A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #61
    Titan in the Playground
     
    AvatarVecna's Avatar

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    Jan 2014

    Default Re: Villainous Competition VI: Clever Girl...

    Pennywise, eat your heart out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Project D.U.M.B.A.S.S.
    Project D.U.M.B. A. S. S.
    DISJUNCTION BY MULTIPLE BITE ATTACKS STEALTH SPIDER
    CE 4-headed Spellgaunt Rogue 1/Battle Dancer 1/Swordsage 1
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    This monstrosity, but worse.


    The Research
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    Ability Scores
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    Elite Array: 15 Str, 13 Dex, 8 Con, 10 Wis, 12 Int, 14 Cha
    With Adjustments for Spellgaunt: 23 Str, 17 Dex, 14 Con, 10 Wis, 14 Int, 24 Cha
    With Adjustments for Multiheaded: 23 Str, 17 Dex, 20 Con, 10 Wis, 14 Int, 24 Cha
    There are two stat boosts, one at the 20th HD and one at the 24th. Invest both in Str, or one in Str and one in Dex, depending on whether you plan to give the final creation inherent bonuses.

    Note also that investment in Cha assumes that the save DCs for the Spellgaunt’s Disjunctive Bite and Force Web are Cha based. MMII and the Update/Errata Documents do not explicitly say this is the case, though general rules strongly suggest that it is for all (Su) special attacks.

    Build Table
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    CR Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    12 Spellgaunt (16 HD) +16 +10 +10 +5 Hide 19, Spot 19, Jump 19, Move Silently 5cc, Balance 5, Spellcraft 2cc 1: Darkstalker, 3: Mage Slayer, 6: Martial Study (Claw at the Moon), 9: Multiattack, 12: Rapidstrike (Claws), 15: Martial Stance (Leaping Dragon Stance) Disjunctive Bite, Enhanced Bite, Force Web, Snatch Item, Detect Magic, Quick Leap, SR 35, Skill Bonuses, +7 Natural Armor
    16 Multiheaded Template (First Additional Head: +2 HD) +18 +11 +11 +6 Hide 21, Spot 21, Jump 21, Move Silently 6cc, Balance 5, Spellcraft 2 18: Improved Rapidstrike (Bites), Multiheaded: Improved Initiative, Multiheaded: Combat Reflexes Extra Bite, Skill Bonuses, +1 Natural Armor
    17 Multiheaded Template (Second and Third Additional Heads: +4 HD) +22 +13 +13 +7 Hide 25, Spot 25, Jump 25, Move Silently 8cc, Balance 5, Spellcraft 2 21: Improved Multiattack Extra Bites, Skill Bonuses, +2 Natural Armor
    18 Battle Dancer 1 +23 +15 +15 +9 Hide 26, Spot 24, Jump 26, Move Silently 13, Balance 5, Spellcraft 2 Battle Dancer: Improved Unarmed Strike Unarmed Strike, AC Bonus
    19 Rogue 1 +23 +15 +17 +9 Hide 27, Spot 27, Jump 27, Move Silently 18, Balance 5, Spellcraft 2 24: Craven Sneak Attack 1d6, Trapfinding
    20 Swordsage 1 +23 +15 +19 +11 Hide 28, Spot 27, Jump 28, Move Silently 24, Balance 5, Spellcraft 2 - Maneuvers (Distracting Ember, Flashing Sun, Leaping Flame, Cloak of Deception, Sudden Leap, Dancing Mongoose), 4 Maneuvers Readied, Stance Known (Hunter’s Sense), Quick to Act +1


    The Tour
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    The Breeding Program (CR12)
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    “Here in this facility, we’ve been conducting magical research to create the perfect predator. This was the first step in the project. We maintain a captive breeding population of Spellgaunts here, from which a combination of conventional training, selective breeding, and more direct magical modification birthed the specimens that we will exhibit later on.”

    Archmage Feldwynn was clearly very pleased with his work. He had a reputation of staggering ingenuity, if not of great decision making. Looking down into the enclosure below where the arachnid monstrosities scuttled about, and scribbling some notes, Parker Brightsong, the reporter to whom Feldwynn was reciting his spiel, cleared his throat. “Let’s start with the training, since it sounds like the real triumphs of breeding and magic come later on.” he said, trying to hide his fear of the creatures.

    “Certainly,” said Feldwynn happily, “Spellgaunts have a naural talent for hiding, even with their size, but they can be prone to alerting prey with the noise they make. It’s uphill work training them to move quietly. We conducted some brief experiments interbreeding them with a green dragon colleague of mine, but were unable to cause the knack for silent movement to manifest the way it sometimes does in sorcerers of similar lineage. Still, we’ve had some positive results.”

    “I see,” said Brightsong, “They also seem remarkably agile. Is that also part of their stealth training?”

    “No, that’s largely for another purpose,” replied the Archmage. “Spellgaunts are naturally able to take great leaps very suddenly, but face the same limitations that other creatures do when jumping without a running start. We introduced them to some martial jumping techniques to enhance the ability. The techniques were apparently inspired by wild beasts in the first place, and the spellgaunts took to them very quickly.”

    “So basically,” Parker tried to summarize, “you took a bunch of terrifying giant spiders that eat magic, taught them to be sneakier, and to do kung fu?”

    “Well, yes, as a starting point.”
    Spellgaunts are nasty pieces of work from MMII. They’re giant magical beast spiders that eat magic items, shoot webs of force, can make a standing jump as a free action, and their bite stops a creature that fails its save from using spells, SLAs, or Su abilities for 1d2 rounds. The original DR 40/+4 was reduced to 15/magic in the 3.5 update, but their SR 35 remains intact, and will be a non-trivial hurdle even for someone casting at CL20, at least before things like Assay Spell Resistance start getting involved. In addition to spending cross-class ranks to buff up Move Silently, we also sink a few points into Spellcraft to qualify for Mage Slayer to make things even more inconvenient for spellcasters whose grill it gets into (even if his initial attack doesn’t manage to get a successful Disjunctive Bite off on them, he’ll get another chance if they can’t or won’t move out of his range before casting. We’re also optimizing the Spellgaunt’s Quick Leap ability, which allows it to make a standing jump as a free action. In the interests of everyone’s sanity, I’m taking an assumption that this ability has a 1/turn limit, though the RAW doesn’t really seem to support this conservative reading (if you insist upon throwing something that makes NI jumps per round at your PCs, see the adaptation section). Thus, we want to make our standing jump count, to which end we pick up Leaping Dragon Stance through Martial Study, which removes the penalty for jumps without running starts, and tosses an extra +10 onto the check for good measure.

    Because Multiheaded is an inherited template, this isn’t so much an earlier encounter with the same monster discussed in later entries as it is a “prototype” version that the PCs might encounter when they aren’t yet ready to face the real thing.

    If you want to use the fluff I presented, I would recommend feeding the Spellgaunt colony through a caster using Legion’s Magic Weapon or Legion’s Greater Magic Weapon to turn a bunch of sticks into +x clubs or somesuch, as it’s difficult to produce enough real magic items to feed them (probably, it’s not explicitly stated how much they need to eat, though MMII does seem to suggest that Spellgaunt colonies somehow exist without casters to keep them fed, but whatever). It also puts on a good show for the players if they happen to be touring the facility.

    The Hunter (CR 17)
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    The tour continued on to the next room, where Brightsong almost immediately had to suppress a shudder. The new enclosure featured spellgaunts which had clearly been tampered with magically. The monstrosities had two of their strange monstrous heads, and in some cases three or even four.

    “Causing the extra heads to develop was an uphill task, I don’t mind telling you,” Feldwynn commented wryly. “We’re not certain whether the difficulty arose from the creatures’ natural resistances to magic, or simply the complexities of their bites, but we lost a great many eggs in our attempts to magically induce the mutation, or simply failed to affect the embryos within. It’s proven well worth the effort in the end though, I daresay. The danger of a spellgaunt increases in direct proportion with the number of times it can bite, and multiple bites allow the creature to attack more rapidly with said bites. The extra heads also enhance their already impressive vision and give them the necessary reactive ability to put further pressure on their prey.”

    “Truly a fearsome beast,” the journalist replied, staring in fascinated horror at the creatures below. “I shudder to think what you’ve done to top this.”
    Since the Spellgaunt’s primary debuff comes from biting, we want it to have as many bites as possible. To that end, we tack on the Multiheaded template. Unfortunately, special attacks concerning bites (such as the Spellgaunt’s Enhanced Bite and Disjunctive Bite) should almost certainly count as head based special attacks, even if they aren’t exactly like Breath Weapons or Gaze attacks, so the first extra head is a huge +4 CR hurdle. The heads after that come easier, as the CR increase for head based special attacks is a flat one, and the increase in CR for 3 extra heads is the same as that for 2 extra heads, so we jump up from 2 heads to 4 for a single point of CR. The Rapidstrike line doesn’t carry the same baggage that the Weapon Focus line does of needing all the feats to choose the same natural weapon, and they’d be redundant applied to the same one, so we’re going to take advantage of that little quirk of RAW and use Rapidstrike (Claws) to qualify for Improved Rapidstrike (Bites). For those of you keeping track at home, that (and Improved Multiattack) brings the full attack routine up to 4 bites at full attack bonus, 4 extra iterative style bites, 2 claws at full attack bonus, and a claw at -5. Multiheaded also adds Combat Reflexes to kick Mage Slayer up a notch, albeit only one what with the lack of reach. Note also, that you can perform free actions while performing other actions, so if it starts a turn within melee reach, it can make a few attacks to bring down an enemy or just debuff them with one of its many Disjunctive Bites, then take a Quick Leap partway through its full attack and use the rest of its attacks on someone else. instead.

    Apex Predator (CR20)
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    “This, is the pinnacle of our research up to this point. The four-headed creatures you saw in the last room represented the furthest that avenue of experimentation could go. Other researchers have published papers on creatures with multiple heads from other species suggest that three additional heads is the maximum limit a creature of that size will be able to support. We considered other forms of cross-breeding, but ultimately decided on conventional martial and stealth training. He is swift precise and brutal, a predator that will bring swift death to those unfortunate enough to be his prey.” The Archmage’s voice was swollen with pride and accomplishment.

    “And do you think this was wise?” Brightsong looked with apprehension at the creature scuttling around the tank below. “I mean, what if he gets out? And what do you intend to do with such a creature?”

    Feldwynn opened his mouth to answer, then turned sharply to a zit faced half-elven intern with a bow that he had just noticed drawing a bow with a glittering arrow knocked upon it. “You there! What are you doing?”

    “Oh,” said the intern guiltily. “I got tired of going down to push the magic weapons in to his tank, so I’ve just been enhancing these arrows and giving ’em a dose of brilliant energy so they go right through the glass. He seems to enjoy chasing after ’em. Hey!” He turned toward the hulking monster in the enclosure, “See if you can catch this one in your mouth!”

    “No!” Feldwynn shouted, but it was too late. The arrow glided through the pane of glass toward one of the spellgaunt’s heads. With a fluid motion, the creature dodged aside so the arrow deflected harmlessly off of one of the chitinous plates on its back. In a flash of fire, the spellgaunt vanished, reappearing in an instant, next to the intern, free of its cage. The archmage’s eyes went wide, and he vanished, equally suddenly into thin air, the disjunctive fangs of one of the creatue’s heads closing a hair’s breadth from where he stood.

    In a smooth ballet of sudden violence the spellgaunt lashed out against the intern with a barrage of strikes, leaving him dead and bloody on the floor of the lab. Three of the heads bent down to feed on the body and the magic items it had born, while the fourth turning to leer at the journalist with eight cruel, hungry eyes. “I’ll give you a five minute head start,” it said. “The hunt is on.”

    We finish off with a few class levels. They allow our spellgaunt to finally catch Move Silently (now at long last a class skill) up to where it should be at this CR, pick up craven for more damage (we end up with a character level of 25, keep in mind, so it’s even more of a damage boost than it normally is for PCs), iterative unarmed strike attacks (which do not conflict with the pseudo-iteratives from the Rapidstrike line), Cha to AC, and some snazzy maneuvers. Sudden Leap, gives it the ability to make two jumps and still full attack in one turn out of every encounter, Flashing Sun and Raging Mongoose can allow for even more bites on a full attack, Distracting Ember keeps Craven damage up against a no longer flatfooted foe, Cloak of Deception helps with stealth, and with some limitations, Leaping Flame offers a way to close with foes who try to fight at range. You can only have four readied at a time, so you need to pick and choose which ones seem most useful for a given group of prey, but that’s part of what being a hunter is all about.

    Further Experimentation (Adaptations and Extra Cheese)
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    Excerpts from Archmage Feldwynn’s Grant Proposal for Project D.U.M.B.A.S.S.

    “We are actually uncertain of the rapidity at which spellgaunts can make their exceptional leaps. Further research will involve attempting to train them in what we are tentatively terming, “the bunny hop method.” Should it prove successful, this will reduce the pressure on the creatures to learn more complicated martial techniques regarding jumping, and may give us the opportunity to explore other avenues of training.”

    “We also believe that with positive reinforcement training, we will be able to dissuade the spellgaunts from eating magical equipment, which could dramatically increase their capabilities. Even if they should prove too willful for this, we believe that contracting grafting experts may be well worth the expenditure in terms of potential improvement of hunting capabilities.”
    If your table is a cheesy place, and you want to just use arbitrarily many free actions to keep jumping around with Quick Leap, then you don’t really need Leaping Dragon Stance (or indeed more than a +10 jump modifier to make a 5ft standing jump), unless you’re looking to make a lot of high jumps in areas where just using the spellgaunt’s climb speed to bounce up along a wall or tree isn’t viable. This would free up two feats which could be used for anything from more of the Mage Slayer line, to Supernatural Instincts to expand the range of things that can be preemptively (literally) nipped in the bud to activated (Su) abilities (Supernatural Instincts won’t impose a failure chance, but Disjunctive Bite should stop the ability from working, as it seems that it the AoO happens before the ability is completed), to getting Improved Rapidstrike on claws as well as bites, to Apprentice (Woodsman)+Track for more of a predatory vibe, and synergy with the scent ability that’s picked up on the Swordsage dip via Hunter’s Sense.

    Items are, as always, handy if you can justify them. From basic ability boosters to a Collar of Umbral Metamorphosis for the Dark template’s HiPS and Move Silently bonus, to any number of other things. Of course, a spellgaunt wearing a magical collar is sort of like a person wearing a chocolate bar around their neck, so for fluff reasons, you may want to shift your attention to grafts. Feathered Wings is always a good bet, since lack of flight is currently the creature’s biggest weakness, and another Fiendish Graft, the Flexible Arm would open up Extended Reach to improve AoO shenanigans if you can spare a feat. Depending on how you parse the CR increase of Multi-headed for special attacks applying to attacks added after the fact, rather than being inborn on the base creature, the Metabolic Fire graft (along with one other Draconic Graft, likely the Draconic Crest for frightful presence), might be a good bet for four streams of sonic. The Third Eye (or Ninth or Thirty-third eye I guess in this case) Beholder Graft’s antimagic cone would also be in keeping with the theme of the build. Worth considering if you want to play up the mad science angle or just want your hunter to be a little more dangerous.



    References
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    All sources mentioned, including those for alternative suggestions or item recommendations.

    Complete Arcane: Mage Slayer (the most recent version of Mage Slayer is in MMV, but is identical, Complete Arcane contains the other feats in the Mage Slayer line mentioned in adaptations)
    Champions of Ruin: Craven
    Draconomicon: Improved Rapidstrike, Rapidstrike
    Dragon Compendium: Battle Dancer
    Dungeon Master’s Guide II: Apprentice
    Fiend Folio: Fiendish Grafts, Beholder Grafts
    Fiendish Codex II: Supernatural Instincts
    Lords of Madness: Darkstalker
    Monster Manual II (3.5 Update): Spellgaunt
    Races of the Dragon: Draconic Grafts
    Savage Species: Multiheaded Template, Extended Reach
    Tome of Battle: Maneuvers, Martial Stance, Martial Study, Swordsage
    Tome of Magic: Collar of Umbral Metamorphosis

    Everything else can be found in the SRD.


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  2. - Top - End - #62
    Titan in the Playground
     
    AvatarVecna's Avatar

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    Jan 2014

    Default Re: Villainous Competition VI: Clever Girl...

    Looks like the universe needs to take out a restraining order...

    Quote Originally Posted by The Creeper
    The Creeper
    NE Daelkyr Half-Blood Ranger 4/Bloodhound 1/Impure Prince 6/Bloodhound 2/Swordsage 2/Bloodhound 8

    Stats
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    Str 15 (Increase at 8, 12, 16, 20)
    Dex 12
    Con 14
    Int 10
    Wis 13 (Increase at 4)
    Cha 8

    Build
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    Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    1st Ranger 1 +1 +2 +2 +0 Gather Information 4, Hide 4, Knowledge (Dungeoneering) 4, Move Silently 4, Survival 4, Search 4 Darkstalker, (B) Symbiont Mastery, (B) Track Favored Enemy (Aberrations), Track, Voice of the City, Skilled City Dweller
    2nd Ranger 2 +2 +3 +3 +0 Hide 5, Knowledge (Dungeoneering) 5, Move Silently 5, Speak Language (Daelkyr) 1, Survival 5, Tumble 1 (B)Two-Weapon Fighting Combat Style
    3rd Ranger 3 +3 +3 +3 +1 Hide 6, Knowledge (Dungeoneering) 6, Move Silently 6, Survival 6, Tumble 3 Wise to Your Ways (B) Endurance Endurance
    4th Ranger 4 +4 +4 +4 +1 Hide 7, Knowledge (Dungeoneering) 7, Move Silently 7, Survival 7, Tumble 5 Urban Companion
    5th Bloodhound 1 +5 +6 +6 +1 Heal 4, Knowledge (Dungeoneering) 8 (2) Mark (1), Swift Tracker, Skilled City Dweller
    6th Impure Prince 1 +6/+1 +6 +6 +3 Hide 9, Move Silently 8, Survival 8 Extra Favored Enemy (Humanoid(Human)) Expanded Spell List, Lure Symbiont
    7th Impure Prince 2 +7/+2 +6 +6 +4 Hide 10, Move Silently 10, Survival 9 Favored Enemy Aberrations +2 (+4)
    8th Impure Prince 3 +8/+3 +7 +7 +4 Hide 11, Move Silently 11, Survival 11 Aberrant Anatomy (25%)
    9th Impure Prince 4 +9/+4 +7 +7 +5 Hide 12, Jump 1, Move Silently 12, Survival 12 Murderous Intent (Human) Aberrant Fortitude
    10th Impure Prince 5 +10/+5 +7 +7 +5 Hide 13, Jump 2, Move Silently 13, Survival 13 Otherworldly Surge
    11th Impure Prince 6 +11/+6/+1 +8 +8 +6 Hide 14, Jump 3, Move Silently 14, Survival 14 Aberrant Anatomy (50%), Favored Enemy Aberrations +4 (+6)
    12th Bloodhound 2 +12/+7/+2 +9 +9 +6 Heal 10 Graft Flesh (Beholder) Nonlethal Force, Ready and Waiting
    13th Swordsage 1 +12/+7/+2 +9 +11 +8 Hide 16, Move Silently 16, Tumble 7 Quick to Act +1, Discipline Focus: Tiger Claw (Weapon Focus)
    14th Swordsage 2 +13/+8/+3 +9 +12 +9 Hide 17, Move Silently 17, Tumble 11 Ac Bonus
    15th Bloodhound 3 +14/+9/+4 +9 +12 +10 Hide 18, Move Silently 18, Survival 18 Barbed Stinger Bring ‘em Back Alive, Tenacious Pursuit (Speed + 10 feet)
    16th Bloodhound 4 +15/+10/+5 +10 +13 +10 Hide 19, Move Silently 19, Survival 19, Tumble 14 Hunter’s Dedication, Mark (2), Move Like the Wind
    17th Bloodhound 5 +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +13 +10 Hide 20, Jump 6, Move Silently 20, Survival 20 Crippling Strike, Track the Trackless
    18th Bloodhound 6 +17/+12/+7/+2 +11 +14 +11 Hide 21, Jump 9, Move Silently 21, Survival 21 Martial Stance (Crushing Weight of the Mountain) See Invisibility, Shielded Mind, Tenacious Pursuit (Speed +20 ft)
    19th Bloodhound 7 +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +14 +11 Hide 22, Jump 12, Move Silently 22, Survival 22 Locate Creature, Mark (3)
    20th Bloodhound 8 +19/+14/+9/+4 +12 +15 +11 Hide 23, Jump 13, Move Silently 23, Survival 23 Freedom of Movement

    Spells
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    Spells per Day
    Level 0lvl 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
    1st - - - - - - - - - -
    2nd - - - - - - - - - -
    3rd - - - - - - - - - -
    4th - 0* - - - - - - - -
    5th - 0* - - - - - - - -
    6th - 0* - - - - - - - -
    7th - 0* - - - - - - - -
    8th - 1 - - - - - - - -
    9th - 1 - - - - - - - -
    10th - 1 0* - - - - - - -
    11th - 1 0* - - - - - - -
    12th - 1 0* - - - - - - -
    13th - 1 0* - - - - - - -
    14th - 1 0* - - - - - - -
    15th - 1 0* - - - - - - -
    16th - 1 0* - - - - - - -
    17th - 1 0* - - - - - - -
    18th - 1 0* - - - - - - -
    19th - 1 0* - - - - - - -
    20th - 1 0* - - - - - - -
    *Not counting bonus slot from high Wisdom
    Typically prepared: 1: Primal Hunter 2: Primal Instinct


    Maneuvers
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    1st : Wolf Fang Strike, Sudden Leap
    2nd : Mountain Hammer, Cloak of Deception, Shadow Jaunt, Burning Brand
    3rd : -
    4th : Death from Above (at 2)
    Stances: Hunter’s Sense, Leaping Dragon Stance (at 2)

    Backstory
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    Most of what is said about the Creeper is said in hushed whispers or drunken slurs. Little is said about him at all. One might be willing to dismiss him as some legend or folk tale, but a few accounts have been verified through the rumors.

    The Creeper was born an untold number of years ago in a small village populated largely by humans. According to some accounts his mother was human, though some accuse her of being not quite right to begin with. No tales do more than guess at the Creeper’s father, who is never said to be anything so plain as a human. Some discuss a being from the madness beyond our world having a hand in his creation. Most discuss him being born with some twisted twin, more warped than even he in the womb to completely inhuman nature. Whatever the case, the thing bonded with him and they became as close to one as mattered for all practical purposes.

    His brother whispered dark secrets in his ear, and lent him unnatural power. He hungered for more, or at least he must have, because he went out hunting every monstrosity he could find, performing obscene rituals and even consuming portions of their bodies in the hopes of gaining another “brother.” It must have worked, because by all accounts he’s got at least two of the things living on him now, serving his will and guiding his actions. Years of hunting left him changed, in many ways more thing than man.

    He spent some time dormant, or at least keeping a low profile, because there aren’t any tales covering a notable period of time. When he surfaced again, he seemed to have an increased knowledge of flesh and bone, because his jaunts to hunt down aberrations were fewer and more targeted. He seemed to know exactly what to hunt and what of it he could use. The stories become jumbled, and some say he began transitioning from monstrosities to more human concerns. Some stories say he uses them as offerings to the dark ones that inform him. Others say he uses them to replace or augment his own organs struggling to keep up with his changed body after (according to some) an inhuman number of years. Either way, he’s taken too many hearts for his own to ever stop.

    CR 5
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    Four levels of Ranger is enough to qualify for Bloodhound, which serves to really focus predatory efforts. First let’s discuss ranger. Skilled City Dweller trades in Handle Animal and Ride for Gather Info and Tumble, useful for qualifications and general utility. The Creeper trades Wild Empathy for Voice of the City, which allows him to convey general messages across language barriers, like “Run.” Endurance is a requirement for Bloodhound, but also useful for being a persistent hunter. Two Weapon Fighting helps melee combat. Track gives an always useful means of tracking targets and marks.

    Favored Enemy (Aberrations) allows the creeper to be more effective when hunting down marks to harvest their organs. Urban Companion trades the rather mediocre animal companion for a familiar, in this case a Hairy Spider. It’s innocuous enough to go largely unnoticed, and its bonuses to Hide and MS combined with using his skills means it is nigh unfindable. It has healthy bonuses to spot and listen as well, so it can serve as a reasonable scout, especially when benefitting from the boost from his spells.

    Ranger is stingy with its spells, so the Creeper’s best off using a 24 hour buff like Primal Hunter (which boosts climb, swim, and most usefully jump), and then Primal Instinct (which boosts survival and initiative) once 2nd level spells come online. When both are running he gets uncanny dodge, which is useful defense. Because both are 24 hours they’re prime to cast in the morning and share with the spider familiar.

    Bloodhound begins by giving the Creeper the ability to track while moving at full speed, and also the signature Mark ability. Mark adds Bloodhound level to Gather Information, Listen, Search, Spot, and Survival, and all he needs is to study the target (or description thereof) for 10 minutes. It is limited to once per week, so wise choice is better, but there’s nothing stopping him from hunting those who aren’t his mark.

    Darkstalker is an almost necessary feat for sneaking, letting Hide and MS trump senses like tremorsense and scent, as well as allowing for flanking of those with all-around vision. Wise to Your Ways adds Favored Enemy bonus to saves against special attacks, useful for hunting down aberrations, who often have a variety of attacks.

    Daelkyr Half-Blood gives the Creeper a free symbiont and darkvision from the aberration type. For symbionts, it’s best to begin with throwing scarab, then switch to stormstalk at 5 and Tongueworm at 15. Stormstalk’s electricity damage is ok, but the unavoidable penalty to dex is quite good.

    CR 10
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    Five levels of Impure Prince add some desirable strength as well as defense. The free symbiont it gives is best spent on winter cyst for an unavoidable penalty to str. At 5th level (CR 10) the option is prevented to trade for a tentacle whip, which any sane person would do. The tentacle whip can be used as a weapon, but the rules are a tad murky on it. It can also be allowed to make a single attack unrelated to the Creeper’s natural routine, which means an extra attack, so is choice.
    Favored Enemy aberrations stacks with previous bonus for better hunting, and aberrant anatomy for 25% (later 50%) fortification is quite useful.
    Otherworldly Surge is a decent option when ones back is against a wall, and confusion is a useful status to slap on those who are vulnerable, and can potentially scatter a party.

    Extra favored enemy (Human) shows the Creeper hunts man as well to harvest them. It’s mostly a flavor thing, but +2 on damage rolls and the appropriate skills is never bad, and it makes the following feat, murderous intent, all the better. It allows the creeper to debuff a humanoid, but more importantly, it allows for automatic critical hit confirmations, on any favored enemy, quite the boon.

    CR 15 (Sweet Spot)
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    After finishing Impure prince, it’s off to two levels of swordsage, and two more levels of Bloodhound. First the Bloodhound levels, increasing the bonus from mark. The ability to deal nonlethal at any time is useful, but it is easily topped by Bring ‘em Back alive, which means at any point instead of killing an opponent the Creeper can reduce them to -1 hitpoints, at which a quick heal check stabilizes them. The Creeper doesn’t even have to know when it happens, so he can avoid pulling any punches but still avoid damaging the goods (this works on anyone, not just marks). A mark only but still very useful ability, Ready and Waiting, allows the Creeper to ready an action against a target before initiative is even rolled, allowing him to strike first.

    Swordsage brings some good utility here in the form of maneuvers and stances. Wis to AC adds a bit of toughness, and free Weapon focus means fighting with two kukris (to fish for auto-confirm crits from Murderous Intent) just got better, and it helps out on the last iteratives from TWF.
    Focus here is on Tiger Claw to play up the Creeper’s ferocity.
    Wolf Fang Strike is necessary for the rest of Tiger Claw, but it’s not bad for a TWFer to get two hits in one. Sudden Leap is tactical movement as a swift, getting better with more ranks in jump, and tumbling away AoOs is easy enough. Cloak of Deception means Greater Invisibility for a round, great for bit of sneaking or catching someone unaware. Mountain Hammer is the brute’s lockpick, and also overcomes DR. Shadow Jaunt is full on teleport for when you need to get somewhere inaccessible. Burning Brand extends reach by 5 feet, it’s unclear whether it applies to only one weapon or all. If all, it’s all the better; converting damage to fire is situationally useful (plus the image of striking out with a tongue and tentacle of fire is kind of cool). Death from Above moves the Creeper while dealing large damage to a single target based on a flat jump DC. Hunter’s Sense gives scent, which trumps many sneaks and allows for tracking by scent, which is excellent for those who don’t leave tracks. It also makes for great menace as the Creeper tracks his marks by smell. Leaping Dragon allows for better jumping, a good boost in combat to use maneuvers.

    Graft Flesh allows the Creeper to cut and paste findings from aberrations (and perhaps somewhat from humans) to his body, beholder chosen here for easiest qualification. I will avoid heavy discussion of the grafts because none are necessary, but the one that gives all around vision is pretty useful. This one’s mostly for flavor so you can tweak the Creeper to your liking with add-ons.

    At this point the Creeper has access to a tentacle whip and tongueworm, which is why he takes Barbed Stinger at 15. Tongueworm gives a sting attack with a lowish DC paralytic poison, and immunity to all poisons. This by itself is useful, but with barbed stinger it becomes even better. The feat gives improved grab with the sting attack, which allows him to fire off a full attack routine, and begin grappling on the end. Tentacle whip has a sting attack when it attacks alone, but it’s not clear whether barbed stinger would work on that as well (symbionts make some things complicated), but if you say yes, then the Creeper can grapple at a distance, pulling far away foes into close quarters. Since the tentacle whip can attack on its own, the Creeper might be able to use it to attack other foes even when grappling with his tongueworm.

    CR 20
    Spoiler
    Show
    Rounding out the build are 5 more levels of Bloodhound, with all sorts of goodies. Hunter’s Dedication adds Con to saves vs marks to make the Creeper all the more resilient. Move like the Wind allows him to move at full speed while sneaking at no penalty, great for setting up ambushes. Three marks at a time allows the Creeper to save time tracking down his quarry, and remember marks do not have to in any way related, he is free to choose 3 targets at his leisure. Track the Trackless trumps pass without trace, though at the cost of a lowered modifier (still better than nothing) it means nobody can escape the Creeper. See invisibility means marks cannot hide from him. Shielded Mind gives spell resistance against divinations, so scrying is likely to fail. Locate Creature is tricky since the creature has to be close enough detect, but its still useful (note it can be used on things other than marks). The 20th level capstone, freedom of movement, means that nothing can stop him. It’s limited to a few rounds a day, but it only needs to be used for a round at a time.

    Crippling Strike is an amazing ability. Whenever the Creeper strikes a mark, the mark takes 2 points of strength damage. No save, no limit per round, every attack. With a typical routine of 4 main hand, 1 off hand, 1 tongueworm sting, and 1 tentacle whip sting the Creeper can inflict up to 14 Str damage on a mark, enough to render helpless (the condition) a character who isn’t Str focused, and certainly enough to take the fight out of a brute. If the Creeper can get off more than one full attack, almost any mark will be helpless.

    To cap off the build is one last feat, Martial Stance to gain Crushing Weight of the Mountain. This gives the Creeper the constrict ability, which combined with improved grab makes him all the more formidable. Modus operandi can now go as such: Pick a mark, track them down in hunter’s sense, sneak up on them using shadow jaunt if necessary, get off a full attack if possible, ending with tongue sting triggering improved grab. Following rounds constrict.

    The Creeper wants a full attack, because by reducing a mark’s strength, he makes grappling much easier for himself. Because shifting stances is a swift action, the Creeper can stay in Leaping Dragon for combat until he knows he’s going to be grappling. Constrict deals 2d6+1.5STr as well as the sting damage from tongueworm, which may trigger saves against paralysis, but if not it’s still a fair amount of damage and brings all the penalties of grappling on the enemy. It is unclear if grapple triggers crippling strike, but it doesn’t seem unreasonable for it to do so. Armor spikes or razors would be useful here to add on more damage to grapple checks. Remember the Creeper gets 4 checks to deal damage, each dealing full constrict (and armor spikes) damage. As mentioned, the tentacle whip may be allowed to attack others on its own (which definitely triggers Crippling Strike). If a grapple suddenly turns bad, or a foe still has too much strength left over, the Creeper can slip out using Freedom of Movement to shift attack focus or slip into the shadows to return later.

    Sources
    Spoiler
    Show
    Swordsage, Martial Stance: Tome of Battle
    Bloodhound: Complete Adventurer
    Daelkyr Half-Blood, Symbiont Mastery, Impure Prince: Magic of Eberron
    Tongueworm, Tentacle Whip: Eberron Campaign Setting
    Voice of the City, Urban Companion, Skilled City Dweller: Cityscape Web Enhancement
    Darkstalker: Lords of Madness
    Graft Flesh: Fiend Folio
    Extra Favored Enemy, Wise to Your Ways: Ghostwalk
    Murderous Intent: Elder Evils
    Barbed Stinger: Serpent Kingdoms
    Ranger, Two-Weapon Fighting, Endurance, Track: srd


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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VI: Clever Girl...

    Demonbear...demonbear...does whatever a demonbear does...

    Quote Originally Posted by Demonbear
    DemonBear


    Spoiler: Demonbear
    Show
    This is the ultimate predator: the Demonbear will track you, watch you fall asleep and or ambush you and choke you to sleep. The Demonbear then tracks you to your nightmares where it modifies its environment to its own advantage, and there, he murders your mind/soul, thus killing your body. The Demonbear kills you permanently.

    Equal parts Freddy Kruger and a The ghost in the Darkness, Demonbear is an entity made from warped and magically amalgamated spirits by an unknown villain from the plane of dream (Manual of the Planes). The Demonbear is strangely fixated on the blood relatives of the barbarian spirits that comprise the entity. This beast is stealthy in the woods, where it chokes people out, using astral tracking to pinpoint where the knocked out opponents go, the demonbear then plane shifts and then teleports to the location of the dreamer. Then the demonbear grapples and lucid dreams the opponent into the dream heart: where the dreamer can die in the real world. While the bear grapples in the dreamheart, the opponent is subject to 25 damage a turn, time during which they bear can chokehold to further knock out the opponent in order to render them dead.

    Spoiler: Demonbear by Bill Sienkiewicz
    Show


    Spoiler: The Build
    Show
    The Demonbear is a LE venerable spell-warped (MM3) greenbound (LEF) axiomatic (MoP) black bear (MM1) with class levels in planar monk 2 (PlH) /planar fighter 2 (PlH) / planar ranger 1 9 (PlH) /factotum 1(Dungeonscape)/jaunter 4 (Exp to Demonweb)

    Demonbear is an aberration with 3d8 racial hit dice, with the plant and magical beast subtypes.

    Spoiler: STATBLOCK
    Show
    Stats Base Axiomatic Greenbound Spellwarped Venerable Elite Final
    Str 27 +6 +4 -6 +2 33
    Dex 13 +2 +2 -6 +2 13
    Con 19 +4 +4 -6 +0 21
    Int 2 +1 +4 +3 +4 14
    Wis 12 +3 +4 19
    Cha 6 +4 +3 -2 11


    Spoiler: TEMPLATES
    Show
    Spoiler: Axiomatic
    Show
    Axiomatic: smite chaos 1/day, Darkvision with a range of 60 feet, Fire, electricity, sonic, and cold resistance 5, spell resistance = 2x HD, Linked Minds (Ex): Axiomatic creatures of a particular type within 300 feet of one another are in constant communication. If one is aware of a particular danger, they all are. If one in the group is not flat-footed, none of them are. No axiomatic creature in the group is considered flanked unless they all are. Challenge Rating: Up to 3 HD, same as the base
    creature. 3 HD to 7 HD, same as the base creature +1. 8+ HD, same as the base creature +2.


    Spoiler: Greenbound
    Show
    Type: Creature becomes a plant type with d8 HD. Armor Class: Natural armor bonus improves by 6 over that of the base creature.
    Spell-Like Abilities: At will - entangle, pass without trace, speak with plants; 1/day - wall of thorns. Caster level equals greenbound creature's character level; save DC 10 + spell level + greenbound creature's Charisma modifier.
    Damage Reduction (Ex): A greenbound creature has damage reduction 10/magic and slashing. A greenbound creature's natural weapons are treated as magic weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.
    Fast Healing (Ex): A greenbound creature heals 3 points of damage each round so long as it has at least 1 hit point. If reduced to 0 or fewer hit points in combat, it is slain.
    Grapple Bonus (Ex): The thorny hooks on a greenbound creature's hands and feet grant it a +4 bonus on grapple checks.
    Resistance to Cold and Electricity (Ex): A greenbound creature gains resistance 10 to cold and electricity.
    Tremorsense (Ex): Greenbound creatures can automatically sense the location of anything within 60 feet that is in contact with the ground. Abilities: Increase from the base creature as follows: Str +6, Dex +2, Con +4, Cha +4. Skills: A greenbound creature gains a +16 racial bonus on Hide and Move Silently checks made in forested areas.


    Spoiler: Spellwarped
    Show
    Armor Class: Natural armor bonus improves by 2.
    Spell Resistance (Ex): A spellwarped creature gains spell resistance equal to 11 + its Hit Dice. If the creature already has spell resistance, use the greater of the two values.
    Spell Absorption (Su): Whenever a spell fails to penetrate a spellwarped creature’s spell resistance, the creature gains one of the following benefits, chosen at the time that the spell resolves. Might: The spellwarped creature gains a +4 enhancement bonus to Strength for 1 minute. Agility: The spellwarped creature gains a +4 enhancement bonus to Dexterity for 1 minute. Endurance: The spellwarped creature gains a +4 enhancement bonus to Constitution for 1 minute. Life: The spellwarped creature gains temporary hit points equal to 5 × the level of the failed spell. Speed: The spellwarped creature’s base speed increases by a number of feet equal to 5 × the level of the failed spell.
    Resistance: The spellwarped creature gains resistance 10 to one energy type (acid, cold, electricity, fire, or sonic).
    Abilities: Increase from the base creature as follows: Str +4, Dex +2, Con +4, Int +4.
    Challenge Rating: HD 3 or less, as base creature; HD 4 to 10, as base creature +1; HD 11 or more, as base creature +2.


    Spoiler: BIG OLE’ TABLE
    Show

    CR HD Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    4 3 BLACK BEAR +2 +3 +3 +1 Survival 6, Lucid Dreaming 6, hide 3, move silently 3, Dodge, Skill knowledge (UA) (Lucid Dreaming) (MoP) Lots of stuff, see templates. Nat AC +8, +16 hide and move silently in forest, +4 grapple, energy resistance, tremorsense, etc.
    7 4 Planar Monk +2 +5 +5 +3 knowledge planes 6 IUS, Stunning Fist Wis to AC, Flurry, bonus feat
    8 5 Planar Cobra Strike (UA)Monk +3 +6 +6 +4 Lucid dreaming 8, knowledge planes 8, survival 7 Mobility, Evasion, bonus feat
    9 6 Planar Fighter +4 +8 +6 +4 knowledge planes 9, survival 8.5 Improved grapple, choke hold (OA) bonus feat
    10 7 Planar fighter +5 +9 +6 +4 knowledge planes 10, Lucid Dreaming 10, survival 9 spring attack bonus feat
    12 8 Planar Ranger +6 +11 +8 +4 knowledge planes 11,survival 11, hide 6, move silently 5 Track wild empathy, track, favored enemy (name one)
    13 9 Factotum +6 +11 +10 +4 spellcraft 8 Astral Tracking (Dr Comp) Inspiration, cunning insight, cunning knowledge, trapfinding
    14 10 Jaunter +6 +11 +12 +4 Lucid Dreaming 12, survival 13, knowledge planes 13 Travel power, benign transposition
    16 11 Jaunter +7 +12 +13 +5 Lucid dreaming 14, survival 14, knowledge planes 14, move silently 6, spot 1 Baleful transposition, fast movement
    17 12 Jaunter +8 +12 +13 +5 Lucid dreaming 15, survival 15, knowledge planes 15, hide 7, move silently 7, spot 2 Dreamtelling (HoH) Dimension door, teleport
    18 13 Jaunter +9 +12 +14 +5 Lucid dreaming 16, survival 16, knowledge planes 16, hide 8, move silently 8, spot 3 Freedom of movement, plane shift
    19 14 Factotum +10 +12 +15 +5 Lucid dreaming 17, survival 17, knowledge planes 17, hide 10, move silently 10, spot 5 Arcane dilettante (1 spell)
    20 15 Factotum +11 +13 +15 +6 Lucid dreaming 18, survival 18, knowledge planes 18, hide 12, move silently 12, spot 7 Any Brains over brawn, cunning defense



    Spoiler: CR 18 and CR 20
    Show
    The Demonbear uses a bunch of rules, (including the ever-so-fun grappling), one entire underdeveloped plane (the plane of dream from the manual of the planes), some unearthed arcana (cobra strike monk, skill knowledge for perma-class-skill), and an early 1980s comic book for inspiration. This build would work a lot better on a green bound human (azurin maybe???) with a few levels in bear warrior, but that somehow seemed even cheesier.

    The build revolves around the Jaunter prestige class (from Expedition to the Demonweb Pits) which grants access to planeshift and teleport, the plane of dream from Manual of the Planes, Oriental Adventure’s Chokehold feat, the Lucid dreaming skill, and ambient damage from the dreamheart. The demonbear stalks those that it believes are family members, but any real connection to family members may be illusory confusion from spending so much time traveling between the non-realities of dreams. The preferred habitat of the demonbear is temperate forests, where locals will report evil bear spirits that kill people in their sleep. For this task, for parties up to level 12-13, the demonbear is potent at this. After level 12, the demonbear loses the scaling saving throw battles against all but the epitome of unoptimized. Using the green bound template, the demonbear has a +16 on hide and move silently as well as a +4 to grapple checks. If the demonbear successfully pins an opponent who cannot break free of the grapple, the chokehold feat knocks them out. Unconsciousness opens the portal to the plane of dreams. The astral tracking feat allows the demonbear to teleport to where the opponent is as if he has seen the place before. Due to the time morphic trait of the plane of dreams, time is 10 times faster in there than on fantasy setting #616. Usually however, the demonbear tails people until they voluntarily fall asleep in order to use the astral tracking feat to follow. The demonbear plane shifts to the plane of dreams, then teleports to where the opponent is at and grapples them there, using lucid dreaming rolls to appear as any number of things that would be terrifying to the opponent, information that it gathers from using knowledge planes rolls and the dream telling feat to ascertain the biggest fears of the opponent. The demon bear grapples and attempts to drag the opponent into the dream heart using a lucid dreaming check, where sonic, fire, acid, cold and electric all assault the people who find themselves there (the dream bear has immunity/resistance to all of them) for 5 damage per energy type. The bear pins the opponent there while the damage eats them away 25 at a time. Dying in the dream heart kills the body of the victim, and makes their souls irretrievable for resurrection.

    The demonbear then lucid dreams to somewhere safe, rests for 8 hours and plane shifts back to the real world to stalk its next victim.

    Equipment most effective for the demonbear are wondrous items that grant the biggest bonuses to wisdom, str, or dex or int, with wisdom being the most important (skill checks, stun/choking saves, bonus to AC, dismal will save). Addditional strength helps with grappling, and additional dex allows for more use of the jaunter’s ability. Additional intelligence is useful for powering factotum based abilities. The bear probably has a masterwork custom lucid dreaming item (a dreamcatcher???). Size increasing items would definitely help this schtick.

    The spell warped template helps the aberration with dealing with spells, sometimes granting the necessary grappling and speed bonuses necessary. The axiomatic template helps boost intelligence (by 1!!!) and provides some resistances.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Xumtiil View Post
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    My Homebrew

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VI: Clever Girl...

    Rabies are the least of your worries, although it's still making the list.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Hunter
    The Hunter

    Hunter by Detkef
    "The most dangerous animal of all is the human animal".

    Spoiler: So, a human? What gives?
    Show
    Yes, I read the restrictions. Now, if you look in the monster manual, you will find "Elf". It is a humanoid with the elf subtype. As V says, we all have our place in the monster manual, and their place is between "Elephant" and "Erinyes", even though that's not quite what they say. But hang on a minute... there's nothing between "Howler" and "Hydra". There is no human entry in the MM. Nor is there a human entry, uhm, anywhere except the player's handbook, which doesn't tell you their type, or the elf's for that matter. Humans flat-out do not possess racial types or subtypes. They're not Constructs, Humanoids, Monstrous Humanoids, Outsiders, or Undead, because they're not anything at all. Even the five monster manuals, the player's handbook and Races of Destiny, which devotes multiple pages to humans, completely sidestep the issue (though they specify that illumians are humanoid (human). And plus, how does it make sense for a human to be humanoid any more than life to be lifelike? Clearly, they're untyped. They're just special. The only place humans are referred to as humanoid is in the sample characters... and every single one of the sample characters is incorrect. There is not a single sample character who is built correctly, so why trust their opinion on humans?
    Spoiler: Build Stub
    Show
    The Hunter, Neutral Evil Neuter Human Druid 19/Heirophant 1
    Spoiler: So, who is this person?
    Show
    The Hunter is a human druid 19/heirophant 1. Its ability scores are STR 10 DEX 11 CON 12 INT 14 WIS 15 CHA 13. It increases wisdom whenever it can.

    Oh, and it spends, like, all it time wild shaped.
    Spoiler: Let's make tables together
    Show
    Okay, I'm not going to bother adding stat bonuses to skills and feats. The bonuses are +1 Con-based, +2 Int-based and +1 Cha-based, with the Wis-based ones varying by level. You know this, and you know how to work it out.

    The Extra Wild Shape feat appears in Complete Divine, among others. Feral Animal Companion is from Champions of the Realms. Knowledge Devotion is from Complete Champion. Did you know that heirophant, which druids are meant to be able to take, has requirements that druids can't actually meet with the options in the PHB without doing weird things? Now you do.

    Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    1st Druid 1 +0 +2 +0 +2 Concentration 4, Diplomacy 4, Handle Animal 4 Knowledge (Nature) 4, Spellcraft 4 Feral Animal Companion, Extend Spell Animal companion, nature sense, wild empathy
    2nd Druid 2 +1 +3 +0 +3 Concentration 5, Diplomacy 5, Handle Animal 5 Knowledge (Nature) 5, Spellcraft 5 Woodland stride
    3rd Druid 3 +2 +3 +1 +3 Concentration 5, Diplomacy 5, Handle Animal 5 Knowledge (Nature and Religion) 5, Spellcraft 5 Knowledge Devotion (Religion) Trackless step
    4th Druid 4 +3 +4 +1 +4 Concentration 6, Diplomacy 5, Handle Animal 5 Knowledge (Nature and Religion) 7, Spellcraft 5 Resist nature’s lure
    5th Druid 5 +3 +4 +1 +4 Concentration 8, Diplomacy 5, Handle Animal 5 Knowledge (Nature and Religion) 8, Spellcraft 6 Wild shape (1/day)
    6th Druid 6 +4 +5 +2 +5 Concentration 9, Diplomacy 5, Handle Animal 5 Knowledge (Nature and Religion) 9, Spellcraft 8 Natural Spell Wild shape (2/day)
    7th Druid 7 +5 +5 +2 +5 Concentration 10, Diplomacy 5, Handle Animal 5 Knowledge (Nature and Religion) 10, Spellcraft 10 Wild shape (3/day)
    8th Druid 8 +6 +6 +2 +6 Concentration 11, Diplomacy 6, Handle Animal 5 Knowledge (Nature and Religion) 11, Spellcraft 11 Wild shape (Large)
    9th Druid 9 +6 +6 +3 +6 Concentration 12, Diplomacy 7, Handle Animal 5 Knowledge (Nature and Religion) 12, Spellcraft 12 Extra Wild Shape Venom immunity
    10th Druid 10 +7 +7 +3 +7 Concentration 13, Diplomacy 8, Handle Animal 5 Knowledge (Nature and Religion) 13, Spellcraft 13 Wild shape (4/day)
    11th Druid 11 +8 +7 +3 +7 Concentration 14, Diplomacy 9, Handle Animal 5 Knowledge (Nature and Religion) 14, Spellcraft 14 Wild shape (Tiny)
    12th Druid 12 +9 +8 +4 +8 Concentration 15, Diplomacy 10, Handle Animal 5 Knowledge (Nature and Religion) 15, Spellcraft 15 Extra Wild Shape Wild shape (plant)
    13th Druid 13 +9 +8 +4 +8 Concentration 16, Diplomacy 11, Handle Animal 5 Knowledge (Nature and Religion) 16, Spellcraft 16 A thousand faces
    14th Druid 13/Heirophant 1 +9 +10 +4 +10 Concentration 17, Diplomacy 12, Handle Animal 5 Knowledge (Nature and Religion) 17, Spellcraft 17 Power of Nature
    15th Druid 14/Heirophant 1 +10 +10 +4 +10 Concentration 18, Diplomacy 13, Handle Animal 5 Knowledge (Nature and Religion) 18, Spellcraft 18 Extra Wild Shape Wild shape (5/day)
    16th Druid 15/Heirophant 1 +11 +11 +5 +11 Concentration 19, Diplomacy 13, Handle Animal 5 Knowledge (Nature and Religion) 19, Spellcraft 19 Timeless body, wild shape (Huge)
    17th Druid 16/Heirophant 1 +12 +11 +5 +11 Concentration 20, Diplomacy 14, Handle Animal 5 Knowledge (Nature and Religion) 20, Spellcraft 20 Wild shape (elemental 1/day)
    18th Druid 17/Heirophant 1 +12 +12 +5 +12 Concentration 21, Diplomacy 15, Handle Animal 5 Knowledge (Nature and Religion) 21, Spellcraft 21 Extra Wild Shape -
    19th Druid 18/Heirophant 1 +13 +12 +6 +12 Concentration 22, Diplomacy 16, Handle Animal 5 Knowledge (Nature and Religion) 22, Spellcraft 22 Wild shape (6/day, elemental 2/day)
    20th Druid 19/Heirophant 1 +14 +13 +6 +13 Concentration 23, Diplomacy 15, Handle Animal 5 Knowledge (Nature and Religion) 23, Spellcraft 23 -
    Spoiler: Level 1
    Show
    It walked silently, trailing behind the creature it once called its brother. Next to it was a wolf that frothed at the mouth, waiting to bite into something. The dark cleric wandered in front of them, unnerved by the creature but not wanting to show it. "Ah. Here we are."

    The temple had been barred shut centuries ago, and battered open decades ago. Nothing impeded their entry. For such an important part of the world, it seemed barren. Just like the other two before it. The cleric smiled. "I would say it's a trap, but I've already said that twice and it wasn't." His sibling rolled its eyes, bored stiff. It just wanted to hurt someone.

    "Well, I need to do my clericy thing again", he smirked, joking at his sibling's lack of understanding - while both were divine casters, their methods were so radically different that neither really understood the other. The Hunter went to the door and stood there, bored. The ritual would take hours, as it always did, and it was easily bored.

    Then it stopped. Wait, there - adventurers, come to stop them. And they'd only just started! The Hunter smirked. "Time to murder things." There was little emotion in its eyes.

    The wolf barreled towards the adventuring party...


    At level 1, the Hunter is just some person with a really, nastily powerful wolf. The fact that she's the same CR as it is, and its feat buffs her up (+2 STR and CON, Diseased bite, and if anyone other than the Hunter tries to Handle her they get a -10). So already, she's scarier than a CR 1 encounter. At CR 1. Yup. Spells like Cure Light Wounds and Entangle can be useful in any fight to help her survive. Guidance is... uh, nice as cantrips go, and if it can dare to get close enough to Cure her Minor Wounds, that extra hit point might just help. Plus, it can pick up a spear and help her fight if it needs to.
    Spoiler: Level 5
    Show
    The archon looked upon the assembled mortals, these so-called guardians of humanity, and hid its despair. Being as it was a tiny ball of light, this was not hard.

    "This is bad news! If this dark priest performs his ritual on all twenty-one worldspheres, he will become so powerful that no-one could defeat him!"
    "Why are they not, in any way, protected?"
    "They are, but in ways you do not see. There is an array of divination magic on each one, recording who visits each time. Then, to defeat anyone who tries to use more than two is usually trivial, even routine. The fact that this person repelled you is concerning, but not to worry. You must try again next time.


    At level 5, the hunter can use Wild Shape. This is pretty hilarious, as it can basically turn into, I dunno, a dire ape, and start beating things up. Summoning lots of nature's allies is a powerful option, but you also have third-level spells to do other things. Snare? Wind Wall? If you're protecting a lot of temples, Snare might do the trick well.
    Spoiler: Level 10
    Show
    The temple loomed in front of the assembled supplicants, and they walked across the rickety bridge towards it. The cleric smiled, and his congregation gathered about him. The druid sighed idly to itself, as the ceremony began.

    As soon as it thought that, it noticed the adventurers rushing towards it. The wizard, flying too high to hit, but the paladin racing forth on his horse, and a monk racing almost as fast beside him as a truenamer - of all things - swooped towards the druid. It smiled, as a giant dinosaur-like sea creature burst up from under the bridge. It had no idea whether either the monk or the paladin could swim. The warhorse? Less likely.


    At this point, your nature's allies are lasting a full minute each, so you can just drop a CR 7 encounter on someone and then just mooch off someplace else. Or, y'know, you could turn into a bear. I hear that helps.
    Spoiler: Level 15
    Show
    The fourteenth temple was on a mountain. It had insisted upon doing this one first, as it wasn't easy to get to, but its brother had, it supposed, had a point that it was better to do it now that they had the requisite magic, and anyway it would be harder to follow them. Not that they weren't being chased by a wizard who could teleport, but they couldn't have known that at the time. In any case, they had managed to reach the top, as had much of the congregation. The rest, well, they would leave them to whatever fate befell them.

    "Hunter, how many of my men do you need?"
    "Ten exactly." It was the most verbose the Hunter had been in ages. "Exactly" was simply so that it wouldn't have to spend words elaborating.

    "Maria, Johan, Amelia, Tomas, Jane, other Tomas, Gerard, Rory, Jon, Anna. Go with the Hunter."

    And so they went with the Hunter, and joined it on its great hunt.


    Now, last level, you got your cool heirophant ability, which basically reads "You can give other people your druid features, including individual uses of wild shape. You have eleven uses of wild shape per day, and they last 14 hours, which is basically all day. This means that you can send an entire roomful of allies (hey, what did you think diplomacy was for?) to kill someone, only the difference is they're all the meanest 14 HD creature you can think of. That is, the meanest 14 HD tiny to large creature you can think of, but we'll get to huge soon.

    So, what CR are they? Well, if they're all Elephants, they'd be CR 7 each. Each doubling is +2, so we're talking +6 for 8 of them. CR 13 encounter, plus one angry CR 15 druid? I'll take that. If you're underwater, send a squad of giant squids, which total CR 15, plus one angry CR 15 druid.
    Spoiler: Level 20
    Show
    "Hunter, how man..."
    "Nineteen."

    The wizard smiled as he reached the final gate. The twenty-one guardians of the twenty-first gate concerned him not at all. As a solar angel stepped out from the gate beside her companion, and a powerful warhorse beside another, she prepared her mightiest spell of all. This would be a climactic battle, to be sure.


    I'll leave you to work out what happens when I have 14 normal and 6 elemental wild shapes to give out. Creating 19 HD creatures. For 19 hours.

    Though, it probably involves a boopton of dinosaurs, so there's that. Oh, and you can drop large numbers of Nature's Allies on things, too.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Xumtiil View Post
    An Abattoir Vecna, if you will.
    My Homebrew

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VI: Clever Girl...

    The cutest wittle murderer you'll ever see.

    Quote Originally Posted by Snowscale
    Snowscale

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    "If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? And if you wrong us shall we not revenge?"

    Spoiler: What is this thing that comes each night?
    Show
    Snowscale is a little baby dragon - specifically, a white dragon wyrmling. Three hit dice, two points of level adjust, and only CR 2 to boot. If you can work out what Wizards were thinking when they decided that, you're a better man than I am, Gunga Din.

    So, anyway, a wyrmling white dragon as a playable race should look something like this:

    Wyrmling white dragon characters possess the following racial traits:

    +2 Con, -4 Int, -4 Cha
    Tiny size. +2 bonus on attack rolls, +2 bonus to armour class, +8 bonus on hide checks, -8 penalty on grapple checks, lifting and carrying limits one quarter those of medium characters.
    Space/Reach: 2.5 ft/0 ft
    A wyrmling white dragon's base land speed is 60 feet. It can burrow at a speed of 30 feet, fly at a speed of 150 feet (average) and swim at a speed of 60 feet.
    Dragon Qualities: A wyrmling white dragon has those qualities associated with those of its kind, such as natural weapons, a breath weapon, immunities, blind sense, and keen senses. They are also immune to cold, vulnerable to fire, and capable of walking on ice as though under the effect of the Spider Climb spell.
    Racial Hit Dice: A wyrmling white dragon begins with 3 levels of dragon, which provide 3d12 hit dice, a base attack bonus of +3, and base saving throw bonuses of +3 For, +3 Ref, and +3 Will.
    Racial Skills: A wyrmling white dragon's dragon levels give it 6*(6+int modifier, minimum 1). Concentration, Diplomacy, Escape Artist, Hide, Intimidate, Knowledge, Move silently, Listen, Search, Sense Motive, Spot, Swim and Use Magic Device are always considered class skills for it.
    Racial Feats: A wyrmling white dragon's dragon levels give it two feats, and it gets an additional bonus feat for being a dragon.
    Weapon and Armour Proficiency: A wyrmling white dragon is only proficient with its natural weapons. If it has some ability to assume humanoid form, it becomes proficient with all simple weapons for the duration of the effect.
    +2 Natural Armour bonus.
    Automatic languages: Draconic.
    Bonus Languages: Not specified.*
    Favoured Class: Not specified.*
    Level Adjustment: +2

    *These might be specified somewhere, but not in a book I own. In any case, it doesn't matter; she won't have bonus languages and is only taking one class.

    Right. And this monstrosity only adds 2 to my CR. Ayup.

    Okay, and, by the way, we're also a psion. Psion 18. Yeah, psychic dragon time!
    Spoiler: What is past is prologue
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    Jane looked at the assembled people sitting around the table. They were learning fast; they were almost ready to start the game proper. She looked at her notes and saw that the next encounter was with the dragon. Jim looked excited, and Rory a bit warier. Joe was making eyes at Alice across the table, which he at least consigned to when they were out of combat. It was time to pick up the pace.

    James the Bold entered the cavern true to his name, while the druid Riordieth slunk behind him. Joseph the bard took a wink at their sorceress before following in, and Alicia ignored his advances before flying into the cavern. The dragon they faced was not called Snowscale. It was, in fact, Snowscale's father, Blizzarion, for white dragons are not known for the originality of their naming conventions. The adult dragon looked positively offended that the four should be entering the cave, and a mighty battle ensued.

    "Okay, that just killed him. He collapses to the ground, narrowly missing Ror... I mean, Riordieth, and slams into the wall. Even if he were only unconscious, that fall just killed him."
    "Woo!"
    "Okay, so I guess you're all gonna start carting that treasure back to town?"
    "Yup."
    "Yeah."
    "Sure."
    "Yep. I've got two Floating Disks left."
    "Okay, so you use those to cart the treasure back. All that's left in the room at the end is a round gemstone, too heavy for the disks to load."
    "Detect magi..."
    "Not magical."
    "Appraise?"
    "I'll tell you for free that it doesn't look valuable. It's not even shiny."
    "Huh. Jim, can you carry it?"
    "Nope, my armour's too heavy. I'm almost over the limit anyway. Maybe if we shift our stuff around?"
    "Guys, we've got enough money to last our characters forever. Let's just shift, and then we can make new characters and get to the real game."

    "My friends, we have acquired enough money to enjoy a wealthy retirement. I believe it is simpler to move. Perhaps, one day, our children will find out the mystery behind this stone."
    With that, the party left the cave, leaving nothing but an extremely odd-looking, dull gemstone that just happened not to be an actual gemstone. And one day, Rebekah, Daughter of Riordieth, would find out exactly how true her father's words had been.





    While I should hope that the story above speaks for itself, I will explain it as follows: The players, new to D&D, are given relatively high-level characters to show them how their abilities work. The characters are pre-gens, so the DM can give them spell cards (or give the fighter feat cards) in advance to make it easy for them. They have some kind of adventure, which culminates in fighting the adult white dragon, Blizzarion. Now, Blizzarion plays fair, not flying for most of the battle or using any stupidly powerful spells. He's not very imaginative when it comes to fighting things. Then, they retire their successful premades, make their own characters, and go forth into the world once more, not realising the mistake their parents made.

    If Jonathan, Riordieth, Joseph or Alicia had taken the egg, then it would have hatched after they returned home, its contents still having borne witness even before her hatching to her father's death. If they try to smash it, it resists such attempts and the DM advises the players to just leave the damned thing alone.
    Spoiler: 'Tis best to weigh the enemy more mighty than he seems.
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    Snowscale's base ability scores are STR 12 DEX 13 CON 14 INT 10 WIS 15, CHA 11. Being a wyrmling white dragon immediately changes this to STR 12 DEX 13 CON 16 INT 6 WIS 15 CHA 7. The bonuses she gets for every 4 levels are all wisdom bonuses, to a total of WIS 20.

    The saves given on the table are the base save bonuses. The skills are all skill ranks rather than bonuses.

    Apart from bonus feats, there aren't any class features, ever. Embrace the madness.
    Challenge Rating Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    1st - - - - - - - To be, or not to be? That is the question.
    2nd Dragon 3 +3 +3 +3 +3 Concentration 6, Hide 6, Move Silently 6, Spot 6 Hover, Improved Initiative, Stealthy Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
    3rd Dragon 3/Psion 1 +3 +3 +3 +5 Concentration 6, Hide 6, Move Silently 6, Spot 6, Psicraft 4 Practiced Manifester (CP) The Slings and Arrows of outrageous fortunes,
    4th Dragon 3/Psion 2 +4 +3 +3 +6 Concentration 7, Hide 7, Move Silently 7, Spot 7, Psicraft 4 - Or to take Arms against a Sea of troubles,
    5th Dragon 3/Psion 3 +4 +4 +4 +6 Concentration 8, Hide 8, Move Silently 8, Spot 8, Psicraft 4 Overchannel And by opposing end them: to die, to sleep
    6th Dragon 3/Psion 4 +5 +4 +4 +7 Concentration 9, Hide 9, Move Silently 9, Spot 9, Psicraft 4 - No more; and by a sleep, to say we end
    7th Dragon 3/Psion 5 +5 +4 +4 +7 Concentration 10, Hide 10, Move Silently 10, Spot 10, Psicraft 4 Psionic Meditation The Heart-ache, and the thousand Natural shocks
    8th Dragon 3/Psion 6 +6 +5 +5 +8 Concentration 11, Hide 11, Move Silently 11, Spot 11, Psicraft 4 Twin Power That Flesh is heir to? 'Tis a consummation
    9th Dragon 3/Psion 7 +6 +5 +5 +8 Concentration 12, Hide 12, Move Silently 12, Spot 12, Psicraft 4 - Devoutly to be wished. To die, to sleep,
    10th Dragon 3/Psion 8 +7 +5 +5 +9 Concentration 13, Hide 13, Move Silently 13, Spot 13, Psicraft 4 - To sleep, perchance to Dream; aye, there's the rub,
    11th Dragon 3/Psion 9 +7 +6 +6 +9 Concentration 14, Hide 14, Move Silently 14, Spot 14, Psicraft 4 Quicken Power For in that sleep of death, what dreams may come,
    12th Dragon 3/Psion 10 +8 +6 +6 +10 Concentration 15, Hide 15, Move Silently 15, Spot 15, Psicraft 4 Psionic Talent When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
    13th Dragon 3/Psion 11 +8 +6 +6 +10 Concentration 16, Hide 16, Move Silently 16, Spot 16, Psicraft 4 - Must give us pause. There's the respect
    14th Dragon 3/Psion 12 +9 +7 +7 +11 Concentration 17, Hide 17, Move Silently 17, Spot 17, Psicraft 4 Psionic Talent That makes Calamity of so long life:
    15th Dragon 3/Psion 13 +9 +7 +7 +11 Concentration 18, Hide 18, Move Silently 18, Spot 18, Psicraft 4 - For who would bear the Whips and Scorns of time,
    16th Dragon 3/Psion 14 +10 +7 +7 +12 Concentration 19, Hide 19, Move Silently 19, Spot 19, Psicraft 4 - The Oppressor's wrong, the proud man's Contumely,
    17th Dragon 3/Psion 15 +10 +8 +8 +12 Concentration 20, Hide 20, Move Silently 20, Spot 20, Psicraft 4 Psionic Talent, Psionic Talent The pangs of despised Love, the Law’s delay,
    18th Dragon 3/Psion 16 +11 +8 +8 +13 Concentration 21, Hide 21, Move Silently 21, Spot 21, Psicraft 4 - The insolence of Office, and the Spurns
    19th Dragon 3/Psion 17 +11 +8 +8 +13 Concentration 22, Hide 22, Move Silently 22, Spot 22, Psicraft 4 - That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
    20th Dragon 3/Psion 18 +12 +9 +9 +14 Concentration 23, Hide 23, Move Silently 23, Spot 23, Psicraft 4 Psionic Talent When he himself might his Quietus make.
    Spoiler: In my mind's eye
    Show
    Snowscale is a Seer, so she has access to clairsentience discipline powers. The thirty-three powers that she learns, in order, are Precognition, Control Light, Know Direction and Location, Energy Ray, Far Hand, Cloud Mind, Ego Whip, Clairvoyant Sense, Energy Stun, Time Hop, Fate Link, Energy Wall, Body Adjustment, Death Urge, Psionic Dimension Door, Psionic Divination, Psionic Freedom of Movement, Second Chance, Shatter Mind Blank, Catapsi, Psionic True Seeing, Fuse Flesh, Mass Cloud Mind, Remote View Trap, Insanity, Divert Teleport, Personal Mind Blank, Hypercognition, Recall Death, True Metabolism, Microcosm, Assimilate, Psionic Etherealness.

    So, to recap, this is a dragon who can basically kill you by beating up your force of personality (Ego whip), who always knows where she is, can make you forget she ever existed, is functionally omniscient, can drive you insane, can't be affected by illusions or enchantments, can make you kill yourself, and has a cool "Shadow in the warp" style ability (Go look at the power Catapsi and the tyranid Shadow in the Warp ability from 40K and tell me they're not the same). Also, she can make your flesh fuse together in pretty horrific ways. And she can take down your mind blank.

    Snowscale may look cute, but she makes a living out of being utterly terrifying. At CR 20, she can manifest at ML 21 (24 with Overchannel), meaning that she can do things such as dropping a creature with anything under 170 hitpoints into a Microcosm, as well as add stupidly high DCs to Death Urge. The fact that she can use the combo of standard: Twin Death Urge, move: Regain psionic focus, swift: quickened Death Urge to use it on the same creature three times, just to make sure it fails its save, is just an added bonus.
    Spoiler: Where we lay our scene
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    We do not lay our scene in fair Verona. Don't be silly.

    White dragons like snowy, icy climes. They also, apparently, like snowy, icy climbs, if their pseudo-spider-walk ability is to be believed. To this effect, the campaign is set in some kind of frozen northlands. The cave where Blizzarion (You did read the prologue, right?) lived and Snowscale was born is located not far from the village where the heroes who fought Blizzarion returned to their teenaged children and regaled them with tales of adventure. Within the year, these children became adventurers of their own.
    Spoiler: So wise so young
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    At CR 5, Snowscale already has the PCs marked for death. Knowing that the old PCs are too strong for her, she goes after their children. She attacks charisma-based casters with ego whips, using them to knock her foes unconscious by dealing them charisma damage - a feat which should only take 2-3 castings per person, 4 for a sorcerer or bard (who is anyway rendered near-useless by the second casting). Fly spells only just being on the table, it is at liberty to sit back and attack from a distance. To neutralise wizards quickly, she might Overchannel fire energy rays (which the wizard would not expect from such cold regions, and which anyway deal more damage than normal), which might easily deal more damage each than the wizard has hit points. Fighters get the Ego Whip treatment. Come on, it's your fault for dumping charisma.

    If she needs to escape, she shoots off 600 feet away as a full action. Or burrows into the ground. Or dives into the nearest lake. Figure it out.

    Of course, if she just wants to creep the PCs out, she can alter the lighting, drop things on them out of nowhere, and erase all memory of herself from whoever she likes.
    Spoiler: The Winter of our Discontent
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    From CR 10, Snowscale can spam Death Urge like it's going out of fashion. Or, y'know, bigger Ego Whips. In fact, a fully-augmented Ego Whip followed by a Quickened one augmented as much as that one can be is pretty much going to knock out the average person. The Dimension Door is helpful for getting out. The energy abilities allow her to fight, and Time Hop/Fate Link are mostly for messing with people (Imagine the party fighter just disappearing for no good reason, or the wilder wincing in pain every time someone punches the favoured soul). Or to help her fight. Whatever works.

    At about this level, Snowscale will go and murder the original characters' parents in horrific ways. Riordieth is found dead after having deliberately leapt from a window onto a spiked fence. James' body is scorched beyond recognition. Joseph and Alicia are found with the exact same injuries, inflicted by the former being knocked out and having his throat cut. The latter bears no sign of actually having been hit with anything, despite her injuries.

    Of course, this can be adapted for there being different parent characters.
    Spoiler: I like not fair terms and a villain's mind
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    Honestly, she just doesn't like fair terms.

    By CR 15, Snowscale's 7th-level powers are online, specifically Insanity. That's always fun, leaving someone permanently confused. Especially if you use Mass Cloud Mind to make their allies forget why they're insane. She can also break people's mind blanks, which is big.
    Spoiler: Some rise by sin, and others by virtue fall
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    By the time that the climactic battle is due, Snowscale is more than ready for it. Her ego whips, dealing 7d4 charisma damage, will knock out most people, and they can be twinned to deal 5d4 damage, plus another 5d4, instead, averaging 25 CHA damage. Yeah. Plus another 5d4 as a swift, if she wants.

    Snowscale can drop people into microcosms, make them disappear from the time stream, fuse their flesh together, make them kill themselves (including by remembering that they were supposed to be dead)... she's also able to get out fast; she can drop a standard-action power, quicken a psychic etherealness, and dimension door out as a move action (so long as she starts focused).

    I've no idea how the PCs are supposed to kill the damned thing, but they can have fun trying.
    Spoiler: If perchance I have offended
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    There's not much to say about questionable rules, but I'd note that it's possible that the true dragons' class skills are only meant to apply to their dragon hit dice, not all their levels. It does not, however, actually say that, and I don't know the intention. If you don't like it, you can take them cross-class.

    Also, I'm iffy on whether I can take an epic feat at 21st level because I can't remember how monster HD work, but if I can, I could take Epic Psionic Focus to be able to drop spells with two metapsionics on at once, or just Improved Manifestation which gets me more power points.

    No, I've no idea where Shakespeare comes into it either.


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    Quote Originally Posted by The Blue Devil of Enfaire Hills
    The Blue Devil of Enfaire Hills

    Spoiler: The Beast of Legend
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    Spoiler: The Setup
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    The old man put down his ale and shook his head. “I tell you, the beast is real. You laugh, you think we’re a bunch of yokels, and you’re the big shot tracker. Well, you’re safe in the Laughing Gnome now. But if it gets you out in the countryside, alone at night - they say that’s the only time it attacks …”

    The Ranger nodded, regarding him carefully. The old man’s clothes were shabby, and he stank of alcohol. The words town drunk came to his mind as though unbidden. Still, he could know something… “It’s all right. Strange as it sounds, I believe you. I’m what you might call a specialist in unusual beasts, and I must say this one has piqued my interests. So tell me, what do they say it looks like?”

    “Well, nobody’s been really sure. One fella said it made a sound like a tiger, and found his cow cut open like it had slash marks all over it. Another one found a couple of feathers next to his prize pig, that looked like it got smashed against the ground a few times. And you can see that critter up there for yourself.” He pointed to the odd-looking stuffed creature mounted above the bar. It looked like a rabbit with wings and moose antlers. “Leonard reckons it’s one of its young ‘uns. But the one thing that’s got everybody worried is the claws. Charlie down by the forest edge says he saw something flying through the air, with a face like a demon, wings like a bat, and a set of the most awful claws you ever saw, flashing like blue fire.”

    “And do you have a name for this creature?”

    “Well, the folks that don’t believe it have been calling it a Dire Snipe, or a Fiendish Bunyip. But the rest of us are calling it the Blue Devil of Enfaire Hills.”

    “And no one from town has organized a party to go find it? It’s all out-of-towners?”

    “Got that right. In fact, if you ask me, some of the people in Enfaire are kind of hoping nobody ever finds the thing. Every so often a young feller like you shows up, and they find him afterwards gutted like the cows. ‘course, the beast never eats any of those magic doodads you young folks carry around with you, and the town gets to keep any of them they find. And the more of you that hear about it, the famouser we get. Good for business, you understand?”

    “I see. Thank you for your help. I have a few other friends staying here who will be very interested. We’ll start our search tomorrow.”

    Another round was poured. No one noticed the old man shuffling out of the bar. He stumbled back to his lonely house, and left the door cracked open just the tiniest bit. Inside, a soft snore came from the bedroom, and two bottles of whisky were empty on the floor. The old man put his hand to the ground, and concentrated. Satisfied that the house’s original occupant was stone drunk and (more importantly) alone, he carefully removed the false beard, washed off the makeup, and placed his clothes in the cabinet. A few moments later, an owl hopped out of the house. Shadows seemed to cling to it as it winged its way back to the Laughing Gnome. This hunt might prove very interesting.


    Spoiler: Abilities and hitpoints
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    Str 12->14(racial)
    Dex 8->12(racial)
    Con 15->19(racial)->20(level-up)
    Int 14->20(racial)->21(level-up)
    Wis 13->17(racial)->18(level-up)
    Cha 10->14(racial)

    Hitpoints: 25d8+3d6+140 (Average 263)
    (Note: Warshaper’s Morphic Body applies only to Alternate Forms, not the original form. Since hitpoints are keyed to the original form, Morphic Body does not increase the hitpoint total).


    Spoiler: Build Table
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    The Blue Devil of Enfaire Hills
    CE Phasm
    Aberration15/Umbral Disciple3/Totemist5/Warshaper5

    CR Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    7 Aberration 15 +11 +5 +5 +9 Bluff 18, Disguise 18, Knowedge (Nature) 18, Survival 17, Hide 16, Listen 8, Spot 8, Concentration 4, Knowedge (Arcana) 2, Craft (Taxidermy) 1 Martial Study: Cloak of Deception (Hide=always a class skill, taken at 1st level)
    Darkstalker
    Track
    Cobalt Charge
    Power Attack
    Improved Bull Rush
    Natural Armor +5, Alternate form, Amorphous, Resilient (+4 Reflex and Will not included in base saves), Scent, Telepathy 100 ft., Tremorsense 60 ft.
    8 Umbral Disciple 1 +11 +5 +7 +11 Hide 18, Move Silently 9 - Sept knowledge, step of the bodiless
    9 Umbral Disciple 2 +12 +5 +8 +12 Hide 20, Move Silently 18 - Sneak Attack +1d6
    10 Umbral Disciple 3 +13 +6 +8 +12 Hide 21, Move Silently 21, Know(Planes)2, Balance2, Tumble1 Craven Embrace of Shadow
    11 Totemist 1 +13 +8 +10 +12 Knowledge (Nature) 20, Hide 22, Move Silently 22, Disguise 19, Survival 19 - Wild Empathy
    12 Totemist 2 +14 +9 +11 +12 Knowledge (Nature) 22, Hide 23, Move Silently 23, Disguise 20, Balance3 - Totem Chakra Bind (+1 capacity)
    13 Totemist 3 +15 +9 +11 +13 Knowledge (Nature) 24, Hide 24, Move Silently 24, Disguise 21, Survival 21 Shock Trooper Totem’s Protection
    14 Totemist 4 +16 +10 +12 +13 Knowledge (Nature) 25, Hide 25, Move Silently 25, Disguise 23, Survival 22 - -
    15 Totemist 5 +16 +10 +12 +13 Knowledge (Nature) 26, Hide 26, Move Silently 26, Disguise 25, Survival 23 - Chakra Binds (Crown, Feet, and Hands)
    16 Warshaper1 +16 +12 +12 +13 Hide 27, Move Silently 27, Disguise 26, Balance 3, Tumble 3 Martial Study: Distracting Ember (Tumble = always class skill) Morphic Immunities, Morphic Weapons
    17 Warshaper2 +17 +13 +13 +14 Hide 28, Move Silently 28, Disguise 27, Balance 5, Tumble 4 - Morphic Body
    18 Warshaper3 +18 +13 +13 +14 Hide 29, Move Silently 29, Disguise 28, Tumble 5, Knowledge (Dungeoneering) 1 - Morphic Reach
    19 Warshaper4 +19 +14 +13 +14 Hide 30, Move Silently 30, Disguise 29, Tumble 6, Knowledge (Local) 1 Shape Soulmeld: Enigma Helm Morphic Healing
    20 Warshaper5 +19 +14 +13 +14 Hide 31, Move Silently 31, Disguise 31, Knowledge (Planes) 3 - Flashmorph



    Spoiler: Essentia Progression
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    Essentia Table
    Level Soulmelds Essentia Pool Chakra Binds
    Aberration 15 0 1 0
    UD1 0 2 0
    UD2 0 2 0
    UD3 0 3 0
    Tot1 2 4 0
    Tot2 3 5 1
    Tot3 3 5 1
    Tot4 4 6 1
    Tot5 4 6 1


    Spoiler: CR Writeups
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    CR Writeups

    Spoiler: CR 7
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    Basic Phasm, with feats reassigned. The Phasm already has an impressive array of options from its Alternate Form ability. Martial Study gives it access to an important method of retreat or ambush, and gives Hide as a class skill. Darkstalker allows stealth against creatures with special senses. Cobalt Charge grants it an Essentia Pool, which will become important momentarily. A high Disguise check can help foil True Seeing.


    Spoiler: CR 10
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    Three levels of Umbral Disciple allow the Blue Devil to step up its stealth game. The Blue Devil will always invest 2 essentia into Embrace of Shadow (to get both Concealment and Hide in Plain Sight. True Seeing explicitly does not overcome concealment, meaning it can still Hide. (Its Hide check is still opposed by a character’s Spot check). Sneak attack at second level opens up the possibility of taking Craven at 3rd – and gaining bonus sneak attack damage equal to the Devil’s hit dice. Combined with Cloak of Deception, this can help the Devil shred through several opponents within its reach.


    Spoiler: CR 15
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    This is the sweet spot, where most of the Devil’s important features have come online. Five levels of Totemist allow the Devil to bind the Sphinx Claws soulmeld to its Hand chakra, giving it pounce with all of its natural weapons. (The Devil is careful to choose Alternate Forms that keep access to its Hands chakra available). Various other soulmelds can also give bonuses to your stealth skills.

    Shock Trooper grants a potent offensive weapon in Heedless Charge. Be sure not to forget the other tactical maneuvers if the players are near dangerous terrain or natural hazards. A high-strength Alternate Form can perform very well at Bull Rush.


    Spoiler: CR 20
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    At this point, the Devil’s attack routine can be as impressive as you want it to be. Warshaper’s Morphic Weapons ability is a well-known bit of rules weirdness. As written, there is no cap on the number of natural weapons you can grow. In an actual game I would usually limit this to one additional natural weapon or set of natural weapons. (I believe this was the intent of the ability). However, depending on how broadly you interpret this (and how optimized your players are), you could turn a powerful melee monster into an abomination straight out of your players’ nightmares.

    Morphic Immunities allow the Devil immunity from stunning and critical hits. Morphic Body improves the Strength and Constitution of your alternate forms. Morphic Healing allows the Devil to retreat, heal rapidly, and go back to harassing the players. Flashmorph opens some new options by reducing the use of Alternate Form to a Move Action. Distracting Ember gives the Devil another chance to gain a fearsome amount of sneak damage after the first round. Finally, shaping the Enigma Helm soulmeld can help protect you from various Divinations.




    Spoiler: Personality and Motivation
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    The Blue Devil is a thoroughly Chaotic and thoroughly Evil character. It will do whatever it takes to achieve its goal: to stave off boredom. It lives for the thrill of the hunt, and the joy of knowing that it’s completely baffled a worthy adversary. The more frightened and confused its victims are, the better. It does not usually attack children, considering them too easy (and therefore not much fun) to kill, but would not hesitate to scare them. It regards self-preservation as an important goal, and is cowardly at heart. It is flattered by the attention the town is paying it, and has begun to entertain dreams of being the most famous legendary monster in the kingdom. This may eventually come into conflict with its desire to stay hidden, but for now it's enjoying the danger.


    Spoiler: Tactics
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    Spoiler: General Strategy
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    After using its “old man” disguise to scope out a target, the Blue Devil will usually kill some livestock (leaving a trail of blood into the wilderness) to start off the chase. It favors deliberately leaving a path as a terrestrial creature, then using Alternate Form to change into a bird (or other creature) to confuse the trail. It will often lead the victim into dangerous situations (such as bogs or the lairs of other creatures). During the day, the Blue Devil will typically circle back and follow its prey at a distance, in the shape of an animal common to the surrounding environment. It is careful to stay at least 120 feet away to avoid exposure to True Seeing or Detect Magic. If absolutely necessary, it will use a Diminutive or Fine alternate form (such as a bat, toad, or sparrow) and take cover behind an appropriately-sized object. In a dire emergency, it will use an Alternate Form with a Burrow speed and escape underground.

    During the first night of pursuit, the Blue Devil uses its Embrace of Shadows ability to sneak up on the party. It will allow itself to be seen (as whatever unusual form of creature suits its fancy), then regains concealment and runs off, drawing the party farther into the wilderness. At this point, depending on the needs of the campaign, it might retreat back to the town, leaving the players a trail to follow (up to a point). Otherwise, if the players are ready to track it down immediately, the chase begins in earnest.

    Over the next two nights, it will harass the party. Mounts and pack animals are attacked first. It does not steal any carried gear, preferring to force the characters into a difficult decision about what to leave behind. After the mounts are killed, it targets anyone who wanders more than a few feet away from the rest of the group. If the whole group leaves to collect firewood or get food, on their return they will find a single slash mark near the center of the camp.

    After the third night, the Blue Devil begins to use sleep against the party. It will assault the party, making enough noise to raise the alarm and wake everyone, then retreat; sleep for four hours; then repeat the process, spoiling the night’s sleep for any spellcasters. If any party members become Invisible, it uses its Tremorsense to determine their location. If it loses track of any party member, it will retreat.


    Spoiler: Combat Tactics
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    The Blue Devil relies on a combination of surprise and a large number of natural attacks to fight its enemies. It always invests at least two Essentia into Embrace of Shadows. Its combat Alternate Form should be tailored to the level of the party. At lower levels, a Dire Tiger might be an appropriate form. At higher levels, it might be a Pit Fiend (for its flight, large number of natural attacks, high-DC Extraordinary poison effect, and high physical scores). In the first round of combat, it will charge any character who is still flat-footed, gaining Pounce from its Sphinx Claws and a large bonus to sneak attack damage from Craven. If the PC is alone (or far enough away from the others that they couldn’t retaliate), it will also use Power Attack and Shock Trooper to ensure a kill. If the Blue Devil starts off next to a PC, it will use its Distracting Ember maneuver to gain flanking (and sneak attack) against the enemy it perceives to be its greatest threat.



    Spoiler: Variations and Campaign Ideas
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    While the description assumes an outdoor area with woods and hills, the Blue Devil could exist in almost any kind of environment, including underground or even as a sea monster in an aquatic or nautical campaign.

    If the players retreat back to the town (or before they start pursuing the monster at all), they might start investigating some of the townsfolk’s activities. Several local personalities stand to gain from the monster stories – for instance, the Innkeeper, a person selling monster memorabilia, someone with a grudge against the farmers, anyone being employed as a guard. If the Blue Devil notices the party investigating one particular person, it might use its Alternate Form to appear to be that person, hoping to stir up trouble.

    Possible Side quests:
    A child has gone off to fight the monster, but has not returned. The child’s parents offer a reward.
    A smuggling ring is using the monster story as an opportunity to operate without being bothered.
    An intelligent creature (possibly a Tiefling, Half-Orc, or similar; or one of the party themselves) is falsely accused of being the monster.
    A group of rival adventurers are searching for the monster. Their heavy-handed tactics has brought the town into conflict with a group of Druids.


    Spoiler: Rules Note
    Show
    Warshaper’s save progression seems to be off. Reflex and Will saves should probably be +0 at Warshaper2 instead of +1. No errata was ever issued about this, so I’ve included the published progression in the build table. At most it’s a one-point discrepancy that lasts for just one level.


    Spoiler: Sources
    Show
    Monster Manual 1: Phasm monster.
    Complete Warrior: Warshaper prestige class, Shock Trooper feat.
    Magic of Incarnum: Totemist class, Umbral Disciple prestige class, Shape Soulmeld feat, Cobalt Charge feat.
    Tome of Battle: Martial Study feat.
    Lords of Madness: Darkstalker feat.
    Champions of Ruin: Craven feat.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Xumtiil View Post
    An Abattoir Vecna, if you will.
    My Homebrew

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VI: Clever Girl...

    Damned demons are ruining this town!

    Quote Originally Posted by The Black Eye
    The Black Eye




    Spoiler: abilities
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    elite array:

    str 8
    dex 10
    con 12 (increase at 4 and 8 here)
    int 14
    wis 13
    cha 15 (increase at subsequent levels here)


    Spoiler: level breakdown
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    CE Killoren warlock 5/sor 1/mindbender 1/earth dreamer 5/eldrich theurge 8


    Spoiler: backstory
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    Spoiler: Spring
    Show

    Everything went to hell after they hanged old man Flanagan.

    It’d been years since the sheriff in town had investigated a murder, much less one like this.

    When Flanagan’d been taken away, the crowd gathered around him chanted “why?” in between hurling rocks and bottles at him.

    All he could say was he didn’t know.

    The frightening thing was the sheriff believed him.

    He hadn’t said a word to anyone once they put him in the jailhouse. Just tossed and turned, muttering to the wall, as though there were something in it.

    The sheriff marched him out to the gallows early the next morning. As was customary, Flanagan got to speak his last words.

    “I was bewitched by the devil. If he comes for you, don’t listen. No matter what he says, just don’t listen.”

    The sheriff gave a nod and the executioner dropped Flanagan. Clean break. No sense in him suffering. It wouldn’t bring his daughter back.

    The crowd dispersed soon enough, the excitement abated. It chilled him, the way some people got so excited for a hanging. Wasn’t natural.

    The sheriff wasn’t a pious man, but he had known Flanagan long enough to know the man was no killer. There had to be something more at work here.

    He’d never wished to be wrong so strongly.

    Spoiler: Summer
    Show

    It wasn’t long before strange happenings started around town. Flanagan’s daughter soon wasn’t the only one missing, though the others hadn’t turned up dead yet.

    It wasn’t a large place, so it wasn’t as though there were many places for the children to hide, and there wasn’t a road leading through the town, so a stranger riding through in the night and then out again just as quickly was, to say the least, unlikely.

    The sheriff kept his suspicions to himself, not wanting to panic the people, but they came to the same conclusion on their own soon enough.

    Wherever they were hiding, it had to be in town.

    As ugly as it was to consider, the sheriff had to start knocking on doors, asking people if he could have a look around in their wells and barns and tool sheds. He got no complaints, but couldn’t ignore the slow corrosion of the relationship between himself and the townspeople. No one met his eye when he went to the baker for bread.

    When he would say good morning, he’d get a nod in return, but soon, no one spoke to him unless it was on official business.

    Business was what called him to Padraig’s home the next morning. He’d been run through with a pitchfork. There’d been an argument between him and his friends over their weekly card game. One of them had accused him of being the stealer of the town’s children. He hadn’t taken it well.

    By the time the sheriff got there, it was too late. He talked to the people there and arrested Padraig’s brother. He didn’t put up a fight, only saying he didn’t know what’d come over him. The sheriff had an unpleasant feeling he did.

    While he was putting the irons on Seamus’s hands, he saw something in the corner of his eye. It was round and black and lying perfectly still on the mantel. It rolled, not along the slope of the wood, but against it.

    The sheriff turned his head back to his work and finished locking up the prisoner. He waited to hear the object drop, but it never did. He glanced back and it was gone. Someone had probably picked it up. Either way, he had more important things to take care of.


    Spoiler: Autumn
    Show

    Seamus didn’t say much once he was in his cell back at the jail.

    No matter how many questions the sheriff asked him, he couldn’t tell him why he’d killed his brother. Unlike Flanagan, he had no devil to blame, just a rage that he’d said overtook him.

    The sheriff kept an eye on him the whole time, already dreading the next time he would be called out for the next horror.

    Something caught the light in the cell’s small window. It looked just like the thing he’d seen back at Padraig’s house.

    He shouted at Seamus to catch it, and he did, holding the glassy ball in his fist. It squirmed in his grasp, legs as fine as strands of hair wriggling around his fingers.

    “What in heaven’s name is that?” Seamus said, as if the sheriff would know.

    “Hold onto it. It’s all we’ve got,” the sheriff said.

    He moved forward to unlock the cell and get a closer look at the thing. Seamus backed up to let him in. It wasn’t his first time in the cell.

    The sheriff had scarcely touched key to lock when something else appeared in the cell.

    It drifted out of the wall as though it were thin air and hovered behind Seamus. Before the sheriff could speak a word of warning, it grabbed his head in its hands, green as moss, and broke his neck like a rotten twig.

    Seamus slumped to the floor and the thing in his hand crawled up the creature’s leg, scampering up its body to its face, popping itself wetly into a ragged hole there.

    It was an eye.

    The thing before him turned its antlered head and floated through the wall out the cell.

    The sheriff threw the door open and chased after it, but his hand closed on empty air. He looked out the window. It couldn’t have gotten far. But he saw nothing.

    Without even the eye to show for it, he couldn’t tell the town these crimes were the work of the fair folk. They were just things from children’s stories.

    He put his head in his hands and tried to remember how they ended.


    Spoiler: Winter
    Show

    No one in town slept anymore.

    Or it seemed like it. Every house’s fire burned through the night. People went everywhere in twos and threes.

    No one even called the sheriff on official business anymore. Not since they’d heard Seamus hanged himself in his cell. They all knew him well enough to know he’d never do such a thing. The sheriff couldn’t argue with them.

    The sheriff saw the eye everywhere now. It was mocking him. When he’d be ready to close his fingers around it, it would vanish, or when he would squelch it beneath his boot, it would turn to smoke.

    He hoped it hurt.

    The seasons were beginning to turn, and the sheriff had to begin weatherproofing the jail, putting boards on the windows to block out the storms. He did so alone, since he knew the time when he could’ve asked his neighbors for help had long since passed.

    In between the howling of the wind, he heard something that sounded like crying.

    It wasn’t the first time the thing had toyed with his mind. He’d often heard things that weren’t there, seen things move on their own. Eventually he’d grown to ignore it. This was different. It had weight behind it. He pried up the board he’d just nailed down and saw Seamus’s daughter within the jail.

    He called out to her to stay put and rushed inside.

    She wasn’t alone. The other missing children, some too young to stand on their own, were huddled together in the freezing cell.

    He stepped inside and saw the thing in the corner. Its jaws were open wide, the last child sliding out of its mouth like a gaping serpent. As soon as the girl’s feet touched the floor, the sheriff drew his gun and fired. The bullet was of iron and cut through whatever blasphemous magic the thing had around it.

    The bullet entered through its empty eye hole and snapped back its head. It spilled no blood.

    It staggered backwards and slid into the wall for the last time. The sheriff grasped for its wrist, trying to haul the thing out to prove to the town what was behind it all, but was too late. He hammered his fist on the stone and spat out a curse, not caring whose company he was in.

    The children fled at he noise of the gunshot. Seamus’s little one took up an iron cup and pan and banged them together as she ran out into the night.

    “Help! The sheriff’s got me! He’s trying to kill me!” she yelled.

    The sheriff saw doors open through the town at the racket. It wouldn’t be long before someone let her in.

    He’d had to lie to the town about Seamus. There was no sense instilling fear when there was nothing to be done about it. This was no different. No one had been by in months. They could believe he’d been imprisoning he children here. He found his hand reaching for his gun but stopped himself before he could raise it and take aim at the child.

    He wouldn’t give in to the devil’s whispers. He knew what had to be done.

    They found him there in the cell, a hole in his head. No one asked any questions and hoped this would be the end of it.

    It was.

    Spoiler: build table
    Show

    Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    1st Warlock 1 +0 +0 +0 +2 diplo 2 (1), intimidate 4, k:nature 4, sm 4, spellcraft 2 education Eldritch blast 1d6, invocation (least)
    2nd Warlock 2 +1 +0 +0 +3 spellcraft 3 (5), UMD 1 Detect magic
    3rd Warlock 3 +2 +1 +1 +3 diplo 2 (3), spellcraft 1 (6), UMD 1 (2) darkstalker Damage reduction 1/cold iron, eldritch blast 2d6
    4th Warlock 4 +3 +1 +1 +4 k:nature 1 (5), UMD 3 (5) Deceive item
    5th Warlock 5 +3 +1 +1 +4 diplo 2 (4), UMD 2 (7) Eldritch blast 3d6
    6th Sorcerer 1 +3 +1 +1 +6 bluff 4 earth sense Metamagic specialist
    7th Mindbender 1 +3 +3 +1 +8 spellcraft 4 (10) Telepathy
    8th Earth Dreamer 1 +3 +5 +1 +10 k:arcana 2, k:planes 2 Earth friend
    9th Earth Dreamer 2 +4 +6 +1 +11 k:arcana 2 (4), k:planes 2 (4) mindsight Earth dream
    10th Earth Dreamer 3 +4 +6 +2 +11 k:arcana 2 (6), k:planes 2 (6) Lesser tremorsense
    11th Earth Dreamer 4 +5 +7 +2 +12 k:arcana 2 (8), k:planes 2 (8) Earth sight, eldritch blast 4d6
    12th Earth Dreamer 5 +5 +7 +2 +12 hide 4 martial study (shadow jaunt) Earth glide
    13th Eldritch Theurge 1 +5 +7 +2 +14 UMD 4 (11) DR 1/cold iron
    14th Eldritch Theurge 2 +6/+1 +7 +2 +15 UMD 4 (15) Fiendish resilience 1, eldritch blast 5d6
    15th Eldritch Theurge 3 +7/+2 +8 +3 +15 hide 1 (5), UMD 3 (18) invisible spell Spellblast
    16th Eldritch Theurge 4 +8/+3 +8 +3 +16 hide 3 (8), UMD 1 (19) DR 2/cold iron
    17th Eldritch Theurge 5 +9/+4 +8 +3 +16 hide 3 (11), UMD 1 (20) Eldritch spellweave, eldritch blast 6d6
    18th Eldritch Theurge 6 +9/+4 +9 +6 +17 hide 3 (14), UMD 1 (21) deceptive spell
    19th Eldritch Theurge 7 +10/+5 +9 +4 +17 hide 3 (17), UMD 1 (22) DR 3/cold iron
    20th Eldritch Theurge 8 +11/+6/+1 +9 +4 +18 hide 3 (20), UMD 1 (23)


    Spoiler: spell chart
    Show


    Spells per Day
    Spoiler
    Show

    Level 0lvl 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
    1st - - - - - - - - - -
    2nd - - - - - - - - - -
    3rd - - - - - - - - - -
    4th - - - - - - - - - -
    5th - - - - - - - - - -
    6th 5 3 - - - - - - - -
    7th 5 3 - - - - - - - -
    8th 6 4 - - - - - - - -
    9th 6 5 - - - - - - - -
    10th 6 6 3 - - - - - - -
    11th 6 6 3 - - - - - - -
    12th 6 6 3 - - - - - - -
    13th 6 6 4 - - - - - - -
    14th 6 6 5 3 - - - - - -
    15th 6 6 6 4 - - - - - -
    16th 6 6 6 5 3 - - - - -
    17th 6 6 6 6 4 - - - - -
    18th 6 6 6 6 5 3 - - - -
    19th 6 6 6 6 5 3 - - - -
    20th 6 6 6 6 6 5 3 - - -


    Spells Known
    Spoiler
    Show

    Level 0lvl 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
    1st - - - - - - - - - -
    2nd - - - - - - - - - -
    3rd - - - - - - - - - -
    4th - - - - - - - - - -
    5th - - - - - - - - - -
    6th 4 2 - - - - - - - -
    7th - - - - - - - - - -
    8th 5 2 - - - - - - - -
    9th 5 3 - - - - - - - -
    10th 6 3 1 - - - - - - -
    11th 6 3 1 - - - - - - -
    12th 6 3 1 - - - - - - -
    13th 6 4 2 - - - - - - -
    14th 7 4 2 1 - - - - - -
    15th 7 5 3 2 - - - - - -
    16th 8 5 3 2 1 - - - - -
    17th 8 5 4 3 2 - - - - -
    18th 9 5 4 3 2 1 - - - -
    19th 9 5 5 4 3 2 - - - -
    20th 9 5 5 4 3 2 1 - - -
    0 (9) mage hand, no light, light, open/close, prestidigitation, silent portal, mending, touch of fatigue, ghost sound
    1(5) charm person, protection from evil, hoard gullet, ebon eyes, grease
    2 (5) glitterdust, web, ray of stupidity, ray of dizziness, wings of cover
    3 (4) blacklight, great thunderclap, unluck, shadow conjuration
    4 (3) polymorph, enervation, wings of flurry
    5 (2) overland flight, magic jar
    6 (1) anti magic field


    Spoiler: invocations
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    1: baleful utterance eb 1
    2: +entropic warding
    3:
    4: +serpent’s tongue
    5:
    6:
    7: (warlock 6) eb 4 +walk unseen (lessers unlocked)
    8:
    9:
    10:
    11: (warlock 7)
    12: (warlock 8) +lesser crawling eye (retrain serpent’s tongue to dark one’s own luck)
    13: (warlock 9)
    14: (warlock 10) +lesser fell flight
    15: (warlock 11) +greater devil’s whispers
    16: (warlock 12)
    17: (warlock 13) +greater noxious blast
    18: (warlock 14)
    19 (warlock 15) +greater chilling tentacles, (retrain fell flight to flee the scene)
    20 (warlock 16) +dark retributive invisibility (retrain walk unseen to curse of despair)


    Spoiler: playtips
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    Spoiler: lvl5
    Show

    you function as a fairly standard warlock here with a few notable twists.

    darkstalker is online to make you harder to pin down. entropic warding helps protect you from ranged attacks and makes you impossible to track.

    baleful utterance does pretty much everything you could ever imagine shatter at will would do. serpent’s tongue helps you sniff out enemies with scent, making you adept at stealth and counter stealth alike. these specialties will only deepen as time goes on.

    killoren contributes a great deal. its fey type renders you immune to the x person line, it imparts low light vision and immunity to sleep, and lets you take on one of three aspects. ancient gives you another +2 vs enchantment (on top of your racial +2)

    destroyer gives you a 1/hour smite attack (up to cha mod times/day) which lets you bonk an aberration, construct, humanoid, ooze, outsider, or undead

    hunter, the one you’ll probably use the most often, gives a +2 to hide, listen, ms, and spot alongside a +2 to init, which is always useful

    skulk around, eldritch blast people, and have fun using wands with warlock’s iconic deceive item ability, allowing you to take 10 on UMD. supplement your class features with utility wands as normal, though you function just fine without them.


    Spoiler: lvl 10
    Show

    sorcerer comes online now, and all your tricks really start taking shape.

    ghost sound and mage hand help supplement your theme, creating phantom sounds and moving things around when you’re elsewhere, same with the rest of your cantrips.

    charm person helps bend others to your will and gets you into mindbender. use hoard gullet to swallow up and carry around helpless victims or materials and since it’s in your tummy dimension and not actually your body, it won’t be seen as you spirit it away.

    metamagic specialist lays groundwork for later, allowing you to cast metamagiced spells without messing with the casting time.

    you’re now in mindbender, granting you telepathy. you can now speak without making a sound. this is also the level where you unlock walk unseen, so you disappear and are never seen or heard from again.

    the duration is 24 hours, so just recast it now and again and you will be fine.

    of course, when you have telepathy, you must have mindsight. you can pinpoint anything with an intelligence score in range of your telepathy. you even know what square they’re in, and their type and int score

    this is the irresistible force. mindsight is extremely difficult to counter. the only way around it is to block LoE, through things like… earth glide?

    well you get that too in a level or two. just wait.

    you are halfway there, already in earth dreamer. it gamely advances sorcerer for the first three levels, and then warlock for the last two to help prepare you for eldritch theurge.

    earth friend helps you play nicely with (earth) creatures.

    earth dream helps you with recon via using divination as an SLA as long as your target is within 50 miles of a mountain, which won’t be a problem.

    lesser tremorsense works as tremorsense within 10 feet, which goes very well with all your other special senses.

    your role is somewhat similar, but you’re much stealthier now. skulk around, divine, and blast. things are about to get nuts.


    Spoiler: lvl15
    Show

    You’re finished with earth dreamer now, and have earth sight, letting you see through dirt, stone, rocks, etc up to 30 feet in exchange for a measly standard every 3+con rounds. earth glide lets you phase through earth like water. it leaves no trace, leaves no tunnel, and can’t be detected.

    Once you’re in a wall, earth sight lets you see through the other side to keep an eye on things.

    your tremorsense is better in every way than serpent’s tongue, so go ahead and sub that out with dark one’s own luck, allowing you to get cha to any save for 24 hours. swap it out to shuffle which save it applies to and you’ll be all good

    If for some reason you need to keep tabs on things further away than that, or retreat more than 30 feet into a wall, never fear, crawling eye has you covered.

    your eye can pop out and do stuff for you when you’re in a wall or just elsewhere.

    take to the skies with fell flight. combine this with walk unseen and earth glide and you’re little more than a rumor.

    shadow jaunt offers up some tactical teleportation, which is always helpful. it also grants hide as a class skill from now on, helping you become even harder to find.

    now that you’ve got earth glide, you are both immovable object and irresistible force. you can detect anyone and are essentially impossible to find unless you want to be.

    devil’s whispers is up and running now. it lets you make suggestions (in tandem with telepathy, making no sound at all) as often as you like. the target makes another save at -5 to remember that it wasn’t their idea.

    if someone makes their initial save, just keep spamming it while you linger in their bedroom, popping into the wall should it be necessary. you can have up to your cha mod people affected by it at once, which is more than enough. there’s also no latency period on it, so you can pick on the same person constantly should the need arise.

    you’re in eldritch theurge now, and it progresses your invocations and spells alike, including giving UMD back to you, which is quite nice.

    spellblast is online as well. it’s a very cool eldritch essence hat lets you put an arcane spell that affects an area on your eldritch blast. if you hit, then the area’s centered on any corner of the target’s space, even if the spell can normally only be centered on you.

    yes this means exactly what you think it does.

    for right now, there’s plenty of neat stuff you can put on it, like grease, glitterdist, web, and great thunderclap.

    shadow conjuration add a great deal of versatility to your repertoire. the sky’s really the limit

    invisible spell makes your spells harder to pin down. metamagic specialist pulls its weight

    haunt your hunting grounds, not as a monster, but as a ghost.


    Spoiler: lvl20
    Show

    you’re wrapping up eldritch theurge. eldritch spellweave is up and running now.

    it lets you put one of your eldritch essences (not spellblast unfortunately) on your spells as long as it affects a target or requires a melee or ranged touch attack. the level has to be as high as the level of the eldritch essence, meaning only your 6s.

    fortunately, you can use metamagic to nudge magic jar up there. and add a rider to the effect.

    you have your 6th level spell unlocked now, so can now spellblast enemies with AMF.

    chilling tentacles is up, providing a great deal of BFC and good damage/status. retributive invisibility supersedes walk unseen, being greater invis, so swap that out to curse of despair (you can tap people on the shoulder without breaking invisibility now, so do it as often as you can)

    swap out fell flight to flee the scene since you can fly via overland flight now, and its teleportation can be a real lifesaver.

    deceptive spell lets you make your spells look like they’re coming from elsewhere, making you even harder to pin down. use metamagic specialist to cast them as normal and stay hidden.


    the rest of your spells are up and running, so have fun wih polymorph, enervation, wings of flurry, and the rest.


    Spoiler: sources
    Show

    core: sorcerer
    complete arcane: warlock, mindbender
    complete mage: eldritch theurge
    phb2: metamagic specialist
    races of stone: earth dreamer, earth sense
    lords of madness: darkstalker, mindsight
    cityscape: deceptive spell, invisible spell
    eberron campaign setting: education
    tome of battle: martial study


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    Quote Originally Posted by Xumtiil View Post
    An Abattoir Vecna, if you will.
    My Homebrew

  8. - Top - End - #68
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VI: Clever Girl...

    And that's it, everybody! Alright, who's willing to judge this?


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    Quote Originally Posted by Xumtiil View Post
    An Abattoir Vecna, if you will.
    My Homebrew

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VI: Clever Girl...

    Now that is some diverse group of entries!

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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VI: Clever Girl...

    1. No Scaled Horror entry? Really? I thought that was almost a given.
    2. [REDACTED] until after the reveal in order to avoid unduly influencing the judge(s).
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VI: Clever Girl...

    I meant to finish my build on time, but alas... perhaps it was a bit too outlandish, even for this competition.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeno Desaqqara View Post
    You divine bastard.
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    Winner of Total War: Rise of Kingdoms (Ironfang Republic)


    "The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it."

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VI: Clever Girl...

    I had three ideas, but burned way too much time trying to get my first idea to work properly (Dark Vecna Blooded Displacer Beast - it's that thing that's always at the edge of your vision that you can't quite see). The other two were riffs on the predator thing, wherein they sought prey for different things than their life: A Joystealer Psion who focused on eating your emotions, leaving you an emotionless husk, and an Occularon grappler to feast upon your eyes.

    There are some solid gribblies here, looking forward to seeing what the judge(s) think.
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VI: Clever Girl...

    The second build that I didn't have time to get around to making was one I'd initially scrapped for not meeting the typing restrictions, but which oddly enough actually does meet them.

    It would have been something like Human or Forest Gnome Half-Fiend Template Class 2 Urban Companion Champion of the Wild Ranger 4/Pouncebarian 1/Mortal Hunter 8/Warrior of Darkness 2/Cloistered Cleric 1/Master Thrower 1/Warblade 1. Since Mortal Skin is based on Polymorph, it would have ended up changing type away from Outsider pretty much all the time. The idea was to stalk the party, then at the right moment cast Vile Lance twice, then quickly adding whatever +1 enhancements seem handy via Warrior of Darkness. From there, he'd make a dive attack, throwing one of the Vile Lances with Hurling Charge and pouncing with the other for boatloads of vile damage. He would then flee in some manner or other (Travel Devotion if I could manage it, though the per-day restriction without a rebuke pool hurts), and leave them to deal with the damage they couldn't heal as he continued to stalk them,dropping Flyby Desecrates/Quickened Unhallows (Quicken SLA lacks the verbiage of Quicken Spell regarding the base casting time) if the party ever try to find/create an area in which to heal the vile damage. I wanted to be throwing around Violate Mortalbane Horrid Wiltings as well, but I needed to reach 18 HD to be able to eventually quicken Unhallow, so I couldn't take the whole Half-Fiend Template. Might have used one of the variant Half-Fiends if I could find one with a damaging SLA in place of one of the ones I didn't care about.

    Would probably have ended up too similar to the Blue Devil though, and I'm happy about the build I did end up submitting, so I'm not too bummed about not getting it done

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VI: Clever Girl...

    Quote Originally Posted by AvatarVecna View Post
    Looks like the universe needs to take out a restraining order...
    Wait, did somebody successfully stat up Kakuzu?



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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VI: Clever Girl...

    My own build was going to use the Sharn monster as a base creature. A (usually) lesser known aberration from Monsters of Faerun, it's a primordial force of chaos that is theorized to be older than dragon kind. No fixed shape (in fact, it can't polymorph or be polymorphed), it's a flying silvery black hairless mass of grinning mouths and claws with eyes on the end. Nine claws, three bites. Every HD added automatically increases its innate sorcerer or cleric casting. Some other stuff, but its best ability is hex portals: it can create up to three one way portals of force through which it can launch attacks or spells. Seriously, check this baby out. It has a base CR of 6, so I was thinking of tacking on the Shadow template from LoM. It would have represented the creature's birth at the edge of the border between the Material and the Plane of Shadow, blurring its chaotic essence further and imparting it with an affinity for negative energy.

    Now, with a stealthy and very capable base monster, I decided I wanted to pick up at least 7 levels in Soul Eater (probably capping out the class). With the extra attack from its constant haste, that's up to 26 negative levels a turn, several of which can come from multiple directions. With Shadow Blend, you won't see him until it's too late. There's just no escaping this guy.

    The build stub would have been Shadow Sharn Fighter 3 / Soul Eater 10. As for backstory, there's a bit built in there. Sharns have a largely incomprehensible society, which this specimen would have been born on the fringes of. Its sanity is questionable right from the get go. I was thinking of having the players defeat it in its early mutation, before it has taken any Soul Eater levels. Then, on the verge of death, it is offered life by an evil deity (with a grudge against one of the PCs). Infused with a new hunger for life energy, it becomes a much more deadly opponent in the encounters to come.

    The problems with the build are several. First and foremost, the Sharn is a 3.0 monster... and it shows quite painfully. I looked for the 3.5 errata for Monsters of Faerun (I'm aware one exists), but I kept getting sent to the Wizards page that shut it down. So there was a fair bit of guesstimating involved. Secondly, I was having a bit of trouble reconciling the 'insane shadow chaos monster of doom' with 'Big Bad'. At worst, this thing would be the Heavy: siced on my players by another entity entirely. Terrifying? Sure. Central villain? Not so much.
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VI: Clever Girl...

    Quote Originally Posted by 3SecondCultist View Post
    My own build was going to use the Sharn monster as a base creature.
    The Sharn! I love that weird aberration! I used a Sharn for my Iron Chef LI - Black Flame Zealot entry: The Reclamator.

    Quote Originally Posted by 3SecondCultist View Post
    With the extra attack from its constant haste, that's up to 26 negative levels a turn, several of which can come from multiple directions.
    There is a point of contention about Soul Eater's ability to inflict negative levels. There is a pretty solid case to be made that because it is a (Su) ability, and (Su) abilities take a standard action to use unless otherwise noted, that would mean a Soul Eater could only use it once per round (and thus only inflict 1 negative level a round).

    Quote Originally Posted by 3SecondCultist View Post
    The problems with the build are several. First and foremost, the Sharn is a 3.0 monster... and it shows quite painfully. I looked for the 3.5 errata for Monsters of Faerun (I'm aware one exists), but I kept getting sent to the Wizards page that shut it down.
    The most recent version of the Sharn can be found in Anauroch The Empire of Shade (the Sharn is on pg. 154-155).
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VI: Clever Girl...

    Quote Originally Posted by Deadline View Post
    There is a point of contention about Soul Eater's ability to inflict negative levels. There is a pretty solid case to be made that because it is a (Su) ability, and (Su) abilities take a standard action to use unless otherwise noted, that would mean a Soul Eater could only use it once per round (and thus only inflict 1 negative level a round).
    this conversation comes up every time someone actually tries to use energy drain. if it were a standard, then you couldn't use it to inflict 1 negative level a round, you could use it to inflict 0 negative levels a round. if you burned your standard activating the ability, you have no actions left to make melee attacks. so clearly, it's a nonaction, like factotum's cunning surge ability. a lot of (su) abilities are dysfunctional in this way.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Venger View Post
    this conversation comes up every time someone actually tries to use energy drain. if it were a standard, then you couldn't use it to inflict 1 negative level a round, you could use it to inflict 0 negative levels a round. if you burned your standard activating the ability, you have no actions left to make melee attacks. so clearly, it's a nonaction, like factotum's cunning surge ability. a lot of (su) abilities are dysfunctional in this way.
    And of course, you know the counterpoint, the ability specifically calls out that you touch the opponent, thereby meaning the touch is part of the standard action to use the ability (much like several touch spells). And round and round the argument goes...

    At any rate, I did submit a dish a while back in ... Talon of Tiamat (Lady Grey) which used the "Energy Drain on all attacks" interpretation. I just wanted to point out that the jury appears to be still out on the energy drain bit, so results would vary from judge to judge.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deadline View Post
    And of course, you know the counterpoint, the ability specifically calls out that you touch the opponent, thereby meaning the touch is part of the standard action to use the ability (much like several touch spells). And round and round the argument goes...

    At any rate, I did submit a dish a while back in ... Talon of Tiamat (Lady Grey) which used the "Energy Drain on all attacks" interpretation. I just wanted to point out that the jury appears to be still out on the energy drain bit, so results would vary from judge to judge.
    Yeah, I was already expecting a fairly large hit to Elegance already, but the more favorable interpretation of the ruling would be a significant boost in Power.

    Basically, I wanted to create a nightmarish D&D homage of Brotherhood!Pride.
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    Does anybody wanna judge?


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    Quote Originally Posted by AvatarVecna View Post
    Does anybody wanna judge?
    I may. I'd need to discuss one thing with the chair first, most likely.
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VI: Clever Girl...

    I thought about building a cat, ultimate predator of commoners, with all the Warlock levels.

    But then I got busy and didn't.

    (I am not qualified to judge)
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VI: Clever Girl...

    I've already volunteered to judge the IC Silver Key round, so my time is unfortunately spoken for.
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VI: Clever Girl...

    I love how so many interested judges are stepping up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jormengand View Post
    I love how so many interested judges are stepping up.
    With how many submissions we had this round, I can only assume that one or two people would've judged if they hadn't cooked. Oh well, here's hoping.


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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VI: Clever Girl...

    I would judge this round, but I don't think I'm qualified...
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VI: Clever Girl...

    Quote Originally Posted by 3SecondCultist View Post
    I would judge this round, but I don't think I'm qualified...
    Did you submit? If you didn't, you can judge.

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VI: Clever Girl...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jormengand View Post
    Did you submit? If you didn't, you can judge.
    I meant more along the lines of not being confident enough in my own opinion to judge, not having submitted anything of my own in a contest before.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeno Desaqqara View Post
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VI: Clever Girl...

    Everybody starts somewhere, and something's better than nothing. Besides, I'm sure everybody had fun building this round; scoring well is half the fun, but the other half is seeing all the weird ideas people have had.


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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VI: Clever Girl...

    Quote Originally Posted by AvatarVecna View Post
    Everybody starts somewhere, and something's better than nothing. Besides, I'm sure everybody had fun building this round; scoring well is half the fun, but the other half is seeing all the weird ideas people have had.
    If you're sure, I can start taking a look tomorrow and coming up with a baseline for my own judgments. I've read through some of the past thread incarnations for an idea of what to be on the lookout for, but I'm bringing some of my own opinions to the table here.

    I will start compiling notes tonight and tomorrow. Any particular time you want this done, AV? I'd say I can have it finished within 48 hours for sure, although there are quite a few entries so we'll see.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeno Desaqqara View Post
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