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  1. - Top - End - #391
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground LVII

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Proctor View Post
    Since the speak language issue seems to be relevant for both Foe Hunter builds, I wanted to get a general conversation about it going on.

    Foe Hunter requires the ability to speak the language if there is one. I've been scouring the interwebz looking for an aberration language and one for the abolethic sovergnity doesn't have one either.

    Abberations don't have a solid language, many speak undercommon but some speak giant and not undercommon.

    Aboleths do but it is a group not a race and includes all the enslaved minion, which is interesting because it works like dominate person and that requires common language. So one could surmise the undercommon would be the language, since they don't have access to common, but that's just a guess since it doesn't exist RAW anywhere.

    So it looks to me that there isn't a language for either of the favored enemies, but I wanted to get other opinions about it since the topic was brought up.
    on the subject of "Languages" this is a list that I found and it may not be entirely accurate but should be a fairly complete list of languages:
    Aboleth
    Abysal
    Aquan
    Armandish
    Blink Dog
    Celestial
    Common
    Draconic
    Dragon
    Druidic
    Dwarven
    Elven
    Giant
    Gith
    Gnoll
    Gnome
    Goblin
    Gol-kaa
    Halfling
    Ignan
    Illumian
    Infernal
    Lumi
    Lupin
    Orc
    Slaad
    Suloise
    Sylvan
    Terran
    Treant
    Undercommon
    Worg
    Yuan-ti
    Zern

  2. - Top - End - #392
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground LVII

    as Favored/Hated enemy are Abarrations, and not aboleths (although they might be target of Aberration Specialist), Aboleth doesn't fit the requirements for Foe Hunter, unless you want to houserule it as such.

  3. - Top - End - #393
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground LVII

    Chairmain's inbox is full -

  4. - Top - End - #394
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground LVII

    Quote Originally Posted by Sian View Post
    as Favored/Hated enemy are Abarrations, and not aboleths (although they might be target of Aberration Specialist), Aboleth doesn't fit the requirements for Foe Hunter, unless you want to houserule it as such.
    Interesting point, I kept reading "one creature" instead of "one creature type." However, this is more interesting, as it reads "one creature type that she has already selected as a favored enemy..." Given that wording, looking at our two foe hunter builds:
    • Graima had selected aberrations as her favored enemy at level 4, so she qualifies for Foe Hunter.
    • Esmar is more of a wrinkle, as he has no valid selections for hated foe. Since the Golden Hands sublevel specifies that his favored enemy must be an organization while Foe Hunter specifies a creature type that he has already selected as a favored enemy, he can qualify for Foe Hunter but cannot make use of the class features provided. Since this is another "can of worms" scenario with possible bearing on other parts of his score, I leave it to Esmar's creator to determine whether he would like to dispute the qualification deduction.
    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

  5. - Top - End - #395
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground LVII

    Quote Originally Posted by Muggins View Post
    Any suggestions from my fellow judges about how to rate a FtQ build's Use of the Secret Ingredient when it, well, doesn't qualify for the Secret Ingredient (and thus doesn't have any of the abilities)?
    For what it is worth, when I judge a build that I believe does not qualify for the Secret Ingredient, I give that category a 0 and explain why it did not qualify in my opinion. I've always seen Elegance as what the "rest" of the build does or does not do.

  6. - Top - End - #396
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground LVII

    Quote Originally Posted by dantiesilva View Post
    chairman your Mailbox is full
    Quote Originally Posted by relytdan View Post
    Chairmain's inbox is full -
    Indeed I am not a fan of the new Forum's way of handling PMs - no warning that I was approaching full! I'll post the disputes that I received right now but Judges: I received at least a half dozen "Inbox Full" emails last night.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ryld
    To all judges

    First of all thank you for your time and effort :)
    Now on to disputes.

    Spoiler: Feats
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    Spoiler: Fiendish Bloodline
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    Preqs for the feat are:

    Ability to cast arcane spells without preparation.

    This does not specify the need to be an arcane caster, just the ability to spontaneously cast spells. From what I can gather Tieflings have the innate ability to cast Darkness, not just use it as an SLA. The reason for this is the way it's worded in the MM.

    Quote Originally Posted by MM p.210
    Darkness (Sp): A tiefling can use darkness once per day (caster level equal to class levels).
    There is no mention of it being an SLA such as those granted to say the Drow

    Quote Originally Posted by MM p.103
    —Spell-Like Abilities: Drow can use the following spell-like abilities once per day: dancing lights, darkness, faerie fire. Caster level equals the drow’s class levels.
    This leads me to believe that the tiefling does actually cast the spell. To confirm it however I looked through the other source material and found this from the FRCS
    Quote Originally Posted by FRCS p.18
    Darkness (Sp): Tieflings can use darkness once per day as cast by a sorcerer of their charachter level.
    In both cases for the tiefling the ability to use Darkness is a special quality and not an SLA. I believe this meets the prerequisite requirement for Fiendish Bloodline as presented by the Dragon Compendium.

    In choosing between the version posted in RoF versus that in the DC, according to my understanding of the contest rules, we have to used the most recently published version. RoF was published in 2003, and the DC in 2005, As a result I deferred to the DC.



    Spoiler: Outsider Wings
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    This was a goof on my part. Wasn't paying attention and I should've swapped the placement of Swift Hunter and Outsider Wings.



    Spoiler: Class Levels
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    I was really gritting my teeth here. Honestly I wanted to add in those two levels of Ranger, and at least one more level of Cavestalker, but to do so, I would have had to Either lose my fighter levels, and the feats I needed for my combat style, or sacrifice too many levels of Darkrunner to get all the necessary abilities and avoid penalties. This was unfortunately a no win scenario from the beginning and I ultimately had to go with what I felt was going to result in the fewest penalties and max out my levels of Darkrunner at the cost of Ranger and Cavestalker levels.
    Quote Originally Posted by Steven
    Muggins: Hahahaha, I was wondering who (if anyone) would catch that FTQ. The original draft of the build used travel domain to qualify...and on the last draft I forgot and said "That's dumb, I should be using travel devotion." and switched it at the last moment.

    The deeper irony here is me entirely not caring about a near identical error in your last Junkyard Round, but Steven's a mile from ranking anyways, so it doesn't really matter.

    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 - #397
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground LVII

    Spoiler
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    Ranger was the low hanging fruit of expected entries here. Given the wide variety of races with Darkvision, I'm going to forgo my usual docking of expected races. While all 15 entries were good, you'll see that several had issues in both Elegance and Use of the Secret Ingredient. Remember, proof-read your entries, double check that you qualify for everything (or at least qualify for the SI), and do something to either enhance each element of the SI, or come up with a use for them that isn't obvious or listed in the SI entry.

    Special Note: Given that this SI has a fluff requirement, I've decided not to give out an automatic 1 to anyone who fails to qualify for the SI based solely on the fluff requirement. I will instead be giving those builds a minor deduction in Elegance.

    My comments aren't meant to be mean, just critical.

    Ryld - 13.5
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    Originality: 4
    Ryld is an interesting build. A former captive of mindflayers who flees into the darkness and learns to survive in the school of hard knocks. A lost soul who finally finds a home. Lesser Tiefling was a nice touch to pick up easy boosts to both Dex and Int. Ranger was very much expected (and Arcane Hunter might as well be a basic class feature of Ranger, with how often it is taken). However, Drow Fighter came as a surprise (even more so when I realized it was an ACF that didn't require you to be a Drow). Scout was a solid alternative to Ranger, and Cavestalker adds some nice synergy. Darkstalker is almost a given, but Fiendish Bloodline and Outsider Wings were definitely neat to see. Given your focus on ranged combat and the SI's propensity for fighting while standing in difficult terrain, your choice of Flyby Attack is odd, but can be situationally useful.

    Power: 3.25
    You state that your primary role is a scout, which needs reasonable stealth, and good abilities to locate threats. You also state that tracking is an important role you fill. In addition to these, you fill a ranged combatant role. So let's take a look at how you manage to wear all these hats.

    First, lets take the scout role. You have excellent stealth capabilities, and fantastic Darkvision range. Your movement options are also good with the addition of flight (which unfortunately generally invalidates your mobility skills like climb and jump). You run into a fairly serious problem, however, when it comes to your detection abilities. You've got a weak Listen score (even with Lesser Cavesense and Alertness), and your Spot isn't top notch either. You're only going to be locating threats that aren't attempting to be stealthy, or are already within 30 ft (from Tremorsense). You put in quite a bit of effort to get long range darkvision, and then don't really do anything with it.

    Second, the tracker role. Your Survival skill is excellent, and you've picked up Track as a bonus feat from Ranger. You are a tracking machine, and can really provide for your party in either a wilderness setting, or underground.

    Lastly, lets talk about your role in combat. You've set yourself up as a ranged character reasonably well. Your skirmish and favored enemy damage (which are both precision damage) sadly won't be of much use to you with Manyshot (you'd need Greater Manyshot to apply precision damage to each arrow), but you can plink away at range. You hit the all important +16 BAB to at least make sure you can get the maximum number of arrows in the air.

    All in all, your power curve is pretty steady, but it's also nothing special. In other words, it's pretty close to a baseline average Darkrunner.

    Elegance: 3.5
    The build is well sourced, and qualifies for almost everything (and yes, I checked - Drow Fighter doesn't require you to be a Drow, and Tiefling Darkvision does not appear to be granted by being an Outsider, so Lesser Planetouched doesn't take it away). I have serious doubts as to whether or not you qualify for the Fiendish Bloodline feat from the Dragon Compendium. I know spell-like abilities can qualify for pre-requisites that require the ability to cast a specific spell, but I'm not sure they count for pre-requisites that require the ability to spontaneously cast spells. That said, the feat gives you no benefit, even if you qualify. Also, it is entirely different than the Fiendish Bloodline feat in Races of Faerun, so this is the case of two different feats with the same name, not an updated feat. You would have been much better off taking the feat in Races of Faerun, as it would have provided you an actual benefit.

    Your entry was easy to read and was nicely laid out, so thanks for that. The build flows reasonably well, with levels taken to avoid multi-classing penalties. The 2 level dips in Drow Figher and Arcane Hunter Ranger make sense in the context of your build. You entered the SI as early as possible (but did so apparently just to splash the first level), but then delay the SI until the end of your build, meaning that for most of your character's lifespan, it's not really a Darkrunner. Picking up Track as a bonus feat from Ranger is nice, and I liked the use of Drow Fighter to trade away feats that you don't use for a bonus that helps you out.

    Barring potential cries of foul with the Fiendish Bloodline and Outsider Wings (some folks might not consider a Lesser Tiefling to be a Tiefling), it's a pretty portable build.

    Use of the Secret Ingredient: 2.75
    So, how did you do with the SI? Let's take a look. We'll start with the pre-requisites. You max Survival and Knowledge(Dungeoneering), which is good. You abandon Search, though. You don't really do anything with Alertness (your Listen and Spot aren't well cared for), but picking up Track as a bonus feat was a nice way to qualify without sacrificing much (and you've got the Survival skill to make use of the feat, as well as using it to qualify for Cavestalker).

    So what about the actual class features? You have no listed use for Direction Sense or the Darkrunner Emblem. You barely use Spelunking (for Survival only), as Climb and Jump bonuses are mostly irrelevant to a flier (Escape Artist and Swim would have been handy, but you never take them). You do minorly enhance Climb and Jump with Advanced Spelunker from Cavestalker though. You don't do anything in particular with Aberration Lore. You greatly enhance your natural Darkvision with the addition of Cavestalker, which is further enhanced by the SI. Cavefighting, Tunnelport and Tremorsense are all just there, with no noted use, enhancment, or trick. Lore of the Stones helps you in the tracking role you have set yourself up for. Aberration Specialist gets a slight use via your Arcanist Favored enemy feature, but Aberration Lore suffers. Deepsong, Improved Cavefighting, Greater Tunnelport and Stonewalking all receive no love in your build.

    Ultimately, with the inclusion of Darkstalker and Manyshot, it looks like you tried to build a Cavestalker using mostly Darkrunner. Why wouldn't you just use more Cavestalker and ditch Darkrunner? This just doesn't feel much like a Darkrunner build.


    Richard B. Riddick - 12
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    Originality: 4
    Deep Imaskari? Telflammar Shadowlord? Jaunter? Astral Tracking? Keen Eared Scout? Man, there is a lot to like here. I guess I should have expected a shadow pouncer, but it still caught me by surprise. I've not really fiddled with Deep Imaskari, and they are a neat race. I do like the Jaunter class, and the two feats I mentioned were both new to me (and you use them well). Factotum isn't a surprise, and while Fighter is a bit surprising, it's also very boring. Darkstalker is par for the course for any sneaking build. Using Otherworldly to pick up the racial darkvision requirement was neato-frito. And then you had to go and slap it on a Riddick expy. Oh well, it's still neat.

    Power: 3.75
    So, just what can your Darkrunner do? He can scout and track like a boss, that's what. Keen-eared Scout is nicely used here, as is Astral Tracking (no matter where your prey goes, you can find it!).

    Sadly, for a Riddick expy, he doesn't fight very well. You don't hit the very useful BAB +16, which hurts because you only get 3 attacks per round. So at best you can land 4 attacks with +2d6 Sneak Attack dice. Rather importantly, you can't shadow pounce (see elegance).

    Versatility, however, is yours to command out of combat. You've got excellent skills, a few little boosts from Factotum, and some handy utility spells (and possibly maneuvers, although I don't really know what maneuvers you selected aside from Assassin's Stance). Jaunter gets your mobility really moving.

    Elegance: 1
    If you read the OP, you'll see this bit under the Elegance category:

    Quote Originally Posted by OP
    Use of flaws is an automatic loss of one point per flaw in this category.
    That's part of what happened here. Aside from that, you've got some other issues. First off, you don't technically qualify for the SI due to a lack of fulfilling the fluff requirement. As I stated above, it's a minor deal, so you get a small deduction in Elegance. You also don't qualify for Telflammar Shadowlord. You don't fulfill the Special requirement (either be from Thesk, or have 2 ranks of Knowledge (Local)). Given that you qualifying for Otherworldly negates the possibility that you can qualify for Telflammar Shadowlord via the region option, that leaves 2 ranks of Knowledge(Local), which you never get. You also don't list an alignment, Telflammar Shadowlord must be non-good (but this is relatively minor). Technically, you also never qualify for Jaunter (it requires that you have visited another plane, which I see no evidence of), but that's relatively minor in comparison to the SI and Shadowlord.

    Your build is sourced and layed out well enough. You also enter the SI as early as possible, and not just to splash it. Everything generally flows together well, despite the galring Factotum dip. I like that you avoided multiclass penalties.

    Use of the Secret Ingredient: 3.25
    You make use of the Alertness feat to qualify for Keen-Eared scout, further enhancing your scouting role (and enhancing your Tremorsense). You are an excellent tracker (especially with Astral Tracker), and utilize all of the entry skills aside from Search (which you don't completely abandon, but it suffers from neglect). Otherworldly is certainly a unique way to qualify for the SI's darkvision requirement, and turning Tunnelport into shadow pouncing is a great way to enhance the SI. Sneak Attack gives you a slight useage for part of Cavefighting (the boost to initiative).

    Unfortunately, you don't have a listed use for any of the other features of the SI, and you even wind up overshadowing some of them. Your teleportation abilities from Jaunter are more useful than Tunnelport, your Shadowsight from Telflammar Shadowlord is better than darkvision, and you don't take the last 3 levels of the SI. This normally wouldn't be a problem if you were picking up the same general things elsewhere (Jaunter gives you abilities better than Greater Tunnelport), but you miss out on Improved Cavefighting (for Int to damage so you can use your Inspiration points on attack rolls instead) and you completely miss out on Stonewalking. Sadly, you don't use much of the SI for anything.

    Also, while Riddick doesn't strike me as a Darkrunner (he's more like one of the things you should be afraid of in the dark), he does spend pretty much the entirety of Pitch Black leading a group of people through the darkness, and fights against gribbly horrors from beyond, so it kinda works.


    Skitters - 15.75
    Spoiler
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    Originality: 4
    A plucky little kobold guide who specializes in getting out of the way and hiding is certainly fun. Your inclusion of Tunnel Fighting, Evasive Reflexes, Keen-Eared Scout and Hindering Opportunist is both useful and flavorful. I've never even heard of Prime Underdark Guide, and it works wonderfully here. Kobolds are neat, and you use the race well. Your choice of skill tricks help reinforce the theme and skillset of the build. Ranger was expected, and Darkstalker is practically mandatory on any stealth build.

    I could see a party growing very attached to a Skitters NPC.

    Power: 3.75
    You've got versatility in spades. Skill heavy, the ability to aid your allies, and your ability to evade your foe are all excellent. You are a very good scout and tracker, and have the detection skills to make use of your enhanced darkvision range. Your Move Silently skill suffers a bit, as does your Search skill. Your spellcasting is very limited, but can provide a nice benefit here and there. Corner perch gives you a relatively safe perch to shoot at your foes from, and your other two skill tricks can come in handy. Your support ability is pretty fantastic, and has put Prime Underdark Guide on my short list of prestige classes to remember.

    However, you are not much use in combat. Sure, you can aid another, but when that is among your best options in combat, you are definitely in trouble. You can put out a little bit of damage in ranged combat, which is to say that you are a little above the party wizard shooting his crossbow at enemies. Being able to crawl into a diminutive hole is hilarious, as long as it can't be filled with water.

    Elegance: 4
    Your build is well sourced, and you qualify for everything you take. I particularly appreciate your Class Feature Showcase, it's very helpful. The build flows well through all levels, but you enter the SI as late as possible (and still be able to finish it), so you spend quite a bit of time not being a Darkrunner. This is just a clean, straightforward build, and I can't imagine any DM refusing it. The only other quibble I've got here is your interpretation of how Direction Sense and Underdark Lore interact. Direction Sense is very clear that you must be in your directional focus in order to study it, and that you must study it for 8 hours. To me, that is much more specific than having heard of the place before (or even having been there before).

    Use of the Secret Ingredient: 4
    Given that you nicely laid out this information, let's give it an easy rundown. You do a great job of building on the pre-requisites. You use Alertness and Track to qualify for other feats and Prestige Classes that further enhance the SI. Spelunking and Darkvision both get some love, and Cavefighting (and Improved Cavefighting) even get a boost from your corner perch skill trick. You enhance Tremorsense with Keen-Eared scout and Point It Out. Aberration Lore gets a small boost from your Favored Enemy feature.

    However, you don't have a good use for any of the other abilities, you just "have" them. I suppose an argument could be made for the Darkrunner Emblem use, but it's minor enough to not matter score-wise.

    Skitters is a good fit for the SI, and the build really evokes the flavor of the SI.


    The Ariadne - 15.25
    Spoiler
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    Originality: 4
    A changeling adopted into a Hobgoblin tribe who emulates Hobgoblins and stalks the Underdark is interesting. I love Racial Emulation (I used it to fun effect in the Urban Soul round), and you've melded quite a few abilities here into something tasty. I liked the idea of petrifying foes and then interrogating them, even if it doesn't work (see elegance). Ranger was expected (urban ranger was a nice twist), but Stonedeath Assassin is pretty neat. Darkstalker pretty much has to be there, but you've got a nice light seasoning of Shadow Hand stuff that works well here. Using the Dark template to qualify for the Darkvision requirement is pretty snazzy. I always like to see well placed skill tricks, they really add a little flair.

    Power: 3.75
    As a scout, Ariadne is solid. Excellent sneaking skills, excellent detection skills, and a couple of handy skill tricks. The dark template really helps your stealth out, as do Stoneskulk Cloak of Deception. Stonedeath Assassin brings in several useful abilities, as well as some Sneak Attack for some much needed punch. She is an ok tracker, and her inclusion of Earth Devotion and Planar Touchstone add a little more to her in-combat abilities. Escape Artist provides a ready defense to grappling. However, Ariadne has a few design issues that should be addressed. The inclusion of two-weapon fighting is good (particularly to get more sneak attack), but also not well supported. Weapon Finesse helps to ameliorate the low strength and low-BAB issue (as well as Spot the Weak Point), but she still suffers a damage penalty to attacks (until she hits 16th level, where it's largely drowned out), and hitting is not a guarantee. In other words, it's a good thing you get TWF as a bonus feat. It's probably unwise to select Illithids as your Aberration Specialty with such a horrible will save. She also has no real versatility. She's a scout and skirmisher, and that's pretty much it. If it weren't for the inclusion of Stonedeath Assassin and a few feats, she'd be a model baseline build.

    Elegance: 3.75
    Nicely laid out, easy to read, and well sourced. You qualify for everything, and the build flows well except for the jump to Stonedeath Assassin after splashing Darkrunner. I'm not sure why you did that, as it seems like Stonedeath Assassin levels could have come at any point in the build, and not interrupted the SI. I did like that your sweet spot came so early in the build, and the clean mix of classes is pleasing. The main thing I wanted to address here, however, is Ariadne's advertised trick of using Lore of the Stones on a petrified creature. Sadly, this does not work, because a petrified creature is neither natural nor unworked stone. More to the point, a petrified creature isn't an object either (this ruling came up in the Cipher Adept round too). It's very cool and flavorful, and I'd let it ride on rule of cool at my table, but it's something that some DM's might frown upon.

    Use of the Secret Ingredient: 3.75
    You made solid use of one of the entry skills. You picked up both feat pre-requisites as bonus feats, which is nice. You have a use for Cave Fighting/Improved Cavefighting, Tremorsense, a partial use of Spelunking, and Lore of the Stones (it doesn't work, but it's a neat idea).

    Unfortunately, the majority of the class doesn't get any love. You pump up your Escape Artist skill, which is good, but you start to neglect your Survival skill (granted, Spelunking gives you a benefit there).

    The build works as a Darkrunner, but it just doesn't stand out. It has all of the iconic abilities, but very few of them are put to any use. I liked the concept, there just needed to be more of a showcasing of her abilities. I think Stonedeath Assassin was a really good spice to add here, but you seemed to lose focus on the SI because of it. With a little more polish, I think Ariadne could really shine.


    Orion Garranan - 12.5
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    Originality: 3.75
    Wow, I had to dig to find Eneko, and Primordial is almost always good. I liked the use of Savant here, but Factotum really provides the oomph for this dish. I didn't pick up much on Orion as an entity, so it's hard to say anything about him here. Supernatural Transformation is a neat way to enhance your Invisibility spell-like ability.

    Power: 3.75
    Orion can provide some limited (but very useful) support. He's an excellent scout, as long as his foes can't see through his invisibility. You don't list any hide or move silent ranks, so I'm left with what you stated in your entry - that you only placed 1 rank in each (i.e. you placed 1 rank in all the skills after getting the ones you listed). Orion has some great versatility with UMD, Arcane Dilettante, 8 levels worth of Factotum goodies, and can operate as a face character. But what he can't seem to do is participate all that well in combat (aside from Intimidation, which he does very well). Factotum does pretty much all the heavy lifting here. Once he picks up Improved Cavefighting, he can dish out damage after he's set up the battlefield with Earth Devotion. Unfortunately, that doesn't come online until 17th level. Before that, he's left burning Inspiration to be more than a mild annoyance in combat.

    Elegance: 2.75
    The build is sourced, and laid out well enough. Alertness via familiar is clever. But there are three things that jump out immediately to me. The first is that you didn't take the time to finish your entry. I will judge the build as presented, but I won't build it for you. So I considered the skills you listed, as well as your note that you took 1 rank in every other skill. Aside from that, I won't play Schrödinger's skill points to try and complete your entry for you. I would suggest you finish your builds for future competitions. The second is that if your familiar dies or is dismissed, you have to make a DC 15 Fort save or lose xp. Given that you take a Rat familiar, then replace it with an Earth Mephit, and have a terrible Fort save, this is a recipe for lost xp. And lastly, your level dip in Savant means that you wind up taking multiclass penalties. You enter the SI early, but only to splash it and leave the rest for the end of your build.

    There's also a distinct possibility that you might not qualify for a Obtain Familiar. But since I can't quite sort that mess out, and given that Warlocks qualify for it, I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt here.

    Use of the Secret Ingredient: 2.25
    You ditch most of the prerequisites, but you do make use of Survival. Savant helps you to make use of a few of your Darkrunner skills by letting your party use your Listen skill. Earth Devotion lets you make good use of Cavefighting and Improved Cavefighting. Unfortunately, you pretty much ditch everything else.

    So, here's the dreaded question, why Darkrunner? Why not more Savant? Why not more Factotum? This really doesn't feel like a Darkrunner build, and it clearly would have been better of leaving the SI in the pantry.


    Ihlmrhys Do'ar - 11.75
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    Originality: 4
    A Lesser Drow Paladin bringing the mercy of the Martyred God to the Underdark is certainly fun. Noble Heart Paladin was something I had to look up (I like it), and Underdark Knight is awesome (especially for Earthglide at Paladin 12). I like the vibe that comes across for this character and build.

    Power: 3.75
    Ihlmrhys has a solid BAB, but suffers a little in the damage department until he picks up Shadow Blade. He's got smiting for bursts of damage, and Earth Glide helps with mobility. He's even got a small smattering of Paladin spells to bust out when needed. Your Earth Devotion/Spike Stones trick is neat, and provides some handy battlefield control. Divine Grace ensures that his saves are good. However, as you pointed out, his skills are pretty terrible across the board, leaving him with several skills that will be hard pressed to be meaningful in appropriate CR encounters.

    Elegance: 3
    Everything is nicely laid out and sourced. The level split here is good, and the build flows well at pretty much all levels. Picking up Track as a bonus feat would help lessen feat starvation, but you don't qualify for Noble Heart (see UotSI). You don't get into Darkrunner until late in the build, but otherwise this is build has a solid feel to it. I like it, and if it weren't for the failure to qualify for Noble Heart, I couldn't imagine many DMs having any issues with it.

    Use of the Secret Ingredient: 1
    So, you don't qualify for the Noble Heart substitution level, as per page 34 of Champions of Valor (which states you also need 1 rank of Knowledge(Religion)). Given how tight your skills are, I think this pretty much shoots you in the foot here. I'm going to provide my writeup anyway, but you get a 1 here for not qualifying for the SI.

    You do the best you can with what you work with, but you pretty much don't use any of the entry requirements. You make solid use of Darkvision, Cavefighting, and Improved Cavefighting. Earth Devotion is the prime thing that builds on the SI here. Underdark Knight improves your Darkvision further, but you lack the Spot ranks to fully take advantage of it. Your listed use of Direction Sense doesn't work, you have to be in the location you want to set as your directional focus, and study it for 8 hours. Pretty much every other ability from Darkrunner is left unenhanced. Not taking the last two levels doesn't hurt you much, however, because you make up for it. Underdark Knight more than makes up for the lost Darkvision boost, and Earth Glide is more potent than Stonewalking. About the only thing you lose out on is Greater Tunnelport, which doesn't hurt too much.

    Mechanics aside, Ihlmrhys really evokes the feel of Darkrunner. It's a tasty dish.


    Adlib - 17.25
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    Originality: 4
    Underfolk is certainly different, and human paragon? Neat. Your focus on skills and skill tricks is awesomely noteworthy, and great googly moogly you used the destiny feats from Races of Destiny. I've only seen one other build here do that, and it worked really well, so I'm glad to see them here. The madlib thing was cute, otherwise unhelpful.

    Power: 4.25
    Ok, let's see what you've got. You are a terrific scout (though the lack of Darkstalker is glaring). Between your skill tricks, your ability to take 10 on almost all the meaningful Darkrunner skills, and max ranks in all of them, you've got magnificent mobility skills, tracking, and grapple defense. The destiny feats are nice for a couple of get out of jail free options (but they are expensive options). You've got some great versatility. That said, your advertised combat abilities only last for as long as you have Inspiration points to burn. After you run out of Inspiration points, your combat contributions drop by half. Basically, your build has some issues with consistent power levels.

    Elegance: 5
    This build is pretty clean. Everything is sourced, and the layout is easy to read. You qualify for everything you took, and the build is generally solid all the way through. The only thing I can think of that might be of issue is whether or not Underfolk qualify as humans, but in my book if it has the Humanoid(Human) type and subtype, it qualifies.

    Use of the Secret Ingredient: 4
    Let's see how you did. You make good use of the entry requirements by taking max ranks in the skill requirements (and having the ability to take 10 in all of them from Exemplar). The Lend Talent ability of Exemplar adds a use for all of your class skills, and Trapfinding from Factotum adds a use for your maxed Search skill. You make massive use of the SI's class skills, which is great to see. Surprisingly, you are one of the only entries to benefit from the SI's Weapon Proficiencies. You enhance Spelunking via Exemplar, and Knowledge Devotion gives you enhanced benefit from Aberration Lore and Aberration Specialist. Cavefighting and Improved Cavefighting benefit marginally from Factotum, but you have no way of reliably generating difficult terrain. Unfortunately, the rest of the SI is mere sitting there.

    The build here is great. If you could have given more focus to the SI, or given a sample of the feel for the character, that would have helped here. As it is, you did good.


    Graima - 14
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    Originality: 4
    Foe Hunter? Lurk? Warlock? You have my attention! Blend Into Shadows and Crossbow Sniper are fun, and Whisper Gnomes are super sneaky. Ranger was expected, and Darkstalker is all but mandatory on a sneaking build. All in all though, this is a neat little package of vengeance upon Aberrations.

    Power: 3
    You are a good scout with excellent stealth and perception skills. You can trapfind (as long as you are psionically focused), and you can track. All good things. Foe Hunter adds some nice oomph to your combat abilities against aberrations. But even with Crossbow Sniper, your chosen method of engaging foes is dicey at best. Early on you are unlikely to remain hidden for long, and at later levels, you will plinking away at your foes for a long time and giving them ample opportunity to call for reinforcements, escape, etc. I have to admit, I'm a little bit surprised to not see Able Sniper here.

    Elegance: 4.25
    There's some good stuff here. The build is nicely laid out, and qualifies for everything. Everything is sourced. You jump into the SI as early as possible, and stick with it for a good while before interrupting it again. Picking up Track as a bonus feat was nice. My only real complaint here are the three dips you put forth.

    Use of the Secret Ingredient: 2.75
    Brass tacks time. You did well with the prerequisites. Gnome favored enemy gives a boost to your perception skills as well as enhancing Aberration Lore and Aberration Specialist. That said, you didn't really have any interesting use or enhancement for any of the other abilities. You do mention an interesting use for Tunnelport (teleporting around traps), so I'll give you that. But everything else is just "there".

    I love that you used Foe Hunter, but I'm afraid I have to ask the Dreaded Question, why didn't you just go with more Foe Hunter rather than Darkstalker? The focus here certainly seemed to be more on stalking and killing your chosen prey, rather than dealing with the SI. It definitely feels like there was some potential here. With a little more focus on the SI's abilities, you could have really scored well.


    Roy - 13.25
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    Originality: 2.75
    Let's see, dwarf, ranger, warblade, ubercharger. All pretty standard (and ranger was expected). But Deepstone Sentinel? At first I was skeptical about this, but thematically it fits well. A dwarf who can not only speak with the earth, but can command it as well? That's pretty snazzy. I can also appreciate the Bladerunner reference.

    Power: 4
    As an ubercharger, you are quite competent in melee, as expected. Your skills are competent, but you may struggle to hit your DC's in appropriate CR encounters. Maneuvers add extra punch, but it's not like you needed it. The battlefield control you get, however, is a nice addition. You aren't terribly versatile, but you are a very credible melee threat.

    Elegance: 4.5
    The build is nicely laid out and flows well. You qualified for everything you took. Snagging Track as a bonus feat is nice. However, you sneak in a Multiclass penalty at 15th level, which is going to cause you problems. Aside from that, I don't see anything that jumps out as being a problem for most tables.

    Use of the Secret Ingredient: 2
    Well ... you enhance Aberration Lore and Aberration Specialist with Favored Enemy. That ... that's pretty much it. Your Mountain Fortress doesn't trigger Cavefighting, because it doesn't make your square difficult terrain. Why did you take the SI again? It really seems like you'd have been better off with just doing a Warblade/Deepstone Sentinel ubercharger.


    Esmar Tuek - 15.25
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    Originality: 4
    Another Foe Hunter? I can't say I expected this class. And Martial Rogue with Web Enhancement substitution levels I haven't heard of to boot. It's great to see Quick Reconnoiter get some love. Let's see, you've got some feats here that I can't say I have much experience with: Gnome Tunnel Acrobatics, Undermountain Tactics, and Tunnel Fighting. And what the heck is False Pretenses? Huh, that's neat. Dwarf is pretty much the only thing here that's boring.

    Power: 3.5
    Ok, you've got some good skills to play with, mainly your perception skills. So you make a good lookout. Your mobility skills aren't bad (some of them will give you trouble in appropriate CR encounters), and you've got a solid knowledge skill. Your various tactics feats give you a host of options in combat besides hacking away. You make repeated mention of tumbling in full plate, but I don't see heavy armor proficiency anywhere in the build. Your BAB is low for a melee character, and your damage output isn't generally too hot against things that aren't Aberrations.

    Elegance: 4.75
    The build is nicely laid out, and you qualify for everything you took. The build flows well. You entered the SI as early as possible, and finished it before picking up anything else. Picking up Track as a bonus feat was nice. The only glaring issue here is the use of variant rules (False Pretenses is a Spelltouched feats, which are variant rules). While the choice of feat is flavorful, it's also subject to a minor penalty. In general, I don't see much that a reasonable DM would argue against.

    Use of the Secret Ingredient: 3
    You take a hit here. You keep one entry skill maxed, and the other two flag behind a little. You enhance Spelunking a bit with Tunnel Fighting, and Favored Enemy enhance Aberration Lore and Specialist when dealing with Aboleths from your stated organization. Aside from that, you don't really build on or enhance much of the SI.

    That said, Esmar certainly feels like a Darkrunner, at least before he goes down the path of vengeance. I liked this build, and would have really liked to see it focus on the SI more.


    Creb Covenant - 16.75
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    Originality: 4.75
    Well, Sentinel of Bharrai and Spirit Shaman are straight out of left field. Those coupled with Hellbred just really threw me for a loop. It was neat to see Quick Recovery here. I'm still stunned at the appearance of all this stuff from BoED. It's a good thing that, like Creb, I've got Quick Recovery, or I wouldn't have recovered in time to judge the next category.

    Power: 4.5
    You've got up to 5th level spells from a solid list. That alone lets you be hugely versatile. You've got metamagic shenanigans you can play, some good skills, and a Bear form for combat. You don't hit +16 BAB, but you are close, and your bear form can really make up for that fact. The only real issue here is that your power level falls off once you jump into the SI, and never really recovers.

    Elegance: 5
    The entry is well laid out and easy to read. You qualify for everything you took, and the build flows well. There's really nothing here that I object to. It's a clean build, and I like that.

    Use of the Secret Ingredient: 2.5
    Yeah, I almost immediately had to ask why you took the SI in this build instead of more spellcasting. You took so much spellcasting, it is noticeably painful when you stopped. Sure, you use your spellcasting to enhance Cavefighting and it's Improved version, and Quick Recovery helps to minimize the risks with Stonewalking. But other than that there isn't anything else. There's not even a thematic connection I can see between bears, spirits, and the SI, despite your efforts to link them.

    Don't get me wrong. I like Creb, and I think he's an interesting and potent character. I just think he'd have been better off without the SI.


    Delehdas - 14.25
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    Originality: 3.75
    Savage Bard and Horizon Walker are fun, and Underfolk is neat. Ranger is expected, and Darkstalker comes as no surprise. I liked the theme of someone seeking out the homelands of their ancestors by powering UP through the underdark.

    Power: 3.5
    Your skills are decent, with solid perception skills, maxed UMD, Diplomacy, and a Knowledge skill. Your stealth skills are ok. You are also an excellent tracker. You hit +16 BAB, which is good for a melee fighter. Your Bard spells give you some added versatility. Horizon Walker gives you a handful of nice benefits. Unfortunately, you fall behind in the damage department and never really catch up. In short, your power comes from your versatility, not your combat ability.

    Elegance: 4.25
    The build flows well, qualifies for everything taken, is well sourced and easy to read. You take the SI reasonably early, and take it to completion without interruption. You pick up Track as a bonus feat, which is goo. You've got Endurance listed twice, so you've wasted a feat slot that might have been more useful to you.

    Use of the Secret Ingredient: 2.75
    Favored Enemy and Improved Favored Enemy build on Aberration Lore and Specialist. And you use an entry skill to qualify for Horizon Walker. You really don't do much else with the SI though.

    While I really enjoyed the thematic idea of dungeon delving in the opposite direction, you didn't do much to focus on the SI. The build still feels like a Darkrunner through most of it, but the inclusion of Horizon Walker just falls flat here. I think it's a case of adding the wrong spice to a promising dish.


    Amaljss Myund - 12.75
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    Originality: 3.75
    Well now. This is interesting, and risky. You eat 3 La for a Lolth-touched Drow. You got guts, I'll give you that. Favored Power Attack and Improved Favored Enemy were good additions. Swift Hunter isn't anything new, and ranger was expected. This is a fun concept of a good little drow male doing as he's told and slaying the enemies of his matriarchy.

    Power: 3
    You've got an excellent array of skills that support your role as a scout and tracker. Power attack is handy to bring the hurt ... but you've also gone the two-weapon fighting route (which doesn't mix well with power attack). More importantly, you don't have the BAB to really take advantage of either. You are also extremely fragile in your early levels.

    Elegance: 3.25
    The build flows reasonably well, and you qualify for everything you took. Your mix of classes is good. The build is not really sourced. Darkrunner comes online as last as it possibly can and still complete. You've also got issues with your fighting style selection. Power Attack and TWF are not chocolate and peanut butter, they are oil and water. The build is otherwise solid, and would be unlikely to raise any eyebrows in any DM's game, save for one that started at low level.

    Use of the Secret Ingredient: 2.75
    You kept all the entry skills as maxed as they can get. You enhance Aberration Lore and Specialist with Favored Enemy, Favored Power Attack, and Improved Favored Enemy. But aside from that, you don't really do anything with the SI.

    Amaljss doesn't really sell me on being a Darkrunner. He's a good little male who hunts the foes he is told to hunt. The connection to Darkrunner just seems pretty tenuous.


    Rizzo - 10.75
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    Originality: 3.75
    A dragonborn out to kill all the Umberhulks is an interesting thing. Tunnel Fighting and Tunnel Fighter pique my interest. Warrior? You took an NPC class ... no, you took the Generic Warrior from Unearthed Arcana? Well, that's certainly a risky proposition in this competition. I'll toss you a few points here, because you are going to lose some in Elegance.

    Power: 2.75
    You are a good tracker, and can find traps. You've got a solid knowledge skill, and can reliably maneuver around foes in combat. You hit that tasty +16 BAB. Unfortunately, you'll struggle to do much in combat. You do pick up Power Attack (at 18th level), but prior to that, there isn't much. Darkstalker doesn't really do anything for you, as you have no ranks in hide, so you'll be trivially easy to spot. You used Generic Warrior, which nets you a bunch of tasty bonus feats (not just fighter bonus feats), which you use to grab a whole bunch of stuff that doesn't help your build (Power Attack being the only one that provides a strong benefit).

    Elegance: 2.25
    The build is nicely laid out and is easy to read. You qualify for everything you took. Picking up Track as a bonus feat was nice. You jump into the SI as early as possible, and finish it without interruption. You provide a list of sources, but don't specify what items go with what sources, so any time I encountered something I wasn't familiar with (Tunnelfighting), I had to crack open everything on your source list until I found it. You used a variat rules system (incorrectly too, you can't combine generic classes with regular classes), and didn't even leverage the power that gave you (not to mention the issues some DM's will have with it), so you take a hit here for that.

    Use of the Secret Ingredient: 2
    You max the entry skills, which is good. And Dragonborn gives you enhanced Darkvision range to couple with the SI. But then you don't really use any of the rest, or enhance them with anything in your build. Not only that, but there's nothing here that indicates why you took the SI instead of something else.


    Steven - 12.75
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    Originality: 3.5
    Steve the dwarf if all over the place. Trapsmith was a nice surprise, and setting traps to hinder your foes before they get to you works well with the SI. Staggering Strike is a classic. Swashbuckler was an interesting inclusion, and I like how it mixes with the SI. Cloistered Cleric dips are well known.

    Power: 3.75
    You are the only one here who tried to leverage Search, but with a Disable Device skill that low, you will have issues later in the build. You are half of a good lookout, have a smattering of solid knowledge skills, and have some interesting utility with Trapsmith. You get a handful of devotion feats from your cloistered cleric level, but no spellcasting, because 8 Wisdom. Staggering Strike is great. Getting Int to damage from Swashbuckler, and again from the SI (reliably with Earth Devotion) is a much needed boost.

    Elegance: 2.75
    The build is laid out well enough. It was easy to read and flows ok. Your sources were a little wonky for me, but that's probably because I'm used to seeing a list of them in the build, rather than embedded where they are used. You jump into the SI very late. You don't qualify for Practiced Spellcaster. And lastly, you are facing multiclass penalties for your two dips.

    Use of the Secret Ingredient: 2.75
    So, what do we have? You've got two of the entry skills at max, or near it. You build on your search skill to qualify for Trapsmith. Knowledge Devotion helps build on Aberration Lore and Specialist, and Swashbuckler 3's Int to damage doubles up with the SI all cozy-like when you use Earth Devotion to take advantage of Cavefighting/Improved Cavefighting. The rest of the class is left by the wayside, unfortunately.

    This just doesn't evoke the feel of the SI. It honestly seems a bit rushed, but is too bad, because I really think if you had re-worked this a bit and focused more on the SI, you could have really shined here.


    So there you have it. Let the wailing and gnashing of teeth commence!
    Last edited by Deadline; 2014-06-13 at 04:50 PM.
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  8. - Top - End - #398
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground LVII

    And a fourth judge steps forward with scores! Thank you for judging Deadline!

    With more judges and more scores come more tables!
    Four judges, mid disputes
    Entry Rama OMG PONIES Muggins Deadline Total Place
    Creb Covenant 17.5 15.5 17.5 16.75 67.25 1st
    Skitters 17.75 17 16.75 15.75 67.25 1st
    Ariadne 15.75 16.5 17.25 14.75 64.25 3rd
    Adlib 15 16 16 17 64 4th
    Delehdas 14.75 15 17 14.25 61 5th
    Amaljss Myund 15.75 16 14 12.75 58.5 6th
    Graima 13.75 15 15.5 14 58.25 7th
    Roy 16 15 13 13.25 57.25 8th
    Ryld 13 15 11.5 13.5 53 9th
    Rizzo 10.5 14.5 14 11.25 50.25 10th
    Richard B Riddick 9 8.5 8.25 12 37.75 11th

    Entry Rama OMG PONIES Muggins Deadline Total Place
    Esmar Tuek 16.75 15 -- 15.25 47 Limbo 1
    Ihlmrhys Do'ar 14 16 -- 11.75 41.75 Limbo 2
    Steven 12 11 -- 12.75 35.75 Limbo 3
    Orion Garranan 10.5 11.5 -- 12.5 34.5 Limbo 4

  9. - Top - End - #399
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground LVII

    Foreword, before I start talking disputes: I'm currently working on those scorings for the four FtQ builds, but I don't think they'll shake up the scores all that much. I wonder if we'll get a dispute from Skitters or Creb to break that 1st place tie.

    Ryld: No alteration to scores.
    Spoiler: Disputes
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryld
    Preqs for the feat are:

    Ability to cast arcane spells without preparation.

    This does not specify the need to be an arcane caster, just the ability to spontaneously cast spells. From what I can gather Tieflings have the innate ability to cast Darkness, not just use it as an SLA. The reason for this is the way it's worded in the MM.

    Quote Originally Posted by MM p.210
    Darkness (Sp): A tiefling can use darkness once per day (caster level equal to class levels).
    There is no mention of it being an SLA such as those granted to say the Drow

    Quote Originally Posted by MM p.103
    —Spell-Like Abilities: Drow can use the following spell-like abilities once per day: dancing lights, darkness, faerie fire. Caster level equals the drow’s class levels.
    This leads me to believe that the tiefling does actually cast the spell. To confirm it however I looked through the other source material and found this from the FRCS
    Quote Originally Posted by FRCS p.18
    Darkness (Sp): Tieflings can use darkness once per day as cast by a sorcerer of their charachter level.
    In both cases for the tiefling the ability to use Darkness is a special quality and not an SLA. I believe this meets the prerequisite requirement for Fiendish Bloodline as presented by the Dragon Compendium.
    The (Sp) tag stands for Spell-Like Ability. A Tiefling's ability to cast Darkness is therefore a Spell-Like Ability. Thus, it follows the same rules as other Spell-Like Abilities.

    The Fiendish Bloodline [Bloodline] feat from Dragon Compendium has the prerequisite "ability to cast arcane spells without preparation." Firstly, spell-like abilities are not arcane. Secondly, spell-like abilities are not spells. Result: You don't meet the prerequisites of this feat. Sorry. Judging Stands.

    [quote=Ryld]In choosing between the version posted in RoF versus that in the DC, according to my understanding of the contest rules, we have to used the most recently published version. RoF was published in 2003, and the DC in 2005, As a result I deferred to the DC.]
    The Fiendish Bloodline [Bloodline] feat from Dragon Compendium and the Fiendish Bloodline feat from Races of Faerun are wholly unrelated. It's not an update to an old feat, but a new feat with the same name (and, for the sake of differentiation, the [Bloodline] tag). Doesn't your claim seem odd if Fiendish Bloodline was "updated" but Outsider Wings never was? Judging Stands


    Steven: It's a shame, because if you'd held off on the Domain-to-Devotion swap then you would've qualified. As-is, you'll be getting a deduction in your final score (once I get it up).
    Last edited by Muggins; 2014-06-11 at 11:35 AM.
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    IC 82: North and East and Gripp (Tied for Gold!)
    VC 17: Liridon (Silver)
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground LVII

    I'm close to finishing my judging, but procrastination might delay me beyond the deadline; I might end up posting tomorrow, but might not, and it won't leave much time for disputes. I think I'll have to drop out from judging. If people want, I'll post my thoughts/judgings, and my latest update for my judgement criteria.
    Sorry for bailing...


    Currently Recruiting: rogue_alchemist's The Thing.

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground LVII

    Quote Originally Posted by AvatarVecna View Post
    I'm close to finishing my judging, but procrastination might delay me beyond the deadline; I might end up posting tomorrow, but might not, and it won't leave much time for disputes. I think I'll have to drop out from judging. If people want, I'll post my thoughts/judgings, and my latest update for my judgement criteria.
    Sorry for bailing...
    Aw, that's all right. Having four judges ain't too shabby. I'd personally like to hear whatever judging thoughts you have, but if they're unofficial, you might want to wait until after the deadline.

  12. - Top - End - #402
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground LVII

    Quote Originally Posted by sakuuya View Post
    Aw, that's all right. Having four judges ain't too shabby. I'd personally like to hear whatever judging thoughts you have, but if they're unofficial, you might want to wait until after the deadline.
    Oh, I'm definitely waiting until after the deadline's over, and probably after final scores are posted, assuming I can't get my thoughts typed out in the 30 hours remaining. I agree; four judges isn't bad, and that a fifth who can't make it is relatively inexperienced anyway isn't a huge loss in any respect.


    Currently Recruiting: rogue_alchemist's The Thing.

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground LVII

    Re: Ryld's dispute on Fiendish Bloodline, I'm assuming this dispute was also for me because I scored the same way. I see that Muggins already tackled the issue, and my response is the same in regards to the (Sp) tag. Everything else looked more like commentary than disputes; while it helps to have the response, perhaps that should wait until after the Big Reveal so the chef can openly make the "mea culpa" comments without cluttering the already-crowded dispute process? Just a thought. Scoring stands.

    Please, do us judges a favor and indicate whose score is being disputed. We don't need a lengthy introduction, just a simple @Ponies or Re: OMG will do. This helps us make sure we haven't missed any disputes meant for us without having to read through everything intended for another judge.
    Quote Originally Posted by Vaz View Post
    Ponies, the Kim Karsdashian of GITP.
    This is what happens when they let me DM:
    Beyond the Horizon IC / OOC
    A Time to Die: Alpha IC / Bravo IC / OOC

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground LVII

    Disputes are starting to come back through!

    Quote Originally Posted by Graima
    @Muggins:
    This is because "the language (if any) of the intended hared enemy" is a phrase which is open for dispute, discussion and disagreement. Your DM could rule that since Mind Flayers only speak Undercommon, you should know that. Your DM might rule that "the language" refers to a racial language, and that since Mind Flayers don't have one you don't need to meet the requirement. It's a questionable ruling, and I deducted you appropriately. Judging stands.
    that i have Mind Flayers as my target for Aberration Specialist is not relevant, the question is if Aberrations (as a creature type) have a racial language.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rizzo
    @Muggins
    Rizzo: No alteration.
    Here you go.
    Judging stands.

    **Rebuttle - Muggins did you really read this ?

    **I Challenged you to show me the words that state CAN NOT, NOT ALLOWED, or BANNED for the generic classes.

    **(EPIC FAIL for you) You mearly pasted the SRD reference for generic classes which is identical to UA page 76.


    If you use these generic classes, you shouldn't also use the standard character classes (or variants of those classes).


    **Good grief Muggins are you really that bent that the term shouldn't, SHOULD NOT is some how interpreted as can not, not allowed or banned ?


    **where the heck are you getting that interpretation from?

    **Definition
    should·n't [shood-nt] contraction of should not.

    should not
    means not recommended although acceptable in particular circumstances but the full implications must be understood.

    ** if you had went the route of Questionable Rules, I would probly have seen the logic in that, but this is just plain silly.

    **
    revisit your scoring: This is something the build CAN do.

    @Deadline:
    thanks for you comments

    Elegance:
    you can't combine generic classes with regular classes), and didn't even leverage the power that gave you (not to mention the issues some DM's will have with it), so you take a hit here for that.

    Well I have hammered all the other judges on this one, so its your turn.
    Generic class If you use these generic classes, you shouldn't also use the standard character classes (or variants of those classes).
    term shouldn't, SHOULD NOT is some how interpreted as can not, not allowed or banned ?


    Definition
    should·n't [shood-nt] contraction of should not.

    should not
    means not recommended although acceptable in particular circumstances but the full implications must be understood.

    if you had went Questionable Rules, I would probly have seen the logic in that
    Quote Originally Posted by Ariadne
    @Deadline: I'm glad you enjoyed my build, and your overall assessment is accurate. However, I have a few points I would like to clarify.

    Firstly, the reason that Stonedeath Assassin levels are intermixed is to build on the abilities as soon as possible. The first two levels are to bring stoneskulk into play, meaning Ariadne can use Hide anywhere, an ability that is greatly appreciated early on. The last 3 levels are so that one can enjoy the benefits of stonedeath strike for more levels, which I felt would be more appreciated than having limited earth glide.

    Secondly, you say that lore of the stones cannot be used on a petrified creature. I realize that a petrified creature is not necessarily an object, but stone tell never makes any mention of objects, since the target is "you." As for a petrified creature not being "natural or unworked stone" I assume you meant "natural or worked stone," and I would consider a petrified creature to be worked stone, though I would understand if you still felt otherwise.

    Thirdly, I would remind that while Ariadne's base will save is low, 5 (base) +2(deepsong) + 4 (aberration specialist) is an 11 will save vs illithids, 13 against charm monster due to changeling's racial bonus vs charm, so it's not as one-sided as it may seem.

    Lastly, I wish to clarify that I do not, as you say "start to neglect your Survival skill" it is merely that the DCs for Track level off, and I stop with 18 ranks in Survival, plus 10 from spelunking gives a modifier of +28, and since lore of the stones allows you to treat the cave as very soft ground Ariadne can track a fine creature on an overcast night (assuming the underground is constantly under this poor visibility condition) that is moving at half speed and covering its tracks while moving at normal speed myself without failure. I saw no point in putting any more ranks in survival, and I stopped here since I could easily track the spiders I sent to follow someone. I decided to be efficient and spend the points elsewhere.
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground LVII

    I'm feeling some hostility from Rizzo here. Since this is a matter which applies to both me and Deadline (and to the other judges, since Rizzo is pushing the Generic Warrior point), could we get an official ruling from the chairman on whether "shouldn't" is equivalent to "can't" for the purposes of mixing Standard and Generic classes? I'd rather not argue semantics on my own, and it should probably be addressed at some point.

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    While I could discuss this topic further, doing so would likely deviate too far from my original judging to be considered legitimate. In light of the fact that Foe Hunter's language requirement is not always required, the score will be modified accordingly. +0 to +0.5, for a total modification of +0.5.
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground LVII

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rizzo
    @Deadline:
    thanks for you comments

    Elegance:
    you can't combine generic classes with regular classes), and didn't even leverage the power that gave you (not to mention the issues some DM's will have with it), so you take a hit here for that.

    Well I have hammered all the other judges on this one, so its your turn.
    Generic class If you use these generic classes, you shouldn't also use the standard character classes (or variants of those classes).
    term shouldn't, SHOULD NOT is some how interpreted as can not, not allowed or banned ?


    Definition
    should·n't [shood-nt] contraction of should not.

    should not
    means not recommended although acceptable in particular circumstances but the full implications must be understood.

    if you had went Questionable Rules, I would probly have seen the logic in that
    You seem really hung up on debating specific words. But aside from no motivation to engage you on that, it's largely academic here. You shouldn't mix them, but that's not my main objection here. The deduction is because you used variant rules, which means that you are reducing your build's ability to fit in at most gaming tables. And you didn't even take advantage of those variant rules under power, so overall you took a net loss.

    No scoring adjustment.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Ariadne
    @Deadline: I'm glad you enjoyed my build, and your overall assessment is accurate. However, I have a few points I would like to clarify.

    Firstly, the reason that Stonedeath Assassin levels are intermixed is to build on the abilities as soon as possible. The first two levels are to bring stoneskulk into play, meaning Ariadne can use Hide anywhere, an ability that is greatly appreciated early on. The last 3 levels are so that one can enjoy the benefits of stonedeath strike for more levels, which I felt would be more appreciated than having limited earth glide.
    Yes, you take breaks away from the SI to focus on things that aren't the SI (or even all that related to its abilities). Your explanation for why you did that makes sense, but it you also hit on exactly why I made my deduction. You delay access to the SI's abilities, which means you spend more time of your build NOT being the SI.

    No scoring adjustment.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ariadne
    Secondly, you say that lore of the stones cannot be used on a petrified creature. I realize that a petrified creature is not necessarily an object, but stone tell never makes any mention of objects, since the target is "you." As for a petrified creature not being "natural or unworked stone" I assume you meant "natural or worked stone," and I would consider a petrified creature to be worked stone, though I would understand if you still felt otherwise.
    I can dig around for the argument I made back in Cipher Adept, but the general gist was that Stone to Flesh and Break Enchantment target creatures (petrified creatures specifically for Stone to Flesh). And that would indicate that a Petrified Creature is not simply stone. That said, I would allow it via rule of cool at my table, but I can absolutely see others saying no by the rules.

    No scoring adjustment.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ariadne
    Thirdly, I would remind that while Ariadne's base will save is low, 5 (base) +2(deepsong) + 4 (aberration specialist) is an 11 will save vs illithids, 13 against charm monster due to changeling's racial bonus vs charm, so it's not as one-sided as it may seem.
    Fair enough, but that was just commentary. I didn't dock anyone for their choice of aberration.

    No scoring adjustment.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ariadne
    Lastly, I wish to clarify that I do not, as you say "start to neglect your Survival skill" it is merely that the DCs for Track level off, and I stop with 18 ranks in Survival, plus 10 from spelunking gives a modifier of +28, and since lore of the stones allows you to treat the cave as very soft ground Ariadne can track a fine creature on an overcast night (assuming the underground is constantly under this poor visibility condition) that is moving at half speed and covering its tracks while moving at normal speed myself without failure. I saw no point in putting any more ranks in survival, and I stopped here since I could easily track the spiders I sent to follow someone. I decided to be efficient and spend the points elsewhere.
    True, but everyone gets that same benefit, so I was looking for those who went above and beyond. I had also assumed that your spider was using your tracking ability, not just crawling about in plain sight. Such a thing might be not worthy of notice for a little while, but if it crawled along with your prey long enough, it would start to seem strange. At any rate, it's a pretty minor deal (I lumped this and a couple of other minor things into a single small deduction). I really did like Ariadne, and if you had focused more on showcasing the SI (instead of Stonedeath Assassin), you would have placed higher.

    No scoring adjustment.


    Quote Originally Posted by Muggins View Post
    I'm feeling some hostility from Rizzo here. Since this is a matter which applies to both me and Deadline (and to the other judges, since Rizzo is pushing the Generic Warrior point), could we get an official ruling from the chairman on whether "shouldn't" is equivalent to "can't" for the purposes of mixing Standard and Generic classes? I'd rather not argue semantics on my own, and it should probably be addressed at some point.
    In answer to this, the generic classes are not forbidden in the OP, but instead follow the caution against variant rules (namely, it's in the judges purview to decide if a penalty should be assessed).

    You also mentioned earlier about how to score Failure to Qualify. Again in the OP, failing to qualify is not the same as using banned material, so it should not result in a Refusal to Judge. I tried to make it clear in my criteria that failing to qualify for the SI nets you a 1 in Use of the Secret Ingredient (because a 1 is the minimum score unless banned material is used), and any other failures to qualify are handled under Elegance. You'll need to decide how you want to handle them, but please don't refuse to judge them.
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground LVII

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuulvheysoon View Post
    Disputes are starting to come back through!
    Quick, let me flood your inbox again so they'll stop.That's right, no blue text.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuulvheysoon
    @PONIES: I'll start entering in the judge manually if the contestant only puts it in the subject line and bolding the judge.
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground LVII

    So the only open disputes are to Rama at this point?
    I am what lurks under your bridge, I am the troll...

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground LVII

    Quote Originally Posted by Deadline View Post
    In answer to this, the generic classes are not forbidden in the OP, but instead follow the caution against variant rules (namely, it's in the judges purview to decide if a penalty should be assessed).
    Yeah, to quote the rules of the competition:

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuulvheysoon
    Note that judges are allowed to look askance at any use of Unearthed Arcana not specifically mentioned above, at their discretion, and otherwise penalize Elegance according to their preference.
    For my own two cents (I am neither a chef nor a judge this round), the generic classes should be verboten alongside flaws, traits, alternate skill systems, et al. Playing with generic classes means you are more or less playing a different game than the rules of this contest otherwise imply. The ability to pick and choose skills, spells and class features as you'd like is especially problematic in a competition like this, where figuring out how to qualify is a big part of the contest.
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground LVII

    If you're getting that worked up over a silly little internet game where we invent imaginary friends in our minds and then actually make rules for them using one of the most complicated poorly written rulesets I've ever heard of to the extent that you're belittling and insulting those judges who take the time out of their lives to judge yours and 14+ others, then you either need to re-evaluate your life, or take a nice long walk around the block.

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground LVII

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaz View Post
    ...or take a nice long walk around the block.
    I don't know, I think a long walk off a short pier might be more effective.

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground LVII

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaz View Post
    If you're getting that worked up over a silly little internet game where we invent imaginary friends in our minds and then actually make rules for them using one of the most complicated poorly written rulesets I've ever heard of to the extent that you're belittling and insulting those judges who take the time out of their lives to judge yours and 14+ others, then you either need to re-evaluate your life, or take a nice long walk around the block.
    I don't know about the rest of you, but I think this (or some paraphrase of it) should be included in the ICC rules/guidelines.


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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground LVII

    Quote Originally Posted by AvatarVecna View Post
    I don't know about the rest of you, but I think this (or some paraphrase of it) should be included in the ICC rules/guidelines.
    From the first link in the FAQ, written by some dude with too much time on his hands:

    5. Repeat After Me - It's Not That Serious: This is a contest with no real prize on a message board dedicated to a comic that pokes fun at a game. It's difficult to come up with a scenario that's less SrsBzns than that without considerable effort. Have fun, enjoy the process, and hopefully learn something about D&D 3.5 while you're competing. Unless you sign your name to the entry or decide (against the contest's spirit and rules) to otherwise reveal yourself ahead of time as a particular entrant's creator, the judges aren't saying anything about you, personally. So, don't take it personally. It will be okay. Remember, your worst completed effort in this contest scores better than any effort you made for the contest and didn't finish.
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground LVII

    @Deadline: Two quick arithmetic questions for ya:

    • Ariadne: the categories given add up to 15, but the total given was 14.75. Which is accurate?
    • Rizzo: the categories given add up to 10.75, but the total given 11.25. Which is accurate?
    Quote Originally Posted by Vaz View Post
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground LVII

    Quote Originally Posted by Amphetryon View Post
    From the first link in the FAQ, written by some dude with too much time on his hands:
    Cool! It's already a thing!


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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground LVII

    Quote Originally Posted by OMG PONIES View Post
    @Deadline: Two quick arithmetic questions for ya:

    • Ariadne: the categories given add up to 15, but the total given was 14.75. Which is accurate?
    • Rizzo: the categories given add up to 10.75, but the total given 11.25. Which is accurate?
    Math is hard. The categories are correct, i just failed to add correctly.
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground LVII

    Quote Originally Posted by Deadline View Post
    Math is hard. The categories are correct, i just failed to add correctly.
    Thanks! The spreadsheet demanded answers. It is now satisfied.
    Quote Originally Posted by Vaz View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deadline View Post
    Math is hard. The categories are correct, i just failed to add correctly.
    That should be the slogan for this entire competition... we've all done that so many times.
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground LVII

    Now that this is basically done, here's why I think Darkhunter is actually way worse than dwarven defender:

    Darkhunter Criticism:

    As a melee prestige class, you have only a d6, 3/4ths BAB, and the following mechanical bonuses:
    +2 Attack/saves versus aberrations, +4 versus subset.
    Intelligence modifier to initiative
    +2 AC when in difficult terrain
    Move normally over difficult terrain
    Tremorsense 30ft
    +2 morale to will saving throws
    Intelligence modifier to damage when in difficult terrain

    That is not enough over 10 levels to support a melee prestige class.


    As a scouting/skilled prestige class, you get 6+int skills, plus:
    Bonus on Climb, Escape Artist, Jump, Survival, and Swim check + taking 10
    Darkvision +50ft
    Tunnelport/Greater 1/day
    Stone tell 1/day, improved stone tell, + survival on stone as if soft ground
    Stone Walk 10+int modifier times per day

    Here's the big problem: That isn't enough to keep you alive if you're 50 ft in front of the party and get ambushed. With a d6 and no innate armor proficiency and a weak will save which aberrations are known to take advantage of, you're screwed. The “scouting” minigame is on that works poorly in D&D and this prestige class doesn't help you with it, gaining no innate bonuses to hide/move silently and only a few minor “oh crap, evacuate” abilities. As a skill based prestige class, you're expected to be able to deal with traps. Darkrunner is missing Search, Disable Device, and Open lock.

    There are roles for a party, and Darkrunner helps you fill 0 of them, except sort of the tertiary scouting role --- which is really just asking for you to eat a charm or dominate while you're in front of the party and to get sent back as an assassin.

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground LVII

    Quote Originally Posted by Ikeren View Post
    There are roles for a party, and Darkrunner helps you fill 0 of them, except sort of the tertiary scouting role --- which is really just asking for you to eat a charm or dominate while you're in front of the party and to get sent back as an assassin.
    Upside: Since you suck so hard from your Darkrunner levels, you probably won't be able to kill any of your buddies before you get dispelled.
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