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  1. - Top - End - #31
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    Telonius's Avatar

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VII: Double, Double, Toil and Trouble

    Responding to some questions from the inbox regarding Epic.

    "if the resulting character level is already above 20, are we allowed to use Epic Feats that we qualify for?"
    "Should I use Epic BAB and Save progression for ECL 21+? I browsed some past VC entries, but they don't appear to follow those progressions."

    There are actually a few conflicting rules for this, that become important if level adjustment is involved. Here's the usual consensus for how you would generally handle it: Epic BAB and Saves apply only after a given creature has 20 class levels. Racial hitdice never trigger epic progression. Because this contest runs on CR, you'll never run into a case where you'd apply Epic BAB and Saves.

    A character technically becomes an Epic character (i.e. qualifies for Epic feats) when its ECL is 21 or more. ECL is total hitdice, racial and otherwise, plus level adjustment. Since some racial hitdice give less than a CR, you could conceivably qualify for Epic feats before level 20. However. It's pretty much universally acknowledged that once things like Epic Spellcasting are available, you're really playing a different game. It's also a bit unbalanced for competition purposes, since that sort of option would only be available to characters with Racial Hitdice to start with. So I'm going to rule that epic feats in general are not allowed.
    Last edited by Telonius; 2015-10-12 at 12:14 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #32
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VII: Double, Double, Toil and Trouble

    I would say just ban Epic Spellcasting. None of the other Epic feats are really a problem at the CR you'll have to be at to have 21+ Hit Dice.

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    Nick Snarespan - Gold - IC LIII

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    Galahad Galapagos - Gold - IC LXXXIV

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  3. - Top - End - #33
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VII: Double, Double, Toil and Trouble

    I'd rather not get into Epic at all; it's just too much hassle, and is really outside the scope of the contest. Epic Spellcasting is the most obviously broken thing, but there are a lot of other options that you can squeeze out of the feat list even without resorting to that, which just wouldn't be available otherwise. I'm not about to start cherry-picking the safe stuff.

  4. - Top - End - #34
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VII: Double, Double, Toil and Trouble

    Quote Originally Posted by Telonius View Post
    I'd rather not get into Epic at all; it's just too much hassle, and is really outside the scope of the contest. Epic Spellcasting is the most obviously broken thing, but there are a lot of other options that you can squeeze out of the feat list even without resorting to that, which just wouldn't be available otherwise. I'm not about to start cherry-picking the safe stuff.
    On the other hand, the game does kind of assume that certain monsters might have epic feats even at non-Epic CR. I mean, they were so enthusiastic about pointing out that Old Dragons (several varieties have CR as low as 15 at Old age and I'm not sure if any Dragon variety is CR 21+ at Old age besides Gold which is exactly CR 21**) can take Epic feats that they inadvertently created a rule allowing Dragonwrought Kobolds to take them.

    The ability to squeeze in weird things that wouldn't ordinarily be available to a PC build is, to me at least, part of the appeal in CR-based optimization. Epic Spellcasting is irrevocably borked, but there's nothing else that really creates a completely new playing field. Judges are within their rights to penalize something like, say, Permanent Emanation (Selective Antimagic Field)* for being too cheesy.

    *Which would, I believe, interfere with your Broom of Flying this round anyway and so hopefully doesn't count as speculation.

    **Steel obviously should be, but isn't.

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    Sir Driscoll Conia - Silver - IC L

    Nick Snarespan - Gold - IC LIII

    Lucy "Legs" Silvertail - Bronze - IC LXVIII

    Bolfarg of Knoss - Gold - IC LXXVII

    Ivarr Deathborn - Bronze - IC LXXVII

    Ahmtel - Silver - IC LXXVIII

    Tocke of Nessus - Gold - IC LXXIX

    The Blessed Third - Silver - IC LXXXI

    Galahad Galapagos - Gold - IC LXXXIV

    Sai-don, Knight of the Tide - Bronze - IC LXXXIV

  5. - Top - End - #35
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VII: Double, Double, Toil and Trouble

    I think Epic feats should be allowed if the monster meets the prerequisites. I'm pretty sure there aren't any that are really game-breaking, except for Epic Spellcasting, and honestly, even Epic Spellcasting isn't inappropriate from a DM's perspective--it's essentially "Craft Arbitrary Plot Device." ("Hurry! If you don't defeat the villain in time, he'll be able to complete his ritual that will block out the sun's light and plunges the entire world into darkness!") Besides, getting enough RHD to qualify for epic feats by CR 20 isn't easy, and by the time you make it there, the players should also be at a high enough level for it to be an appropriate challenge.

  6. - Top - End - #36
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VII: Double, Double, Toil and Trouble

    Yeah, unless I somehow receive a divine revelation (or, hell, I'd settle for an infernal one) on how to format tables here, I'm not going to be able to compete.
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    There's a reason why we bap your nose, not crucify you, for thread necromancy.

  7. - Top - End - #37
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VII: Double, Double, Toil and Trouble

    Quote Originally Posted by atemu1234 View Post
    Yeah, unless I somehow receive a divine revelation (or, hell, I'd settle for an infernal one) on how to format tables here, I'm not going to be able to compete.
    The tables can be a bit of a pain in the butt, but you can copy the basic code by clicking Reply on the first post, then c/p'ing the code. The general idea is that you set up each row, using the bracket tr bracket command to set each of the rows apart from each other. Individual cells within the rows are set off using bracket td bracket. In the first row, set up the column headers with bracket th bracket.

  8. - Top - End - #38
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VII: Double, Double, Toil and Trouble

    The WYSIWYG editor also helps make it faster and easier to edit the table.

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VII: Double, Double, Toil and Trouble

    No idea what that code is, and I'm oh so very late to the party.

    But I have an idea. And there's no reason I can't pull this off at all.
    I needed an NPC villain like this in my next session anyways.
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  10. - Top - End - #40
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VII: Double, Double, Toil and Trouble

    The clock is ticking, but the first submission is in!

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VII: Double, Double, Toil and Trouble

    Submitted! Can I get a confirmation, Mr. Chairman?
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    I find it very amusing that a very theoretical discussion of how to Optimize Bardic Music, turns into a discussion on how much worms you can eat in 7 minutes.
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VII: Double, Double, Toil and Trouble

    Yeah, not going to get one in, sorry, Had this awesome idea at first, but now making it fit all the criteria, makes some of the feats etc. I would need to take feel "tacked on".

    Looking forward to seeing the other entries, and if any were close to what I was thinking.

  13. - Top - End - #43
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VII: Double, Double, Toil and Trouble

    Well, I've submitted. I'm a rusty, out of practice, low on free time Iron Chef and have never done this competition before, but I'm happy with what I've created. It's up to the judges now to decide how I did. Good luck to my fellow competitors!
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  14. - Top - End - #44
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VII: Double, Double, Toil and Trouble

    The witching hour approaches, and we have four submissions! (Got yours, Ben-zayb).

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VII: Double, Double, Toil and Trouble

    And that's time! We have a truly wicked set of contestants this time around. I'll be posting the submissions shortly.

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VII: Double, Double, Toil and Trouble

    First up, we have a grotesque, horrendous Green Hag: Repugnia Dreadmien!

    Spoiler: Repugnia Dreadmien
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    Repugnia Dreadmien
    CE Green Hag Adept 8/Hexer 7

    Fillet of a fenny snake
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    Spoiler: Ability Scores
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    Stat Array:

    Str - 8 (16)
    Dex - 14 (16)
    Con - 13 (15)
    Int - 12 (14)
    Wis - 15 (23) (+1 at HD 4, 8, 12, 16, 20, and 24)
    Cha - 10 (14)

    Green Hag Racial Mods:
    +8 Str
    +2 Dex
    +2 Con
    +2 Int
    +2 Wis
    +4 Cha


    Spoiler: Build Table
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    Level CR Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    5 Green Hag +9 +3 +6 +6 Concentration 5, Knowledge(Arcana) 11, Listen 4, Spellcraft(6), Spot 4, Survival (6) Combat Casting, Battle Casting, Improved Initiative, Brew Potion Spell Like Abilities: At will - Dancing Lights, Disguise Self, Ghost Sound, Invisibility, Pass Without Trace, Tongues, Water Breathing. Caster level 9th. The save DC is Charisma based., +11 Natural Armor, 2 Claw attacks (1d4), Darkvision 90ft., Spell Resistance 18, Mimicry, Weakness, +8 racial bonus to Swim checks.
    6 Adept 1 +9 +3 +6 +8 Knowledge(Arcana) 13, Spellcraft 7, Survival 7 Spellcasting
    7 Adept 2 +10 +3 +6 +9 Concentration 6, Knowledge(Arcana) 14, Spellcraft 8, Survival 8 Summon Familiar(Cat)
    8 Adept 3 +10 +4 +7 +9 Concentration 7, Knowledge(Arcana) 15, Spellcraft 9, Survival 9 Bonded Familiar
    9 Adept 4 +11 +4 +7 +10 Concentration 8, Knowledge(Arcana) 16, Spellcraft 10, Survival 10
    10 Adept 5 +11 +4 +7 +10 Concentration 9, Knowledge(Arcana) 17, Spellcraft 11, Survival 11
    11 Adept 6 +12 +5 +8 +11 Concentration 10, Knowledge(Arcana) 18, Spellcraft 12, Survival 12 Violate Spell
    12 Adept 7 +12 +5 +8 +11 Concentration 11, Knowledge(Arcana) 19, Spellcraft 13, Survival 13
    13 Adept 8 +13 +5 +8 +12 Concentration 12, Knowledge(Arcana) 20, Spellcraft 14, Survival 14
    14 Hexer 1 +14 +5 +8 +14 Concentration 13, Knowledge(Arcana) 21, Spellcraft 15, Survival 15 Ability Focus(Hex) Hex 1/day, +1 level of existing spellcasting class
    15 Hexer 2 +15 +5 +8 +15 Concentration 14, Knowledge(Arcana) 22, Spellcraft 16, Survival 16 Bonus spell(3rd - Kelgore's Grave Mist), Hex 2/day, +1 level of existing spellcasting class
    16 Hexer 3 +16 +6 +9 +15 Concentration 15, Knowledge(Arcana) 23, Spellcraft 17, Survival 17 Sicken Hex, +1 level of existing spellcasting class
    17 Hexer 4 +17 +6 +9 +16 Concentration 16, Knowledge(Arcana) 24, Spellcraft 18, Survival 18 Minor Shapeshift Bonus spell(4th - Vortex of Teeth), Hex 3/day, +1 level of existing spellcasting class
    18 Hexer 5 +18 +6 +9 +16 Concentration 17, Knowledge(Arcana) 25, Spellcraft 19, Survival 19 Fear Hex, +1 level of existing spellcasting class
    19 Hexer 6 +19 +7 +10 +17 Knowledge(Arcana) 26, Spellcraft 21, Survival 20 Bonus spell(4th - Solid Fog), Hex 4/day, +1 level of existing spellcasting class
    20 Hexer 7 +20 +7 +10 +17 Knowledge(Arcana) 27, Spellcraft 23, Survival 21 Trickery Devotion Sleep Hex, +1 level of existing spellcasting class


    Spoiler: Spells per Day/Spells Known
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    Spells per Day/Spells Known
    Spells per Day/Spells Known
    Level CR 0lvl 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
    1st - - - - - - - - - -
    2nd - - - - - - - - - -
    3rd - - - - - - - - - -
    4th - - - - - - - - - -
    5th - - - - - - - - - -
    6th 3 1 - - - - - - - -
    7th 3 1 - - - - - - - -
    8th 3 2 - - - - - - - -
    9th 3 2 0 - - - - - - -
    10th 3 2 1 - - - - - - -
    11th 3 2 1 - - - - - - -
    12th 3 3 2 - - - - - - -
    13th 3 3 2 0 - - - - - -
    14th 3 3 2 1 - - - - - -
    15th 3 3 2 1 - - - - - -
    16th 3 3 3 2 - - - - - -
    17th 3 3 3 2 0 - - - - -
    18th 3 3 3 2 1 - - - - -
    19th 3 3 3 2 1 - - - - -
    20th 3 3 3 3 2 - - - - -



    In the caldron boil and bake
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    CR 5
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    The hunter stepped into the clearing. He'd been following the stag's call deep into the wood for several minutes, and he could tell it was close. The brush rustled ahead of him, and he raised his bow. A nightmare of flashing yellow claws, sickly green skin, and stringy black hair erupted from the brush as his arrow went wide. The hunter landed in a terrified heap on the grass, bleeding profusely from a gash on his forearm. The wretched apparition before him smiled a too wide grin filled with yellowed teeth and rasped, "Hello dearie, have you come to keep me company?". His only response was a brief scream before it was cut off by the wet sound of tearing flesh.

    Repugnia is a truly repulsive green hag, and serves as a solid encounter at this point. She'll attack from hiding or while invisible to use Weakness on a frail party member in the hopes of paralyzing them. She'll then go invisible again, drop Pass Without Trace, and retreat to set up her next attack. She'll avoid a straight up fight if possible, preferring instead to sap a party's strength and slowly take them down. In addition to guerilla warfare, she will use her Mimicry and Ghost Sound abilities to try and draw party members away from their camp or separate the party and take them down individually if possible.

    Alternatively, she can be used in a non-combat encounter. She's got a solid knowledge of the Arcane, Spellcraft, and Survival, which means she can serve as a source of information for the party. She can also brew up potions of Invisibility and Water Breathing, items that an enterprising adventuring party may find they have need for. She will, of course, request a suitably repugnant payment (she's very fond of fresh, sentient meat).


    CR 15 - "Sweet Spot"
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    Repugnia now has access to her full range of options. She continues to favor hit and run tactics, the only difference now being that she is more durable (Bonded Familiar, and her familiar has a large chunk of HP thanks to her Hag RHD), her hits linger a lot longer, and she brings a nice buffer of undead minions to join the fray. She now relies on her Hex (improved with Ability Focus) to weaken party members and make them more susceptible to her spells, and she will be sure to drop a Violated spell or two to wear the party down a bit, as the Vile damage is likely to be much harder to heal out in the woods.


    CR 20
    Spoiler
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    Repugnia picks up a few more useful abilities by the time she hits CR 20. Minor Shapeshift gives her 24 temp HP each round, which makes her more resilient against pure damage, and Trickery Devotion buys her a bit of time to keep her ambush tactics going. Of her new types of Hex's, Sicken Hex is likely the most useful, although Sleep Hex can also be situationally useful.



    Variations
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    The one change I'd recommend would be to use Religious Adept. This gets Repugnia the spells of one Cleric domain. The Evil Domain is a decent choice for getting Desecrate added to her spell list to enhance her animated dead.


    References
    Spoiler
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    Monster Manual: Green Hag, Ability Focus
    Player's Handbook II: Bonded Familiar
    Complete Mage: Minor Shapeshift
    Complete Champion: Trickery Devotion
    Dungeon Master's Guide: Adept
    Book of Vile Darkness: Violate Spell
    Eberron Campaign Setting: Religious Adept
    Libris Mortis: Fell Drain
    Races of the Wild: Battle Casting
    Master's of the Wild: Hexer



    Next up, she's after goodhood - if only those delicious, meddling kids would stay out of the way. Kindblood!
    Spoiler: Kindblood
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    Kindblood

    Baba Yaga, original art by Ian Llanas, ©2015


    Hissss "Little baby, don't you cry. Mama's gonna sing you a lullaby."


    Spoiler: I swear I saw something from the corner of my eye
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    NE Were-Legendary-Snake (Natural), Azurin
    Incarnate 4 / Ur-Priest 1 / Contemplative 9 / Necrocarnate 1
    Spoiler: Ability Scores
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    Ability Base Hit Die
    Bonus
    Template
    Bonus
    Age Bonus
    (gained @ CRs
    17, 18, and 19
    Final Final
    (Alt Form)
    STR 10 10 26
    DEX 8 8 22
    CON 13 +1 14 28
    INT 14 +1 +3 18 18
    WIS 15 +4 +2 +3 24 24
    CHA 12 +1 +3 16 16
    Spoiler: Once Upon a Time
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    "Demon Witch"? "Demonspawn"? I sure hope you don't kiss your mother with that mouth, my sweet. I would've preferred the name your village gave me: "Kindblood". Certainly an interesting superstition your village has, what with giving malevolent beings benevolent epithets in the hopes that that would serve as some sort of deterrence. Oh, if they only knew what that meant in the ancient tongue!

    No matter! There's a funny story about that, actually. Would you like to hear it, my sweet? I'll take that spasm as a yessss...

    Once upon a time, there lived a serpentine elder evil that was once a demonlord, who went by the name Sertrous. Fueled by his jealousy of the gods for having mortal worshipers, he spawned an army of monstrous serpents meant to devastate and conquer the hated mortalkind; there were broods of nagas, hydras, ocean serpents, giant constrictors, yuan-ti, snake lycanthropes, and many more such creatures! However, suffice to say, such brute methods were bound to failure, and what remained of the broods after their leader had perished skittered away into the deepest corners of the world, in hiding forevermore. And, thus, once again, the mortal world lived and happily warred amongst themselves ever after. The End.

    Looking back, though, I am not actually as utterly deplorable as my primitive ancestors and the rest of their fellow broodspawns were. For one, I never sought conflict and destruction for their own sake. My deeds always serve a purpose, although most of it may be beyond the ken of your kind. I never, in my deepest fantasies, wished to rule this world in all its accursedness; taking ownership of something that is doomed to self-destruction is gratuitous and plain short-sighted. And, sure as the nine hells, I will not be motivated by something as pathetic as jealousy. A goal not fueled by your ambition is nothing but an empty goal, after all.

    See, I am a woman of simple joys, my sweet. I only seek Divinity. For, if the gods themselves rose in power only by stooping so low and deceiving mortals, who's to say that I do not also deserve to be afforded the same treatment and be granted my rightful place amongst the divine? Mortal souls, living or dead, from the mightiest of knights to the meakest of infants, will be bent for the purpose of giving me the power that I seek.


    So rest now, my sweet, and don't you worry about telling the village our little secret bedtime stories. Mama Kindblood makes it a point to kill her victims first before she starts monologuing, after all.
    Spoiler: A Witch's Dissection
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    CR/HD Class Base
    Attack
    Bonus
    Fort
    Save
    Ref
    Save
    Will
    Save
    Skills Feats Class Features
    1/1 Incarnate 1 +0 +2 +0 +2 Concentration 4,
    Handle Animal 1,
    Knowledge [ALL] 1
    Able LearnerB, Spell Focus (Evil) Aura, Detect Opposition,
    Meldshaping
    6/17 Lycanthrope
    (Legendary Snake)
    +12 +12 +10 +7 Bluff 10,
    Conc 14,
    Handle Animal 1,
    Knowledge
    (Arcana) 5,
    Knowledge
    (Religion) 13,
    Knowledge
    (Planes) 5,
    Sense Motive 10,
    Spellcraft 10,
    Spot 3
    Iron WillB, EnduranceB*,
    Athletic, Alertness, Toughnessx3
    Contrict, Improved Grab,
    Poison, Scent,
    see Lycanthrope for more
    7/18 Ur-Priest 1 +12 +12 +10 +9 Bluff 14 Wild Cohort Divine Spellcasting
    8/19 Contemplative 1 +12 +12 +10 +11 Sense Motive 14 Bonus Domain (Trickery),
    Divine Health
    9/20 Contemplative 2 +13 +12 +10 +12 Bluff 18 Slippery Mind
    10/21 Contemplative 3 +13 +13 +11 +12 Sense Motive 18 Brew Potion Divine Wholeness
    11/22 Contemplative 4 +14 +13 +11 +13 Bluff 22
    12/23 Contemplative 5 +14 +13 +11 +13 Sense Motive 22 Divine Body
    13/24 Contemplative 6 +15 +14 +12 +14 Bluff 26 Practiced Spellcaster Bonus Domain (Incarnum)
    14/25 Contemplative 7 +15 +14 +12 +14 Sense Motive 26 Divine Soul
    15/26 Contemplative 8 +16 +14 +12 +15 Bluff 29,
    Sense Motive 27
    16/27 Contemplative 9 +16 +15 +13 +15 Bluff 30,
    Sense Motive 30
    Soultouched Spellcasting Eternal Body
    17/28 Incarnate 2 +17 +15 +10 +16 Bluff 31,
    Sense Motive 31,
    Spot 7
    Chakra Bind (Crown)
    18/29 Incarnate 3 +17 +16 +10 +16 Bluff 32,
    Sense Motive 32,
    Spot 11
    Expanded Soulmeld Capacity,
    Incarnum Radiance 1/day
    19/30 Incarnate 4 +18 +16 +10 +17 Bluff 33,
    Sense Motive 33,
    Spot 15
    Necrocarnum Acolyte Chakra Bind (Feet, Hands)
    20/31 Necrocarnate 1 +18 +16 +10 +19 Bluff 34,
    Sense Motive 34,
    Spot 19
    Harvest Soul (1 minute),
    Improved Meldshaper Level
    * due to how Lycanthropy adds Animal Feats, Endurance simply becomes an "extra feat"
    Spoiler: Intricacies of Witchcraft
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    Spells per Day/Spells Known*
    CR 0lvl 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
    1-6 - - - - - - - - - -
    7 4 2 - - - - - - - -
    8 5 3 0 - - - - - - -
    9 5 3 1 0 - - - - - -
    10 6 3 2 1 0 - - - - -
    11 6 3 3 2 1 0 - - - -
    12 6 3 3 3 2 1 0 - - -
    13 6 4 3 3 3 2 1 0 - -
    14 6 4 4 3 3 3 2 1 0 -
    15 6 5 4 4 4 4 3 2 1 0
    16-20 6 5 5 4 4 4 4 3 2 1

    Meldshaping
    CR Soulmelds Essentia Chakra Binds
    1-16 2 1 0
    17 3 2 1 (crown)
    18 3 3 1
    19-20 4 4 1 (feet,hands)


    * Excluding bonus spells from a high ability score
    Spoiler: Sightings and Witchhunts
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    Spoiler: CR ~5 (6, really)
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    Spoiler: Modus Operandi / PC Encounter Ideas
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    Kindblood periodically uses Bluff (+11) to lure children and fool others into thinking that she's just a harmless peasant being accompanied by a sibling or two. Once she's back to her lair in the woods, she takes on a hybrid form and makes quick work of them; One bite, and the weak ones usually die as sacrifice to sustain her soul magic, while the rare child who survives and gets afflicted with lycanthrope will soon be unleashed as a calculated misdirection of suspicion.

    A reasonable challenge would likely be investigating this "Kindblood" urban legend concerning 1. the disappearances of children, including possible suspect/s, 2. the true nature of the children's deaths as well as that of possible suspect/s, 3. the sudden appearance and assault of massive snakes that, when killed, turn out to be some of the missing children, and 4. tracking the suspect/s to their lair and rescuing the remaining children.

    Killing Kindblood might be too hard at this point, but taking advantage of her weaknesses will be enough to escape with living children in tow, as well as valuable information concerning Kindblood's identity. Be wary of possible lycanthrope amongst the children, however, as each of those are at least CR5 encounters themselves.
    Spoiler: Competencies
    Show
    In the unlikely situation of direct combat, Kindblood will be a challenging encounter to a party that lacks improvisational tactics or thorough preparation for the encounter. She has 17HD, BAB+12, 12-19/9-16/19 Saves, 20s AC, DR10/silver, 10-26 STR, 118-237HP, Scent, Curse of Lycanthrope, decent Balance/Spot/Listen/SenseMotive/Spellcraft, and situational Soulmeld (max capacity 3) immunities or bonuses. She has 2 Claws (+19, 1d6+8) and a Bite (+14, 1d8+4), in hybrid form, and a Bite (+19,1d8+12,DC27 1d6/1d6 Con damage poison), Constrict (1d8+12), and Improved Grab, in animal form.
    Spoiler: CR 10 (Sweet Spot)
    Show
    Spoiler: Modus Operandi / PC Encounter Ideas
    Show
    Combining her ever-growing Witchcraft with her beguiling words, she secretly establishes communication with the easily-deceived people of power and sets out to corrupt them with promises of divine might against their enemies, in exchange of their devotion to her. Tales of nobilities and officials, being struck with all manners of curses, sickness, diseases, and misfortunes, became widespread, with most (coincidentally correct) commonfolk instantly identifying those as the works of the child-murderer witch that is Kindblood. With her witchcraft gaining notoriety, she will task her followers into discretely founding a cult that will push the agenda of worshiping her.


    One possible scenario for this setup would be for PCs to be tasked to extract as much information about Kindblood's whereabouts and goals as possible through these suspected officials. Alteractions with snake-transformed officials are more likely to happen than peaceful resolutions, but either way leaves only the subtlest of clues that more or less reveals a date and a meeting place, a ruined temple atop Whitegrove Hills, for the first congregation of a cult that shall be called the Kindblood Brood; interestingly, Detect Magic and similar effects will reveal traces of Compulsion magic affecting some of these officials. A preemptive strike by the PCs will significantly reduce the potential lycanthrope enemies to a manageable size, after which Kindblood will either escape or make her last stand at the temple's inner sanctum.
    Spoiler: Competencies
    Show
    In addition to her previous feats, this is the point where Kindblood becomes a "proper" witch. With Wild Cohort, she gets a Small Viper that is far stronger than the typical "familiar" due to Kindblood having 18+ HD. She also gets Brew Potion, and, between having Level 21 WBL/XP and Ur-Priest's lower minimum spell CL, she can easily mass produce potions that are either lower quality or aren't too reliant on CL for effectiveness. She also gets immunity to diseases and becomes more resistance to mental control, as befits a witch that is worth her salt. As before, she can include an appropriate amount of afflicted Lycanthrope loyalists to scale the difficulty of an encounter up.

    More importantly, she now gets access to her spells (4th level Cleric + Trickery Domain spells). From glamers and charms for beguiling, to healing and inflicting wounds, to afflictions and hexes on her poor victims, to casting darkness/invisibility and numerous other wards for protecting herself, to foul magic for raising or communicating with the dead, to summoning creatures of the night and denizens of the abyss, and to other spells too many to mention, Kindblood's got it all. Fluffwise, she even has Consumptive Field, which becomes a part of her daily sacrifice regimen, used for siphoning the souls of the nearby deceased in order to empower some of her witchcraft. Lastly, with Open Least Chakra, her Soul Magic just got more versatile.
    Spoiler: CR 15
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    Spoiler: Modus Operandi / PC Encounter Ideas
    Show
    At this point, she should take her place as the one pulling the strings at the top level of evil empire/s and/or organization/s (despite the actual rulers thinking their victories were by under their own credit), using a combination of very high Bluff checks and charms/compulsions. Her witchcraft might is demonstrably godlike, which should give her (potential) worshipers enough reason to believe in her divinity. Truly, only the PCs stand in her way now into achieving her lifelong goal of becoming a god.
    Spoiler: Competencies
    Show
    She gains nifty perks like SR and poison immunity, and becomes able to cast (and invest Children SoulEssentia into) [Incarnum] Spells. Practiced Spellcaster takes her to CL12, now just 3CLs behind many full casters. But, of course, the greatest addition would be her access to 9th-level spells a spell level earlier than most full casters. She now has access to powerful witchcraft that makes her seem more of an all-powerful witch-god". As usual, she tries hard not to engage the PCs directly in combat, although that's not to say that she still can put a few dents against the brutest of them.
    Spoiler: CR 20
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    Spoiler: Modus Operandi / PC Encounter Ideas
    Show
    Kindblood's MO is more or less the same as before, except her daily sacrifices are increased further, in order to fuel her soul magic. She's grown wiser over the years, too, for what that's worth. CR 20 could represent Kindblood as a returning villain that the party already defeated during her first bid at Divinity, who managed to escape and rebuild her forces but had her witchcraft (whose power she stole from the gods) stunted. Alternatively, she could be finally just waiting for her Divinity to take effect, what with whole nations of worshipers already devoted to her and using her ideal as a source of cleric power, and it's a race against time for the PCs to take her and/or her nation down and stop her from officially becoming a god.
    Spoiler: Competencies
    Show
    Kindblood no longer suffers physical degradation due to aging, which means her mental ability scores will rack up sooner or later without a cost; consequently, her daily sacrificial ritual now grants her immediate benefit by massively expanding her Essentia pool to finally fill up that whopping 6 Essentia capacity. She also becomes permanently able to use her Crown, Feet, and Hand, chakra without resorting to wasting spell slots, increasing her Soulmelds and Spellcasting versatility further. Her spells now also has a +19 SR check mod, which is pretty much appropriate at last for her CR. Lastly, her available Soulmelds also double to 4, which, along with her Soultouched Spellcasting and Incarnum Spells, are more or less at maximum capacity due to surplus Essentia.
    Spoiler: Explanation on the hows and whys of the brewed potion
    Show
    Concept
    The initial concept of my Wicked Witch build is: "How to make kidnapping and (implication of) killing children be a feasible Witch BBEG schtick for the whole 20 CRs". The solutions that I came up with are thus:
    1. CR5/6: Soul Magic, at least in Kindblood's mind, pretty much requires regular sacrifice to sustain its potency. Petty killing at this levels is still feasible as a BBEG schtick, given the scope of the own PCs power.
    2. CR10-15: Spellcasting* had something powered by death, which in this case was (Greater) Consumptive Field, and, on a lesser note, Animate Dead and similar undead-based spells that aren't as thematic for a Witch. Now, Kindblood has more of a logical reason to keep killing kidnapped children** in a very ritualistic, scheduled manner, which is done seconds before casting her long-duration, CL-reliant, spells. (At 1 round/level and having low CL, Consumptive Spell means you're firing off 2-3 spells with x1.5 CL)
    3. CR20: Necrocarnates literally, directly, harvest dead souls, and turns them into Essentia for 24 hours. Like Consumptive Field, this keeps a more realistic and logical undertone behind the supposedly petty and senseless deaths.


    Ur-Priest Contemplative?
    On one hand, by fluff, Ur-Priests are primarily stealing divine powers from the gods, and practically scoffs at the idea of theistic worship being the source of divine power. It occured to me that Clerics of an Ideal aren't, in fluff at least, necessarily in conflict with Ur-Priest ideals. On the other hand, there is Sertrous in Elder Evils, who also denounced the ideas of worshiping gods to achieve divine power, insisting on getting divine powers without resorting to it. Interestingly, the alternative in this case is that we have some Sertrous' servants who are actual Clerics of an ideal, or of Sertrous himself (or the concept of anyone/anything being a source of divine power). In this case, it wouldn't be too unusual to have a Cleric / Contemplative.

    Likewise, with similar fluff, it should then be possible to have an Ur-Priests who stole power from the gods, and yet is open to the idea that any Ideal or non-deity, Sertrous in this case and Orcus/Tenebrous in the case of Ur-Priest/Tenebrous Apostate fluff, can be worshipped. Now just plug-in what clerics of Sertrous typically have as domains, which can be anything (but usually includes Trickery) such as the Incarnum domain that is available to any Clerics with a Neutral alignment. Voila! You have an Ur-Priest Contemplative!

    As a side note, it also made sense to take Spell Focus (Evil) at first level, especially since Kindblood seems to be preparing for this exact career path in the first place.


    Were-Legendary Snake
    Since one of the witch-related familiar IMO is the snake, this seems to be the most logical and best choice, for my idea of using lycanthropy HD to satisfy PrC skill reqs. Now, it is just extremely fortunate that the fluff of Sertrous manages to interconnect this template, Ur-Priest, and Contemplative, into a tight, sensible, concept.




    * Brew Potion pretty much required caster/invoker involvement
    ** The main justification on using them, instead of just about any adult, is that they will most likely be Commoner 1 NPCs, and they would likely have no combat knowledge to speak of. Easy pickings that is pretty much a far less cheesier and far more fluffier version of Bag O' Rats or Anthill killings.
    Spoiler: Grimm's Library
    Show
    SRD: everything else
    Magic of Incarnum: Incarnate, Necrocarnate, Necrocarnum Acolyte, Incarnum Domain, Soultouched Spellcasting
    Complete Divine: Ur-Priest, Contemplative, Practiced Spellcaster
    Monster Manual 2 (3.5 Update): Legendary Snake
    Races of Destiny: Able Learner
    Web Article: Wild Cohort
    Elder Evils: fluff for Sertrous


    (Very long post is exceeding the character limit; I'll post the others shortly).

  17. - Top - End - #47
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Telonius's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Wandering in Harrekh
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Villainous Competition VII: Double, Double, Toil and Trouble

    She's learned to stop worrying and love the wickedness; it's Granny Strangelove!
    Spoiler: Granny Strangelove
    Show
    Granny Strangelove, a.k.a Madame Strangelove
    NE Advanced (10HD) Night Hag Hexblade 4/Fiend of Corruption 6
    Spoiler: Madame Strangelove
    Show




    Spoiler: Granny Strangelove
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    Build
    Spoiler
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    CR Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    9 Night Hag (8 HD) +8 +6 +6 +6 Bluff 11, Diplomacy 11, Disguise 11, Intimidate 11, Knowledge(Arcana) (5), Knowledge(The Planes) (5), Listen 11, Sense Motive 11, Spellcraft 5, Spot 11, Never Outnumbered, Social Recovery, Assume Quirk, Second Impression Power Attack, Persuasive, Improved Natural Attack(Bite) Disease, Dream Haunting, Spell Like Abilities: At will - Detect Chaos, Detect Evil, Detect Good, Detect Law, Detect Magic, Magic Missile, Ray of Enfeeblement, Sleep. Caster level 8th. At will - Etherealness (with Heartstone), Caster level 16th. The save DCs are Charisma based., Change Shape(Su): A night hag can assume the form of any Small or Medium humanoid, +11 Natural Armor, Bite attack (2d6), Damage Reduction 10/Cold Iron and Magic, Spell Resistance 25, Immunity to Fire, Cold, Sleep, Charm, and Fear.
    9 Advanced Night Hag (9 HD) +9 +6 +6 +6 Bluff 12, Diplomacy 12, Disguise 12, Intimidate 12, Listen 12, Sense Motive 12, Spellcraft 8, Spot 12 Brew Potion
    10 Advanced Night Hag (10 HD) +10 +7 +7 +7 Bluff 13, Diplomacy 13, Disguise 13, Intimidate 13, Listen 13, Sense Motive 13, Spellcraft 11, Spot 13
    11 Hexblade 1 (11 HD) +11 +7 +7 +9 Diplomacy 14, Intimidate 14, Knowledge(Arcana) 6, Spellcraft 12 Hexblade's Curse 1/day, Spells
    12 Hexblade 2 (12 HD) +12 +7 +7 +10 Diplomacy 15, Intimidate 15, Knowledge(Arcana) 7, Spellcraft 13 Skill Focus(Intimidate) Arcane Resistance
    13 Hexblade 3 (13 HD) +13 +8 +8 +10 Diplomacy 16, Intimidate 16, Knowledge(Arcana) 8, Spellcraft 14 Mettle
    14 Hexblade 4 (14 HD) +14 +8 +8 +11 Diplomacy 17, Intimidate 17, Knowledge(Arcana) 9, Spellcraft 15 Dark Companion
    15 Fiend of Corruption 1 (15 HD) +14 +10 +10 +13 Bluff 14, Diplomacy 18, Disguise 14, Sense Motive 14 Imperious Command Alternate Form, Fiend's Favor
    16 Fiend of Corruption 2 (16 HD) +15 +11 +11 +14 Bluff 15, Diplomacy 19, Disguise 15, Sense Motive 15 Suggestion, Mind Shielding
    17 Fiend of Corruption 3 (17 HD) +16 +11 +11 +14 Diplomacy 20, Intimidate (18.5), Mark of Justice
    18 Fiend of Corruption 4 (18 HD) +17 +12 +12 +15 Diplomacy 21, Intimidate (20) Skill Focus(Diplomacy) Fiendish Graft, Major Creation
    19 Fiend of Corruption 5 (19 HD) +17 +12 +12 +15 Diplomacy 22, Intimidate (21.5) Geas, Temptation
    20 Fiend of Corruption 6 (20 HD) +18 +13 +13 +16 Diplomacy 23, Intimidate (23) Grant Wish, Soul Bargain


    Abilitie Scores
    Spoiler
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    Final Ability Scores:

    Str - 10 (18)
    Dex - 12 (14)
    Con - 13 (21)
    Int - 14 (14)
    Wis - 8 (12)
    Cha - 15 (22)

    5 bumps from levels all go into Charisma

    Night Hag Racial Stats:
    +8 Str
    +2 Dex
    +8 Con
    +4 Wis
    +2 Cha


    Spells per Day/Spells Known
    Spoiler
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    Spells per Day/Spells Known
    CR 0lvl 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
    1st - - - - - - - - - -
    2nd - - - - - - - - - -
    3rd - - - - - - - - - -
    4th - - - - - - - - - -
    5th - - - - - - - - - -
    6th - - - - - - - - - -
    7th - - - - - - - - - -
    8th - - - - - - - - - -
    9th - - - - - - - - - -
    10th - - - - - - - - - -
    11th - - - - - - - - - -
    12th - - - - - - - - - -
    13th - - - - - - - - - -
    14th - 0 - - - - - - - -
    15th - 0 - - - - - - - -
    16th - 0 - - - - - - - -
    17th - 0 - - - - - - - -
    18th - 0 - - - - - - - -
    19th - 0 - - - - - - - -
    20th - 0 - - - - - - - -

    Spells Known:
    Charm Person, Protection From Good


    CR 10
    Spoiler
    Show
    Nestled in and among the Red Light District is the Strangelove Brothel. The three story building has seen better days, but it's in good repair - an indicator that business is good perhaps? It's appearance is a little ostentatious bordering on gaudy, but that seems to be intentional in order to help it stand out amongst a street of similar establishements. Rumor has it that no matter how pure, perverse, or just plain odd your desire is, Madame Strangelove can help you sate it. She employs a number of very skilled individuals from a variety of sentient races. But that isn't what's brought you here today, more's the pity. You saw the job posting in the square, and are here to see just what sort of problem Madame Strangelove has that requires a group of adventurers like yourselves...

    Madame Strangelove runs a fine establishment dedicated to the Multiverse's oldest profession. She runs a brisk business, but she is not just the simple brothel owner she goes to great pains to appear to be. She is in fact an ancient Night Hag, Granny Strangelove, who has found that this new business allows her to turn a profit, feed, and collect souls all in one place. She happily haunts and feasts upon the dreams of a chosen few Evil or Chaotic patrons each week, generally taking care to avoid killing them while they are on the premesis (though she has no compunctions about draining them dry over the course of days if they remain in the city).

    The players first encounter her through her request for help. The noble family of one of her most recent meals has gotten it into their heads that their deceased relative caught some sort of magical disease in her establishment. The family is quite influential in the city, and could cause a bit of a problem for Madame Strangelove. She's calling for a neutral party to help settle the dispute, and help her throw the family off of her trail. She dares not raise her hand against the family directly, as they have the resources to make things difficult for her. She also is having issues with a rival brothel down the street, and cannot afford to divide her attention in so many directions. She hopes to influence the party into helping her in either eliminating the noble family, finding a suitable explanation for the young man's death that doesn't tie back to her, or redirecting their ire to her business rival.


    CR 20 Sweet Spot
    Spoiler
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    The Strangelove Brothel is a welcome sight to your weary eyes. You've done many favors for the Madame over the last year, and she's always rewarded you handsomely in whatever mannner you chose. Some of the stuffed shirt types may not like the business she runs, but she's always been able to rely on you to help her out of a jam when some self-righteous, holier-than-thou nutjob tries to crusade against her or her profession. You get a sense that she cares deeply for her employees, and for you as well. How anyone could think ill of Madame Strangelove is beyond you...

    Madame Strangelove has evolved her methods, and has now added a few new "services" to her list of rewards for the players. She now runs a brisk, but very discreet, soul trade. Her Fiend of Corruption abilities allow her to hand out grafts (usually by referring the requestor to an "associate" - Strangelove in disguise of course), boons to an ability score (Fiend's Favor), or flat out offering pretty much anything you could want in exchange for your soul. She still delights in corrupting patrons to an evil life, especially because that gives her plenty of individuals to feed on (she can only Haunt the Dreams of Evil or Chaotic characters). She now has so many options to feed on that she rarely needs to kill anyone. That she saves for those who agree to sell her their soul. Then she'll quietly feed on them until they die, or hire out her pet adventurers to "bring that evil man to justice". She may, at this point, attempt to sway a party member to slide into an evil alignment and sell her their soul. While it's unlikley that they'll agree, she does have a variety of tools to help influence them. If all else fails, and the party uncover who and what she is, old Granny Strangelove isn't going to give up her livelihood without a fight. And wouldn't you know it, she has numerous employees, patrons, and even prominent members of the city who are fanatically loyal to her that she'll be happy to sacrifice in an effort to stop the party.


    The Wicked Witch Components
    Spoiler
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    • Bestowing a curse - Granny Strangelove uses her Hexblade's Curse to fulfill this requirement.
    • Traditional Witchy Companion - Her Dark Compaion (a shadowy panther) fulfills this requirement.
    • Brew Potion - She uses this to create potions of Protection From Good so that she can utilize her very limited spells per day casting Charm Person.
    • Broom of Flying - as a medium creature who doesn't weigh too much and doesn't have innate flight, the broom is her favorite method of rapid transit.
    • Evil Aligned - She's neutral evil with the [Evil] subtype, can't really get more evil than that.




    References
    Spoiler
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    Monster Manual - Night Hag, Improved Natural Attack
    Drow of the Underdark - Imperious Command
    Complete Warrior - Hexblade
    Complete Scoundrel - Skill Tricks
    Fiend Folio - Fiend of Corruption


    What happens after those naughty children murder a poor unsuspecting witch? This homunculus will show you. Griz!
    Spoiler: Griz
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    Griz
    Neutral Evil
    Homunculus (6HD) Incarnate Construct Archivist 3/Mystic Wanderer 6/Master Alchemist 10

    Spoiler: The Story of Grizwelda
    Show

    The Story of Grizwelda

    Once upon a time, there was a wonderful witch named Grizwelda. She offered her help to those who needed it, unspelling cursed witches, freeing bound demons and devils, offering aid and comfort to those hunted and marked for death. She was often referred to by those of such need as Gramma 'Zwel.

    One dark day, two human spawn stalked into Gramma 'Zwel's quiet wood, looking to spread their violence and mayhem. Being the wily children they were, the two left bread crumbs littered about the ground to mark where they'd already searched. Griswelda sent ravens behind them to eat at the crumbs and confuse their hunting, but, never-the-less, the two eventually discovered her house.

    Griswelda hid, of course, knowing that the best way to avoid calamity from humans was to wait until they grew bored and wandered off. But these children would not be so easily swayed from their torturous task. Not finding Griswelda, they instead set upon her house, tearing it apart piece by piece and devouring each handful with an eager maliciousness never before imagined.

    Poor Griswelda knew not what to do. She couldn't sit idle while her home was eaten! Mustering her courage, she approached the vile children and greeted them with a wary smile. Hopefully, she could simply feed them enough to sate their energies and then send them on their way.

    But, alas, the children had other plans. Before Griswelda could even add yeast to flour to bake them something lovely, the wretched humans shoved her into the fires of her own oven. Squealing out shrieks of glee at the top of their lungs, the horrid children ran off, sprinting back to their kin to brag about the victory of their hunting.


    Spoiler: Stats
    Show

    12 Str -2 -0 10
    08 Con -- NR NR
    10 Dex +4 -0 14
    15 Int +0 -0 15
    13 Wis +2 -0 15
    14 Cha -4 -0 10

    NR = New Roll (4d6, drop lowest)

    HD Bonuses:
    4,8,12,16,20: Int
    24: Wis


    Spoiler: Build Table
    Show

    Challenge Rating Class Hit Dice Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    1 Incarnate Construct Homunculus (Advanced to 6HD) 6d8 +4 +5 +2 +2 Craft (Alchemy) 4; Decipher Script 3; Hide 3; Perform 3; Profession (baker) 4; "Speak" Language (Sign Language); Spellcraft 3 1st: Iron Will; 3rd: Skill Focus (alchemy); 6th: Shadow Weave Magic --
    2 Archivist 1 6d8 + 1d6 +4 +7 +2 +4 Craft (Alchemy) 4; Decipher Script 3; Diplomacy 7; Hide 3; Perform 3; Profession (baker) 4; "Speak" Language (Sign Language); Spellcraft 3 B: Scribe Scroll Dark Knowledge (tactics) 3/day
    3 Archivist 2 6d8 + 2d6 +5 +8 +2 +5 Craft (Alchemy) 4; Decipher Script 3; Diplomacy 8; Hide 3; Knowledge (nature) 1; Knowledge (religion) 2; Perform 3; Profession (baker) 4; Profession (herbalist) 3; "Speak" Language (Sign Language); Spellcraft 3 -- Lore Mastery
    4 Archivist 3 6d8 + 3d6 +5 +8 +3 +5 Craft (Alchemy) 4; Decipher Script 5; Diplomacy 8; Hide 3; Knowledge (nature) 3; Knowledge (religion) 2; Knowledge (nobility and royalty) 3; Perform 3; Profession (baker) 4; Profession (herbalist) 3; "Speak" Language (Sign Language); Spellcraft 3 9th: Mother Cyst Dark Knowledge 4/day
    5 Mystic Wanderer 1 6d8 + 3d6 + 1d8 +5 +8 +5 +7 Craft (Alchemy) 9; Decipher Script 5; Diplomacy 8; Hide 3; Knowledge (nature) 3; Knowledge (religion) 2; Knowledge (nobility and royalty) 3; Perform 3; Profession (baker) 4; Profession (herbalist) 3; "Speak" Language (Sign Language); Spellcraft 3 -- Glory of the Divine; Sleep
    6 Mystic Wanderer 2 6d8 + 3d6 + 2d8 +6/1 +8 +6 +8 Craft (Alchemy) 10; Decipher Script 5; Diplomacy 8; Hide 3; Knowledge (nature) 3; Knowledge (religion) 2; Knowledge (nobility and royalty) 3; Perform 3; Profession (baker) 4; Profession (herbalist) 3; "Speak" Language (Sign Language); Spellcraft 7 -- Familiar; Lore of Nature
    7 Mystic Wanderer 3 6d8 + 3d6 + 3d8 +6/1 +9 +6 +8 Craft (Alchemy) 12; Decipher Script 5; Diplomacy 8; Hide 3; Knowledge (arcana) 1; Knowledge (nature) 3; Knowledge (religion) 2; Knowledge (nobility and royalty) 3; Perform 3; Profession (baker) 4; Profession (herbalist) 3; "Speak" Language (Sign Language); Spellcraft 10 12th: Craft Wondrous Item Gem Magic; Resist Charm
    8 Mystic Wanderer 4 6d8 + 3d6 + 4d8 +7/2 +9 +7 +9 Craft (Alchemy) 16; Decipher Script 5; Diplomacy 8; Hide 3; Knowledge (arcana) 1; Knowledge (nature) 5; Knowledge (religion) 2; Knowledge (nobility and royalty) 3; Perform 3; Profession (baker) 4; Profession (herbalist) 3; "Speak" Language (Sign Language); Spellcraft 10 B: Brew Potion --
    9 Mystic Wanderer 5 6d8 + 3d6 + 5d8 +7/2 +9 +7 +9 Craft (Alchemy) 17; Decipher Script 5; Diplomacy 8; Hide 3; Knowledge (arcana) 5; Knowledge (nature) 5; Knowledge (religion) 2; Knowledge (nobility and royalty) 3; Perform 3; Profession (baker) 5; Profession (herbalist) 3; "Speak" Language (Sign Language); Spellcraft 10 -- Suggestion
    10 Mystic Wanderer 6 6d8 + 3d6 + 6d8 +8/3 +10 +8 +10 Craft (Alchemy) 18; Decipher Script 5; Diplomacy 8; Hide 3; Knowledge (arcana) 5; Knowledge (nature) 5; Knowledge (religion) 2; Knowledge (nobility and royalty) 3; Perform 3; Profession (baker) 10; Profession (herbalist) 3; "Speak" Language (Sign Language); Spellcraft 10 15th: Magical Artisan (potions) Greater Potion I
    11 Master Achemist 1 6d8 + 3d6 + 6d8 + 1d4 +8/3 +10 +8 +12 Craft (Alchemy) 19; Decipher Script 5; Diplomacy 8; Hide 3; Knowledge (arcana) 5; Knowledge (nature) 5; Knowledge (religion) 2; Knowledge (nobility and royalty) 3; Perform 3; Profession (baker) 13; Profession (herbalist) 5; "Speak" Language (Sign Language); Spellcraft 10 -- Brew 2/day
    12 Master Alchemist 2 6d8 + 3d6 + 6d8 + 2d4 +9/4 +10 +8 +13 Craft (Alchemy) 20; Decipher Script 5; Diplomacy 8; Hide 3; Knowledge (arcana) 5; Knowledge (nature) 5; Knowledge (religion) 2; Knowledge (nobility and royalty) 3; Perform 3; Profession (baker) 18; Profession (herbalist) 5; "Speak" Language (Sign Language); Spellcraft 10 -- Brew Potion (4th)
    13 Master Alchemist 3 6d8 + 3d6 + 6d8 + 3d4 +9/4 +11 +9 +13 Craft (Alchemy) 21; Decipher Script 5; Diplomacy 8; Hide 3; Knowledge (arcana) 5; Knowledge (nature) 5; Knowledge (religion) 2; Knowledge (nobility and royalty) 3; Perform 3; Profession (baker) 21; Profession (herbalist) 5; "Speak" Language (Sign Language); Spellcraft 12 18th: Heighten Spell Brew Potion (5th)
    14 Master Alchemist 4 6d8 + 3d6 + 6d8 + 4d4 +10/5 +11 +9 +14 Craft (Alchemy) 22; Decipher Script 5; Diplomacy 8; Hide 3; Knowledge (arcana) 5; Knowledge (nature) 5; Knowledge (religion) 2; Knowledge (nobility and royalty) 3; Perform 3; Profession (baker) 22; Profession (herbalist) 5; "Speak" Language (Sign Language); Spellcraft 16 -- Brew Potion (6th)
    15 Master Alchemist 5 6d8 + 3d6 + 6d8 + 5d4 +10/5 +11 +9 +14 Craft (Alchemy) 23; Decipher Script 5; Diplomacy 8; Hide 3; Knowledge (arcana) 5; Knowledge (nature) 5; Knowledge (religion) 2; Knowledge (nobility and royalty) 3; Perform 3; Profession (baker) 23; Profession (herbalist) 5; "Speak" Language (Sign Language); Spellcraft 21 -- Brew 3/day
    16 Master Alchemist 6 6d8 + 3d6 + 6d8 + 6d4 +11/6/1 +12 +10 +15 Concentration 2; Craft (Alchemy) 24; Decipher Script 5; Diplomacy 8; Hide 3; Knowledge (arcana) 5; Knowledge (nature) 5; Knowledge (religion) 2; Knowledge (nobility and royalty) 3; Perform 3; Profession (baker) 24; Profession (herbalist) 5; "Speak" Language (Sign Language); Spellcraft 24 21: Insidious Magic Improved Identification
    17 Master Alchemist 7 6d8 + 3d6 + 6d8 + 7d4 +11/6/1 +12 +10 +15 Concentration 6; Craft (Alchemy) 25; Decipher Script 5; Diplomacy 8; Hide 3; Knowledge (arcana) 5; Knowledge (nature) 5; Knowledge (religion) 2; Knowledge (nobility and royalty) 3; Perform 3; Profession (baker) 25; Profession (herbalist) 5; "Speak" Language (Sign Language); Spellcraft 25 -- Brew Potion (7th)
    18 Master Alchemist 8 6d8 + 3d6 + 6d8 + 8d4 +12/7/2 +12 +10 +16 Concentration 10; Craft (Alchemy) 26; Decipher Script 5; Diplomacy 8; Hide 3; Knowledge (arcana) 5; Knowledge (nature) 5; Knowledge (religion) 2; Knowledge (nobility and royalty) 3; Perform 3; Profession (baker) 26; Profession (herbalist) 5; "Speak" Language (Sign Language); Spellcraft 26 -- Brew Potion (8th)
    19 Master Alchemist 9 6d8 + 3d6 + 6d8 + 9d4 +12/7/2 +13 +11 +16 Concentration 14; Craft (Alchemy) 27; Decipher Script 5; Diplomacy 8; Hide 3; Knowledge (arcana) 5; Knowledge (nature) 5; Knowledge (religion) 2; Knowledge (nobility and royalty) 3; Perform 3; Profession (baker) 27; Profession (herbalist) 5; "Speak" Language (Sign Language); Spellcraft 27 24th: Tenacious Magic Brew 4/day
    20 Master Alchemist 10 6d8 + 3d6 + 6d8 + 10d4 +13/8/3 +13 +11 +17 Concentration 18; Craft (Alchemy) 28; Decipher Script 5; Diplomacy 8; Hide 3; Knowledge (arcana) 5; Knowledge (nature) 5; Knowledge (religion) 2; Knowledge (nobility and royalty) 3; Perform 3; Profession (baker) 28; Profession (herbalist) 5; "Speak" Language (Sign Language); Spellcraft 28 -- Brew Potion (9th)


    Spoiler: Spell Table
    Show

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


    Spoiler: The Concept of Griz
    Show

    Griz was created by Grizwelda to be a homunculus that helped out around her cottage. He did the cooking and the cleaning, helped with some research, and petered about doing basic, homunculus-y things. As reward for his dedicated service, Grizwelda eventually bestowed upon him life of his very own. Granted this incarnation of humanity, Griz chose to stay with Grizwelda, living in a quiet cottage in the middle of nowhere, delving into the secret depths of magic.

    Then came that fateful day when two human children wandered into the woods. And Griz was left alone. He vowed then and there that he would exact a long, slow revenge on those children, and their children, and their children's children, too.

    Griz continues to live in that wood, in Grizwelda's old cottage. With divinations and research, he seeks knowledge on the family tree of Hanzel and Gretel. When such a decendant is found, he sends them a letter:
    Congratulations! You have been chosen as the winner of the Tasty Bakery Cakes Contest. As grand prize winner, you will receive a yummy cake each month, free of charge, for one full year. Enjoy, with our compliments!

    By CR 10, Griz has the skill to be a baker-with-attitude. His ranks in Profession (baker) lets him run his own bakery from the little cottage. With the Necrotic Cyst and Necrotic Domination spells (and later Necrotic Tumor) (Libris Mortis p.68-69), Griz is able to create minions/puppets for a staff of employees to deliver his goods and bring him supplies. They can even be sent door-to-door to advertise.


    With both the Brew Potion and Create Wonderous Items feats, Griz can make cakes that are potion-like items (as per the rules in Complete Arcane p.137). With the feat Magical Artisan, Griz makes potions at a cheaper cost (which is paid for anyway, by his bakery business). And he can circumvent some (or all) of the XP cost through his puppet employees via the sidebar found here (http://archive.wizards.com/default.a...d/we/20060526a).

    His cake-of-the-month contest winners, thus, receive his "special" cakes. He starts them off, often, with a Bestow Curse cake to lower their saves, then follows with his specialty, Cupcakes of the Necrotic Cyst (Libris Mortis p.68). Once the Cyst is presumed to have been implanted, Griz tries out a Necrotic Scrying spell (LM p.69) to see if it has, in fact, taken hold. If not, more Necrotic Cyst cakes follow. Once such a tumor is implanted, Griz can extract revenge in all sorts of ways and manners!

    As Griz advances in ability, he gains the option of imbedding higher level spells into his cakes. With the Heighten Spell feat, he can make his Cupcakes with a Necrotic Cyst spell of a higher level to increase the DC. When Insidious Magic comes along, the spells he puts into his cakes are that much harder to detect; and with Tenacious Magic, any dispelling they might be subject to (regardless of detection) can be overcome.


    Spoiler: RAW concerns
    Show

    The Homunculus entry states:
    Quote Originally Posted by Monster Manual p.154
    If the creature’s master is slain, the homunculus also dies, and its body swiftly melts away into a pool of ichor.
    So, why is Griz still alive when Griswelda dies?
    I'm glad you asked. The Incarnate Construct template removes all Special Attacks and Special Qualities of the original construct. The line quoted above, however, is not listed as being either of these things. But, the Incarnate Construct Spell states
    Quote Originally Posted by Savage Species p.67-68
    The incarnated creature is independent of both you and the being who originally made it, though it is initially friendly toward both you and its maker.
    Is it RAW that Griz should live on after Grizwelda's death? That depends on what being "independent" of his maker actually means. But one could certainly make an easy arguement that it works by RAI.

    How can Griz cast spells? Can he talk?
    A Homunculus can't speak. But an Incarnate Construct is granted the ability to speak one language that it's creater knows.
    Quote Originally Posted by Savage Species p.120
    An incarnate construct speaks one language, usually the primary language of the being that crafted it.
    So, yes, Griz can talk.

    Should Griz have skill ranks for his racial HD?
    Constructs often don't get skills. This is because they usually have Int --. Homunculi, however, are intelligent and, thus, have skills and feats. The Incarnate Construct template states
    Quote Originally Posted by Savage Species p.67-68
    An incarnate construct gains no skill points for becoming a living creature, but if it gains levels, it acquires skill points normally.
    This does not remove skill ranks, it simply doesn't grant any skills to those who didn't originally have them.

    Ok, but what about feats?
    The Incarnate Construct template says
    Quote Originally Posted by SS p.67-68
    An incarnate construct has no feats when it becomes a living creature, but if it gains levels, it acquires feats normally.
    So, by pure RAW, Griz shouldn't have any feats for racial HD. But that's really just another example of Wizard's inept editing skills. By RAI, there's really no reason to believe that Griz should lose his feats, just that he shouldn't gain any that he didn't already have.


    Spoiler: Suggested PC Introduction and Interaction
    Show

    Griz should stay behind the scenes for most of the campaign. But he has minions at his bidding (through Necrotic Cyst and Necrotic Tumor) delivering his baked goods, keeping an eye about town(s), bringing back information and supplies. He should just be pulling the strings of his puppets all along. An actual run-in with the PCs shouldn't occur until the end.

    Imagine a campaign that starts with the PCs being hired by some distant cousin to investigate the apparent murder of his/her sibling. The local constabulary have ruled it a suicide, but some evidence points toward foul play. As the PCs dig into the case, they discover a familial connection to other recent deaths in the area (perhaps spanning a few different towns and cities).
    It should dawn on the PCs that the distant cousin who hired them is in danger
    and needs protecting. And, astute PCs should also realise that, with the familial tie, one of their own has a target painted on his/her back, as well.

    Can they determine the source of the danger before it's too late? Will they realize the ancestors they all share? Did they notice the cake crumbs in the homes of each of the deceased? Can they follow that trail of crumbs back to the Tasty Bakery? Will they be able to find Griz and put a stop to his revenge-seeking once and for all?


    Spoiler: Sources
    Show

    SRD -- Homunculus; Iron Will feat; Skill Focus feat; Scribe Scroll feat; Craft Wonderous Item feat; Brew Potion feat; Heighten Spell feat
    Savage Species -- Incarnate Construct Template
    Player's Guide to Faerun -- Shadow Weave Magic feat; Magical Artisan feat; Insidious Magic feat; Tenacious Magic feat
    Heroes of Horror -- Archivst class
    Libris Mortis -- Mother Cyst feat
    Magic of Faerun -- Mystic Wanderer PrC; Master Alchemist PrC

  18. - Top - End - #48
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Telonius's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Wandering in Harrekh
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Villainous Competition VII: Double, Double, Toil and Trouble

    She's an outcast Half-Orc living in the desert. She'll help those poor unfortunate souls she finds... for a price. It's Nulara of the Evil Eye!

    Spoiler: Nulara of the Evil Eye
    Show
    Nulara of the Evil Eye
    NE Desert Half-Orc Sorcerer 5/Sand Shaper 5/Hexer 10



    [Image by Okha]
    Spoiler: Backstory
    Show
    Nulara was born to a Mulhorandi noble and his orcish mistress. Her parents weren’t good people, but they did love each other, and they loved their half-breed daughter. Despite the cultural shame that came with tainting his proud Mulan bloodline, Nulara’s father insisted that she be treated as a true daughter of his house, so she was educated like any other child of her station. She hated it. The other children (not to mention their parents) were cruel, viewing her as an inferior because of her impure blood. Their spite and contempt only grew more pointed as she grew and began to display magical gifts that, despite her best efforts, were neither wizardly nor clerical.

    Through all of this, Nulara felt a strong connection to the wasteland surrounding the city, where her mother’s people had come from. When she was 16, her mother died under mysterious circumstances, and her father fell into a deep grief. Without his protection, Nulara feared for her life as well, so she fled her home and struck out into the desert beyond. She fell in with a band of full-blooded orcs, but her treatment there was no better than it had been with the Mulan--she was too human for them, too much of a city-dweller. Still, the harshness of her outcast upbringing had given her thick skin, and she remained with the orcs long enough to learn their greatest magic, the evil eye.

    Despite her distaste for...well, pretty much everyone, Nulara presents herself as an ally to the disenfranchised desert-dwellers and urban underclass, because her goal is ruining the lives of the people who made her childhood awful, which constitutes most of the city’s upper class. She’ll go after them directly if they venture onto her turf, but she mostly uses agents to disrupt things within the city itself--sometimes magically-compelled agents, but because she operates in a mostly cashless economy, she also accepts “favors” as payment for her potions.

    Spoiler: Ability Scores
    Show
    Starting Ability Scores: Str 10, Dex 12, Con 13, Int 12, Wis 10, Cha 15
    Increase: Cha at 4, 6, and 20; Wis at 8; Int at 12

    Spoiler: Build Table
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    Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    1st Sorcerer +0 +0 +0 +2 Knowledge (Arcana) 4, Knowledge (Nature) 2, Spellcraft 2, Survival 2 Human Heritage Familiar
    2nd Sorcerer +1 +0 +0 +3 Knowledge (Nature) 2.5, Spellcraft 3, Survival 2.5
    3rd Sorcerer +1 +1 +1 +3 Knowledge (Nature) 3, Spellcraft 4, Survival 3 Touchstone
    4th Sorcerer +2 +1 +1 +4 Knowledge (Nature) 3.5, Spellcraft 5, Survival 3.5
    5th Sorcerer +2 +1 +1 +4 Knowledge (Nature) 4, Spellcraft 6, Survival 4
    6th Sand Shaper +2 +1 +1 +6 Knowledge (Arcana) 7, Survival 6 Southern Magician Desert insight, dust magic, sand shape
    7th Sand Shaper +3 +1 +1 +7 Knowledge (Arcana) 10, Survival 8 Sandform
    8th Sand Shaper +3 +2 +2 +7 Concentration 1, Spellcraft 8, Survival 10 Sand stride
    9th Hexer +4 +2 +2 +9 Concentration 2, Knowledge (Nature) 5, Spellcraft 9 Brew Potion Hex 1/day
    10th Hexer +5 +2 +2 +10 Concentrarion 4, Spellcraft 10 Bonus spell, hex 2/day
    11th Hexer +6/+1 +3 +3 +10 Concentration 5, Spellcraft 11, Survival 11 Sicken hex
    12th Hexer +7/+2 +3 +3 +11 Concentration 6, Spellcraft 12, Survival 12 Ability Focus (Hex) Bonus spell, hex 3/day
    13th Hexer +8/+3 +3 +3 +11 Concentration 7, Spellcraft 13, Survival 13 Fear hex
    14th Hexer +9/+4 +4 +4 +12 Concentration 8, Spellcraft 14, Survival 14 Bonus spell, hex 4/day
    15th Hexer +10/+5 +4 +4 +12 Concentration 9, Spellcraft 15, Survival 15 Irresistible Gaze Sleep hex
    16th Hexer +11/+6/+1 +4 +4 +13 Concentration 10, Spellcraft 16, Survival 16 Bonus spell, hex 5/day
    17th Hexer +12/+7/+2 +5 +5 +13 Concentration 11, Spellcraft 17, Survival 17 Charm hex
    18th Hexer +13/+8/+3 +5 +5 +14 Concentration 12, Spellcraft 18, Survival 18 Piercing Gaze Bonus spell, hex 6/day
    19th Sand Shaper +14/+9/+4 +5 +5 +15 Concentration 14, Knowledge (Nature) 6, Spellcraft 19, Survival 19 Improved sand shape
    20th Sand Shaper +14/+9/+4 +5 +5 +15 Concentration 16, Knowledge (Nature) 7, Spellcraft 20, Survival 20 Improved dust magic 3/day

    Spoiler: Spell Table
    Show
    Spells per Day/Spells Known
    Level 0lvl 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
    1st 5/4 3/2 - - - - - - - -
    2nd 6/5 4/2 - - - - - - - -
    3rd 6/5 5/3 - - - - - - - -
    4th 6/6 6/3 3/1 - - - - - - -
    5th 6/6 6/3 3/1 - - - - - - -
    6th 6/6 6/4 4/2 - - - - - - -
    7th 6/6 6/4 5/2 3/1 - - - - - -
    8th 6/7 6/7 6/3 4/2 - - - - - -
    9th 6/8 6/5 6/3 5/2 3/1 - - - - -
    10th 6/8 6/5 6/4 6/3 4/2 - - - - -
    11th 6/9 6/5 6/4 6/3 5/2 3/1 - - - -
    12th 6/9 6/5 6/5 6/4 6/3 4/2 - - - -
    13th 6/9 6/5 6/5 6/4 6/3 5/2 3/1 - - -
    14th 6/9 6/5 6/5 6/4 6/4 6/3 4/2 - - -
    15th 6/9 6/5 6/5 6/4 6/4 6/3 5/2 3/1 - -
    16th 6/9 6/5 6/5 6/4 6/4 6/4 6/3 4/2 - -
    17th 6/9 6/5 6/5 6/4 6/4 6/4 6/3 5/2 3/1 -
    18th 6/9 6/5 6/5 6/4 6/4 6/4 6/3 6/3 4/2 -
    19th 6/9 6/5 6/5 6/4 6/4 6/4 6/3 6/3 5/2 3/1
    20th 6/9 6/5 6/5 6/4 6/4 6/4 6/3 6/3 6/3 4/2

    Spells Known
    0 - Detect Magic, Detect Poison, Sonic Snap*, Prestidigitation, Mage Hand, Caltrops*, Dancing Lights, Message, Amanuensis*
    1 - Disguise Self, Hypnotism, Luminous Gaze*, Silent Image, Backbiter*, Bear's Endurance, Bull's Strength, Cat's Grace, Endure Elements, Parching Touch, Speak with Animals, Summon Desert Ally I
    2 - Chain of Eyes*, Blindness/Deafness, Quick Potion*, Infernal Wound*, Steal Breath*, Eagle's Splendor, Fox's Cunning, Heat Metal, Owl's Wisdom, Resist Energy, Summon Desert Ally II, Summon Swarm
    3 - Bestow Curse, Lightning Bolt, Mesmerizing Glare, Unluck*, Control Sand, Desiccate, Dispel Magic, Dominate Animal, Haboob, Slipsand, Summon Desert Ally III, Sunstroke, Tormenting Thirst, Wind Wall
    4 - Translocation Trick*, Divination, Backlash*, Sensory Deprivation*, Blast of Sand, Summon Desert Ally IV, Wall of Sand, Wither
    5 - Baleful Polymorph, Wrack*, Dominate Person, Prying Eyes*, Choking Sands, Flaywind Burst, Flesh to Salt, Summon Desert Ally V, Transmute Sand to Stone, Transmute Stone to Sand
    6 - Eyebite, Greater Dispel Magic, Permanent Image, Awaken Sand, Mummify, Sandstorm, Summon Desert Ally VI
    7 - Greater Shadow Conjuration, Evil Glare*, Control Weather, Mass Flesh to Salt, Summon Desert Ally VII
    8 - Greater Bestow Curse, Otto’s Irresistable Dance, Maddening Whispers*, Summon Desert Ally VIII, Whirlwind
    9 - Shades, Eye of Power*, Summon Desert Ally IX

    Brown spells were added through Sand Shaper. Nulara gains access to the first- and second-level Sand Shaper spells at level 5, and all subsequent spells when spells of the appropriate level first become available to her.
    *Indicates a spell from the Spell Compendium.
    Indicates a spell from Sandstorm.

    Spoiler: On Spell Selection
    Show
    Nulara's chosen spell list is heavy on the debuffs, because I wanted her to feel as much as possible like she's always tossing curses around. She has Bestow Curse and its big brother, of course, but spells like Blindness/Deafness, Unluck, and Baleful Polymorph also fit this theme. The next most abundant category is divinations, because they're generally witchity and a bunch of them are eye-themed. There are a few other eye-based spells in there too (see: [I[Luminous Gaze,[/I], Evil Glare,, Eyebite, etc.) because they felt thematically right. Everything else is either a general-use spell to add some versatility (as with the Shadow [Whatever] line) or was chosen to fulfill a prereq--hi, Lightning Bolt!) Note also Quick Potion which, while falling outside the contest requirements, doesn’t have an XP cost, making it a great out-of-combat prep spell, particularly at mid-to-high levels where it’ll last all day.

    The Sand Shaper spells give her a lot of direct offensive options, which her chosen spells otherwise lack. The Summon Desert Ally line is just meat shields, but at least they lessen her dependence on other allies.There are some nice free general spells, though--not having to spend a spell known to get Dispel Magic is great, as is access to the enhancement-bonus spells, which are particularly nice for potion-making.

    Spoiler: Level Highlights
    Show
    Level 5: Nothing too special yet. She's a sorcerer, and her feats are taken up with various prereqs, so there's nothing too special there either. Touchstone (the Sandstorm version) is more flavorful than powerful. Her familiar is a hairy spider (from Monsters of Faerun), again for flavor rather than power--it's nice and witchity, and it's what her photo has.

    Level 9 (Sweet Spot):First of all, let's talk about Hexer prereqs. Nulara obviously fulfills the racial prereq as a "savage humanoid," although she'd be less-than-pleased with that description. She also needs to be able to cast Lightning Bolt as a divine spell, which is where Southern Magician comes in. That requires her to be human, which is why she took Human Heritage as her 1st-level feat. Being Mulan specifically is a matter of fluff, which I've honored. It took some doing, but Nulara qualifies for Hexer.

    Anyway. Sand Shaper isn't necessary to Nulara's witchiness, but it reinforces her racial flavor and represents her distancing herself from human society, which makes it a good choice for a fill-in PrC. Mechanically, of course, it adds a bunch of spells to her spell list, and gives a bunch of other fun benefits. Note especially that she spends pretty much all her time in "waste terrain" and therefore has a basically constant +1 CL. This is also the level where she picks up Brew Potion.

    The reason I chose this level as Nulara's Sweet Spot, though, is that it's where she finally qualifies for Hexer. Hex is her signature ability, and much of the rest of her build is dedicated getting more and better hexes, this is the first level where she can function as intended. Her basic hex duplicates one of the effects of Bestow Curse but has its own pool of uses rather than taking up spell slots.

    Level 15: I assumed that Nulara doesn't actually get bonus spells from Hexer, because the text seems to indicate that Hexers add spells to their class (i.e. Adept) spell list rather than their personal spells known. Still, though, she's getting full BAB and spellcasting progression, plus a couple fun new hexes: One that perma-denies opponents their Dex bonus to AC, and one that duplicates Fear. I still think the base ability is best, but it never hurts to have more tools in one's toolbox. She spends her feats on Ability Focus and Irresistable Gaze (which explicitly stack). I'm not sure whether Ability Focus works with her sub-hexes, but Irresistable Gaze definitely does, giving her +4 to the main ability and +2 or +4 to the others. Her hexes are highly economical because they last for several turns (7 at this level, with a maximum of 10 starting at level 18), letting her curse multiple foes for a single standard action while she uses her turn for other stuff. Essentially, this gives her two standard actions and thus helps ameliorate the action economy disparity between herself and a party of adventurers.

    Level 20: Nulara’s final hex, which mimics Charm Monster and works for 1 day/Hexer level, is an interesting alternate option: It’s pretty much useless in combat, but it can make for some interesting plots because, with repeated use, she can charm entire communities--note that this hex, like all her hexes, lacks the “a creature who saves against this can’t be affected for 24 hours” caveat a lot of abilities have. Her last sandshaper levels give her some free metamagic and the ability to form sand creatures (none of which, sadly, are particularly witchity), and her final feet increases the range of all her hexes to 60’. She’s only lost 1 CL over the course of her 20 levels, meaning that she gets 9th-level spells--though note that she needs a +2 Cha item to use them, or to cast Eagle’s Splendor on herself.

    Spoiler: Sources
    Show
    Masters of the Wild: Hexer
    Monsters of Faerun: Hairy Spider
    Races of Destiny: Human Heritage
    Races of Faerun: Southern Magician
    Sandstorm: Sand Shaper, Touchstone, various spells
    Serpent Kingdoms: Irresistable Gaze, Piercing Gaze
    Spell Compendium: Various spells


    And, last but not least - no one suspects the cat. Shadow!

    Spoiler: Shadow
    Show
    Shadow

    Neutral Evil Tibbit Cleric 5 / Mystic Wanderer 10 / Contemplative 1 / Master Alchemist 4



    No one knows much about Shadow. She is the local witch and she lives in the forest, everyone agrees on that much. She helps people sometimes, or so they say, but only for the right price. You shouldn’t anger her or you are liable to be cursed. There’s even rumours that she can see through the eyes of her black cat.

    Some of this is true of course, Shadow is a witch. She helps people who can give her something in return and curses those who displease her. She can’t see through the eyes of cats but she does turn into one. She worships Vecna and treasures her secrets above all else. She is wary of other practitioners to a perhaps unhealthy degree, fearing them and focusing her magic to defend herself from their threats.

    Spoiler: Abilities and ACFs
    Show

    Alternative class features: Cloistered Cleric and Divine Magician.

    Strength: 6 (8 base, -2 racial)
    Dexterity: 15 (13 base, +2 racial)
    Constitution: 12
    Intelligence: 10
    Wisdom: 15 (level up points go here)
    Charisma: 14

    Spoiler: Full build
    Show
    Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    1st Cloistered Cleric 1 +0 +2 +0 +2 Concentration 4, Craft (Alchemy) 4, Diplomacy 4, Knowledge (Nature) 3, Knowledge (Dungeoneering) 4, Perform 2cc, Profession (Herbalist) 1 Surrogate Spellcasting Lore, Aura, Rebuke Undead, Divine Magician
    2nd Cloistered Cleric 2 +1 +3 +0 +3 Concentration 5, Craft (Alchemy) 5, Diplomacy 5, Knowledge (Religion) 1, Profession (Herbalist) 3 - -
    3rd Cloistered Cleric 3 +1 +3 +1 +3 Concentration 6, Craft (Alchemy) 6, Diplomacy 6, Knowledge (Religion) 2, Perform 3cc Iron Will -
    4th Cloistered Cleric 4 +2 +4 +1 +4 Concentration 7, Craft (Alchemy) 7, Diplomacy 7, Knowledge (Religion) 3, Spellcraft 2 - -
    5th Cloistered Cleric 5 +2 +4 +1 +4 Concentration 8, Craft (Alchemy) 8, Diplomacy 8, Knowledge (Religion) 4, Spellcraft 4 - -
    6th Mystic Wanderer 1 +2 +4 +3 +6 Concentration 9, Spellcraft 5 Divine Defiance Glory of the Divine, sleep
    7th Mystic Wanderer 2 +3 +4 +4 +7 Concentration 10, Spellcraft 6 - Familiar, Lore of Nature
    8th Mystic Wanderer 3 +3 +5 +4 +7 Knowledge (Religion) 5, Spellcraft 7 Attune Gem Gem Magic, Resist Charm
    9th Mystic Wanderer 4 +4 +5 +5 +8 Knowledge (Religion) 6, Spellcraft 8 Brew Potion, Magical Artisan (Potions) -
    10th Mystic Wanderer 5 +4 +5 +5 +8 Knowledge (Religion) 7, Spellcraft 9 - Suggestion
    11th Mystic Wanderer 6 +5 +6 +6 +9 Knowledge (Religion) 8, Spellcraft 10 - Greater Potion I
    12th Mystic Wanderer 7 +5 +6 +6 +9 Concentration 15, Knowledge (Religion) 9 Ocular Spell Charm Monster
    13th Mystic Wanderer 8 +6 +6 +7 +10 Knowledge (Religion) 11 - Greater Potion II
    14th Mystic Wanderer 9 +6 +7 +7 +10 Knowledge (Religion) 13 - Mass Charm
    15th Mystic Wanderer 10 +7 +7 +8 +11 Craft (Alchemy) 9, Spellcraft 11 Skill Focus (Craft (Alchemy)) Greater Potion III, Timeless Body
    16th Contemplative 1 +7 +7 +8 +13 Craft (Alchemy) 10, Spellcraft 12 - Bonus Domain, Divine Health
    17th Master Alchemist 1 +7 +7 +8 +15 Spellcraft 14 - Brew 2/day,
    18th Master Alchemist 2 +8 +7 +8 +16 Spellcraft 16 Split Ray Brew Potion (4th)
    19th Master Alchemist 3 +8 +8 +9 +16 Spellcraft 18 - Brew Potion (5th)
    20th Master Alchemist 4 +9 +8 +9 +17 Spellcraft 20 - Brew Potion (6th)

    Spoiler: Spells
    Show
    Spells per Day
    Level 0lvl 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
    1st 3 1+1 - - - - - - - -
    2nd 4 2+1 - - - - - - - -
    3rd 4 2+1 1+1 - - - - - - -
    4th 5 3+1 2+1 - - - - - - -
    5th 5 3+1 2+1 1+1 - - - - - -
    6th 5 3+1 3+1 2+1 - - - - - -
    7th 6 4+1 3+1 2+1 1+1 - - - - -
    8th 6 4+1 3+1 3+1 2+1 - - - - -
    9th 6 4+1 4+1 3+1 2+1 1+1 - - - -
    10th 6 4+1 4+1 3+1 3+1 2+1 - - - -
    11th 6 5+1 4+1 4+1 3+1 2+1 1+1 - - -
    12th 6 5+1 4+1 4+1 3+1 3+1 2+1 - - -
    13th 6 5+1 5+1 4+1 4+1 3+1 2+1 1+1 - -
    14th 6 5+1 5+1 4+1 4+1 3+1 3+1 2+1 - -
    15th 6 5+1 5+1 5+1 4+1 4+1 3+1 2+1 1+1 -
    16th 6 5+1 5+1 5+1 4+1 4+1 3+1 3+1 2+1 -
    17th 6 5+1 5+1 5+1 5+1 4+1 4+1 3+1 2+1 1+1
    18th 6 5+1 5+1 5+1 5+1 4+1 4+1 3+1 3+1 2+1
    19th 6 5+1 5+1 5+1 5+1 5+1 4+1 4+1 3+1 3+1
    20th 6 5+1 5+1 5+1 5+1 5+1 4+1 4+1 4+1 4+1
    Domains:
    Starts with the Destiny Domain and the Knowledge Domain from Cloistered Cleric and trades the third domain for the Divine Magician ACF. Gains the Tyranny Domain from the Contemplative level.
    Divine Magician spells: 1st: Ray of Enfeeblement, 2nd: Arcane Turmoil, 3rd: Anticipate Teleportation, 4th: Enervation, 5th: Spell Theft, 6th: Animate Dread Warrior, 7th: Avasculate, 8th: Mind Blank, 9th: Reaving Dispel.

    Spoiler: CR Breakdown
    Show

    Spoiler: CR 5
    Show
    At this level Shadow is the witch of a small village. If the party isn’t overtly hostile when they encounter her then they can attempt to strike a bargain. She will, of course, want something in return for her help (the corpse of a powerful monster to animate, a magic item, their promise of a return favour etc.). If they are hostile or bargaining breaks down then she will attack. She should have a few zombies or skeletons under her control (animated or controlled) by this point which can be supplemented by Summon Monster spells to provide a meatshield for her as she focuses on debuffing through spells such as Bestow Curse, Ray of Enfeeblement and if facing a caster Arcane Turmoil.

    Spoiler: CR 10
    Show
    Shadow has now long ago left behind the village she established her power in. Worried about being burnt at the stake by an angry mob she has taken to moving to a new village or town at regular intervals. She now has a black cat as a familiar who she sends out to spy on the villagers. People still come to her for help, often asking her to brew potions for them, and Shadow still charges a high price for her help.

    Shadows tactics are largely similar to 5 levels ago. Although she now has a familiar that looks startlingly similar to herself when she is in cat form which she uses to deliver touch spells and cause confusion. Shadows anti-caster abilities have improved and she can now use Divine Defiance to counterspell and Spell Theft to steal enemy buffs. Her go to debuffs now include Enervation as well.

    Spoiler: CR 15
    Show
    Shadow is moving on more regularly now, travelling by broomstick and rarely staying in any one spot for even as long as a month. She has grown paranoid that angry mobs are going to tear her to shreds or a rival witch will capture her and torture her until she reveals all her secrets. Her power however is growing now as she can use the evil eye and has mastered the ability to brew any potion in existence. She charms black cats to surround her at all times in an attempt to throw her enemies off. She will still bargain with the occasional individual but usually only if she has encountered them previously. The majority of strangers are treated as hostile and disposed of as such.

    If encountered at this level Shadow will be surrounded by regular black cats as well as some powerful undead (either animated or controlled) and her familiar. She uses Ocular spell to deliver touch spells such as Bestow Curse at range shooting off two in the first round of combat and having her familiar deliver a third. Her debuffs have expanded to include spells such as Avasculate, Greater Bestow Curse and Blasphemy and she has an impressive array of defensive spells available to defend herself including Mind Blank.

    Spoiler: CR 20
    Show

    Shadow now travels almost daily, rarely staying in one place for more than two nights. She arrives, brews potions and sells them before moving on, paranoid that she is being hunted. She is one of the most powerful witches in the nation now, capable of delivering devastating curses through the evil eye and brewing stronger potions than anyone else alive. The PCs may try to seek her out for her aid if in desperate need or they might be attempting to bring her down in which case they should expect a tough fight. Shadow surrounds herself by the most powerful minions she can summon, bind and raise and curses her enemies into uselessness whilst her minions fight for her.

    At level 20 Shadow is throwing out 9th level cleric spells. She will have similar tactics to the above but with the addition of some gated in demons to aid her. She can now cast Ocular Avasculate and Greater Bestow Curse or using 7th level slots cast Ocular Split Ray Bestow Curses to force four saves vs. cursed on the first round of combat.


    Spoiler: Sources
    Show

    Core – Cleric, Brew Potion, Iron Will, Skill Focus
    Complete Mage – Divine Magician
    Unearthed Arcana – Cloistered Cleric
    Dragon Compendium - Tibbit
    Complete Divine – Contemplative
    Magic of Faerun – Mystic Wanderer, Master Alchemist
    Savage Species – Surrogate Spellcasting
    Complete Arcane – Split Ray
    Lords of Madness – Ocular Spell
    Fiendish Codex II – Divine Defiance
    Players Guide to Faerun – Magical Artisan

  19. - Top - End - #49
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VII: Double, Double, Toil and Trouble

    Thank you to all of our competitors! Now, on to the judging! I believe we had a few volunteers already. Anyone who wants to step up is welcome; the more scores, the better.

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VII: Double, Double, Toil and Trouble

    I was going to do a Tainted Raver Green Hag Binder 15...but getting Brew Potion and a cat "familiar" was counter productive...

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VII: Double, Double, Toil and Trouble

    So, how is our judging coming along? (If you are judging, please confirm it here so I don't get more paranoid than usual - replacing minions is always such a security risk).

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VII: Double, Double, Toil and Trouble

    Hmm, so it appears we have a lack of judges. Anyone willing to step up?

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VII: Double, Double, Toil and Trouble

    Quote Originally Posted by Telonius View Post
    Hmm, so it appears we have a lack of judges. Anyone willing to step up?
    I may. Been busy lately.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    There's a reason why we bap your nose, not crucify you, for thread necromancy.

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    I'll be a judge.

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VII: Double, Double, Toil and Trouble

    I should finish up my round of judging tomorrow. I'll post the judging right into the forum.

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    Thanks, daremetoidareyo! I'm looking forward to it.
    Contest Medals
    Spoiler
    Show
    Ayesha: Gold, Junkyard Wars I
    The Last Warder: Silver, Junkyard Wars IV
    Princess Pufflebutt: Silver, Junkyard Wars VII
    Gren Beastclaws: Silver, Junkyard Wars VIII
    Mother Halfbreed: Silver, Iron Chef Home Cooking I

    Vathoa Frostspeaker Kualavoaka: Gold, Junkyard Wars IX
    Sanna Blackfish: Bronze, Villainous Competition II
    Annabelle: Gold, Villainous Competition IV
    Nulara of the Evil Eye: Gold, Villainous Competition IX

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VII: Double, Double, Toil and Trouble

    Firstly,
    Thank you, fine chefs. You guys did a fairly good job of selecting archetypes. I was hoping to see a harpy…maybe next time. Many of these judgments are subjective. Just because I explicitly mention some aspects of the build in the writeup does not mean that is the exhaustive list of considerations that I took into account to evaluate your entry.

    Narratively, the witch is a very rich literary icon. The witch is an emblem of the fear of female power by those seeking to control people. The witch brews potions, eats children, has surprising physical power for her frame. These are all details that tie to herbalism, paganism, and stewardship of rebellious individuals against the orthodoxy. The children eating is a proxy for knowledge of feminine reproductive control (think abortion/menses control). In literature, witches are often approached with deals; they can be bargained with.
    The broom that allows flight has a few historical ties, but the strongest is to domestic duties, which, considering sex-based gender roles, and roles requiring tools, the broom has some potent stuff going for it: a generally phallically shaped, a tool associated with territorial control, but not with wealth. The witch is portrayed as ugly and aged but capable of trickery to appear young. The ugliness has routes as a value judgment, the crone iconographic is tied to wisdom and infertility, the illusions are representative of guile.
    The witch is also an emblem of religious syncretism vs. religious purity, with dominant european conquerers often imposing regulations filled with religious doctrine and religious doctrine filled with prescriptive gender roles. The witch is a tether to the older, quite often animistic (explains the trope of the familiar), matriarchic culture that has been supplanted. This also explains her age, wisdom, association with the forbidden, and nature capable of consorting with animals.

    Considering this rich history, It is exciting to see which aspects of the witch trope get represented here.


    Spoiler: Repugnia Dreadmien
    Show

    Hag is the go to choice for representations of witching. You are on point, fine chef.

    Originality - RACE 20% (1 point) CLASS 50% (2.5 points) FEATS, SPELLS OTHERS 30% (1.5 points) = 5 possible points
    Race: the green hag, classic ugly green female. Solid Choice, but predictable. .75 points.
    Classes: Adept into Hexer. Simple, easy. Good build alternative suggestions. 1.25 points
    Feats, spells, others: Good Choices for the build. 1.25
    Total: 3.25 points

    Build Elegance - Is it mechanically pretty? Score starts at three. Points are added and deducted subjectively.

    This build works. It is uncomplicated and solid. I am disappointed by the casting being so diminished, but the hag HD definitely put a hurting on that. Overall, this is a classic witch. I appreciate the sticking to beefing up the familiar, but that feat slot may have had better uses.
    3.5 points.

    Competence and Power - Can it do what the concept asks of it? Is this a powerfully-built character? Score starts at three. Points are added and deducted subjectively.

    Repugnia isn’t the toughest hag, nor the most powerful caster. And as a type of Crone-power gish, her villainy isn’t exactly what is mechanical. It really depends on how the DM takes the character, She can either be tropey speed bump or a broker of weird services in exchange for souls/meat. Violate spell does grant some villainy points. Without some means of getting a bunch of summons off, or significant animation of the dead, I have a hard time seeing this build be remarkably powerful. These could easily be supplied by wands or other magical gear. However, Debuffing for yourself, without much access to stealth, makes Repugnia lose on action economy issues. If she has underlings, to help soak damage and actions, she become more formidable. OP didn’t mention, but hexer + polymorph other is a nice inherent combo. I imagine she chooses oozes. Violate spell is mean, but the major damage dealing spells for adepts require a touch attack, (intlict line) or the use of wall of fire, lightning bolt, or burning hands. Repugnia may not survive some lockdown combat to deliver the touch spells that make her so special. So she isn’t a very good hunter if confronted with team members with high spot checks (she has no hide skill) or if the team never explores mysterious swamp sounds without a buddy.
    3

    Memorable Villainy: Score starts at three. Points are added and deducted subjectively.

    Repugnia’s villainy is thematically appropriate for a witch. At any given level, A DM can grab this build and have a witch on hand. She fulfills the nasty hag witch sub trope very well, although mechanically, she isn’t the toughest old broad, there are probably 2 feats chosen that seem to be more thematic than powerful. Her fighting tactics are crude, but if she were to ambush an NPC that was lured away by ghost sounds and fly away on her broom, she could become quite a terror, especially if the PCs find that her true value lies more in what they can bargain from her. The villainy is dependent on the DM, but mechanics do not interfere with how effective this build is. This is very much a witch. PCs will know that they are dealing with a witch.
    3.5 points.

    Total Score:
    Originality: 3
    Elegance: 3.5
    Competence/power: 3
    Villainy: 3.5
    TOTAL: 13


    Spoiler: Kindblood
    Show

    AZURIN WERE LEGENDARY SNAKE, not what I imagined that I’de be reading about. I appreciate your moxy.

    Originality - RACE 20% (1 point) CLASS 50% (2.5 points) FEATS, SPELLS OTHERS 30% (1.5 points) = 5 possible points

    Race: were legendary snake (cheesy but original) 1
    Class: Incarnate, ur-priest, contemplative, necrocarnate. 2 points
    Feats+: Lots of pre-reqs, 1 point
    Total 4 points

    Build Elegance - Is it mechanically pretty? Score starts at three. Points are added and deducted subjectively.

    This is a powerful build. All of the feats are feeding pre-requisites, so the ingenuity here is represented by the class features interacting with each other and the off the wall race. I have no issue with Ur-priests being contemplative. I like your child eating fluff. However, I don’t know if the spell casting needs of this witch are going to be met in a rural environment. This witch would need to locate closer to a metropolitan area. At least until the teleports come online. There is some cheesiness in the lycanthropic templated animal, mostly because I would hate players for doing that. But as a DM’s tool, this is slightly less cheesy. The biggest issue I have with this, besides the aforementioned resource management of commoner children souls for magic is What about transmission of the were-legendary snake lycanthropy? PCs are highly likely to want some of that infection. This build hits a lot of its beats, but there are two more things that need mentioning: snakes hate brooms, (in hybrid or snake form, the use of the broom may be out) and UR-priest and a desire to be a god are not typical of a common trope for witches. Witching & cults of worship rub me the wrong way for the challenge and the witching tools (curses, broom, potions, cohort) are impediments to more power, feeling like tacked-on accoutrements.
    3.5 points

    Competence and Power - Can it do what the concept asks of it? Is this a powerfully-built character? Score starts at three. Points are added and deducted subjectively.

    This Witch is a powerhouse. Amongst the most powerful in terms of physical stats of all of the entries, this build also manages to get ninths. This build can do everything that it sets out to do, and players need to work together extensively to manage this monstrosity. At low levels, this is a bricks falls type monster: at CR 6, this thing could wipe the floor with a party of four.
    4.5 points

    Memorable Villainy: Score starts at three. Points are added and deducted subjectively.

    This can be a major villain. Easily. This build is quite powerful. Some of the things that she can do will make the PCs call her a witch. She eats children, powers magic with souls, and can be deceptive and powerful. She does not, as presented, feel like she encompasses the essence of what is a witch. Perhaps some personal backstory other than a mad quest for godhood, by a urpriest no less (evil allows hypocrisy), would make her feel more quintessentially witchfull…Although in a DaVinci code/gnostic religious texts sort of way, inner divinity and ur priest can be smashed together.
    3.5 points.

    Total Score:
    Originality: 4
    Elegance: 3.5
    Competence/power: 4.5
    Villainy: 3.5
    TOTAL: 15.5



    Spoiler: Granny Strangelove
    Show

    I very much enjoy this build concept. One of the few to associate itself with sexuality directly. Night hags are excellent witches.

    Originality - RACE 20% (1 point) CLASS 50% (2.5 points) FEATS, SPELLS OTHERS 30% (1.5 points) = 5 possible points

    Race: the night hag, another classic ugly female. Solid Choice, predictable. .75 points.
    Class: Hexblade, Fiend of Corruption. Hexblade was anticipated route of entry, FOC is surprising. 2 points
    Other: intimomancy, skill tricks to support intimidation, 2 spells, 1.25 points
    Total: 4

    Build Elegance - Is it mechanically pretty? Score starts at three. Points are added and deducted subjectively.

    This build is pretty direct. Night hag supplies all the pre-reqs for FOC except charm person, Hexblade supplies that, as well as a familiar and casting for potion brewing. This witch is a steward over young women (and maybe men, OP didn’t specify) and uses temptation and guile to not only sell the female body, but eventually gains the ability to literally trade wishes for souls. This witch strongly embodies the archetype of a witch that deals with matters of reproduction. This witch has some tricks that OP didn’t build upon, but put effort into the build for. This thing can intimidate, and intimidate well. Imperious command plus the skill tricks is probably more effective than the hex blade hex class feature. Hexblade stinks for spells, but the SLAs and abilities for fiend of corruption fill in nicely, although the potion brewing is a little bit of a waste.
    4.25 Points

    Competence and Power - Can it do what the concept asks of it? Is this a powerfully-built character? Score starts at three. Points are added and deducted subjectively.

    This is a powerful character, although not combat oriented. She is an excellent quest giver, political rival, and long term manipulator working behind the scenes of whatever melodrama your PCs interface with. She has level appropriate power for smaller groups (2-3 players), but in direct combat, a party of 4 should be able to smash her relatively easily, so long as they prevent her escape: which she should prioritize when she deals with powerful people. This character is terrifying if she desires revenge. The power of geas is a potent addition to the hex blade hex + shaken/frightened opponents. The broom, familiar, and potion are unnecessary addendum's to the build and don’t advance this witch’s main schtick. Another consideration with her is that her power isn’t completely online until 18-20th level.
    3.5 points

    Memorable Villainy: Score starts at three. Points are added and deducted subjectively.

    I very much enjoy the fact that this witch, although thoroughly evil, can be dealt with for an adventurers needs. A middleman with the devils, exchanging power for souls. The need for the nightmares of evil folks makes this witch a neat kind of capitalist. I like to think that though she may be a tough disciplinarian, that she treats the workers in her bordello exceedingly well. Like they are the only tender side she has. This witch really captures that “evil ally” feel that helps make the witch trope rich.
    4.25 Points

    Total Score:
    Originality: 4
    Elegance: 4.25
    Competence/power: 3.5
    Villainy: 4.25
    TOTAL: 16.0


    Spoiler: Griz
    Show

    Witches Spoils. I’ll rate this not against the witch archetype that I droned on and on about above, but view this as a post-modern approach to the contest.

    Originality - RACE 20% (1 point) CLASS 50% (2.5 points) FEATS, SPELLS OTHERS 30% (1.5 points) = 5 possible points

    Race: What? Unexpected indeed. 1 point
    Class: Mystic wanderer is the quintessential witch class. Archivist is a neat approach. Mater alchemist is nice. 2.0 points
    Others: Necrotic cyst, insidious & tenacious magic. Lots of skill points to juggle. 1.25 points
    Total: 4.25 points

    Build Elegance - Is it mechanically pretty? Score starts at three. Points are added and deducted subjectively.

    The only build that uses a male pronoun ;) Griz is… weird. A good witch’s servant turned towards evil after the loss of his creator.
    I read through all of the text about incarnate construct homunculi, and I agree with all of the adaptability that you used. I also have to acknowledge that the feats for HD can be read to have been removed by the process of “incarnation.” I, as DM, would wave that. But for the competition, it is inelegant. Wheres the broom? What is your familiar?
    I love your dedication of herbalism, gingerbread houses, and most of all, the use of necrotic cysts.
    Total: 2.25

    Competence and Power - Can it do what the concept asks of it? Is this a powerfully-built character? Score starts at three. Points are added and deducted subjectively.

    Griz is a story villain. The real power of this character comes from the ninth level spells that he can render in potion/confection form. This is a powerful crafter, especially with archivist access to the divine spell lists of the paladin, blackguard, druid and ranger. Individually, all of his power is going to be coming from his spell use, and his back up potions/cakes. So this character is as formidable as the DM decides to play him. Necrotic cysts planted into a bunch of underlings make for great bombs.
    Total 4 points

    Memorable Villainy: Score starts at three. Points are added and deducted subjectively.

    Griz is definitely a memorable post script to hansel and gretal. The powerful cakes and potions can make him hard to pin as evil. I do feel that a creation given flesh who is running a baking operation in the woods, the confections of which implant parasitic undead nodules in the scions of whomever killed his witch creator is a pretty far wandering from the source. I do, however appreciate someone who is good at something.
    4 points

    Total Score:
    Originality: 4.25
    Elegance: 2.25
    Competence/power: 4.
    Villainy: 4
    TOTAL: 14.5



    Spoiler: Nulara of the Evil Eye
    Show

    A desert shamaness half-breed who’s not accepted by either side of her lineage. The witch as a powerful outcast & victim of prejudice. Also some notes of voodoo/creole magik.

    Originality - RACE 20% (1 point) CLASS 50% (2.5 points) FEATS, SPELLS OTHERS 30% (1.5 points) = 5 possible points

    Race: desert half orc .75 points
    Class: sorcerer (classic) sand shaper (kinda cheesy) hexer (par for course) 1.75
    Others: What is your touchstone? gaze enhancements, southern magic, 1.25
    Total: 3.75

    Build Elegance - Is it mechanically pretty? Score starts at three. Points are added and deducted subjectively.

    This build flows together pretty well. Human heritage and southern magician work to fulfill prereqs for hexer. This is a clever workaround for hexer’s terrible prereqs. The gaze enhancers on hexer is a nice touch. She gets ninth level spells, and she can brew potions. Again, the broom is a discarded afterthought. I like the class warrior aspect to this witch. I like the perennial outsider feeling for the biracial identity. Sandshaper doesn’t add much to the wittiness, but it does make her sorcery more powerful. What I like most about the character is the obeah feel to her. Probably the southern magician feat filling that in as fluff. Pumping survival and concentration makes sense. She peaks out at 18 cha, and therefor needs items to get ninth level spells.
    Total 4.25

    Competence and Power - Can it do what the concept asks of it? Is this a powerfully-built character? Score starts at three. Points are added and deducted subjectively.

    This is another powerful caster who gets ninth level spells. The action economy is where this build falters compared to others. There weren’t any tricks for getting those summons off quicker than a full round casting action. No mention of allies to act as meat shields. Paired with some desert orc initiators she could be the worlds most vexing caster to deal with. So, Like any caster, her power is relatively low early in her levels. And it rises exponentially with the onset of 4th level spells and higher. Many of her spells transgress the boundaries of other’s bodies. Backbiter and bestow curse being the lowest on the totem pole. Very few of her spells deal direct damage. She also has limited control of the environment with sand transmutation spells and whirlwindy weather spells.
    Further, the alignment says NE, and in Mulan she may be considered NE, but she can easily belong to any non-good alignment, CN comes to mind from her background. Nulara works best integrated into a community of half-human outlaws, or as at a tacitly excepted semi-exile in an orc community.
    4 points

    Memorable Villainy: Score starts at three. Points are added and deducted subjectively.

    This witch best captures that Tia Dalma type obeah witch from Pirate’s of the Caribbean feel. The narrative needs of the PCs will definitely be what casts this character in a memorable light. Clever use of sand shaping and de-buffs can make her a nuisance, assuming she has flight and the PCs do not. But, She is a witch that is on a revenge spree against the most wealthy folks associated with the Mulanis. If she has demonstrated success as a class warrior, she can have a potent effect on the mood of the campaign. Especially if she also uses a network of lower class folks to facilitate political upheaval in the small power vacuums that she creates. Nulara is better cast a character that causes mixed feelings (pun) amongst a smaller party. No way is she going toe to toe with a 4 person party, unless they are all non-caster/manifesters, and even then, she simply attempts to escape and get revenge than die. But in a smaller campaign where local mulani politics are a thing, Nulara can be a fearsome force.
    4 points

    Total Score:
    Originality: 3.75
    Elegance: 4.25
    Competence/power: 4
    Villainy: 4
    TOTAL: 16


    Spoiler: Shadow
    Show

    Tibbit witch? Gives cat scratch fever a whole new overtone. That play on words was meowfect.

    Originality - RACE 20% (1 point) CLASS 50% (2.5 points) FEATS, SPELLS OTHERS 30% (1.5 points) = 5 possible points

    Race: Tibbit? 1 point. Didn’t see it coming
    Class: divine magician is a nice touch: you can be an adept but not stink…mystic wanderer + master alchemist has been seen before in this competition. 2 points
    Other: surrogate spellcasting, ocular spell, split ray, divine defiance: These are great feat choices. 1.25 points
    Total: 4.25

    Build Elegance - Is it mechanically pretty? Score starts at three. Points are added and deducted subjectively.

    Multiple ACFs and feats from a bunch of books. We are cut from the same steak, my friend. This build is relatively simple, the contemplative dip is just gravy, not mechanically necessary, but a power increase with the additional tyranny domain. The only thing that I have an issue with is this: What is she a cleric of? Witches are like religious libertarians, they are unlikely to worship a boiler plate god. If she is a cleric of a concept, I would have like to have known the concept, and that way I can evaluate the domain choices better. All that aside, shadow is a tough little kitty.
    3.75 points

    Competence and Power - Can it do what the concept asks of it? Is this a powerfully-built character? Score starts at three. Points are added and deducted subjectively.

    This is another powerful witch. Like Nulara, this one is weakest at low levels, and grows steadily into a powerful lockdown beast. Between undead minions, a counter spell per turning attempt, spell thievery, and ocular split rayed curse bestowment, Sometime around level 7-9 Shadow becomes a larger than life nemesis. All of the charm powers are powerful tools of doublecrossing.
    4.5 points

    Memorable Villainy: Score starts at three. Points are added and deducted subjectively.

    What I am lacking is a sense of pathos for this witch. She is powerful as all get out, but I don’t understand her motives the way I do the other powerful witches. She’s got potions, but I don’t have a sense of what she is doing with them. Heck, she even specializes in potions, but her other tricks blow that focus out of the water. Further, it is difficult to be scared of a tibbit. Don’t get me wrong, If I was a PC in this campaign, I would offer a 1gp bounty per cat head, just to be sure that any surviving cats are likely to be the witch in disguise. This is the one category where Shadow just doesn’t shine for me. Although, if played as a crazy cat lady to the hilt, there might be comedic horror gold.
    3 points

    Total Score:
    Originality: 4.25
    Elegance: 3.75
    Competence/power: 4.5
    Villainy: 3
    TOTAL: 15.5


    Scores:
    Repugnia = 13
    Kindblood = 15.5
    Granny strange love = 16
    Griz = 14.5
    Nulara = 16
    Shadow = 15.5

    Lastly,
    Let it be known that I enjoyed all of the builds. Unfortunately the spirit of a contest is competition, so I had to choose the "best witch" build. May your halloweens be full of spirit.
    Last edited by daremetoidareyo; 2015-10-28 at 02:20 PM.

  28. - Top - End - #58
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    Telonius's Avatar

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VII: Double, Double, Toil and Trouble

    Thank you for the judging! If there are any disputes from the contestants, you can send them to me via PM and I'll post them.

    We still have a few days before the deadline, so if any other judges want to step up, there's plenty of room.

  29. - Top - End - #59
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    RogueGuy

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VII: Double, Double, Toil and Trouble

    Quote Originally Posted by Telonius View Post
    Thank you for the judging! If there are any disputes from the contestants, you can send them to me via PM and I'll post them.

    We still have a few days before the deadline, so if any other judges want to step up, there's plenty of room.
    I learned a lot about judging by actually doing it. I think that I'm going to be a better contestant in the future. Which stinks, cuz I could have totally done better with some iron chef entries. I finally learned what is meant by "use of secret ingredient." It's a little more holistic than I had thought. As a judge, unless you post your own criteria, you're kinda awash in sentiments. Mechanically sound but wandering away from core concept is hard to put into numbers. But it can totally be massaged by the right use of atmosphere and tone.

    Also, can someone doublecheck my math? I sort of fried myself out. I hope there are few disputes.

  30. - Top - End - #60
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    Deadline's Avatar

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VII: Double, Double, Toil and Trouble

    Wow! Not only was the judging prompt and solidly thought out, it also came with my favorite thing ever, tons of feedback! Thanks! I like the cut of your jib, sir.

    It was almost as much fun to read the judging as it was to read the entries.
    Awesome avatar by Iron Penguin!

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