A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #181
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Heliomance's Avatar

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXVI

    Bodies are clothes, to be worn or discarded at will.

    Quote Originally Posted by Larami d'Orien
    Larami d’Orien


    Spoiler: level breakdown
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    CN human shape-changing ranger 5/master of many forms 3/war hulk 2/legacy champion 10


    Spoiler: abilities
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    str 18
    dex 10
    con 16
    int 10
    wis 10
    cha 8

    increases to strength

    final ability scores:
    str 43
    dex 10
    con 16
    int 10
    wis 10
    cha 8


    Spoiler: backstory
    Show
    Larami d’Orien took his rightful place in the first class compartment of the Lyrander airship. He’d shown the captain his ticket, and aside from a rude look, had gotten no trouble.

    It was going to be a long trip. His father had sent him out to prove his worth to the house by supervising some incoming cargo. As though they didn’t have people for that. Something to do with an illegal shipment of bones. Larami knew it was just to keep him busy.

    He glanced out the window at the ground, so distant below while he waited to take off.

    “This seat taken?” a fetching young lady from the aisle asked.

    “Not if you’re asking,” Larami said with a wink.

    She rolled her eyes at him and sat down.

    “Don’t get any ideas. I’m not here for that,” she said.

    Larami called over the attendant and ordered lunch, having lost interest.

    “Then why are you here?” he asked.

    “I’m going to die here,” she said.

    Larami waved off the attendant. None of his business.

    “Could’ve saved on the fare. Or rather your father could’ve.” He nodded toward a jutting piece of dragonmark protruding from her sleeve, barely visible through a lace cuff. “And just jumped from the platform.”

    She opened a compact and touched up her wrist with some makeup matching her dark skin.

    “We’re not all here running errands,” she said. “I’m here fulfilling my destiny.”

    “Some destiny,” Larami said.

    She shrugged. “Can’t win ‘em all. I figure I might as well get it over with. I mean, where else does one have terrible things happen to them than the jungles of Xen’drik?”

    She had a point.

    “And until then?”

    She looked over her shoulder. ‘I was planning to spend my time in absentia.”

    Larami touched his canine with the edge of his tongue. “You’ve got some?”

    “What’ve you got for me?” she asked. She undid a button on her collar. She wore the nozzle for an absentia pipe on a chain around her neck.

    Larami pulled a handkerchief from his pocket, petals of dream lily peeking through its folds.

    “Something to make you dreams come true, maybe,” he said.

    “Sounds good. Not now though. Later,” she said.

    “Sure. What’ve you heard about the captain?” Larami asked.

    “Heard it’s Thrush Xivdrad. Maybe your dad’s trying to bump you off after all.” She pocketed his handkerchief. He let her. “I heard he sold the last little princeling into slavery. That’s why he’s off the list.”

    Larami shrugged. “Maybe that’s why he’s willing to take on a few odd jobs.”

    She excused herself shortly thereafter.The captain roamed around the ship. He probably hadn’t heard. That’s what Larami told himself.

    Once night came, Larami lingered in his sleeping compartment. They were somewhere over the jungles of Xen’drik now. The ship drifted over gargantuan pyramids built to honor long dead gods.

    The giants slumbered here. Some of them were coming onboard tomorrow, probably. Or what was left of them, at least.

    He didn’t know what to do with his hands, lacking any lily petals to touch.

    His guest knocked at the door. He let her in and locked the two of them in.

    “Took you long enough,” he teased. It was after midnight.

    She hung up her coat, her arms bare, even of the dragonmark he’d seen earlier.

    “Dab hand with that makeup,” Larami said.

    She quirked an eyebrow at him. Once she stood in the light, he caught the mark on the left side of her face, curved around her cheek and forehead like a question mark, disappearing into her hairline.

    It hadn’t been there earlier.

    “You’re—“ she didn’t let him finish.

    “Don’t say it out loud,” she said.

    That explained why she hadn’t given her name. Cataclysm magi had enough problems without advertising their presence. It meant, to his annoyance, her prophecy was legitimate, though.

    She pulled pieces of her absentia pipe out of her pockets, screwing them together like a staff. It was a beautiful thing in silver and gold with a dragon’s wing filigree up its handle.

    “Is that supposed to be ironic?” Larami asked.

    “Something like that,” she said. She pulled pillows from the bed and propped herself up on her side, lying on the floor.

    She lit the wick of a small lamp and held her pipe over it to warm the pearl of absentia waiting.

    “Is it safe?” Larami asked before he could help himself. He’d never tried absentia, but hadn’t planned on outing himself so soon.

    She laughed. “I hope not.” She unpeeled a leaf of dream lily from Larami’s handkerchief and packed it between her cheek and gum. “I bet this stuff is though.” Her voice was muted as the flower numbed her lips.

    Larami laid down next to her and breathed deep the absentia, feeling the smoke go directly into his mind.

    He knew enough about magic to understand a body was just something you wore. Larami changed his own often enough. But this was the first time he’d ever had the privilege of an honest-to-the-divinity-within out-of-body experience.

    Larami’s body had been a giant before, but Larami had never been a giant before. That was where he found himself now. Not in a plush private chamber aboard Lyrander’s airship with a lovely exotic woman as company, but below in the darkness of Xen’drik.

    He was in a cave, peering out a hole in the ceiling at the night sky. The airship Larami knew himself to be on right now drifted lazily through the air, a dark blot over the moon.

    This giant he was felt threatened. It worried the airship would come to its graveyard and steal the bones of its ancestors. It was right, of course, Larami thought from outside of himself.

    The giant reached for a hammer. Larami understood once he laid the hands that weren’t his own upon it that it was some ancient, unknowable thing. Laremi’s father would certainly be impressed if he could add it to the cargo hold. Much better than some dusty old bones.

    What better way to prove he could do more for the House than check off supplies on a clipboard than by going out there and getting his hands dirty?

    Larami had no more time to ponder the thought than he found himself back in his own body. His arms had slackened and grown loose in the joints, wrists dangling below his knees as was often the case when he was out of his mind. Side effects of playing fast and loose with the shape of his body.

    “Welcome back,” she said. She breathed hot against the tip of the pipe and wiped it clean with a cloth. “Well, it’s been fun, but I’m afraid this place is too safe. Have a nice trip.” She swallowed the last of his lily petals.

    “What if I told you I had something for you?” Larami asked. He flexed those muscles inside him no one else had and pulled his arm in tight until they were the right size, like a telescope.

    “I’d ask what it was,” she said, still packing her things.

    “A death sentence,” Larami said.

    “I’d say I was listening,” she said.

    He told her what he’d dreamt and not a minute later they’d leapt out the window of the airship. Larami bent and pruned himself into a giant bat. His companion held herself fast to his back, clamping her thighs around his body, her hands balled into fists in his hair.

    They found the cave in short order. They hoped the giant hadn’t gotten far.

    Unbelievably, it wasn’t there. It’d left that dumb hammer behind after all this.

    Larami shrugged his own shape back on since he needed thumbs.

    “I’ll keep watch,” she said, sounding disappointed.

    Larami touched the hammer. It began to weep blood from the skull motif on its head. Smelled human.

    “Anything?” she asked. She played with the handle of a knife, its blade missing.

    “It’s bleeding. Not blood spattered, but bleeding. Tastes human,” Larami said. One picked things up.

    She didn’t look surprised.

    Larami hefted the hammer, but found it was heavier than it looked. When he couldn’t pull it up, he realized, with creeping horror why.

    A giant hand gripped the head as he pulled at the handle. The rest of the creature stepped from the stone of the walls, appearing as if from nowhere. It grunted at them in its bestial language, pointing a finger and shoving Larami away. It bellowed at the girl.

    She drew her knife that wasn’t here and cut a hole in the world.

    Pure nightmares poured in from the space between spaces and the giant screamed. Its flesh melted away in boiling, fleshy lumps, dripping upwards against the pull of the earth to pool on the ceiling above, errant drops drifting through the skylight off into the night.

    It lurched forward and hurled its enormous hammer at Larami. He turned his bones to jelly and stood on the other side of it, his body some unspeakable tentacled beast.

    From the sound the hammer made, which was nothing like a hammer striking stone, Larami gathered his companion hadn’t been so lucky.

    What had been done had been done. Before tending to her, he needed to make sure this giant was dealt with.

    Larami strode into the wave of nightmares, the lemon rains of Xoriat tearing strips off him. He wrapped his tentacles around the giant’s head, bit through its thick skull with his beak, and swallowed its tiny brain whole, soft and eggy. One picked things up.

    He shook off the shape and looked at what was left of her.

    The hammer had taken her head off right at the neck. Wasn’t much left now. Her skin was gray and soft when he wrapped his arms—too long, but he didn’t care— around her to pick her up. A changeling. It made sense for someone on the run in the way she was.

    He peeled what was left of the dragonmark she had on that day from her skin. The Seren tribe in the area would never resurrect her if they saw what she’d done. Their kind thought of it as blasphemy.

    It looked like they’d both gotten what they wanted, so he shrugged on a giant’s shape to make carrying her corpse easier and clipped the hammer onto his belt. It eased his journey in some ineffable way.

    Once Larami came to the expedition’s camp some hours later, he saw Thrush there talking to Kole Naerrin himself over eggs and sausages.

    “So I don’t know where the brat is. Must’ve jumped ship,” Thrush said.

    Larami dumped the changeling’s headless corpse onto the table, assumed his natural shape, and took a sausage from the frying pan with his fingers.

    “Something like that. Want to hear what happened?”


    Spoiler: build
    Show

    Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    1st Ranger 1 +1 +2 +2 +0 climb 3, hide 4, jump 4, knowledge (history) 4 (2), ms 4, speak language 1 (dwarf), swim 4, tumble 4 Alertness, Power Attack Fast movement, favored enemy (arcanists), track, voice of the city
    2nd Ranger 2 +2 +3 +3 +0 climb 1 (4), hide 1 (5), jump 1 (5), knowledge (history) 1 (2.5), ms 1 (5), swim 1 (5), tumble 1 (5)
    3rd Ranger 3 +3 +3 +3 +1 climb 1 (5), hide 1 (6), jump 1 (6), knowledge (history) 1 (3), ms 1 (6), swim 1 (6), tumble 1 (6) Cleave Endurance
    4th Ranger 4 +4 +4 +4 +1 climb 1 (6), hide 1 (7), jump 1 (7), knowledge (history) 1 (3.5), ms 1 (7), swim 1 (7), tumble 1 (7) Animal companion (swindlespitter), blind-fight
    5th Ranger 5 +5 +4 +4 +1 climb 1 (7), hide 1 (8), jump 1 (8), knowledge (history) 1 (4), ms 1 (8), swim 1 (8), tumble 1 (8) Favored enemy (foo), wild shape 1/day (small or medium animal)
    6th Master of Many Forms 1 +5 +6 +6 +1 climb 1 (8), hide 1 (9), jump 1 (9), knowledge (history) 1 (4.5), swim 1 (9) Improved Bullrush Shifter’s speech, improved wild shape (humanoid)
    7th Master of Many Forms 2 +6/+1 +7 +7 +1 climb 1 (9), hide 1 (10), jump 1 (10), knowledge (history) 1 (5), swim 1 (10) Improved wild shape (giant; Large)
    8th Master of Many Forms 3 +7/+2 +7 +7 +2 climb 1 (10), hide 1 (11), jump 1 (11), swim 2 (11) Fast wild shape, improved wild shape (monstrous humanoid)
    9th War Hulk 1 +7/+2 +9 +7 +2 climb 1 (11), intimidate 1, jump 1 (12) Shock Trooper No time to think,ability boost (Str +2)
    10th War Hulk 2 +7/+2 +10 +7 +2 climb 1 (12), intimidate 1 (2), jump 1 (13) Great swing, ability boost (Str +2)
    11th Legacy Champion 1 +7/+2 +10 +7 +4 jump 1 (14), intimidate 1 (3), tumble 3 (11) Reduced ritual cost (lesser),bond of lore
    12th Legacy Champion 2 +8/+3 +10 +7 +5 jump 1 (15), intimidate 1 (4), tumble 3 (14) Aberration blood (flexible limbs) Replace legacy ability (least) (replace the earth provides with continual unseen servant), Mighty rock throwing, ability boost (Str +2)
    13th Legacy Champion 3 +9/+4 +11 +8 +5 hide 2 (10), intimidate 1 (5), jump 1 (16), ms 1 (9) Extra legacy ability use (least) (pathbreaker 2/day), Mighty swing,
    ability boost (Str +2)
    14th Legacy Champion 4 +10/+5 +11 +8 +6 hide 1 (11), intimidate 1 (6), jump 1 (17), ms 2 (11) Bonus legacy feat (quicken legacy: haste), Ability boost (Str +2)
    15th Legacy Champion 5 +10/+5 +11 +8 +6 hide 2 (13), intimidate 1 (7), jump 1 (18), ms 1 (12) Aberration Wild Shape Replace legacy ability (lesser) (replace stony resistance with haste 5/day), Sweeping boulder,
    ability boost (Str +2)
    16th Legacy Champion 6 +11/+6/+1 +12 +9 +7 hide 1 (14), intimidate 1 (8), jump 1 (19), ms 2 (14) Extra legacy ability use (lesser) (meld into stone 2/day), Ability boost (Str +2)
    17th Legacy Champion 7 +12/+7/+2 +12 +9 +7 hide 2 (16), intimidate 1 (9), jump 1 (20), ms 1(15) Reduced ritual cost (greater), Massive sweeping
    boulder, Toughness,
    ability boost (Str +2)
    18th Legacy Champion 8 +13/+8/+3 +12 +9 +8 hide 1 (17), intimidate 1 (10), jump 1 (21), ms 2 (17) Swift Wild Shape Bonus legacy feat (transfer legacy)
    19th Legacy Champion 9 +13/+8/+3 +13 +10 +8 hide 2 (19), intimidate 1 (11), jump 1 (22), ms 1 (18) Extra legacy ability use (greater) (wall of stone 3/day), Ability boost (Str +2),
    Toughness

    Spoiler: legacy item abilities
    Show

    Character Level Attack Penalty Save Penalty Hit Point Loss Abilities
    5th Large +2 warhammer
    6th 4 Earthseeker
    7th Pathbreaker 1/day
    8th -1 Earthen stature 1/day
    9th -1 2 The earth provides (replace at 12 with continual unseen servant)
    10th Deny earth’s embrace
    11th Large +3 warhammer
    12th 2 Earthen stature at will
    13th Pathbreaker 2/day
    14th -2 Large +4 warhammer
    15th 2 Stony resistance (replace at 15 with haste 5/day)
    16th -2 Meld into stone 2/day
    17th Large +5 warhammer, terra obscura (replace with +15 to skill: tumble)
    18th -3 2 Wall of stone 2/day
    19th 2 Earthwalker’s bane, wall of stone 3/day
    20th 2 Ignore earth’s clutch


    Spoiler: playtips
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    Spoiler: lvl 5
    Show

    You’re a straightforward wild shape ranger here. Skulk around in small shapes, beat up bad guys in medium ones. Cats are good pouncers. Bite, claw, rake, etc. power attack and cleave are up, helping you scythe through mooks. your skill choice is unconventional because of your later lifestyle choices.


    Spoiler: lvl 10
    Show

    As a brute, shock trooper is your bread and butter. the full line’s operational now. Master of many forms is online. You’ve got access to humanoid, giant, and monstrous humanoid shapes small to large. You’ve got enough uses and duration to be large all the time, grooming you for war hulk.

    This is incidentally the reason I alluded to earlier for your unconventional skill choices. War hulk’s no time to think means your mod’s effectively zero for mental skills, so there’s no point investing there.

    You can wild shape as a move action and great swing is up, letting you take a swipe at 3 separate enemies. It plays very nicely with your cleave, letting it be more than a feat tax.

    You can detect earth creatures and ignore their dr. Pathbreaker opens locks, doors, chains, and such. It’ll even dispel hold portal and arcane locks in instances when you can’t just knock the door down.

    Enlarge person’s up and works through wild shape, so make use of it to improve your reach.


    Spoiler: lvl 15
    Show

    Congraulations, you’re in the secret ingredient. You’ve unlocked the secret of your aberrant blood, allowing you to crush your enemies more effectively, granting a +2 to your grapple. It also paves the way for aberration wild shape, giving you a variety of options. Mind flayer for its extract special ability is fun. Despite its normally low str, your strength boosts from war hulk are class features, so you hang onto them, giving you a good grapple. Aberration blood helps too.

    You’ve learned the arcane science of throwing rocks at your enemies. Mighty swing’s up and running, letting you swipe at 3 bad guys for only a standard. Sweeping boulder lets you bowl over multiple enemies with your rock throwing.

    This is the crux of the build. Legacy champion’s strength aside from advancing class features is abandoning your old chassis. What is the class where legacy champion’s advancement of its features is better than just staying put?

    War hulk. You now get to have your cake with your strength increases, and eat it too by taking advantage of legacy champion’s base attack.

    Your weapon’s pulling its weight now. Unseen servant’s always on, you’ve got some lock opening and similar utility from pathbreaker an extra time a day. Since wild shape doesn’t change your type, you can use it while in a large form to become huge and improve your reach and thus all your war hulk abilities, helpfully advanced by legacy champion.

    Stony resistance puts an egg in its shoe and beats it, being replaced with 5/day haste (which you cast as a swift.) Mighty swing’s a standard? Have fun doing it twice if anybody’s left standing.


    Spoiler: lvl20
    Show

    Meld into stone’s around in case you want to sneak up on your enemies (which you are quite good at, since you need to lean on your physical skills.)

    You can slap down four enemies per rock now, so enjoy that. Massive swing is now also around. It’s like a whirlwind attack without the prereq if you’re ever surrounded on all sides by weak enemies. Do this while huge and there’s no limits on what you can achieve.

    You wild shape on as a swift now, saving your actions. Wall of stone helps out battlefield control. Box your enemies in and use your war hulk abilities to clobber them once they’re cornered.

    Your skill bonus helps you out with tumble since you’re in close quarters to a lot of enemies a bunch of the time and are adjacent to a lot of squares.

    Toughness, toughness, and toughness give you 9 additional hit points. This makes a considerable dent in the hit points you sacrifice to your legacy weapon.

    You now have the extremely important freedom of movement up, a valuable defensive option.


    Spoiler: sources
    Show

    srd: shape-changing ranger, alertness, power attack, cleave, improved bullrush
    complete warrior: shock trooper
    lords of madness: aberration blood (flexible limbs), aberration wild shape
    complete champion: swift wild shape, champion of the wild
    weapons of legacy: legacy champion, bloodcrier’s hammer
    cityscape web enhancement: skilled city dweller, voice of the city
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  2. - Top - End - #182
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Heliomance's Avatar

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXVI

    Were-tiger? There tiger!

    Man, I'm on fire today!

    Quote Originally Posted by Shoshon the Elegant
    Shoshon the Elegant

    N Wildhunt Shifter Warblade 4/ Weretiger 1/Tiger(Lycanthrope) 1/Warshaper 5/Legendary Champion 9

    Stats (With Adjustments)
    Spoiler
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    Str 18
    Dex 12
    Con 14 (16 when shifting, Increases here)
    Int 12
    Wis 10
    Cha 6

    At level 20 (Animal/Hybrid in parenthesis)
    Str 18 (34)
    Dex 12 (16)
    Con 24 (30 when shifting, 34 in animal/hybrid, 36 when both)
    Int 12
    Wis 12
    Cha 6

    Build
    Spoiler
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    Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    1st Warblade 1 +1 +2 +0 +0 Balance 4, Intimidate 2, Jump 4, Knowledge (history) 4, Knowledge (local) 2, Tumble 4 Improved Unarmed Strike Battle Clarity (Reflex Saves), Weapon Aptitude
    2nd Warblade 2 +2 +3 +0 +0 Balance 5, Intimidate 3, Jump 5, Knowledge (history) 5, Tumble 5 Uncanny Dodge
    3rd Warblade 3 +3 +3 +1 +1 Intimidate 5, Jump 6, Knowledge (History) 6, Tumble 6 Power Attack Battle Ardor (Critical Confirmation)
    4th Warblade 4 +4 +4 +1 +1 Intimidate 7, Jump 7, Knowledge (History) 7, Tumble 7
    5th Weretiger 1 +4 +4 +1 +1 (B)Alertness Wis +2, Natural Armor +2, Alternate form (Tiger), Low-Light-Vision, Shapechanger Subtype, Weretiger Feat (Alertness)
    6th Tiger(Lycanthrope) 1 +4 +6 +3 +1 None (3 to Weapon, Owe Weapon 1) (B)Least Legacy Str+2, Natural Armor +2, Tiger Abilities (+4 racial bonus on Balance, Hide, and Move Silently), Bite
    7th Warshaper 1 +4 +8 +3 +1 Jump 9 (1 to Weapon) Wildhunt Elite Morphic Immunities, Morphic Weapons
    8th Warshaper 2 +5 +9 +4 +2 Jump 10, Tumble 8 (2) Morphic Body
    9th Warshaper 3 +6/+1 +9 +4 +2 Jump 11, Tumble 9 (2) Morphic Reach
    10th Warshaper 4 +7/+2 +10 +4 +2 Jump 12 (2 to Weapon) Ragewild Fighting Morphic Healing
    11th Warshaper 5 +7/+2 +10 +4 +2 Jump 13, Tumble 10 (2) Flashmorph
    12th Legacy Champion 1 +7/+2 +10 +4 +4 Jump 14, Tumble 12 (2 to Weapon) (B)Lesser Legacy Reduced Ritual Cost (Lesser), Bond of Lore
    13th Legacy Champion 2 +8/+3 +10 +4 +5 Jump 15, Tumble 14, UMD 2 Martial Study (Iron Heart Surge), (B)Improved Natural Attack (Bite), (B)Improved Natural Attack (Claw), (B) Iron Will? Replace Legacy Ability (Least): Solitary Warrior to Unceasing Servant, Alternate Form (Hybrid), Tiger Empathy, Damage Reduction 5/Silver, Weretiger Feats
    14th Legacy Champion 3 +9/+4 +11 +5 +5 Jump 16, UMD 6 Extra Legacy Ability Use (Least):Knock Silly, Str +2, Dex +2, Scent
    15th Legacy Champion 4 +10/+5 +11 +5 +6 Jump 17, UMD 8 (2 to Weapon) (B) Transfer Legacy (Knock Silly) Bonus Legacy Feat, Str +2, Con +2, Natural Armor +1, 2 Claws
    16th Legacy Champion 5 +10/+5 +11 +5 +6 Jump 18, UMD 12 Martial Stance (Press the Advantage) Replace Legacy Ability (Lesser): +3 Gauntlets to Darkness, Other ; Str +2, Con +2, Improved Grab, Large
    17th Legacy Champion 6 +11/+6/+1 +12 +6 +7 Jump 19, UMD 16 Extra Legacy Ability Use (Lesser): Cheat Death, Curse of Lycanthropy, Damage Reduction 10/Silver
    18th Legacy Champion 7 +12/+7/+2 +12 +6 +7 Jump 20, UMD 18 (2 to Weapon) (B) Greater Legacy Reduced Ritual Cost (Greater)
    19th Legacy Champion 8 +13/+8/+3 +12 +6 +8 UMD 21 (2 to Weapon) (B) Quicken Legacy (Darkness, Other), Quick Change Bonus Legacy Feat, Str +2, Dex +2, Natural Armor +1?, Pounce
    20th Legacy Champion 9 +13/+8/+3 +13 +7 +8 Jump 22, UMD 22 (2 to Weapon) Extra Legacy Ability Use (Greater):Lightning Punch, Str +2, Con +2, Rake
    Legacy Weapon
    Spoiler
    Show
    Character Level Attack Penalty Skill Check Penalty Hit Point Loss Skill Point Loss Abilities
    5th Sturdy Grip
    6th 2 4 Knock Silly 2/day
    7th -1 Solitary Warrior Unceasing Servant
    8th Cheat Death 1/day
    9th
    10th -1 2 2 Power of One +2
    11th Rough and Tumble
    12th 2 +2 Gauntlets
    13th -2 Giant Bearing
    14th 2 Power of One +4
    15th 2 Stone Gathering
    16th -2 +3 Gauntlets Darkness, Other
    17th Frightful Prescence
    18th 2 2 No Wound too Big, Power of One +6
    19th -3 2 Lightning Punch
    20th 2 +3 Gauntlets


    Maneuvers
    Spoiler
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    1st: Wolf Fang Strike, Sudden Leap, Charging Minotaur, Douse the Flames (at 2)
    2nd: Wall of Blades
    3rd: Iron Heart Surge (at 13)
    Stances: Leading the Charge, Blood in the Water, Press the Advantage (at 16)

    Backstory
    Spoiler
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    Life’s rough. Khorvaire’s got some good people in it, but they’re spread pretty thin over a pretty wide area. If you’re a shifter trying to live anywhere but the wilderness, don’t expect to run into too many of them. If you get ahead in life, you gotta learn from the animal world. You gotta care for yourself and stand up to the bastards. When I left the wilds for the city you know what my first job was? I got drafted for infantry in the war. I served 2 years dodging arrows and cutting down poor shlubs on the other side. I couldn’t have fun doing it most of the time! Almost all the guys I fought were tin men or dead men walking, no hot blood in between your teeth when you strike ‘em down.

    Most people at least got some war buddies out of it, but not me. All the jerks in my squad didn’t appreciate having a backwoods wildman who didn’t listen to orders well. I had to face off against one or two, but they learned after I knocked the biggest guy on his softy city derriere.

    War sure did make me stronger, though. I don’t know if it was those performance enhancing potions they had us trying out, or some of the army’s magic doing weird stuff to my tiger bloodline, or maybe just skills honing with use, but by war’s end I was shifting faster and more extreme than anyone in my clan ever did. You’d think it would earn me a field promotion, but it wasn’t in the cards for old Shoshon.

    They say war never changes, but at least that one eventually ended. I visited some relatives who said they had a kid who went off to war like me but didn’t return, and they hadn’t heard from his commanding officer that anything had happened. I didn’t have the heart to tell them they probably both went up in the Day of Mourning, so I promised to look for him, or at least something to bring back. Eventually I was able to track him down, or at least what was left. A skeleton isn’t much, but it’s a lot to a shifter family. It’s enough to keep his spirit in the grove of his ancestors, which was good enough for me. Doing that seemed to work out well enough so I decided to do it some more while the money lasted. There were a lot of people who went missing in the war, and plenty more who used it as an excuse to go missing. There was some competition in the people finding business, not all of them so principled as yours truly. Hell, I managed to find out a whole crew of my competitors who weren’t even doing that job. They were just stringing along desperate families for the salary while they sat on their asses. This time I suppressed my urges and did the civilized thing: report them to the papers in an exclusive interview (for a finder’s fee of course, still gotta eat).

    Turns out the crew was bigger than I thought, and a couple important people’s sons were in the operation. I got a little more famous than I would like, and I had to lay low for a while. That suited me fine. I needed an excuse to get back to the jungle, and I could get on just fine in the wild. I was only getting stronger. Sometime around here I went on something of a vision quest with some of the druids and found out my tiger blood was a hell of a lot stronger than most shifters. By that point I was basically full-fledged lycanthrope, and let me tell you that gets you some respect in the shifter world. I wasn’t Shoshon from some nowhere village anymore, I was Shoshon the Elegant.

    Anyway, after a while of getting back to my roots and wandering with the winds I hit a little village of shifters. Real nice folks, the Winterhide clan. Ain’t got no mean bones in ‘em. Truth was, that was their problem. Turns out they were refugees smuggled out from Rierdra, mostly women and kids sent out while the men stayed behind. They were supposed to follow soon after, but the authorities probably found out, and it was going to be a while before they could regroup. In the meantime they were getting raided by all sorts of thugs, and they were still half-brainwashed into thinking they had to submit to those above them. I tried to teach them how that wasn’t the way, but they couldn’t fight so many years of what they learned. Finally I figured out I had to show them their real nature the only way that would work. I bit ‘em. Don’t look at me like that, I didn’t bite that hard, just hard enough to bring life to the tiger inside of them, make them strong like me. Next time those raiders came around they were in for one real surprise. A whole village of tigers met ‘em tooth and claw and you can bet they tore those suckers a new one. I decided to stick around for a while to help the townsfolk get adjusted to the new way of life while they waited for their menfolk, and teach the kids about the way of the world, least according to old Shoshon the elegant. Life’s rough, and if you want to get ahead, you gotta make it rougher for the other guy.

    Level 5
    Spoiler
    Show
    Welcome to the confusing world of savage progressions! We’re starting things off as a shifter, since their lycanthrope ancestry makes a good starting point for a natural lycanthrope to gradually gain power. I’ve chosen Wildhunt, which boosts Con (so increases shifting duration) and gives scent, which is good for anti-stealth and finding things. Lycanthrope savage progression is going to raise some questions, which I’ll try to bring up when they arise.

    We’re going to begin with 4 levels of warblade, which provide a solid foundation to build on. Full BA, Battle clarity to help mitigate the save penalty, ardor to help with critical hits (for blood in the water), and uncanny dodge to protect from sudden strike and some sneak attack. The first “level” of weretiger doesn’t give any HD, so it’s a lot like taking LA. It does provide some benefits, like free alertness, +2 Wis and NA, and the ability to turn into a tiger (which for the moment has no mechanical benefit). Legacy weapons make reference to character level many times, and it’s unclear whether a savage progression level counts toward this. I’ve assumed not for the purposes of legacy feats and weapon effects, but if they do simply shift everything up one. They almost certainly don’t count for feats and skill caps which is why they are adjusted from here on.

    Improved Unarmed Strike is a prerequisite for the gauntlets, but it can still be useful in tiger form, when grappling, etc. Attacks with gauntlets are still unarmed strikes, so this feat does help in using them by making you threaten and not provoking AoO. Power attack is a setup for later and also just a good feat for brutes. You’ll have Str enough to afford using it.

    Wolf Fang Strike is necessary for the rest of Tiger Claw, but at least you actually have IUS (later other things) to use with it. Sudden Leap is essentially battlefield teleport, and your bonuses to jump are going to go up and up with time. Charging Minotaur is useful for pushing guys around, especially once your big strength kicks in. Douse the Flames prevents AoOs for when you things that would normally provoke. Wall of Blades is great for when you don’t want something to hit you, note that it works on spells that require attack rolls, which you really don’t want to get hit with. Leading the Charge is good for beginning the combat, and most likely applies to Charging Minotaur. Blood in the Water isn’t bad for normal combat.

    Level 10
    Spoiler
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    More savage progression weirdness! Weretiger is presented as sort of 2 classes. We’re going to be taking a level in the “second” one, which does grant HD, skills, and everything like a normal class. It gives a bit attack boost to str and natural armor in hybrid and animal forms, and a boost to a few skills all the time. At this point I’ll mention that the table for natural armor bonuses is a bit wrong, it should grant you 1 more natural armor, so talk with your DM on where to add it. Your speed goes up in tiger form to 40 feet (so more boost to jump). Taking this level has additional purposes. The first is that Legacy Champion only advances classes you took before, and I didn’t want to risk someone counting these HD levels as a different class. The second is that it provides an actual benefit for being in tiger form, so your DM is more likely to accept it as a form for warshaper.

    Now let’s talk warshaper. The shapeshifter subtype is your means of entry (it explicitly mentions lycanthropes as an example) and I’m assuming the bonuses apply when shifting or when in tiger or hybrid(when you unlock it) alternate forms. It gives you immunity to stunning and crits, +4 to Str and Con, 5 extra feet of reach, fast healing 2, and the ability to change forms as a move action next level (obviously only for alternate form). Those are some really powerful abilities, especially when you can have them on as long as you want. I’m going to assume that you’re using morphic weapons only to increase the damage of your existing natural weapons; we don’t need to get crazy.

    Wildhunt Elite gives blindsense when shifting (which is lengthened by Con boosts and by this feat itself). Ragewild Fighting has 3 tactical maneuvers, all of which useful. Rattle the Weakling should come up basically every combat, so use it.

    We’re going to pick up the Bullybasher’s Gauntlets here, so let’s discuss abilities. Assuming you’re 1 level behind, you have sturdy grip (+4 to start grapple), Knock Silly (touch of idiocy when damaging 2/day), and Cheat Death (free 1 healing when knocked below 0). Solitary warrior’s not too interesting, we’ll be trading it away. It’s mostly pretty straightforward stuff, cheat death’s useful if you get hit when not in alternate form, buying you time to get to a form where fast healing activates. Because they’re magical gloves, they change to fit the wearer so long as they have that slot, so should fit over your Large paws in tiger and hybrid form. Due to their design your claws aren’t covered so are still able to be used. The attack penalty is minor and easily covered by strength, the hp is more than covered by your Con boosts. Skill check penalty doesn’t hinder you much. Skill point loss is felt a tad more, I’ve indicated on table when it’s paid.

    Level 15
    Spoiler
    Show
    It’s time for the SI! We’ll be using it to advance both halves of weretiger. For the “LA” levels it gives you HD, skills and saves where you had none, and for the “HD” levels it gives you better skills and the fact that you’re gaining class HD instead of weird racial animal HD. Reduced cost saves you lots of gp for using on other gear. Bond of lore means you don’t have to put any more ranks in Knowledge History. There’s no reason you can’t just keep trying until you hit the DC, and your mod is high enough for that to be possible. We’re going to replace solitary warrior with a constant unseen servant, which can do all sorts of minor tasks and fine manipulation when you don’t have hands as a tiger. Extra use of Knock Silly is nice for the encounters you have during the day. We’re going to use the bonus feat on transfer legacy so that you can knock enemies silly using a more powerful weapon.

    In terms of other class features advanced, we’re going to get one more level of the “LA” class and 2 more of the “HD” levels. You now have the hybrid form, which should be your default form so you can keep warshaper benefits. DR is never bad, and here we gain 2 free feats. It should be three with Iron Will, but the designers goofed here. It doesn’t really matter too much, but it will help mitigate save penalty so ask your DM when to get it. Improved Natural Attack is a shifter feat as by ECS, and since you get it twice you now have another use of shifting, which lasts Con +6 rounds now. More physical stat boosts, scent, and claws to add to your bite. It’s likely in your best interests to attack with a weapon, then bite and claw when in hybrid form, and when in tiger form use IUS followed by bite and claws. Your tumble mod is high enough that you can stop putting ranks in it, so we’re going to begin heavy investment in UMD.

    Iron Heart Surge is an immensely useful maneuver when you straight up don’t want to be under an effect. Combo it with instinctive strike to get a free attack out of being hit with a spell before you turn the effect off.

    In terms of the gauntlets, they now boost your Con by 4, give you DR/magic, and give you the ability to sort of become larger. You don’t actually gain size or reach, but you gain Str (not noted in above stats) and bonus on grapple checks, usable whenever you want (so use it as much as you wish). Your dex bonus offsets the penalty, and the penalty on attack rolls is covered by the Str the ability grants.

    Level 20
    Spoiler
    Show
    We now finish up with what of the SI we can. Don’t cry too hard about the last level, replacing a greater ability is not a huge loss, and you finish advancement of weretiger. We’re replacing the +3 enhancement with the ability to cast darkness at will on another object. Cast it on something you’re holding, plunge your area in darkness, activate shifting for blindsense to locate creatures in the dark and pinpoint them with scent to fight in the darkness. Quicken Legacy means you can use Darkness as a swift 3/day when things get tricky. We’ll add another use of Cheat Death on the rare chance that you get hurt that bad twice in a day (largely because all of the other abilities aren’t limited use) as well as lightning punch for chain lightning fun. Reduced Greater Ritual saves you a huge chunk of change for use on whatever else you want (like wands for your UMD).

    Finishing up the last “LA” level gives you DR 10/silver, but more importantly Curse of Lycanthropy. This is important for the greater ritual for gauntlets, which requires you to organize a defenseless town’s people to protect themselves. Without spending the boatload of gp to help them, you’ve got to find other means. Lycanthropy may technically be a curse but it makes them much more resilient and powerful. 6HD is a lot to your average level 1 commoner or expert. The idea was too hilarious for me to pass up.
    The levels in weretiger give you Large size in hybrid and tiger forms, more stat boosts, and finally imp grab, pounce, and rake when in tiger form. Your stats are now the final ones presented in the above. When in tiger form your total jump mod is a hilarious 22+4(speed)+2(tumble)+13(Str)-3(gloves)=38, meaning you can jump 35 feet with no effort at all (or 15 feet if your DM says sudden leaps are treated as standing, which I doubt). This means you can also automatically jump 9 feet straight up with a running start, meaning you reach creatures 30 feet off the ground (9 ft jump +16 foot vertical reach + 5 warshaper reach) meaning you really get around. At this point Shifting is activated twice per day and lasts (assuming hybrid or animal form) 19 rounds a pop, so you can have blindsense up for quite a sizable chunk of your combat.

    Martial Stance gives Press the Advantage for double FFS or taking a FFS in difficult terrain. You can use this and sudden leap for all your movement in the battlefield leaving you free to full attack. Quick Change stacks with Flashmorph to allow you to use alternate form as a free action, so you can change multiple times in a single round! Begin as a shifter to catch your enemies unawares, change to tiger to pounce, grab and rake, then shift to hybrid form to cause problems for your enemies with 15 foot reach on their turns, fight on in that form or change as you like.

    The gauntlets now gives you +6 Con, let you throw rocks like a giant, activate a frightful presence that renders shaken for 4d6 rounds, regenerate your body parts in 2d10 rounds, and fire off some sweet chain lightning 2/ day. Almost all your abilities are constant or at-will, which is why I really love the gauntlets.

    Sources
    Spoiler
    Show
    Warblade, Martial Study, Martial Stance: Tome of Battle
    Warshaper: Complete Warrior
    Weretiger: Web Enhancement
    Bullybasher’s Gauntlets, Least Legacy, Lesser Legacy, Greater Legacy, Legacy Champion, Quicken Legacy, Transfer Legacy: Weapons of Legacy
    Wildhunt Elite, Ragewild Fighting: Races of Eberron
    Improved Natural Attack: Eberron Campaign Setting
    Quick Change: Savage Species
    Improved Unarmed Strike, Power Attack, Alertness, Iron Will: srd
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  3. - Top - End - #183
    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXVI

    Well. That went well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quietshoes McBraggylips
    Quietshoes McBraggylips
    Grey Elf
    Chaotic Good
    Beguiler 5/Ardente Diletante 3/Ruathar 2/Legacy Champion 10

    Spoiler: Stats
    Show

    Point Buy...Stat...Start...Race...Total
    02...Str...10...-2...08
    04...Con...12...-2...10
    04...Dex...12...+2...14
    16...Int...18...+2...20
    04...Wis...12...--...12
    02...Cha...10...--...10

    All level increases apply to Int.


    Spoiler: Build Table
    Show

    Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    1st Beguiler 1 +0 +0 +0 +2
    • Bluff 3
    • Concentration 4
    • Diplomacy 4
    • Disable Device 4
    • Hide 4
    • K: arcana 4
    • Listen 4
    • Move Silently 4
    • Open Lock 1
    • Search 4
    • Sleight of Hand 4
    • Spot 4
    1st: Darkstalker Armored Mage; Trapfinding
    2nd Beguiler 2 +1 +0 +0 +3
    • (2)Bluff 5
    • (1)Concentration 5
    • (1)Diplomacy 5
    • (1)Disable Device 5
    • (1)Hide 5
    • (-)K: arcana 4
    • (1)Listen 5
    • (1)Move Silently 5
    • (-)Open Lock 1
    • (1)Search 5
    • (1)Sleight of Hand 5
    • (1)Spot 5
    -- Cloaked Casting (+1 DC); Surprise Casting
    3rd Beguiler 3 +1 +1 +1 +3
    • (-)Bluff 5
    • (-)Concentration 5
    • (1)Diplomacy 6
    • (1)Disable Device 6
    • (1)Hide 6
    • (-)K: arcana 4
    • (1)Listen 6
    • (1)Move Silently 6
    • (-)Open Lock 1
    • (1)Search 6
    • (1)Sleight of Hand 6
    • (1)Spot 6
    • (1)Use Magic Device 1
    • (2)Skill Tricks: Listen To This
    3rd: Obtain Familiar Advanced Learning (Shock and Awe)
    4th Beguiler 4 +2 +1 +1 +4
    • (-)Bluff 5
    • (-)Concentration 5
    • (1)Diplomacy 7
    • (1)Disable Device 7
    • (1)Hide 7
    • (-)K: arcana 4
    • (1)Listen 7
    • (1)Move Silently 7
    • (-)Open Lock 1
    • (1)Search 7
    • (1)Sleight of Hand 7
    • (1)Spot 7
    • (3)Use Magic Device 4
    • (-)Skill Tricks: Listen To This
    -- --
    5th Beguiler 5 +2 +1 +1 +4
    • (-)Bluff 5
    • (-)Concentration 5
    • (1)Diplomacy 8
    • (1)Disable Device 8
    • (1)Hide 8
    • (-)K: arcana 4
    • (1)Listen 8
    • (1)Move Silently 8
    • (-)Open Lock 1
    • (1)Search 8
    • (1)Sleight of Hand 8
    • (1)Spot 8
    • (3)Use Magic Device 7
    • (-)Skill Tricks: Listen To This
    B: Silent Spell --
    6th Ardent Dilettante 1 +2 +1 +3 +4
    • (1)Autohypnosis 1
    • (-)Bluff 5
    • (-)Concentration 5
    • (1)Diplomacy 9
    • (1)Disable Device 9
    • (1)Hide 9
    • (-)K: arcana 4
    • (1)K: history 1
    • (1)Listen 9
    • (1)Move Silently 9
    • (-)Open Lock 1
    • (1)Search 9
    • (1)Sleight of Hand 9
    • (1)Spot 9
    • (1)Use Magic Device 8
    • (-)Skill Tricks: Listen To This
    6th: Keen-Eared Scout; Free: Least Legacy Heightend Senses; Lore
    7th Ardent Dilettante 2 +3 +1 +4 +4
    • (1)Autohypnosis 2
    • (-)Bluff 5
    • (-)Concentration 5
    • (1)Diplomacy 10
    • (1)Disable Device 10
    • (1)Hide 10
    • (-)K: arcana 4
    • (1)K: history 2
    • (1)Listen 10
    • (1)Move Silently 10
    • (-)Open Lock 1
    • (1)Search 10
    • (1)Sleight of Hand 10
    • (1)Spot 10
    • (1)Use Magic Device 9
    • (-)Skill Tricks: Listen To This
    -- Enthrall
    8th Ardent Dilettante 3 +3 +2 +4 +5
    • (1)Autohypnosis 3
    • (-)Bluff 5
    • (-)Concentration 5
    • (1)Diplomacy 11
    • (1)Disable Device 11
    • (1)Hide 11
    • (-)K: arcana 4
    • (1)K: history 3
    • (1)Listen 11
    • (1)Move Silently 11
    • (-)Open Lock 1
    • (1)Search 11
    • (1)Sleight of Hand 11
    • (1)Spot 11
    • (2)Use Magic Device 11
    • (-)Skill Tricks: Listen To This
    -- Joie De Vivre
    9th Ruathar 1 +3 +2 +6 +7
    • (-)Autohypnosis 3
    • (-)Bluff 5
    • (-)Concentration 5
    • (1)Diplomacy 12
    • (-)Disable Device 11
    • (1)Hide 12
    • (-)K: arcana 4
    • (1)K: history 4
    • (1)Listen 12
    • (1)Move Silently 12
    • (-)Open Lock 1
    • (1)Search 12
    • (3)Sense Motive 3
    • (-)Sleight of Hand 11
    • (1)Spot 12
    • (-)Use Magic Device 11
    • (-)Skill Tricks: Listen To This
    9th: Quick Reconnoiter; B: MWP Longbow Word of Friendship; Gift of the Elves (Cloak of Elvenkind)
    10th Ruathar 2 +4 +2 +7 +8
    • (-)Autohypnosis 3
    • (-)Bluff 5
    • (1)Concentration 6
    • (1)Diplomacy 13
    • (-)Disable Device 11
    • (1)Hide 13
    • (-)K: arcana 4
    • (1)K: history 5
    • (1)Listen 13
    • (1)Move Silently 13
    • (-)Open Lock 1
    • (1)Search 13
    • (2)Sense Motive 5
    • (-)Sleight of Hand 11
    • (1)Spot 13
    • (-)Use Magic Device 11
    • (-)Skill Tricks: Listen To This
    -- (Improved) Low-Light Vision; Elfwise
    11th Legacy Champion 1 +4 +2 +7 +10
    • (-)Autohypnosis 3
    • (-)Bluff 5
    • (-)Concentration 6
    • (1)Diplomacy 14
    • (3)Disable Device 14
    • (1)Hide 14
    • (-)K: arcana 4
    • (-)K: history 5
    • (1)Listen 14
    • (1)Move Silently 14
    • (-)Open Lock 1
    • (1)Search 14
    • (-)Sense Motive 5
    • (1)Sleight of Hand 12
    • (1)Spot 14
    • (-)Use Magic Device 11
    • (-)Skill Tricks: Listen To This
    Free: Lesser Legacy Reduced Ritual Cost (Lesser); Bond of Lore
    12th Legacy Champion 2 (advances Ardent Dilettante) +5 +2 +7 +11
    • (-)Autohypnosis 3
    • (-)Bluff 5
    • (-)Concentration 6
    • (1)Diplomacy 15
    • (1)Disable Device 15
    • (1)Hide 15
    • (-)K: arcana 4
    • (-)K: history 5
    • (1)Listen 15
    • (1)Move Silently 15
    • (-)Open Lock 1
    • (1)Search 15
    • (-)Sense Motive 5
    • (3)Sleight of Hand 15
    • (1)Spot 15
    • (-)Use Magic Device 11
    • (-)Skill Tricks: Listen To This
    12th: Penumbra Bloodline; B: Versatile Spellcaster Replace Legacy Ability (Least) (Carapaced Nerves --> Comprehend Languages); Sense Link
    13th Legacy Champion 3 (advances AD) +6/1 +3 +8 +11
    • (-)Autohypnosis 3
    • (-)Bluff 5
    • (-)Concentration 6
    • (1)Diplomacy 16
    • (1)Disable Device 16
    • (1)Hide 16
    • (-)K: arcana 4
    • (-)K: history 5
    • (1)Listen 16
    • (1)Move Silently 16
    • (-)Open Lock 1
    • (1)Search 16
    • (-)Sense Motive 5
    • (1)Sleight of Hand 16
    • (1)Spot 16
    • (2)Use Magic Device 13
    • (-)Skill Tricks: Listen To This
    -- Extra Legacy Ability Use (Least)(Winged Range); Scent
    14th Legacy Champion 4 (Advances AD) +7/2 +3 +8 +12
    • (-)Autohypnosis 3
    • (-)Bluff 5
    • (-)Concentration 6
    • (1)Diplomacy 17
    • (1)Disable Device 17
    • (1)Hide 17
    • (-)K: arcana 4
    • (-)K: history 5
    • (1)Listen 17
    • (1)Move Silently 17
    • (-)Open Lock 1
    • (1)Search 17
    • (-)Sense Motive 5
    • (1)Sleight of Hand 17
    • (1)Spot 17
    • (2)Use Magic Device 15
    • (-)Skill Tricks: Listen To This
    BLF: Transfer Legacy Seen It Before
    15th Legacy Champion 5 (Advances AD) +7/2 +3 +8 +12
    • (-)Autohypnosis 3
    • (-)Bluff 5
    • (-)Concentration 6
    • (1)Diplomacy 18
    • (1)Disable Device 18
    • (1)Hide 18
    • (-)K: arcana 4
    • (-)K: history 5
    • (1)Listen 18
    • (1)Move Silently 18
    • (-)Open Lock 1
    • (1)Search 18
    • (-)Sense Motive 5
    • (1)Sleight of Hand 18
    • (1)Spot 18
    • (2)Use Magic Device 17
    • (-)Skill Tricks: Listen To This
    15th: Cloak of Obyrith; B: Eyes of the Abyss Replace Legacy Ability (Lesser)(Scarab of Resistance +4 --> Knock)
    16th Legacy Champion 6 (Advances AD) +8/3 +4 +9 +13
    • (1)Autohypnosis 4
    • (-)Bluff 5
    • (-)Concentration 6
    • (1)Diplomacy 19
    • (1)Disable Device 19
    • (1)Hide 19
    • (-)K: arcana 4
    • (-)K: history 5
    • (1)Listen 19
    • (1)Move Silently 19
    • (-)Open Lock 1
    • (1)Search 19
    • (-)Sense Motive 5
    • (1)Sleight of Hand 19
    • (1)Spot 19
    • (2)Use Magic Device 19
    • (-)Skill Tricks: Listen To This
    -- Extra Legacy Ability Use (Lesser)(Winged Range); See It Again
    17th Legacy Champion 7 +9/4 +4 +9 +13
    • (2)Autohypnosis 6
    • (-)Bluff 5
    • (-)Concentration 6
    • (1)Diplomacy 20
    • (1)Disable Device 20
    • (1)Hide 20
    • (-)K: arcana 4
    • (-)K: history 5
    • (1)Listen 20
    • (1)Move Silently 20
    • (-)Open Lock 1
    • (1)Search 20
    • (-)Sense Motive 5
    • (1)Sleight of Hand 20
    • (1)Spot 20
    • (1)Use Magic Device 20
    • (-)Skill Tricks: Listen To This
    Free: Greater Legacy Reduced Ritual Cost (Greater)
    18th Legacy Champion 8 (Advances AD) +10/5 +4 +9 +14
    • (2)Autohypnosis 8
    • (-)Bluff 5
    • (-)Concentration 6
    • (1)Diplomacy 21
    • (1)Disable Device 21
    • (1)Hide 21
    • (-)K: arcana 4
    • (-)K: history 5
    • (1)Listen 21
    • (1)Move Silently 21
    • (-)Open Lock 1
    • (1)Search 21
    • (-)Sense Motive 5
    • (1)Sleight of Hand 21
    • (1)Spot 21
    • (1)Use Magic Device 21
    • (-)Skill Tricks: Listen To This
    18th: Vestigial Wings; BLF: Quicken Legacy (Teleport) Blindsense 10'
    19th Legacy Champion 9 (Advances AD) +10/5 +5 +10 +14
    • (3)Autohypnosis 11
    • (-)Bluff 5
    • (-)Concentration 6
    • (1)Diplomacy 22
    • (1)Disable Device 22
    • (1)Hide 22
    • (-)K: arcana 4
    • (-)K: history 5
    • (1)Listen 22
    • (1)Move Silently 22
    • (-)Open Lock 1
    • (1)Search 22
    • (-)Sense Motive 5
    • (1)Sleight of Hand 22
    • (1)Spot 22
    • (-)Use Magic Device 21
    • (-)Skill Tricks: Listen To This
    B: Heart of Nabassu Replace Legacy Ability Use (Greater)(Scarab of Resistance +5 --> Obscurity); Death Holds No Mysteries
    20th Legacy Champion 10 (Advances Ruathar) +11/6/1 +5 +10 +15
    • (3)Autohypnosis 14
    • (-)Bluff 5
    • (-)Concentration 6
    • (1)Diplomacy 23
    • (1)Disable Device 23
    • (1)Hide 23
    • (-)K: arcana 4
    • (-)K: history 5
    • (1)Listen 23
    • (1)Move Silently 23
    • (-)Open Lock 1
    • (1)Search 23
    • (-)Sense Motive 5
    • (1)Sleight of Hand 23
    • (1)Spot 23
    • (-)Use Magic Device 21
    • (-)Skill Tricks: Listen To This
    -- Extra Legacy Ability Use (Greater)(Teleport); Star Blessing; Arvandor's Grace


    Spoiler: Spell Table
    Show

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


    Spoiler: Legacy Item of Choice
    Show

    Scarab of Aradros
    Stats available in Weapons of Legacy p.139-140. A continuation of Greater Legacy founding provided below.

    Penalties applied as per Table 4-6 of Weapons of Legacy page 186.

    Wielder Level Save Penalty Skill Check Penalty Caster Level Penalty Spell Slot Loss Abilities
    17 -- -- -- -- Still Spell, Greater (Menu F)
    18 -- -- -- 7th Teleport 2/day (Menu G)
    19 -- -- -- -- Extend Spell, Greater (Menu F)
    20 -- -- -- 8th Concentration Enhancement +15 (Menu G)


    Spoiler: Levels 1-5
    Show

    Before we begin, let me just state for the record, to make this perfectly and abundantly clear: This. Is. Not. A. Character. Built. For. Combat!

    Quote Originally Posted by Simon Tam
    ...stay behind the others. If there's fighting, you drop to the floor or run away. It's okay to leave them to die.
    Now, that having been said:
    This character is the lookout and something of the party face.

    You'll notice max. ranks in Hide and Move Silently, coupled with the Darkstalker feat, which will allow infiltration of, and movement through, enemy territory. (See also the Invisibility and Spider Climb spells.)

    Maximum ranks in Spot, Listen, and the Listen To This skill trick lets him scout ahead well and bring information back to recite perfectly. (See also the See Invisibility spell.)

    Maximum ranks are also found in Search (with bonuses from being an elf) and Disable Device so traps shouldn't be a problem.

    There is one rank in Open Locks, which is enough to make it "trained" and, thus, usable. Taking 20 (given the time) and with a set of Masterwork lockpicks, he's able to handle an average lock. He also has access to the Knock spell.

    Diplomacy is also maxed out (with a synergy bonus from Bluff) so chatting up the locals shouldn't be too much of a concern. The Sleight of Hand skill (via uses found in Races of Stone) allows Charm Person and other such spells to be cast unnoticed, especially with the Silent Spell feat. (See also the Detect Thoughts spell.)

    Use Magic Device is as potent as people say it is. Though far from an automatic success here, there is still the possibility of it working.

    And there's a familiar hanging around that can make all of those skill checks, too.


    Spoiler: Levels 6-10
    Show

    You'll note that I've put the Least Legacy feat here at 6th level, one level behind where it could be taken. The reasoning is that I cannot, in fact, guarantee when the character will gain the knowledge necessary to complete the ritual. (Or, indeed, when he'll have the opportunity to complete it, easy as it is.)
    At 5th level, his only option is to buy the knowledge from an historian somewhere (probably aided by Diplomacy checks and a discreetly cast Charm Person spell) or to ask help from the party Bard, should there be one.

    At 6th level, he gains a rank in Knowledge: history himself and can attempt the check (DC 19). One rank + five Int + 1d20 means he needs to roll a 13 or higher (a 40% chance). His familiar, also, gets to make a check (though, with a much lower Int, has just a 5% chance.)
    Failing both of those, a lore check is possible (also at 40%) (see Weapons of Legacy p 205-6).
    And, if that fails, too, there's the possiblity that the DM may allow a Knowledge: arcana check. (See p.205 of Weapons of Legacy.) That would come at a 30% chance. (And another for the familiar at 20%.)
    With all of those options on the table, there's a pretty good chance that one of them will work. And if not, all of those checks can be retried at 7th level, and again at 8th, and 9th, and 10th if need be (each with increasing probablility of success), until one of them does hit.

    So, what else comes along at these levels?
    Keen-eared Scout and Quick Reconnoiter add wonders to the lookout role. (Even if your DM rules that they don't "work together".) Add in the Ardent Dilettante's Heightened Senses and Ruathar's Elfwise and this guy can see or hear most anything coming. (Great for use with Obscuring Mist and similar spells.)

    The ranks in Autohypnosis give him the chance to remember every little detail about the things he's seen (and is usable by his familiar, too), which couples well with the Listen To This trick from earlier levels.

    And, of course, access to more spells has opened up. Namely, 3rd and 4th level spells from the Beguiler list, including: Dispel Magic, Haste, Invisibility, Greater, Freedom of Movement....

    As for the Scarab of Aradros, the character gains a few more hit points each day, a bonus on saves, and a few uses of Extend Spell. At the cost of one caster level, a -1 skill check penalty, and a 3rd level spell slot. Not game breaking, but not crippling either.


    Spoiler: Levels 11-15
    Show

    Welcome Legacy Champion!
    And why Legacy Champion, you may ask. Why not just advance the previous class levels instead? Simple! He can't. He doesn't qualify to advance Ardent Dilettante levels since he doesn't have the ranks in Perform...and later, the ability to cast divine spells or the ability to use an exotic weapon or....
    Well, the point is, he doesn't qualify to proceed with the class. (Although, you'll note, that the levels do, in fact, exist!)

    Sense Link, Scent, Seen It Before, and Eyes of the Abyss continue to advance his scouting abilities.

    Changing out Carapaced Nerves for Comprehend Languages lets him be more of a snoop. (Remember Listen To This and Autohypnosis are still in the mix.)

    Changing out a point of resistance bonus for at will Knock saves spells slots.

    Penumbra Bloodline and Versatile Spellcaster give better options for using those spell slots. (Spells, by the way, which have now reached 6th level.)

    And what is that Scarab offering?
    Well, it's now demanding a -1 to saves, -2 to skill checks, -2 caster level, and a 5th level spell slot. In return, it offers a +3 resistance bonus to saves, Knock at will, a continuous Comprehend Languages ability, temporary hit points, Extend Spell uses, an active use of Shield pretty much all day.

    Oh, and resistance 30 to acid, cold, electricity, fire, and sonic. It says "or", but it really means "and". It's an immediate action to use and lasts for a minute. There's no reason to believe they won't all work simultaneously, so he'll just walk around spending an immediate action each round to start up a resistance in order to keep all of them working throughout the day. Very helpful when a trap does blow up in your face.
    (Speaking of traps blowing up on you, that Cloak of Obyrith feat isn't just for combat, you know.)

    The Transfer Legacy feat is an interesting one that bears note, I think. It can be used to give some legacy abilities to the familiar. After Transfering what he wants to keep to the Cloak of Elvenkind (see Character Level 9), the Scarab can be given to the familiar to use Comprehend languages and Knock and....
    A cute little idea that may have uses at some point.


    Spoiler: Levels 16-20
    Show

    At 16th level, the Scarab takes a 6th level spell slot and gives back another +1 resistance bonus to saves. Not exactly a worthwhile trade. Unless, of course, a greater legacy is unlocked. (Stats for which are included.) The options listed seem fairly self-explanitory to me.

    Quicken Legacy being used to affect Teleport is a great way to escape danger.

    Vestigial Wings and Heart of Nabassu have their own particular uses for helping out an infiltrating trapsmith, but have the added benefit of helping to advance other Abyssal Heritor feats as well.

    By the end, he has full ranks in Diplomacy, Disable Device, Hide, Listen, Move Silently, Search, Sleight of Hand, and Spot. (And more than his share of bonuses to several of those skills.) Autohypnosis will auto-succeed on Memorizing checks (even for the familiar) and Use Magic Device will auto-succeed on wand usage (even for the familiar).

    All in all, if you need someone to sneak in behind enemy lines, steal some information, and slip out undetected, you could do a lot worse than to hire this guy.

    And, of course, there are his spells, too -- 8th level Beguiler list (9ths if you count Versatile Spellcaster!)


    Spoiler: Resources
    Show

    • SRD -- Grey Elf (Monsters); Autohypnosis skill (Psionic skills)
    • Player's Handbook II -- Beguiler class; Keen-eared Scout feat
    • Lords of Madness -- Darkstalker feat
    • Complete Arcane -- Obtain Familiar feat
    • [u]Spell Compendium[/u -- Shock and Awe spell
    • Planar Handbook -- Ardent Diletante class
    • Races of the Wild -- Ruathar class
    • Dungeonscape -- Quick Reconnoiter feat
    • Weapons of Legacy -- Legacy Champion class; (Least)(Lesser)(Greater) Legacy feat(s); Transfer Legacy feat; Quicken Legacy feat
    • Dragon Compendium -- Penumbra Bloodline feat
    • Races of the Dragon -- Versatile Spellcasting feat
    • Fiendish Codex I -- Cloak of Obyrith feat; Eyes of the Abyss feat; Vestigial Wings feat; Heart of Nabassu feat

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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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  4. - Top - End - #184
    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXVI

    We're all following a strange melody
    We're all haunted by a tune
    We're following the Piper
    And we dance beneath the moon for him
    And we dance beneath the moon


    Quote Originally Posted by Xander Marchand
    Spoiler: Image and Fluff
    Show
    "They never thought I was good enough. I could see it in their eyes, hear it in their voice - the desire that I just give up, and go home. To forsake my destiny as a Piper, to forget my trials and tribulations, to forgive myself for my inability to achieve as they had. It didn't matter that I was the first-born, that I should've inherited it by tradition. All they ever cared about was my 'gifted' brother and his stupid music."
    "Just as well; they're all rotting in the Nine Hells now, courtesy of my masters. Serves them right."



    Xander Marchand had never gotten what he'd deserved. As the firstborn of his family, it was to be his right - and his right only - to train as a Pied Piper, as was tradition. He would learn the dances, the sayings, and the practices of his ancestors, and would one day don the sacred garb of the first Piper with pride. That was his destiny, they told him. His reason for being.

    Unfortunately, The talents of the Pipers were not among Xander's repertoire. When asked to play a tune, he would deliver a cacophony; when asked to recite the legend, he could only ever remember its morbid ending. He showed a clear bond with vermin and creatures, true, but his music was foul and his personality poisonous. He was greedy, overconfident, and sullen. He was vainglorious and ignorant, denied all fault from his own mistakes, and refused to listen to the advice of his teachers and peers. Thus, when his younger brother - a talented soul, gifted with music and joyous of heart - stepped into the picture, he was cast out in turn. There was no place for him among them, they said. He could live with his books and his raptors and his venomous ideology, but not with them. Never again.

    Rejection, however, bred regret. Regret bred malice and, in turn, hatred. In exile, vengeance - on his peers, on his teachers, on his damnable brother - became his sole goal, and he sought it out with impunity. He was not strong enough to exact his will alone, though, and so he searched for others. The young boy read tomes, contacted eldritch researchers, and pursued the darkest realms of study in search of power and of fame. Power over others, over vermin, rodents, and otherwise. Fame amongst his people, throughout the world, across the planes. He wanted some way to prove his skills, earn the garbs of his ancestors, and flourish as his tutors had promised him so. And although he eventually did locate one who could help him in his vendetta, an aranea loyal to Lolth and fiends both, such power did not come freely. Instead, he was offered a bargain. He took it without a thought.

    He returned to his hometown not weeks later, but he did not do so alone. With him came the scum of the wilds - insects, spiders, rats and more, starved and ravenous all. Each he had plucked from the forests, ensorcelled, and they struck the town as one. Together, they sought out his elders, his brothers and sisters, and each was struck down in turn without so much as the slightest hesitation. By the end of the night, all knew of his return - for he exacted his payment, and that of his new masters, on father, mother, and child alike. There were none among them who lost nothing, and those who escaped with their lives did so with fear in their hearts. For, amongst it all, the exile had claimed his prize; the Vestments of the Pied Piper, hard-won and blood-soaked, from the body of his own sibling. Those who survived said that he took to to the garb well, and held no regrets over his actions.

    After all, he had merely followed the instructions of his forebears:
    "Thou shalt not suffer an oathbreaker to live, and their loved ones doubly so."


    Spoiler: Specifics
    Show
    Xander Marchand, the Last Pied Piper
    Race: Azurin
    Classes: Incarnate 1/Wizard 7/Vermin Lord 2/Legacy Champion 10
    ACFs: Animal Companion Wizard ACF (replaces Familiar), Domain Granted Power Wizard ACF (replaces 5th level bonus feat)
    Alignment: Neutral Evil
    Deity: Lolth

    Ability Scores: 32 Point Buy
    Base: 8 Str, 14 Dex, 15 Con, 16 Int, 8 Wis, 15 Cha
    Levels: +2 Int, +1 Con, +2 Dex
    Total: 8 Str, 16 Dex, 16 Con, 18 Int, 8 Wis, 15 Cha


    Spoiler: Build
    Show
    Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    1st Incarnate 1 +2 +0 +0 +2 4 Concentration, 4 Knowledge (History), 4 Knowledge (Planes), 4 Spellcraft, 2 Perform (Wind Instruments)* Verminfriend, Wild Cohort (B) Aura, Detect Opposition
    2nd Wizard 1 +0 +2 +0 +4 4 Concentration, 4 Knowledge (History), 5 Knowledge (Planes), 4 Spellcraft, 2 Perform (Wind Instruments), 2 Hide* Scribe Scroll (B) Animal Companion
    3rd Wizard 2 +1 +2 +0 +5 4 Concentration, 4 Knowledge (History), 6 Knowledge (Planes), 4 Spellcraft, 3 Perform (Wind Instruments)*, 3 Hide* Share Soulmeld
    4th Wizard 3 +1 +3 +1 +5 4 Concentration, 4 Knowledge (History), 7 Knowledge (Planes), 4 Spellcraft, 3 Perform (Wind Instruments), 3 Hide, 2 Knowledge (Nature), 1 Move Silently*
    5th Wizard 4 +2 +3 +1 +6 4 Concentration, 4 Knowledge (History), 8 Knowledge (Planes), 4 Spellcraft, 3 Perform (Wind Instruments), 3 Hide, 2 Knowledge (Nature), 3 Move Silently* Least Legacy: Vestments of the Pied Piper (B) Fear Aura
    6th Wizard 5 +2 +3 +1 +6 4 Concentration, 5 Knowledge (History), 8 Knowledge (Planes), 4 Spellcraft, 3 Perform (Wind Instruments), 3 Hide, 2 Knowledge (Nature), 3 Move Silently*, 2 Knowledge (Arcana) Planar Touchstone (Catalogues of Enlightenment), Incarnum Spellshaping (B) Domain Granted Power (Incarnum)
    7th Wizard 6 +3 +4 +2 +7 4 Concentration, 8 Knowledge (History), 8 Knowledge (Planes), 4 Spellcraft, 3 Perform (Wind Instruments), 3 Hide, 2 Knowledge (Nature), 3 Move Silently*, 4 Knowledge (Arcana)
    8th Wizard 7 +3 +4 +2 +7 4 Concentration, 10 Knowledge (History), 8 Knowledge (Planes), 4 Spellcraft, 5 Perform (Wind Instruments), 3 Hide, 2 Knowledge (Nature), 3 Move Silently*, 4 Knowledge (Arcana)
    9th Vermin Lord 1 +3 +4 +2 +9 4 Concentration, 10 Knowledge (History), 8 Knowledge (Planes), 5 Spellcraft, 10 Perform (Wind Instruments), 3 Hide, 2 Knowledge (Nature), 3 Move Silently*, 4 Knowledge (Arcana) Obtain Familiar Chitin +1, Vermin Servant 1 HD
    10th Vermin Lord 2 +4 +4 +2 +10 6 Concentration, 13 Knowledge (History), 8 Knowledge (Planes), 5 Spellcraft, 13 Perform (Wind Instruments), 3 Hide, 2 Knowledge (Nature), 3 Move Silently*, 4 Knowledge (Arcana) Blood Drain
    11th Legacy Champion 1 +4 +4 +2 +12 8 Concentration, 14 Knowledge (History), 8 Knowledge (Planes), 9 Spellcraft, 14 Perform (Wind Instruments), 3 Hide, 2 Knowledge (Nature), 3 Move Silently*, 4 Knowledge (Arcana) Lesser Legacy: Vestments of the Pied Piper (B) Reduced ritual Cost (Lesser), Bond of Lore
    12th Legacy Champion 2 +5 +4 +2 +13 10 Concentration, 15 Knowledge (History), 8 Knowledge (Planes), 11 Spellcraft, 15 Perform (Wind Instruments), 3 Hide, 2 Knowledge (Nature), 3 Move Silently*, 4 Knowledge (Arcana) Expanded Soulmeld Capacity Replace Legacy Ability (Least) | +1 Vermin Lord: Spider Hand
    13th Legacy Champion 3 +6/+1 +5 +3 +13 14 Concentration, 16 Knowledge (History), 8 Knowledge (Planes), 13 Spellcraft, 16 Perform (Wind Instruments), 3 Hide, 2 Knowledge (Nature), 3 Move Silently*, 4 Knowledge (Arcana) Extra Legacy Ability Use (Least) | +1 Vermin Lord: Chitin +2, Swarm Armour
    14th Legacy Champion 4 +7/+2 +5 +3 +14 16 Concentration, 17 Knowledge (History), 8 Knowledge (Planes), 15 Spellcraft, 17 Perform (Wind Instruments), 3 Hide, 2 Knowledge (Nature), 3 Move Silently*, 4 Knowledge (Arcana) Quicken Legacy: Vomit Swarm (B) Bonus Legacy Feat | +1 Vermin Lord: Wings of the Vermin, Vermin Servant 4 HD
    15th Legacy Champion 5 +7/+2 +5 +3 +14 18 Concentration, 18 Knowledge (History), 8 Knowledge (Planes), 18 Spellcraft, 18 Perform (Wind Instruments), 3 Hide, 2 Knowledge (Nature), 3 Move Silently*, 4 Knowledge (Arcana), 1 Listen Extraordinary Concentration Replace Legacy Ability (Lesser) | +1 Vermin Lord: Spider Legs
    16th Legacy Champion 6 +8/+3 +6 +4 +15 19 Concentration, 19 Knowledge (History), 8 Knowledge (Planes), 19 Spellcraft, 19 Perform (Wind Instruments), 3 Hide, 2 Knowledge (Nature), 3 Move Silently*, 4 Knowledge (Arcana), 5 Listen Extra Legacy Ability Use (Lesser) | +1 Vermin Lord: Chitin +3, Spew Vermin
    17th Legacy Champion 7 +9/+4 +6 +4 +15 20 Concentration, 20 Knowledge (History), 8 Knowledge (Planes), 20 Spellcraft, 20 Perform (Wind Instruments), 3 Hide, 2 Knowledge (Nature), 3 Move Silently*, 4 Knowledge (Arcana), 9 Listen Greater Legacy: Vestments of the Pied Piper (B) Reduced Ritual Cost (Greater)
    18th Legacy Champion 8 +10/+5 +6 +4 +16 21 Concentration, 21 Knowledge (History), 8 Knowledge (Planes), 21 Spellcraft, 21 Perform (Wind Instruments), 3 Hide, 2 Knowledge (Nature), 3 Move Silently*, 4 Knowledge (Arcana), 11 Listen Open Greater Chakra (Throat), Quicken Legacy: Beguiling Proposal (B) Bonus Legacy Feat | +1 Vermin Lord: Poison
    19th Legacy Champion 9 +10/+5 +7 +5 +16 22 Concentration, 22 Knowledge (History), 8 Knowledge (Planes), 22 Spellcraft, 22 Perform (Wind Instruments), 3 Hide, 2 Knowledge (Nature), 3 Move Silently*, 4 Knowledge (Arcana), 15 Listen Extra Legacy Ability Use (Greater) | +1 Vermin Lord: Vermin Servant 16 HD
    20th Legacy Champion 10 +11/+6/+1 +7 +5 +17 23 Concentration, 23 Knowledge (History), 8 Knowledge (Planes), 23 Spellcraft, 23 Perform (Wind Instruments), 3 Hide, 2 Knowledge (Nature), 3 Move Silently*, 4 Knowledge (Arcana), 17 Listen Replace Legacy Ability (Greater) | +1 Vermin Lord: Chitin +4, Hivemind


    Spoiler: Wizard Spellcasting Progression
    Show
    Spells Per Day
    Level 0lvl 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
    1st - - - - - - - - - -
    2nd 3 1 - - - - - - - -
    3rd 4 2 - - - - - - - -
    4th 4 2 1 - - - - - - -
    5th 4 3 2 - - - - - - -
    6th 4 3 2 1 - - - - - -
    7th 4 3 3 2 - - - - - -
    8th 4 4 3 2 1 - - - - -
    9th 4 4 3 3 2 - - - - -
    10th 4 4 3 3 2 - - - - -
    11th 4 4 3 3 2 - - - - -
    12th 4 4 4 3 2 1 - - - -
    13th 4 4 4 3 2 1 - - - -
    14th 4 4 4 3 3 2 - - - -
    15th 4 4 4 3 3 2 - - - -
    16th 4 4 4 4 3 2 1 - - -
    17th 4 4 4 4 3 2 1 - - -
    18th 4 4 4 4 3 2 1 - - -
    19th 4 4 4 4 3 3 2 - - -
    20th 4 4 4 4 4 3 2 1 - -

    The table above does not include modifiers from Legacy Item payments/features or from a high ability score.

    Spells Known: Universalist Wizard.
    0th Level: All known.
    1th Level: Colour Spray, Benign Transposition, Familiar Pocket, Feather Fall, True Strike, Identify, Shield, Mage Armour
    2nd Level: Summon Swarm, Soul Boon, Rope Trick, Mirror Image
    3rd Level: Least Revitalise Legacy, Enhance Familiar, Mass Mage Armour, Mass Snake's Swiftness
    4th Level: Polymorph, Scrying, Evard's Black Tentacles, Summon Pest Swarm
    5th Level: Telekinesis, Permanency, Teleport, Nightstalker's Transformation
    6th Level: Freezing Fog, Eyebite, True Seeing, Contingency
    7th Level: Simulacrum, Limited Wish

    Spoiler: Legacy Item Presentation
    Show
    Vᴇsᴛᴍᴇɴᴛs ᴏғ ᴛʜᴇ Pɪᴇᴅ Pɪᴘᴇʀ
    Wielder Level Skill Check Penalty Caster Level Penalty Skill Point Loss Spell Slot Loss Abilities
    5th Verminous Vibrations
    6th -1 2 Piper's Prowess +5
    7th 1st Vest of Resistance +2
    8th -1 2 Swarm Sensitivity
    9th 2
    10th -1 2nd Vest of Resistance +3
    11th
    12th 2 Piper's Prowess +10
    13th -2 3rd Vest of Resistance +4
    14th 2 Vomit Swarm 5/day
    15th -2 Beguiling Proposal
    16th 4th Vest of Resistance +5
    17th Piper's Prowess +15
    18th -3 2 Bargain 1/day
    19th 5th Bewitch 3/day
    20th -3 2 Swarm Stride 2/day

    Spoiler: Legacy Item Breakdown
    Show
    Legacy Item Breakdown
    Level Tier Ability
    5 Least Menu A: Verminous Vibrations *
    6 Least Menu A: Skill Enhancement: Perform (Wind Instruments) +5
    7 Least Menu A: Resistance +1
    8 Least Menu A: Swarm Sensitivity **
    9 Least EXPENDED
    10 Least Menu B: Resistance +1
    11 Lesser EXPENDED
    12 Lesser Menu E: Skill Enhancement: Perform (Wind Instruments) +10
    13 Lesser Menu C: Resistance +1
    14 Lesser Menu D: Summon Swarm 5/day
    15 Lesser Menu D: Psionic Suggestion at-will ***
    16 Lesser Menu C: Resistance +1
    17 Greater Menu G: Skill Enhancement: Perform (Wind Instruments) +15
    18 Greater Menu G: Planar Ally 1/day
    19 Greater Menu G: Charm Monster 3/day
    20 Greater Menu G: Tree Stride 2/day ****

    * Given that the monetary cost of the Pipes of the Sewers is a mere 1,150gp, an amount easily obtainable by level 5 and which can be covered by the Least Ritual costs, there shouldn't be any balance issues here. Menu A seemed to be the most appropriate tier for such an ability.
    ** Based on the Green Empathy ability of Treebrother, page 170. It targets vermin, rats and rodents instead of plants, and uses the Perform (Wind Instruments) skill instead of a check of 1d20+level+Cha. Seems to be a Menu A option. If the modifiers this item grants to Perform (Wind Instruments) checks would make this ability too strong, then setting it to operate as the default Wild Empathy ability would suffice; using the perform skill instead simply seemed more appropriate.
    *** Based on the Penetrating Proposal ability of Mau-Jehe, page 115. Suggestion 2/day is a Menu C option, while this seems to be a Menu D option.
    **** 2/day Teleport is available as an option at this level; a modified Tree Stride, usable on vermin instead of trees, should be equivalent in value


    These gaudy clothes are reminiscent of an older, simpler time before the evolution of good taste.
    Nonlegacy Game Statistics: Vest of Resistance +1; Cost 1000gp; Weight 1 lb.
    Omen: The coloration of the Vestments of the Pied Piper changes upon being donned, shifting subtly to clash horribly with some other part of the wearer's wardrobe. The wearer, however, will never notice this until it is pointed out to him by someone else.

    Hɪsᴛᴏʀʏ
    Garments such as these, imbued with magic to maintain their garish majesty, were once a prized possession in ages past. While especially popular among bards, jesters, and traveling musicians, this particular garb belonged to a man of no small import. Though his name has long since been lost to the annals of history, the tales of the Pied Piper are told throughout the land to small children so as to scare them into good behaviour. (DC 15)
    The earliest of tales set his origins almost five hundred years ago, by the northern town of Hamblyn. Infested by rats and struck by plague, the Pied Piper negotiated a deal with the town's mayor; gold, one thousand, if he was only to take care of the rats. The mayor agreed, for he had heard of the Piper's honest work in Tartre and Asha, and didst so wish for his town to be free of its vermin. (DC 20; Pledge of the Pied Pipers)
    Thusly entrusted by the mayor, the Pied Piper took to Hamblyn's streets and hence played a tune with his fine, oaken panpipes. It rattled the halls and the walls, from alleyway to courtyard, and so came the rats of the town - dozens, hundreds, of not thousands from every nook, cranny, pore and corner. Though at first they did so with great speed, his magicks did yet have a trick; an captivating melody, befitting a prince, set to fascinate both swarm and straggler. He led them from the town and, one by one, into the nearby river Vesre, 'til there were none of their numbers left alive. (DC 25; Trial by Swarm)
    Yet, when all was settled and his part was done, no heed was given to the town's saviour. No gold, no goods, no hearth or meal; nothing, not even a scrap. When asked of this, the mayor rebuked in jest - and, thus denied his rightful debt, the Pied Piper was forced to seek his own payment. Thus, once again, he played upon his panpipes, and once again his tunes rumbled and tumbled, and once against didst he work his magicks. This time, though, he drew of the children, and led them elsewhere beyond the Vesre. Thus shunned, neither he nor the children were ever seen or heard from again - though it is said that his descendants, who inherited his possessions, share in his indignation. (DC 30; Steal the Deal)

    Lᴇɢᴀᴄʏ Rɪᴛᴜᴀʟs
    Pledge of the Pied Pipers: You are required to keep your word and fulfil any promises you make, upholding the legacy of the Pied Pipers. Each time you fail to act in a manner required by this pledge, you lose the two highest-level abilities of the Vestments of the Pied Piper to which you have access for one day. Cost: 2,000 gp. Feat Granted: Least Legacy (Vestments of the Pied Piper)
    Trial by Swarm: You must prove your skills as a Pied Piper by defeating a collection of swarms, vermin, rats, or other rodents with a combined Challenge Rating equal to or greater than your character level. You must do so without the help of any other individuals. Cost: 14,000 gp. Feat Granted: Lesser Legacy (Vestments of the Pied Piper)
    Steal the Deal: You must exact payment from an oathbreaker, or a group of oathbreakers, by taking away that which is most precious to them. This may be something of monetary or sentimental value, although it is tradition for a Pied Piper to instead take the lives of their loved ones. Cost: 41,000 gp. Feat Granted: Greater Legacy (Vestments of the Pied Piper)

    Wɪᴇʟᴅᴇʀ Rᴇǫᴜɪʀᴇᴍᴇɴᴛs
    Bards, jesters, and other skillful spellcasters are the favoured bearers of the Vestments of the Pied Piper. However, anyone of the same moral fiber with the ability to perform music and to control swarms also qualifies.
    Vestments of the Pied Piper Wielder Requirements
    Perform (Wind Instruments) 3 ranks.
    Ability to cast Summon Swarm.
    Any nonchaotic alignment.

    Lᴇɢᴀᴄʏ Iᴛᴇᴍ Aʙɪʟɪᴛɪᴇs
    All the following are legacy item abilities of the Vestments of the Pied Piper.
    Verminous Vibrations (Su): Beginning at 5th level, you gain the ability to replicate the effects of a Pipes of the Sewers (see page 264 of the Dungeon Master's Guide) using any masterwork wind instrument.
    Piper's Prowess (Su): At 6th level, you gain a +5 bonus on Perform (Wind Instrument) checks while wearing the Vestments of the Pied Piper. This bonus improves to +10 at 12th level, and to +15 at 17th level.
    Swarm Sensitivity (Su): Beginning at 8th level, you can attempt to influence the attitudes of vermin, rats, or other rodents with a successful Perform (Wind Instruments) check. This ability is otherwise similar to the wild empathy class feature (see page 35 of the Player's Handbook).
    Vomit Swarm (Sp): Beginning at 14th level, you can vomit forth a swarm of vermin, rats, or other rodents from your mouth to replicate the effects of a Summon Swarm spell as cast by a 10th level Bard. You can use this ability up to five times per day.
    Beguiling Proposal (Sp): Beginning at 15th level, at will on command, you can attempt to make someone an offer they can't refuse. This functions as per psionic suggestion; the save DC is 16, or 14 + your Charisma modifier, whichever is higher. Manifester level 10th.
    Bargain (Sp): Beginning at 18th level, you may call upon the legacy of the Pied Pipers and the lingering magics of deals once-struck. Once per day, you can call an extraplanar creature of 12 HD or less to perform a task for you, as the Planar Ally spell. You must still pay any gold piece cost associated with the task. Caster level 15th.
    Bewitch (Sp): Beginning at 19th level, you may attempt to mire the minds of those who would wish you ill or break their word. Three times per day, you can use Charm Monster as the spell. The save DC is 16, or 14 + your Charisma modifier, whichever is higher. Caster level 15th.
    Swarm Stride (Sp): At 20th level, you learn how to cross great distances using the bodies of vermin, rats, or other rodents as a medium. This ability is usable up to twice per day, and otherwise functions as the Tree Stride spell using an alternate medium. Caster level 15th.


    Spoiler: Level Breakdown
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    Level 5: Incarnate 1/Wizard 4
    Spoiler
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    Xander begins his life as an Incarnate, soulmelds and all. In particular, we're interested in the Dissolving Spittle and Soulspark Familiar soulmelds, which grant us some viable combat options. Dissolving Spittle will let us use a standard action to deal a repeatable, respectable 2d6 acid damage as a ranged touch attack. Soulspark Familiar gives us an additional 1d4+1 untyped damage for free, every round, with no action on our part. We also have the option of changing out either of these soulmelds every day, such as the Cerulean Sandals to walk on water or the Enigma Helm to protect ourselves from divinations.

    The real meat of the build, though, comes from Xander's arcane spellcasting and the toys that it brings. By taking the Animal Companion ACF, we replace our familiar with a significantly tougher creature which can take some hits for us. We'll be taking a Swindlespitter Dinosaur to start out with, giving us a poison (at a level where it's still viable) and a high-dexterity chassis. We'll also take the Wild Cohort feat, and again choose a Swindlespitter Dinosaur as the companion. At higher levels, we'll swap both of these out for Fleshraker Dinosaurs for an even better body. We then combine both of these companions with the Share Soulmeld feat at level 3, allowing both of our animal companions to benefit from our soulmelds while they're within five feet of us. With Dissolving Spittle and Soulspark Familiar, this gives us three ranged touch attacks for 2d6 acid damage, plus three soulspark familiars for an additional three 1d4+1 untyped damage, per round. This is a potential 6d6+3d4+3 damage per round, and will be Xander's engine for the rest of the game.

    As for spells, we go for variety - as befitting a wizard. Familiar Pocket will be useful later, once we have familiars to use it with. Shield, Mage Armour, and Mirror Image all offer protections against anything which can get past our two animal companions, three soulspark familiars, and Dissolving Spittle spam. Colour Spray is our save-or-die of choice, and Benign Transposition offers some low-level teleportation. Summon Swarm will have its uses later on, but for now will do nicely if we'd rather spend our actions to attack someone with rats, bats or spiders.

    Level 10: Incarnate 1/Wizard 7/Vermin Lord 2
    Spoiler
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    It's clear that the Share Soulmeld feat wasn't intended for use with multiple animal companions or familiars. At level 9, we take the Obtain Familiar feat to get a Tiny Monstrous Spider; like our animal companions, it has access to our soulmeld and gives us an additional Dissolving Spittle per round (using our BAB) and an additional Soulspark Familiar. Likewise, we get an additional familiar from the Vermin Lord's vermin servant class feature, for which we select another Tiny Monstrous Spider. Our Dissolving Spittle deals 3d6 acid damage now, and we get four uses per turn. For protection, our familiars can hide in their Familiar Pockets; they take a free action to leave the pocket, a standard action to use Dissolving Spittle, a free action to command their Soulspark Familiars to attack, and then another free action to return to the safety of the pocket. They're functionally untouchable, save by a readied action.

    The Domain Granted Power alternative class feature replaces our 5th level bonus feat from being a Wizard with the granted power of a domain. In this case, we choose the Incarnum domain, which gives us the Incarnum Spellshaping feat and allows us to use Incarnum spells. Of note, this gives us access to the Soul Boon spell, which can be used to boost our Essentia even after leaving the Incarnate class. We also take the Planar Touchstone feat for the Catalogues of Enlightenment, choosing the Spider domain as befitting Xander's patron, Lolth. This gives us the ability to rebuke and command spiders, which is sweet, and also gives us limited use of the domain's spells - such as Giant Vermin, one of the prerequisites for the Vermin Lord prestige class. While the Catalogues of Enlightenment are rather old hat, the Arcane Disciple feat would've required our alignment to be Chaotic Evil, disqualifying us from our Incarnate levels.

    We've also got some other new spells to work with. Enhance Familiar will help our familiars hit their targets, Mass Mage Armour for protection, and Mass Snake's Swiftness lets us spend our standard action to immediately give all of our allies (possibly including ourselves, if we count as our own ally) a "melee or ranged attack" - such as Dissolving Spittle (a ranged touch attack, albeit not a regular one). This includes all of our animal companions, all of our familiars, and even our soulspark familiars for a potential 12d6+5d4+5 damage as a standard action. This is our nova ability, and we will use it well. Other spells include Polymorph for its absurd utility, Scrying to know anything and everything that's going on, Evard's Black Tentacles for some tried-and-true battlefield control, and Summon Pest Swarm to nail down the theme.

    By this level, we've also found our Legacy Item; the Vestments of the Pied Piper. This Vest of Resistance gives us several abilities relating to vermin, rodents, and the tale of the Pied Piper. For now, it is capable of replicating a Pipes of the Sewers, grants a +5 bonus to Perform (Wind Instruments) check, and gives us a form of Wild Empathy which uses the Perform (Wind Instruments) skill and which can only be used on vermin and rodents. These abilities are mostly flavour, but may have some utility when paired with Summon Swarm.

    Level 15 (Sweet Spot): Incarnate 1/Wizard 7/Vermin Lord 2/Legacy Champion 5
    Spoiler
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    We've gone off into the deep end and entered into the Secret Ingredient. Legacy Champion levels are used to progress the Vermin Lord prestige class while also allowing us to customise the Vestments of the Pied Piper to our liking. Bond of Lore allows us to actually know the rituals of the Vestments and their requirements, while the Reduced Legacy Cost ability obviously allows us to ignore the monetary costs for said rituals. For our Bonus Legacy Feat, we'll choose Quicken Legacy (Vomit Swarm); this will allow us to summon a swarm as a swift action while maintaining the rest of our action economy at no personal cost. Combined with the Extraordinary Concentration feat, Xander is capable of maintaining a swarm - or even two swarms, assuming a move action and a swift action - without losing his standard action (for Dissolving Spittle, Mass Snake's Swiftness, or some other spell).

    For Replace Legacy Ability (Least) and (Lesser), we're going to do something which is a little dirty. There isn't any requirement in the Weapons of Legacy book that improvements such as the +6 to an ability score or +15 to a skill need to be preceded by gradual improvements of +2/+4 (for the ability score) or +5/+10 (for the skill), and some of the legacy items already do this. In other words, removing a weaker bonus won't interfere with a higher bonus, because they don't interact in any way beyond not stacking due to their shared type (in this case, Competence). As-written, the Vestments of the Pied Piper follow a +5/+10/+15 progression for the Perform (Wind Instruments) skill; we're going to replace the +5 bonus at level 12 with Lesser Metamagic (Extend Spell), and we're going to replace the +10 bonus at level 15 with a +10 bonus to Concentration checks. Extend Spell will ensure that our various buffs last the day, while the Concentration bonus will ensure that our Extraordinary Concentration feat actually triggers. For Extra Legacy Ability Use, we'll choose Lesser Metamagic (Extend Spell) so that we have four uses per day.

    As for the Vestments of the Pied Piper themselves, we're going to briefly lose our bonus to Perform (Wind Instruments) check for a benefit later on. We also have the Beguiling Proposal ability, giving us at-will Psionic Suggestion. Unlike regular Suggestion, the psionic version includes an augmentation for multiple targets, as per Mass Suggestion. The Will save DC is 16, and the manifester level is 10; this hits up to four targets with what is, functionally, a save-or-die. Suffice to say, this has its uses, even as a standard action. It also fits the Pied Piper's bill precisely.

    In other news we have another vermin servant, giving us a third familiar, and our Dissolving Spittle has jumped to 5d6 thanks to the Expanded Soulmeld Capacity feat. We're dealing 30d6+6d4+6 with Dissolving Spittle uses and our Soulspark Familiars, assuming our touch attacks hit; a casting of Mass Snake's swiftness goes for 25d6+6d4+6 as a single standard action. While it's quite possible that enemies will have acid resistance at this level, Xander possesses many other spells and abilities with which to spend his actions - and it's a fair amount of damage, even if they do have resistance.

    Xander's spells are advancing, albeit slowly. His Least Revitalise Legacy spell comes into effect here, giving us an extra use of Lesser Metamagic (Extend Spell) for a total of five uses per day. Teleport gets you anywhere, anytime, and Permanency can be used on Familiar Pocket (and possibly other familiar-enhancing spells) so that we don't have to keep on spending spell slots on our eldest trick. Telekinesis, when paired with your typical assortment of a dozen colossal greatswords, gives us a viable and powerful option for when the Dissolving Spittle plan is a no-go. Nightstalker's Transformation, on the other hand, offers some sneak attack damage and other potent boosts to your ranged touch attack gameplan.

    Level 20: Incarnate 1/Wizard 7/Vermin Lord 2/Legacy Champion 10
    Spoiler
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    The peak. Legacy Champion rounds out with an extra Lesser Ability Use (for Vomit Swarm) for six uses per day, and Quicken Legacy (for Beguiling Proposal) for a swift-action save-or-die three times a day. Extra Greater Use is spent on Bargain, giving us the ability to call down a powerful outsider twice per day. Finally, we replace the Bewitch ability for the Lesser Quicken Spell ability, which we will primarily use for Mass Snake's Swiftness and Soul Boon. The remaining greater abilities from the Vestments of the Pied Piper include the aforementioned Bargain, which functions as per a Planar Ally spell, and Swarm Stride, which serves as a Tree Stride spell. A Pied Piper does not forget the favours which those of their bloodline are owed, and their bond with vermin and rodents is such that they may travel amongst them with but a thought.

    Xander's Dissolving Spittle trick plateaus, with 5 essentia invested (for a total of 6d6 damage) and a third vermin servant (another Tiny Monstrous Spider) from the Vermin Lord prestige class. This gives us seven uses of Dissolving Spittle per round - one from Xander, two from his animal companions, and four from his familiars - for a total of 42d6 potential acid damage. Combined with the Open Greater Chakra (Throat) feat, the Dissolving Spittle hits again on the following round for an extra 42d6. If we're still using the Soulspark Familiars, there's also 7d4+7 potential untyped damage for our target to deal with. On a good turn, we then cast a quickened Mass Snake's Swiftness for an additional 36d6+7d4+7 potential damage, with 36d6 lingering acid damage on the next round. The total possible damage that Xander can deal is 78d6+14d4+14 on that round, followed by an additional 78d6 one round later. Acid resistance shuts him down, of course - but Xander still has spells to work with.

    Freezing Fog locks down enemies and, in conjunction with True Seeing, enables some decent sniping. Eyebite gives you a passive save-or-suck for enemies to deal with while you spam acid or throw spells at them. Contingency will save you from death more than once. Simulacrum and Limited wish give you a plethora of options and versatility - Simulacrum, for example, may allow for the creation of a duplicate of yourself with soulmelds, animal companions, and familiars all of its own. If not, it will still let you be in multiple places at once, which has its uses.

    At level 20, however, it could be argued that all of this is moot. The Vermin Lord's capstone ability, Hivemind, allows you to create sentient entities out of swarms - for example, those created by a Summon Swarm spell, which have an infinite duration so long as you can maintain concentration. The more creatures there are in the swarm, the more intelligence, charisma, feats, skill points, and spellcasting (as a sorcerer) the swarm gets. Since you and your vermin servants are considered to be a part of the hivemind, you (and your familiars) also get access to that sorcerous spellcasting - and, hence, have nigh-infinite arcane spells per day from the entire spell list, presuming you have the castings of Summon Swarm to spare. It's cheesy and it's broken, yes, but at level 20 you're already playing Calvinball. All this means is that, at higher levels, you can always keep up.

    If you want, though, you can always summon a few swarms of rats for the sole purpose of casting Mass Snake's Swiftness four times in a round. That's a definite improvement to your action economy-breaking spellcasting.

    Spoiler: Notes and Rulings
    Show
    As the build above is treated as a showcase, it obviously displays all of its information in the most positive of lights - or, in other words, in the best-case scenario. As such, there are some rulings and clarifications which should be made.

    Wild Cohort and Share Soulmeld
    While the Wild Cohort feat largely follows the rules and stipulations of a Druid or Ranger's Animal Companion, there doesn't seem to be any explicit wording that the cohort is actually treated as an Animal Companion. If this is ruled to the case by your DM, then Share Soulmeld won't work as it is restricted to Animal Companions, Mounts, and Familiars only. Although it may be possible to rule that using Handle Animal to treat the cohort as a mount would allow it to qualify, but if it is decided that there is no interaction between Wild Cohort and Share Soulmeld then you should consider changing the Wild Cohort companion into something big and tough like a bear (or some other grappler).

    Domains
    The Domain Granted Power ACF states that the chosen domain must be from a deity's domain list. However, the Incarnum domain is available to all clerics regardless of their deity (or lack of deity, if they worship a pantheon or don't worship a deity at all). Therefore, it's a legal choice, even though Lolth doesn't offer the Incarnum domain in her portfolio. I would've loved to have used Arcane Disciple instead of Planar Touchstone, since the latter is pretty well-known, but the alignment restrictions on Incarnate wouldn't have allowed it.

    Verminfriend
    Verminfriend was originally published in the Book of Vile Darkness, and is a prerequisite for the Vermin Lord prestige class. There, it had a prerequisiteof 15 Charisma. It was later reprinted in Drow of the Underdark, with the prerequisite inexplicably changed to Race: Drow. I chose to use the version from the Vook of Vile Darkness, as the Vermin Lord prestige class refers to the version from that book rather than the racially-restricted revision of the feat.

    Founding a Legacy
    First things first: I know I chose the progression for a bard-like class (4-8), rather than a full caster like the Wizard (4-6 or 4-7). I did this for three reasons:
    • Firstly, because Xander never obtains 8th or 9th level spells, choosing either 4-6 or 4-7 would've prevented him from ever obtaining all the abilities of his legacy item. This caveat is explained on page 24 of Weapons of Legacy. Given that I wanted to emphasise the abilities of the Legacy Champion prestige class - and, admittedly, wanted some of those really nice Greater abilities - I used table 4-8 instead.
    • Secondly, because the legacy was technically founded by the Pied Piper, a bardic progression makes more sense than a full caster progression. He wouldn't qualify for the higher-tier abilities of his own item, as in Xander's case, if he used either the 4-6 or 4-7 table.
    • Thirdly, because the penalties of 4-8 are absolutely huge. The loss of three caster levels and the lost spell slots are significant for any full spellcaster, and the skill penalties are nothing to balk at either.


    Custom Legacy Abilities
    As noted above, I have used a few custom legacy abilities in the development of the Vestements of the Pied Piper. I used my best judgement for this, and referred to other items of legacy (as noted in the book, pages 183-184).

    Being the Pied Piper
    If you're curious; yes, we can ensorcel rodents, vermin, and children alike. The epic uses of a Perform (Wind Instruments) check can send anything vulnerable into a fervor, and we have at-will mass Suggestion as a backup plan if our base modifier of +48 can't hit the mark for some reason. For verminous creatures, we have the Swarm Sensitivity and Verminous Vibrations abilities from the Vestments, which also use Perform (Wind Instruments).


    Spoiler: Resources
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    Weapons of Legacy: Least Revitalise Legacy, Quicken Legacy, Legacy Champion, Weapons of Legacy.
    Book of Vile Darkness: Vermin Lord, Verminfriend.
    Magic of Incarnum: Incarnate, Incarnum Spellshaping, Incarnum Domain, Azurin, Share Soulmeld.
    Spell Compendium: Benign Transposition, Familiar Pocket, Augment Familiar, Enhance Familiar, Mass Snake's Swiftness, Nightstalker's Transformation.
    Cityscape: Summon Pest Swarm.
    Planar Handbook: Planar Touchstone.
    Monster Manual III: Swindlespitter Dinosaur, Fleshraker Dinosaur.
    Complete Champion: Domain Granted Power ACF.
    Unearthed Arcana: Animal Companion ACF.
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    The cold never bothered me anyway

    Quote Originally Posted by Kethezara Theravin
    Kethezara Theravin
    The Blizzard Wizard

    TN Gray Elf Wizard 5/Stormcaster 3/Frost Mage 2/Legacy Champion 10

    Spoiler: Ability Scores
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    32 Point Buy:
    Strength 10
    Dexterity 10
    Constitution 15
    Intelligence 18
    Wisdom 12
    Charisma 8

    After Racial Adjustments:
    Strength 8
    Dexterity 12
    Constitution 13
    Intelligence 20
    Wisdom 12
    Charisma 8

    Adjustments: Level 4 goes to Constitution, the rest to Intelligence


    Spoiler: Build Table
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    Note to avoid confusion: Personal costs have not been subtracted from the save numbers here. They have their own table.
    Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills (updates in bold) Feats (new in bold) (B=bonus) Class Features
    1st Elven Generalist Wizard 1 0 0 0 2 Concentration 4, Knowledge (arcana) 4, Knowledge (history) 4, Knowledge (nature) 4, Knowledge (religion) 1, Knowledge (the planes) 1, Spellcraft 4, Tumble 1, Use Magic Device 2 Snowcasting, Scribe Scroll (B) Summon Familiar, Scribe Scroll, Generalist Wizardry
    2nd Wizard 2 1 0 0 3 Concentration 5, Knowledge (arcana) 5, Knowledge (dungeoneering) 1, Knowledge (history) 5, Knowledge (nature) 5, Knowledge (religion) 1, Knowledge (the planes) 1, Spellcraft 5, Tumble 1, Use Magic Device 2.5 _ _
    3rd Wizard 3 1 1 1 3 Concentration 6, Knowledge (arcana) 6, Knowledge (dungeoneering) 1, Knowledge (geography) 1, Knowledge (history) 6, Knowledge (nature) 6, Knowledge (religion) 1, Knowledge (the planes) 1, Spellcraft 6, Tumble 1, Use Magic Device 3 Winter's Blast _
    4th Wizard 4 2 1 1 4 Concentration 7, Knowledge (arcana) 7, Knowledge (dungeoneering) 1, Knowledge (geography) 2, Knowledge (history) 7, Knowledge (nature) 7, Knowledge (religion) 1, Knowledge (the planes) 1, Spellcraft 7, Tumble 1, Use Magic Device 3.5 _ _
    5th Wizard 5 2 1 1 4 Concentration 8, Knowledge (arcana) 8, Knowledge (dungeoneering) 1, Knowledge (geography) 2, Knowledge (history) 8, Knowledge (local) 1, Knowledge (nature) 8, Knowledge (religion) 1, Knowledge (the planes) 1, Spellcraft 8, Tumble 1, Use Magic Device 4 Least Legacy (Frostburn's Wrath) (B) Spontaneous Divination
    6th Stormcaster 1 2 3 3 4 Concentration 9, Knowledge (arcana) 9, Knowledge (dungeoneering) 1, Knowledge (geography) 2, Knowledge (history) 9, Knowledge (local) 1, Knowledge (nature) 9, Knowledge (religion) 1, Knowledge (the planes) 1, Spellcraft 9, Tumble 1, Use Magic Device 4.5 Frozen Magic Storm Spell Power, Thunderclap
    7th Stormcaster 2 3 4 4 5 Concentration 10, Knowledge (arcana) 10, Knowledge (dungeoneering) 1, Knowledge (geography) 2, Knowledge (history) 10, Knowledge (local) 1, Knowledge (nature) 10, Knowledge (religion) 1, Knowledge (the planes) 1, Spellcraft 10, Tumble 1, Use Magic Device 5 _ Resistance to Electricity 10
    8th Stormcaster 3 3 4 4 5 Concentration 11, Knowledge (arcana) 11, Knowledge (dungeoneering) 1, Knowledge (geography) 2, Knowledge (history) 11, Knowledge (local) 1, Knowledge (nature) 11, Knowledge (religion) 1, Knowledge (the planes) 1, Spellcraft 11, Tumble 1, Use Magic Device 5.5 _ Shield of Winds 1/day
    9th Frost Mage 1 3 4 4 7 Concentration 12, Knowledge (arcana) 12, Knowledge (dungeoneering) 1, Knowledge (geography) 2, Knowledge (history) 12, Knowledge (local) 1, Knowledge (nature) 12, Knowledge (nobility) 1, Knowledge (religion) 1, Knowledge (the planes) 1, Spellcraft 12, Tumble 1, Use Magic Device 6 Piercing Cold Natural Armor Increase (+1)
    10th Frost Mage 2 4 4 4 8 Concentration 13, Knowledge (arcana) 13, Knowledge (architecture and engineering) 1, Knowledge (dungeoneering) 1, Knowledge (geography) 2, Knowledge (history) 13, Knowledge (local) 1, Knowledge (nature) 13, Knowledge (nobility) 1, Knowledge (religion) 1, Knowledge (psionics) 1, Knowledge (the planes) 1, Spellcraft 13, Tumble 1, Use Magic Device 6 _ Resistance to Cold 10
    11th Legacy Champion 1 4 4 4 10 Concentration 14, Knowledge (arcana) 14, Knowledge (architecture and engineering) 1, Knowledge (dungeoneering) 1, Knowledge (geography) 2, Knowledge (history) 14, Knowledge (local) 1, Knowledge (nature) 14, Knowledge (nobility) 1, Knowledge (religion) 1, Knowledge (psionics) 1, Knowledge (the planes) 1, Spellcraft 14, Tumble 1, Use Magic Device 10 Lesser Legacy (Frostburn's Wrath) (B) Reduced Ritual Cost (Lesser), Bond of Lore
    12th Legacy Champion 2 5 4 4 11 Concentration 15, Knowledge (arcana) 15, Knowledge (architecture and engineering) 1, Knowledge (dungeoneering) 1, Knowledge (geography) 2, Knowledge (history) 15, Knowledge (local) 1, Knowledge (nature) 15, Knowledge (nobility) 1, Knowledge (religion) 1, Knowledge (psionics) 1, Knowledge (the planes) 1, Spellcraft 15, Survival 1, Tumble 1, Use Magic Device 14 Cold Spell Specialization Replace Legacy Ability (Least), Eye of the Storm
    13th Legacy Champion 3 6 5 5 11 Concentration 16, Knowledge (arcana) 16, Knowledge (architecture and engineering) 1, Knowledge (dungeoneering) 1, Knowledge (geography) 2, Knowledge (history) 16, Knowledge (local) 1, Knowledge (nature) 16, Knowledge (nobility) 1, Knowledge (religion) 1, Knowledge (psionics) 1, Knowledge (the planes) 1, Spellcraft 16, Survival 4, Tumble 1, Use Magic Device 16 _ Extra Legacy Ability Use (Least), Thunderbolt
    14th Legacy Champion 4 7 5 5 12 Concentration 17, Knowledge (arcana) 17, Knowledge (architecture and engineering) 1, Knowledge (dungeoneering) 1, Knowledge (geography) 5, Knowledge (history) 17, Knowledge (local) 1, Knowledge (nature) 17, Knowledge (nobility) 1, Knowledge (religion) 1, Knowledge (psionics) 1, Knowledge (the planes) 1, Spellcraft 17, Survival 5, Tumble 1, Use Magic Device 17 Legacy Focus (B) Bonus Legacy Feat, Shield of Winds 2/day
    15th Legacy Champion 5 7 5 5 12 Concentration 18, Knowledge (arcana) 18, Knowledge (architecture and engineering) 1, Knowledge (dungeoneering) 1, Knowledge (geography) 7, Knowledge (history) 18, Knowledge (local) 1, Knowledge (nature) 18, Knowledge (nobility) 1, Knowledge (religion) 1, Knowledge (psionics) 1, Knowledge (the planes) 1, Spellcraft 18, Survival 7, Tumble 1, Use Magic Device 18 Flash Frost Spell Replace Legacy Ability (Lesser), Resistance to Sonic 10
    16th Legacy Champion 6 8 6 6 13 Concentration 19, Knowledge (arcana) 19, Knowledge (architecture and engineering) 1, Knowledge (dungeoneering) 1, Knowledge (geography) 11, Knowledge (history) 19, Knowledge (local) 1, Knowledge (nature) 19, Knowledge (nobility) 1, Knowledge (religion) 1, Knowledge (psionics) 1, Knowledge (the planes) 1, Spellcraft 19, Survival 7, Tumble 1, Use Magic Device 19 _ Extra Legacy Ability Use (Lesser), Call Storm, Eye of the Storm 30-ft. Radius
    17th Legacy Champion 7 9 6 6 13 Concentration 20, Knowledge (arcana) 20, Knowledge (architecture and engineering) 1, Knowledge (dungeoneering) 1, Knowledge (geography) 15, Knowledge (history) 20, Knowledge (local) 1, Knowledge (nature) 20, Knowledge (nobility) 1, Knowledge (religion) 1, Knowledge (psionics) 1, Knowledge (the planes) 1, Spellcraft 20, Survival 7, Tumble 1, Use Magic Device 20 Greater Legacy (Frostburn's Wrath) (B) Reduced Ritual Cost (Greater)
    18th Legacy Champion 8 10 6 6 14 Concentration 21, Knowledge (arcana) 21, Knowledge (architecture and engineering) 1, Knowledge (dungeoneering) 1, Knowledge (geography) 19, Knowledge (history) 21, Knowledge (local) 1, Knowledge (nature) 21, Knowledge (nobility) 1, Knowledge (religion) 1, Knowledge (psionics) 1, Knowledge (the planes) 1, Spellcraft 21, Survival 7, Tumble 1, Use Magic Device 21 Quicken Legacy (B) Bonus Legacy Feat, Shield of Winds 3/day
    19th Legacy Champion 9 10 7 7 14 Concentration 22, Knowledge (arcana) 22, Knowledge (architecture and engineering) 1, Knowledge (dungeoneering) 1, Knowledge (geography) 22, Knowledge (history) 22, Knowledge (local) 1, Knowledge (nature) 22, Knowledge (nobility) 1, Knowledge (religion) 2, Knowledge (psionics) 1, Knowledge (the planes) 1, Spellcraft 22, Survival 7, Tumble 1, Use Magic Device 22 _ Extra Legacy Ability Use (Greater), Lord of the Storm
    20th Legacy Champion 10 11 7 7 15 Concentration 23, Knowledge (arcana) 23, Knowledge (architecture and engineering) 1, Knowledge (dungeoneering) 1, Knowledge (geography) 23, Knowledge (history) 23, Knowledge (local) 1, Knowledge (nature) 23, Knowledge (nobility) 1, Knowledge (religion) 3, Knowledge (psionics) 1, Knowledge (the planes) 1, Spellcraft 23, Survival 10, Tumble 1, Use Magic Device 23 _ Replace Legacy Ability (Greater), Gain Knowledge


    Spoiler: Personal Costs Table
    Show
    Character Level Save Penalty Skill Check Penalty Caster Level Penalty Spell Slot Loss
    5th _ _ _ _
    6th -1 _ _ 1st
    7th _ _ -1 _
    8th _ -1 _ 2nd
    9th _ _ _ _
    10th _ _ _ 3rd
    11th _ _ _ _
    12th _ _ _ 4th
    13th _ _ -2 _
    14th _ _ _ 5th
    15th _ _ _ _
    16th _ _ _ 6th
    17th _ _ _ _
    18th _ _ _ 7th
    19th _ _ _ _
    20th _ _ _ 8th


    Spoiler: Spellcasting
    Show
    Note to avoid confusion: Personal costs have not been subtracted from the spell slot numbers here. They appear on their own table.

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


    [/SPOILER]
    Spoiler: Snapshots and Story
    Show
    Spoiler: Level 5
    Show
    Spoiler: Story
    Show
    Kethezara decided that today was the day; she would finally go out find it, instead of sitting here trying to figure out where it was before going. Frostburn’s Wrath. She had been studying for a while now, trying to piece together the events of the past, but had found nothing. The fabled staff of Sorelius had to be somewhere near the Village of Crystal, the village where Faedrion had lived, at least until Sorelius came down in her rage. The problem was, there are only rumors about the village’s actual location; several places claim to be the true location, and none of them have turned up anything. Kethezara looked around the towns for a while, but found nothing. She decided to go to a local gorge, to sit outside and enjoy the cold and the snow. On a whim, she decided to lose one of her spells to use her newest ability, her spontaneous divination. She tried to locate object on a quarterstaff, and was incredibly surprised when she detected one in the direction of a small cave system nearby. As she was walking, she was set upon by a troll, Wordun. It could have been a harsh fight, but with patience (and a little help from flight) Kethezara was able to wear down Wordun enough to knock him out for a minute or two, despite his troll regeneration. She had such excess cold magic that she could blast it out every couple seconds, faster than the troll can regenerate, so Wordun wasn’t going to get up for a while. She searched the cave he had to have come from, and couldn’t believe her eyes. She had finally found it. The legacy of Frostburn’s Wrath would continue.

    Spoiler: Snapshot
    Show
    Offensively, Kethezara has Winter’s Blast, plus 3rd level offensive spells, preferably those with [cold] so she can use the CL boosting aspect of Snowcasting if she doesn’t have to use her move actions for something else. She can also use battlefield control spells and debuffing like Blood Snow, Grease, and Glitterdust. She also gets a 1/week cold-damage Fireball from Frostburn’s Wrath. She’s also an Elven Generalist, so she has more spells in her spellbook than other wizards, assuming equal access to scrolls and the like.

    Defensively, she has 3rd level spells, such as Fly and Invisibility for example. Not much more to say here.

    In terms of utility, she has 3rd level spell, such as Shatter and Knock. She also has Spontaneous Divination, if she needs information, or just has spell slots to burn at the end of the day.


    Spoiler: Level 10
    Show
    Spoiler: Story
    Show
    Kethezara had kept it a secret for a long while now. She knew that Sorelius liked her secrets, and got a really bad feeling every time she thought about showing anyone the staff’s abilities. To make sure it stayed secret, Kethezara had decided to go out into the world, and find the wild, untamed places where she could practice her magic, and feel at home. She had realized shortly after she acquired Frostburn’s Wrath that the path of a normal wizard wasn’t for her; she had always been best with cold magic, but also really enjoyed the way the hair on her neck stood on end when lightning struck, or the way the wind whipped trees around in a windstorm. So she decided to become the best of both worlds, first learning the storm, then learning the cold. She had even sat out in a blizzard at one point, to train her body to love the cold, and through grit, perseverance, and a little help from a healing wand she had picked up and gotten to function about half the time, she had survived and come out stronger. Frostburn’s Wrath could have helped her survive it without a second thought, but she knew she needed to do it unprotected, so she never held it during the blizzard. Now her skin was hard like ice, and she couldn’t feel the cold’s icy sting like she used to. But Kethezara could tell, this training would be coming to a close soon. She could sense Frostburn’s Wrath waiting, somehow knowing that it should be used to destroy those who prey on others to make their own living, as Sorelius had destroyed the berserkers who ravaged her home. She could tell that she was very close to unlocking the staff’s true potential, having practiced with it, shooting bolts of cold lightning and spikes of ice with abandon. Soon, she would destroy the bandits, and finally show her power to the world, championing the legacy of Frostburn’s Wrath as it deserved.

    Spoiler: Snapshot
    Show
    Kethezara has now started down the paths of the Stormcaster and Frost Mage, to levels 3 and 2 respectively.

    Offensively, she has 9 levels of spellcasting, so she has 5th level spells. She can use Control Temperature to lower the temperature band by one, putting it to Cold in a lot of places, or even to Severe Cold if it’s already Cold. At Cold, Frozen Magic raises her caster level by 1, and at Severe cold, it raises it by either +1 or +2, depending on the DM’s reading of the boundaries on Frozen Magic, whether the number for the temperature or the name of the temperature band takes precedence. She also picked up Piercing Cold, to deal with those pesky resistances and immunities. She can then use Snowcasting to add [cold] to any spell, allowing Frozen Magic to raise the caster level of all her spells, or to increase the caster level even further for spells that are already [cold]. If she doesn’t want to use [cold] she can also use Storm Spell Power from Stormcaster to raise CL by 2 for [elec], [air], [water], and [sonic] spells. She can use this with Snowcasting and Frozen Magic together, to raise the CL even higher. She can also spend a spell slot to deal some sonic damage to everyone within 30 feet, but the more important part of that is there’s a Fortitude Save or they’ll be stunned for a round, which is great. Frostburn’s Wrath also lets her shoot an ice spike 3 times per day for a little cold damage, or use a [cold] Lightning Bolt 1/day at CL 5, so these plus Winter’s Blast gives her something to do if she doesn’t want to use her own spell slots.

    Defensively, she can see clearly through snow, rain, and sleet, so she should be taking advantage of that with her spells. She can also activate a Wind Wall effect surrounding her square as an immediate action if she wants to dodge a ranged attack, which is nice. She also has access to Dimension Door and Celerity, for example, as tactical defensive spells. She also now has +1 to natural armor, and resistance 10 to cold and electricity, which is pretty nice too.

    In terms of utility outside of battle, she hasn’t gotten much specifically that’s new, but like I’ve already said, she has 5th level spells. Teleport is online now, so that’s an option, along with things like Spontaneous Divination gives her access to Scrying, Prying Eyes, and Contact other Plane. She has Major Creation, and Overland Flight. There’re lots of options here.


    Spoiler: Level 15
    Show
    Spoiler: Story
    Show
    They’d deserved it. That group of bandits a while back were fairly well known in the local area. The storm within had raged, and Frostburn’s Wrath had shown through. First, she found their scouting party, the three people who watch for the travelers and learn the movement patterns of the caravans. She had killed two of them with ice spikes, and…convinced…the remaining one to tell her where the main hideout was. She had him lead her there, and as they arrived, she put an ice spike through his face. In the hideout, there were 9 of them in all; 8 underlings, and the leader, Rask the Red, the barbarian. Frostburn’s Wrath’s Freezing Spread had destroyed each of the underlings, and Rask had fallen to a subsequent Freezing Bolt. For good measure, she had put an ice spike through his face. It’s easy to kill mundanes when you can fly. She had brought the justice down, as Sorelius had done in the past, and she could feel Frostburn’s Wrath’s powers unlocking. She continued on her path of blind justice, using her spells and Frostburn’s Wrath to destroy the offenders. Since then, Kethezara and Frostburn’s Wrath were well known in the area, but now, months later, she began to feel a little sadness about what she had done. These men had families, and some had certainly turned to banditry because of their poverty, rather than evil. Sometimes she felt her justice was a little too blind, as Sorelius had after she had killed Faedrion. She began her research anew; she had to find the actual location of Faedrion’s demise, so she could mourn and repent.

    Spoiler: Snapshot
    Show
    Finally, Kethezara has entered the SI. This gives her 4 levels of advancement in other classes, which she uses to advance Stormcaster, getting effectively to Stormcaster 7. She has 13 levels of spellcasting advancement now, so she has access to 7th level spells.

    Offensively, she now adds sonic damage to all of her electricity spells, with a Fort Save or stun, even if the spell didn’t offer a save before, which is great. She also uses Legacy Focus to increase the Save DCs on all of Frostburn’s Wrath’s abilities. She uses the same kind of tactics as before, but now Control Temperature lowers the temperature band by two, which makes it pretty likely that she gets the +2 CL from Frozen Magic. She’ll also be getting +2 damage per die from Cold Spell Specialization, and she can use Flash Frost Spell for another +2 damage per spell level. Snowcasting and Piercing Cold have the same utility as earlier as well. She can also use Frostburn’s Wrath to use Sleet Storm twice per day; her Freezing Bolt now acts at CL 10; and if something goes horribly wrong and Kethezara ends up in melee, the magical side of Frostburn’s Wrath gets the Frost property.

    On the defensive side, she has resistance to sonic 10 to complement her resistances to cold and electricity. She can use her Wind Wall effect twice per day now as well, and also uses Replace Legacy Ability to trade away the redundant Resistance to Cold 10 for a Mirror Image once per day, which she then makes twice per day with Extra Legacy Ability Use.

    For utility, she has 7th level spells. Plane Shift, True Seeing, Programmed Image, Contingency, Planar Binding, Control Weather, Simulacrum, and even Limited Wish…there’re plenty of options here. Spontaneous Divination gives access to Greater Scrying and Arcane Sight as well.
    Also, at this point she has maxed out Use Magic Device, making her able to use wands of other classes’ spells, if she wants to grab cleric or druid buffs, for example.

    Lastly, from Frostburn’s Wrath with Replace Legacy Ability, she has Gust of Wind at-will, which is cool for some battlefield control, but the real benefit to Continual Wind is that she now constantly has her cloak swaying in the wind like a hero, which is SO COOL.


    Spoiler: Level 20
    Show
    Spoiler: Story
    Show
    Kethezara had reached the top. It felt like so long ago that she had found Faedrion’s true resting place. She was surprised that she hadn’t thought of it before; it was so simple. It took a few days to cast, since she didn’t have detailed knowledge about the location, but Legend Lore was really useful. It had told her exactly where to go, and she had found it. She had set up her bonfire, and begun meditating, directly in the middle of the town. She mourned for three days. The people walked by, and asked her what she was doing; the wind pushed them away. This was her time of mourning, and she would not be disturbed. Three days later, she knew it was over, and the bonfire was allowed to run down. She felt Frostburn’s Wrath unlock fully; now it was up to her to figure out how to use it. She disappeared in a swirl of snow. Over a year later, she had finished her training. She felt she had reached the top of what she could do, and Frostburn’s Wrath agreed, having nothing new to teach her. Kethezara was satisfied with her life, and decided it was time to move on, and find new adventures. She went back to town, had a stiff drink, and walked out into the snow.

    Sometimes, in the most intense blizzards, laughter can be heard, carried by the high winds. Some people claim to have seen a glance of a figure holding a staff and flying through the air, riding the winds, lightning cracking and thunder booming all around. The staff was rumored by some to be the legendary Frostburn’s Wrath, the staff of Sorelius, and people chased the figure to see evidence of this, but those who were seen to get too close came out frozen. Over time, this humanoid figure had been given a name as she rode the storm, and stories were told of her for ages; the Blizzard Wizard had come, and Frostburn’s Wrath was her legacy.

    Spoiler: Snapshot
    Show
    Finishing off Legacy Champion, Kethezara uses the first three advances to finish off Stormcaster, and the last one to make it up to Frost Mage 3. She has 17 levels of spellcasting now, so at level 20 she gets 9th level spells.

    Offensively, Kethezara acts much the same as earlier in terms of tactics, using battlefield control and blasting with cold, electricity, and sonic damage. She picks up Storm Magic to add more to her caster level in a storm, so after Control Temperature and (if necessary) Control Weather, her caster level for an electricity spell with Snowcasting will be up by 2 from Frozen Magic, 2 from Storm Spell Power, and 1 from Storm Magic for a total of 22, down to 20 from the caster level penalty, which is still pretty good. Cold Spell Specialization and, if used, Flash Frost Spell add a solid amount of damage too, and then Thunderbolt adds more sonic damage plus a Fort Save against stunning. From Frostburn’s Wrath, she also now gets Ice Storm twice a day (which Extra Legacy Ability Use makes thrice a day); Freezing Bolt 5 times a day (3 of which can be quickened, thanks to Quicken Legacy); Freezing Sphere once a day, which becomes twice a day with Extra Legacy Ability Use; Chain Lightning 1/day (which replaces the Control Weather 1/week effect thanks to Replace Legacy Ability); and finally Cone of Cold twice per day. All of this is nice when she doesn’t want to cast her own spells, along with Winter’s Blast for more at-will blasting.

    Defensively, her resistances to sonic and electricity go up to 30; she can use the Shield of Winds 3 times per day; and she becomes immune to the effects of high winds affecting her movement, along with a bonus to saves against air and water spells. She also has access to 9th level spells now, like Foresight and Prismatic Sphere for example.

    Utility-wise, she, again, has access to 9th level spells. She has Wish and Gate, to name a few. She also gets Conjure Ice Beast I added to her spellbook, which is useful, although she also has access to Summon Monster I-IX for summoning if she wants to use that. There’re a lot of options here for utility, especially with 23 ranks in Use Magic Device helping out too.

    With all of this, Kethezara Theravin is…The Blizzard Wizard.



    Spoiler: Legacy Champion Options (UotSI)
    Show

    Prerequisites: Kethezara keeps Knowledge (history) maxed out. Least Legacy is used to activate Frostburn’s Wrath’s abilities.

    All advancements go to Stormcaster except the last, which goes to Frost Mage. There’s no reason to go past level 10 with Stormcaster, since there wouldn’t be any extra benefit beyond extra spellcasting, which she gets anyway from Frost Mage.

    Level 2: Replace the redundant Winter Embrace with Mirror Image 1/day for defense. Frost Mage's Natural Armor Increase already effectively does what Winter's Embrace does.

    Level 3: Get an extra use of Mirror Image per day for even more defense.

    Level 4: Bonus Feat -> Legacy Focus, increasing the save DC’s of all of Frostburn’s Wrath’s powers.

    Level 5: Replace the redundant Resistance to Cold 10 with Continual Wind, giving some at-will battlefield control, with the effect of making her look heroic all the time. Frost Mage 2 gave us an equivalent resistance.

    Level 6: Get an extra use of Plague of Hail (Ice Storm) per day, for extra offense.

    Level 8: Bonus Feat -> Quicken Legacy (Freezing Bolt), getting the ability to quicken 3 of the 5 times per day you can use it.

    Level 9: Get an Extra use of Globe of Ice (Freezing Sphere) per day, for more offense.

    Level 10: Replace Unforgiving Cold 1/week with Chain Lightning 1/day. As thematic as the Control Weather 1/week is, once per week isn’t going to cut it.


    Spoiler: Sources
    Show
    SRD: Wizard, Gray Elf
    Races of the Wild: Elven Generalist Subsitution Level (pg 157)
    Complete Champion: Spontaneous Divination ACF (pg 52)
    Stormwrack: Stormcaster (pg 72), Storm Magic (pg 94)
    Frostburn: Cold Spell Specialization (pg 47), Frozen Magic (pg 48), Piercing Cold (pg 49), Snowcasting (pg 50), Frost Mage (pg 58), Conjure Ice Beast I (pg 91), Ice Beast Template (pg 138)
    Weapons of Legacy: Legacy Focus (pg 15), Quicken Legacy (pg 15), Legacy Champion (pg 20), Frostburn’s Wrath (pg 93)
    Complete Mage: Winter’s Blast (pg 48)
    Dungeon Master’s Guide II: Flash Frost Spell (pg 91)
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  6. - Top - End - #186
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Heliomance's Avatar

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    Jan 2007
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    Female

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXVI

    Does this unit have a soul?

    Quote Originally Posted by Talos

    Talos, Porteur de Lumière
    Warforged, Crusader 8/Soldier of Light 2/Legacy Champion 10

    Spoiler: Awakening
    Show

    I was a soldier.

    No, that isn't quite true. I was never a soldier, not really. Soldiers are people, beneath the armor. I was no soldier. I was a weapon. I was a weapon no different than this blade, forged for a war that they said would never end. I may walk and speak, but I was a blade, wielded by a hand not my own.

    And what of you, my dangerous friend? You are a weapon too, no doubt - and I believe you have seen far more wars than me. Your edge may glint as though new, but my old eyes are not fooled: it has tasted blood. Long 'ere I was forged, you were cutting through flesh.

    And what of such deeds? The pages of history have turned. Spilt blood has long since dried. Have those lives you claimed vanished? Oh, by the Light of Elishar, what do I do? When I pledged myself to Her, I was a fool. I thought that Her light could make me into something more than a weapon. I thought that Her light could make me - well, perhaps not human, but alive. And yet it brought me here, to Her altar, holding an instrument of death in my hands.

    Seed and source of light. That is how it goes, yes? Seed and source of life and light, goal of all our living; you defend us of the night, healing and forgiving. As our life flow from you only, let it be pure and holy. That is the hymn I was taught, at an altar much like this one.

    But is it enough? Can it ever be enough? I do not bleed. How can I hope to scrub away the blood of others?

    As our life flows from you only. But death flows from you, my terrible friend. You are called Faithful, I am told. The Faithful Avenger. Yet your faith knows neither Good nor Evil. You obey.

    Perhaps that is all that matters. If you fell from my hands, you would become the Faithful weapon of another.

    Very well, then; if I must choose, I choose the holy. I choose Elishar's light. And you, my Faithful friend... you will fight by my side. We old weapons, forged for another age, will fight together.

    And mayhaps together, we can do some good in this wicked world...


    Spoiler: Talos and the Faithful Avenger
    Show

    Talos, NG Warforged, Crusader 8/Soldier of Light 2/Legacy Champion 10
    WEAPON OF LEGACY: The Faithful Avenger (ToB)

    Starting stats (before racial modifiers): Str 14/Dex 10/Con 16/Int 10/Wis 14/Cha 14
    Starting stats (after racial modifiers): Str 14/Dex 10/Con 18/Int 10/Wis 12/Cha 12

    Boost CON at every level.


    Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    1st Crusader 1 +1 +2 +0 +0 Concentration 4 ranks, craft (blacksmithing) 4 ranks, knowledge (history) 4 ranks, knowledge (religion) 4 ranks Extra Granted Maneuver Furious counterstrike, steely resolve 5
    2nd Crusader 2 +2 +3 +0 +0 Concentration 5 ranks, craft (blacksmithing) 5 ranks, knowledge (history) 5 ranks, knowledge (religion) 5 ranks Indomitable Soul
    3rd Crusader 3 +3 +3 +1 +1 Concentration 6 ranks, craft (blacksmithing) 6 ranks, knowledge (history) 6 ranks, knowledge (religion) 6 ranks Martial Study (Moment of Perfect Mind) Zealous surge
    4th Crusader 4 +4 +4 +1 +1 Concentration 7 ranks, craft (blacksmithing) 7 ranks, knowledge (history) 7 ranks, knowledge (religion) 7 ranks Steely resolve 10
    5th Crusader 5 +5 +4 +1 +1 Concentration 8 ranks, craft (blacksmithing) 8 ranks, knowledge (history) 8 ranks, knowledge (religion) 8 ranks
    6th Soldier of Light 1 +6/+1 +6 +1 +1 Concentration 9 ranks, craft (blacksmithing) 9 ranks Power Attack Detect undead, turn undead
    7th Soldier of Light 2 +7/+2 +7 +1 +1 Concentration 10 ranks, craft (blacksmithing) 10 ranks Divine grace, smite undead
    8th Crusader 6 +8/+3 +8 +2 +2 Concentration 11 ranks, craft (blacksmithing) 11 ranks, knowledge (history) 9 ranks, knowledge (religion) 9 ranks Smite 1/day
    9th Crusader 7 +9/+4 +8 +2 +2 Concentration 12 ranks, craft (blacksmithing) 12 ranks, knowledge (history) 10 ranks, knowledge (religion) 10 ranks Healing Devotion
    10th Crusader 8 +10/+5 +9 +2 +2 Concentration 13 ranks, craft (blacksmithing) 13 ranks, knowledge (history) 11 ranks, knowledge (religion) 11 ranks Steely resolve 15
    11th Legacy Champion 1 +10/+5 +9 +2 +4 Concentration 14 ranks, craft (blacksmithing) 14 ranks, knowledge (history) 12 ranks, knowledge (religion) 12 ranks Reduced ritual cost (lesser), bond of lore
    12th Legacy Champion 2 +11/+6/+1 +9 +2 +5 Concentration 15 ranks, craft (blacksmithing) 15 ranks, knowledge (history) 13 ranks, knowledge (religion) 13 ranks Martial Study (Action Before Thought) Replace legacy ability (least)
    13th Legacy Champion 3 +12/+7/+2 +10 +3 +5 Concentration 16 ranks, craft (blacksmithing) 16 ranks, knowledge (history) 14 ranks, knowledge (religion) 14 ranks Die Hard Extra legacy ability use (least), Die hard
    14th Legacy Champion 4 +13/+8/+3 +10 +3 +6 Concentration 17 ranks, craft (blacksmithing) 17 ranks, knowledge (history) 15 ranks, knowledge (religion) 15 ranks Curative Legacy Bonus legacy feat
    15th Legacy Champion 5 +13/+8/+3 +10 +3 +6 Concentration 18 ranks, craft (blacksmithing) 18 ranks, knowledge (history) 16 ranks, knowledge (religion) 16 ranks Martial Study (Moment of Alacrity) Replace legacy ability (lesser), steely resolve 20
    16th Legacy Champion 6 +14/+9/+4 +11 +4 +7 Concentration 19 ranks, craft (blacksmithing) 19 ranks, knowledge (history) 17 ranks, knowledge (religion) 17 ranks Extra legacy ability use (lesser), mettle
    17th Legacy Champion 7 +15/+10/+5 +11 +4 +7 Concentration 20 ranks, craft (blacksmithing) 20 ranks, knowledge (history) 18 ranks, knowledge (religion) 18 ranks Reduced ritual cost (greater)
    18th Legacy Champion 8 +16/+11/+6/+1 +11 +4 +8 Concentration 21 ranks, craft (blacksmithing) 21 ranks, knowledge (history) 19 ranks, knowledge (religion) 19 ranks Animal Devotion, Empower Legacy (lesser restoration) Bonus legacy feat
    19th Legacy Champion 9 +16/+11/+6/+1 +12 +5 +8 Concentration 22 ranks, craft (blacksmithing) 22 ranks, knowledge (history) 20 ranks, knowledge (religion) 20 ranks Extra legacy ability use (greater)
    20th Legacy Champion 10 +17/+12/+7/+2 +12 +5 +9 Concentration 23 ranks, craft (blacksmithing) 23 ranks, knowledge (history) 21 ranks, knowledge (religion) 21 ranks Replace legacy ability (greater), steely resolve 25

    A NOTE ON LEGACY FEATS

    You may notice that the build table does not include Least, Lesser and Greater Legacy as feats. Per the Chair's ruling, these feats are granted automatically when the rituals are completed, and do not need to be taken as feats normally. The reason I did not include them on the build table is that the precise timing as far as when the rituals are completed is going to differ from campaign to campaign, as the rituals involved with the Faithful Avenger require not only finding the Faithful Avenger but also finding an appropriate temple (in the case of the Least and Greater rituals) and an appropriate foe (in the case of the Lesser ritual).

    Please assume that Talos completes the Least and Lesser rituals at his earliest opportunity (levels 5 and 11 if possible). The Greater ritual, however, will require some preparation; see the build notes for more details on this.
    Spoiler: Manuevers and Stances
    Show
    MANEUVER/STANCE SELECTION:
    1- Crusader's Strike, Charging Minotaur, Douse the Flames, Leading the Attack, Stone Bones, Martial Spirit (s)
    2- Leading the Charge (s)
    3- Mountain Hammer, Moment of Perfect Mind*
    4- Battle Leader's Charge -> Stone Bones
    5- White Raven Tactics
    6-
    7-
    8- Divine Surge -> Leading the Attack
    9- Bonesplitting Strike
    10- Press the Advantage (s), Elder Mountain Hammer -> Charging Minotaur
    11-
    12- Radiant Charge, Action Before Thought*
    13- Order Forged From Chaos -> Douse the Flames
    14- Rallying Strike
    15- Clarion Call -> Battle Leader's Charge, Moment of Alacrity*
    16- Ancient Mountain Hammer
    17-
    18- Immortal Fortitude (s), Greater Divine Surge -> Crusader's Strike
    19- War Master's Charge
    20- Strike of Righteous Vitality -> Mountain Hammer**

    *Learned via Martial Study
    **After dropping Mountain Hammer, you will have three Stone Bones maneuvers known: Elder Mountain Hammer, Bonesplitting Strike and Ancient Mountain Hammer. Ancient Mountain Hammer requires 3 Stone Bones maneuvers known to maintain qualification. There is a debate about whether or not Ancient Mountain Hammer is itself counted in that calculation. If your DM believes that this trade will mean you lose Ancient Mountain Hammer, then instead trade away Divine Surge.


    Spoiler: Weapon of Legacy substitutions
    Show

    LEAST: Detect evil traded for Skill Enhancement +5 (Concentration)
    LESSER: Faithful Strike traded for Cunning (never flat-footed while wielding Faithful Avenger)
    GREATER: Lesser Restoration traded for Spell Turning



    Spoiler: Build Breakdown
    Show

    LEVELS 1-5: Talos is, first and foremost, a soldier, and begins as most Crusaders do. Between warforged immunities, excellent Constitution and maneuvers and stances such as Crusader's Strike, Stone Bones and Martial Spirit, Talos is incredibly hard to kill. He is no slouch in the damage department, however. He opens up most combat in the Leading the Charge stance and begins with a high damage charge, followed up by powerful strikes such as Mountain Hammer. It's worth noting that things like Battle Leader's Charge and the Leading the Charge stance work well with his preferred weapon, the falchion, as they provide large sources of flat damage that is multiplied on a critical hit. His only real weak point is his Will save - but luckily thanks to Martial Study, he has access to the maneuver Moment of Perfect Mind, which allows him to substitute his Concentration check in its place.

    As a soldier, Talos does not merely fight alone - he aids his allies as well. Martial Spirit and Crusader's Strike make him a capable in-combat healer, and many of his stances and strikes aid his allies as well. He can position opponents with Charging Minotaur bull rushes, manipulate turn order with White Raven Tactics, provide bonuses to attack and damage, and just in general be a good ally on the battlefield in addition to being a fearsome opponent all on his own.

    LEVELS 6-10: Beginning at level 6, Talos briefly departs from Crusader to pick up some levels in Soldier of Light. This choice isn't solely made for flavor - Soldier of Light lays the groundwork for some pretty important abilities down the road. In the meantime, it helps him assist his team by providing him with spells such as cure light wounds and protection from evil, and also gives him several Paladin-like abilities, such as the ability to detect and turn undead, and Divine Grace. Turn undead is nice for powering Healing Devotion, which is especially useful for Talos, as standard curative magic has diminished effects on a warforged.

    Offensively, Talos continues to pick up a lot of high damage maneuvers. Divine Surge does insane damage for the level with no drawbacks, Bonesplitting Strike can help break down an enemy's constitution, and Elder Mountain Hammer not only deals excellent damage but also bypasses any forms of damage reduction or hardness. Talos also has Power Attack now to further augment his damage. He's also begun to unlock the abilities of his legacy weapon, the Faithful Avenger. This makes it a decently powerful cold iron falchion that hits even harder against evil enemies and also boosts his Constitution (saving him a magic item slot). That's pretty neat, but the really cool abilities are yet to come...

    LEVELS 11-15: From here on out, Talos is all about the legacy weapon. The remainder of his levels are in the Legacy Champion prestige class, using it to further advance Crusader. He gets a couple of substitutions at these levels: the Faithful Avenger's detect evil (which is easily duplicated with Talos' SoL spells) is instead replaced for a sizable bonus to his Concentration checks (which now can be used in place of both Will and Reflex saves, as he's picked up Action Before Thought), and the Faithful Strike ability, which is sadly less useful for Talos than most due to his NG alignment, gets swapped for the Cunning ability that prevents him from becoming flat-footed. This is a nice buff in general, but will become especially important in a couple of levels when he picks up Greater Divine Surge.

    Talos picks up a lot of neat maneuvers here that provide him with a variety of abilities not only for himself but for his allies as well, including some particularly notable ones such as Order Forged From Chaos, which allows him to shift the entire battlefield, and Clarion Call, which lets him to grant all of his allies extra attacks. He can also further manipulate the initiative order now that he has picked up Moment of Alacrity, which serves as a temporary +20 to his initiative. This is pretty much always useful, but will become especially potent in a couple of levels. Also, some of his Soldier of Light abilities end up paying off further here. In particular, thanks to the spells, he qualifies for Curative Legacy, which provides him with free healing when he activates his Faithful Avenger's abilities.

    LEVELS 16-20: In these last levels, Talos becomes a master commander, with combat abilities that can turn the tide of any battle. Thanks to his sojourn into Soldier of Light and Legacy Champion, Talos actually qualifies for 8th-level stances when he picks up a stance at level 18 - notable, as a standard 20 level Crusader actually cannot learn any 8th-level stances without the Martial Stance feat. This means he picks up the exceedingly useful Immortal Fortitude, which allows him to make fortitude saves to ignore death from damage. The Faithful Avenger makes this even better, providing him with temporary hit points every round round he remains in this stance. It also allows him to entirely ignore a source of damage once a day. Between these and Moment of Perfect Mind/Action Before Thought, Talos is nearly unkillable in combat. Talos also nabs a spell turning ability through his Faithful Avenger to help combat enemy spellcasters, and Animal Devotion to ensure that he is never a sitting duck against aerial opponents. As far as maneuvers, he picks up three of the best maneuvers in the entire game: War Master's Charge, which can end entire encounters from turn one, Strike of Righteous Vitality, which allows him to simultaneously attack and fully heal himself or an ally as though using a heal spell, and Greater Divine Surge.

    This last one is of particular note. Greater Divine Surge provides a decent damage boost on its own, and also allows Talos to trade Constitution damage for +1 attack and +2d8 damage per point sacrificed. It also leaves him flat-footed for the round following its use. This can provide some very scary amounts of damage, especially when combined with Power Attack, but has obvious drawbacks. However, thanks to the Faithful Avenger and his Legacy Champion abilities, Talos can avoid these drawbacks entirely. After making an attack draining himself down to 1 Constitution, he can activate his Faithful Avenger's restoration ability as a swift action, completely restoring all his lost Con - and healing 25 hit points to boot thanks to Curative Legacy. Because he swapped away the situationally useful Faithful Strike for the Cunning ability, he is NOT flat-footed for this time, and he gets an extra use of this ability through his Legacy Champion levels.

    In the case of a REALLY tough opponent, Talos can actually go even further. He simply delays his action so that he goes AFTER any current enemies, then activates Moment of Alacrity and makes a Greater Divine Surge strike. Moment of Alacrity will shift his initiative order back up near the top, allowing him to act again before his foes do. Now he can heal up (again, his Faithful Avenger's restoration ability is a swift action, or he can use Strike of Righteous Vitality, which will also restore all ability damage) and attack yet again.

    How much damage are we talking about? Assuming Talos has access to a +5 tome at some point, his Constitution will be 34 (18 +5 levels +5 tome +6 Faithful Avenger). If he dumps 33 points of Constitution into Greater Divine Surge, his attack will have a +33 bonus to its attack roll and do a whopping +72d8 damage, which is an average of 324 points of damage just from Greater Divine Surge alone. That's ON TOP of his base weapon amage, any bonuses from his Strength score, his weapon enhancement (he's wielding a +3 holy weapon at this point), Power Attack, etc. In practice this strike will easily do 400 points of damage or more, enough to fell a titan in a single blow... without relying on charging, or buffing, or multiple hits, or any of the other staples of high damage attacks. And he can realistically do this in every single encounter (Greater Divine Surge will always be granted by turn 3 at the latest in any given encounter, as he readies six maneuvers and has four granted to him at the start of any encounter) - sometimes even multiple times an encounter in the case of particularly tough battles!

    Spoiler: Nurturing
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    He is dead. Oh Elishar, no more will fall to this beast's claws. May I yet call myself your soldier in truth? Or am I still merely a weapon?

    It matters not, I suppose. The beast is dead, and there is some good in the world. Where your light flourishes, darkness flees. The beast is dead. I will think on that.

    Oh Elishar, the beast is dead.


    Spoiler: Talos, Champion of Legacy
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    While Talos primarily plays as a standard Crusader, every single aspect of his build has been set up to take advantage of the Faithful Avenger, the Devoted Spirit legacy weapon. From his focus on big flat damage sources such as Battle Leader's Charge, which take advantage of the Faithful Avenger's high critical rate, to picking up abilities such as spellcasting for access to Curative Legacy, to building toward the difficult-to-obtain stance Immortal Fortitude, Talos' Faithful Avenger is as much a part of him as his own right hand, and Legacy Champion is an essential part of this.

    In particular, Legacy Champion allows Talos to continue progressing Crusader while also delaying his advancement enough to pick up an 8th-level stance and further augmenting his Faithful Avenger's abilities. It also entirely powers his high damage "trick" involving Greater Divine Surge (see the Build Breakdown for more details): Replace Legacy Ability gives him Cunning to avoid the flat-footed penalty from Greater Divine Surge, Bonus Legacy Ability gives him extra uses of his swift action restoration to fully restore his Constitution damage, and the bonus feat for Curative Legacy adds healing on top of his restoration effect.

    Beyond that, Talos also uses Legacy Champion to shore up areas of weakness: in particular he uses it to nab a Skill Enhancement to power his Diamond Mind Concentration-based counters and pick up spell turning to help combat enemy spellcasters. The class as a whole also offers a significant improvement in Talos' Will save.


    Spoiler: Talos in your game
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    Talos is meant to be an effective character from level 1 through level 20. He is primarily focused on melee, but can also support the team heavily, as he has access to spells, maneuvers and abilities that can heal, provide additional actions, detect foes, and more.

    OFFENSE: Offensively, Talos should always be able to contribute more than his fair share. In addition to having a solid +17 BAB and common melee damage boosts like Power Attack, Talos has access to 9th-level maneuvers from Crusader. He focuses primarily on single high damage strikes, which he gets throughout his career, and by the end can easily do more than 400 points of damage to enemies with a single swing of his Faithful Avenger, without relying on a charge, thanks to Greater Divine Surge plus his Faithful Avenger and Legacy Champion abilities. (See build breakdown for details.) He can bypass common defenses such as flight, damage reduction and more.

    DEFENSE: As a Warforged that prioritizes Constitution and with a focus on healing maneuvers and abilities, Talos can take a huge amount of punishment. His race brings with it many immunities, and he further supports these with Action Before Thought and Moment of Perfect Mind. He gets healing maneuvers and abilities from level one on, and they range from healing via attacks such as through Crusader's Strike and the Martial Spirit stance to gaining fast healing and healing his allies via spells to powerful abilities such as restoration and Strike of Righteous Vitality, which acts as a heal spell. He also has maneuvers and abilities that allow him to avoid damage altogether through damage reduction or temporary hit points, such as the Stone Bones maneuver or the Immortal Fortitude stance in combination with his Faithful Avenger's boundless determination ability. He can even avoid death or completely ignore some sources of damage!

    UTILITY: The vast majority of Talos' healing abilities can be used on his allies as well as himself, making Talos quite an effective healer. Other in-combat utility includes the ability to shuffle around initiative order and action sequence with maneuvers such as Moment of Alacrity and White Raven Tactics, allow his allies to make additional attacks or move for free, and provide bonuses to hit certain enemies. Outside of combat, he remains a talented healer, and can use maneuvers such as the Mountain Hammer line to bypass obstacles and traps. He also has various detection spells and abilities through his Faithful Avenger and his Soldier of Light spells, and he can even fly for short periods each day.


    Spoiler: Sources
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    The Crusader, Faithful Avenger and all maneuvers are found in Tome of Battle, as well as Martial Study and Extra Granted Maneuver.

    Legacy Champion, Curative Legacy and the rules for Legacy weapons are found in Weapons of Legacy.

    Elishar and the Soldier of Light are found in Deities & Demigods. Note that Elishar is a setting-neutral deity of light and positive energy, so Talos should be able to be played in most campaigns.

    Devotion feats are found in Complete Champion.

    The warforged player race may be found in either the Eberron Campaign Setting or the Monster Manual III.

    All other feats and abilities are found on the SRD or in the Player's Handbook.


    Spoiler: Commanding
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    Come out, fiend! Come out and taste my blade! Elishar's light shines on your profane alter. I will cleave it in half, lest you show your horny hide.

    I was once a weapon, but now my eyes are filled with light. Together with Faithful, I will strike you down, and a little more light will fill our world. Come out! I can feel your fetid breath. Come out!

    Seed and source of life and light, goal of all our living. Evil, foul creature, minion of darkness, it is time to face the light. You defend us of the night, healing and forgiving. By Elishar I will defend this world from your wickedness and gloom. As our life flow from you only, let it be pure and holy. Yes, let it be pure and holy.

    I am a soldier, not a weapon. I can choose where my blade falls, and I can choose which battles to fight. I choose to fight you, fiend. I choose to strike you down. Let it be pure and holy.

    Come out, fiend. Come out and face the light!

    Spoiler: Some notes on preparation for the Commanding ritual
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    While the other two rituals, Awakening and Nurturing, can be performed without any preparation, the Commanding ritual requires Talos to slay a horned devil in single combat. This will require some preparation, as the horned devil may only be struck down by silver weapons, and the Faithful Avenger is cold iron. Luckily alchemical capsules exist that can temporarily bestow the silver property on your blade; Talos, not being ignorant of the rituals required, will certainly stock up on this. When preparing for the battle, Talos will be sure to prepare Moment of Perfect Mind as one of his maneuvers to ensure he does not fall victim to the devil's fear aura. Beyond that, the horned devil should not prove too difficult an opponent despite its high CR; once you can bypass its regeneration, 172 HP of damage is not difficult at all for Talos to produce.

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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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    That seems to be all. Have at!
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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 LXXVI

    I was putting around with a Ironsoul Forgemaster using Lorestealer to help him craft stuff, exchanging the weapon upgrades for more misc abilities, leaving it as a 'boring' +1 Throwing Axe with no combat frills.

    My other idea that didn't get further than thinking, was a Knight / Battle Maiden / Kishi Charger, with Quickspur's Ally, focusing on mounted combat with dual-wielding Lance and Shield.

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXVI

    So, it turns out that making the nigh-featureless Legacy Champion the focus of your build is kinda hard.

    Honestly, it feels like the equivalent of having Fighter as the secret ingredient.
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXVI

    A lot of concepts in the builds : wizards, thieves, fighters, cleric, tiger... At least it shows that legacy champions can be anything

    I wonder who is the guy with the hammer for Larami d’Orien - is this from a TV show ?
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    Quote Originally Posted by JyP View Post
    A lot of concepts in the builds : wizards, thieves, fighters, cleric, tiger... At least it shows that legacy champions can be anything

    I wonder who is the guy with the hammer for Larami d’Orien - is this from a TV show ?
    Not my entry, but I recognize it. It's from the movie Adventures in Babysitting, starring Elizabeth Shue. The guy with the hammer is played by Vincent D'Onofrio, from Full Metal Jacket, Men In Black, and one of the Law & Order spinoffs.
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXVI

    My second idea was a Ranger 5/Horizon Walker 5/Legacy Champion 10, using the Rod of Trimeg as his legacy item. It would have been able to pick up more terrain masteries than is normally allowed, and that would have been cool, but in the end I'm not sure it would have really been capable of doing anything cool except walking to places. It wouldn't have been interesting, even if I did have the time to put the build together.

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    Where did you start yours?

    The main character (solo campaign) heard about the upcoming execution of his brother for murder, and was on his way to the Count's Keep to stop or delay it.

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXVI

    I sadly just couldn't bring myself to finish either entry I was shooting for. One was a Orc warleader/historian using Guurgal, the other was a descendant of Bigby who used a custom item that was very focused on Hand Spells. The former made much better use of the SI than the latter, but the latter was much more humorous. Ah well, congrats to everyone who got an entry in!
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXVI

    Cookie to anyone that can identify all my references, incidentally. Google is cheating!
    (Not all of the posts contain references, just most of them)
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    Quote Originally Posted by golentan View Post
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXVI

    I'm shocked we had no chameleons.

    Quote Originally Posted by Heliomance View Post
    Cookie to anyone that can identify all my references, incidentally. Google is cheating!
    (Not all of the posts contain references, just most of them)
    Challenge accepted.

    Wheel kicker is dr facilier from "princess and the frog"

    Skullwearer is this kimimaro from "naruto" ?

    Kainoa is the modern major General from"pirates of penzanze"


    Larami Is frank cotton from "hellraiser"

    Shoson oots maybe? I think elan said this

    Quietshoes I've seen this lots of places. Is it Armand from"the birdcage? "

    Xander is this from a Voltaire song?

    Kethezara "frozen"

    Talos I think is from "iron giant"

    Some fun quotes this time.
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXVI

    My best idea was just a retread. I was going to take my Archon of Nine build, tweak it to match the ToB text for Reshar, and that would take care of nearly everything: build, backstory, and... well, ok, I had no idea what to do about the legacy weapon, but there were nine to choose from, so... pick one? And then use Legacy Champion to rework the abilities so it didn't suck so much?

    Warblade 1/Swordsage 7/Crusader 1/Master of Nine 1/Legacy Champion 10

    It took me a very long time to notice that Heliomance had ruled that you couldn't use Legacy Champion to inflate your Initiator Level by +1.5. However, I found a way to work around that... actually, by using the same stupid trick I was joking about when this thread started: take a few levels of Uncanny Trickster first, then use Legacy Champion to advance UT +1, and use UT to advance Swordsage +1. There were two somewhat nontrivial problems with this, though... 1) calculating the IL was still very confusing and 2) ruleswise it was so unredeemably sketchy that even I didn't think it would fly.

    In an effort to avoid actually digging into the Weapons of Legacy rules to pick which of the nine swords would be the least annoying (probably Kamate, but then bastard swords tend to be one of my big SQUEEE! buttons), I also futzed around with the idea of what if Reshar could wield all nine of the swords at the same time? This would require 11 or 12 hands (so maybe insectile anthropomorphic giant squid?) as well as a combined -18 attack penalty on a build that only gets BAB +14. That would be stupid... but also kinda cool. However, I couldn't think of a way to fit in the extra arms stuff and still have a high enough IL for 9th level maneuvers... until yesterday morning where I thought, hey maybe I can graft some extra arms on with whatever WBL is left after unlocking 9 legacy weapons? Anyway, didn't get very far with that one.

    My back-up idea was a large hornhead saurial that abused Huling Hurler + War Hulk, but that didn't get any further than the initial thought. I'm glad to see we had at least one War Hulk entry, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Venger View Post
    Quietshoes I've seen this lots of places. Is it Armand from"the birdcage? "
    My guess was Firefly, Malcom Reynolds from the opening scene of the "Trash" episode.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Darrin View Post
    My guess was Firefly, Malcom Reynolds from the opening scene of the "Trash" episode.
    I think you might be right, but I wouldn't be surprised if that (rather generic-looking) phrase comes from somewhere older than Firefly.

    In other news: I'm kinda surprised that we got two Stormcasters, but nobody took the Truenamer bait. A +15 Truespeak item is probably one of the most useful things this horrid subsystem offers.
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXVI

    Quote Originally Posted by Muggins View Post
    I think you might be right, but I wouldn't be surprised if that (rather generic-looking) phrase comes from somewhere older than Firefly.

    In other news: I'm kinda surprised that we got two Stormcasters, but nobody took the Truenamer bait. A +15 Truespeak item is probably one of the most useful things this horrid subsystem offers.
    That would require someone besides zaq to learn how to play true namer.

    But you don't gain anything from a legacy weapon. The bonus type is competence which you'll already have.
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXVI

    Quote Originally Posted by Muggins View Post
    In other news: I'm kinda surprised that we got two Stormcasters, but nobody took the Truenamer bait. A +15 Truespeak item is probably one of the most useful things this horrid subsystem offers.
    Walking the Truenamer's path is madness. In all honesty, though, you'd never get the most useful aspect of the class, Gate at will, which needs 20th level from what I've heard (tried reading the truenamer section of my ToM once; it was upside down); at max your effective Truenamer level would be 18 since Legacy champion drops a level at 1 and 7 (just taking a level in the main ingredient makes it impossible).

    The fact that we have two Stormcasters is what surprises me. It's Wet Out There isn't normally a resource people use unless in a campaign involving oceans (same goes for It's Cold Out There with Icy Peaks and It's Hot Out There for Deserts...actually, between both builds all three are mentioned in some manner).
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXVI

    Quote Originally Posted by Venger View Post
    That would require someone besides zaq to learn how to play true namer.

    But you don't gain anything from a legacy weapon. The bonus type is competence which you'll already have.
    From what? The Amulet of the Silver Tongue grants an enhancement bonus, and most of the competence bonuses I know of are of a piddling +2 or +4. It'd also give you access to a bunch of effects which Truenaming is lacking, like summons (which you can Truespeak on) or wishes (to remove all of your Truenamer levels, perhaps?).
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXVI

    Quote Originally Posted by Muggins View Post
    From what? The Amulet of the Silver Tongue grants an enhancement bonus, and most of the competence bonuses I know of are of a piddling +2 or +4. It'd also give you access to a bunch of effects which Truenaming is lacking, like summons (which you can Truespeak on) or wishes (to remove all of your Truenamer levels, perhaps?).
    Usual argument is from a custom item. Having it be an item of legacy in this case would be a neat way to shore up a weakness in truenamer with a slightly more 'by the book' method.
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXVI

    Quote Originally Posted by Muggins View Post
    From what? The Amulet of the Silver Tongue grants an enhancement bonus, and most of the competence bonuses I know of are of a piddling +2 or +4. It'd also give you access to a bunch of effects which Truenaming is lacking, like summons (which you can Truespeak on) or wishes (to remove all of your Truenamer levels, perhaps?).
    From a competence item. You won't survive 10 true namer levels without one.
    Quote Originally Posted by Deadline View Post
    Usual argument is from a custom item. Having it be an item of legacy in this case would be a neat way to shore up a weakness in truenamer with a slightly more 'by the book' method.
    It goes a bit beyond usual argument here. The class really doesn't work at all without those bonuses to truespeak. A judge may be dubious you could function delaying getting a competence item that long
    I've got a new fantasy TTRPG about running your own fencing school in a 3 musketeers pastiche setting. Book coming soon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by weckar View Post
    Venger, can you be my full-time memory aid please?
    Iron Chef Medals!
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  23. - Top - End - #203
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXVI

    Well, this is timely...

    In more relevant news...

    Apparently storm themes are popular this round. I actually had another storm-themed entry I strongly considered, based around the Storm Sentry from Dragonmarked. With Legacy Champion to progress it past its usual 5 levels (a bit cheesy, I know, but a fairly tame use of cheese all things considered, and I was hoping I'd get points for the cool factor) I got eight more uses of its gust of wind ability and +8 to its DC.

    In the end I decided that as cool as it is to blow people around, the build was kind of boring beyond that trick, and I didn't really like any of the legacy weapon options, so I abandoned it. I'm happy with my build, but I do wish I'd come up with a way to make my windy warrior a bit cooler.
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  24. - Top - End - #204
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    WhiteWizardGirl

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXVI

    OMG!
    The new oots tells that Roy´s sword is a Weapon of Legacy, too!
    http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots1025.html

    edit Ninja´ed!
    Last edited by ImSAMazing; 2016-02-22 at 02:01 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by RodrigoAlves
    Once a player almost fell into a trap full of spikes. He asked me "how much damage would a spike do?"
    I said "Instant death"
    Then, he grabbed a spike and used it as a weapon for the rest of the adventure.

  25. - Top - End - #205
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    Chimera

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXVI

    Quote Originally Posted by Piggy Knowles View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ImSAMazing View Post
    OMG!
    The new oots tells that Roy´s sword is a Weapon of Legacy, too!
    http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots1025.html
    I can't stop laughing. The timing is too perfect. This is just funny.

    Oops, a Haiku.
    Last edited by Getsugaru; 2016-02-22 at 01:54 PM.
    Incarnum: VoP's best (and possibly only) friend.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
    Actually I got it from you, I just love how many applications it has. It can be oh so broken.


    Formerly Lestroisrois. Shorten my new name however you wish; I've seen plenty.

  26. - Top - End - #206
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    WhiteWizardGirl

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXVI

    Quote Originally Posted by Lestroisrois View Post
    I can't stop laughing. The timing is too perfect. This is just funny.

    Oops, a Haiku.
    xD!

    A weapon mighty,
    It has a rare legacy.
    Use it son, my trust.
    Quote Originally Posted by RodrigoAlves
    Once a player almost fell into a trap full of spikes. He asked me "how much damage would a spike do?"
    I said "Instant death"
    Then, he grabbed a spike and used it as a weapon for the rest of the adventure.

  27. - Top - End - #207
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Chimera

    Join Date
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXVI

    Quote Originally Posted by ImSAMazing View Post
    A weapon mighty,
    It has a rare legacy.
    Use it son, my trust.
    There is a problem:
    You chose to do a Haiku
    Mine happened by chance.

    But now I digress.
    We should stop before we start
    a poetry war.
    Last edited by Getsugaru; 2016-02-22 at 02:10 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
    Actually I got it from you, I just love how many applications it has. It can be oh so broken.


    Formerly Lestroisrois. Shorten my new name however you wish; I've seen plenty.

  28. - Top - End - #208
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXVI

    Hate to break the chain / but I got a cool idea / and wanted to share.

    An Apostle of Peace, using the exception Apostles of Peace get to Vow of Poverty in order to pick up a defensive legacy item. Not sure what I'd do with the remaining eight levels, but I think the idea of a VoP Legacy Champion sounds surprisingly fun. (Plus, you know, ninth level spells are neat...)
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  29. - Top - End - #209
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Chimera

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXVI

    Quote Originally Posted by Piggy Knowles View Post
    Hate to break the chain / but I got a cool idea / and wanted to share.
    Well played.

    Quote Originally Posted by Piggy Knowles View Post
    An Apostle of Peace, using the exception Apostles of Peace get to Vow of Poverty in order to pick up a defensive legacy item. Not sure what I'd do with the remaining eight levels, but I think the idea of a VoP Legacy Champion sounds surprisingly fun. (Plus, you know, ninth level spells are neat...)
    Wait, what? "Exception?" "Vow of Poverty" "to?" What?!
    Incarnum: VoP's best (and possibly only) friend.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
    Actually I got it from you, I just love how many applications it has. It can be oh so broken.


    Formerly Lestroisrois. Shorten my new name however you wish; I've seen plenty.

  30. - Top - End - #210
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXVI

    Quote Originally Posted by Lestroisrois View Post
    Wait, what? "Exception?" "Vow of Poverty" "to?" What?!
    "As part of their sacred vows, apostles of peace forswear the use of armor, though they may wear magic items that protect them (such as a ring of protection or bracers of armor)."

    Apostle of Peace is a ridiculously broken class, as it grants very powerful 9th-level spells as a 10 level PrC, relies on campaign-breaking abilities such as Vow of Peace and gets the utterly silly Pacifying Touch (a no-save, no SR calm emotions), but the fact that it lets you use magic items of protection despite requiring Vow of Poverty is neat.
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