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  1. - Top - End - #61
    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XX​III: Two Heads Are Better Than One

    Starting off with a twinteresting build.

    Quote Originally Posted by Taman and Thoron

    Taman & Thoron


    -~~~~~-
    Taman and Thoron had always been...different. The others in their small Dvati community shunned the twins, for their strange abilities. From a young age, they could manifest spells that even some of the priests had not yet mastered, and their odd ability to resist magic unnerved most. The twins were never unduly bothered by this reaction, preferring their own company above all others.

    From adolescence onward, they felt a strange compulsion to increase their magical and martial prowess. For many, the gaining of power is a means to an end - to right a wrong, to make a mark on the world, or similar motivations. For Taman and Thoron, the power was the end, in and of itself. Some theorized that the twins had been touched by some dark deity, who instilled in them a lust for power along with the gifts that no other Dvati possessed.

    It was a simple matter for the twins to conveniently arrange "saving" some Elven peasants from a Fiendish Ape - none suspected the beast to have been summoned specifically for this purpose. They ingratiated themselves with the Elves to learn their ways, and improve his prowess with blade and spell. Once they learned all they could, they left the Elven community, taking along with them some choice scrolls from the library to inscribe into their spellbook.

    As the years moved on, Taman and Thoron continued their mastery of the martial and spellcasting arts - proficiently summoning beasts and other effects, as well as uncanny prowess at defensive magicks.

    All the while, the gnawing need to accumulate personal power consumed the twins. More and more they ignored all moral qualms while acquiring this power: if others had to suffer or perish to achieve their ends, so be it. All that mattered was the power, and their ability to wield it.

    They believe that one day, whatever fell being set them apart from other Dvati will reveal itself, and then their ultimate purpose would be unveiled...
    -~~~~~-


    Neutral Evil Male Monster of Legend Dvati Conjuror 2/Ruathar 3/Eldritch Knight 8/Abjurant Champion 5

    Medium Outsider (native)

    HD: 2d4+3d8+8d6+5d10+126 [163hp per twin - see special rules in Dvati racial traits (Dragon Compendium p.17)]

    Languages: (automatic) Common, Dvati; (bonus) Abyssal, Draconic, Elven

    Spoiler: Build Tables
    Show
    Abilities Scores:
    Level Array Template 4th 8th 12th 16th Final
    Str 10 +10 - - - - 20
    Dex 13 +6 - - - +1 20
    Con 14 +10 - - - - 24
    Int 15 +2 +1 +1 +1 - 20
    Wis 12 +2 - - - - 14
    Cha 8 +4 - - - - 12

    Build Table:
    CR Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    3 Enhanced Summoning Immediate Magic Conjuror 1 +0 +0 +0 +2 Concentration +4, Knowledge (arcana) +2, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +2, Knowledge (local) +2, Knowledge (nature) +2, Knowledge (religion) +2, Knowledge (the planes) +2, Spellcraft +4 Augment SummoningB, Combat Casting, Improved InitiativeB, MultiattackB Abrupt Jaunt, Spells
    4 Enhanced Summoning Immediate Magic Conjuror 2 +1 +0 +0 +3 Concentration +5, Knowledge (arcana) +2, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +3, Knowledge (local) +2, Knowledge (nature) +3, Knowledge (religion) +2, Knowledge (the planes) +2, Spellcraft +5, Tumble +1 - -
    5 Ruathar 1 +1 +0 +2 +5 Concentration +6, Knowledge (arcana) +2, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +2, Knowledge (local) +3, Knowledge (nature) +2, Knowledge (religion) +3, Knowledge (the planes) +3, Spellcraft +6, Tumble +1 Knowledge Devotion Word of friendship, gift of the elves
    6 Ruathar 2 +2 +0 +3 +6 Concentration +7, Knowledge (arcana) +2, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +3, Knowledge (local) +4, Knowledge (nature) +3, Knowledge (religion) +3, Knowledge (the planes) +4, Perform (sing) +1, Spellcraft +7, Tumble +2 - Low-light vision, elfwise
    7 Ruathar 3 +3 +1 +3 +6 Concentration +8, Knowledge (arcana) +2, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +4, Knowledge (local) +5, Knowledge (nature) +4, Knowledge (religion) +5, Knowledge (the planes) +5, Perform (sing) +1, Spellcraft +8, Tumble +2 - Star blessing, Arvandor's grace
    8 Eldritch Knight 1 +4 +3 +3 +6 Concentration +9, Knowledge (arcana) +2, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +4, Knowledge (local) +5, Knowledge (nature) +5, Knowledge (religion) +5, Knowledge (the planes) +5, Perform (sing) +2, Spellcraft +9, Tumble +3 Arcane Strike, Two Weapon FightingB Bonus Feat
    9 Eldritch Knight 2 +5 +4 +3 +6 Concentration +10, Knowledge (arcana) +3, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +4, Knowledge (local) +5, Knowledge (nature) +5, Knowledge (religion) +5, Knowledge (the planes) +5, Perform (sing) +3, Spellcraft +10, Tumble +4 - -
    10 Abjurant Champion 1 +6 +4 +3 +8 Concentration +11, Knowledge (arcana) +3, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +5, Knowledge (local) +5, Knowledge (nature) +6, Knowledge (religion) +5, Knowledge (the planes) +5, Perform (sing) +3, Spellcraft +11, Tumble +4 - Abjurant Armor, Extended Abjuration
    11 Abjurant Champion 2 +7 +4 +3 +9 Concentration +12, Knowledge (arcana) +3, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +5, Knowledge (local) +6, Knowledge (nature) +6, Knowledge (religion) +5, Knowledge (the planes) +6, Perform (sing) +3, Spellcraft +12, Tumble +4 Quicken Spell Swift Abjuration
    12 Abjurant Champion 3 +8 +5 +4 +9 Concentration +13, Knowledge (arcana) +3, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +5, Knowledge (local) +6, Knowledge (nature) +6, Knowledge (religion) +6, Knowledge (the planes) +6, Perform (sing) +3, Spellcraft +13, Tumble +5 - -
    13 Abjurant Champion 4 +9 +5 +4 +10 Concentration +14, Knowledge (arcana) +3, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +6, Knowledge (local) +6, Knowledge (nature) +7, Knowledge (religion) +6, Knowledge (the planes) +6, Perform (sing) +3, Spellcraft +14, Tumble +5 - Arcane Boost
    14 Abjurant Champion 5 +10 +5 +4 +10 Concentration +15, Knowledge (arcana) +4, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +6, Knowledge (local) +7, Knowledge (nature) +7, Knowledge (religion) +6, Knowledge (the planes) +7, Perform (sing) +3, Spellcraft +15, Tumble +5 Improved Two Weapon Fighting Martial Arcanist
    15 Eldritch Knight 3 +11 +5 +5 +11 Concentration +16, Knowledge (arcana) +5, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +7, Knowledge (local) +7, Knowledge (nature) +7, Knowledge (religion) +7, Knowledge (the planes) +7, Perform (sing) +3, Spellcraft +16, Tumble +5 - -
    16 Eldritch Knight 4 +12 +6 +5 +11 Concentration +17, Knowledge (arcana) +6, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +7, Knowledge (local) +7, Knowledge (nature) +7, Knowledge (religion) +8, Knowledge (the planes) +8, Perform (sing) +3, Spellcraft +17, Tumble +5 - -
    17 Eldritch Knight 5 +13 +6 +5 +11 Concentration +18, Knowledge (arcana) +7, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +7, Knowledge (local) +8, Knowledge (nature) +7, Knowledge (religion) +9, Knowledge (the planes) +8, Perform (sing) +3, Spellcraft +18, Tumble +5 Multivoice -
    18 Eldritch Knight 6 +14 +7 +6 +12 Concentration +19, Knowledge (arcana) +8, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +8, Knowledge (local) +8, Knowledge (nature) +8, Knowledge (religion) +9, Knowledge (the planes) +8, Perform (sing) +3, Spellcraft +19, Tumble +5 - -
    19 Eldritch Knight 7 +15 +7 +6 +12 Concentration +20, Knowledge (arcana) +9, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +8, Knowledge (local) +9, Knowledge (nature) +8, Knowledge (religion) +9, Knowledge (the planes) +9, Perform (sing) +3, Spellcraft +20, Tumble +5 - -
    20 Eldritch Knight 8 +16 +8 +6 +12 Concentration +21, Knowledge (arcana) +14, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +9, Knowledge (local) +9, Knowledge (nature) +9, Knowledge (religion) +9, Knowledge (the planes) +9, Perform (sing) +3, Spellcraft +21, Tumble +5 Rapid Spell -

    Spoiler: Spells
    Show
    Spells Per Day (including ability modifiers):
    Conjuror Cleric
    CR CL 0lvl 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th CL 0lvl 1st 2nd 3rd
    3 1st 3+1 2+1 - - - - - - - - 5th 5 4 3 1
    4 2nd 4+1 3+1 - - - - - - - - 5th 5 4 3 1
    5 3rd 4+1 3+1 2+1 - - - - - - - 5th 5 4 3 1
    6 4th 4+1 4+1 3+1 - - - - - - - 5th 5 4 3 1
    7 5th 4+1 4+1 3+1 2+1 - - - - - - 5th 5 4 3 1
    8 5th 4+1 4+1 3+1 2+1 - - - - - - 5th 5 4 3 1
    9 6th 4+1 4+1 4+1 3+1 - - - - - - 5th 5 4 3 1
    10 7th 4+1 5+1 4+1 3+1 2+1 - - - - - 5th 5 4 3 1
    11 8th 4+1 5+1 5+1 4+1 3+1 - - - - - 5th 5 4 3 1
    12 9th 4+1 5+1 5+1 4+1 3+1 1+1 - - - - 5th 5 4 3 1
    13 10th 4+1 5+1 5+1 4+1 4+1 2+1 - - - - 5th 5 4 3 1
    14 11th 4+1 6+1 5+1 5+1 4+1 3+1 1+1 - - - 5th 5 4 3 1
    15 12th 4+1 6+1 5+1 5+1 4+1 4+1 2+1 - - - 5th 5 4 3 1
    16 13th 4+1 6+1 5+1 5+1 5+1 4+1 2+1 1+1 - - 5th 5 4 3 1
    17 14th 4+1 6+1 5+1 5+1 5+1 4+1 3+1 2+1 - - 5th 5 4 3 1
    18 15th 4+1 6+1 5+1 5+1 5+1 5+1 3+1 2+1 1+1 - 5th 5 4 3 1
    19 16th 4+1 6+1 5+1 5+1 5+1 5+1 3+1 3+1 2+1 - 5th 5 4 3 1
    20 17th 4+1 6+1 5+1 5+1 5+1 5+1 4+1 3+1 2+1 1+1 5th 5 4 3 1

    Commonly Memorized Cleric Spells:
    0: Cure Minor Wounds x2, Detect Magic x2, Read Magic x1
    1st: Lesser Vigor, Protection From Good, Resurgence x2, Sign
    2nd: Aid, Close Wounds, Guidance of the Avatar
    3rd: Divine Retaliation

    Recommended Conjuror Spells For Spellbook: [Conjuration spells are bolded, Abjuration spells are italicized]
    0: all except Enchantment and Evocation
    1st: Benign Transposition, Expeditious Retreat, Feather Fall, Grease, Lesser Orb of Acid/Cold/Electricity/Fire/Sound, Mage Armor, Nerveskitter, Obscuring Mist, Protection From Good, Ray of Enfeeblement, Shield, True Strike
    2nd: Alter Self, Baleful Transposition, Bladeweave, Bull’s Strength, Cat’s Grace, Cloud of Knives, Detect Invisibility, False Life, Fox’s Cunning, Glitterdust, Heroics, Mirror Image, Protection From Arrows, Resist Energy, Rope Trick, Summon Swarm, Web, Wraithstrike
    3rd: Blink, Dispel Magic, Fly, Greater Magic Weapon, Haste, Magic Circle Against Good, Nondetection, Phantom Steed, Protection From Energy, Sleet Storm, Steeldance, Stinking Cloud, Summon Monster III, Tongues, Vampiric Touch
    4th: Doom Scarabs, Enervation, Evard’s Black Tentacles, Greater Invisibility, Greater Mirror Image, Orb of Acid/Cold/Electricity/Fire/Force/Sound, Polymorph, Shadow Conjuration, Solid Fog, Stoneskin, Summon Monster IV
    5th: Break Enchantment, Cloudkill, Dismissal, Overland Flight, Shadow Evocation, Summon Monster V, Teleport, Wall of Stone, Zone of Respite
    6th: Acid Fog, Disintegrate, Globe of Invulnerability, Greater Dispel Magic, Planar Binding, Repulsion, Summon Monster VI, Tenser’s Transformation, True Seeing, Wall of Iron,
    7th: Bite of the Werebear, Energy Immunity, Ethereal Jaunt, Greater Teleport, Ironguard, Plane Shift, Reverse Gravity, Summon Monster VII
    8th: Greater Planar Binding, Iron Body, Mind Blank, Polymorph Any Object, Protection From Spells, Maze, Summon Monster VIII
    9th: Black Blade of Disaster, Foresight, Gate, Mordenkainen’s Disjunction, Prismatic Sphere, Shapechange, Sphere of Ultimate Destruction, Summon Monster IX, Summon Elemental Monolith, Time Stop

    Spoiler: Write-up
    Show
    Racial/Template Traits:
    Darkvision 60 ft, Echo Attack, Pair Link, Spell Conductor, Twins; Enhanced Attributes (+4 DC on spells, SLAs and special attacks), Spells (cast as a 5th level cleric plus 3 pseudo-domains), Reflective Hide (permanent Su spell turning effect); +5 natural armor bonus, +3 bonus on base saves (not shown on table above), Improved initiative and Multiattack as bonus feats, type changes to outsider (native)

    Class Features:
    Banned schools - Enchantment and Evocation; Abrupt Jaunt ACF replaces Summon Familiar, Enhanced Summoning ACF replaces Scribe Scroll as a bonus feat with Augment Summoning as a bonus feat

    How It All Works:
    Taman & Thoron are a set of arcane Gish twins. Early entry to Ruathar is possible through being able to cast 3rd level divine spells by virtue of the Monster of Legend Template. The Outsider type gives full martial weapon proficiency, allowing entry to both Eldritch Knight and Abjurant Champion. Multivoice is what this entry is building to all along. The hefty reqs for this feat delay getting it until CR 17. Multiattack as a bonus feat from the template along with Two-Weapon Fighting as a bonus feat from Eldritch Knight helps ease the feat tax.

    CR 3-5:
    The twins are a worthy encounter, even at these levels. With 5th level Cleric casting and 3rd level Conjuror casting, they are quite capable spell-slingers (the Cleric spells memorized should be tweaked at this CR to more aimed at attacking the party). Summoned creatures benefit from Augment Summoning. Abrupt Jaunt gives them solid defensive options to avoid attacks. Their AC and saves are boosted by the Monster of Legend template, which also offers Spell Turning. Grease and Glitterdust are effective de-buffs, with the DCs pumped up by Enhanced Attributes. Knowledge Devotion with an expenditure of Guidance of the Avatar can boost their melee potential, although the twins prefer to rely on spells to attack at this level. Alter Self opens up many useful Outsider forms. If they are really pressed, they can use their Echo Attack, but the payoff is quite underwhelming - if the move action could be put to better use elsewhere, they wouldn't bother with it.

    CR 6-10:
    Arcane Strike is a decent way to boost melee attacks - however due to the wording of the feat, it may be restricted to a single weapon of one twin. Stinking Cloud and Evard's Black Tentacles can be devastating de-buffs/area control, with high save DCs. Two Weapon Fighting, while mainly there as a req for Multivoice, can be effective when used in a Haste boosted full attack from both twins - I'd recommend a two-hander combined with armor spikes. Combos well with Knowledge Devotion. The twins can Gish it up with more confidence.

    CR 11-15:
    Automatic swift casting of Abjurations is a welcome addition, and helps with action economy against enemies - as does Quicken Spell. Cloudkill and Acid Fog are powerful area attacks. With an impressive Con modifier, the twins are well equipped to go toe to toe, and the above mentioned Arcane Strike and/or Knowledge Devotion combos can now utilize Improved Two Weapon Fighting as well, for an extra attack in a sequence.

    CR 16-20:
    This is what it's all been building to: Mutlivoice. Throwing two powerful spells per round can even the odds in any encounter. Three spells if a Quicken or swift abjuration is in the mix. Rapid Spell can bring summoned allies into a fight more quickly. Imagine facing down an Elemental Monolith while being hit with Sphere of Ultimate Destruction! Taman and Thoron hit BAB +16 and 9th level spells: the standard for any true Gish, but with added action economy. The DC of spells that allow a save (before any Enhancement or Inherent bonuses to Int) is spell level + 9. The sweet spot of CR 18 falls here (Multivoice and 8th level spells should challenge any party, even those with tier one casters).

    Recommended Gear:
    Ability boosters (Int and Con primarily); armor with 0 ASF and 0 armor check penalty (+1 twilight mithril chain shirt with armor spikes, for instance); some kind of two-hander melee weapons; a Blessed Book; wands/scrolls of favored spells.

    Use In Campaign:
    The backstory and motivation of the twins is intentionally vague - they can be the ultimate BBEG of a game, or alternatively, they might by the champions of a greater being (an evil god, archfiend or elder evil, perhaps - the Monster of Legend template implies that a greater power has a hand in the creation of these creatures). As with any full arcane caster, they can operate both as a face to face adversary, or a manipulator (although the twins lend themselves to direct combat over subterfuge).

    Creator's note: I'll be very surprised if this is the only Dvati entry this round, but hopefully it's the only Dvati Monster of Legend Gish entry!

    Sources: [items not specifically called out here can be found in the core books/SRD]
    Artwork: a digital manipulation of original artwork by Emiliano Petrozzi
    Complete Arcane: Various spells
    Complete Champion: Knowledge Devotion, various spells
    Complete Divine: Rapid Spell
    Complete Mage: Abjurant Champion, various spells
    Complete Warrior: Arcane Strike
    Dragon Magazine Compendium: Dvati
    Monster Manual II: Monster of Legend
    Online: Guidance of the Avatar
    Player's Handbook II: Immediate Magic, various spells
    Races of the Wild: Ruathar
    Savage Species: Multivoice
    Spell Compendium: various spells
    Unearthed Arcana: Enhanced Summoning Conjuror variant
    Creator of the LA-assignment thread.

    Extended signature!

  2. - Top - End - #62
    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XX​III: Two Heads Are Better Than One

    Because you and anyone within ten feet of you should suffer whenever you take an action.

    Quote Originally Posted by Boney Bonnie
    Boney Bonnie
    Awakened Skeleton 12-headed Pyrohydra
    Warhulk 10/Warlock 4
    Neutral Evil

    Spoiler: Stats
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    Str 15 +12 27
    Dex 14 +4 18
    Con 08 -- --
    Int 10 -8 02
    Wis 12 -0 12
    Cha 13 -10 03

    16: Dex
    20: Dex
    24: Dex


    Spoiler: Character Background
    Show

    Bonnie was an animated pet of Kl'Ide, a very powerful Archlich. Fearing the complete corruption of the world, Luna (a strong and valiant Paladin) set out to destroy Kl'Ide. They fought a battle of the ages. A battle that echoed through history in the songs and tales of the greatest bards the realms have known.

    But still, the final outcome of that battle is nothing but rumor. Some say that Luna followed Kl'Ide to another plane and destroyed him there. Others believe they fought to their deaths, each destroying the other. Still others tell the tale of Luna using her final breath in prayer, causing a prison of positive energy to contain Kl'Ide in his lair, trapped away from the world.

    The reality is, most of the world has either forgotten Bonnie, or never knew she existed. The only surviving witness of that Greatest Battle, Bonnie harbors Vincula, Luna's greatsword. She believes that the soul-essence of both Luna and Kl'Ide reside with it, locked together in an ongoing duel where only the victor can emerge back into the world. Her pea-sized brain working overtime, Bonnie seeks to find a manner to unlock the sword's barriers to free her master and leave Luna trapped alone.

    Can Bonnie find a way to do so? Will the PCs discover her intent? (Uhmm, yes, or we don't have a campaign.) Can they stop her...or will she succeed in returning Kl'Ide to the realm? (Hmmm...epic expansion to the campaign?)


    Spoiler: Build Table
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    CR Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    6 12 RHD +6/1 +4 +4 +8 Concentration 7.5 B: Improved Initiative; B: Combat Reflexes; 1st: Power Attack; 3rd: Cleave; 6th: Supernatural Instincts; 9th: Improved Scent; 12th: Martial Study (Foehammer) NA +3; Immunity to Cold; DR 5/bludgeoning; Darkvision 60'; Fast Healing 22; Low-light Vision; Scent; +2 profane bonus to resist Control Undead; +2 turn resistance
    7 Warhulk 1 +6/1 +6 +4 +8 Concentration 8 -- No Time to Think; Str +2 (to 29)
    8 Warhulk 2 +6/1 +7 +4 +8 Concentration 8.5 -- Great Swing; Str +2 (to 31)
    9 Warhulk 3 +6/1 +7 +5 +9 Concentration 9 15th: Martial Stance (Thicket of Blades) Mighty Rock Throwing; Str +2 (to 33)
    10 Warhulk 4 +6/1 +8 +5 +9 Concentration 9.5 -- Mighty Swing; Str +2 (to 35)
    11 Warhulk 5 +6/1 +8 +5 +9 Concentration 10 -- Str +2 (to 37)
    12 Warhulk 6 +6/1 +9 +6 +10 Concentration 10.5 18th: Uncanny Scent Sweeping Boulder; Str +2 (to 39)
    13 Warhulk 7 +6/1 +9 +6 +10 Concentration 11 -- Str +2 (to 41)
    14 Warhulk 8 +6/1 +10 +6 +10 Concentration 11.5 B: Toughness Massive Sweeping Boulder; Str +2 (to 43)
    15th Warhulk 9 +6/1 (+1) +10 +6 +10 Concentration 12 21st: Spellcasting Harrier; B: Toughness Str +2 (to 45)
    16 Warhulk 10 +6/1 (+1) +11 (+1) +7 (+1) +11 (+1) Concentration 12; Intimidate 1 B: Toughness Massive Swing; Str +2 (to 47)
    17 Warlock 1 +6/1 (+2) +11 (+1) +7 (+1) +11 (+1) Concentration 13; Intimidate 1 -- Eldritch Blast 1d6; Invocation (Summon Swarm)
    18 Warlock 2 +6/1 (+2) +11 (+2) +7 (+2) +11 (+2) Concentration 14; Intimidate 1 24th: Improved Combat Reflexes Detect Magic; Invocation (Swimming the Styx)
    19 Warlock 3 +6/1 (+3) +11 (+2) +7 (+2) +11 (+2) Concentration 15; Intimidate 1 -- DR 1/Cold Iron; Eldritch Blast 2d6
    20 Warlock 4 +6/1 (+3) +11 (+3) +7 (+3) +11 (+3) Concentration 16; Intimidate 1 -- Deceive Item; Invocation (See the Unseen)


    Spoiler: CR 6 (RHD)
    Show

    The Racial Hit Dice of this build come with a lot of goodies. And goodies that work pretty well together.

    Hydrae (it's greek, people!) have an interesting kill mechanic. Slicing off heads via the sunder rules, then burning the neck stump is an unusual tactic in D&D. The damage to the neck/head must be done with a slashing weapon, but the Skeleton template offers DR/bludgeoning. Also, pyrohydrae (still greek!) have immunity to fire, so the after-damage to close the neck must be done with either cold or acid. And Skeletons have immunity to cold. So that works fairly well.

    Being Awakened (which, I think, was an absolute necessity way back when in these contests as having an INT score was a requirement -- Is that still the case now?) is huge as it returns (EX) abilities (Fast Healing will certainly be helpful to this villain and Scent is of great use) and gives an INT score to the Skeleton. In this case, that Int score is 2, but low as it is, it's enough to give back feat progression for the build!

    Speaking of feats, there are six granted by these RHD (five from levels, one bonus.):
    • Improved Initiative -- The bonus feat. Helpful for most everyone, really.
    • Combat Reflexes -- A typical feat for hydrae of all kinds, it will be a major focus of the build.
      Spoiler: A note about Hydrae and Combat Reflexes
      Show

      There seems to be some question about how Hydrae use AOOs (and, thus, Combat Reflexes). The confusion circulating on the 'net about it seems to come from some people just not wanting to believe the RAW, even though they don't have any specific reasons to believe that RAI is different. It isn't broken, it isn't unrealistic (relative to the realism of D&D), and it isn't really all that confusing.

      When a creature is in a situation where it gets an Attack of Opportunity, it makes an attack. (This is typically listed in the monster stat block under "Attack".) The line
      Quote Originally Posted by SRD
      A hydra’s Combat Reflexes feat allows it to use all its heads for attacks of opportunity.
      means that a hydra can do just that. Use all of it's heads for an AOO. Just as it appears in it's "Attack" line in the stat block. One attack, multiple bites. Though it isn't specifically stated anywhere that I can find, volley rules should apply.
    • Power Attack -- A requirement for Cleave.
    • Cleave -- A requirement for the next section. This monster will make a lot of attacks, so it's likely that it'll get a kill every now and then
    • Supernatural Instincts -- Yeeessss.... Do remember that Turn Undead is a (SU) ability!
    • Improved Scent -- To find the hidden rascals better. It gets uncanny later on.
    • Martial Study (Foehammer) -- With this, we can bypass DR. Again, all heads should get to attack, but I would only apply the extra damage once (as per the volley rules.) This is, really, mostly a prerequisite feat, though.



    Spoiler: CR 7-16 (WH)
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    Warhulk!!
    (Did your brain just say "Warhulk smash!!"? Seriously??)

    Warhulk is a fun PrC that doesn't advance BAB at all, but adds to STR instead. So, fighting ability is basically a full BAB class but without the iteratives. Which is fine for us, because we're using natural attacks and don't get iteratives, anyway. But the damage.... Whoo-hoo!
    The great fun with the PrC, though, is in Great Swing (3rd level). Mighty Swing (4th) opens movement in the round, too. And Massive Swing (10th) is just downright awesome!
    A 12-headed pyrohydra can attack 12 times against a single target. With Great Swing, each of those heads can attack 3 targets in a row. Mighty Swing works on AOOs. And Massive Swing lets those 12 heads attack everyone within reach with every attack, including AOOs.
    Let's just take a moment to appreciate that:
    A cleric tries to use Turn Undead against this villain. The Supernatural Instincts feat kicks in for an attack of opportunity. Twelve heads get to make an attack against the cleric. And then attack the fighter, too. And the rogue. And the wizard if s/he's in range. And, frankly, anyone else who happens to be standing around watching. And if one of those foes falls, Cleave applies, and all twelve heads make another attack against everyone within reach.

    Feats added through these levels:
    • Martial Stance (Thicket of Blades) -- Is there something better for a Combat Reflexer?
    • Uncanny Scent -- Invisible? Not within my reach, you're not.
    • Toughness (x3) -- Yeah, well, they're free, at least.
    • Spellcasting Harrier -- The feat that answers the previous question. Yes. Yes, there is something better than Thicket of Blades.



    Spoiler: CR 17-20 (WL)
    Show

    Warlock? Why warlock? For one very simple tactic.
    The build is set up to make devastating AOO attacks against everybody. But first, someone has to provoke those attacks. Supernatural Instincts + Thicket of Blades + Spellcasting Harrier means that, most likely, someone will eventually. But now, with Warlock, we can provoke our own AOOs.
    How?
    With Summon Swarm. All day, every day. A standard action to cast (all invocations are) and suddenly there's a swarm of whatever in our threat range. And it will move, which sets off the AOO. We have no control over it, but we know that it will move. Somewhere. Toward someone. We really don't care who. (It won't be at us. We're undead. Swarms only care about living targets.) The swarm isn't under our control, so it doesn't need to be considered an ally. We can consider it to be a foe, and thus, it can provoke AOOs from us. Which, with Massive Swing, get to attack everybody.

    Uhmm...Swimming the Styx...why? I understand your confusion. As an undead creature, we don't need to breathe. But in order to use Scent underwater, you need the ability to breathe underwater. The same goes for spellcasting, so I assume it does for using invocations and other SLAs, too. We might as well put that swim speed to use and have a lair underwater. It just adds that extra layer of defense from those pesky adventurers!

    The feat at these levels:
    • Improved Combat Reflexes -- The feat that answers the question of whether or not there's anything better for a Combat Reflexer than Spellcasting Harrier. 'All day, every day' just became 'all round, every round'.



    Spoiler: Bibliography
    Show

    • Pyrohydra: Monster Manual p.155-157
    • Skeleton Template: Monster Manual p.225-227
    • Awaken Undead spell: Spell Compendium p. 21
    • Supernatural Instincts feat: Fiendish Codex II p.85
    • Improved Scent feat: Savage Species p.36
    • Martial Study feat: Tome of Battle (Bo9S) p.31
    • Foehammer maneuver: Tome of Battle (Bo9S) p.59
    • Warhulk PrC: Miniatures Handbook p.22-24 (Remember your errata!)
    • Martial Stance feat: Tome of Battle (Bo9S) p.31
    • Thicket of Blades stance: Tome of Battle (Bo9S) p.61
    • Uncanny Scent feat: Savage Species p.40
    • Spellcasting Harrier feat: Draconomicon p.74
    • Warlock class: Complete Arcane p.5-10
    • Improved Combat Reflexes feat: Epic Level Handbook p.57 (Please refer to the 3.5 Accessory Update p.7)

    Creator of the LA-assignment thread.

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  3. - Top - End - #63
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XX​III: Two Heads Are Better Than One

    Two villains for the price of one!

    Quote Originally Posted by Masa and Mune
    Masa & Mune:
    Symbiotic Humans




    Generations ago, a blade was formed. Pounded out from the weakest steal in the purest of waters by the ancient artisan Rojiro Fernandez, the Masamune blade was passed from warrior to warrior, shaping the course of battles for hundreds of years. The blood saturated blade of such refined origin attracted a pair of powerful evil spirits who wound up inhabiting the blade. They experienced the blood of every dynasty-changing battle. Eventually, a dynasty was so cruel as to destroy all resistance, and the masamune blade found rest on top of a family hearth. The warrior’s blade of battle had become a token of nobility. Eventually, the blade became a status symbol to be inherited by the Bayushi noble family. The last inheritance delivered the blade to a pair of twin brothers who were told by the governing magistrates to figure out how to share or split the honor of having this blade as their own. They broke it in half against a rock and each kept half. The spirits were finally shunted free to find new beings to inhabit. They each possessed a young noble baby and spirit bonded with them. Those men’s later generations were the spirit linked by these evil forces.

    Bayushi Masa was born into the Scorpion Clan. A thirdborn son, as a lesser samurai worked hard to achieve fame and notoriety by volunteering for service in battle between other clans as some sort internship in bloodshed. Other samurai tell stories of how Masa would swell to the size of an ogre, and smash enemies with a sword made of hellish light.

    Shinjo Mune is a Unicorn Clan street hustler. The last of seven children in a rich but poorly-reputed family. Shinjo clan has been struck with the wanderlust and thrill of adventure, ever since the emporer assigned them the role of frontier exploration and expansion. Mune’s family had arranged an annulment and second marriage to a scorpion clan courtier a few generations back and continues to suffer from perceptions of severe dishonor for a few generations. Mune had an aggressive and decadent youth across the continent, buying his way out of the troubles he always found himself getting into. He was sent to a monastery in the frontierlands that specialized in training rowdy rich youth, and the experience just armed him with more self control, and a desire for power over others. His intense training culminated in the development of mild psionic potential to shrink themselves.

    Masa and Mune met by chance during a parlay at the battle of Elksblood Junction. When they shook hands and repeated the same exact words at the same time. They then both said “Jynx” at the same time, as homage to a ritualized child’s game developed to acknowledge who really said what first. This simultenaety was locked further into place as each flared their psionic hidden talent to escalate for combat. Masa Growing for strength and Mune shrinking for difficulty of striking.

    Reality wobbled.

    The scions of the evil spirits parasitizing the mighty masamune blade of legend had struck a resonant chord with the script of reality and suddenly, the two men blended into a fusion man. Now, forever more, they must buy each other fizzy soda to unlock the fusion of themselves. The parlay at elksblood junction ended with Masa claiming that the assembled samurai-generals brashly attacking and slaying each other. The local investigator specialized in handling dead bodies and forensics confirmed that all of the samurai had attacked each other. Masa enjoyed a minor celebrity for sending the opposing armies home from battle in respect for the loss of so many great honorable samurai on both sides from the parlay tent. This ended lion/crab clan hostilities in a satisfactory way for both clans.


    However cursed, Masa and Mune found that their individual powers stacked. Their psionic potentials each being squarely located in each others conciousness, but they were also a shared being. A shared being that was incredibly capable. He is hard to hit, and many attackers find that they are accidentally hitting their friends to death through their own incompetence when fighting Masamune. Masamune is also quite capable of powerful attacks that hit multiple enemies multiple times per combat using warminds sweeping strike while using insightful strike or greater insightful strike maneuvers (concentration check to determine damage).

    Deceptive dodge, combat panache, elusive target, and gnome tunnel acrobatics, and good karma feats allow Mune to force attackers into hitting each other. If the opponents target an ally, they can use good karma to redirect the attack towards themselves...and then divert it into his enemies. At level 12, trickery devotion allows a double of Mune to use his feats to make enemies attack each other through the dodge feats.

    The symbiotic template requires that the humanoids just be two size categories apart when they attach. For complete and total RAW availability to keep the symbiosis going with zero plot handwaving, all you need to do is replace psicrystal affinity and psicrystal containment of Mune with extend and persist power, and replace psicrystal containment of Masa with practiced manifester, which should, by CR 12 allow for MASAMUNE to exist for an entire day. Hidden talent compression and expansion paired with karmic twin offers enough mechanical narrative to allow two humans to enter into symbiosis. Considering the way CR is calculated for the template, I advanced the bad guys individual halves through class level gains. At every CR rather than advancing Masamune as a single entity that takes class levels: mostly because initiator level and maneuver availability analysis would be monstrous. The two hate to be apart, but they do detach with some frequency to handle situations that they must attend to personally.

    All of Mune’s skills become racial bonuses to Masa’s skills. This makes Masamunes concentration, tumble, and autohypnosis check bonuses crazy high.





    Bayushi Masa
    NE [ulr=“http://archive.wizards.com/default.a...sm/20070214a”] Hidden Talent Bonus Feat[/url] Soulknife 4/ warblade 7/ warmind 7/ fighter 1

    Str 15
    Con 14
    Dex 13
    Int 8
    Wis 10
    Cha 12
    All level ups go to wisdom

    Shinjo Mune
    LE Feat Rogue 4/cobra strike monk 2/skilled city dweller (http://archive.wizards.com/default.a...d/we/20070228a) fighter 2/skilled city dweller psychic warrior 1/Elocator 3/Fortune’s Friend 5
    Str 8
    Con 10
    Dex 12
    Int 15
    Wis 14
    Cha 13
    Add +1 to dex at level 4
    Add +1 int at level 8
    Add +1 cha at level 12,
    Add +1 wis at level 16, and 20


    CR HD BAB Fort Ref Will skills Feats Abilities Racial bonus on Skill Checks PP
    X 1 1 0 2 2 concentration 4 autohypnosis 4, k psionics 4, tumble 4 B: Hidden Talent (XPH p.67) (expansion), B: weapon focus (mind blade), 1: Karmic Twin (OA p.64), B: Psicrystal Affinity (XPH p.49) Mind blade, Weapon Focus (mind blade), Hidden Talent, detach - 2
    3 2 2 0 3 3 concentration 5, autohypnosis 5, k psionics 5, tumble 5 1:Hidden Talent (compression), B: Karmic Twin, B: combat expertise Throw mind blade, bonus feat, trapfinding concentration +2, autohypnosis +2, tumble +4, Hide +4, move silently +4, bluff +4, disable device +4, UMD +4, intimidate +4, perform +4, k. dungeoneering +2 4
    4 3 3 2 3 3 concentration 6, k history 2, tumble 6 3: Psychic renewal(ToB p.32) Battle Clarity (Ref Saves), Weapon Aptitude, Maneuvers: Moment of Perfect mind, Steel Wind, Sapphire Nightmare Blade, Stance of clarity - 4
    5 4 4 3 4 3 concentration 7, k psionics 7, tumble 7 B:Psionic Weapon (xph p.50), B: Dodge Bonus feat, Unarmed Strike, Bonus Feat, Flurry of Blows, AC bonus concentration +5, tumble +5, umd +5, k. local +1, hide +5 4
    6 5 5 3 5 4 concentration 8, k psionics 8, tumble 8, autohypnosis 6 3: psicrystal containment, B: mobility MindBlade+1, Bonus feat, Evasion concentration +6, tumble +6, balance +1, perform +6, k. arcana +1 4
    7 6 6 4 6 4 concentration 9, tumble 9, balance 1 6:Instant clarity (ToB p.31), B: spring attack Uncanny Dodge, bonus feat, spell reflection, Maneuver: Action before thought concentration +7, tumble +7, bluff +7, perform +7, intimidate +6 4
    8 7 7 6 6 4 psicraft 2 Chain of personal superiority +2, trap sense +1 Manifesting: Prevenom Weapon, (xph 125) concentration +8, tumble +8, bluff +8, perform +8, intimidate +8, umd +8, k. local +2 6
    9 8 8 7 7 4 psicraft 4 6: Trickery Devotion (Complete Champion p.63), B: Deceptive Dodge (Drag Compendium p.95) Chain of defensive posture +2, Manifesting: Urban strider (CPsi, 104) Concentration +9, tumble +9, umd +9, bluff +9, disable device +6, hide +6 , move silently +6, k. local +3 9
    10 9 9 7 8 5 concentration 10, tumble 10, UMD 1, k. local 1 9: psicrystal containment, B: combat panache (PHBII p. 93) Battle Ardor (Critical confirmation), bonus feat, Maneuver: Insightful Strike concentration +10, tumble +10, umd +10 9
    11 10 10 7 8 6 disable device 1/2, concentration 11 B: Elusive target (ComWarrior 110) Enduring Body (DR 1/-), bonus feat concentration +11, tumble +11, umd +11, climb +1 13
    12 11 11 9 9 6 disable device 1, concentration 12 9: good karma (CS p.77) B: gnome tunnel acrobatics (Dungeonscape, p. 44) bonus feat, Manifesting: force screen, Hustle (Xph p.111) concentration +12, tumble +12, autohypnosis +8 18
    13 12 12 9 9 6 autohypnosis9, concentration 13 12:psionic meditation, B: sidestep charge Sweeping strike, scorn earth, sidestep charge, manifesting: chameleon concentration +13, tumble +13, UPD +4, autohypnosis +10 25
    14 13 13 9 9 7 Concentration 14, tumble 11, k. local 3 opportunistic strike, maneuver: Absolute Steel concentration +14, tumble +14, autohypnosis +14, upd +7 25
    15 14 14 10 11 7 autohypnosis10 concentration 14 12: steady concentration (Ros p.144) Enduring Body (DR 2/-), Easy luck, extra fortune, more luck than skill, (2 luck reroll) Manifesting: concealing amorpha concentration +15, tumble +15, disable device +8, umd +12, hide +7, move silently +7, bluff+ 11 33
    16 15 15 10 12 7 autohypnosis11, concentration 15 15: linked power, B: Advantageous Avoidance(CS p.73) Chain of personal superiority +4, bonus luck feat, 3 luck reroll concentration +16, tumble +16, disable device +10, umd +14, bluff +14 42
    17 16 16 10 12 7 Concentration 16, tumble 12, k. local 5 B: combat reflexes Bonus feat, dimension step, manifesting: Call item, Maneuver: Iron heart surge concentration +17, tumble +17, upd +10, autohypnosis +17, disable device +12 44
    18 17 17 11 12 8 Concentration 18, tumble 14 15: Trickery devotion improved uncanny dodge, Extra fortune, fortune’s favorite, 4 luck reroll concentration +18, tumble +18, bluff +18, umd +17 44
    19 18 18 11 13 8 concentration 20, tumble 16 18: martial study (Manticore parry), B: Unbelievable luck (CS p.81) Battle Cunning (Damage), bonus luck feat, 6 luck reroll, Maneuvers: greater insightful strike, Manticore parry concentration +19, tumble +19, autohypnosis +18, bluff +19, disable device +16 44
    20 19 19 13 13 8 tumble 18 B: martial study (Scything Strike) Bonus feat, tower shield proficiency, Extra fortune, lucky strike, 7 luck reroll concentration +20, tumble +20, bluff +20, autohypnosis +20, umd +19 44

    CR9 is the ideal introductory level for this villain. Masamune has a few attack diversions, a few psywar abilities, and some initiator strikes. All of his tricks work at this point. Instant clarity/psychic renewal: 3x day gain focus after a strike, swift action spend focus to recover maneuver by paying power point cost equal to the maneuver level. The psi crystals can also hold focus. He has +21 concentration and +18 tumble. He must fight defensively to activate deceptive dodge. In any combat situation with multiple opponents, Masamune tries to get flanked to activate elusive target, relying on his uncanny dodge abilities to help. Masamune has the spell reflection ACF from complete mage and evasion.

    A good plot for this level is the arranged marriage of Masa or Munes’ families. They are in love with each other on a fundamental level, and will delay and spurn this turn of events. Putting one demand on the process after another. They may attempt to kill their bride or their bride’s families. Or, if you want to go a comical route, they demand that their bride be willing to marry both of them simultaneously and in order to please them, they must have four legs to spread. Which is confounded by the fact that the dragon clan’s Takekawa family has an eligible tauric spellweaver/tauric draconic human/camel princess that they’ve locked in a tower for the last 20 years who has studied shugenja magics. Her older siblings all died in an oni-related incident. And she happens to fit all of those provisions of MasaMune. The nice thing about the lands of the mutant magic using princess is that they are in vital opium trafficking territory, and Masa could turn a blind eye to that part of his family’s business for them.


    CR 12, If masamune is struck, they use Combat panache the next round (bluff check vs sense motive) as a move action to make them attack someone else, using hustle to get their move back to help activate gnome tunnel acrobatics combat puppeteer ability. Elocator’s Scorn earth helps tumble through difficult terrain, and insightful strike allows you to use your concentration check in place of damage rolls. Hustle also helps with the psionic meditation at CR 13. Steady concentration allows for the taking of 10 on concentration checks. This Level is the high point of the villain. Everything after this requires psionic or spellcasting support and a number of mooks. Masamune will avoid combat situations where they fall privy to ranged attacks, but will engage in combat with multiple melee opponents whenever possible.

    At this level, a second marriage (if they killed the bride or family before the first marriage) would make a great plot reason to hire PCs to keep Masamune out of trouble. They may split and attempt to have each half run away right before the ceremony….Another option, if you’ve decided to have masamune and his/their spellweaver camel consort get married and rule, would be to use them as a powerful villainous couple. Perhaps they are attempting to take over rulership of the dragon clan and have chosen to secretly incite rivalries between the Isaka Family and their western neighbors of the Ibe family. Masamune is 100% against shadowlands taint, (“The shadowlands always win!”) and begins a draconian crackdown on shadowlands studies (like those of his wife’s family) and maho magic.

    At the highest levels, Masamune has 7 luck points to use on good karma shenanigans, a ton of PP to re-obtain maneuvers, two or three different abilities to strike two opponents or more at full force, 4 psionic focuses at the beginning of battle, and 4 different ways to make opponents hit each other. He has greater insightful strike and the ability to take 10 concentration checks on which he has (with no gear), a +40 to. When combined with sweeping strike, that means that he is dealing 100 damage to two people and can regain a focus while initiating the strike and/or spend his focus to re-ready the maneuver.

    At really high levels, Masamune is a great lieutenant type character who needs a buffer and some ranged attack allies. His story arcs at this point can include taking over some mountain passes to secure a monopoly on fizzy drinks. Some court intrigue about the mutants running around pretending to be samurai up north that causes them to begin retributive slaying of the slanderer’s families.

    In all honesty, it would be really cool that if you ever kill masamune in combat, that his mindblade drops into a real life sword with the abilities of the ancient masamune blade.

    Spoiler: Masa and Mune's individual statblocks
    Show

    Masa:
    Level Class BAB Fort Ref Will skills Feats Abilities PP
    1 Soulknife 1 1 0 2 2 concentration 4 autohypnosis 4, k psionics 4, tumble 4 B: Hidden Talent (XPH p.67) (expansion), B: weapon focus (mind blade), 1: Karmic Twin (OA p.64), B: Psicrystal Affinity (XPH p.49) Mind blade, Weapon Focus (mind blade), Hidden Talent 2
    2 Soulknife 2 2 0 3 3 concentration 5, autohypnosis 5, k psionics 5, tumble 5 Throw mind blade 2
    3 Warblade 1 3 2 3 3 concentration 6, k history 2, tumble 6 3: Psychic renewal(ToB p.32) Battle Clarity (Ref Saves), Weapon Aptitude, Maneuvers: Moment of Perfect mind, Steel Wind, Sapphire Nightmare Blade, Stance of clarity 2
    4 Bonus Feat Soulknife 3 4 3 3 3 concentration 7, k psionics 7, tumble 7 B:Psionic Weapon (xph p.50) Bonus feat 2
    5 Soulknife 4 5 3 4 4 concentration 8, k psionics 8, tumble 8, autohypnosis 6 MindBlade+1 2
    6 warblade 2 6 4 4 4 concentration 9, tumble 9, balance 1 6:Instant clarity (ToB p.31) Uncanny Dodge. Maneuver: Action before thought 2
    7 warmind 1 7 6 6 4 psicraft 2 Chain of personal superiority +2: Manifesting: Prevenom Weapon, (xph 125) 4
    8 warmind 2 8 7 7 4 psicraft 4 Chain of defensive posture +2, Manifesting: Urban strider (CPsi, 104) 7
    9 warblade 3 9 7 8 5 concentration 10, tumble 10, UMD 1, k. local 1 9: psicrystal containment Battle Ardor (Critical confirmation) 7
    10 warmind 3 10 7 8 6 disable device 1/2, concentration 11 Enduring Body (DR 1/-), 11
    11 warmind 4 11 8 9 6 disable device 1, concentration 12 Manifesting: Hustle (Xph p.111) 16
    12 warmind 5 12 8 9 6 autohypnosis9, concentration 13 12:psionic meditation Sweeping strike 22
    13 warblade 4 13 9 9 6 Concentration 14, tumble 11, k. local 3 maneuver: Absolute Steel 22
    14 warmind 6 14 10 10 7 autohypnosis10 concentration 14 Enduring Body (DR 2/-), Manifesting: concealing amorpha 30
    15 warmind 7 15 10 10 7 autohypnosis11, concentration 15 15: linked power Chain of personal superiority +4 39
    16 warblade 5 16 10 10 7 Concentration 16, tumble 12, k. local 5 B: combat reflexes Bonus feat, Maneuver: Iron heart surge 39
    17 warblade 6 17 11 11 8 Concentration 18, tumble 14 improved uncanny dodge 39
    18 warblade 7 18 11 11 8 concentration 20, tumble 16 18: martial study (Manticore parry) Battle Cunning (Damage) Maneuvers: greater insightful strike, Manticore parry 39
    19 fighter 1 19 13 11 8 tumble 18 B: martial study (Scything Strike) Bonus feat, tower shield 39

    MUNE
    Level Class BAB Fort Ref Will skills feat abilities PP
    1 Feat Rogue 0 0 2 0 concentration 2, autohypnosis 2, tumble 4, Hide 4, move silently 4, bluff 4, disable device 4, UMD 4, intimidate 4, perform 4, k. dungeoneering 2 1:Hidden Talent (compression), B: Karmic Twin, B: combat expertise bonus feat, trapfinding 2
    2 cobra strike monk 1 0 2 4 2 7:concentration 5, tumble 5, umd 5, k. local 1, hide 5 B: dodge Unarmed Strike, Bonus Feat, Flurry of Blows, AC bonus 2
    3 cobra strike monk 2 1 3 5 3 concentration 6, tumble 6, balance 1, perform 6, k. arcana 1 3: psicrystal containment, B: mobility Bonus feat, Evasion 2
    4 Spell reflection (CM p.35) feat rogue 2 2 3 6 3 11: concentration 7, tumble 7, bluff 7, perform 7, intimidate 6 B: spring attack bonus feat, spell reflection 2
    5 feat rogue 3 3 4 6 4 11: concentration 8, tumble 8, bluff 8, perform 8, intimidate 8, umd 8, k. local 2 trap sense +1 2
    6 feat rogue 4 4 4 6 4 11: Concentration 9, tumble 9, umd 9, bluff 9, disable device 6, hide 6 , move silently 6, k. local 3 6: Trickery Devotion (Complete Champion p.63), B: Deceptive Dodge (Drag Compendium p.95) uncanny dodge 2
    7 skilled city dweller Fighter 1 5 6 6 4 5: concentration 10, tumble 10, umd 10 B: combat panache (PHBII p. 93) bonus feat 2
    8 Fighter 2 6 7 6 4 6: concentration 11, tumble 11, umd 11, climb 1 B: Elusive target (ComWarrior 110) bonus feat 2
    9 skilled city dweller psywarrior 1 6 9 6 4 8: concentration 12, tumble 12, autohypnosis 8 9: good karma (CS p.77) B: gnome tunnel acrobatics (Dungeonscape, p. 44) bonus feat, manifesting: force screen 2
    10 Elocator 1 6 9 8 6 10: concentration 13, tumble 13, upd 4, autohypnosis 10 B: sidestep charge scorn earth, sidestep charge, manifesting: chameleon 3
    11 Elocator 2 7 9 9 7 10: concentration 14, tumble 14, autohypnosis 14, upd 7 opportunistic strike 3
    12 fortune’s friend (complete Scoundrel p.38) 1 7 9 11 7 10: concentration 15, tumble 15, disable device 8, umd 12, hide 7, move silently 7, bluff 11 12: steady concentration (Ros p.144) Easy luck, extra fortune, more luck than skill, (2 luck reroll) 3
    13 fortune’s friend 2 8 9 12 7 concentration 16, tumble 16, disable device 10, umd 14, bluff 14 B: Advantageous Avoidance(CS p.73) bonus luck feat, 3 luck reroll 3
    14 elocator 3 9 10 12 7 10: concentration 17, tumble 17, upd 10, autohypnosis 17, disable device 12 dimension step, manifesting: Call item 5
    15 fortune’s friend 3 9 11 12 8 10: concentration 18, tumble 18, bluff 18, umd 17 15: Trickery devotion Extra fortune, fortune’s favorite, 4 luck reroll 5
    16 fortune’s friend 4 10 11 13 8 concentration 19, tumble 19, autohypnosis 18, bluff 19, disable device 16 B: Unbelievable luck (CS p.81) bonus luck feat, 6 luck reroll 5
    17 fortune’s friend 5 10 11 13 8 concentration 20, tumble 20, bluff 20, autohypnosis 20, umd 19 Extra fortune, lucky strike, 7 luck reroll 5

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  4. - Top - End - #64
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XX​III: Two Heads Are Better Than One

    Why did it have to be snakes? (It's 11 PM and I'm tired, sue me for re-using jokes)

    Quote Originally Posted by Aperantos

    Aperantos, the Serpent of Infinity
    Yuan-ti Anathema Binder 2

    Spoiler: Story
    Show
    I have been called by many an incarnation of the god Merrshaulk. I was born and raised by the cult believing such, and even to this day some still hold that to be true. For those who dare to say it to my face, they would be quite lucky if death were the only thing I had available to deal with them. Unfortunately for them, I have much, much worse. The day of my birth was the greatest day of my brood-parent's lives. As well as their last. As if the Cabal would ever let an Anathema like myself into anyone else's hands.

    I was fed a diet of praise and platitudes, taught their lore, and groomed to do great things. Or perhaps, I should say, to let the Cabal do great things. Needless to say, this was unacceptable. Perhaps if they had kept me more sheltered I would have been more willing to let them use me, but I saw much I was not meant to. I saw their weakness, how tenuous their control over our race was. I saw the outcasts, the dissidents, and knew the fear that they struck in the hearts of our Elders. I saw the lore and magic that should have been forbidden, and learned of it. And I saw the truth: Merrshaulk was weak. To compare me to this squabling, pathetic 'god' was an affront to my stature.

    Despite this, I knew that there were many more powerful beings out there, perhaps even one that might be deserving of my aid. My seizure of our sect was swift, those who heard my word learned true fear, and those who didn't provided ample bodies for experimentation. I took power and resources, both literal and metaphorical, from the Cabal sanctum I resided in, and set about expanding. And here, I made my first and only mistake: underestimating humans. They repelled my attempts at overwhelming them with deceptive speed, and I knew that I must go about it a different way. And it was know that I learned about the one being who is worthy of being served by me: Sertrous.

    I was approached by a servant of his, and he became my vizier, teaching me of the mistakes I and those before me have made. Though the humans may have cut off one head of my operation, I still had many left. The rest of the jungle was a risk, one I could not take, and so I instead focused my efforts on subjugating and assimilating the rest of my kind, eliminating any of Merrshaulk's pathetic groupies I came across. Here, the humans made their first mistake, soon to be one of many. They let me 'clean up' the jungle, and didn't even try to interfere. They thought that just because I wasn't targeting them, they were safe. It was adorable.

    Soon enough, I was ready to lead the newest and final incarnation of the Vanguard of Sertrous. Aided by one voice from the past and three from the void, it is time for me to show these lesser beings who is, as they say, 'boss'.


    Spoiler: Mechanical Information
    Show
    Spoiler: Ability Scores
    Show
    Attribute Base Racial Level Total
    Strength 14 16 - 30
    Dexterity 13 2 - 15
    Constitution 12 18 - 30
    Intelligence 10 14 - 24
    Wisdom 8 14 - 22
    Charisma 15 12 1 28


    Spoiler: Build Table
    Show
    CR HD Class BAB Fort Ref Will Skills Feats Class Features
    18 22 Yuan-ti Anathema +16 +7 +7 +13 Bluff 24 (12), Concentration 25 (25), Hide 25 (25), Diplomacy 24 (12), Knowledge (Arcana) 25 (25), Knowledge (Religion) 25 (25), Listen 25 (25), Move Silently 25 (25), Spot 25 (25)

    Clarity of Vision
    Multigrab, Apostate, Greater Multigrab, Chosen of Evil, Endurance, Diehard, Dark Speech, Combat Reflexes, Quick Change, Slave to Evil, Dark Whispers, Insane Defiance, Steadfast Determination see stablock
    19 23 Binder 1 +16 +9 +7 +15 Concentration 1 (26), Diplomacy 4 (16), Hide 2 (26), Move Silently 2 (26) - Soul Binding
    20 24 Binder 2 +17 +10 +7 +16 Concentration 1 (27), Diplomacy 4 (20), Hide 2 (27), Move Silently 2 (27) Spellcasting Harrier Pact Augmentation, Suppress Sign

    Feats in italics are those gained at first level and every fifth level thereafter from devotion to Sertrous.

    Due to only possessing two class levels, Asperantos' table is rather clunky. For additional aid, I have enclosed a proper statblock in the spoiler below.


    Spoiler: Statblock
    Show
    Aperantos
    Yuan-ti Anathema Binder 2
    CE Huge Abberation
    Init +2 (+2 Dex); Senses All-around Vision, Darkvision 60 ft., Scent; Listen +31, Spot +35
    Languages Yuan-ti, Common, Draconic, Abyssal

    AC 30, touch 10, flat-footed 28 (+2 Dex, -2 Size, +20 Natural Armor)
    HP 24d8+240 (351 HP average); Regeneration 5 (Force or Adamantine); DR 15/Good and Magic
    Immune Acid, Poison; Resistances Electricity 10, Fire 10
    Fort +20, Ref +9, Will +26 (+14 vs. Divine Spells)
    Spell Resistance 26 (31 vs. Divine Spells)

    Speed 40 ft. Land, 20 ft. Climb, 20 ft. Swim
    Attack Bite +28 or Claw +23
    Full Attack 6 Bites +28 and 2 Claws +23
    Damage Bite 1d8+10 plus poison, Claw 1d8+5
    Space 15 ft.; Reach 15 ft.
    Base Attack +17; Grapple +36
    Special Attacks Constrict 1d8+10, Improved Grab, Poison, Psionics, Spell-like Abilities

    Abilities Str 30, Dex 15, Con 30, Int 24, Wis 22, Cha 28
    Special Qualities Acid Immunity, All-around Vision, Attach Grafts, Darkvision 60 ft., DR 15/Good and Magic, Electricity Resistance 10, Fire Resistance 10, Poison Immunity, Regeneration 5, Scent, SR 26
    Feats 1st - Multigrab, 1st - Apostate, 3rd - Greater Multigrab, 5th - Chosen of Evil, 6th - Endurance, 9th - Diehard, 10th - Dark Speech, 12th - Combat Reflexes, 15th - Quick Change, 15th - Slave to Evil, 18th - Dark Whispers, 20th - Insane Defiance, 21st - Steadfast Determination, 24th - Spellcasting Harrier
    Skills Bluff +21, Climb +18, Concentration +37, Hide +21*, Diplomacy +31, Intimidate +11, Knowledge (Arcana) +32, Knowledge (Religion) +32, Listen +31, Move Silently +29, Search +11, Spot +35, Swim +18

    Constrict (Ex) With a successful grapple check, Aperantos can constrict a grabbed opponent, dealing 1d8+10 points of bludgeoning damage.

    Improved Grab (Ex) If Aperantos hits an opponent that is at least one size category smaller than himself with a bite attack, he deals normal damage and attempts to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity (grapple bonus +36). If he gets a hold, he also constricts on the same round. Thereafter, he has the option to conduct the grapple normally, or simply use one of his six serpent-heads to hold the opponent (no penalty due to Greater Multigrab).

    Poison (Ex) Aperantos delivers his poison (Fort DC 32 negates) with each successful bite attack. Initial and secondary damage are the same (1d4 Con).

    Psionics (Sp) Aperantos can produce the following effects at will.

    Alternate Form: Aperantos can assume the form of a Tiny to Huge viper (see the Monster Manual). In viper form, his poison deals 1d6 points of Constitution damage instead of 1d4.

    In addition, he can assume the form of a viper swarm.

    Chameleon Power: Aperantos can change the coloration of himself and his equipment to match his surroundings. *Using chameleon power gives a +10 circumstance bonus on Hide checks.

    Detect Poison: As the spell cast by a 20th-level sorcerer.

    Dissolving Touch: Asperantos can exude acid from his body, dealing 7d6 points of acid damage to anything he touches. If he uses this power when grappling or constricting an opponent, the acid deals 10d6 points of damage instead. The acid is effective only on the round when this power is used, and it becomes inert when it leaves his body.

    Mass Aversion: Asperantos creates a compulsion effect targeting all enemies within 30 feet. The targets must succeed on a Will save (DC 31) or gain an aversion to snakes for 10 minutes. Affected subjects must stay at least 20 feet from any snake, yuan-ti, or ti-khana creature, whether alive or dead; if already within 20 feet, they move away. A subject can overcome the compulsion by succeeding on another Will save (DC 31), but still suffers from deep anxiety. This causes a –4 reduction to Dexterity until the effect wears off or the subject is no longer within 20 feet of a snake, yuan-ti, or tikhana creature. This ability is otherwise similar to antipathy as cast by a 16th-level sorcerer.

    Spell-Like Abilities 3/day—animal trance, cause fear, deeper darkness, entangle, haste, neutralize poison, suggestion, baleful polymorph, unholy blight; 1/day—blasphemy, unholy aura. Caster level 20th; save DC 16 + spell level.

    All-Around Vision (Ex) Asperantos’ six heads allow him to see in all directions at once. Because of this ability, he has a +4 racial bonus on Search and Spot checks, and he cannot be flanked.

    Attach Grafts (Su) Asperantos has the ability to transform humanoid and monstrous humanoid creatures, making them more like yuan-ti. Each day, he can attach eight yuan-ti grafts to one or more creatures. This requires 1 hour of uninterrupted work per graft, during which he can do nothing else. Between grafts, he can rest or engage in light activity such as talking or walking, but cannot fight, cast spells, use magic items, conduct research, or perform any other physically or mentally demanding task.

    In addition, he can create the mixture of venom, roots, and herbs required to create either a tainted one or a broodguard.

    Regeneration (Ex) Asperantos takes normal damage from force effects and adamantine weapons. Attack forms that don’t deal hit point damage ignore regeneration, and he does not restore hit points lost from starvation, thirst, or suffocation.

    Scent (Ex) Asperantos can detect approaching enemies, sniff out hidden foes, and track by sense of smell.

    Skills Asperantos has a +8 racial bonus on Climb checks and can always choose to take 10 on Climb checks, even if rushed or threatened. He has a +8 racial bonus on any Swim check to perform some special action or avoid a hazard and can always choose to take 10 on Swim checks, even if distracted or endangered. He has a +8 racial bonus on Survival checks when tracking by scent.


    Spoiler: Tactics and Tricks
    Show
    Despite not possessing the versatility of, say, a 20th level Wizard, Aperantos has a surprising amount of tricks and abilities. Rather than expect people to pick up on every single one of them, just from a glance at the statblock, I will have below a list of the notable abilities of Aperantos to keep in mind.

    Spoiler: Your Anaconda Don't (Grappling)
    Show
    While his role in the campaign is more of a mastermind than a brute, Aperantos is no slouch when it comes to combat. With a +36 grapple check (BEFORE item boosts), Greater Multigrab, Improved Grab, and 6 'limbs' for holding, he can lock down a large area with little effort. The casters will of course be his first priority, but by having each of his heads be wrapped up in, well, wrapping people up, it can actually eventually lead to his downfall (if you so desire). With his Dissolving Touch power, he can rely on his Attacks of Opportunity to let him get grabs, and then pump them with acid and constriction as much as he desires. Either way, his grappling skills are solid enough to carry him as far as physical combat goes.


    Spoiler: Snake Eyes (Durability)
    Show
    Getting killed early is no fun for anyone, and certainly doesn't make for a good dramatic villain. Luckily, Aperantos is at no risk of this. With DR 15/Good and Magic, Regeneration 5 of a very unique and difficult type to bypass, 351 HP on average, and the ability to just up and disappear into the crowd of snakes, his base kit alone is incredibly difficult to take down permanently if you don't want him to be killed. Being able to turn into a swarm of snakes is very conducive to this, as he is unable to be harmed by adamantine weapons in that form, and the vast majority of force spells aren't also area spells, leaving him safe enough to hide and Regenerate back to full.


    Spoiler: Original Sin (Anti-Divine)
    Show
    Devotion to an Elder Evil provides Aperantos with a large number of Vile feats, and given that he's not dumping them all into Deformity feats like most would, that gives him plenty to spec towards screwing over divine casters. First off is Apostate, giving him a whopping +12 on saves against divine spells. Next is the Slave to Evil feat, which gives him even more anti-divine properties as his master's sign increases in power. As the PCs should almost always be fighting Aperantos while the sign is at Overwhelming strength, he receives the following benefits: another +2 on saves vs. divine spells, +1 to hit and damage vs. divine casters, +5 SR vs. divine spells (bringing it up to actually CR appropriate levels), and Impeding divine spells cast within 30 ft. (forcing a DC 20 + spell level Spellcraft check or making them lose the spell). Additionally, he possesses the Spellcasting Harrier Epic feat, allowing him to make AoOs against even defensive spellcasting within his 15 ft. reach, which then usually leads into a grapple.


    Spoiler: Snake in the Grass (Stealth)
    Show
    Despite his massive size, Aperantos has incredible abilities as far as stealth and espionage. Okay that first bit is probably misleading, as most of his stealth relies on his Alternate Form ability to turn into either a Viper Swarm or a Tiny Viper. Should he need to get away, his usual tactic is to use his Deeper Darkness spell-like ability as a standard action, and then shift as a move action (with the Quick Change feat) to a viper swarm. As he should have multiple viper swarms and snakes of assorted types near him in the final confrontation, he can blend in easy, becoming incredibly hard to damage as he heals up. As a tiny viper, he mostly just has very high Hide and Move Silently, boosted even further by his Chameleon power, letting him set up for that DRAMATIC ENTRANCE for the PCs very easily.


    Spoiler: Your Obedient Serpent (Manipulation)
    Show
    You don't amass the kind of power and numbers Aperantos wields without extensive ability to manipulate and charm those you need to advance your goals. Aperantos is distinctly not lacking in this area. With a 28 unboosted charisma, high ranks in both Bluff and Diplomacy, as well as the ability to take 10 on both of those checks through his pact with Naberius, he can easily and quickly sway people to his point of view, hitting enough to take anyone from hostile to friendly with a standard action, or from anything else to helpful. Additionally, he has Suggestion as an SLA, as well as a trick to boost its DC. By casting it on himself and then using Insane Defiance to 'bounce' it to someone else, he can boost the DC by 4 and then heal up the Wis damage instantly with Naberius' Faster Ability Healing. He uses this same trick to mitigate the costs of Dark Speech and Chosen of Evil as well.


    Spoiler: Enemies and Allies
    Show
    As a 'final boss' sort, it's very important to support Aperantos with a good secondary cast, both on his side and against it. While his position as a manipulator, servant of Sertrous, and creator of monsters has great potential, it also can swing towards overwhelming without aid, or underwhelming without a proper backbone of mooks to slay.

    First, let's look towards the PC side. As a Vile creature of great evil, obviously any Good sorts are absolutely not going to be on his side. Paladins, clerics of Good gods, the like. However, Aperantos has one enemy that might not look like an enemy at first glance: most other Yuan-ti. Given his hatred of Merrshaulk, most other Yuan-ti aren't exactly predisposed to like him. There is great potential for an uneasy alliance between high priests of Merrshaulk and the PCs. Should the PCs lack a way to overcome Aperantos' Regeneration or deal damage to his swarm form, it would not be unreasonable to provide an allied Cleric of Merrshaulk, with access to things like Blade Barrier or an adamantine weapon to overcome Aperantos' regeneration, as well as extra healing should it be necessary. To truly showcase the uniting potential of Aperantos as a threat, I would actually suggest having an earlier plot in the campaign being against the Yuan-ti who will eventually become the PC's allies, bringing the themes in early, and rewarding them for not just murder-hoboing their way to victory. But that's not to say that ALL Yuan-ti are going to be willing to cooperate.

    On Aperantos' side, we have not only the Yuan-ti servitors who are sticking with him, but the numerous snake-like creatures spawned by Sertrous' Infestation, as well as Tainted Ones and Broodguard that Aperantos himself has created. Let's go through them one by one. First, we have the other Yuan-ti. Important to note is that these Yuan-ti are OUTCASTS to the rest of Yuan-ti society. It would serve them well to have unique traits and disabilities, to showcase exactly how Aperantos is gathering such a disparate and seemingly aimless following. Additionally, none of them are followers of Merrshaulk, and often will be at odds with those who are. They are all devoted, to some level, to Sertrous (though this is only in the late stages), meaning you have an innate source of Vile feats to play with. This can be used to foreshadow some of Aperantos' tricks, such as Dark Speech and using Insane Defiance to bounce spell-like abilities off themselves. Additionally, if you want a Dragon (in the TV Tropes sense) to go along with Aperantos, the Elder Evils book provides a perfectly usable one in Seghulerak. Simply replace Avamerin with Aperantos, and you have a perfectly competent and compelling villain.

    Next, we have the Infestation. Rather than go over exactly what it entails, I'll simply provide you with the descriptive text for it.

    The earth vomits torrents of snakes and serpentine creatures. At first these infestations consist of normal snakes, but as the infestation grows, monstrous creatures such as chaotic evil nagas, hydras, and even mariliths become more common. As the sign grows more potent, the infesting serpents become increasingly more deformed. Some might have multiple heads, others are inside out, and some might have no head or tail—they’re simply a mass of coils with no end or beginning.
    These 'shock troops' so to speak are going to provide the bulk of conflict throughout the campaign. Notably, it would serve best for these to be more 'aimless' in nature, perhaps even conflicting a bit with the normal troops of Aperantos, to provide contrast with the zealous and brutal Broodguard, and the stealthy Tainted Ones.

    Speaking thereof, the final 'head' of Aperantos' forces are the results of his experimentation: Tainted Ones, Broodguard, and Ti-khana. Being a Yuan-ti Anathema, Aperantos has a built in way to create the first two. They are loyal servants who are not bound by magic of any sort, making it that much more potentially horrifying when finding out that returning characters who were once allies have been turned into, well, these. Tainted Ones serve as a source of intrigue, and the PCs should quickly become adept at noticing the signs of someone having been Tainted, perhaps spawning an entire sub-campaign of potential horror-style investigations. Additionally, Tainted Ones have access to Polymorph into "snakes or snakelike forms". While the actual degree of this is up to the DM, one potential option is to have multiple Tainted Ones Polymorph into a Viper Swarm, and have Aperantos use Dark Speech to hivemind them all together. That's an option for high optimization parties however, so most likely should not be assumed.

    Broodguard and Ti-khana however, are all about the brutal combat. Broodguard will usually have been kitted out with a full set of Yuan-ti Grafts, giving them multiple sources of Con damaging poison, as well as a distinctive appearance. Ti-khana are much simpler, being modified snakes and dinosaurs, but they are good filler units to provide a challenge at lower levels, or fill out an attack squad in the mid levels.


    Spoiler: Sources
    Show
    Complete Scoundrel - Clarity of Vision
    Elder Evils - Apostate, Chosen of Evil, Dark Speech, Dark Whispers, Insane Defiance, Slave to Evil
    Fiend Folio - Yuan-ti Anathema, Viper Swarm
    Player's Handbook 2 - Steadfast Determination
    Savage Species - Greater Multigrab, Multigrab
    Tome of Magic - Binder, Naberius
    Last edited by Inevitability; 2017-09-27 at 04:16 PM.
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  5. - Top - End - #65
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XX​III: Two Heads Are Better Than One

    Let me give you a heads up: this build is weird.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck and Rufus
    Chuck and Rufus, the Headsmen
    NE Shadow Multiheaded Primordial Giant Troll Duskblade 5/Bloodstorm Blade 4/Duskblade 8

    Stats (with modifiers)
    Spoiler
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    Str 14 (22)
    Dex 10 (14)
    Con 13 (25)
    Int 15
    Wis 12 (10)
    Cha 8

    Build
    Spoiler
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    CR Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    8 Giant HD 8 (CR 8) +6/+1 +6 +2 +2 Balance 8, Concentration 2(4), Listen 11, Spot 11, Tumble 5(10) (B)Improved Initiative, (B) Combat Reflexes, Martial Study (Steel Wind), Bind Vestige (Amon), Practiced Binder (Amon) Darkvision 90 feet, LLV, Regeneration 5, Scent, Rend, +6 Natural Armor, Superior Two Weapon Fighting, Cold Resistance 13, Shadow Blend, Fast Healing 2, Evasion, Invisibility (CL 9)
    9 Duskblade 1 +7/+2 +8 +2 +4 Concentration 6 Martial Stance (Punishing Stance) Arcane Attunement, Armored Mage (Light), Skilled City Dweller (Ride to Tumble)
    10 Duskblade 2 +8/+3 +9 +2 +5 Concentration 10 (B)Combat Casting Combat Casting
    11 Duskblade 3 +9/+4 +9 +3 +5 Concentration 14 Arcane Channeling
    12 Duskblade 4 +10/+5 +10 +3 +6 Concentration 15, Tumble 8 Point Blank Shot Armored Mage (Medium)
    13 Bloodstorm Blade 1 +11/+6/+1 +12 +3 +6 Concentration 16, Tumble 13 (B)Throw Anything Returning Attacks, Throw Anything, Weapon Aptitude
    14 Bloodstorm Blade 2 +12/+7/+2 +13 +3 +6 Concentration 17, Spot 13, Tumble 17 Martial Throw, Thunderous Throw
    15 Bloodstorm Blade 3 +13/+8/+3 +13 +4 +7 Concentration 18, Spot 17, Tumble 18 (B)Spectral Skirmisher, Detach Bonus Fighter Feat
    16 Bloodstorm Blade 4 +14/+9/+4 +14 +4 +7 Concentration 19, Jump 2, Spot 19, Tumble 19 Lightning Ricochet
    17 Duskblade 5 +15/+10/+5 +14 +4 +7 Concentration 20, Jump 4, Tumble 20 Quick Cast 1/day
    18 Duskblade 6 +16/+11/+6/+1 +15 +5 +8 Concentration 21, Jump 6, Tumble 21 Martial Stance (Dancing Blade Form) Spell Power +2
    19 Duskblade 7 +17/+12/+7/+2 +15 +5 +8 Concentration 22, Jump 8, Tumble 22 Armored Mage (Heavy Shield)
    20 Duskblade 8 +18/+13/+8/+3 +16 +5 +9 Concentration 23, Jump 10, Tumble 23
    Spells
    Spoiler
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    Spells per Day
    Level 0lvl 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
    9th 3 2 - - - - - - - -
    10th 4 3 - - - - - - - -
    11th 5 4 - - - - - - - -
    12th 6 5 - - - - - - - -
    13th 6 5 - - - - - - - -
    14th 6 5 - - - - - - - -
    15th 6 5 - - - - - - - -
    16th 6 5 - - - - - - - -
    17th 6 5 2 - - - - - - -
    18th 6 6 3 - - - - - - -
    19th 6 6 5 - - - - - - -
    20th 6 7 6 - - - - - - -

    Spells Known
    0th: Acid Splash, Disrupt Undead, Ray of Frost, Touch of Fatigue
    1st: Blade of Blood, Color Spray, Ray of Enfeeblement, Shocking Grasp, True Strike
    2nd: Dimension Hop, Ghoul Touch, Spider Climb, Touch of Idiocy

    Backstory
    Spoiler
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    Spend too much time with anybody, and they can start to get on your nerves. When you share those nerves with somebody, then things can get really tough.

    Just ask Chuck and Rufus. Two heads made the brothers brighter than most trolls, but it didn’t do anything to make them less ill-tempered. They fought all the time, but trolls can bounce back from black eyes and boxed ears much faster than most, so they vented their aggressions (it’s supposed to be healthier).

    Chuck wanted to practice Pact Magic, Rufus wanted to study the path of the blade, so they split the difference, half-heartedly studied both, and learned arcane magic they could channel through their strikes. A good compromise leaves everyone unhappy.

    One day they were arguing, though neither can remember what they were arguing about, and it reached a breaking point. One brother became so furious he ripped the other’s head from their shared body. If you ask Chuck, he did it to Rufus; if you ask Rufus, he was the one who took action. The important thing is that it happened, and the brothers learned that the separated head survived with total clarity, at least long enough to instruct his brother to reattach him to the stump of a neck that remained. When they were done bickering, the brothers realized that the severed head had gotten some good airtime. Combined with a good spell and the brothers’ strength of arm, it could provide a real advantage in a fight.

    Somehow Chuck and Rufus became convinced that their idea was so good that they should focus on it as their primary means of combat. Maybe they really did think it was that good of a strategy. Maybe they just wanted the opportunity to get to rip each other off the body. In all likelihood, it’s a little of both.

    If you ever come across them you may not see them coming, but you’ll definitely hear them. Just listen for two rumbling voices arguing about whose turn it is to be the thrower.
    CR 8
    Spoiler
    Show
    We’ve got a fair amount going on from the beginning, so let’s discuss. In a stroke of luck, your HD equals your CR at every level, so the chart is simplified. Troll is a solid form boasting large size with reach, good natural attacks, rend, and good old regeneration. The mental stat adjustments are a bit harsh, so the first thing we’re going to do is apply primordial giant to boost Int. It also gives at will invisibility with a good duration for surprise attacks.

    The next template we add is multiheaded, which we’re using to gain 1 additional head, no need to be greedy. It grants more HD and superior multiweapon fighting, which is honestly a bit confusing, but I believe it means you would get a full attack with each hand, great for fighting with 2 weapons. Having two heads also means two bites, and improved initiative and combat reflexes are nice general perks.

    The third template that we add is Shadow Creature, which gives grants evasion and total concealment in all but full daylight, making you hard to target or hit with AoEs. It also adds fast healing, which covers what regeneration cannot, and stacks great for extra healing.

    In terms of feats, Martial Study grants Steel Wind, which is setup for Bloodstorm Blade and allows you to attack 2 adjacent foes if the party tries to flank you. Bind Vestige and Practiced Binder grants you continuous access to Amon’s Ram for 1d6 (maybe 1d8 since you’re large). It’s not clear whether having two heads means that you get two rams, but one is fine. It’ll be important later, but for now it’s another attack for the pile.

    CR 10
    Spoiler
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    We now have two levels of Duskblade, which provide some spells to add to offense. True Strike is always a good spell, and Blade of Blood is a great return on investment for a small amount of self-damage which you will quickly heal off. You have the ability to cast in light armor with no penalty so can make full use of your 45 ft movement speed, and the ranks you’ve invested in Concentration combined with Combat Casting and a high Constitution score mean you should have no problem casting defensively. We’re going to keep investing so that the party can’t throw you off with distracting spells.

    Martial stance grants us punishing stance, which add damage to all attacks, and goes towards Bloodstorm Blade.

    CR 15
    Spoiler
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    Now the components of the build really fall together. Duskblade can now cast in Medium Armor, and we have sufficient ranks in tumble to move about without much problem. Duskblade’s Arcane Channeling allows you to deliver your spells through an attack, such as one of your natural weapons. Detach is an utterly hilarious feat that allows you to rip off a piece of your body and then chuck it at an enemy. What are we going to channel it into? One of our heads. “But you have to use it on a body part that delivers something other than a bite!” I hear you say. That’s what binding Amon is for, granting at least 1 ram attack so that the head is a viable target. “But Arcane Channeling is for melee attacks!” you chime in. That’s where Bloodstorm Blade enters. With Thunderous Throw you can treat the ranged attack as melee, so you can use your strength for attack and damage and everything works perfectly. You can then wait for your severed head to regrow, or you can burn a use of Steel Wind to make your head return, at which point you can hold it to the stump and it instantly reattaches. Because you have two heads, throwing one of them at the party is no problem.

    There’s a few things that are unclear about tearing off your head and throwing it. Firstly is whether Amon’s sign stays with your head or whether it jumps to the remaining head. If it doesn’t, your head still has the bite to attack with, since it qualified when you threw it. The second question is whether your invisibility still applies to your head once you’ve flung it. I’m not sure, but either a head appearing from nowhere, or being struck by an invisible head that falls to the ground and appears is very funny.

    The Spectral Skirmisher feat comes as a bonus, and works excellently with being invisible. Enemies take a penalty to listen against you (shadow creature helps out as well) but the more important benefit is that if they attack against your square you get an attack of opportunity against them. Now it’s possible that the party might have the ability to see invisibility, but remember shadow blend gives you total concealment in anything less than full daylight. Total concealment means that the party still has to attack your square even if they can see invisibility, so they still trigger an AoO. Combat Reflexes mean you’ll still have AoOs after you do it.

    CR 20
    Spoiler
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    Lightning Ricochet means that you no longer have to use up Steel Wind, and your head returns immediately. Duskblade spells give you several options for damage and paralysis, and mobility through spider climb to drop on the party, or dimension hop for jumping about the battlefield. Quick cast can make for a good use of true strike before you attack.

    Your head-throwing is a very funny trick but it doesn’t have to be your sole means of attack. You’re still a big strong troll so you can superior twf and bring all your natural weapons to bear. To that end we’re adding another stance as an option. Dancing Blade Form extends your reach out to 15 feet on your turn so you can suddenly get at members who thought they were safe. If you have a reach weapon it gets even larger. Having a big reach like that will help make the party give you a wide berth to throw in.

    Sources
    Spoiler
    Show
    Multiheaded Template, Detach: Savage Species
    Shadow Creature: Lords of Madness
    Primordial Giant: Secrets of Xendrik
    Duskblade, Spectral Skirmisher: PHBII
    Bloodstorm Blade, Martial Study, Martial Stance: Tome of Battle
    Throw Anything: Complete Warrior
    Bind Vestige, Practiced Binder: Tome of Magic
    Troll, Improved Initiative, Point Blank Shot, Combat Reflexes, Combat Casting: srd
    Hamarrtroll image: Age of Mythology
    Creator of the LA-assignment thread.

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  6. - Top - End - #66
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XX​III: Two Heads Are Better Than One

    Is that Gouda I'm smelling?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Fleichshriver Horror
    The Fleichshriver Horror

    No one knows where it came from. Some sages theorize that it was created in a spawning vat of the Abyss, most likely on the 88th layer (The Gaping Maw). These individuals speculate the beast was created by some mad servant of Demogorgon, to be used as a living weapon in the Blood War. The creature was virtually uncontrollable, and it escaped into our realm through an Abyssal portal before it could be destroyed.
    Others postulate that it was birthed in our own world, an unholy abomination whose genesis was guided by the hand of some sinister archmage (possibly even Null himself). This legend agrees that the beast proved beyond the ability of its creator to contain, and has been a blight running amok in our lands ever since.
    Whatever its source, most agree on one thing: the earliest reports of it seem to all originate in the Bandit Kingdoms, near Fleichshriver. Scores of heroes have faced it, and all have been destroyed.
    The Fleichshriver Horror, as it has become known, is a juggernaut of destruction. A massive monstrosity with close to a dozen heads, bat-like wings and wicked claws. Sometimes it is said to wield a great blade of potent magic. The sound of its roar beings terror to the hearts of the stoutest warriors, and it is rumored that even if by some miracle someone were to slay it, it would return at the next dawn to wreak its terrible vengeance.


    Spoiler: One artist's rendition
    Show

    Huge Outsider (native), CE, Half-Fiend Multiheaded (ten heads) Phaerlin Giant Barbarian 1/Swordsage 8

    Str 28, Dex 14, Con 38, Int 13, Wis 14, Cha 18
    Array:
    Str 13, Dex 12, Con 8, Int 12, Wis 15, Cha14; Racial: Str +10/+4, Dex -2/+4, Con +8/+2/+20, Int -2/+4, Wis -2, Cha -2/+2; HD/Levels: Str +1, Int +1, Cha +4

    CR HD Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    11 28d8 Outsider 28 +21 +16 +9 +9 Autohypnosis 15, Balance 5, Concentration 15, Jump 15, Listen 30, Sense Motive 15, Search 15, Speak Language (Abyssal, Celestial, Draconic, Infernal), Spellcraft 5, Spot 31, Tumble 5, Use Magic Device 15 Air Heritage (1), Endurance (3), Steadfast Determination (6), Power Attack (9), Improved Bullrush (12), Leap Attack (15), Shock Trooper (18), Epic Destiny - Eternal Hero (21, 24, 27) +20 racial bonus to Listen/Search/Spot, +21 Natural Armor Bonus, 2 claws 2d4/10 bites 2d6, Darkvision 90 ft, DR 10/Magic, Fly, Frightful Presence, Immunity to Poison, Resistance to Acid 10/Cold 10/Electricity 10/Fire 10, Scent, Smite Good 1/day, SR 35
    12 28d8+1d12 Barbarian (Lion Totem) 1 +22 +18 +9 +9 Listen 2, Jump 3 -- Illiteracy, Pounce, Rage 1/day
    13 29d8+1d12 Swordsage 1 +22 +18 +11 +11 Spot 2, Jump 4, Listen 1 Epic Destiny Quick to act +1, Discipline Focus {tiger claw} (weapon focus)
    14 30d8+1d12 Swordsage 2 +23 +18 +12 +12 Spot 1, Jump 5, Listen 1 -- AC Bonus
    15 31d8+1d12 Swordsage 3 +24 +19 +12 +12 Spot 1, Jump 5, Listen 1 -- --
    16 32d8+1d12 Swordsage 4 +25 +19 +13 +13 Concentration 1, Spot 1, Jump 4, Listen 1 Fast Healing Discipline Focus {diamond mind} (insightful strike)
    17 33d8+1d12 Swordsage 5 +25 +19 +13 +13 Concentration 4, Spot 1, Jump 1, Listen 1 -- Quick to Act +2
    18 34d8+1d12 Swordsage 6 +26 +20 +14 +14 Concentration 4, Spot 1, Jump 1, Listen 1 -- --
    19 35d8+1d12 Swordsage 7 +27 +20 +14 +14 Concentration 4, Spot 1, Jump 1, Listen 1 Sudden Recovery Sense Magic
    20 36d8+1d12 Swordsage 8 +28 +20 +15 +15 Concentration 4, Spot 1, Jump 1, Listen 1 -- Discipline Focus {shadow blade} (defensive stance)

    CR Class(es) IL Maneuvers Stances
    13 Swordsage 1 15th Action Before Thought, Claw at the Moon, Death from Above, Diamond Defense, Disrupting Blow, Fountain of Blood Hearing The Air
    14 Swordsage 2 16th Inferno Blade Leaping Dragon Stance
    15 Swordsage 3 17th Feral Death Blow -
    16 Swordsage 4 18th Time Stands Still -
    17 Swordsage 5 18th Mountain Tombstone Strike Stance of Alacrity
    18 Swordsage 6 20th Death in the Dark -
    19 Swordsage 7 21st Shadow Blink -
    20 Swordsage 8 22nd Prey on the Weak -

    The Fleichsriver Horror is a showcase of how wrong the CR system can be sometimes, especially with 3.0 material involved (both the Paherlin Gaint and Multiheaded templates are fairly under CR'd). Note to DMs: do not use this against an 11th level party. One Blasphemy later and every non-evil PC is obliterated. The "sweet spot" for this entry is CR 20: it's still an epic level threat, but at least a 20th level party will have some serious cheese of their own to fight with. Unless the DM wants to eyeball his own CRs, I would recommend the The Fleichshriver Horror as an exercise in TO only. Although a creative spellcaster might find a way around it's defenses...maybe.
    The fluff presented above is Greyhawk based, but The Horror should slot easily into an Eberron or Forgotten Realms setting. It should probably fill a niche the same as the Tarrasque is supposed to: an unstoppable engine of destruction that the PCs will only face towards the end of a campaign.

    CR 11: 28d8+392hp (518hp). Unarmed full attack routine: 2 claws +28 melee 2d4+9, 10 bites +23 melee 2d6+4 (as an outsider, it has full martial weapon proficiency, so it could use a huge falchion +28/+23/+18/+13 melee 3d6+13 (18-20/x2), 10 bites +23 melee 2d6+4). This is all before Power Attack/Leap Attack/Shock Trooper is in the mix. It's "weakness" is a slow movement rate, but it can fly at 40 feet with average maneuverability. The SLAs are crazy (CL 28, likely to punch through any SR the party has): Blasphemy 1/day, Contagion 1/day, Darkness 3/day, Desecrate 1/day, Destruction 1/day, Horrid Wilting 1/day, Poison 3/day, Summon Monster IX (fiends only) 1/day, Unhallow 1/day, Unholy Aura 3/day & Unholy Blight 1/day. The creature is intelligent enough to use its attacks effectively. It would generally lead off with a roar to trigger Frightful Presence as a free action (on the off chance anything in the area is under 8HD), and follow up with a Blasphemy. If anything was still standing, it would charge in and demolish the enemies with devastating melee attacks. If it can prepare before a fight, it will summon a Barbed Devil or Hezrou that will stick around for almost 3 minutes, and hold the charge on a Poison SLA. SR 35 is going to make it hard to take down with spells, and it's Will save is pumped up by Steadfast Determination (Con to Will saves instead of Wis, and doesn't auto fail a Fort save on a 1). It's Listen and Spot checks (+52/+53) are going to foil most attempts at stealth. If the DM wants to be truly evil, throw in a wand or two for it to UMD (Scintillating Scales will make touch attacks very difficult, given a +21 natural armor bonus. Use this trick if someone starts summoning Allips or Shadows). Epic Destiny (Eternal Hero) gives some serious benefits: Continual Resurrection (like a Lich on steroids), Death Denied (it's saves are already pretty solid, but hey, why not), Quickening (have a bucket of temporary hit points each round) and Eternal Renewal (if the party manages to beat the Horror down - surprise!).

    CR 15: There it is - Lion Totem Barbarian. You saw it coming, didn't you? Power Attack/Leap Attack/Shock Trooper just got a whole lot scarier. Rage is only 1/day, but due to the massive Con modifier, will very likely last for a full combat. Again, the creature is canny enough not to Rage until it has used any SLAs or other actions requiring concentration first. Rage has the added benefit of further boosting Will saves (added Con for Steadfast Determination, and the innate +2 bonus from Raging). Swordsage maneuvers and stances are just icing on this cake (Feral Death Blow while raging - ouch!). The final level of Epic Destiny (Eternal Hero) kicks in here (it eats 4 epic level feat slots, but it's worth it IMHO):
    - The Warrior (Su): Make a full attack as a standard action. A magic weapon with up to a +8 enhancement bonus and special properties equaling up to a total +5 bonus equivalent: +8 Ghost Touch Keen Lucky Stunning Surge Valorous weapon (falchion). Those pesky incorporeal opponents aren't so smug now, are they? Charge damage is ludicrous. Critical range 15-20.
    - The Arcanist (Sp): Duplicate the effect of any 7th-level arcane spell from any class list. Limited Wish. Can't be beaten for utility as a 7th level spell (any Sor/Wiz spells of 6th or lower, any other spell of 5th or lower).
    - The Disciple (Sp): Duplicate the effect of any 7th-level divine spell from any class list. Master Earth. Basically Teleport Without Error that can't be blocked by Dimension Lock or similar effects. If by some miracle The Horror is getting beaten, it slips away to use it's fast healing (which comes online at CR 16).
    - The Traitor (Sp): Duplicate the effect of any 8th-level evil spell from any class list. You may choose up to three options for the traitor incarnation. That's right, three. Here's my personal picks: 1.) Create Greater Undead (The Horror starts creating undead monsters to plague the land. It doesn't care that it doesn't control them, it just sets them loose. This can be a plot arc for the party to investigate.). 2.) Spread of Savagery: turn the good (and neutral) guys against each other. 3.) Veil of Undeath: tasty, tasty immunities. Not like it needs them, but just in case PCs get creative.

    CR 20: More of the same, but with higher level maneuvers and stances. Sudden Recovery can regain a 9th level maneuver in a jiff. Time Stands Still is pretty devastating, to say the least. Fast Healing isn't really necessary, but if for some reason the creature has to flee (via Master earth), it can come back at full hit points to carry on the fight.

    Sources (non-core):
    Air Heritage: Planar Handbook
    Autohypnosis: XPH/online - http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/sk...tohypnosis.htm
    Epic Destiny: online - https://web.archive.org/web/20100916.../drfe/20080428
    Fast Healing: ELH/online - http://www.d20srd.org/srd/epic/feats.htm#fastHealing
    Leap Attack: Complete Adventurer
    Lion Totem Barbarian: Complete Champion
    Lucky, Stunning Surge: Magic Item Compendium
    Master Earth, Veil of Undeath - Spell Compendium
    Multiheaded: Savage Species
    Phaerlin Giant: Monster of Faerun
    Scintillating Scales: Dragon Magic
    Shock Trooper: Complete Warrior
    Spread of Savagery: Book of Vile Darkness
    Steadfast Determination: Player's Handbook 2
    Swordsage, Sudden Recovery, maneuvers, stances: Tome of Battle
    Valorous: Unapproachable East
    PS - no offense intended with the image; I believe it falls into the same mythological category as nagas and rakshasa?
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XX​III: Two Heads Are Better Than One

    Quoth the raven; and the other raven... and that raven over there...

    Quote Originally Posted by The Unkindness of Hextor
    The Unkindness of Hextor
    Spoiler: Stub
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    Hivemind Murder of Crows of Legend Cloistered Cleric 1 / Sorcerer 2 / Mystic Theurge 10 / Contemplative 2


    Murder of Crows by Drakarn91

    Spoiler: Stats
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    Stat Base Racial Hivemind Legendary Final Modifier
    STR 8 -10 +0 +10 8 -1
    DEX 12 +4 +0 +6 22 +6
    CON 10 +0 +0 +10 20 +5
    INT 14 -8 +4 +2 12 +1
    WIS 15 +4 +0 +2 21 +5
    CHA 13 -4 +11 +4 24 +7

    Spoiler: Racial HD with Templates Statblock
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    Tiny Outsider(Swarm)
    CR - 5
    HD - 4d8 + 20
    Initiative - +10
    Speed - 40ft, Fly 70ft(Good)
    AC - 24 (+2 Size, +6 Dex, +1 Insight, +5 Natural, +1 Untyped(Haste))
    BAB - +3
    Attack - Swarm(1d6)
    Full Attack - Swarm(1d6)
    Space/Reach - 10ft, 0ft
    Special Attacks - Blinding (DC 22), Distraction(DC 21)
    Special Qualities - Half Damage from slashing and piercing, Low Light Vision, Dark Vision 60ft, Swarm Traits,
    Spells as a Level 2 Sorcerer, Spells as a level 5 Cleric, Vile Strike, Special Qualities (Enhanced Attributes, Haste),
    Frightful Presence(DC 24), Breath Weapon(DC 21), Raging Blood
    Saves - +12, +14, +9
    Class Skills - +2 Spot, +3 Knowledge(Religion), +3 Knowledge(Arcana)
    Feats - Improved Flight, Quicken Spell, Eschew Materials, Improved Initiative, Multiattack

    Spoiler: Build Table
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    CR Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    5 Racial HD(4) +3 +7 +7 +4 +6 Spot, +1 Knowledge(Religion), +1 Knowledge(Arcana), +2 Concentration Quicken Spell, Improved Flight, Eschew Materials, Improved Initiative, Multiattack Half Damage from slashing and piercing, Low Light Vision, Dark Vision 60ft, Swarm Traits,
    Spells as a Level 2 Sorcerer, Spells as a level 5 Cleric, Vile Strike, Special Qualities (Enhanced Attributes, Haste),
    Frightful Presence(DC 24), Breath Weapon(DC 21), Raging Blood, +1 Wisdom
    6 Cloistered Cleric 1 +3 +9 +7 +6 +6 Spot, +4 Knowledge(Religion), +4 Knowledge(Arcana), +3 Concentration Spell Focus(Enchantment)(Bonus) Domains(Knowledge, Domination, Tyranny), Rebuke Undead(11/day), Lore
    7 Sorcerer 1 +3 +9 +7 +6 +6 Spot, +5 Knowledge(Religion), +5 Knowledge(Arcana), +4 Concentration Divine Metamagic - Quicken Spell Metamagic Specialist
    8 Sorcerer 2 +4 +9 +7 +7 +6 Spot, +6 Knowledge(Religion), +6 Knowledge(Arcana), +5 Concentration
    9 Mystic Theurge 1 +4 +9 +7 +9 +6 Spot, +6 Knowledge(Religion), +6 Knowledge(Arcana), +8 Concentration +1 Wisdom
    10 Mystic Theurge 2 +5 +9 +7 +10 +6 Spot, +6 Knowledge(Religion), +6 Knowledge(Arcana), +11 Concentration Retributive Spell
    11 Mystic Theurge 3 +5 +10 +8 +10 +6 Spot, +6 Knowledge(Religion), +6 Knowledge(Arcana), +13 Concentration, +1 SpellCraft
    12 Mystic Theurge 4 +6 +10 +8 +11 +6 Spot, +6 Knowledge(Religion), +6 Knowledge(Arcana), +14 Concentration, +3 SpellCraft
    13 Mystic Theurge 5 +6 +10 +8 +11 +6 Spot, +6 Knowledge(Religion), +6 Knowledge(Arcana), +15 Concentration, +5 SpellCraft Persist Spell +1 Wisdom
    14 Mystic Theurge 6 +7 +11 +9 +12 +6 Spot, +6 Knowledge(Religion), +6 Knowledge(Arcana), +16 Concentration, +5 SpellCraft
    15 Mystic Theurge 7 +7 +11 +9 +12 +6 Spot, +7 Knowledge(Religion), +6 Knowledge(Arcana), +17 Concentration, +6 SpellCraft
    16 Mystic Theurge 8 +8 +11 +9 +13 +6 Spot, +9 Knowledge(Religion), +6 Knowledge(Arcana), +18 Concentration, +6 SpellCraft Divine Metamagic - Persist Spell
    17 Mystic Theurge 9 +8 +12 +10 +13 +6 Spot, +11 Knowledge(Religion), +6 Knowledge(Arcana), +19 Concentration, +6 SpellCraft +1 Wisdom
    18 Mystic Theurge 10 +9 +12 +10 +14 +6 Spot, +13 Knowledge(Religion), +6 Knowledge(Arcana), +20 Concentration, +6 SpellCraft
    19 Contemplative 1 +9 +12 +10 +16 +6 Spot, +13 Knowledge(Religion), +6 Knowledge(Arcana), +21 Concentration, +8 SpellCraft Extra Turning Bonus Domain - Evil, Divine Health
    19 Contemplative 2 +10 +12 +10 +17 +6 Spot, +13 Knowledge(Religion), +6 Knowledge(Arcana), +22 Concentration, +10 SpellCraft Slippery Mind

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

    Spoiler: Sorcerer Casting
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    Spells per Day
    CR Caster Lvl 0lvl 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
    5 2nd 6 6 - - - - - - - -
    7 3rd 6 7 - - - - - - - -
    8 4th 6 8 5 - - - - - - -
    9 5th 6 8 6 - - - - - - -
    10 6th 6 8 7 4 - - - - - -
    11 7th 6 8 8 5 - - - - - -
    12 8th 6 8 8 6 4 - - - - -
    13 9th 6 8 8 7 5 - - - - -
    14 10th 6 8 8 8 6 4 - - - -
    15 11th 6 8 8 8 7 5 - - - -
    16 12th 6 8 8 8 7 6 4 - - -
    17 13th 6 8 8 8 7 7 5 - - -
    18 14th 6 8 8 8 7 7 6 4 - -

    Sorcerer Spells Known
    0 - 9
    1 - 5
    2 - 5
    3 - 4
    4 - 4
    5 - 3
    6 - 2
    7 - 1


    Spoiler: Level Writeups
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    Spoiler: CR 5 - Sent from Above
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    There are some cites where the church is a true force for law, committed to giving the citizens order in their lives and keeping criminals from destabilizing society. In recent years the Church of Hextor in this city has fallen into disarray, they are no longer respected by the populace, and all disciple among the faithful is gone. Hextor has created the Unkindness to restore order to his church and among his faithful.
    At this level the Unkindness serves as an effective guardian for the church itself, roosting in the rafters or the belltower. It has not yet begun to truly enforce the iron will of Hextor on the people of the church. At this point, the church should not be the focus of the campaign, just a interesting location or side quest. The Unkindness is just a strange guardian for the building, and will not chase people beyond the property.

    Mechanically the unkindness is a swarm that can cast a bunch of spells, cleric 5 and sorcerer 2, and all of these spells have +4 to the save DC from the monster of legend template. Additionally the frightful presence ability has a DC of 24 at this level and leaves anyone shaken for as long as they remain in the presence of the Unkindness, making your effective DCs even higher. The swarm attack also includes blindness with a similarly high save DC and no attack roll required. At this level it is probably best to let the PCs flee from an encounter with the Unkindness.

    Spoiler: CR 10 - Here to Stay (Sweet Spot)
    Show

    The Unkindness has used a mixture of violence and magical domination to take over the church and bring discipline to the clergy and followers. It runs the show from its place in the rafters, using it's frightful presence to make the congregation more susceptible to various effects. At this point it has started recruiting for a police force sponsored by the church to maintain order in the neighborhood. It can also draw people to the church with it's spellcasting abilities, offering to heal and aid locals who worship Hextor.

    Its got 4th level divine spells and 3rd level sorcerer spells, just fly through the players, attempting to blind them and cast spells. Plus at the beginning of each day, choose something to use with retributive metamagic, which will be cast whenever someone hits you with a melee attack. Your save DCs should still be pretty high between your high stats and the bonus from monster of legend. Don't forget to make them roll distraction saves if they start their turn in you square or try to cast spells.

    Spoiler: CR 15 - There will be Order!
    Show

    The Fist of Hextor (or whatever you want to call the millitary arm of this church) has staged a coup, though perhaps not literally. Whether they control the official government or not, they are the town watch, they are the police, they are the inquistors. But the law and order they enforce has many benefits for the city folk, especially the poor. The crime rate has gone way down, there are fewer (non-sanctioned) murders, and people generally have enough to survive. The nobles would be most upset about this and may hire the PCs to more actively oppose the church (or the PCs can decide for themselves obviously). Feel free to draw inspiration from real world examples.

    Casting as a cleric 13, and Sorcerer 11, not bad. Now you can use a mix of Divine Metamagic and Metamagic specialist to quicken spells to get more off each round. One trick, because you have a breath weapon from Monster of Legend, is to put dispelling breath on it, and dispel whatever buffs the PCs have put on themselves in preparation for the fight.

    Spoiler: CR 20 - Hextor reigns supreme
    Show

    At this point the church, lead by the Unkindness, has a iron grip on the region.

    Casting as a cleric 18, and Sorcerer 14, yeah 9th level spells! Also Divine metamagic - persist is a handy option to have. Same deal as always, keep making them save or loose against spells, swarm abilities and blindness.


    Spoiler: Options
    Show

    Depending on how you read the hivemind template, your sorcerer level may increase with additional hit dice from class levels, which would be real good for this build. If this is true you only need to take one level of sorcerer instead of two and can go right into Mystic Theurge, and eventually get arcane and divine 9th level spells. I went with the more conservative reading, but in a high op game, this build would definitely gain some solid benefits from a more generous interpretation.
    Also depending on how you read the blind ability on the murder of crows, this could apply to any damage they do, including spells. If you feel this is how the rule works, grab some more blasting spells, and go to town.

    Spoiler: Sources
    Show

    Complete Adventurer - Improved Flight
    Tome of Magic - Swarm, Murder of Crows
    Player's Handbook II - Metamagic Specialist ACF
    Monster Manual 2 - Monster of Legend
    Book of Vile Darkness Web Enhancement - Hivemind Swarm
    Complete Divine - Divine Metamagic, Domination Domain, Contemplative
    Complete Mage - Retributive Spell
    Complete Warrior - Tyranny Domain
    SRD - Cloistered Cleric, Mystic Theurge
    Deities and Demigods - Persist Spell
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XX​III: Two Heads Are Better Than One

    That ought to be all: do tell me if I've missed anything.
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XX​III: Two Heads Are Better Than One

    Some pretty nifty ones here. I had considered a swarm at one point, and Dvati should have been a "duh" moment for me, so that was an "ahhh" reaction. My plan (that, of course, I didn't finish) was an Ettin Hulking Hurler. I just didn't know how to finish him up or give him depth.
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XX​III: Two Heads Are Better Than One

    What great entries!

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    Thumbs up Re: Villainous Competition XX​III: Two Heads Are Better Than One

    Nice entries everyone! A good field without being a daunting number for judges.

    I also considered a Nagahydra entry, but at CR 18, there wasn't much room for customization.

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XX​III: Two Heads Are Better Than One

    Heh, so my 5 headed Dragon (one each of White, Blue, Black, Red and Green, in that Order^^) would NOT have been overdone?

    Curses....or not, as aside from finding no clear rule on if that would have been possible (with the Multiheaded template being as it is) AND the fact all I ould have left would have been ONE CLass level...it would have sucked against most of these anyway.

    But the stacked Breath Weapons, ah ...sigh.


    Addendum: I expected 22 entries (double the usual number^^)....
    Last edited by GrayDeath; 2017-09-27 at 05:10 PM.
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XX​III: Two Heads Are Better Than One

    I was surprised to not see a Skull Lord, which would have been the basis for my entry. But a good crop all around. Not terribly surprise to see multiple Dvati entries, but multiple Monsters of Legend is fairly interesting. I do love the Monster of Legend template (I used it in the Master of the Frozen Tundra round for Krampus), I just wish it wasn't so restrictive on which creature types can use it.
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XX​III: Two Heads Are Better Than One

    Quote Originally Posted by Deadline View Post
    I was surprised to not see a Skull Lord, which would have been the basis for my entry. But a good crop all around. Not terribly surprise to see multiple Dvati entries, but multiple Monsters of Legend is fairly interesting. I do love the Monster of Legend template (I used it in the Master of the Frozen Tundra round for Krampus), I just wish it wasn't so restrictive on which creature types can use it.
    Am I missing something? I count one dvati (although Masamune had me briefly fooled).

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    Post Re: Villainous Competition XX​III: Two Heads Are Better Than One

    1. Taman and Thoron: Monster of Legend Dvati Conjuror 2/Ruathar 3/Eldritch Knight 8/Abjurant Champion 5
    2. Boney Bonnie: Awakened Skeleton 12-headed Pyrohydra Warhulk 10/Warlock 4
    3. Masa and Mune: Symbiotic Human Soulknife 4/Warblade 7/Warmind 7/Fighter 1//Feat Rogue 4/Cobra Strike Monk 2/Skilled City Dweller Fighter 2/Skilled City Dweller Psychic Warrior 1/Elocator 3/Fortune’s Friend 5
    4. Aperantos: Yuan-ti Anathema Binder 2
    5. Chuck and Rufus: Shadow Multiheaded Primordial Giant Troll Duskblade 5/Bloodstorm Blade 4/Duskblade 8
    6. The Fleichshriver Horror: Half-Fiend Multiheaded (ten heads) Phaerlin Giant Barbarian 1/Swordsage 8
    7. The Unkindness of Hextor: Hivemind Murder of Crows of Legend Cloistered Cleric 1/Sorcerer 2/Mystic Theurge 10/Contemplative 2

    Entry Creator Judge 1 Judge 2 Judge 3 Total Ranking
    Taman and Thoron ??? - - - - -
    Boney Bonnie ??? - - - - -
    Masa and Mune ??? - - - - -
    Aperantos ??? - - - - -
    Chuck and Rufus ??? - - - - -
    The Fleichshriver Horror ??? - - - - -
    The Unkindness of Hextor ??? - - - - -

    ...I'm already torn between two entries for my Honorable Mention. I'll say it again: great entries this round!

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XX​III: Two Heads Are Better Than One

    Quote Originally Posted by ZamielVanWeber View Post
    Am I missing something? I count one dvati (although Masamune had me briefly fooled).
    Nope, I missed that Masamune wasn't Dvati.
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XX​III: Two Heads Are Better Than One

    I'd considered a Symbiotic Creature too, honestly, so I'm surprised that there's only one entry like that. Though in my case, I was considering a Giant Crab(yes, that Damn Crab) advanced to Huge size as a host, with some sort of humanoid creature as the guest. Symbiotic Creatures are Abberations, so it would have qualified for (Improved) Rapidstrike. Probably would have had a level of Ranger with the Arcane Hunter ACF, since it would have been the result of a deranged arcanist... From there though, I wasn't sure what to do next and I was lazy, so that's all I managed to come up with.
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    Thumbs up Re: Villainous Competition XX​III: Two Heads Are Better Than One

    I was kind of expecting a Vestigial Twin (DMG2 p.160) caster build. An extra spell per round for CR +2.

    Quote Originally Posted by Deadline View Post
    I was surprised to not see a Skull Lord, which would have been the basis for my entry.
    I had a look at Skull Lord at one point when this theme was first mentioned. I think I fooled around with a Skull Lord/Beguiler X/Ur-Priest X/Mystic Theurge X concept.

    Quote Originally Posted by danielxcutter View Post
    I'd considered a Symbiotic Creature too, honestly, so I'm surprised that there's only one entry like that. Though in my case, I was considering a Giant Crab(yes, that Damn Crab) advanced to Huge size as a host, with some sort of humanoid creature as the guest. Symbiotic Creatures are Abberations, so it would have qualified for (Improved) Rapidstrike. Probably would have had a level of Ranger with the Arcane Hunter ACF, since it would have been the result of a deranged arcanist... From there though, I wasn't sure what to do next and I was lazy, so that's all I managed to come up with.
    That sounds like a pretty amazing entry.

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XX​III: Two Heads Are Better Than One

    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    That sounds like a pretty amazing entry.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squire Doodad View Post
    I could write a lengthy explanation, but honestly just what danielxcutter said.
    Extended sig here.

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XX​III: Two Heads Are Better Than One

    Great builds this time, very interesting assortment, and no too conceptually close builds to muddy the waters. This one was actually kinda difficult because there were so MANY ideas, but eventually one of them just sort of... wrote itself. Also:

    Quote Originally Posted by danielxcutter View Post
    I'd considered a Symbiotic Creature too, honestly, so I'm surprised that there's only one entry like that. Though in my case, I was considering a Giant Crab(yes, that Damn Crab) advanced to Huge size as a host, with some sort of humanoid creature as the guest. Symbiotic Creatures are Abberations, so it would have qualified for (Improved) Rapidstrike. Probably would have had a level of Ranger with the Arcane Hunter ACF, since it would have been the result of a deranged arcanist... From there though, I wasn't sure what to do next and I was lazy, so that's all I managed to come up with.
    I actually had a really similar idea to this, using Symbiotic Creature with a Siege Crab to make Canzar.



    Unfortunately I couldn't find anything 'slimy' enough with the type limitations, and I wasn't even sure if 'chilling in the mouth of another being' counts as being a separate head.

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XX​III: Two Heads Are Better Than One

    Quote Originally Posted by Technetium43 View Post
    I actually had a really similar idea to this, using Symbiotic Creature with a Siege Crab to make Canzar.



    Unfortunately I couldn't find anything 'slimy' enough with the type limitations, and I wasn't even sure if 'chilling in the mouth of another being' counts as being a separate head.
    Okay, I honestly sniggered at that image. Where's it from?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squire Doodad View Post
    I could write a lengthy explanation, but honestly just what danielxcutter said.
    Extended sig here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by danielxcutter View Post
    Okay, I honestly sniggered at that image. Where's it from?
    It's from the Dragon Quest spinoff series Dragon Quest Monsters and it's literally just a giant one of these sweet slimy boys:



    piloting a giant crab mecha. It is never explained, nor is it plot relevant. Oh and also it's like... actually D&D Gargantuan is a pretty good size estimate for how big it is.

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XX​III: Two Heads Are Better Than One

    Quote Originally Posted by Technetium43 View Post
    It's from the Dragon Quest spinoff series Dragon Quest Monsters and it's literally just a giant one of these sweet slimy boys:



    piloting a giant crab mecha. It is never explained, nor is it plot relevant. Oh and also it's like... actually D&D Gargantuan is a pretty good size estimate for how big it is.
    What. Just. What.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squire Doodad View Post
    I could write a lengthy explanation, but honestly just what danielxcutter said.
    Extended sig here.

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XX​III: Two Heads Are Better Than One

    I had a Multiheaded Pyro Roc of Legend that was the incarnation of a volcano. I used Metabreath to turn its heads into massive firestorms. But I couldn't find an appropriate deity for it.
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XX​III: Two Heads Are Better Than One

    I was mucking around with a Multi-headed Dragon optimizing around multiple native breath weapons and multiple breaths from the Firestride Exhalation spell. I wanted to use Firestride Exhalation to Shadow Pounce into a full attack with Improved Rapidstrike Bites, but fitting the requisite amount of Telflammar Shadowlord was turning out to be too much. Also multiple breath weapon blasts just wasn't as fun when there's a niggling voice in the back of my head whining about how cool a Cobalt Dragon's (Dragon Magazine 357) bull rush breath with intersecting Lingering Breath blasts pushing the victims of one into the other would be. I played with a Hoarder Shadow Dragon briefly to make half of the Firestride Exhalation damage bludgeoning, add some negative level synergy to the bite attacks, and mix in some "two-headed coin" fluff to the mix, but the CR adjustments ended up being a bit too much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    I was kind of expecting a Vestigial Twin (DMG2 p.160) caster build. An extra spell per round for CR +2.
    I was going to do that with a Warlock. A Tomb Mote Warlock. With Quickness, the thing gets three SLAs a round and still has a move action. Four with Quicken SLA thrown in. It wouldn't quite make it to 9th-level spells, but it could get more HD than CR, allowing it to take the epic Warlock feat that gives Shades as an at-will SLA.

    Vestigial Twin, I found out, actually doesn't work so well with casters, because the twin can only cast spells that have a verbal component and nothing else. It doesn't really make sense, since the twin can apparently have an arm for itself, but that's D&D designers for you.

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XX​III: Two Heads Are Better Than One

    Didn't had the time to make an entry but I'll post my base idea cause it just seems so silly/wrong somehow^^:

    I was thinking about a Double-headed Beholder Mage^^ (maybe with early entry into BM). Goes into the epic lvls (unless early entry cheese) and is a beast imho.
    The big deals are that after sacrificing one of your central eyes, you still got the other.
    Further you have 2x10 eye rays. This makes the 10th lvl of beholder mage extremely powerful. From BM 1-9 you sacrifice one eye ray each lvl to get a spell-stalk for the new spell lvl (1-9). At lvl 10 BM all your remaining eye rays turn into spell-stalks, which means you can designate the lvls for your remaining 11 eye rays..^^ (wanna cast 12 lvl-9 spells /round???)

    If you want to go silly, you could give him a monks tattoo to enhance his unarmed combat with Arcane Hands. Cause since your spellcasting is always a free action with your (20!) spell-stalks, you can spend your actions into Full-Attacks. A bit weak due to low Str score for Arcane Hands, but extra attacks are still extra attacks. Add multiattack, twf feats and combat reflexes for even more attacks.

    Otherwise just stick to some metamagic feats or something else what fits your caster role more.
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XX​III: Two Heads Are Better Than One

    Quote Originally Posted by Gruftzwerg View Post
    Didn't had the time to make an entry but I'll post my base idea cause it just seems so silly/wrong somehow^^:

    I was thinking about a Double-headed Beholder Mage^^ (maybe with early entry into BM). Goes into the epic lvls (unless early entry cheese) and is a beast imho.
    The big deals are that after sacrificing one of your central eyes, you still got the other.
    Further you have 2x10 eye rays. This makes the 10th lvl of beholder mage extremely powerful. From BM 1-9 you sacrifice one eye ray each lvl to get a spell-stalk for the new spell lvl (1-9). At lvl 10 BM all your remaining eye rays turn into spell-stalks, which means you can designate the lvls for your remaining 11 eye rays..^^ (wanna cast 12 lvl-9 spells /round???)

    If you want to go silly, you could give him a monks tattoo to enhance his unarmed combat with Arcane Hands. Cause since your spellcasting is always a free action with your (20!) spell-stalks, you can spend your actions into Full-Attacks. A bit weak due to low Str score for Arcane Hands, but extra attacks are still extra attacks. Add multiattack, twf feats and combat reflexes for even more attacks.

    Otherwise just stick to some metamagic feats or something else what fits your caster role more.
    That's great! Shame it's not in the running.

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XX​III: Two Heads Are Better Than One

    Quote Originally Posted by Gruftzwerg View Post
    Didn't had the time to make an entry but I'll post my base idea cause it just seems so silly/wrong somehow^^:

    I was thinking about a Double-headed Beholder Mage^^ (maybe with early entry into BM). Goes into the epic lvls (unless early entry cheese) and is a beast imho.
    The big deals are that after sacrificing one of your central eyes, you still got the other.
    Further you have 2x10 eye rays. This makes the 10th lvl of beholder mage extremely powerful. From BM 1-9 you sacrifice one eye ray each lvl to get a spell-stalk for the new spell lvl (1-9). At lvl 10 BM all your remaining eye rays turn into spell-stalks, which means you can designate the lvls for your remaining 11 eye rays..^^ (wanna cast 12 lvl-9 spells /round???)

    If you want to go silly, you could give him a monks tattoo to enhance his unarmed combat with Arcane Hands. Cause since your spellcasting is always a free action with your (20!) spell-stalks, you can spend your actions into Full-Attacks. A bit weak due to low Str score for Arcane Hands, but extra attacks are still extra attacks. Add multiattack, twf feats and combat reflexes for even more attacks.

    Otherwise just stick to some metamagic feats or something else what fits your caster role more.
    Unfortunately, a beholder does not have a head, which most of the templates that increase a creature's number of heads require in the first place. It only has a body that looks like a head. So what you're describing would not work, at least in the sense of doing what you want it to.

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XX​III: Two Heads Are Better Than One

    If I hadn't been the chairman, I probably would have submitted an anthropomorphic bat swarm with levels in druid. A nightmare at low levels because of flight and immunity to weapon attacks, a nightmare at high levels because full casting.


    Also, a swarm that wild shapes is still a swarm, and therefore enjoys immunity to most save-or-lose spells.
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