Planar Touchstone (Catalogues of Enlightenment; Deathbound)|Carrion Stench, Bonus Feat

    9th|Thrall of Orcus 2|
    +7/+2
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +8
    | Bluff 6, Concentration 10, Disguise 11, Intimidate 6, K. Arcane 10, K. Planes 9, K. Religion 5| Willing Deformity |Touch of Fear

    10th|Thrall of Orcus 3|
    +8/+3
    |
    +5
    |
    +3
    |
    +8
    | Bluff 8, Concentration 10, Disguise 12, Intimidate 8, K. Arcane 10, K. Planes 9, K. Religion 5||Demon Wings (1 hour/day)

    11th|Thrall of Orcus 4|
    +9/+4
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    |
    +9
    |Bluff 10, Concentration 10, Disguise 13, Intimidate 10, K. Arcane 10, K. Planes 9, K. Religion 5|Imperious Command|Skeletal Visage, Bonus Feat

    12th|Thrall of Orcus 5|
    +10/+5
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    |
    +9
    |Bluff 12, Concentration 10, Disguise 14, Intimidate 12, K. Arcane 10, K. Planes 9, K. Religion 5|Abyss-Bound Soul (Orcus)|Summon Minor Undead

    13th|Thrall of Orcus 6|
    +11/+6/+1
    |
    +7
    |
    +4
    |
    +10
    |Bluff 14, Concentration 10, Disguise 15, Intimidate 14, K. Arcane 10, K. Planes 9, K. Religion 5| |Pallor of Death

    14th|Thrall of Orcus 7|
    +12/+7/+2
    |
    +7
    |
    +4
    |
    +10
    |Bluff 16, Concentration 10, Disguise 16, Intimidate 16, K. Arcane 10, K. Planes 9, K. Religion 5|Assume Supernatural Ability|Demon Wings (at will), Bonus Feat

    15th|Thrall of Orcus 8|
    +13/+8/+3
    |
    +8
    |
    +4
    |
    +11
    |Bluff 18, Concentration 10, Disguise 18, Intimidate 17, K. Arcane 10, K. Planes 9, K. Religion 5|Spell Focus (Necromancy)|Death Touch

    16th|Thrall of Orcus 9|
    +14/+9/+4
    |
    +8
    |
    +5
    |
    +11
    |Bluff 19, Concentration 11, Disguise 19, Intimidate 19, K. Arcane 10, K. Planes 9, K. Religion 5||Summon Major Undead

    17th|Thrall of Orcus 10|
    +15/+10/+5
    |
    +9
    |
    +5
    |
    +12
    |Bluff 20, Concentration 13, Disguise 20, Intimidate 20, K. Arcane 10, K. Planes 9, K. Religion 5||Summon Nightwing, +1 Spellcasting

    18th|Death Master 8|
    +16/+11/+6/+1
    |
    +9
    |
    +5
    |
    +13
    |Bluff 20, Concentration 17, Disguise 21, Intimidate 20, K. Arcane 10, K. Planes 9, K. Religion 5|Craft Wondrous Item|

    19th|Death Master 9|
    +16/+11/+6/+1
    |
    +10
    |
    +6
    |
    +13
    |Bluff 20, Concentration 20, Disguise 22, Intimidate 20, K. Arcane 11, K. Planes 9, K. Religion 5| |

    20th|Death Master 10|
    +17/+12/+7/+2
    |
    +10
    |
    +6
    |
    +14
    |Bluff 20, Concentration 20, Disguise 23, Intimidate 20, K. Arcane 15, K. Planes 9, K. Religion 5|Twin Spell, Invisible Spell, Black Lore of Moil, Arcane Thesis (Enervation)|Sustenance of the Dead[/table]
    *I'd like to note that all instances of these feats use their most current versions, rather than those within the 3.0 BoVD.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    8th|4|5|4|3|1|-|-|-|-|-

    9th|4|5|4|3|1|-|-|-|-|-

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

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

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

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

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

    15th|4|5|4|3|1|-|-|-|-|-

    16th|4|5|4|3|1|-|-|-|-|-

    17th|4|5|4|4|2|-|-|-|-|-

    18th|4|5|5|4|2|1|-|-|-|-

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

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

    Typical Spells Prepared
    0th; Prestigidation, Mage Hand, Invisible Touch of Fatigue (Pale Aura Reduced),
    1st; Any of; Moilian Fell Drain Touch of Fatigue (Pale Aura Reduced), Expeditious Retreat, Shocking Grasp, Obscuring Mist, Grease, Invisible Animate Dead (Pale Aura Reduced), Invisible Desecrate (Pale Aura reduced)
    2nd; Any of; Moilian Fell Drain Ray of Enfeeblement (Pale Aura Reduced), Alter Self, Blur, Shatter, Touch of Idiocy, Invisible Vampiric Touch (Pale Aura reduced), Invisible Ray of Exhaustion (Pale Aura reduced), Web
    3rd; Invisible Moilian Fell Drain Enervation (Arcane Thesis + Pale Aura Reduced), Moilian Fell Drain Ghoul Touch (Pale Aura Reduced), Greater Magic Weapon, Dispel Magic
    4th; Any of; Dimension Door, Evard’s Black Tentacles, Scrying, Solid Fog, Wall of Ice
    5th; Baleful Polymorph, Cloudkill, Wall of Stone, Symbol of Pain, Invisible Circle of Death (Pale Aura reduced),
    6th; Any of; Twinned Fell Drain Invisible Moilian Enervation (Arcane Thesis + Pale Aura reduced), Greater Dispel Magic, Harm, Invisible Moilian Finger of Death (Pale Aura reduced), Invisible Symbol of Weakness, Word of Recall
    x3 Higher Order uses of any Domain I have via the Planar Touchstone: Catalogues of Enlightenment; typically Deathbound

    Note; Thanks to Craft Wondrous Item, I am able to make Pearls of Power of the relevant level, granting better flexibility.

    NB; note that Invisible Spell is used in cooperation with the Pale Aura reduction to grant a lower casting cost, NOT to necessarily make Invisible Undead. Although the cheese is there if you really wish, but it’s not for that reason).

    Ability Scores
    Strength; 12 (-2) = 10+1 = 11
    Dexterity; 8 (+2) = 10 (+2 from Skeletal Visage) = 12
    Constitution; 10 = 10 (-2 from Skeletal Visage) = 8, (- from Lich Template).
    Intelligence; 16 = 16 (+2 from Lich) = 18
    Wisdom; 16 = 16 (+2 from Lich) = 18
    Charisma; 14 = 14 (+4 from levelling) = 18 (+2 from Lich) = 20
    Build Explanation
    Level 1-5
    As a Death Master, there isn't much flexibility in my options until I hit levels 3 and up, at which point I can start raising the dead. My spell list is not that versatile as a Wizard; in combat I'm limited to Ray of Frost (No Save 1d3 Cold Damage) or Touch of Fatigue at 0-level, but my 1st level spells, like Ray of Enfeeblement, Grease, and Shocking Grasp provide me with a few staples to back myself up. Meanwhile, Shield, Entropic Shield back up my proficiency with Light Armour to make me a part way decent low level gish. When second level comes online, pick up Animate Dead to help provide a few meat shields. While they're not Corpsecrafted out the wazoo, they don't need to be to provide the relevant role. If Undead are encountered, they can be Rebuked, or failing that, just killed outright. The weapon proficiency as a Scythe gives me a relatively decent damage output should I critical, possibly swapping to two-handing a quarterstaff (presumably that's what "Staff" proficiency is), that allows me to frontline for a while, especially when combined with being small to make myself harder to hit.

    Earlier on, I'll use the Zombie Troglodyte to help Wall, but when Animate Dead is available, switch to the Skeletal Wolf to give me something to ride on for a bit of mobility (20ft speed only gets you so far). City Slicker gives me Disguise as a class skill. At 5th level, I gain near enough immunity to Mindless Undead thanks to a combination of Master of the Dead and Rebuke, alongside disguise to look like them if I really need it; while Halt Undead is an option as well if I really need to get by them. At this level, not only am I capable of using Alter Self (typically taking a Skulk for the hide bonuses which outweigh the need for much investment in ranks, or Locathah for Swimming) and Desecrate+Animate Dead, but others like Touch of Idiocy, Shatter, Ghoul Touch, Blur all make me more capable in the front lines. Dispel Magic, Greater Magic Weapon, Phantom Steed, Magic Circle against Good, Poison, Protection from Energy, Stinking Cloud, Stone Shape, Vampiric Touch, and Wind Wall all help my case in not only combat but out of combat capabilities. In regards to Turn Undead checks, you explicitly gain a +2 bonus for having 5 ranks in Knowledge Religion as a Death Master; this possibly doesn’t stack with the Synergy bonus from Knowledge Religion normally, but as written, I think it does; giving a +4 to Turn Undead in total.

    Level 6-10
    Taking levels in the SI gives me the all-important Bluff as a Class Skill to back up my Disguise; investing ranks in that and Intimidation gives me the possibility to turn into an angry threatening little girl, or a poor abused, malnutritioned girl. Incidentally, Lichloved gives me even more protection against Mindless Undead; but the Stench ability backs this up 2 levels later.

    Catalogues of Enlightenment gives me a useful spell the Blade of Pain and Fear, Frightening opponents and allowing me to deal touch attack damage (1d6+3) which isn’t reliant on Strength boosts. Vampire Fangs give me a Bite Attack dealing Con damage, combining well with Stench, Despite the limited uses of the Higher order spells, I can always purchase transportation to the Catalogues to renew them. Pearls of Power can allow me to reuse the spell, meaning the Higher Order usages possibly stay intact, but that is a DM dependent reading and not something I’m relying on.

    At this level I am capable of casting 4th level spells; Enervation is the focus of the build later on; however, I can also do Lockdown with Evard’s Black Tentacles, Ice Storm deals a fair bit of damage to creatures weak to cold, Stoneskin makes me very resilient in combat, and Solid Fog or Wall of Ice provide fantastic battlefield control. Scrying gives me some additional out of combat utility for the party as well; or even Charming a monster when I’m not up against Undead. I’ve progressed as a Full Caster so far, but I also have some damage potential in melee; it is at this time when I take the SI; you can see the checklist below to see what I use effectively.

    When I start the SI, I have just managed to squeeze in another level of the Death Master, which gains me a powerful Undead follower to help. Until I get my Wings at full speed, the Wyvern Zombie is the best bet for travelling. At this stage, I start to become more of a frontliner, and the power of the follower starts to drop off as I progress away from it, it’s not until I get Flight at will does it lose it’s potential, but even then, my slow speed is a limitation that the Wyvern overcomes. At ECL10, when I get Wings, it is still only hour/day, and at 20ft, it’s hardly going anywhere fast, it’s more for tactical advantage in battle as opposed to combat.

    Level 11-15
    At 11th level, I get the ability to Summon Undead; here is where I can begin a Wightocalypse, by Summoning a Wight, and then rebuking the wight that is created by my Summon. The same applies to Shadow summons or the Wraith; but the Wight is notorious for being the most capable of making one.

    Imperious Command makes my rapidly advancing Intimidation ability more and more useable (by this stage I should have access to the Fearsome Armour Special Ability from Drow of the Underdark to make it a Move Action as well). Abyss-bound Soul increases my Caster Level for Necromancy Spells, Ray of Enfeeblement, Animate Dead and Vampiric Touch being the best uses of it.

    The Pallor of Death ability comes online at ECL13, but it’s not particularly clear how it works; but I get more use out of it later anyway, but with Assume Su ability, there should be at least some form that I can take (however it is ruled) that gives me some sort of benefit.

    Death Touch at ECL15 is a fantastic ability; while I don’t get the ability (yet) to load up on save debuffing from Metamagic’d Enervation, I am still able to use the Pallor to cause Panic checks, or failing that, Imperious Commanded Fear, while Skiurid Nuggets (+2), Death Knell’d (+1), Abyss-Bound Soul (+1) Animate Dead lets me make Necrosis Carnex’s, so I can still force a -10 on saves.

    Level 16-20
    As a Gish, the Nightwing is a powerful ally to have; At Will Deeper Darkness, Haste, Greater Dispel Magic (3/day), along with its Telepathy and Invisibility give me a fairly good Scout. It would become a perfect ally if it could Plane Shift, but sadly, the limitation from Summon Monster is a right pain. If it's not, it could be used to Plane Shift to the Catalogues of Enlightenment and get extra uses of the Higher Order abilities. As it stands, however, I'll be limited to requesting another caster for the spell.

    At 20th level, I can create myself a Phylactery, turning me into a Lich. This might be considered to be "cheating" as I have gained 4 "free" LA by taking the template at this level, but it fits with the theme of not only the Prestige Class, but also my base classes Capstone ability. I now become Undead; my Carrion Stench ability now becomes Cha based, and the Penalties from Skeletal Visage are lost. In addition to that, you can gain Taint without hurting myself as a Lich; hence the four free bonus feats. Arcane Thesis is the big part here; Twinned (+3) Invisible (-1) Fell Drain (+1) Enervations of Moil (-1) apply +2 overall to the spell itself (putting out . While this normally would make the Spell of limited use (without Pearls of Power), using Pallor of Death (or failing that, Alter Self, which is on the Death Master's spell list (and available for me to craft as a 1/day command worded item, if your DM rules that you need to be in the form for the entire time of preparing the spells)) to become a Slaymate, as Assume Supernatural Ability grants me the required -1 Metamagic thanks to the Pale Aura.

    Another option is the Lesser Bonedrinker, which allows me to deal Constitution damage (1d4) on a Grapple. The Pallor of Death isn’t clear on what a “Humanoid Undead” undead is; whether it’s Humanoid that’s Undead in appearance, Undead that’s based off a Human, Undead that are Humanoid in shape,or just based off Alter Self; the main use is to get the Pale Aura available for the Slaymate, but other notables include;

    • Allip; 1d4 Wis Drain Touch Attack, 30ft Perfect Fly; SRD
    • Nighthunter Deep Bat; 50ft Perfect Fly; MoF
    • Brain in a Jar; Rebuke Undead (Su) as a Cleric with the HD of the Lich; LM
    • Ghast; Ghoul Fever; SRD
    • Murk; Fly 30ft Good, 1d6 Wisdom Damage to Living opponents; LM
    • Necrosis Carnex; 30ft aura -2 to saves of living creatures, MM4
    • Quell; 60ft Flight Good, Intercession (Turn Check (as if a Cleric of the HD) to determine max HD of people unable to cast Divine Spells/Turn Undead for 1 minute), LM
    • Shadow; Create Spawn (Triggered by Ray of Enfeeblement), SRD
    • Skin Kite; Steal Skin (Ex) causing Charisma Drain, LM
    • Slaymate; Pale Aura (Necromancy Spells are at -1 metamagic cost when prepared), LM
    • Spawn of Kyuss; Create Spawn; MM2
    • Tomb Mote; Quickness (Extra Standard Action/Round); LM
    • Vampire Spawn; Negative Level Slam Attack, -OR- Domination Gaze, SRD
    • Wight; Create Spawn; SRD
    • Wraith; Create Spawn; SRD


    Bolded forms are ones which are Humanoid in shape and Undead (not Templated Undead); which is how I read the ruling, but offer particularly unique abilities that are inaccessible or advisable options for me to use.

    The Pale Aura is one of the most powerful abilities when combined with Metamagic +0 spells, like Invisible Spell. Regardless of any “cheese” such as creating Invisible Undead, which is not included and not expected, it allows an effective -1 level cost Metamagic. It is explicitly missing the wording of Arcane Thesis which reduces it to its normal spell level at its lowest allowing this; so Invisible/Moilian 7th level spells can be affected by Pale Aura.

    Summon Major Undead; the notable options are the previously inaccessible template monsters. Although the ECL of the Undead is behind that of the party, Undead have a fair old shift of Immunities, and a Vampire’s Dominate ability or ability to load on Negative Levels makes it a powerful force multiplier in conjunction with the Carrion Stench ability (which presumable stacks with itself; if getting in the additional actions is the issue, then taking the form of a Tomb Mote with the Pallor of Death gets the lovely Quickness Su ability for an extra Move/Standard Action a turn). Adding in the Pallor of Death’s Fear aura simply makes any none-fear-immune creature subject to a DC25 Charisma check each turn or Panic. Combined with Intimidate ranks and Fearsome Armour, I can quickly stack on Fear checks like no tomorrow; trapping them with the numerous Battlefield control spells (Acid Fog, Blade Barrier, Wall of Ice, Evard’s Black Tentacles etc) or a wall of undead I have access to.

    The Death Touch is just the icing on the cake; the Fear Aura, Carrion Stench, Necrosis Carnexes made via Animate Dead (CL11th, 3 Corpses and Cold Iron Hammered Bands worth 200gp) or Alter Self into one and focus on negative levels and a wounding weapon, combined with a full BAB means I can reliably put on massively reduced saves; -10-12 before Negative levels makes the DC25 Fort saves fairly difficult to make, while the 17BAB makes the attack fairly likely to hit.

    To finish off with, Sustenance of the Dead allows me to destroy my own Undead (which I can summon) for immediate temporary HP. Meanwhile, my Undead Companion has no progressed so far as to be able to take a Wight; and have a Wightocalypse begin! Alternatively, rather than using Summoned/Created Undead, I can use it on a Gray Render Zombie (20HD for +40 temp HP for 1 hour).

    If you’ve not guessed; ECL20 is the Sweet spot, but the build is able to contribute to EVERY phase of party life, pretty much from 1-20.

    Adaptations
    Variant Touchstones; obviously, the Undeath Domain from the Catalogues of Enlightenment was picked up for the higher HD limit; but others that are quite viable include things The Metacube (1/day, grant HP equal to character level over and above that of its original maximum x2; making a nigh Indestructible Phylactery), or the White Feather Bridge (1/day Planar Ally x2). Alternatively, rather than Undeath Domain, I could potentially choose Necromancer Domain for the further +1 to Necromancy Spells.

    Expanding the Spell-list; as a Dragon Magazine Compendium book, there is nothing to support to Death Master or it's spell list; it is currently just using Necromantic flavoured Wizard/Sorcerer spells. Perhaps ask your DM if it's possible to gain additional spells. None of this is included within, but including things like Animate Dread Warror etc make you at the heart of a powerful Undead army. None of this is needed to make the build work, but it gives you a few more options.

    Reforming after Death; as a Lich, it is not explicitly clear whether reforming is counted as "created" for the purposes of Desecrate. If it is, have fun, and kill yourself. Put the Phylactery in a Permanently Desecrated area, and you've got yourself +40HP every time you die (because I'm definately going to have an Altar to Orcus within it). While it doesn't alleviate the problems of having no Con, it makes it less dangerous in full combat.

    Elder Evil Worship; I personally do not agree with the by RAW reading of the Bonus Willing Deformity Feats and would rule otherwise should I be running a game using the Thrall. However, the build meets the RAW reading by getting the use out of Willing Deformity (Gaunt). As there is no further gain from Willing Deformity, I could actually worship an Elder Evil (explicitly allowed; recognised since The Dead Mists back in XLV; Talon of Tiamat); and gain other Willing Defomity Feats; Abominable Form, and Deformity (Face) give me +6 to Intimidate with Defomity (Gaunt) (+2 Gaunt, +2 for Abominable Form, +2 for Face), as well as Fear Stacking, while Dark Speech gives me more powerful spellcasting, while Evil's Blessing is enough to grant me between a +4 to +8 to Saves. Atropus being one dedicated to Undead seems to make sense.

    Evolved Undead Template; If a DM rules that each age category for Undead is 100 years as per the Evolved Template, then casting “Bestow Curse” upon oneself gives me exponentially more powerful abilities. Although playable as a PC from 1-20, as a DM you could apply the Evolved Template as many times as you like; in such an instance you might want to consider providing the stat boosts to Intelligence for extra spell slots and using the Evolved Undead to boost charisma.

    Spellstitched Undead Template; you might want to get yourself Spellstitched (in which case, an item to gain 19 Wisdom while you are being Spellstitched is needed to gain the 6th level SLA’s; Animate Dread Warrior is pretty much a must here, if your DM does not allow you to expand your spell-list outside of the PHB; even Animate Dead as an SLA to ignore the expensive gems).

    Flaws; the build isn’t especially feat starved, but more are always welcome; Practised Manifester and Imperious Command being the notable ones I’d like to pick up (quick reshuffle of feats to make room), while Reserves of Strength would allow me to bypass the 5HD Limit of Alter Self and take the form of a Bonedrinker (MM3) for Pounce. Incidentally, as the stench provides the exact same benefit as the Lichloved feat, it might be worth asking the DM if you even need the Lichloved feat to qualify; which opens up further feats, like say Corpsecrafted to improve the Undead. After all; the fluff for Lichloved doesn’t really flow well as a… well, little girl, let’s say; sadly I had my theme prior to the build, and

    Retraining; if Retraining is allowed, I could theoretically swap out Craft Wondrous Item for any of the relevant Craft feats; I’m undead, and have all the time in the world.

    Variant Undead; Libris Mortis has rules for variant Undead, but it doesn’t state how to create them, making them normally a DM only tool. However, for a bit more differentiation between Undead followers/summons/animated/rebuked, see if any of the following can be used;
    Ghost; Haunting (Major Image at will), Sagacious (Bardic Knowledge, add HD+Cha to check)
    Skeleton; Fiery/Lightning/Frost Skeleton (deals Elemental damage on natural attacks), Nimble Skeleton (Climb Speed, +4 Dex), Soldier (Weapon Focus, works best in groups of Soldier Skeletons), Vicious Skeleton (count as larger size to deal damage with claw attack, and Rend).
    Vampire; Psychic Vampire (Wisdom Drain in place of Energy Drain), Savage Vampire (2 Claws, more melee orientated, each claw attack bestows negative levels)
    Zombies; Bloodthirsty (Crits cause Con damage), Fast Zombie (removes action limitation, perfect on Dragons for Flyby Attacks), Hunting Zombie (Track and Scent), Unkillable Zombie (Fast Healing 5 and Improved Toughness).

    Items
    Thanks to Craft Wondrous Item, many of my Magic Items are available for me to craft at the expense of just hiring the requisite spellcaster for the length of time taken to make the item.
    The two big ones for this build are "Pearls of Power" and the Phylactery; these I can make myself. In addition to that, though, things which help the Undead Controlling side, such the Rod of Undead Mastery, the Battle Bridle grants me Mounted Combat as a bonus feat.
    I can also make x/day items to potentially increase my damage capacity; of course these are subject to the DM as it is dealing with custom items. However, it's a relatively decent investment; for example, command word 2/day Animate Dead and a continuous item of Desecrate is 16,320 GP, freeing up my spell slots. Another option is to create one of Alter Self (4,320 GP for a 1/day 60 minute duration) for taking the form of a Slaymate when preparing spells. The Talisman of Undead Mastery allows me to burn charges to increase my effective Turning Level.
    Theoretically, I can also use the Planar Touchstone feat to create any item that uses a 6th level spell or lower from any of the domain lists.
    Notable inclusions are the Amber Amulets of Vermin (requires Giant Vermin); using these I can equip my Risen Undead army/Dominated living allies with monstrous vermin. Amulet of Fortune Telling (Break Enchantment from the Luck Domain), Amulet of Retributive Healing (Mass Cure Light Wounds, Healing Domain), Amulet of Tears (Aid, Luck Domain), Anklet of Translocation (Dimension Door, own class list), Belt of Battle (Haste, Celerity Domain), Belt of Growth (Enlarge Person, Strength Domain), Greater Boots of the Mountain King (Freedom of Movement from Luck Domain, Stoneskin from Class list), Bracers of Quick Strike (Haste, Celerity Domain), Chronocharm of the Horizon Walker (Expeditious Retreat, own class list), Cloak of Turn Resistance (Turn as a 10th level Cleric), Cloak of Weaponry (Leomund’s Secret Chest, Wealth Domain), Counterstrike Bracers (Haste, Celerity Domain), Ghost Shroud (Create Undead, class list), Gloves of Object Reading (Scrying, class list), Greatreach Bracers (Enlarge Person, Strength Domain), Shadow Veil (Create Undead, class list), Strongarm Bracers (Enlarge Person, Strength Domain), Mirror of the Time Hop (Dimension Door, on class list), Skin of the Defender (Barkskin, Plant Domain), Stench Stones (Ghoul Touch, class list).
    As I'm putting across the image of a little girl, using Bluff and Disguise, walking around in horrific full plate carrying a greatsword with an animated shield is not particularly characteristic of a starving little girl looking for shelter. Glamered Armour is pretty much a must, while a Hideaway weapon from RotW is another. As I'm going to need to offset my size penalty, the Fearsome Armour (DotU) comes into its own, thanks to its Move Action activation (and Shaken stacking with the stench ability to reduce enemy saves is helpful for my SLA's reducing saves). For the Hideaway weapon, the Wounding Enchantment to deal damage to enemy constitution scores makes it even more dangerous for the Con based saves which are forced by the SI; Death Touch and Carrion Stench explicitly; while the spells of the Death Master has several that are reliant on Fort Saves; all shown in the link are Death Master spells of 0-6th level, which have reduced effects based on Fort Saves.
    Other generic items all have their use; Strength, Intelligence and Charisma items especially; these are craftable by the Domain switch. Items which boost my caster level would be fantastic; an Orange Ioun Stone (among others) would be a first choice item).
    Of course, all the Planar Travel would need a custom item of Planar Travel, which would require renting a 9th level Clerics services for the day to borrow the spell.

    Maths
    Intimidate Checks: 20 Ranks, +4 High Cha, +5 Fearsome Armour, +3 Willing Deformity, +2 Gaunt, +2 versus Evil, Alter Self negating Size penalty vs Medium = +36, and Imperious Command and Move Action activation.
    Disguise; 23 Ranks, +4 High Cha, +10 Alter Self, +2 Synergy = +39
    Bluff; 20 Ranks, +4 High Cha = +24
    Enervation/Negative Level Optimization;

    - Caster level 11 Class Levels, +1 Abyss-bound Soul, +1 Necromancy Domain, +2 Arcane Thesis = CL 15.
    - Save DC = 10 Base, +4 Spell Level, +4 High Int, +1 Spell Focus = DC19, -10 to Saves from Necrosis Carnex (-2), Stench (-2), Panic (-6), and possibly Sickened (-2), and any additional boosts from the huge number of Negative Levels myself or my minions can put out.
    - Twinned Fell Drain Black Lore Enervation or Moil deals 2d4+2 Negative Levels. BAB20 ensures it hits. Dispel is able to counter Deathward. Queued up with the Save reducers as above, I average 7 Negative levels per casting; resulting in a -17 to Saves after 1 round; in the next round, a Death Touch of DC25 (without items, remember) resulting in effectively a DC of 42.
    - Black Lore of Moil is usually to guarantee that the spell deals Negative Levels even on a successful save; but Enervation is no save. However, it has additional benefits when included alongside Invisible Spell and Arcane Thesis for reducing overall Metamagic costs by 2 on Enervation (in addition to the reduction on the other Metamagics). Combined with the Pallor of Death from Alter Self into a Slaymate I can get -3 for it.
    - Against Undead, the Black Lore of Moil allows me to inflict Negative Levels. On the Spells which I can cast which have “negates” or “partial” can cause more Negative Levels even when Enervation is not an option
    Checklist
    Here follows a checklist of how I've used the requirements/class features of the SI
    FLUFF; Both the Thrall and the Death Master are dedicated to Orcus. While I'd have got more benefit as a Spellcaster by taking the base class through to 20th, I've become much more of a Cult Leader and spreader of Undeath through taking the SI. And what's better than a stunted growth character like Esther from "Orphan" disguising herself as a little girl, sending invisible laser beams of Negative Levels shooting all over the place before controlling the newly risen Wights while her Wight companion continues the Wightocalypse, meanwhile shapeshifting into a Shadow and making an army of Shadows for a Shadocalypse. As a Death Master, I ignore ASF as long as I use vials of blood from sacrificial victims; those sacrificial victims would likely provide the skulls that would be used in the Rite to become a Thrall, while the Altar held within would likely be the place I'd keep my Phylactery and hence keep in a Permanent Desecration. Not only that, but the Black Lore of Moil requires specially crafted runebones as a another material component. By sacrificing these bones and vials of blood, I become even more powerful.
    EVIL ALIGNMENT; qualification to become a Lich
    BAB 4+/FULL BAB ADVANCEMENT; Made the all-important 16+ BAB; the Full BAB advancement gives me higher BAB than continued advancement in the Base Class would.
    SKILLS; Knowledge Arcane improved and Knowledge Religion gains the Synergy bonus with Turn Undead. The Skill List grants me Bluff, and Intimidate.
    FEATS; Lichloved lets me appear to be one of the mindless Undead so I'm not attacked. Thrall to Demon gets me into Abyss-bound Soul for +1 to Necromancy Spells. I'm a Necromancer; combined with +2 to Intimidate checks to make it a bit easier. Plus, I can get more money from the bank manager by getting all angry; and we all know Bank Managers are evil.
    SPELL CASTING; I'm a Necromancer with Deathbound Domain. Combined with Animate Dead, Desecrate and a Rod of Undead Mastery, I can gain 48HD of Undead. Gaining the Spellcasting as one of the class's features also allowed me to become a Lich.
    SAVES; Good Fort Save backs up the low Fort Save of the Lich and Death Master, and gives an even better Will Save.
    PROFICIENCIES; As a Death Master, provided I spend extra effort on preparing Vial's of blood from sacrifices to Orcus as a special Material Componenet, I can cast without ASF; so I can include the Shield and Armour as my equipment.
    BONUS FEATS; Skeletal Visage has no penalties associated with it; it is a bonus feat/class feature that is effectively +2 Dexterity at 20th level.
    CARRION STENCH; stacking with Intimidation to help reduce saves for my SLA’s. The fact that it’s keyed off my Charisma when I become a lich makes it even more potent (DC25 before boosting). Piling on Negative Levels as either an Alter Self’d Wight type creature, Enervation, or dealing Constitution damage through things like
    TOUCH OF FEAR; again, stacking with Intimidation, it helps with Battlefield control against mooks. However; it’s not particularly useful in the long run due to Cause Fear’s HD limitation; it is however, something that was gained early enough to not be completely useless (ECL9).
    DEMON WINGS; At 10th level, I have 1 hr/day flight with 20ft speed, ECL14 gives it all day long. With Expeditious Retreat, this becomes 50ft speed for 1 Min/level. Fly is not a spell available for a Death Master normally, and alongside optimizing Enervation for a Ray, I can stay out of range, and just rain down negative levels.
    SKELETAL VISAGE; Dexterity was slightly dumped due to getting in the requisite mental stats, as was Con. Becoming a Lich made the Con penalty nothing, so it was a essentially a free +2 Dex and +2 to Intimidate.
    SUMMON UNDEAD; In the event I have no Undead army to protect me, I can always summon these. Sustenance of the Dead gives me the ability to if I really need it, just break them down for HP; a Mohrg gets me 28 Temporary HP, for example. Even if they only last an hour, and it’s a 1/day ability, it’s a much needed boost on a Con- character. If a Summon brings in a templated summons creature, then I believe it diverts to just bringing a typical one. As there is no such typical one (being a template), then I just assumed that the build brought in a Templated Human commoner of the relevant Character Level (by that, I understand it to mean HD total); the power of a ghost after all comes from being a Ghost Template, or a Vampire Template and the competition is down to using the ingredients. A Ghost’s Horrific Appearance can lower the enemies Con score, making the Stench or Death Touch even more likely to trigger, while the Malevolence ability may arguably let it bypass the Summon Monster duration, giving me a full time monster to tramp around in. A Vampire’s Domination is another way of giving me a full time fellow creature to boss around; a living one this time (“Follow the ugly small girl as if she was your Mistress”); which can be chained every fortnight or so.
    PALLOR OF DEATH; aside from taking the forms of Humanoid Undead (which term is so vague as to clarify) and taking useful SU abilities from Assume Supernatural Ability (for extra actions, Rebuke as a Cleric of my HD, -1 Necromancy, shutting down Divine Spellcasting etc), I can stack on the Fear penalties even quicker to reduce saves for when I target the enemies with my Fort Save SLA’s (-6 from Panicked, -2 from Stench, -2 from a Necrosis Carnex). With Ghoul Touch for progressing a sickened status as well, it gets to become a further -2 for -12 total.
    SUMMON NIGHTWING; The SLA’s of the Nightwing free up a number of spell slots, as well as providing yet another powerful combatant. In addition, it’s a 17HD creature, and when it’s due to be dismissed, I can always use my Sustenance of the Dead ability to steal a further number of HD. This, along with the Summon Undead abilities is one thing that the Death Master cannot gain without Arcane Disciple or access to another Spell-list for Planar Binding. That it’s cast as a 15th level caster means it lasts for even an extended combat. See Invisibility, Telepathy, alongside Greater Dispel Magic (at CL17). In conjunction with the save reducers mentioned earlier, the Finger of Death is a highly potent ability (effectively DC38-40 Saves) to use for another, well, Save or Die, while its Cone of Cold gives me something to do with the Battlefield Control spells I have access to, particularly when I’m surrounded by enemies due to my Lich Immunity to cold.

    Sources
    Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting; Strongheart Halfling
    Dragon Magazine Compendium Vol. 1; Death Master
    Book of Vile Darkness; Thrall of Orcus
    Fiendish Codex 1; Evil Brand, Thrall to Demon, Abyss-Bound Soul
    Races of Destiny; City Slicker
    Planar Handbook; Planar Touchstone, Catalogues of Enlightenment
    Spell Compendium; Deathbound Domain
    Heroes of Horror; Willing Deformity
    Drow of the Underdark; Imperious Command, Fearsome Armour
    Savage Species; Assume Supernatural Ability
    Complete Arcane; Twin Spell,
    Cityscape; Invisible Spell
    Libris Mortis; Black Lore of Moil
    PHB2; Arcane Thesis

    Avatar by Iron Penguin.

    The Power of the Orient: A Wu Jen Handbook

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

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

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLIX

    I mean, we all know that it's the crazy ones that have the good pills
    Quote Originally Posted by Adrienne Fzembrel
    Prologue
    Spoiler
    Show

    The Sanctuary of Noon was subject to an unusual state of agitation.
    Squires were sharpening the swords of knights, and priests were giving blessings. The chivalry commanders were spending most of their time in the war room, discussing strategies. A battle was coming, and it would be a glorious one ; when the night came, knights and squires gathered and drank, exchanging tales about their enemy.
    A knight was shouting. « I've heard his skin's pale as the Moon, and he's got tiny wings, and he can fly with them !»
    « Well I've heard he's tall as a giant, and twice as large, and he breathes fire as a dragon ! »
    « When I was still a squire, my knight told me about him... he'd met him, and he told me the man was the ugliest thing he'd ever laid eyes on ! »
    « Actually, he's a she. »
    The voice that just spoke these words belonged to a knight in her forties, probably the most senior in the room. She had kept to herself until now, drinking slowly, a grim expression on her face.
    « And how do you know that, m'lady ? » said a young knight, having seemingly been quick to drink his manners away.
    She looked straight at him.
    « I met her », she said. « Twice. »


    Adrienne Fzembrel, the Pilgrim Dead Inside

    LE Human Hexblade 7 / Thrall of Orcus 10 / Paladin of Tyranny 3

    Tell me, child... what ails you?
    Spoiler
    Show

    « I was a squire at the Sanctuary of Dawn at the time. She was a young woman, and most of you were still pages. If you were born at all, that is. » She paused to take a sip ; if she enjoyed being the center of attention, she certainly didn't want it to show. Nevertheless, she kept talking.
    « She came to the Sanctuary in search of guidance. She told the priest that she was... dead, or born without a soul, I believe. At the time, I wasn't paying attention. She was just another pilgrim, looking for a miracle cure to an ailment that no magic can cure. We saw dozens of these every day.»
    « But that one... Adrienne... she kept coming back, begging the priest to cure her. She was lamenting, down on her knees... it was pathetic. And the man could do nothing, but she didn't want to listen to him. »
    « He told me what it was. She didn't feel... neither sorrow nor joy, and so she thought herself to be dead. It was probably all in her mind, and it could have become better with time, but the obstination she showed... let's just say, it didn't arrange things. »
    « One day, she left screaming curses towards the priest, and his disciples, and basically, everyone in the Sanctuary. Even the Sun itself. » She brought her palm to her heart ; a sign of devotion to honor the name she spoke. Everyone in the room imitated her ; even inebriated, the piety of the knights was absolute.
    « I thought that was it, and we would never see her again. »


    How do you go on living when you feel dead inside?
    Spoiler
    Show

    Starting stats :
    STR 14 DEX 8 CON 14 INT 12 SAG 8 CHA 18

    Charisma +1 every four levels.

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

    1st|Hexblade 1|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |Diplomacy +4, Intimidate +4, Bluff +4, Knowledge (Arcana) +2, Knowledge (Religion) +1|Evil Brand, Lichloved|Hexblade's curse 1/day

    2nd|Hexblade 2|
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |Diplomacy +5, Intimidate +5, Bluff +5, Knowledge (Religion) +1 ½||Arcane Resistance

    3rd|Hexblade 3|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |Diplomacy +6, Intimidate +6, Bluff +6, Knowledge (Religion) +2|Thrall to Demon|Mettle

    4th|Hexblade 4|
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Diplomacy +7, Intimidate +7 , Speak Language (Abyssal)||Dark Companion

    5th|Thrall of Orcus 1|
    +5
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +6
    |Intimidate +8, Bluff +8, Knowledge (Local) +1|Power Attack|Carrion Stench, bonus feat

    6th|Thrall of Orcus 2|
    +6
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +7
    |Intimidate +9, Knowledge (Nature) +1, Never Outnumbered|Imperious Command|Touch of Fear

    7th|Thrall of Orcus 3|
    +7
    |
    +4
    |
    +2
    |
    +7
    |Intimidate +10, Social Recovery, Knowledge (Dungeoneering) +1||Demon wings

    8th|Thrall of Orcus 4|
    +8
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +8
    |Intimidate +11, Use Magic Device +1, Knowledge (Planes) +1|Willing Deformity, Deformity (Obese)|Massive Girth, bonus feat

    9th|Thrall of Orcus 5|
    +9
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +8
    |Intimidate +12, Use Magic Device +2, Knowledge (Religion) +3|Deformity (Madness)|Summon minor undead

    10th|Thrall of Orcus 6|
    +10
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    |
    +9
    |Intimidate +13, Use Magic Device +3, Knowledge (Religion) +4||Pallor of death

    11th|Thrall of Orcus 7|
    +11
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    |
    +9
    |Intimidate +14, Use Magic Device +4, Knowledge (Religion) +5|Chosen of Evil|Demon wings (at will), bonus feat

    12th|Thrall of Orcus 8|
    +12
    |
    +7
    |
    +3
    |
    +10
    |Intimidate +15, Bluff +9, Use Magic Device +5|Shape Soulmeld (Strongheart Vest)|Death touch

    13th|Thrall of Orcus 9|
    +13
    |
    +7
    |
    +4
    |
    +10
    |Intimidate +16, Bluff +10, Use Magic Device +6||Summon major undead

    14th|Thrall of Orcus 10|
    +14
    |
    +8
    |
    +4
    |
    +11
    |Intimidate +17, Bluff +11, Use Magic Device +7|Deformity (Tall)|Summon nightwing, bonus feat

    15th|Paladin of Tyranny 1|
    +15
    |
    +10
    |
    +4
    |
    +11
    |Intimidate +18, Collector of Stories|Deformity (Tongue)|Aura of evil, detect good, smite good

    16th|Paladin of Tyranny 2|
    +16
    |
    +11
    |
    +4
    |
    +11
    |Intimidate +19, Diplomacy +9||Divine grace, deadly touch

    17th|Paladin of Tyranny 3|
    +17
    |
    +11
    |
    +5
    |
    +12
    |Intimidate +20, Diplomacy +11|New Feats|Aura of despair, divine health

    18th|Hexblade 5|
    +18
    |
    +11
    |
    +5
    |
    +12
    |Intimidate +21, Diplomacy +13, Bluff +12|Spell Focus (Necromancy), Dilate Aura|Hexblade's curse 2/day

    19th|Hexblade 6|
    +19
    |
    +12
    |
    +6
    |
    +13
    |Intimidate +22, Diplomacy +15, Bluff +13||New Class Abilities

    20th|Hexblade 7|
    +20
    |
    +12
    |
    +6
    |
    +13
    |Intimidate +23, Diplomacy +17, Bluff +14||Greater hexblade's curse[/table]

    Hexblade Spells per Day
    {table=head]Level|1st

    1st|-|

    2nd|-|

    3rd|-|

    4th|1|

    5th|1|

    6th|1|

    7th|1|

    8th|2|

    9th|2|

    10th|2|

    11th|2|

    12th|2|

    13th|2|

    14th|2|

    15th|2|

    16th|2|

    17th|2|

    18th|2|

    19th|3|

    20th|3|[/table]

    Hexblade spells known :
    Level 4 : backbiter, charm person
    Level 19 : protection from good



    Feeling blue? Here's how you make your friends feel it too!
    Spoiler
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    Mood swings and sword swings (levels 1-4)
    Spoiler
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    If we want to enter the Secret Ingredient as early as possible (and we do), that means we have to get three specific (and, sadly, quite poor) feats on the first four character levels. That leaves Adrienne with no other tricks than that offered by our class features and our skills, but she'll manage. Give her light armor, a weapon, and try not to get her killed; before level 4, her main in-combat trick will be hitting people repeatedly, and debuffing the odd enemy with her curse.
    With a moderately high Constitution and a Fighter's hit die, survivability at low levels should not be a problem. That goes double for spells, thanks to Arcane Resistance and Mettle.
    Out of combat, we're the face, in case you didn't notice the maxed out Charisma and ranks in all three social skills. This goes double when interacting with evil NPCs, thanks to Evil Brand; and it goes triple for the undead, thanks to Lichloved. No need to thank me for the lovely mental image.
    At level 4, we grab Dark Companion and the last requirement for the Thrall of Orcus : our necromancy spell, Backbiter, which can help against enemy chargers. Our second spell, Charm Person, comes into play if our finely honed diplomatic skills fail us.


    To the Secret Service of Orcus (levels 5-8)
    Spoiler
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    At these levels, Adrienne's most potent weapon is fear. Never Outnumbered, Imperious Command – everyone knows the drill (and since I'm the one saying this, dear judges, feel free to tank Originality. Well, to some extent at least, since this is only one trick among many others she will be using.). Of note are the Deformity feats acquired at level 8. In addition to their standard benefits, they boost Intimidate by 4 points. That means she can achieve a naked Intimidate check at +22 by level 8. Quite good, if I may say so myself. You also get Cause Fear, so if they survive that first round, you can stack fear effects on the second ! It's only effective for about one level because of the HD limit, but for that level, it has its uses.
    She can still act as the face, thanks to increased ranks in Bluff and Intimidate and the skill trick Social Recovery (to be used very carefully, as it comes with a huge penalty).
    She's able to Power Attack to some extent, thanks to her full BAB and Dark Companion lowering the AC of her enemies. In terms of survivability, the lower Hit Die and Deformity (Obese) basically cancel each other, leaving you with poor Reflex saves (except against spells, see Arcane Resistance) and higher Fortitude saves and leaving your HP in a slightly higher place.
    Also, wings. 1 hour per day is nothing to scoff at at seventh level.
    Finally, Dark Companion lowers saves without a chance to resist it, which makes it easier for people to be affected by her Carrion Stench, which makes it easier for them to be affected by her Hexblade's Curse. If all of these things land, it means -6 to saves, -2 to AC, -4 to attack, ability checks and skill checks, and -2 to damage. What's more, they require either no action or a free action, so hooray for the action economy! And apart from the curse, which is a once-per-day trick, they can be used at will. Your party spellcasters can then proceed to beat those guys into the ground with their save-or-X spells.
    I hear you asking : Hey, what's with the cross-class skill points in UMD, and the one odd point in all those Knowledge skills? Yeah, you can't do much with them right away, but just wait... you'll see.


    Who needs sanity, anyway? (levels 9-12, sweet spot : level 12)
    Spoiler
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    This is where it gets good.
    Let's start with the big guns. And by that, I mean Chosen of Evil. For a class that requires three Vile feats to enter, that gives you another Vile feat at level 4, which needs you to take another Vile feat for it to be usable... let's just say that for one more feat, you get the ability to add +6 to basically any roll you make with a D20 for the price of an immediate action and a point of Con damage. Reflex was your weak save ? Now, when needed, you get +6 to it. You can't land your second / third iterative when Power Attacking? Boost it and watch it pierce through your opponent's defenses. It's a shame you can't abuse it because of the Constitution damage, isn't it ? You know what I'm about to mention, aren't you ?
    Strongheart Vest. You get your +6 bonus to one roll per round without taking the Con damage. Which means that you have no reason not to use it on your trained-only skill checks, for example, UMD, and the Knowledge skills in which you dumped one point each, and Diplomacy and Intimidate and you get the point so I'll stop right there. And the bonus is oh so very versatile. A bonus to saving throws won't help you against a trip attempt, but a bonus to an ability check will.
    Before that, you grab Deformity (Madness). Vile feat, so it boosts Chosen of Evil to a +7 bonus ; immunity to mind-affecting, because becoming a liability for your party is not fun.
    The summoning SLA is versatile, and has some nice uses. For example, summon shadows to finish your dying enemies, and ask them to gently give their spawn the very simple instruction of following your every word before they are unsummoned. This is the poor man's Create Undead. And it goes for wights, and for wraiths, and for ghouls – except that ghouls will never land a hit and are therefore useless, so it doesn't go for ghouls, actually, forget I said that. Who would want a ghoul, I wonder.
    Thanks to your save-and-AC-lowering routine, your wraith and shadows will deal their Con and Str damage (respectively) with regularity, as would your ghouls if their attack bonus wasn't so excruciatingly low.
    At level 12, you get the kill-everything-with-your-touch-at-will ability. And if you can get in touch range (which is made easier by the fact that your wings are at-will now), your target already is subject to your Dark Companion and your Carrion Stench. Which means that they have to make a DC 23 Fortitude save or die where they stand, with a penalty on their saves that can go from -2 to -6, depending of the degree to which you want them dead.
    On another note, Pallor of Death. You might be able to make mindless undead believe that you are an undead creature! Fool them thrice, shame on you!


    Extended service (levels 13-16)
    Spoiler
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    By level 14, you're already out of the Secret Ingredient, and you immediately proceed into Paladin of Orcus. The lawful evil kind of Paladin. Corellon Larethian has lawful Paladins, so why not Orcus?
    You've added some undead to your summoning repertoire – the mummies are particularly nice in combat if you've succeeded in lowering the saves of your opponents. Will Save 1d3 times against DC 16 with a -2 to -6 penalty or be paralyzed. Same goes for the Vampire – dominating people is easier when their saves are tanked – and, well, just about every summon on there. Your minion creation abilities are reinforced by the Mohrg, which can create zombies with no HD limit and give them the very simple order of following your orders before it is unsummoned.
    At level 14, you get the Nightwing. If you're in need of planehopping, your Nightwing has Plane Shift. If your undead troops have trouble landing blows on the enemy, your Nightwing has an Aura of Desecration. Invisibility, See Invisibility, Haste. CL 17 Greater Dispel Magic ability, three times per day. There are probably better dispellers in your ECL 14 party, but the point is, you're polyvalent.
    Two more deformities : Tall and Tongue. With Tall, you can land your Death Touch from 10 feet away (and it boosts Chosen of Evil to +8), and with Tongue, you get Blindsense 30 ft (and it boosts Chosen of Evil to +9). You're very, very ugly now.
    The two Paladin of Tyranny levels give you Divine Grace. From this point on, the only acceptable excuse for failing a saving throw against any spell is rolling a natural 1.


    What's the point of all these sections...(levels 17-20)
    Spoiler
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    Hello, Aura of Despair. With this (dilated on the first round of combat with Dilate Aura – now, it covers a 20-feet radius around you!) and Dark Companion, that's a -4 automatic penalty to your opponent's saving throws. Add in your Carrion Stench (with a DC of 23) and you're already looking at a free, no-expense -4 to -6 penalty on saving throws. On top of this, if necessary, you can add a curse, of which you now have two uses per day. You're looking at a possible -10 penalty (accounting for the Greater Curse you get at level 20) to all saving throws for people in range. And all of this without expending a single action. See them try resisting the DC 26 death touch when their saving throws are down in the dumps. Should they be immune to death effects, you can fall back on Imperious Command and stack the fear effects. If all else fails, just smack'em upside the head with Chosen of Evil-fueled Power Attack and let the party casters benefit from the save penalties.



    Anger is unpleasant, but it is still preferable to feeling nothing at all.
    Spoiler
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    « I had been a knight for about three years when I saw her again. I was stationed at the Sanctuary, and I was guarding the entrance, one night, with three of my fellows. And she appeared at the light of the torches. » She put her drink down, staring in the distance, as the memories replayed in her head.
    « I didn't recognize her at first. She was in armor, and there were scars on her face... Everything you said was true, by the way. Nearly as tall as an ogre, and twice as large ; her skin had the pallor of death itself ; and she had wings coming out of her back. No dragon breath, though. I don't know where you heard that one. »
    « She went directly for the door. We tried to stop her, but... as she approached... I had never felt as empty. It was as if her sole presence was draining my will to live... and I could see the same feeling on the faces of my companions. Anton barely tried to defend himself when she reached for him. He had this look of resignation... as if he knew that he was dying on this moment. She barely touched him, and he fell to the floor, inanimate.»
    « I would have suffered the same fate. But the priest came out of his study, alerted by the noise ; and she saw him, and turned from me. I'll never forget the look on her face as she noticed him ; it was the most hateful expression I had ever seen... She was there for petty revenge, nothing more.
    « I was barely standing, but as she went for him, I felt the dread and despair disappear. But I knew that my actions would be useless there. So I ran. I didn't stop running until I arrived here. I don't think it ended well for those who stayed in the Sanctuary. I never had the heart to ask around. »
    She emptied her glass.
    « I pray that I'll be lucky enough to survive a third encounter. Maybe this time, with preparation, we might fell her. But I doubt it. »
    Silence fell on the room, for a few precious seconds, before the voice of a squire shattered it by uttering this one word :
    « Buzzkill. »
    Laughter rose, and the celebration began anew.


    Try turning your life around, you will soon notice that every day still feels as hollow
    Spoiler
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    Possible little tweaks for this particular build. Devotion to an Elder Evil comes to mind (Elder Evils 10). More vile feats means more slots for fun goodies, such as Power Attack at first level instead of fifth, and Knowledge Devotion. It isn't included in the main build because it seems to me that it would conflict with the pledge to Orcus. If your DM sees a demon prince as an elder evil, go nuts.
    Switching the later levels in order to grab 4 levels of Paladin and take a divine feat might be a better tactic than going Hexblade 7. It all depends on whether you find a divine feat more adapted to your playstyle than the Greater Curse.


    Reading keeps your mind busy when your heart feels empty
    Spoiler
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    Book of Vile Darkness : Thrall of Orcus, Thrall to Demon, Lichloved, Evil Brand
    Complete Warrior : Hexblade base class
    Complete Scoundrel : skill tricks (Never Outnumbered, Social Recovery, Collector of Stories)
    Drow of the Underdark : Imperious Command (didn't expect that, huh?)
    Magic of Incarnum : Shape Soulmeld feat, Strongheart Shirt soulmeld
    Unearthed Arcana : Paladin of Tyranny class variant
    Player's Handbook 2 : Dark Companion ACF
    Elder Evils : Deformity (Madness), Chosen of Evil
    Heroes of Horror : Deformity (Tall), Deformity (Tongue)
    Complete Arcane : inclusion of the spell Backbiter to the Hexblade list, sidebar p.94
    Spell Compendium : up-to-date version of Backbiter

    Everything else is from the Player's Handbook / Monster Manual.

    Avatar by Iron Penguin.

    The Power of the Orient: A Wu Jen Handbook

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

  4. - Top - End - #274
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLIX

    The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is
    Quote Originally Posted by Waratah-Blossom
    Code:
    Waratah-Blossom
    
    Seven are the veils of the dancing-girl in the harem of IT.
    Seven are the names, and seven are the lamps beside Her bed.
    Seven eunuchs guard Her with drawn swords; No man may come 
      nigh unto Her.
    In Her wine-cup are seven streams of the blood of the Seven 
      Spirits of God.
    Seven are the heads of THE BEAST whereon She rideth.
    The head of an Angel: the head of a Saint: the head of a Poet: 
      the head of an Adulterous Woman: the head of a Man of Valour: 
      the head of a Satyr: and the head of a Lion-Serpent.
    
    Seven letters hath Her holiest name; and it is BABALON.
    This is the Seal upon the Ring that is on the Forefinger of IT: 
      and it is the Seal upon the Tombs of them whom She hath slain.
    
      -The Book of Lies, To Mega Therion
    BABALON, QUEEN OF BONES
    Human, Hexblade 4/Thrall of Orcus 10/Horned Harbinger 6

    BABALON, QUEEN OF BONES
    {table=head]Level|Class|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Skills|Feats|Class Features

    1st|Hexblade 1|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |Knowledge (arcana) 4 ranks, knowledge (the planes) 2 ranks, knowledge (religion) 2 ranks|Evil Brand, Lichloved|Hexblade's curse 1/day

    2nd|Hexblade 2|
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |Knowledge (arcana) 5 ranks, knowledge (religion) 2.5 ranks, knowledge (the planes) 2.5 ranks||Arcane resistance

    3rd|Hexblade 3|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |Knowledge (arcana) 6 ranks, knowledge (religion) 3 ranks, knowledge (the planes) 3 ranks|Thrall to Demon|Mettle

    4th|Hexblade 4|
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Collector of Stories skill trick, knowledge (the planes) 3.5 ranks||Dark companion

    5th|Thrall of Orcus 1|
    +5
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +6
    |Knowledge (the planes) 6.5 ranks|Power Attack|Carrion stench

    6th|Thrall of Orcus 2|
    +6/+1
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +7
    |Knowledge (religion) 4 ranks, knowledge (the planes) 8.5 ranks|Martial Study (Leading the Attack)|Touch of fear

    7th|Horned Harbinger 1|
    +6/+1
    |
    +6
    |
    +1
    |
    +9
    |Knowledge (religion) 6 ranks, knowledge (the planes) 9 ranks|Death Devotion|Bone horns, rebuke undead, Death domain

    8th|Horned Harbinger 2|
    +7/+2
    |
    +7
    |
    +1
    |
    +10
    |Knowledge (religion) 8 ranks, knowledge (the planes) 9.5 ranks||Deathwatch, animate dead

    9th|Horned Harbinger 3|
    +8/+3
    |
    +7
    |
    +2
    |
    +10
    |Knowledge (religion) 10 ranks, knowledge (the planes) 10 ranks|Extra Turning, Divine Might|Bonus feat

    10th|Horned Harbinger 4|
    +9/+4
    |
    +8
    |
    +2
    |
    +11
    |Knowledge (religion) 12 ranks, knowledge (the planes) 10.5 ranks|Extra Turning|Bonus feat

    11th|Horned Harbinger 5|
    +9/+4
    |
    +8
    |
    +2
    |
    +11
    |Knowledge (religion) 14 ranks, knowledge (the planes) 11 ranks||Captain of undeath

    12th|Thrall of Orcus 3|
    +10/+5
    |
    +8
    |
    +3
    |
    +11
    |Knowledge (religion) 15 ranks, knowledge (the planes) 13 ranks|Martial Stance (Leading the Charge)|Demon wings

    13th|Thrall of Orcus 4|
    +11/+6/+1
    |
    +9
    |
    +3
    |
    +12
    |Knowledge (religion) 16 ranks, knowledge (the planes) 15 ranks|Willing Deformity, Deformity (Obese)|Massive girth

    14th|Thrall of Orcus 5|
    +12/+7/+2
    |
    +9
    |
    +3
    |
    +12
    |Knowledge (religion) 17 ranks, knowledge (the planes) 17 ranks||Summon minor undead

    15th|Thrall of Orcus 6|
    +13/+8/+3
    |
    +10
    |
    +4
    |
    +13
    |Knowledge (arcana) 7 ranks, knowledge (religion) 18 ranks, knowledge (the planes) 18 ranks|Martial Study (White Raven Tactics)|Pallor of death

    16th|Thrall of Orcus 7|
    +14/+9/+4
    |
    +10
    |
    +4
    |
    +13
    |Knowledge (arcana) 8 ranks, knowledge (religion) 19 ranks, knowledge (the planes) 19 ranks|Ability Focus (Carrion Stench)|Demon wing (at will)

    17th|Thrall of Orcus 8|
    +15/+10/+5
    |
    +11
    |
    +4
    |
    +14
    |Knowledge (arcana) 9 ranks, knowledge (religion) 20 ranks, knowledge (the planes) 20 ranks||Death touch

    18th|Thrall of Orcus 9|
    +16/+11/+6/+1
    |
    +11
    |
    +5
    |
    +14
    |Knowledge (arcana) 10 ranks, knowledge (religion) 21 ranks, knowledge (the planes) 21 ranks|Improved Flight|Summon major undead

    19th|Thrall of Orcus 10|
    +17/+12/+7/+2
    |
    +12
    |
    +5
    |
    +15
    |Knowledge (arcana) 11 ranks, knowledge (religion) 22 ranks, knowledge (the planes) 22 ranks|Deformity (Madness)|Summon nightwing

    20th|Horned Harbinger 6|
    +18/+13/+8/+3
    |
    +13
    |
    +6
    |
    +16
    |Knowledge (arcana) 13 ranks, knowledge (religion) 23 ranks||Create undead[/table]

    Additional Character Details
    Spoiler
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    Swinging belly and pendulous bosom, the Queen of Bones plucked a squirming mouse from the cage before her and popped it into her mouth. Crunching it between her teeth, loud squeaks escaped her thick red lips. The Queen of Bones was always hungry. Her thick carrion-stench radiated from her in waves, nauseating, powerful, and her long and darting tongue flickered out to catch crumbs of mouse-brain captured in her jowls. She stood up, then, quick for her bulk, her crown of bones rattling, a pink blossom placed obscenely in her hair. Her prisoner retched at the full, foul sight of her. She smiled, rotted teeth peeking out from blackened gums, and plunged her long double-bladed spear into his heart. All around her, the dead stirred, crying hoarsely, cheering for their bilious queen.

    She was Babalon, the Queen of Bones, and the dead loved her.

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

    1st|-|-|-|-

    2nd|-|-|-|-

    3rd|-|-|-|-

    4th|0 / 2|-|-|-
    [/table]

    Spells Known:
    1- Reaving Aura, Karmic Aura


    Stats
    Spoiler
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    STARTING: Str 16/Dex 10/Con 14/Int 10/Wis 10/Cha 16
    Boost Charisma at each level.


    Suggested Items
    Spoiler
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    Babalon likes to fight with a reach weapon such as a spear or duom (Dragon Compendium), using her horns of bone to strike adjacent enemies.

    Items to boost Babalon's Strength, Charisma and Constitution are ideal, as they are the three most important stats to her.

    Wands of hexblade spells can open up several options, both defensive and offensive.

    She is primarily a melee character, so make sure she has a good set of armor that still lets her fly and keep her weapon up to date. Beyond that, make sure to hit up Ernir's list of necessary magic items, and she should be good to go.



    Throwing the Bones - Playing Babalon
    Spoiler
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    Code:
    FROM THE DIARY OF ALGENSON, MAD POET:
    
    Her teeth were a loud cage and before her, the heads of saints adorned her bed. 
    Seven powerful saints, and seven are woman, the seal upon them.
    
    This bloated angel of bile, this demonic queen, She hath slain and tortured:
    Seven letters of bones made prisoner of him, wretched, bones popping, and she 
      plucked at the blood-full bosom, the Queen captured in her jowls.
    
    A man of valour no more, the head radiated from of the adulterous form of Her
      in waves, the veils of beast whereon blackened gums and nauseating, 
      swinging belly made eunuchs of the guards.
    
    Her tongue flickered out, her words formed seven streams, 
      each stream spelling out a letter:
      BABALON.
    
    This poet: unto her he brought his head, the tombs of his lips.
    The Queen's carrion-stench enveloping him, the lamps shining beside the 
      bones of a God.
    
    Seven are always hungry.
    
    In the harem she rideth a lion-serpent.  The seven names stood up, then.
      The poet opened his mouth, but only squeaks escaped at the sound of Her 
      pendulous name; and from this poet a mouse was made.
    
    She was Babalon, Queen of Bones, and the dead loved Her.
    Level by Level
    Spoiler
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    LEVEL 5: Hexblade 4/Thrall of Orcus 1. The Queen of Bones combines melee and debuffing. Full BAB and Power Attack assist her damage-wise, while her hexblade's curse and her Dark Companion combine with her carrion stench to debuff her enemies. Defensively, mettle and arcane resistance combine with excellent saves to keep her going all day long.

    LEVEL 10: Hexblade 4/Thrall of Orcus 2/Horned Harbinger 4. Between levels five and ten, she continues to improve her offense and debuffing, but also begins turning into a powerful leader, a queen so beloved by the dead that they rise to defend her.

    The early entry into Thrall of Orcus means that Babalon picks up touch of fear at a level when it is still viable, and it combines well with her Dark Companion and her carrion stench for debuffing enemies. Better yet, she gains the Death domain from Horned Harbinger, which is promptly traded out for Death Devotion. Now she is stacking on negative levels with every thrust of her spear, on top of the debuffing from fear, stench and Dark Companion.

    As she seeks out the bones of Myrkul, the dead god whose mastery of undeath raised Orcus the Demon-Prince, she grows a crown of bone. This serves as a natural weapon to strike adjacent enemies, and also does well on a charge. She has also added the Death domain and picked up rebuking, which powers Divine Might. Using her Horned Harbinger bonus feats for Extra Turning, she should be able to use Divine Might every round of combat. She also gains deathwatch at will, see all enemies before her.

    Perhaps most importantly, however, Babalon picks up animate dead as a spell-like ability twice per day. As an SLA, this is usable as a standard action with no expensive components, meaning that Babalon can cause the dead to rise in the middle of combat. Best of all, the adds her Charisma bonus to her Horned Harbinger level when determining the caster level of the ability. With her Charisma focus, that means she can control up to 36 HD of undead, with up to 18 HD of undead being created with a single use of the SLA.

    To further boost her army of the dead, the Queen of Bones has taken Leading the Attack via Martial Study.

    LEVEL 15: Hexblade 4/Thrall of Orcus 6/Horned Harbinger 5. Babalon's undead mastery improves dramatically.

    First off, she gains the Captain of Undeath feature from Horned Harbinger. Now she can control five times her CL in undead, meaning she is looking at 60 HD of undead under her control. Second, in addition to creating undead permanently, the Queen of Bones is also summoning undead. Of particular value is the ability to summon incorporeal undead - shadows and wraiths - as those are things she cannot create with her SLAs.

    She also is better at aiding her allies. Picking up the Leading the Charge stance, she adds half her character level in damage on every charge attack for her or her allies. This is a fantastic way to open up combat, especially when multiplied across her army of undead. It also combines nicely with her crown of bones, which deals double damage on a charge. In addition, she picks up the incomparable White Raven Tactics, allowing her to give her more powerful undead additional chances to take out her foes.

    For all that she is a general of the dead, the Queen of Bones is still a ferocious character in her own rights. Nearly full BAB, Power Attack and Divine Might give her excellent damage. Massive girth not only increases her survivability, but also boosts her carrion stench. She can fly without items thanks to her demon wings, and still manages to debuff enemies with stench, Dark Companion and negative levels, and her pallor of death gives her a powerful fear ability on top of that. Best of all, the four debuffs all make each other stronger - each lowers her enemy's saves, making the next more likely to take effect.

    LEVEL 20: Hexblade 4/Thrall of Orcus 10/Horned Harbinger 6. The crowning achievement of the Queen of Bones. The last four levels of Thrall of Orcus give several powerful abilities.

    First, demon wings is now at will, and Babalon has picked up Improved Flight to give her good maneuverability. This means she can do things like hover and attack enemies from above with her reach weapons, and no longer needs to maintain forward momentum to fly.

    Second, she gains a death touch at will. With a typical DC of 31, and the fact that she is handing out penalties to saves of -6 or more, this is a particularly potent ability. She also improves the save DC of her carrion stench, thanks to Ability Focus. As it is a passive ability that is always on, keeping its DC at 22+Con will go a long way toward softening up her foes.

    Third, her undead summoning has vastly improved. Now she can summon spectres, mohrgs, vampires and ghosts on top of the many undead she has created. Even better, her capstone ability allows her to summon a nightwing. Not only is this a powerful undead creature in its own rights, it also exudes a powerful desecrating aura that literally doubles her animate dead abilities and provides a significant combat boost to her army of dead. She also picks up create undead as a spell-like ability, allowing her to create powerful creatures such as mummies.

    Finally, the madness of the grave has infected Babalon's mind, and this madness gives her immunity to all mind-affecting spells and abilities.


    Thrall of Orcus
    Spoiler
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    • Entry requirements: Though they are primarily fluff-based feats, it is worth noting that Lichloved and Evil Brand fit the fluff of Babalon, Queen of Bones perfectly. She is the Queen of the Dead, for whom the dead love so much that they rise to defend her. She is branded with the seals of her masters, Orcus the demon-prince and Myrkul, the dead god whose necromantic strength raised him.
    • Bonus feats/casting: Thrall of Orcus offers four bonus feats throughout its levels, which are key in allowing Babalon, Queen of Bones to pick up her myriad abilities.
    • Carrion stench: Babalon dedicates much to her carrion stench, as it is a passive ability that she keeps on at all times. The undead she surrounds herself with are immune to it, and with Ability Focus and massive girth to boost its DC, and Dark Companion to debuff enemy saves, most foes should fall victim to it. This is especially so because it does not have the clause that other similar abilities have, where a successful save renders immunity to the effect. This combines well with Babalon's many other debuffs.
    • Touch of fear: By entering Thrall of Orcus early via hexblade, the Queen of Bones picks this ability up when she still is facing foes of 5 HD or less. This gives her an additional debuff to use alongside Dark Companion, Death Devotion and carrion stench, and instills the shaken status even on a successful save.
    • Demon wings: As a melee character with several short range auras, it is important that the Queen of Bones can close with all enemies. Demon wings allow her to do so, and Improved Flight gives her the maneuverability to hover near foes as she stabs, sickens, frightens and energy drains them.
    • Massive girth: In addition to increasing her hit points and Fortitude (essential for a melee character), massive girth also boosts her carrion stench ability. As she is already picking up Willing Deformity for Deformity (Madness), this is essentially a free Constitution boost.
    • Summon minor undead: While the Queen of Bones has a sizable undead army under her control thanks to animate dead, create undead and Captain of Undeath, she does not have the ability to create incorporeal undead. This allows her to summon them. In addition, all of her undead benefit from her White Raven maneuvers, in particular her Leading the Charge stance, and from the powerful aura of the nightwing.
    • Pallor of death: The Queen of Bones loves stacking on auras to keep her opponents suffering. Now she adds a powerful fear aura on top of carrion stench, Dark Companion and energy drain from Death Devotion.
    • Death touch: All of her debuffing pays of nicely when she picks up death touch. Now a simple touch, combined with a heavy Charisma focus and several abilities that hurt enemy saves, will kill the foes of the Queen of Bones.
    • Summon major undead: What's better than summoning shadows and wraiths to plague your enemies? How about summoning vampires for energy drain and dominating gaze? Or ghosts, who have a whole host of debuffing attacks such as their baleful moan, draining touch and corrupting gaze? Rather than merely focusing on summoning bruisers, which her animate dead ability should supply in droves, she focuses on summoning undead with more debuffing auras and abilities to further hamper her enemies. This becomes even more powerful if allowed to select what kind of ghost and vampire is summoned, as she can do things like summon paladins of tyranny or blackguards or binders to stack on even more auras, or bards with Requiem or warblades or crusaders with White Raven focuses to further boost her army.
    • Summon nightwing: A nightwing is an extraordinarily powerful creature, almost certainly under-CR'd, so almost any build will enjoy the ability to summon one, even if it is only once a week. However, it is especially potent for the Queen of Bones thanks to its desecrating aura. This doubles the HD of undead she can create with her animate dead ability, and provides a handy boost to all the undead she controls. Babalon prefers to save this ability for when she comes across particularly powerful foes with high HD, such as dragons. This way, not only does it aid her in fighting them off, it also allows her to raise the creature as her thrall after it falls.



    Roles and Abilities
    Spoiler
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    MELEE FIGHTER: +18 BAB, with decent Strength, Power Attack and Divine Might (alongside a huge Charisma and 11+Cha turn attempts before damage) means Babalon is consistently putting out excellent damage. She also is boosted by Leading the Charge (+10 damage on charge attempts, doubled thanks to her bone horns). Still more, she can fly with good maneuverability, allowing her to take the fight to her opponents.

    DEBUFFER: The Queen of Bones has many ways to weaken and debilitate foes: Dark Companion, carrion stench (DC 22+Con before items), pallor of death (fear aura that frightens foes who fail their save or shakens those who succeed), negative levels on melee attacks via Death Devotion, and summoned creatures that drain ability scores or levels.

    LEADER: With animate dead twice per day and create undead once per day, an effective caster level of 17 after Charisma-boosting items are taken into account, and Captain of Undeath allowing her to control 85 hit die of undead, the Queen of Bones should regularly be leading a veritable army of undead. She can further boost this by summoning a nightwing for its desecrating aura or by commanding low HD undead outside of her control. Furthermore, she can summon even more undead, and then boost them all with White Raven maneuvers and stances, including the incredible White Raven Tactics.

    UTILITY/SUPPORT: Deathwatch at will, undead rebuking, an army of undead under her control, and the ability to alter self via her pallor of death ability means that despite her low skills, Babalon can provide a surprising amount of out of combat utility. She also has access to the hexblade spell list via spell trigger items, and can charm or dominate foes by summoning vampires and similar creatures.

    DEFENSE: With Constitution as a tertiary stat and massive girth boosting it, plus the fact that most enemies are taking huge penalties to their attacks from her many debuffs, Babalon is more than a little sturdy. She also has excellent saves, which are boosted into the stratosphere thanks to Arcane Resistance and a Charisma focus, and Mettle.


    Controlled Undead Breakdown
    Spoiler
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    Babalon, Queen of Bones, is capable of leading a tremendous army of the dead. In addition to the creatures she summons, she has two free animate dead SLAs per day, and one free create undead (which can instead be converted into animate dead). She adds her Charisma bonus to her caster level for this, and she also has the class feature Captain of Undeath, which allows her to control even more undead.

    All in all, her numbers break down as follows:

    • Charisma 32 (16 base +5 levels +5 tome +6 cloak)
    • CL 17 (6 levels in Horned Harbinger +11 Cha)
    • Total HD of undead controlled: 85 (5xCL per Captain of Undeath)
    • Most undead created with a single use of animate dead, without a nightwing: 34 HD (2xCL)
    • Most undead created with a single use of animate dead in the presence of a nightwing: 68 HD (4xCL)



    Sources
    Spoiler
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    • Book of Vile Darkness
    • Faiths and Pantheons
    • Complete Arcane
    • Complete Champion
    • Complete Warrior
    • Tome of Battle
    • Races of the Wild
    • Elder Evils


    Code:
    "Glory unto the Scarlet Woman, BABALON, the Mother of Abomination, that rideth 
    upon the Beast, for She hath spilt their blood in every corner of the earth, 
    and lo!"
    
    "With the breath of Her kisses hath she fermented it, and it hath become 
    the wine of the Sabbath; and in the Holy Assembly hath She poured it out for 
    Her worshippers; and they have become drunken thereon, so that face to face 
    they beheld my Father. Thus are they made worthy to partake of the mystery 
    of this holy vessel, for the blood is the life."
    
    "Beautiful art thou O BABALON, and desirable, for thou hast given Thyself 
    to everything that liveth, and thy weakness hath subdued their strength. 
    For in that union Thou didst understand. Therefore art Thou called 
    Understanding, O BABALON, Queen of Bones, Lady of the Night."
    
    "O my God, though I am dead, in one last rapture let me attain to 
    the union of the one with the many. For She is Love, and Her Love is one, 
    and She has divided the one love into infinite loves, and each love is one, 
    and equal with the One, and therefore is She passed from the Assembly and 
    the Law and the enlightenment into the anarchy of solitude and darkness. For 
    ever thus must She veil the brilliance of Herself."
    
      -Third Invocation in the Ritual of Babalon
       (altered from the Vision and the Voice)

    Avatar by Iron Penguin.

    The Power of the Orient: A Wu Jen Handbook

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

  5. - Top - End - #275
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLIX

    So, is this the D&D Version of a Nemesis-corrupted Winter Knight?
    Quote Originally Posted by Ankou
    Spoiler
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    Spoiler
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    Seven years. That is now the heartbeat, the cadence of my life. Every seven years, we Unseelie owe a tithe, a blood debt. Every seven years, one of our own is owed to the Darkest of Lords.

    Every seven years, one of us goes to Hell.

    It began with our Queene's return, fivescore years ago. After her long exile at the hands of Titania and Oberon, Our Queene of Air and Darkness delivered us out of the farthest forgotten worlds and we returned to Faerie with rage and fury and terror. And a debt.

    The accounting of this debt is now my task. The Mark upon my brow announces me to all the worlds as the seneschal and gravekeeper of Faerie. From this day forth, every seven years. Some are damned by their own treachery or incompetence; some are captured from Titania's armies; some are selected by lot. It matters not whence they came; every seven years one will be delivered to me. I will scribe their names in my Book. I will play them a dirge on my ghastly flute, which they say was carved from the thighbone of fallen Oberon. And I will perform the Rite as it was followed in ancient days, with golden sickle and oakwood bowl. And I will deliver their souls to Hell.

    --

    A Seventh Seven. A powerful number, deserving of a powerful tribute. This one, I hear, was a member of Our Queene's own inner circle; Mab's closest advisors. He had delved too deeply into Our Queene's ancient secrets, and so he damned himself. But this one, he did not plead. He did not struggle, or weep. When he heard my dirge upon my flute, he did not cringe or cower. When he beheld the Mark on my brow, he did not shake. He came before me proudly; and before he died, he spoke with me.

    I learned much from this doomed soul. He told me much about the long ages of Mab's exile. I learned that, following her defeat by Oberon and Titania, Our Queene of Air and Darkness in fact perished from this world. I learned of the realms where her spirit dwealt for an Age of the World, and of the Powers with Which she treated there. I learned the nature of Mab's return, and of Him to whom Our Queene owes this blood debt.

    Most importantly, I learned that this ancient Power seeks servants, and of the gifts and rewards he bestows upon his faithful.

    I feel no betrayal in this knowledge. I do not resent Our Queene. I love and serve her still. But this knowledge cannot now be removed from me. I know now that there are even greater Powers in these Worlds. Before he died, this tribute showed me the true face of Him who we Unseelie serve. I have seen the true face of power.

    --

    It has been done.

    For seven years I pondered, I sought answers and unburied dark secrets long forgotten. For seven years I have endeavored to learn the nature of this Power who owns the service of Our Queene Mab. And now, today, I have entered his service as well. As the hot blood gushed from my golden sickle, and fell steaming into the oakwood bowl, my words in the Rite consigned this soul not only to Mab and to Hell, but to Lord Orcus.

    Already he has answered me; already I feel his touch. And now I feel that my service must end, or change; no longer can I languish in this stony cavern beneath the dolmen. No, Lord Orcus calls me to greater purpose. But I shall not abandon my duties here; after all, a debt is owed, and Lord Orcus rewards me well for paying this debt. In seven years, I will return.

    Neither shall I abandon my Queene. The War continues, and as Mab's servant I will bring all the terror of Hell with me into Faerie and cut down the armies of wretched Titania. My mournful flute goes with me, and the sound of my piping will herald the arrival of the armies of Orcus. As seneschal to the Queene of Air and Darkness, and herald to the Demon Lord of the Dead, I will bring fear where fear is yet unknown.

    --

    At last the time of power comes again. The seventh seven, when at the dark of the moon I will again spill Faerie blood from my golden sickle. And now, for the first time in my long service, I understand that this tithe is but a means to a greater end. I now see that this tithe increases the power of Lord Orcus, and Lord Orcus will in turn bestow great gifts upon Our Queene Mab. And as the Seelie fall before Mab's armies, as Titania's power wanes, Orcus will muster the dead in his cold realm and amass an army the likes of which has never been seen in all the realms of Heaven, Hell, or Faerie.

    When finally the armies of the dead have swelled and burst their cages, Orcus will march them upon the world of fragile and pitiful Men, with Mab as his captain. And when the world of mortals falls, Our Queene of Air and Darkness shall forever provide refuge for the armies of the Dead against the hated sun.

    Ah! Such a simple scheme, and yet so far-sighted in perspective. I swell with pride to be esteemed so highly in the ranks of such great Lords as Mab and Orcus.

    I am renewed in my purpose. May tonight's tithe bring great power unto Orcus and Mab, as I cast my gaze across the long ages, the untold seven-year heartbeats, until the armies of Hell and Faerie are united in victory.




    Ankou, executioner of Mab.
    NE Jaebrin Male Bard 9/Thrall of Orcus 10
    Starting Stats
    {table=head]STR|DEX|CON|INT|WIS|CHA
    6|14|12|14|10|20[/table]


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

    1st|Level Adjustment|
    +x
    |
    +x
    |
    +x
    |
    +x
    |+2 Racial bonus to Appraise, Bluiff, Perform, Diplomacy checks. Spellcraft is a class skill. +4 racial bonus to Spellcraft checks regarding Enchantment school||Fey creature type. Low-Light vision. +1 luck bonus to AC. Immunity to Enchantment spells and effects. +1 racial bonus to Enchantment DCs. Special quality: Feign Enchantment (see below). Special attack: Will Sapper (see below). Natural attack: Bite 1d3.

    2nd|Bard1|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |Concentration 4, Hide 4, Knowledge (Religion) 4, Knowledge (Arcane) 2, Move Silently 4, Perform (Flute) 4, Tumble 4, Intimidate 2, Sense Motive 2|Evil Brand|Bardic Music, Bardic Knowledge, Countersong, Fascinate, Inspire Awe ACF, Spells

    3rd|Bard 2|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |Concentration 5, Hide 5, Knowedge (Religion) 5, Move Silently 5, Perform (Flute) 5, Tumble 5, Intimidate 2.5, Sense Motive 3||

    4th|Bard 3|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |Concentration, Hide, Knowledge (Religion), Move Silently, Perform (Flute), Tumble 6; Intimidate 3, Sense Motive 4|Weapon Finesse|Inspire Competence

    5th|Bard 4|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |Concentration, Hide, Knowledge (Religion), Move Silently, Perform (Flute), Tumble 7; Intimidate 3.5, Sense Motive 5||Ability Increase: Charisma 21

    6th|Bard 5|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |Concentration, Hide, Knowledge (Religion), Move Silently, Perform (Flute), Tumble 8; Intimidate 4, Sense Motive 6||

    7th|Bard 6|
    +4
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |Concentration, Hide, Knowledge (Religion), Move Silently, Perform (Flute), Tumble 9; Intimidate 4.5, Sense Motive 7|Lichloved|Suggestion

    8th|Bard 7|
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |Concentration, Hide, Knowledge (Religion), Move Silently, Perform (Flute), Tumble 10; Intimidate 5, Sense Motive 8||

    9th|Bard 8|
    +6/+1
    |
    +2
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |Concentration, Hide, Knowledge (Religion), Move Silently, Perform (Flute), Tumble 11; Intimidate 5.5, Sense Motive 9||Inspire Awe (60 ft), Ability Inrease: Charisma 22

    10th|Bard 9|
    +6
    |
    +3
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |Concentration, Hide, Knowledge (Religion), Move Silently, Perform (Flute), Tumble 12; Intimidate 6, Sense Motive 10|Thrall to Demon|Inspire Greatness

    11th|Thrall of Orcus 1|
    +7
    |
    +5
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |Intimidate 7, Knowledge (Religion) 13, Perform (Flute) 13||Carrion Stench, +1 Caster Level Abilities

    12th|Thrall of Orcus 2|
    +8
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +9
    |Intimidate 8, Knowledge (Religion) 14, Perform (Flute) 14||Touch of Fear

    13th|Thrall of Orcus 3|
    +9
    |
    +6
    |
    +7
    |
    +9
    |Intimidate 9; Knowledge (Religion), Perform (Flute) 15|Daunting Presence|Demon Wings, Ability Increase: Charisma 23

    14th|Thrall of Orcus 4|
    +10
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +9
    |Intimidate 10; Knowledge (Religion), Perform (Flute) 16|Deformity: Gaunt, Haunting Melody|Skeletal Visage, Bonus Feat

    15th|Thrall of Orcus 5|
    +11/+6/+1
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +9
    |Intimidate 11; Knowledge (Religion), Perform (Flute) 17||Summon Minor Undead

    16th|Thrall of Orcus 6|
    +12
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    +9
    |Intimidate 12; Knowledge (Religion), Perform (Flute) 18|Requiem|Pallor of Death

    17th|Thrall of Orcus 7|
    +13
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    +9
    |Concentration 13; Knowledge (Religion), Perform (Flute) 19|Doomspeak|Demon Wings, Bonus Feat, Ability Increase: Charisma 24

    18th|Thrall of Orcus 8|
    +14
    |
    +9
    |
    +8
    |
    +10
    |Intimidate 13; Knowledge (Religion), Perform (Flute) 20||Death Touch

    19th|Thrall of Orcus 9|
    +15
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    |
    +10
    |Concentration 14; Knowledge (Religion), Perform (Flute) 21|Hover|Summon Major Undead

    20th|Thrall of Orcus 10|
    +16/+11/+6/+1
    |
    +10
    |
    +9
    |
    +11
    |Intimidate 14; Knowledge (Religion), Perform (Flute) 22|Evil's Blessing|Summon Nightwing, Bonus Feat[/table]



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    9th|3|4|4|3|-|-|-
    10th|3|4|4|3|1|-|-[/table]

    Level 0: Detect Magic, Light, Mage Hand, Prestidigitation, Read magic, Summon Instrument
    Level 1: Sorrow*, Cause Fear, Lesser Confusion, Hideous Laughter
    Level 2: Wave of Grief*, Dance of Ruin*, Vison of Entropy**, Hold Person
    Level 3: Fear, Curse of the Putrid Husk*, Stunning Screech*, Displacement
    Level 4: Dominate Person, Greater Invisibility

    *Book of Vile Darkness
    ** Fiendish Codex 1: Hordes of the Abyss


    Racial Specials
    Spoiler
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    Feign Enchantment (Su): Jaebrin absorb the energy of enchantment effects used on them, allowing them to know the intended effect. The Jaebrin can then pretend to be affected, foolling even detect magic, arcane sight, and similar effects, since the absorbed enerty is displayed in the Jaebrin's aura for the duration of the spell (or until the Jaebrin dismisses it). Only by winning an opposed Sense Motive check against the Jaebrin's Bluff check can a viewer discern that the fey is not enchanted.

    Will Sapper (Ex): Any creature damaged by a Jaebrin's bite must succeed on a Will save (DC 10+ 1/2 character level= CON modifier) or take a -4 penalty on Will saves for 1 minute.The effect of mulitiple bites doesn't stack.



    Levels 1-5
    Spoiler
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    Ankou is neither physically imposing nor particularly skilled in combat. While he wields a rapier suitably, his main tactic is to dishearten and disrupt enemies via spells and a dirge played on his masterwork flute. He is not as sneaky as a dedicated rogue, but maintains proficiency in moving unseen and unheard. At need, he can use Tumble to escape a melee.

    Ankou's primary purpose in the service of Queene Mab is as interrogator and to deliver the blood tithe to Hell. In practice of this, he makes optimum use of his Knowledge (Religion) to extract a boon from each sacrifice (see BoVD, p.26). His Bardic training is weak in intimidation, but this is well-bolstered by his Charisma and a properly stocked dungeon.


    Levels 6-10
    Spoiler
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    Ankou continues as before, with the addittion of suggestion to his capabilities. If sent on assignment, Ankou rarely travels alone and makes frequent use of Inspire Greatness to aid his counterpart(s).


    Levels 11-15
    Spoiler
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    Entering Orcus' service expands Ankou's existing tactics. The stench of death which now surrounds him debilitates weaker enemies; likewise, Haunting Melody can cow low-level opponents for a significant duration, freeing Ankou to deal with stronger enemies (perhaps beginning with use of his Daunting Presence). Foes who succomb to one of these effects may prove vulnerable to a fear spell to further debilitate them. A terrified opponent makes a much more fitting target for Ankou's summoned companions. At need, Ankou can now use Greater Invisibility to hide from enemies while he enfeebles them; or he can simply dominate a weak-willed opponent.


    Levels 16-20
    Spoiler
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    Ankou is now a truly terrifying opponent. His Pallor of Death adds yet another option to his arsenal of fear effects, and his summon abilities (while limited) provide an effective closing option to finish off already weakened and terrified foes. Ankou selects a Vampire or Ghost companion based on his appraisal of his enemies' capabilities: a Ghost to deal incorporeal attacks against heavily-armored opponents, or a Vampire to drain levels from less evasive foes. Against weak enemies, Ankou prefers to summon a multitude of lesser undead.

    While his undead minions rampage about the battlefield, Ankou remains aloft and invisible and continues to bolster them through his piping, then uses his death touch (boosted by his high Charisma) against high-priority targets. Against any foes who resist his existing fear options, Doomspeak provides a final opportunity since it is based on full character level, not Bard level and will likely reduce the target's Will save enough to succomb to other effects.

    In the end, each foe should now be at least Frightened, if not Panicked, and subject to whatever further penalties Ankou elects to apply through his spells. These Frightened enemies are faced with at least two significant undead foes, while an invisible, flying Ankou flits about snuffing out life with his death touch.

    Of course, Ankou's duties as Tither continue, and his Knowledge (Religion) is now high enough to secure significant boons from each sacrifice. An average roll of 10 should be enough to earn the services of a greater planar ally, or to bless any and all companions with divine power.


    Sources
    Spoiler
    Show

    Jaebrin race: Monster Manual V, p.92

    Insipre Awe ACF: Dragon Magic, p.13

    Feats
    Daunting Presence: Libris Mortis, p.25
    Doomspeak: Champions of Ruin, p.20
    Evil's Blessing: Elder Evils, p.13
    Haunting Melody: Heroes of Horror, p.123
    Requiem: Libris Mortis, p.29


    NOTE: This entry assumes a stock Vampire or Ghost for the purposes of this competition. No additional stats for the undead companion are provided here.

    Avatar by Iron Penguin.

    The Power of the Orient: A Wu Jen Handbook

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

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

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLIX

    Didn't I see this movie?
    Quote Originally Posted by Ophelia
    Spoiler
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    9th Moonday, Season of Summertide; Year of Our King Leoric 47

    Perhaps young Ophelia was doomed from the beginning. From origins such as hers, one can extrapolate that the course of her life, and what she eventually became, were inevitable. I do not count myself among those who hold the Gods determine each mortal's fate before we are born, yet... when I consider Ophelia, perhaps this belief offers us the best hope. The alternatives are disturbing.

    I first met Ophelia when she was brought to this abbey as a child, barely old enough to walk. The plague that destroyed her village was terrible, and Ophelia was one of only a score of souls to be saved.

    I say "saved," but was she truly? When the farmers and tradesmen from Eld vanished, when we no longer saw their carts on the road, when we sent men to investigate, instead of a farming village we found a charnel house. Those who were not dead of plague had been cut down by their own neighbors, I assume in fits of madness such as accompany such calamities. Ophelia was the only member of her familly to survive; we found her sleeping in the arms of her dead mother.

    The child was very quiet when she was brought to us, and as she grew she spoke very little. My heart grieved for this poor soul, and I sought to reach out to her. What I heard from her young lips moved me to tears.

    Poor Ophelia's innocence had been all but destroyed by the plague. Always her thoughts turned to her lost family, the friends she had known and would never seen again. Ever her speech returned to her parents and siblings.

    Perhaps it was I who first erred, in bringing the girl Opehelia to assist me in the churchyard. I endeavored to explain to demonstrate to her the cycle of life, and how the soul departs at the end; the spirit journeying to its final rest among the Gods, and the body remaining here to be interred.

    Young Ophelia seemed such a wonderful pupil. Her work with me was without fault, and if she went about her tasks in thoghtful silence, who was I to question it? When she spoke, the she demonstrated such a strong force of personality. In time, I hoped to groom her for other purposes, to work amongst the city comforting the families of the departed.

    Perhaps I should have been more concerned that she seemed more at ease caring for the dead than she did walking amongst the living.

    Perhaps, again, it was inevitable that as Ophelia grew, her interests transformed. As I look back now on events, I see how Ophelia carried with her, always, the final comfort she sought in the cold arms of her mother. Did she often sneak down to the morgue to seek comfort in the arms of others, likewise departed? I now believe it to be so. She was always a slight and quick girl; doubtless there are many avenues about this abbey that such a child could follow, and we as adults be none the wiser.

    Perhaps, if we watch the course of her life from these origins, as Ophelia's body transformed into that of a young woman, her interests transformed as well. What I witnessed in the morgue that night, so long ago, I will never again speak aloud. But the consequences are known to you all.

    Yes, I argued for her. I beseeched the High Abbot, and I invoked laws of both God and Man. In the end, it was agreed that the girl should not be killed; our land only allows blood for blood, and all concurred that Ophelia had never laid violent hand on anyone. But also we agreed that she could not remain among us. I argued against the Mark; but the High Abbot overruled me. Ophelia was branded upon the forehead, and turned away from us forever.

    I will never forget her acts as she left. How she came by such power, I may never know. Surely our Gods would not respond to prayers such as she raised; and yet, we all saw the results. I now wonder... did she ever, in truth, walk in the light of or Gods? Or had she always followed a different master? It saddens and disturbs me to think of these things.

    I think that, among all of us here, I alone was truly saddened when Ophelia's body was brought back to us months later. Even then, I saw not evil but tragedy in her life and her acts. What final desperation must have caused her to turn a knife upon herself? I cleaned her body, the least kindness I could do for such an unfortunate; but our laws of course do not allow one such as her to be interred in our churchyard. Still, as I prepared her grave without our walls, my mind dwelled on a remark she once made to me: "I miss them so much," the girl had said, "I would rather be with Mama and Papa than be here."

    From the events that followed, I know that Ophelia's wish was not granted. The disturbances in the wood outside our churchyard began soon after Ophelia was laid to rest. The stories of "hauntings" reached us from the town, but for so long we shook our heads and wagged our tongues and cast aside the stories of "superstitious" townsfolk... even as the disappearances and the mysterious deaths began. My thoughts returned to Ophelia's words and actions while among us; what I took then for dedication I now see as obsession, a fixation on the dead and a drive to subvert the normal process of life. Still, I convinced myself that she could not have succeeded.

    Then the day came when we could not deny. I saw her myself: Ophelia, the woman I had raised, marching proud and terrible ahead of an army of the dead and unhallowed. I belive now that Ophelia was indeed the cause of the hauntings; and that whatever dread power she now serves, had granted her life anew to lead this unholy force. But the form of life she was granted; the change this dark power had wrought in her body, were horrible.

    I wish it had been me who had struck her down. Even now, after all the suffering and horror that followed, I wish it had been my hand; a hand that still bore the capacity to love her, for what she had been; rather than a hand that new only hate at what she had become.

    My brothers and sisters, we have suffered greatly. Our town has suffered, and the expanse of our churchyard bears witness to those who have suffered with us. But now the suffering and horror are over. Ophelia is again at rest, and now we lay her in our Holy of Holies, where the Gods shall ensure she will remain at rest forevermore, never again to rise and bring this awfulness among us. I, Brother Mercius, pray this: that this time, she completes her journey to her final rest, and the spirit returns to the Gods who gave it.

    Funeral transcript found in the ruins of Oakwood Abbey, 3rd Stoneday, Year of Our King Leoric 49. Capt. Jonathan Farrier, King's Guard.


    Ophelia
    NE Human Female Ghost (see Ghostwalk) Cleric 3 (Non-denominational)/Eidolon7/Thrall of Orcus 10/Eidoloncer 1
    Starting Stats
    {table=head]STR|DEX|CON|INT|WIS|CHA
    10|16|12|10|12|16[/table]

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

    1st|Cleric 1|
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |Concentration 4, Hide 4, Knowledge (Religion) 2, Knowledge (Arcane)2|Evil Brand, Lichloved|Death Domain, Trickery Domain, Rebuke Undead

    2nd|Cleric 2|
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |Concentration, Hide 5; Intimidate .5||

    3rd|Cleric 3|
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |Concentration, Hide 6; Intimidate 1|Thrall to Demon|

    4th|Eidolon 1|
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +5
    |Hide 7, Intimidate 2, Spot 1|Corrupting Touch|Ghost (Ghostwalk) Template, Free Multiclassing, Bonus Feat (Ghost), Focus Trait (See Below), Charisma Increase (17)

    5th|Eidolon 2|
    +4
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +6
    |Hide 8, Intimidate 3, Spot 2|Agony Touch (Constitution)|Bonus Feat (Ghost)

    6th|Thrall of Orcus 1|
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +1
    |
    +8
    |Hide 9, Intimidate 4, Spot 3|Enervating Touch|Carrion Stench, Caster Level

    7th|Thrall of Orcus 2|
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +1
    |
    +9
    |Hide 10, Intimidate 5, Spot 4||Touch of Fear

    8th|Thrall of Orcus 3|
    +7
    |
    +6
    |
    +2
    |
    +9
    |Hide 11, Intimidate 6, Spot 5||Demon Wings, Charisma Increase (18)

    9th|Thrall of Orcus 4|
    +8
    |
    +7
    |
    +2
    |
    +10
    |Hide 12, Intimidate 7, Spot 6|Willing Deformity, Deformity (Tall), Deformity (Gaunt)|Skeletal Visage, Bonus Feat

    10th|Thrall of Orcus 5|
    +9
    |
    +x7
    |
    +2
    |
    +10
    |Hide 13, Intimidate 8, Spot 7||Summon Minor Undead

    11th|Thrall of Orcus 6|
    +10
    |
    +8
    |
    +3
    |
    +11
    |Hide 14, Intimidate 9, Spot 8||Pallor of Death

    12th|Thrall of Orcus 7|
    +11
    |
    +8
    |
    +3
    |
    +11
    |Hide 15, Intimidate 10, Spot 9|Agony Touch (Wisdom), Shriveling Touch (Constitution)|Demon Wings (at will), Bonus Feat, Charisma Increase (19)

    13th|Thrall of Orcus 8|
    +12
    |
    +9
    |
    +3
    |
    +12
    |Hide 16, Intimidate 11, Spot 10||Death Touch

    14th|Thrall of Orcus 9|
    +13
    |
    +9
    |
    +4
    |
    +12
    |Hide 17, Intimidate 12, Spot 11||Summon Major Undead

    15th|Thrall of Orcus 10|
    +14
    |
    +x10
    |
    +4
    |
    +13
    |Hide 18, Intimidate 13, Spot 12|Touch Attack Specialization (Ability Damage), Ghost Ride|Summon Nightwing, Bonus Feat

    16th|Eidolon 3|
    +15
    |
    +11
    |
    +5
    |
    +13
    |Hide 19, Intimidate 14, Spot 13||Charisma Increse (20)

    17th|Eidolon 4|
    +16
    |
    +11
    |
    +x5
    |
    +14
    |Hide 20, Intimidate 15, Spot 14|Corpse Malevolence|Bonus Feat (Ghost)

    18th|Eidolon 5|
    +17
    |
    +11
    |
    +5
    |
    +14
    |Hide 21, Intimidate 16, Spot 15|Iron Will|

    19th|Eidolon 6|
    +18
    |
    +12
    |
    +6
    |
    +14
    |Hide 22, Intimidate 17, Spot 16|Minor Malevolence|Bonus Feat (Ghost)

    20th|Eidoloncer 1|
    +18
    |
    +12
    |
    +6
    |
    +16
    |Hide 22, Concentration 7|Malevolence|Caster Level, Bonus Feat (Ghost), Wisdom Increase (13)[/table]



    Focus Trait
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    Ophelia remains fixated on the trauma of her family's death. Once a week, she must view a humanoid family (which must include a daughter) interacting for 1 hour.

    See the template description below for further information.


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

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

    2nd|4|3+1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

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

    5th|5|4+1|2+1|1+1|-|-|-|-|-|-[/table]

    Typical Spell Selection:

    Level 0: Detect Magic x3, Read Magic, Light

    Level 1: Doom, Obscuring Mist, Shield of Faith, Cause Light Wounds; Disguise Self (Trickery)

    Level 2: Desecrate, Hold Person; Death Knell (Death)

    Level 3: Dispel Magic; Animate Dead (Death)



    The Ghostwalk Template
    Spoiler
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    Ghosts in a Ghostwalk campaign are not undead. They are the disembodied spirits of player characters, which have the following traits:

    *Outsider (Incorporeal) type. A ghost's native plane is the True Afterlife, beyond the Veil of Souls.

    *Low-Light Vision

    *Disembodied Soul: A ghost counts as a living creature for the purpose of any effects that target living creatures. A ghost is subject to spells that affect outsiders, such as banishment.

    *No Discernable Anatomy: A ghost is immune to critical hits, sneak attacks, or bonus damage such as from a ranger's favored enemy. It can be polymorphed, but retains this trait. A ghost is immune to diseases and poisons that would affect a corporeal body. Ghosts are subject to stunning effects.

    *Ectoplasmic Body: A ghost is immune to fatigue or exhaustion.

    *Incorporeal: A ghost is incorporeal as described in the Dungeon Master's Guide. A ghost's natural touch attack deals no damage. A ghost must wield ghost touch weapons and armor, if any.

    *While incorporeal, a ghost gains a fly speed of 30 feet. An incorporeal ghost applies its Charisma bonus as a deflection modifier to AC and gains a +4 racial bonus to Hide checks. While incorporeal, a ghost has no Strength score and instead applies its Dexterity modifier to melee attacks.

    *Ghost Weakness: If a ghost is hit by a sneak attack or critical hit from a silver weapon, it must succeed at a DC 15 Fortitude save or be stunned for 1 round. The sneak attack or critical hit does not deal additional damage.

    *Disturbing Appearance: Unless otherwise noted, a ghost is assumed to begin play with a disturbing appearance from the wounds or effects that killed it. This applies a -2 penalty to the Bluff, Diplomacy, Gather Information, and Perform skills, as well as Charisma checks to influence NPC attitudes. A +2 bonus applies to the Intimidate skill.

    *A ghost can only advance in the Eidolon or Eidoloncer classes while in that state. If resurrected, the ghost can choose to instantly convert any number of Eidolon or Eidoloncer levels to class levels, losing all ghost class abilities accordingly. If a ghost's Eidolon or Eidoloncer levels ever exceed its other class levels, the ghost is pulled to the True Afterlife and ceases to be a character. The Eidolon and Eidoloncer classes do not incur multiclassing XP penalties. Any class abilities that depend on being a ghost, as well as ghost feats, are retained while alive but cannot be used by a living being.

    *Focus Trait: A ghost has a fixation on a particular aspect of its former life; a sound, sight, location, taste, etc. The ghost must indulge this trait once per week (by viewing an object or act, consuming a food, hearing a sound, visiting a place) or take a -1 penalty to attack rolls, saves, and skill and ability checks. If the ghost does not indulge its fixation for a whole month, it must make a Wisdom check each day (DC 15 + the number of weeks since last indulgence + eidolon/eidoloncer class level) or depart for the True Afterlife.


    Levels 1-5
    Spoiler
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    Despite being raised in an abbey, Ophelia feels no connection to the benevolent gods. None in the abbey are aware that when the monks and priestesses observe evening prayers, Opheila is receiving spells from some dark agency. Even Ophelia cannot say for certain who answers her prayers; she only knows that the abbey would disapprove, and so she hides her devotion to the powers of Death.

    Following her exile and suicide, Ophelia discovers new power as a disembodied spirit. Angry at the world and still obsessed with death, Ophelia immediately begins learning how to apply her new form for nefarious purpose. She rtains her cleric spells and abilities, and primarily focuses on her incorporeal touch attack to deal Constitution damage to her opponents, until they are weak enough to be destroyed by her spells or Death domain attack.


    Levels 6-15
    Spoiler
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    Following her resurrection and intitiation into Orcus' following, Ophelia finds she may actually be weaker as a living human than she was as a ghost. Encumbered by a corporeal body, Ophelia loses the combat options and touch attacks that previously made her fearsome. She longs to shed her mortal coil and return to spectral form; but Orcus commands differently.

    Ophelia is a weak melee combatant, and her few 2nd-level Cleric spells do little to bolster her. At this point, she focuses mainly on support and enhancement spells, and relies on heavy armor to protect her in battle. When faced with single opponents, she relies on invisibility and silence to mask her approach so that she can ambush foes with her death touch attack; against multiple foes, she employs summon monster spells to even the odds. If she happens to be supported by other members of Orcus' church, she lets them do most of the fighting while she supports from the rear. She uses much the same tactic after summoning a Ghost, Vampire, or Nightwing, especially via use of the desecrate spell.

    Ophelia's carrion stench and pallor of death reduce the chances that her opponents will save against any offensive spells she might choose, and Deformity (tall) gives her enough reach that foes will think twice about closing within range of her mace. When Orcus' blessing allows her to sprout wings, she readily takes to the sky either to avoid combat or to harry enemies from above. Ophelia frequently employs a heavy crossbow using this tactic, sniping from the air and hoping to stay out of range of return fire and spells.

    Ophelia knows that her return to life is a temporar stage, and most of her energy at this point is dedicated to the continued study of death, undeath, and other options at the end of life. Through contacts within Orcus' churc (not all of which are living) she acquires new knowledge and tricks that will serve her well when she returns to her afterlife.


    Levels 16-20
    Spoiler
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    Her second death returns Ophelia to the state she has now come to prefer. Now she is again an incorporeal ghost who can deal death attacks, level drain, Constitution drain, or Wisdom damage at-will; or, should she choose, Ophelia can inhabit any nearby corpse and enter melee combat, secure in the knowledge that when the body is destroyed, her ectoplasmic form will be unharmed. Ophelia also learns to possess and control living foes, which she does whenever the opportunity presents itself. If necessary, she will first reduce the target's Will save using her Wisdom-damaging touch. Bear in mind that, since she has both the Malevolence and Corpse Malevolence feats, Ophelia gets double mileage out of any enemy she posesses.

    As an effective 5th-level Cleric, Ophelia's spell options are not overwhelming but do provide support and alternatives to her normal tactics. Given time to prepare, Ophelia will tailor her spell selection to each challenge; but she shows a preference for death knell, bestow curse, hold person, and inflict spells. Now that she can animate her own undead, Ophelia maintains a cadre of zombies and skeletons, which are mainly used as distractions or battlefield fodder.


    Sources
    Spoiler
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    Ghostwalk template: Ghostwalk, pg.163. Expanded rules pg.8-15.
    Eidolon Class: Ghostwalk, pg.16
    Eidoloncer Class: Ghostwalk, pg.17

    Feats (brief description provided for those lacking Ghostwalk reference):

    Corrupting Touch: Ghostwalk, pg.29. Incorporeal touch deals 1d4 damage.

    Agony Touch: Ghostwalk, pg.28. Incorporeal touch deals 1d4 ability damage (ability is chosen when the feat is taken). 1/day per character level. Prerequisites: Corrupting Touch, CHA 11

    Shriveling Touch: Ghostwalk, pg.38. Incorporeal touch deals 1d4 ability drain. 1/day per character level. Prerequisites: Corrupting Touch, Agony Touch, CHA 13

    Enervating Touch: Ghostwalk, pg.31. Touch attack deals 1 negative level. Fort save to remove: DC 10+1/2HD+CHA. Prerequisites: Corrupting Touch, non-good alignment, CHA 15

    Ghost Ride: Ghostwalk, pg.33. Can occupy another humanoid's body, but not exercise any control. Will save to resist: DC 10+1/2HD+CHA. New Will save every 10 minutes to expel posessing ghost. 1/day per point of CHA bonus. Maximum duration 10xHD.

    Corpse Malevolence: Ghostwalk, pg.29. Can posess and control a dead (not undead) corpse. No save. Corpse's physical ability scores are modified: -2 STR, -4 DEX, no CON score. Same duration as Ghost Ride. Prerequisites: Ghost Ride.

    Minor Malevolence: Ghostwalk, pg.37. Can posess and control a Humanoid living body. Will save to resist; same as Ghost Ride. Same maximum duration as Ghost Ride. Each use deals 2 CHA damage to posessing ghost. Prerequisites: Ghost Ride, Iron Will, CHA 13

    Malevolence: Ghostwalk, pg.37. As Malevolence, except maximum duration 1 hour per point of CHA bonus. Prerequisites: Ghost Ride, Iron Will, Minor Malevolence CHA 15

    Touch Attack Specialization: Ghostwalk, pg. 39. Any touch attack that deals damage, ability damage, or ability drain, deals +2 on each successful hit.

    Willing Deformity: Book of Vile Darkness

    Deformity (Gaunt): Book of Vile Darkness

    Deformity (Tall): Heroes of Horror pg.121. Gain additional 5ft reach, -1 penalty to AC, -2 to Hide checks. Prerequisites: Evil alignment, Willing Deformity, Medium size


    NOTE: This entry assumes a stock Vampire or Ghost for the purposes of this competition. No additional stats for the undead companion are provided here.

    Avatar by Iron Penguin.

    The Power of the Orient: A Wu Jen Handbook

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

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

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLIX

    No, this isn't the one presented in the Tome of Magic
    Quote Originally Posted by Luxx
    Luxx
    CE Human Binder 5/Cleric 1/Tenebrous Apostate 4/Thrall of Orcus 10
    "Praise Orcus the One True King, and His herald Tenebrous, the Shadow that Was."


    The Story:
    Spoiler
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    Most of the boys in the village fashioned their identity after their fathers. Roderick ruled the schoolyard much like his father, the mayor. Jack was just as fat and mean as his father Gristly Joe, the town butcher. There were many other boys desperately trying to emulate their fathers as they grew into men themselves...and then there was Luxx.

    For the bastard son of the village's perpetually-single seamstress, there was nowhere to turn for identity so he became a quiet boy, interested more in drawing and reading than interacting with the others as they lived vicariously through the most recent exploits of their parents. Whenever Luxx asked about his father, though, the boy's mother would either fall eerily silent or begin to sob. Never anything more--never any answers to his question. For years, he continued to live his life in the dark until his mother shared the truth with him.

    It's one thing to tell your son that you're a member of a secret Tenebrous cult; it's quite another thing to have him experience a Session of Shadow firsthand. Deep in the wine cellar of the local inn, Luxx was fascinated to see many familiar faces parading around and playacting in strange costumes. The entirety of it was fraught with religious symbolism, but that was all lost on the ten-year-old boy who watched with wide eyes.

    The ceremony was divided into three parts, the first of which was called The Schism; according to Luxx's mother it was a dramatic retelling of the events that led to the death and resurrection of Orcus as Tenebrous. From Luxx's viewpoint, though, it was simply an occasion for the lanky tailor from next door to walk around with his arms splayed while Gristly Joe the butcher donned a pair of horns and fake bat wings. "Do you see him, Luxx?" his mother had asked with tears in her eyes. She pointed to the butcher as he clutched a replica Wand of Orcus and threw his massive naked girth around the room. "He's your father." Luxx was confused, and asked if she meant Gristly Joe. "No, child," she responded with the tears now running down her face. "Orcus is your father. You're a prince in the Court of the One True King. He will bless you with everything you could ever want."

    As the play concluded, the Session moved into its next act: the Sacrifice. Luxx watched in blissful naivete as the priest stepped forward and asked for a volunteer to give themselves to the coming king. He cheered for his mother as she grimly stepped forward to the altar of skulls and raised her hand, and he wondered why none of the adults cheered as well. Moments later, he found out why as Luxx's mother met her grisly fate on an altar made of skulls. Thankfully, the torches were extinguished so that Luxx could not see the sights that accompanied his mother's horrific cries of pain. Minutes later, the torches were re-lit as the priest placed one more skull on the altar. "Praise Orcus, the One True King!" he shouted. "And his herald Tenebrous, the Shadow that Was," the crowd replied with the memorized response. Looking for a way to cope with the shock, Luxx set to quietly counting the skulls on the altar. Before his mother's, there had been 29. He stared at the 30th and began to cry quietly.

    As if the second act was as mundane as a midday meal, the cult continued their session with the third act: one called The Sacrament. The priest explained how Tenebrous would one day reunite with Orcus to restore the One True King, the only god worthy of worship. He then drew a seal on the ground and invited others to step forward to share their souls with Tenebrous so that he may live within them until the time of the Sacrament. Many came forward and bound the dark, shadowy figure to themselves before dispersing for the night. The priest invited Luxx to stay in the rectory with him, and the next morning the village was back to normal. Nobody mentioned anything about the death of Luxx's mother nor even acted as if she had existed in the first place.

    Life resumed, with mundane routines by day and Sessions of Shadow by night. As the years went by, the shock wore off and Luxx began to believe that secret ritual sacrifices could actually be considered normal. As he grew in understanding, he began to soak in the religious imagery of the Sessions, even taking up the path of those that bound souls like Tenebrous' to their own while learning the role of the priesthood from his guardian. One night, Luxx stepped forward during the Sacrament to bind Tenebrous to his own soul, drawing applause from the crowd and a smile from the priest which broke the usually somber mood. He had long studied the symbol, drawing it compulsively. When Tenebrous' shadowy self adhered to him, he had hoped to feel some connection to his demonic father as promised by the priest. Instead, he felt more alone than he ever had before.

    The darkness of Tenebrous grew within him, coming to a head as he volunteered for the Sacrifice at one session. The priest hovered over him with the same smile that had been affixed to his face when Luxx had bound Tenebrous for the first time. As they extinguished the lights for the ceremony, though, Luxx saw perfectly through his father's eyes as Tenebrous was still bound to him. He knocked the knife from the priest, laid the old man down on the altar, and pinned him. Many more skulls had been added to the altar since the first Luxx had seen it, but he always remembered exactly where the 30th one had been placed. He retrieved his mother's skull, clutched it in his hand, and bludgeoned the priest to death with it. He felt the darkness of Tenebrous spread for the last time, consuming his entire soul. Finally, he felt the presence of his father within him.

    As the torches were relit, the congregants were shocked to see Luxx standing before the altar, covered in the priest's blood. "Praise Orcus, the One True King!" he said as he lifted his mother's bloodied skull over his head. "And his shadow Tenebrous, the Shadow that Was," the townsfolk replied in rote fashion, unfazed by the grisly murder. From that night forward, the townsfolk worshiped with renewed vigor, stepping forward to sacrifice themselves to the king of destruction one after another until Luxx found himself alone with his mother's skull and his father's shadow once more.

    He left town, moving to the next Tenebrous cult and beginning the cycle anew. He shared the tale of his descent, whipped the worshipers into a revival, and allowed them to sacrifice themselves to Orcus one after another until the sect was gone and there was no one left to tell his tale. Ignorant to the truth of the matter, a fable began spreading among members of various cities' watch that a vigilante hero was among them, systematically erasing evil. Little did they know that he sought to see it spread. Every sacrifice bestowed a blessing upon him and he grew ever stronger, ever more vile. But with each ritual, he wished for the one thing that never came: to meet his father and see his mother once more, to truly be together with them.

    As time went on, Luxx became something of a spectre himself. Eventually, the abandoned feeling of Tenebrous' influence on his soul was too much to bear, and he visited a far-off Tenebrous cult. He watched the story of the Schism, silently mouthing every line. When it came time for the Sacrifice, he volunteered himself. He had learned from the ancient scrolls that the only true reunion with his mother and Orcus would be found in his father's layer of the Abyss. However, his tale had preceded him, and nobody saw fit to slay the heir of the Rightful King. Instead, they all threw themselves at Luxx's feet, begging for him to sacrifice them instead. He obliged and sought out another cult the next night, hoping for a different result...but they were all the same.

    Luxx grew bitter at their unwillingness to let him experience the release of death and unity with his unholy family. He grew into his role as executioner, spreading the word of Orcus throughout the land. The tales of Luxx the vigilante hero or Luxx the priest faded from memory, replaced only by gory vignettes of Luxx the executioner. Tenebrous cults throughout the land still look for his presence, but they still rouse his ire by refusing to sacrifice him. Rather than breaking his oath as a Tenebrous Apostate, Luxx obliges by playing his part in the continuing routine. Some worshipers whisper that Luxx may never die, as Orcus is so proud of the destruction wrought by his son. His Father continues to bless him richly with everything but the one thing he truly seeks.


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

    1|Binder 1|
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |Bluff 4, Intimidate 4, Know: Religion 4, Know: Planes 4|Evil Brand, Chosen of Evil|Soul binding (1 vestige)

    2|Cleric 1|
    +0
    |
    +4
    |
    +0
    |
    +4
    |Bluff 4, Intimidate 4, Know: Arcana 5, Know: Local 1, Know: Religion 5, Know: Planes 5|Knowledge Devotion, Chaos Devotion|Aura of Evil, Rebuke Undead, Lore

    3|Binder 2|
    +1
    |
    +5
    |
    +0
    |
    +5
    |Bluff 5, Intimidate 4, Know: Arcana 6, Know: Local 1, Know: Religion 6, Know: Planes 6|Thrall to Demon|Pact augmentation (1 ability), suppress sign

    4|Binder 3|
    +2
    |
    +5
    |
    +1
    |
    +5
    |Bluff 5, Intimidate 5, Know: Arcana 7, Know: Local 1, Know: Religion 7, Know: Planes 7||+1 CHA

    5|Binder 4|
    +3
    |
    +6
    |
    +1
    |
    +6
    |Bluff 5, Intimidate 6, Know: Arcana 8, Know: Local 1, Know: Religion 8, Know: Planes 8|Improved Binding|Bonus feat

    6|Binder 5|
    +3
    |
    +6
    |
    +1
    |
    +6
    |Bluff 5, Intimidate 8, Know: Arcana 9, Know: Local 1, Know: Religion 9, Know: Planes 8|Power Attack|Pact augmentation (2 abilities)

    7|Tenebrous Apostate 1|
    +3
    |
    +8
    |
    +1
    |
    +8
    |Bluff 5, Intimidate 10, Know: Arcana 10, Know: Local 1, Know: Religion 10, Know: Planes 8||Eternal Bondage, Tenebrous' Rebuke

    8|Tenebrous Apostate 2|
    +4
    |
    +9
    |
    +1
    |
    +9
    |Bluff 5, Intimidate 11, Know: Arcana 10, Know: Local 2, Know: Religion 11, Know: Planes 9, Collector of Stories||Soul Binding, Visage of the Dead, +1 CHA

    9|Tenebrous Apostate 3|
    +5
    |
    +9
    |
    +2
    |
    +9
    |Bluff 5, Intimidate 12, Know: Arcana 10, Know: Local 3, Know: Religion 12, Know: Planes 10, Collector of Stories|Lichloved|Soul Binding, Destroy/Empower Undead

    10|Tenebrous Apostate 4|
    +6/+1
    |
    +10
    |
    +2
    |
    +10
    |Bluff 5, Intimidate 13, Know: Arcana 10, Know: Local 5, Know: Religion 13, Know: Planes 10, Collector of Stories||Soul Binding (2 vestiges), Umbral Body

    11|Thrall of Orcus 1|
    +7/+2
    |
    +12
    |
    +2
    |
    +12
    |Bluff 5, Intimidate 14, Know: Arcana 10, Know: Dungeoneering 1, Know: Local 5, Know: Nature 1, Know: Religion 14, Know: Planes 10, Collector of Stories||Carrion stench

    12|Thrall of Orcus 2|
    +8/+3
    |
    +13
    |
    +2
    |
    +13
    |Bluff 5, Intimidate 15, Know: Arcana 10, Know: Dungeoneering 1, Know: Local 7, Know: Nature 1, Know: Religion 15, Know: Planes 10, Collector of Stories|Divine Might|Touch of fear, +1 CHA

    13|Thrall of Orcus 3|
    +9/+4
    |
    +13
    |
    +3
    |
    +13
    |Bluff 5, Intimidate 16, Know: Arcana 10, Know: Dungeoneering 1, Know: Local 9, Know: Nature 1, Know: Religion 16, Know: Planes 10, Collector of Stories||Demon Wings

    14|Thrall of Orcus 4|
    +10/+5
    |
    +14
    |
    +3
    |
    +14
    |Bluff 5, Intimidate 17, Know: Arcana 11, Know: Dungeoneering 1, Know: Local 10, Know: Nature 1, Know: Religion 17, Know: Planes 10, Collector of Stories|Deformity (Obese), Willing Deformity|Massive Girth

    15|Thrall of Orcus 5|
    +11/+6/+1
    |
    +14
    |
    +3
    |
    +14
    |Bluff 5, Intimidate 18, Know: Arcana 13, Know: Dungeoneering 1, Know: Local 10, Know: Nature 1, Know: Religion 18, Know: Planes 10, Collector of Stories|Abominable Form|Summon Minor Undead

    16|Thrall of Orcus 6|
    +12/+7/+2
    |
    +15
    |
    +4
    |
    +15
    |Bluff 5, Intimidate 19, Know: Arcana 15, Know: Dungeoneering 1, Know: Local 10, Know: Nature 1, Know: Religion 19, Know: Planes 10, Collector of Stories||Pallor of Death, +1 CHA

    17|Thrall of Orcus 7|
    +13/+8/+3
    |
    +15
    |
    +4
    |
    +15
    |Bluff 5, Intimidate 20, Know: Arcana 17, Know: Dungeoneering 1, Know: Local 10, Know: Nature 1, Know: Religion 20, Know: Planes 10, Collector of Stories||Demon Wings (at will)

    18|Thrall of Orcus 8|
    +14/+9/+4
    |
    +16
    |
    +4
    |
    +16
    |Bluff 5, Intimidate 21, Know: Arcana 19, Know: Dungeoneering 1, Know: Local 10, Know: Nature 1, Know: Religion 21, Know: Planes 10, Collector of Stories|Beloved of Demons|Death Touch

    19|Thrall of Orcus 9|
    +15/+10/+5
    |
    +16
    |
    +5
    |
    +16
    |Bluff 5, Intimidate 22, Know: Arcana 21, Know: Dungeoneering 1, Know: Local 10, Know: Nature 1, Know: Religion 22, Know: Planes 10, Collector of Stories||Summon Major Undead

    20|Thrall of Orcus 10|
    +16/+11/+6/+1
    |
    +17
    |
    +5
    |
    +17
    |Bluff 5, Intimidate 23, Know: Arcana 23, Know: Dungeoneering 1, Know: Local 10, Know: Nature 1, Know: Religion 23, Know: Planes 10, Collector of Stories||Summon nightwing, +1 CHA[/table]

    {table=head]Stat|Base|Levels|Obese|Items|Total|Mod
    STR|14|0|0|0|14|+2
    DEX|12|0|-2|0|10|+0
    CON|12|0|2|6|20|+5
    INT|12|0|0|0|12|+1
    WIS|14|0|0|0|14|+2
    CHA|15|5|0|6|26|+8[/table]

    {table=head]Level|Vestiges Available
    1|Amon, Aym, Leraje, Naberius, Ronove
    2|
    3|
    4|Dahlver-Nar, Haagenti, Malphas, Savnok
    5|Andromalius, Focalor, Karsus, Paimon
    6|Agares, Andras, Buer, Eurynome, Tenebrous
    7|Tenebrous ONLY
    8|Tenebrous ONLY
    9|Tenebrous ONLY
    10+|Acererak, Balam, Dantalion, Geryon, Otiax[/table]

    Spells per Day
    {table=head]Level|0|1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9
    1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-
    2|3|1+1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-
    3|3|1+1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-
    4|3|1+1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-
    5|3|1+1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-
    6|3|1+1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-
    7|3|1+1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-
    8|4|2+1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-
    9|4|2+1|1+1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-
    10|5|3+1|2+1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-
    11|5|3+1|2+1|1+1|-|-|-|-|-|-
    12|5|3+1|2+1|1+1|-|-|-|-|-|-
    13|5|3+1|2+1|1+1|-|-|-|-|-|-
    14|5|3+1|2+1|1+1|-|-|-|-|-|-
    15|5|3+1|2+1|1+1|-|-|-|-|-|-
    16|5|3+1|2+1|1+1|-|-|-|-|-|-
    17|5|3+1|3+1|2+1|-|-|-|-|-|-
    18|5|3+1|3+1|2+1|-|-|-|-|-|-
    19|5|3+1|3+1|2+1|-|-|-|-|-|-
    20|6|4+1|3+1|2+1|1+1|-|-|-|-|-[/table]


    Tactics:
    Spoiler
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    • Levels 1-5: Being a binder always gives great versatility from the word "Go." You've got darkvision w/ Amon, ranged attacks are covered w/ Leraje, and my personal favorite...You've heard the name before, but Naberius is your best friend. You can use Disguise Self to infiltrate the ranks of Tenebrous sects or cults of Orcus in any form beside your own, you gain access to Naberius' skills for utility (which is based on your CON mod, so Obese gives you an extra skill). You gain face abilities, but you also gain Naberius' fast ability healing, trademark of optimizers everywhere. More on that in a moment. We also pick up some versatility through 1st-level cleric spells, and we pick up the Chaos and Trickery domains from Tenebrous. Knowledge Domain is swapped for Knowledge Devotion, and Chaos Domain for Chaos Devotion for free boosts and something to do with our turn attempts. After that, it's back to binder for even more versatility. Dahlver-Nar lets us tank a bit with 1/2 CON to natural armor (also boosted by Obese) as well as shield self. Malphas gives us Invisibility until we get it from Trickery Domain, as well as excellent scouting skills with Bird's Eye viewing. At 5th level, we snag Improved Binding to grab third-level vestiges right on schedule. Andromalius gives us some divining skills with locate item and see invisibility, Focalor is always fun if we need to lower enemies' saves further than we already can (more on that later), Karsus lets you play wizard and Paimon lets you play stabber. Season to taste; you've got all the goodies of a full binder progression with some clericy goodness added in to boot. On top of all that, your two instances of pact augmentation let you snag DR 2/- so you can hang out and ignore just as many wounds as all the cool Dread Necromancer kids.

      But we're not a hellfire warlock or anything like that, so what are we doing with Naberius' faster ability healing? Scope out the Chosen of Evil feat--this'll be our bread and butter from levels 1-20, as we keep picking up Vile feats. As an immediate action, we can gain a bonus to our attacks, skills (including [CON mod] number of untrained skills thanks to Naberius), or saves in exchange for 1 CON damage. With Naberius, we still TAKE the damage, but then we heal it away for free every round. So we can boost up our attacks, skill checks, or saves (especially our abysmal Reflex saves) without penalty every round. At first level, that's a free +2 bonus every round without penalty. At third level, that becomes +3. Every round. It only gets better from here, folks.
    • Levels 6-10: At 6th level, you pick up access to 4th-level vestiges thanks to Improved Binding. Agares lets you function as a trapspringer and advance scout in dungeons thanks to your small earth elemental, whereas Andras lets you charge in and smite good away. If you need healing or wilderness skills, Buer's there with fast healing and Track.

      But really, we're here for Tenebrous. His Deeper Darkness grants constant concealment as well as a means to penetrate it so you don't suffer from your own concealment--that's a defensive 1-2 punch. His Turn/Rebuke ability stacks with your cleric levels to give you some OOMPH against undead as well as letting you power Divine feats (like Chaos Devotion and, soon to come, Divine Might). Lastly, Flicker lets you up your miss chance to 50% and teleport in instances when you need to get out of dodge fast. Power Attack ups our damage output, and then we enter Tenebrous Apostate. We've detailed the benefits of Tenebrous' Rebuke below, and we can also use Umbral Body 1/day when we need the incorporeal subtype.

      We enter Tenebrous Apostate for other goodies, but they come at a price. Namely, we can only bind Tenebrous from levels 7-9. This is great for our constant concealment, turning, and the like, but trades in some of our versatility. Additionally, it seems like it shuts off our Chosen of Evil trick...but not so fast! You see, while we're forced to bind Tenebrous, we also get advanced soul binding AND cleric casting out of the deal. While Naberius is offline, we gain access to 2nd-level cleric spells at level 9 which allows us to cast Lesser Restoration! We're taking CON damage from Chosen of Evil, but now at least we still have a way to heal it away. Good thing, too, because we just snagged Lichloved to bring our Chosen of Evil bonus to +4 as an immediate action every round. Say it with me, friends...every round.

      "But wait!" you'll say, "you can only do that until you run out of Lesser Restorations." I'll point you in the direction of potions, scrolls, and wands, but raise you the fact that at 10th level, we have 8th-level binding and thus can continue binding Naberius alongside Tenebrous for fast ability healing. Every round.

      If you need more versatility, you can choose to bind any of the vestiges we had access to before, or a whole host of new ones, as we snag access to 5th-level vestiges only a level behind a straight binder thanks to Improved Binding (remind me to send a Christmas card to whoever wrote that feat). Acererak is available if you want your Tenebrous' Rebuke to heal YOURSELF as well as your undead minions, Balam gives you the ability to reroll 1/5 rounds, Dantalion is tons of fun defensively and for face skills (detect thoughts for the win!), not to mention giving a +8 to all knowledges on a build with Knowledge Devotion. Geryon lets you muck about with flight before you sprout your demon wings, and Otiax means that nothing's ever locked. Options? Yeah, you've got options.
    • Levels 11-15: Ah, the Secret Ingredient. The main chassis of our build is online, so from this point forward we just keep getting more evil, slapping folks around with fear effects, SLAs, and the like. Oh yeah, we also pick up 3rd-level cleric spells at level 11. Summon Minor/Major Undead is good, and summon nightwing is fun, but Animating Dead in a desecrated area is even better. Granted, you won't control an army of expendable mooks, but you'll have a few decent undead members of your entourage with the ability to heal them all quickly thanks to Tenebrous' Rebuke (or Empower Undead, if mindless undead are more your type). Divine Might comes online at level 12, giving us a way to supercharge our damage output at the cost of a measly turn attempt (P.S. we have a lot of those). Our Chosen of Evil bonus keeps scaling with level, too; it's a +6 at level 14, and level 15 bumps it to +7 to any attack, check, or save as an immediate action. All my people say? That's right...every round (thanks again, Naberius and cleric casting).
    • Levels 16-20: Again, see below for the nastiness we start pulling with our class features from the Secret Ingredient. Your main routine is "Bind Tenebrous because you have to and you love him. Bind Naberius because you want to and he loves you. Kill everything in sight with free bonuses along the way and temporary HP from anything good you kill." Capiche? You can always switch up your second vestige if you're going into a situation that requires a particular skill set, but Naberius and Chosen of Evil makes you pretty darn good at every skill set. However, binding anything else is an option because your cleric casting advances to 6th-level at level 17 and 7th-level at level 20. We snag access to fourth level spells because there's so many good ones, from Freedom of Movement to Divine Power to everything in between. By picking up Beloved of Demons at Level 18, your free Chosen of Evil bonus is +8. If you'd rather, though, you can cash in that immediate action and 5 temporary HP from Beloved of Demons for DR 5/good instead. One last time...every. Round.

    Use of the Secret Ingredient:
    Spoiler
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    • Requirements: Let's start with the feats...all those feats. Awful things, aren't they? Lichloved requires Evil Brand, so you're required to take three admittedly lackluster feats to get into this class. But we're not content to let them remain lackluster! Here in Iron Chef, we polish turds until they shine, and we're doing the same with these feats. Thrall to Demon's random "+1 to any roll 1/day" isn't going to win any awards on its own, but once you pair it up with the right feats it gives you a little extra edge. Chaos Devotion gives a bonus depending on the roll of a die, and whether you add it to attacks or AC is determined by whether it's odd or even. Roll an odd number at a time when you could actually use the extra AC or an even number when you REALLY need to land a hit? Activate Thrall to Demon for a +1 and remind Chaos that you're the one calling the shots. Also worth consideration is the vile feat Master's Will (see our Adaptation section). As an immediate action, you have a 50/50 shot of getting a +8 to any roll or taking some damage depending on whether you roll odd or even. Activate Thrall to Demon if you roll an unfortunate even number to prevent yourself from taking damage. Granted, we've got another way of getting +8 to a roll per round, which is why Master's Will is just a footnote. Later versions of the feat specify what rolls you can effect, but not the one printed in BoVD. if your DM is keen to use the latest version of feats, at least Thrall to Demon is a vile feat--Chosen of Evil means it's not just +1 1/day, but adds +1 to any attack roll, skill, or save 1/round if you're willing to take some CON damage (but more on that above). Lichloved (and its prerequisite Evil Brand) are rubbish, but Evil Brand is required to take the ever-so-lovely Chosen of Evil. These two "feat taxes" have suddenly become a further +2 to any attack roll, skill, or save you'd like 1/round. Enjoy.

      That takes care of our feats, but what about our BAB and skill requirements? We've actually managed to maintain a +16 BAB by 20th level, keeping the all-important fourth iterative attack. With Knowledge Devotion, Power Attack, and Divine Might in play, we'll also be able to cash in some of that BAB for damage and still ensure a hit. Keep in mind, 1/round we also have a free +8 to any one roll by 20th level. In terms of skills, both required skills are maxed out and put to use via Knowledge Devotion (which we acquired for free thanks to Cloistered Cleric--an oldie, but a goodie). However, that's not enough for us. You see the special requirement about a sacrifice? Ask your DM if the sacrifice rules from Book of Vile Darkness are in play. If so, your mindless slaying now carries a mechanical benefit! It's keyed off a Knowledge: Religion skill check, so you've already got max ranks. You know how I keep pestering you about a free +8 every round? Well, here's another use for it. That makes +32, and there's a handy list of other bonuses you can get on page 27 of BoVD. Don't forget that cleric casting makes Lore of the Gods a spell you can easily cast. We can be making sacrifices of DC 50 with a great roll by level 9. This can get us a Wish once in our lives (make it count), or a list of other goodies ranging from persisted stat-boost spells (DC 15) to persisted Divine Power (DC 25) to Limited Wishes (DC 40). While the Wish is 1/individual, Limited Wish carries no such caveat, and you'll be autosucceeding on a DC 40 for free Limited Wishes every time you sacrifice someone reliably by 12th or 13th level. Have fun.
    • Carrion Stench: This ability has a DC based on your CON modifier. Luckily for us, we'll pick up Deformity (Obese) in a few to pump our CON which increases the save DC by +1. However, if you need to make sure your foes receive a -2 penalty to most things, you can always bind Focalor for his aura of sadness. This imposes a further -2 penalty to the same things as Carrion Stench, including your foes' save against Carrion Stench itself. This is a good thing, as the two together impose a -4 penalty to most things (including saves). We also have Abominable Form coming online in a few for another -2, so we're at a -6 penalty to opponent's saves. This will come in handy for our touch of fear, pallor of death, and touch of death SLAs that comes online in a few levels.
    • Touch of Fear: This ability is underwhelming for a few reasons. First of all, it only affects creatures with 5 or fewer HD. Secondly, on a failed save you only render opponents frightened for 1d4 rounds (or shaken for 1 round on a successful save). The good news, though, is that fear effects are cumulative. With Abominable Form, we can render foes shaken for a number of rounds equal to our CON mod (just a touch better than 1d4). They have to save against this shaken condition whenever they look at us. Because of this, a failed save means they'll be panicked instead of frightened, and even a successful save against touch of fear means we've got 1 round to get them to look at us and fail a save in order to become frightened for CON mod rounds. Since Abominable Form takes no action on our part, this should automatically kick in after activating Touch of Fear when our opponents look at us. Either that, or they could close their eyes and accept their imminent doom.
    • Demon Wings: Every build needs a way to get flight, and this one is no exception. We only have average maneuverability and a 30-foot speed, but that's really all we need. We don't want to get away from our opponents; we just want to position ourselves OVER them.
    • Massive Girth: Why position ourselves over our enemies, you ask? Because due to the wording of the Deformity (Obese) feat we pick up for free, we can do some fun things with falling damage. You see, you're now at least triple the average weight of a person...but there's absolutely no indication of a maximum weight. Take wing, lifting your massive girth into the air, then drop it all on some poor, unsuspecting schmoe. Granted, you'll probably get to do this once before your DM goes into conniptions, at which point you can mollify their cries of cheese by suggesting that you simply use Deformity (Obese) for the more mundane purposes of adding +1 to the save DC of your Abominable Form ability we discussed above (since it's a Deformity feat) and to your free bonus every round from Chosen of Evil (since it's also a Vile feat). Also, your +2 CON means +1 to the DC of your Carrion Stench and, if you're in the need for more AC, you can bind Dahlver-Nar to turn that into a +0.5 natural armor bonus to AC (which can help make up nicely for the -2 DEX you get from the deformity).
    • Summon Minor/Major Undead: Here's the thing about summoning undead minions--they usually soak up damage faster than it's worth it to heal them. However, Tenebrous Apostate comes to the fore here. You can rebuke undead as a 9th-level cleric (1 cleric and 8 from your EBL thanks to Tenebrous); with Tenebrous' Rebuke, you can spend a turn attempt to heal ALL undead creatures within 30 feet of 9d6 points of damage. Pick and choose whether you need multiple minions or just one, knowing full well that you can heal them til the cows come home. Also, there's no need to lay out a specific vampire or ghost; we're summoning them rather than calling them, so you can summon a different one for any given situation: vampire meatshield, ghostly caster, etc. You've got the ultimate in versatility, so why pigeonhole yourself? Granted, you can also use your cleric casting to cast Black Sands if you're in a smaller spot in order to create a no-save zone of undead healing that harms your enemies at the same time. While you're at it, cast desecrate to give your minions some bonuses and extra hit points for fun!
    • Pallor of Death: Alter Self is always fun, but we're really here for the fear aura. Living outsiders within 25 feet have to save against being panicked for 6 rounds. Remember Abominable Form? Yeah, your panicked foes will need to make another save if they look at you or else they'll be cowering for 6 rounds! Of course, Pallor of Death lasts for up to 10 minutes, so that's plenty of time to scare away idiots. Even if they succeed on their save, they're shaken for a round which Abominable Form can escalate to frightened for CON modifier rounds.
    • Death Touch: We've got plenty of save reducers to make sure this lands, as well as Knowledge Devotion and Chosen of Evil 1/round that can allow us to boost our touch attack. Since this is at will, we can kill our foes all day long...and there's something in it for us! The Beloved of Demons feat allows us to gain 9-10 temporary hit points every time we kill someone. While it triggers when we kill folks the old-fashioned way, it also triggers when we use this SLA. If a free +8 every round doesn't sound like a good way to spend your immediate actions, you can instead cash in 5 temporary HP for a round of damage reduction. Keep in mind, if you use Death Touch to sacrifice someone you can also get a whole bevy of other goodies (see Requirements, above).
    • Bonus feats/casting:Here's the thing about Beloved of Demons, though...it requires a caster level of 6. And us? We only have a caster level of 4 before we enter this prestige class. We can snag advanced casting at 1st and 7th levels, bringing us to CL 6 with perfect timing for Beloved of Demons. At 4th level, the bonus feat allows us to pick up Willing Deformity, which has a few perks for us: it gives +2 to the DC of Abominable Form, +1 to our bonuses from Chosen of Evil, and actually allows us to use the free Deformity (Obese) we picked up. At 10th level, season to taste. If there's a vile feat you've been waiting to pick up, you can snag it as well as boosting our Chosen of Evil bonus to +9. I opted for the added caster level instead, meaning that we pick up 4th-level spells (which give us a bunch of great options).

    Suggested Items:
    Spoiler
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    Honestly, you don't need much.
    • Some Dreadful Armor from Drow of the Underdark gives you something to do in combat with your move actions and maxed Intimidate skill (with bonuses). Not to mention that this fear effect would stack with your Pallor of Death, Touch of Fear, and Abominable Form. If you have your Pallor of Death up, hit a fool with Touch of Fear, they look at you and trigger abominable form, and you use your move action to intimidate, you can get a foe from 0 to cowering for CON modifier rounds in no time.
    • Stat boosting items are handy for CON and CHA, but those are really the only two we care about. WIS boosts our spell save DCs, but we're mainly using spells for buffing and animating undead, so we don't give a rip about spell save DCs.
    • Execution Devices: these little beauties are in Book of Vile Darkness. Tie someone up on one, and you can slay them with a simple Profession (executioner) check. Granted, you're not trained...but you've got Naberius' skills! Make Profession (executioner) one of them, pop in your WIS bonus and your Chosen of Evil bonus, and you can sacrifice people in style in no time flat! Now if only sacrificing people could get you goodies like persisted spells or limited wishes...
    • Vestige Phylactery: this bad boy is great for on-the-go switching of bound vestiges without needing the Expel Vestige feat and the time to bind a new one. Helpful if you find yourself in need of contingency plans, or you know a particular vestige may be helpful for the task at hand. Bind Naberius to use faster ability healing with Chosen of Evil, along with the full knowledge that you can tag him out at a later time if need be. Always be prepared, that's the binders' motto.


    Adaptation:
    Spoiler
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    • Flaws & Traits: I really, really wanted to build Luxx as a Krinth, the gluttonous spawn of shadow demons depicted in Champions of Ruin. Unfortunately, the feats just weren't lining up to squeeze in everything I wanted. If you can take even one flaw, grab one like Shaky in exchange for Chosen of Evil at first level to allow room to fit everything. The second flaw can be seasoned to taste, but you should probably snag another Vile feat for a free +3 to an attack, save, or check as an immediate action every round via Chosen of Evil...you know, in case +2 wasn't good enough to start. If even that's not good enough, snag Master's Will. As an immediate action, you've got a 50/50 chance of getting a +8 to your attack/save/check or taking damage based on whether you roll odd or even on a d20. As detailed above, Thrall to Demon doesn't specify what rolls it can impact, so that +1 1/day can be the difference between odd or even, which means the difference between a +8 to your check or taking damage.
    • LA Buyoff and the like: I don't think LA buyoff can be used to get rid of Bloodline levels, but if it can it would be flavorful as all get out to snag a Demonic Bloodline for Luxx. Any of the three would snag you Power Attack for free, meaning that you don't have to burn a flaw feat in order to play a Krinth. If your DM allows both, you can make that flaw feat another Vile feat, just to pile on the hurt. If your DM allows LA buyoff but states it's not for bloodlines (which I think is the case), you should look at the Curst undead template from pg 166 of Lost Empires of Faerun. It's got a whole bevy of defensive goodies for the whole "evil servitor of an overlord who won't let it die" vibe, but it absolutely tanks your mental ability scores. You'd have to do some gymnastics with them to make sure you still qualify for everything, and it lowers the saves of some of the SI's abilities, so it's not my first choice...but it's a small price to pay for nigh-invulnerability.
    • Elder Evil Service: In the book of the same name, page 10 details how an intelligent evil creature can swear service to an Elder Evil. Ask your DM if you can gain the benefits by swearing service to Orcus, and you're looking at five free Vile feats (at levels 1, 5, 10, 15, and 20). Snag a bunch of Deformity feats to up your Abominable Form save (Madness is a good one if you allocate some more points to WIS) or flavorful minor perks like Demonsworn Knight--what really matters is that this equates to an additional +5 bonus from Chosen of Evil for free every round, bringing our total to a +13 by 20th level.
    • Taint: Of course, +13 is good--heck, it's even flavorful for an evil character with the whole "unlucky number" thing. But a little more power can never hurt, right? If your DM uses taint rules, you're guaranteed to rack up the points with your constant sacrifices. Use the feats you gain from Moderate and Severe taint for two more vile feats, bringing your possible total from Chosen of Evil to a +15 every round. Yeah, that's good...we should probably stop there . Obese ups your CON score for purposes of resisting corruption, but you'll probably get nice and depraved since your WIS isn't the highest. Some of the corruption effects give bonuses along with penalties (Skin Seeps, Bones Thicken, Paralyzed Face, Skin Thickens, Lich Vision, and Wrigglers), so look at those first. Same goes for Depravity, but only Prophetic.
    • Look, Ma, no Domains!: The way Complete Champion is written, clerics can actually give up their domains to gain domain feats, so you can forego the benefits of the Trickery Domain for Trickery Devotion. The double from this feat is always the subject of much cheese and debate (what are combat actions? Does it take an action to command the double? etc.) so I left it out of the build proper, but please ask your DM how he or she rules on this feat. If you get a free duplicate, we can have so much fun. You can possibly bind different vestiges for additional versatility, cast different spells for giggles, or my personal favorite: you can double up on Secret Ingredient features. Having one fear aura is good--having two makes you a competent battlefield controller. Having one death touch per round is fun; having two is MORE fun. Since you're not focused on casting in the first place, you don't miss much by giving up 1 domain spell/level.
    • But wait, Luxx is a sample character!: In name alone, yes. The idea of a favored of Orcus/Tenebrous who is actively destroying worshipers was intriguing to me, and I wanted to explore why such a creature would not only be allowed to exist but still maintain the favor of his dark lord. As such, I decided to flesh out the hook a little and change up some of the mechanical portions of Luxx.


    Sources:
    Spoiler
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    • Book of Vile Darkness: Deformity (Obese), Evil Brand, Lichloved, Thrall of Orcus, Thrall to Demon, Willing Deformity
    • Complete Champion: Chaos Devotion, Knowledge Devotion
    • Complete Warrior: Divine Might
    • Elder Evils: Abominable Form, Chosen of Evil
    • Exemplars of Evil: Beloved of Demons
    • PHB: Cleric, Power Attack
    • Tome of Magic: Binder, Improved Binding, Tenebrous Apostate

    Avatar by Iron Penguin.

    The Power of the Orient: A Wu Jen Handbook

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

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

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLIX

    Billy, you son of a goat!
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill E. Kidd
    Bill E. Kidd
    Chaotic Evil Ibixian Hexblade 4/Thrall of Orcus 10/Avenging Executioner 2




    Story:
    Spoiler
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    Father Luxian hurried down the hallway, then stopped cold at the open doorway. He covered his eyes at the sight before him, but the image lingered to haunt him behind his eyelids. The blood splattered across the walls, the red puddles on the floor, the droplets beaded along the platinum sun embedded in the ivory floor. There were parts here and there, arms and legs, a head, toes, fingers, all scattered around the room. They had been his friends and colleagues, his abbot, his acolytes, his mentors and students. And here they were, bruised, battered, bloodied, broken.

    A man stood up slowly from where he was squatting in the middle of the room. He turned to the doorway and dipped his head slightly in greeting.
    Father Luxian bow low in reply. "Inquisitor, may I welcome you to the Presence of Pelor, Temple of Glory."

    The High Inquisitor glanced around the room at the blood splatter dripping from every surface of the room. "This isn't, exactly, a welcome I'd have preferred."

    Father Luxian bowed in silence, partly in awkward embarrassment of the situation, but mostly to avert his eyes from the horror of the sight of the room.

    "I'll need to review your security measures, of course." The Inquisitor walked slowly around the room, examining the scene closely, all senses alert for clues. "Standard set-up for a Temple of Pelor in a town this size, yes?"

    Father Luxian glanced up at the Inquisitor and nodded, trying to keep his eyes focused away from the blood. "Yes. All standard, though with one addition. I prayed to Pelor for months for His insight and He blessed me with a understanding of a new way to keep the Cup safe. Its been implemented here, over the sun."

    The Inquisitor looked up from where he stooped over a body, its form crushed and broken, its chest horrendously ripped apart, entrails violently torn and scattered, its heart missing. "The Cup? The Everflowing Cup of Pelor's Blessing? It's here?"

    "Yes. We've been Keepers of the Cup for decades now." Father Luxian pulled back the sleeve of his robe, showing his guest the tattoo of the chalice emblazoned on his arm. "We keep the Cup here, safe beneath the floor, under the rays of the sun."

    As he spoke, Father Luxian moved to the edge of the platinum arc in the floor, the metal curving in a perfect circle in the middle of the ivory floor. He bowed low, stooping down to press his tattoo against the platinum. The ivory moved away, pulling back to offer an opening in the circle, showing stairs descending into the sun.

    "As I said, Pelor Himself showed me the spell to secure the Cup. Tattoos on my arm, and my abbot's, hold the key to the entrance, a ward on the stairs blocks passage to all but those who have the heart of a pure man."

    The two men stepped carefully down the stairway, each holding aloft a platinum disc that spread light out before them like the noonday sun. When he reached the bottom of the stairs and looked into the chamber beyond, Father Luxian turned away in revulsion.

    "Dear sweet Light of Pelor!" Father Luxian sunned himself, his shaking fingers drawing the arc from the middle of his forehead along the side of his face to his chin, then back up in a holy circle.

    The Inquisitor stepped forward into the chamber. On full display atop the pedestal in the middle of the room was a tattooed arm with a bloody, pure heart clutched in its palm. The Cup lay shattered on the floor, broken pieces dry, the waters of Pelor's blessings no longer flowing. On the pedestal was scratched a crude carving.

    "Wh-what is th-that?"

    The Inquisitor leaned forward, shining his light onto the pedestal, and examined the carving. "The head of a goat. The same was carved into the temples of Elhonna, Obad-hai, St. Cuthbert, Heironeous, Nerull...."

    Father Luxian started at hearing the last. "What? Who would attack both the glory of a Temple of Pelor and attack Nerull, too?"

    "That," the Inquisitor replied, "is what I'm here to find out."




    Miles away now, the overly large Ibixian ducked his head and curled back his wings to squeeze through the mountain pass and into the cave entrance beyond. He moved swiftly through the darkness, as though he knew the nooks and crannies of the cavern well. He stopped in the darkest corner, his knees bending back, bringing himself down into a low squat. He closed his eyes, slowed his breathing, and offered himself up to his Master. And soon, a quiet voice came to him from the darkness.
    You have done well, my child. But there is no time to rest. Gather your forces and head south. There is a Monastery of Yondalla in the valley beyond the river....



    Stats:
    Spoiler
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    {table=head]Condition|Str|Dex|Con|Int|Wis|Cha

    Start|16|12|14|14|8|14
    Race|+4|--|+2|-2|-2|--
    Lvl 4|--|--|+1|--|--|--
    Lvl 8|--|--|+1|--|--|--
    Deformity (Obese)|--|-2|+2|--|--|--
    Lvl 12|--|--|--|--|--|+1
    Lvl 16|--|--|--|--|--|+1
    Total|20|10|20|12|6|16[/table]


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

    2nd|Monstrous Humanoid (Ibixian) 1|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    • Intimidate 4(4)
    • K:R 4(2)
    • Spot 4(4)
    |1st: Evil Brand|Head Butt; Pack Fervor

    3rd|Monstrous Humanoid (Ibixian) 2|
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    • Intimidate 1(5)
    • K:R (2)
    • Listen 1(1)
    • Spot 1(5)
    |--|--

    4th|Monstrous Humanoid (Ibixian) 3|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    • Intimidate 1(6)
    • K:R (2)
    • Listen 1(2)
    • Spot 1(6)
    |3rd: Lichloved|--

    5th|Hexblade 1|
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    +5
    |
    • Bluff 2(2)
    • Intimidate 1(7)
    • K:R (2)
    • Listen (2)
    • Spot (6)
    |--|Hexblade's Curse 1/day

    6th|Hexblade 2|
    +5
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    +6
    |
    • Bluff 2(4)
    • Intimidate 1(8)
    • K:R (2)
    • Listen (2)
    • Spot (6)
    |--|Arcane Resistance

    7th|Hexblade 3|
    +6/1
    |
    +2
    |
    +4
    |
    +6
    |
    • Bluff 1(5)
    • Intimidate 1(9)
    • K:A 1(1)
    • K:R (2)
    • Listen (2)
    • Spot (6)
    |6th: Thrall to Demon|Mettle

    8th|Hexblade 4|
    +7/2
    |
    +2
    |
    +4
    |
    +7
    |
    • Bluff (5)
    • C:Poison 1(1)
    • Intimidate 1(10)
    • K:A 1(2)
    • K:R (2)
    • Listen (2)
    • Spot (6)
    |--|Dark Companion (ACF)

    9th|Thrall of Orcus 1|
    +8/3
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +9
    |
    • Bluff (5)
    • C:Poison (1)
    • Intimidate 1(11)
    • K:A (2)
    • K:R (2)
    • Listen (2)
    • Spot (6)
    • Skill Trick: Never Outnumbered
    |B: Power Attack|Carrion Stench

    10th|Thrall of Orcus 2|
    +9/4
    |
    +5
    |
    +4
    |
    +10
    |
    • Bluff (5)
    • C:Poison (1)
    • Intimidate 1(12)
    • K:A (2)
    • K:R (2)
    • Listen (2)
    • Spot 2(8)
    • Skill Trick: Never Outnumbered
    |9th: Intimidating Strike|Touch of Fear

    11th|Thrall of Orcus 3|
    +10/5
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +10
    |
    • Bluff (5)
    • C:Poison (1)
    • Intimidate 1(13)
    • K:A (2)
    • K:R (2)
    • Listen (2)
    • Spot 2(10)
    • Skill Trick: Never Outnumbered
    |--|Demon Wings

    12th|Thrall of Orcus 4|
    +11/6/1
    |
    +6
    |
    +5
    |
    +11
    |
    • Bluff (5)
    • C:Poison (1)
    • Intimidate 1(14)
    • K:A (2)
    • K:R (2)
    • Listen (2)
    • Spot 2(12)
    • Skill Trick: Never Outnumbered
    |B: Willing Deformity; B: Deformity (Obese)|Massive Girth

    13th|Thrall of Orcus 5|
    +12/7/2
    |
    +6
    |
    +5
    |
    +11
    |
    • Bluff (5)
    • C:Poison 1(2)
    • Intimidate 1(15)
    • K:A (2)
    • K:R (2)
    • Listen (2)
    • Spot 1(13)
    • Skill Trick: Never Outnumbered
    |12th: Deformity (Tall)|Summon Minor Undead

    14th|Thrall of Orcus 6|
    +13/8/3
    |
    +7
    |
    +6
    |
    +12
    |
    • Bluff (5)
    • C:Poison 1(3)
    • Intimidate 1(16)
    • K:A (2)
    • K:R (2)
    • Listen (2)
    • Spot 1(14)
    • Skill Trick: Never Outnumbered
    |--|Pallor of Death

    15th|Thrall of Orcus 7|
    +14/9/4
    |
    +7
    |
    +6
    |
    +12
    |
    • Bluff (5)
    • C:Poison (3)
    • Hide 1(1)
    • Intimidate 1(17)
    • K:A (2)
    • K:R (2)
    • Listen (2)
    • Move Silently 1(1)
    • Spot (14)
    • Skill Trick: Never Outnumbered
    |B: Brutal Strike|Demon Wings (at will)

    16th|Thrall of Orcus 8|
    +15/10/5
    |
    +8
    |
    +6
    |
    +13
    |
    • Bluff (5)
    • C:Poison (3)
    • Hide 1(2)
    • Intimidate 1(18)
    • K:A (2)
    • K:R (2)
    • Listen (2)
    • Move Silently 1(2)
    • Spot (14)
    • Skill Trick: Never Outnumbered
    |15th: Deformity (Teeth)|Death Touch

    17th|Thrall of Orcus 9|
    +16/11/6/1
    |
    +8
    |
    +7
    |
    +13
    |
    • Bluff (5)
    • C:Poison (3)
    • Hide 1(3)
    • Intimidate 1(19)
    • K:A (2)
    • K:R (2)
    • Listen (2)
    • Move Silently 1(3)
    • Spot (14)
    • Skill Trick: Never Outnumbered
    |--|Summon Major Undead

    18th|Thrall of Orcus 10|
    +17/12/7/2
    |
    +9
    |
    +7
    |
    +14
    |
    • Bluff (5)
    • C:Poison (3)
    • Hide 1(4)
    • Intimidate 1(20)
    • K:A (2)
    • K:R (2)
    • Listen (2)
    • Move Silently 1(4)
    • Spot (14)
    • Skill Trick: Never Outnumbered
    |B: Demonsworn Knight|Summon Nightwing

    19th|Avenging Executioner 1|
    +17/12/7/2
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    |
    +16
    |
    • Bluff (5)
    • C:Poison 1(4)
    • Hide (4)
    • Intimidate 1(21)
    • K:A (2)
    • K:R (2)
    • Listen (2)
    • Move Silently (4)
    • Spot 5(19)
    • Skill Trick: Never Outnumbered
    |18th: Imperious Command|Bloody Blade; Sudden Strike +1d6

    20th|Avenging Executioner 2|
    +18/13/8/3
    |
    +9
    |
    +10
    |
    +17
    |
    • Bluff (5)
    • C:Poison 5(9)
    • Hide (4)
    • Intimidate 1(22)
    • K:A (2)
    • K:R (2)
    • Listen (2)
    • Move Silently (4)
    • Spot 1(20)
    • Skill Trick: Never Outnumbered
    |--|Rapid Intimidation[/table]


    Spells:

    Spoiler
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    I'm not going to include a chart here. Simply stated, at ECL 8, Bill gets two 1st level spells known. Death's Call (Complete Mage) fulfills the necromancy requirement for Thrall of Orcus and is useful against swarms. Undetectable Alignment (PH/SRD) just seems handy to have when you're evil and lasts all day long.


    ECL 5:

    Spoiler
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    Ibixian 3/Hexblade 1 (+1 LA)
    Bill is a front-line fighter. With a BAB of +4, he's using a two-hand weapon (a great axe or a great club) as a primary attack and following it with a head butt as a secondary natural attack. Intimidate and Hexblade's Curse can be used to debuff, as necessary.


    ECL 10:

    Spoiler
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    Ibixian 3/Hexblade 4/Thrall of Orcus 2 (+1 LA)
    Now Bill is a scary guy. To start combat, Bill uses a free action to move his Dark Companion into place, a move action to engage his enemy, a free action to use Carrion Stench, another free action to use Hexblade's Curse, and a standard action to attack with Intimidating Strike. If all are successful, his opponent will be suffering -2 AC, -6 to hit, -8 saves, -6 ability and skill checks, and -4 weapon damage. In his next round, he follows with a full-attack (2 weapon attacks and a head butt) with wicked awesome Power Attack potential. Arcane Resistance and Mettle help to keep safe.


    ECL 15:

    Spoiler
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    Ibixian 3/Hexblade 4/Thrall of Orcus 7 (+1 LA)
    Black goat gives you wings!! The ibixian is becoming deformed, willingly. Demon Wings grants better movement (and carries over to the Dark Companion), Deformity (Tall) increases Bill's reach (which is always helpful in combat), and much of the deformity increases his Intimidate ability. Combat tactics remain much the same, though the first attack of each round becomes a Brutal Strike, adding the sickened condition to his enemies, bringing the debuff totals to: -2 AC, -8 to hit, -10 saves, -8 ability and skill checks, and -6 weapon damage. The undead Bill summons to use as flankers obviously get helped well from those debuffs. Those summons also fill Bill's Lichloved needs at night. (See other uses in the "At Your Table" section.)


    ECL 20:

    Spoiler
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    Ibixian 3/Hexblade 4/Thrall of Orcus 10/Avenging Executioner 2 (+1 LA)
    Bill can summon major undead now. Other Ibixian, as vampire or ghost, brings about a Pack Fervor that increases combat abilities for them all. Bill's got 4 weapon attacks followed by a head butt and a bite. All of the debuffs he brings about make it that much harder for an enemy to resist his Death Touch.


    Items of Interest:

    Spoiler
    Show
    (All found in Magic Item Compendium)
    Hexbands
    Weapon with Cursespewing
    Veil of Allure
    Circlet of Persuasion


    At Your Table:

    Spoiler
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    If level adjustment buy-off is available, do it! Take another level of Avenging Executioner.

    Check with your DM. If Summon Minor Undead can be used to summon undead using the Monstrous Levels in Libris Mortis, summon Ibixian ghouls or wights to utilize Pack Fervor four levels earlier.
    If you can choose class levels for your summoned undead, Bill should take advantage and use his crafting skill to aid his summoned undead in crafting poisons for Bill to use in combat.


    References:

    Spoiler
    Show
    Ibixian: Monster Manual III
    Hexblade: Complete Warrior
    Hexblade ACF (Dark Companion): Player's Handbook II
    Thrall of Orcus: Book of Vile Darkness
    Avenging Executioner: Complete Scoundrel

    Feats:
    Fiendish Codex I: Evil Brand, Thrall to Demon, Demonsworn Knight,
    Elder Evils: Lichloved
    SRD/Player's Handbook: Power Attack
    Player's Handbook II: Intimidating Strike, Brutal Strike
    Heroes of Horror: Willing Deformity, Deformity (Tall), Deformity (Teeth),
    Drow of the Underdark: Imperious Command
    Last edited by Kuulvheysoon; 2013-09-23 at 08:35 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.

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

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLIX

    I... just... no. There's nothing that I can say for this one.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sentrosi
    Sentrosi the Death Chicken
    Spoiler
    Show
    Sentrosi was born to a poor family of dirt farmers in the Midlands. In addition to raising dirt, her family had a small flock of chickens, which she eventually bonded with. She loved her chickens more than life itself. She would spend all of her free time with them, finding weeds and bugs for them to eat. She often slept in the coop with the chickens on hot afternoons. They would often peck at her, lovingly she thought, until one day a strange rooster appeared in the coop. It pecked her fiercly, drawing blood. After she ran home, she told her family. They followed her to the coop, but the strange and awful chicken was not there.

    Then bandits came and took all of her family's dirt, leaving behind only the chickens and slaughtering her family. How she survived, she didn't know, at least at first. As she stood in the ashes of her cottage, destroyed by an evil sorcerer who accompanied the bandits, she swore revenge on everyone and especially on all magic users. She left her home, followed only by her flock.




    White Meat
    Spoiler
    Show

    Sentrosi, NE Strongheart Halfling Were-Chicken / Commoner 1 / Death Master 6 / Thrall of Orcus 9
    {table=head] Level | Class|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Skills| Feats|Class Features
    1st | Commoner |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    | Control shape 4 Craft (Pottery) 4 Handle Animal 4 Listen 4 Profession (Dirt Farmer) 4 Spot 4 | Chicken Infested, Evil Brand |
    2nd | LA |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    | | | Wis +2, natural armor +2, alternate form (Chicken), low-light vision, shapechanger subtype, Were-chicken feat (Alertness)
    3rd | LA |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    | | | Alternate form (hybrid), chicken empathy, damage reduction (5/silver), were-chicken feats (Iron Will, Weapon Finesse)
    4th | Animal HD (Chicken) |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    | Control Shape 5 Handle Animal 4.5 Listen 5 Knowledge (Nature) 1 Spot 5 | | Str -10, Dex +4, Claws
    5th | Death Master 1 |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    | Control Shape 6 Concentration 2 Knowledge (Arcana) 1 Knowledge (Religion) 1 Spellcraft 1 | Lichloved | Rebuke Undead, spells, undead minion
    6th | Death Master 2 |
    +1
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +3
    | Control Shape 7 Concentration 4 Knowledge (Arcana) 2 Knowledge (Religion) 2 Spellcraft 2 | |
    7th | Death Master 3 |
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    | Control Shape 8 Concentration 6 Knowledge (Arcana) 3 Knowledge (Religion) 3 Spellcraft 3 | |
    8th | Death Master 4 |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +4
    | Control Shape 9 Concentration 8 Knowledge (Arcana) 4 Knowledge (Religion) 4 Spellcraft 4 | Thrall to Demon |
    9th | Death Master 5 |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +4
    | Control Shape 10 Concentration 10 Knowledge (Arcana) 5 Knowledge (Religion) 5 Spellcraft 5 | | Master of the dead
    10th | Death Master 6 |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +5
    | Control Shape 11 Concentration 11 Knowledge (Arcana) 6 Knowledge (Religion) 6 Spellcraft 7 | |
    11th | Thrall of Orcus 1 |
    +5
    |
    +6
    |
    +4
    |
    +7
    | Control Shape 12 Concentration 12 Knowledge (Arcana) 7 Knowledge (Religion) 7 Spellcraft 9 | Lycanthropic Spell | Carrion Stench
    12th | Thrall of Orcus 2 |
    +6
    |
    +7
    |
    +4
    |
    +8
    | Control Shape 13 Concentration 13 Knowledge (Arcana) 8 Knowledge (Religion) 8 Spellcraft 11 | | Touch of fear
    13th | Thrall of Orcus 3 |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +5
    |
    +8
    | Control Shape 14 Concentration 14 Knowledge (Arcana) 9 Knowledge (Religion) 9 Spellcraft 13 | | Demon wings
    14th | Thrall of Orcus 4 |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    +5
    |
    +9
    | Control Shape 15 Concentration 15 Knowledge (Arcana) 10 Knowledge (Religion) 10 Spellcraft 15 | Divine Defiance | Massive girth
    15th | Thrall of Orcus 5 |
    +9
    |
    +8
    |
    +5
    |
    +9
    | Control Shape 16 Concentration 16 Knowledge (Arcana) 12 Knowledge (Religion) 11 Spellcraft 16 | | Summon minor undead
    16th | Thrall of Orcus 6 |
    +10
    |
    +9
    |
    +6
    |
    +10
    | Control Shape 17 Concentration 17 Knowledge (Arcana) 14 Knowledge (Religion) 12 Spellcraft 17 | | Pallor of death
    17th | Thrall of Orcus 7 |
    +11
    |
    +9
    |
    +6
    |
    +10
    | Control Shape 18 Concentration 18 Knowledge (Arcana) 16 Knowledge (Religion) 13 Spellcraft 18 | Willing Deformity | Demon wings (at will)
    18th | Thrall of Orcus 8 |
    +12
    |
    +10
    |
    +6
    |
    +11
    | Control Shape 19 Concentration 19 Knowledge (Arcana) 18 Knowledge (Religion) 14 Spellcraft 19 | | Death touch
    19th | Thrall of Orcus 9 |
    +13
    |
    +10
    |
    +7
    |
    +11
    | Control Shape 20 Concentration 20 Knowledge (Arcana) 20 Knowledge (Religion) 15 Spellcraft 20 | | Summon major undead
    20th | Thrall of Orcus 10 |
    +14
    |
    +11
    |
    +7
    |
    +12
    | Control Shape 21 Concentration 21 Knowledge (Arcana) 21 Knowledge (Religion) 17 Spellcraft 21 | Heighten Spell | Summon nightwing [/table]



    Dark Meat
    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|3|1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

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

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

    9th|4|3|2|1|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

    11th|4|4|3|2|1|-|-|-|-|-

    12th|4|4|3|2|1|-|-|-|-|-

    13th|4|4|3|2|1|-|-|-|-|-

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

    15th|4|4|3|3|2|-|-|-|-|-

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

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

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

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

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

    Commonly used spells include animate dead (level 2) and dispel magic (level 3, later heightened and used in slots for spell levels 4 and 5)




    The gizzard
    Spoiler
    Show

    Starting Stats: Str 12, Dex 8, Con 14, Int 18, Wis 8, Cha 14
    Template: +2 Wis
    Levels: All to Int
    Final (without items) Str 12, Dex 8, Con 14, Int 22, Wis 18, Cha 14



    Break down that bird:
    Spoiler
    Show

    Levels 1-5: Sentrosi survives her initial levels due to hiding with her chickens. When confronted, she fights, using her chicken allies as a "white-meat"-shield to protect herself, and using her DR to help protect against direct damage. She learns a few spells, not many though, as a Deathmaster.

    Levels 6-10: Sentrosi sells her soul to Orcus for revenge. She continues to grow in power, learning to animate dead corpses and to dispel magic. Typically she relies upon her allies to fight and do damage, while she readies actions to counterspell any casters, sending her undead minions to fight and protect her while she casts.

    Levels 11-15: Sentrosi's camouflage is complete - she can cast spells while in chicken form, meaning all foes see is a bunch of chickens clucking and scratching on the ground while their spells are counterspelled. Because of divine defiance, she can counter twice as many spells per round as she was formerly able to, should she ready an action to do so.

    Levels 16-20: Sentrosi and her undead minions continue their rampage. She is the magic against her foes magic, while her minions and undead summons are the steel against their steel. Because honestly, who believes the chicken is behind all of it?

    Are you kidding me? A were-chicken?!?
    Spoiler
    Show


    No, this is legitimate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lycanthrope
    This animal can be any predator, scavenger, or omnivore whose size is within one size category of the base creature’s size.
    As a halfling, Sentrosi can go to size tiny.

    Quote Originally Posted by Common Raven, Wikipedia
    The Common Raven has coexisted with humans for thousands of years and in some areas have been so numerous that they are considered a pest. Part of its success comes from its omnivorous diet.
    Quote Originally Posted by Raven, SRD
    These glossy black birds are about 2 feet long and have wingspans of about 4 feet. They combine both claws into a single attack. The statistics presented here can describe most nonpredatory birds of similar size.
    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken, Wikipedia
    Chickens are omnivores.
    So chickens can use the same stats as a Raven (size timy), and as omnivores, qualify for the animal side of a lycanthrope.





    Sources:
    Spoiler
    Show

    Faiths and Pantheons: Lycanthropic Spell Feat
    MM: Control Shape Skill, Were-RavenChicken
    Fiendish Codex II: Divine Defiance feat
    Dragon Magazine Compendium: Death Master
    Book of Vile Darkness: Thrall to Orcus, Evil Brand, Lichloved, Thrall to Demon
    Dragon Magazine #330: Chicken Infested Flaw Feat
    Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting: Strongheart Halfling
    Sword of Truth Novels: Inspiration behind sentrosi (a chime)

    Avatar by Iron Penguin.

    The Power of the Orient: A Wu Jen Handbook

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

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

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLIX

    Now, why does cancer Mage look familiar...
    Quote Originally Posted by Ari
    Ari, Scourge of the Gods
    CE Vashar Spirit Shaman 4/Spirit Lion Totem Barbarian 1/Thrall of Orcus 4/Cancer Mage 5/ Thrall of Orcus 10

    Stats
    Spoiler
    Show
    Str 12
    Dex 12 (-2 from massive girth)
    Con 16 (+2 from massive girth)
    Int 10 (1 point here)
    Wis 14 (4 points here)
    Cha 14

    Build
    Spoiler
    Show
    Ari, Scourge of the Gods
    {table=head]Level|Class|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Skills|Feats|Class Features

    1st|Spirit Shaman 1|
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |Concentration 4, Heal 3, Knowledge (Arcana) 2(4), Knowledge (Religion) 2(4), Handle Animal 4, Tumble 1|Evil Brand, Thrall to Demon|Skilled City Dweller, Spirit Guide, Wild Empathy

    2nd|Spirit Shaman 2|
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |Concentration 5, Handle Animal 5, Tumble 4||Chastise Spirits

    3rd|Spirit Shaman 3|
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |Concentration 6, Handle Animal 6, Knowledge (Nature) 1, Tumble 6|Lichloved|Detect Spirits

    4th|Spirit Shaman 4|
    +3
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Concentration 7, Handle Animal 7, Knowledge (Nature) 3, Tumble 7||Blessing of the Spirits

    5th|Spirit Lion Totem Barbarian 1|
    +4
    |
    +6
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Handle Animal 8, Survival 3, Tumble 8| |Rage 1/day, Pounce

    6th|Thrall of Orcus 1|
    +5
    |
    +8
    |
    +1
    |
    +6
    |Hide 2, Move Silently 1|Toughness|Carrion Stench, +1 Spirit Shaman Casting

    7th|Thrall of Orcus 2|
    +6/+1
    |
    +9
    |
    +1
    |
    +7
    |Hide 3, Move Silently 3||Touch of Fear

    8th|Thrall of Orcus 3|
    +7/+2
    |
    +9
    |
    +2
    |
    +7
    |Hide 5, Move Silently 4||Demon Wings

    9th|Thrall of Orcus 4|
    +8/+3
    |
    +10
    |
    +2
    |
    +8
    |Hide 6, Move Silently 6|Great Fortitude, Poison Immunity (Black Lotus)|Bonus Feat, Massive Girth

    10th|Cancer Mage 1|
    +8/+3
    |
    +12
    |
    +4
    |
    +8
    |Hide 9, Move Silently 9, Tumble 9||Sneak Attack +1d6, Disease Host

    11th|Cancer Mage 2|
    +9/+4
    |
    +13
    |
    +5
    |
    +8
    |Balance 1, Hide 11, Move Silently 11, Tumble 11||Contagion, Cancerous Companion, Blindsight 30 ft

    12th|Cancer Mage 3|
    +10/+5
    |
    +13
    |
    +5
    |
    +9
    |Balance 2, Hide 13, Move Silently 13, Tumble 13|Willing Deformity|Tatterdemalion, Poison, Companion Spell 1/day

    13th|Cancer Mage 4|
    +11/+6/+1
    |
    +14
    |
    +6
    |
    +9
    |Balance 4, Hide 15, Move Silently 15, Tumble 14||Children of the Night, Evasion

    14th|Cancer Mage 5|
    +11/+6/+1
    |
    +14
    |
    +6
    |
    +9
    |Balance 5, Heal 5, Hide 17, Move Silently 17||Sneak Attack +2d6, Viral Agent, Uncanny Dodge

    15th|Thrall of Orcus 5|
    +12/+7/+2
    |
    +14
    |
    +6
    |
    +9
    |Concentration 10|Deformity (Tall)|Summon Minor Undead

    16th|Thrall of Orcus 6|
    +13/+8/+3
    |
    +15
    |
    +7
    |
    +10
    |Concentration 13||Pallor of Death

    17th|Thrall of Orcus 7|
    +14/+9/+4
    |
    +15
    |
    +7
    |
    +10
    |Concentration 16|Improved Flight|Bonus Feat, Demon Wings (at Will)

    18th|Thrall of Orcus 8|
    +15/+10/+5
    |
    +16
    |
    +7
    |
    +11
    |Concentration 19|Staggering Strike|Death Touch

    19th|Thrall of Orcus 9|
    +16/+11/+6/+1
    |
    +16
    |
    +8
    |
    +11
    |Concentration 20, Hide 18, Move Silently 18||Summon Major Undead

    20th|Thrall of Orcus 10|
    +17/+12/+7/+2
    |
    +17
    |
    +x
    |
    +12
    |Hide 20, Move Silently 19|Insane Defiance|Bonus Feat, Summon Nightwing[/table]
    Spells
    Spoiler
    Show
    Spells per day
    {table=head]Level|0lvl|1st|2nd|3rd|4th|5th|6th|7th|8th|9th

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

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

    3rd|5|4|2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

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

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

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

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

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

    3rd|3|2|1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

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

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

    6th|3|3|1|1|-|-|-|-|-|-[/table]

    Backstory
    Spoiler
    Show
    As a young child Ari was raised in a bright and bustling city filled with clean, pious, upstanding citizens. Ari hated every one of them. He hated their pointless attention to detail and hygeine, their slavish devotion to uncaring gods, and above all their unrelenting, smothering niceness.

    His parents understood his hatred. They, too, were Vashar, and they to knew the bitterness and anger that lived within him. They told him that he must be patient, that he must bide his time and swallow his outbursts when the people prayed. They warned him that he must keep his violent urges in check, that he should not bite the other children lest the city discover their true identity.

    He tried, but not hard enough and after one too many blasphemous screams and vicious attacks on others, his parents decided they had had enough. They took him out into the woods for a retreat as they sometimes did, for a chance to be themselves, not bound by the city's arbitrary rules. They went to sleep comfortably that night. When he awoke the next morning his parents had gone. They abandoned him to the wild to die like an animal. He was ten years old. He sneered at their cowardice. They couldn't even kill him themselves. The city had made them soft.

    The first few months were terrible. Ari overestimated his limited hunting prowess, recklessly attacking animals with little more than pointed sticks. He earned many an injury for his pride. On one day of a truly awful week, when he had lost track of when he had last eaten, he came across the body of a huge moose, dead for some time from the smell. It was filthy and discolored, torn to pieces and then left by whatever predator had brought it down. Standing on the carcass, lording over it all was a lone vulture. Ari approached, and it spread its wings possessively. Ari would not be stopped by a simple vulture. His spear struck true. It was his first kill. He partook greedily of its flesh, only to find himself still unsatisfied. He suddenly heard a reedy voice full of smugness. Vultures are surprisingly small, aren't we? Well then, if you are still hungry, eat. You've certainly earned it.

    Ari was not going to argue. He gorged himself to bursting on the excess of meat that lay in front of him, then lay back in contentedness.

    When the intestinal spasms hit it was all the more terrible. The tainted meat soon found its way out of him in the fastest way possible. Doubled over in anguish, he heard the mocking laughter of Vulture echoing in his now empty stomach. Couldn't hold it, eh boy? You won't last long out here.

    Ari wanted to prove the damned thing wrong. He slowly learned not to meet the creatures head on in a fair fight, but to calm and cajole them into a sense of security, then strike them where they were weakest. Improved tactics still could not help his weak body, and he was sick more often than not.

    Late one night after a particularly successful ambush, Ari sat picking his teeth when he heard the noise of approaching footfalls. A party of ghouls strode before his cave, sniffing the air. They spotted Ari and his kill. They brought their own kills before him, animals and men and things too far destroyed to be recognizable as either. As they sat down to eat and began to talk amicably, Ari realized they mistook him for one of their own. One could hardly blame them. He was so caked in gore and enshrouded in the stench of rot that he seemed one of their own. They all shared their kills with no regard for the filth and disease that clung to many. The ghouls regarded each as humans would regard a sauce or spice rub, savory and completely normal. As the night drew on, feasting gave way to revelry. A ghoul drew from its pack a wineskin. When it was uncorked it emanated a stench so foul it blackened the very air around it. The ghouls drank from it with relish, and Ari followed suit.The rest of the night faded into pleasant blurs, moving shapes and chants of joy.

    Ari awoke the next morning with the memory of a conversation with the clear leader of the ghouls. He told Ari of how his clan's power came through a compact with Orcus. Not so much a religion as a business deal, the sacrifice of life for power. To Ari this sounded acceptable, and he undertook the sacrifice that was to begin the deal. A child lost from a walk in the forest with her family was the perfect candidate.

    Years passed, and Ari grew in power as he sacrificed more to Orcus. With time he could hunt and kill animals with ease, and he no longer fell victim to the ravages of the illnesses. He soon wielded the power of the very diseases themselves in his hands, and he no longer needed to hunt. He was the instrument that culled the herds, and he culled with a firm hand. He ate his fill and more at every meal, growing fatter with every week, and still the rotting dead littered the land. Vulture squawked in ecstasy at the sight of it all, rustling the massive wings that he had grown from Ari's back. Ari had shown his dominance over the animals. The time had come to cull the herd of man.

    Ari appeared high above the city, circling for days as he called down his diseases upon them. The animals came in droves, birds and bats and rats, each bearing one of the multitude of diseases that were his subjects, his soldiers. He heard them cry out that the plagues must be the scourge of the gods. Ari laughed at the idea. Yes, he was the scourge of the gods. He was the scourge that would slay their followers till the very gods bled. The citizens died in many horrible ways, but worst were those taken by ghoul fever. These rose again to feast on the living and dead, running through the streets in open pursuit of their urges. Ari eventually landed and ran among them, scattering the citizens in his wake, striking them down with fear and rot and the very scent of his presence. He reveled with the ghouls in a way to outdo the great feast of his youth.

    And then Ari looked up, and it was over. The streets stood empty, and only ghouls and shadows roamed listlessly. Ari saw this and spoke to them, stirring them to amass and move themselves north along the travel roads to the next city. They roared and cheered and licked their slavering jaws at the thought of all that unspoiled flesh that awaited. They poured out of the city like a tainted flood, moving to wipe out all in its path. Ari quirked his mouth as he took to the sky above them. That was too easy. Vulture whispered hoarsely in his ear. Never satisfied, are you boy? Perhaps the next one, then.

    Playtips
    Spoiler
    Show

    Level 5
    Spoiler
    Show
    At this point you have pounce from barbarian as well as a rage to use when the going gets tough. When that runs out you have Spirit Shaman to fall back on. Spirit Shaman casts rather oddly, you essentially select your spells “known” at the beginning of every day, and choose from the druid list, which has all sorts of neat odd little things on it. Second level spells mean you’re only a tad behind straight casters at this point. You’re best off focusing on buffs and spells that don’t allow saves, but at this point you might get away with using some things that do allow saves, as your cl is only one behind at this point. Blessing of the spirits means that you have nothing to fear from summoned spirits, which is a good thing, because incorporeal undead are nasty to deal with. You’re immune to possession and mind control from them as well, and you can find and damage them with ease, making it easier to bend them to your will. You can gish it up fairly well at this level, so don’t be afraid to do so.

    Level 10
    Spoiler
    Show
    Yes, it’s our old friend Cancer Mage, back to make another splash in Iron Chef. Sneak attack is always nice to be able to throw on when it applies. If you don’t want to wait another level, feel free to cast contagion on yourself from the spirit shaman list. Some of the diseases on there are contact or inhaled, so it’s recommended you get them up and running as soon as possible to affect the most people. If you’re feeling particularly mean you can seek out the nasty stuff like blood fever from a bloodrot. Don’t be terrible and abuse stuff like plague blight’s gangrenous touch, thickening or the infamous festering anger. It makes DMs sad. At this point the SI has generously provided you with the one more level of casting needed to get 3rds. A quick mention for spiritjaws, as it grapples your enemies, meaning you can toss on SA quite a lot of the time. Wracking touch also provides more opportunities to make use of it. Demon wings help out for those times you just need flight, and touch of fear and carrion stench stack nicely to debuff foes, especially to soften them up for spells. Rage boosts the DC for carrion stench, which hilariously means you get so mad that you get stinkier. Carrion Stench says nothing about a how often someone can be affected by it, so presumably you can refresh the duration whenever it runs out. Thrall of Orcus also generously provides you with the free feat you needed to enter cancer mage, where you’ll be for a while. Take immunity to black lotus. It’s one of the worst poisons out there, and one of the few you can actually be killed by. The SI also generously provides you with martial weapon proficiency, so have fun with greatswords and longbows.

    Level 15
    Spoiler
    Show
    We’re done with Cancer Mage now, and begin our entry back into the SI. Willing Deformity allows you to make use of Massive Girth, boosting your Con even more to extend rage and up the DC for carrion stench. Poison SLA is an excellent way to start the debuffing to make them more likely to fail against carrion stench and your various diseases, and less health is always good. Your tumor provides you with blindsight, Uncanny Dodge, and Evasion, which are all great things to have to sneak better and beat sneaks with, as well as the ability to cast one of your spells or SLAs once a day without using your action. Use it however you see fit. Feel free to use it to cast touch of fear when debuffing your enemies. Children of the night make excellent flanking buddies, or you can simply use them to keep enemies at a distance or occupied while you deal with other problems. Alternatively, you can use them, especially the 10d10 bats as vectors for spreading your many diseases, as well as viral agent targets for spying when it comes online. Tall means your reach goes up as if Large, so keep foes at your arm’s length but comfortably within carrion stench radius during combat. It also means that flanking becomes easier when fighting alongside your summoned undead. Speaking of, disease host makes wonderful use of your summons from the SI. Fulfill that Lichloved and don’t worry about taking any of the negative effects of ghoul fever. Pass it on to your enemies, then spy on them! The spare point of Int means you won’t feel the bite when using viral agent. Ask your DM if you can use lesser restoration to undo the Int damage it causes. If your DM says you can, feel free to spread more viral agents at a time and undo the damage as soon as it arises. From now on you can Tumble without fail, so don’t be afraid to fly around people and move about the battlefield.

    Level 20
    Spoiler
    Show
    Everything comes together now. Pallor of Death means some nice disguises to make your enemies waste turn attempts and the like, but more importantly it means more fear stacking, yay! Debuff layers are getting pretty thick now. If you’re willing to be patient enough for the minute it takes for fast diseases to spread, that’s even more penalties your enemies are taking. Demon Wings come on permanently just in time to make use of improved flight. Stepping up to good maneuverability means hovering. Float 10 feet above your enemies heads (20 if you want to use a reach weapon) and laugh at them as you hit them with spells and superior reach safe from melee harm. Staggering strike means that when you SA a guy, he’ll stay hindered. Death Touch is online now, go ahead and soften them up with your various debuffs before you hit them with it. Don’t be afraid to try again if it fails the first time. Summon major undead provides you with even more flanking and debuff buddies bringing along ability damage, energy drain, or even possession depending on the ghost you summon (assuming the default ghost you are given has that ability). Summon major undead means one other major thing, though. Before level 19, you were only guaranteed access to the contagion list and ghoul fever. Now you are guaranteed access to mummy rot, and that’s a very nasty disease to have. A 1 minute incubation period means that it’s plausible to employ some hit and run tactics. If you can’t get away or don’t like the wait, you can always send some of the children of the night ahead as a scouting party to attack someone you know is coming. That way it should kick in by the time they reach you. Not sure about multiple instances of mummy rot stacking, they likely won’t. If they do, then a group of rats becomes a much more irritating and potentially deadly foe. You’re spreading it by contact, too, so if someone does hit you they get to save against mummy rot. With all the triggering of saves flying around and the debuffs you’re throwing on, someone’s bound to fail eventually. Insane Defiance lets you simply say no to a mind affecting spell for 1 point of wisdom, which you can quickly undo with lesser restoration. If you’re lucky one of your enemies will fail the save. If things really aren’t going your way, a nightwing can shift the balance more towards your favor in most circumstances. It’s all sorts of tough. With all this backing you up, you can spread disease, death, and undeath faster than ever before.

    Sources
    Spoiler
    Show
    Vashar, Cancer Mage, Poison Immunity: Book of Vile Darkness
    Spirit Shaman: Complete Divine
    Evil Brand, Thrall to Demon: Fiendish Codex I
    Lichloved, Insane Defiance: Elder Evils
    Spirit Lion Totem Barbarian: Complete Champion
    Willing Deformity, Deformity (Tall): Heroes of Horror
    Staggering Strike: Complete Scoundrel
    Improved Flight: Complete Adventurer
    Toughness, Great Fortitude: srd
    Skilled city dweller ACF:Cityscape Web Enhancement
    Last edited by Kuulvheysoon; 2013-09-23 at 09:33 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.

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

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLIX

    I can barely stop myself from the Porky Pigs jokes that are popping up in my head
    Quote Originally Posted by Thrall of Porkus
    Thrall of Porkus: Female Half-Orc
    ST: 16|+3
    DX: 12|+1
    CN: 12|+1
    IT: 12|+1
    WS: 10|-0
    CH: 14|+2 <--- Four level-up bonuses go here, to a max of Cha 18
    {table=head]Level|Class|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Skills|Feats|Class Features

    1st|Barbarian 1|
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +0
    |Climb +7, Handle Animal +6, Intimidate +6, Jump +7, Listen +4, Ride +5|Evil Brand|Fast Movement, Illiteracy, Rage 1/day

    2nd|Sorceress 1|
    +1
    |
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +2
    |Climb +7, Handle Animal +6, Intimidate +6, Jump +7, K:Arcana +2, K: Religion +2, Profession:Actress +1, Listen +4, Ride +5|No New Feats|Frog Familiar, 1st level spells

    3rd|Sorceress 2|
    +2
    |
    +4
    |
    +2
    |
    +3
    |Climb +7, Handle Animal +6, Intimidate +6, Jump +7, K:Arcana +3, K: Religion +3, Profession:Actress +2, Listen +4, Ride +5|Thrall to Demon(Orcus)|No New Class Abilities

    4th|Sorceress 3|
    +2
    |
    +4
    |
    +2
    |
    +3
    |Climb +7, Handle Animal +6, Intimidate +6, Jump +7, K:Arcana +4, K: Religion +3, Profession:Actress +4, Listen +4, Ride +5|No New Feats|No New Class Abilities

    5th|Sorceress 4|
    +3
    |
    +4
    |
    +2
    |
    +4
    |Climb +7, Handle Animal +6, Intimidate +6, Jump +7, K:Arcana +4, K: Religion +3, Profession:Actress +7, Listen +4, Ride +5|No New Feats|2nd level spells (including Scare)

    6th|Dread Witch 1|
    +3
    |
    +5
    |
    +3
    |
    +4
    |Climb +7, Handle Animal +6, Intimidate +7, Jump +7, K:Arcana +4, K: Religion +3, Profession:Actress +9, Listen +4, Ride +5|Lichloved|Master of Terror, Unnatural Will

    7th|Thrall of Orcus 1|
    +4
    |
    +7
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    |Climb +7, Handle Animal +6, Intimidate +9, Jump +7, K:Arcana +4, K: Religion +3, Profession:Actress +10, Listen +4, Ride +5|No New Feats|Carrion Stench of Heavy Perfume, Sorc CL 5

    8th|Thrall of Orcus 2|
    +5
    |
    +8
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    |Climb +7, Handle Animal +7, Intimidate +12, Jump +7, K:Arcana +4, K: Religion +3, Profession:Actress +11, Listen +4, Ride +5|No New Feats|Touch of Fear

    9th|Thrall of Orcus 3|
    +6
    |
    +9
    |
    +4
    |
    +8
    |Climb +7, Handle Animal +7, Intimidate +14, Jump +7, K:Arcana +4, K: Religion +3, Profession:Actress +12, Listen +4, Ride +5|Improved Unarmed Strike|Demon Wings

    10th|Thrall of Orcus 4|
    +7
    |
    +9
    |
    +4
    |
    +8
    |Climb +7, Handle Animal +7, Intimidate +16, Jump +7, K:Arcana +4, K: Religion +3, Profession:Actress +13, Listen +4, Ride +5|No New Feats|Massive Girth, Sorc CL 6, 3rd level spells

    11th|Thrall of Orcus 5|
    +8
    |
    +9
    |
    +4
    |
    +9
    |Bluff +4, Climb +7, Handle Animal +7, Intimidate +17, Jump +7, K:Arcana +4, K: Religion +3, Profession:Actress +14, Listen +4, Ride +5|No New Feats|Summon Minor Undead

    12th|Thrall of Orcus 6|
    +9
    |
    +10
    |
    +5
    |
    +9
    |Bluff +5, Climb +7, Handle Animal +7, Intimidate +18, Jump +7, K:Arcana +4, K: Religion +3, Profession:Actress +15, Listen +4, Ride +5|Superior Unarmed Strike|Pallor of death

    13th|Thrall of Orcus 7|
    +10
    |
    +10
    |
    +5
    |
    +10
    |Bluff +6, Climb +7, Handle Animal +7, Intimidate +19, Jump +7, K:Arcana +4, K: Religion +3, Profession:Actress +16, Listen +4, Ride +5|No New Feats|Demon Wings (at will), Sorc CL 7

    14th|Thrall of Orcus 8|
    +11
    |
    +11
    |
    +5
    |
    +10
    |Bluff +7, Climb +7, Handle Animal +7, Intimidate +20, Jump +7, K:Arcana +4, K: Religion +3, Profession:Actress +17, Listen +4, Ride +5|No New Feats|Death Touch

    15th|Dread Witch 2|
    +12
    |
    +12
    |
    +6
    |
    +11
    |Bluff +8, Climb +7, Handle Animal +7, Intimidate +21, Jump +7, K:Arcana +4, K: Religion +3, Profession:Actress +18, Listen +4, Ride +5|Stunning FistKiss|Absorb Fear, Sorc CL 8, 4th level spells

    16th|Dread Witch 3|
    +12
    |
    +13
    |
    +6
    |
    +11
    |Bluff +10, Climb +7, Handle Animal +8, Intimidate +23, Jump +7, K:Arcana +4, K: Religion +3, Profession:Actress +19, Listen +4, Ride +5|No New Feats|Fearful Empowerment 1/day, Sorc CL 9

    17th|Dread Witch 4|
    +13
    |
    +13
    |
    +6
    |
    +12
    |Bluff +11, Climb +7, Handle Animal +8, Intimidate +24, Jump +7, K:Arcana +4, K: Religion +3, Profession:Actress +20, Listen +4, Ride +5|No New Feats|Delay Fear, Greater Master of Terror, Sorc CL 10, 5th level spells

    18th|Dread Witch 5|
    +13
    |
    +14
    |
    +7
    |
    +12
    |Bluff +12, Climb +7, Handle Animal +8, Intimidate +25, Jump +7, K:Arcana +4, K: Religion +3, Profession:Actress +21, Listen +4, Ride +5|Improved Natural Weapon (Unarmed Strike)|Fearful Empowerment 2/day, horrific aura, reflective fear, Sorc CL 11

    19th|Thrall of Orcus 9|
    +14
    |
    +14
    |
    +7
    |
    +13
    |Bluff +13, Climb +7, Handle Animal +8, Intimidate +26, Jump +7, K:Arcana +4, K: Religion +3, Profession:Actress +21, Listen +4, Ride +5|No New Feats|Summon Major Undead

    20th|Thrall of Orcus 10|
    +15
    |
    +14
    |
    +7
    |
    +13
    |Bluff +14, Climb +7, Handle Animal +8, Intimidate +27, Jump +7, K:Arcana +4, K: Religion +3, Profession:Actress +23, Listen +4, Ride +5|No New Feats|Summon Nightwing, Sorc CL 12, 6th level spells[/table]


    Spells/day are not really crucial; the Thrall of Porkus uses Aura of Terror in conjunction with her Dread Witch abilities to make herself all the more fearsome, and has the spells needed to qualify for her PrCs.

    Backstory and Play Style
    Spoiler
    Show
    The Thrall of Porcus was born to an orc tribe, the daughter of a warrior orc-woman who had thought a human captive exotic enough with whom to dally. Growing up amongst orcs, her unnaturally pale flesh reminded them of swine. When she eventually met humans, her orcine snout gave them a similar reaction. So much so that this curly blond-haired "beauty" took up a stylized pig as her personal sigil.

    Her desire to be loved and her temper at being insulted led her to bully people into watching her perform, and telling her how young and beautiful they found her. She claims delicacy, though her demeanor when not humored completely belies it. She dotes fondly over her little frog familiar, calling him all sorts of sickly-sweet pet names.

    When she finally underwent the ritual to devote herself to Orcus, the...whatever...that was left of her sacrificial victim horrified even her fellow Thralls. Some whisper that it may have been a suitor she rejected; others wonder if she was rejected and that was her punishment to the one who dared do so.

    Her acting career thrives despite her...untraditional...aesthetics. Unlike most Thralls of Orcus, her odiferous aura is not one of carrion, unless it is the corpses of a floral holocaust. It is no less choking for its differing odor. She even has suitors; rumors that she uses mystical help to attract their adoration is met with a fury that is more frightening than magics designed for the same. The survivors often envy the dead.

    In combat, she uses her speed and flight to land single hits which she doubles up with her death touch and stunning fist. Her dreaded "HA-YIIIA!!" heralds every attack.

    A favored tactic is to grip them by the lapels and head-but them, snout to lips, with a loud smchMMMMMMPWA! Those who survive the stunning kiss of death still are left reeling. And, when she chooses to summon her vampire follower, his maddening need to count everything as he fights often drives foes to (non-mechanical) distraction.
    Th-th-th-th-at's all, folks!

    Avatar by Iron Penguin.

    The Power of the Orient: A Wu Jen Handbook

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

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

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLIX

    Your princess is in my dungeon now
    Quote Originally Posted by Ruk Rak
    Ruk Rak, The Blister of Orcus

    Arctic Kobold Fighter 4/Barbarian 1/Dungeon Lord 5/Thrall of Orcus 10


    Draconic Rite of Passage: Ray of Enfeeblement, 1/day

    The Blister with a Tale
    Spoiler
    Show

    Initial Ability Scores:
    STR: 13
    DEX: 16
    CON: 12
    INT: 10
    WIS: 10
    CHA: 14

    Final Ability Scores:
    STR: 16
    DEX: 14
    CON: 18
    INT: 10
    WIS: 10
    CHA: 16

    Draconic Rite of Passage: Ray of Enfeeblement, 1/day


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

    1st|Kobold Fighter 1|
    +1
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |Intimidate 4, Knowledge (Arcana) 2|Dodge, Power Attack|Spear Focus

    2nd|Kobold Fighter 2|
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |Knowledge (Religion) 1| |Constitution Boost (CON +2)

    3rd|Fighter 3 (Zhentarim Soldier)|
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |Intimidate 6|Skill Focus (Intimidation), Evil Brand|

    4th|Kobold Fighter 4|
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |Knowledge (Religion) 2| |Strength Boost (STR +2)

    5th|Barbarian 1 (Ferocity, Spiritual Totem[Lion])|
    +6
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |Intimidate 8, Never Outnumbered| | Ferocity 1/day, Pounce

    6th|Dungeon Lord 1|
    +5
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |Intimidate 9 (1 Unassigned)|Lichloved|Dungeon Mastery, Horde Lord +1

    7th|Dungeon Lord 2|
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |Intimidate 10 (1 Unassigned)| |Dungeon Step

    8th|Dungeon Lord 3|
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |Intimidate 11 (1 Unassigned)| |Complete Awereness, Dungeon Minions

    9th|Dungeon Lord 4|
    +8
    |
    +7
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |Intimidate 12 (1 Unassigned)|Thrall to Demon|Animate Objects

    10th|Dungeon Lord 5|
    +8
    |
    +7
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |Intimidate 13 (1 Unassigned)| |Dungeon Defender, Horde Lord +2, Leadership

    11th|Thrall of Orcus 1|
    +9
    |
    +9
    |
    +5
    |
    +7
    |Intimidate 14 (1 Unassigned)|Intimidating Strike|Carrion Stench, Bonus Feat

    12th|Thrall of Orcus 2|
    +10
    |
    +10
    |
    +5
    |
    +8
    |Intimidate 15 (1 Unassigned)|Willing Deformity|Touch of Fear

    13th|Thrall of Orcus 3|
    +11
    |
    +10
    |
    +6
    |
    +8
    |Intimidate 16 (1 Unassigned)| |Demon Wings

    14th|Thrall of Orcus 4|
    +12
    |
    +11
    |
    +6
    |
    +9
    |Intimidate 17 (1 Unassigned)|Deformity (Obese), Brutal Strike|Massive Girth, Bonus Feat

    15th|Thrall of Orcus 5|
    +13
    |
    +11
    |
    +6
    |
    +9
    |Intimidate 18 (1 Unassigned)|Combat Reflexes|Summon Minor Undead

    16th|Thrall of Orcus 6|
    +14
    |
    +12
    |
    +7
    |
    +10
    |Intimidate 19 (1 Unassigned)| |Pallor of Death

    17th|Thrall of Orcus 7|
    +15
    |
    +12
    |
    +7
    |
    +10
    |Intimidate 20 (1 Unassigned)|Flyby Attack|Demon Wings (At will), Bonus Feat

    18th|Thrall of Orcus 8|
    +16
    |
    +13
    |
    +7
    |
    +11
    |Intimidate 21 (1 Unassigned)|Robilar's Gambit|Death Touch

    19th|Thrall of Orcus 9|
    +17
    |
    +13
    |
    +8
    |
    +11
    |Intimidate 22 (1 Unassigned)| |Summon Major Undead

    20th|Thrall of Orcus 10|
    +18
    |
    +14
    |
    +8
    |
    +12
    |Intimidate 23 (1 Unassigned)|Defensive Sweep|Summon Nigthwing, Bonus Feat[/table]



    Leveling Deconstruction
    Spoiler
    Show

    Levels 1-5

    Ruk Rak is a Kobold Fighter/Barbarian decently equipped for Intimidation, and as he progresses in levels he gains CON and STR to be effective in combat.

    Levels 6-10

    Dungeon Lord provides the use of Leadership, but it is ignored due to IC restriction. From these levels on, Ruk Rak becomes a stationary character, staying in the dungeon. This makes it best suited to be an NPC.

    Ruk Rak becomes a Dungeon Lord, having overthrown the previous keeper. Ruk Rak is not a leader, but a frenzied beast in combat, his mere pressence inspiring all the other habitants in combat. As time passes, a supernatural force starts calling to him in his dreams, so he begins recognizing every single space of the cave searching for its source, . Until one day...

    Levels 11-15

    Ruk Rak gains his first levels as Thrall of Orcus, his summons affected by the Dungeon Lord bonuses and a good CON score to perform Carrion Stench, which combined with Intimidating Strike increases the difference in combat with the enemy in his favor and that of his allies.

    Having entered the wrong passage in one of his explorations, Ruk Rak awakens an ancient pressence, which calls itself the ruler of the cave. Ruk Rak barks and spits in fury that the cave and everything that lies in it belongs to him. But now he knows that whatever lies beyond this point is not his to be taken, but to be treasured. A single word booms in his mind, like a zealous madness. Orcus. Orcus...

    Levels 16-20


    Ruk Rak benefits from maneuverability in combat, using Flyby Attack to perform Carrion Stench and getting away. Intimidation and Carrion Stench lower the saves of the enemies, which allows Death Touch to connect more realiably.

    Ruk Rak has never entered beyond the forbidden path. He only serves the cause of protecting the entrance, the madness growing each day. Those that served him before, have either fleed, died by his own hand and risen as undead, or succumbed to the same call, serving under Ruk Rak, serving under Orcus.



    Sources:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Races of the Dragon
    Player's Handbook
    Champion's of Valor Web Enhancement
    Cityscape Web Enhancement
    Dungeonscape
    Book of Vile Darkness
    Last edited by Kuulvheysoon; 2013-09-23 at 08:44 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 - #283
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLIX

    Okay, I couldn't help it.

    That's all that I got, folks. Have at it!

    EDIT: Few last-minutes corrections

    Avatar by Iron Penguin.

    The Power of the Orient: A Wu Jen Handbook

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

  14. - Top - End - #284
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2011

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLIX

    So it looks like...19 entries. That's at least below 20 this time.

    Some unique ideas, some ideas that paralleled others. I'm not allowed to say which category my build fell into, but this should be a fun discussion.

  15. - Top - End - #285
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Great White North

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLIX

    Note - missing stub to The Frog Prince
    Recalled from the Light
    Spoiler
    Show

    Unfortunately, Siegfried's princess was right. By the time he had knocked down the barred door to her crypt, he noticed that his mortal skin was sloughing off in patches.

    When they were outside in what appeared to be a graveyard, Siegfried caught his reflection in a statue and saw he was a neraph again.

    "Damnation," he growled.

    "Exactly," said his princess. "You and me both. Might as well enjoy it."

    Siegfried flexed his fingers, disappointingly red and scaly again.

    "I don't suppose he might consider un-damning us?"

    She laughed. "Not unless someone takes him down a peg. He does have one enemy that may have a shot at it."

    "Who?" asked Siegfried, his tongue feeling too big for his mouth.

    "A creature called Gorguth. Truthfully, I'm not sure what he used to be. I gather that he was someone like us once and made a bad deal. He used to work for Tenebrous back when he was still called Orcus, but tired of service, so defected to Atropus's banner."

    Siegfried nodded along, trying to keep up.

    "So why not seek out Atropus directly?"

    His princess shook her head. "In short, he doesn't socialize. He's a giant, cancerous moon. It's not that he cares for us, exactly, just that I know Gorguth won't pass up a chance to spit in Orcus's eye."

    "I… see," said Siegfried, even though he didn't .

    "I could take you to him, if you like. Now that we're out of that mausoleum, my magic is back."

    With that, she cut another hole in the world, a perfectly round slice right in the middle of the night, showing an imposing throne room with an inert, black man-shaped thing sitting in the center of it.

    Siegfried nodded gratefully and made his way through the portal. He turned and was surprised to see his lady wasn't following him, but had instead turned around and was opening another.

    "Aren't you coming?" he asked.

    "Oh, no, dear. From what you told me, it sounds like that little girl still has her hands on my book. I wanted to go share the good news of my freedom with her."

    She touched the heel of her hand to her chin and then made a hissing noise in Siegfried's direction. He guessed she had blown him a kiss, which he made sure he caught before she disappeared through her portal to Limbo. He remembered men in his position often kept a token from their ladies. He could still feel the tang of her meat on the back of his tongue. Much better than a handkerchief. No matter where he went, she would always be with him.

    He looked before him to the form that must have have been Gorguth.

    "Enter," Gorguth intoned.

    "I understand you have a grievance with my," he grimaced for a moment, "master, Orcus."

    Gorguth snarled and extended his hand, closing the portal behind Siegfried.

    "There is nothing for you here, creature." Gorguth stood from his throne with a cracking of bones. "I can see plainly whatever pittance that bloated fiend offered you for your soul isn't great enough for you to give me what I need."

    Siegfried looked around him for an exit but saw none. "What is that?" he asked, hopefully giving himself enough time to think of something.

    "Oblivion," he boomed in a voice that shook the whole chamber. "Just as your," he sniffed with contempt, "mistress sold her soul for eternal life, I seek the opposite. I serve Atropus because he might bring an end to this world, and by extension me as well, along with Orcus."

    He gestured and a slavering beast appeared before Siegfried, intent on swallowing him whole. "Until then, I wait. Goodbye, thrall of Orcus," he said, sounding bored.

    Siegfried was quickly pinned beneath the creature's weight, its foul breath hot in his face. He craned his neck forward as far as he could and bit off one of the creature's toes. He swallowed it quickly so as not to taste it and stole the creature's shape. From that point, he was able to make short work of it and tear out the beast's throat.

    As his lady had surmised, he found himself unable to stop until his stomach was full. The whole time, Gorguth simply watched, his gray, featureless face inscrutable to Siegfried.

    "You may prove of use after all," Gorguth said. "Very well. Consider yourself under Atropus's banner. Orcus will be unable to revoke your newfound fell powers without returning your soul, so either way, it seems you're coming out ahead…" he trailed off, so Siegfried chose now to supply his name.

    "Prince Siegfried," he said proudly.

    "Well, then, your highness," Gorguth said without a shred of respect, "I suggest you lie low for the time being. It will be some time before he is weak enough for us to strike. When it comes, you will know."

    Siegfried nodded, and before he could ask how he was supposed to leave, Gorguth sent him back to his lady's graveyard with a wave of his hand.

    Once enough time had passed for him to disguise himself in some unobtrusive shape, Siegfried did some reconnaissance in town as an owl. He thought since this time he was planning out his devouring of flesh, he might find the time to cook it, but when the time came, he found he much preferred his prey raw.

    His lady's enemy, the mage, was a local big wig in this town. Apparently when she and her friends had seen him in Limbo that first time, it was after their first encounter with his lady, who even after all his spying, he found was indeed too ancient and terrible to have a name known by the hoi polloi. This gave him a certain sense of pride.

    Apparently, she had indeed been trying to take down Orcus in order to reclaim her own soul through Gorguth's master, Atropus. By causing a large enough tragedy on the surface of the prime material, Atropus would be attracted to the scent, like Siegfried to the smell of fresh meat.

    Her plan was to encase the city in a bubble of force and fill it with water. The sorrow would hopefully summon Atropus. Without Orcus to hang onto her soul, she would be free to enjoy whatever hereafter she has been destined for before she met him.

    The mage and her companions had been able to cage his lady and steal her book. They wanted to use it to warn Orcus of her strike against him that he might prepare himself for the forces of Atropus. While they knew he was a malefic force, they viewed him and the other demon lords as a necessary evil. With him out of his position in the Abyss, they thought there would be a power vacuum.

    Be that as it may, he could understand his lady's plan, and not only because he stood to benefit from it. While before making the deal with Tenebrous, he would have been able to answer plainly who was at fault, now, he could understand what would drive someone to go to such extremes.

    He'd never really noticed his soul before, but now it was gone, he thought he had finally given a name to that unreasoning pain in his stomach that persisted regardless of whose form he stole.

    Orcus had apparently received the news poorly and had managed to dispatch the mage's companions. She was able to escape and went to his lady's chamber to check that she was still imprisoned there. She was able to divine where the book had last been read and tracked Siegfried down. After she had retreated, she went back to her tower to recuperate.

    This was where Siegfried went to find her. She wasn't there personally, but she had left her study in the care of her familiar spirit, a raven that was so busy filing papers, it didn't notice Siegfried swoop in behind it and bite through its spinal cord.

    Siegfried appreciated the poetry of an owl's sharp beak and curved talons now that he was using them for their intended purpose. Once he'd filled his stomach with feathers and gizzards, he found a reflective surface to make sure he got the details of the bird right.

    After preening for a moment, he got back to filing, so his mistress, the mage, wasn't surprised when she saw him.

    "I have more information on that damned lich," she said and collapsed into a chair.

    "Oh?" Siegfried chirped. He alighted on a falconer's glove she held out before her face.

    "Yes. It appears as though some perverse individual has managed to free her from my curse," she said, sounding annoyed.

    "How?" he asked.

    "If you can believe it, true love's kiss. And I think a little more than that." She made a face.

    "Why do you think that?" Siegfried asked, glad his current form had no lips, or he was sure he would have smiled.

    "She told me in… great detail of how her prince had come when she confronted me. It wasn't easy, but I was able to escape with my life. I'm not sure what her aims are, but I wouldn't be surprised if she attempted to pick up where she left off to destroy this city."

    Siegfried nodded sagely.

    "What do you think we should do to prepare?" he said.

    The mage sighed deeply. "Truthfully, I have no idea. Ever since the rest of my order was lost to that damned woman, it's been… difficult being the sole guardian of this city."

    Siegfried hopped onto her shoulder and rubbed his feathers against her cheek.

    "Then rest," he said. "I can hold down the fort until then."

    She nodded. "Perhaps that would be a prudent decision."

    Siegfried watched her get undressed and slip into bed from a small wooden perch. Some part of him wanted to pounce on her now, but he thought better of it. If she were able to take on his lady singlehandedly, he had best not try to take her on alone.

    Over the next few weeks, Siegfried familiarized himself with the mage's library, looking for information on his lady and her plan. He was able to learn enough to assume that his lady was busy at the moment removing abjurations cast at strategic locations around the city. He likely had time to wait before he would see her again.

    Eventually, the day came when the mage flew into her tower in a fury, blood dripping down her face from four diagonal slashes across her cheek of the precise dimension to be a token from his lady.

    "Hark unto me!" she snapped. Siegfried landed on her shoulder and listened to her as she caught him up on the situation.

    "She's in the town square. She's managed to undo my abjurations despite my best efforts. She's surrounded the city in her force field, but there should still be time to prevent her from creating the flood!"

    He held on fast and the mage carried him high above the town square.

    His lady hovered in the air, a low droning noise
    coming from her beautiful, white teeth. She let out a primal scream and ripped a hole in the sky, not at all like the portals he'd seen before. It was rough and asymmetrical, and for a moment, Siegfried felt homesick for his chaotic plane.

    Not a moment later, sinister black shapes started pouring out from it. Gorguth was riding atop a great, mechanical bat, tearing a hole in the sky, black and jagged as a fissure in the earth. Behind him, all manner of horrible creatures from whatever far-off realm Atropus hailed from were following, claws and teeth bared and chewing through the clouds.

    Before the first of them touched down on the surface of the city, the ground shook and cracked. A band of demons, no doubt Orcus's minions, dragged themselves up from the depths of the Abyss.

    Siegfried now understood his lady's plans. Regardless of which side won between Orcus's and Gorguth's forces, there would be plenty of collateral damage amongst those caught in the middle. That was how she was planning to summon Atropus.

    The mage brought herself to bear in front of his lady and surrounded herself in a shimmering white light. She flicked her gaze to Siegfried for a moment and quirked her eyebrow at him seeing he wasn't encapsulated by the spell.

    The mage's head turned away from his lady, he realized now was the best time to strike.

    Without a handy bit of flesh nearby, he dismissed the demonic magic that kept him in the bird's shape and was himself again, even if just for a second. Since Orcus's forces and his magic was so close, Siegfried could feel his power growing and extruded a pair of bat's wings to stay aloft behind the mage.

    He wrapped his arms around her shoulders and put her in a full nelson. He latched on and bit down on the first thing he could find to distract her, an ear. It came right off and slid down his throat. His stomach still bulged with all the mortal flesh he'd swallowed. His skin felt tight. Now even the illustration of Tenebrous would respect his prowess as a hunter, so corpulent was he.

    "Good to see you again, my lady," Siegfried gurgled through a mouthful of blood.

    "And you as well, my prince," she said, and drifted over to Siegfried and the mage to finish her off.

    The mage managed to buck Siegfried and teleport a few feet away, fire blazing in her eyes.

    He beat his wings and interposed himself between the two women. Siegfried between Odile and Odette. Just as it was meant to be.

    No matter how this battle ended, whether Orcus was victorious and retained claims to their souls, if Atropus succeeded in consuming the planet, or if the mage beat the odds and was able to ward all of them off, he knew he had done what he could for his lady. That was what princes did.
    [/spoiler]

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    srd: paladin of slaughter, ranger, alertness, power attack, iron will, flyby attack
    phb2: steadfast determination, flyby attack
    bovd: si, mortalbane, mortal hunter
    fiendish codex 1: evil brand
    elder evils: devotion to elder evils, thrall to demon, lichloved, murderous intent, deformity (madness), evil's blessing, deformity (parasite)
    magic of incarnum: shape soulmeld, open chakra
    exemplars of evil: celestial slayer, divine denial

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

  16. - Top - End - #286
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLIX

    I. . . was afraid of that.
    Iron Chef in the Playground veteran since Round IV. Play as me!


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  17. - Top - End - #287
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLIX

    An interesting crop this time around, that's for sure.
    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

  18. - Top - End - #288
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    Devil

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLIX

    I knew it! They all share the same ingredient!

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    Thrall of Orcus!


    That'll never get old.

  19. - Top - End - #289
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLIX

    I'm already sick of that joke.

  20. - Top - End - #290
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLIX

    I am willing to help judge if need be, but not as a raw cruncher, just on where I think the powerbase and usefulness as something is.


    I see one build already though that broke the rules, chicken infested is a dragon magazine flaw.



    But am also very glad/proud that my idea did not get replicated, fiend of possession and become the weapon that the thrall of orcus vampire wields as a wand of orcus.

  21. - Top - End - #291
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    Devil

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLIX

    Time for a list, methinks.

    1; Captain Tardis; Half-Pyroclastic Dragon Human Fangshields Champion of the Wild Ranger 10/Tempest 5/Thrall of Orcus 2
    2; The Decaying Tears; Gnome Cloistered Cleric 1/Binder 8/Thrall of Orcus 10/Tenebrous Apostate 1
    3; Gem; Unknown race Dread Necromancer 10/Thrall of Orcus 10
    4; Henry Oakshield the 666th; Battle Sorcerer 1/Fighter 11/Thrall of Orcus 10
    5; Doctor Dellamorte; Half-elf Druid 5/Ranger 1/Blighter 7/Thrall of Orcus 10
    6; Dobluth; Lesser Drow Warlock 4/Necromancer Wizard 1/Warblade 1/Demonbinder 4/Thrall of Orcus 10
    7; Derek "Baelfire" Bragg; Silverbrow Human Bard 3/Warblade 2/Thrall of Orcus 10/Dirgesinger 5
    8; The Frog Prince; Neraph Ranger 3/Paladin of Slaughter 2/Mortal Hunter 5/Thrall of Orcus 10
    9; Cara Skerritt; Strongheart Halfling Lich Death Master 10/Thrall of Orcus 10
    10; Adrienne Fzembrel; Human Hexblade 7/Thrall of Orcus 10/Paladin of Tyranny 3
    11; Babalon; Human Hexblade 4/Thrall of Orcus 10/Horned Harbinger 6
    12; Ankou; Jaebrin Bard 9/Thrall of Orcus 10
    13; Ophelia; Human Ghost Cleric 3/Eidolon 7/Thrall of Orcus 10
    14; Luxx; Human Binder 5/Cleric 1/Tenebrous Apostate 4/Thrall of Orcus 10
    15; Bill E. Kidd; Ibixian Hexblade 4/Thrall of Orcus 10/Avenging Executioner 2
    16; Sentrosi; Strongheart Halfling Were-Chicken Commoner 1/Death Master 6/Thrall of Orcus 9
    17; Ari; Vashar Spirit Shaman 4/Spirit Lion Totem Barbarian 1/Thrall of Orcus 10/Cancer Mage 5
    18; Thrall of Porkus; Barbarian 1/Sorcerer 4/Dread Witch 5/Thrall of Orcus 10
    19; Ruk Rak; Arctic Kobold Fighter 4/Spirit Lion Totem Barbarian 1/Dungeon Lord 5/Thrall of Orcus 10

    - - - - - -

    As an aside, I know I'm nowhere near the top 3, possibly 5. Some... Inspired builds; Doctor Dellamorte, Babalon, and Baelfire are my favourite, and I'll call it now that those 3 will place.



    And I'd felt so good about mine going into this one.

  22. - Top - End - #292
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLIX

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaz View Post
    And I'd felt so good about mine going into this one.
    That feel, I know it so well.

  23. - Top - End - #293
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLIX

    I know this ruins the anonymity, but I don't care if people know this one isn't mine: I think Gem is in violation of forum rules. Even if the creator thinks it's an amusing way to respond to a rules disagreement, something makes me uneasy about posting a fictitious account in which you set another poster on fire. I'd normally just report the post quietly, but due to the nature of this competition Kuulvheysoon is the one that posted it. Any suggestions on how we should handle it?
    Last edited by OMG PONIES; 2013-09-23 at 09:23 PM.
    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

  24. - Top - End - #294
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    mattie_p's Avatar

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLIX

    Quote Originally Posted by OMG PONIES View Post
    I know this ruins the anonymity, but I don't care if people know this one isn't mine: I think Gem is in violation of forum rules. Even if the creator thinks it's an amusing way to respond to a rules disagreement, something makes me uneasy about posting a fictitious account in which you set another poster on fire. I'd normally just report the post quietly, but due to the nature of this competition Kuulvheysoon is the one that posted it. Any suggestions on how we should handle it?
    Kuulvheysoon posted it without complaint. If our esteemed chairman is cool with it, I don't see an issue. (I am not a mod, though).
    Last edited by mattie_p; 2013-09-23 at 09:26 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    So now you're claiming that spellcasting "lacks a clear, supernatural element?" Being supernatural is literally the only point of magic.

  25. - Top - End - #295
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLIX

    Quote Originally Posted by mattie_p View Post
    Kuulvheysoon posted it without complaint. If our esteemed chairman is cool with it, I don't see an issue.
    Even if the subject of the offense is fine with it, I'd rather our contest not include things that violate forum rules. I know I'm probably seeing a worst-case scenario, but I'd hate to see our competition derailed or thread locked due to rules violations.
    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

  26. - Top - End - #296
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    Venger's Avatar

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLIX

    Quote Originally Posted by OMG PONIES View Post
    I know this ruins the anonymity, but I don't care if people know this one isn't mine: I think Gem is in violation of forum rules. Even if the creator thinks it's an amusing way to respond to a rules disagreement, something makes me uneasy about posting a fictitious account in which you set another poster on fire. I'd normally just report the post quietly, but due to the nature of this competition Kuulvheysoon is the one that posted it. Any suggestions on how we should handle it?
    Quote Originally Posted by OMG PONIES View Post
    Even if the subject of the offense is fine with it, I'd rather our contest not include things that violate forum rules. I know I'm probably seeing a worst-case scenario, but I'd hate to see our competition derailed or thread locked due to rules violations.
    I'm with you on this.
    fight my brute! it's a lot of fun
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    Venger, can you be my full-time memory aid please?
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  27. - Top - End - #297
    Troll in the Playground
     
    The Viscount's Avatar

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLIX

    Quote Originally Posted by OMG PONIES View Post
    Even if the subject of the offense is fine with it, I'd rather our contest not include things that violate forum rules. I know I'm probably seeing a worst-case scenario, but I'd hate to see our competition derailed or thread locked due to rules violations.
    That's a legitimate concern to have.
    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?
    Awards

  28. - Top - End - #298
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    Venger's Avatar

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLIX

    What did we do in GSA when the thread devolved into personal attack? Ask the mods for help? It's not like we don't know who did gem.
    fight my brute! it's a lot of fun
    Quote Originally Posted by weckar View Post
    Venger, can you be my full-time memory aid please?
    Iron Chef Medals!
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    Iron Chef Deep Freeze: Turning Tables on Old Dishes

  29. - Top - End - #299
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLIX

    Several fun builds here! Skimmed most of them, I'm going to enjoy reading them all in detail over the next couple of days.

    Two ideas I didn't use ended up being used by other contests, so I won't mention them.

    I must admit, I expected Ur-Priests galore, and am pleasantly surprised to have been mistaken.

    I did consider the following build, but just thought of it yesterday and didn't have time to get anything together:

    Paladin of Slaughter 4/Thrall of Orcus 3/Divine Crusader 2/Thrall of Orcus +7/Divine Crusader +4

    ...with the Demonic domain.

    That would end up with +18 BAB, 9th-level spells (which means the ability to cast Gate), turn undead, Charisma focus, etc.

    I also thought of using a lesser drow (which gets Touch of Fatigue as an SLA) as an entry point for a crusader build with a focus on lots of deformity feats, but the end product was messy and I discarded it pretty early on.
    Last edited by Piggy Knowles; 2013-09-23 at 09:42 PM.
    Optimization Showcase in the Playground

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    IC LXXV: Alphonse Louise Constant
    IC XLIX: Babalon, Queen of Bones
    IC XLV: Dead Mists
    IC XL: Lycus Blackbeak
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    IC XXXV: Parsifal the Fool
    IC XXX: Jal Filius

  30. - Top - End - #300
    Banned
     
    Devil

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLIX

    RE; Gemgate
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    Got to say I didn't even bother to read the submission after it followed a similar layout to another entry that I felt didn't even bother to attempt the competition; quite frankly embarrassed that someone even considered that a decent thing to put down in words, and a little bit disgusted.

    When such a personal attack is made in regards to a ruling made regarding a game, I don't feel that they should be a part of the game.

    Perhaps Kuulv posted it out of a sense of fairness, but it's not something that should be taken lightly. While yes, we're dealing with the BoVD and we have baby's being slaughtered while mass murderers are getting jiggy with decomposing bodies, I think that posting about about setting another member of the board on fire is bang out of order.


    - - - - -

    @Piggy, I'd considered Ur-Priest; the problem was the casting progression; X4/Orcus 1/Ur-Priest 1/Orcus +9/Ur-Priest advancement 6 means that you've got at best Ur-Priest 9 casting; not much to sniff at, but compared to how good Cleric 9ths are, and how powerful Ur-Priests can be when played right, there's a difference.

    Sure, you could go Orcus 8/Ur Priest 7 instead for it, but compare that to a dual 9th's, say. You'd also sacrifice that power gain in not getting the Nightwing.

    S'all Vizzini at the end of it.
    Last edited by Vaz; 2013-09-24 at 05:14 AM.

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