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  1. - Top - End - #121
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXV

    Guys.

    I said "open for a few more hours".

    That didn't mean "flood my inbox with 16 PMs".

    Seriously, guys.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kalirren View Post
    The only person in the past two pages who has known what (s)he has been talking about is Heliomance.
    Quote Originally Posted by golentan View Post
    I just don't want to have long romantic conversations or any sort of drama with my computer, okay? It knows what kind of porn I watch. I don't want to mess that up by allowing it to judge any of my choices in romance.

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  2. - Top - End - #122
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXV

    Entry number 1:
    Quote Originally Posted by Duran Mublen

    Duran Mublen, Vol's Apothecary
    LE Male Human Paladin of Tyranny 2/Urban Ranger 1/Cancer Mage 7/Thief of Life 10

    Spoiler: Ability scores
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    1st-level:

    STR: 16
    DEX: 10
    CON: 14
    INT: 14
    WIS: 10
    CHA: 14

    Ability score improvements go to strength, except for the 20th-level improvement, which is instead used for intelligence.

    Ability scores at level 20 (before magic items):

    STR: 20
    DEX: 10
    CON: 14
    INT: 15
    WIS: 10
    CHA: 14



    Spoiler: The Build
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    Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    1st Paladin of Tyranny 1 +1 +2 +0 +0 Craft (Poisonmaking) 2, Heal 4, Hide 1, Knowledge (nature) 2, Knowledge (religion) 2, Move Silently 2, Profession (Apothecary) 2 Great Fortitude, Azure Toughness Aura of Evil, Detect Good, Smite Good
    2nd Paladin of Tyranny 2 +2 +3 +0 +0 Craft (Poisonmaking) 3, Heal 5, Hide 2, Profession (Apothecary) 3 - Divine Grace, Deadly Touch
    3rd Urban Ranger 1 +3 +5 +2 +0 Hide 6, Move Silently 6, Gather Information 1 Poison Immunity, Urban Tracking (B) Favored Enemy (Church of the Silver Flame), Urban Tracking, Wild Empathy
    4th Cancer Mage 1 +3 +7 +2 +0 Craft (Poisonmaking) 6, Heal 7, Profession (Apothecary) 6, Gather Information 2 - Sneak Attack +1d6, Disease Host
    5th Cancer Mage 2 +4 +8 +2 +0 Craft (Poisonmaking) 8, Hide 7, Knowledge (Arcana) 2, Move Silently 7, Profession (Apothecary) 7 - Contagion, Cancerous Companion
    6th Cancer Mage 3 +5 +8 +3 +1 Craft (Poisonmaking) 9, Heal 8, Hide 8, Knowledge (Arcana) 4, Move Silently 8, Profession (Apothecary) 7 Master of Poisons Tatterdemalion, Poison
    7th Cancer Mage 4 +6/+1 +9 +3 +1 Craft (Poisonmaking) 10, Heal 10, Hide 10, Move Silently 10, Profession (Apothecary) 9 - Children of the Night
    8th Cancer Mage 5 +6/+1 +9 +3 +1 Craft (Poisonmaking) 11, Heal 11, Hide 11, Move Silently 11, Profession (Apothecary) 11, Gather Information 5 - Sneak Attack +2d6, Viral Agent
    9th Cancer Mage 6 +7/+2 +10 +4 +2 Craft (Poisonmaking) 12, Heal 12, Hide 12, Move Silently 12, Profession (Apothecary) 12, Gather Information 9 Staggering Strike Infect Wound
    10th Cancer Mage 7 +8/+3 +10 +4 +2 Craft (Poisonmaking) 13, Heal 13, Hide 13, Move Silently 13, Profession (Apothecary) 13, Gather Information 12 - Insect Plague, Insect Armor
    11th Thief of Life 1 +8/+3 +12 +6 +2 Craft (Poisonmaking) 14, Heal 14, Hide 14, Move Silently 14, Profession (Apothecary) 14, Gather Information 14, Use Magic Device 2 - Lifesense (5 ft.)
    12th Thief of Life 2 +9/+4 +13 +7 +2 Craft (Poisonmaking) 15, Heal 15, Hide 15, Move Silently 15, Profession (Apothecary) 15, Gather Information 15, Use Magic Device 5 Darkstalker Sneak Attack +3d6
    13th Thief of Life 3 +10/+5 +13 +7 +3 Craft (Poisonmaking) 16, Heal 16, Hide 16, Move Silently 16, Profession (Apothecary) 16, Gather Information 16, Use Magic Device 8 - Lifesense (10 ft.)
    14th Thief of Life 4 +11/+6/+1 +14 +8 +3 Craft (Poisonmaking) 17, Heal 17, Hide 17, Move Silently 17, Profession (Apothecary) 17, Gather Information 17, Use Magic Device 11 - Borrow Vigor
    15th Thief of Life 5 +11/+6/+1 +14 +8 +3 Craft (Poisonmaking) 18, Heal 18, Hide 18, Move Silently 18, Profession (Apothecary) 18, Gather Information 18, Use Magic Device 14 Martial Study (Cloak of Deception) Immunity to Fear, Lifesense (15 ft.)
    16th Thief of Life 6 +12/+7/+2 +15 +9 +4 Craft (Poisonmaking) 19, Heal 19, Hide 19, Move Silently 19, Profession (Apothecary) 19, Gather Information 19, Use Magic Device 17 - Sneak Attack +4d6
    17th Thief of Life 7 +13/+8/+3 +15 +9 +4 Craft (Poisonmaking) 20, Heal 20, Hide 20, Move Silently 20, Profession (Apothecary) 20, Gather Information 20, Use Magic Device 20 - Immunity to Energy Drain, Lifesense (20 ft.)
    18th Thief of Life 8 +14/+9/+4 +16 +10 +4 Craft (Poisonmaking) 21, Heal 21, Hide 21, Move Silently 21, Profession (Apothecary) 21, Gather Information 21, Use Magic Device 21, Concentration 2 Cerulean Will Steal Vitality
    19th Thief of Life 9 +14/+9/+4 +16 +10 +5 Craft (Poisonmaking) 22, Heal 22, Hide 22, Move Silently 22, Profession (Apothecary) 22, Gather Information 22, Use Magic Device 22, Concentration 4 - Immunity to death effects, Lifesense (25 ft.)
    20th Thief of Life 10 +15/+10/+5 +17 +11 +5 Craft (Poisonmaking) 23, Heal 23, Hide 23, Move Silently 23, Profession (Apothecary) 23, Gather Information 23, Use Magic Device 23, Concentration 6 - Sneak Attack +5d6, Steal Immortality


    Spoiler: The Divinity Within
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    Cancerous Companion
    11 intelligence.
    Can communicate telepathically with Duran.
    30 ft. blindsight
    Can use a spell or spell-like ability of Duran four times per day.
    Grants Duran Evasion.
    Grants Duran Uncanny Dodge.
    Mind-affecting spells and abilities have a 50% chance of affecting the Divinity Within instead of Duran.


    Spoiler: Story
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    Spoiler: Prologue
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    Duran hadn't always been the person he is today. Long ago, he was just an ordinary village doctor in some remote part of Thrane. He was young, eager, and above all: ambitious.

    One day, a group of humans dressed in black and purple visited his hometown. They made camp just outside the village, and started to educate all who visited them. They educated in life, in death, in the transition between those two; even in the nature of undeath.

    Duran was interested in them. Life and death were things he was often confronted with, and too often did his simple medicines lack the power to prevent the second. And so, he started to attend the travelers' sermons. And one day, when they were preparing to leave, Duran declared he would join them.

    And so, Duran became a member of this strange religion, called the Blood of Vol. He learned of life and death, but also to channel his inner power. Over time, he became a capable warrior, though not one who had forgotten his origins as a healer.

    Then, one day, they were destroyed. Duran still wasn't sure why, but a group of warriors with the Silver Flame's emblems on their shields attacked out of nowhere, killed most of his friends, and set fire to their books. Duran managed to crawl to safety after taking a morningstar to the head.

    He fled. First by foot, then by horse, and finally he reached Sigilstar. There, he bought a lightning rail ticket to Sharn, certain that there he could live without fear of the Silver Flame.

    The long ride in the stuffy, dark carriage was one of the worst moments of his life. Time after time did he remember the carnage, the blood, the holy blood spilled... But he did remember something else. During the battle, he had Observed the assailants... and found they all carried a disease.


    After arriving in Sharn, Duran created a small shop in herbal medicine on the city's lower levels. From time to time, he would employ his herbalistic talents for less legal purposes; selling poison to street gangs and other such people. It made for a nice source of income.

    It also helped him cure the disease.


    Spoiler: Level 1-3
    Show
    Duran Observed how the woman entered. The disease clung to her like cobwebs clinging to an old rotten chair. An apt comparison, Duran realized. While some might suggest trying to dust off the webs, any sensible person would just burn the chair and buy a new one.

    The woman requested something against headaches. Duran glanced at the small bowls of ointment hidden behind the counter, took one, and gave it to the woman. He accepted the woman's silver, and watched her leave.

    Duran smiled. The bowl did, in fact, contain headache medicine. What the woman didn't know was that it also contained a very effective medicine against her true disease.

    It was called arsenic.


    Spoiler: Level 4
    Show
    Duran groaned. How did this go wrong? He'd been mashing up roaches when his finger had slipped. It had been an experimental poison; one that contained both common venom and disease.

    Now, he was lying in his bed, too sick to move. Staring at the ceiling, Duran wondered if he was going to die. He feared death. Spending eternity fading away in Dolurhh was a fate he did not desire, did not deserve.

    Duran meditated. If only he was strong enough... if only his blood would expel this sickness... If only the Divinity Within...

    Duran slipped back into unconsciousness. When he woke up, he was amazed to discover the disease had all but faded. Grateful, he thanked his own Divinity Within.

    To his surprise, it spoke back.


    Spoiler: Level 5-10
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    Duran looked at the tower. For days now had he investigated it. He had Observed every resident and singled out the diseased ones. He had send spies inside, disguised as common illnesses, to further learn the tower's layout.

    Now, he called out to the darkness. Twenty rats of unusual size and ferocity appeared, waiting for him to command them. Duran pointed out where the diseased lived, and watched the rats split up and climb towards their first targets.

    Duran smiled, and talked to the Divinity Within. It praised him.

    As the first screams of the diseased started to die away, Duran left. The locusts below his heavy cloak stirred for a moment before calming down again.


    Spoiler: Level 11-15
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    Duran watched the man enter the alley. For three hours now had he been stalking him, waiting for a good opportunity.

    Once again, Duran Observed him. The disease was very strong in this man; but that could be expected for a servant of that accursed Flame. Duran quickly averted his eyes. He didn't want to have to look at the plague too much; it made him feel sick. Feeling his agitation, the bugs that crawled beneath his cloak stirred for a moment.

    Duran touched his longsword for a moment, then entered the alley. The Divinity Within stirred, and he touched the tumor in an attempt to calm it. The thief of life approached the man quickly, and for a moment vanished completely. The man, having heard something, turned, and raised an eyebrow as he saw nothing behind him.

    Duran never gave the man the chance to respond to him. A swing, another, and another, and the man was already groaning in pain. Another swing and the man was dead.

    Duran smiled as another of the diseased was cured. He breathed deeply, and felt the man's soul empower him. The Divinity Within trembled in joy, and Duran stroked it slowly before leaving.


    Spoiler: Level 16-20
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    Duran plunged the sword into the paladin, and gasped. The soul... stronger than anything he had ever found, yet also diseased... It was almost overwhelming. With the combined will of him and the Divinity Within, he barely managed to consume it.

    And a world opened up to Duran.

    He was no more apothecary. He was no rank-and-file soldier of the Blood of Vol. He was no poisoner. He was no simple killer, no master of disease, no thief of life, nor had he ever been any of those things.

    He was eternal. He was beyond human needs. He felt like going without food for a month, just to see what it was like, and surviving it.

    He was the Bringer of Death.

    And he was coming to cure this city.


    Spoiler: Level breakdown
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    Spoiler: Level 1
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    Duran is just your typical paladin of tyranny at this level, except for his odd skill choices. Azure toughness represents his minor skill with manipulating souls, and together with his 12 hit points and armor proficiencies should keep him going throughout the day.

    Duran Detects Good often and dislikes letting those who detect positively live, believing the very idea of 'goodness' to be a threat to developing the Divinity Within.


    Spoiler: Level 5
    Show
    Duran has taken a level in urban ranger, has a nice bonus on all saving throws, and can track people through cities. He's also immune to Giant Roach Paste.

    Things get really interesting when he starts taking levels in cancer mage. Sneak attack is nice, and combined with his hide and move silently scores lets him deal some extra damage in that surprise round, and the cancerous companion gives some pretty fun bonuses.

    Blindsight is always nice, and the ability to channel spell-like abilities can help Duran determine if a foe he is fighting is Good, or just functions as a way to get free debuffs.


    Spoiler: Level 10
    Show
    By this time, Duran has finished his cancer mage career. His plate armor has been exchanged for a healer's tattered robes with crawling insects beneath.

    He's also gained some very nice abilities the past five levels. Viral Agent has its uses, and Children of the Night lets him play vampire and create a few dozen disposable scouts. Speaking about summons, he can also call some locust swarms once per day, though their lack of movement means they'll not be used much. During downtime, you can craft some poison or maintain your guise as apothecary.

    In spite of those abilities, Duran is still a frontline fighter. His BAB is two points behind a fighter of this level, he can apply sneak attack to both attacks, and let's not forget staggering strike, which is just nasty. Oh, and there's Infect Wound, which has a rarely seen secondary effect but a primary effect that's decent in itself (no-save constitution damage aw yeaaaaaah).


    Spoiler: Level 15
    Show
    Darkstalker is picked up, as is Martial Study. Cloak of Deception basically equals a free round of sneak attack.

    Speaking about sneak attack, Thief of Life adds some. You also get Lifesense, which is very useful against other Darkstalkers, immunity to fear (good to have) and the ability to steal bits of other creature's souls and use them for a few temporary HP. Use Magic Device ranks let you use any magic items looted from foes.


    Spoiler: Level 20
    Show
    The capstone of Thief of Life: free immortality as long as you kill one 20 HD creature per year. This should be trivial for an adventurer.

    You also gain more sneak attack and two useful immunities. Additionally, you can shore up your poor Will by investing Incarnum in it.

    At this point, Duran is more-or-less immortal and can constantly fight to eliminate all Good. He tries to get the drop on any of his victims, sneak attacking through flanking, surprise, and Cloak of Deception. His weapon are probably poisoned, and the Divinity Within will try to get off a few Poison or Contagion spells as well. Staggering Strike prevents the target from getting a full attack off.


    Spoiler: Alignment and CoC
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    Duran is Lawful Evil. His sheer hate of Good prevents any non-evil alignment, and his dedication to eliminating only a certain group of people and lack of interest in random slaughter or plunder is definitely Lawful.

    The paladin of tyranny's code of conduct is the following:

    A paladin of tyranny must be of lawful evil alignment and loses all class abilities if he ever willingly commits a good act. Additionally, a paladin of tyranny's code requires that he respect authority figures as long as they have the strength to rule over the weak, act with discipline (not engaging in random slaughter, keeping firm control over those beneath his station, and so forth), help only those who help him maintain or improve his status, and punish those who challenge authority (unless, of course, such challengers prove more worthy to hold that authority).
    As stated before, Duran is LE. He won't be committing good acts. Selling medicine to others isn't Good but Neutral, as it is done out of greed rather than altruism.

    Duran respects authority, acts with discipline (his slaughter isn't random), helps only those who help him maintain his status (in this case, his status of a respectable apothecary) and punishes those who challenge authority (in this case, the authority of the Blood of Vol).


    Spoiler: Adventuring
    Show
    Duran is not a character that fits in with standard parties. His sheer hate of Good should make that clear. In anti-Good parties, however, he can easy work.

    In-combat, Duran is a frontline fighter who can hopefully sneak attack with the help of a flanking partner. His AC is respectable, his Fortitude save is through the roof, Reflex is good (just below a 20th-level rogue's reflex) and Will is low but improved through Cerulean Will.

    Out-of-combat, Duran can craft poison, scout and send diseases to weaken enemies.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kalirren View Post
    The only person in the past two pages who has known what (s)he has been talking about is Heliomance.
    Quote Originally Posted by golentan View Post
    I just don't want to have long romantic conversations or any sort of drama with my computer, okay? It knows what kind of porn I watch. I don't want to mess that up by allowing it to judge any of my choices in romance.

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  3. - Top - End - #123
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXV

    Entry number 2:

    Quote Originally Posted by Vorick Hellakanus
    Brother Vorick Hellakanus
    Disciple of the Bloody Fist
    Spoiler: Build Stub
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    Human Monk of the Passive Way 2/Rogue 4/Thief of Life 10/Fighter 1/Assassin 3

    Spoiler: Background
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mickey Hart
    "Life is about rhythm. We vibrate, our hearts are pumping blood, we are a rhythm machine, that's what we are."
    Vorick Hellakanus had a rather unremarkable childhood. He was not an orphan, his parents were happily married, and neither did his father beat him nor did his siblings torment him. He didn't dissect squirrels in the back yard, and he didn't make it a habit to bully his schoolmates. His parents were not poor, but neither were they overly wealthy. His father served in the Karrnathi military, and was a graduate of the Rekkenmark Academy. His mother was a camp surgeon before having kids and settling down to care for the family.

    And yet, there was just something always a little off about Vorick. It was never anything obvious, nothing to cause undue attention or concern, just something... different. At times he could be seen staring at the radial artery running through his wrist, counting his pulse under his breath. Other times he would spend hours pouring through his mother's medical textbooks, examining sketches of of the Human form and it's muscular and nervous systems. Thinking maybe a change of scenery would do the child some good, Vorick's family made a sizable donation to a Karrnathi Monastery and shipped Vorick off.

    Even that act didn't really shake Vorick's oddness. If nothing else, the structured life of a monk only served to focus Vorick's drive and determination. Focused as he was on the duality of life and death, it should come as no surprise that it was only a matter of time before the Blood of Vol and their Cult of Life should take note of the young Brother Vorick, and offer him a place of acceptance and understanding within their ranks. And so would begin Vorick's journey within the cult.
    Quote Originally Posted by Muhammad Iqbal
    "I have seen the movement of the sinews of the sky, And the blood coursing in the veins of the moon."
    Indoctrination into the Cult of Life was an extremely quick and easy process for Brother Vorick Hellakanus. As soon as he finished his term with the Monastery, Vorick moved closer to a larger cultist cell and soon became a member of the clergy. While Vorick has no access to Divine magic, his monastic training and fervent attitude towards the Cult led to a perfect fit.

    It was only a matter of time after becoming a Priest before Vorick was inducted into the inner levels of the Cult. After serving for a number of years, and demonstrating the appropriate levels of proficiency in arcane and religious studies, deception, and even combat, Vorick was offered a position amongst the Thieves of Life.

    In his service as a Thief of Life, Vorick was responsible for seeking out valuable artifacts, escorting and protecting the more magically inclined members of the priesthood in finding Mabar manifest zones, and even infiltrating other political and religious organizations in the Church's quest for knowledge.
    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Eastman
    "Friendship is held to be the severest test of character. It is easy, we think, to be loyal to a family and clan, whose blood is in your own veins."
    Risen to the ranks of Abactor and taking orders directly from the Crimson Covenant (and entrusted with even more truth about the inner workings of the Blood of Vol), Vorick spends the vast majority of his time travelling across Khorvaire. It is now his job to both ensure the maintenance of a safehouse for other cultists, and to Seek out new petitioners.

    Vorick maintains a few different identities to help with travel across the continent, and continues to train as a martial artist. On occasion he even visits the Crimson Monastery in Atur, in order to help train new monks.
    Quote Originally Posted by Georg Buchner
    "The death clock is ticking slowly in our breast, and each drop of blood measures its time, and our life is a lingering fever."
    Brother Hellakanus now reports directly to Lady Vol. He is one of the thirteen members of the Crimson Covenant, and knows the true identities of his fellow Covenant members. Every year, Brother Hellakanus is called upon to "excommunicate" a fallen member of the faith. The Cult of Life has only one method of excommunication, and that involves the death of the fallen priest. Shunted into an empty room and blindfolded, they are completely helpless and set up perfectly for Vorick's death attack. This serves the dual purpose of eliminating a non-believer, and also extending Vorick's life and delaying the aging process for another year.

    And as the blood in the body circulates without cessation, so to does the cycle of the Cult of Life continue.

    Spoiler: Ability Scores
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    Attribute Base Racial From Level Total
    Strength 15 - 5 20
    Dexterity 16 - - 16
    Constitution 12 - - 12
    Intelligence 10 - - 10
    Wisdom 15 - - 15
    Charisma 9 - - 8

    Increases from level go into Strength.

    Spoiler: Progression Table
    Show

    Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    1st Monk of the Passive Way 1 +0 +2 +2 +2 Heal 4, Hide 4, Knowledge (Arcana) 4, Knowledge (Religion) 4, Move Silently 4 Combat Expertise, Power Attack, Darkstalker Bonus Feat, Improved Unarmed Strike, Flurry of Blows
    2nd Monk of the Passive Way 2 +1 +3 +3 +3 Heal 5, Hide 5, Knowledge (Arcana) 5, Knowledge (Religion) 5, Move Silently 5 Improved Trip Bonus Feat, Evasion
    3rd Rogue 1 +1 +3 +5 +3 Bluff 1, Disguise 1, Hide 6, Move Silently 6, Use Magic Device 5 Ascetic Rogue Sneak Attack +1d6, Trapfinding
    4th Rogue 2 +2 +3 +6 +3 Bluff 5, Disguise 2, Hide 7, Move Silently 7, Use Magic Device 7 - Spell Reflection
    5th Rogue 3 +3 +4 +6 +4 Bluff 8, Disguise 5, Hide 8, Move Silently 8, Use Magic Device 8 - Sneak Attack +2d6, Penetrating Strike
    6th Rogue 4 +4 +4 +7 +4 Bluff 9, Disguise 9, Hide 9, Move Silently 9, Use Magic Device 9 Stunning Master Disruptive Attack
    7th Thief of Life +4 +6 +9 +4 Bluff 10, Disguise 10, Hide 10, Knowledge (Arcana) 6, Knowledge (Religion) 6, Move Silently 10, Use Magic Device 10 - Lifesense (5 ft)
    8th Thief of Life 2 +5 +7 +10 +4 Bluff 11, Disguise 11, Hide 11, Knowledge (Arcana) 7, Knowledge (Religion) 7, Move Silently 11, Use Magic Device 11 - Sneak Attack +3d6
    9th Thief of Life 3 +6 +7 +10 +5 Bluff 12, Disguise 12, Hide 12, Knowledge (Arcana) 8, Knowledge (Religion) 8, Move Silently 12, Use Magic Device 12 Knock-Down Lifesense (10 ft)
    10th Thief of Life 4 +7 +8 +11 +5 Bluff 13, Disguise 13, Hide 13, Knowledge (Arcana) 9, Knowledge (Religion) 9, Move Silently 13, Use Magic Device 13 - Borrow Vigor
    11th Thief of Life 5 +7 +8 +11 +5 Bluff 14, Disguise 14, Hide 14, Knowledge (Arcana) 10, Knowledge (Religion) 10, Move Silently 14, Use Magic Device 14 - Immunity to Fear, Lifesense (15 ft)
    12th Thief of Life 6 +8 +9 +12 +6 Bluff 15, Disguise 15, Hide 15, Knowledge (Arcana) 11, Knowledge (Religion) 11, Move Silently 15, Use Magic Device 15 Hazing Strike Sneak Attack +4d6
    13th Thief of Life 7 +9 +9 +12 +6 Bluff 16, Disguise 16, Hide 16, Knowledge (Arcana) 12, Knowledge (Religion) 12, Move Silently 16, Use Magic Device 16 - Immunity to Energy Drain, Lifesense (20 ft)
    14th Thief of Life 8 +10 +10 +13 +6 Bluff 17, Disguise 17, Hide 17, Knowledge (Arcana) 13, Knowledge (Religion) 13, Move Silently 17, Use Magic Device 17 - Steal Vitality
    15th Thief of Life 9 +10 +10 +13 +7 Bluff 18, Disguise 18, Hide 18, Knowledge (Arcana) 14, Knowledge (Religion) 14, Move Silently 18, Use Magic Device 18 Improved Critical (Unarmed Strike) Immunity to Death Effects, Lifesense (25 ft)
    16th Thief of Life 10 +11 +11 +14 +7 Bluff 19, Disguise 19, Hide 19, Knowledge (Arcana) 15, Knowledge (Religion) 15, Move Silently 19, Use Magic Device 19 - Sneak Attack +5d6, Steal Immortality
    17th Fighter 1 +12 +13 +14 +7 Intimidate 3 Snap Kick Bonus Feat, Hit & Run Tactics
    18th Assassin 1 +12 +13 +16 +7 Bluff 20, Disguise 20, Hide 20, Move Silently 20, Use Magic Device 20 Staggering Strike Sneak Attack +6d6, Death Attack, Poison Use, Spells
    19th Assassin 2 +13 +13 +17 +7 Bluff 21, Disguise 21, Hide 21, Move Silently 21, Use Magic Device 21 - +1 Saves against Poison, Uncanny Dodge
    20th Assasin 3 +14 +14 +17 +8 Bluff 22, Disguise 22, Hide 22, Move Silently 22, Use Magic Device 22 - Sneak Attack +7d6

    Spoiler: Spellcasting
    Show

    Spells per Day/Spells Known
    Level 1st 2nd
    18th 0/2 -
    19th 1/3 -
    20th 2/3 0/2
    Spells Known:
    1. True Strike, Disguise Self, Feather Fall
    2. Alter Self, Undetectable Alignment

    The ability to both know and cast spells is predicated upon having items to increase your Intelligence. However, the ability to cast these spells comes so late in the game that a) having an intelligence boosting item should be trivial, and b) the success or failure of this build is not dependent upon spellcasting.

    Spoiler: Level Breakdown
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    • Level 1-5: Early on, you play this character as a typical BFC Monk, setting yourself up for sneak attacks and trip attempts whenever possible, and using your stunning fist ability to keep opponents locked down. Spell Reflection and Penetrating Strike help you remain competent against spell casters and their pesky undead minions and constructs.
    • Level 6-10: In this level range, you still want to capitalize on Sneak Attacks of Opportunity in order to key your Knock-Down feat. When they try to stand back up, hit them again with an attack of opportunity, and knock 'em back down! In the event that you find yourself up against something that can't be sneak attacked, or against something with a truly prodigious AC, Disruptive Attack will help lower that AC by 5 points. In this level range, you also start working on the Secret Ingredient, Thief of Life. Lifesense helps you find hidden creatures, and gets more powerful the higher level you get. At level 10, you also get Borrow Vigor, which gives you temporary HP when you land the killing blow against your opponents, making it beneficial to wipe out some of those low HP mooks cluttering up the battlefield. We also get Hazing Strike, which makes our opponent unable to maintain nonmagical altered mental states, such as rage, psionic focus, and other similar abilities.
    • Level 11-15: Picking up more levels of Thief of Life in this range, we also get Immunity to Fear, Energy Drain, and Death Effects, our Lifesense ability increases up to 25 feet, and we get Steal Vitality, giving you immunity to exhaustion, sleep and fatigue effects for a number of hours equal to the slain creatures hit dice. We also pick up Improved Critical and Roundabout Kick, increasing our Critical Threat range and giving us a bonus attack on those critical strikes.
    • Sweet Spot: In my opinion, level 15 or 16 is about when this build reaches it's optimimum range of effectiveness. Your saving throws are all at a good range, at 16 you have 3 base attacks and all of your Thief of Life abilities, plus Roundabout Kick and all of your other BFC feats from earlier, plus on average around 70 hit points (before items). You aren't the tankiest person on the field, but you aren't the squishiest either. If you factor in the fluff of the prestige class, by the last level of Thief of Life, you are most likely a member of the Crimson Covenant, and thus "protected by the mightiest magic at Vol's disposal." This would probably mean, in the least, being provided a decent amount of magical defensive items (see the Magical Items section).
    • Level 16-20: At level 16, we finish off the Secret Ingredient, gaining another Sneak Attack die and Steal Immortality. Level 17 gives us a Fighter feat (Snap Kick) and another attack, plus Hit & Run tactics, giving us another small boost to our damage. The last 3 levels are all in Assassin, giving us poison use (not terrible), possibly some interesting spells, a couple more Sneak Attack dice, and Uncanny Dodge. We also get our last feat, Staggering Blow, which lets us put out more stunning blows whenever we land a critical strike.


    Spoiler: Items
    Show

    As a melee front line character, you obviously benefit from the standard defensive items (Ring of Protection, Bracers of Armor, Vest of Resistance). A Monk's Belt is almost required for any Monk build, as is an Amulet of Mighty Fists. Wings of Flying are always useful, in order to deal with aerial opponents. Anklets of Translocation are useful for tactical movement, and all Monks can benefit from Strength, Dexterity and Wisdom boosting items.

    Spoiler: Sources
    Show

    • SRD - Monk, Rogue, Fighter, Assassin, Power Attack, Combat Expertise, Improved Critical, Improved Trip
    • Complete Mage - Spell Reflection ACF (p35)
    • Complete Adventurer - Ascetic Rogue (p106)
    • Complete Warrior - Roundabout Kick (p105)
    • Dungeonscape - Penetrating Strike ACF (p13)
    • Lords of Madness - Darkstalker (p179)
    • Deities and Demigods - Knock-Down (p51)
    • Unearthed Arcana - Passive Way Monk (p52)
    • Secrets of Sarlona - Hazing Strike (p117)
    • Tome of Battle - Snap Kick (p32)
    • Dragon Compendium - Staggering Blow (p109)
    • Dungeon Master's Guide/Magic Item Compendium - Magic Items
    • Drow of the Underdark - Hit & Run Tactics ACF (p58)
    • Faiths of Eberron - Thief of Life

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  4. - Top - End - #124
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXV

    Entry number 3:

    Quote Originally Posted by Soot

    Spoiler: Soot the Planar Thief
    Show


    Soot the Planar Thief
    Stealing jink is only good for Clueless knights of the cross-trade - a true blood steals Power.

    Rogue 1 / Swordsage 1 / Spellthief 1 / Thief of Life 10 / Hellbreaker 3 / Gatecrasher 4



    Spoiler: Build Table
    Show

    Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    1 lesser tiefling rogue 1 +0 +0 +2 +0 Bluff 4, Disable Device 2, Hide 4, Knowledge (local) 2, Knowledge (religion) 2, Listen 1, Move Silently 3, Open Lock 4, Profession (Guide) 4, Search 4, Sense Motive 4, Spot 4, Tumble 4, Use Magic Device 4 combat expertise Sneak attack +1d6, trapfinding
    2 swordsage 1 +0 +0 +4 +2 Bluff 4, Disable Device 2, Heal 5, Hide 4, Knowledge (local) 2, Knowledge (religion) 2, Listen 1, Martial Lore 5, Move Silently 3, Open Lock 4, Profession (Guide) 4, Search 4, Sense Motive 4, Spot 4, Tumble 4, Use Magic Device 4 quick to act +1, discipline focus (Weapon Focus), 6 known maneuvers, 4 readied, 1 stance
    3 spellthief 1 +0 +0 +4 +4 Bluff 4, Disable Device 2, Heal 5, Hide 4, Knowledge (arcana) 5, Knowledge (local) 2, Knowledge (religion) 2, Listen 1, Martial Lore 5, Move Silently 3, Open Lock 4, Profession (Guide) 4, Search 4, Sense Motive 4, Spellcraft 5, Spot 4, Tumble 4, Use Magic Device 4 improved feint Sneak attack +2d6 , steal spell (0 or 1st), trapfinding
    4 thief of life 1 +0 +2 +6 +4 Bluff 6, Disable Device 5, Heal 5, Hide 4, Knowledge (arcana) 5, Knowledge (local) 2, Knowledge (religion) 2, Listen 1, Martial Lore 5, Move Silently 3, Open Lock 5, Profession (Guide) 4, Search 5, Sense Motive 4, Spellcraft 5, Spot 5, Tumble 4, Use Magic Device 4, Clever Improviser (disable + open 5) Lifesense 5-ft.
    5 thief of life 2 +1 +3 +7 +4 Bluff 8, Disable Device 5, Heal 5, Hide 4, Knowledge (arcana) 5, Knowledge (local) 2, Knowledge (religion) 2, Knowledge (the planes) 2, Listen 1, Martial Lore 5, Move Silently 3, Open Lock 5, Profession (Guide) 4, Search 7, Sense Motive 4, Spellcraft 5, Spot 5, Tumble 4, Use Magic Device 4, Timely Misdirection (bluff 8) Sneak attack +3d6
    6 thief of life 3 +2 +3 +7 +5 Bluff 8, Disable Device 5, Heal 5, Hide 4, Knowledge (arcana) 5, Knowledge (local) 2, Knowledge (religion) 2, Knowledge (the planes) 4, Listen 1, Martial Lore 5, Move Silently 3, Open Lock 5, Profession (Guide) 4, Search 7, Sense Motive 8, Spellcraft 5, Spot 5, Tumble 4, Use Magic Device 4, Group Fakeout (bluff 8) undo resistance Lifesense 10-ft.
    7 hellbreaker 1 +2 +3 +9 +7 Bluff 10, Disable Device 5, Heal 5, Hide 4, Knowledge (arcana) 5, Knowledge (local) 2, Knowledge (religion) 2, Knowledge (the planes) 4, Listen 1, Martial Lore 5, Move Silently 3, Open Lock 5, Profession (Guide) 4, Search 10, Sense Motive 8, Spellcraft 5, Spot 10, Tumble 4, Use Magic Device 4 Mantle of darkness, telepathic static
    8 hellbreaker 2 +3 +3 +10 +8 Bluff 11, Disable Device 5, Heal 5, Hide 8, Knowledge (arcana) 5, Knowledge (local) 2, Knowledge (religion) 2, Knowledge (the planes) 5, Listen 3, Martial Lore 5, Move Silently 3, Open Lock 5, Profession (Guide) 4, Search 11, Sense Motive 8, Spellcraft 5, Spot 11, Tumble 5, Use Magic Device 4 Steal spell-like ability
    9 hellbreaker 3 +4 +4 +10 +8 Bluff 12, Disable Device 5, Heal 5, Hide 8, Knowledge (arcana) 5, Knowledge (local) 2, Knowledge (religion) 2, Knowledge (the planes) 5, Listen 5, Martial Lore 5, Move Silently 6, Open Lock 5, Profession (Guide) 4, Search 12, Sense Motive 8, Spellcraft 5, Spot 12, Tumble 6, Use Magic Device 4, Spot the Weak Point (spot 12) martial stance (assassin's stance) Sneak attack +4d6
    10 thief of life 4 +5 +5 +11 +8 Bluff 13, Disable Device 5, Heal 5, Hide 13, Knowledge (arcana) 5, Knowledge (local) 2, Knowledge (religion) 2, Knowledge (the planes) 5, Listen 5, Martial Lore 5, Move Silently 11, Open Lock 5, Profession (Guide) 4, Search 12, Sense Motive 8, Spellcraft 5, Spot 12, Tumble 6, Use Magic Device 4 Borrow vigor
    11 thief of life 5 +5 +5 +11 +8 Bluff 14, Disable Device 5, Heal 5, Hide 13, Knowledge (arcana) 5, Knowledge (local) 2, Knowledge (religion) 2, Knowledge (the planes) 5, Listen 5, Martial Lore 5, Move Silently 11, Open Lock 5, Profession (Guide) 4, Search 12, Sense Motive 8, Spellcraft 5, Spot 12, Tumble 12, Use Magic Device 8 Immunity to fear, lifesense 15-ft.
    12 gatecrasher 1 +5 +5 +13 +10 Bluff 15, Disable Device 15, Heal 5, Hide 13, Knowledge (arcana) 5, Knowledge (local) 2, Knowledge (religion) 2, Knowledge (the planes) 5, Listen 5, Martial Lore 5, Move Silently 11, Open Lock 5, Profession (Guide) 4, Search 12, Sense Motive 8, Spellcraft 5, Spot 12, Tumble 12, Use Magic Device 8, Acrobatic Backstab (tumble 12) Planar Touchstone (Pillar of Skulls) Analyze Portal, bonus language
    13 thief of life 6 +6/+1 +6 +14 +11 Bluff 16, Disable Device 15, Heal 5, Hide 13, Knowledge (arcana) 5, Knowledge (local) 2, Knowledge (religion) 2, Knowledge (the planes) 5, Listen 5, Martial Lore 5, Move Silently 11, Open Lock 11, Profession (Guide) 4, Search 16, Sense Motive 8, Spellcraft 5, Spot 12, Tumble 12, Use Magic Device 8 Sneak attack +5d6
    14 thief of life 7 +7/+2 +6 +14 +11 Bluff 16, Disable Device 15, Heal 5, Hide 13, Knowledge (arcana) 5, Knowledge (local) 2, Knowledge (religion) 2, Knowledge (the planes) 5, Listen 5, Martial Lore 5, Move Silently 11, Open Lock 17, Profession (Guide) 4, Search 16, Sense Motive 8, Spellcraft 5, Spot 12, Tumble 17, Use Magic Device 8 Immunity to drain, lifesense 20-ft.
    15 thief of life 8 +8/+3 +7 +15 +11 Bluff 18, Disable Device 18, Heal 5, Hide 13, Knowledge (arcana) 5, Knowledge (local) 2, Knowledge (religion) 2, Knowledge (the planes) 5, Listen 5, Martial Lore 5, Move Silently 11, Open Lock 18, Profession (Guide) 4, Search 18, Sense Motive 8, Spellcraft 5, Spot 12, Tumble 18, Use Magic Device 10 Telling Blow Steal vitality
    16 thief of life 9 +8/+3 +7 +15 +12 Bluff 19, Disable Device 19, Heal 5, Hide 13, Knowledge (arcana) 5, Knowledge (local) 2, Knowledge (religion) 2, Knowledge (the planes) 5, Listen 5, Martial Lore 5, Move Silently 11, Open Lock 19, Profession (Guide) 4, Search 19, Sense Motive 8, Spellcraft 5, Spot 12, Tumble 19, Use Magic Device 17 Immunity to death effects, lifesense 25-ft.
    17 thief of life 10 +9/+4 +8 +16 +12 Bluff 20, Disable Device 20, Heal 5, Hide 15, Knowledge (arcana) 5, Knowledge (local) 2, Knowledge (religion) 2, Knowledge (the planes) 5, Listen 5, Martial Lore 5, Move Silently 13, Open Lock 20, Profession (Guide) 4, Search 20, Sense Motive 8, Spellcraft 5, Spot 12, Tumble 20, Use Magic Device 20 Sneak attack +6d6, steal immortality
    18 gatecrasher 2 +10/+5 +8 +17 +13 Bluff 21, Disable Device 21, Heal 5, Hide 18, Knowledge (arcana) 5, Knowledge (local) 2, Knowledge (religion) 2, Knowledge (the planes) 10, Listen 5, Martial Lore 5, Move Silently 16, Open Lock 20, Profession (Guide) 4, Search 20, Sense Motive 8, Spellcraft 5, Spot 12, Tumble 20, Use Magic Device 21 Headshot Comprehension
    19 gatecrasher 3 +11/+6/+1 +9 +17 +13 Bluff 22, Disable Device 22, Heal 5, Hide 19, Knowledge (arcana) 5, Knowledge (local) 2, Knowledge (religion) 5, Knowledge (the planes) 14, Listen 5, Martial Lore 5, Move Silently 19, Open Lock 20, Profession (Guide) 4, Search 20, Sense Motive 8, Spellcraft 5, Spot 12, Tumble 20, Use Magic Device 22 Open Portal
    20 gatecrasher 4 +12/+7/+2 +9 +18 +14 Bluff 23, Disable Device 23, Heal 5, Hide 23, Knowledge (arcana) 5, Knowledge (local) 2, Knowledge (religion) 8, Knowledge (the planes) 15, Listen 5, Martial Lore 5, Move Silently 22, Open Lock 20, Profession (Guide) 4, Search 20, Sense Motive 8, Spellcraft 5, Spot 12, Tumble 20, Use Magic Device 23 Summon spell dampening


    Spoiler: Ability Scores
    Show

    Str 12, Dex 14+2, Con 10, Int 16+2, Wis 8, Cha 16-2

    +1 Intelligence every 4 levels


    Spoiler: Skill points allocation
    Show

    LEVEL class Skill points sum allocation
    1 rogue 1 (8+Int)x4 48 Bluff +4, Disable Device +2, Hide +4, Knowledge (local) +2, Knowledge (religion) +4 (cross-class), Listen +1, Move Silently +3, Open Lock +4, Profession (Guide) +4, Search +4, Sense Motive +4, Spot +4, Tumble +4, Use Magic Device +4
    2 swordsage 1 6+Int 10 Heal +5, Martial Lore +5
    3 spellthief 1 6+Int 10 Knowledge (arcana) +5, Spellcraft +5
    4 thief of life 1 6+Int 10 Bluff +2, Disable Device +3, Open Lock +1, Search +1, Spot +1, SKILL TRICKS +2
    5 thief of life 2 6+Int 10 Bluff +2, Knowledge (the planes) +4 (cross-class), Search +2, SKILL TRICKS +2
    6 thief of life 3 6+Int 10 Knowledge (the planes) +4 (cross-class), Sense Motive +4, SKILL TRICKS +2
    7 hellbreaker 1 6+Int 10 Bluff +2, Search +3, Spot +5
    8 hellbreaker 2 6+Int 11 Bluff +1, Hide +4, Knowledge (the planes) +1, Listen +2, Search +1, Spot +1, Tumble +1
    9 hellbreaker 3 6+Int 11 Bluff +1, Listen +2, Move Silently +3, Search +1, Spot +1, Tumble +1, SKILL TRICKS +2
    10 thief of life 4 6+Int 11 Bluff +1, Hide +5, Move Silently +5
    11 thief of life 5 6+Int 11 Bluff +1, Tumble +6, Use Magic Device +4
    12 gatecrasher 1 8+Int 13 Bluff +1, Disable Device +10, SKILL TRICKS +2
    13 thief of life 6 6+Int 11 Bluff +1, Open Lock +6, Search +4
    14 thief of life 7 6+Int 11 Open Lock +6, Tumble +5
    15 thief of life 8 6+Int 11 Bluff +2, Disable Device +3, Open Lock +1, Search +2, Tumble +1, Use Magic Device +2
    16 thief of life 9 6+Int 12 Bluff +1, Disable Device +1, Open Lock +1, Search +1, Tumble +1, Use Magic Device +7
    17 thief of life 10 6+Int 12 Bluff +1, Disable Device +1, Hide +2, Move Silently +2, Open Lock +1, Search +1, Tumble +1, Use Magic Device +3
    18 gatecrasher 2 8+Int 14 Bluff +1, Disable Device +1, Hide +3, Knowledge (the planes) +5, Move Silently +3, Use Magic Device +1
    19 gatecrasher 3 8+Int 14 Bluff +1, Disable Device +1, Hide +1, Knowledge (religion) +3, Knowledge (the planes) +4, Move Silently +3, Use Magic Device +1
    20 gatecrasher 4 8+Int 14 Bluff +1, Disable Device +1, Hide +4, Knowledge (religion) +3, Knowledge (the planes) +1, Move Silently +3, Use Magic Device +1


    Spoiler: Design Notes
    Show

    Spoiler: CR 5, Uncaged : Faces of Sigil
    Show

    Most orphan sods from the Hive are put in the dead-book quickly - engaging into the cross-trade for some bit of bread, blathering at the wrong end of Mercykiller pikes. Me ? Got my cred as a Light Bearer, then as a Tout for the Clueless. But I didn’t peel them - I asked to be on the ride, got out-of-touch pretty early - pretty curious as a youngster you see ? The Prime ain’t no wonder though, even the Clueless want to quit it. So I got some basher tricks and went back there, to pester the Guvners about their loopholes around reality, even though the Fated had feelers for yours truly. Factions can parade in the streets all they want though, I found the real chant through touring some bloods from out-of-town - the deal about Powers getting petitionners from the dead-book is a sodding bob, only barmies would pass all eternity stuck until they merge with Powers or whatever. So I joined like-minded cutters - we won’t hit the dead-book at all. Interested ?

    If you don’t stomach Sigil’s cant (from there for example : http://mimir.net/cant/cant2.html): our Tiefling orphan is from the Hive, the poorest ward of Sigil, the Town of Portals. He survived as a rogue and town guide first, then accompanied adventurers back to the Material Plane - where he learned some swordsage tricks. He went back to Sigil and gained some spellthief powers through the Fraternity of Order - where sages search for loopholes in reality rules. As he continued to act as a guide for adventurers in Sigil, he made a contact with the Prolongers sect and was convinced - this is now his main belief that Death should be cheated as long as possible. And as all planars know, in the planes belief is power...

    Prolongers are mortals who want to avoid death as much as possible - they have a dark reputation as they usually steal lives from others to keep going. So they usually hide their affiliation and pass as members of Sigil’s factions. In Planescape setting, you can use the factions & sects like Prolongers or Ring-givers as the main political organizations - so I feel this is a good equivalent of the Blood of Vol organization in Eberron setting, as an outsider or darker path - I effectively refluff Thief of Life for use in Planescape setting, with Prolongers membership replacing Blood of Vol membership. I did not change entry requirements otherwise to be in line with current challenge.

    I use an archetypal Planescape Tiefling Rogue as a basis there, so it can be used as NPC to present the setting to material plane adventurers. You can have its appearance matching Sigil’s fashion, with a soot covered spiked leather armor, a jagged scythe on display as a twisted weapon (scythes and sickles as weapons are all the rage in Sigil), faction tattoo and so on. I fancy this Tiefling as a big smoker with a lot of cigars, who triggers its racial darkness spell-like ability by blowing smoke from his mouth. His infernal taint appears through his spiked hair which leaves soot if he does not wash frequently, and his cold smokey eyes. As for his personality traits : mainly a city dweller, poseur like most Sigil inhabitants, with cold and ruthless tendancies - this is a street urchin survivor after all.

    Mechanically speaking, lesser tiefling must be used as thief of life doesn’t allow outsiders but only humanoids or monstrous humanoids. Swordsage is needed for heal as class skill, and can be used to show tricks from another world on the Material Plane, to confer a first glimpse of the Planes’ diversity. As for spellthief, it showcases that planar thiefs are not after gold - they steal other things. These 3 different base classes allow an early entry in Thief of Life, even if we have only the short range Life Sense, and sneak attack on par with a classic rogue - but with lower BAB. I want to simulate a Planar Thief on 20 levels, so more skills & planar features oriented.

    Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Soot is proficient with all simple weapons, martial melee weapons plus the hand crossbow and shortbow. He is proficient with light armor, but not with shields.

    Discipline Focus : Setting Sun (for associated weapon : quarterstaff, which was used by Soot in his teens as a Light Bearer. His jagged scythe has a folding blade to be used as a quarterstaff if needed).

    Maneuvers known (4 first in the list prepared) : Burning Blade, Clinging Shadow Strike, Distracting Ember, Sapphire Nightmare Blade, Sudden Leap, Wolf Fang Strike. Soot has ’misplaced’ some martial scripts (and more) when he ’left’ a monastery on the Material Plane, so he could have other maneuvers up his sleeve.

    Stance known : Wind Stride to be able to flee if required. On feats side, we have a bit of dead weight as Combat Expertise needs higher BAB to be effective but it grants access to Improved Feint - these are prerequisites for a future prestige class.

    On skills side, Bluff is maxed out with one skill trick to flee, Search is next, and a lot of thief's skills like open locks or disable device are at 5 for another skill trick. Our thief also dabbles in magic and martial lore. Please note that Knowledge (religion) and Knowledge (the planes) are bought as cross-class skills


    Spoiler: CR 10
    Show

    Planar critters tend to have sharper senses and abilities than usual, so our thief is now able to chip spell resistance away, steal spell-like abilities and steal vigor with +6d6 sneak attack. Hellbreaker prestige class was used to provide some ability to hide effectively, even from telepathy - and quicker access to steal spell-likes than Spellthief.

    Thieve's skills got the most point, with 2 skill tricks - Group Fakeout and Spot the Weak Point to be able to hit accurately even with the low BAB. Note that locks & traps skills did not evolve as Hellbreakers are more martial oriented.



    Spoiler: CR 15
    Show

    I used Gatecrasher instead of continuing Hellbreaker to access thieve's skills, and to have more flexibility whenever travelling on the planes. My main focus is in fact to equilibrate class features, to have sneak attack every 4 levels and to have a true Planar Thief abilities otherwise. Hence Planar Touchstone to get more planar abilities, analyze portal to be able to go everywhere, but still some more sneak attack and immunities to give the laugh to devils & demons. Our Prolonger is now able to steal vitality - and add sneak attack damage on criticals with Telling Blow (I guess he kills vanquished foes with coup de grace, unfolding the blade of his quarterstaff to do scythe critical damage). Lifesense ability is a great advantage whenever our planar thief is "working" in extreme planar conditions, like the howling winds of Pandemonium or the low visibility on most Inner Planes.

    On skills side, tumble is at max rank - as we accessed a last skill trick, acrobatic backstab, and to gain some mobility. Locks & traps can be handled again also.


    Spoiler: CR 20
    Show

    Thief of Life capstone, to steal immortality, is attained at 17th level (it could have been as soon as 13th level, but Hellbreaker & Gatecrasher class features are required for the Planar Thief concept - you can switch class levels as you wish if you want to play Duncan MacLeod on the planes at lower levels). Headshot feat is a nice way to confuse a foe for one round at 18th level (in quarterstaff mode). Then I use Gatecrasher for planar travel (open any magic portal with open lock), to increase thieve's skills to be near maximum, and at 20th level as a way to prevent summonings - better not have the Blood War coming whenever the planar thief "execute" a contract. Remember this adventure seed in the Beastlands where some evil hunters came from other planes to hunt & kill dinosaurs ? I bet this would be a group of Prolongers on their annual "pilgrimage" - to keep their immortality by killing the big dummy beasts...



    Spoiler: Sources
    Show

    AD&D 2 Planescape setting (instead of Eberron setting). This is partially described in Manual of the Planes and Planar Handbook in D&D 3.
    AD&D 2 Planescape Monstrous Compendium appendix II (Prolongers sect)
    Complete Adventurer (Spellthief)
    Complete Scoundrel (Head Shot, skill tricks)
    Fiendish Codex II (Hellbreaker, undo resistance)
    Manual of the Planes (Gatecrasher)
    Planar Handbook (planar touchstone)
    Player’s Guide to Faerun (Lesser Tiefling)
    Player’s Handbook 2 (Telling blow)
    Tome of Battle (swordsage, martial stance)




    Last edited by Heliomance; 2016-01-18 at 10:15 AM.
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    The only person in the past two pages who has known what (s)he has been talking about is Heliomance.
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    I just don't want to have long romantic conversations or any sort of drama with my computer, okay? It knows what kind of porn I watch. I don't want to mess that up by allowing it to judge any of my choices in romance.

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  5. - Top - End - #125
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXV

    Entry number 4:

    Quote Originally Posted by Alphonse Louise Constant
    There is no god but man.

    1. Man has the right to live by his own law—
    to live in the way that he wills to do:
    to work as he will:
    to play as he will:
    to rest as he will:
    to die when and how he will.

    2. Man has the right to eat what he will:
    to drink what he will:
    to dwell where he will:
    to move as he will on the face of the earth.

    3. Man has the right to think what he will:
    to speak what he will:
    to write what he will:
    to draw, paint, carve, etch, mould, build as he will:
    to dress as he will.

    4. Man has the right to love as he will:—
    "take your fill and will of love as ye will,
    when, where, and with whom ye will." —AL. I. 51

    5. Man has the right to kill those who would thwart these rights.

    ~Liber OZ, Aleister Crowley

    Alphonse Louise Constant, Hidden Seeker of Vol
    NE Human, Psychic Rogue 1/Psion 4/Ebon Saint 5/Thief of Life 10

    "Ordinary morality is only for ordinary people."

    Spoiler: The Build
    Show

    "What a lovely face. I think I might borrow it."

    Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    1st Psychic Rogue 1 +0 +0 +2 +0 Bluff 4 ranks, diplomacy 4 ranks, disguise 4 ranks, hide 4 ranks, move silently 4 ranks, sleight of hand 4 ranks, knowledge (arcana) 2 ranks, heal 2 ranks, balance 4 ranks, knowledge (religion) 2 ranks1 Able Learner, Combat Expertise Sneak attack +1d6, trapfinding
    2nd Psion 1 +0 +0 +2 +2 Bluff 1 rank (5), diplomacy 1 rank (5), hide 1 rank (5), move silently 1 rank (5), balance 1 rank (5), heal 1 rank (3) Change shape, discipline (egoist)
    3rd Psion 2 +1 +0 +2 +3 Bluff 1 rank (6), diplomacy 1 rank (6), hide 1 rank (6), move silently 1 rank (6), heal 1 rank (4), knowledge (arcana) 1 rank (3) Improved Feint
    4th Psion 3 +1 +1 +3 +3 Bluff 1 rank (7), diplomacy 1 rank (7), hide 1 rank (7), move silently 1 rank (7), disguise 2 ranks (6)
    5th Psion 4 +2 +1 +3 +4 Bluff 1 rank (8), diplomacy 1 rank (8), hide 1 rank (8), move silently 1 rank (8), disguise 2 ranks (8)
    6th Ebon Saint 1 +2 +1 +5 +6 Bluff 1 rank (9), diplomacy 1 rank (9), hide 1 rank (9), move silently 1 rank (9), disguise 1 rank (9), knowledge (arcana) 1 rank (4), sleight of hand 2 ranks (6) Darkstalker Dire strike, shadowfriend
    7th Ebon Saint 2 +3 +1 +6 +7 Bluff 1 rank (10), diplomacy 1 rank (10), hide 1 rank (10), move silently 1 rank (10), disguise 1 rank (10), sleight of hand 1 rank (7), Second Impression skill trick Thought theft
    8th Ebon Saint 3 +4 +2 +6 +7 Bluff 1 rank (11), diplomacy 1 rank (11), hide 1 rank (11), move silently 1 rank (11), sleight of hand 3 ranks (10), Group Fake-Out skill trick Mind interrogation, sneak attack +2d6
    9th Ebon Saint 4 +5 +2 +7 +8 Bluff 1 rank (12), diplomacy 1 rank (12), hide 1 rank (12), move silently 1 rank (12), sleight of hand 2 ranks (12), Mosquito's Bite skill trick Metamorphic Transfer Steal form
    10th Thief of Life 1 +5 +4 +9 +8 Bluff 1 rank (13), diplomacy 1 rank (13), hide 1 rank (13), move silently 1 rank (13), sleight of hand 1 rank (13), disguise 3 ranks (13), concentration 1 rank (1), Timely Misdirection skill trick Lifesense (5 ft.)
    11th Thief of Life 2 +6/+1 +5 +10 +8 Bluff 1 rank (14), diplomacy 1 rank (14), hide 1 rank (14), move silently 1 rank (14), sleight of hand 1 rank (14), disguise 1 rank (14), concentration 3 ranks (4), Social Recovery skill trick Sneak attack +3d6
    12th Thief of Life 3 +7/+2 +5 +10 +9 Bluff 1 rank (15), diplomacy 1 rank (15), hide 1 rank (15), move silently 1 rank (15), sleight of hand 1 rank (15), disguise 1 rank (15), concentration 3 ranks (7), Assume Quirk skill trick Azure Talent Lifesense (10 ft.)
    13th Thief of Life 4 +8/+3 +6 +11 +9 Bluff 1 rank (16), diplomacy 1 rank (16), hide 1 rank (16), move silently 1 rank (16), sleight of hand 1 rank (16), disguise 1 rank (16), concentration 1 rank (8), psicraft 4 ranks Borrow vigor
    14th Ebon Saint 5 +8/+3 +6 +11 +9 Bluff 1 rank (17), diplomacy 1 rank (17), hide 1 rank (17), move silently 1 rank (17), sleight of hand 1 rank (17), disguise 1 rank (17), concentration 3 ranks (11) Disappear from the mind
    15th Thief of Life 5 +8/+3 +6 +11 +9 Bluff 1 rank (18), diplomacy 1 rank (18), hide 1 rank (18), move silently 1 rank (18), sleight of hand 1 rank (18), disguise 1 rank (18), concentration 2 ranks (13), listen 3 ranks (3) Practiced Manifester (Psion) Immunity to fear, lifesense (15 ft.)
    16th Thief of Life 6 +9/+4 +7 +12 +10 Bluff 1 rank (19), diplomacy 1 rank (19), hide 1 rank (19), move silently 1 rank (19), sleight of hand 1 rank (19), disguise 1 rank (19), concentration 1 rank (14), listen 3 ranks (6), Listen to This skill trick Sneak attack +4d6
    17th Thief of Life 7 +10/+5 +7 +12 +10 Bluff 1 rank (20), diplomacy 1 rank (20), hide 1 rank (20), move silently 1 rank (20), sleight of hand 1 rank (20), disguise 1 rank (20), concentration 1 rank (15), listen 3 ranks (9), Swift Concentration skill trick Immunity to energy drain, lifesense (20 ft.)
    18th Thief of Life 8 +11/+6/+1 +8 +13 +10 Bluff 1 rank (21), diplomacy 1 rank (21), hide 1 rank (21), move silently 1 rank (21), sleight of hand 1 rank (21), disguise 1 rank (21), concentration 1 rank (16), listen 5 ranks (14) Undead Empathy Steal vitality
    19th Thief of Life 9 +11/+6/+1 +8 +13 +11 Bluff 1 rank (22), diplomacy 1 rank (22), hide 1 rank (22), move silently 1 rank (22), sleight of hand 1 rank (22), disguise 1 rank (22), concentration 1 rank (16), listen 5 ranks (19) Immunity to death effects, lifesense (25 ft.)
    20th Thief of Life 10 +12/+7/+2 +9 +14 +11 Bluff 1 rank (23), diplomacy 1 rank (23), hide 1 rank (23), move silently 1 rank (23), sleight of hand 1 rank (23), disguise 1 rank (23), concentration 2 ranks (18), listen 4 ranks (23) Sneak attack +5d6, steal immortality

    STARTING STATS (32 PB): Str 8/Dex 14/Con 13/Int 16/Wis 13/Cha 14 (boost Int at each available level)

    PSYCHIC ROGUE POWERS KNOWN:
    1- Dimensional pocket

    PSION POWERS KNOWN2:
    1- Disable, control light, psionic grease, entangling ectoplasm, conceal thoughts
    2- Chameleon, control sound, psionic knock/ego whip3, psionic tongues
    3- Faint memory, time hop, psionic glibness, hustle
    4- Metamorphosis, psionic freedom of movement, psionic divination, psychic reformation

    Spoiler: Psion PP
    Show

    PP/day (Does not include bonus PP from a high Intelligence or Azure Talent)

    1- N/A
    2- 2
    3- 6
    4- 11
    5- 17
    6- 17
    7- 25
    8- 35
    9- 46
    10- 46
    11- 46
    12- 46
    13- 46
    14- 58
    15- 58
    16- 58
    17- 58
    18- 58
    19- 58
    20- 58

    Alphonse gets 0 PP from his Psychic Rogue class levels. However, his high Intelligence means he does draw bonus PP from here - one point to start, thanks to his base Intelligence of 16, but this increases to as much as 5 points by the end of his career (if we can assume 21 Int +5 tome +6 headband).

    Assuming standard Intelligence boosting items, by level 20, Alphonse should have a total of 107 PP from his class levels and bonus PP, which is further augmented by Azure Talent and his Thief of Life abilities (see Build Snapshots below for more on this trick).


    1The table assumes that Able Learner's benefit does NOT apply at first level. If it does in fact apply, the build picks up six extra skill points. These can be valuable for investing in trained-only skills such as Autohypnosis (which you currently don't pick up until level 20), or for freeing up skill points down the road to use for more skill tricks.

    2After level 14, these are best considered sample powers, as psychic reformation means that many of these powers can be re-written when necessary. However, this power selection is meant to best augment your abilities, and should remain the most useful over your career.

    3As many of the effects of psionic knock can be duplicated by time hop, this can subsequently be reformed via psychic reformation for ego whip (a potent save-or-lose).


    Spoiler: Build Snapshots
    Show

    "Dare to will, dare to act, dare to be silent."

    LEVEL 5: Psychic Rogue 1/Egoist 4.

    Though the bulk of your class levels are in a class not traditionally thought of as stealthy, you are quite the sneak. Your goal is to play as a spy and assassin, with excellent skills focused primarily on stealth and social interactions. The latter in particular is impressive, particularly thanks to the Change Shape ability you received at 2nd level, which functionally gives you disguise self at will. This is further augmented by your psionic powers: conceal thoughts lasts four hours and gives you a huge +10 bonus to your bluff checks (and helps you resist mind-reading magic that might reveal your true intentions) and psionic tongues ensures you can use these skills against anyone, while powers such as control light, control sound, psionic knock and chameleon heavily augment your stealth and infiltration abilities.

    In combat, you are primarily an opportunist. You can use that impressive bluff skill in combat with Improved Feint to throw around sneak attacks, but primarily your goal should be to confuse and disable. You've got a few very useful combat-oriented powers such as psionic grease, entangling ectoplasm and disable to shut down opponents and either make your escape or assist your teammates in taking them out, and with your impressive bluffing and disguise skills, you can easily cause mayhem in combat by concealing you and an opponent with control light and taking their form.

    LEVEL 10: Psychic Rogue 1/Psion 4/Ebon Saint 4/Thief of Life 1

    By level 10, your stealth and social skills have evolved from impressive to extraordinary. Your raw skills have taken a sharp increase, as you expand beyond the standard bluff/diplomacy/hide/move silently and begin picking up things like disguise (further augmented by Change Shape and the Second Impression skill trick) and sleight of hand (especially nice alongside the psychic rogue power dimensional pocket). Your powers also help in this regard: psionic glibness stacks with conceal thoughts to give you a whopping +40 bonus, metamorphosis alongside Metamorphic Transfer gives you access to a whole host of new abilities for infiltration, and faint memory, time hop and freedom of movement make you exceedingly difficult to stop. Even more important, though, are your Ebon Saint abilities. In addition to the raw increase to your skills provided by shadowfriend, you have several dire strikes that can provide unique abilities. Thought theft and mind interrogation allow you to wrest hidden secrets from your opponent, with mind interrogation being especially powerful: on a successful attack, with no save, you can get the answer to any question (assuming they know the answer). This can be downright campaign breaking in the right hands, but even without going down that road, it is easily one of the most useful abilities for a spy. You can also use steal form to easily nab the forms of non-humanoids who are not easy targets of your Change Shape ability.

    This combines well with one of your skill tricks, Mosquito's Bite. You can use Mosquito's Bite to activate a dire augment, causing your opponent to think you just swiped harmlessly at them - while your dire augment allows you to steal secrets from their mind or steal their form.

    You also begin down the path of the Thief of Life. Your first ability, lifesense, is limited to a small 5' range at this point, but it allows you to get some sense of your surroundings without requiring vision. This can particularly help when you use the oft-overlooked ability of metamorphosis to change into an object. You can remain as an object for an hour per level, completely hidden, using your lifesense to detect when someone passes near - at which point you can attack or beguile your opponent.

    LEVEL 15: Psychic Rogue 1/Psion 4/Ebon Saint 5/Thief of Life 5

    It's easy to just mindlessly list your stealth and social skills here, and rest assured that they are fantastic, but I want to focus on a couple of other aspects of the build that you pick up in these levels.

    First of all, the combination of Azure Talent and your borrow vigor ability means that each opponent you face helps restore your power points. Azure Talent grants you two bonus PP for each essentia invested into it, but ordinarily you can only invest essentia into it once a day and never change it. Borrow vigor allows you to ignore this restriction, granting you bonus PP throughout the day as you fell enemies.

    Second of all, metamorphosis, Metamorphic Transfer and Practiced Manifester combine to allow you access to some truly terrifying abilities. A key choice includes the greater doppelganger from Monsters of Faerun, whose Consume Identity ability allows you to consume a victim's brain to permanently acquire its identity and abilities, but the opportunities are nearly boundless. Let that last one sink in, however: you can secretly sneak attack a target, steal its thoughts with your dire augment, sap its vigor to gain power points, and then eat its brain to make the transformation complete. After all, why waste a perfectly good resource?

    Third, you gain access to a potent combination in psionic divination and psychic reformation. Now you can use divinations and fact-finding through your dire augments to tailor your powers and skills to a specific threat. While the XP cost means you probably won't be using psychic reformation every encounter, and the above build is what I consider an optimal layout for most days and times, this gives you nearly unequaled flexibility and power.

    LEVEL 20: Psychic Rogue 1/Psion 4/Ebon Saint 5/Thief of Life 10

    You finish out Thief of Life, giving you several interesting defensive abilities, giving you lifesense out to 25', and increasing your offensive capabilities by improving your sneak attack. With some decent sneak attack and the ability to pick up combat forms via metamorphosis, you actually have a neat trick with the Group Fake-Out skill trick. You can feint against an entire group of enemies and, using a combat form that has multiple attacks, get off your sneak attack against all of them.

    Most importantly, however, you may now steal the very lifeforce from your opponents. Steal immortality is an incredibly cool ability that lets you prevent your enemies from being resurrected while extending your own life. It also gives your PP a huge shot in the arm, as now slaying a foe will almost always give you enough essentia to max out Azure Talent.

    Also, you've probably noticed that many of your abilities simply don't work on the mindless undead. They're immune to your sneak attack, your attempts at mind control, your dire augments. Undead Empathy shores up this weakness by allowing you to use your social skills on the mindless undead (and giving you a bonus against intelligent undead), allowing you to convert these potential weak points into allies.


    Spoiler: Thief of Life
    Show

    "Blasphemy? I know not the word."

    Thief of Life was an interesting ingredient to build around. It's a bit difficult to showcase, because many of its abilities are passive (various immunities, decent skills, etc.). I knew from the beginning that I wanted to build around the fact that Borrow Vigor and Steal Immortality let you break the once per day cap on Incarnum feats, and I had an idea around using Lifesense to "see" when metamorphed into an object. But where to go from there?

    In the end, I decided to think about what would make a quintessential Thief of Life. I wanted a character built around skills and stealth, a thief who stole not jewels or filthy lucre but life itself - someone who could steal your face, your personality, your deepest secrets, and finally, your life itself. Ebon Saint and the greater doppelganger provided cool ways to augment the Thief of Life's natural abilities. This was a stealthy character who could attack you without you ever knowing you were attacked, someone who would fade from your mind seconds after the blow landed. Without knowing that you gave anything up, it would steal your secrets, read your thoughts, transform into a duplicate of you. Then, it would kill you, absorbing your lifeforce, even consuming your brain, and the world would never even know you were gone.

    This created an interesting tie-in with the Blood of Vol, that strange religion which worships no single God but rather the divine within us all. There is a secret sect within the Blood of Vol known as the Crimson Covenant, which secretly manages the church. Its members are all immortals and undead, and none but the Crimson Covenant themselves know of them. Alphonse Louis Constant, then, would be a hidden seeker, one who seeks out the mysteries of the Crimson Covenant by wearing the faces of others, and who seeks the immortality necessary to be a part of the Covenant.

    I hope you enjoy the character. While it may not put out high numbers in terms of damage, I believe its unique abilities would be welcome in any campaign.


    Spoiler: Sources
    Show

    "You may spend your nights lying awake, dreaming of that which comes after death. But me? I worry not about such small matters, for I shall never die."

    • Psychic Rogue, Dimensional Pocket: http://archive.wizards.com/default.a.../psm/20040723b
    • SRD: Psion, Combat Expertise, Improved Feint, Metamorphic Transfer, all spells/powers except those specified here.
    • Egoist ACF: http://archive.wizards.com/default.a.../psm/20070314a
    • Races of Destiny: Races of Destiny
    • Complete Scoundrel: Skill tricks
    • Complete Psionic: Practiced Manifester, Ebon Saint
    • Magic of Eberron: Faint Memory, Psionic Glibness
    • Faiths of Eberron: Thief of Life
    • Eberron Campaign Setting: Undead Empathy
    • Magic of Incarnum: Azure Talent


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    The only person in the past two pages who has known what (s)he has been talking about is Heliomance.
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    I just don't want to have long romantic conversations or any sort of drama with my computer, okay? It knows what kind of porn I watch. I don't want to mess that up by allowing it to judge any of my choices in romance.

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  6. - Top - End - #126
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    Entry number 5:

    Quote Originally Posted by Silver Scourge
    Spoiler: Build Stub
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    CN -> NE Glimmerskin Halfling rogue 1/Thief of life 10/Bard 2/Warblade 2/bloodstorm blade4/master thrower 1


    Spoiler: Abilities
    Show

    Str:6 (8 pre-racial)
    Dex:20 (18 pre-racial) Put extra points here
    Con:14
    Int:12
    Wis:10
    Cha:12


    Spoiler: Backstory
    Show


    You want to know my story? It all started on the road. I was a knife juggler for a small traveling circus. I would perform my act with a "wild" bear every night in different towns, throwing flaming knives on the bears back.

    The big secret to the show was that the bear in question was none other than the travelling strongman, A werebear who had so far eluded capture. That was until a group of Silver Hand members decided to spend an evening at the grand circus and even in their drunken haze could tell that there was something bigger going on with the group and decided to take action.

    Half drunk and with swords and chains in hands they took my best friend from me to the heirarchy of the church for trial. That's what pushed me to join them. The Blood of Vol, and my best chance at finding where my ally was being held. I became the bard at their request, allowing me to slip through towns undetected like the old days. Hearing and telling tales of great warriors on my road to the silver hand. Among those tales were daring acts of rebellion by those referred to as warblades, and talk of a man who could throw a sword and catch it after killing his enemy. I intended to find him for that trick.

    I did eventually find the man and he taught me after hearing my story. I learned a great deal from my first real mentor and I owe him everything I am. Or I would if he hadn't tried to betray me. My path through the Blood of Vol was, well, bloody. I icked up a few tricks with my knives in my travels as well, making me the deadliest knife master around.

    That's when I heard the news. An execution of the renegade werebear they had found months before. I made my way to the execution grounds, but was too late to make a difference. That's when it went downhill. I killed the executioner and the clerics in the immediate area and made my escape. Now I'm going to wipe out their entire clergy and make them pay for their crimes.


    Spoiler: Build
    Show

    Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    1st Halfling Rogue 1 +0 +0 +2 +0 Heal(4), Knowledge (arcana)(4), Knowledge (Religion)(2)[cc], Balance(4), Sleight of Hand(4), Disable Device(4), Search(4), Use Magic Device(4), Hide(4) Knowledge Devotion (Knowledge Arcana) Ranged Sneak Attack +2d6, Melee Sneak Attack +0, Trapfinding
    2nd Thief of Life 1 +0 +2 +4 +0 Heal(4), Knowledge (Arcana)(4), Knowledge (Religion)(2)[cc], Balance(5), Sleight of Hand(5), Disable Device(5), Search(5), Tumble(2), Use Magic Device(5), Hide(4) Lifesense (5 ft.)
    3rd Thief of Life 2 +1 +3 +5 +0 Heal(4), Knowledge (Arcana)(4), Knowledge (Religion)(2)[cc], Balance(6), Sleight of Hand(6), Disable Device(6), Search(6), Tumble(4), Use Magic Device(6), Hide(4) Point Blank Shot Sneak Attack +1d6
    4th Bard 1 +1 +3 +7 +2 Heal(4), Knowledge (Arcana)(4), Knowledge (Religion)(2)[cc], Balance(7), Sleight of Hand(7), Disable Device(6), Search(6), Tumble(5), Use Magic Device(7), Hide(4), Perform (Sing)(3) Feats Bardic Music, Bardic Knowledge, Countersong, Fascinate, Inspire Courage +1
    5th Bard 2 +2 +1 +8 +3 Heal(4), Knowledge (Arcana)(4), Knowledge (Religion)(2)[cc], Balance(8), Sleight of Hand(8), Disable Device(6), Search(6), Tumble(6), Use Magic Device(8), Hide(4), Perform (Sing)(3), Concentration(3)
    6th Warblade 1 +3 +4 +8 +3 Heal(4), Knowledge (Arcana)(4), Knowledge (Religion)(2)[cc], Balance(8), Sleight of Hand(8), Disable Device(6), Search(6), Tumble(8), Use Magic Device(8), Hide(4), Perform (Sing)(3), Concentration(6) Dragonfire Inspiration Battle Clarity( Reflex Saves), Weapon Aptitude
    7th Warblade 2 +4 +5 +8 +3 Heal(4), Knowledge (Arcana)(4), Knowledge (Religion)(2)[cc], Balance(8), Sleight of Hand(8), Disable Device(6), Search(6), Tumble(9), Use Magic Device(8), Hide(4), Perform (Sing)(3), Concentration(10) Uncanny Dodge
    8th Bloodstorm Blade +5 +7 +8 +3 Heal(4), Knowledge (Arcana)(5), Knowledge (Religion)(2)[cc], Balance(10), Sleight of Hand(8), Disable Device(6), Search(6), Tumble(10), Use Magic Device(8), Hide(4) Perform (Sing)(3), Concentration(11) Returning Attacks, Throw Anything
    9th Bloodstorm Blade 2 +6/1 +8 +8 +3 Heal(4), Knowledge (Arcana)(4), Knowledge (Religion)(2)[cc], Balance(10), Sleight of Hand(8), Disable Device(6), Search(6), Tumble(10), Use Magic Device(8), Hide(4), Perform (Sing)(3), Concentration(12), Spot(4) Improved Two Weapon fighting Martial Blade, Thunderous Throw
    10th Bloodstorm Blade 3 +7/2 +8 +9 +4 Heal(4), Knowledge (Arcana)(4), Knowledge (Religion)(2)[cc], Balance(10), Sleight of Hand(8), Disable Device(6), Search(6), Tumble(10), Use Magic Device(8), Hide(4), Perform (Sing)(3), Concentration(13), Spot(8) Precise Shot
    11th Bloodstorm Blade 4 +8/3 +9 +9 +4 Heal(4), Knowledge (Arcana)(4), Knowledge (Religion)(2)[cc], Balance(10), Sleight of Hand(8), Disable Device(6), Search(6), Tumble(10), Use Magic Device(8), Hide(4), Perform (Sing)(3), Concentration(14), Spot(12) Lightning Ricochet
    12th Thief of Life 3 +9/4 +9 +9 +5 Heal(4), Knowledge (Arcana)(4), Knowledge (Religion)(2)[cc], Balance(10), Sleight of Hand(8), Disable Device(6), Search(6), Tumble(10), Use Magic Device(15), Hide(4), Perform (Sing)(3), Concentration(14), Spot(12) Weapon Focus (Dagger) Lifesense (10ft.)
    13th Thief of Life 4 +10/5 +10 +10 +5 Heal(4), Knowledge (Arcana)(4), Knowledge (Religion)(2)[cc], Balance(10), Sleight of Hand(8), Disable Device(8), Search(9), Tumble(10), Use Magic Device(16), Hide(4), Perform (Sing)(3), Concentration(16), Spot(12) Borrow Vigor
    14th Master Thrower 1 +11/6/1 +10 +13 +5 Heal(4), Knowledge (Arcana)(4), Knowledge (Religion)(2)[cc], Balance(10), Sleight of Hand(8), Disable Device(8), Search(9), Tumble(10), Use Magic Device(16), Hide(4), Perform (Sing)(3), Concentration(17), Spot(16) Quick Draw, Thrown Weapon Trick (Palm Throw)
    15th Thief of Life 5 +11/6/1 +10 +13 +5 Heal(4), Knowledge (Arcana)(4), Knowledge (Religion)(2)[cc], Balance(10), Sleight of Hand(10), Disable Device(9), Search(10), Tumble(10), Use Magic Device(18), Hide(4), Perform (Sing)(3), Concentration(18), Spot(16) Greater Two Weapon Fighting Immunity to Fear, Lifesense (15ft.)
    16th Thief of Life 6 +12/7/2 +11 +14 +6 Heal(4), Knowledge (Arcana)(4), Knowledge (Religion)(2)[cc], Balance(10), Sleight of Hand(10), Disable Device(12), Search(12), Tumble(10), Use Magic Device(19), Hide(4), Perform (Sing)(3), Concentration(19), Spot(16) Sneack Attack +2d6
    17th Thief of Life 7 +13/8/3 +11 +14 +6 Heal(4), Knowledge (Arcana)(4), Knowledge (Religion)(2)[cc], Balance(10), Sleight of Hand(10), Disable Device(15), Search(14), Tumble(10), Use Magic Device(20), Hide(4), Perform (Sing)(3), Concentration(20), Spot(16) Immunity to Energy Drain, Lifesense (20ft.)
    18th Thief of Life 8 +14/9/4 +12 +15 +6 Heal(4), Knowledge (Arcana)(4), Knowledge (Religion)(2)[cc], Balance(10), Sleight of Hand(10), Disable Device(17), Search(17), Tumble(10), Use Magic Device(21), Hide(4), Perform (Sing)(3), Concentration(21), Spot(16) Rapid Shot Steal Vitality
    19th Thief of Life 9 +14/9/4 +12 +15 +7 Heal(4), Knowledge (Arcana)(4), Knowledge (Religion)(2)[cc], Balance(10), Sleight of Hand(10), Disable Device(19), Search(20), Tumble(10), Use Magic Device(22), Hide(4), Perform (Sing)(3), Concentration(22), Spot(16) Immunity to Death Effects, Lifesense (25 ft.)
    20th Thief of Life 10 +15/10/5 +13 +16 +7 Heal(4), Knowledge (Arcana)(4), Knowledge (Religion)(2)[cc], Balance(10), Sleight of Hand(10), Disable Device(22), Search(22), Tumble(10), Use Magic Device(23), Hide(4), Perform (Sing)(3), Concentration(23), Spot(16) Sneak Attack +3d6, Steal Immortality


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


    Spoiler: Maneuvers
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    Maneuvers
    Readied 3

    1st level Punishing Stance, Moment of Perfect Mind

    2nd levelWall of Blades, Mountain Hammer


    Spoiler: Spells Known
    Show

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


    Spoiler: Level Breakdown
    Show


    Note: You will need either a flaw to get two weapon fighting or Gloves of the master hand (Magic Item Compendium) I went with the item in this build but either work as well.

    Spoiler: Level 5
    Show

    At this level you're a fairly basic rogue. Thief of life boosts your sneak attack just as much as a regular rogue, so you're 1d6 higher than the average rogue at level 3. At level 5 you add bard skills to it, bringing your sneak attack equal to an average rogue and giving you some spells as well as some cheap wands.


    Spoiler: Level 10
    Show

    At this level you'll have dragonfire inspiration as well as your regular rogue abilities. Using bloodstorm Blade's throw anything will let you throw Kukri's instead of daggers which would be a straight upgrade to daggers due to the critical range. Warblade maneuvers help shore up your low will save and armor class.


    Spoiler: Level 15
    Show

    Level 15 is a natural highpoint for the build. You get greater two weapon fighting at this level as well as palm throw at 14. Using standard dragonfire inspiration boosts can get you a load of damage dice combined with your sneak attack. You also have lightning ricochet which means you only need a total of two weapons for your character, letting you purchase more scrolls and wands for use magic device.


    Spoiler: Level 20
    Show

    Rounding out your build gets you to +15 base attack bonus, the same as a straight rogue. You also have +5d6 sneak attack damage, a high use magic device, and rapid shot. This gives you 14 attacks before haste (depending on how you read rapid shot). Your trapfinding skills are also nearly maxed out, ready for epic.



    Spoiler: Sources
    Show

    SRDRogue, Bard, Feats
    Faiths of Eberron Thief of Life
    Dragon MagicGlimmerskin Halfling, Dragonfire Inspiration
    Tome of BattleWarblade, Bloodstorm Blade, Maneuvers
    Complete WarriorMaster Thrower
    Complete ChampionKnowledge Devotion
    Quotebox
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kalirren View Post
    The only person in the past two pages who has known what (s)he has been talking about is Heliomance.
    Quote Originally Posted by golentan View Post
    I just don't want to have long romantic conversations or any sort of drama with my computer, okay? It knows what kind of porn I watch. I don't want to mess that up by allowing it to judge any of my choices in romance.

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  7. - Top - End - #127
    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXV

    Entry number 6:

    Quote Originally Posted by Cocus Ferrea
    Cocus Ferrea

    "Always eat what you kill."

    Neutral Evil Glimmerskin Halfling
    Patron "Deity": Blood of Vol
    Halfling Rogue 1 / Thief of Life 10 / Fang of Lolth 1 / Shadowdancer 1 / Thunder Guide 1 / Master of Masks 1 / Renegade Mastermaker 1 / Death Delver 1 / Acolyte of the Ego 1 / Acolyte of the Skin 1 / Ardent Dilettante 1


    STORY:
    Spoiler
    Show
    "The blood is the life! The blood is the life!" Every Seeker learns that early on, but I'm not sure they all get it, you know? I get it. I've always gotten it. What's more, some higher-ups in the Church knew that I got it. Pretty much as soon as I got out of school, I was kept in the church after services one Revelations Day and told that the Church wanted to teach me something. I was just a little stripling of a thing when they took me aside for training—barely knew the business end of a dagger, unless of course I was throwing it—but I understood from Day 1 that there's power in blood, and I understood it in a way that qualified me for some special training. Most Seekers get all hung up on their own blood—and don't get me wrong, my own blood is incredibly important to me—but I knew that you aren't the only one who can access the power in your blood. If there's power in my blood and power in your blood, how much power would I have if I could add yours to mine?

    So they took me and they trained me. Ignore those who would seek to frighten you. Ignore those who would sap your life. Ignore those who would stop your heart without spilling your blood. Sense the blood, farther and farther away. Draw the blood with a quick blade (not actually that different from what I was doing from far away, just closer and better). And when the last drop of blood is drawn? That's when the fun part comes in.

    Sure, every would-be cutthroat trying to sound tough talks about the "rush" they get after a successful kill, but they don't know what they're talking about. They get a little tawdry excitement from the spill of blood, like the common folk do when they watch a vulgar gladatorial match, but they don't know the power of it. When you understand blood the way I do, the excitement you feel comes not from the thump of body on ground but from the powerful communion of your blood with my blood. There's nothing like it. It alters the mind like an intoxicant, but it grants a feeling of perfect clarity instead of the stupor of wine. It wakes me up more perfectly than even the tea brewed by the dragons. It nourishes me more completely than anything House Ghallanda offers. I take what you're no longer using—your life guards my life, your soul energizes my reflexes, your mind bolsters my thoughts . . . you become part of me, and I am stronger for it.

    They taught me how to do that in bits and pieces. I gobbled it up (I've always been a quick learner), but then they told me that they couldn't teach me any more. They said I held the secret of immortality already, and I was on my own to use it. So I did. I wandered about (mostly Arenal and Seren, but far and wide, really), sensing blood powerful enough to nourish my own and taking it whenever I found it. I had my share of close calls (even got dropped near death myself once or twice), but I made my way around. And nourish myself I did, though I didn't feel myself actually getting stronger as a result. I knew that I needed different fare if I were to make myself more perfect. And then one day I sensed someone who would qualify as just that—different.

    They were hideous to look at with my eyes—a twisted mongrel of rat and spider, all arms and fangs and fur—but when I looked with my blood, I saw an aura about them. An aura of achievement, almost like a metaphysical wreath of laurels. Though my face's eyes clearly saw no such thing, I could swear that my blood's eye saw them holding a golden trophy. I knew right then and there that I needed to absorb their essence into my blood. They were everything I needed to be, this "Tchar-Lee Kuh-Lee," and I would make them mine. I hid, I pounced, I drew the blood—I had almost forgotten what sleep was by this point, except insofar as it makes for nice targets—and I absorbed the most delectable soul I had ever tasted. The feeling was indescribable. The spark of divinity in my blood resonated with the spark in their blood, and I understood what it was like to be Tchar-Lee, world-famed Fang of Lolth. My blow knocked loose a spider-like amulet from their neck. It took a bit of fiddling to figure out how to activate its magic, but I eventually succeeded—perhaps too well, because I've never been able to take the damn thing off! Immediately, I felt my whole form changing—my skin darkened, my teeth grew, my neck got hairy—and I knew that I had succeeded in becoming what Tchar-Lee represented. From that point, my path was clear—I would seek out other people with that same aura of achievement and absorb them into myself.

    I researched where this aura of achievement might have come from, and I searched high and low for other people with the same quality. I heard tales of one "Sandamir," and I sought them out. I had heard that they were the best Shadowdancer the world had to offer. My sources told me that they were undead, which stymied me a little bit. Undead blood just doesn't have the same pop to it. Still, I thought I'd give it a try, so I watched, I waited, I pounced, and—nothing. Sandamir just kind of looked at me, and then he asked what the hell I was thinking. A little bit of flattery never hurt, so I told him I was looking to gain the powers of the greatest Shadowdancer ever. He laughed and told me that there was no way I'd ever succeed against him, but he pointed me towards the second-best: a fellow named Lucian the Wanderer. His blood was as alive as mine is (even if the trophy my blood sensed was silver rather than gold), and then it became exactly as alive as mine is (in so far as that it became mine).

    The next one I found was higher-profile than I expected. Everyone knows Kole Naerrin from the Korranberg Chronicle, right? Turns out he's one of these high achievers as well. What's more, it turns out he's nothing but a fake! All those tales he writes about his adventures in the Thunder Sea, serving as a Thunder Guide? They're nothing but fiction! He'd never, ever admit it, but his blood told me the truth as I staked him out and watched him. I threatened to expose him for the fraud he is, at which point he just bared his throat to me and told me he'd rather die. After getting what I came for (learning a new language in the process—funny what a person's essence can teach you), I saw no need to ruin the reputation of someone who contributed to the perfection of my blood. I probably did his estate a favor by boosting his book sales, anyway. (Why tell you this? Let's just say I'm not too worried about you spilling that secret.)

    It took a bit of work to find another target worthy of my blood. I eventually saw one such fellow just walking around, not living the high life of luxury you might expect of someone so accomplished. I actually saw him in several different disguises and masks, but his blood stayed the same, and that aura never left him. No two people called him the same name (Genriyon? Jereth? I can't tell), but it seemed to me that the best way to get close to him would be to bump off someone he trusted and take their place, which I did. My disguise was flawless, and the poor sap's friends and associates didn't notice a difference, at least not for the brief time I was in character. Once I got close enough, I put my dagger in this Jereth's back, and that same rush of accomplishment overwhelmed me. If I live to be a thousand (and at this rate, I just might), I don't think I'll ever get tired of that. I thought that the masks I saw him wearing might have been magical, but they seemed completely useless when I tried to put them on. You'd think the world's best Master of Masks could make a magical one or two! Oh well. Got a few good ideas for making my own, though, and the ones I made seemed pretty magical to me. I'd gotten pretty good at making things.

    It's actually a good thing that I'd been getting good at making things, because the next fellow I found seemed like a hard nut to crack. Thankfully, the energized divinity in my blood made it so that I didn't need to eat or sleep, so I had a lot of time on my hands to plan and prepare. Once a respected doctor but now the world's premier Renegade Mastermaker, AM-1468 (previously Dr. Antony Mallory) claimed to have transcended humanity and achieved "construct perfection." Now, I know that it's a little bit harder to get to the juicy bits of a construct, but that's why I had the foresight to make myself one of those Demolition Crystals you hear about. (Had to use a scroll to get the right spell, but that's not so hard.) I was willing to bet that AM-1468 still had enough blood in him to be interesting, if only I could get to it. I was right, of course! The blood never lies, even if it takes a bit of work to get to it. I absorbed his essence like all the others, and my mind opened to the possibilities that lay within the strange metal hand he had stuck on the end of his arm. Before he became part of me, I never would have thought of my own hand as being anything other than perfectly sufficient, but with his blood whispering to my own, I saw how easy it would be to become so much more. Part of me always becomes those I absorb; in this case, that just happened to be a bit more physically obvious than others. AM-1468, like me, planned to live forever; since his arm is now part of me, it looks like he's going to succeed. He lives on through this arm! That wasn't the only thing I found in his lair, of course. He had all kinds of blueprints drawn up for weird and crazy gadgets. Most of them didn't seem worth the effort to me, but I saw one for a crystal very similar to the one that had brought the mad doctor low, just tuned more to undead than to constructs. That, at least, let me get the last laugh on old Sandamir, even if his blood wasn't any use to me.

    Not everyone tried to fight me, of course. Normally, I would stalk someone for days after finding that aura of achievement, hiding in the shadows and waiting for just the right time to get them alone. I tried to do just that with some motley-wearing entertainer who called himself Parsifal the Fool, but the first time I saw him alone, he turned and stared directly at my hiding place, just as though he could see me! "So you've come at last?" he asked me. He seemed to know exactly what I was planning, and he seemed alternately resigned and terrified at my presence. He explained that he knew that his prophecied hour had come, so he wouldn't try to fight me off. I figured it was a trick, but so far as I can tell, it wasn't—he took a few more stabs than I would have expected, but his blood became mine just the same. His last action was to have the oddly passive skeletons following him around plink out a requiem on their instruments, the comedic value of which was overwhelmed only by its poignancy. So ended the tale of the most celebrated Death Delver.

    My next target, a gentleman by the name of Benjamin Nutt, seemed incredibly prepared for a fight against a very specific foe. Thankfully, I didn't happen to be that foe. Honestly, he seemed shocked that I wasn't some wielder of Truename magic. He'd apparently risen to fame as an Acolyte of the Ego just to try to fight them. How someone so focused on that kind of thing ended up with that aura of achievement, I'll never know, but it was on him clear as day. As I took his essence into my being and felt was it was like to be him, I became aware of the name the universe has for me, which I've decided to go by ever since: Cocus Ferrea. (Or at least, that's a rough transliteration of it—even I have a hard time saying the proper thing out loud.) It probably means something in Celestial or Draconic or something. Still, I think it has a nice ring to it.

    I had a bit of trouble finding another victim with that same aura of achievement. I had to employ some unusual methods, including working with some Wizards who liked to summon fiends and use them as sources of information. Those Wizards tended to be useless in their own nutty way, but some of the fiends they summoned were pretty neat. One such fiend told me to seek out a fellow known as The Sacred Demon, apparently an esteemed Acolyte of the Skin. According to my demonic informant, The Sacred Demon was interfering in the plans of a certain Ta'ligul, a demon for whom my informant had some respect. I realized that I was probably advancing some kind of hidden agenda, but as long as I could get access to people with that aura of achievement, it didn't matter to me if I had to help out an unsavory character or two. A quick blade made just as short work of The Sacred Demon as all the others, but he didn't fall in a heap the way everyone else did—rather, he fell in two heaps. One was a desiccated humanoid corpse with a celestial air to it (not dissimilar to what I was expecting), but one seemed to be simply the skin of a demon. The demon skin seemed to be hollow, and it looked like I could wear it like a cloak—so I did. (What can I say, I have a habit of picking up trophies, and it usually works out, even if I still can't get this damn spider necklace off.) Long story short, I found Ta'ligul, and he's helping me out now. He says I'm a lot easier to work with than that Sacred Demon fellow. Something about fewer conflicts of interest.

    Ta'ligul didn't have a ton of useful information for me (his suggestions mostly boil down to "KILL THEM ALL," which isn't really helpful for someone of my refined palate), but he did suggest that I take to the planes to see if I could find anyone else who would meet my needs. One thing led to another, and I found myself in Sigil. Practically everyone there seemed to belong to some kind of faction, and not all of them seemed like the most helpful sorts of people, but the folks who called themselves the Sensates seemed pretty easy to talk to. You can get away with asking them about damn near any sort of depraved thing, and a lot of them will just talk about how daring you are in the pursuit of sensation. (Plus, they didn't seem to care about my spiderlike features, my metal arm, my mask, or the demon riding around on my back.) They did, however, demand that I tell them about some various things I had experienced, so I humored them. I went up in one of their "sensoriums" and started talking about what it's like to commune with the blood of one of my targets. How sharp your vision gets, the sound of your heartbeat as their heartbeat stops, the feel of their vigor strengthening you, the scent of their fear, even the taste of their soul. The Sensates lapped it up and had me recount experience after experience . . . and I won't deny that it was fun to showboat a little bit for an audience who wouldn't judge the contents of my story so much as the telling. After I was done, a Sensate named Arleigh Skye came up and congratulated me on weaving such a fine tale—at least, I assume that's what she was talking about, because I was a little bit distracted by being actively approached by one of the very luminaries I was seeking. She was what the Sensates call an Ardent Dilettante, and she was one of their very best. I concocted an excuse to get her alone—and she got to experience the new sensation of nourishing my soul.

    There were others, of course. Old Lob. Little Starry-Eyes. Sortes. Nyldene and Lady Liandra. Jorath, Hand of Annihilation. More luminaries than I can count, each one worthy of praise in their own way. It's almost enough to make a Seeker want to revere some of those things the yokels call gods, because whoever was responsible for bringing those people into being deserves some kind of recognition. So long as I live, I'll seek each one out . . . and they will become mine.


    TABLES:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    1 Halfling Rogue 1 +0 +0 +2 +0 Heal 4, K: Arcana 4, K: Religion 2, Hide 4, Move Silently 2, Perform: Dance 4, Perform: Act 4, UMD 4, Truespeak 2 cc Education (bonuses to Arcana and Religion) Trapfinding, Sneak Attack (ranged 2d6/melee 0)
    2 Thief of Life 1 +0 +2 +4 +0 Concentration 1, Disguise 1, Hide +1 (5), Move Silently +1 (3), Truespeak +0.5 cc (2.5), UMD +1 (5) Lifesense (5 ft)
    3 Thief of Life 2 +1 +3 +5 +0 Concentration +1 (2), Disguise +1 (2), Hide +1 (6), Move Silently +1 (4), Truespeak +0.5 cc (3), UMD +1 (6) Midnight Dodge Sneak Attack (ranged 3d6/melee 1d6)
    4 Thief of Life 3 +2 +3 +5 +1 Concentration +1 (3), Disguise +1 (3), Hide +1 (7), Move Silently +1 (5), Truespeak +0.5 cc (3.5), UMD +1 (7) Lifesense (10 ft)
    5 Thief of Life 4 +3 +4 +6 +1 Concentration +1 (4), Disguise +1 (4), Hide +1 (8), Move Silently +1 (6), Truespeak +0.5 cc (3.5), UMD +1 (8) Borrow Vigor
    6 Thief of Life 5 +3 +4 +6 +1 Concentration +1 (5), Disguise +1 (5),Hide +1 (9), Move Silently +1 (7), Truespeak +0.5 cc (4.5), UMD +1 (9) Mobility Immunity to Fear, Lifesense (15 ft)
    7 Thief of Life 6 +4 +5 +7 +2 Concentration +1 (6), Disguise +1 (6), Hide +1 (10), Move Silently +1 (8), Truespeak +0.5 cc (5), UMD +1 (10) Sneak Attack (ranged 4d6/melee 2d6)
    8 Thief of Life 7 +5 +5 +7 +2 Bluff 2, Concentration +1 (7), Diplomacy 1, Disguise +1 (7), Truespeak +0.5 cc (5.5) Immunity to Energy Drain, Lifesense (20 ft)
    9 Thief of Life 8 +6 +6 +8 +2 Bluff +2 (4), Concentration +1 (8), Diplomacy +1 (2), Disguise +1 (8), Hide +1 (11) Combat Reflexes Steal Vitality
    10 Thief of Life 9 +6 +6 +8 +3 Bluff +1 (5), Craft: Blacksmithing 1, Diplomacy +1 (3), Hide +2 (13), Perform: Dance +0.5 cc (4.5) Immunity to Death Effects, Lifesense (25 ft)
    11 Thief of Life 10 +7 +7 +9 +3 Craft: Blacksmithing +2 (3), Perform: Dance +0.5 cc (5), Truespeak +0.5 cc (6), Speak Language 1 cc (Elven) Sneak Attack (ranged 5d6/melee 3d6), Steal Immortality
    12 Fang of Lolth 1 +7 +7 +11 +3 Craft: Blacksmithing +5 (8), Truespeak +0.5 cc (6.5) Craft Magic Arms and Armor Skill Bonuses (+2 Climb, +2 Jump, +4 UMD)
    13 Shadowdancer 1 +7 +7 +13 +3 K: Religion +1 (3), Perform: Act +4 (8), Truespeak +0.5 cc (7) Hide In Plain Sight
    14 Thunder Guide 1 +7 +9 +13 +3 Bluff +3 (8), Truespeak +0.5 cc (7.5) Speak Language (Giant)
    15 Master of Masks 1 +7 +9 +15 +5 K: Religion +1 (4), Truespeak +1.5 cc (9) Craft Wondrous Item Persona Masks (Assassin, Faceless)
    16 Renegade Mastermaker 1 +7 +11 +15 +7 Spellcraft 4 Battlefist, Craft Master
    17 Death Delver 1 +7 +13 +15 +9 K: Planes 2 Spells, Deathsense, Rebuke Undead
    18 Acolyte of the Ego 1 +8 +15 +15 +9 K: Planes +4 (6) Practiced Spellcaster (Death Delver) Known Personal Truename
    19 Acolyte of the Skin 1 +8 +17 +15 +11 Profession: Chef 2 Wear Fiend (natural armor +1, DEX +2, darkvision), Poison 1/day
    20 Ardent Dilettante 1 +8 +17 +17 +11 Lucid Dreaming 6 Heightened Senses, Lore

    32 point buy
    Starting stats:
    STR: 14 – 2 racial = 12 (6 points)
    DEX: 16 + 2 racial = 18 (10 points)
    CON: 14 (6 points)
    INT: 10 (2 points)
    WIS: 12 (4 points)
    CHA: 12 (4 points)

    Stat changes: All level-up stats go to DEX; +2 DEX from Acolyte of the Skin

    Multiclass penalty: No

    Starting Languages: Common, Halfling

    Glimmerskin halfling traits (Dragon Magic pg. 9): Like PHB halflings except as follows:
    Dragonblood subtype
    Touch of Luck: Once per day, grant self or ally within 30 ft a +2 luck bonus to one saving throw as an immediate action
    Heal is always a class skill
    No Move Silently bonus

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


    STRATEGY AND DESIGN:
    Spoiler
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    The Secret Ingredient has prereqs that aren't that easy to meet in a traditional manner, but each element of them can be gotten around somehow. The SI requires Sneak Attack, so we're looking at a Rogue or a Rogue-analogue. Knowledge (Arcana) and Knowledge (Religion) aren't usually in-class for Rogues, but Education fixes that. Getting Heal as a class skill is as simple as being a glimmerskin halfling, and it just so happens that the RotW Halfling Racial Substitution Level for Rogues lets us get 2d6 Sneak Attack right off the bat. (Sure, it only works on ranged attacks, but it's still 2d6 Sneak Attack.) Once we're in Thief of Life, we pick up everything the class has to offer as soon as possible. Extra Sneak Attack never goes amiss, the immunities are always handy, and Lifesense is a relatively unique ability, especially so early in the game. Midnight Dodge gives us an essentia receptacle, so we can actually use the essentia we steal from people. Once we get the ability to devour people's souls, we pack it up and look elsewhere.

    Fang of Lolth gives us useful skill bonuses, particularly UMD. Shadowdancer offers true Hide In Plain Sight, which is hugely important for a stealthy Sneak Attacker. Thunder Guide teaches us another language, which allows us to qualify for Master of Masks. Master of Masks gives us the Faceless mask for when we don't want to be found out and the Assassin mask to make our Sneak Attack even better. The Supernatural abilities from Thief of Life have no listed caster level, so as per the Monster Manual, the CL defaults to our HD, giving us the CL necessary to take Craft Wondrous Item and Craft Magic Arms and Armor, which lets us get into Renegade Mastermaker; Renegade Mastermaker in turn gives us a very nice semi-natural weapon that can't be taken from us (and that could conceivably be enchanted if we use Greater Magic Weapon/Fang to temporarily enchant it while it's being permanently upgraded, though that's really just a gimmick and not a primary strategy). Death Delver grants access to spells and to Rebuke Undead. The language we got from Thunder Guide also qualifies us for Acolyte of the Ego, the benefits of which are self-evident. Acolyte of the Skin gives us natural armor, increased DEX, and darkvision, along with a nice Poison effect once per day. Ardent Dilettante gives us more skill bonuses and a Bardic Knowledge-style effect. So as you can see, everything blends together in a natural way, and the end result clearly . . .

    . . . Okay, yeah, I can't keep a straight face with that anymore. Being real for a minute, this is obviously more of a showcase build than a playable character. Once I realized that it was possible to qualify for the Secret Ingredient after level 1, I knew that I wanted to set a record of entering/completing the Secret Ingredient at the earliest possible level. (It's possible that one of the 5-level ingredients could have been completed first, but still, there's no way we've had an ingredient that can be entered sooner than I enter this one.) This also means that I have an entry who only needs 1 level in a base class, which should also be unique (not counting entries who rely mostly on racial paragon classes before the SI), which left me with some interesting possibilities. I figured that I might as well set another record by making an entry with the greatest possible number of Secret Ingredients. It may technically be possible to touch more Secret Ingredients, but there's no way to do that while still finishing the primary Secret Ingredient (and then using its powers to eat the souls of the other Secret Ingredients, though I hope that we never use Illithid Savant as a Secret Ingredient).

    To be fair, though, the character does have some tricks that make them playable. Thief of Life gives us some cool immunities, and since we enter it so early, it's really hard to get those immunities any earlier while still being a living creature (especially for always-on immunity that can't be dispelled and that doesn't take an action). Lifesense is unique enough to be noticeable, and Steal Immortality (and its cousins) of course forms the heart and soul of the character. With the Assassin Mask active, we end up with a decent handful of Sneak Attack (6d6 ranged, 4d6 melee), and Shadowdancer gives us the good kind of Hide In Plain Sight. That's not going to smash any power records, but honestly, it's not bad; the character's late game might not be a whirlwind of competence, but they're actually pretty cohesive for a large part of their career.

    In the end, I've accomplished my goal by simply constructing this build. I have entered and completed a Secret Ingredient at the earliest level that's physically possible (I dare you to beat that record), I managed to qualify for ten different Secret Ingredients (with 10 INT worth of skill points and zero bonus feats, I will add!), I squeezed in more Secret Ingredients than should ever be possible in a single build, I stuck religiously to my own fluff, and I got to eat the souls of a bunch of beloved champions. Thanks for reading, and I hope I made you smile.



    SOURCES AND CREDITS:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Rogue: Player's Handbook/SRD
    Halfling Rogue Substitution Level: Races of the Wild
    Thief of Life: Faiths of Eberron
    Fang of Lolth: Song and Silence
    Shadowdancer: Dungeon Master's Guide/SRD
    Thunder Guide: Eberron Explorer's Handbook
    Master of Masks: Complete Scoundrel
    Renegade Mastermaker: Magic of Eberron
    Death Delver: Heroes of Horror
    Acolyte of the Ego: Tome of Magic
    Acolyte of the Skin: Complete Arcane
    Ardent Dilettante: Planar Handbook

    Glimmerskin Halfling: Dragon Magic
    Education: Eberron Campaign Setting
    Midnight Dodge: Magic of Incarnum
    Practiced Spellcaster: Complete Arcane
    Mobility, Combat Reflexes, Craft Magic Arms and Armor, Craft Wondrous Item: Player's Handbook/SRD
    Truespeak skill: Tome of Magic
    Lucid Dreaming skill: Manual of the Planes
    Other skills: Player's Handbook/SRD
    Greater Demolition Crystal: Magic Item Compendium
    Name: Google Translate

    Many thanks and accolades to those responsible for my targets: The Viscount (Tchar-Lee Kuh-Lee), gbprime (Sandamir, Arleigh Skye), Piggy Knowles (Lucian the Wanderer, AM-1468, Parsifal the Fool), Chronos (Kole Naerrin), Draz74 (Jereth), Zaq (Benjamin Nutt), and The Dark Fiddler (The Sacred Demon). Kudos to all chefs and champions I didn't mention; I included as much as I reasonably could, but that doesn't mean that the ones I singled out are the only ones worthy of comment (or even necessarily the best of the bunch)! Eternal thanks (past, present, and future) to our judges and to our Chairpeople. Here's to 75 more rounds!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kalirren View Post
    The only person in the past two pages who has known what (s)he has been talking about is Heliomance.
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    I just don't want to have long romantic conversations or any sort of drama with my computer, okay? It knows what kind of porn I watch. I don't want to mess that up by allowing it to judge any of my choices in romance.

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  8. - Top - End - #128
    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXV

    Entry number 7:

    Quote Originally Posted by Korraneleus d'Orien
    The Ageless Korraneleus d'Orien



    Spoiler: backstory
    Show

    Korraneleus was struggling.

    While his position within House Orien was far from pitiable, one more raid on the house’s caravans would have disastrous consequences for him. Not to mention his wife and son.

    He drew back the lush curtain from the window of the carriage he rode in, well behind the wares. If you asked him exactly what he was transporting on this excursion, Korraneleus wouldn’t be able to tell you. After all, that was part of what the customer paid House Orien for. Any fool could deliver a package, but it required skill and training to do it discreetly.

    These were the kind of shipments Korraneleus worried about the most. Whatever was in them was obviously in short supply in this part of Karrnath.

    His coach slowed to a stop.

    There was always the chance the coachman had merely spotted an obstacle on the road and they would be on their way once it was cleared.

    Still, Korraneleus did not want to ask. The scream followed by the unmistakable thud of a body hitting the road let him know his worst fears had come to pass.

    Korraneleus threw his knife to the floor, still in its sheath and put his hands in the air. If they wanted his wares, they could be replaced.

    The highwayman outside pierced the curtain on the carriage with a sword. When he saw who sat inside, he threw open the door and dragged Korraneleus out by his doublet, hurling him to the ground.

    Korraneleus did not run. He did not fight. He knew what was going to happen to him.

    The highwayman before him drew a sacrificial dagger from a hidden compartment somewhere on his person. Korraneleus wasn’t paying attention to such things.

    “Has the delivery been made?” Korraneleus asked the man who would soon be his murderer.

    “All is well. You need to have more faith, Seeker. It’s all taken care of,” he said.

    He took a step toward Korraneleus, drew the blade across his throat, and killed him.

    ***
    This was the first time Korraneleus would witness Dolurrh. He knew it would not be the last.

    The final word of power was spoken in the presence of Korraneleus’s corpse.

    His spirit occupied the body before it was wholly together. Korraneleus knew this because for the briefest, most agonizing moment, he was aware of what it felt like to be alive without a body.

    The moment his blood was called back from wherever it had gone, he was for the first time in his life aware of its presence. It was the first time he’d truly felt it flow within him. Heard its ebb and flow with every beat of his heart. While the sensation grew fainter with every pulse, he vowed he wouldn’t take it for granted again.

    “Ah, good, you’re up,” said a dwarf standing by his side.

    Korraneleus didn’t need to turn to see who it was. He would know Bartimeus d’Kundarak’s voice anywhere.

    A short time ago, Barty had approached him with a contract from some, to put it mildly, shady characters. It stipulated that if the next shipment from House Orien were attacked, and Korraneleus met with any kind of unfortunate end, there would be a substantial compensation to his family (anonymous, of course.) They even agreed to throw in a free resurrection. True as well. All the bells and whistles. How could he refuse?

    Barty had looked everything over and expressed in fluent legalese that it was indeed a good deal, especially since he had a much more depressingly thorough grasp of Korraneleus’s finances than he did. Korraneleus took his friend’s advice.

    “Korry, I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news.”

    And now he was literally living to regret it.

    The priest by his side gave Korraneleus a curt nod and held a stick of sealing wax to his ring finger. He pressed it in and stamped it on a document in Barty’s hand. Korraneleus’s signet ring had already made its mark on the paper.

    Strange, why did it look so old?

    “I’m not going to like this, am I?” Korraneleus said.

    Barty shook his head. “I’m afraid not.”

    Korraneleus tilted his head toward the priest in his black and red robes, Vol’s symbol across the chest. “What’s he know?”

    Barty shrugged. “Enough, but he’s got no reason to stick around. He’s done his part.”

    With that, the priest shrugged off his robe, folded it into a bag of holding, and tossed it to Barty, who squirreled it away in a safe deposit box in the vault they were standing in.

    “Good. I’ve got a lunch meeting across town in an hour. Orien got me covered?” he asked.

    Barty waved his hand. “Yes, yes, it’s all taken care of. Someone’s waiting for you in the lobby. Don’t want to be late.”

    Korraneleus cleared his throat. A bit awkwardly, he said “Thanks for saving my life, I suppose.”

    The priest chuckled. “Nothing personal.” With that, he was on his way.

    Korraneleus swallowed once they were alone.

    “Barty, why did you promise him special favors within my house? That wasn’t part of our deal,” Korraneleus said.

    Barty cleared his throat and handed him a new suit of clothes, his back still turned.

    Korraneleus had had no body when he’d been returned to life, so of course he’d been naked. He got dressed.

    “A few things had to change, you understand,” Barty said.

    Korraneleus hopped off the makeshift dais he’d been placed on, steady as ever on his feet. A knock at the outside of the vault startled him.

    “Sir? Are you done with the vault? Our next client needs it in a few minutes.”

    “Just wrapping up,” Barty said and chuckled.

    “Okay, I’m done,” Korraneleus said.

    Barty turned around. There were streaks of gray in his beard. There hadn’t been the last time the two had spoken.

    Korraneleus grabbed Barty by the shoulders. “How long have I been under?”

    Barty swallowed. “Like I said, a few things had to change—“

    “How long?”

    “Let me put it this way: the next customer is your grandson.”

    Before Korraneleus could react, the door to the vault swung open. A man who looked distressingly like he’d thought his son would when he was a man stood before him.

    “Grandfather! How are you?” he said with a smile.

    Korraneleus limply extended a hand. “I’m as good as can be expected, I suppose. Listen, ah—“ he reached for his name, feeling foolish for not knowing it.

    “Andraias,” he said patiently. “No need to be embarrassed, grandfather. I’ll explain it all on the way.”

    “Where are we going?” Korraneleus asked.

    “Lunch, of course! I know I’m always famished after the boy brings me back,” Andraias said with disconcerting authority.

    Korraneleus saw more than a hint of stubble on the young man’s cheek. Was his own grandson older than he was? How embarrassing.

    And had he just referred to a priest of the Blood of Vol as “the boy?”

    “I’m not sure I have much of an appetite, son,” Korraneleus said.

    “Ah. Don’t worry, that’ll come back too. We’ve got a lot to discuss.”

    With that, the pair bid goodbye to Barty and were on their way.

    The interior of the bank hadn’t changed much, but that was to be expected. Just as he stepped outside, he felt maybe he’d been too confident about how quickly he’d adjust.

    Some enormous steel serpent lay before the bank, resting on a pair of iron slats.

    “What is that?!” Korraneleus exclaimed.

    “Relax, grandfather. It’s only the lightning rail. You ought to know. After all, you built it,” Andraias said.

    “I what?” Korraneleus said.

    Andraias stepped forward and showed some papers to what looked like a coachman, judging by the House Orien symbol on his lapel, even though it was no uniform Korraneleus recognized, and he had no idea where the poor man would sit on this steel contraption.

    “Ah, yes, very good, sir. Your private car is right this way,” the coachman said. He tipped his hat to Korraneleus. “Nice to see you back, sir,” he said with a wink.

    Something about the way he said it put Korraneleus on edge.

    He stepped into the compartment after Andraias. Within, it looked not unlike a carriage, albeit a far more spacious one.

    “Are we alone here?” Korraneleus asked.

    Andraias chuckled haughtily. Korraneleus was annoyed. He’d hoped his son would do a better job raising his children than this, but realized it wasn’t as though he’d had much of a chance. He’d been little more than a child himself when Korraneleus had seen him last.

    “Yes, quite. The whole car’s ours, or should I say yours, so by all means, make yourself at home.” Andraias poured them both large brandies from a crystal decanter.

    Korraneleus gratefully accepted. He could certainly use one.

    “Was that man outside a Seeker?” he asked.

    “Oh, yes,” Andraias said. “Joined up last year, I think. Incognito, of course, so I’d appreciate it if you didn’t tell anyone. He’s what we call a conductor nowadays. He makes the lightning rail go from place to place.”

    Korraneleus didn’t care for his grandson’s tone, but he was hardly in a position to complain.

    “The lightning rail is like a caravan without any horses. It goes from place to place using electricity on steel tracks.”

    Korraneleus nodded. So that was how the priest had planned to get across town so quickly. His next question, he had to pose more tactfully.

    “What exactly is our standing in the church nowadays?” he asked.

    When he’d been alive last was nowhere near lofty enough to treat priests capable of raising the dead like errand boys.

    “We’re quite well off, grandfather. Rest assured if you need someone in the church to get something done, I’ll see to it.”

    A piercing whistle came from outside. “All aboard that’s coming aboard!” shouted the conductor.

    “Let’s sit down. Wouldn’t want you to spill your drink,” Andraias said.

    Korraneleus sat down and sipped from his glass. It was much better than anything he’d drank in his day, but he was careful not to let his face show it.

    “What else has changed? Is your grandmother still alive? Why have I been under so long?”

    Andraias smiled indulgently, but then took on a more somber cast.

    “I’m afraid the first question is a bit beyond what I can answer in our time together. The second, unfortunately, I can tell you now is no, I’m afraid grandmother is no longer with us. The third has an unfortunate, if interesting answer.”

    The wheels on the lightning rail began to turn, and at once, they were off. By the scenery whizzing past, they were moving faster than the swiftest horse.

    “You see, shortly after you were, well, I suppose the technical term would be ‘murdered,’ there was an investigation within House Orien. It seems a few of our less scrupulous members had been dealing with the Blood of Vol in exchange for the occasional kickback,” he said with a wink. Andraias finished his brandy.

    Korraneleus scowled. “Those kickbacks were all that kept us going when times were hard. It paid for that drink in your belly, didn’t it?”

    Andraias coughed and set down his glass. “I was only teasing, grandfather. Anyway, if you had been brought back too soon, even though everything was anonymous, it would look suspicious. Barty talked things out with father once he was old enough. The church offered us enough to improve our standing within the House. Mother had taken a turn for the worse, you see. In exchange for delaying things a while longer, they agreed to give us something of an installment for the short term.”

    Korraneleus, unfortunately, was beginning to see the shape of things. “And I gather it continued in this fashion for some time.”

    “You have to understand, a project like the lightning rail doesn’t just happen overnight. We were doing fine, sure, but almost all our operating capital was tied up in the project. When it stalled, we didn’t have much of a choice but to extend the contract”

    “I’m sure,” Korraneleus said.

    They arrived at their destination a frighteningly short time later. None of the restaurants Korraneleus suggested were still extant, so he reluctantly took his grandson’s suggestion about where to dine.

    “You’ll love it,” he said. “It’s this charming little place called ‘The Empty Plate.’ The chef comes and manifests false sensory input on you and you have whatever you like.”

    Korraneleus wasn’t sure quite how to respond to that.

    Midway through an ineffable lobster bisque, Korraneleus glanced around the room.

    “You know, perhaps I need to catch up a little. I could use some new clothes. I can show you to this wonderful tailor in Cyre—“

    Andraias choked on his champagne. If he’d actually been drinking anything, it would’ve gone straight in Korraneleus’s face. As things stood in this modern world, he simply imagined his glass full and continued normally. He set it down and came over quite serious.

    “I’m afraid that’s quite impossible, grandfather.”

    Korraneleus was beginning to grow annoyed.

    “Look, I’m getting sick of this.”

    Andraias bit his lip. “We can’t go because there is no more Cyre.” He made some vague gesture to the Sovereign Host. They were in public after all.

    Korraneleus laughed. Everyone in the restaurant gasped and then fell silent.

    “Come on, you certainly could’ve come up with something better than that,” Korraneleus said. He reached forward to take another mouthful of soup, but found his bowl empty.

    The chef, who had stood dutifully unnoticed with his back to the table, as any good servant should, turned to face him.

    “Sir, I’m going to have to ask you to leave,” he said.

    Korraneleus couldn’t help but laugh again. “Oh, very funny. I suppose my grandson put you up to this.”

    The chef clenched his fist so tight, the tendons stood out in his wrist.

    “There are some things you just don’t do. My father was killed on the Day of Mourning. Get out, or I will throw you out.”

    Korraneleus was about to retort when his grandson actually shushed him.

    “I’m so sorry. Please, charge everything to House Orien as my way of recompense,” Andraias said. He left the restaurant.

    Korraneleus was about to protest, when he heard a deep, bass hum from the back of his skull.

    “I warned you,” the chef said. He wouldn’t.

    He had.

    Korraneleus knew he had about thirty seconds. He could already taste bile. He sprinted from the restaurant, his every nerve telling him to get as far away from it as possible. He dove for a plate glass window, his gift from Orien allowing him to slip at once to that space between spaces and appear unharmed on the other side, the glass intact.

    On the sidewalk outside, he doubled over in pain and vomited into the gutter.

    The bastard had made him averse to the restaurant.

    “That was my fault, I should’ve told you earlier,” Andraias said without consideration of his predicament. “Something terrible happened there a while ago. Cyre was destroyed. It was just a few years before the war stopped.”

    “The war stopped?” Korraneleus asked.

    “Well, on paper. You know how things are. Don’t worry, business is still good.”

    “The House or the church?” Korraneleus asked once he was sure no one was around. His nausea had passed, so he got to his feet.

    “Oh, the House, to be certain. You saw those rails. We move much more than we ever could in the old days. Sorry, in your time.”

    “And the church?” Korraneleus asked, ignoring the gibe.

    “I can’t precisely be sure. While father and I have certainly benefited from your sacrifice on the church’s behalf, I’m afraid I personally never had much affinity for your branch,” Korraneleus said.

    Andraias spoke of the Thieves of Life like they were some lodge.

    “And your father?” Korraneleus asked.

    “Oh, he’s on church business right now. Terribly hush hush. Or he’d have been here to greet you himself.” That, Korraneleus believed.

    “Anyway, sorry about all this. I’ll tell you what, I’ll take you somewhere and get you something to cheer you up,” Andraias said with a pat on the back. At this point, Korraneleus knew better than to ask what it was.

    They got off the lightning rail at the next destination. Andraias shepherded him into a shop where everything was gleaming metal. Korraneleus was afraid to touch anything, lest he leave a fingerprint. Old habits.

    The merchant greeted Andraias as an old friend.

    “What can I do for you today, young master?” he asked.

    “Something for my grandfather. Can you believe he’s never had one?” Andraias said, as though it were a joke.

    “No shame in that. What is sir’s pleasure?” he asked.

    Korraneleus wasn’t sure how to respond.

    “I’m sure whatever you select is fine,” Andraias said.

    The merchant returned with a gleaming warforged in tow.

    Korraneleus quirked an eyebrow. “I don’t really need a bodyguard, you know. I can take care of myself.”

    Andraias snorted. “No, not a bodyguard. A, uh, well, you know, valet, dogsbody, something like that. I can’t be around all the time, I’m afraid,” he said as though Korraneleus would miss him.

    “I see,” Korraneleus said. He extended a hand to the warforged. “Korraneleus d’Orien.”

    “Jayvas,” the warforged said.

    “There, see? I’m sure you’ll be the best of friends. Put it on the account,” Andraias said. “And with that, I’m afraid I must be off. House business to attend to. Let them know if you need anything. Our standing there’s improved quite a bit as well. If you see father, send him my regards. Ta.” Andraias disappeared without a trace.

    The brat had Orien’s gift of teleportation. If Korraneleus was lucky, he would be far away by now.

    “Where to, sir?” Jayvas asked.

    “Somewhere else,” Korraneleus said.

    “That, I think, can be arranged,” Jayvas said.

    ***

    Korraneleus went back to the bank to discuss things with Barty. Jayvas waited outside.

    They determined due to some intricacies of the law in this area, as long as Korraneleus was alive, he retained control of the assets that had passed to his descendants during the period of his death. It was a tricky area of the law, but it was why he’d kept Barty around all these years.

    “You’ve got some work to do,” Barty said.

    “I’ve not even been alive one single solitary damned day,” Korraneleus said.

    Barty shrugged. “Hey, what can I say, the only thing you can count on is taxes. You’ve go the other thing all taken care of.” He handed him his envelope from the church.

    Korraneleus read it, gathered the pertinent information on his target, and burnt it then and there. He wasn’t in the least surprised.

    He emerged a short time later, Jayvas patiently waiting for him as a good servant should.

    “Sir? Where are we going next?” he asked.

    “Hunting,” Korraneleus said.

    ***

    His standing within the house truly had improved. He had a member who could teleport beside him as soon as they got word that he needed it.

    The site of his job was on the lightning rail, far away from where he’d ridden today.

    His House Orien credentials got him onboard without needing to be officially added to the manifest. He got a compartment adjacent to the private car, which was in use. Big surprise.

    He instructed Jayvas to wait for him, and send up an alarm should anything happen. Not that it should. His target was someone misappropriating church funds. They weren’t, as a rule, fearsome opponents.

    The door to the private car was something even a silver key would have trouble circumventing. Fortunately, Korraneleus didn’t have to. Orien’s gift let him appear on the other side in an instant. He crept to the bedroom, his gift from Orien ensuring his feet never touched the floor. Korraneleus held a pillow over his target’s face and stabbed through it over and over with his bloodfang until whatever was underneath it stopped moving.

    The soul of his prey flowed into him. He grew full of life. The same way he had felt his blood for the first time, he felt something like it again. The heartbeat of his victim pulsed within him for a moment until it was subsumed within his own. He had stolen another year. Fitting for an embezzler.

    He hopped back outside and told Jayvas to summon another teleporter. They needed to return to the bank. He’d had an idea.

    Barty was glad as ever to see him.

    “That was fast,” he said.

    “Is the church complaining?” Korraneleus asked.

    “Nah.”

    “Do they have a contract out on me?” Korraneleus asked.

    “Hey, you know if they did, I’m the first guy you’d hear it from,” Barty said.

    “Do you know if they’d like one?” Korraneleus asked.

    “Are you crazy?” Barty said.

    “Look, it’s like this: House Kundarak takes money from one person and gives it to another in another city when there’s need. Why not do that with years? I’m sure there’s someone else who needs to lie low once in a while. Why let that year go to waste? If someone needs to be out of the way, temporarily or otherwise, why not have one of us do it? We could even it amongst each other, even,” he said.

    Barty looked shocked, intrigued, then excited. “That’s a great idea. It’s so simple.”

    Korraneleus nodded. “And in desperate need of being made so complicated that only bankers can understand it. I can think of no better man for the job. Congratulations, Barty, you’re hired.”

    Barty asked “As what?”

    “As chair of the Blood Bank of Vol.”
    ***

    One year later, when his borrowed time was up, they had indeed found a “buyer,” another Thief of Life who was eyeing the title of Ageless himself. Korraneleus was happy to make it happen for a price. In this way, he was able to further grow his fortune. In exchange for larger and larger payouts, he could be killed quite often, as could others in his network, since it would hardly do to resurrect the same man every day.

    He’d been out for a while, awoken as ever by Jayvas, accompanied by another priest. He could scarcely tell them apart these days. This one was another distant scion of his. Neither was sure of the precise relation, so he just called him uncle on his way out wishing him a pleasant life. Neither was sure which life he was on now.

    Jayvas accompanied him out into the street. He was wearing a tailored suit of his own now, like a man. Korraneleus did an admirable job of not laughing.

    “Where did you get that suit?” he asked politely.

    “I made it, sir,” Jayvas said.

    “I didn’t know you sewed,” Korraneleus said. Jayvas shrugged.

    “One picks things up as time passes. I have my own shop now, sir.”

    By now, Korraneleus knew never to laugh when hearing something outrageous after being brought back.

    “How?”

    “We’re free now. Perhaps not in exactly the same way as you, but in our own way. I’ve come to say goodbye and to wish you well. I figured I owed you that courtesy. Please feel free to stop by any time you like, sir.”

    Korraneleus was shocked, but not surprised. He shook Jayvas’s hand like he would a man’s and wished him well. Truthfully, he was in need of a new suit, as he always was upon emerging from Dolurrh, but having his old friend wait on him after his speech about being freed would be in poor taste. He shopped elsewhere.
    ***

    Without Jayvas as a touchstone, or even Barty after his next dozen dozen contracts, the years began to blur. He slept longer and longer, the conditions he left with his executor about when to wake him becoming ever less specific: when an enemy of his died. When this descendent or that came of age. When something interesting happened.

    House Orien arranged for a guide to shepherd him out into the world when he came back to life. By now, no one was sure how they were related, so they all called him grandfather and none of them understood why it always made him smile.

    A distant scion of his picked him up. An orc, if such things can be believed. Full-blooded. Korraneleus had learned by now not to comment on such things. He caught him up on current events. Which houses were at Orien’s throat, the names of the current rulers, and things that were no longer acceptable to say in public. He suggested taking Korraneleus to a play. He had no reason to object.

    Outside, the lightning rail was gone. The last time Korraneleus had been out, when he’d asked what time the rail arrived, people had laughed at him. House Orien had been teleporting people directly to their destination on large crystal pads for decades. It’d been as if he’d asked where to rent a horse, back when such things still existed. People scarcely knew what they were these days.

    Korraneleus and his guide materialized in a playhouse in time for curtain. It was a play about a warforged, if such a thing could be believed. Korraneleus had long passed the stage where such things could scandalize him. Now he was merely amused. The actor wasn’t a real warforged, obviously, just an elf with his face done up in silver paints, screws and bolts glued here and there across his cheeks. The story of the principal character was common enough among their kind. After the war’s end, where they were declared sentient beings, he sought a life of some normal trade to escape his past. Things progressed, and he even worked as a tailor. What an amusing coincidence.

    As the story continued, there began to be more similarities. It became clear this was based on Jayvas, even if the name were different. Korraneleus signaled to his descendant with the telepathic link groups attending the theater had put in place so they could converse without disturbing others.

    “I think I know this chap,” Korraneleus said.

    “Oh, grandfather, you’re so funny.”

    Korraneleus had nothing to say after that.
    ***

    Korraneleus awoke again. The priest murmured something about his guide being here for him. Korraneleus scarcely listened anymore.

    The door opened and a warforged stood before him.

    “Has my descendant been delayed?” Korraneleus asked, making sure to look the warforged in he eye.

    “Good afternoon, grandfather,” it said.

    Korraneleus blinked. It produced official papers, evidently having anticipated his reaction. They were genuine. The warforged was indeed a member of House Orien, having married his great-great-great-great granddaughter. It—he, Korraneleus reminded himself—suggested they go see a play. He couldn’t object.

    It was the same one as the last time he’d been alive. Actual warforged climbed the boards. One played the lead, Jayvas, now credited and billed as the playwright, if one could believe such things. Some other members of the cast were warforged too, even those playing the human characters. It reminded him of how boys had used to play women in plays, something his descendant ten or eleven visits ago hadn’t believed when he had mentioned it.

    The play was better the second time around. He and his descendent had much to discuss. He actually wanted to hear about Korraneleus seeing the original production. Their telepathic link hummed, even after the final curtain call.

    When it was time to go back to the bank and fill out the forms, they came to the final section: “When would you like to be woken up?”

    Korraneleus didn’t have to think twice before filling it out:

    “Any time you like.”



    Spoiler: breakdown
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    TN silverbrow human rog 1/spellthief 1/ thief of life 4/ blade of orien 8/ thief of life 10


    Spoiler: abilities
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    str 16 (increases here)
    dex 10
    con 14
    int 10
    wis 10
    cha 16


    Spoiler: table
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    Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    1st Rogue 1 +0 +0 +2 +0 balance 4, diplo 4, heal 4, hide 4, know (religion) 4 (2), spot 4, tumble 4, umd 4 draconic heritage (gold), least dragonmark (dimension leap) sneak attack +1d6, mimic
    2nd Spellthief +0 +0 +2 +2 know (arcana) 4, tumble 1 (5), umd 1 (5) Sneak attack +2d6, steal spell (0 or 1st), trapfinding
    3rd Thief of Life 1 +0 +2 +4 +2 hide 2 (6), ms 4 orien battle stride Lifesense (5 ft.)
    4th Thief of Life 2 +1 +3 +5 +2 disguise 1, hide 1 (7), ms 3 (7), umd 1 (6) Sneak attack +3d6
    5th Thief of Life 3 +2 +3 +5 +3 diplo 4 (8), disguise 2 (3) Lifesense (10 ft.)
    6th Thief of Life 4 +3 +4 +6 +3 hide 2 (9), ms 2 (9), umd 2 (8) lesser dragonmark (dimension door) Borrow vigor
    7th Blade of Orien 1 +4 +4 +8 +3 listen 2, spot 2 (6) Heir’s mark, improved dimension leap
    8th Blade of Orien 2 +5 +4 +9 +3 spot 4 (10) Swift leap
    9th Blade of Orien 3 +6/+1 +5 +9 +4 hide 3 (12) spot 1 (11) greater dragon mark (overland flight) Korran’s strength
    10th Blade of Orien 4 +7/+2 +5 +10 +4 listen 4 (6) Orien’s grasp
    11th Blade of Orien 5 +8/+3 +5 +10 +4 spot 3 (14), listen 1 (7) Olladra’s twist
    12th Blade of Orien 6 +9/+4 +6 +11 +5 listen 4 (11) cerulean will Dimensional push
    13th Blade of Orien 7 +10/+5 +6 +11 +5 spot 2 (16), listen 2 (13) Orien’s wrath
    14th Blade of Orien 8 +11/+6/+1 +6 +12 +5 tumble 4 (9) Shadow shift
    15th Thief of Life 5 +11/+6/+1 +6 +12 +5 umd 6 (14) shape soulmeld (soulspark familiar) Immunity to fear, lifesense (15 ft.)
    16th Thief of Life 6 +12/+7/+2 +7 +13 +5 bluff 6 Sneak attack +4d6
    17th Thief of Life 7 +13/+8/+4 +7 +13 +5 bluff 1 (7), diplo 5 (13) Immunity to energy drain, lifesense (20 ft.)
    18th Thief of Life 8 +14/+9/+4 +8 +14 +5 tumble 6 (15) staggering strike Steal vitality
    19th Thief of Life 9 +14/+9/+4 +8 +14 +6 bluff 6 (13) Immunity to death effects, lifesense (25 ft.)
    20th Thief of Life 10 +15/+10/+5 +9 +15 +6 bluff 1 (14), diplo 5 (18) Sneak attack +5d6, steal immortality


    Spoiler: playtips
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    Spoiler: lvl 5
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    Congratulations, you are in the secret ingredient as early as possible. You can begin stealing people’s lives right away. Your dragon blood allows entry by giving you heal as a class skill, and rogue and spellthief complement one another providing precision damage.

    Mimic is there as a fun treat since spellthief’s trapfinding can’t be traded away, and disguise self is certainly better than nothing.

    In addition to stealing lives, you can also steal spells via spellthief. This helps improve overall versatility and save on wands/scrolls.

    Orien battle stride is up and running, helping you out on bullrush, overrun, and trips. we’re taking it early because that means there’s no delay of taking lesser and greater marks of passage. This means when you nab the lesser mark next level, you immediately gain the ability to make a 5 foot step as an immediate action (no aoos) any time an opponent misses you with a melee or ranged attack. The possibilities are limitless.

    your dragonmark’s on too, providing access to dimension leap, offering valuable tactical teleportation. Remember you use character level to determine distance, providing more bang for your buck.

    skulk around, stab people in the back, and claw your way to the top. it’ all uphill from here


    Spoiler: lvl 10
    Show

    borrow vigor is up and running, giving you additional bonuses in combat.
    orien battle stride is up to it full potential now. you can make an immediate to take a 5 foot step any time someone misses with a melee or ranged attack. in addition, you now have dimension door in your repertoire, offering more combat and non-combat options for you and your pals.

    You are now within the esteemed ranks of the blade of orien, providing a great deal of additional utility.

    you gain more uses of dimension leap, can hop in 5 rather than 10 foot increments, can dimension leap as a move action, and can bring passengers along when you use dimension leap.

    you now take to the skies with overland flight, the final gift your dragonmark has to give you. everything you do with teleportation now functions in three dimensions.

    orien’s grasp let you call mall objects to hand, picking things up that’re on your person as a swift (no aoo) or even things that are held or attended after the enemy makes a will save (reliant on your cha, hence the points there.)


    Spoiler: lvl 15
    Show

    You are now immune to fear, and your lifesense extends to 15 feet. You also have a soulspark familiar handy. cerulean will shores up your saves, and provides valuable essentia for your later incarnum-related features.

    when you invest essentia in it, it gains fast healing. use this in tandem with borrow vigor for a clean, sustainable source of essentia in between combat encounters.


    blade of orien continues to bear fruit. olladra’s twist lets you switch positions with allies, or switch two friends around. dimensional pus lets you teleport your friends, orien’s wrath lets you even lets you teleport enemies around. thanks to shadow shift, your dimension leap and dimdoor no longer provoke aoos.

    hop around the battlefield and shuffle everyone around to your liking.


    Spoiler: lvl 20
    Show

    the rest of thief of life rounds out the final needed ranks in umd to hit a 20 without failure, gives you the rest of your sneak attack, immunity to energy drain and death effects, beefs up your lifesense, and lets you steal both vitality and immortality. let slip the bonds of mortality and live on forever as you are now: death incarnate.

    staggering strike’s up, so every time you peg someone with your sneak attack, they will be staggered, helping you move in for the kill. continue to teleport, kite, and finish off your prey


    Spoiler: sources
    Show

    srd: rogue
    races of the dragon: draconic heritage
    complete adventurer: spellthief, staggering strike
    exemplars of evil: mimic ACF
    faiths of eberron: thief of life
    dragonmarked: blade of orien
    eberron campaign setting: least dragonmark, lesser dragonmark, greater dragonmark
    magic of incarnum: shape soulmeld, cerulean will
    dragon magic: silverbrow human
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  9. - Top - End - #129
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXV

    Entry number 8:

    Quote Originally Posted by The Brothers Leech
    The Brothers Leech
    LE Dvati Rogue 1/Cloistered Cleric 1/Totemist 6/Swordsage 1/Thief of Life 10
    See the Blood Begin to Flow
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    My brother and I are of two bodies and yet of one soul.

    How can this be so?

    Each body has its own blood, and the teachings of Vol tell us that blood is life, that blood is the soul.

    Then so too must we be of one blood.

    Are then all bodies of one blood?

    Blood is soul is it not? And do the souls of beasts not flow through us at our behest?

    So it must be the same with blood.

    Thus is the teaching of Vol.

    Then it does not do to spill more blood than necessary, for we open our own veins in so doing.

    We thus seek not to shed blood, but to mark it with the signature of our soul.

    To stake claim upon it.

    Upon Blood. Upon Soul.

    Upon Life.

    Blood Brothers
    Spoiler
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    Ability Scores
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    32 Point Buy: 16 Str 10 Dex, 16 Con, 10 Int, 12 Wis, 12 Cha
    All stat increases go to Con


    Build Table
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    Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    1st Wilderness Rogue 1 +0 +0 +2 +0 Knowledge (Nature) 4, Knowledge (Geography) 4, Hide 4, Move Silently 4, Jump 4, Tumble 4, Use Magic Device 4, Balance 4 Darkstalker Poison Use (Replaces Trapfinding), Sneak Attack 1d6
    2nd Cloistered Cleric of the Blood of Vol 1 +0 +2 +2 +2 Knowledge (Nature) 4, Knowledge (Geography) 4, Hide 4, Move Silently 4, Jump 4, Tumble 4, Use Magic Device 4, Balance 4, Heal 4, Knowledge (Religion) 2 Knowledge Devotion (Geography), Incarnum Spellshaping, Extra Turning Rebuke Undead, Knowledge Domain, Incarnum Domain, Undeath Domain
    3rd Totemist 1 +0 +4 +4 +2 Knowledge (Nature) 4, Knowledge (Geography) 4, Hide 4, Move Silently 4, Jump 4, Tumble 4, Use Magic Device 4, Balance 4, Heal 4, Knowledge (Religion) 4, Knowledge (Arcana) 4 Divine Soultouch Wild Empathy, Skilled City Dweller (Trade Ride for Tumble)
    4th Totemist 2 +1 +5 +5 +2 Knowledge (Nature) 4, Knowledge (Geography) 4, Hide 4, Move Silently 4, Jump 4, Tumble 5, Use Magic Device 4, Balance 4, Heal 4, Knowledge (Religion) 2, Knowledge (Arcana) 5, Collector of Stories - Totem Chakra Bind (+1 Capacity)
    5th Totemist 3 +2 +5 +5 +3 Knowledge (Nature) 4, Knowledge (Geography) 4, Hide 4, Move Silently 4, Jump 4, Tumble 8, Use Magic Device 4, Balance 4, Heal 4, Knowledge (Religion) 2, Knowledge (Arcana) 5, Knowledge (The Planes) 1, Collector of Stories - Totem’s Protection
    6th Totemist 4 +3 +6 +6 +3 Knowledge (Nature) 5, Knowledge (Geography) 4, Hide 5cc, Move Silently 4, Jump 4, Tumble 9, Use Magic Device 4, Balance 4, Heal 4, Knowledge (Religion) 2, Knowledge (Arcana) 5, Knowledge (The Planes) 1, Collector of Stories Shape Soulmeld (Gloves of the Poisoned Soul) -
    7th Totemist 5 +3 +6 +6 +3 Knowledge (Nature) 5, Knowledge (Geography) 5, Hide 5, Move Silently 5cc, Jump 4, Tumble 10, Use Magic Device 4, Balance 4, Heal 4, Knowledge (Religion) 2, Knowledge (Arcana) 5, Knowledge (The Planes) 1, Collector of Stories - Chakra Binds (Crown, Feet, Hands)
    8th Totemist 6 +4 +7 +7 +4 Knowledge (Nature) 6, Knowledge (Geography) 5, Hide 5, Move Silently 6cc, Jump 4, Tumble 11, Use Magic Device 4, Balance 4, Heal 4, Knowledge (Religion) 2, Knowledge (Arcana) 5, Knowledge (The Planes) 1, Collector of Stories - Totem Chakra Bind (+1 Meldshaper Level)
    9th Swordsage 1 +4 +7 +9 +6 Knowledge (Nature) 6, Knowledge (Geography) 5, Hide 6, Move Silently 6, Jump 8, Tumble 11, Use Magic Device 4, Balance 5, Heal 4, Knowledge (Religion) 2, Knowledge (Arcana) 5, Knowledge (The Planes) 1, Collector of Stories Martial Stance (Assassin’s Stance) Quick to Act +1, Discipline Focus (Weapon Focus: Tiger Claw)
    10th Thief of Life 1 +4 +9 +11 +6 Knowledge (Nature) 6, Knowledge (Geography) 5, Hide 8, Move Silently 8, Jump 8, Tumble 11, Use Magic Device 6, Balance 5, Heal 4, Knowledge (Religion) 2, Knowledge (Arcana) 5, Knowledge (The Planes) 1, Collector of Stories - Lifesense (5ft)
    11th Thief of Life 2 +5 +10 +12 +6 Knowledge (Nature) 6, Knowledge (Geography) 5, Hide 9, Move Silently 9, Jump 9, Tumble 11, Use Magic Device 9, Balance 5, Heal 4, Knowledge (Religion) 2, Knowledge (Arcana) 5, Knowledge (The Planes) 1, Collector of Stories - Sneak Attack 2d6
    12th Thief of Life 3 +6 +10 +12 +7 Knowledge (Nature) 6, Knowledge (Geography) 5, Hide 11, Move Silently 11, Jump 10, Tumble 11, Use Magic Device 10, Balance 5, Heal 4, Knowledge (Religion) 2, Knowledge (Arcana) 5, Knowledge (The Planes) 1, Collector of Stories Maiming Strike Lifesense (10ft)
    13th Thief of Life 4 +7 +11 +13 +7 Knowledge (Nature) 6, Knowledge (Geography) 5, Hide 12, Move Silently 12, Jump 12, Tumble 11, Use Magic Device 12, Balance 5, Heal 4, Knowledge (Religion) 2, Knowledge (Arcana) 5, Knowledge (The Planes) 1, Collector of Stories - Borrow Vigor
    14th Thief of Life 5 +7 +11 +13 +7 Knowledge (Nature) 6, Knowledge (Geography) 5, Hide 14, Move Silently 14, Jump 13, Tumble 11, Use Magic Device 13, Balance 5, Heal 4, Knowledge (Religion) 2, Knowledge (Arcana) 5, Knowledge (The Planes) 1, Collector of Stories - Immunity to Fear, Lifesense (15ft)
    15th Thief of Life 6 +8 +12 +14 +8 Knowledge (Nature) 6, Knowledge (Geography) 5, Hide 15, Move Silently 15, Jump 15, Tumble 11, Use Magic Device 15, Balance 5, Heal 4, Knowledge (Religion) 2, Knowledge (Arcana) 5, Knowledge (The Planes) 1, Collector of Stories Expanded Soulmeld Capacity Sneak Attack 3d6
    16th Thief of Life 7 +9 +12 +14 +8 Knowledge (Nature) 6, Knowledge (Geography) 5, Hide 17, Move Silently 17, Jump 16, Tumble 11, Use Magic Device 16, Balance 5, Heal 4, Knowledge (Religion) 2, Knowledge (Arcana) 5, Knowledge (The Planes) 1, Collector of Stories - Immunity to Energy Drain, Lifesense (20ft)
    17th Thief of Life 8 +10 +13 +15 +8 Knowledge (Nature) 6, Knowledge (Geography) 5, Hide 18, Move Silently 18, Jump 18, Tumble 11, Use Magic Device 18, Balance 5, Heal 4, Knowledge (Religion) 2, Knowledge (Arcana) 5, Knowledge (The Planes) 1, Collector of Stories - Steal Vitality
    18th Thief of Life 9 +10 +13 +15 +9 Knowledge (Nature) 6, Knowledge (Geography) 5, Hide 20, Move Silently 20, Jump 19, Tumble 11, Use Magic Device 19, Balance 5, Heal 4, Knowledge (Religion) 2, Knowledge (Arcana) 5, Knowledge (The Planes) 1, Collector of Stories Open Greater Chakra (Throat) Immunity to Death Effects, Lifesense (25ft)
    19th Thief of Life 10 +11 +14 +16 +9 Knowledge (Nature) 6, Knowledge (Geography) 5, Hide 21, Move Silently 21, Jump 21 , Tumble 11, Use Magic Device 21, Balance 5, Heal 4, Knowledge (Religion) 2, Knowledge (Arcana) 5, Knowledge (The Planes) 1, Collector of Stories - Sneak Attack 4d6, Steal Immortality

    Subsystems
    Spoiler
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    Meldshaping
    Level Soulmelds Essentia Chakra Binds
    3rd 2+1 2 0
    4th 3+1 3 1
    5th 3+1 3 1
    6th 4+1 4 1
    7th 4+1 4 1
    7th 4+1 5 2
    18th 4+1 5 2+1
    The +1s denote specific soulmelds and chakra binds from feats which do not count against the numbers of soulmelds and chakra binds available to him from class levels.

    Swordsage Maneuvers
    Level Initiator Level Maneuvers Readied Maneuvers Known Stances Known
    9 5 4 Claw at the Moon, Sudden Leap, Cloak of Deception, Shadow Jaunt, Distracting Ember, Strength Draining Strike Island of Blades, Assassin’s Stance

    Cleric Spellcasting
    You get 3 Orisons, 1 1st level spell, and 1 1st level domain spell each day unless your Wisdom increases. The 1st level slot will most likely be Blood Wind, and the Domain spell must either be Detect Undead or Detect Incarnum. The 0th level slots will most likely go to Cure Minor Wounds


    And My Blood is My Own Now
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    ECL 5
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    BAB and a number of skills lag a bit behind where I’d like them, but you’ve got a reliable flanking buddy for your Sneak Attacking, Knowledge Devotion, and the advantages of Incarnum frontloading to help you out. Enhancement bonuses on weapons and competence bonuses to skills won’t be overlapping with gear much yet, so you can bolster your stealth skills by binding the Kruthik Claws and get your attack rolls up to par by investing essentia into whichever Totem meld seems good on a given day, with the ability to increase the essentia cap on your melds for 8 rounds each day with Divine Soultouch (so most likely the majority of rounds in the average 4 combat adventuring day).


    ECL 10
    Spoiler
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    We’ve finally set to make our entry into the SI with Assassin’s Stance getting us to the Sneak Attack requirement and have the basics of what will be our primary strategy online. Our go-to Soulmeld setup will be to bind the Wormtail Belt to the Totem Chakra and the Gloves of the Poisoned Soul to the Hands (select your third meld to taste). With so many class features that are dependent on killing enemies, we want a way to save some of those enemies for later, hence ability damage to incapacitate enemies. The Wormtail Belt’s Str Poison can be delivered on the same action as a Strength Draining Strike (each twin gets a Strength Draining Strike readied each encounter, which is handy, and helps make up for the save DC being so low), and with Gloves of the Poisoned Soul as a finisher you’ll be able to severely debuff enemy bruisers and outright paralyze lower Str foes. You also have Poison Use, so feel free to apply any Str poisons that you get your hands on to your backup weapon or the weapons of any allies who can reliably make the DC 15 Reflex Save to not poison themselves on a natural 1.

    If you or your allies do end up knocking an enemy you’d like to save for later into negatives you’ve got a few daily castings of Cure Minor Wounds to stabilize them.


    ECL 15
    Spoiler
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    Of course, for some enemies, Str damage isn’t really a viable way of subduing them. If you’ve got access to the right poisons you might be able to bring them low with Wis damage with the help of Gloves of the Poisoned Soul, but Maiming Strike’s Cha damage is generally going to be a more reliable proposition. Apart from anything else, you’re unlikely to find a better HD/CR ratio than that of the Collossal Monstrous Scorpion, which has a whopping Cha score of 2, meaning you can drop one comatose with a single hit. Then you just have to work out how you intend to cart the thing around. I assume extra-dimensional space will be involved somehow.

    We’ve entered the SI, and a few of its abilities are starting to pull some weight. Apart from the aforementioned Borrow Vigor, we’ve got a 4th dice of Sneak Attack (necessary for that 2 Cha damage Maiming Strike hit), and Lifesense. If you expect to fight invisible enemies or the like who you will only be able to detect with Lifesense, consider switching your second Chakra Bind over from the Gloves of the Poisoned Soul Hand Bind to the Basilisk Mask Brow Bind for Blind-Fight.


    ECL 20 (Sweet Spot)
    Spoiler
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    Well, it took us long enough, but we’ve finally reached the capstone. Depending on where you choose to apply Expanded Soulmeld Capacity on a given day you can either pump your Wormtail Belt as high as 7 essenita, or another meld up to 6 with the help of Divine Soultouch allowing us to make good use out of the large essentia boosts from Steal Immortality. We also get a third bind at the Throat Slot, which means our wild card meld slot is now being filled by the Brass Mane. Now we don’t need to bother with trying to Blind-Fight enemies we can only detect by Lifesense, we just use the AoE effect from the Brass Mane’s Throat Bind. It would seem that only one twin can roar in a given minute, meaning you won't get enemies exhausted without help from an ally also using fatigue effects or some manner of other chicanery, but it's noteworthy that they don't risk fatiguing each other or being fatigued by an ally using a similar effect in tandem to exhaust foes thanks to Steal Vitality making them immune to the condition. Fatigue and Exhaustion come with Str penalties as well, making this tactic dovetail nicely with the earlier Str damage strategy.


    Use of Secret Ingredient
    Spoiler
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    Prerequisites – This is probably the weakest point, but at least all of the required skills are acquired as class skills and Knowledge Devotion and Collector of Stories get some mileage out of the Knowledge ranks.
    Lifesense – Using the Basilisk Mask’s Brow Bind we can get Blind-Fight to strike at enemies we can detect but not see. At high levels the Brass Mane’s Throat bind gives an even more potent way to deal with such foes.
    [b]Sneak Attack[/u] – In the early levels the extra d6 on Totemist’s many attacks will come in handy and at later levels Maiming Strike can help to subdue foes without killing them to save the benefits of Borrow Vigor/Steal Vitality/Steal Immortality for later.
    Borrow Vigor – Dvati are a bit frail what with their divided HP and LA, so being able to pick up a little extra is nice. You’ll find a use for the essentia as well, though a single point for 4 levels isn’t much to write home about.
    Immunity to Fear – This was always going to be more bug than feature on a rogue-type, but as the Brothers focus on subduing enemies to kill them later rather than bringing them down outright with HP damage, we don’t miss Craven as much as we otherwise might.
    Immunity to Energy Drain – It’s hard to really do much with Immunities, but it’s nice to have I guess.
    Steal Vitality – Here’s an immunity we can do something with. Immunity to Fatigue and Exhaustion keeps each brother safe from the other’s Brass Mane roar. As with Borrow Vigor, the extra HP is nice as well.
    Immunity to Death Effects – Again, it’s nice to have, but hard to really optimize.
    Steal Immortality – With the Totem Chakra’s +1 capacity, Divine Soultouch, and Expanded Soulmeld Capacity, the Brothers have high essentia capacity to make use of the large amount of essentia granted by the capstone in addition to their aforementioned use for more HP. Due to their Level Adjustment, they also have the ability to Steal Immortality from foes from the standard races with CR equal to their ECL, as such enemies will have more HD than the Brothers.


    Adaptations
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    If you're curious as to my flagrant disregard for multiclass penalties, or if you just hate Dvati, it may interest you to know that the build was modified from using Silverbrow Human as its race (either with the Dark Template or another Swordsage level at 20th) in the 11th hour. The primary difference in tactics (past lower levels where Claws of the Wyrm and Dragon Tail soulmelds are significant) was that the Throat Bind could conceivably be the Dragonfire Mask instead of the Brass Mane with a Crown of the North Wind (Dragons of Faerun) converting the fire breath weapon into the Gold Dragon's Weakening Gas. With Steal Immortality, it would have been possible to age the character to Venerable with no ill effects, meaning that their age category for the purpose of the breath weapon would be 4, an additional point of Str damage above what the crown will normally get you. I suspect that the original version of the build would actually have scored higher, but I felt the Dvati version more interesting. No regrets.



    So Bring Me the Blood and Red Wine
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    Cityscape Web Enhancement: Skilled City-Dweller ACF
    Dragon Compendium: Dvati
    Drow of the Underdark: Rogue Poison Use ACF
    Exemplars of Evil: Maiming Strike
    Faiths of Eberron (also Web): Thief of Life, Blood of Vol as a faith
    Lords of Madness: Darkstalker
    Magic of Incarnum: Totemist, Divine Soultouch, Expanded Soulmeld Capacity, Incarnum Spellshaping, Open Greater Chakra, Shape Soulmeld, Soulmelds, Incarnum Domain
    Tome of Battle: Swordsage, Martial Stance, Maneuvers
    Everything else should be in the SRD.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kalirren View Post
    The only person in the past two pages who has known what (s)he has been talking about is Heliomance.
    Quote Originally Posted by golentan View Post
    I just don't want to have long romantic conversations or any sort of drama with my computer, okay? It knows what kind of porn I watch. I don't want to mess that up by allowing it to judge any of my choices in romance.

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  10. - Top - End - #130
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXV

    Entry number 9:

    Quote Originally Posted by Vera Tolman d'Ghallanda
    Vera Tolman d’Ghallanda

    NE Glimmerskin Halfling Spellthief 1/Ninja 1/Thief of Life 10/Black Dog 5/Assassin 3

    Stats (after adjustments)
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    Str 12
    Dex 16
    Con 14
    Int 16 (all increases here)
    Wis 10
    Cha 10


    Backstory
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    Vera was born a thief. She didn’t care that she was an innkeeper’s daughter and was supposed to be a good little girl. She knew in her bones that she was destined to pick pockets and take what she wanted from life. Her poor mother tried to wait it out in the hopes it was a phase, and that she would straighten herself out. But Vera never got better, only worse. By her teenage years she partook in the occasional mugging for pocket cash. Her mother obviously asked what she was doing this for; as an inkeeping family they had money enough to live comfortably. Vera just smiled her cold smile and said it was practice. As she grew older, spending less and less time at home, she became enamored with the Blood of Vol; its individualist teachings appealed to her incorrigible willfulness.

    When Vera was a young woman she discovered that theft could go beyond petty cash. After cold cocking a nice young initiate from the mage’s college, she was sifting through his pockets when she felt a tingling in her fingers, suddenly manifesting as a bolt of energy shooting out into the alleyway. A clever girl like Vera realized what it meant, that for those with enough will, energy and magic could be lifted like a wallet. Vera was unsure of what to make of such a revelation, so did what many in her situation do: she consulted her priest. He was somewhat taken aback at hearing such a story, and defaulted to a rather standard personal sermon. He assured her as best she could that there are many things that are possible in the world, that destiny was what you made of it, and that this brief existence was all that you had. Vera, being Vera listened with one ear and heard what she wanted to hear. She took it as affirmation that she should explore the possibilities of her abilities as much as she could.

    Time passed and Vera’s experimentation led her down the path of thievery and thuggery, as she always let life lead her the wrong way. She found that she could take a bit of life energy to fuel her own health and potency. She strengthened her resistances to assault on her mind and soul. She even figured out how to use another’s death to strengthen her own life. In short, she was a disgrace to house Ghallanda. People such as her are eventually found by those who have a use for them, and Vera was no exception. The higher ups of the Blood of Vol had been watching from afar, and sent someone to see if they could recruit her. The stranger explained to Vera that working for the Blood of Vol had perks, that they could teach her greater secrets, even that furthest of goals whispered in the back of all minds: immortality. In return for these secrets, they requested she put her unwholesome skills to work as a dagger in the dark. They planned to use her ancestry and house status to infiltrate the Black Dogs. It would be enormously useful for the Blood of Vol to be able to mask their assassinations behind the perfect disguise: assassinations by a different group. Vera willingly accepted at the thought of all the fun she could have in a life with no end.

    She had eventually been accepted by the Black Dogs, though they were slightly reluctant to accept someone so bloodthirsty as a poisoner, but Vera was able to rein in her wildness enough to pass muster. She carried out assassinations for both groups, and when a conflict of commands arose she would of course side with Vol. She could always make up some excuse about visibility or being caught for the Black Dogs. She knew Vol would not be so forgiving of failure.

    She was keeping herself relatively incognito, but she could not keep herself shrouded from otherworldly interests. A sinister little figure appeared to her on the road one evening, offering its assistance in furthering the great cause of the Blood of Vol. It explained its skill and boasted of its recuperative abilities, and propensity for subterfuge and espionage. Somewhere in the boasting it mentioned that in return it would want a favor down the line. She pretended to consider its offer while trying to stifle her laughter. They must have thought her simple to make such an offer. She knew that they had hopes for seizing her soul when her time had passed. Church doctrine said that no power could prevent souls from going to the gray place, and even if that was wrong, with her powers her time would never really be up. It was all win.

    And so Vera Tolman sold her soul to a devil. She never did make good choices.


    Build
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    Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    1st Spellthief 1 +0 +0 +0 +2 Bluff 4, Heal 4, Hide 4, Jump 4, Knowledge (Arcana) 4, Knowledge (Religion) 2(4), Move Silently 4, Tumble 4, Use Magic Device 4 Least Dragonmark (Hospitality,Prestidigitation) Sneak Attack +1d6, Steal Spell (0 or 1st), Trapfinding
    2nd Ninja 1 +0 +0 +2 +2 Disguise 3, Hide 5, Jump 5, Move Silently 5, Sleight of Hand 2, Tumble 5 Ki Power, Sudden Strike +1d6, Trapfinding
    3rd Thief of Life 1 +0 +2 +4 +2 Disguise 4, Hide 6, Move Silently 6, Sleight of Hand 5, Tumble 6, Use Magic Device 6 Indigo Strike Lifesense 5 ft
    4th Thief of Life 2 +1 +3 +5 +2 Balance 3, Hide 7, Move Silently 7, Sleight of Hand 7, Tumble 7, Use Magic Device 7 Sneak Attack +2d6
    5th Thief of Life 3 +2 +3 +5 +3 Balance 5, Bluff 6, Hide 8, Move Silently 8, Sleight of Hand 8, Tumble 8, Use Magic Device 8 Lifesense 10 ft
    6th Thief of Life 4 +3 +4 +6 +3 Bluff 9, Diplomacy 1, Hide 9, Move Silently 9, Sleight of Hand 9, Tumble 9, Use Magic Device 9 Lesser Dragonmark (Hospitality, Create Food and Water) Borrow Vigor
    7th Thief of Life 5 +3 +4 +6 +3 Bluff 10, Diplomacy 4, Hide 10, Move Silently 10, Sleight of Hand 10, Tumble 10, Use Magic 10 Immunity to Fear, Lifesense 15 ft
    8th Thief of Life 6 +4 +5 +7 +4 Bluff 11, Diplomacy 8, Hide 11, Move Silently 11, Sleight of Hand 11, Tumble 11, Use Magic Device 11 Sneak Attack +3d6
    9th Thief of Life 7 +5 +5 +7 +4 Bluff 12, Diplomacy 12, Hide 12, Move Silently 12, Sense Motive 1, Sleight of Hand 12, Use Magic Device 12 Obtain Familiar (Dung Snake) Immunity to Energy Drain, Lifesense 20 ft
    10th Thief of Life 8 +6/+1 +6 +8 +4 Bluff 13, Diplomacy 13, Hide 13, Move Silently 13, Sense Motive 5, Sleight of Hand 13, Use Magic Device 13 Steal Vitality
    11th Thief of Life 9 +6/+1 +6 +8 +5 Bluff 14, Diplomacy 14, Hide 14, Move Silently 14, Sense Motive 9, Sleight of Hand 14, Use Magic Device 14 Immunity to Death Effects, Lifesense 25 ft
    12th Thief of Life 10 +7/+2 +7 +9 +5 Bluff 15, Diplomacy 15, Hide 15, Move Silently 15, Sense Motive 13, Sleight of Hand 15, Use Magic Device 15 Shape Soulmeld (Gloves of the Poisoned Soul) Sneak Attack +4d6, Steal Immortality
    13th Black Dog 1 +7/+2 +9 +11 +5 Mosquito’s Bite Bluff 16, Diplomacy 16, Hide 16, Move Silently 16, Sense Motive 16, Sleight of Hand 16 Heir’s Mark, Improve Hospitality, Poison Use
    14th Black Dog 2 +8/+3 +10 +12 +5 Bluff 17, Concentration 2, Diplomacy 17, Hide 17, Move Silently 17, Sense Motive 17, Sleight of Hand 17, Tumble 13 Death Attack, Dhurinda’s Trick
    15th Black Dog 3 +9/+4 +10 +12 +6 Bluff 18, Diplomacy 18, Hide 18, Knowledge (local) 1, Move Silently 18, Sense Motive 18, Sleight of Hand 18, Tumble 16 Improved Familiar (Imp) Create Poison, Refine Poison
    16th Black Dog 4 +10/+5 +11 +13 +6 Bluff 19, Diplomacy 19, Hide 19, Move Silently 19, Sense Motive 19, Sleight of Hand 19, Spellcraft 1(2), Tumble 19 Empower Poison,Lost in the Crowd
    17th Black Dog 5 +10/+5 +11 +13 +6 Acrobatic Backstab, Conceal Spellcasting Bluff 20, Diplomacy 20, Hide 20, Move Silently 20, Sense Motive 20, Sleight of Hand 20, Tumble 20 Dhurinda’s Touch
    18th Assassin 1 +10/+5 +11 +15 +6 Bluff 21, Hide 21, Move Silently 21, Sense Motive 21, Sleight of Hand 21, Use Magic Device 19 Mortifying Attack Sneak Attack +5d6, Death Attack, Poison Use, Spells
    19th Assassin 2 +11/+6/+1 +11 +16 +6 Bluff 22, Diplomacy 22, Hide 22, Move Silently 22, Sense Motive 22, Sleight of Hand 22, Tumble 22 +1 Save Against Poison, Uncanny Dodge
    20th Assassin 3 +12/+7/+2 +12 +16 +7 Bluff 23, Diplomacy 23, Hide 23, Jump 7, Move Silently 23, Sense Motive 23, Sleight of Hand 23, Tumble 23 Sneak Attack +6d6

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

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

    Spells Known
    1st: Alibi, Shock and Awe, Mimicry
    2nd: Getaway, Blade of Pain and Fear


    Level 5
    Spoiler
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    Look at how fast you’re into the SI! We’re getting a quick dose of our vegetables and then jumping straight to the cake. So first up we’re starting with 1 level of Spellthief followed by 1 of Ninja. The race we’re going with is Glimerskin Halfling for Heal as a class skill. It also sets up for Black Dog later.

    Spellthief provides us with Knowledge (Arcana), and also gives us some normal sneak skills to get a start on being a slippery weasel. Sneak Attack counts at low levels so use it well. Trapfinding can’t technically be traded away because they want Spellthief to be sad. If your DM gives the OK you might trade it for mimic for disguise self 1/day, but it’s not necessary. Steal Spell is the signature, and it works even at low levels. If you give up 1 die of sneak attack when sneak attacking, you can steal a 0 or 1st level spell of theirs. It only lasts for an hour so use it quick. If you know a spell they have, you can choose to steal it. You can steal spells as long as your enemy has them. You use their stats, so don’t worry about your lack of caster level, but you can’t steal personal spells.

    Ninja finishes qualifying for the SI via 1 die of sudden strike. Yes, sudden strike counts as sneak attack for qualifying for classes, there’s a sidebar in CAdv to that effect. It’s nice too, remember that enemies that haven’t acted in combat are flatfooted, as are enemies trying to balance without 5 ranks, which at level 5 you have. Marbles, oil and the like are your friend. Once again you cannot explicitly trade your trapfinding because they want you to be sad. Again trade it for mimic if you can, but it’s not a big deal. The AC bonus isn’t worth not wearing armor, and your stuff all works in armor, so we’ll ignore it. Ki Power is actually granted before you have anything to spend it on, so enjoy the +2 bonus to will saves you’ll always have.

    Now SI time! Lifesense is very useful. While it is limited to only sensing living creatures, this means that you can use it as a crude divination for detecting other things. If a creature in your range doesn’t ping on lifesense but you can perceive them other ways, you know they’re undead or a construct, so know to switch tactics. And of course it means you know who is playing possum. When of course you’re fighting living creatures (most things at this point) it works like normal blindsense, so you can use it to thwart hiding, get around things that block your vision, etc. Sneak attack goes with sneak attack like peanut butter and more peanut butter: it’s all jam.

    Least Dragonmark gives you prestidigitation 2 times per day. For now, this is just a great spell, doing tons of small-scale magical things that are great for distracting, entertaining, or otherwise film-flamming bystanders and foes, in addition to making your life easier. Indigo Strike provides a +2 bonus on sneak attacks right now from investing the 1 essentia the feat grants you. This is the second point, it grants you an essential pool for next level.


    Level 10
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    More SI, more jam. First up we get borrow vigor, probably the most interesting of the features. If you knock someone to -1 hp you gain their HD in temporary hp, as well as 1 essentia, both lasting 1 hour. This is a great little bonus for when you beat someone (you’re going to be sneak attacking enemies to death anyway) but for really doing some fun things with it we’ll get back below.

    The Lifesense range is now 20 feet, which is around the meaningful distance in combat, giving you a good view of the situation you’re in. Immunity to fear is useful since you’re low enough level that you can expect to encounter fear with some regularity. Same for immunity to energy drain, this is the level when death ward comes on for classes that have to spend slots on it like chumps. Steal Vitality is even more reward for doing what you do already (killing) this time with immunity to fatigue and exhaustion so you can run forever, sleep in your armor, etc. Getting sources for this is always pretty easy, animals often have rather high amounts of HD at low CR, so can provide you with what you need before a battle. Immunity to sleep is still helpful at this point for deep slumber, sleep motes, etc.

    Lesser Dragonmark gives create food and water 1/day. It’s nice for when you’re hungry (or attracting those animals) but it’s mostly for other purposes. Firstly is raising your caster level for dragonmark SLAs from 1 to 6. This means that you can take the next feat: obtain familiar.

    Obtain familiar is one of the most useful feats you can take if you qualify. You qualify via the arcane caster level for your spell like abilities. Familiar abilities are keyed off of levels in classes that let you cast spells. Spellthief is one of them, even though it didn’t give you spells yet. You don’t need the other abilities too much, the important thing is that you get a dung snake, because it has fast healing. Now begins the real fun. Fast healing on your living familiar works even at -1 hitpoints.

    We’re going to be a bad person and mistreat an animal. Vera isn’t evil for nothing. When you smack your familiar down to -1 you get 1 essentia to invest (for now just in indigo strike). You also get its HD in hp. Is this an effect related to number of HD (in which case you use your HD)? I’d really like to think so. The important thing is that you can refresh your essential when it expires, and top off hp whenever you get hurt. 20 hp isn’t necessarily immunity, but a bottomless pad will cushion blows more often than you think, especially since you’ll top off in combat whenever you fell someone with a sneak attack. Use a low damage weapon to ensure you don’t take things too far.

    Level 15 (Sweet Spot)
    Spoiler
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    Last few levels of the SI first. Immunity to death effects is quite helpful, and prevents other black dogs, assassins, or thieves of life from trying to take you out. Steal Immortality is a fascinatingly useful ability. The immediate benefit is half their HD in essentia, easily enough to fill what you have. You have the bonus of making it quite hard to bring them back (not even possible for wizards and clerics at the level that you get it). It also makes you IMMORTAL (for 1 year per kill). Who doesn’t want that? For now you don’t have spells, so you don’t have to sleep. Even when you get spells, you can spend time in light rest or researching new targets instead of unconscious. Not needing to eat means that you can poison communal stewpots and the like without having to deal with the consequences.

    The SI is over, time for icing on this cake. Welcome to Black Dog, a sneaky Halfling class about poisoning and death. At this point you have 3 extra uses of prestidigitation and poison use. What is this prestidigitation for? For Dhurinda’s Trick, where you put poison on some food or drink nearby. You can use Sleight of Hand to prevent people from seeing you do it, and you can use lifesense to make sure your targets are susceptible. Where do you get the poison? By burning uses of create food and water to make select poisons. You can purify them if you wish for a +2 DC.

    Now let’s get to the big class feature: death attack. It lets you kill someone if you sneak attack them after studying them. Because death attack is a sneak attack, when someone dies from it, that’s a fast trigger for borrow vigor, steal vitality, and steal immortality all at once. Then you can use the hp and essentia to fight whatever enemies remain.

    You can channel some of that essentia into Gloves of the Poisoned Soul. It’s great fun as a soulmeld, and allows you to produce a poison and inflict it with a touch attack. It deals 1 Wis damage +1 per essentia (so max 5), which is always useful since it reduces their perceptive abilities and potentially their spellcasting. Because it’s a poison, you can move it using Dhurinda’s trick into food and drink, and because it’s a soulmeld no-one can actually ever catch you with the poison; you don’t need any of the vials and syringes to move poison around. It’s also usable in combat if you want, since it’s a contact poison. This meld has a save. The way shape soulmeld is written it can’t tell you how to determine the save, Wis or Con, but I think Con is a safe assumption (since it is a Soulborn meld).

    The increased caster level from Lesser Dragonmark means you can trade your dung snake for an imp. Imp also has fast healing, so the same trick works here as well, and the little bugger likely deserves it. Imp has the added benefit of being able to take an unassuming form like rat in addition to good combat form of boar (which is medium for flanking, and thus for sneak attack and death attack). Imp is intelligent on its own, can speak, and has little hands, so can use wands. Imp also makes a poison of its own, which targets dexterity. Certainly a nice addition to the toolkit, again meaning you don’t have to store poison on your person so you can’t get caught.

    Mosquito’s Bite is a neat skill trick that lets you make your enemy believe you didn’t strike them, and instead missed. It’s useful for if you want to hit someone with a concealed dagger or the like (palm it with sleight of hand) and write it off as a drunken punch, then wait for poison to take its toll. Alternatively, strike confusion into your foes as they get killed by death attack but don’t even know they are dead!


    Level 20
    Spoiler
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    First let’s finish Black Dog. Empower poison is great on whatever poison you feel like using (that isn’t from the Gloves because they don’t vary) and helps get more bang for your buck. Lost in the Crowd is a wonderfully useful ability that means you can Hide while being observed and without something to hide behind as long as 3 creatures larger than you are within 10 feet. Your imp turned boar will be one (being small has perks), and your target is more likely than not the other, so if you ever get in a fight with 2 or more enemies, suddenly disappear from view. Hell, just bring a pony around with you and have it hang out while you fight. Any creature close enough lets you hide, and you can use that luxury to study for death attack or otherwise assess the situation. With your imp able to turn invisible itself you’ve got a recipe for sneaky goodness.

    Dhurinda’s touch lets you hit a foe with a touch attack and dose them with poison of any kind, bypassing normal delivery. It’s time to break out whatever weird poison you like, or just stick with stuff like imp venom. Ask your DM if you can combine Dhurinda’s touch with an attack from Gloves of the Poisoned Soul in a single attack for double your pleasure. The ability to delay your poison’s effect is outstanding for establishing alibis. This is a wonderful use for Mosquito’s Bite, since you can pass off a missed touch attack as an attempt to tap someone’s shoulder, get a bug, or pick their pocket. Also feel free to use sleight of hand to steal something from them, then use the excuse of returning it as your chance to touch them and use poison. It says you can use a Bluff check to conceal your intent; do so. You didn’t max ranks for nothing.

    Now to Assassin. More sneak attack is always welcome, uncanny dodge adds to your protections, and it stacks with black dog levels for determining DC of death attack. It also gives you spells. Specifically, it gives you: Alibi for making people think they met you to back up fake stories. Mimicry, to fake sounds for distraction, lies, stories, etc. Shock and Awe is cast during the surprise round and imposes a -10 penalty on initiative for the coming combat, meaning they’re likely to go after you and thus be flatfooted, and targets several creatures with no save. For level 2 spells you have Darklight and Blade of Pain and Fear. The blade makes touch attacks and deals good damage, so is a great way to sneak attack better, since it’s not subject to DR. It’s a melee weapon so you can death attack with it. Darklight creates a little sphere of darkness that can’t be seen through in either direction. However, you can use your lifesense to see through it and scope the situation while remaining unseen. Talk to your DM about whether it’s sufficient for studying for death attack.

    Mortifying Attack is a fun little feat that makes it so that enemies who witness your death attack have to save or be shaken for several rounds and flatfooted for the next one. It makes for a great opening statement, giving you time to act before your enemies can. The DC is based off of damage dealt, so should easily be pretty good.

    At this point you have Acrobatic Backstab, which renders a target flatfooted if you tumble through their square, which your tumble mod makes pretty easy. Conceal Spellcasting does just that, though it’s unclear whether it covers verbal as well as somatic components. Great if it does, though. At this point you have enough UMD ranks that success is guaranteed, so use all the wands you like. Share with your familiar, it’s the least you could do to repay it.


    Sources
    Spoiler
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    Spellthief, Ninja: Complete Adventurer
    Thief of Life: Faiths of Eberron
    Black Dog: Dragonmarked
    Least Dragonmark, Lesser Dragonmark: Eberron Campaign Setting
    Indigo Strike, Shape Soulmeld: Magic of Incarnum
    Obtain Familiar: Complete Arcane
    Dung Snake Familiar: Serpent Kingdoms
    Mortifying Attack: Champions of Ruin
    Darklight: Book of Vile Darkness
    Alibi: Exemplars of Evil
    Mimicry: Complete Scoundrel
    Blade of Pain and Fear: Spell Compendium
    Assassin, Improved Familiar: SRD
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kalirren View Post
    The only person in the past two pages who has known what (s)he has been talking about is Heliomance.
    Quote Originally Posted by golentan View Post
    I just don't want to have long romantic conversations or any sort of drama with my computer, okay? It knows what kind of porn I watch. I don't want to mess that up by allowing it to judge any of my choices in romance.

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXV

    Right, that's all of them! Get judging!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kalirren View Post
    The only person in the past two pages who has known what (s)he has been talking about is Heliomance.
    Quote Originally Posted by golentan View Post
    I just don't want to have long romantic conversations or any sort of drama with my computer, okay? It knows what kind of porn I watch. I don't want to mess that up by allowing it to judge any of my choices in romance.

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXV

    That is quite a spread. This is a great round
    I've got a new fantasy TTRPG about running your own fencing school in a 3 musketeers pastiche setting. Book coming soon.

    Check out my NEW sci-fi TTRPG about first contact. Cool alien races, murderous AIs, and more. New expansion featuring rules for ships! New book here NOW!

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    Venger, can you be my full-time memory aid please?
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  13. - Top - End - #133
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXV

    The idea that i felt that i couldn't submit due to similarity with a previous dish, was a Dark Desert Kobold Rogue/Totemist/Thief of Life, focused on getting a stupidly big Hide checks so i could attack from hiding each and every turn with my 4 Claws (regular + Lamia Belt Bound to Totem), Bite (regular), Tail (Dragontail Feat from RotD) and Horn (Horned Helm from MIC), adding Sneak attack on all of them, and attacking with them all with pounce (via Sphinx Claws bound to hands) ... This is basicly the same character that i submitted to Junkyard 8 and won with.

  14. - Top - End - #134
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXV

    I've had many, many ideas for this prestige class over the years. It's such a funny little nut to crack - so cool thematically, so disappointing mechanically.

    One idea I had that I wish had panned out, but sadly did not, was to make the Thief of Life into a sort of vampire fanboy. The plan was to be a character who had taken Willing Deformity (Teeth) because he was so obsessed with vampires that he filed down his own teeth so that he might drink blood. The plan mechanically was to take Deformity (Teeth) and Deformity (Madness), plus some sneak attack feats that specifically made the target bleed, such as Arterial Strike and Disemboweling Strike. Then I'd build around Swashbuckler's Seduction ability from the Dead Levels article, and play up a Patrick Bateman-esque scoundrel who would seduce people, then sneak attack them with his secret bite attack to make an arterial strike and drink their blood, using the Thief of Life abilities to gain some pseudo-vampire benefits from it.

    It was a cool idea, but not actually particularly good mechanically. Still, I kind of wish I'd found a way to make it work to my satisfaction...
    Optimization Showcase in the Playground

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    IC XLIX: Babalon, Queen of Bones
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXV

    Quote Originally Posted by Piggy Knowles View Post
    I've had many, many ideas for this prestige class over the years. It's such a funny little nut to crack - so cool thematically, so disappointing mechanically.

    One idea I had that I wish had panned out, but sadly did not, was to make the Thief of Life into a sort of vampire fanboy. The plan was to be a character who had taken Willing Deformity (Teeth) because he was so obsessed with vampires that he filed down his own teeth so that he might drink blood. The plan mechanically was to take Deformity (Teeth) and Deformity (Madness), plus some sneak attack feats that specifically made the target bleed, such as Arterial Strike and Disemboweling Strike. Then I'd build around Swashbuckler's Seduction ability from the Dead Levels article, and play up a Patrick Bateman-esque scoundrel who would seduce people, then sneak attack them with his secret bite attack to make an arterial strike and drink their blood, using the Thief of Life abilities to gain some pseudo-vampire benefits from it.

    It was a cool idea, but not actually particularly good mechanically. Still, I kind of wish I'd found a way to make it work to my satisfaction...
    That's hysterical. I'm reminded of your dish back in talon of tiamat who also made use of seduction.
    I've got a new fantasy TTRPG about running your own fencing school in a 3 musketeers pastiche setting. Book coming soon.

    Check out my NEW sci-fi TTRPG about first contact. Cool alien races, murderous AIs, and more. New expansion featuring rules for ships! New book here NOW!

    Quote Originally Posted by weckar View Post
    Venger, can you be my full-time memory aid please?
    Iron Chef Medals!
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXV

    Vizzini'd myself right out of the Totemist build I started.
    Iron Chef in the Playground veteran since Round IV. Play as me!


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  17. - Top - End - #137
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXV

    I kept coming back to the idea of an Ur-Priest for this round, simply given the theology of the Blood of Vol. On top of that, I really liked the flavor of a character who could use Steal Immortality, then offer the grieving loved ones a chance to purchase a casting of miracle, true resurrection, or wish...for a price. Mechanically, I wanted to find some bizarrely fascinating combination between Thief of Life's incarnum abilities and incarnum spells, but couldn't carve out the time to dig into the idea. Some of my other brief flickers of ideas came into being through our actual contestants, so it'll be fun diving in and seeing what they did where I couldn't.

    Quote Originally Posted by Piggy Knowles View Post
    I've had many, many ideas for this prestige class over the years. It's such a funny little nut to crack - so cool thematically, so disappointing mechanically.
    Agreed on all counts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Piggy Knowles View Post
    One idea I had that I wish had panned out, but sadly did not, was to make the Thief of Life into a sort of vampire fanboy. The plan was to be a character who had taken Willing Deformity (Teeth) because he was so obsessed with vampires that he filed down his own teeth so that he might drink blood. The plan mechanically was to take Deformity (Teeth) and Deformity (Madness), plus some sneak attack feats that specifically made the target bleed, such as Arterial Strike and Disemboweling Strike. Then I'd build around Swashbuckler's Seduction ability from the Dead Levels article, and play up a Patrick Bateman-esque scoundrel who would seduce people, then sneak attack them with his secret bite attack to make an arterial strike and drink their blood, using the Thief of Life abilities to gain some pseudo-vampire benefits from it.
    This sounds like it would score a 5 in Fun.

    Quote Originally Posted by Piggy Knowles View Post
    It was a cool idea, but not actually particularly good mechanically. Still, I kind of wish I'd found a way to make it work to my satisfaction...
    Some really fun builds haven't had a snowball's chance from a mechanical perspective.

    Anyway, onto the more procedural stuff--here's a list of entries:
    1. Duran Mublen: Human Paladin 2/Ranger 1/Cancer Mage 7/Thief of Life 10
    2. Vorick Hellakanus: Human Monk 2/Rogue 4/Thief of Life 10/Fighter 1/Assassin 3
    3. Soot: Lesser Tiefling Rogue 1/Swordsage 1/Spellthief 1/Thief of Life 10/Hellbreaker 3/Gatecrasher 4
    4. Alphonse Louise Constant: Human Psychic Rogue 1/Psion 4/Ebon Saint 5/Thief of Life 10
    5. Silver Scourge: Glimmerskin Halfling Rogue 1/Thief of Life 10/Bard 2/Warblade 2/Bloodstorm Blade 4/Master Thrower 1
    6. Cocus Ferrea: Halfling Rogue 1/Thief of Life 10/Fang of Lolth 1/Shadowdancer 1/Thunder Guide 1/Master of Masks 1/Renegade Mastermaker 1/Death Delver 1/Acolyte of the Ego 1/Acoylte of the Skin 1/Ardent Dilettante 1
    7. Korraneleus d'Orien: Silverbrow Human Rogue 1/Spellthief 1/Thief of Life 10/Blade of Orien 8
    8. The Brothers Leech: Dvati Rogue 1/Cloistered Cleric 1/Totemist 6/Swordsage 1/Thief of Life 10
    9. Vera Tolman d'Ghallanda: Glimmerskin Halfling Spellthief 1/Ninja 1/Thief of Life 10/Black Dog 5/Assassin 3

    Spreadsheet has been updated accordingly; I'm off to begin judging.
    Last edited by OMG PONIES; 2016-01-18 at 11:36 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Vaz View Post
    Ponies, the Kim Karsdashian of GITP.
    This is what happens when they let me DM:
    Beyond the Horizon IC / OOC
    A Time to Die: Alpha IC / Bravo IC / OOC

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXV

    Quote Originally Posted by Piggy Knowles View Post
    I've had many, many ideas for this prestige class over the years. It's such a funny little nut to crack - so cool thematically, so disappointing mechanically.

    One idea I had that I wish had panned out, but sadly did not, was to make the Thief of Life into a sort of vampire fanboy. The plan was to be a character who had taken Willing Deformity (Teeth) because he was so obsessed with vampires that he filed down his own teeth so that he might drink blood. The plan mechanically was to take Deformity (Teeth) and Deformity (Madness), plus some sneak attack feats that specifically made the target bleed, such as Arterial Strike and Disemboweling Strike. Then I'd build around Swashbuckler's Seduction ability from the Dead Levels article, and play up a Patrick Bateman-esque scoundrel who would seduce people, then sneak attack them with his secret bite attack to make an arterial strike and drink their blood, using the Thief of Life abilities to gain some pseudo-vampire benefits from it.

    It was a cool idea, but not actually particularly good mechanically. Still, I kind of wish I'd found a way to make it work to my satisfaction...
    I had considered making a wannabe vampire all the way back in slime lord using the ultimate wannabe vampire class, night mask deathbringer, with the idea of making other people think he's a vampire too, with fake charming gaze and fake vampire immunities. Never quite came together.
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    Only playing Tier 1s is like only eating in five-star restaurants [...] sometimes I just want a cheeseburger and some frogurt. Why limit yourself?
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  19. - Top - End - #139
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    RogueGuy

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXV

    I got an idea about 12 hours ago, which was too late to try

    Skarn
    rogue 3
    totemist 2
    thief of life 10
    combat trapsmith 5

    Improved initiative, telling blow, death blow, indigo strike, spit poison (SK), improved essencia capacity, improved web (SS)

    Max handle animal, always travel with a series of bound live chickens until 15th level; any tiny creature actually, and sneak attack them for free essencia every hour. At 15th level and above, always travel with a purchased animal companion with the same number of HD as yourself, train them to be helpless or poison them. Before conflict, coup de grace them for a huge essencia bonus.

    Bind phase cloak and use spit poison to do 1d4 str damage + 2d6 sneak attack str damage + indigo strike damage. If you drop the opponent to 0 strength, they are helpless. Also, the sleep trap renders opponents helpless, which can then have a standard action used to coup de grace, which, by the rules, counts as an automatic critical hit, which activates telling blow, which adds your sneak attack damage to the coup attack. Lastly, improved web from savage species interacts really strangely with combat trapsmith's web trap, allowing you to drop as many web traps up to 10 away from each other as you have points of dexterity bonus, which, hopefully, holds folks still enough to spit oodles and oodles strength draining sneaky poison in hopes that they fail their accursed fort saves. Set the webs afire, and then move in with coup de graces/sneak attacks.

    If you get a friend to permanency an opened crown chakra, you can make an extra move action before setting all those traps with threefold mask of the chimera...Or set them and step away.

    The write ups and calculating skill points to hold it all together would have taken way too long.
    Last edited by daremetoidareyo; 2016-01-18 at 02:06 PM.

  20. - Top - End - #140
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXV

    Quote Originally Posted by The Viscount View Post
    I had considered making a wannabe vampire all the way back in slime lord using the ultimate wannabe vampire class, night mask deathbringer, with the idea of making other people think he's a vampire too, with fake charming gaze and fake vampire immunities. Never quite came together.
    The idea of a wannabe vampire (or wannabe anything) in dnd where all these things actually exist is really funny

    Night mask death bringer is a painfully disappointing class
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    Quote Originally Posted by daremetoidareyo View Post
    I got an idea about 12 hours ago, which was too late to try
    Bind phase cloak and use spit poison to do 1d4 str damage + 2d6 sneak attack str damage + indigo strike damage. If you drop the opponent to 0 strength, they are helpless. Also, the sleep trap renders opponents helpless, which can then have a standard action used to coup de grace, which, by the rules, counts as an automatic critical hit, which activates telling blow, which adds your sneak attack damage to the coup attack. Lastly, improved web from savage species interacts really strangely with combat trapsmith's web trap, allowing you to drop as many web traps up to 10 away from each other as you have points of dexterity bonus, which, hopefully, holds folks still enough to spit oodles and oodles strength draining sneaky poison in hopes that they fail their accursed fort saves. Set the webs afire, and then move in with coup de graces/sneak attacks.
    Unfortunately sneak attack doesn't become ability damage when that's the "weapon" being used. That and energy drain are pretty much the only exceptions to the general rule.
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXV

    Because of thief of life having the exact class skills needed for a detective kind of character I was cooking around that idea. Max. heal for determining what killed a dead creature (CAdv p. 101), Search with the Investigate feat and Knowledge Devotion for Knowledge Local with the already built in Knowledge Arcana and Religion. To top it off thief of life has spot, listen, sense motive, gather information and decipher script. I was also going for a LN detective/executioner style spinning names in my head around Judge Watson or Dr. Dredd or something along those lines. Finding the killer and executing him personally. Although the wording on Steal immortality makes me think coup de grace doesn't work unless you kill the creature with the initial damage and not the Fort save. I wasn't going for a very combat oriented build, rather a skillmonkey oddball. My stub was pretty much the same as many of the entries: early entry around 2-4 with all methods presented above.

    But I always hit the same brickwall with this concept: what class to pick after the SI. Here is a list of things i considered and dumpstered: Justiciar, Bloodhound, Watch detective, The ravenloft base class (I think it is called detective), continue rogue, exemplar, uncanny trickster, switch over to factotum, swordsage, trapsmith, master of nine etc.

    I think Rogue 3/Swordsage 2/Thief of life 10/trapsmith 5 is playable and Rogue1/ Spellthief 1/Swordsage 2/Thief of life 10/Uncanny Trickster 3/Exemplar 3 also but i just never came together. Maybe you guys know of a build that actually works.


    My second brief idea was going wilderness rogue/cloistered cleric/thief of life/x and butchering animals, abusing handle animal and then animate their corpses. But Cleric and Thief of life simply never made sense on any level.

  23. - Top - End - #143
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    I almost (almost!) wish I were judging this round. In no way do I regret submitting my build, but there's a lot of comments I want to make and things I want to point out (good, bad, and otherwise) about the other builds—but since I'm a chef and not a judge, that wouldn't be appropriate at the moment.

    Definitely some interesting fluff this round. Not surprising for such a fluffy ingredient, of course. This was fun to cook. Maddening in a way, but still fun. There were quite a few things I was expecting and quite a few things I wasn't expecting, so I can't wait to see some of the discussion that follows.

    Quote Originally Posted by daremetoidareyo View Post
    Lastly, improved web from savage species interacts really strangely with combat trapsmith's web trap, allowing you to drop as many web traps up to 10 away from each other as you have points of dexterity bonus, which, hopefully, holds folks still enough to spit oodles and oodles strength draining sneaky poison in hopes that they fail their accursed fort saves. Set the webs afire, and then move in with coup de graces/sneak attacks.
    That . . . that is wild. I really wish I'd thought of that first, because that is absolutely crazy. I would love to see a character based around that.
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXV

    Quote Originally Posted by The Viscount View Post
    Unfortunately sneak attack doesn't become ability damage when that's the "weapon" being used. That and energy drain are pretty much the only exceptions to the general rule.
    Hmm...gotta cram maiming strike in there somewhere then...Maybe switch from skarn to azurin.

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXV

    Not one Soul Eater... Color me surprised. My idea was a Tibbit Psychic Rogue/Soul Eater/ToL based on the myth that cats stole peoples breath/life. They would go under cover as a house cat and worm their way into a persons home, slowly level draining them and finishing them off when the time was right. Unfortunately, I didn't get the idea until Friday and wasn't able to finish off the details.
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  26. - Top - End - #146
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXV

    Quote Originally Posted by Deadasadoor View Post
    Not one Soul Eater... Color me surprised. My idea was a Tibbit Psychic Rogue/Soul Eater/ToL based on the myth that cats stole peoples breath/life. They would go under cover as a house cat and worm their way into a persons home, slowly level draining them and finishing them off when the time was right. Unfortunately, I didn't get the idea until Friday and wasn't able to finish off the details.
    Soul eaters energy drain is so contentious many of us feel like the risks outweigh the rewards in situations like this

    I like that idea a lot though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by weckar View Post
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  27. - Top - End - #147
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXV

    Quote Originally Posted by Piggy Knowles View Post
    I've had many, many ideas for this prestige class over the years. It's such a funny little nut to crack - so cool thematically, so disappointing mechanically.

    One idea I had that I wish had panned out, but sadly did not, was to make the Thief of Life into a sort of vampire fanboy. The plan was to be a character who had taken Willing Deformity (Teeth) because he was so obsessed with vampires that he filed down his own teeth so that he might drink blood. The plan mechanically was to take Deformity (Teeth) and Deformity (Madness), plus some sneak attack feats that specifically made the target bleed, such as Arterial Strike and Disemboweling Strike. Then I'd build around Swashbuckler's Seduction ability from the Dead Levels article, and play up a Patrick Bateman-esque scoundrel who would seduce people, then sneak attack them with his secret bite attack to make an arterial strike and drink their blood, using the Thief of Life abilities to gain some pseudo-vampire benefits from it.

    It was a cool idea, but not actually particularly good mechanically. Still, I kind of wish I'd found a way to make it work to my satisfaction...
    I had a similar idea, but with a changeling being a wannabe Defacer. I also had an idea for a hunter of the most dangerous game, being less of an evil SOB and more of a 'eat to live' style character. Sadly, no time to enter this round. Also unlikely to have time to judge. If I find the time, I'll try to judge. If I can get my current project rolled out and my staff can handle things, I'm taking a week off. Earliest that could happen is the week of the 25th, so maybe.

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  28. - Top - End - #148
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXV

    I probably should have toughened up and put together my secondary build idea, since in retrospect my issues with it were pretty minor and it's probably better than what I ended up submitting. Here's a stub for anyone who's interested.

    Silverbrow Human Rogue 1/Spell-Reflection Decisive Strike Passive Way Monk 2/Totemist 2/Hit-and-Run Sneak Attack Fighter 1/Thief of Life 10/Heir of Siberys 3
    1. Rogue 1 - Darkstalker, Combat Reflexes
    2. Monk 1 - Improved Unarmed Strike, Combat Expertise
    3. Monk 2 - Improved Trip, Knock-Down
    4. Totemist 1
    5. Totemist 2
    6. Fighter 1 - Midnight Dodge
    7. Thief of Life 1
    8. Thief of Life 2
    9. Thief of Life 3 - Defensive Throw
    10. Thief of Life 4
    11. Thief of Life 5
    12. Thief of Life 6 - Shape Soulmeld (Mauling Gauntlets)
    13. Thief of Life 7
    14. Thief of Life 8
    15. Thief of Life 9 - Heroic Spirit
    16. Thief of Life 10
    17. Heir of Siberys 1 - Action Surge
    18. Heir of Siberys 2 - Cobalt Expertise, Feat
    19. Heir of Siberys 3 - Feat


    The big idea is to use the Dragon Tail's Totem Bind Tail Sweep to attack people who he couldn't see but who ping on Lifesense. Since foes take damage "as if struck by your Dragon Tail" which should include Sneak Attack, and going by the definition of melee combat from the Glossary, it seems it should be good enough to trigger Knock-Down as well. With Steal Immortality providing large amounts of essentia, I was hoping to fill my Dragon Tail along with Mauling Gauntlets (shaped to arms), Sphinx Claws (shaped to hands), and Cobalt Expertise. Since the only actual attack rolls I'd be making would be on Improved Trip attacks and AoOs, I could safely take large penalties for Combat Expertise and enjoy a sizable boost to AC between that and Cobalt Expertise. From there we've got Defensive Throw (with Midnight Dodge for even more AC) to trip more people who made the mistake of attacking me. Point Buy only requires 10 Int, as the build can age to Venerable after gaining Steal Immortality, and Combat Expertise/Improved Trip are taken as Monk bonus feats. The last two feats are either two Bonus Essentia or Bonus Essentia and Staggering Strike, depending on how much you can reliably get with Steal Immortality.

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  29. - Top - End - #149
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXV

    My most promising idea was to use body outside body to provide an unlimited supply of bodies for Borrow Vigor/Steal Vitality/Steal Immortality. However, getting a 7th level Wu Jen spell into the same build with 10 non-caster levels was a bit tricky, even after I figured out how to get into Thief of Life at 2nd level. My first idea was Spellthief 1/ToL 10/Chameleon 9 with some Heighten/Versatile shenanigans to get a 7th level spell slot, but it sucked up so many feats I didn't have much room for anything else. I gave up for about two weeks, then managed to stumble into a better way to do it: Spellthief 1/ToL 6/Bard 2/Minor Bloodline 1/Sublime Chord 2/Ruathar 2/Wyrm Wizard 2/ToL +4 (Bloodline level is necessary to steal 7th level spells).

    So I had an infinite source of duplicates to feed into Steal Immortality, along with an infinite supply of essentia, which I could then use for... uh. Hmm. Well, I could use it for... Ummmmm...

    And that's when the build just sort of fell apart, as I couldn't figure out what to *do* with the essentia. If I just wanted to abuse body outside body, mining each duplicate for extra spells, then Spellthief 1/Wu Jen 19 was a much more effective than anything Thief of Life could bring to the table. Actually, what I wanted to use the essentia for was to create an army of necrocarnum zombies, but Necrocarnate is much more effective at harvesting essentia than anything Thief of Life could do.

    However, now that I've seen the entries, I've got some much better ideas on what I could do with the body outside body combo.

    I will probably wind up judging, but I'm being deliberately unspecific about when that might happen.

  30. - Top - End - #150
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXV

    My initial concept was to create a Bard or Exemplar to create the Pied Piper, who would extort towns for their wealth before leading off his group of people formed into mob template and kill them and become immortal, but I couldnt really think of a way to get it to work outaide of that. :(

    And cheers guys. 9 entries? Real cheers...

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