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  1. - Top - End - #61
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXVI

    Quote Originally Posted by Deadline View Post
    Well, we can't find any if you don't put anything out there.

    Don't like that paraphrased platitude? Here's another one: You can't succeed if you don't try.

    Seriously, I'm no august and learned 3.5 scholar. I'm certainly not that good as far as optimization goes. But I've managed to sneak a few medals here and there over the years. And most of that was sheer determination. Heck, one of my favorite builds (that I have built) placed silver (and believe me, it had no business doing so) just based on sheer entertainment value. As far as optimization went, it wasn't really anything special.

    So give it a shot!
    I just read through that build. I about fell over laughing at work at the genius of it. Brilliant.
    Quote Originally Posted by Vknight View Post
    GM'ing is like handling a roasting pork shoulder; the adventure is long, fraught with peril, and when done well delicious in its payoff.
    It's best with friends, something to drink (alcohol if you need/want), jokes and a good sense to accept and enjoy everything with one another for the full experience.
    Mistakes get made sometimes, laugh it off, make up, and go kill the monster to take his loot.

  2. - Top - End - #62
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Deadline's Avatar

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXVI

    Quote Originally Posted by ArendK View Post
    I just read through that build. I about fell over laughing at work at the genius of it. Brilliant.
    The disputes were a lot of fun to write as well. I did them all as the Guardian of Metal (Ozzy Osbourne). But take a look at the difference between that build and the Gold medalist for that round. You can clearly see the optimization difference. Babalon the Queen of Bones truly deserved to take home the gold.
    Awesome avatar by Iron Penguin!

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  3. - Top - End - #63

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXVI

    What's a TO build? I'm looking through the old threads and the Honourable Mention was given to them for being a TO build, but I have no idea what they mean by that.

    Context can be found here:

    Quote Originally Posted by Heliomance View Post
    Congratulations to our placers! The two entries that had votes for Honourable Mention both placed, so I'm going to give Honourable Mention to Katjusha for being ballsy enough to submit a TO build!

  4. - Top - End - #64
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    Venger's Avatar

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXVI

    Quote Originally Posted by The Blade Wolf View Post
    What's a TO build? I'm looking through the old threads and the Honourable Mention was given to them for being a TO build, but I have no idea what they mean by that.

    Context can be found here:
    TO means theoretical optimization: the kind of character who is not expected to be used in actual play, or PO which is practical optimization, something you might expect to play.
    fight my brute! it's a lot of fun
    Quote Originally Posted by weckar View Post
    Venger, can you be my full-time memory aid please?
    Iron Chef Medals!
    Amazing Princess Mononoke avatar by Dispozition
    Iron Chef Deep Freeze: Turning Tables on Old Dishes

  5. - Top - End - #65

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXVI

    Quote Originally Posted by Venger View Post
    TO means theoretical optimization: the kind of character who is not expected to be used in actual play, or PO which is practical optimization, something you might expect to play.
    Ah, I see, like saying that attaching the Teleportation Weapon Special Ability to a Soulbow counts as teleporting yourself for the benefits of Shadow Pouce due to the Soulbow been crafting out of your own Psionic energy. It is entirely possible for such a build to theoretically be argued to works, but chances are slim that a DM would actually allow such a build to ever be used.

    Thank you for explaining.

  6. - Top - End - #66
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    Venger's Avatar

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXVI

    Quote Originally Posted by The Blade Wolf View Post
    Ah, I see, like saying that attaching the Teleportation Weapon Special Ability to a Soulbow counts as teleporting yourself for the benefits of Shadow Pouce due to the Soulbow been crafting out of your own Psionic energy. It is entirely possible for such a build to theoretically be argued to works, but chances are slim that a DM would actually allow such a build to ever be used.

    Thank you for explaining.
    Not exactly.

    TO doesn't mean it relies on houserules to work, it means it's out of keeping with what you'd be able to do in a real game, mostly in terms of power level. A clear example is Frater Omnia from Mindbender who is a juiced up diplomancer. There's nothing dubious about what he's able to do RAW, it's just not the kind of thing you're likely to whip out in actual play since it's hard to create a meaningful challenge for him.
    fight my brute! it's a lot of fun
    Quote Originally Posted by weckar View Post
    Venger, can you be my full-time memory aid please?
    Iron Chef Medals!
    Amazing Princess Mononoke avatar by Dispozition
    Iron Chef Deep Freeze: Turning Tables on Old Dishes

  7. - Top - End - #67

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXVI

    Quote Originally Posted by Venger View Post
    Not exactly.

    TO doesn't mean it relies on houserules to work, it means it's out of keeping with what you'd be able to do in a real game, mostly in terms of power level. A clear example is Frater Omnia from Mindbender who is a juiced up diplomancer. There's nothing dubious about what he's able to do RAW, it's just not the kind of thing you're likely to whip out in actual play since it's hard to create a meaningful challenge for him.
    That's... exactly what I meant.

    RAW there is nothing against the example I stated. Simply that it's unlikely to be a build to see actual play on a table due to its ridiculous level of power. Plus I see most DM's shutting down the idea with a house rule as well.

  8. - Top - End - #68
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    RogueGuy

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXVI

    As a witness and possible future participant I want to say that any extension should include a bonus point for those that got their build in on time.

  9. - Top - End - #69
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    Rizban's Avatar

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXVI

    Quote Originally Posted by bean illus View Post
    As a witness and possible future participant I want to say that any extension should include a bonus point for those that got their build in on time.
    Eh, I disagree. That's the same as penalizing anyone who didn't get it in before the extension, which somewhat negates the purpose of the extension in the first place.

    Edit: I'm going to judge this round. I couldn't find anything inspiring to build with this SI but didn't really have time to look at it much either.
    Last edited by Rizban; 2017-06-07 at 12:44 PM.
    Spoiler: Links to my content threads
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    Quod tibi vis fieri, facias.

  10. - Top - End - #70
    Troll in the Playground
     
    RogueGuy

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXVI

    Quote Originally Posted by bean illus View Post
    As a witness and possible future participant I want to say that any extension should include a bonus point for those that got their build in on time.
    I don't like this idea because it's a real life tax

  11. - Top - End - #71
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    Devil

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXVI

    Quote Originally Posted by bean illus View Post
    As a witness and possible future participant I want to say that any extension should include a bonus point for those that got their build in on time.
    Should't you at least compete before weighing in on policy?

    But no, seriously. With respect, who are you?
    Last edited by Vaz; 2017-06-07 at 09:32 PM.

  12. - Top - End - #72
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    Thurbane's Avatar

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    Exclamation Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXVI

    Quote Originally Posted by daremetoidareyo View Post
    I don't like this idea because it's a real life tax
    Agreed. It's not something I would ever impose in the Villainous Competition, just as a point of (personal) reference.

  13. - Top - End - #73
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXVI

    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    I've got the basics done.

    Was there the normal amount of cooking time for this one? Feels quite short.
    It was a bit shorter than other recent ones. There is logic (of sorts) behind the madness:

    • Generally, I aim to give a 2-week cooking time
    • The contest used to close on Sundays, because I would be able to guarantee having the free time Sunday mornings to post the builds
    • My activity pattern shifted, and I found that I wasn't actually getting it done on Sundays anymore
    • For whatever reason, more often than not I ended up posting the builds on Tuesday
    • So I changed the official closing date to Tuesday
    • Naturally, I then started missing that deadline too, because procrastination
    • Also the judging period takes a thoroughly unpredictable amount of time
    • So if the new contest wasn't started on a Tuesday, I'd allow two weeks plus the distance to the Tuesday after that
    • This thread was only a day late, I think, so I decided to make it just shy of the two weeks I aim for, rather than almost three weeks
    • And that's why this cooking period was shorter, because other recent ones have had extra time tacked on to make up for my procrastination
    • Of course, the fact that this is now Thursday means you still got your two weeks


    Anyway, builds incoming!
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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.

    Avatar by Rain Dragon

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  14. - Top - End - #74
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXVI

    As a reminder to chefs new and old, please refrain from putting your username in your post, as it's quite easy for me to miss it while anonymising the entries.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grim Maven
    Grim Maven
    Race: Whipser Gnome
    Spoiler: on Race Choice
    Show
    Whisper gnomes give a serious bonus to various stealth-related skills (+8 on hide, +4 on move silently), as well as dark-vision and a couple of utility spells (1/ day silence, ghost sound, mage hand and message). The only real downside is a -2 on charisma. Small size works nicely with some sword-sage maneuvres as well.

    Build Summary: Rogue 7/Swordsage 2/twisted Lord 10/Swordsage +1
    Alignment: True/Chaotic Neutral

    Ability scores:
    Ability Base Racial modifier level up total
    STR 10 -2 - 8
    DEX 18 2 3 23
    CON 12 2 - 14
    INT 10 - - 10
    WIS 12 - - 12
    CHA 12 -2 2 12

    Spoiler: Background
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    Isengrim, ‘Grim’ to anyone but his parents, grew up in the slums of a major city. At a young age he learned to threaten and steal his way to a full belly. A confrontation with a major gang ended with him having to flee town and try to find his way elsewhere.


    Spoiler: Build progression
    Show
    Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    1st Rogue 1 0 0 2 0 Bluff 4, Intimidate 4, Hide 4, move silently 4, spot 4, jump 4, Open lock 4, gather information 4 two-weapon fighting Sneak attack +1d6, trapfinding
    2nd rogue 2 1 0 2 0 Bluff 5, Intimidate 5, Hide 5, move silently 5, spot 5, jump 5, Open lock 5, gather information 5 - Evasion
    3rd rogue 3 2 1 3 1 Bluff 6, Intimidate 6, Hide 6, move silently 6, spot 6, jump 6, Open lock 6, gather information 6 Weapon finesse sneack attack +2d6, Penetrating strike (ACF)
    4th rogue 4 3 1 4 1 Bluff 7, Intimidate 7, Hide 7, move silently 7, spot 7, jump 7, Open lock 7, gather information 7 - Uncanny Dodge
    5th rogue 5 3 1 4 1 Bluff 8, Intimidate 8, Hide 8, move silently 8, spot 8, jump 8, Open lock 8, gather information 8 - sneak attack +3d6
    6th rogue 6 4 2 5 2 Bluff 9, Intimidate 9, Hide 9, move silently 9, spot 9, jump 9, Open lock 9, gather information 9 Dodge -
    7th Rogue 7 5 2 5 2 Bluff 10, Intimidate 10, Hide 10, move silently 10, spot 10, jump 10, Open lock 10, gather information 10 - sneak attack +4d6
    8th Swordsage 1 5 2 7 4 Hide 11, intimidate 11, move silently 11, jump 11, climb 2 - quick to act +1, discipline focus(Weapon focus) (Shadow Hand Discipline), maneuvres, stances
    9th Swordsage 2 6/1 2 8 5 Hide 12, intimidate 12, move silently 12, jump 12, climb 4 Shadow Blade AC Bonus
    10th Twisted Lord 1 6/1 2 10 5 Hide 13, intimidate 13, move silently 13, bluff 13, open lock 10 - twisted form
    11th twisted Lord 2 7/2 2 11 5 hide 14, intimidate 14, move silently 14, bluff 14, open lock 14, spot 11 - sneak attack +5d6
    12th twisted lord 3 8/3 3 11 6 hide 15, intimidate 15, move silently 15, bluff 15, open lock 15, spot 14 improved two-weapon fighting Improved Feign
    13th Twisted Lord 4 9/4 3 12 6 hide 16, intimidate 16, move silently 16, bluff 16, open lock 16, spot 16, jump 12 - Peripheral invisibility
    14th twisted lord 5 9/4 3 12 6 hide 17, intimidate 17, move silently 17, bluff 17, open lock 17, spot 17, jump 14 - sneak attack +6d6
    15th twisted Lord 6 10/5 4 13 7 hide 18, intimidate 18, move silently 18, bluff 18, open lock 18, spot 18, jump 16 Titan fighting Improved Demoralize
    16th twisted lord 7 11/5/1 4 13 7 hide 19, intimidate 19, move silently 19, bluff 19, open lock 19, spot 19, jump 18 - Twist target
    17th Twisted lord 8 12/6/2 4 14 7 hide 20, intimidate 20, move silently 20, bluff 20, open lock 20, spot 20, jump 20 - sneak attack +7d6
    18th Twisted lord 9 12/6/2 5 14 8 hide 21, intimidate 21, move silently 21, bluff 21, open lock 21, spot 21, jump 21, climb 5 Greater two-weapon fighting Twist perceptions
    19th Twisted Lord 10 13/7/3 5 15 8 hide 22, intimidate 22, move silently 22, bluff 22, open lock 22, spot 22, jump 22, climb 6 - Twist mind
    20th Swordsage 3 14/8/4 6 15 8 hide 23, move silently 23, intimidate 23, jump 23, climb 8 - -


    Spoiler: Maneuvres
    Show

    Level Maneuvers known maneuvers readied stances known
    8th Cloak of Deception, Shadow Jaunt, Wolf fang Strike, Rabid wolf strike, Distracting ember, burning blade 4 Hunter's sense
    9th Soaring raptor strike 4 Assassin's stance
    20th Dancing Mongoose 5 -


    Spoiler: Levels 1-7
    Show
    During the early levels, Grim is a simple rogue with an emphasis on stealth and information gathering skills. His small size, low strength and dependency on finesse weapons means that you are very dependent on getting sneak attacks for damage, so coordinating with melee allies is very important to set up those flanking situations. Two-weapon fighting does mean that once a flanking situation has been set up you can hit fairly hard. You should attempt to make optimal use of your good hide and move silent checks to try and be in a position to ambush enemies whenever possible.


    Spoiler: Levels 8-9
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    : Ideally speaking, you’d like to start playing this build on level 8 or 9, as it starts coming into its own here. You pick up two levels of Swordsage, giving you access to a number of maneuvres, 2 of which allows you to set up situations for sneak attacking as a swift action (meaning you can make a full-round attack of sneak attacks). At level 9 you pick up the Assassin’s Stance and the shadow blade feat. You will be in assassin’s stance pretty much permanently in combat, and shadow blade allows you to apply dexterity instead of strength to your damage, which means your low strength stops hurting your damage output. You can start playing more aggressively at this point, as you no longer depend as much on your allies to set up flanking situations. You can start attacking back-rank enemies, such as archers or casters while the rest of the party deals with the front-line

    You also pick up some utility tricks, in the form of the shadow jaunt maneuver and the Hunter’s sense stance. The former is an at-will 50ft teleport, and though the fact that it is a standard action reduces its utility in combat, it is recharged with a complex action, so you can teleport all day long outside of combat. Hunter’s sense gives you the scent special ability, which is very useful when exploring winding tunnels or other areas with poor visibility.


    Spoiler: Levels 10-16
    Show
    During the first 6 levels of twisted lord, your play-style doesn’t change too much. Peripheral invisibility gives you another in-combat invisibility, though it is unlikely you’ll be able to use it while within melee-range of an enemy. You can combine it with wolf-fang strike as a way to boost your damage while closing with an enemy however. It can also be sued out of combat for quick peaks around corners or other acts of stealth. Improved feint means that you can set up single sneak attacks, which also combines with single attack, standard-action maneuvers, such as soaring raptor strike.


    Spoiler: levels 17-20
    Show
    In the final 3 levels of twisted lord, the amount of options in combat increases even more. Twist target can be used to redirect an enemy attack to another enemy, reducing incoming damage and increasing outgoing damage. Stunning an enemy through twist perceptions is lethal if that enemy can’t make the save on his own round(or if there is another sneak attacker in the party), as you can calmly dissect that enemy with sneak attacks afterwards. Twist mind is useful as well, especially in fights against only 1 or two enemies, provided these enemies have a fairly weak will save. After all, “Drop your weapons, assume a prone position and make sure our barbarian has a good shot at your neck with his great-axe” is a perfectly valid set of actions to have the enemy giant take, after all.
    Depending on how the enemy DM rules the behaviour of someone under the influence of Twist Mind, it might have some limited out of combat utility as well, though this depends a lot on how a DM rules your ability to control someone’s actions. It could potentially be used to get someone to tell you a secret, cast a specific spell for you or (provided he’s get a very low will-save) escort you into a hideout or other well-guarded compound belonging to his organization.

    The 3rd level of swordsage also grants you access to a high-level maneuver (up to level 6), because of the way initiator level works (it’s ½* level in other classes + levels initiator classes). Dancing Mongoose allows you to take two additional attacks at the highest BaB as a swift action boost, which is perfect for either maximizing the damage against flat-footed enemies at the start of combat, or making optimal use of a flanking situation set up by an ally.

    At the final levels, combat will be fairly similar to that at lower levels to start with, but in between dropping lots of d6 on full-round sneak attacks, you should be looking for opportunities to use your twisted lord powers to influence vulnerable enemies to set them up to be taken out of the fight.


    Spoiler: Optimization over Flavour
    Show
    There is one particular feat that would really work well with the mechanics of this build, being the ‘Craven’ feat. It lets you add your character level in damage to each sneak attack, but also imposes a -2 penalty on attempts to resist fear effects. Given that twistroot is said to inflict horrific nightmares, which kill some people who try to transform into twisted lords, taking a feat that basically states that you are not the bravest soul around doesn’t really match with the fluff imho. If you don’t care for that though, take craven instead of dodge, and adaptive style instead of titan fighting. This allows you to drop crazy amounts of sneak attack damage all fight long, and you can refresh all the manoeuvres needed to set those up at once for a full-round action.

    Another way to get a bit more power out of the character is to leave its strength at 8 (6 after racial mods) this is only really going to work if you start at level 9, because otherwise the -2 to damage is really going to hurt you in the previous 8 levels.


    Spoiler: Sources
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    Races of Stone: Whisper Gnome, Titan fighting Feat
    Tome of Battle: Swordsage, Shadow Hand feat
    Dungeonscape: Rogue ACF: penetrating strike
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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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  15. - Top - End - #75
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    Heliomance's Avatar

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXVI

    "What happened to your first husband?"
    "Oh, it's terribly sad. He died of food poisoning after I gave him a plate of mushrooms for dinner."
    "And your second husband?"
    "The same. Plate of mushrooms. Food poisoning."
    "And your third husband, did he die of food poisoning as well?"
    "No, he died of head trauma. He wouldn't eat the mushrooms."

    Quote Originally Posted by Handsome Malcom
    Handsome Malcolm



    Spoiler: Wedding Night
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    The woman closed the door and turned around, then walked over to the bed where her husband was already getting undressed. She took a moment to admire his body, still lithe despite his five decades of age, and smiled.

    When her previous husband died last year, she'd been sure she'd never find love again. But then, just months ago, she'd met Walter, and that had been the start of their whirlwind romance.

    "Martha, do you love me?" he asked in that sexy, sexy voice of his. The woman smiled and undid her dress's straps.

    "Of course I do, Walter. Why do you ask?"

    The man didn't reply, but his expression grew more serious, and a frown appeared on his face. Martha opened her mouth to ask again, but then she saw it.

    Walter was changing.

    His nose, straight and spotless a moment before, twisted and fused with neighbouring flesh until it was little more than a bulge in his face with two ragged holes in it. His upper lip split, revealing a row of dirty teeth. His back contorted until he was sitting in a horrible hunched position, and with a sickening sound his limbs dislocated.

    "And now, Martha?" the terrible creature whispered from its mouth-hole. "Do you still love me?"

    She shrieked and leapt backwards, her left hand raised in front of her as the other one began to feel around for the doorknob.

    "Who are you? What are you?" she screamed.

    The thing in front of her twisted its face even further, into something completely incomprehensible, and, with a great leap, closed the distance between the two of them in seconds.

    Martha felt something sharp poking her throat, followed by a jolt of pain, followed by nothing at all.

    She failed to notice the tear making its way down her husband's face.

    Spoiler
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    Malcolm, the Black Widower



    NE Middle-Aged Silverbrow Human Sneak Attack Zhentarim Soldier Thug Fighter (Skilled City-Dweller) 9/Chameleon 1/Twisted Lord 10

    Spoiler: Ability scores
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    Malcolm starts with the following scores, adjusted for being middle-aged.

    STR: 10
    DEX: 12
    CON: 10
    INT: 14
    WIS: 12
    CHA: 18

    Malcolm increases charisma at level 4, 8, 12, and 16. At level 20 he increases strength instead.


    Spoiler: Build table
    Show
    Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    1st Sneak Attack Thug Fighter 1 +1 +2 +0 +0 Bluff 4, Craft (Poisonmaking) 4, Disguise 4, Intimidate 4, Sense Motive 2, Spellcraft 2 Able Learner, Combat Expertise Sneak Attack +1d6
    2nd Sneak Attack Thug Fighter 2 +2 +3 +0 +0 Bluff 5, Craft (Poisonmaking) 5, Disguise 5, Intimidate 5, Skill Trick (Second Impression) 2 - -
    3rd Zhentarim Soldier Sneak Attack Thug Fighter 3 +3 +3 +1 +1 Bluff 6, Craft (Poisonmaking) 6, Disguise 6, Intimidate 6, Sense Motive 3, Spellcraft 3 Craven, Skill Focus (Intimidate)B Sneak Attack +2d6
    4th Sneak Attack Thug Fighter 4 +4 +4 +1 +1 Bluff 7, Craft (Poisonmaking) 7, Disguise 7, Intimidate 7, Skill Trick (Assume Quirk) 2 - -
    5th Zhentarim Soldier Sneak Attack Thug Fighter 5 +5 +4 +1 +1 Bluff 8, Craft (Poisonmaking) 8, Disguise 8, Intimidate 8, Sense Motive 4, Spellcraft 4 - Extended Intimidation, Sneak Attack +3d6
    6th Sneak Attack Thug Fighter 6 +6/+1 +5 +2 +2 Bluff 9, Craft (Poisonmaking) 9, Disguise 9, Intimidate 9, Skill Trick (Never Outnumbered) 2 Imperious Command
    7th Sneak Attack Thug Fighter 7 +7/+2 +5 +2 +2 Bluff 10, Craft (Poisonmaking) 10, Disguise 10, Intimidate 10, Tumble 2 - Sneak Attack +4d6
    8th Sneak Attack Thug Fighter 8 +8/+3 +6 +2 +2 Bluff 11, Craft (Poisonmaking) 11, Disguise 11, Intimidate 11, Tumble 4 - -
    9th Zhentarim Soldier Sneak Attack Thug Fighter 9 +9/+4 +6 +3 +3 Bluff 12, Craft (Poisonmaking) 12, Disguise 12, Intimidate 12, Tumble 6 Quick Draw Sneak Attack +5d6, Swift Demoralization
    10th Chameleon 1 +9/+4 +6 +3 +3 Bluff 13, Craft (Poisonmaking) 13, Disguise 13, Use Magic Device 3 - Aptitude Focus
    11th Twisted Lord 1 +9/+4 +6 +5 +3 Bluff 14, Craft (Poisonmaking) 14, Disguise 14, Intimidate 14, Tumble 10, Use Magic Device 4 - Twisted Form
    12th Twisted Lord 2 +10/+5 +6 +6 +3 Bluff 15, Craft (Poisonmaking) 15, Disguise 15, Intimidate 15, Move Silently 1, Tumble 15 Practiced Spellcaster (Chameleon) Sneak Attack +6d6
    13th Twisted Lord 3 +11/+6/+1 +7 +6 +4 Bluff 16, Disguise 16, Hide 1, Intimidate 16, Move Silently 2, Tumble 16, Skill Trick (Timely Misdirection) 2, Skill Trick (Group Fake-Out) 2 Improved FeintB
    14th Twisted Lord 4 +12/+7/+2 +7 +7 +4 Bluff 17, Disguise 17, Hide 4, Intimidate 17, Move Silently 5, Tumble 17 - Peripheral Invisibility
    15th Twisted Lord 5 +12/+7/+2 +7 +7 +4 Bluff 18, Disguise 18, Hide 7, Intimidate 18, Move Silently 8, Tumble 18 Craft Wondrous Item +7d6 Sneak Attack
    16th Twisted Lord 6 +13/+8/+3 +8 +8 +5 Bluff 19, Disguise 19, Hide 10, Intimidate 19, Move Silently 11, Tumble 19 - Improved Demoralize
    17th Twisted Lord 7 +14/+9/+4 +8 +8 +5 Bluff 20, Disguise 20, Hide 13, Intimidate 20, Move Silently 14, Tumble 20 - Twist Target
    18th Twisted Lord 8 +15/+10/+5 +8 +9 +5 Bluff 21, Disguise 21, Hide 16, Intimidate 21, Move Silently 15, Tumble 21 Surprising Riposte +8d6 Sneak Attack
    19th Twisted Lord 9 +15/+10/+5 +9 +9 +6 Bluff 22, Disguise 22, Hide 19, Intimidate 22, Move Silently 18, Tumble 22 - Twist Perceptions
    20th Twisted Lord 10 +16/+11/+6/+1 +9 +10 +6 Bluff 23, Hide 23, Intimidate 23, Move Silently 22 - Twist Mind


    Spoiler: Spells
    Show
    From level 10 on, Malcolm can cast 4 level 0 spells, 3 level 1 spells, and 1 level 2 spell while his arcane focus is active.

    His spellbook should at the very least include Absorb Weapon, in addition to whatever spells are needed for crafting.


    Spoiler: Fluff
    Show
    Malcolm begins his career as an attractive young thug working for various shady organizations, including the Zhentarim. He may not be physically intimidating, but he's good at sticking swords in vulnerable parts and can be of great help when some arms need twisting. After working side-by-side with a variety of minions and employers for decades, he's picked up a handful of their skills, including some assassin magic.

    It is then that the Ebon Cabal approaches him, offering power untold in exchange for a few completed missions. True to their word, they grant Malcolm the promised skills, but at a horrible price: his beautiful face he once prized is disfigured forever, and even though he could disguise it, doing so feels wrong, as if he is just loosely draping another person's skin over himself.

    Malcolm's wife, a former partner of his he ended up marrying, initially knows nothing about his condition, unaware he feels nothing but revulsion when her presence forces him to assume that twisted body he once called his.

    It is then that all goes wrong.

    In one of the moments that Malcolm briefly assumes his more comfortable shape, he is spotted by his wife. Not realizing what she's looking at, she responds with force to the unfamiliar intruder in her home.

    Malcolm, already nervous, strikes back blindly, and before he knows it his wife is dead. As he watches her breathe her last, something snaps in his mind.

    Malcolm disappears, and what happens next is unknown. Some say he returned to the Ebon Cabal, seeking the company of those few who'd accept his deformity. Some say he killed himself. Some say he journeyed to distant, empty lands, where he lived out the remainder of his days by himself.

    Unfortunately, the truth is far more gruesome.

    Using his skill at disguise magical and mundane, Malcolm has become a many-faced killer, seducing many, then killing them as they unfailingly reject his monstrous form. Their wedding rings he takes and turns into razor-sharp blades, some of which he conceals within his own body.

    Now, the Black Widower is a feared assassin who is both an unpredictable combatant whose impossible feints leave his target's defenses wide open, and a terrifying manipulator who can leave even the toughest foes broken and cowering messes.


    Spoiler: Level 1-5
    Show
    Malcolm begins play as a pretty standard fighter, albeit one with a strange skill-set. At these levels, just run up to things and stab them, preferably from flanking positions. Out of combat, you can contribute with your not inconsiderable bluff, intimidate, and disguise scores (remember, Malcolm has 18 charisma!). If you can spare the money, crafting some poison should also help the team.


    Spoiler: Level 6-10
    Show
    Now we're talking: not only does Malcolm pick up the wonderful Imperious Command, he also gets Swift Demoralization and Never Outnumbered, completing the holy trifecta of intimidation.

    He also gets some slight spellcasting from Chameleon, currently pretty insignificant but hugely important in the future.


    Spoiler: Level 11-15
    Show
    Welcome to the special ingredient! Malcolm can now turn into a form that grants bonuses to feints and intimidation attempts, in which he spends as much time as possible. The events of his tragic backstory occur somewhere around here, giving Malcolm a good reason to switch from blades to poison rings (also, enemy AC starts getting too high to keep up with).

    Speaking of feints, Malcom gets two skill tricks that boost them further.

    Sneak Attack gets further advanced, and Malcolm gets his third attack a round, making those full attacks even deadlier.

    This is also the time where the build's main routine becomes available, which combines the three things Twisted Lord wants you to do (Sneak Attacking, Feinting, and Intimidating) in a single round. How, you ask?

    Well, that's all thanks to two small feats we got. Practiced Spellcaster raises Malcom's Chameleon CL enough to qualify for Craft Wondrous Item, which combined with his virtually limitless access to every 2nd-level or lower spell allows for quite a bit of item creation.

    We're going to use it for something easier, though: Pearls of Power. The 2nd-level version is 2000 GP to make, and there's no limit on the number you can employ in a day. We're going to use it to cast a specific spell over and over again during.

    What spell, you ask? Absorb Weapon from the Spell Compendium. You may already realize what I'm getting at here. If not, feel free to look it up.

    That's right: free action feint attempts as long as we draw the absorbed weapon in the round we attack! Four PoPs let us hide a weapon all day long, so we don't need more than twenty or so pearls: easily affordable by now.

    To summarize, Malcolm's intended action sequence looks like this now:

    Free: Draw absorbed weapon.
    Swift: Intimidate, potentially causing foes to be Cowering. Never Outnumbered may be used as well.
    Free: Feint with a huge bonus against priority target that isn't cowering, using Group Fake-Out if necessary.
    Full-round: Full attack, most likely with Sneak Attack thrown on.

    In any rounds that follow, drop your weapon as a free action, immediately draw a new one, and repeat.


    Spoiler: Level 16-20
    Show
    Four attacks per round now. In addition to all the earlier awesomeness Surprising Riposte turns your feints into round-round debuffs the entire party can profit from, in addition to giving you even more opportunities to sneak attack.

    The various Twists provide some more options, and are definitely valid uses of your action if you find yourself near any shaken foes.


    Spoiler: Magic items
    Show
    As said before, Malcolm uses Craft Wondrous Item to create Pearls of Power for himself.

    In addition, the feat allows him to enchant his poison rings, give himself ability and skill bonuses, and create useful minor utility items.

    I recommend creating items of continuous Grave Strike and Golem Strike, should the DM allow them, to better deal with nonliving creatures.


    Spoiler: Variant
    Show
    A Good-aligned version of this build ought to be possible (obviously changing a lot of the fluff). In such a case, a feat could be replaced with Intuitive Attack, allowing Malcolm to focus solely on his mental ability scores (perhaps by increasing his age even further).

    Do note that because of the difficulties inherit in being Exalted while also enjoying membership in the Zhentarim and Ebon Cabal, the feat is perhaps best not taken until Malcolm doesn't need to be friendly with either organization anymore.


    Also, as Malcolm is already drawing a weapon every round and rendering foes flat-footed, why not enter Human Paragon for a level to make Iaijutsu Focus a permanent class skill? It'll cause him to lose his third iterative attack, but the damage gain from IF probably outweighs that.


    Spoiler: Sources
    Show
    All non-PHB sources are listed here.

    CA:
    Practiced Spellcaster

    CAdv:
    Skill tricks!

    CoR:
    Craven

    CoV Web Enhancement:
    Zhentarim Soldier

    DM:
    Silverbrow Human

    DotU:
    Imperious Command, Surprising Riposte

    RoD:
    Able Learner, Chameleon

    SC:
    Absorb Weapon

    tSGoS:
    Twisted Lord

    UA:
    Sneak Attack Fighter, Thug
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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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  16. - Top - End - #76
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXVI

    Good people are so gullible...

    Quote Originally Posted by Gajsan
    Gajsan
    Spoiler: stub and stats
    Show

    Race: Diabolus LA +1 (Dragon Compendium)
    Classes and Progression: Mountebank (Dragon Compendium) 6/Twisted Lord 10 / Uncanny Trickster (Complete Scoundrel) 3

    Alignment: CN (every neutral or evil Alignment is possible)
    Stats:

    Strength 10
    Dexterity 16
    Constitution 10
    Wisdom 10
    Intelligence 14
    Charisma 16 (21)
    All increases due to level ups go to Charisma


    Spoiler: backstory
    Show

    "Stay still, Demon!" Sir Michael of the Luminous Order pointing his longsword at the disfigured creature sitting at the well. Gajsan slowly turned with his arms raised. "Mercy, my lord! I ain't no demon, just a cursed farmer. My name is Arthur Miller, my lord. My family was slaughtered by a fowl demon. He spared me but turned me into this hideous form." Sir Michael hesitated. There was still doubt in his eyes. "Where was your farm located?", he finally responded. "On top of the hill three miles down the road. The hill is called Nettlestone and the farm of my family carried the same name: Nettlestone farm. Mercy, my lord. Please help me." Slowly the knight lowered his sword. "Foul demons. My condolences to you." Gajsan almost burst out in laughter but contained himself. "I am afraid I cannot lift that curse of you but maybe one of my colleagues can. Follow me, I will bring you to Father Erman in Alvendale." Gajsan frowned: "Sir, I cannot leave further. I am so glad I found you. My livestock would die. I cannot travel that far. Other families depend on the milk my goats produce." Sir Michael noded. "Well in that case, I'll go and fetch Father Erman." He noded north where the road started winding into the hills. "Three miles you said? I will find you in your farm. Be blessed, my friend. Help is on the way!" "Thank you so much. I'll await you eagerly." Sir Michael turned, summoned a horse out of nothing and rode off.
    When Sir Michael was out of sight, Gajsan sat down again. He took out a note which read: "Lure Erman of Alvendale away from Alvendale for a few days." He crossed it off and mumbled: "Well, that was easy." He tossed the note in the well. "One less favor I owe and possibly a fool in the luminous order I can use more often."


    Spoiler: build table
    Show

    Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    1st Diabolus - - - - - - +1 LA
    2nd Mountebank +0 +0 +2 +0 Bluff 4, Intimidate 4, Escape Artist 4, Hide 4, Move Silently 4, Use Magic device 4, Search 4, Disable Device 4 Improved Initiative Beguiling stare, bonus language (Abyssal), mark of damnation, trap finding
    3rd Mountebank +1 +0 +3 +0 Bluff 5, Intimidate 5, Escape Artist 5, Hide 5, Move Silently 5, Use Magic device 5, Search 5, Disable Device 5 - Deceptive attack +ld6
    4th Mountebank +2 +1 +3 +1 Bluff 6, Intimidate 6, Escape Artist 6, Hide 6, Move Silently 6, Use Magic device 6, Search 6, Disable Device 6 Weapon Finesse Infernal patron, mass beguile
    5th Mountebank +3 +1 +4 +1 Bluff 7, Intimidate 7, Escape Artist 7, Hide 7, Move Silently 7, Use Magic device 7, Search 7, Disable Device 7 - Infernal guise
    6th Mountebank +3 +1 +4 +1 Bluff 8, Intimidate 8, Escape Artist 8, Hide 8, Move Silently 8, Use Magic device 8, Search 8, Disable Device 8 - Disguise the soul's aspect
    7th Mountebank +4 +2 +5 +2 Bluff 9, Intimidate 9, Escape Artist 9, Hide 9, Move Silently 9, Use Magic device 9, Search 9, Disable Device 9 Martial Study: Shadow blade technique (tome of battle) Deceptive attack +2d6
    8th Twisted Lord +4 +2 +7 +2 Bluff 10, Intimidate 10, Escape Artist 10, Hide 10, Move Silently 10, Use Magic device 10, Search 10, Disable Device 10, Knowledge (local) 1, Tumble 1 Twisted form
    9th Twisted Lord +5 +2 +8 +2 Bluff 11, Intimidate 11, Escape Artist 11, Hide 11, Move Silently 11, Use Magic device 11, Search 11, Disable Device 11, Knowledge (local) 2, Tumble 2 +1d6 sneak attack
    10th Twisted Lord +6 +3 +8 +3 Bluff 12, Intimidate 12, Escape Artist 12, Hide 12, Move Silently 12, Use Magic device 12, Search 12, Disable Device 12, Knowledge (local) 3, Tumble 3 Shadow Blade (tome of battle) Improved Feint
    11th Twisted Lord +7 +3 +9 +3 Bluff 13, Intimidate 13, Escape Artist 13, Hide 13, Move Silently 13, Use Magic device 13, Search 13, Disable Device 13, Knowledge (local) 4, Tumble 4 - Peripheral invisibility
    12th Twisted Lord +7 +3 +9 +3 Bluff 14, Intimidate 14, Escape Artist 14, Hide 14, Move Silently 14, Use Magic device 14, Search 14, Disable Device 14, Knowledge (local) 5, Tumble 5 - +2d6 sneak attack
    13th Twisted Lord +8 +4 +10 +4 Bluff 15, Intimidate 15, Escape Artist 15, Hide 15, Move Silently 15, Use Magic device 15, Search 15, Disable Device 15, Knowledge (local) 5, Tumble 5, Skill trick: Never outnumbered Darkstalker (Lords of Madness) Improved demoralize
    14th Twisted Lord +9 +4 +10 +4 Bluff 16, Intimidate 16, Escape Artist 16, Hide 16, Move Silently 16, Use Magic device 16, Search 16, Disable Device 16, Knowledge (local) 5, Tumble 5, Skill trick: Escape Attack - Twist target
    15th Twisted Lord +10 +4 +11 +4 Bluff 17, Intimidate 17, Escape Artist 17, Hide 17, Move Silently 17, Use Magic device 17, Search 17, Disable Device 17, Knowledge (local) 5, Tumble 5, Skill trick: Collector of stories - +3d6 sneak attack
    16th Twisted Lord +10 +5 +11 +5 Bluff 18, Intimidate 18, Escape Artist 18, Hide 18, Move Silently 18, Use Magic device 18, Search 18, Disable Device 18, Knowledge (local) 5, Tumble 5, Skill trick: Easy escape Imperious Command (Drow of the Underdark) Twist perceptions
    17th Twisted Lord +11 +5 +12 +5 Bluff 19, Intimidate 19, Escape Artist 19, Hide 19, Move Silently 19, Use Magic device 19, Search 19, Disable Device 19, Knowledge (local) 5, Tumble 5, Balance 2 - Twist mind
    18th Uncanny Trickster +11 +5 +14 +5 Bluff 20, Intimidate 20, Escape Artist 20, Hide 20, Move Silently 20, Use Magic device 20, Search 20, Disable Device 20, Knowledge (local) 5, Tumble 5, Balance 4 - Bonus trick (group fake out), favorite trick (never outnumbered)
    19th Uncanny Trickster +12 +5 +15 +5 Bluff 21, Intimidate 21, Escape Artist 21, Hide 21, Move Silently 21, Use Magic device 21, Search 21, Disable Device 21, Knowledge (local) 6, Tumble 5, Balance 5 Craven Bonus trick (timely misdirection), favorite trick (escape attack), Sneak Attack +4d6
    20th Uncanny Trickster +13 +6 +15 +6 Bluff 22, Intimidate 22, Escape Artist 22, Hide 22, Move Silently 22, Use Magic device 22, Search 22, Disable Device 22, Knowledge (local) 8, Tumble 5, Balance 5 - Bonus trick (nimble charge), favorite trick (nimble charge), Sneak Attack +5d6

    Spoiler: write up
    Show

    Mountebank levels:
    Mountebank is a Charisma based rogue-like Base Class which makes it a natural choice for entering Twisted Lord. Moreover Mountebank has a dead level 7 which makes leaving the class at 6 even better. It fits thematically as it caters to Demons with its unique class features (Infernal Patron).
    Mountebank is known to be a poor base class (sometimes referred to as "Face Rogue") but it has some pretty nifty features. One of the best is Infernal Disguise which is basically Alter Self fueled by the Mountebanks Infernal Patron ability. Gajsan can use Alter self for 60 Minutes 3+Charisma Bonus times per day. Alter Self is the reason why I chose an Outsider race. It opens up some many shenanigans (Dwarf Ancestor +18 natural armor, Black Abishai for flight and four natural attacks, Tiefling or Aasimar for social situations and many more. There are about 200 alter self threads out there. check them out.) Then I realized that Diabolus is also perfect thanks to its racial boni: +2 bonus to intimidate while it has a -2 penalty on diplomacy(and others) which is basically exactly what I was looking for regarding twisted form. The natural tail attack isn't too bad regarding you can still sneak attack with it but I did not have enough points left to increase constitution disregarding the poison a little bit.
    The feats still feel rather bland to me but it was the only way to make Gajsan somewhat capable in combat. I couldn't achieve single attribute dependency but I at least reduced it to Dex and Cha.

    Twisted Lord levels:
    Twisted Lord is entered at the earliest possible level assuming Gajsan has fulfilled the requirements regarding affiliation score. Twisted form makes Gajsan very hard to grapple and fuels his demoralize engine. Feinting helps once enemies aren't flatfooted anymore. UMD is high enough to reliable use wands which widens Gajsans repertoire significantly. The skill trick never outnumbered is chosen exactly when demoralize is improved to a move action. You may ask yourself why I don't pick up Imperious command right away too and I mulled over it quite some time. In the end I value Darkstalker more because it helps Gajsan survive. If you disagree simply swap the feats.

    The Uncanny Trickster levels:
    I tried a lot of different things for the last 3 levels: from dips (warblade, avenging executioner) to some oddball things (chaotician, fatemaker). In the end I chose the most elegant thing I could find. Uncanny Trickster progresses Sneak Attack caters to the high skill points needed and powers up some skill tricks.

    Sweet spots: level 8, 13, 18 and 20

    How to use Gajsan:
    Gajsan is always in Twisted Form. Gajsan usually will try to learn as much as possible about enemies by using bluff possibly combined with Alter Self to enter a social situation. Disguise the souls aspect may help with that. If peaceful approach is no option he will use stealth (hide + dark stalker, peripheral invisibility). Opening up combat is either done by beguiling, demoralizing or simply stealth but Gajsan only attacks if he can sneak attack and/or deceptive attack. Preferably Gajsan has also used Alter Self to enhance his melee capabilities unless his gear is already better than a lot of natural attacks. Natural attacks are considered light weapons for weapon finesse but you cannot add your dexterity to damage with natural weapons as they are not shadow hand weapons. So some calculation might be needed to know what your highest damage output is. Generally I'd assume that once you have very highly enchanted weapons and high dexterity you won't use natural attacks too often. Since you are Charisma based, the sudden stunning enhancement (DMG II) should be a given for you. It is especially great once you have the escape attack skill trick and possibly stun an opponent who tries to grapple you. Knowledge (local) and collector of stories as well as craven furthers your damage potential in the later levels. The most likely all out battle form would be Dwarf Ancestor as +18 natural attack is pretty unbeatable and the size increase increases damage slightly.

    Spoiler: Sources
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    All skill tricks are out of Complete Scoundrel.
    The rest is quoted or should be on the SRD.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kalirren View Post
    The only person in the past two pages who has known what (s)he has been talking about is Heliomance.
    Quote Originally Posted by golentan View Post
    I just don't want to have long romantic conversations or any sort of drama with my computer, okay? It knows what kind of porn I watch. I don't want to mess that up by allowing it to judge any of my choices in romance.

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  17. - Top - End - #77
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXVI

    Someone not to meet on a dark night

    Quote Originally Posted by Two-Faced Ivan

    Two-Faced Ivan, The Dark Alley Terror

    LE Desert Half-Orc Thug Fighter 2/Paladin of Tyranny 3/Menacing Brute 5/Twisted Lord 10

    Abilities (With Racial Modifiers)
    Spoiler
    Show
    Str 14
    Dex 10
    Con 14 (16)
    Int 14 (12)
    Wis 10
    Cha 16 (increases here)

    Build
    Spoiler
    Show
    Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    1st Thug Fighter 1 +1 +2 +0 +0 Bluff 4, Intimidate 4, Jump 4, Search 2(4), Tumble 4 Iron Will, (B)Run Skilled City Dweller: Ride>Tumble
    2nd Thug Fighter 2 +2 +3 +0 +0 Bluff 5, Intimidate 5, Jump 5, Knowledge (Local) 2 (B)Martial Study(Distracting Ember) Bonus Feat
    3rd Paladin of Tyranny 1 +3 +5 +0 +0 Bluff 6(2), Tumble 6 Hardened Criminal (Intimidate) Aura of Evil, Detect Good, Smite Good 1/day
    4th Paladin of Tyranny 2 +4 +6 +0 +0 Bluff 7(2), Tumble 7 Divine Grace, Deadly Touch
    5th Paladin of Tyranny 3 +5 +6 +1 +1 Bluff 8(2), Tumble 8 Aura of Despair, Divine Health
    6th Menacing Brute 1 +6/+1 +8 +1 +1 Intimidate 9, Search 3 Shape Soulmeld (Fearsome Mask) Demoralizing Stare
    7th Menacing Brute 2 +7/+2 +9 +1 +1 Bluff 9(2), Intimidate 10, Search 5 Resourceful Search
    8th Menacing Brute 3 +8/+3 +9 +2 +2 Intimidate 11, Search 9 Sneak Attack +1d6
    9th Menacing Brute 4 +9/+4 +10 +2 +2 Intimidate 12, Search 12, Sense Motive 1 Imperious Command Ruthless Cut
    10th Menacing Brute 5 +10/+5 +10 +2 +2 Never Outnumbered, Intimidate 13, Search 13, Sense Motive 2 Making an Example
    11th Twisted Lord 1 +10/+5 +10 +4 +2 Intimidate 14, Use Magic Device 8 Twisted Form
    12th Twisted Lord 2 +11/+6/+1 +10 +5 +2 Bluff 10, Intimidate 15, Use Magic Device 15 Open Lesser Chakra (Brow) +2d6 Sneak Attack
    13th Twisted Lord 3 +12/+7/+2 +11 +5 +3 Group Fake-Out, Bluff 16, Intimidate 16 (B)Improved Feint Improved Feint
    14th Twisted Lord 4 +13/+8/+3 +11 +6 +3 Bluff 17, Intimidate 17, Search 17, Tumble 11 Peripheral Invisibility
    15th Twisted Lord 5 +13/+8/+3 +11 +6 +3 Bluff 18, Hide 2, Intimidate 18, Move Silently 1, Search 18, Tumble 14 Terrifying Strike +3d6 Sneak Attack
    16th Twisted Lord 6 +14/+9/+4 +12 +7 +3 Bluff 19, Hide 5, Intimidate 19, Move Silently 4, Search 19 Improved Demoralize
    17th Twisted Lord 7 +15/+10/+5 +12 +7 +3 Bluff 20, Hide 8, Intimidate 20, Move Silently 7, Search 20 Twist Target
    18th Twisted Lord 8 +16/+11/+6/+1 +12 +8 +3 Bluff 21, Hide 11, Intimidate 21, Move Silently 10, Search 21 Spectral Skirmisher +4d6 Sneak Attack
    19th Twisted Lord 9 +16/+11/+6/+1 +13 +8 +4 Bluff 22, Hide 14, Intimidate 22, Move Silently 13, Search 22 Twist Perceptions
    20th Twisted Lord 10 +17/+12/+7/+2 +13 +9 +4 Bluff 23, Hide 17, Intimidate 23, Move Silently 17 Twist Mind

    Backstory
    Spoiler
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    From his beginnings as a petty crook on the city’s grimy streets, Ivan always had a mean streak in him. He was not as bloodthirsty as Mikhail the knife, or as strong as big Peotr, but he had an ability to influence others and a willingness to exert his will over weaker ones. He picked up a few skills on the streets, most of them related to violence and crime, but he was also educated in the code of the underground, of the alley, of the families. They were not held by the laws of the regular city folk, but their own were no less powerful for their simplicity. You could not work a normal job. You must obey your superiors. You will never report on any of your comrades.

    This was a code that Ivan followed with fervent devotion. The crime lords had given him much by training him, and his dedication to them and the cause was absolute, and his faith guided his sword and protected him. He trained further in enhancing the natural ferocity of his tusked face into a truly daunting enemy. He had mastered his craft to the extent that he seemed to be masked by features far more unnerving than his own, which earned him his moniker.

    When mad Alexei returned from his journey smuggling goods, he brought with him a new product from the scar, a bitter and nasty root more gnarled than seemed healthy for a plant, rumored to be capable of changing the consumer for the stronger, but also for the stranger. The crime lords were intrigued, but they wanted to see the effects for themselves. Ivan volunteered, as they knew he would, and sampled the vile substance. He felt slightly queasy, but not different, until the night following, when he was plagued by nightmares greater than he had ever inflicted. He awoke the next morning warped and malformed, but found no more discomfort than any other. His superiors concealed their repulsion and expressed excitement for the possibility, and ordered for more shipments.

    As he consumed more Ivan’s mind altered in bizarre ways to match his body, and he began to learn to exert his own will enough to crumple the weak mind under him. He elevated from a threatening criminal to a legend whispered in every darkened alley, a hideous demon capable of striking from the shadows, moving even the bravest to terror, and working its way into the minds of the terrified to twist them to its dark purposes.

    Level 5
    Spoiler
    Show
    Desert Half-Orc will provide us with an in for menacing brute, and is pleasantly without charisma penalty. Thug Fighter provides some helpful skill points and an improved list, and we can use that second level feat to nab Distracting Ember, allowing us to flank enemies by ourselves, proper setup for things to come. Paladin of Tyranny allows us to put our Cha to use on our saves as well as smites. Aura of Despair effectively raises the DC of anything we use. Deadly Touch is useful when you need to bypass armor, and will serve as an excellent vehicle for sneak attack once that is online. Hardened Criminal prevents us from falling prey to our own trick, and will also allow us to take 10 on intimidate for more reliable results.
    *If your DM rules that you must qualify for Twisted Lord’s bonus feat, replace Martial Study with Combat Expertise and move one point from Cha to Int, also put one more point in UMD.

    Level 10
    Spoiler
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    Menacing Brute is a fascinating little PrC that pairs wonderfully with the SI. The first ability is pure gold, boosting Intimidate and keeping the target shaken for 5 more rounds! Resourceful search is useful for items that you wished you had but don’t have on you, and all it costs is time. Sneak attack gives us something to do with distracting ember, and don’t forget to deliver it on touch when enemies are being challenging. Making an example occurs any time you kill a creature, so you could easily see this operating multiple times in an encounter. If you wish you can use something like a bag of tricks to start combat with a kill for an opportunity to scare your foes.
    Imperious Command is essential for an Intimidate build, the round of cowering means they’re susceptible to sneak attack and gives you time to move about safely to get in position, or heal up the team. The fearsome mask gives you a +2 insight bonus to Intimidate, which stacks with everything else, which is nice enough, but we’ll see it again.

    Level 15
    Spoiler
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    With this many levels under our belt, and assuming a free flow of information among thieves in the Ebon Cabal, we have a high enough affiliation score to enter the SI. Twisted Form boosts Intimidate even higher, and helpfully boosts bluff as well. Now being able to feint as a move action means that you can do this at the end of a round, then get a full attack on the next round with the first being a sneak attack. Peripheral invisibility can be used to make a quick escape, move into position, or just to make a sneak attack, since defenders are always denied Dex by an invisible attacker.
    Fearsome Mask is back with a brow bind, and it’s now the setup for a neat trick. It gives you a gaze that renders foes shaken for 1 minute. It works as any gaze, so they will likely be trying to avert their eyes to reduce exposure. If they do so, they’re not looking directly at you, so you can turn on peripheral invisibility! If they don’t avert their gaze, then you hit them with the shaken effect, and can follow it up with demoralize to frighten for 6 rounds. Never outnumbered means that you can hit multiple foes at once with the same demoralize for no extra effort. Group fake-out allows you to feint several foes for a small penalty, so make sure to use these in combat. Terrifying Strike is our third effect, which makes up for its 1 round duration by not offering any save. If they can be scared, they are once you hit them with a sneak attack from invisibility or after feinting. At this point your UMD modifier is enough to always succeed on using wands, so incorporate your favorites into your adventuring gear, there are many possibilities.

    Level 20
    Spoiler
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    The final touches now. Your search modifier is high enough to always succeed on finding gear of up to 200gp worth, which can make for some decent gear in a pinch. It says nonmagical, so that likely means alchemical items are on the table, which can be a pretty good spread of consumables. Improved Demoralize plus Never Outnumbered makes for a pretty competitive move action. All three of the final abilities mention being next to a shaken foe, ask if they apply to frighten as once, or whether you should quit while ahead on foes. Twist target is great if anybody squishy has a guardian by them (remember animal companions will have poor will saves). Plus it can really distress your enemies to be told they weren’t “really” being controlled, since it isn’t a compulsion effect and won’t turn up on anything looking for it. Twist Perceptions means stunning, and a stunned target is a viable target for more sneak attack to refresh shaken, to keep their save to end the stun penalized. They also drop what they’re holding, so you can use this opportunity to take what they’re holding.
    Twist Mind is the real interesting one. Because it takes a standard to control the target, you will likely use your move to either keep him in your aura to debuff, feint, or demoralize at your leisure. Or you can use this opportunity to become invisible or hide, to reduce enemy ability to mess with you. You can safely tumble through their square if you have to, and spectral skirmisher means that when someone misses when attacking you, you get an AoO, which is a sneak attack because you are invisible. Then the target is shaken, and setup for control. In terms of which rod to use, I’d suggest the open palm. The buckler is appreciated, and invisibility and obscuring mist are good setups for hiding and thus sneak attack.
    You are always generating new targets for control, since if they can see you they are subject to the gaze, and if they can’t they will be sneak attacked for frightening attack.

    Sources
    Spoiler
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    Desert Half-Orc, Paladin of Tyranny, Iron Will, Thug Fighter: srd
    Menacing Brute: Races of Destiny
    Martial Study: Tome of Battle
    Shape Soulmeld, Open Lesser Chakra: Magic of Incarnum
    Imperious Command, Terrifying Strike: Drow of the Underdark
    Hardened Criminal: City of Stormreach
    Spectral Skirmisher: Player’s Handbook II
    Skilled City Dweller: Urban Class Features Enhancements
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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 LXXXVI

    This entry has been withdrawn at the request of the chef
    Last edited by Heliomance; 2017-06-09 at 07:55 AM.
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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 LXXXVI

    The best thing about the Multitasking feat - you can use all ten arms to scratch your head while you figure out how it works.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vreeb Veebilbrixt
    Vreeb Veebilbrixt



    Race: Insectile Diopsid (Level Adjustment +3)
    Build Stub: Thug Fighter 2/Barbarian 1/Totemist 2/Warblade 1/Twisted Lord 5/Warblade +1/Twisted Lord +5
    Multiclass Penalty: No.
    Languages: Diopsid, Common, Terran, Undercommon
    Alignment: NE
    Ability Scores:
    Ability Score Racial Template Points 4th 8th 12th 16th
    Strength 12 4 13
    Dexterity 16 -2 +4 6
    Constitution 16 +2 6
    Intelligence 14 -2 10 15
    Wisdom 10 +2 0
    Charisma 14 6 15 16

    Spoiler: Build Progression
    Show

    Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    1st Thug Fighter 1 +1 +2 +0 +0 Balance 2(cc), Bluff 4, Hide 2(cc), Intimidate 4, Jump 4, UMD 2(cc) Dreadful Wraith Tremorsense 60', Wide Vision
    2nd Thug Fighter 2 +2 +3 +0 +0 Balance 2, Bluff 5(+1), Hide 2, Intimidate 5(+1), Jump 5(+1), Tumble 3(+3), UMD 2 Intimidating Strike Skilled City-Dweller ACF (Tumble)
    3rd Barbarian 1 +3 +5 +0 +0 Balance 3(+2cc), Bluff 6(+2cc), Hide 2, Intimidate 6(+1), Jump 6(+1), Tumble 3, UMD 2 Spirit Lion Totem, Whirling Frenzy (UA variant), Skilled City-Dweller ACF (Tumble)
    4th Totemist 1 +3 +7 +2 +0 Balance 4(+2cc), Bluff 7(+2cc), Hide 2, Intimidate 6, Jump 6, Tumble 5(+2), UMD 2 Skilled City-Dweller ACF (Tumble)
    5th Totemist 2 +4 +8 +3 +0 Balance 4, Bluff 8(+2cc), Hide 2, Intimidate 6, Jump 6, Tumble 7(+2), UMD 2, Skill Trick: Never Outnumbered (+2)
    6th Warblade 1 +5 +10 +3 +0 Balance 5(+1), Bluff 9(+2cc), Hide 2, Intimidate 8(+2), Jump 6, Tumble 8(+1), UMD 2, Never Outnumbered 2 Multiattack Battle Clarity (Ref saves), Weapon Aptitude
    7th Twisted Lord 1 +5 +10 +5 +0 Balance 5, Bluff 10(+1), Hide 2, Intimidate 10(+2), Jump 9(+3), Tumble 10(+2), UMD 2, Never Outnumbered 2, Skill Trick: Twisted Charge (+2) Twisted Form
    8th Twisted Lord 2 +6 +10 +6 +0 Balance 5, Bluff 11(+1), Hide 4(+2), Intimidate 11(+1), Jump 10(+1), Tumble 11(+1), UMD 4(+2), Skill Trick: Group Fake-Out (+2), Never Outnumbered 2, Twisted Charge 2 Sneak Attack 1d6
    9th Twisted Lord 3 +7 +11 +6 +1 Balance 5, Bluff 12(+1), Hide 6(+2), Intimidate 12(+1), Jump 11(+1), Tumble 12(+1), UMD 6(+2), Group Fake-Out 2, Never Outnumbered 2, Skill Trick: Timely Misdirection (+2), Twisted Charge 2 Craven, Improved Feint
    10th Twisted Lord 4 +8 +11 +7 +1 Balance 5, Bluff 13(+1), Hide 9(+2), Intimidate 13(+1), Jump 12(+1), Tumble 13(+1), UMD 9(+3), Group Fake-Out 2, Never Outnumbered 2, Timely Misdirection 2, Twisted Charge 2 Peripheral Invisibility
    11th Twisted Lord 5 +8 +11 +7 +1 Balance 5, Bluff 14(+1), Hide 12(+3), Intimidate 13, Jump 13(+1), Tumble 13, UMD 12(+3), Skill Trick: Back On Your Feet (+2), Group Fake-Out 2, Never Outnumbered 2, Timely Misdirection 2, Twisted Charge 2 Sneak Attack 2d6
    12th Warblade 2 +9 +12 +7 +1 Balance 5, Bluff 15(+2cc), Hide 12, Intimidate 15(+2), Jump 13, Tumble 15(+2), UMD 12, Back On Your Feet 2, Group Fake-Out 2, Never Outnumbered 2, Timely Misdirection 2, Twisted Charge 2 Improved Multiweapon Fighting Uncanny Dodge
    13th Twisted Lord 6 +10 +13 +8 +2 Balance 5, Bluff 16(+1), Hide 15(+3), Intimidate 16(+1), Jump 14(+1), Tumble 16(+1), UMD 15(+3), Back On Your Feet 2, Group Fake-Out 2, Never Outnumbered 2, Timely Misdirection 2, Twisted Charge 2 Improved Demoralize
    14th Twisted Lord 7 +11 +13 +8 +2 Balance 5, Bluff 17(+1), Hide 17(+2), Intimidate 17(+1), Jump 17(+3), Tumble 17(+1), UMD 17(+2), Back On Your Feet 2, Group Fake-Out 2, Never Outnumbered 2, Timely Misdirection 2, Twisted Charge 2 Twist Target
    15th Twisted Lord 8 +12 +13 +9 +2 Balance 5, Bluff 18(+1), Escape Artist 4(+4), Hide 18(+1), Intimidate 18(+1), Jump 18(+1), Tumble 18(+1), UMD 18(+1), Back On Your Feet 2, Group Fake-Out 2, Never Outnumbered 2, Timely Misdirection 2, Twisted Charge 2 Multitasking Sneak Attack 3d6
    16th Twisted Lord 9 +12 +14 +9 +3 Balance 5, Bluff 19(+1), Escape Artist 8(+4), Hide 19(+1), Intimidate 19(+1), Jump 19(+1), Tumble 19(+1), UMD 19(+1), Back On Your Feet 2, Group Fake-Out 2, Never Outnumbered 2, Timely Misdirection 2, Twisted Charge 2 Twist Perceptions
    17th Twisted Lord 10 +13 +14 +10 +3 Balance 5, Bluff 20(+1), Escape Artist 12(+4), Hide 20(+1), Intimidate 20(+1), Jump 20(+1), Tumble 20(+1), UMD 20(+1), Back On Your Feet 2, Group Fake-Out 2, Never Outnumbered 2, Timely Misdirection 2, Twisted Charge 2 Twist Mind


    Spoiler: Warblade Maneuvers
    Show

    Warblade 1: Claw at the Moon, Mountain Hammer, Sudden Leap, Punishing Stance

    Warblade 2: Fountain of Blood


    Spoiler: Backstory
    Show

    Gashkarr was still gloating, cackling with throaty laughter as the skulls recede and the hezrou fades from view, when Vreeb stepped in front of him.

    "Hand over the medallion and the tome, Gashkarr," chirped Vreeb, holding out a segmented hand towards the gnoll chieftain.

    Gashkarr stepped back and clutched the medallion hanging around his neck. "You dare?!?! We had a deal!"

    Vreeb waved one of his hands at the dead bodies behind him. "Which is now complete. The Luminous Order is defeated. The Ebon Cabal will be quite pleased... particularly when I deliver them the medallion and the Tome of Slaughtergarde. You wouldn't want to... displease them, would you?"

    Gashkarr reached for his falchion, but was barely able to get it out of its scabbard before the diopsid was on him. The gnoll chieftain was able to block the overhand chop, but no matter, Vreeb sliced in on both sides with his shortswords. On the right he slashed into the gnoll's thigh, and on the left he scraped a blade up into the gnoll's ribs. Gashkarr tried to back away, but the diopsid had positioned himself well. The gate behind the gnoll was closed. There was nowhere to go. Vreeb pressed his attack, unleashing a torrent of slashes. Gashkarr blocked the high slash, then swung back with a slash of his own. Vreeb trapped it with two crossed shortswords, brought his greatsword around for another high slash, then came in low on the other side with another pair of shortswords. One of them found the gnoll's ribs again, then a deep slash to the wrist, and finally a scream of rage cut short by a chop to the neck. With a short, wet gurgle, Gashkarr slumped to the ground and lay still.


    Spoiler: Levels 1-6
    Show

    Vreeb grew up near one of the population centers of the Underdark, but it was not an easy life. His unusual appearance (even by diopsid standards) made him an outsider and outcast from his own people. Rumors circulated that he was the result of a kuo-toa breeding program, but many years of teasing and bullying has muddled his recollection of his eggcase's parentage. He learned to survive in the stree-- uh, tunnels with quick wits, fast-talking blather, and a menacing demeanor. Vreeb has so-so combat skills for a fighter but can be particularly frightening when he wants to be (via Dreadful Wrath), so he relies more on Bluff and Intimidate more than his combat prowess. When cornered, Vreeb can wield a large-sized two handed weapon with four primary arms, keeping his two secondary arms free to provide support. His remaining two arms can carry a shield and a light source. If Vreeb has bitten off more than he can chew, he can use Tumble to hopefully get out of trouble.

    Dreadful Wrath has an advantage over most other versions of Frightful Presence in that it does not have an HD cap, but also triggers only on a full attack or charge. At 2nd level, Vreeb picks up Intimidating Strike as his fighter bonus feat. This does feat does several things to complement Dreadful Wrath: it can be used as a standard action attack, it has a longer duration (lasts the entire encounter), it can be used repeatedly on an opponent that has already successfully saved against his Dreadful Wrath, or it can be used to shaken an opponents before using Dreadful Wrath to frighten the opponent. (Intimidating Strike itself cannot cause an opponent's fear level to go beyond shaken, but Dreadful Wrath has no such limitation).

    It isn't clear from the rules text if using Intimidating Strike is the same effect as "Demoralize Opponent" from the PHB, so check with the DM if using Intimidating Strike counts as a Demoralizing effect. If not, then using "Demoralize Opponent" on an enemy already shakened or frightened could cause them to panic.

    At 3rd level, Vreeb falls in with a somewhat less cosmopolitan tribe (more like a gang of tunnel thugs) and learns to tap into his more savage nature, channeling his Spirit Lion Totem (uh... cave lions... yeah, the Underdark totally has cave lions). He picks up Multi-Weapon Fighting along with Pounce and Whirling Frenzy, which allows him to shore up his weak Str score and utilize all of those extra arms for additional attacks. This new tribe of meldshapers teaches him about soulmelds, and rather than continue as a Barbarian he progresses into Totemist.

    At 5th level, he adds an additional pair of arms with the Girallon Arms soulmeld, bringing his total up to ten. This also gives him four claw attacks, which isn't all that useful compared to just stabbing people with a half-dozen or so shortswords, but allows him to pick up Multiattack next level. In addition to Girallon Arms, he usually shapes Lamia Belt (+4 on Bluff and Hide checks) and Brass Mane (+4 on Intimidate checks). With these soulmelds enhancing his combat abilities, Vreeb earns the grudging respect of his gang, who in turn allow him to train in more sophisticated combat tactics. Also, Vreeb picks up the "Never Outnumbered" skill trick, which he can use with Intimidating Strike to turn a standard melee attack into an area-effect debuff.

    At 6th level, Vreeb begins studying Warblade maneuvers, which Vreeb finds more effective against opponents resistant to his Dreadful Wrath/Intimidating Strikes. Punishing Stance gives him additional +1d6 damage on all his melee attacks (he has Natural Armor +6 to offset the -2 AC penalty), both Claw at the Moon and Mountain Hammer give him a standard attack with +2d6 damage, and Sudden Leap allows him to quickly back up 10' for a fear-inducing charge.


    Spoiler: Levels 7-10
    Show

    While working as a tunnel thug, Vreeb found himself picking up steady work hiring himself out to the Ebon Cabal as a caravan guard, personal bodyguard, and all-around meatbag. This brought him into contact with the bard Naryalla, who was impressed with his ability to talk or threaten his way out of trouble. She hired his gang to look into this Luminous Order and poke around something called Slaughtergarde. Betraying the Luminous Order and delivering the Armory to the Ebon Cabal was mostly a business decision: the Ebon Cabal offered more money. Vreeb himself is something of a moral pragmatist, in that he doesn't care much who does what with the Armory. The Ebon Cabal wants the gate for summoning demons or whatever... why shouldn't they take it and use it however they want? What was the Luminous Order going to do with it, turn it into an orphanage? So they wear white robes, does that make them good? And the Ebon Cabal wears black robes, so they are automatically evil? How simple and convenient the world would be, if we just indicated every creature's moral worth by making them wear different colors!

    As a reward for delivering the Slaughtergarde Armory to the Ebon Cabal, Vreeb was offered the opportunity to partake in the Twistroot Ritual and join the Ebon Cabal as a Twisted Lord. If most people found his appearance unsettling before, well then... why settle for half-measures? If people judge him by his appearance, why not give them the monster they want him to be? For his Rod of the Tower, Vreeb selects the Pointing Finger/+1 Dagger.

    The most immediate benefit of Twisted Form is the +4 on Intimidate checks, which makes his Dreadful Wrath and Intimidating Strike feats much more potent. This assumes both Dreadful Wrath and Intimidating Strike are considered to be the same as a "Demoralize Opponent" check. This isn't clear from the text, but the PHB Skill section only lists two possible uses for Intimidate checks: "Change another's behavior" and "Demoralize Opponent". Since Demoralize Opponent is the only one that can be made during combat and results in the opponent being shaken, it's hard to imagine that Dreadful Wrath or Intimidating Strike would be considered "changing another's behavior". +4 on Bluff checks to feint in combat isn't quite so useful yet, but will be later. Vreeb also adds Twisted Charge to make sure he can charge around obstacles and make sure he can activate Dreadful Wrath in the center of a group rather than the closest enemy.

    Twisted Lord 2 adds Sneak Attack, and at 9th level Vreeb picks up Craven to help crank up his combat damage as well as Improved Feint from Twisted Lord 3. Along the way, he picks up Group Fake-Out and Timely Misdirection to enhance his feinting skills. Vreeb is now has a viable combat strategy regardless of whether he charges, full-attacks, or makes a standard attack. When he charges or makes a full attack, he can wield a large-sized greatsword (3d6 + 1d6 from Punishing Stance) with four arms along with six offhand attacks with light weapons, and any enemy within 20' has to check against Dreadful Wrath. If Vreeb is standing next to an opponent, he can Sudden Leap 10' away and charge in again, or full attack with the same greatsword + six shortswords/dagger. If Vreeb chooses a standard action instead, he can use his move action to move, activate his rod for a touch attack (scorching ray), or set up a sneak attack with Improved Feint (+4 from Twisted Form, +8 from Lamia Belt), followed by an Intimidating Strike or Claw at the Moon/Mountain Hammer as a standard action (+1d6 from Punishing Stance and +1d6/Craven from Sneak Attack). If the feint is successful, he can use Timely Misdirection to deny his opponent AoOs and use Group Fake-Out to feint against multiple opponents.

    At 10th level, Vreeb picks up Peripheral Invisibility with a somewhat puzzling activation requirement: you can't use it against someone that has made a successful Spot check against you or attacked you in the previous round. This is a great ability to use on the first round of combat, because Vreeb can charge + pounce and get Sneak Attack on all his attacks. If combat has already started or he's engaged with an opponent, he could also use Peripheral Invisibility to charge + pounce over to a different opponent that hasn't attacked him yet. The baffling part is Vreeb if isn't actively hiding, then his opponents generally aren't making Spot checks to see him. If Vreeb wants to hide before activating Peripheral Invisibility, he has the skill ranks to do so (along with a +8 from his Lamia Belt). You may notice that I didn't put any skill points into Move Silently, as it doesn't matter if his opponents can hear him when he uses Peripheral Invisibility: even with a successful Listen check, Vreeb can attack them as an invisible opponent and enjoy Sneak Attack/Craven damage on every attack. If you would prefer a sneakier/quieter bug, consider moving the 12 skill points in Escape Artist over to Move Silently.


    Spoiler: Levels 11-14
    Show

    At 11th level, Vreeb gets another +1d6 Sneak Attack. At 12th level, he takes Improved Multiweapon Fighting and adds another level of Warblade to pick up the Fountain of Blood boost, which gives him a third method to incite fear in his opponents. If he drops an opponent, he can activate Fountain of Blood to cause all enemies within 30' to make a Will save vs. shaken for 1 minute. If his opponents are already shaken from Dreadful Wrath or Intimidating Strike, then they may wind up frightened, and he can incite them into full panic with a standard-action "Demoralize Opponent" check on the next round. At 13th level, demoralizing becomes a move action. This gives Vreeb the option to start his turn with an Intimidating Strike as a standard action and then follow it up with a demoralizing check to turn shaken into frightened. If he decides to charge or full attack, he can attack with a large-sized two-handed weapon and still get twelve offhand attacks with Improved MWF.

    At 14th level, Vreeb gets Twist Target, the first class ability where he can influence the actions of a shaken opponent. Demoralizing an opponent with a move action should be easy enough, as he's got +17 (skill ranks) + 8 (Brass Mane) + 4 (Twisted Form) on his Intimidate checks. If the Twist Target succeeds, this most likely removes the opponent as a threat for a round, as they are left with just a move action to work with.


    Spoiler: Levels 15-17
    Show

    *** SWEET SPOT *** At 15th level, Multitasking comes online, and Vreeb steps into an entirely different world of #&$%ing around with people's heads. Since Vreeb has ten arms, he gets five "partial actions" along with a move action on his turn. And yes, partial actions only exist in the 3.0 rules, but the most common interpretation of how they work in 3.5 (using the "minor adjustment" clause from DMG p. 4) is they can be either a move action or standard action. This means every turn, there are at least six different things Vreeb can do:

    Move Actions
    Improved Feint (w/ Group Fake-Out, Timely Misdirection)
    Demoralize Opponent (w/ Never Outnumbered)
    Scorching Ray (Button #2 on Rod of the Tower)

    Standard Actions
    Intimidating Strike
    Claw at the Moon
    Mountain Hammer
    Twist Target
    Twist Perceptions (16th)
    Twist Mind (17th)

    Swift Actions
    Sudden Leap
    Fountain of Blood

    At 16th level, he can start with a Demoralize as a move action, use Twist Perceptions to stun his opponent, and then finish off his turn with four standard action sneak attacks. At 17th level, he can use Twist Mind to take control of up to five adjacent opponents by spending five standard actions.

    "But wait!" you say. "That isn't nearly twisted enough. The DM hasn't even thrown anything at my head. How can I make this even more bizarrely borked?"

    Glad you asked, but first, there are some timing issues from Multitasking that we should clarify: "All such partial actions occur simultaneously." This makes it difficult to do things like... repeatedly pressing the button on the Rod of the Tower to blast an opponent with scorching ray six times. Or using a move action in between stunning/mind-twisting to affect multiple opponents that didn't have the common decency to stand adjacent to each other. Or using Twist Mind five times in a row against a particularly tough opponent because he's more likely to blow one of those Will saves (unlike the other two options, Twist Mind did not include a "no longer shaken" clause). We fix this by turning our standard actions to readied actions. There's nothing in the "Ready an Action" rules that says you're only limited to only one readied action per turn, so.... yeah, ok, the RAW is sketchy as all heck, but you're not reading Iron Chef entries to learn how to chew bubblegum. There may still be some timing issues, as the readied actions have to happen before your next turn starts and you have to specify what triggers them, but you can sequence them to happen one after the other by nesting the trigger conditions. "I ready an action, triggered after I move, to demoralize the bugbear. I ready an action, triggered after my demoralize check, to use Twist Mind. I ready an action, triggered after my Twist Mind, to use Claw at the Moon on the ogre." And so forth. This allows you to string six scorching rays into the same round, or five Twist Minds.

    And that, you can proudly tell your friends, is why the dent in your head matches the exact dimensions of the sharp corners on the DMG.


    Spoiler: Variations
    Show

    You may be wondering, "Hey, this is a fear-based build... where is Imperious Command? Or if you really want to do some sneaking, what about Darkstalker?" And yes, those might be useful feats here. Craven isn't absolutely necessary at 9th, so maybe consider replacing it with one of those, or maybe Staggering Strike if you would prefer. (I was worried about the "cowering" from Imperious Command interfering with the shaken condition, so I left it out.) I also looked at putting in White Raven Defense/Clarion Commander for "Perpetual Flank", but decided it wasn't worth two feat slots. If your DM allows, flaws are a thing (just look at that Fort save! Yeesh.)

    Speaking of saves... Vreeb's Will save is murderously low. You may want to consider swapping the Warblade stance/maneuvers around to take Moment of Perfect Mind. I decided against this, as Concentration is only a class skill for Warblades, but even putting 4 skill points into it would be better than the +3 he gets at 17th level! However, putting in Warblade was something of an afterthought, as I was mostly looking for another way to fit in another shaken effect, and Fountain of Blood was only one of two maneuvers that can cause shaken (Daunting Strike is the other one). Thug 3/Totemist 3/Barb 1 or Thug 4/Totemist 3 could work just as well for entry into Twisted Lord.

    15 levels (with LA +3) is a long wait to get Multitasking, but I stuck to the prerequisites for Improved Multiweapon Fighting, which requires BAB +9. Ideally, Improved MWF should be interchangeable with Improved TWF, but unfortunately the feat wasn't updated properly to match the 3.5 prereqs for Improved TWF. If your DM allows you to use the 3.5 prereqs, bump Dex up to 17, take Improved MWF at 9th, and get Multitasking at 12th. Or delay taking Fighter 2 until BAB +6 to take Improved TWF/MWF early and get Multitasking at 9th.


    Spoiler: Sources
    Show

    Champions of Ruin: Craven
    Cityscape: Skilled City-Dweller ACF
    Dragon Compendium: Diopsid
    Magic of Incarnum: Totemist
    Player's Handbook II: Intimidating Strike
    Player's Guide to Faerun: Dreadful Wrath
    Savage Species: Insectile template, Improved Multiweapon Fighting, Multitasking
    Tome of Battle: Warblade
    Unearthed Arcana: Thug Fighter variant, Whirling Frenzy variant
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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 LXXXVI

    And that's everything. Judging may commence immediately.
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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.

    Avatar by Rain Dragon

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXVI

    Interesting builds all around. This ought to be fun.
    Last edited by Inevitability; 2017-06-08 at 09:26 AM.
    Have you had enough of unreasonably high LA's and unplayable monsters in 3.5? Then check out the LA-assignment thread! Don't hesitate to give feedback!

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXVI

    ... So I just double checked the rules of how to be a judge... and am I right in thinking that you don't have to deal with ruling disputes that come up if you're a judge?

  23. - Top - End - #83
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXVI

    Quote Originally Posted by The Blade Wolf View Post
    ... So I just double checked the rules of how to be a judge... and am I right in thinking that you don't have to deal with ruling disputes that come up if you're a judge?
    You absolutely have to deal with disputes. That's the whole thing. What did you see that implied otherwise?
    fight my brute! it's a lot of fun
    Quote Originally Posted by weckar View Post
    Venger, can you be my full-time memory aid please?
    Iron Chef Medals!
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXVI

    Quote Originally Posted by Venger View Post
    You absolutely have to deal with disputes. That's the whole thing. What did you see that implied otherwise?
    Absolutely nothing in the Opening Post, nor the FAQ says that judges have to deal with disputes... through now that I think about it, the disputes aren't just about rulings but the markings and rating, isn't it?

  25. - Top - End - #85
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXVI

    Quote Originally Posted by The Blade Wolf View Post
    Absolutely nothing in the Opening Post, nor the FAQ says that judges have to deal with disputes... through now that I think about it, the disputes aren't just about rulings but the markings and rating, isn't it?
    I strongly advise you read through any of the most recent prior contests to familiarize yourself with the judging process.
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  26. - Top - End - #86
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXVI

    You don't have to agree with the disputes or change your score, but really if you're putting yourself into the ring to judge, you should at least acknowledge the disputes. Because I can guarantee you're not omnipotent or omniscient, because noone is.

    If someone has a concern over their judged entry they have the right to enter a dispute. If you cannot be bothered to even address something where you may have been mistaken, or that you cannot be bothered to reiterate the reason as to why you scored that and way and are unwilling to change it, why bother judging?

    This is a social competition, for fun. Imagine having a chat with your gaming group/friends and asking them to rate builds you all develop out of 20. Someone turns around states 'you get a 12 (average, for this comp), because of W, X, Y and Z reasons'. Is that person who believes that reason Y is a poor one given not entitled to say 'hold up mate, you have misunderstood reason Y, it works because of Rule A, rule B and Rule C'?

    Are you going to turn around just flat palm them, tell them to talk to the hand? No, are you ****, because that's rude. Because it's over the internet, and it takes 2 weeks, the competitors have a gentlemans agreement not to spam pointless questions, so you, as a judge uphold yours.

    You don't have to judge, but if you do, people expect you to at least judge with the same courtesy that has been extended for theblast 86+ Competitions.

  27. - Top - End - #87
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXVI

    Guess it's good I never got around finishing mine ... it was quite similar to Two-faced Ivan

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXVI

    Quote Originally Posted by The Blade Wolf View Post
    ... So I just double checked the rules of how to be a judge... and am I right in thinking that you don't have to deal with ruling disputes that come up if you're a judge?
    I would heartily suggest that you have at least an entry or two under your belt before judging, simply so you know the intricacies ...

  29. - Top - End - #89
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXVI

    My idea was a Hengayoki Warshaper
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  30. - Top - End - #90

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXVI

    Honestly up until now I thought that disputes were completely about the mechanics of a build that a judge might have pointed out were in error, or mistakes about the mechanics that the judge themselves were wrong in. The fact that the disputes are in fact, in possible regard to everything a judge as said, from power to originality, from Elegance to UoSI, makes the situation significantly more understandable.

    Through if I may follow this up with a different question: What do people believe is the harder task, to create a dish, or to judge the dishes?

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