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

    Quote Originally Posted by Macabaret View Post
    Rest easy, judges, I'm sure at least one contestant won't be too mad at you. Perhaps even three. (Which isn't to say that they'll be willing to shield you from flying stones, though.)

    As for the double-chef entry idea: I think it would be a more interesting idea to partner up with someone to create two entries (one each) that work together, two characters of the same party collaborating skills and abilities for a stronger whole. Write them up and submit as two separate entries, but include each other in backstories and level explanations.

    Just spitballin'.
    That sounds like a much more interesting idea. It could be a sort of "special" round to fill up time during a normally very long round (such as the november IC or december IC, which always have extra long time periods given due to holidays)
    fight my brute! it's a lot of fun
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  2. - Top - End - #422
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLIX

    Not to worry, I'll cast no stones at the judges. I know how hard that job is, and I don't really have any interest in making it harder.

    Now, I may full well dispute some of your findings, but it most certainly won't be personal.
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  3. - Top - End - #423
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLIX

    So...why'd you pick this SI Kuulv (I think I've asked this question previously actually. Let me know if I'm bugging you)?

    And what favorite builds do you guys have from previous comps that didn't win any medals? I really liked Wruk from the Blade Bravo comp. Not so much for use of the SI but rather because of the cool template and tricks with it.

  4. - Top - End - #424
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLIX

    Quote Originally Posted by 123456789blaaa View Post
    So...why'd you pick this SI Kuulv (I think I've asked this question previously actually. Let me know if I'm bugging you)?
    Probably just missed the question.

    I wanted something Evil to balance out the Good requirement of SSN, and my first high-level adventure as a player involved going into the Hells to tackle with an avatar of Orcus, so it was mainly nostalgia.

    Funny enough, I thought that this week was time for the reveal and was disappointed at the lack of judges. Whoops...

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    The Power of the Orient: A Wu Jen Handbook

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

  5. - Top - End - #425
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    Devil

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLIX

    It happens to the best of us. Even me!

    Interesting that people like the idea over a doubles round. Perhaps draw names out of a hat on the Chairmans part out of those who state they are up for a entering a paired idea after a few days (with a random participant doing 2 doubles if there is an odd number, and there is no other entrants).

    In regards to high powered entrants, would Master Transmogrifist have plenty of variety?

    With all the favoured forms and whatnot, but the lost caster levels limiting it, and the handbook as such is barely finished, but easy enough entry, it is still fairly high powered (it is after all Polymorph), but the 7 favoured forms and how they interact would allow for some extremely interesting abilities and combinations from our esteemed cooks.

    As an aside, i've watched Breaking Bad seasons one and two today, that word has an entirely new meaning.

  6. - Top - End - #426
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLIX

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaz View Post
    In regards to high powered entrants, would Master Transmogrifist have plenty of variety?
    One might say it has...


    infinite variety
    fight my brute! it's a lot of fun
    Quote Originally Posted by weckar View Post
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  7. - Top - End - #427
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLIX

    Waitwaitwait, have some sunglasses.

    Fakedit; Here you go.

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    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLIX

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaz View Post
    As an aside, i've watched Breaking Bad seasons one and two today, that word has an entirely new meaning.
    I'll confess, there are times when I feel like my cooking for ICitP has more resembled Breaking Bad's style of cooking than what you see on the Food Network...
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  9. - Top - End - #429
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLIX

    I certainly hope you have more fun doing it than walter does, though.
    fight my brute! it's a lot of fun
    Quote Originally Posted by weckar View Post
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  10. - Top - End - #430
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLIX

    You know I'm surprised we didn't see any Vasharans. Normally they're suboptimal but given that most people are taking a vile feat with the human bonus feat anyways being a Vasharan instead of a human seems like an easy way to get some more Originality.

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLIX

    Quote Originally Posted by 123456789blaaa View Post
    You know I'm surprised we didn't see any Vasharans. Normally they're suboptimal but given that most people are taking a vile feat with the human bonus feat anyways being a Vasharan instead of a human seems like an easy way to get some more Originality.
    Ari is a vasharan.
    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?
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  12. - Top - End - #432
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLIX

    Quote Originally Posted by 123456789blaaa View Post
    You know I'm surprised we didn't see any Vasharans. Normally they're suboptimal but given that most people are taking a vile feat with the human bonus feat anyways being a Vasharan instead of a human seems like an easy way to get some more Originality.
    It is not unheard of in this competition for judges to ignore or penalize what they perceive as "obvious grabs" at Originality or Power. This is not to say that my score of the Vasharan entry will ignore or penalize it on those grounds.
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLIX

    Orcus is one of the most powerful demon princes of the Abyss. His numerous thralls carry out his varied plans across the Prime Material Plane. This month’s Secret Ingredient introduces us to nineteen eighteen of these followers.

    As judge I will rate each of these followers on the four categories. I will not use a formula per se but gage each category relative to the other dishes presented. Based on this, a score of 3 in a category is average. If the entry does not qualify for the Secret Ingredient at all, a score of 0 will be given for that category. Please note that no comment is personal.

    This month’s Secret Ingredient caused some controversies among the competitors. The largest one has been dealt with already. As I had posted earlier in the thread, I would have judged that entry in the spirit it was presented.

    A second one arose during the discussions prior to judging. It was a question of alignment. The Book of Vile Darkness lists the alignment prerequisite for Thrall of Orcus as “any evil.” The feat requirement Thrall to Demon in the BoVD lists no alignment restriction. As the feat was reprinted into later books an alignment restriction of Chaotic Evil was added to the feat Thrall to Demon. So does that mean that any entry without the alignment Chaotic Evil automatically gets disqualified? In my eyes, the answer is no. The BoVD says “any evil” so that is legal for entries. However it will result in an Elegance deduction. Look at it this way: If a build was posted on these boards as the poster says the build is great because it can do such and such or if the poster asked for a critique, the Playground would respond how such a build would not work because of errata, later versions of the class/feat/race in question, and so on. Elegance is a thing—demons are Chaotic Evil. Followers of demons should most likely be Chaotic Evil too . . .

    As for the controversy surrounding the entry that used an illegal source, Dragon Magazine content, it will be dealt with in its judging. But let me just say here that automatically disqualifying it is the easy way out and we here at IC do not do things the easy way.

    Captain Tardis 8.5
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    Originality: 4
    Pyroclastic half dragon certainly was unexpected, and kudos to you for eating all of that Level Adjustment. Ranger and Tempest were also unexpected considering that two weapon fighting is considered subpar without some kind of attack augmentation i.e. sneak attack. The Champion of the Wild and Fangshields alternate class features are also unexpected.
    Power: 3
    You are a pyroclastic half dragon. That alone gives you higher ability scores, immunities, natural attacks, breath weapon, which are all good things. As mentioned, two weapon fighting is subpar without some kind of extra damage being added. I appreciate the Power Attack route and you can get early mileage out of it. Your animal companion is also stronger than standard Rangers thanks to your Fangshields level. You have a reliance on your magic armor to grant you the Mobility feat to keep it for Spring Attack and qualification into the Tempest prestige class. Your Thrall of Orcus bonus feat Coordinated Strike serves you very little at the level you get it.
    Elegance: 1.5
    You are a half dragon of molten lava yet have the Soul of the North feat for some cold spell likes? Not very thematic. Your listed alignment is Neutral Evil—see my explanation above. As a half dragon, you do not get the skill points from the template—that is only for monsters with the template added. As you took a base class, only it gives you the skill points of your first level at ECL 4. Furthermore, as Ranger nor Tempest give you Knowledge (arcana) or Knowledge (religion) as class skills they are considered cross class and are incorrectly calculated. The entry’s table format made it harder to read.
    Use of Secret Ingredient: 0
    You use the feat Soul of the North and its casting of chill touch to qualify for your Necromancy requirement. However, according to the Chairman’s ruling spell like abilities are not viable for entering the SI and Soul of the North grants its casting as a spell like ability, not a spell. You also only took two levels in the prestige class so you were not going to score high here anyway. Captain Tardis is a two weapon fighter that just happens to follow Orcus, not a follower of Orcus that uses two weapon fighting.

    The Decaying Tears 12.5
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    Originality: 2.5
    One of the concepts I had before dropping out to judge was a Cleric of Tenebrous/Binder/Tenebrous Apostate so not really surprising to me. The fluff meshes so well together. A plain old gnome was unexpected. I thought the Playground used whisper gnomes exclusively. Cloistered Cleric is well known for its (ab)use. Binders are as awesome as you explained. Aging up is also a known practice to get higher ability bonuses. Open Minded to nab more Knowledge skill points for is different.
    Power: 4
    Binder really makes you go. Focalor is a great debuffing vestige and in conjunction with Astaroth, carrion stench, and death devotion, you do make enemies wish they were not there. You are also a walking encyclopedia which gives you out of combat relevance. I question your character’s ability to actually carry a tower shield tough your reasoning for its usefulness makes sense. Flight is great for any character. Your ability to terrorize enemies is also high. Standard action lightning strikes are another reason why Focalor is such a great vestige.
    Elegance: 2
    The Decaying Tears is pretty much great until Level 14. Your interpretation of pallor of death was not the Chairman’s interpretation—the change is cosmetic and as such you would not qualify for the feat Assume Supernatural Ability. This takes away your quickness ability and action economy shattering. According to the SRD, the caster level for the gnome spell like abilities is 1 and does not increase with your level. As such you do not qualify for Forge Ring, nor the following Artisan feats. As for eternal bondage at Level 20, my reading is that Tenebrous takes the place of one of your vestige spots not in addition to your vestige spots but ymmv with different DMs.
    Use of Secret Ingredient: 4
    You qualify wholly for the SI, no debate here. Despite some differing interpretations for some of your bonus feats, the Decaying Tears makes a fine Thrall of Orcus. You explain how the SI enhances your other class features. Your binder levels combined with the thrall of Orcus levels make for an interesting minion of the demon prince.

    Henry Oakshield the 666th 7
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    Originality: 3
    Frost dwarf is certainly not expected and mostly fits thematically too as they originate in the Abyss. I also make a note to myself not to be a member of this family—you don’t even get to live to be middle aged. So is he the 666th member of the family line to have the name Henry Oakshield or is that a title the family member takes? A Battle Sorcerer dabble and mostly (non variant) Fighter before the SI is a different direction too.
    Power: 1
    You are a stock base line Fighter--no variants, no dungeon crasher, no nothing. You are a Fighter plain and simple. The Fighter bonus feat choices also are stock NPC type choices. This is an optimization contest right? The starting dip into Battle Sorcerer gets you into the SI but that’s about it. You forgot about the Thrall of Orcus bonus feats that you get. I’m guessing bonus feats since from the description it looks like the Sorcerer was not advanced. What can you do beside walk up, full attack, full attack, full attack, full attack?
    Elegance: 2
    You have two base classes and qualify for all of your feats. However, you incorrectly dealt with the frost dwarf’s level adjustment by counting it as a level. The presentation made it difficult to read your entry. The lack of any kind of description outside of a few sentences makes this hard to digest.
    Use of Secret Ingredient: 1
    You qualify for the SI but you told me nothing about how it is good for you. The only mention of the prestige class itself is how it is restrictive. I also have to question Henry’s choice of skeletal visage over massive girth. The latter would have given more to Henry’s combat capability and staying power. Henry did not complete the SI either with no explanation of why.

    Dr Dellamorte 15.5
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    Originality: 4
    A half elf Blighter? You make use of an underachieving race and a not too often seen prestige class. I also like the picture of the plague doctor as your character image. The story of a druidic man who lost his sanity after losing his star crossed love turning to Orcus as his savior may be used before but works well here.
    Power: 4
    Your power level is playable at all levels of the progression. You may have some troubles mid levels when your druidic abilities disappear and before you gain the Blighter version. Getting the +16 BAB and access to 9th level spells is a staple of power for many builds. You do not rely on magic items or other things to shine.
    Elegance: 4
    You qualify for all of your feats and prestige classes outside of the SI. Your listed alignment is Neutral Evil—see my explanation above. I have to admit when I first read the entry before I realized it was a Blighter, I was afraid of Dark Chaos Shuffle Shenanigans. I was happy to see that there are none.
    Use of Secret Ingredient: 3.5
    The explanation of why Dr Dellamorte did not complete the SI was good enough for me. It made sense both in character and mechanically. A more detailed explanation of certain abilities and how they interact with your other class abilities would have scored higher.

    Dobluth – Thrall of Orcus 15
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    Originality: 3.5
    Lesser drow along with the highest multiclass combination in this competition is definitely unexpected. Warlock into Demonbinder is thematic with the SI. Necromancers are expected. Wait a second, a drow that doesn’t follow Lolth?
    Power: 4
    Your combination of abilities makes you quite formidable. You have the uber demoralization trick albeit a little later than you may have wanted. Lots of minionmancy and combined with your necromancer variant makes them stronger. Demonbinder gives you more versatility. A familiar that can utilize magic items is always welcome but comes a little later than you may have wanted.
    Elegance: 3.5
    You do not qualify for Martial Study (sudden leap) when you take it, as you need to have one Tiger Claw maneuver which you do not have. I understand why you took the Warblade dip, but it is a dip. Personally I’m not a fan of the “lesser” races. If you want to play a drow, eat the level adjustment. I was hoping for more of an explanation of a non Lolth worshipping drow too.
    Use of Secret Ingredient: 4
    You qualify for the SI and you take it through completion. You explain how your abilities mesh with the SI but none of the abilities get a real showcase. The demonbinding is a flavorful combination and fits with the theme presented here.

    Derek “Baelfire” Bragg 16 16.5
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    Originality: 4
    Is it wrong to say that this entry is one I looked forward to reading? I love the idea of a heavy metal bard who actually is a thrall to a demon. He’s the kind of guy that made mothers everywhere hate heavy metal in the 80s. Silverbrow human to nab Dragonfire Inspiration is not new but it fits your build.
    Power: 4
    You have the all important BAB +16 before epic and some strong maneuvers to complement it. Not only can you perform some minionmancy yourself, you would be a welcome addition to a party that had one in it. Your spellcasting is not strong but you can make up for it with your bardic feats. Getting your death touch to become supernatural and adding an ability focus to it makes it one of your strongest abilities. You do have a reliance on a very particular summon for your summon greater undead and that could be vetoed by certain DMs.
    Elegance: 4 4.5
    You qualify for all of your feats and prestige classes outside of the SI. The presentation is well done including your album covers. However, you do not have a listed alignment and as such I cannot automatically assume that you are Chaotic Evil so see my explanation above. Edited score should appease the Gods of Metal.
    Use of Secret Ingredient: 4
    You are indeed a Thrall of Orcus. You qualify for the class and take it to completion. The entry into Dirgesinger takes the Knowledge (religion) ranks further along. Death touch is obviously your favorite power from the SI as you dedicate quite a lot to it. As mentioned the summons assumes a specific undead. The other abilities do get some mention.

    Siegfried the Frog Prince 9.25
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    Originality: 3
    The neraph, the oft forgotten LA +0 outsider, tracking down and slaying those who go against his evil master (whichever one it is). Ranger into Mortal Hunter is great for an outsider and fits thematically. And here we have a Paladin variant to take advantage of the high Charisma.
    Power: 2.75
    At low levels you can accomplish your goals as a scout. Mortal Hunter’s abilities are useful for following marks and becoming what you hunt. You have a BAB +20 so Power Attack away. Phase cloak is useful for you being able to travel the ethereal though a lack of essentia can make its usefulness limited. You make yourself good against your poor Will saves but you also could use some help for the Reflex saves.
    Elegance: 1
    Can I just say that I absolutely HATE double dipping for extra Vile feats? Elder Evils are not Demon Princes and vice versa. What makes this entry worse is that the story does not even match up with the crunch. Siegfried enters into Tenebrous’ (Orcus’) service before serving Atropus. So here we have bonus vile feats being used from Atropus to qualify for Orcus. As I’ve said before, elegance is a thing. Siegfried also does not qualify for Mortal Hunter as he does not have any ranks in Move Silently.
    Use of Secret Ingredient: 2.5
    You qualify for the Thrall of Orcus prestige class but most of it comes through the devotion to Atropus. But when you do make use of the SI class abilities you are effective with them. Having the class for the last ten levels of the build can make for some of your abilities a little behind the curve. You do make use of the Knowledge (religion) through Divine Denial. Please let me be clear: I liked the story. It was well written and flavorful but it made it seem like he was not really a Thrall of Orcus.

    Cara Skerritt, Nightchild 15.5
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    Originality: 3.5
    Death Master as an entrance into the SI is quite flavorful if not totally unexpected. Another small character but this time it is everyone’s favorite halfling variant. You have truly dedicated yourself to Orcus in his role as master of undead and can lead the cult to glory.
    Power: 4
    You are quite a minionmancer with your Death Master. Along with this BAB +17 and 6th level spells from the Death Master spell list. Being able to actually control your summons is helpful. You do not rely on any particular equipment to make your character go but the suggestions are nice.
    Elegance: 3
    Your interpretation of pallor of death was not the Chairman’s interpretation—the change is cosmetic and as such you would not qualify for the feat Assume Supernatural Ability. Some DMs might also put the hammer down on your becoming a lich at 20th level, even if it is thematic and follows the capstone for your base class. Not to mention the ramping up of the Taint to get extra feats. That will get books thrown at you. Your entry was easy to read and follow but remember, spoilers are your friend too.
    Use of Secret Ingredient: 5
    You wholeheartedly qualify for the SI and even take it further with Abyss Bound Soul. Each single class ability is examined and explained into the build’s strength.

    I also agree with your statement about Elder Evil worship in your adaptations.

    Adrienne Fzembrel , the Pilgrim Dead Inside 15.25
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    Originality: 3
    Humans are standard fare in optimization contests for obvious reasons. You use Hexblade for early entry goodness of which you were one of the only ones to do so. And another Paladin variant.
    Power: 4.25
    You have all of the standard demoralization abilities here and make good use of them. The use of strongheart vest to negate the damage for Chosen of Evil is also a nice touch basically giving her a nice insight bonus each round for no penalty. I like the dark companion alternate class feature for Hexblades too. You also have out of combat relevance with your social skills. Also the fact that you get into the SI early means that the class abilities can still be somewhat relevant at these lower levels. You also do not rely on equipment or items to make your abilities shine.
    Elegance: 4
    Your listed alignment is Lawful Evil—see my explanation above. You do qualify for all of your feats outside of the SI. Your presentation is clean and easy to read. The fluff was nice to read as well.
    Use of Secret Ingredient: 4
    You spend time talking about each of the class abilities though none of them really shine on their own. Most of your best abilities are supported by the SI. But when it comes down to it you would make a good minion for our Demon Prince.

    Waratah-Blossom (Babalon Queen of Bones) 17.5
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    Originality: 3.5
    And as soon as I start gushing about early entries into the SI, we have another one here. Human Hexblade into Thrall of Orcus. Horned Harbinger is a nice change of pace too and fits with the flavor of the SI, especially given the Forgotten Realms canon.
    Power: 4.5
    Unlike our entry above, the Queen of Bones does not go the demoralization route and instead focuses on debuffs and minionmancy. Again I like the dark companion alternate class feature for the Hexblade. Combining Horned Harbinger and Death Devotion proves to be a strong tactic from early on and is still viable later in the build. I also like actually picking up Extra Turning multiple times instead of relying on nightstick shenanigans to power your divine feats and prevent books being thrown. Being able to throw White Raven maneuvers makes summoned or animated minions that much more effective. She’s a general on the battlefield and a warrior in her own right.
    Elegance: 4.5
    However, you do not have a listed alignment and as such I cannot automatically assume that you are Chaotic Evil so see my explanation above. Myrkul’s alignment was Neutral Evil. Your presentation is easy to read and the fluff is relevant and interesting.
    Use of Secret Ingredient: 5
    You qualify for the SI and take it to completion. Each ability has its own focused write up as well as a tactics section for level breakdown. You are indeed one of Orcus’ generals for the Prime Material ready with an undead army to march in his name.

    Ankou 14 14.5
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    Originality: 4
    A jaebrin? Those fey creatures with the needle like teeth right? That’s new. Bard has been seen already but this is taken in a different direction and further along in the base class. You are also the only remaining contestant without any dips or entries into any other classes outside of the SI. The fluff with the fey is also nice. Even the unseelie court has to pay a toll . . .
    Power: 3.5
    You are definitely no powerhouse despite having a BAB +16. Physical combat is really not Ankou’s thing. You are definitely a social creature early on and a lurker later in the build. Both have its merits and both are relevant outside of combat. You can influence your summoned undead through your bardic feats. During the course of your build in the SI you become more of a fear generator which at higher levels ymmv.
    Elegance: 3.5 4
    Your listed alignment is Neutral Evil—see my explanation above. One base class into the SI—does not get much cleaner than that. I calculate your starting point buy to be 34, not 32. You qualify for your feats outside of the SI but note below about Willing Deformity. You also make use of the place Hell. In the D&D cosmology, Hell is where devils live and the Abyss is where demons live. Upon further review this score has been revised.
    Use of Secret Ingredient: 3
    You qualify for the SI and take it to completion. However, since you do not have the Willing Deformity feat, you cannot benefit from the skeletal visage class feature. It’s like not taking full advantage of the SI itself, and you provide no explanation for doing so. Likewise all of the class abilities of the SI get a generalization and do not get explained in a showcase type manner.

    Ophelia 13.75
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    Originality: 4.25
    Here we have an entry that uses the Ghostwalk supplement. Let me dig that one out and dust it off. Though the “ghost” is not undead it is a disembodied spirit and to me anyway fits with the theme of the SI. Besides in that supplement, Orcus is a major player there. The Eidolon classes are rarely seen in these parts. Human of course is standard fare and it’s nice to see a non Cloistered Cleric. Had I remembered this book I would have considered it for my own entry.
    Power: 3
    You are incorporeal for the early and late parts of the build, basically only solid for the SI. Ability damage/drain hurts just about every monster that you would not want to associate or control. Your ghost abilities are pretty much what makes you tick here. You have weak spellcasting but you reach a high BAB of +18. Your more powerful ghost abilities come late in the build.
    Elegance: 3.25
    Your listed alignment is Neutral Evil—see my explanation above. The template out of Ghostwalk does not have a level adjustment as it was one of the last 3.0 books to come out before the revision. As such some DMs might either ban hammer it or give it a level adjustment. Personally I think I would give it a level adjustment given its abilities. Some DMs also might not go with the whole death/resurrection theme you have going here. Definitely something you would have to chat with your DM about before the campaign starts. Now that’s out of the way, you were kind enough to give all of the particulars out of Ghostwalk and presented your build quite nicely.
    Use of Secret Ingredient: 3.25
    You qualify for the SI and take it to completion. Your fluff makes me believe that you are a Thrall of Orcus. However it is your ghost form and all of those ghost feats that really make you shine. The SI is more of an add on. You do not showcase or go into great detail about how the SI enhances your ghost abilities.

    Luxx 16.75
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    Originality: 2.5
    Like I had mentioned earlier, the Binder/Tenebrous Apostate route was one I had considered before relegating myself to judging, so this was expected. Humans of course are bread and butter for these competitions. And Cloistered Cleric (even though your table doesn’t list it as such) dip is an optimization staple. You do have a different class allocation than the earlier entry so that makes it a little different.
    Power: 4.5
    You get the all important BAB +16 before epic play. I like your choice for getting fourth level spells for the versatility. And Binders are all about versatility aren’t they? Using Naberius to negate the Chosen of Evil feat’s drawback is a nice touch. Yes you get to be viable during your entire build’s career. You might be called a one trick pony but it is quite a trick and you get more mileage out of it than the other Chosen of Evil contestant. But Luxx does not wholly depend on it. He is also relevant outside of combat which is important for any character at the table.
    Elegance: 4.75
    You qualify for all of your feats and prestige classes outside of the SI. What a wonderfully evil story. This was along the lines of what I was thinking the Playground could produce. I like your interpretation of how Tenebrous Apostate works with Tenebrous—it’s the way I read the class too.
    Use of Secret Ingredient: 5
    Here is another instance of every feature being explained individually as well as level by level. Your feat choices and Binder abilities help to mitigate any limitations of the class and you explain it well.

    Bill E Kidd 11.75
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    Originality: 3.75
    Have we ever had an ibixian in these competitions before? Looks like you were going with the “classic” goat head for demon worship and the goat folk fit in here. Monstrous humanoid racial levels are better than most for melee oriented builds and you take advantage of it. Hexblades have been seen in this competition and make sense considering the skill requirements. Avenging Executioner is a nice touch for the end of the build.
    Power: 3
    Black Goat SMASH! You are a melee type plain and simple. You don’t rely on items to make your abilities go. Ibixians get bonuses to Intimidate. I like your intimidation tactics. I just think some of them come online a little late. Imperious Command at Level 18. Avenging Executioner helps but comes at ECL 19 and 20. Sudden strike is piddly now and you would have loved to have the rapid intimidation earlier. Maybe if these levels were taken earlier you could do more with them. Using your summons to get more ibixians helps also but that also comes near the end of your build. Your best stuff comes late and early on you have minor debuffs but strong melee.
    Elegance: 3
    You qualify for all of the feats and prestige classes outside of the SI. Your presentation was easy to read. You correctly take your level adjustment into account. I believe you may have forgotten some skill points for your monstrous humanoid levels, even with the Knowledges counting as cross class (as they should). Dang that’s a low Wisdom score! The build feels rushed to me—I think if you had more time you could have tweaked this to get higher scores.
    Use of Secret Ingredient: 2
    You qualify for the SI and take it to completion. You are a strong member of the cult, but I have no idea why you are a Thrall of Orcus. None of the abilities get a huge showcase and are mostly mentioned in passing. I want to know more about your character, like why he attacks all of the temples. I want it to be more than just “Orcus told me too!”

    Sentrosi the Death Chicken 8
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    I’m taking a stab in the dark here that this entry was not entirely serious though I judged it as if it was serious.
    Originality: 4
    OK. You score well here because I would not ever have guessed seeing a were-chicken in an optimization contest. You start life as our favorite halfling variant Commoner. I know Commoner was chosen for the Chicken Infested flaw but to use Commoner in an optimization contest is gutsy so you get points here. Death Master is a thematic Orcus spellcaster so that was expected.
    Power: 2.5
    Starting out with a Commoner, you had to expect a hit here. Adding a LA +2 is not going to help your early career either. Death Master gives you some arcane power and necromantic spells to make you go and you use the SI for caster levels. Your hybrid form is not bringing anything to the table except a few laughs but you can cast spells in it thanks to Lycanthropic Spell. Heighten Spell for your capstone feat seems a little anticlimactic to me.
    Elegance: 0
    Well it’s been talked about enough so let’s deal with it. You use a flaw from Dragon Magazine and that alone gets you the score of zero for this category. Personally I don’t have any problem with using the Dragon Magazines at my table but they are an illegal source here in Optimization Coliseum. But even if you were not getting a zero here, you were not going to score highly. The rules state that flaws automatically deserve an Elegance hit, even if you consider the flaw to be a feat in and of itself. Your listed alignment is listed as Neutral Evil—see my explanation above. Were-chicken might also be shut down by certain DMs even if it is a legally created template. You do not qualify for Divine Defiance as you do not cast divine spells—Death Master spells are arcane.
    Use of Secret Ingredient: 1.5
    You qualify for the SI but you do not take it to completion due to the level adjustment. None of your class abilities get much attention in your tactical write up. In fact I can’t tell exactly how you would be a Thrall of Orcus. I get the revenge angle but you could even be a non evil aligned character to follow out your vengeance.

    Ari, Scourge of the Gods 15.75
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    Originality: 4.5
    I was surprised by the lack of Vasharans for this competition. Likewise Spirit Shaman is a different entry tactic. We see the (triumphant?) return of the Cancer Mage here too. So far you are unique to the competition. Oh wait, there’s that Pouncebarian again!
    Power: 3.5
    You have Cancer Mage potential and even though you explain that you do not need to do it, some players would not make such sacrifices. Your BAB is +17 which is quite nice for you wanting to get up close and personal. The Druid spell list is ripe with potential but you only get up to 3rd level spells with your casting. The idea of spreading your diseases through minions can provide long term grief.
    Elegance: 4
    Given the way Spirit Shaman receives his spells, it would have been nice to know what your “standard” spell list would have been. I can appreciate also your restraint in the more brokenness of the Cancer Mage prestige class. You qualify for all of your feats and prestige classes outside of the SI. Your presentation is easy to read and your fluff was a nice read too. The Playground delivers another gruesome tale.
    Use of Secret Ingredient: 3.75
    You qualify for the SI and take it to completion. You get into it pretty early on and use its features to enter Cancer Mage which is nice to see. Your class abilities get mentioned during the level breakdown but none of them are really showcased. But Ari is definitely a Thrall of Orcus spreading undead like the diseases he carries on himself.

    Thrall of Porkus 11.5
    Spoiler
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    Originality: 4
    Who knew that Miss Piggy was a Thrall to Orcus? Definitely a thematic build here. Female half orcs are almost unknown in these parts and at least it is a standard Barbarian. We don’t see many of those in the optimization world these days. Sorcerer by itself was not expected and I’m surprised that there were not more Dread Witches since of the fear synergies. The fluff was nice even if it was very short.
    Power: 3.5
    I’m seeing a fear based gish here, relying on the Dread Witch to make the fear work. A BAB of +15 is nice but just shy of the magical +16 and 6th level spells are nice to have. I’m guessing it is seasoned to taste.
    Elegance: 2.5
    However, you do not have a listed alignment and as such I cannot automatically assume that you are Chaotic Evil so see my explanation above. It would have been nice to see a full list of spells known for your Sorcerer levels—especially when the SI and your other prestige class depend on specific spell knowledge. You do not qualify for Stunning Fist without stat boosting items. Non monks need a Dexterity and Wisdom of 13 and you have 12 in both. You also do not have a natural attack and unarmed strikes are not considered natural attacks anyway so you do not qualify for this feat either. I’m guessing that you meant Improved Natural Attack rather than Improved Natural Weapon which does not exist.
    Use of Secret Ingredient: 1.5
    You do not qualify for the SI when you take it (which is not the same as not qualifying for it at all) though you do complete it. In addition, I don’t really see how you are a Thrall of Orcus. Most of the class abilities are not even glossed over and those that are do not get much of an explanation. In fact most of her tactics do not even rely on the SI at all. The perfume stench is an interesting take on the class ability, such a cosmetic change normally would not get a ban hammer. You do not have the Willing Deformity feat so you cannot benefit from the massive girth class ability. Not that I would call Miss Piggy fat anyways . . .

    Ruk Rak the Blister of Orcus 9.5
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    Originality: 4
    Arctic kobold? Not my first choice to be a Thrall of Orcus. Making use of the kobold Fighter substitution levels to make up for the race’s drawback is nice. Zhentarim Fighter substitution level is known for intimidation route. Ferocity is different than your standard rage but you are a Pouncebarian. Dungeon Lord is unexpected and fits with the theme you were going with here. At least you acknowledge that you are pretty much an NPC, not that this is a problem for the competition.
    Power: 3
    You are an intimidator plain and simple but you do not rely on the standard fare of Imperious Command and Never Outnumbered, so your effectiveness can be questioned. Ruk Rak’s tactics are pretty straight forward melee fighter. I’m guessing he uses different weapons since he has Spear Focus thanks to the kobold substitution level but Brutal Strike needs a bludgeoning weapon to work.
    Elegance: 2.5
    However, you do not have a listed alignment and as such I cannot automatically assume that you are Chaotic Evil so see my explanation above. You qualify for all of your feats and your prestige class outside of the SI. I think it is customary to fill out the skill ranks in the tables. Your presentation is easy to read though short. A little more about our little kobold would have scored higher here.
    Use of Secret Ingredient: 0
    You use the Draconic Rite of Passage and your choice of casting ray of enfeeblement to qualify for your Necromancy requirement. However, according to the Chairman’s ruling spell like abilities are not viable for entering the SI and the Draconic Rite of Passage says that it grants its casting as a spell like ability, not a spell. And that is a shame though because you qualify otherwise and make use of the bonus feats and make yourself quite a tactical fighter. And being the guardian in a dungeon and a hidden passage to evil fits with being a Thrall of Orcus.

    Judging complete! Please check my maths but I'm going to bed now.
    Last edited by dysprosium; 2013-10-04 at 12:32 PM.

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLIX

    thanks for the judgings. I find them as a whole, fair and accurate.
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLIX

    Excellent, judgings getting us started well here. Looking pretty close clustered around 2nd-6th.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 123456789blaaa View Post
    You know I'm surprised we didn't see any Vasharans. Normally they're suboptimal but given that most people are taking a vile feat with the human bonus feat anyways being a Vasharan instead of a human seems like an easy way to get some more Originality.
    One of the issues with making a Vasharan Thrall is that they, according to their fluff, never take the Thrall classes. It's for the same reason they have Ur-Priests rather than Clerics: the only power worth having is what they take, rather than what they get for serving.

    On another note, I was totally going to make a Binder 1/Warlock 4/Ur-Priest 2/Thrall of Orcus 10 who worshipped Pandorym before I decided that "nah, everyone's expecting Ur-Priest." On a side note, getting the Vile feats from Pandorym means that Orcus couldn't revoke your thralldom should you betray him to a god-destroying weapon from the Far Realm.

    On yet another note, Ranger 4 also qualifies for Thrall of Orcus. They have two first-level necromancy spells, on of which is Death Ward for animals minus the [Evil] tag.

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    I can't actually post my feelings re: judging without tipping my hand as to whether my score was high or low, but they're strong feelings.

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    Three cheers for dysprosium! Thanks for judging .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kazyan View Post
    I can't actually post my feelings re: judging without tipping my hand as to whether my score was high or low, but they're strong feelings.
    Psh, feelings are for human beings! Robot Pony Spreadsheet Man relies on arithmetic to tell dysprosium that Ophelia's total is listed as 13.75 while her category scores add up to 13.25.

    Final[?] Tallies After One Judge (Before Disputes)
    {table=head]Entry|Medal|Total|Average
    Babalon|Gold|17.5|4.375
    Luxx|Silver|16.75|4.1875
    Derek "Baelfire" Bragg|Bronze|16|4
    Ari|Fourth|15.75|3.9375
    Doctor Dellamorte|Fifth|15.5|3.875
    Cara Skerritt|Fifth|15.5|3.875
    Adrienne Fzembrel|Seventh|15.25|3.8125
    Dobluth|Eighth|15|3.75
    Ankou|Ninth|14|3.5
    Ophelia|Tenth|13.75|3.4375
    The Decaying Tears|Eleventh|12.5|3.125
    Bill E. Kidd|Twelfth|11.75|2.9375
    Thrall of Porkus|Thirteenth|11.5|2.875
    Ruk Rak|Fourteenth|9.5|2.375
    The Frog Prince|Fifteenth|9.25|2.3125
    Captain Tardis|Sixteenth|8.5|2.125
    Sentrosi|Seventeenth|8|2
    Henry Oakenshield the 666th|Eighteenth|7|1.75[/table]

    The Uncaring Spreadsheet of Orcus demands more numbers!
    Last edited by OMG PONIES; 2013-10-02 at 11:22 AM.
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLIX

    Awesome! Thanks, dysprosium. Hard to believe this was your first time judging - everything looks well thought out and consistent.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OMG PONIES View Post
    Three cheers for dysprosium! Thanks for judging .
    Robot Pony Spreadsheet Man relies on arithmetic to tell dysprosium that Ophelia's total is listed as 13.75 while her category scores add up to 13.25.
    It really should be 13.75--I edited my judging post to reflect this. That's what I get for posting at 1:30 in the morning!

    Quote Originally Posted by Piggy Knowles View Post
    Awesome! Thanks, dysprosium. Hard to believe this was your first time judging - everything looks well thought out and consistent.
    You're welcome! I tried to be fair throughout and follow precedents in judging styles from you, PONIES, and TG Oskar.

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLIX

    thanks for judging, dysprosium. +1 on consistency. simply well done.
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    Thanks for judging, dysprosium!

    It's clear, and I too think it looks good and consistent.
    Last edited by Keynub; 2013-10-02 at 11:45 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dysprosium View Post
    It really should be 13.75--I edited my judging post to reflect this. That's what I get for posting at 1:30 in the morning!
    Tally updated, spreadsheet will be updated at home where I have Google Drive access.

    Quote Originally Posted by dysprosium View Post
    You're welcome! I tried to be fair throughout and follow precedents in judging styles from you, PONIES, and TG Oskar.
    Look, ma, I set a precedent!and you told me I'd never amount to anything...
    Quote Originally Posted by Vaz View Post
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    This is what happens when they let me DM:
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLIX

    Woo hoo! Judgings! Everything looks pretty good, and one of my builds scored right about where I though it would, with the other surprising me!

    Thanks dysprosium! You've done a fine job here.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini476 View Post
    One of the issues with making a Vasharan Thrall is that they, according to their fluff, never take the Thrall classes. It's for the same reason they have Ur-Priests rather than Clerics: the only power worth having is what they take, rather than what they get for serving.
    And we've never re-interpreted fluff here in Optimization Colosseum. I mean, no one could possibly score a Warforged in the Realms highly.

    As soon as I logged in, I saw that I had more than one PM, so I knew that judging was up.

    DISPUTES for Herr dysprosium -

    Quote Originally Posted by Adrienne
    Thanks for judging, Dysprosium. I have no dispute, but rather a question regarding the following statement :

    Quote Originally Posted by dysprosium View Post
    Using Naberius to negate the Chosen of Evil feat’s drawback is a nice touch. Yes you get to be viable during your entire build’s career. You might be called a one trick pony but it is quite a trick and you get more mileage out of it than the other Chosen of Evil contestant.
    Could you please clarify in what way does Luxx get more mileage out of Chosen of Evil than Adrienne does?
    Again, I'm not disputing, so not looking for score changes here. I'm just curious.

    Thanks again!
    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Bragg
    A couple of clarifications, and a dispute:

    (Read all Guardian of Metal quotes in Ozzy Ozbourne's voice)

    Clarifications

    Missing Alignment



    Guardian of Metal: "The wanker responsible for forgetting that has been reprimanded, and then set on fire to please the Gods of Metal. But really, it should have been obvious, man.

    As the most Metal Alignment, Baelfire is Chaotic Evil, of course. All the best musicians are.

    As a Bard, Lawful Evil is right out (not to mention that it's a tool of The Man). And Neutral Evil is the alignment of ****ing posers who can't make up their minds."

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    Yeah, I forgot to write down the alignment. I'm going to be kicking myself for that for a while. It really is CE (for the reasons specified above).


    Summoned Undead/"Requires Specific Undead" - May affect Power and Use of the Secret Ingredient



    Guardian of Metal: "Right, that one's a bit more confusing. He told you that he uses it to summon up the band and maybe some roadies. But summoning up a specific servant isn't required to make his Touch of Death something to be feared man, it just means that anyone who suffers from both is totally ****ed."

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    Sorry about the confusion on this. I don't know if it changes the score any, but in the level 10 breakpoint, it was mentioned that Summon Undead was used for extra bandmates or bodyguards. Also, a Doomspeaker Bard isn't required to make the build function, it just zeros out any chance of an equal CR opponent making their save. Without it, Carrion Stench, Ability Focus, and a high Charisma all combine to make it something that will still reliably work on anything that isn't immune to it.


    Dispute



    Missing Alignment

    Guardian of Metal: "Bloody hell man, you've come down harder on Baelfire than anyone else for this. Sure, he can take it (and he probably deserves it), but **** like this is not going to please the Gods of Metal, man."

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    I'm a little unclear, but it looks like you penalized Baelfire 1 full point for missing his alignment, rather than the .5 point that you penalized other builds (like Babalon).

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLIX

    A post from earlier in the thread that should probably impact judging:

    Quote Originally Posted by 123456789blaaa View Post
    <snip>
    Also, Babalon is incorrect about one of her class abilities. The Horned Harbinger's Captain of Undeath ability only applies to undead animated by spells, not SLA's by RAW. So it doesn't apply to the animate dead and create undead SLA's that HH provides.
    Thus she gets 17 HD of undead controlled, not 85.

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLIX

    17 HD? Even if Captain of Undeath doesn't apply to the animate granted by Horned Harbinger, she would still have 4xCL HD controlled as is normal for Animate Dead, so 68 HD, plus whatever she gets from rebuking.
    Last edited by Piggy Knowles; 2013-10-02 at 03:36 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Piggy Knowles View Post
    17 HD? Even if Captain of Undeath doesn't apply to the animate granted by Horned Harbinger, she would still have 4xCL HD controlled as is normal for Animate Dead, so 68 HD, plus whatever she gets from rebuking.
    Whoops, it seems I misread the ability. I am so embarrassed right now .

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XLIX

    Hey! Judging!

    I got about what I expected. Thanks for your critique and the scores.
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    Yeah, all in all, pretty fair I thought. Thanks for the scores, D!
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