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  1. - Top - End - #91
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXIX

    The deed is done. Submission complete. I cannot wait to see what everyone came up with!
    In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    Gentlefolk, learn from Zaq's example, and his suffering. Remember, seven out of eleven players who use truenamer lose their ability to taste ice cream.
    Come join the Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground E6 Appetizer Edition! We're currently cooking for round 32. Everyone is welcome!

    My compiled Iron Chef stuff!

    Queer pride isn't limited to one month, but still, happy Pride!

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

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    Question Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXIX

    Around 34 hours to go by my reckoning?

    I'll have to finish everything up after work tonight. The bulk of it's already done, just fine tuning the formatting and fluff.

  3. - Top - End - #93
    Troll in the Playground
     
    The Viscount's Avatar

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXIX

    Found a sudden resolve and inspiration to formalize my idea so I should be finishing. Excited to see what people ended up doing with this ingredient.
    It's like cooking with white pepper or something. It definitely can be sensed and guides the dish, but you have to work to make sure it's not lost in the stuff you brought in to bolster it.
    Kolyarut Avatar by Potatocubed.
    Quote Originally Posted by willpell View Post
    Only playing Tier 1s is like only eating in five-star restaurants [...] sometimes I just want a cheeseburger and some frogurt. Why limit yourself?
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  4. - Top - End - #94
    Troll in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXIX

    I've gone and stumbled into what feels like a really great idea. I'm going to try to crank out a build before the deadline after all, but if I don't manage it, I'll post it after the reveal and judge like I'd originally planned.

    Iron Chef Medals
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    Sir Driscoll Conia - Silver - IC L

    Nick Snarespan - Gold - IC LIII

    Lucy "Legs" Silvertail - Bronze - IC LXVIII

    Bolfarg of Knoss - Gold - IC LXXVII

    Ivarr Deathborn - Bronze - IC LXXVII

    Ahmtel - Silver - IC LXXVIII

    Tocke of Nessus - Gold - IC LXXIX

    The Blessed Third - Silver - IC LXXXI

    Galahad Galapagos - Gold - IC LXXXIV

    Sai-don, Knight of the Tide - Bronze - IC LXXXIV

  5. - Top - End - #95
    Nerdomancer in the Playground Moderator
     
    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXIX

    finished by the hair of my chinny chin chin!

    can it be reveal time already? I don't know if i can handle the agony of waiting...
    Spoiler: Medals & Current Characters
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    More sources, more choices, more power. Welcome to D&D.
    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee
    I mean, I have been assuming Jdizzlean looks like Nathan Fillion this whole time to start with...
    The Mod Life Crisis If you need me to address a thread as a Moderator, please include a link

  6. - Top - End - #96
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    Thurbane's Avatar

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    Exclamation Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXIX

    Quote Originally Posted by jdizzlean View Post
    finished by the hair of my chinny chin chin!

    can it be reveal time already? I don't know if i can handle the agony of waiting...
    I certainly hope not, I'm hoping to be finished up within the next 14 hours or so!

  7. - Top - End - #97
    Nerdomancer in the Playground Moderator
     
    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXIX

    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    I certainly hope not, I'm hoping to be finished up within the next 14 hours or so!

    but, but, but, but........

    Spoiler: Medals & Current Characters
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    More sources, more choices, more power. Welcome to D&D.
    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee
    I mean, I have been assuming Jdizzlean looks like Nathan Fillion this whole time to start with...
    The Mod Life Crisis If you need me to address a thread as a Moderator, please include a link

  8. - Top - End - #98
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXIX

    Quote Originally Posted by jdizzlean View Post
    but, but, but, but........

    fret not. reveal's scheduled for 13 hours from now. can't wait to see what you did.
    Check out my new sci-fi TTRPG about first contact. Cool alien races, murderous AIs, and more. New book coming soon.

    fight my brute! it's a lot of fun
    Quote Originally Posted by weckar View Post
    Venger, can you be my full-time memory aid please?
    Iron Chef Medals!
    Amazing Princess Mononoke avatar by Dispozition
    Iron Chef Deep Freeze: Turning Tables on Old Dishes

  9. - Top - End - #99
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXIX

    The waiting is the hardest part.

    Who wants to be the one to remind him that we have to wait for the reveal and then we have to wait even longer for the judging?
    In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    Gentlefolk, learn from Zaq's example, and his suffering. Remember, seven out of eleven players who use truenamer lose their ability to taste ice cream.
    Come join the Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground E6 Appetizer Edition! We're currently cooking for round 32. Everyone is welcome!

    My compiled Iron Chef stuff!

    Queer pride isn't limited to one month, but still, happy Pride!

  10. - Top - End - #100
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXIX

    Um. So.

    Judges, you have your work cut out for you this time. By my count, there are 12 entries in my inbox right now. I'm afraid there will not be witty comments posted for each one, as I haven't read them and don't currently have time to read 12 entries well enough to think of something to say!

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

    Avatar by Rain Dragon

    Wish building characters for D&D 3.5 was simpler? Try HeroForge Anew! An Excel-based, highly automated character builder. v7.4 now out!

  11. - Top - End - #101
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXIX

    Entry number 1!
    Quote Originally Posted by Nausho, the Thrallmaker
    Supreme Broodlord Nausho, The Thrallmaker, Lord of the Darkened Vale, Bane of the Light



    Build:
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    Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    1st Feral Template +x +x +x +x Skills Willing Deformity, Woodsman Apprentice, Improved Grab +6 natural ac, claw attacks 1d8, fast healing 2, Darkvision 60ft
    2nd Shugenga 1 +0 +0 +0 +2 Conc 4, Know Arcana 4, Know Religion 4, Know Nature 1, Spellcraft 4, Survival 4, Spot (CC) 2 Spell Focus (Fire) Sense Elements 3/day, Element Focus (Fire)
    3rd Shugenga 2 +1 +0 +0 +3 Conc 5, Spellcraft 5, Survival 5, Spot 3, Know Arcana 5 Combat Casting -
    4th Shugenga 3 +1 +1 +1 +3 Conc 6, Spellcraft 6, Survival 6, Know Nature 3, Know Arcana 6, UMD .5 - Pounce, Fast Healing 3
    5th Shugenga 4 +2 +1 +1 +4 Conc 7, Spellcraft 7, Survival 7, Spot 4, Know Arcana 7, - -
    6th Shugenga 5 +2 +1 +1 +4 Conc 8, Spellcraft 8, Survival 8, Know Nature 5, Know Arcana 8 Thrall to Demon Sense Elements 4/day
    7th Shugenga 6 +3 +2 +2 +5 Conc 9, Spellcraft 9, Survival 9, Spot 5, Know Arcana 9 - -
    8th Shugenga 7 +3 +2 +2 +5 Conc 10, SC 10, Surv 10, Know Nature 7, Know Arcana 10 - Rake, Darkvision 90ft, Fast Healing 4
    9th Shugenga 8 +4 +2 +2 +6 Conc 11, SC 11, Surv 11, Know Religion 6, Spot 6 Mother Cyst -
    10th Thrall of Demogorgon 1 +5 +4 +2 +6 Conc 12, Intimidate 2, Spot 6.5, Surv 12, Know Religion 7 - Scaly Flesh +1, Hynosis 1/day, +1 lvl spellcasting
    11th Thrall 2 +6/+1 +5 +2 +6 Intimidate 3, Spot 7, Surv 13, Know Nature 8, Know Arc 11, Know Religion 8 - Touch of Fear 3/day
    12th Thrall 3 +7/+2 +5 +3 +7 Intimidate 5, Spot 7.5, Surv 14, Know Nature 19, Know Rel 9 Practiced Spellcaster Reaching Touch 3/day, Rend, Darkvision 120ft, Fast Healing 5
    13th Thrall 4 +8/+3 +6 +3 +7 Intimidate 7, Spot 8.5, Surv 15, Know Arc 12, Know Nat 10 - Dual Actions 2/day, Scaly Flesh +2, +1 lvl Spellcasting
    14th Thrall 5 +9/+4 +6 +3 +7 Intimidate 9, Surv 16, Conc 14, Know Rel 10 - Summon Minor Demon 1/day
    15th Thrall 6 +10/+5 +7 +4 +8 Intimidate 11, Surv 17, Conc 15, Know Rel 12 Frightful Presence Rotting Touch 3/day
    16th Thrall 7 +11/+6/+1 +7 +4 +8 Intimidate 13, Surv 18, Conc 17, Know Rel 13 - Scaly Flesh +3, +1 lvl Spellcasting
    17th Thrall 8 +12/+7/+2 +8 +4 +8 Intimidate 15, Surv 19, Conc 18, Know Nat 13 - Two Personas, Death Touch 1/day
    18th Hexer 1 +13/+8/+3 +8 +4 +10 Conc 19, Know Arc13, Know Rel 14, Spellcraft 12, Surv 20 Lightning Reflexes Hex 1/day, +1 lvl Spellcasting
    19th Hexer 2 +14/+9/+4 +8 +4 +11 Conc 20, Know Arc 14, Know Rel 15, SC 13, Surv 21 - Hex 2/day, Bonus Spell, +1 lvl Spellcasting
    20th Hexer 3 +15/+10/+5 +9 +5 +11 Know Arc 15, Know Rel 16, Spot 9, SC 14, Surv 22 - Sicken Hex, +1 lvl Spellcasting


    Mechanics
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    CE Feral Human Shugenga 8: (Oriental Adventures page 24), Thrall of Demogorgon 8, (Book of Vile Darkness page 67) 8, Hexer 3: (Masters of the Wild pg 63)

    HP: d6x12+d8x8 /2 +20 = approx. 88
    Speed: 40
    Languages: Common, Abyssal

    Feral Template (Savage Species 116) LA +1. Become Monstrous Humanoid, Hit Dice d10, Speed +10 base, +6 natural AC, gain 2 claw attacks MED=1d8, gain special attacks/abilities based on hit dice, 1-3=Imp Grab/ darkvision 60ft Fast healing 2, 4-7=Pounce/ DV 60ft FH 3, 8-11=Rake/DV 90ft FH4, 12+=Rend/DV 120ft FH 5. +4 STR, -2 DEX, +2 CON, -4 INT, +2 WIS

    Shugenga gain Spell Focus, Fire (+1 save DC’s), Feat free, can’t learn Water spells. Ashaga School of Phoenix Clan. Sense Elements as SLA 3/day at lvl 1, 4/day at lvl 5.

    Attr Pts: 4: CON 8, 12, 16, 20: CHA

    32 pt buy: STR 7 DEX 12 CON 9 INT 16 WIS 10 CHA 18
    Template: STR 11 DEX 10 CON 11 INT 12 WIS 12 CHA 18
    Final: STR 11 DEX 10 CON 12 INT 12 WIS 12 CHA 22

    Feats:
    1-Willful Deformity – Heroes of Horror 125
    1-Woodsman Apprentice – DMG2 178
    3-Combat Casting - PHB 92
    6-Thrall to Demon – Book of Vile Darkness 50
    9-Mother Cyst - Libris Mortis 28
    12-Practiced Spellcaster – Complete Arcane 82
    15-Frightful Presence - Draconomicon 106, Req 9 ranks Intimidate
    18-Lightning Reflexes – PHB 97


    Spells / Spells Known:
    (Bonus Spells 1-2, 2-2, 3-1, 4-1, 5-1, 6-1 // Spells Known = 1+x+x (school + fire element + any other element)
    Spoiler
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    Spells per Day/Spells Known
    Spells per Day/Spells Known
    Level 0lvl 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
    1st - - - - - - - - - -
    2nd 5 / s+2+2 4 / s+1+1 - - - - - - - -
    3rd 6 / s+3+2 5 / s+1+1 - - - - - - - -
    4th 6 / s+3+2 6 / s+2+1 - - - - - - - -
    5th 6 / s+3+3 7 / s+2+1 4 / s+1+0 - - - - - - -
    6th 6 / s+3+3 7 / s+2+2 5 / s+1+1 - - - - - - -
    7th 6 / s+4+3 7 / s+2+2 6 / s+1+1 4 / s+1+0 - - - - - -
    8th 6 / s+4+3 7 / s+3+2 7 / s+2+1 5 / s+1+1 - - - - - -
    9th 6 / s+4+4 7 / s+3+2 7 / s+2+1 6 / s+1+1 4 / s+1+0 - - - - -
    10th 6 / s+4+4 7 / s+3+2 7 / s+2+2 7 / s+2+1 5 / s+1+1 - - - - -
    11th 6 / s+4+4 7 / s+3+2 7 / s+2+2 7 / s+2+1 5 / s+1+1 - - - - -
    12th 6 / s+4+4 8 / s+3+2 7 / s+2+2 7 / s+2+1- 5 / s+1+1 - - - - -
    13th 6 / s+5+4 8 / s+3+2 7 / s+3+2 7 / s+2+1 6 / s+1+1 4 / s+1+0 - - - -
    14th 6 / s+5+4 8 / s+3+2 7 / s+3+2 7 / s+2+1 6 / s+1+1 4 / s+1+0 - - - -
    15th 6 / s+5+4 8 / s+3+2 7 / s+3+2 7 / s+2+1 6 / s+1+1 4 / s+1+0 - - - -
    16th 6 / s+5+4 8 / s+3+2 7 / s+3+2 7 / s+2+2 7 / s+2+1 5 / s+1+1 - - - -
    17th 6 / s+5+4 8 / s+3+2 7 / s+3+2 7 / s+2+2 7 / s+2+1 5 / s+1+1 - - - -
    18th 6 / s+5+4 8 / s+3+2 7 / s+3+2 7 / s+2+2 7 / s+1+1 6 / s+1+1 3 / s+1+0 - - -
    19th 6 / s+5+4 8 / s+3+2 7 / s+3+2 7 / s+2+2 7 / s+2+1 7 / s+1+1+1 Bonus -4 / s+1+1 - - -
    20th 6 / s+5+4 8 / s+3+2 8 / s+3+2 7 / s+2+2 7 / s+2+2 7 / s+2+2+1 Bonus 6 / s+1+2 3 / s+1+0 - -
    Plus Necrotic Spells 1-1, 2-2, 3-1, 4-1, 5-1, 6-1, 7-1



    Spell Suggestions (**denotes school spell ,* denote fire spell):
    Spoiler
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    50+ total spells known, 8 of them necrotic, 1 of them arcane, over half the remaining from the shugenga fire domain. This is just a sample, not an exhaustive list.
    Lvl 0- Flare**, Dancing Lights*, Disrupt Undead*, Light*, Daze, Resistance, Read Magic, Detect Magic
    Lvl 1- Burning Hands**, Faerie Fire*, Cause Fear*, Hypnotism*, Shocking Grasp*, Change Self, Endure Elements
    Lvl 2- Produce Flame**, Flame Blade*, Flaming Sphere*, Heat Metal*, Silence, Hold Person
    Lvl 3- Searing Light**, Call Lightning*, Fire Wings*, Dispel Magic, Stone Shape
    Lvl 4- Fireball**, Flame Arrow*, Lightning Bolt*, Death Ward, Dismissal
    Lvl 5- Flamestrike**, Feeblemind*, Confusion*, Dimension Door, Disintegrate (Bonus Spell @ LVL 19)
    Lvl 6- Fires of Purity**, Greater Glyph of Warding*, Greater Dispelling
    Lvl 7- Fire Storm**, Chain Lightning*

    Necrotic Cyst Spells:
    1st—necrotic awareness;
    2nd—necrotic cyst, necrotic scrying;
    3rd—necrotic bloat;
    4th—necrotic domination;
    5th—necrotic burst;
    6th—necrotic eruption;
    7th—necrotic tumor;


    Background:
    Spoiler
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    Another scream rent through the night. It was yet another in a never ending string of purges. The lesser sheep were being culled from the fold, drained of whatever paltry contribution they had to give. It had always been this way, and always would be.

    I was born into this Clan, birthed by an unknown Broodmother. One of just another in a string of experiments gone wrong, another unholy union of species created in the hunt for power. My destiny was to end up as just one of those screams, but I was too smart for that. I first made myself useful, I found an unwilling mentor, and from that pairing I learned to survive.

    Here, as in any Cult, you are either part of the clergy, or part of the cattle. I learned how to harness the power of the elements to serve me. To twist the minds of those around me, and to bathe those who resisted in fire. I marked myself as one of the faithful, so that others would know and be afraid.

    It is said that the Great One himself takes the strongest of us as disciples. To serve the Lord would be a great honor. The path was long and arduous, and many fell along the Way. On my journey, my desire for power created something that grew within me. It awoke another path to power that was unknown among my kind. I used it to climb above my peers, and my power grew.

    When I was ready, I took the Rite and became one of His disciples. After subduing and binding my childhood tormentor, I plunged my clawed fist into his chest and ripped his heart out. I let his life spill out upon the burning brazier, and threw his still beating heart to the watcher in the shadows to consume.

    I learned to stop others in their tracks with a glance or a touch. I gave presents to those that pleased or displeased me alike. I created my own thralls to do as I bid. When their usefulness came to an end, or they became too bothersome, the gifts grew. Expanding and breaching the host, they burst forth in an explosion of blood to feed upon another host, implanting them in the process. And my power grew.

    The weak began to fear me in battle. Their fear a boon to the Lord Prince. I can cripple with a touch, or paralyze with a look. I can rain fire and lightning down upon my foes, crushing them underfoot. Warp their minds and send them fleeing in fear in a glorious symphony of wanton destruction. I can do this and more.

    And my power grows.




    Snapshots:
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    5- Feral grants us a few minor abilities at 1st level, most importantly the big buff to our AC. The fast healing and Darkvision allow us to survive a scrap or two and fight another day. A well placed claw attack might come as a surprise to an assailant that just sees a priest as easy meat. With 4 ranks in Shugenga, there’s 13 spells to pick from, and we’re halfway to the next class already. Combat Casting helps to get more spells off at this level than might otherwise be possible. Shugenga sacrifices BAB progression for spell power, but you aren’t intended to be a front line combatant. There’s nothing wrong w/ firing a xbow from the back.

    10- Having finished off Shugenga with 8 ranks, it’s time to move into the SI. Picked up Mother Cyst, which we abuse at every possible opportunity to do so. In the cult, all newborns and young are given a cyst to carry inside them, they can’t fight it off. Our spellcasting is up to level 4 spells. Scaly Flesh stacks with our Feral granted natural armor, throw on a layer of traditional armor and we’re getting pretty hard to hit. If someone is lucky enough to get to close, all it takes is a well-placed touch on our part to make them regret it. Our spellcasting and SLA’s help to make our opponents more susceptible to the gift of a cyst.

    15 so sweet- We’re now 6 ranks into the SI, our fast healing has topped out at 5, helping to offset a lower health pool. We picked up Practiced Spellcaster to regain lost caster levels from the SI so our spells are more powerful, and Frightful Presence to further shake our enemies off foot. Rotting Touch allows us to further disable an enemy in order to abuse Mother Cyst some more. Dual Actions has come online, giving us either multiple 5th lvl spells (double flame strike anyone?) or even more Mother Cyst abuse.

    20- Finishing off the build we’ve now moved into Hexer. Hexer abuses the gaze attack that we started using at level 10. We’re casting at an effective caster level of 18 and have access to level 7 spells, including Disintegrate or another wiz/sorc spell of your choosing from lvl 5/6 spell list. Our gaze attacks, when successful, place nearly permanent penalties on our enemies. We’re casting at an actual level of 14, but the Shugenga spell list, augmented by the Necrotic, gives us plenty of offensive and defensive abilities. Lightning Reflexes was taken as the final feat to help bolster the abyssal Reflex save. Another option would be Shielded Casting to prevent AoO. (or I swear there’s a feat that lets you double the number of class granted sla’s per day, but I can’t find it). The build is designed to wear you down mentally and physically to make you susceptible to a cyst invasion. If that fails, there’s always fire and lightning, or fear and guile.



    Variants:
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    In a game/contest where Leadership was allowed, you can see where a cult leader with a massive CHA might get ahead. I however would use the “followers” differently. With Mother Cyst, I’d implant them all w/ a necrotic cyst which would then allow me to use the full power of it almost at will. An army (cult) of every conceivable class would allow me access to every spell or ability in the game. Each follower would also be a weapon that could be used against my enemies as walking bombs. No one would be safe, when anyone could possibly be carrying a cyst inside them. Going into epic levels would continue the Hexer class progression.

    Nothing stops us from implanting cysts into animals or mounts either if they can’t make the save. Attack from wherever your enemy doesn’t expect you. Stopping the front rank of a cavalry charge cold in its tracks, instigating mass chaos in your enemies camp by having all the dogs explode, these are a few of the things you can do. Made worse after using your other spells to push the enemy closer together.




    Sources:
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    Book of Vile Darkness 50, 67
    Complete Arcane 82
    Draconomicon 106
    Dungeon Masters Guide II 178
    Heroes of Horror 125
    Libris Mortis 28, 67-69
    Masters of the Wild 63
    Oriental Adventures 24
    Players Handbook 13,92,97
    Savage Species 116
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kalirren View Post
    The only person in the past two pages who has known what (s)he has been talking about is Heliomance.
    Quote Originally Posted by golentan View Post
    I just don't want to have long romantic conversations or any sort of drama with my computer, okay? It knows what kind of porn I watch. I don't want to mess that up by allowing it to judge any of my choices in romance.

    Avatar by Rain Dragon

    Wish building characters for D&D 3.5 was simpler? Try HeroForge Anew! An Excel-based, highly automated character builder. v7.4 now out!

  12. - Top - End - #102
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXIX

    Entry number 2!

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus Armstrong

    Marcus Armstrong: the Helping Hand

    Spoiler: backstory
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    Spoiler: Amuse-bouche
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    “Hey, inmate, you gotta visitor. On your feet!” the guard yelled from around the corner, well outside of Marcus’s reach. Once bitten, he supposed.

    Marcus backed away from the bars, faced the wall, bent his second set of elbow joints and put his arms behind his head as best he could.

    An irregular click clack rang out on the cold stone floors of the jail. A familiar sound.

    “Professor?” Marcus called out. His voice echoed in the cell.

    Cyrus coughed into his handkerchief, as was his habit. Marcus could smell the peppermint oil from where he stood.

    “Oh, Marcus, where was that perception back at Morgrave?” Cyrus teased.

    “‘Misdirected,’ I think was what you said in the letter you sent to my parents,” Marcus said.

    Cyrus laughed, breaking into a barking cough halfway through. “That was Dean Konek’s decision, not mine. Your extracurricular activities are of little concern to me.”

    Marcus drummed his fingers on his knuckles. His hands had a mind of their own sometimes. Part of why he was here.

    “You can turn around now, boy. We’re quite alone,” Cyrus said.

    Marcus turned and stalked toward the bars. Cyrus was a few paces away from them. He looked even frailer than he had when Marcus was back in the dormitories. He leaned on a silver-tipped cane, clutching its dragon head topper in his fist.

    “What about the guard?” Marcus drew his finger across his throat.

    Cyrus shook his head. “You always were the first to come to blows, weren’t you? You’re not a murderer, Marcus,” Cyrus said, “or at least you haven’t been arrested for killing anyone this time,” he added when he noticed Marcus’s incredulity. “People can be paid to look the other way over a few measures of devilweed.”

    “You talking from experience?” Marcus asked.

    “I wasn’t always an old man.” Cyrus cleared his throat. “That stuff’ll kill you.”

    “So you came here to rub it in?” Marcus cracked some of his knuckles.

    “Perhaps.”

    Marcus unhinged his elbow. The flaps and folds of his extra skin bunched around his joints stretched taut and he grabbed Cyrus around the throat through the bars.

    “Then why shouldn’t I snuff you right here? Not like I can get arrested again.”

    If Cyrus was worried, he didn’t show it. He held up a key.

    “Why don’t we discuss this over a drink? Were I a gambling man, I’d wager it’s been a while since you had one,” Cyrus said.

    He wasn’t wrong.

    Marcus held him a little while longer and let go. Cyrus unlocked the cell and let him out.

    Marcus growled at the guard on his way out of the jail.

    “Listen, thanks and everything, but there’s a bar or three around here I ain’t exactly supposed to show my face at anymore,” Marcus said.

    Cyrus tsked. “I can see why. What have you done to yourself? You used to be such a handsome boy.” He brushed the scars on Marcus’s face with the back of his hand.

    Marcus swatted his fingers away. “Gross. It’s a whole thing.”

    “I see. Some beast you made a deal with and weren’t able to control when it came off its leash?” Cyrus asked and pointed at the placard for the Whistling Pig. “How about this place?”

    “Stabbed a waitress.” Marcus didn’t want to give him the satisfaction of turning his face away, so held his gaze as they walked further down the street.

    “Here?” Cyrus indicated the Laughing Lady.

    “Waitress stabbed me.”

    Cyrus looked mournfully to the Prancing Stag when Marcus shook his head before the question was asked.

    “What, did you kill the cook?” Cyrus asked.

    “Just don’t like their beer,” Marcus said.

    “Fair enough. I know one place you haven’t been barred from,” Cyrus said.

    Marcus scoffed. “How can you be so sure?”

    They were far enough away from the town now Marcus could’ve run if he wanted. Not that he had anywhere to go.

    Cyrus unlatched an iron gate and beckoned Marcus to enter.

    “The same way I know you gave yourself those scars.”

    Marcus shoved past Cyrus and looked the place over. There wasn’t a sign.

    “Little off the beaten path, huh?” Marcus said.

    Cyrus crouched and opened a storm cellar. “That’s the way I like it. Welcome to my home.” He descended the stair first. There was already a lamp burning underneath. Looked like he knew he would be expecting company.

    Marcus crouched and barred the door behind them. He hunched his back to fit within. Even then, his head scarcely avoided scraping the ceiling on the way down. The screws in his spine ached when he had to contort himself like this. They never had healed right. Oh well. Not like he hadn’t made the chirurgeon pay in spades for his shoddy work.

    Marcus reached the floor and stepped in something even he, with his repeated exposure to society’s undesirables, thought was vile.

    “Your can busted?” Marcus steadied himself on a wall and scraped the scum off his boot onto the stairs.

    He jerked back when an eye appeared in the muck and winked at him.

    “Gimme your stick and I’ll kill it,” he offered, holding his hand out toward Cyrus.

    Cyrus laughed. “No need, that’s only Alex. Make something of yourself, would you?”

    No sooner had he said this than the slime slid off the stairs and merged with huge pools scattered all around the basement. It poured itself into a vaguely elfin shape and waved, but didn’t speak.

    It turned away and shuffled along the floor toward a buffet table. An orc in a pair of pince-nez gamely lifted the ladle from a punch bowl and poured a spoonful directly onto Alex’s head where it was immediately absorbed.

    “There you are, chum,” he said. Alex gurgled and discorporated over a platter of sandwiches.

    “Archibald? Is that you?” Marcus asked him, squinting in the dim light.

    “Marcus!” He glided over to him and gave him a firm handshake, not delaying for one second or having to adjust his normal grip for Marcus’s new hands. Good old Archie. Nothing ever caught him off guard.

    “What’re you doing here? I thought you were sentenced to death after the whole thing with the mayor’s daughter,” Marcus asked.

    “Oh, I was. My sentence was carried out as well with a little help from our friend here.” Archibald indicated the pile of goo on the table and delicately rasped some nutmeg on it. “Not having a face does lend one a certain talent for disguise.”

    “Man of many talents,” Marcus said. “Or uh, woman?” He glanced unsurely at the slime as Alex blew a bubble.

    “To be honest, old chap, I haven’t the faintest idea. I don’t think anyone does, isn’t that right, professor?” he asked Cyrus.

    Cyrus took a seat in a large, overstuffed chair and pulled a pipe out of its cushions. He packed it with a few leaves of Marcus’s confiscated devilweed and fumbled for a match.

    “Unfortunately, that part of Alex’s records were destroyed in the fire that claimed most of the evocation department,” Cyrus said.

    From the shadows behind him, a figure reached out its thumb and touched it to Cyrus’s pipe. It glowed red and he exhaled a cloud of smoke.

    “What can I say? Subtlety never was one of my vices, teach.”

    “Ah, thank you, Charles. Could you freshen the lamp? It’s dark as hell down here.”

    Charles flicked his fingers onto a candle and placed it into a lantern.

    “Ha! You brought Marcus here? Way to diversify assets. We didn’t have a 98 pound weakling yet.” Charles looked Marcus up and down, lingering on his expensive additions. “Or maybe 130 pound weakling now. What’d you do, break into the zoo and kill a girallon?”

    Marcus sneered. “Let me guess. You got expelled for picking on the wrong first year?”

    “Close. For grilling one medium-rare,” Charles said.

    Marcus swallowed and looked uneasily to the charcuterie board by Alex’s leftmost pseudopod.

    “Oh, don’t worry, Marcus, that poor girl is ancient history. As are Charles’s transgressions against you as far as our little cabal is concerned. We have to be willing to set these things aside if we’re to move forward,” Cyrus said in between puffs of devilweed.

    “Move forward toward what exactly?” Marcus asked.

    Cyrus upturned his pipe onto the floor and Alex encroached over it shortly after.

    “I don’t know the precise details of your expulsion. My mind was on more pressing matters at the time, but I’d wager it has something to do with what lies below,” Cyrus said.

    Marcus put the buffet table between himself and Charles and reached for a crab cake Alex had not yet made foul.
    “What makes you say that?”

    “Archibald here botched up a kidnapping on the mayor’s surviving daughter. Charles burned down far more of the school than he needed to to cover up the evidence of his crimes. You’ve seen what Alex has done. And I haven’t forgotten why I walk with this limp.” Cyrus eyed him. Neither had Marcus. It’d been by his hand. It’d shown that old man what it meant to flunk him.

    “On the face of it, there was no reason for any of you to complicate your various crimes with these unnecessary risks. You must’ve thought it would get you some extra reward from otherworldly patrons. My working theory is that each of you only had a small piece of the rituals needed, which is why none of your bizarre errands panned out. I’m afraid Anthony and Ferris are out attending to Danielle, so you’ll have to meet them later. Unfortunately, she’s on the hook for something I’m unable to pay off on a professor’s salary,” Cyrus said.

    “What, she’s in a dungeon or something somewhere?” Marcus asked.

    “She’s run afoul of the drow of Xen’drik. Tried to pilfer one of their sacred gewgaws and they didn’t take it kindly. Not the kind of thing that can be solved diplomatically, I’m afraid.” Cyrus said.

    “Why didn’t you send Jacob? He probably could’ve convinced those savages it rightfully belonged to Danielle with that silver tongue of his,” Charles asked.

    “Another of his grandmothers died,” Cyrus said.

    “That makes what, eight?” Charles said.

    “If his grandfather was anything like him, it doesn’t strike me as the least bit suspicious,” Cyrus said.

    “What about Siegfried? He loves chewing through drow,” Charles said.

    “It’s his one month anniversary tonight,” Cyrus said.

    Archibald laughed and sipped a glass of sherry. “Siegfried on an anniversary. That poor girl. Is it someone else from the school, professor?”

    “No, he told me she was ‘trapped forever in a dimension of eternal suffering and damnation,’ so I didn’t know her,” Cyrus said. They all laughed.

    After it had subsided, Marcus asked “So what, you’ve set yourself up as some kind of spymaster? Sending out malcontents to collect on contracts?”

    “A means to an end, I assure you,” Cyrus said. “Once everyone is assembled, I believe we’ll have the necessary components to successfully perform the ritual. If we all participate, we’ll all be equally rewarded, if equally damned.”

    Marus shrugged. “Nothing new for me at least. So who do we have to kill?”

    Charles snorted and warmed a sandwich between his hands, a light smoke rising into the air. “Yeah, yeah, we’re all impressed with how tough you’ve gotten, runt. But we can’t just sacrifice anyone. Whoever’s on the receiving end is picky as hell.”

    “Fitting, I suppose,” Archibald said. “We’ve got designs on a suitable target. Joshua something-or-other. He’s of sufficiently noble birth, although that only recently came to light through our intelligence network.” He nodded toward Alex, who gurgled appreciatively. “He’s former military, highly decorated, and although he’s been retired a while, he can still be roused now and again for a bit of for-hire work,”

    “A mercenary?” Marcus asked.

    “Though he wouldn’t deign to refer to himself as such, yes,” Archibald said.

    “Is that a good idea?” Marcus asked. In his experience, people who could fight back made poor victims.

    “There’s a reason we want to wait until we’ve got all our pieces in play,” Cyrus said. “None of us would be able to take him in a fair fight, so we’ll just have to stack the odds in our favor. As far as he’s concerned, we’re inviting him over soon for food and wine and pleasant conversation. He doesn’t need to know what being our guest of honor entails.”

    “And how exactly are you going to make sure he’ll come?” Marcus asked.

    “Our research shows Anthony’s just his type,” Cyrus said. “He’s got quite the knack for getting in peoples’ good graces.”

    “That’s Archie’s favorite kind of recon, huh?” Charles bit into his sandwich.

    “Oh, hush.” Archibald said.

    “So what exactly is it you need from me?” Marcus asked. People like him didn’t give with one hand without taking with the other.

    “Well, tell us everything you did back when you made your little bid for power,” Archibald said. He took out a notepad.

    Marcus swallowed. “I’m sure the professor’s filled you in on the broad strokes.”

    Cyrus drummed his finger on his pipe. “Humor me.”

    “All right. It was midday. Right when lunch was starting. The kitchen was making that butterscotch pudding everyone likes,” Marcus said.

    “By the Host, it’s been too long. We should have Danielle pinch the recipe. I’d have to say it’s the thing I miss most about the old place,” Archibald said.

    Marcus continued. “So I knew I’d have a little time in the summoning lab by myself. The professor had ducked out early to have a drink and she left the cabinet unlocked,”

    “Naughty,” Charles slid onto the seat by Cyrus and elbowed him in the side.

    “I’m sure you lot drove her to it, you wretches. Go on,” Cyrus said.

    “I followed the directions in the teacher’s edition of the book toward the back about demoniac invocation. Some parts were blacked out, but I figured I could eyeball it. I summoned something, but it came out… wrong. Its insides were on its outsides and it was just… it was all teeth and hair. Professor came in and heard the ruckus and was able to banish it with some magic dust or something and it leapt out the window and drowned in the moat.”

    Cyrus sighed. “It was salt, Marcus. The whole thing’s body was one big open wound. I had to help clean up after, the poor woman was a wreck.”

    Archibald had been assiduously taking notes. “And how many skulls did you use?”

    “What?” Marcus asked.

    “Skulls. How many were there? Siegfried said he tried twenty-nine last time and it still wasn’t enough,” Archibald said.

    “Well, none, I guess. I was just focusing on getting some kind of demon in the mix. I mean, if that who I’m trying to get in good with, it makes sense to have one handy, right? They come from wherever we’re trying to get our power from,” Marcus said.

    “And that’s what we need from you, Marcus,” Cyrus said. “Perhaps your irresponsibility might be good for something after all. We’ll see to it a demon attends our little get together. Might as well throw a devil in the mix too. Can’t hurt to cover our bases. ‘Never hurts to play both sides,’ as Anthony always says.”

    “That’s just something you can do?” Marcus asked.

    “Not alone. It’s part of what the rest of our happy few have to contribute to our group,” Cyrus said. “It’ll take a while for all the pieces to come together, but I trust you’re interested in the final stage?”

    “Easy there, teach. Trust’s a four letter word around the likes of us,” Charles said.

    Marcus didn’t want to seem too eager, so pretended to deliberate. “I’d need somewhere to stay.”

    “You can stay here for the time being. I know you’re used to worse,” Cyrus said.

    Marcus couldn’t argue.


    Spoiler: Entrée
    Show

    Things didn’t take shape quite as soon as Cyrus had implied.

    With Cyrus busy during the day chasing down leads, information, or strange ingredients for the group’s increasingly byzantine ceremony, Marcus saw little of him in the evenings since he preferred to retire to his chambers in the house proper upstairs. As the only one of the remaining boarders who wasn’t currently wanted for a capital crime, the day to day scutwork fell on his large shoulders. It wasn’t as though they could send Alex to the market. Not if they wanted to be able to eat whatever came back to Cyrus’s cellar.

    Marcus was haggling with a vendor over the price of potatoes when he felt an unwelcome hand in his pocket. His huge fist groped for the intruder and closed on something delicate and feminine. He couldn’t wait to break it.

    But as soon as he bore down, he found an empty glove in his hand. He turned and saw her darting down the alleyway. Marcus wasn’t the type to cry “Stop! Thief!” He preferred to take matters into his own hands.

    He broke into a run and loped along the street in a two beat gait, stepping in turn with both feet and slinging himself along on his arms, his knuckles bracing him against the ground like a girallon hunting its prey.

    She ducked into an alcove and shut the door behind her. Marcus caught up in short order and smashed the door to splinters.

    Inside the building, everyone inside the smart, little bistro eyed him. The thief was sitting at a table sipping wine without a care in the world, as though she’d meant to leave the house with only one glove on. She slipped the waiter a coin from Marcus’s purse.

    “Don’t worry, darling, put it on his bill,” she said.

    The restaurant gamely laughed and no one approached Marcus. Probably afraid to, as it should be.

    The thief wasn’t alone. Beside her sat an achingly beautiful man. The utter symmetry and flawlessness of his nose made Marcus want to go at it with a pair of pliers.

    He ordered wine and beckoned Marcus over with a six-fingered hand.

    “The man of the hour,” he said. “Have a seat, Marcus.”

    Marcus approached their table, his knuckles dragging on the fine carpet. “You know me?”

    “We’ve got a friend in common. Wouldn’t be here now without the dear old professor. He’s pulled my fat out of the fryer more times than I can count.” He tapped his extra thumb against the rim of his glass as he sipped his wine.

    “He truly is the best of us. Here’s to the professor,” his companion raised her glass and pushed an empty toward Marcus.

    “Your friend seems to be under the impression that I’m not going to cut her hands off.” Marcus’s fingers twitched.

    “Oh, Danielle didn’t mean anything by it,” he said.

    Marcus grabbed the bottle and took a belt. “You’re Ferris?”

    “Ha! He wishes. I’m Anthony. Pleased to make your acquaintance.” Marcus shook his hand without having to sit down and squeezed the thumbs on Anthony’s left hand harder than strictly necessary.

    “So why’re you cornering me here instead of just rendezvousing with the professor like you were supposed to a month ago? We figured the drow had eaten you,” Marcus said.

    “What fun is there in doing what one’s told? Now, you could take Danielle’s hands and go tattle on us, or you could give in to your curiosity, sit down like a gentleman, and listen to the proposal you know is so juicy we had to corner you and give it to you in secret away from our friends’ prying eyes,” Anthony said.

    Marcus collapsed into the empty chair and drummed his knuckles on the floor. “I’m listening.”


    Spoiler: Aperitivo
    Show

    Marcus lounged in Cyrus’s chair and watched him tidy. He still could be spry when he had something approaching a good enough reason.

    “How many crab cakes do we have?” Cyrus asked.

    “Two dozen. Should be plenty,” Archibald checked them off his clipboard.

    “So Siegfried’s not coming, then?” Marcus asked.

    “You’re right. Better make it three,” Cyrus said.

    “I’ll go and mix up some more of that cornmeal.” Archibald tied on an apron and started up the stairs. “Have Alex’s friends arrived yet?”

    “Courier delivered them earlier. They’re in those urns in the broom closet. If you value your own well-being, don’t open them. We’ll make Alex roll them out once the party starts,” Cyrus said.

    Archibald stopped on the stair and tilted his head as though listening to some unseen conversation.

    “Siegfried says he’s bringing his lady friend,” Archibald said.

    Cyrus grumbled. “He would pull this at the last minute. Marcus, do you have time to run out to the market?”

    “Wait, professor, he says not to worry, she won’t be eating,” Archibald said and hopped upstairs.

    “That makes what? Two months? Being around Siegfried for that long would kill my appetite too,” Charles said. He crouched under a fondue pot and nudged at the coals beneath it til they started to smolder.

    “Hey, new guy, give me a hand with this,” Ferris murmured in between hammer blows against his anvil. Marcus reached over to his furnace without getting out of his seat. He picked up a piece of Cyrus’s garden gate and bent it into a small enough piece to fit in Ferris’s crucible.

    “How long’re you keeping up this ‘new guy’ thing?” Marcus mopped at his brow. The basement was heating up as Ferris stoked his fire to melt the lumps of iron.

    “Til someone newer comes. You know how it is. ETA on our guest of honor?” Ferris leaned on his bellows.

    Cyrus checked his pocket watch. “Anthony said he was taking him to the matinee over at Phiarlan. They’re going out for drinks after and then they’re heading here. The show started three hours ago, so it shouldn’t be long.”

    A yawning abyss opened in front of the sofa, jagged flaps of reality twisting in a hellish wind. From within the fired skies inside the portal, a grotesquely swollen man waddled out, dragging a bound and gagged demon on a leash.

    “Hey guys,” Siegfried said.

    “Close that thing, would you?” Charles shouted. “It’s hot enough in here.”

    “Just a second. Hurry up, sweetie pie. Everyone’s dying to meet you,” Siegfried shouted behind him.

    The silhouette of a skeleton crept up behind Siegfried from the portal, reaching its claw out for his neck.

    “Blunted! Duck, Siegfried!” Ferris hurled his hammer at the skeleton and caught it in the chest. It stumbled out of the portal and snapped its fingers somehow. It closed.

    “Well, that’s a fine how do you do,” the skeleton said in the voice of a young Brelish woman.

    “Oh, uh, I’m sorry. You understand how it looked,” Ferris picked up his hammer and brushed it on his leather apron. He went back to work melting down the gate. “And you are?”

    Siegfried brushed off his date’s fuchsia evening gown with the back of his hand and leered at Ferris. “Oh, actually her name is too ancient and terrible to be rendered in the tongues of man, so you can just stick with ‘hey you.’”

    Archibald came down the stairs with a fresh tray of crab cakes, his oven mitts still on. “What’s the ruckus?”

    “Oh, boy, now it’s a party,” Siegfried scooted over and grabbed a handful. “Man, I love these things.”

    Someone rapped on the cellar door using the secret knock. Marcus, seeing no alternative, answered it himself. He slid the viewing window aside. Jacob leaned down over the door dressed in mourning garb, a black veil masking his face from beneath a silk top hat.

    “Who died this time?” Marcus asked.

    “My grandma,” Jacob said.

    “So that’s what, nine now?” Marcus asked.

    “Ten. She and my grandma killed each other when they found out they were married to my grandpa at the same time. It was a beautiful ceremony, but it ran a little long, which is why I’m late,” Jacob said.

    “Uh huh. Priests just never know when to can it, right?” Marcus said.

    “Priestess actually. It was a family affair. It was officiated by-“

    Marcus opened the door to let him in, or he’d be here all night. “Your grandma?”

    “How’d you know?” Jacob shrugged off his cloak and handed Marcus his hat. “Gin and bitters.”

    Marcus tossed them into the corner and pointed toward the bar Archibald had set up. “Bottles are over there, and if you treat me like the help again, I’ll tell you where you can stick ‘em.”

    “Gotcha,” Jacob said and went to fix himself a drink and chat with the others.

    “Have you got it?” Cyrus asked him.

    Jacob passed him a scroll and a small bag of gold. “Kept the fee too. Told him there was a check in the mail.” They both laughed.

    “Some people will believe anything. Sorry to hear about your grandmas,” Cyrus said with some vague gesture to the Host.

    “Much obliged,” Jacob said. “And thanks for the plots. You know my family couldn’t have afforded them without your help.”

    Cyrus waved his gratitude away like fumes from Ferris’s crucible. “Oh, please, don’t give it a second thought.”

    Anthony knocked on the cellar door using the knock to herald the arrival of Joshua.

    Cyrus tapped his cane on the floor to get everyone’s attention. “He’s here! Places, everyone, just like we rehearsed. Don’t any of you ruin this for me.”

    Everyone grabbed their cloaks and masks from the box on the coffee table and put them on.

    “Blunted, which one’s mine again, the hawk or the monkey?” Ferris asked.

    “No, you’re the dog, I’m the crane,” Archibald said, rummaging around the box.

    “That’s an ibis and that’s for Charles, give me the ram,” Cyrus muttered and grabbed his. “It doesn’t matter, just take one. I can’t believe you idiots. Just stand on the goddamned thirteen pointed star, I put tape on the floor with your names on it and I’m in the center. Move the fondue pot, Charles.”

    “It’s too heavy, just stand next to it,” Charles said. Anthony knocked at the door more insistently.

    “There’s no time. That’ll have to do. Jacob, flip on the darkness once everyone’s situated,” Cyrus said. “These people,” he muttered to himself.

    He opened the door and Joshua stood before him bedecked in gleaming military armor with a cheap black cloak and a lizard’s mask. He had his left arm around Anthony’s shoulder, his right around Danielle’s. “I hope we’re not unfashionably late,” he slurred. “Forgive me, I’ve had maybe a few too many. I hope that’s all right, perfesher.”

    “Oh, no, that’s just fine.” Cyrus welcomed the trio in and motioned to bolt the door after them.

    “Hang on, we’ve got one more,” Danielle said. “She followed us home from the bar. Can we keep her, dad?” she teased.

    An erinyes slithered in after them, a hood over her head and a sack slung over her shoulder.

    “I don’t see why she can’t stay for the party,” Cyrus said and locked up behind them.

    “She’s got some of my old war trophies in that there sack. Your friend said the folks at your party might like to see ‘em. I’m afraid one of ‘em got a little banged up at the bar when I stepped on this enchanting specimen’s wing. Sorry again about that, sweetheart,” Joshua purred at the erinyes.

    “It’s already forgotten,” she said, her eyes on Marcus, conspiring.

    “Wait, how banged up is the skull?” Siegfried said through a mouthful of crab.

    “I’m afraid it’s— wait, how’d you know it was a skull?” Joshua said.

    “Uh, the shape of the sack or something, lemme look at it.” Siegfried jabbed his fat hands into the sack before it hit the ground and took out a hydra’s skull broken into pieces where someone had stepped on it. “27, 28, 29. This is no good at all!” he cried. “Does anyone have a skull they’re not using?”

    “What the hell kind of seance is this?” Joshua demanded while Archibald filled his glass, adding a surreptitious pinch of powder when Joshua’s back was turned. He winked at Cyrus.

    “Just a little game we play before we get things started,” Cyrus said. The room fell silent for a moment and everyone gradually turned to look at Siegfried’s date.

    Siegfried noticed. “Not cool, guys. You’re acting totally necrophobic right now.”

    “Now now, why don’t we ask her and let her decide for herself? That way no one’s doing anything they didn’t agree to,” Cyrus said.

    Siegfried sighed and looked genuinely shy. “Honey muffin, would you mind lying down on this dais and letting Ferris pour molten iron all over your skull?”

    His date looked at him without any discernible expression. “That’s hysterical. Sure, just hold my earrings.” She pulled off the small pieces of wax affixing them to her bone and put them in Siegfried’s hand.

    Alex dripped down off the ceiling and gurgled at Cyrus.

    “Yes, it’s time now, go ahead and let out your horrible pals,” Cyrus said.

    Alex coalesced into an elf shape and opened up the closet. The jars quivered and when the lids lifted, a couple of slimes glistened from within.

    “Is that dessert?” Joshua asked and leaned over one of them with a spoon. “Smells good.”

    “I wouldn’t eat that black pudding there, friend. It’ll eat you right back,” Charles said. “You wanna help, start pilin’ up those skulls.”

    Joshua quaffed his drink and started making a pile of hydra skulls on the dais by the fondue pot. “Any particular arrangement or anything?”

    “No one cares, new guy,” Marcus chimed in, eager to be part of the conversation.

    “How rude,” Cyrus said behind Joshua’s back and winked.

    Ferris applied the molten iron and motioned for Siegfried’s date to lie down. “Make yourself comfortable, I guess. I really don’t know if this will hurt, so just try not to break any more of these skulls.”

    “It’s fine, I don’t feel pain as you mortals perceive it. Be a lamb and fill up my eye sockets, would you? I adore the sensation,” she said.

    “Explains why she’s with Siegfried,” Charles muttered under her expression of delight while Ferris obliged. Charles elbowed Marcus in the side and they took their places on the thirteen pointed star.

    “Jacob, the darkness?” Cyrus said.

    Jacob read from his scroll and the basement disappeared in blackness.

    “Thank you for your service to our country, Joshua. For what it’s worth, I really am sorry about this,” Cyrus said from within the cloud. He gasped as a wet, sucking sound filled the air. “Careful, you imbecile! You got me with that thing!”

    Anthony chuckled and twisted his knife somewhere in Cyrus. “Oh, it’s no mistake, professor. Or should I say, your lordship?”

    Archibald stabbed him next. “You see, while I was researching Joshua’s lineage, I found that you’re actually the second cousin once removed of the governor. Much higher than the minor nobility granted to our friend here. No offense intended of course, old man.”

    A meaty thud let Marcus know Joshua went next. “None taken. You folks sure know how to throw a party.”

    “Speaking of friends, that’s why it had to be you.” Jacob went next. “Joshua seems perfectly nice and all, professor, but it couldn’t just be an acquaintance. It had to be our best friend.”

    Danielle followed. “You’ve done more for me than anyone ever has.” Marcus heard a kiss in between Cyrus’s wretched inhalations. “Thank you.”

    Ferris nearly knocked Cyrus out of the circle with the strength of his blow. “No one ever believed in me like you did, professor.”

    Charles took his turn and didn’t say anything.

    The labored breathing that accompanied the next blow let Marcus know it was Siegfried. “I never would’ve learned to travel to other dimensions without going to office hours with you.”

    “What’s going on? Are we stabbing someone to death?” Siegfried’s date asked. “It’s hard to hear through the metal.”

    “Yes, sugarloaf. You go in a minute, we’re in the middle of something.”

    From the sound, Marcus gathered Alex took the next turn.

    Marcus went last.

    “Et tu, Marcus?” Cyrus asked in between gasps.

    “It had to be unanimous. You’re the best friend any of us has ever had. That’s why it had to be you.” Marcus took his turn and hit something important, his aim off from his huge arms.

    “That doesn’t sound good,” Danielle said.

    “Damnit, stretch here must’ve hit an artery. I have to be the one to actually kill him or all this is for nothing. Just hold him steady and try not to screw it up,” Charles said and slapped Marcus in the back of the head. Charles lit the pot of boiling oil with his fire and the air was thick with greasy smoke.

    “Siegfried, hold that horrible thing you brought and make it watch. Alex’s friends can see ok. Lady with the wings, your view all right?” Charles asked.

    “What is happening?” the erinyes asked.

    “Truthfully, I think we’re all a bit lost right now,” Jacob said.

    Charles intensified his flames and lit Cyrus’s body on fire. He made Marcus hold him until he stopped screaming. He dropped Cyrus in the pot and licked his wounds from the flames.

    “Wimp. All right, Alex, you and those other freaks go ahead and chow down,” Charles said.

    “Okay, it’s super hot in here. Since the darkness is already on, does anyone mind if I take off this stupid robe?” Danielle asked.

    “Only if Siegfried doesn’t peek,” his date said. The ingots of iron thudded to the floor from her eye sockets.

    “I’ve only got eyes for you, dumpling,” Siegfried said.

    “So, how do we know if it worked this time?” Marcus asked.

    Everyone was silent for a moment.

    “It worked. It had to have worked. Trust me,” Jacob said.

    For once, Marcus believed him.


    Spoiler: stub
    Show
    CE human rogue 1/warblade 4/thrall of demogorgon 10/ master of nine 5


    Spoiler: abilities
    Show

    stry 16 (increases here)
    dex 14
    con 14
    int 12
    wis 8
    cha 14


    Spoiler: table
    Show

    Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    1st Rogue 1 +0 +0 +2 +0 bluff 4, forgery 4, intimidate 4, jump 4, k (arcana) 4 (2), k (religion) 4, (2), k (local) 2, open lock 1, sleight of hand 1, sense motive 4, tumble 4, umd 4, thrall to demon, willing deformity Sneak attack +1d6, trapfinding
    2nd Warblade 1 +1 +2 +2 +0 concentration 5, intimidate 1 (5) battle clarity (ref saves), weapon aptitutde
    3rd Warblade 2 +2 +3 +2 +0 balance 5, tumble 1 (5) dodge uncanny dodge
    4th Warblade 3 +3 +3 +3 +1 concentration 2 (7) , intimidate 2 (7), jump 1 (5), tumble 1 (7) battle ardor (critical confirmation)
    5th Warblade 4 +4 +4 +3 +1 concentration 1 (8), intimidate 1 (8), jump 3 (8), tumble 1 (8)
    6th Thrall of Demogorgon 1 +5 +6 +3 +1 bluff 1 (5), concentration 1 (9), intimidate 1 (9), jump 1 (9), never outnumbered adaptive style (Scaly flesh +1, hypnosis (bonus) blind-fight
    7th Thrall of Demogorgon 2 +6/+1 +7 +3 +1 bluff 3 (8), concentration 1 (10), intimidate 1 (10), jump 1 (10) touch of fear
    8th Thrall of Demogorgon 3 +7/+2 +7 +4 +2 bluff 1 (9), concentration 1 (11), intimidate 1 (11), jump 1 (11), sense motive 2 (6) reaching touch
    9th Thrall of Demogorgon 4 +8/+3 +8 +4 +2 bluff 1 (10), concentration 1 (12), intimidate 1 (12), jump 1 (12), sense motive 2 (8) improved initiative dual actions, scaly flesh +2, (bonus) improved unarmed strike
    10th Thrall of Demogorgon 5 +9/+4 +8 +4 +2 bluff 1 (11), concentration 1 (13), intimidate 1 (13), jump 1 (13), sense motive 2 (10) summon minor demon
    11th Thrall of Demogorgon 6 +10/+5 +9 +5 +3 bluff 3 (14), concentration 1 (14), intimidate 1 (14), jump 1 (14) rotting touch
    12th Thrall of Demogorgon 7 +11/+6/+1 +9 +5 +3 bluff 1 (15), concentration 1 (15), intimidate 1 (15), jump 1 (15), swift concentration deformity (madness) scaly flesh +3, (bonus) deformity (tall)
    13th Thrall of Demogorgon 8 +12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +3 bluff 1 (16), concentration 1 (16), intimidate 1 (16), jump 1 (16), sense motive 2 (12) two personas, death touch
    14th Thrall of Demogorgon 9 +13/+8/+3 +10 +5 +3 bluff 1 (17), concentration 1 (17), intimidate 1 (17), jump 1 (17), sense motive 2 (14) summon major demon
    15th Thrall of Demogorgon 10 +14/+9/+4 +11 +5 +3 bluff 1 (18), concentration 1 (18), intimidate 1 (18), jump 1 (18), sense motive 2 (16) aberration blood (flexible limbs) demogorgon’s will, scaly flesh +4, (bonus) martial study (shadow stride)
    16th Master of Nine 1 +14/+9/+4 +11 +5 +5 concentration 1 (19), diplo 1, intimidate 1 (19), jump 1 (19), tumble 4 (12)
    17th Master of Nine 2 +15/+10/+5 +11 +5 +6 concentration 1 (20), diplo 4 (5), jump 1 (20), social recovery Dual stance
    18th Master of Nine 3 +16/+11/+6/+1 +12 +6 +6 concentration 1 (21), diplo 5 (10), intimidate 1 (21), jump 1 (21), inhuman reach Perfect form
    19th Master of Nine 4 +17/+12/+7/+2 +12 +6 +7 concentration 1 (22), diplo 5 (15), intimidate 1 (22), jump 1 (22) Counter stance
    20th Master of Nine 5 +17/+12/+7/+2 +12 +6 +7 concentration 1 (23), diplo 5 (20), intimidate 1 (23), jump 1 (23) Mastery of nine


    Spoiler: maneuvers by level
    Show

    number in parenthetical is number of maneuvers total known in that discipline

    2: (three 1s) moment of perfect mind (diamond mind 1), wolf fang strike (tiger claw 3), sudden leap(tiger claw 3)
    stances: hunter’s sense (tiger claw 3),*
    3* one 1 leading the attack (white raven 1)
    4 one 2 mountain hammer (stone dragon 1)
    stances: hunter’s sense (tiger claw 3), leading the charge (white raven 2)
    5 one 2 wall of blades (iron heart 1) (retrain a 1 to a 2: replace wolf fang strike* with tactical strike (white raven 3))*
    16: two more 5s*
    pouncing charge (tiger claw 3)*
    rapid counter (diamond mind 2)
    17: one 6
    foe hammer (devoted spirit 1)
    stances: hunter’s sense (tiger claw 3), leading the charge (white raven 5), press the advantage (white raven 5)
    18: two 6s
    moment of alacrity (diamond mind 3)
    order forged from chaos (white raven 5)
    19: one 7
    clarion call (white raven 6)
    stances: hunter’s sense (tiger claw 4), leading the charge (white raven 5), press the advantage (white raven 5), thicket of blades (devoted spirit 2) (pick something to qualify for this now or later)
    20 two 7s
    swooping dragon strike (tiger claw 5)
    swarming assault (white raven 7)


    Spoiler: playtips
    Show

    Spoiler: lvl 5
    Show

    You function more or less as a standard warblade here albeit with the skills and goodies of a rogue. Jump around and make use of your maneuvers, with tiger claw offering valuable mobility and damage. Wall of blades shores up your defenses, and mountain hammer lets you bypass locked doors. Get your brute on and brace yourself for the secret ingredient.


    Spoiler: lvl 10
    Show

    Adaptive style is up letting you refresh maneuvers more easily. Improved initiative means you’ll hit first more often, and you’re in the secret ingredient already. Congratulations. Summon minor demons to flank with and do miscellaneous scutwork. You’re paying your taxes for master of nine and they’re helping you be even beefier in melee.


    Spoiler: lvl 15
    Show

    Your rotting touch is up and ready and your madness is on and protecting you. You’re now wholly immune to mind-affecting effects. 1/minute, you can add 1/2 your character level to a will save when you run into a different kind of will save and you’ve already used moment of perfect mind to protect yourself. Thrall of Demogorgon gamely gives concentration, so you can keep up your ranks in it alongside your other important discipline skills, such as jump for tiger claw. You’ve discovered your latent aberration blood, making your arms slightly noodlier, to bolster Thrall of Demogorgon’s reaching touch, further improving your reach. You’ve got a major demon to push around now, so enjoy it alongside your death touch. Deformity tall gives more reach still. Since you’ve got proficiency with martial, use the duom when the opportunity strikes to poke at enemies next to you and up to 30 feet away. Shadow stride helps out with mobility, giving the always-valuable teleportation. Swift concentration is on for when you need to mimic a spell like that through demogorgon’s will, which you can sling with impunity to replicate a desire of effects.


    Spoiler: lvl 20
    Show

    The time for the secret ingredient has come and passed. Thanks to thrall of demogorgon imparting 4 unrestricted feats, you can easily enter master of nine, which normally requires at least five. It allows you to learn maneuvers from every school, lets you stand in two stances at once, change stances when you use a counter, and boosts your DCs, attack, and damage. Inhuman reach is up, boosting your reach to 40, and your new maneuvers allow you to pounce, further abuse the action economy through white raven, especially in conjunction with dual actions, allowing up to two rounds of white raven and other maneuvers, especially white raven tactics and moment of alacrity, allowing you to act a great many times in a round along with your friends. Master of nine allows you to access shadow hand and devoted spirit. Devoted spirit gives you thicket of blades, which allows you to make aoos against anyone in your huge swath of threatened space. No 5 foot steps. No withdrawing. Do not pass go. Do not collect 200gp.


    Spoiler: sources
    Show

    elder evils: deformity (madness), thrall to demon, willing deformity
    heroes of horror: deformity (tall)
    book of vile darkness: thrall of demogorgon
    srd: dodge, blind-fight, improved initiative, improved unarmed strike, rogue
    tome of battle: adaptive style, martial study
    lords of madness: aberration blood, inhuman reach
    Last edited by Heliomance; 2017-10-03 at 11:03 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kalirren View Post
    The only person in the past two pages who has known what (s)he has been talking about is Heliomance.
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    I just don't want to have long romantic conversations or any sort of drama with my computer, okay? It knows what kind of porn I watch. I don't want to mess that up by allowing it to judge any of my choices in romance.

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  13. - Top - End - #103
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXIX

    Entry number 3!

    Quote Originally Posted by Reed Armstrong
    Reed Armstrong


    Spoiler: Basics
    Show

    Caotic Evil Woodelf Hexblade 4/ Justicar of Taiia 1/ Thrall of Demogorgon 8/ Binder 3/ Crusader 1/ Warblade 1/ Thrall of Demogorgon +2
    Sworn service to Ragnorra
    Starting Abilities: STR 15, DEX 14, CON 13, INT 14, WIS 8, CHA 14
    Level Adjustments: STR +1, CHA +2, DEX +2
    Wood Elf Adjustment: STR +2, DEX +2, CON -2, INT -2
    Final Abilities: STR 18, DEX 16, CON 11, INT 12, WIS 8, CHA 16
    Languages: Common, Elvish, Abysal



    Spoiler: Build
    Show

    Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    1st Hexblade 1 +1 +0 +0 +2 Bluff 4(4), Knowledge (arcana) 4(4), Knowledge (planes) 2(4) Willing Deformity(b), Deformity(Tall) Hexblade's Curse 1/day
    2nd Hexblade 2 +2 +0 +0 +3 Bluff 5(1), Knowledge (arcana) 5(1), Knowledge (planes) 2(0) Intimidate 1(1) Arcane resistance
    3rd Hexblade 3 +3 +1 +1 +3 Bluff 5(0), Knowledge (arcana) 5(0), Knowledge (planes) 2(0), Knowledge (religion) 3(3) Intimidate 1(0) Knowledge Devotion(religion) Mettle
    4th Hexblade 4 +4 +1 +1 +4 Bluff 5(0), Knowledge (arcana) 5(0), Knowledge (planes) 2(0), Knowledge (religion) 6(3) Intimidate 1(0) Dark Companion
    5th Justicar of Taiia +4 +1 +3 +6 Bluff 5(0), Knowledge (arcana) 5(0), Knowledge (planes) 2(0), Knowledge (religion) 6(0) Intimidate 8(7) Thrall to Demon(b), Exotic Weapon Proficency(spiked chain)(b) sneak attack +1d6
    6th Thrall to Demogorgon 1 +5 +3 +3 +6 Bluff 5(0), Knowledge (arcana) 5(0), Knowledge (planes) 3(1), Knowledge (religion) 6(0), Knowledge (dungeon) 3(3),Intimidate 9(1) Abberation Blood, Inhuman Reach(b) Scaly flesh +1, hypnosis
    7th Thrall to Demogorgon 2 +6 +4 +3 +6 Bluff 7(2), Knowledge (arcana) 5(0), Knowledge (planes) 4(1), Knowledge (religion) 6(0), Knowledge (dungeon) 4(1), Intimidate 10(1) Touch of fear
    8th Thrall to Demogorgon 3 +7 +4 +4 +7 Bluff 9(2), Knowledge (arcana) 5(0), Knowledge (planes) 5(1), Knowledge (religion) 6(0), Knowledge (dungeon) 5(1), Intimidate 11(1) Reaching touch
    9th Thrall to Demogorgon 4 +8 +5 +4 +7 Bluff 10(1), Knowledge (arcana) 6(1), Knowledge (planes) 6(1), Knowledge (religion) 6(0), Knowledge (dungeon) 6(1), Intimidate 12(1) Combat Reflexes, Power Attack(b) Dual actions, scaly flesh +2
    10th Thrall to Demogorgon 5 +9 +5 +4 +7 Bluff 11(1), Knowledge (arcana) 7(1), Knowledge (planes) 7(1), Knowledge (religion) 6(0), Knowledge (dungeon) 7(1), Intimidate 13(1) Abominable Form(b) Summon minor demon
    11th Thrall to Demogorgon 6 +10 +6 +5 +8 Bluff 12(1), Knowledge (arcana) 7(0), Knowledge (planes) 7(0), Knowledge (religion) 7(1), Knowledge (dungeon) 7(0), Knowledge (local) 2(2), Intimidate 14(1) Rotting touch
    12th Thrall to Demogorgon 7 +11 +6 +5 +8 Bluff 13(1), Knowledge (arcana) 7(0), Knowledge (planes) 7(0), Knowledge (religion) 7(0), Knowledge (dungeon) 7(0), Knowledge (local) 3(1), Intimidate 15(1), Never Outnumbered(2) Intimidating Strike, Imperious Command(b) Scaly flesh +3
    13th Thrall to Demogorgon 8 +12 +7 +5 +8 Bluff 14(1), Knowledge (arcana) 7(0), Knowledge (planes) 7(0), Knowledge (religion) 7(0), Knowledge (dungeon) 7(0), Knowledge (local) 6(3), Intimidate 16(1), Never Outnumbered Two personas, death touch
    14th Binder 1 +12 +9 +5 +10 Bluff 16(2), Knowledge (arcana) 7(0), Knowledge (planes) 7(0), Knowledge (religion) 7(0), Knowledge (dungeon) 7(0), Knowledge (local) 6(0), Intimidate 17(1), Never Outnumbered Soul binding(1 vestige)
    15th Binder 2 +13 +10 +5 +11 Bluff 18(2), Knowledge (arcana) 7(0), Knowledge (planes) 7(0), Knowledge (religion) 7(0), Knowledge (dungeon) 7(0), Knowledge (local) 6(0), Intimidate 18(1), Never Outnumbered[ Evil Brand(b), Improved Binding Pact augmentation (1 ability), suppress sign
    16th Binder 3 +14 +10 +6 +11 Bluff 19(1), Knowledge (arcana) 8(1), Knowledge (planes) 7(0), Knowledge (religion) 7(0), Knowledge (dungeon) 7(0), Knowledge (local) 6(0), Intimidate 19(1), Never Outnumbered
    17th Crusader 1 +15 +12 +6 +11 Bluff 19(0), Knowledge (arcana) 8(0), Knowledge (planes) 7(0), Knowledge (religion) 11(4), Knowledge (dungeon) 7(0), Knowledge (local) 6(0), Intimidate 20(1), Never Outnumbered Furious counterstrike, steely resolve 5
    18th Warblade 1 +16 +14 +6 +11 Bluff 19(0), Knowledge (arcana) 8(0), Knowledge (planes) 7(0), Knowledge (religion) 11(0), Knowledge (dungeon) 7(0), Knowledge (local) 10(4), Intimidate 21(1), Never Outnumbered Martial Stance (Dancing Blade Form) Battle clarity (reflex saves), weapon aptitude
    19th Thrall to Demogorgon 9 +17 +14 +7 +12 Bluff 19(0), Knowledge (arcana) 8(0), Knowledge (planes) 7(0), Knowledge (religion) 11(0), Knowledge (dungeon) 7(0), Knowledge (local) 14(4), Intimidate 22(1), Never Outnumbered[ Summon major demon
    20th Thrall to Demogorgon 10 +18 +15 +7 +12 Bluff 19(0), Knowledge (arcana) 8(0), Knowledge (planes) 7(0), Knowledge (religion) 11(0), Knowledge (dungeon) 7(0), Knowledge (local) 18(4), Intimidate 23(1), Never Outnumbered Abyss-Bound Soul(demogorgon)(b), Stand Still(b) Demogorgon's will, scaly flesh +4


    Spoiler: Spells
    Show

    Hexblade Spells per Day
    Level 0lvl 1st
    4th - 20th - 0


    Hexblade Spell list

    1 - Detect Magic, Expeditious Retreat

    WIS is too low to learn Justiciar of Taiia spells



    Spoiler: Manuvers
    Show

    Manuvers Known

    Crusader - Martial Spirit, Defensive Rebuke, Revitalizing Strike, Leading the charge, White Raven Tactics, Mountain Hammer

    Warblade - Punishing Stance, Iron Heart Surge, Covering Strike, Rapid Counter, Dancing Blade Form(feat)



    Spoiler: Level 6
    Show


    Cleric of Ragnorra: in a distant voice What progress have you made?
    Reed: Taiia was a pushover; she'll let in anyone. Destruction is her thing and we can definitely help with that. Demogorgon was a little harder to infiltrate. He wanted my soul and a little bit of human sacrifice, but am I really going to need my soul when everything is said and done? He's half abberation already and Aameul is all about getting Hethradiah to make that transition too.
    Cleric of Ragnorra: Carry on.

    Reed starts off by pledging himself to the service of Ragnorra and her quest to transform all entities into abberations. For his service he receives deformities and Thrall to Demon. Paired with abberation blood/inhuman reach that extends his base reach 10 feet. He starts out as a Hexblade mostly for the additional survival it provides in Arcane resistance and Mettle, but also can use the debuffs provided by Dark companion and Hexblade curse. He picks up Knowledge devotion for a bit more raw damage and so he can get into Justicar of Taiia in a timely manner. Justicar of Taiia allows Reed to start using a spiked chain to double his reach and gives him a bit of sneak attack in case Demogorgon isn't impressed enough by a single first level spell. And he enters into the special ingredient using the additional feat to grab the previously mentioned Inhuman reach. Hypnosis can be used if he get himself outnumbered and is easier to land due to his dark companion. And additional AC from Scaly flesh is always welcome.



    Spoiler: Level 13
    Show


    Reed now has most of Thrall of Demogorgon's goodies. Touch of fear, Rotting touch, and death touch all blend together beautifully with Dark companion, Abominable form, Intimidating Strike, Imperious Command, and Never outnumbered to create a fairly hard to resist death attack. It takes a few rounds to get the best chance for death touch to land, but Dual actions reduces the setup time. Reaching Touch stacks with his other reach feats to provide a 40 ft reach with the spiked chain which is helped by opportunity attacks from Combat Reflexes and more potential damage via Power attack and Knowledge Devotion. Once he's used his death touch for the day, he can use Dual actions to get his minor demon out without losing an attack round. Two personas will come in handy for the next portion of Reed's progression.



    Spoiler: Level 20
    Show


    With Demogorgon's help in the form of Two personas, Reed is now able to experiment in new the disciplines of binding, maneuvers, and stances. Three levels of Binder and the Improved Binding feat allows binding of Piamon and it's always a beneficial bind because he has enough Bluff skill. Crusader allows him to pick up the key Devoted Spirit maneuver Defensive Rebuke and Warblade and a feat grants Covering Strike, Rapid Counter, and Dancing Blade Form and a couple other useful manuevers. Finishing up Thrall of Demogorgon grants a higher level demon summon and limited wish once a day if he's willing to give up the xp. Abyss-bound Soul gives yet another daily demon summon and Stand Still allows him to use his multitude of opportunity attacks for even better crowd control.

    When Reed wants to go nova he starts by using Dual actions and reaching touch, then in turn 1a initiates Covering Strike as a swift action, using Piamon dance as a standard action to hit everything he walks by within his now 50 foot reach (base 5, reaching touch +5, Dancing Blade form +5, deformity(tall) +5, inhuman reach +5, reach weapon *2) without taking attacks of opportunity and potentially pumped up by power attack and Knowledge Devotion, then a move action to get to the most advantageous position. On turn 1b, he uses Defensive rebuke as a swift action to force everyone he hits to attack him or draw opportunity attacks, then use Whirlwind which is given by the Piamon bind to hit everything within his 50 feet reach as a full round action. On the enemy's turn, they either try to attack Reed which means they have to move toward him through his 40 foot reach (Dancing Blade Form is only when attacking) drawing attacks of opportunity which he has 2 more of due to Piamon's +4 to DEX and one additional free attack due to Rapid Counter, or if they ignore him and attack his fiends he gets to take attacks of opportunity anyways. Those opportunity attacks can either be for damage or to force them to stay put using Stand Still. Alternatively, he can keep the same turn 1a and either summon a friend to better take advantage of Defensive Rebuke later or start ramping up for the death touch in turn 1b. If he has time to prepare before battle, he casts one or more of his summons and uses expeditious retreat to get extra distance on his Piamon's Dance.



    Spoiler: Sources
    Show


    Book of Vile Darkness - Thrall of Demogorgon
    Complete Champion - Knowledge Devotion
    Complete Scoundrel - Never outnumbered
    Complete Warrior - Hexblade
    Deities and Demigods - Justicar of Taiia
    Drow of the Underdark - Imperious Command
    Elder Evils - pledged to Ragnorra, Willing Deformity, Abominable Form, Thrall to Demon, Evil Brand, Abyss-Bound Soul
    Expanded Psionics Handbook - Stand Still
    Heroes of Horror - Deformity(Tall)
    Lords of Madness - Aberration Blood, Inhuman Reach
    Player's Handbook II - Dark Companion, Intimidating Strike
    Tome of Magic - Binder, Improved Binding
    Tome of Battle - Crusader, Warblade, Martial Stance

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

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  14. - Top - End - #104
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXIX

    Entry number 4!

    Quote Originally Posted by Altaes Dimare
    Altaes Dimare, Lord of House Dimare, First of His Name.



    Stub
    Spoiler
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    CE Human Sorcerer 5, Fiend Blooded 4, Thrall of Demogorgon 7, Fatespinner 4


    Numbers
    Spoiler
    Show

    HP= d4x13+d8x7/2+20=74
    speed=30
    Sorcerer – PHB 51
    Fiend-Blooded – Heroes of Horror 102 PRC
    Thrall of Demogorgon – Book of Vile Darkness 67
    Fatespinner – Complete Arcane 37

    Fiendish Weasel Familiar +2 REF (Fiendish Companion, MM 108)
    (However, at later levels would probably switch out to a flying Familiar to take advantage of the deliver touch spells ability.)

    Feats:
    1- Skill Knowledge (Know Planes) – Unearthed Arcana 81
    1-Eschew Materials – PHB 94
    3-Blood calls to Blood – Heroes of Horror 120
    6-Willing Deformity – HoH 125
    9-Thrall to Demon – BoVD 50
    12-Reach Spell – CDiV 84
    15- Corrupt Spell –CdiV 79
    18-Empowered Spell – PHB 93



    32 pt buy
    STR 8 DEX 12 CON 12 INT 12 WIS 12 CHA 18
    fiend-blooded
    STR 8 DEX 12 CON 12 INT 13 WIS 12 CHA 19
    All pts into CHA, Final
    STR 8 DEX 12 CON 12 INT 13 WIS 12 CHA 24


    Build
    Spoiler
    Show

    Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    1st Sorcerer 1 +0 +0 +0 +2 Conc 4, Knowledge Arcana 4, Knowledge Planes 4, Perform(Gamble)4 Eschew Materials, Skill Knowledge (Planes) Summon Familiar (Badger)
    2nd Sorcerer 2 +1 +0 +0 +3 Conc 5, KnArc 5, KnPl 5, Perform 5 - -
    3rd Sorcerer 3 +1 +1 +1 +3 Conc 6, KnArc 6, KnPl 6 Blood calls to Blood -
    4th Sorcerer 4 +2 +1 +1 +4 Conc 7, KnArc 7, KnPl 7, Knowledge Religion .5 - -
    5th Sorcerer 5 +2 +1 +1 +4 Conc 8, KnArc 8, KnPl 8, KnRel 1 - -
    6th Fiend-Blooded 1 +2 +1 +1 +6 Conc 9, KnArc 9, KnPl 9, KnRel 1.5 Thrall to Demons Fiendish Companion, Fiendish Heritage (+1ac), +1 spellcasting
    7th Fiend-Blooded 2 +3 +1 +1 +7 Conc 10, Spellcraft 2, KnRel 2 - Fiendish Sorcery (3-Cruel Disappointment ), +1 spellcasting
    8th Fiend-Blooded 3 +3 +2 +2 +7 Spellcraft 4, KnRel 3 - Blood of Fiends, Fiendish Heritage +1CHA, +1 spellcasting
    9th Fiend-Blooded 4 +4 +2 +2 +8 Spellcraft 6, Intimidate 2 Willful Deformity Fiendish Sorcery (4-Stop Heart ), Smite Spell 1/day, +1 spellcasting
    10th Thrall of Demogorgon 1 +5 +4 +2 +8 Conc 11, Intim 3, KnArc 10, KnPl 10, KnRel 5 - Scaly Flesh +1, Hypnosis, +1 spellcasting
    11th Thrall 2 +6 +5 +2 +8 Conc 13, Intim 5, KnRel 7 - Touch of Fear
    12th Thrall 3 +7 +5 +3 +9 Conc 14, Intim 7, KnArc 11, KnPl 11, KnRel 6 Reach Spell Reaching Touch
    13th Thrall 4 +8 +6 +3 +9 Conc 15, Spellcraft 7, Intim 8, KnRel 8 - Dual Actions, Scaly Flesh +2, +1 spellcasting
    14th Thrall 5 +9 +6 +3 +9 Conc 16, Spellcraft 8, Intim 9, KnRel 10 - Summon Minor Demon
    15th Thrall 6 +10 +7 +4 +10 Conc 17, Spellcraft 9, Intim 10, KnRel 12 Corrupt Spell Rotting Touch
    16th Thrall 7 +11 +7 +4 +10 Conc 19, Spellcraft 10, KnArc 12, KnPl 12 - Scaly Flesh +3, +1 spellcasting
    17th Fatespinner 1 +11 +7 +4 +12 Conc 20, KnArc 13, Spellcraft 12 - Spin Fate, +1 spellcasting
    18th Fatespinner 2 +12 +7 +4 +13 KnArc 15, Spellcraft 14 Empowered Spell Fickle finger of Fate, +1 spellcasting
    19th Fatespinner 3 +12 +8 +5 +13 KnArc 17, Spellcraft 16 - Spin Destiny, +1 spellcasting
    20th Fatespinner 4 +13 +8 +5 +14 KnArc 19, Spellcraft 17 - Deny Fate, +1 spellcasting


    Spells
    Spoiler
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    Spells per Day/Spells Known
    Level 0lvl 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
    1st 5/4 4/2 - - - - - - - -
    2nd 6/5 5/2 - - - - - - - -
    3rd 6/5 6/3 - - - - - - - -
    4th 6/6 7/3 4/1 - - - - - - -
    5th 6/6 7/4 5/2 - - - - - - -
    6th 6/7 7/4 6/2 4/1 - - - - - -
    7th 6/7 7/5 7/3 5/2 - - - - - -
    8th 6/8 8/5 7/3 6/2 4/1 - - - - -
    9th 6/8 5/5 7/4 7/3 5/2 - - - - -
    10th 6/9 8/5 7/4 7/3 6/2 4/1 - - - -
    11th 6/9 8/5 7/4 7/3 6/2 4/1 - - - -
    12th 6/9 8/5 7/4 7/3 6/2 4/1 - - - -
    13th 6/9 8/5 8/5 7/4 7/3 5/2 - - - -
    14th 6/9 8/5 8/5 7/4 7/3 5/2 - - - -
    15th 6/9 8/5 8/5 7/4 7/3 5/2 - - - -
    16th 6/9 8/5 8/5 7/4 7/3 6/2 4/1 - - -
    17th 6/9 8/5 8/5 7/4 7/4 73 5/2 - - -
    18th 6/9 8/5 8/5 7/4 7/4 7/3 6/2 3/1 - -
    19th 6/9 8/5 8/5 7/4 7/4 7/4 7/3 4/2 - -
    20th 6/9 8/5 8/5 8/4 7/4 7/4 7/3 6/2 3/1 -
    Gain lvl 3-Cruel Disappointment @lvl 7, and lvl 4-Stop Heart @lvl 9

    Spell Selection
    Spoiler
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    Can tweak this by relearning spells as you go per the Sorcerer entry in PHB
    0-Daze, Flare, Ghost Sound, Touch of Fatigue, Mage Hand, Prestidigitation
    1-Grease, Charm Person, Magic Missile, Ray of Enfeeblement, Feather Fall
    2-Melf’s Acid Arrow, Scorching Ray, Shatter, Insidious Insight, Command Undead
    3-Dispel Magic, Protection from Energy, Hold Person, Suggestion
    4-Orb of Force, Phantasmal Killer, Enduring Flight, Polymorph
    5-Break Enchantment, Teleport, Feeblemind, Baleful Polymorph
    6-Geas/Quest, Disintegrate, Fiend Form
    7-Plane Shift, Limited Wish
    8-Sinbul’s Skeletal Deliquesance

    Background
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    No one is born a wolf. Everyone enters the world clothed in a bright sheen of cowardly white and must choose to be part of the herd, or to feed on it. While still a youngling I learned that I had the power within me to manipulate reality and mold it to my will. It wasn’t until later that I would learn of the connection to another as the reason for this.

    As I grew, those that chose to stand in my way began to fall by the wayside, either by my hand, or by another’s. I began to tap into this power within me, and it changed me. I started to realize what my origin was, and I embraced it. I founded this House, House Dimare, and it has stood against all who would seek to drag me down. I am Marked, as are all who desire to serve this House, but not all know the true meaning of this, nor it’s infernal purpose.

    No longer content to simply be pledged to My Lord Demogorgon, I became his Thrall. Another sought to stand in my place, and he was sent to his doom instead. Through Him I have conquered and rent my way through those who stood against this House. I have crushed and subverted their weaker wills to mine own. I have broken their bodies and ransacked their minds. Those that have still been left standing, believing in some perverted thought that they were Heroes of Legend, I banished to another realm, or destroyed completely.

    Having made the proverbial deal with the Devil, I became the master of my own fate and the master of yours as well. No longer bound by the fickle wheel of fate, nor bound by any law Man could make, I set forth into this new world, and relish in the fear I see before me.
    To all those that would stand against House Dimare, you have been warned.

    This is my legacy, and your birthright.

    To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women.


    Level Breakdown
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    5- straight sorcerer at this point, all our feats are taxes for later on. Our familiar is as strong as it’s going to get. While there are ACF’s that we could take in its place, we’ll need it to deliver some touch spells for us later on, so it’s not worth trading it out.

    10-sorcerer 5, fiend blooded 4, and now we’re into the SI. We picked up 2 extra spells that fit with our theme, and used one of them, Stop Heart, in the sacrifice needed to become a Thrall. Have picked up a little boost to a natural armor status to help out, and the double boost to CHA at lvl 8 puts us into another bracket for spell slots, and helps out all our DC’s as well. Smite Spell will scale w/ CHA as we level, but right now we can add 8-9 extra damage to any spell we cast 1/day, even area effect spells.

    15- where Reach Spell and Reaching Touch both come online together. Using our now fiendish familiar to take advantage of delivering touch spells when either of those aren’t available. Moving on we’ll access dual actions and summon minor demon, then begin to channel our fel energy into corrupt spell which causes divine damage.

    20-finishing off the build with Fatespinner brings our whole demonic journey together. Now we can affect on some small scale our own destiny, as well as that of others. Fiend form comes on at lvl 16, combine that with summon demon, and command undead, and you have a small army of pain to unleash. The SI wasn’t taken to completion as you can cast Limited Wish yourself. The final feat taken can be substituted with any of a number of others, including practiced spellcaster if you think the lost 4 caster levels are a detriment to the build. In a SI w/ 6 lost caster levels, we manage to come out at CL 16, and still have access to 8th level spells.

    Sweet spots
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    I believe there are 3.
    At lvl 9, we’ll gain a save or practically die spell (stop heart) which can be very hard to make if you target it correctly at this level. Plus with smite spell, there is a minimum of +9 damage to one spell/day, even an area effect. While it doesn’t explicitly rule against it, you could even fire off magic missile w/ +9 to each missile.
    At lvl 12, reach spell and reaching touch both come online together, that combined w/ the deliver touch spells mechanic of the familiar allow us to stay out of combat almost entirely, or at least avoid getting poked in the ribs by something sharp and pointy.
    At lvl 15, we can use summon minor demon, dual actions, a slew of touch spells delivered multiple ways. Rotting Touch combined w/ stop heart, baleful polymorph, or feeblemind will shut down almost any enemy. At only CL 11, this is the biggest deficit we’ll see to that as we move forward.


    Sources
    Spoiler
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    Book of Vile Darkness pgs 50, 67
    Complete Arcane pg 37
    Complete Divine pgs 79, 84
    Heroes of Horror pgs 102, 120
    Monster Manual 108
    PHB pgs 51, 93-94
    Unearthed Arcana pg 81
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  15. - Top - End - #105
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXIX

    Entry number 5!

    Quote Originally Posted by Fra'alstog the Bold
    Fra’alstog the Bold

    NE (counts as Chaotic) Neraph Incarnate 7 / Totemist 2 / Sneak Attack Hit-and-Run Fighter 1 / Thrall of Demogorgon 10

    Sources used: Planar Handbook (Neraph), Magic of Incarnum (Incarnate, Totemist, Shape Soulmeld, Expanded Soulmeld Capacity, Bonus Essentia), Unearthed Arcana (Sneak Attack Fighter), Drow of the Underdark (Hit-and-Run Fighter) Book of Vile Darkness (Thrall of Demogorgon, Thrall to Demon, Mortalbane, Willing Deformity), Heroes of Horror (Deformity: Tongue), Complete Scoundrel (skill tricks), Tome of Battle (Martial Study/Mountain Hammer), Champions of Ruin (Craven), Frostburn (Harpoon), Fiendish Codex I (Ordered Chaos)

    STR: 14 (6 pts)
    DEX: 14 (6 pts)
    CON: 16 (10 pts) Level-up points go into CON.
    INT: 12 (4 pts)
    WIS: 8
    CHA: 14 (6 pts)

    Languages at level 1: Neraph, Slaad, Abyssal

    Neraph racial abilities:
    Spoiler
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    Outsider with outsider traits (darkvision, proficient with all simple/martial weapons, no need to eat/sleep), Medium, 30’ base speed, +5 on Jump checks, +2 natural armor, treat annulat as martial weapon (and therefore proficient, because outsiders are proficient with martial weapons), +2 Spot, +2 Search, and can automatically treat a foe as flat-footed the first time each encounter they charge or throw a weapon at each given foe.


    Tables:
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    Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    1 Incarnate 1 +0 +2 +0 +2 Concentration 4, Craft: Weaponsmithing 4, K: Arcana 2, K: Religion 2 Thrall to Demon Aura, Detect Opposition, Incarnate Meldshaping
    2 Incarnate 2 +1 +3 +0 +3 Concentration +1 (5), C: Weaponsmithing +1 (5), K: Planes 1 Crown Chakra Bind
    3 Incarnate 3 +1 +3 +1 +3 Concentration +1 (6), C: Weaponsmithing +1 (6), K: Planes 2 Willing Deformity Expanded Soulmeld Capacity +1, Incarnum Radiance 1/day
    4 Incarnate 4 +2 +4 +1 +4 Concentration +1 (7), C: Weaponsmithing +1 (7), Spellcraft 1 Feet Chakra Bind, Hands Chakra Bind
    5 Totemist 1 +2 +6 +3 +4 Concentration +1 (8), C: Weaponsmithing +1 (8), Spot 2, Listen 1 Wild Empathy, Illiteracy, Totemist Meldshaping
    6 Totemist 2 +3 +7 +4 +4 Concentration +1 (9), C: Weaponsmithing +1 (9), Spot +1 (3), Listen +2 (3) Ordered Chaos Totem Chakra Bind (+1 capacity)
    7 Sneak Attack Hit-and-Run Fighter 1 +4 +9 +4 +4 C: Weaponsmithing +1 (10), Jump 2 Sneak Attack +1d6, Hit-and-Run Tactics
    8 Thrall of Demogorgon 1 +5 +11 +4 +4 Concentration +2 (11), Intimidate 3 Scaly Flesh +1, Hypnosis, bonus feat: Craven
    9 Thrall of Demogorgon 2 +6 +12 +4 +4 Concentration +1 (12), Intimidate +1 (4), Jump +3 (5) Martial Study (Mountain Hammer) Touch of Fear
    10 Thrall of Demogorgon 3 +7 +12 +5 +5 Concentration +1 (13), Balance 4 Reaching Touch
    11 Thrall of Demogorgon 4 +8 +13 +5 +5 Concentration +1 (14), Balance +1 (5), Intimidate +2 (6), Spot +1 (4) Dual Actions, Scaly Flesh +2, bonus feat: Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Harpoon)
    12 Thrall of Demogorgon 5 +9 +13 +5 +5 Concentration +1 (15), Spot +1 (5), Listen +1 (4), Nimble Charge skill trick Shape Soulmeld (Mauling Gauntlets) Summon Minor Demon
    13 Thrall of Demogorgon 6 +10 +14 +6 +6 Concentration +1 (16), Spot +1 (6), Listen +2 (6), Intimidate +1 (7) Rotting Touch
    14 Thrall of Demogorgon 7 +11 +14 +6 +6 Concentration +1 (17), Spot +2 (8), Listen +2 (8) Scaly Flesh +3, bonus feat: Mortalbane
    15 Thrall of Demogorgon 8 +12 +15 +6 +6 Concentration +1 (18), Spot +2 (10), Listen +2 (10) Deformity (Tongue) Two Personas, Death Touch
    16 Thrall of Demogorgon 9 +13 +15 +7 +7 Concentration +1 (19), Spot +2 (12), Listen +2 (12) Summon Major Demon
    17 Thrall of Demogorgon 10 +14 +16 +7 +7 Concentration +1 (20), Spot +2 (14), Listen +2 (14) Demogorgon’s Will, Scaly Flesh +4, bonus feat: Bonus Essentia
    18 Incarnate 5 +14 +16 +7 +7 Concentration +1 (21), Clarity of Vision skill trick Expanded Soulmeld Capacity Rapid Meldshaping 1/day
    19 Incarnate 6 +15 +17 +8 +8 Concentration +1 (22), Point it Out skill trick
    20 Incarnate 7 +15 +17 +8 +8 Concentration +1 (23), Speak Language 1 cc (Common) Share Incarnum Radiance

    Note: Balance permanently becomes a class skill at level 9, though the first time we have skill points to spend after it becomes a class skill is level 10.

    Meldshaping:
    Level Melds (Incarnate) Binds (Incarnate) Melds (Totemist) Binds (Totemist) Essentia
    1 2 0 0 0 1
    2 3 1 0 0 2
    3 3 1 0 0 3
    4 4 1 0 0 4
    5 4 1 2 0 5
    6 4 1 3 1 6
    7 4 1 3 1 6
    8 4 1 3 1 6
    9 4 1 3 1 6
    10 4 1 3 1 6
    11 4 1 3 1 6
    12 4 1 3 1 6
    13 4 1 3 1 6
    14 4 1 3 1 6
    15 4 1 3 1 6
    16 4 1 3 1 6
    17 4 1 3 1 8
    18 4 1 3 1 9
    19 4 2 3 1 10
    20 5 2 3 1 11
    Note: Starting at level 12, we also have access to the Mauling Gauntlets, which should not take up a meld use.


    Story:
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    Fra’alstog, as most neraphim do, came into being somewhere on Limbo. Showing a penchant for cruelty from a young age, she ended up exiled from her house even faster than usual, but she was taken in by what she thought was simply a gang of evil-aligned githzerai. (These “githzerai” were likely actually yugoloths in disguise, but Fra’alstog did not know that at the time.) Whether gith or fiend, her mentors tutored her in the ways of using evil itself as a weapon, melding soul-energy into powerful forms through sheer belief, then using that evil energy to terrorize and raid less-protected settlements. Coalescing evil itself around one’s body in weaponized form takes, as one might imagine, a rather fierce devotion to the cause, and Fra’alstog’s natural cruelty (mixed, of course, with a bit of self-preservation; Limbo is a hard place to live without a family, especially when you’ve voluntarily donned a face-tat marking you as part of an evil githzerai gang) made her an exemplary student.

    okay thats great n all but y always evil tho cant it be something new

    No. Fra’alstog devoted herself to evil, even liberally using the forbidden powers of necrocarnum to animate the bodies of her slain foes with tortured innocent souls—

    yeah but do they always hafta be tortured souls what if we just used like iunno gardeners souls or something or maybe evil critters of some kind y

    Ahem. Fra’alstog grew in power and in knowledge, much to the delight of her tutors. She—

    talk talk talk talk im bored now ur too focused on evil listen im u grr srs srs souls evil lol

    Despite the best efforts of the githzerai who taught her, or perhaps in accordance with the plan of the yugoloths who taught her, few neraphim can completely ignore the call of chaos forever. Fra’alstog’s soul had more discipline than that of many neraphim, but—

    ima be a blink dog now brb

    Fra’alstog’s soul had more discipline than that of many neraphim, but the chaos found ways to shine through. The soul-energy that she shaped took on a chaotic tint, and she found herself drawn as much to the souls of magical beasts as to those of exemplars of evil. She—

    dog needs salt

    I thought you wanted to be a blink dog now?

    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ lol u tell me

    Fra’alstog soon felt strong enough to strike out on her own, and whether the gang was githzerai at the end of their legendary patience or yugoloths happy to see a scheme progress to fruition, she didn’t encounter much resistance leaving. She eventually attracted the attention of some demonic followers of Demogorgon, who appreciated her twin-souled nature. One horrific nighttime unhallowed demon-attended sacrifice later—

    whats the weirdest thing u think we could get away with throwing into an astral color pool maybe like a wounded deer or something but like on a rope so we can pull it back out

    Do you have any idea how hard it is to write a backstory like this?

    ur not my real mom


    Tactics:
    Spoiler
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    Levels 1-6: Fra’alstog starts out strong, give or take a prereq feat or two. Incarnates are monsters early on—Lightning Gauntlets are hard to beat at level 1, necrocarnum zombies from the Necrocarnum Circlet are hard to beat at level 2, and having some flexibility in the skill department is great at a level when mundane skills matter most. Having an incarnum-based foundation also scales well, since we don’t have to invest permanent resources into much of anything—there’s zero cost to using a meld that’s strong in the early game but not in the mid game, since we can just shape a different one on the next day. Our favorite melds right now tend to be the Lightning Gauntlets, the Necrocarnum Circlet, the Incarnate Avatar, and either a movement-boosting meld (e.g., Airstep Sandals/Cerulean Sandals) or a skill-boosting meld appropriate to the day’s challenges.

    Totemist melds open up a different set of potential skill boosts; even once we get the Totem Bind, though, we don’t necessarily need to rely on natural weapons much (we’ve got martial weapon proficiency from being an outsider, after all), so we can explore some of the weirder totem binds like the Blink Shirt, Pegasus Wings, or Frost Helm. Alternatively, if the utility bases seem covered for a given situation, as an Evil meldshaper we have access to the Lamia Belt for natural weapons that can explicitly be used in combination with manufactured ones.

    Speaking of manufactured weapons, Fra’alstog has ranks in Craft: Weaponsmithing, and outsiders don’t eat or sleep; making a nonmagical adamantine weapon of some kind (maybe a nice maul) will take a long time, but we’ve got more downtime than the average character, and it’ll pay off.

    Levels 7-10: It’s a bit annoying that we can’t qualify for the SI using incarnum classes alone, but the combination of Craven, Hit-and-Run Tactics, and Fra’alstog’s Neraph Camouflage ability keeps a single die of sneak attack useful for a reasonably long time. We meet the Chaotic Evil prereq by being Neutral Evil with the Ordered Chaos feat (which causes us to count as being Chaotic in addition to our actual alignment whenever it would be beneficial to do so, explicitly including for meeting prereqs). Since Incarnate abilities are often linked to alignment, this lets us double-dip in a lot of ways—the Incarnate Avatar and the Planar Chasuble can be used multipurpose, Incarnum Radiance (while sadly only 1/day) now adds to our movement speed in addition to our melee damage rolls, and Incarnate Weapon makes a weirdass battleaxe-flail thing, which the GM will probably have fun adjudicating. (Seriously, just imagine what that weapon looks like.) Oh, and now Fra’alstog can detect Law as well as Good. Mountain Hammer is never a bad idea, of course, and it always serves as the beloved Stone Dragon Lockpick out of battle. (You have to land if you’re using the Airstep Sandals, but that isn’t a huge cost.)

    Scaly Flesh stacks with the race-based natural armor bonus Fra’alstog gets from being a neraph. Hypnosis and Touch of Fear have a different kind of use on Fra’alstog than on certain other Thralls of Demogorgon; we can animate a corpse with a maximum of 4 HD with the Necrocarnum Circlet (which will still be slightly useful as a firmly disposable minion for a few levels, if nothing else to make a flanking buddy), and since Hypnosis and Touch of Fear are HD-limited as well, using them can actually give us an idea as to whether or not someone is weak enough to animate. We can use this information in ways that not every ToD can, so that’s neat. While we don’t usually prefer natural weapons, we do always have the option, and it is pretty amusing to use Reaching Touch on natural weapons that already have reach (like those of the Displacer Mantle) or on just plain weird ones like the Landshark Boots. Reaching Touch also pairs well with the Fellmist Robe to help keep our targets nonadjacent.

    Our favorite melds at this point are usually the Incarnate Avatar, the Necrocarnum Circlet (though that fades in usefulness by the high end of this level bracket, at which point we simply choose to shape something else), the Fellmist Robe, and either a mobility/utility meld (e.g., Airstep Sandals), a skill meld, or a situation-specific defensive meld (e.g., Planar Ward, Planar Chasuble, or Mantle of Flame). On the Totemist side, we pick up slack from whatever we didn’t focus on as an Incarnate, usually either for skills or for defenses. If nothing else, it’s always good to have the Blink Shirt.

    Levels 11-14 (Sweet Spot!): This level bracket is where things get really nice for Fra’alstog, since a lot of the Secret Ingredient’s abilities come together very well here. First, at ToD 4, we get additional natural armor, so that’s never a waste. More importantly, Dual Actions comes online, which means that our Totemist meld layout is changing. Fra’alstog starts binding the Basilisk Mask to her totem chakra, which allows her to petrify an enemy (as Flesh to Stone) for one round. Normally, one round is too short a time to do anything horrible to a petrified enemy, but if we can squeeze in an extra turn’s worth of actions? Things get nasty. Twice per day we can petrify someone and then immediately use Mountain Hammer on them. Even if you don’t turn the whole statue to smithereens in a single attack, you’ll still likely cause massive structural damage, and since Flesh to Stone specifies that damage to the statue becomes damage to the creature if/when they get turned back, your foe is going to be missing something extremely important (a limb, a head, a sizable portion of their torso, whatever—you’re a thrall to a demon, so get creative with your destruction) when they come back. It’s basically a kill shot against anything that cares about its anatomy.

    Now, Dual Actions is only twice per day, but still, a kill shot twice per day isn’t a bad feature. We’re not stopping, though. Two things come online at ToD 5. First, we get to summon a demon once per day. We’ve probably finished crafting an adamantine weapon by now (or purchased one, but let the record show that Fra’alstog can indeed get the item she wants under her own build-level power), so summon a demon that can use a weapon (the rutterkin, from FC1, isn’t a bad choice), hand it something made of adamantine, and have it lop important parts off of things that you petrify. An encounter per day of “I petrify, you demolish” and two self-contained petrify/demolish rounds per day? That adds up. (Our old tricks all still work—charge + SA + Craven is a good opener, Incarnate melds provide lots of bonus damage, and we’ve probably got more odds-and-ends utility than the average noncaster.)

    The other thing that comes online is that the bonus feat we got from ToD 4 combines nicely with the HD-granted feat we get at this level, giving us access to the Mauling Gauntlets and a harpoon. A harpoon sticks in its victim and allows the thrower to make opposed STR checks to prevent the victim from moving outside a specified radius, and the Mauling Gauntlets provide a bonus to STR checks that can politely be described as “OMGWTFBBQ.” Fra’alstog isn’t going to be chucking a harpoon every round—likely only about one or two per encounter, since it gets awkward to adjudicate how many hands you have to have free to hang on to multiple ropes at once—but she’s pretty accurate with them. We can easily spend our Incarnate bind on the Sighting Gloves to negate the penalty for not having Precise Shot, the Incarnate Avatar provides us a bonus on ranged attack rolls thanks to Ordered Chaos, and our Camouflage ability works on thrown weapons as well as on charges. So she’ll be attacking flat-footed targets (ergo Hit-and-Run Tactics—also ergo Sneak Attack, ergo Craven, ergo the Reflex save to avoid getting stuck is higher and also it deals significantly more damage if the target wastes a full-round action yanking out the harpoon, which is still a win for you) with some nice to-hit bonuses and damage bonuses (a small bonus from the Sighting Gloves adds up, too) and then making opposed STR checks with a bonus that makes a raging Barbarian peer over their sunglasses and admiringly say “daaaaaayum!” You know, on those turns when she doesn’t want to petrify/smash something or just maraud around with her existing melee bonuses and would prefer to take a more lockdown/BfC role.

    Things don’t slow down at ToD 6, because Fra’alstog uses Rotting Touch much better than the average ToD. All those melee damage bonuses we’ve been crowing about also apply to Rotting Touch. Incarnate Avatar works, Incarnum Radiance works (1/day, but still), and you can even apply the Necrocarnum Shroud if you want—it all adds up. If you use the BoVD version of Thrall to Demon, you can even use your little 1/day bonus on the damage roll. Doing 1d6 CON damage is an okay trick, but doing 1d6 + 8 (Avatar alone) to 1d6 + 12 (Avatar, Radiance, Thrall, Shroud, etc.) is going to absolutely ruin something’s day (possibly being a stand-alone kill shot, or damn close to it), and 3/day is enough to notice, considering that it’s going to more or less remove an enemy from the field each time you invoke it. At ToD 7, Fra’alstog uses her bonus feat on Mortalbane, adding an extra 2d6 CON damage to each of those instances. (3d6 +12ish CON damage in a true nova round? That’s gonna leave a mark. Perhaps on the ground.)

    So to recap, Fra’alstog still has her old general melee tricks, she can lock something down with a harpoon (doing nontrivial damage in the process), she can petrify things and destroy them, she can petrify things and have a demon destroy them, and she can do a downright unfair amount of CON damage (no save!) several times per day. Sweet spot? Sweet spot.

    Our favorite melds in this level range should be pretty clear, but we get Mauling Gauntlets for free (keep ‘em on the arms slot), we’ll bind the Basilisk Mask and the Sighting Gloves, we’ll shape the Incarnate Avatar and often the Necrocarnum Shroud, and we’ve still got a couple wildcard melds to devote to mobility, utility, skills, and defenses, chosen in accordance with the day’s needs.

    Levels 14-20: At this point, Fra’alstog basically focuses on what she already does and how she can make it better. Two Personas makes the multiclassing penalty go away, if such things exist in your game. If Death Touch should fail, it still does damage, so it benefits from Mortalbane and the other things that Rotting Touch benefits from (and if it succeeds, hey, it succeeded!). Since we’re doing HP damage with Death Touch rather than CON damage, we might even be able to tack on Sneak Attack (and therefore Craven) if we’re flanking when we make the associated touch attack.

    Summon Major Demon is, at a minimum, an additional encounter per day in which we can use the “I petrify, you demolish” trick, but 10 HD demons also open up some surprising utility. Bar-lguras, for instance, can take you with them when using their Greater Teleport (see FC1), which is awesome. The whole point of a summon ability is that you can use whatever option happens to be the best for the given moment, so we won’t lock that down too much, but at least we’ve got the petrification trick (which most ToDs probably don’t).

    More Scaly Flesh continues to stack with our racial NA bonus, Deformity (Tongue) adds general-purpose sensing utility (if nothing else, it tells us when we can benefit from invoking Clarity of Vision), and while we don’t want to spend the XP on it every day, Demogorgon’s Will is a caster-grade back-pocket trick for “this situation is way different than I planned for, and I need to drastically change what things look like right now” that most noncasters cannot replicate. (Of course, if we’re one-shotting things with our souped-up Rotting Touch, we might be able to earn enough XP to pay the cost more often than not, but still. It’s not special if you use it every day.) Ask your GM how replicating the spell Open Least Chakra works once the spell’s duration expires; RAW, melds stay bound until you unshape them, so you might be able to use your Limited Wish to score an extra chakra bind or two that you wouldn’t ordinarily have, which is actually a fairly reasonable use for your XP.

    Our remaining feats and levels go into make our existing incarnum-based abilities better. Incarnum Radiance scales based on level, we get more melds and more essentia, and we continue to have our ridiculous suite of tricks described in the 11-14 bracket, only with higher numbers. (Those tricks don’t stop being good, and they don’t stop scaling.) We can cover even more utility/defense bases with extra melds, though our core layout remains similar. If we can use Demogorgon’s Will to hack having extra binds, of course, we get even more utility (even out of our Totemist melds).

    Overall, Fra’alstog displays an evolving set of tricks for pretty much her entire career. She has a good balance of flexibility and focus, she gets maximal use out of basically everything the SI has to offer, and she’s got enough juice to have a lasting effect on whatever she applies herself to.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kalirren View Post
    The only person in the past two pages who has known what (s)he has been talking about is Heliomance.
    Quote Originally Posted by golentan View Post
    I just don't want to have long romantic conversations or any sort of drama with my computer, okay? It knows what kind of porn I watch. I don't want to mess that up by allowing it to judge any of my choices in romance.

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  16. - Top - End - #106
    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXIX

    Entry number 6!

    Quote Originally Posted by Speeloxhuu
    Bipartite Servant of Twofold Masters!

    A Pulsing Mass of Grafts and Crafts!

    Keeper of Secrets Muckdwellers Were Not Meant to Know!

    The Sixteen-Centimetre Serpentine Soporific!

    Wondrous Item Supply Chain Executive Manager!

    The Gleeful Graft-laden Guanopsychotic Geckoid!

    Premier Soul-Caterer for Upscale Fiends!

    The Pint-Sized Paradox of Parlous Power!

    who could it possibly be but . . .

    SPEELOXHUU
    . . . and Gezoondhyt


    Spoiler: some totally optional inspirational music
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    you can understand the character just fine without this song, but i feel that it helps put you in the right mindset.


    Spoiler: tables and stats
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    Speeloxhuu

    muckdweller soulborn 2 / barbarian 1 / fighter 1 / truenamer 3 / wizard 1 / thrall of demogorgon 10 / battle trickster 2

    devoted to the Leviathan and also to Demogorgon
    alignment: chaotic evil
    size: tiny
    languages: Draconic, Common, Abyssal, Infernal

    muckdweller racial adjustments: STR -6 (ignore after soulborn 2), DEX +6, WIS -2, CHA -2.

    unmodified starting stats (point-buy cost in brackets):
    STR 16 (10)
    DEX 10 (2)
    CON 12 (6)
    INT 16 (10)
    WIS 8 (0)
    CHA 12 (4)

    starting stats with racial bonuses/penalties:
    STR 10
    DEX 16
    CON 12
    INT 16
    WIS 6
    CHA 10

    STR increases to 16 at level 2 because we become immune to the racial penalty. increase INT at levels 4 and 8. increase STR at levels 12, 16, and 20. WIS decreases by 4 at level 10 because of Deformity (Madness).

    note on colour-coding: blue indicates skill points spent normally. red indicates skill points spent cross-class.


    Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    1 soulborn 1 +1 +2 +0 +0 20 pts: Tumble 4, Jump 4, Spellcraft 4, K: Arcana 2, K: Planes 2, K: Religion 2 muckdweller bonus: Weapon Finesse, EE bonus: Willing Deformity, 1: Subdual Strike skilled city dweller, aura, smite opposition 1/day
    2 soulborn 2 +2 +3 +0 +0 5 pts: Tumble 5, Jump 5, Spellcraft 5, Use Rope 0.5, K: Religion 2.5 incarnum defense
    3 whirling frenzy spirit lion totem barbarian 1 +3 +5 +0 +0 7 pts: Tumble 6, Jump 6, K: Religion 3, Use Rope 2.5 3: Power Attack skilled city dweller, illiteracy (N/A), whirling frenzy 1/day, spiritual lion totem (pounce)
    4 fighter 1 +4 +7 +0 +0 5 pts: Tumble 7, Jump 7, Spellcraft 5.5, Use Rope 3.5 fighter bonus: Improved Bull Rush skilled city dweller, bonus feat
    5 truenamer 1 +4 +7 +0 +2 7 pts: Truespeak 3, Jump 8, Tumble 8 EE Bonus: Thrall to Demon known personal truename, universal aptitude
    6 truenamer 2 +5 +7 +0 +3 7 pts: Truespeak 8, Tumble 9 6: Leap Attack knowledge focus (religion), inertia surge
    7 truenamer 3 +6/+1 +8 +1 +3 7 pts: Truespeak 10, K: Religion 5, Tumble 10, Use Rope 4 hidden truth
    8 martial domain (Conjuration domain) wizard 1 +6/+1 +8 +1 +5 6 pts: K: Religion 9, Truespeak 11 wizard bonus: Shock Trooper bonus feat, spellcasting, summon familiar, arcane domain (Conjuration)
    9 thrall of Demogorgon +7/+2 +10 +1 +5 8 pts: Use Rope 7, K: Religion 12, Truespeak 12 9: Underfoot Combat, ToD bonus: Confound the Big Folk bonus feat, scaly flesh +1, hypnosis
    10 ToD 2 +8/+3 +11 +1 +5 8 pts: Jump 10, Use Rope 9, K: Religion 13, Truespeak 13 EE bonus: Deformity (Madness) touch of fear
    11 ToD 3 +9/+4 +11 +2 +6 8 pts: K: Religion 14, Use Rope 11, Jump 12, Spellcraft 6, Truespeak 14 reaching touch
    12 ToD 4 +10/+5 +12 +2 +6 8 pts: K: Religion 15, Use Rope 15, Truespeak 15 12: Practised Spellcaster, ToD bonus: Improved Familiar bonus feat, dual actions, scaly flesh +2
    13 ToD 5 +11/+6/+1 +12 +2 +6 8 pts: K: Religion 16, Use Rope 16, Jump 13, Spellcraft 7.5, Truespeak 16 summon minor demon
    14 ToD 6 +12/+7/+2 +13 +3 +7 8 pts: K: Religion 17, Use Rope 17, Jump 14, Bluff 2, Spellcraft 8, Truespeak 17 rotting touch
    15 ToD 7 +13/+8/+3 +13 +3 +7 8 pts: K: Religion 18, Use Rope 18, Bluff 6, Truespeak 18 EE bonus: Chosen of Evil, 15: Craft Wondrous Item, ToD bonus: Exceptional Artisan bonus feat, scaly flesh +3
    16 ToD 8 +14/+9/+4 +14 +3 +7 8 pts: K: Religion 19, Use Rope 19, Bluff 8, False Theurgy skill trick, Truespeak 19 two personas, death touch
    17 ToD 9 +15/+10/+5 +14 +4 +8 8 pts: K: Religion 20, Use Rope 20, Jump 16, Extreme Leap skill trick, Truespeak 20 summon major demon
    18 ToD 10 +16/+11/+6/+1 +15 +4 +8 8 pts: K: Religion 21, Use Rope 21, Jump 20, Truespeak 21 18: Demon Mastery, ToD bonus: Extract Demonic Essence bonus feat, Demogorgon’s will, scaly flesh +4
    19 battle trickster 1 +17/+12/+7/+2 +17 +4 +8 8 pts: Use Rope 22, Jump 22, Tumble 11, Truespeak 22, K: Religion 22, Battle Trickster bonus skill trick: Nimble Stand bonus trick
    20 battle trickster 2 +18/+13/+8/+3 +18 +4 +8 8 pts: Use Rope 23, Jump 23, Tumble 13, Truespeak 23, K: Religion 23 EE bonus: Harvester of Souls, battle trickster bonus: Combat Expertise bonus feat
    Spoiler: spellcasting
    Show
    starting at ECL 8, Speeloxhuu has wizard casting. assuming 18 INT (which he has from levels alone by ECL 8; this may increase if he gains access to an INT-boosting item, but we are not assuming that), he gets 3 selectable cantrips per day (usually a mix of detect magic, stick, and/or mage hand), along with one mandatory casting of acid splash. he gets two selectable 1st-level spells per day, often animate rope or nerveskitter before the CL increase and mage armour or familiar pocket after the CL increase, along with one mandatory casting of mage armour. acid splash and mage armour are always cast at +1 CL. general CL increases from 1 to 5 when Practised Spellcaster is gained. since spells per day do not progress, I do not feel that a full table is appropriate.

    spells in spellbook guaranteed from class levels alone (3 + INT + mage armour): all cantrips, mage armour, animate rope, familiar pocket, nerveskitter, hoard gullet, mount, magecraft, chill touch



    the tale of Speeloxhuu is one of ambition and overcompensation gone horribly, horribly awry. Speeloxhuu is a muckdweller who started life feeling horribly inadequate about his tiny size and low athletic ability. he was smart enough to know that there is a world beyond the swamp, but not wise enough to understand that sometimes limitations exist for a reason.

    he heard that certain people who were willing to mortify their own flesh could become taller, in a deformed sort of way. as a tiny snake-like critter, he already idolized the Leviathan, a nearly-mythological snake bigger than any other creature alive; when he found out that this Leviathan could grant power to its servants, Speeloxhuu’s admiration started edging into worship, and he started intentionally deforming his own body in preparation for becoming taller. he trained in a strange style of fighting which promised to allow its adherents, if they were sufficiently chaotic and sufficiently wicked, to overcome limitations on their muscular strength, which turned out to be true. when he found out, however, that he still simply wasn’t eligible to undergo the full transformation into someone with greater reach, rather than give up on his ideas, he became convinced that he simply hadn’t found the right secrets. he delved into forbidden rites and practises that promised to open his mind to new vistas of knowledge, hoping to find a workaround. the small remnants of his sanity slipping away, he started dabbling in living sacrifices, attracting the attention of the Prince of Demons . . .
    Spoiler: behavioural analysis
    Show
    this character is an ubercharger. Power Attack, Pounce, Leap Attack, Shock Trooper—you know how this works, right? i like the image of the little guy with either a greataxe (tiny stats: 1d8, crit x3) or a scythe (tiny stats: 1d4, crit x4), but any two-handed weapon works. we can get away with light armour most of the time, since we’ve got NA, DEX, and size bonuses in our corner, and we don’t want a speed penalty. (we’ll eventually get access to mage armour that lasts 6 hours, but that will come later.) a racial spit attack lets us apply some debuffing if we can’t reach our target.

    CE soulborn lets us overcome our racial penalty to STR (we are immune to any penalty to our STR, and pg. 11 of the PHB describes negative racial stat modifications as “racial penalties”), allowing us to qualify for Power Attack. skilled city dweller ensures that we can keep Tumble up early on. whirlpouncebarian is self-explanatory; if one attack after a charge is good, lots of attacks after a charge is better, and one encounter per day with extra attacks is gravy. if survivability is an issue early on, we certainly don’t have to use the full AC penalty from a max-strength PA all the time; even a modest -3 penalty (which could easily be handled as to-hit rather than as AC) turns into a +9 or +12 bonus (depending on how you read the errata), which is far from nothing early on. why do we have Subdual Strike? because killing an enemy in the name of your dark master during combat is far, far less profitable than killing that enemy in a horrifying sacrifice later.

    levels in truenamer give us a ton of tools to juice up our ability to sacrifice. hidden truth is a +10 bonus to a Knowledge check, usable at any time after you succeed. universal aptitude is another +5 bonus to any skill checks we care about. knowledge focus is a +3 on top of that. +18 to K: Religion for the cost of three levels is a pretty good deal, especially since it’s not like universal aptitude or hidden truth are useless on their own. we are really, really good at sacrificing things. so we charge like crazy, do obnoxious amounts of nonlethal damage, and then start greedily consulting the tables on pg. 27 of the BoVD. Use Rope lets us tightly bind things for use later, if desired. and if we run into something immune to nonlethal damage? then we just choose not to use Subdual Strike, and we’re still an ubercharger.

    wizard gives us a lot in a short time period. we get a much-needed bonus feat, allowing us to get Shock Trooper online. we get spells, which let us enter the Secret Ingredient. (those spells are usually things like animate rope, mage armour, and familiar pocket. Maybe hoard gullet as well. familiar pocket and mage armour are our go-to spells, though, at least after we get Practised Spellcaster; before PS comes online, animate rope still helps for a quick Use Rope check, and nerveskitter doesn’t care about CL) and we get the ability to summon a familiar, though we don’t do so just yet.

    ToD is awesome. scaly flesh stacks with our existing +3 NA from being a muckdweller. more importantly, ToD lets us answer the question “what would life be like if feat chains weren’t an issue?” we can take Confound the Big Folk at the same level as Underfoot Combat, and i don’t need to say how good that is, do i? well, i will anyway: automatically flat-footifying enemies is amazing, getting cover is amazing, and getting a 50% miss chance with a chance to encourage teamkilling is absolutely worth fighting defensively now and again. we can take Improved Familiar at the same level as Practised Spellcaster, allowing us to summon Gezoondhyt, our faithful muckdweller familiar (who can do great things like help us bind victims and set up sacrifices, though he cannot directly use Aid Another on the K: Religion check—but he can, technically, use Aid Another on our Truespeak check!). and so on. our feats all synergise with each other. it’s awesome.

    by the way, if you’re concerned that we cannot revere both Demogorgon and the Leviathan, we direct you to pg. 70 of Elder Evils. Marcus Hape not only serves both the Leviathan and Demogorgon, but he even has levels in thrall of Demogorgon! Demogorgon is obviously cool with this. you should be too.

    Speeloxhuu cannot qualify for Deformity (Tall), but he can still get reaching touch from ToD as a consolation prize, which is awesome. (it’s also hella creepy to imagine—Speeloxhuu is like maybe the size of a cat, and all of a sudden he’s got 5’ long arms that can strike with full power? it’s hilarious, but it’s also horrifying.) dual actions is crazy good—charging once is powerful enough, but ping-ponging around and charging twice in one round is even better. demon-summoning abilities let us juice our sacrifice check even higher (+2 for a sacrifice being in the presence of a demon servant, +1 for allowing that hungry demon servant to remove extremities from the victim prior to death). Thrall to Demon may only be a +1 once per day, but given that our daily sacrifice roll is the one roll per day we care most about, it’s more helpful to us than to many other characters! honestly though, even just by the time we enter ToD, we’ve got a nightmarishly high sacrifice check mod: at ECL 9 (ToD 1), we have +4 INT, +12 ranks, +10 hidden truth, +3 knowledge focus, and +5 universal aptitude, even before getting into karras stone knives or any of the circumstantial mods from BoVD pg 27. that’s +34. our minimum roll puts us at 35. that’s kind of incredible, guys. even if the Truespeak checks take a few tries, a ritual sacrifice isn’t exactly a hurried affair. in fact, the image of our pint-sized celebrant trying over and over to incant incomprehensible words (in a squeaky voice—consider just how little he is!) until he finally gets them right and surges with dark power is actually kind of marvelous. later on, Chosen of Evil eventually helps with the sacrifice check, though it’s mostly gravy by that point. (1 CON damage once a day is trivial to heal overnight.) touch of fear and hypnotism might be used to toy with our ritual sacrifices before doing the deed. and while we can only be rewarded for one sacrifice per day, we can still save victims for later with Use Rope (and may as well throw on some manacles while you’re at it, use chain instead of rope, toss in animate rope for an extra +2 if you have a spell slot left, &c.).

    so what kinds of things are we doing with our sacrifices? 24 hour buff spells are nice when we first start our soul-catering business. control weather is a great way to do collateral damage to feed our destructive impulses. long-term, though, our focus is going to be on crafting. dark gold and dark XP can drastically reduce or eliminate the costs associated with crafting items, and they don’t expire. planar ally (lesser, regular, or greater) can give us a friendly fiend who can help contribute spells or SLAs to the item prereqs, and once we get Extract Demonic Essence, they can help with the cost, as well. (also, we can use scrolls or wands to contribute prereqs, as long as they’re wizard spells—we’re a wizard, Harry! that’s why we didn’t specialise: we don’t want any wizard spells to be banned.) Speeloxhuu can use hidden truth on himself when not making ritual sacrifices to research new and appropriate kinds of demons to summon. we’re way, way smarter than we are wise. (and no, Speeloxhuu’s not wise at all. he’s completely off his gourd. you know, in case you hadn’t realized that yet.)

    once we can get greater planar ally, we can even summon sibriexes; Deformity (Madness) renders us immune to their form of madness ability, and since sacrifices give us a planar ally effect rather than a planar binding effect, the sibriex shouldn’t resent us or hate us (it should actually respect us, or at least be told that it has to pretend by the entity that sends it to us as its emissary), so it should be relatively safe to ask it to graft us the hell abyss up. pay the gp cost if necessary (it takes under a minute and is nonhazardous, so it shouldn’t be more than a trivial 750 gp, or 1500 if your GM is mean), but we might also simply offer the sibriex a living sacrificial victim as payment if we feel cheeky. between the grafts and the crafts, Speeloxhuu is remarkably well kitted-out for an Iron Chef build. we have access to a lot of things that would normally cost a lot more than we have to pay. abyssal grafts are all kinds of awesome. we can get a Long Arm to finally get reach, we can get all kinds of crazy stat bonuses, we can get wings, we can get enhanced vision, we can get a Fast Leg to charge even farther—the possibilities are endless, and all it takes is to be a guanopsychotic murderous nonlethal charger who’s obsessed with sacrificing sentient beings to demon lords and asking those demon lords to send madness-inducing demons to repeatedly graft raw chaos onto their flesh for them! (why doesn’t everyone do this?)

    let’s also talk about Gezoondhyt a bit. Gezoondhyt spends most of his time safely tucked away in a familiar pocket (he should never, ever see combat), but he’s very helpful for ritual sacrifices. as mentioned, he cannot directly Aid Another with the K: Religion check, but he can make the Truespeak checks come faster. About those Truespeak checks: the rituals need to be long anyway, and we can just keep trying until we succeed—we can cast hidden truth well in advance, since it just affects the next Knowledge check we make, and then we’ve got five rounds after universal aptitude finally succeeds to finish the job and send a new soul straight to Demogorgon. (of course, we can also probably eventually craft an amulet of the silver tongue, if we want one.) anyway, back to Gezoondhyt—he can also aid with the Use Rope checks to bind victims for later. furthermore, since he shares our ranks in K: Religion and is a 100% valid target for hidden truth / universal aptitude, he’s nearly as good at sacrifices as Speeloxhuu is! lower INT and no knowledge focus class feature, but that’s still a damn large bonus, especially when you consider that our presence means that Gezoondhyt’s sacrifices automatically get the +2 for “conducted in the presence of a creature important to the deity,” since we’re obviously important to our lord and master. so Speeloxhuu gets one sacrifice per day and Gezoondhyt also gets one sacrifice per day. i like to think that Speeloxhuu is sacrificing to Hethradiah and Gezoondhyt sacrifices to Aameul (BoVD pg. 126), or vice versa. this can, as you might imagine, get very stupid very quickly. we cannot combine Gezoondhyt’s dark gold and dark XP with our own, so he mostly won’t be getting those particular rewards, but he can handle the buff spells or the planar ally effects while we handle the other things. (this also means that we get two wishes over our lifetime.)

    more about dark craft XP: read pg. 27 of BoVD very, very closely. “experience points and gold pieces can be granted as rewards after a sacrifice.” this indicates that they are experience points. they “can’t be used to [. . . ] attain higher levels,” thereby indicating that special restrictions need to be placed on what they cannot do, but it doesn’t say that you can’t spend them on the XP costs of spells. like, say, limited wish, by which I mean Demogorgon’s Will. just gonna throw that out there. (it doesn’t say anything like that they ‘can only be used for crafting’ or some such.)

    so we’ve got grafts, we’ve got crafts, we’ve got buffs, we’ve got ubercharging power, we’ve got broad-scale ability to alter our surroundings (control weather and limited wish are easily attainable with our sacrifices, and those are some pretty crazy wildcard abilities to get us where we need to go)—the fun never stops!

    oh, and if you were wondering why we have False Theurgy when we basically never cast spells in combat? because Speeloxhuu is horrifyingly cruel, that’s why. False Theurgy lets us pretend to be casting any spell of the same level—doesn’t have to be a spell that we can actually cast. after a long and drawn-out ritual, we can make the poor sacrificial victim think for a fraction of a second that we’re going to cast painless death, found on pg. 56 of Ghostwalk. but of course, Speeloxhuu is actually casting, well, something else. doesn’t really matter what. something that deals painful damage (e.g., chill touch), or that doesn’t even target the victim, or whatever. this is just because Speeloxhuu is that. damn. evil. to give false hope of a painless release, and then to cruelly snatch it away? he believes that that’s worth the investment of skill points, even if it doesn’t always work. few things make him laugh more, and therefore, few things make Demogorgon laugh more! hail Demogorgon!


    Spoiler: and now, a few words from Gezoondhyt
    Show
    My Master deserves the Highest Score in Use of Secret Ingredient! Anyone can Optimize a class’s Abilities, but who takes the time to go Above and Beyond by optimizing its Prereqs? Being Chaotic Evil quite Literally aids my Master’s Strength! BAB Fuels my Master’s charging ways! Knowledge skills Fuel my Master’s Sacrifices! Being a spellcaster Allowed my Master to summon me—I owe My Very Existence to these prereqs! My Master learned how to Sacrifice intelligent Beings just to get into Thrall of Demogorgon, and now sacrificing intelligent Beings is my Master’s raison d’être! The Deformities my Master inflicted upon his Flesh in the Name of Demogorgon may have driven him mad, but are we not All mad? From Madness comes strength! You need more Convincing? My Master uses the Bonus Feats the class grants very Well! He uses the natural Armour bonus to Stack with his own! He Summons Demons to Aid in his Sacrifices! He uses the Class’s skills in his Sacrifices! He Reaches farther than that which is Granted to those of Our Size, surprising his Victims! Surprising them to death! He can Charge twice a Round, Killing twice as fast! His spell-like Abilities prolong the Torment of his sacrificial Victims, until they swiftly and Brutally End the suffering! You must Score my Master very highly in Use of Secret Ingredient!

    My Master deserves the Highest Score in Elegance! Who can say that they Repeatedly use the Secret Ingredient’s Bonus Feats to take Obnoxious Prereq Feats and the feats they actually Care about at the same time? No waiting, no putting off What We Want, just immediate Satisfaction despite the Prereq Gates! Instant Gratification is the Definition of Elegance! Is that not Appropriate for a Thrall of Demogorgon? Demogorgon does not wait—Demogorgon takes what he wants, as does my Master! Many prerequisites are made to serve Double Duty, because it is not enough for your Pawns to Suffer merely once, and what are feats but the Pawns in our own lives? Practised Spellcaster enables me to Exist, and it Also enables Craft Wondrous Item! Craft Wondrous Item enables Exceptional Artisan, and those Two Feats enable Extract Demonic Essence! Furthermore, my Master does Not bother Spending his Own Resources when he can Spend someone else’s! Why devote one’s own Feats to Vile feats when Lord Leviathan (may he do as he wills) can provide what we Need? Why spend Gold or Experience on crafting when we can Simply Use the blood of our enemies for That? Is it not elegant to Find Ways to avoid paying onerous Costs? You must Score my Master very highly in Elegance!

    My Master deserves the Highest Score in Power! You like using Power Attack? What about Doubling it? What about doubling it and Still Full-attacking? What about Doing all of that with No Penalty To hit? My Master does all of This And More! My Master knows Many Secrets that Muckdwellers were not meant to Know—perhaps Some of them are even your secrets! Can you Deny my Master’s power Now? You try to Strike at my Master? My Master is already in your Friend’s Square, and you Struck Your Friend in the Face, just as Demogorgon Teaches us! My Master has fiendish Grafts of all shapes and Sizes, and my Master paid far less than you Would to get Such Things! My Master has demons at His Beck And call, always Happy to do his bidding! My Master Can request all Kinds of benefits from his Master—Wishes, Weather, Buffs, you name it! My Master is Well-Equipped, all of his items Forged out of the Blood of the Innocent! You must Score my Master very highly in Power!

    My Master deserves the Highest Score in Originality! Did you Truly Expect a Tiny-sized Ubercharger who is an expert at Sacrifices? Did you expect Anyone to enter the Secret Ingredient by combining Soulborn With Truenamer, or anyone who would have More levels in Truenamer than in any other Base Class? Did you Expect Anyone to have another one of their Same Race as a Familiar? Did you Expect a Muckdweller to end up with higher Strength than Dexterity? Did you expect Anyone to ever use Wizard to Pick Up Shock Trooper? Did you Expect Anyone to Rely heavily on a Feat from the Book of Exalted Deeds? Did you expect anyone Who Would actually massively Benefit from the Fact that the Secret Ingredient grants Use Rope as a class Skill? No! You did not! You expected None of those things! My Master took you Completely by Surprise! To deny it is to deny Yourself! You must Score my Master very highly in Originality!

    My Master is probably behind you right now!


    Spoiler: sauces
    Show

    fighter, barbarian, Power Attack, Craft Wondrous Item, wizard, Weapon Finesse, Improved Bull Rush, Combat Expertise: PHB
    skilled city dweller: right here, yo
    utterances, Truespeak, truenamer: Tome of Magic
    Leviathan, Deformity (Madness), Harvester of Souls, Chosen of Evil: Elder Evils
    Leap Attack: Complete Adventurer
    Exceptional Artisan: Eberron Campaign Setting
    muckdweller, Improved Familiar: Serpent Kingdoms
    sibriex, Demon Mastery, Extract Demonic Essence: Fiendish Codex I
    Practised Spellcaster: Complete Arcane
    spells: PHB, Spell Compendium, Dragon Magic, Eberron Campaign Setting
    battle trickster, skill tricks: Complete Scoundrel
    fiendish grafts: Fiend Folio
    Underfoot Combat, Confound the Big Folk: Races of the Wild
    Shock Trooper: Complete Warrior
    spiritual lion totem barbarian: Complete Champion
    whirling frenzy, martial wizard, domain wizard: Unearthed Arcana
    soulborn: Magic of Incarnum
    thrall of Demogorgon, Demogorgon, Willing Deformity, Thrall to Demon, sacrifice rules: Book of Vile Darkness
    Subdual Strike: Book of Exalted Deeds

    inspirational music (Fighting with the Melody): Jimmy Urine
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  17. - Top - End - #107
    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXIX

    Entry number 7!

    Quote Originally Posted by Hurk
    Hurk (Smash)

    Big Picture, 'UGE!
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    Build Stub
    Spoiler
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    CE Longtooth Shifter Spirt Lion Boar Totem Barbarian 4, Warshaper 3, Totemist 2, Rogue 1 Thrall 10

    Background
    Spoiler
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    Tribal Elders once say, fight is all or nothing. Fight hard, fight fast, fight to win. Fair fight for stupids, don’t be stupid. Must be true, only way get old is to win lots.
    When fight, sometimes only see red, only want tear enemy to pieces, to bite and claw and gnash. To break and gouge and pin down. Hurk best at this, fight anyone say otherwise.
    Hurk jump to sky, come down on enemy and crush him. Attack with fang and claw, bite and anything else. Hurk even control demons to fight. Make deal, get stronger, fight more! Hurk beg enemy to hit him, then crush puny weaklings in turn.
    Hurk can’t wait fight again.

    Details
    Spoiler
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    D12x4+D8x15+D6/2 +102 = 189
    Shifter: +2 Dex, -2 INT/CHA, 30ft, Shifting (SU) 1/day CON+3 rounds (+1 for every shifter feat, +1/day every 2 shifter feats). Lowlight 60ft, +2 balance, climb, jump.

    Longtooth: +2 STR, grow fangs (nat weapon), 1d6 (+1 per 4 char levels), can use as secondary attack at -5. Only usable 1/round.


    Pouncebarian – Spirit Lion Totem ACF – Comp Champion 46, replace Fast Movement class feature w/ Pounce (MM 313) at LVL 1

    Boar Totem – UA 48 – Lose fast movement, uncanny dodge, trap sense. When raging gain the Diehard feat, 3rd LVL- rage lasts 2 rounds longer

    Rage Variant
    – Whirling Frenzy – UA 66 – Gain +4 STR, +2 dodge bonus to AC, make 1 extra attack at highest BAB -2, all other attacks at -2 BAB for 1 round. Lasts for 3+CON rounds.

    32pts:
    STR 16 DEX 12 CON 16 INT 12 WIS 10 CHA 10
    racial:
    STR 16 DEX 14 CON 16 INT 10 WIS 10 CHA 8
    warshaper:
    STR 20 DEX 14 CON 20 INT 10 WIS 10 CHA 8
    All points into STR
    STR 25 DEX 14 CON 20 INT 10 WIS 10 CHA 8
    While “Raging” STR +4, While “Shifted” STR +2, Sphinx Claws effectively STR & STR checks +4 all day

    Soulmelds:

    Manticore Bel
    t pg 77 +2 Spot/Jump
    Sphinx Claws pg 88 +1 STR/STR checks, +1 per essentia Chakra – Hands (when charging, full attack bonus on all Natural Attacks)
    Totem Avatar pg 90- +2 hp, each essentia grants +1 nat ac

    Build
    Spoiler
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    Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    1st Barbarian 1 +1 +2 +0 +0 Knowledge Arcana 2, Knowledge Religion 2, Knowledge Nature 2, Jump 4 Improved Unarmed Strike, Diehard (when raging) Whirling Frenzy ACF, Illiteracy, Rage 1/day, Pounce
    2nd Barbarian 2 +2 +3 +0 +0 Intimidate 3, Jump 5 - -
    3rd Barbarian 3 +3 +3 +1 +1 Intimidate 5, Jump 6 Improved Grapple Rage lasts +2 rounds
    4th Barbarian 4 +4 +4 +1 +1 Intim 7, Jump 7, Survival 1 - Rage 2/day
    5th Warshaper 1 +4 +6 +1 +1 Escape Artist 1, Jump 8 - Morphic Immunities(stun/crits), Morphic Weapons
    6th Warshaper 2 +5 +7 +2 +2 Escape 2, Jump 9 Willing Deformity Morphic Body (+4 STR/CON)
    7th Warshaper 3 +6 +7 +2 +2 Escape 3, Jump 10 - Morphic Reach
    8th Totemist 1 +6 +9 +4 +2 Intim 8, Survival 3 - Wild Empathy, Souldmeld
    9th Totemist 2 +7 +10 +5 +2 Intim 9, Survival 5 Thrall to Demon Totem Chakra Bind
    10th Rogue 1 +7 +10 +7 +2 Intim 13, Jump 12, Tumble 1, UMD 1 - Sneak Attack 1d6, Trapfinding
    11th Thrall of Demogorgon 1 +8 +12 +7 +2 Intim 14, Jump 14, Know Rel 3 Power Attack Scaly Flesh +1, Hypnosis
    12th Thrall 2 +9 +13 +7 +2 Intim 15, Jump 15, Know Religion 5 Scorpion’s Grasp Touch of Fear
    13th Thrall 3 +10 +13 +8 +3 Intim 16, Jump 16, Religion 7 - Reaching Touch
    14th Thrall 4 +11 +14 +8 +3 Intim 17, Jump 17, Religion 9 Leap Attack Dual Actions, Scaly Flesh +2
    15th Thrall 5 +12 +14 +8 +3 Intim 18, Jump 18, Religion 11 Combat Reflexes Summon Minor Demon(5HD)
    16th Thrall 6 +13 +15 +9 +4 Intim 19, Jump 19, Relgion 13 - Rotting Touch
    17th Thrall 7 +14 +15 +9 +4 Intim 20, Jump 20, Religion 15 Robilar’s Gambit Scaly Flesh +3
    18th Thrall 8 +15 +16 +9 +4 Intim 21, Jump 22, Religion 17 Extra Rage Two Personas, Death Touch
    19th Thrall 9 +16 +16 +10 +5 Intim 22, Jump 22, Religion 19 - Summon Major Demon (10hd)
    20th Thrall 10 +17 +17 +10 +5 Intim 23, Jump 23, Religion 21 Extra Rage Demogorgon’s Will, Scaly Flesh +4

    Sources:
    Spoiler
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    PHB- 24,49,92,95,96,98
    PHBII - 82
    Races/Eberron - 25
    Comp Warr- 90
    Magic of Incarnum – 29, 77, 88, 90
    BoVD – 50, 67
    HoH – 125
    Comp Champ – 46,98
    UA – 48, 66
    Sandstorm – 52
    MM1 – 313
    Comp Adventurer – 110

    Feats:
    1-Improved Unarmed Strike – PHB 96
    3-Improved Grapple – PHB 95
    6- Willing Deformity – HoH 125
    9- Thrall to Demon – BoVD 50
    11-Power Attack – PHB 98
    12- Scorpion’s Grasp – Sandstorm 52
    14-Leap Attack – Comp Adventurer 110
    15-Combat Reflexes – PHB 92
    17-Robilar’s Gambit – PHBII 82
    18-Extra Rage – Comp Champ 98
    20-Extra Rage – Comp Champ 98

    Levels
    Spoiler
    Show

    5- Straight up Barbarian basically. Two ACF’s replacing useless class features. Warsphaper 1 gives immunity to crits (and therefor sneak attacks) and morphic weapons. Since fists are natural weapons, you can increase your fists by 1 size catergory. Using the high STR helps on grapple checks with hands or a tentacle that you just grew. I don’t interpret Morphic Weapons to be an addition of 5082048420 natural attacks, but just as growing what you have 1 size larger, or adding the natural attacks of 1 thing (so 8 tentacles, or 2 claws, etc, but not both.)

    10- Morphic Reach grants an additional 5ft reach whenever you want it, combined with an increase to STR/CON helps make thwacking things easier to do. Totemist gives bonus’s to a few skills, a few hit points, but most importantly by investing 3 essentia, gives basically +4 to STR checks and skills all day long. I interpret that to mean +4 to attack and damage in melee as those are str based checks, as well as +4 to jump, climb, grapple, etc. If you think you need the AC over the damage/checks output, you can reassign essentia into natural ac bonus instead. Rogue is dipped for sneak attack to qualify for the SI. Combine Morphic Weapons with Sphinx Claws and a charge and you negate the need for Multiattack.

    15- Scorpion’s Grasp, Leap Attack, Power Attack all combine for some nasty melee whackery. Throw in Reaching Touch for a further 5ft reach bringing your total to 15ft reach allows for lots of attacks of opportunity, as well as allowing to strike from distance. The Sweet Spot is lvl 13 where Reaching Touch comes online to augment all your other abilities. Plus, it can be argued that you can sneak attack an opponent from 10-15 feet out as a surprise, so the dip isn’t totally wasted. Scaly Flesh helps bolster AC when we increasingly do something stupid. Dual Actions would allow for a full charge/pounce/full attack/full natural attacks/free grapple checks up the wazoo/full attacks again. (go go gadget die in your stupid face). Provided you make the secondary check on Scorp’s Grasp, you could potentially use your opponent as in improvised weapon and swing them at another target.

    20- Rotting Touch can be deilivered in the midst of a grapple in lieu of dealing damage as one attack. Robilar’s Gambit combined w/ the massive reach and combat reflexes means lots of attacks of opportunity. Could’ve stopped taking ranks in Knowledge Religion in favor of boosting Tumble, but it’s thematically appropriate not to. Extra Rage was taken twice, because more rage is good rage. Demo’s Will grants Limited Wish which gives any lvl 6 spell, or lower, in the game 1/day allowing a little flexibility to a non-caster based build. Either of the Summon Demons can aid in creating flanking, or to shut down another attacker, or to further boost your stats via spells/sla’s.

    MISC
    Spoiler
    Show

    Nothing stops this build from using a 2 handed weapon, or a spiked chain once you hit Thrall as Thrall gains all simple/martial weapon proficiencies, and all armor that you don’t already have. If you don’t want the –‘s to proficiency, you could replace 1 use of Extra Rage w/ Exotic weapon proficiency.
    Will save is ****, but you’re a big dumb barbarian, embrace it.
    I think it’s just a skill trick, but it could be a missed feat, that you can intimidate an opponent with a melee strike + intimidate check.

    This is mostly a unarmed barbarian variant, but with grapple thrown in. Warshaper opens up a pile of additional options depending on how far you abuse the wording of it. Combine that with Sphinx Claws and you have 1 scary pounce attack followed by lots of utility in the rest of the build. Depending on circumstances, your STR could be 35+ even before the standard 6. Another option would’ve been to take Shifter Savagery which doubles threat range of all natural weapons, but it’s natural attack progression doesn’t stack w/ Warshaper’s Morphic Weapons, so it’s not worth it.

    On Warshaper shenanigans: Based on DM Fiat, morphic weapons could be as stated a bajillion natural weapons grown, or it could be 1 for each slot, effectively 4 claws, a bite, a snout/horn, tail, wings, tentacles, porcupine spikes, giant tongue etc. It can get out of hand quickly, so have the discussion before you get to that point about what is actually allowed.

    I know that pouncbarians have been thrown about on this board and in this competition for awhile, but it’s a new concept to me, hopefully there’s something redeeming in this build that didn’t turn into a copy of something else, I didn’t look at what others may have done. I’m sure there’s other ways to do this, this is simply how I would do it of course..


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  18. - Top - End - #108
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXIX

    Entry number 8!

    -5 Chairwoman points - I had to fix your formatting. Feel the wrath of my frowny face.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hitomi Marik
    Hitomi Marik



    Alignment: Chaotic Evil
    Race: Dragon Clan (OA) Unseelie fey (Dragon Compendium p.223) Silverbrow Human (Dragon Magic p.6)
    Class: Rogue 1 / Binder 1 (ToM p.9) / Arcane Stunt (CM p.32) Seductive Swashbuckler 4(Complete Warrior p. 11) / Thrall of Demogorgon 10 (BOVD p.67) / Noble 1 (Dragonlance Campaign Setting p.50) / Totemist 3 (MoI p.29)
    Stats: All Stat Bonuses go to Charisma
    Str:6
    Dex: 10
    Con: 10
    Int: 14
    Wis: 14
    Cha:20

    Racial abilities: Summer’s Caress (magic circle of nature), no wings, +4 racial bonus to intimidate, low light vision, iron vulnerability, and DR depending on level. A bonus feat, the dragonblood subtype, featherfall, +2 racial bonus to disguise and disguise is always a class skill, favored class any.

    Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Ref Will Skills Feat Abilities
    1 rogue 1 0 0 2 0 Bluff 4, diplomacy 4, disguise 4, Forgery 4, gather information 4, Intimidate 4, knowledge (arcana) 2, knowledge (the planes) 2, profession card gambler 4, sense motive 4, cards over swords, silver tongue (OA update) Sneak attack, trapfinding
    2 binder 1 0 2 2 2 Bluff 5, diplomacy 5, knowledge (religion) 2 unseelie noble kelir soulbinding 1 vestige: Mostly naberius, some ronove
    3 arcane stunt swashbuckler 1 1 4 2 2 Bluff 6, diplomacy 6, disguise 5, profession (card gambler 6), sense motive 5, willing deformity (Heroes of Horror, p. 125) , weapon finesse weapon finesse, arcane stunt: expeditious retreat
    4 swashbuckler 2 2 5 2 2 Bluff 7, diplomacy 7, intimidate 5, profession (card gambler) 7, forgery 6,
    5 swashbuckler 3 3 5 3 3 Bluff 8, diplomacy 8, disguise 6, profession (card gambler) 8, forgery 7, insightful strike
    6 Seductive Swashbuckler 4 4 6 3 3 Bluff 9, diplomacy 9, intimidate 6, profession (card gambler) 9, forgery 9 thrall to demon (Champions of Ruin, p. 23) Seduce to learn Secret
    7 thrall of demogorgon 1 6 8 3 3 Bluff 10, diplomacy 10, intimidate 7, profession (card gambler) 10, knowledge (the planes) 4 improved binding (Tome of Magic, p. 74) Scaly flesh +1, hypnosis, bonus feat
    8 thrall of demogorgon 2 7 8 3 3 Bluff 11, diplomacy 11, intimidate 8, profession (card gambler) 11, knowledge (the planes) 6 Touch of fear
    9 thrall of demogorgon 3 8 9 4 4 Bluff 12, diplomacy 12, intimidate 9, profession (card gambler) 12, knowledge (the planes) 8 wanderer’s diplomacy (Player's Handbook II, p. 85) Reaching touch
    10 thrall of demogorgon 4 9 9 4 4 Bluff 13, diplomacy 13, disguise 5, profession (card gambler) 13, sense motive 5, forgery 10 pervasive gaze (Serpent Kingdoms, p. 146) Dual actions, scaly flesh +2, bonus feat
    11 thrall of demogorgon 5 10 10 4 4 Bluff 14, diplomacy 14, disguise 6, profession (card gambler) 14, sense motive 6, forgery 11 Summon minor demon
    12 thrall of demogorgon 6 11 10 5 5 Bluff 15, diplomacy 15, disguise 7, profession (card gambler) 15, sense motive 7, forgery 12 planar touchstone: breaching obelisk (Planar Handbook, p. 41) Rotting touch
    13 thrall of demogorgon 7 12 11 5 5 Bluff 16, diplomacy 16, disguise 8, profession (card gambler) 16, sense motive 8, forgery 13 extend supernatural ability (Tome of Magic, p. 73) Scaly flesh +3, bonus feat
    14 thrall of demogorgon 8 13 11 5 5 Bluff 17, diplomacy 17, disguise 9, profession (card gambler) 17, sense motive 9, forgery 14 Two personas, death touch
    15 thrall of demogorgon 9 13 12 6 6 Bluff 18, diplomacy 18, intimidate 10, profession (card gambler) 18, sense motive 10, forgery 15 undead empathy (Eberron Campaign Setting, p. 61) Summon major demon
    16 thrall of demogorgon 10 14 12 6 6 Bluff 19, diplomacy 19, intimidate 12, profession (card gambler) 19, forgery 16 extend supernatural ability Demogorgon's will, scaly flesh +4, bonus feat
    17 noble 1 14 12 8 8 Bluff 20, diplomacy 20, intimidate 13, disguise 10, knowledge religion 3, knowledge the planes 9 bonus class skill (bluff), favor +1
    18 totemist 1 14 14 10 8 Bluff 21, diplomacy 21, profession card gambler 21, knowledge the planes 10 extend supernatural ability wild empathy, 2 soulmelds, 1 essencia, 1 chakra bind
    19 totemist 2 15 15 11 8 Bluff 22, diplomacy 22, profession card gambler 22, knowledge (the planes) 12 totem chakra bind, 3 soulmelds, 2 essencia
    20 totemist 3 16 15 11 9 Bluff 23, diplomacy 23, profession card gambler 23, knowledge (the planes) 14 totems protection

    Background:
    Hitomi Marik is from the Dragon Clan, a distant ancestor of the Scaled Scorpion, Mirumoto Kaijuko. He inherited her fierce temper but none of her combat proclivities. Marik’s mother was a fox spirit fey/gaki unseelie noble of the feywild court and his father was the samurai courtesan Hitomi Tadaka. Seduced on route from the imperial court by this vixen, Tadaka doesn’t know that the kitsune fey spirit impersonated a wetnurse and swapped her baby Marik with Tadaka’s secondborn son at birth to be raised as a cutthroat courtesan by the human realms. Marik grew up a charmed child who reeked of personality. Everyone loves Marik and he makes sure that they do. Marik is relatively committed to non-violence, and always attempts to weasle away from it if the opportunity presents itself. This stance doesn’t stem from any inner goodness in Marik, he is surrounded by samurai who are better dueling, and he keeps the perception of non-violence as a protective measure to keep himself from getting challenged by skilled swordsmen. This is important, because he inherited the dragonblood and fey proclivities for sensual reproductive largesse, often with other samurai’s romantic and marriage partners.

    Marik is cool, collected, and funny. He is also a great risk taker, having developed a talent for extricating himself from situations that would kill less charismatic persons.

    Level 5 Breakdown
    Ok. There are a lot of weird sources put into this build, and rather than send you book diving, I’ve spoilered the feats below
    Spoiler: obscure feats
    Show

    Silver Tongue from the OA update from version 3.0 to 3.5 in Dragon 318:
    [Dragon]: You can use the Diplomacy skill (trained or untrained) to produce the following effects:
    Change an NPC's attitude toward a person other than yourself. The DC is the same as if you were changing the character's attitude toward you.
    Inspire Love and Devotion. If you successfully improve a character's attitude toward you (only) to helpful, you can choose to cause that character to show romantic interest in you. The character thereafter seeks every opportunity to be near you and makes every effort to win your affection, within the bounds of relatively normal behavior.
    Inspire hope or despair: With a successful diplomacy check against DC 25, you fill a single target with hope or despair, as if affected by the good hope or crushing despair spells. In the case of despair, the target can negate the effect with a successful will saving throw (DC 10+1/2 your diplomacy ranks + charisma modifier)
    Cause confusion. Make a diplomacy check opposed by your target's sense motive check. If you beat your target's check result by 10 or more, you can cause him to become confused for 1 round. You can use this ability as a full round action.

    Cards over Swords from “Luck of the Draw” Three Dragon Ante dnd web resource: You can resolve conflicts using Three-Dragon Ante instead of combat.
    Prerequisite: 1st level character, Diplomacy 4 ranks.
    Benefit: When faced with a potential combat against a single foe with an Intelligence score of at least 10, you can propose resolving the conflict via a card game— provided that the foe does not consider you a personal enemy. To do so, make a Diplomacy check as a swift action. If you successfully change the foe’s attitude toward you from hostile to indifferent, it agrees to play the proposed game in lieu of combat, even if it has never played the game or even heard of it. No retry is allowed against the same foe for a given conflict. The winner of the card game wins the dispute; the loser gives up all equipment and wealth on her person and withdraws. You must allow the foe to go free and unharmed at the end of the game. Any attempt to attack it reopens the dispute and precipitates combat. However, you can question the foe as if you defeated it in combat, and you can advise the authorities as to its whereabouts after it has left. In a sense, the foe has earned a head start on the authorities for playing the game with you.

    Here is the relevant bit on using card games from Races of Destiny p.9-10
    Races of Destiny p.9-10
    Second, the gamblers themselves may participate in a game that incorporates both skill and chance. Most card games fall into this category. To resolve this sort of gambling, have the participants make a skill check every 10 minutes. The relevant skill is Profession (card gambler) for most card games and another Profession skill for games you invent yourself. The competitor with the highest check result wins an amount set by the DM: a typical pot for 10 minutes of play, depending on the wealth of the competitors and the circumstances of the game. The losing competitors lose as much as the winner receives, divided among themselves. In a five-person card game, for example, the winner might get 20 silver pieces after 10 minutes of play, and each of the other four players would lose 5 silver pieces.
    Competitors can employ other skills to improve their chances. If the game rewards bluffing and concealed motives, a Bluff check that’s higher than everyone else’s Sense Motive check earns the bluffer a bonus on his Profession check equal to the difference between his Bluff result and the highest Sense Motive result. If the game involves easily palmed tokens such as playing cards, a competitor can cheat by making a Sleight of Hand check opposed by all the other player’s Spot checks. A successful Sleight of Hand check earns a bonus equal to the difference between the Sleight of Hand result and the highest Spot result. But unlike bluffing at cards, there’s generally a game-ending consequence for failing this Sleight of Hand check: you’ve been caught cheating.[/b]


    Unseelie Noble Kelir from Fey Feature
    [General] You belong to a noble family with status in the Unseelie Court. The Queen of Air and Darkness invites your house to general Court functions.
    Prerequisite: Fey and Seelie Court Member, or Fey and Diplomacy 5 ranks
    Benefit: You gain a +1 bonus on Bluff and Diplomacy checks. In addition, you may use your Bluff or Diplomacy skill to influence others' opinions. In a social situation, you may make a cut direct or a ridiculing comment at a target. The target opposes with either a Charisma check (if not a Seelie or Unseelie Court Noble Kelir) or a Diplomacy check (if she has the Seelie or Unseelie Court Noble Kelir feat). If your cut direct succeeds, the crowd's attitude toward your target degrades one step (for example, from friendly to indifferent).
    Special: This feat is a bonus feat to anyone with one Unseelie Court Noble parent.


    So, I hope you see where all of this is going. Marik doesn’t fight because he steps in and whoops on people by challenging them to a mass produced collectible card game...if they are smart enough. And if they aren’t smart enough, he changes the opinions of those around a would be aggressor to revile them. Let’s dive into that.

    At fifth level, Marik is a rogue 1/binder 1/arcane stunt swashbuckler 3 with Silver tongue, cards over swords, unseelie noble kelir, and willing deformity. Rogue delivers a number of skill points, binder allows the binding of Naberius’s silver tongue ability, which grants the ability to take 10 on diplomacy and bluff skill checks (and diplomacy as a standard action at no penalty), liberal use of the command SLA, as well disguise self sla. As an unseelie fey, Marik has the summer caresse Su magic circle of nature offers a +2 deflection bonus to AC and +2 to saves as well as immunity to possession and compulsion effects. With the disguise skill, the disguise self SLA and forgery skills working in unison, Marik can impersonate generals and military decorations according to Heroes of Battle p.89 to get up to a +5 on diplomacy and intimidate checks, and if in an army type adventure environment, use those bonuses to make orders and requests of soldiers (power of faerun p.30). Silver tongue allows for inspiring these folks to fall in love with Marik or his disguise persona. As far as combat is concerned, assuming Marik can’t avoid it with judicial use of cards over swords, Silver tongue allows for buffing allies and debuffing enemies and causing confusion effects in the opponent while seelie noble kelir allows Marik to sow dissention amongst his enemies...as a standard action. Marik is a bit squishy. A mister or sprayer loaded with a potion of foxes cunning can allow Marik to boost dumb opponents to an intelligence level that may allow the use of cards over swords. The expeditious retreat SLA is used to get out of immediate danger. Marik may want to use a tower shield untrained to provide cover in some situations.

    Level 10 Breakdown
    Things have really gotten weird now. Marik can use diplomacy with silver tongue to make others fall in love with him and he can use bluff to seduce secrets out of them, which he can then use for blackmail. He can also use bluff in the manner that he uses diplomacy with the social agility ability of wanderer’s diplomacy. Improved binding opens up 2nd level vestiges, Allowing for the binding of malphas. Birds eye viewing has tactical implications as well as invisibility. At level 10, Marik has opened up one of the coolest effects of thrall of demogorgon, the ability to do two rounds worth of actions in one. He can make one enemy fall in love with him while making the rest of his enemies hostile towards that person. Or he can confuse two opponents. Or he can both spray and enemy with a potion of fox’s cunning and challenge them to a card game. The hypnosis SLA boosts enemies reaction towards Marik two whole levels closer to friendly, so he can make them fanatic, and the pervasive gaze feat makes it difficult to avert the eyes.

    Level 13 Sweet Spot
    So you don’t need to look it up, some more obscure stuff is spoilered below
    Spoiler: breaching obelisk
    Show

    Higher-Order Ability: Once per day, you can instantly enter another time frame, speeding up so greatly that all other creatures seem frozen, though they are actually still moving at their normal speeds. You are free to act for 1 round of apparent time. Normal and magical fire, cold, acid, and the like can still harm you. While you are accelerated, other creatures are invulnerable to your attacks and spells; you cannot target such creatures with any attack or spell. A spell that affects an area and has a duration that is longer than the remaining duration of your temporal acceleration has its normal effects on other creatures once the power ends. You cannot move or harm items held, carried, or worn by a creature stuck in the standard time frame, but you can affect any item that is not in another creature’s possession. While accelerated, you are undetectable and cannot enter an area of dead magic. When the acceleration lapses, you are disoriented on your return to the standard time frame. You take a –4 penalty on all attack rolls, saving throws, and skill checks for 2 rounds. Higher-Order Uses: 2.


    Here is the sweet spot: The higher order ability of breaching obelisk allows Marik to act for 1 round. The text in the planar handbook classifies these abilities All higher-order abilities are considered either supernatural or spell-like, as indicated in each ability’s description.(planar handbook p.154). This ability can be extended through the extend supernatural ability feat, so he is free to act for two rounds. During which time, Marik can use dual actions to preemptively change enemies. The abilities listed in the breaching obelisk ability do allow for skill checks, so you can go nuts sowing havoc in the ranks of your nemeses.

    Summon demon allows Marik to call jovoc to distribute pain through its aura or a maurezhi to consume his opponents irrevocably, or a quasit to help with its SLAs.

    Level 15 Breakdown
    At level 15, Marik can summon better demons. Some notables include: visage (LM p.130), myrlochar (reverse gravity bite, monsters of faerun), yochlols (desecrate, spider climb, stone shape, teleport without error, dominate mindblank). Undead empathy allows Marik to affect the undead with his diplomacy checks


    Level 20 Breakdown:
    This is where the build tails off. Noble 1 offers Marik the favor +1 ability, which pairs nicely with his backstory and his ability to seduce to learn secrets. Totemist offers the girallon arms soulmeld, which grants additional arms with which to play cards against opponents. He also takes more extend supernatural ability, which allows for dual actions to last multiple turns. Wild empathy allows Marik ARGUABLY to use his diplomacy feats against animals.

    Also, limited wish helps cover tough situations, paired with breaching obelisk and dual actions it can occur during battle: It can be used to awaken animals, polymorph enemies, arcane fusion grim revenge and fuse arms, or planeshift to the breaching obelisk for more higher uses.
    Last edited by Heliomance; 2017-10-03 at 05:51 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kalirren View Post
    The only person in the past two pages who has known what (s)he has been talking about is Heliomance.
    Quote Originally Posted by golentan View Post
    I just don't want to have long romantic conversations or any sort of drama with my computer, okay? It knows what kind of porn I watch. I don't want to mess that up by allowing it to judge any of my choices in romance.

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  19. - Top - End - #109
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXIX

    Entry number 9!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kayzo Grondi
    Kayzo Grondi



    Race: Neraph
    Build Stub: Factotum 4/Sneak Attack Fighter 1/Thrall to Demogorgon 10/Factotum +2/Assassin 1/Factotum +2
    Multiclass Penalty: Yes, ECL 5 to 12
    Languages: Neraph, Slaad, Common, Abyssal, Celestial, Infernal
    Alignment: CE
    Ability Scores:
    Ability Score (Points) 4th 8th 12th 15th (Ethergaunt) 16th 20th
    Strength 10 (2) 10 10 10 12 12 12
    Dexterity 10 (2) 10 10 10 16 16 16
    Constitution 14 (6) 14 14 14 14 14 14
    Intelligence 18 (16) 19 20 20 27 28 28
    Wisdom 12 (4) 12 12 13 13 13 14
    Charisma 10 (2) 10 10 10 10 10 10

    Spoiler: Build Progression
    Show

    Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    1st Factotum 1 +0 +0 +2 +0 Balance 2, Bluff 4, DisDev 4, Hide 4, Iaijutsu Focus 4, Know:Arcana 2, Know:Planes 2, Know:Religion 2, Move Silently 4, Search 4, SleightHand 4, UMD 4 Hidden Talent: elemental steward, Willing Deformity (Elder Evil) Inspiration (IP 2), Cunning Insight, Cunning Knowledge, Trapfinding
    2nd Factotum 2 +1 +0 +3 +0 Balance 4(+2), Bluff 5(+1), DisDev 5(+1), Hide 5(+1), Iaijutsu Focus 5(+1), Know:Arcana 2, Know:Planes 2, Know:Religion 2, Move Silently 5(+1), Search 5(+1), SleightHand 5(+1), UMD 5(+1) Arcane Dilettante (1 spell)
    3rd Factotum 3 +2 +1 +3 +1 Balance 5(+1), Bluff 6(+1), DisDev 6(+1), Hide 6(+1), Iaijutsu Focus 6(+1), Know:Arcana 2, Know:Planes 2, Know:Religion 2, Move Silently 6(+1), Search 6(+1), SleightHand 5, UMD 6(+1). Skill Trick: Hidden Blade(+2) Quick Draw Brains Over Brawn, Cunning Defense
    4th Factotum 4 +3 +1 +4 +1 Balance 5, Bluff 7(+1), DisDev 7(+1), Hide 7(+1), Iaijutsu Focus 7(+1), Know:Arcana 2, Know:Planes 2, Know:Religion 2, Move Silently 7(+1), Search 7(+1), SleightHand 6(+1), Tumble 2(+2), UMD 7(+1), Skill Tricks: Hidden Blade Arcane Dilettante (2 spells), Cunning Strike
    5th Sneak-Attack Fighter 1 +4 +3 +4 +1 Balance 5, Bluff 7, DisDev 7, Hide 7, Iaijutsu Focus 7, Know:Arcana 2, Know:Planes 2, Know:Religion 2, Move Silently 7, Search 7, SleightHand 6, Tumble 8(+6), UMD 7, Skill Tricks: Hidden Blade Thrall to Demon (Elder Evil) Sneak Attack 1d6, Skilled City-Dweller (Ride->Tumble)
    6th Thrall to Demogorgon 1 +5 +5 +4 +1 Balance 5, Bluff 9(+2), DisDev 7, Hide 9(+2), Iaijutsu Focus 7, Know:Arcana 2, Know:Planes 2, Know:Religion 2, Move Silently 9(+2), Search 9(+2), SleightHand 6, Tumble 8, UMD 7, Skill Tricks: Hidden Blade Font of Inspiration, Font of Inspiration x2 (IP: 6) Scaly Flesh +1, Hypnosis 1/day
    7th Thrall to Demogorgon 2 +6 +6 +4 +1 Balance 5, Bluff 10(+1), DisDev 7, Hide 10(+1), Iaijutsu Focus 7, Know:Arcana 2, Know:Planes 2, Know:Religion 2, Move Silently 10(+1), Search 10(+1), SleightHand 6, Spot 4(+4), Tumble 8, UMD 7, Skill Tricks: Hidden Blade Touch of Fear
    8th Thrall to Demogorgon 3 +7 +6 +5 +2 Balance 5, Bluff 11(+1), DisDev 7, Hide 11(+1), Iaijutsu Focus 7, Know:Arcana 2, Know:Planes 2, Know:Religion 2, Move Silently 11(+1), Search 11(+1), SleightHand 6, Spot 9(+5), Tumble 8, UMD 7, Skill Tricks: Hidden Blade Reaching Touch
    9th Thrall to Demogorgon 4 +8 +7 +5 +2 Balance 5, Bluff 12(+1), DisDev 7, Hide 12(+1), Iaijutsu Focus 7, Know:Arcana 2, Know:Planes 2, Know:Religion 2, Move Silently 12(+1), Search 12(+1), SleightHand 6, Spot 12(+3), Tumble 8, UMD 7, Skill Tricks: Spot the Weak Point (+2), Hidden Blade Font of Inspiration x3, Font of Inspiration x4 (IP: 13) Dual Actions, Scaly Flesh +2
    10th Thrall to Demogorgon 5 +9 +7 +5 +2 Balance 5, Bluff 13(+1), DisDev 7, Hide 13(+1), Iaijutsu Focus 7, Know:Arcana 2, Know:Planes 2, Know:Religion 2, Move Silently 13(+1), Search 12, SleightHand 6, Spot 12, Tumble 10(+4cc), UMD 7, Skill Tricks: [B]Twisted Charge (+2)[B], Spot the Weak Point, Hidden Blade Evil Brand (Elder Evil) Summon Minor Demon
    11th Thrall to Demogorgon 6 +10 +8 +6 +3 Balance 5, Bluff 14(+1), DisDev 7, Hide 14(+1), Iaijutsu Focus 7, Know:Arcana 2, Know:Planes 2, Know:Religion 2, Move Silently 14(+1), Search 12, SleightHand 6, Spot 12, Tumble 12(+4cc), UMD 7, Skill Tricks: Acrobatic Backstab (+2), Twisted Charge, Spot the Weak Point, Hidden Blade Rotting Touch
    12th Thrall to Demogorgon 7 +11 +8 +6 +3 Balance 5, Bluff 15(+1), DisDev 7, Hide 15(+1), Iaijutsu Focus 7, Know:Arcana 2, Know:Planes 2, Know:Religion 2, Move Silently 15(+1), Search 12, SleightHand 6, Spot 12, Tumble 12, UMD 9(+4cc), Skill Tricks: Back on Your Feet (+2), Acrobatic Backstab, Twisted Charge, Spot the Weak Point, Hidden Blade Practiced Manifester, Font of Inspiration x5 (IP: 18) Scaly Flesh +3
    13th Thrall to Demogorgon 8 +12 +9 +6 +3 Balance 5, Bluff 16(+1), DisDev 7, Hide 16(+1), Iaijutsu Focus 7, Know:Arcana 2, Know:Planes 2, Know:Religion 2, Move Silently 16(+1), Search 12, SleightHand 6, Spot 12, Tumble 12, UMD 12(+6cc), Skill Tricks: Back on Your Feet, Acrobatic Backstab, Twisted Charge, Spot the Weak Point, Hidden Blade Two Personas, Death Touch
    14th Thrall to Demogorgon 9 +13 +9 +7 +4 Balance 5, Bluff 17(+1), DisDev 7, Hide 17(+1), Iaijutsu Focus 7, Know:Arcana 2, Know:Planes 2, Know:Religion 2, Move Silently 17(+1), Search 12, SleightHand 6, Spot 12, Tumble 12, UMD 15(+6cc), Skill Tricks: Back on Your Feet, Acrobatic Backstab, Twisted Charge, Spot the Weak Point, Hidden Blade Summon Major Demon
    15th Thrall to Demogorgon 10 +14 +10 +7 +4 Balance 5, Bluff 18(+1), DisDev 7, Hide 18(+1), Iaijutsu Focus 7, Know:Arcana 2, Know:Planes 2, Know:Religion 2, Move Silently 18(+1), Search 12, SleightHand 6, Spot 12, Tumble 12, UMD 18(+6cc), Skill Tricks: Back on Your feet, Acrobatic Backstab, Twisted Charge, Spot the Weak Point, Hidden Blade Abyss-Bound Soul (Elder Evil), Dark Chaos Feat Shuffle: Evil Brand->Font of Inspiration x6, Abyss-Bound Soul->Font of Inspiration x7, Tower Shield Proficiency->Font of Inspiration x8 (IP: 39), Shield Proficiency->Darkstalker, Heavy Armor Proficiency->Combat Expertise, Medium Armor Proficiency->Improved Feint, Light Armor Proficiency->Craven Demogorgon's Will, Scaly Flesh +4
    16th Factotum 5 +14 +10 +7 +4 Balance 5, Bluff 19(+1), DisDev 7, Hide 19(+1), Iaijutsu Focus 11(+4), Know:Arcana 2, Know:Planes 2, Know:Religion 2, Move Silently 19(+1), Search 12, SleightHand 6, Spot 12, Tumble 19(+7), UMD 19(+1), Skill Tricks: Back on Your feet, Acrobatic Backstab, Twisted Charge, Spot the Weak Point, Hidden Blade Opportunistic Piety
    17th Foctotum 6 +15 +11 +8 +5 Balance 5, Bluff 20(+1), DisDev 7, Disguise 4(+4), Hide 20(+1), Iaijutsu Focus 17(+6), Know:Arcana 2, Know:Planes 2, Know:Religion 2, Move Silently 20(+1), Search 12, SleightHand 6, Spot 12, Tumble 20(+1), UMD 20(+1), Skill Tricks: Back on Your feet, Acrobatic Backstab, Twisted Charge, Spot the Weak Point, Hidden Blade
    18th Assassin 1 +15 +11 +10 +5 Balance 5, Bluff 21(+1), DisDev 7, Disguise 5(+1), Hide 21(+1), Iaijutsu Focus 17, Know:Arcana 2, Know:Planes 2, Know:Religion 2, Move Silently 21(+1), Search 12, SleightHand 9(+3), Spot 12, Tumble 21(+1), UMD 21(+1), Skill Tricks: Assume Quirk (+2), Second Impression (+2), Back on Your feet, Acrobatic Backstab, Twisted Charge, Spot the Weak Point, Hidden Blade Maiming Strike Sneak Attack 2d6, Death Attack, Poison Use
    19th Factotum 7 +16 +11 +10 +5 Balance 5, Bluff 22(+1), DisDev 7, Disguise 5, Hide 22(+1), Iaijutsu Focus 22(+5), Know:Arcana 2, Know:Planes 2, Know:Religion 2, Move Silently 22(+1), Search 12, SleightHand 14(+5), Spot 12, Tumble 22(+1), UMD 22(+1), Skill Tricks: Assume Quirk, Second Impression, Back on Your feet, Acrobatic Backstab, Twisted Charge, Spot the Weak Point, Hidden Blade Arcane Dilettante (3 spells)
    20th Factotum 8 +17 +11 +11 +5 Balance 5, Bluff 23(+1), DisDev 7, Disguise 5, Hide 23(+1), Iaijutsu Focus 23(+1), Know:Arcana 2, Know:Planes 2, Know:Religion 2, Move Silently 23(+1), Search 12, SleightHand 23(+9), Spot 12, Tumble 23(+1), UMD 23(+1), Skill Tricks: Assume Quirk, Second Impression, Back on Your feet, Acrobatic Backstab, Twisted Charge, Spot the Weak Point, Hidden Blade Insane Defiance (Elder Evil), Dark Chaos Feat Shuffle: Insane Defiance->Font of Inspiration x9 (IP: 50) Cunning Surge


    Spoiler: SLAs and Spells
    Show

    Typical Arcane Dilettante SLAs
    2nd: glitterdust, heroics (Spell Compendium, to grab Martial Study: Cloak of Deception), or wraithstrike (Spell Compendium)
    3rd: haste or heart of water (Complete Mage)

    Typical Assassin Spells Prepared
    1st: blade of blood (PHBII) or insightful feint (Spell Compendium)

    Spoiler: Background
    Show

    Many generations ago, Kayzo's entire house was exiled from Limbo for an unpardonable sin that none of the house matriarchs have bothered to remember. Cut adrift on a coastline that occasionally overlaps with one of the Abyssal oceans, the exiled neraphim were captured and enslaved by a clan of ixitxachitls. With an interest in recruiting capable cultists to serve their demonic overlords, the ixitxachitls offered the neraphim a choice: swear fealty to Demogorgon and you can earn your freedom. Not nearly as strong or fast as some of his broodmates, Kayzo saw this both as a way to survive and an opportunity for advancement. His ixitxachitl master was one of the priests of the Cult of the Leviathan, and he was initially recruited as an acolyte to help the ixitxachitl locate the Spine Temple and prepare for the ritual that would awaken the Leviathan. However, Kayzo was much more fond of running off and hiding than learning about obtuse summoning rituals. Fortunately for him, he had snuck off when a band of do-good adventurers swept in and destroyed his local chapter of the Cult of the Leviathan, leaving him free to pursue adventures elsewhere. He still worships Demogorgon as the agent of his emancipation and reveres the Leviathan as an unstoppable force of pure chaos. In his dreams, he imagines the Leviathan awakening and tearing apart the world until it resembles his native homeland of Limbo. Demogorgon sees the Leviathan as a useful weapon in his never-ending war against the other Demon Princes: if awakened at the right time, the Leviathan set loose in the waters surrounding the Gaping Maw would protect his jungle continent from any aquatic invasion. But as with any instrument of chaos, it can also be used against him. If there are other members of the Cult of the Leviathan who survived and the Sign of Awakening appears again, then Kayzo's memories of the Spine Temple and the ritual to awaken the Leviathan could be very important in either stopping that Awakening... or making sure it happens.


    Spoiler: Levels 1-5
    Show

    Kayzo begins his career as a low-level spy, scout, sneak, snitch, and sycophant: he uses his stealth skills to stay out of the way of bigger threats, and if cornered, he uses his bluff skill to prevaricate or obsequiate his way out of trouble. Whether he's working with the Cult of the Leviathan or for one of Demogorgon's lieutenants, Kayzo's job is to use his skills to sneak in, spy on his enemies, and then report back to his superiors. Kayzo avoids direct confrontation, relying on his wits to talk his way out of trouble. Willing Deformity, a "gift" from his previous ixitxachitl masters, marks him as a former slave. Hidden Talent: elemental steward represents a latent psionic link to his original homeland, the chaotic ever-churning elements of Limbo. He uses these stewards as distractions, flankers, and for their PLAs: energy ray for ranged attacks, psionic grease to set up sneak attack, and psionic daze/stomp/control air/demoralize as debuffs. Quick Draw and Iaijutsu Focus represents his preferred fighting style: strike unexpectedly with a concealed weapon, and run away if that doesn't solve the problem. At 5th level, he adds Sneak Attack from the UA Fighter variant, and when combined with his Neraph Camouflage racial ability, this can turn his first attack against any opponent into a devastating alpha strike: +2 attack bonus for charging, Cunning Insight to add his Int bonus to attack, Quick Draw to get his weapon out as a free action, Iaijutsu check adds extra damage, Sneak Attack adds extra damage, and he can pump additional damage on top of that with Cunning Strike. While his Inspiration points are limited per encounter, Kayzo can use his Neraph Camouflage ability on every opponent in an encounter at least once. Also at 5th level, his dedication to an Elder Evil grants him the Thrall to Demon feat and qualifies him to enter Thrall of Demogorgon.


    Spoiler: Levels 6-10
    Show

    Kayzo enters the Secret Ingredient to capitalize on bonus feats. Thrall of Demogorgon offers four bonus feats over 10 levels, which is not quite as good as 10 Fighter levels, but these bonus feats aren't limited to a restricted list of combat feats. Four bonus feats on top of the seven feats you get for HD... what could I use all those feats for? And then I had an inspiration... a Font of Inspiration! Kayzo can take this more than once, stockpiling Inspiration Points that recycle every encounter. He's limited in the number of times he can take this feat by his Int bonus, but we'll deal with that problem later. Kayzo takes Font of Inspiration twice at 6th level, doubling his Inspiration Points (IP) to 6.

    Outside of the bonus feats, the rest of what Thrall of Demogorgon offers starts out somewhat tepid. Scaly Flesh stacks with his existing Natural Armor bonus, but not stacking with a magical Natural Armor bonus seems pointlessley annoying. I realize the hypnotism SLA is supposed to mimic Demogorgon's hypnotic gaze attack, but as a 1st-level spell effect at this ECL it's unlikely to affect more than one opponent. It looks like the original spell's limit of 2d4 HD would still be in effect, along with the +2 save bonus if used in combat, although making it a gaze attack means that opponents who succeeded at the Will save on the first round would have to make additional saves in subsequent rounds until the HD limit is satisfied. The out-of-combat application would appear to be much more useful, if used against a single low-HD opponent. Kayzo can use this ability to befuddle guards/servants/gatekeepers if his Bluff skill isn't working. Touch of Fear I suppose was intended to mimic the fear inspired by the Prince of Demons, but another 1st-level spell effect only inspires fear in creatures with 5 HD or less. Fortunately, the "Touch" here does not refer to an actual touch attack, so it can at least be used out to close range, and even if the target's Will save succeeds, they are still shaken for 1 round. Kayzo can use this ability on low-level demons, and since demons tend to have set hit dice, it should be easy to tell which demons it will work against based on their type.

    At 8th level, Kayzo starts to pick up more interesting class abilities. Reaching Touch gives him the option to initiate Hidden Blade/iaijutsu attacks up to 10' away from his unsuspecting target. The increased reach lasts the entire round, so it applies to attacks of opportunity as well. At 9th level, Kayzo gets an upgrade to Scaly Flesh and the coveted Dual Actions 2/day. With this ability, Kayzo can charge two opponents on his turn and use Neraph Camouflage/Iaijutsu Focus/Sneak Attack/Cunning Strike on both of them. Against a more wary opponent that has already been charged or can't be flanked, Kayzo can use his Bluff skill to 'Feint in Combat' (standard action) and then make a sneak attack with Iaijutsu Focus (standard action) to make sure he gets extra damage. Another option is using Spot the Weak Point (standard action) to make his next attack (either a standard action or a charge) a touch attack. Since Kayzo doesn't have Cunning Surge yet, Dual Actions essentially becomes Cunning Surge for him 2/day. Also at 9th level, he doubles up again on Font of Inspiration (four times total, just shy of his maximum Int bonus +5). This increases his IP to 13, and gives him a "Glass Cannon" option: if he sinks all his IP into Cunning Strike, he can pump is Sneak Attack damage up to 14d6 (average 49 damage).

    At 10th level, Kazyo gets Elder Brand as his Elder Evil feat and Summon Minor Demon 1/day. This is exactly the sort of ability Kayzo loves: let the summoned creatures do the dangerous stuff, like combat, scouting ahead, testing for traps, and so forth. Unlike his elemental steward power (1 round manifesting time), this standard-action SLA lets him get this summoned demon into combat quickly. Some interesting summons:

    Spoiler
    Show

    Artaaglith (5HD, Ghostwalk): 5th level cleric casting along with turn undead.

    Juvenile Nabassu (5HD, FC1): Three attacks with 2d6 sneak attack, probably your best combat scrapper and flanker, but also has a death-stealing gaze (bestows negative levels) and a Feed (Su) ability that might be promising if it stuck around for longer than 15 rounds.

    Nashrou (4HD, MM4): Solid combat scrapper, may have slighty better damage than the juvenile nabassu if it's attacking alone, but has slightly worse AC/HP.

    Murezhi (5HD, Fiend Folio): Three attacks + paralysis is nice, but the at-will SLAs are a bit more interesting: animate dead, hold person, invisbility.




    Spoiler: Levels 11-14
    Show

    At 11th level, Kayzo gets Rotting Touch, which is supposed to be an SLA, but just does 1d6 Constitution damage as a touch attack. Fortunately, no need to worry about saves or Spell Resistance here. As a touch attack, Kayzo can add sneak attack damage, but instead of doing additional Constitution damage it does negative energy damage (as per Rules Compendium p. 136). Still, it's good to have a decent touch attack 3/day, particularly if he's already used Spot the Weak Point. At 12th, Scaly Flesh advances to +3 and Kayzo gets two additional feats: he maxes out Font of Inspiration at 5x (total IP = 18), and takes Practiced Manifester to get his ML up to 5. This is mostly to pick up an important feat later, but it also increases the duration of his elemental stewards to 5 rounds. At 13th, Kayzo gets "Two Personas", which is a very strange ability to bury eight levels into a PrC. Assuming that you have multiclass penalties, you'd have to slog through at least eight levels of this PrC to get here, so I'm very puzzled why this wasn't moved up to earlier in the PrC. The Dragon #357 version at least added a new ability: roll twice for any mind-affecting save, but to keep things simple I'm sticking to the BoVD version. Kayzo does incur multiclass penalties for levels 5-12, although I might have avoided that with a different entry into the PrC. At this level, Kayzo also gets Death Touch (Sp) 1/day, which I believe is a nod to Demogorgon's Energy Drain ability, but works as a slay living spell. Although this is a Save-or-Die effect, you at least get the consolation of 3d6+CL damage on a successful save. As with Rotting Touch, this provides him an additional option for a touch attack, and he can add sneak attack damage on top of it if need be. At 14th level, Kayzo gets the Summon Major Demon ability, which opens up a considerable chunk of utility. Some examples:

    Spoiler
    Show

    Hezrou (10HD, MM): Combat scrapper with Chaos hammer and unholy blight at will, blasphemy and gaseous form 3/day.

    Succubus (7HD, MM): Social engineering specialist, as well as charm monster, detect thoughts, ethereal jaunt, and suggestion at will.

    Vrock (10HD, MM): Decent combat brute with mirror image and telekinesis at will, heroism 1/day.

    Jarilith (10HD, MM2): Best combat scrapper, three attacks, pounce, rake, improved grab, and augmented critical.

    Zovvut (10HD, MM2): Can use Draining Gaze to create wights under his command, which you can order him to transfer to your command, and then you can create your own Wightpocalypse.

    Arrow Demon (10HD, MM3): Ranged combat specialist, six arrow attacks that do 2d6+8 damage.

    Yochlol (10HD, FC1): Sort of an upgraded Succubus but instead of charm monster they have dominate person and some other SLAs.

    Shadow Demon (10HD, BoVD): Magic jar 1/week.




    Spoiler: Levels 15 *SWEET SPOT*
    Show

    At 15th level, Kayzo gets the Demogorgon's Will ability and thus access to limited wish. Among other things, this solves a problem for him: he gains two feats at this level and would dearly like to get more Fonts of Inspiration, but his Int bonus is only +5 and he's maxed out the numer of times he can take that feat. So instead he takes Metamorphic Transfer twice, but before we get into the mechanics of that, let's take a closer look at what sort of spells Kayzo has access to through limited wish: fiendform (Spell Compendium), polymorph, permanency, mantle of the icy soul (Frostburn version), embrace the dark chaos, and shun the dark chaos. Several of these spells allow Kayzo to permanently alter his form. First things first, for example, he can now polymorph into a Sibriex (Fiendish Codex I p. 52) and with Metamorphic Transfer give himself three free fiendish grafts via the Instant Graft (Su) ability. If the DM protests over the grafts not persisting on your body after the polymorph wears off, then introduce him to the Protean Scourge's Split (Su) ability (MM3 p. 126). Even better, your duplicates can help pay the brunt of the XP costs for using Demogorgon's Will or permanency repeatedly to shuffle around your forms, feats, grafts, and spell effects. But this doesn't quite solve the problem with Kayzo's Intelligence bonus.

    To fix that, Kayzo uses Demogorgon's Will to switch his form to a Silthilar (Lords of Madness p. 168). This is why he needed to take Metamorphic Transfer twice: once to switch to a medium-sized aberration with Coalesce Form (Su), and twice to use Warp Flesh (Su) on himself. This is a polymorph any object effect, and while he's limited to forms with 15 HD (caster level = HD for supernatural abilities) which allows him to change his form to a White Ethergaunt (Fiend Folio p. 67). Same kingdom, same type, and same size should result in a permanent duration, but unlike PAO, it's an (Su) ability and thus cannot be dispelled. Some DMs may give you some grief over Warp Flesh, noting that the text specifies "caster level 9th", however I believe that this is just a reminder that the CL is equal to the silthilar's HD, which is normally 9 HD, rather than explicitly capping CL at 9. If the DM is getting persnickety over this, use a coatl feather (10 GP, BoED p. 37) or use the Dark Chaos Feat Shuffle (DCFS) to give Kayzo the Reserves of Strength feat (Dragonlance Campaign Setting), bumping up the CL by +2. Unfortunately, we don't get to enjoy the White Ethergaunt's "Spells" ability, but we do get an Int score of 27. Kayzo also gets access to several (Su) abilities: Enslave (dominate monster, Will save DC 16), Stupefying Gaze (1d4 Int/Wis/Cha damage, Will save DC 16), and Immunity to Spells (arcane spells up to 4th level). Kayzo takes the first two with Metamorphic Transfer (there appears to be an activation issue with Immunity to Spells, as it doesn't appear to mention an activation cost, making it a standard action, which doesn't work well with reactive abilities). The higher Int score allows Kayzo to take Font of Inspiration up to x8 (then x9 when his Int goes up again at 16 HD). To take advantage of this, Kayzo uses Demogorgon's Will to cast embrace the dark chaos on one day and then shun the dark chaos on the subsequent day. It costs 600 XP and two days per feat shuffled, but Kayzo can shift this XP cost onto a duplicate (via Protean Scourge) if need be. Since Thrall of Demogorgon is proficient with all armors and shields, he can swap his armor/shield proficiency bonus feats from Fighter and a couple of his [vile] feats into different feats:

    Evil Brand -> Font of Inspiration x6
    Abyss-Bound Soul -> Font of Inspiration x7
    Tower Shield Proficiency -> Font of Inspiration x8
    Shield Proficiency -> Darkstalker (Lords of Madness)
    Heavy Armor Proficiency -> Combat Expertise
    Medium Armor Proficiency -> Improved Feint
    Light Armor Proficiency -> Craven (Champions of Ruin)

    This brings Kayzo's IP up to 39. Combined with Dual Action 2/day, this should be plenty of points to fire his "Glass Cannon" several times per encounter.


    Spoiler: Levels 16-20
    Show

    Once Kayzo is done with the secret ingredient, he heads back into Factotum to put the final couple of puzzle pieces in place, topping of some skills that were languishing and picking up Opportunistic Piety. At 18th level, Kayzo takes a level in Assassin for poison use, a smattering of arcane spells, and +1d6 sneak attack, qualifying him for Maiming Strike. When Maiming Strike converts 2d6 sneak attack into 1 Charisma damage, Craven adds +18 Charisma damage to the attack, essentially turning every hit that qualifies for sneak attack into a one-shot knockout. If he needs more Charisma damage, he can use Cunning Strike to convert up to 40 IP into 20 Cha damage per encounter.

    At 19th level, Kayzo gets Arcane Dilettante up to 3rd level spells, which help take some pressure off of using Demogorgon's Will almost every day to change his form, pick up (Su) abilities, or add bonus feats. At 20th level, he uses DCFS to swap his final [vile] feat for Font of Inspiration x9 and unlocks his "Capstone" ability with Cunning Surge. No longer limited to two Dual Actions per day, Kayzo can now "alpha strike" up to 16 standard actions per encounter. For most encounters, this should be enough standard actions that Kayzo can use his Neraph Camouflage to knock out every opponent on the battlefield during his first turn.

    So... to recap:

    Bonus Feats: This feature was the focus of my build, using the bonus feats to load up on Font of Inspiration. Kayzo winds up with 50 Inspiration Points.

    Scaly Flesh: This stacks with either his +2 natural armor as a Neraph or his +10 natural armor as a white ethergaunt.

    Touch of Fear: Mostly used to frighten away low-level demons. The 5HD limit makes this difficult to use against anything but cannonfodder.

    Reaching Touch: Sneak attack from 10' away! Kayzo prefers to leave the frontline stuff to the sturdier meatbags.

    Dual Actions: Kayzo's "signature move" until he finally gets Cunning Surge at level 20. This ability allows him to "glass cannon" twice per round, or use Spot the Weak Point in the same round as an attack/charge to make sure he lands his "glass cannon" move against a big boss.

    Summon Minor Demon: Provides a sturdier ally to flank with, particularly the juvenile nabassu, which also gets sneak attack when flanking.

    Rotting Touch: This gives Kayzo three additional touch attacks per day, and if they qualify as sneak attacks, he can add extra damage as negative energy or convert the sneak attack into Charisma damage via Maiming Strike.

    Two Personas: This removes the multiclass XP penalty for being a Factotum 4/Fighter 1, although I'm still annoyed that you have to slog through eight PrC levels before you gain this benefit.

    Death Touch: An additional touch attack per day that either kills the target outright or does 3d6+CL damage + sneak attack/Maiming Strike/Craven/etc... although the extra damage here is just normal damage rather than negative energy damage, which is a bit odd for a necromancy spell effect.

    Summon Major Demon: Stronger combat options for flanking, and provides some additional SLAs for extra utility.

    Demogorgon's Will: Permanently change your form, swap around your bonus feats, add grafts or permanent spell effects. Yeah, I'd say this is pretty important to the build.


    Spoiler: Variations
    Show

    If you'd prefer not to dedicate your life to an Elder Evil, you can switch the race to human, take Willing Deformity as your human bonus feat, and take Thrall to Demon instead of Quick Draw at 3rd level. You won't have quite so many feats to feed into DCFS, but Combat Expertise/Improved Feint/Craven were really just extra gravy.

    If the DM doesn't allow the Warp Flesh trick to work, you can just pay for polymorph any object the usual way. Or since limited wish can give you access to the planar binding spells, you could use that to summon an efreet and convince/coerce them to give you wish spells, either to replicate PAO or to give yourself inherent bonuses to Intelligence.


    Spoiler: Sources
    Show

    Book of Vile Darkness: Willing Deformity, Thrall to Demon
    Class Chronicles: Font of Inspiration
    Cityscape: Skilled City-Dweller ACF
    Champions of Ruin: Craven
    Complete Psionic: Practiced Manifester, elemental steward
    Complete Scoundrel: Skill Tricks
    Dungeonscape: Factotum
    Exemplars of Evil: Maiming Strike
    Expanded Psionic Handbook: Hidden Talent, Metamorphic Transfer
    Elder Evils: Evil Brand, Abyss-Bound Soul, Insane Defiance
    Fiend Folio: White Ethergaunt
    Fiendish Codex I: Sibriex
    Lords of Madness: Silthilar, Darkstalker
    Planar Handbook: Neraph
    Unearthed Arcana: Sneak Attack Fighter variant
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  20. - Top - End - #110
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXIX

    Entry number 10!

    Quote Originally Posted by Drake Carmine
    Drake Carmine, The Slimeball

    CE Daelkyr Half-Blood Hexblade 5/Thrall of Demogorgon 10/Slime Lord 5

    Stats
    Spoiler
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    Str 16
    Dex 10
    Con 14
    Int 10
    Wis 10
    Cha 16 (increases here)

    Build
    Spoiler
    Show
    Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    1st Hexblade 1 +1 +0 +0 +2 Knowledge (Arcana) 2, Knowledge (Religion) 2(4), Knowledge (Local) 1 (2) Willing Deformity, (B)Symbiont Mastery Hexblade’s Curse 1/day
    2nd Hexblade 2 +2 +0 +0 +3 Knowledge (Local) 2(2) Arcane Resistance
    3rd Hexblade 3 +3 +1 +1 +3 Diplomacy 2 Thrall to Demon Mettle
    4th Hexblade 4 +4 +1 +1 +4 Diplomacy 4 Dark Companion
    5th Hexblade 5 +5 +1 +1 +4 Diplomacy 6 (B)Spell Focus (Enchantment) Bonus Feat, Hexblade’s Curse 2/day
    6th Thrall of Demogorgon 1 +6/+1 +3 +1 +4 Disguise 2(4) Deformity (Tongue) Scaly Flesh +1, Hypnosis, +1 Spellcasting
    7th Thrall of Demogorgon 2 +7/+2 +4 +1 +4 Disguise 4(4) Touch of Fear
    8th Thrall of Demogorgon 3 +8/+3 +4 +2 +5 Bluff 4 Reaching Touch
    9th Thrall of Demogorgon 4 +9/+4 +5 +2 +5 Disguise 6(4) Deformity (Clawed Hands) Dual Actions, Scaly Flesh +2, +1 Spellcasting
    10th Thrall of Demogorgon 5 +10/+5 +5 +2 +5 Bluff 5, Sense Motive 3 Summon Minor Demon
    11th Thrall of Demogorgon 6 +11/+6/+1 +6 +3 +6 Intimidate 2, Sense Motive 5 Rotting Touch
    12th Thrall of Demogorgon 7 +12/+7/+2 +6 +3 +6 Bluff 7, Intimidate 5 Rapidstrike Scaly Flesh +3, +1 Spellcasting
    13th Thrall of Demogorgon 8 +13/+8/+3 +7 +3 +6 Bluff 11 Two Personas, Death Touch
    14th Thrall of Demogorgon 9 +14/+9/+4 +7 +4 +7 Bluff 15 Summon Major Demon
    15th Thrall of Demogorgon 10 +15/+10/+5 +8 +4 +7 Intimidate 10 Improved Rapidstrike, (B)Deformity (Madness) Demogorgon’s Will, Scaly Flesh +4, Bonus Feat
    16th Slime Lord 1 +15/+10/+5 +8 +6 +7 Intimidate 14 Paralytic Slime, Pseudopods 1/day
    17th Slime Lord 2 +16/+11/+6/+1 +8 +7 +7 Intimidate 18
    18th Slime Lord 3 +17/+12/+7/+2 +9 +7 +8 Bluff 16, Intimidate 21 Martial Study (Wall of Blades) Charming Gaze, Pseudopods 2/day
    19th Slime Lord 4 +18/+13/+8/+3 +9 +8 +8 Bluff 19, Intimidate 22 Sleep Immunity
    20th Slime Lord 5 +18/+13/+8/+3 +9 +8 +8 Bluff 22, Intimidate 23 Alter Self, Pseudopods 3/day

    Spells
    Spoiler
    Show
    Spells per Day/Spells Known
    Level 0lvl 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
    1st - - - - - - - - - -
    2nd - - - - - - - - - -
    3rd - - - - - - - - - -
    4th - 0* - - - - - - - -
    5th - 0* - - - - - - - -
    6th - 1 - - - - - - - -
    7th - 1 - - - - - - - -
    8th - 1 - - - - - - - -
    9th - 1 - - - - - - - -
    10th - 1 - - - - - - - -
    11th - 1 - - - - - - - -
    12th-20th - 1 0* - - - - - - -
    Spells Known
    1st: Charm Person, Distract Assailant, Karmic Aura, Phantom Threat
    2nd: Adoration of the Frightful, Shadow Double

    Backstory
    Spoiler
    Show
    Drake Carmine had pretty much always been a no-account miserable punk. When he was born and the breed leech slithered out in the afterbirth, his father concluded that Drake wasn’t his, and he wasn’t going to leave his wife over that, but he certainly was not kind to the young boy. His parents still tried to raise him, but the constant lurking fear of what it was that made him that way tainted their relationship. And it didn’t help that the young Drake was just so darn evil. He was the bad crowd that other people fell in with.

    As such, as an adult Drake was a member of a number of evil cults, including those to Ghaunadar and Demogorgon. Of course they didn’t really know what they were doing, and most of the time just pricked their fingers with the same knife in a poorly drawn pentagram. But they did it frequently enough that every once in a while they were able to summon a rather weak demon for a few minutes. During one of these ceremonies to Demogorgon Drake got in a heated argument with his compatriot about who got to attempt to command it. Drake decided to argue his point by stabbing the other petitioner in the chest, and somehow had the dumb luck to complete the ceremony to become a Thrall of Demogorgon. He eventually noticed the power it granted him, weak and fickle as it was, but it was sufficient for him to declare that his true power was manifesting. He even thought his thickening scales might indicate a draconic pedigree rather than an abyssal patron.

    With enough time he encountered a few other who channeled the same power he did, and he came to the belief that with so many of them running around, there wasn’t enough power for all of them. He was convinced that with less of them around, he would have more to himself. So he made something of a habit of finding and killing the other Thralls of Demogorgon and their demonic servants, who were typically weak enough to fall under his thrall or flee before him. When his power grew and his arms lengthened at his command he took it as confirmation of his belief, and redoubled his efforts.

    Of course through all of this he kept up his untrained hodgepodge of rituals and sacrifices in the hopes he could extract more power out of it, and he somehow managed to gain a fraction of Ghaunadar’s power as well. When his increasingly oozy form became malleable at his will into a multitude of frightening forms, Drake new he reached the pinnacle of his bloodline’s mighty power, though he couldn’t tell you what bloodline that was if you asked him.

    Level 5
    Spoiler
    Show
    Hexblade isn’t a bad start for an evil character since it provides you full base attack and good defenses. Arcane Resistance rewards Charisma investment, and Mettle means making saves really matters. Dark Companion is a constant -2 to saves and AC of those adjacent to it, which will always be relevant. Hexblade’s Curse has a healthy duration and penalizes most things the enemy would roll so make use of it for those targets that need stacked debuffs. It’s a free action, so you can hit 2 targets in a round if you are so inclined.

    Spell Focus for enchantment helps for your spells, Charm Person and Distract Assailant are both affected and should be your first two choices. Remember that when enemies are flatfooted, unless they have combat reflexes they can’t make AoOs so you can cast it before someone needs to make risky movement.

    Daelkyr Half-Blood is our race for reasons that will become clear. For now it makes for the sort of dissatisfied youth that would go into Hexblade and Thrall of Demogorgon. I’m partial to the throwing scarab for a starting symbiont, and you might choose to switch to stormstalk at level 5. A ranged touch attack is fairly easy to make, and the penalty to Dex means their AC is even lower.

    Level 10
    Spoiler
    Show
    We now turn to the secret ingredient. Full base attack is important for a melee fighter like you with HD to support, and good fort save improves Mettle’s value. The natural armor bonus helps out since you’re casting in light armor. Hypnosis is a good setup for social situations, and stacks nicely with charm person. Cause fear’s got a lower but reliable cap, and once we get adoration of the frightful will become more useful.

    Reaching touch means you can surprise enemies by hitting them where they were previously safe, and its duration of 1 round means that you can also make attacks of opportunity with them.

    Summon Demon means you have a flanking buddy, and with the right choices you can get a few SLAs out of it. Notable choices include the Abyssal Ravager, who is Large, the Guecubu, who can knock out and possess foes, and even the good old dretch has stinking cloud. The Jovoc is a demon with a very strange ability that’s easily exploited: damage dealt to a Jovoc is also dealt to creatures in 30 feet, and the damage isn’t reduced by anything. So send it in to fight a tough foe, stand more than 30 feet away, and hit it with ranged weapons, or blast it with a powerful spell from the party to do the damage without the work.

    Dual actions bends the action economy for your benefit. You don’t have to get esoteric with it, 2 full attacks get the job done. If your DM is cruel and says that reaching touch takes up an action, you can use it before to get a full round’s benefit out of it. This also helps you to cast your spells in combat and then move in to fight close quarters without having to be threatened.

    As for spells, Phantom Threat renders a foe flanked, so the whole group can benefit from it for the encounter. It’s not unreasonable to assume you’re going to be hit, and if so Karmic Aura makes enemies fatigued when they do so, so they won’t be as effective in combat and are easier to hit.

    We took one Willing Deformity to get in, and with the worst part behind us we can take other deformity feats. Tongue gives blindsense to negate stealth, and Clawed hands gives you two claw attacks. Feel free to use one with a one-handed weapon, their importance will grow later.

    In terms of symbiont, we now have access to the tentacle whip. It’s a complicated symbiont that can attack on its own with a 15 foot reach. It can be used as a weapon rather like the whip and can target adjacent squares as well. It’s unclear on whether it threatens. It is clear that it delivers poison with every blow, and enemies are bound to fail eventually, especialy debuffed by the Dark Companion. It’s good for tripping and disarming, and it can be used to deliver touches, like the variety of touch-based powers from the class! Because it’s a symbiont attached to your arm, you can choose to use it or let it attack on its own every round, and when you stretch out your arms your reach with it goes up to 20 feet.

    Level 15
    Spoiler
    Show
    Time to finish the SI, and things start forming up more. Rotting touch is best used early and often (no save!) to further soften up fort saves, which dovetails nicely with slapping foes with slay living. Even if they succeed it still does damage. Summon Demon’s 10HD cap means real competent assistance like from a Chasme, Arrow Demon, Shadow Demon, and even mighty Vrock with at will telekinesis. Limited Wish fills a lot of your spellcasting gaps, but I’ll admit I’m a fan of just using it to make your next attack automatically hit, since you can cast it before any combat and then you know to make the hit of slay living/rotting touch count.

    Finishing up with our casting, we have Shadow Double to damage strength of enemies, and a really fun spell: Adoration of the Frightful, which makes scared targets friendly. This means Cause Fear is now a social spell, and intimidate is now a social skill! You can then stack Hypnosis on the targets you wish for the suggestion effect. Remember the fear doesn’t have to come from you, so your demon friends can help you out here.

    We reached a point where another level of casting wouldn’t change anything, so we’re going to take a feat instead. Deformity (Madness) makes you immune to mind affecting effects, and if you need to you can shore up your Will save with the other effect every minute for those Will saves that aren’t mind-affecting. Because you’re an Aberration, you can take Rapidstrike and Improved Rapidstrike. Your claws qualify you for it, and you should be fighting with your tentacle whip (or other one-handed weapon of your choice) and a claw free. Thus your full attack is 3 attacks with your whip and 4 attacks with your claw.

    Level 20
    Spoiler
    Show
    It might look an odd choice, but I promise Slime Lord works well with the SI. First off, yes it does require Ghaunadar as a patron deity. That being said, Thrall of Demogorgon doesn’t require you worship him, and their goals (as much as they exist) overlap in causing havoc and spreading evil. Toss him some sacrifices and he won’t care you’re working for a demon lord.

    Slime Lord’s immunity to sleep effects helps if the other Thrall your fighting has also called on a Guecubu. Its charming gaze works as charm monster with caster level of 20, so it’s going to be consistently effective, and you can stack on it as with others. Alter self with the aberration type (told you Daelkyr Half-blood becomes useful) means some good forms for mobility and combat, as well as some disguise for social situations. Remember your symbiont and deformity feats will still apply in any form, as will all your class features. At will without a fixed duration, this is a very strong capstone for the build.

    Wall of Blades combined with your high base attack provides you a reliable means of denying an attack against you.

    But we’re in slime lord to get oozy. Let’s talk pseudopods. You get two, dealing 1d6 damage each, and each hit triggers paralytic slime. It’s a fort save, so you might soften the target with rotting touch. It always lasts at least 2 rounds, so you always have time to deal with the enemy. After you’ve hit a target with it, activate your dual actions and spend the next round killing them with a coup de grace. Because you have a pair of them, you can use rapidstrike with them to maximize your chances of paralyzing targets. Obviously as a touch based attack you’ll want to extend reach when you use it.

    Sources
    Spoiler
    Show

    Daelkyr Half-Blood, Crawling Claw Symbiont, Throwing Scarab Symbiont: Magic of Eberron
    Tentacle Whip Symbiont: Eberron Campaign Setting
    Hexblade: Complete Warrior
    Slime Lord: Player’s Guide to Faerun
    Rapidstrike, Improved Rapidstrike: Draconomicon
    Deformity (Madness): Elder Evils
    Deformity (Clawed Hands)
    Willing Deformity, Deformity (Tongue): Heroes of Horror
    Martial Study: Tome of Battle
    Distract Assailant, Phantom Threat: Spell Compendium
    Karmic Aura: Complete Mage
    Shadow Double: Drow of the Underdark
    Adoration of the Frightful: Dragon Magic
    Last edited by Heliomance; 2017-10-04 at 04:58 AM.
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  21. - Top - End - #111
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXIX

    Entry number 11!

    Quote Originally Posted by Vemunix the Accursed
    Vemunix the Accursed



    "You see, basically, I got home from work one day, and found my wife cheating on me with another monkey."
    ...
    "I fell into a deep depression after the divorce, which ended up costing me my job. All my money was gone, which means I lost the house."


    Vemunix isn't a bad guy, really. I mean, he does worship one of the lords of the Abyss. And yes, he throws curses at people. And yes, he once sacrificed his ex-wife on an unhallowed altar in the presence of a Bar-lgura. And yes, he is chaotic evil. But really, not such a bad guy. He likes to think of himself as a regular, demon-worshiping, tentacled monkey-man...and quite a charming one, at that.

    CE Male Vanara Hexblade 4/Thrall of Demogorgon 10/Warblade 2/Crusader 4

    HD 4d10+10d8+6d10+40

    Languages: (automatic) Common, Vanara; (bonus) Giant, Goblin

    Abilities Scores:
    Level Final Starting 4th 8th 11th 12th 16th 20th
    Str 14 14
    Dex 14 14
    Con 14 14
    Int 14 14
    Wis 4 8 -4
    Cha 20 15 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1

    Build Table:
    Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    1st Hexblade 1 +1 +0 +0 +2 Diplomacy +4, Knowledge (religion) +2, Knowledge (local) +2, Use Magic Device +2 Willing Deformity Hexblade’s Curse 1/day
    2nd Hexblade 2 +2 +0 +0 +3 Bluff +1, Diplomacy +1, Knowledge (arcana) +2
    Arcane Resistance
    3rd Hexblade 3 +3 +1 +1 +3 Bluff +1, Concentration +2, Diplomacy +1 Thrall to Demon Mettle
    4th Hexblade 4 +4 +1 +1 +4 Concentration +1, Diplomacy +1, Use Magic Device +1
    Summon Familiar Dark Companion
    5th Thrall of Demogorgon 1 +5 +3 +1 +4 Bluff +6 Power Attack Scaly flesh +1, Hypnosis
    6th Thrall of Demogorgon 2 +6 +4 +1 +4 Jump +6 Aberration Blood Touch of Fear
    7th Thrall of Demogorgon 3 +7 +4 +2 +5 Jump +2, Use Magic Device +2
    Reaching Touch
    8th Thrall of Demogorgon 4 +8 +5 +2 +5 Bluff +1, Knowledge (nobility and royalty) +5 Inhuman Reach Dual Actions, Scaly Flesh +2
    9th Thrall of Demogorgon 5 +9 +5 +2 +5 Bluff +2, Use Magic Device +2 Deepspawn Summon Minor Demon
    10th Thrall of Demogorgon 6 +10 +6 +3 +6 Knowledge (local) +3, Knowledge (religion) +3
    Rotting Touch
    11th Thrall of Demogorgon 7 +11 +6 +3 +6 Jump +2, Sense Motive +2, Use Magic Device +1 Deformity (Madness) Scaly flesh +3
    12th Thrall of Demogorgon 8 +12 +7 +3 +6 Bluff +3, Sense Motive +3 Deformity (Tall) Two Personas, Death Touch
    13th Thrall of Demogorgon 9 +13 +7 +4 +7 Bluff +3, Jump +3
    Summon Major Demon
    14th Thrall of Demogorgon 10 +14 +8 +4 +7 Jump +3, Knowledge (arcana) +3 Leap Attack Demogorgon’s Will, Scaly Flesh +4
    15th Warblade 1 +15 +10 +4 +7 Diplomacy +6 Combat Reflexes Battle Clarity (Reflex Saves), Weapon Aptitude
    16th Warblade 2 +16 +11 +4 +7 Diplomacy +4, Use Magic Device +1, Uncanny Dodge
    17th Crusader 1 +17 +13 +4 +7 Intimidate +3, Balance +3 Furious Counterstrike, Steely Resolve 5
    18th Crusader 2 +18 +14 +4 +7 Balance +2, Concentration +2, Use Magic Device +1
    Starspawn
    Indomitable Soul
    19th Crusader 3 +19 +14 +5 +8 Concentration +3, Diplomacy +3
    Zealous Surge
    20th Crusader 4 +20 +15 +5 +8 Concentration +2, Diplomacy +2, Use Magic Device +1 Steely resolve 10

    Final Skill Ranks: Balance 5, Bluff 17, Concentration 10, Diplomacy 22, Intimidate 3, Jump 16, Knowledge (arcana) 5, Knowledge (local) 5, Knowledge (nobility and royalty) 5, Knowledge (religion) 5, Sense Motive 5, Use Magic Device 11*

    Maneuvers & Stances:
    Level Class Initiator Level Maneuvers Stances
    15th Warblade 1 8th Iron Heart Surge, Rabid Wolf Strike, Death From Above Punishing Stance
    16th Warblade 2 9th Pouncing Charge
    17th Crusader 1 9th Douse the Flames, Lion's Roar, Foehammer, Doom Charge, Tide of Chaos Thicket of Blades
    18th Crusader 2 10th
    Press The Advantage
    19th Crusader 3 11th
    War Leader's Charge
    20th Crusader 4 12th

    I know what you're all thinking: why not a human? Bonus feat, extra skill points. Good question. If you think a human worshiping a two-headed tentacled baboon-demon is appropriate for your game, then go ahead and change the race from vanara to human. I mean, I think it's a bit odd for a human to be cheated on by his monkey wife, but hey, to each their own.
    I'd recommend Apprentice (spellcaster) as the bonus feat, and extra skill points can go into, oh, I don't know, let's say Concentration and Intimidate.
    Next elephant in the room - why no Lion Totem Barbarian? Quite simple really - Vemunix is a civilized monkey. He's not suddenly going to become some kind of savage so he can full attack on a charge. That's what Pouncing Charge is for.


    Racial Traits:
    30 ft move, climb 20ft, low light vision, +2 racial bonus to hide and move silently checks, +4 racial bonus to balance and jump checks, +8 racial bonus to climb checks. Note: if Dragon 318 update is not included (which, as per OP, it is), vanara have -2 Str, +2 Int and +2 Wis; point buy would need to be adjusted accordingly to allow Power Attack etc.

    Hexblade Spells Known: 1st - Charm Person, Disguise Self (sometimes one's own innate charm and wit isn't enough; and sometimes one has to blend in with the locals; for everything else, there's wands and UMD).

    Tips and tactics:

    ECL 1-5: Vemunix slips into ToD at the earliest entry point. The bonus feats allow him to build up a number of potent combos. His Hexblade's Curse and Dark Companion can lower enemy defenses against special attacks (like Hypnosis). Arcane Resistance and Mettle boost his defenses. Throughout the build, Vemunix capitalizes on his high Charisma with Bluff and Diplomacy, augmented by synergy from associated skills. He can mingle in high society without being at all out of place; a truly charming beast.

    ECL 6-10: Pure ToD, baby! Inhuman Reach along with Reaching Touch gives Vemunix excellent reach, both for melee attack and special touch attacks (Touch of Fear & Rotting Touch). Dual Actions is a boon for any melee/full BAB type. Summon Minor Demon can be used to get some solid support troops (some favorites include Maurezhi [CR 9 - FF p.50], Abyssal Ravager [CR 5 - MM2 p.57], Jovoc [CR 5 - MM2 p.58] or Rutterkin [CR 3 - FC1 p.51]). A CR 9 ally at ECL 9 is handy, to say the least. Deepspawn adds extra punch to full attack routines.

    ECL 11-15: After mastering all that ToD has to offer, he seamlessly slips into Warblade. Summon Major Demon allows for call some solid allies (Jarilith [CR 13 - MM2 p.60], Hezrou [CR 11], Zovvut [CR 9 - MM2 p.58], Shadow Demon [CR 8 - BoVD p.72] or Arrow Demon [CR 7 - MM3 p.34] can fill a variety of roles). Summoning a CR 13 monster at ECL 13 isn't too shabby at all. A Limited Wish 1/day is the envy of most martial classes: remember kids, XP is a river! With his massive reach, Combat Reflexes is a welcome (if late) addition. Leap Attack vastly increases damage output potential. Deformity (tall) further boosts his impressive reach, while Deformity (madness) gives immunity to a lot of offense spells (with a cost to Wis - c'est la vie). Iron Heart Surge - the ultimate martial defense. Death From Above is an effective attack, and Vemunix has a very solid Jump check to pull it off.

    ECL 16-20: All initiator classes here. No muticlassing penalties, either (thanks Demogorgon!). Uncanny dodge comes online late, but adds to Veminux's solid defenses. Starspawn allows flight without having to rely on spells or items. Indomitable Soul adds his impressive Charisma modifier to Will saves, and Steely Resolve just makes him that much harder to put down. With Zealous Surge, Vemunix's defenses just get that much harder to beat. Pouncing Charge comes online right in time for BAB +16 - perfect. Thicket of Blades combined with an impressive reach allows him to tank like a chimp champ. His maneuvers and stances all tally up to one impressive beast of battle!

    So what does Thrall of Demogorgon bring to this build? Feats, full BAB, skills, and a boatload of useful and thematic abilities. The feat tax of Willing Deformity is turned to an advantage at later levels, as are the skill requirements (have some synergies!). Vemunix is a worthy champion of Demogorgon, and a simian to be remembered!

    Vemunix has no dead levels. He always has something to look forward to, and boasts the most colorful and unique special abilities of all the entries for this round.

    Recommended Gear: Ability boosters (Cha and Dex mainly); magic armor and weapons; as many wands as he can afford (wands of Hexblade spells can be used without UMD: Break Enchantment, Dimension Door, Enervation, Greater Invisibility, Poison, Polymorph, Solid Fog, Stinking Cloud etc.); circlet of persuasion or an admirals bicorne for extra boosts on Cha checks...like any martial, gear is always to be invested in wisely.

    Sources: (aside from those already called out above)
    Artwork - Chrisopher Burdett
    Complete Adventurer - Leap Attack
    Complete Warrior - Hexblade
    PHB2 - Dark Companion ACF
    Book of Vile Darkness - Thrall of Demogorgon, Thrall to Demon (also in FC1), Willing Deformity (also in HoH)
    Elder Evils - Deformity (madness)
    Heroes of Horror - Deformity (tall)
    Lords of Madness - Aberration Blood, Deepspawn, Inhuman Reach, Starspawn
    Tome of Battle - Crusader, Warblade, maneuvers, stances

    * (apologies for the awfully filled out skills table, I lost formatting shortly before submission and had to start from scratch; final skill ranks and number of points spent are definitely accurate; mea culpa)
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    I just don't want to have long romantic conversations or any sort of drama with my computer, okay? It knows what kind of porn I watch. I don't want to mess that up by allowing it to judge any of my choices in romance.

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  22. - Top - End - #112
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXIX

    Entry number 12!

    Quote Originally Posted by Endo

    Spoiler: About my idea and the build
    Show
    When i looked at ToD i noticed that Prereq included 3 Knowledge skills, and next that it has Know (any).
    Looking at the class features: 1/day and 3/day against low/mid level foes, a couple other 3/day touch against more middling opponents with Cha DCs ... and Dual Actions!
    Then we have Two Personas ... interesting ... I decided then to make a multiclass character that NEEDS the
    Two Personas.

    I went for originality. High charisma because of the Cha DC class abilities, but minimum spells and no Sneak Attack.

    Level 1-5 is not bad, but 6-10 is better? I think the build is possibly strongest between 11-15, but there's a bit of capstone with the Summon Major Demon, Demogorgons Will, and Crusader level from 17-20.

    At 15th we have Cha to hit, Cha to Dam, Knowledge Devotion, PA, Leap Attack, double move speed, Dual Actions and more to throw at a charge. The build is set to encourage others to flank with me (master of tactics/island of blades, etc), and i have self healing, so it should be cool.
    Knowledge religion is for undead, but light maces are carried for when the longsword isn't doing it.


    Spoiler: Endo` - Shock troop Commander (charge and buff)
    Show
    Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    1st Cloistered Cleric +0 +2 +0 +2 Intim1, Jump1, Know Arc4 , Know Dun1, Know Loc4, Know Nat4, Know Nob1, Know Rel4, Know Pla4 Power Attack Turn undead, Chaos Devotion, Evil Devotion, Knowledge Domain*1
    2nd Paladin/Slaughter +1 +4 +0 +2 Intim(1)2, Know Rel(1)5 Knowledge Devotion*1 Aura of evil, detect good, smite good 1/day
    3rd Paladin/Slaughter +2 +4 +0 +2 Intim(1)3, Jump(1)2 Thrall to Demon Deadly touch
    4th Marshal +2 +6 +0 +4 Intim(2)5, Jump(1)3, Know Pla(1)5 - Skill Focus (Diplomacy), minor aura (Master of Tactics)
    5th Marshal +3 +7 +0 +5 Intim(2)7, Jump(1)4, Know Arc(1)5 - Major aura +1 (Motivate Urgency)
    6th Outcast Champion*2 +4 +9 +0 +5 Intim8, Jump(2)6, Kn Arc5 , Kn Dun1, Kn Loc(2)5, Kn Nat4, Kn Nob1, Kn Rel5, Kn Pla5 Willing Deformity Aura of confidence
    7th Outcast Champion +5 +10 +0 +5 Intim8, Jump(1)7, Kn Arc(1)5 , Kn Dun1, Kn Loc(1)5, Kn Nat4, Kn Nob(1)2, Kn Rel5, Kn Pla5 - Avenging strike
    8th Thrall of Demogorgon +6 +12 +0 +5 Kn Nat(1)5, Kn Rel(2)7, Kn Pla(1)6 Divine Shield Scaly flesh +1, hypnosis, Bonus feat
    9th Thrall of Demogorgon +7 +13 +0 +5 Kn Arc(1)6, Kn Loc(1)6, Kn Rel(2)9 Power Attack Touch of fear
    10th Thrall of Demogorgon +8 +13 +1 +6 Kn Nat(1)5, Kn Pla(1)7, Kn Rel(2)11 - Reaching touch
    11th Thrall of Demogorgon +9 +14 +1 +6 Intim8, Jump(1)8, Kn Arc(1)7 , Kn Dun1, Kn Loc6, Kn Nat5, Kn Nob2, Kn Rel(2)13, Kn Pla7 - Dual actions, scaly flesh, +1 level of existing class
    12th Thrall of Demogorgon +10 +14 +1 +6 Kn Loc(1)7, Know Rel(2)15, Kn Pla(1)8 Leap Attack*3 Summon minor demon
    13th Swordsage +10 +14 +3 +8 Jump(1)9, Kn Nat(1)6, Kn Nob(1)3, Martial Lore(1) - Quick to act +1, Discipline focus (Weapon Focus Longsword)
    14th Thrall of Demogorgon +11 +15 +4 +9 Jump(1)10, Kn Loc(1)7, Kn Rel(2)17 - Rotting touch
    15th Thrall of Demogorgon +12 +15 +4 +9 Intim8, Jump10, Kn Arc(1)8, Kn Dun1, Kn Loc(1)8, Kn Nat6, Kn Nob3, Kn Rel(1)18, Kn Pla(1)9 Avenging Strike*4, Improved Critical Scaly flesh +3, Bonus feat
    16th Thrall of Demogorgon +13 +16 +4 +9 Kn Arc(1)9, Kn Loc(1)9, Kn Rel(1)19, Kn Pla(1)10 - Two personas, death touch
    17th Marshal +14 +17 +4 +10 Kn Arc(1)10, Kn Loc(1)10, Kn Rel(1)20, Kn Pla(1)11 - Major aura +1 (Determined Caster)
    18th Thrall of Demogorgon +15 +17 +5 +11 Kn Arc(1)11, Kn Loc(1)11, Kn Nob(1)4, Kn Pl(1)12 Vital Recovery*5 Summon major demon
    19th Thrall of Demogorgon +16 +18 +5 +11 Kn Arc(1)12, Know Loc(1)12, Kn Nob(2)6 - Demogorgon’s will, scaly flesh +4, +1 level of existing class
    20th Crusader +17 +20 +5 +11 Intim8, Jump10, Kn Arc(1)13, Kn Dun1, Kn Loc(1)13, Kn Nat6, Kn Nob(1)7, Kn Rel20, Kn Pla(1)13 - Battle clarity (Reflex saves), Weapon aptitude
    *1 Trade for Knowledge Devotion at 2nd
    *2 RoD 126. Half-elf, half-orc, or half-ogre. Skills: Diplo8 or Intim8
    *3 CA 110
    *4,5 ToB
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    Sword Sage: Stance - Island of Blades
    Maneuvers:
    Emerald Razor (Diam2): Strike—Turn melee strike into touch attack.
    Bounding Assault (Diam4): Strike—Double move and attack.
    Rapid Counter (Diam5): Counter—Strike opponent who provokes attack from you.
    Burning Brand (Desert2): Boost—Gain +5-ft. reach, deal fire damage.
    Fan the Flames (Desert3): Strike—Ranged touch attack deals 6d6 fire damage.
    Searing Charge (Desert4): Strike—Fly while charging, deal +5d6 fire damage.

    Crusader: Stance - (Devo) Iron Guard's Glare
    Maneuvers:
    Foehammer (Devo2): Strike—Overcome foe’s DR, deal +2d6 damage.
    Divine Surge (Devo4): Strike—Deal +8d8 damage.
    Tide of Chaos (Devo5): Strike—Charge attack deals extra damage against law, grants you concealment.
    Leading the Attack (White1): Strike—Allies gain +4 bonus on attacks against foe you strike.
    White Raven Strike (White4): Strike—Deal +4d6 damage, target becomes flat-footed.


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

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXIX

    And that's all! One chef has submitted three entries, when generally we've only been allowing two, but on reviewing the rules I realised that hadn't actually been stated anywhere. I'll add it to the FAQ for future reference, but I decided to allow it this time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kalirren View Post
    The only person in the past two pages who has known what (s)he has been talking about is Heliomance.
    Quote Originally Posted by golentan View Post
    I just don't want to have long romantic conversations or any sort of drama with my computer, okay? It knows what kind of porn I watch. I don't want to mess that up by allowing it to judge any of my choices in romance.

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXIX

    This looks like a superb round. I'm looking forward to reading all of the entries in depth later.
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXIX

    Quote Originally Posted by Heliomance View Post
    And that's all! One chef has submitted three entries, when generally we've only been allowing two, but on reviewing the rules I realised that hadn't actually been stated anywhere. I'll add it to the FAQ for future reference, but I decided to allow it this time.
    I could've sworn we added that rule in dead delver when someone submitted 3 dishes. I guess not.

    Looks like a great round. I compiled a list of stubs and links for ease of reference.

    list for ease of reference:

    1: Nausho, the Thrallmaker. CE Feral Human Shugenja 8/Thrall of Demogorgon 8/ Hexer 3

    2: Marcus Armstrong: the Helping Hand. CE human rogue 1/warblade 4/thrall of demogorgon 10/ master of nine 5

    3: Reed Armstrong]CE Wood Elf Hexblade 4/ Justicar of Taiia 1/ Thrall of Demogorgon 8/ Binder 3/ Crusader 1/ Warblade 1/ Thrall of Demogorgon 10

    4: Altaes Dimare, Lord of House Dimare, First of His Name. CE Human Sorcerer 5, Fiend Blooded 4, Thrall of Demogorgon 7, Fatespinner 4

    5: Fra’alstog the Bold NE (counts as Chaotic) Neraph Incarnate 7 / Totemist 2 / Sneak Attack Hit-and-Run Fighter 1 / Thrall of Demogorgon 10

    6: Speeloxhuu Bipartite Servant of Twofold Masters! CE muckdweller soulborn 2 / barbarian 1 / fighter 1 / truenamer 3 / wizard 1 / thrall of demogorgon 10 / battle trickster 2

    7: Hurk (Smash) CE Longtooth Shifter Spirt Lion Boar Totem Barbarian 4, Warshaper 3, Totemist 2, Rogue 1 Thrall 10

    8: Hitomi Marik CE Unseelie fey Silverbrow human rogue 1/ binder 1/ seductive swashbuckler 4/ thrall of demogorgon 10/ noble 1/ totemist 3

    9: Kayzo Grond. CE Neraph Factotum 4/Sneak Attack Fighter 1/Thrall to Demogorgon 10/Factotum 6/Assassin 1/Factotum 8

    10: Drake Carmine, The Slimeball. CE Daelkyr Half-Blood Hexblade 5/Thrall of Demogorgon 10/Slime Lord 5

    11: Vemunix the Accursed. CE Male Vanara Hexblade 4/Thrall of Demogorgon 10/Warblade 2/Crusader 4

    12: Endo Shock troop Commander CE (species is unlisted) Cloistered cleric 1/Paladin of slaughter 2/ Marshal 2/ Outcast champion2/ Thrall of demogorgon 5/ Swordsage 1/ Thrall of demogorgon 8/ Marshal 2/ Thrall of demogorgon 10/ Crusader 1
    Last edited by Venger; 2017-10-03 at 09:26 AM.
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXIX

    Quote Originally Posted by Heliomance View Post
    And that's all! One chef has submitted three entries, when generally we've only been allowing two, but on reviewing the rules I realised that hadn't actually been stated anywhere. I'll add it to the FAQ for future reference, but I decided to allow it this time.
    The "two entries" limit was suggested by Kuuhlveysoon in IC LII and went into effect for IC LIII. Here's the post.

    We discussed the limit briefly in LXX (post), but while you mentioned formalising it (with an "s", even!), I don't believe you actually put it in the rules. It's been sort of a "gentleperson's agreement".

    Twelve entries doesn't sound quite so unmanageable, and this looks like a very, very good batch of solid entries. What concerns me is that most of the people I would expect to judge are *competing*, so...

    Do we have any possible judges?

  27. - Top - End - #117
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXIX

    I didn't submit my build, once I realized it was all but a copy pasta of an entry I made in a previous round, with the SI swapped.

    I'm down to judge.

    Incidentally, it may be a mobile-only problem, but entry #8's table looks a bit wonky. Is there something obvious in the code, Chair?
    Iron Chef in the Playground veteran since Round IV. Play as me!


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  28. - Top - End - #118
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXIX

    HA! I love the Muckdweller. This round is intense. I look forward to seeing the judgements.
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXIX

    lots of snark in the comments :) love it
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXIX

    Quote Originally Posted by Amphetryon View Post
    Incidentally, it may be a mobile-only problem, but entry #8's table looks a bit wonky. Is there something obvious in the code, Chair?
    I don't think so - I think it's just that it lacks a class definition, so has omitted the standard lines and shading.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kalirren View Post
    The only person in the past two pages who has known what (s)he has been talking about is Heliomance.
    Quote Originally Posted by golentan View Post
    I just don't want to have long romantic conversations or any sort of drama with my computer, okay? It knows what kind of porn I watch. I don't want to mess that up by allowing it to judge any of my choices in romance.

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