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  1. - Top - End - #91
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    PirateCaptain

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VIII: The Weather Outside is Frightful

    Since my laptop decided to malfunction in this most opportune moment without a thought about my feelings, no entry for me this time. The villain would be a Pseudonatural Advanced Snowflake Ooze (CR+7) / Thrall of Juiblex 8 / Fiend of Possession 5. Basically, she heals back to full HP with Thrall of Juiblex Polymorph, splits herself into a legion of snowflake oozes. Then, on a large-scale, she possesses others and uses their body for Polymorphing, possesses weapons to turn them into +5 weapons, and animates piles of snow into Colossal Animated Objects.

    Then again I'm a bit uncertain as to how CR would be handled with my entry anyway, so I guess it's okay.
    Quote Originally Posted by MERC_1 View Post
    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.

  2. - Top - End - #92
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    AvatarVecna's Avatar

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VIII: The Weather Outside is Frightful

    If I get time, I'll judge, but don't wait up for me, because it don't look good for my free time over the next few weeks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Troacctid View Post
    I think we all know the obvious choice is Walker in the Waste.
    I'll remind you that in the IC Dwarven Defender round, the winner was a Sorcerer/Master of the Unseen Hand. Strange things happen all the time in these games, my friends.

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    Clearly, the obvious choice is a fire elemental pyromancer.

    Actually, it would be pretty cool if someone managed to make that into an arctic villain.
    Since the competition's already past submissions, I'm fine admitting I was working on a Young Brass Dragon Frost Mage 10/Archmage 4 that's few have ever even seen (and lived to tell of it). Anybody hearing of this winter-spreading dragon would prepare for a really old White Dragon by getting fire magic ready, and instead they're greeted by a small brass dragon with 14 class levels. Sadly, there were a couple frustrating parts that kept the build from fully coming into its own, but it was a neat idea all the same.
    Last edited by AvatarVecna; 2015-12-19 at 08:22 PM.


    Currently Recruiting WW/Mafia: Logic's Deathloop Mafia and Cazero's Graduates Of Hope's Peak - Danganronpa Mafia

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

  3. - Top - End - #93
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    Kobold

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VIII: The Weather Outside is Frightful

    I didn't get around to finishing it, cause I ended up doing a 22 hour road trip across half the county, but my low-hanging fruit would've been Frost Giant Barbarian 1 into Disciple of Thrym 10.
    Quote Originally Posted by Snowbluff View Post
    Regardless of what happened, I welcome WeaselGuy's Weasel into our little community.
    My Extended Sig!

    Weaselguy's Index of Handbooks and Guides (3.x Ed)

  4. - Top - End - #94
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VIII: The Weather Outside is Frightful

    Quote Originally Posted by WeaselGuy View Post
    I didn't get around to finishing it, cause I ended up doing a 22 hour road trip across half the county, but my low-hanging fruit would've been Frost Giant Barbarian 1 into Disciple of Thrym 10.
    *nods*

    Also considered something like this, if only because Frost Giant is a very useful base race for this particular competition for lots of reasons. Changed my mind when I got obsessed with a dragonic spellcaster immune to fire and cold alike.


    Currently Recruiting WW/Mafia: Logic's Deathloop Mafia and Cazero's Graduates Of Hope's Peak - Danganronpa Mafia

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

  5. - Top - End - #95
    Orc in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VIII: The Weather Outside is Frightful

    I have completed my first round of judging. Dispute away.

    Spoiler: The Krampus
    Show

    Originality - Is it unexpected?
    Did you surprise me? +0.5
    Greathorn Minotaur of Legend? CR 9 at level 1? You have my attention. Justicar is the icing on the cake - who expects a villain to specialize in dealing nonlethal damage? (+0.5)

    Did you use a cunning trick in your build, like a bag of your own severed hands?
    Stuffing captured enemies into a bag of holding definitely counts. (+0.5)

    Did you turn a weakness into a strength, or make use of a normally 'bad' class feature?
    Justiciar never gets used, and Nonlethal Takedown is core to this character. (+0.5)

    Can I summarize your villain concept in one sentence or less without struggling? 'Yes' is bad, here.
    Evil Burrowing Minotaur Santa. (-0.5)

    Overall: 4

    Build Elegance - Is it mechanically pretty?
    Did you fulfill the contest requirements? (Cold subtype, Frostburn use, etc.)
    The Monster of Legend subtype qualification was clever, but a few spells from Frostburn is hardly a big part of the build. Have a quarter-point. (+0.25)

    Is everything legal? Did you stay within the setting you chose?
    You used retraining, which unbalances the field: I'm going to have to give you a double-strength penalty for that. (-1)

    Is progression smooth, allowing the villain to be played at all levels?
    Even as a regular minotaur, you start at CR 6. As the build stands, you're not properly Krampusy until CR 11, and that limits campaign options with this build significantly. (-0.25)

    Did you do any cool prerequisite tricks?
    You traded away your natural Track feat and then took a level of ranger to get it back, delaying your entry to Justiciar. That's the opposite of a cool prerequisite trick. (-0.25)

    Did you avoid dips?
    Only one dip is good enough to be worth a quarter-point. (+0.25)

    Is it easy to play this villain competently, given your explanations? Can I hand this to a novice GM and expect it to work halfway decently?
    Stuff kids in a sack and run away. It's brilliantly simple, really. (+0.25)

    Overall: 2.25

    Competence and Power - Can it do what the concept asks of it? Is this a powerfully-built character?
    Minions. Every villain worth the name must have minions. Does your villain have the charisma or strength to gather servants?
    You have a few summons, but the Krampus feels much more like a lone monster than the leader of an organization. No points, but no penalty. (0)

    Personal Competence. When it comes time to throw down with a party of overpowered murderhobos, can your villain put up a good fight?

    Earth Glide saves the Krampus from a lot of potential reprisals, and his 11 HD, good con, and high saving throws make him very difficult to put down, especially if he's lugging a sack of hostages on his back. I'm a little concerned that battle with him might turn into a slogfest, but that just means the PCs will rejoice more when they finally put him down. (+0.5)

    Evil Overlord List. Does your villain avoid having 'Kryptonite' weaknesses, particularly fire vulnerability?
    Your fire protection is dispellable, and doesn't protect strongly enough to truly cover for your Cold Subtype vulnerability: furthermore, the Krampus has no way to effectively deal with flying foes, save mutual standoff via earth burrowing. If the enemy can hit him through the ground while flying, it's pretty much game over for the Krampus. (- 1)

    Overall: 2.5

    Memorable Villainy - Is this a villain with style? Will it be the BBEG the players talk about for years to come?
    Does this villain feel like a character, rather than a pile of stats? Are they complex enough to drive conflict?
    Evil Santa is interesting, but this entry feels too much like a monster and not enough like a villain. I can't envision a campaign based around hunting down the source of the mysterious disappearances: that's an adventure at best. (-0.50)

    Would I run this villain for one of my parties? Do I personally enjoy your brand of villainy?
    I like it, but I don't love it. I might run it as a one-off monster. (+0.25)

    Does this villain have a strong thematic link to cold and winter? Will the party shudder whenever it starts snowing?
    Sure, he's evil Santa, but his link to cold is somewhat tenuous otherwise. A few ice spells don't make up for his whole suite of earth-themed abilities. (-0.25)

    Does this villain inspire fear, dread, hate, or other strong emotion? Like Sauron, do they cast a presence over events?
    The Krampus plays on an age-old fear - Don't Split the Party. Being stuffed into a sack and hauled away to be feasted upon at leisure could make for an interesting session or two. (+0.5)

    Overall: 3.00

    Total Score: 11.75


    Spoiler: The White Flame of Hate
    Show

    Originality - Is it unexpected?
    Did you surprise me?
    Oh look, a white dragon, taking dragon-only prestige classes. Okay, sure, it has two heads and cleric casting, but still. You can't get much more expected than a dragon. They're in the name of the game. (-0.25)

    Did you use a cunning trick in your build, like a bag of your own severed hands?
    Flame Cincture for fire resistance is cute, but I'd be more impressed if you actually had an Essentia source. (+0.25)

    Did you turn a weakness into a strength, or make use of a normally 'bad' class feature?
    Nothing jumps out at me here. (0)

    Can I summarize your villain concept in one sentence or less without struggling? 'Yes' is bad, here.
    Two-headed White Dragon, conquering in the names of Tiamat and Iborighu. (-0.25)

    Overall: 2.75

    Build Elegance - Is it mechanically pretty?

    Did you fulfill the contest requirements? (Cold subtype, Frostburn use, etc.)
    A single feat from Frostburn and a few spells does not a strong usage make, but you do fulfill the letter of the law. You don't get points for Flame Cincture twice. (0)

    Is everything legal? Did you stay within the setting you chose?
    This dragon worships both Iborighu and Tiamat. The two heads justification is cute, so I won't give you a full penalty - but it smells of cheese nonetheless. Unfortunately, you're also intermixing HD increases and class levels, which is a strict no-no according to the DMG. (-0.5)

    Is progression smooth, allowing the villain to be played at all levels?
    You start at CR 5, which isn't great, and your saves suffer early on due to the template and your poor racial modifiers. This wouldn't have been quite so much of a problem if you had used the Elite Array at no extra CR cost, as laid out in the contest rules: therefore I'm not inclined to be lenient here. (-0.25)

    Did you do any cool prerequisite tricks?
    On one hand, you're using the feats from HD to qualify for classes. On the other hand, mixing them together like that is illegal. No points. (0)

    Did you avoid dips?
    You never take more than two levels of anything, and only once are those levels sequential. (-0.25)

    Is it easy to play this villain competently, given your explanations? Can I hand this to a novice GM and expect it to work halfway decently?
    Even if you ignore the cleric casting, this is a dragon. It is hard to play a dragon badly. (+0.25)

    Overall: 2.25

    Competence and Power - Can it do what the concept asks of it? Is this a powerfully-built character?

    Minions. Every villain worth the name must have minions. Does your villain have the charisma or strength to gather servants?
    YOU. ARE. A. DRAGON. The writing just cinches it. (+0.5)

    Personal Competence. When it comes time to throw down with a party of overpowered murderhobos, can your villain put up a good fight?
    You're a dragon, which are notoriously under-CR'd: what's more, you're a two-headed dragon with cleric spellcasting and a very nasty breath weapon. (+0.5)

    Evil Overlord List. Does your villain avoid having 'Kryptonite' weaknesses, particularly fire vulnerability?
    Flame Cincture is nice, but doesn't quite hold up at mid levels: fortunately, Cleric spellcasting shows up at CR 13 and fixes that problem with additional buffing. Taking Overcome Weakness at 19th permanently removes your vulnerability, in true Evil Overlord style. Aside from that, you are a dragon and you are a cleric. There isn't much you're vulnerable to. (+1)

    Overall: 5

    Memorable Villainy - Is this a villain with style? Will it be the BBEG the players talk about for years to come?

    Does this villain feel like a character, rather than a pile of stats? Are they complex enough to drive conflict?
    The evil plot feels generic, and from the glimpses we're given of the dragon it mostly seems angry and hungry. (-0.5)

    Would I run this villain for one of my parties? Do I personally enjoy your brand of villainy?
    No, I would not. Though this villain is powerful, I don't think it has the complexity I enjoy in my BBEGs. (-0.5)

    Does this villain have a strong thematic link to cold and winter? Will the party shudder whenever it starts snowing?
    It's a white dragon, and the plot is to conquer new lands and freeze them solid. Serviceable, but not worthy of points by itself: however, your spell selection adds to the thematics enough for me to award a quarter-point. (+0.25)

    Does this villain inspire fear, dread, hate, or other strong emotion? Like Sauron, do they cast a presence over events?
    By giving me glimpses of the world around this dragon, you've convinced me they are a real and present danger to everything nearby. While the character might be a bit shakily defined, I can definitely see this dragon being the motivating force of a campaign. (+0.5)

    Overall: 2.75

    Total Score: 12.75



    Spoiler: The Gaelic Fey
    Show

    Originality - Is it unexpected?
    Did you surprise me? +0.5/-0.5
    Yuki-Onna! I didn't expect to see this. A warning though: my own discarded build involved it, so I might be more harsh by accident simply due to higher familiarity. (+0.5)

    Did you use a cunning trick in your build, like a bag of your own severed hands?
    Nothing leapt out at me. (0)

    Did you turn a weakness into a strength, or make use of a normally 'bad' class feature?
    Not that I noticed. (0)

    Can I summarize your villain concept in one sentence or less without struggling? 'Yes' is bad, here.
    You've clearly put effort into building a complex and original villainess: I can't summarize her without losing something important. (+0.5)

    Overall: 4

    Build Elegance - Is it mechanically pretty?

    Did you fulfill the contest requirements? (Cold subtype, Frostburn use, etc.)
    Yuki-Onna is a strong 'Frostburn' component, and qualifies as Cold subtype. (+0.5)

    Is everything legal? Did you stay within the setting you chose?
    Your build table could use some formatting help, (new skill ranks separate from total, for one thing), but so far as I can tell, you're legal. (+0.5)

    Is progression smooth, allowing the villain to be played at all levels?
    You're unplayable until CR 4, and not fully online until CR 7. (-0.25)

    Did you do any cool prerequisite tricks?
    Not that I could see. (0)

    Did you avoid dips?
    You have no dips at all. (+0.25)

    Is it easy to play this villain competently, given your explanations? Can I hand this to a novice GM and expect it to work halfway decently?

    This villainess requires careful handling due to her stealthy playstyle and limited spell slots. I wouldn't be confident handing her to a novice DM. (-0.25)

    Overall: 3.75

    Competence and Power - Can it do what the concept asks of it? Is this a powerfully-built character?

    Minions. Every villain worth the name must have minions. Does your villain have the charisma or strength to gather servants?

    Your villainess seems to be actively going out of her way to avoid gaining servants: that said, this is a measure of capacity, not actual use. Given time, her Pack could be a serious threat to a party of adventurers - and she has the social skills to keep them under her thumb. (+0.50)

    Personal Competence. When it comes time to throw down with a party of overpowered murderhobos, can your villain put up a good fight?
    Your saves aren't very good, particularly your fortitude, and your low Con score hurts you significantly. In open combat, you really need to land your Paralyzing Glance on the party caster in the first round and hope they keep failing saves. You don't have enough dedicated stealth skills to work well in non-open combat, and you don't put ranks in Disguise to keep Disguise Self working in the long term. (-0.50)

    Evil Overlord List. Does your villain avoid having 'Kryptonite' weaknesses, particularly fire vulnerability?
    Your fire protection is dispellable and doesn't really keep pace with the party's casting. You can skirt this a little by looking human, but overall your villainess tends to melt too easily in open combat. Your fortitude save is poor as well, making you vulnerable to Slay Living etc. (-1)

    Overall: 2

    Memorable Villainy - Is this a villain with style? Will it be the BBEG the players talk about for years to come?

    Does this villain feel like a character, rather than a pile of stats? Are they complex enough to drive conflict?
    Definitely. (+0.5)

    Would I run this villain for one of my parties? Do I personally enjoy your brand of villainy?
    Yes, but only with modification: I would want her to actively seek out new members to add to her Pack, willing or unwilling. Since I would need to modify her, no bonus: since I care enough to do so, no penalty. (0)

    Does this villain have a strong thematic link to cold and winter? Will the party shudder whenever it starts snowing?
    This villainess is much more closely tied to dragons and fey than she is to cold, but the cloud-gathering orb suggestion is quite wintry. Unfortunately, it comes too late in the build for me to let you off without a penalty. (-0.25)

    Does this villain inspire fear, dread, hate, or other strong emotion? Like Sauron, do they cast a presence over events?
    I can't see why the party should care about this villainess: unless they need something in her territory, she'll never be an issue for them. In short, she's not enough of a threat to the world at large. (-0.5)

    Overall: 2.75

    Total Score: 12.5


    Spoiler: Helblindi
    Show

    Originality - Is it unexpected?
    Did you surprise me?
    Wait, what? Did you say Half-fiend Primordial Advanced Frost Giant Spiritspeaker? (+0.5)

    Did you use a cunning trick in your build, like a bag of your own severed hands?
    Not so far as I could tell. (0)

    Did you turn a weakness into a strength, or make use of a normally 'bad' class feature?
    Not so far as I could tell. (0)

    Can I summarize your villain concept in one sentence or less without struggling? 'Yes' is bad, here.
    Big stompy frost giant, with extra spells. (-0.5)

    Overall: 3

    Build Elegance - Is it mechanically pretty?
    Did you fulfill the contest requirements? (Cold subtype, Frostburn use, etc.)
    A single spell from Frostburn isn't winning you any points here. (0)

    Is everything legal? Did you stay within the setting you chose? +0.5/-0.5
    Looks okay, but I should not have to unpick 14 CR of templates and advancement all at once. Use the full table: it is not elegant to crunch 14 CR of advancement into a single row. (+0.25)

    Is progression smooth, allowing the villain to be played at all levels?
    Heck no. CR 14 at minimum. (-0.25)

    Did you do any cool prerequisite tricks?
    Not that I can see. (0)

    Did you avoid dips?
    You managed to fit a dip into your six remaining levels, and that huge template stack is hardly elegant. (-0.25)

    Is it easy to play this villain competently, given your explanations? Can I hand this to a novice GM and expect it to work halfway decently?

    It stomps! It casts! It summons minions! It's pretty easy to run however you like. (+0.25)

    Overall: 3

    Competence and Power - Can it do what the concept asks of it? Is this a powerfully-built character?
    Minions. Every villain worth the name must have minions. Does your villain have the charisma or strength to gather servants?*

    Summoned servants and a call-out in the backstory/mention in the build. (+0.5)

    Personal Competence. When it comes time to throw down with a party of overpowered murderhobos, can your villain put up a good fight?

    With all those SLAs and a bunch of Giant hit dice, Helblindi is no pushover. (+0.5)

    Evil Overlord List. Does your villain avoid having 'Kryptonite' weaknesses, particularly fire vulnerability?

    Half-fiend grants Resist Fire 10, which is nice, but is hardly enough to really shore up your vulnerability at high levels. You don't start preparing Protection from Energy until level 18. The mailman definitely has a package full of fire damage for you. (-1)

    Overall: 3

    Memorable Villainy - Is this a villain with style? Will it be the BBEG the players talk about for years to come?

    Does this villain feel like a character, rather than a pile of stats? Are they complex enough to drive conflict?
    Uh… He's a frost giant raid leader. That's about it. (-0.5)

    Would I run this villain for one of my parties? Do I*personally*enjoy your brand of villainy?
    Nope. He's bland, and too high-level to see continued presence as a recurring force. (-0.5)

    Does this villain have a strong thematic link to cold and winter? Will the party shudder whenever it starts snowing?
    He's a frost giant, and he wants to spread cold across the world. No points off, but this doesn't get you anything, either. (0)

    Does this villain inspire fear, dread, hate, or other strong emotion? Like Sauron, do they cast a presence over events?
    He's attacking things, so he could serve as a plot, but I don't have any real sense of his character or the effect he's having on the world. (0)

    Overall: 2

    Total: 11


    Spoiler: Lady Lenadel Sere
    Show

    Originality - Is it unexpected?
    Did you surprise me? +0.5/-0.5
    Okay, Neanderthal I maybe expected. A Bard/Warlock? Okay, perhaps. Nothing made me go 'what', but neither was it boring. No adjustment. (0)

    Did you use a cunning trick in your build, like a bag of your own severed hands?
    I'm surprised by the general lack of Mantles around here. You get a bonus as the only one to take the obvious option for total fire immunity. (+0.5)

    Did you turn a weakness into a strength, or make use of a normally 'bad' class feature?
    Not that I noticed. (0)

    Can I summarize your villain concept in one sentence or less without struggling? 'Yes' is bad, here.
    Heck no. (+0.5)

    Overall: 4

    Build Elegance - Is it mechanically pretty?
    Did you fulfill the contest requirements? (Cold subtype, Frostburn use, etc.)
    The Neanderthal race and Icechucker weapon were more Frostburn than many bothered with. (+0.25)

    Is everything legal? Did you stay within the setting you chose?
    I don't understand how you acquire the Track feat at level 2. (-0.5)

    Is progression smooth, allowing the villain to be played at all levels?
    "Alsanel" is the only character presented without racial HD or a CR adjustment. That's worth points. (+0.25)

    Did you do any cool prerequisite tricks?
    Not that I can see. (0)

    Did you avoid dips?
    Zero dips. (+0.25)

    Is it easy to play this villain competently, given your explanations? Can I hand this to a novice GM and expect it to work halfway decently?
    This character definitely depends on a good GM to run well, but the supplied tactics and plots sections keep her from being overwhelming. No points, but no penalty. (0)

    Overall: 3.25

    Competence and Power - Can it do what the concept asks of it? Is this a powerfully-built character?
    Minions. Every villain worth the name must have minions. Does your villain have the charisma or strength to gather servants?*

    You illustrated a step-by-step plan for national domination, and took Leadership. You win this one hands-down. (+0.5)

    +0.5/-0.5: Personal Competence. When it comes time to throw down with a party of overpowered murderhobos, can your villain put up a good fight?

    Alsanel is fairly obviously focussed on social plots and subterfuge, rather than direct combat, and a single Fort-targeted save-or-die is likely to put her down for the count. (-0.5)

    +1/-1: Evil Overlord List. Does your villain avoid having 'Kryptonite' weaknesses, particularly fire vulnerability?
    Mantle of the Fiery Soul gives total fire immunity. Not bad: however, that terrible Fortitude save wipes out your gains entirely. (0)

    Overall: 3

    Memorable Villainy - Is this a villain with style? Will it be the BBEG the players talk about for years to come?
    Does this villain feel like a character, rather than a pile of stats? Are they complex enough to drive conflict?
    Yes, definitely. (+0.5)

    Would I run this villain for one of my parties? Do I*personally*enjoy your brand of villainy?
    In a heartbeat. (+0.5)

    Does this villain have a strong thematic link to cold and winter? Will the party shudder whenever it starts snowing?
    She's driven by an urgent need to escape from the cold, and bring her people with her. As such, cold is definitely important to her character. The Orb of Storms is enough to get you the rest of the marks in this category. (+0.5)

    Does this villain inspire fear, dread, hate, or other strong emotion? Like Sauron, do they cast a presence over events?
    In my opinion, the presence of this villainess outstrips any other presented in this round. If the party doesn't stop her, she will be queen. (+0.5)

    Overall: 5.00

    Total Score: 15.25

  6. - Top - End - #96
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Telonius's Avatar

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VIII: The Weather Outside is Frightful

    Thanks for the judging, Lagren! My inbox is ready for any disputes.


    Oh, nearly forgot a discarded build idea - an "Evil Santa" Midgard Dwarf, who uses his crafting abilities (and some Scry effects - knows when you've been bad or good) to spread tyranny over the Frostfell. Discarded when I noticed he didn't have the [Cold] subtype, and couldn't figure a good reason for him to gain it.

  7. - Top - End - #97
    Orc in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VIII: The Weather Outside is Frightful

    I had two or three build concepts that fought with each other, and ended up finishing none of them.

    Spoiler: Concepts
    Show

    The Burned Woman:
    An adventuress who burned to death in a tundra forest fire, then rose as a shade determined to destroy her killer. By which she means 'all the fire in the world.' Imix-Blooded Silveraith Yuki-Onna, Bard 1/Stormsinger 6/Sublime Chord 2/ Stormsinger +4. Concentration-duration Control Winds at CR 13, with a caster level high enough to make a constant blizzard: her incorporeality and cold subtype protects her from the effects of the weather, as well as letting her be a much better Yuki-Onna than the base race allows. Developed this one the most, but ran out of time.

    The Frozen Master:
    Cold Element Elan Psion/Crystal Master. Obsessed with ice, gradually crystallizes his entire body over the course of his career by implanting gemstones into himself. Didn't have a strong enough Frostburn component for me.

    And then there was a third, but I'm saving it for another contest because I think the trick is generally applicable.

  8. - Top - End - #98
    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VIII: The Weather Outside is Frightful

    Dispute for the White Flame of Hate:

    Thanks a lot for judging, even more for doing it so quickly :-)
    Only 2 remarks on my side :

    Is everything legal? Did you stay within the setting you chose?
    This dragon worships both Iborighu and Tiamat. The two heads justification is cute, so I won't give you a full penalty - but it smells of cheese nonetheless. Unfortunately, you're also intermixing HD increases and class levels, which is a strict no-no according to the DMG. (-0.5)
    I followed rules for dragons as player characters from Draconomicon - it’s true I did not think there would be different rules for NPCs.

    Is progression smooth, allowing the villain to be played at all levels?
    You start at CR 5, which isn't great, and your saves suffer early on due to the template and your poor racial modifiers. This wouldn't have been quite so much of a problem if you had used the Elite Array at no extra CR cost, as laid out in the contest rules: therefore I'm not inclined to be lenient here. (-0.25)
    Ah, you found a typo there : it’s written “standard array” in the Abilities section, but as this is +4 +4 +2 +2 +0 -2 it’s really the Elite Array. I wonder what passed in my head to write standard array, my bad !

  9. - Top - End - #99
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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VIII: The Weather Outside is Frightful

    Response to White Flame of Hate's Disputes:

    Dispute 1:
    1 CR is not equivalent to 1 LA, so I'm going to hold firm on this one.

    Dispute 2:
    On review, this appears to be correct. +0.25.

    Overall adjustment: +0.25

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VIII: The Weather Outside is Frightful

    Dispute from Helblindi Ymirson:
    While frost giant is in core, the spiritspeaker was presented in Frostburn, page 134-135. There are attribute differences, as well as all the SLAs. I realize it's not much, but I did use more than a single spell from Frostburn.

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VIII: The Weather Outside is Frightful

    Quote Originally Posted by Telonius View Post
    Dispute from Helblindi Ymirson:
    Whoops. That's enough to get a quarter-point, I think. +0.25

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VIII: The Weather Outside is Frightful

    From Krampus:

    Thanks for the swift judging Lagren! I just have a couple of things (only one dispute, the rest are observations/clarifications):

    Quote Originally Posted by Lagren View Post
    Build Elegance - Is it mechanically pretty?
    Did you fulfill the contest requirements? (Cold subtype, Frostburn use, etc.)
    The Monster of Legend subtype qualification was clever, but a few spells from Frostburn is hardly a big part of the build. Have a quarter-point. (+0.25)
    Well, I wanted to use a Yeti as the base creature, but they don't have horns, and every depiction of Krampus shows him with Horns (and usually cloven hooves), which the minotaur fit better. But yeah, I only managed to work in a few spells.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lagren View Post
    Is everything legal? Did you stay within the setting you chose?
    You used retraining, which unbalances the field: I'm going to have to give you a double-strength penalty for that. (-1)
    I was all set to argue with you about penalizing me for something in my variations section, but I see that I didn't put that in the variations, and instead used it in the main build. Still, could you clarify why feat retraining is so harshly penalized under your rubric? It's an option available in the DMGII, so I'm a bit confused on why you hit it hard.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lagren View Post
    Is progression smooth, allowing the villain to be played at all levels?
    Even as a regular minotaur, you start at CR 6. As the build stands, you're not properly Krampusy until CR 11, and that limits campaign options with this build significantly. (-0.25)
    At CR 9, Krampus has all of his grapplemancy abilities except for Hog-tie, and can still easily take a -4 penalty to hit for non-lethal damage. The big stand out at that CR is the Scorpion's Grasp feat that works like a better version of Improved Grab. That means he can be used as low as APL 5, as a very difficult encounter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lagren View Post
    Did you do any cool prerequisite tricks?
    You traded away your natural Track feat and then took a level of ranger to get it back, delaying your entry to Justiciar. That's the opposite of a cool prerequisite trick. (-0.25)
    This one is my only dispute. I'm not sure what you mean by "natural Track feat". Frustratingly enough, Minotaurs don't get Track as a bonus feat, meaning that their "Natural Cunning" ability is pointless. The sample Minotaur (and Greathorn variety), both take Track as one of the feats they get every 3HD (just like all characters and creatures). It's not any more "natural" than Power Attack or Great Fortitude. If they got Track as a bonus feat, then I could have skipped the ranger level entirely. The alternative is to leave Scorpion's Grasp until later in the build (15 HD), which reduces his ability to be played competently at CR 9.

    Thanks again for judging!

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VIII: The Weather Outside is Frightful

    From Lady Lenadel Sere:

    Dear Lagren:

    I'm not going to dispute that she shouldn't have Track. In fact, I'm not sure why she does. I think I was planning a flavorful dip into Ranger, and forgot to remove the bonus feat?

    Thanks for the high score, and thanks even more for the compliments! A head start is nice, but it's so much more meaningful to hear that the judge would like to run the villain despite us having different tastes in Big Bads. (I personally like a mastermind whose influence isn't steeped in personal power.)
    I knew I wasn't going to win the competition through making a min-maxy villain, so I poured all the effort into flavor that I could. I honestly expected to lose a few points due to not really being villainous until several levels in and not hitting her stride until about halfway through, but I hadn't realized how many would be starting as non-humanoids.

    Thanks for judging, and for doing so so quickly!

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VIII: The Weather Outside is Frightful

    Quote Originally Posted by Krampus
    I was all set to argue with you about penalizing me for something in my variations section, but I see that I didn't put that in the variations, and instead used it in the main build. Still, could you clarify why feat retraining is so harshly penalized under your rubric? It's an option available in the DMGII, so I'm a bit confused on why you hit it hard.
    Feat retraining is an optional subsystem that the DM has to choose to adopt, so it makes the build significantly less portable across tables: furthermore, it opens up a huge number of shenanigans, such as taking Education at 1st level to get into a prestige class, then retraining Education once the needed skill ranks have been gained elsewhere. I have no problem with those shenanigans themselves, but it was not clear that those options were on the table: therefore, by default, I assume the retraining subsystem is not in use for this contest. If the Chair would like to contravene me on the allowability of retraining, I'll give you back a half-point. (But not a full point, due to the portability issue.)

    At CR 9, Krampus has all of his grapplemancy abilities except for Hog-tie, and can still easily take a -4 penalty to hit for non-lethal damage. The big stand out at that CR is the Scorpion's Grasp feat that works like a better version of Improved Grab. That means he can be used as low as APL 5, as a very difficult encounter.
    Hmm. Your points are good, but APL 5 is still higher than I'd prefer to see, and I'm penalizing builds with less online-time than yours just as badly. No adjustment: be glad I didn't go and remove penalties I gave to other builds.

    I'm not sure what you mean by "natural Track feat". Frustratingly enough, Minotaurs don't get Track as a bonus feat, meaning that their "Natural Cunning" ability is pointless. The sample Minotaur (and Greathorn variety), both take Track as one of the feats they get every 3HD (just like all characters and creatures). It's not any more "natural" than Power Attack or Great Fortitude. If they got Track as a bonus feat, then I could have skipped the ranger level entirely. The alternative is to leave Scorpion's Grasp until later in the build (15 HD), which reduces his ability to be played competently at CR 9.
    ... Wow, okay. You are correct, the incompetence is indeed Wizards', not yours. +0.25.

    Overall Adjustment: +0.25, or +0.75 if the Chair rules Retraining as legal for this contest round.


    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Lenadel Sere
    Dear Lagren:

    I'm not going to dispute that she shouldn't have Track. In fact, I'm not sure why she does. I think I was planning a flavorful dip into Ranger, and forgot to remove the bonus feat?

    Thanks for the high score, and thanks even more for the compliments! A head start is nice, but it's so much more meaningful to hear that the judge would like to run the villain despite us having different tastes in Big Bads. (I personally like a mastermind whose influence isn't steeped in personal power.)
    I knew I wasn't going to win the competition through making a min-maxy villain, so I poured all the effort into flavor that I could. I honestly expected to lose a few points due to not really being villainous until several levels in and not hitting her stride until about halfway through, but I hadn't realized how many would be starting as non-humanoids.

    Thanks for judging, and for doing so so quickly!
    You're welcome- but remember, double-check your builds before submission!

    I'm definitely of the school that a good villain is more than their stats: it doesn't matter exactly what the source of power and presence is to me, just so long as the villain has it. Some amount of personal competence is necessary so that the villain is taken seriously, but puppetmasters can be equally intriguing as barbarian warlords. Look at David Xanatos, the Joker, and Darth Vader: They're all very different villains from each other, but they share the presence and complexity of character that makes their stories worth telling.
    Last edited by Lagren; 2015-12-21 at 04:06 PM.

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VIII: The Weather Outside is Frightful

    Hey Lagren, once you've finished up with the dispute cycle, would you mind going back to your scoring post and editing your scores to reflect any adjustments? Past experience in other contests has shown that this makes it easy to put together the final rankings table. It also made it easier on OMG_PONIES when he was compiling all the Iron Chef rounds up, but unless we get someone who wants to archive the Villains of this and past contests, that's less of a concern.
    Awesome avatar by Iron Penguin!

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VIII: The Weather Outside is Frightful

    Quote Originally Posted by Deadline View Post
    Hey Lagren, once you've finished up with the dispute cycle, would you mind going back to your scoring post and editing your scores to reflect any adjustments? Past experience in other contests has shown that this makes it easy to put together the final rankings table. It also made it easier on OMG_PONIES when he was compiling all the Iron Chef rounds up, but unless we get someone who wants to archive the Villains of this and past contests, that's less of a concern.
    Yep, I'll do that as soon as the dispute cycle's done with.

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VIII: The Weather Outside is Frightful

    Quote Originally Posted by Lagren View Post
    Overall Adjustment: +0.25, or +0.75 if the Chair rules Retraining as legal for this contest round.
    As long as the feat in the monster's statblock is gained through hitdice, and is not a Racial [B] bonus feat (or otherwise gotten through Sp, Su, or Ex abilities, etc), it's fine to choose a different one.

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VIII: The Weather Outside is Frightful

    Quote Originally Posted by Telonius View Post
    As long as the feat in the monster's statblock is gained through hitdice, and is not a Racial [B] bonus feat (or otherwise gotten through Sp, Su, or Ex abilities, etc), it's fine to choose a different one.
    I have no issue with this: this was liberally used by all the contestants. What I have an issue with is taking an already-selected feat and then retraining it.

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VIII: The Weather Outside is Frightful

    3 more judgements to process. I should finish up today.

    Going forward I think it may be worth mentioning that contestants should compose 2 or 3 sentences on the theme of "Adventure Hooks." The reason that I bring it up is because, as a judge, you are limited to my creativity on how to get the PCs involved with your villain. Sometimes you really flesh out the character and it is easy to drag and drop into a campaign. Sometimes you just give me a bundle of stats with a neat combo, and having an adventure hook directly addressed will help the judge set the scene into which those abilities are at maximum effectiveness. I didn't dock anyone points on this, but having terrain and environment be directly addressed limits the amount of artistic license I have to take as a judge. Just a suggestion, but I would appreciate this consideration more than flavor text.

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VIII: The Weather Outside is Frightful

    Spoiler: Krampus
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    Originality: 3.5
    The anti-Saint Nicholas, in a villainous competition about winter, with an end date near christmas. It ain’t surprising, but it’s definitely appropriate. Krampus as a minotaur is an interesting take, but he is a creature of legend. There aren’t too many cunning tricks in this build, but I do really enjoy how you used justiciar to make a villain. Can you imagine if he had some sort of scrying ability? Upon further reflection, this is a great homage to krampus. It’s a shame that you only get 10 levels of him acting as a krampus like being, but that is D&D’s fault. +.5

    Elegance: 3.
    The villain is playable for 10 levels, and is never particularly deadly, but his villainy isn’t predicated on bodycount. This is a bit late. (-.25).

    Retraining? On a villain’s build? -.25 points. I am conflicted because you didn’t need to get practiced spell caster for anything, it was just to help with casting progression against antagonistic child-protectors, and you had a duplicate improved grapple situation that seemed like a waste. (Most kids don’t need a higher level caster for spells to affect them…) PCs can defeat him not just through direct combat, but exonerating the naughty children too. I like the versatility of fiendish legacy on this guy. Scorpion’s grasp, improved grapple, and hogtie all work together pretty nicely. And for the purpose of not killing children that you kidnap. +.5.

    Competence and Power: 3.25
    Krampus can more than handle the abduction of children. He has very limited casting. And has most of his resources devoted towards grappling. But towards that end his is very capable, Size bonii, grapple bonii, etc. I would have liked so see mention of adamantine manacles, but that is just me anticipating that PCs will try to break through their lashings. Krampus works alone, so no deduction based on minions. Krampus very competent at kidnapping of creatures smaller than himself (+.5). Krampus is an appropriate fight for 4 tier 3 PCs of the correct CR. The reliance on grappling make him suffer in the action economy against a well organized party, especially if he is blowing turns summoning ice beasts or setting up protection from energy or resistance. (-.25) If he incapacitates 1 or 2 PCs early though, the fight can be epic. I can see PCs hating to engage this villain. Especially if the villain is played as non-murderous. Leaving PCs tied up in the town square for the villagers to discover seems like a great way to make this guy memorable. The Krampus is at max power at CR 15. His effectiveness goes down as the CR gets closer to level 20.

    Memorable Villainy: 3.5
    This character has ethos and pathos. He can challenge an un-optimized party, especially if he gets a surprise round. Played dead serious, the krampus would be a blast to run against the party. Especially if the stakes are strange. Maybe he abducted a brass dragon wyrmling, or maybe he cleaned out the kobold warrens. This villain is memorable if you employ horror techniques during the reveal, and then you play him to win. The krampus, as built here, could also be a monster of the week. It really depends on the DM. If this character is treated as a force of nature rather than a weird monster, it really has the ability to be a fantastic element for a campaign. +.5 There is an aspect of karma that the krampus delivers that thematically link him to christmas as a disincentive to trespass cultural norms (anti-santa who delivers punishments instead of gifts) as well as a renewal aspect with him purging the bad for the new year. Krampus is well executed +.5


    Total: 13.25

    Spoiler: Dartakaussirixen
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    Originality: 4
    Stuff that wasn’t near my radar: Two headed white dragon: +.05, Two different evil patron deities +.05. Packing extra HD per unit CR is a nice little trick too. He’s wintry, but way more dragon-y.

    Elegance: 2.5
    Let’s start with the easy stuff: Suppress weakness is nice way to work around for fire vulnerability. +.25. You scratched all of the itches necessary to qualify for the competition. Inelegant things: Two patron deities, one per each head (so separate sentiences). The domain access isn’t an issue, because you can be a cleric of a concept and just get the domains that you desire. The patron deities then are used to qualify for the fluff “patron deity” requirements for feats and prestige classes. -.5. Some people take patron deity fluff really seriously, as there are few tampers on cleric based power. Personally, I love this approach, but it wouldn’t fly at a simple majority of tables. Another thing that affects you is this RAW from chosen of iborighu:
    “If you ever lose favor with Iborighu, or change your patron deity to another deity, you lose all benefits of this feat but your unusual skin color and eye color remain. You do not gain a replacement feat. If you later return to Iborighu's faithful and receive an atonement spell, you regain the benefi ts of the feat.” Whether or not one head is faithful, the full entity of the white dragon is not being “faithful” so unless a god is willing to only accept one head’s worship…unless of course, your in campaign argument is that the entire second head is a gift from iborighu…And then there is the dippage: you collect class features from dragon only prestige classes that are appropriate mechanical choices, while iborighu is ignored. -.25

    Power: 3.75
    Minions: You have no mechanical means of acquiring or pressing minions (other than summons) into service. I have decided not to penalize a build for lack of minions, so you didn’t lose anything. You can control and rebuke undead and cold creatures. I wish you simply mentioned his means of accumulating these types of creatures for use as cronies. I’m just assuming them as passive abilities and not an ingredient in a preferred tactic.
    Competence: This villain has breath weapons galore. The problem is that this villain will be difficult to play as intelligently as other dragons, due to conflicts and bickering between the heads with different religious fanaticism. The dual breath weapons is a great touch. Flame cincture is a great way to reflect fire damage. +.25. This challenge is a tough challenge across the levels that PCs should encounter them. Well done. +.25
    Evil Overlord: This two headed white dragon has the skeletal structure to build a great evil overlord. Have him take over a den of winter wolves or other crazy cold based enemies and command them to do his bidding. +.25

    Memorable villainy: 2.5
    I need a motive. I can’t tell what to do with this character other than have him hatch and present a weird fight to the PCs who think nothing of killing baby dragons just because they are evil xp sacks. Especially with the incarnum being baked into the dish early, this build has a fun little reversal built into it. The lack of driving desire or explanation of personality or even detailed tactics has lead to an unfortunate situation where points are being docked from a fun build :(. -.5. I would love to run this for my PCs, if only I knew more about the character behind the stats. White dragons are typically associated with cold and winter, but they are more “dragon” than “force of nature: winter.” This, paired with a lack of fleshed out driving ambition, make it difficult to evaluate the evil overlordiness of this villain. As I read it, if I played this guy to the max of my DMing abilities, it will go down with the PCs as “the time we killed a two headed white dragon that was immune to fire.”


    Total 12.5

    Spoiler: Gealghaireach
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    Originality: 3.5
    Yuki no Onna: spirit shaman into dracolyte. +.25. 8th level casting, white dragon cohort. Can go incorporeal at ninth level. But many of the spirit shaman class abilities beyond spell casting are wasted…unless the PCs have a number of characters that interface with “spirits”. Dracolyte is very unanticipated, and the domination domain is an excellent bonus to her abilities, although late game, she is going to need to debuff some will saves. I don’t really personally enjoy the fey/dragon interface on display here, but it is original, and can really make for some neat rippling subplots by incorporation of fey politics into the situation. +.25

    Elegance: 3.5
    So far as I can tell, everything looks legal. You fulfilled all the contest requirements. The only gripe I have is using spells to cover fire resistance, but I think that my personal anti-magic bias is the problem here. This is a power liability in that it eats a spell casting action that could be better spent destroying her nemesis. With all that in mind, no points are lost. I’m looking for combos, and I only found one that I really like: Ghost warrior (level 6 spirit shaman) plus lose the way (yuki no ona), + incorporeality, and you can make groups get quite lost if they rely on a single navigator. Plus some druid spell casting, this combo becomes quite meddlesome, although the PC death by exposure would be quite overwhelming. Depending on how underhanded your PCs are, this might spell the biggest challenge of the gaming session. No “dips” (+.25), her character stays on point. Having your spirit guide take over your enhanced summons while you either summon more or do other concentration based things is a nice touch. +.25. You got 16 levels to work with, 13 of which have her flavor accounted for. Considering that the earliest a build can have mechanics match flavor in 3.5 is typically between level 5-7, you points lost.


    Power: 2.75
    Like any caster, this creature’s power scales quadratically. It’s weakest at low levels, and clever use of spells can transform her into a pseudo batman. A wyrmling isn’t exactly a powerful addition to her abilities at later levels and sort of makes a huge liability for her. She has the ability to wild empathy some animal minions to do her bidding, and she can acquire minions, it’s just that her standards are quite high. I wish that you either pumped your disguise or your stealth, because your direct combat skills are limited, and your survival of up front, violent, confrontations, some of which you seek out, is very much a gamble. You aren’t packing a ton of high HP, and paralysis is relatively treatable. (-.5). I would run this villain in the mid levels, up to around CR 15, but I would just ignore the dragon stuff and change the feats around to make her a bit more stealthilicious.


    Memorable Villainy: 3
    This is the category that loses me. This villain seems like a side quest derail. An obstacle on the way to get a mcguffin. And her story doesn’t even pack enough emotional gravitas to compel me to share it and build a character arc around it. She feels like a real character, and not a pile of stats. +.25. I would use her, but I would make some changes. She is definitely wintry, even incorporating loneliness as a an associated wintry concept. +.25. But she definitely isn’t great villain material in my opinion. There is a narrative oomph that is missing in her, and she compels me to mild sadness followed by practical considerations for killing her. -.5.


    TOTAL: 12.75

    Spoiler: Helblindi Ymirson
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    Originality: 2.75
    Frost giant, -.25 half fiend, -.25, abjurant champion + Invisible minionmancing buff-bot? +.25.


    Elegance: 2.75
    All of the requirements satisfied. The progression is very unsmooth. You have only 6 levels with this villain. This is a big limitation. -.5. Besides that everything works. He can be played as described easily.

    Power: 4
    This is a fun villain. 1 subterfuge-y trick (invisibility), plus debuffs, plus summons, plus 3 walls of stone + physical attacks. +1 for minions and personal competence in combat situations. No points for overlordiness.

    Memorable Villainy: 3.5
    This is a devious villain. If you pitch him as a ravaging warlord berserker type, and then have the PCs encounter a giant that is this crafty, you might be able to catch them unawares. This build relies quite a bit on invisibility to work, so once that tactic is blown, the fight is much more direct. I like him a lot. However, his resistance to fire isn’t effective at the levels at which PCs will be encountering him. This is a villain that you toss at PCs who are more than 4 levels below, because he is rendered kind of inert by low level magics. Summons are subject to protection from evil, see invisibility is simple. So, he feels like a barbarian frost giant leader that I would play agains the PCs +.5, but he isn’t maxing out cold or winter as his essential features, and he could be an overlord. But he also could be overthrown.


    TOTAL: 13

    Spoiler: Lady Lenadel Sere
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    Originality: 3.25
    Bard/warlock ok. Neanderthal ok. Firetype? weird +.25 Antipodal split personality bard/warlock with leadership.

    Elegance: 3.0
    This entire build seems like the snowballed growth of trying to get antipodal energy type resistances onto a bard with the leadership feat. Legal build, although the majority of the strength of this villain is going to be what her leadership feat musters up. As far as the prohibition against misunderstood ice princesses, you toe the line. Misunderstood ice magistrate with unexpected naughty type still runs into the same flaws as any narrative that includes a misunderstood ice princess. -.25. This was an explicit instruction. You only get 12 or 13 levels of villainy out of this character, as her transition to leadership is where her threat level increases. You can play this villain by following the instructions, that is for sure. +.25.

    Power: 3.5
    Minions: +.5, and lots of them. Thanks, leadership. Personal power: very little -.5, We are talking about a face bard, one on one with a party of 4, they will falter in ways that none of the other builds in this contest would. Overlordiness +.5. This character has access to wealth way beyond level, all of the power of the leadership feat, plus detailed instructions on how to build her kingdoms.

    Memorable Villainy: 2.25
    This is definitely a full spectrum character, although full villainy doesn’t occur until mid levels. I would totally run a traumatized bard warlock with leadership as a villain. I don’t know if this particular one stands out against similar builds on that frame. This character isn’t too thematically tied to winter, at least not mechanically -.5 This build isn’t particularly awe inspiring, as most of the text is associated with understanding her mental states to better understand her. Maybe, as a bandit leader or a humanoid chieftan, she could frustrate the PCs. But the way this whole thing is constructed, the only way to get the full effect is to include her in the party and then she could make a fine face-heel turn, but pulling it off, in a real campaign would require so many railroad tracks. -.25.


    TOTAL: 12

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VIII: The Weather Outside is Frightful

    Quote Originally Posted by Lagren View Post
    I have no issue with this: this was liberally used by all the contestants. What I have an issue with is taking an already-selected feat and then retraining it.
    Sorry for the delay; I'd been traveling. Retraining an already-selected feat would be grounds for reduction, at the individual judges' discretion.

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VIII: The Weather Outside is Frightful

    Spoiler: Judging
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by daremetoidareyo View Post
    Spoiler: Krampus
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    Originality: 3.5
    The anti-Saint Nicholas, in a villainous competition about winter, with an end date near christmas. It ain’t surprising, but it’s definitely appropriate. Krampus as a minotaur is an interesting take, but he is a creature of legend. There aren’t too many cunning tricks in this build, but I do really enjoy how you used justiciar to make a villain. Can you imagine if he had some sort of scrying ability? Upon further reflection, this is a great homage to krampus. It’s a shame that you only get 10 levels of him acting as a krampus like being, but that is D&D’s fault. +.5

    Elegance: 3.
    The villain is playable for 10 levels, and is never particularly deadly, but his villainy isn’t predicated on bodycount. This is a bit late. (-.25).

    Retraining? On a villain’s build? -.25 points. I am conflicted because you didn’t need to get practiced spell caster for anything, it was just to help with casting progression against antagonistic child-protectors, and you had a duplicate improved grapple situation that seemed like a waste. (Most kids don’t need a higher level caster for spells to affect them…) PCs can defeat him not just through direct combat, but exonerating the naughty children too. I like the versatility of fiendish legacy on this guy. Scorpion’s grasp, improved grapple, and hogtie all work together pretty nicely. And for the purpose of not killing children that you kidnap. +.5.

    Competence and Power: 3.25
    Krampus can more than handle the abduction of children. He has very limited casting. And has most of his resources devoted towards grappling. But towards that end his is very capable, Size bonii, grapple bonii, etc. I would have liked so see mention of adamantine manacles, but that is just me anticipating that PCs will try to break through their lashings. Krampus works alone, so no deduction based on minions. Krampus very competent at kidnapping of creatures smaller than himself (+.5). Krampus is an appropriate fight for 4 tier 3 PCs of the correct CR. The reliance on grappling make him suffer in the action economy against a well organized party, especially if he is blowing turns summoning ice beasts or setting up protection from energy or resistance. (-.25) If he incapacitates 1 or 2 PCs early though, the fight can be epic. I can see PCs hating to engage this villain. Especially if the villain is played as non-murderous. Leaving PCs tied up in the town square for the villagers to discover seems like a great way to make this guy memorable. The Krampus is at max power at CR 15. His effectiveness goes down as the CR gets closer to level 20.

    Memorable Villainy: 3.5
    This character has ethos and pathos. He can challenge an un-optimized party, especially if he gets a surprise round. Played dead serious, the krampus would be a blast to run against the party. Especially if the stakes are strange. Maybe he abducted a brass dragon wyrmling, or maybe he cleaned out the kobold warrens. This villain is memorable if you employ horror techniques during the reveal, and then you play him to win. The krampus, as built here, could also be a monster of the week. It really depends on the DM. If this character is treated as a force of nature rather than a weird monster, it really has the ability to be a fantastic element for a campaign. +.5 There is an aspect of karma that the krampus delivers that thematically link him to christmas as a disincentive to trespass cultural norms (anti-santa who delivers punishments instead of gifts) as well as a renewal aspect with him purging the bad for the new year. Krampus is well executed +.5


    Total: 13.25

    Spoiler: Dartakaussirixen
    Show

    Originality: 4
    Stuff that wasn’t near my radar: Two headed white dragon: +.05, Two different evil patron deities +.05. Packing extra HD per unit CR is a nice little trick too. He’s wintry, but way more dragon-y.

    Elegance: 2.5
    Let’s start with the easy stuff: Suppress weakness is nice way to work around for fire vulnerability. +.25. You scratched all of the itches necessary to qualify for the competition. Inelegant things: Two patron deities, one per each head (so separate sentiences). The domain access isn’t an issue, because you can be a cleric of a concept and just get the domains that you desire. The patron deities then are used to qualify for the fluff “patron deity” requirements for feats and prestige classes. -.5. Some people take patron deity fluff really seriously, as there are few tampers on cleric based power. Personally, I love this approach, but it wouldn’t fly at a simple majority of tables. Another thing that affects you is this RAW from chosen of iborighu:
    “If you ever lose favor with Iborighu, or change your patron deity to another deity, you lose all benefits of this feat but your unusual skin color and eye color remain. You do not gain a replacement feat. If you later return to Iborighu's faithful and receive an atonement spell, you regain the benefi ts of the feat.” Whether or not one head is faithful, the full entity of the white dragon is not being “faithful” so unless a god is willing to only accept one head’s worship…unless of course, your in campaign argument is that the entire second head is a gift from iborighu…And then there is the dippage: you collect class features from dragon only prestige classes that are appropriate mechanical choices, while iborighu is ignored. -.25

    Power: 3.75
    Minions: You have no mechanical means of acquiring or pressing minions (other than summons) into service. I have decided not to penalize a build for lack of minions, so you didn’t lose anything. You can control and rebuke undead and cold creatures. I wish you simply mentioned his means of accumulating these types of creatures for use as cronies. I’m just assuming them as passive abilities and not an ingredient in a preferred tactic.
    Competence: This villain has breath weapons galore. The problem is that this villain will be difficult to play as intelligently as other dragons, due to conflicts and bickering between the heads with different religious fanaticism. The dual breath weapons is a great touch. Flame cincture is a great way to reflect fire damage. +.25. This challenge is a tough challenge across the levels that PCs should encounter them. Well done. +.25
    Evil Overlord: This two headed white dragon has the skeletal structure to build a great evil overlord. Have him take over a den of winter wolves or other crazy cold based enemies and command them to do his bidding. +.25

    Memorable villainy: 2.5
    I need a motive. I can’t tell what to do with this character other than have him hatch and present a weird fight to the PCs who think nothing of killing baby dragons just because they are evil xp sacks. Especially with the incarnum being baked into the dish early, this build has a fun little reversal built into it. The lack of driving desire or explanation of personality or even detailed tactics has lead to an unfortunate situation where points are being docked from a fun build :(. -.5. I would love to run this for my PCs, if only I knew more about the character behind the stats. White dragons are typically associated with cold and winter, but they are more “dragon” than “force of nature: winter.” This, paired with a lack of fleshed out driving ambition, make it difficult to evaluate the evil overlordiness of this villain. As I read it, if I played this guy to the max of my DMing abilities, it will go down with the PCs as “the time we killed a two headed white dragon that was immune to fire.”


    Total 12.5

    Spoiler: Gealghaireach
    Show


    Originality: 3.5
    Yuki no Onna: spirit shaman into dracolyte. +.25. 8th level casting, white dragon cohort. Can go incorporeal at ninth level. But many of the spirit shaman class abilities beyond spell casting are wasted…unless the PCs have a number of characters that interface with “spirits”. Dracolyte is very unanticipated, and the domination domain is an excellent bonus to her abilities, although late game, she is going to need to debuff some will saves. I don’t really personally enjoy the fey/dragon interface on display here, but it is original, and can really make for some neat rippling subplots by incorporation of fey politics into the situation. +.25

    Elegance: 3.5
    So far as I can tell, everything looks legal. You fulfilled all the contest requirements. The only gripe I have is using spells to cover fire resistance, but I think that my personal anti-magic bias is the problem here. This is a power liability in that it eats a spell casting action that could be better spent destroying her nemesis. With all that in mind, no points are lost. I’m looking for combos, and I only found one that I really like: Ghost warrior (level 6 spirit shaman) plus lose the way (yuki no ona), + incorporeality, and you can make groups get quite lost if they rely on a single navigator. Plus some druid spell casting, this combo becomes quite meddlesome, although the PC death by exposure would be quite overwhelming. Depending on how underhanded your PCs are, this might spell the biggest challenge of the gaming session. No “dips” (+.25), her character stays on point. Having your spirit guide take over your enhanced summons while you either summon more or do other concentration based things is a nice touch. +.25. You got 16 levels to work with, 13 of which have her flavor accounted for. Considering that the earliest a build can have mechanics match flavor in 3.5 is typically between level 5-7, you points lost.


    Power: 2.75
    Like any caster, this creature’s power scales quadratically. It’s weakest at low levels, and clever use of spells can transform her into a pseudo batman. A wyrmling isn’t exactly a powerful addition to her abilities at later levels and sort of makes a huge liability for her. She has the ability to wild empathy some animal minions to do her bidding, and she can acquire minions, it’s just that her standards are quite high. I wish that you either pumped your disguise or your stealth, because your direct combat skills are limited, and your survival of up front, violent, confrontations, some of which you seek out, is very much a gamble. You aren’t packing a ton of high HP, and paralysis is relatively treatable. (-.5). I would run this villain in the mid levels, up to around CR 15, but I would just ignore the dragon stuff and change the feats around to make her a bit more stealthilicious.


    Memorable Villainy: 3
    This is the category that loses me. This villain seems like a side quest derail. An obstacle on the way to get a mcguffin. And her story doesn’t even pack enough emotional gravitas to compel me to share it and build a character arc around it. She feels like a real character, and not a pile of stats. +.25. I would use her, but I would make some changes. She is definitely wintry, even incorporating loneliness as a an associated wintry concept. +.25. But she definitely isn’t great villain material in my opinion. There is a narrative oomph that is missing in her, and she compels me to mild sadness followed by practical considerations for killing her. -.5.


    TOTAL: 12.75

    Spoiler: Helblindi Ymirson
    Show


    Originality: 2.75
    Frost giant, -.25 half fiend, -.25, abjurant champion + Invisible minionmancing buff-bot? +.25.


    Elegance: 2.75
    All of the requirements satisfied. The progression is very unsmooth. You have only 6 levels with this villain. This is a big limitation. -.5. Besides that everything works. He can be played as described easily.

    Power: 4
    This is a fun villain. 1 subterfuge-y trick (invisibility), plus debuffs, plus summons, plus 3 walls of stone + physical attacks. +1 for minions and personal competence in combat situations. No points for overlordiness.

    Memorable Villainy: 3.5
    This is a devious villain. If you pitch him as a ravaging warlord berserker type, and then have the PCs encounter a giant that is this crafty, you might be able to catch them unawares. This build relies quite a bit on invisibility to work, so once that tactic is blown, the fight is much more direct. I like him a lot. However, his resistance to fire isn’t effective at the levels at which PCs will be encountering him. This is a villain that you toss at PCs who are more than 4 levels below, because he is rendered kind of inert by low level magics. Summons are subject to protection from evil, see invisibility is simple. So, he feels like a barbarian frost giant leader that I would play agains the PCs +.5, but he isn’t maxing out cold or winter as his essential features, and he could be an overlord. But he also could be overthrown.


    TOTAL: 13

    Spoiler: Lady Lenadel Sere
    Show


    Originality: 3.25
    Bard/warlock ok. Neanderthal ok. Firetype? weird +.25 Antipodal split personality bard/warlock with leadership.

    Elegance: 3.0
    This entire build seems like the snowballed growth of trying to get antipodal energy type resistances onto a bard with the leadership feat. Legal build, although the majority of the strength of this villain is going to be what her leadership feat musters up. As far as the prohibition against misunderstood ice princesses, you toe the line. Misunderstood ice magistrate with unexpected naughty type still runs into the same flaws as any narrative that includes a misunderstood ice princess. -.25. This was an explicit instruction. You only get 12 or 13 levels of villainy out of this character, as her transition to leadership is where her threat level increases. You can play this villain by following the instructions, that is for sure. +.25.

    Power: 3.5
    Minions: +.5, and lots of them. Thanks, leadership. Personal power: very little -.5, We are talking about a face bard, one on one with a party of 4, they will falter in ways that none of the other builds in this contest would. Overlordiness +.5. This character has access to wealth way beyond level, all of the power of the leadership feat, plus detailed instructions on how to build her kingdoms.

    Memorable Villainy: 2.25
    This is definitely a full spectrum character, although full villainy doesn’t occur until mid levels. I would totally run a traumatized bard warlock with leadership as a villain. I don’t know if this particular one stands out against similar builds on that frame. This character isn’t too thematically tied to winter, at least not mechanically -.5 This build isn’t particularly awe inspiring, as most of the text is associated with understanding her mental states to better understand her. Maybe, as a bandit leader or a humanoid chieftan, she could frustrate the PCs. But the way this whole thing is constructed, the only way to get the full effect is to include her in the party and then she could make a fine face-heel turn, but pulling it off, in a real campaign would require so many railroad tracks. -.25.


    TOTAL: 12


    Thanks for the judging! I'll be a bit slow on the posting for the next day or so, but I'll try to check in once in a while if there are any disputes.

  23. - Top - End - #113
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VIII: The Weather Outside is Frightful

    From Lady Lenadel Sere:

    Quote Originally Posted by daremetoidareyo View Post
    As far as the prohibition against misunderstood ice princesses, you toe the line. Misunderstood ice magistrate with unexpected naughty type still runs into the same flaws as any narrative that includes a misunderstood ice princess. -.25. This was an explicit instruction.
    I'm pretty sure "misunderstood ice princess" means "someone everyone thinks is a monster but is actually nice," not "schemer willing to literally murder anyone standing in the way of her plans who has everyone in-universe convinced she's actually nice".
    There's an element of well-intentioned extremist in Lenadel, but I tried to make the extremist part stand out more. She's willing to murder innocents and send countless soldiers to their deaths, all to accelerate the modernization of her people and put them on top. You can see where she's coming from, but I wouldn't think she's doing the right thing!

    This character isn’t too thematically tied to winter, at least not mechanically -.5
    I'm not sure how much mechanics matter in the end, but it's your call.
    (For what it's worth, the "misunderstood ice princess" thing was an attempt at a "Frozen" reference to illustrate that we're looking for people and creatures with Evil alignments).

    The White Flame of Hate has no further disputes for either judge.

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VIII: The Weather Outside is Frightful

    Gealghaireach has no disputes and would like to thank the judges; "They did a splendid job."

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VIII: The Weather Outside is Frightful

    The judging deadline is coming up quickly. Anybody else want to jump in?

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VIII: The Weather Outside is Frightful

    It looks like no one else is likely to judge. Out of curiosity, I decided to compile the results. I'm using the following template:
    [Shortened Name]: [Lagren's place]/[dare's place]/[total score]

    Krampus: 4/1/25.0
    White Flame: 2/4/25.25
    Gaelic Fey: 3/3/25.25
    Helblindi: 5/2/24
    Lenadel: 1/5/27.25

    Interestingly, Lagren and daremetoidareyo scored in almost opposite directions; if dare scored Hellindi half a point higher or Krampus half a point lower, the lists would be exact opposites. Which means the only thing they agree on is that Helblindi is worse than Krampus (sorry to whoever made the Helblindi).
    If no one else votes, Lady Lenadel Sere will be the victor. Interesting.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Blade Wolf View Post
    Ah, thank you very much GreatWyrmGold, you obviously live up to that name with your intelligence and wisdom with that post.
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VIII: The Weather Outside is Frightful

    It looks like that's it for the judging! I'll post the reveal later today; work is crazy at the moment. In the meantime ... how do you all feel about subsystems?

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VIII: The Weather Outside is Frightful

    Quote Originally Posted by Telonius View Post
    In the meantime ... how do you all feel about subsystems?
    Like I have no idea what you mean.

    So, we can reveal which one we created now?
    Quote Originally Posted by The Blade Wolf View Post
    Ah, thank you very much GreatWyrmGold, you obviously live up to that name with your intelligence and wisdom with that post.
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VIII: The Weather Outside is Frightful

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    Like I have no idea what you mean.

    So, we can reveal which one we created now?
    No, that's what the reveal is for!

    Also, it looks like Lagren didn't include his scoring adjustments in his original post, so your numbers are wrong on a couple of entries GreatWyrmGold. I'm not sure it changes anything, but it's worth pointing out.

    I suppose I could just post a table with the adjusted scores, rather than being lazy about it.

    Entry Name Lagren's Score daremetoidareyou's Score Total
    Krampus 12 13.25 25.25
    White Flame of Hate 13 12.5 25.5
    Gealghaireach 12.5 12.75 25.25
    Helblindi Ymirson 11.25 13 24.25
    Lady Lenadel Sere 15.25 12 27.25
    Last edited by Deadline; 2016-01-06 at 10:43 AM.
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition VIII: The Weather Outside is Frightful

    Thanks for the table. So the final results are:

    In fifth place: Helblindi Ymirson by Fuzzy McCoy!
    Tied for third place: Krampus by Deadline, and Gealghaireach by Korahir!
    In second place: the White Flame of Hate by JyP!
    And, taking the victory: Lady Lenadel Sere by GreatWyrmGold!

    Thank you to all of the competitors and judges. This was a really close competition, and the quality continues to impress!
    Last edited by Telonius; 2016-01-04 at 02:53 PM.

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