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  1. - Top - End - #61
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground XCI

    No worries, Helio. We may not look like it, but we’re patient and understanding folks when it matters. Take your time and come here when you’re ready.
    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 24. Everyone is welcome!

    My compiled Iron Chef stuff!

    Queer pride isn't limited to one month!

  2. - Top - End - #62
    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground XCI

    Holy crap, guys, I was not expecting 19 messages in my inbox.

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

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  3. - Top - End - #63
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground XCI

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


    Quote Originally Posted by Rattenfänger von Hameln


    Ich bin der wohlbekannte Sänger,
    Der vielgereiste Rattenfänger,
    Den diese altberühmte Stadt
    Gewiß besonders nötig hat;
    Und wären's Ratten noch so viele,
    Und wären Wiesel mit im Spiele;
    Von allen säubr' ich diesen Ort;
    Sie müssen mit einander fort.


    Rattenfänger von Hameln
    NE Changeling, Bard 5/Fatemaker 10/Master of Flies 5

    Into the street the Piper stept,
    Smiling first a little smile,
    As if he knew what magic slept
    In his quiet pipe the while;


    Spoiler: Build
    Show

    Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    1st Bard 1 +0 +0 +2 +2 Bluff 4 ranks (4), concentration 4 ranks (4), diplomacy 4 ranks (4), disguise 4 ranks (4), escape artist 4 ranks (4), intimidate 2 ranks (2), knowledge (nature) 4 ranks (4), perform (pipes) 4 ranks (4), sense motive 4 ranks (4) Quick Change Bardic music, loresong, mimicking song, fascinate, inspire awe
    2nd Bard 2 +1 +0 +3 +3 Bluff 1 rank (5), concentration 1 rank (5), diplomacy 1 rank (5), disguise 1 rank (5), escape artist 1 rank (5), knowledge (nature) 1 rank (5), perform (pipes) 1 rank (5), sense motive 1 rank (5), use magic device 1 rank (1)
    3rd Bard 3 +2 +1 +3 +3 Bluff 1 rank (6), concentration 1 rank (6), diplomacy 1 rank (6), disguise 1 rank (6),
    intimidate 1 rank (3), knowledge (nature) 1 rank (6), perform (pipes) 1 rank (6), use magic device 1 rank (2)
    Skill Focus (Bluff) Inspire competence
    4th Bard 4 +3 +1 +4 +4 Bluff 1 rank (7), concentration 1 rank (7), diplomacy 1 rank (7), disguise 1 rank (7),
    knowledge (nature) 1 rank (7), perform (pipes) 1 rank (7), use magic device 3 ranks (5)
    5th Bard 5 +3 +1 +4 +4 Bluff 1 rank (8), concentration 1 rank (8), diplomacy 1 rank (8), disguise 1 rank (8),
    intimidate 1 rank (4), knowledge (nature) 1 rank (8), perform (pipes) 1 rank (8), use magic device 1 rank (6)
    6th Master of Flies 1 +3 +1 +4 +6 Bluff 1 rank (9), concentration 1 rank (9), disguise 1 rank (9), perform (pipes) 1 rank (9), use magic device 1 rank (7) Dark Speech Summon swarm
    7th Master of Flies 2 +4 +1 +4 +7 Bluff 1 rank (10), concentration 1 rank (10), disguise 1 rank (10), intimidate 1 rank (5),
    use magic device 1 rank (8)
    Swarm shape 1/day
    8th Master of Flies 3 +5 +2 +5 +7 Bluff 1 rank (11), concentration 1 rank (11), disguise 1 rank (11), perform (pipes) 1 rank (10), use magic device 1 rank (9) Swarm shape 2/day, pied piper
    9th Fatemaker 1 +5 +2 +7 +9 Bluff 1 rank (12), concentration 1 rank (12), diplomacy 3 ranks (11), intimidate 3 ranks (8), use magic device 1 rank (10) Doomspeak Take-charge appeal
    10th Fatemaker 2 +6/+1 +2 +8 +10 Bluff 1 rank (13), diplomacy 1 rank (12), intimidate 3 rank (11), perform (pipes) 1 rank (11), use magic device 1 rank (11), Swift Concentration skill trick Confidence of the Fated 1/day
    11th Fatemaker 3 +7/+2 +3 +8 +10 Bluff 1 rank (14), diplomacy 2 ranks (14), intimidate 3 ranks (14), perform (pipes) 1 rank (12), use magic device 2 ranks (13) Sneak attack +1d6
    12th Fatemaker 4 +8/+3 +3 +9 +11 Bluff 1 rank (15), diplomacy 1 rank (15), disguise 1 rank (12), intimidate 1 rank (15),
    perform (pipes) 3 ranks (15), use magic device 2 ranks (15)
    Wanderer's Diplomacy Aura of confidence (+1)
    13th Fatemaker 5 +8/+3 +3 +9 +11 Bluff 1 rank (16), diplomacy 1 rank (16), disguise 2 ranks (14), intimidate 1 rank (16),
    perform (pipes) 1 rank (16), use magic device 1 rank (16), Never Outnumbered skill trick
    Take-charge appeal
    14th Fatemaker 6 +9/+4 +4 +10 +12 Bluff 1 rank (17), diplomacy 3 ranks (17), disguise 1 rank (17), intimidate 1 rank (17)
    perform (pipes) 1 rank (17), spellcraft 1 rank (1), use magic device 1 rank (17)
    Sneak attack +2d6
    15th Fatemaker 7 +10/+5 +4 +10 +12 Bluff 1 rank (18), diplomacy 1 rank (18), disguise 1 rank (18), intimidate 1 rank (18),
    perform (pipes) 1 rank (18), spellcraft 3 ranks (4), use magic device 1 rank (18)
    Sickening Strike Confidence of the Fated 2/day
    16th Fatemaker 8 +11/+6/+1 +4 +11 +13 Bluff 1 rank (19), concentration 2 ranks (14), diplomacy 1 rank (19), disguise 1 rank (19), intimidate 1 rank (19), perform (pipes) 1 rank (19), spellcraft 1 rank (5), use magic device 1 rank (19) Aura of confidence (+2)
    17th Fatemaker 9 +11/+6/+1 +5 +11 +13 Bluff 1 rank (20), concentration 3 ranks (17), diplomacy 1 rank (20), disguise 1 rank (20), intimidate 1 rank (20), perform (pipes) 1 rank (20), use magic device 1 rank (20) Sneak attack +3d6
    18th Fatemaker 10 +12/+7/+2 +5 +12 +14 Bluff 1 rank (21), concentration 3 ranks (20), diplomacy 1 rank (21), disguise 1 rank (21), intimidate 1 rank (21), perform (pipes) 1 rank (21), use magic device 1 rank (21) Undead Empathy Ego manifestation, take-charge appeal
    19th Master of Flies 4 +13/+8/+3 +5 +12 +15 Bluff 1 rank (22), diplomacy 1 rank (22), intimidate 1 rank (22), disguise 1 rank (22), use magic device 1 rank (22) Swarm shape 3/day
    20th Master of Flies 5 +13/+8/+3 +5 +12 +15 Bluff 1 rank (23), diplomacy 1 rank (23), intimidate 1 rank (23), disguise 1 rank (23),
    use magic device 1 rank (23)
    Swarm shape (plague), insect plague

    Spoiler: Ability Scores
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    32-point buy: Str 10/Dex 12/Con 12/Int 16/Wis 10/Cha 16
    Boost Charisma every 4 levels.


    Spoiler: Spells
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    Bard spells known:
    0- Prestidigitation, Detect Magic, Light, Mage Hand, Message, Lullaby
    1- Grease, Silent Image, Improvisation, Share Talents
    2- Glitterdust, Silence, Sonorous Hum

    Spoiler: Bard spells per day
    Show

    Spells per Day
    Level 0lvl 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
    1st 2 - - - - - -
    2nd 3 0 - - - - -
    3rd 3 1 - - - - -
    4th 3 2 0 - - - -
    5th 3 3 1 - - - -


    Fatemaker spells known:
    1- Charm Person, Sanctuary, Expeditious Retreat, True Strike
    2- Resist Energy, Invisibility, Darkvision, Bull's Strength
    3- Haste, Suggestion, Nondetection, Tongues
    4- Restoration, Charm Monster, Stoneskin, Neutralize Poison

    Spoiler: Fatemaker spells per day
    Show

    Spells per Day
    Level 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
    9th 0 - - -
    10th 1 - - -
    11th 2 0 - -
    12th 3 1 - -
    13th 3 2 0 -
    14th 3 3 1 -
    15th 3 3 2 0
    16th 3 3 3 1
    17th 3 3 3 2
    18th 3 3 3 3




    Then, like a musical adept,
    To blow the pipe his lips he wrinkled,
    And green and blue his sharp eyes twinkled,
    Like a candle-flame where salt is sprinkled;

    Spoiler: Snapshots
    Show

    Levels 1-5:
    Bard 5

    Rattenfänger von Hameln spends his early levels focusing on misdirection and general utility. With the ability to change form as a move action, high bluff and disguise skills and spells and bardic music abilities focused on confusing and misleading foes, he eschews traditional combat roles entirely.

    Snapshots:
    • +17 bluff check before items, spells or circumstance modifiers, combined with move action disguise self at will and illusion spells.
    • Inspire awe is quite effective at these levels, thanks to a high DC and wide area of effect, providing a sizable debuff to most foes. Fascinate combined with high bluff and perform checks can give a party an excellent advantage or even avoid encounters entirely.
    • Spells such as grease help against the foes not vulnerable to bluffing, fear or illusions, and while Rattenfänger is not a combat-focused character, medium BAB and decent weapon and armor proficiencies keep him from being completely vulnerable.
    • Excellent utility both in and out of combat thanks to wide variety of skills, further augmented by spells and abilities like loresong, inspire competence, mimicking song, improvisation and share talents.


    Levels 6-10:
    Bard 5/Master of Flies 3/Fatemaker 2

    As the game develops, Rattenfänger von Hameln’s pied piper abilities develop further and give him several powerful new options both in and out of combat. Master of Flies is an interesting prestige class that gives Rattenfänger several swarm-based abilities right off the bat: he can summon several swarms per day, he take swarm shape himself, and he gains a pied piper ability that summons vermin to him to do his bidding.

    Dark Speech deserves a mention all on its own. This is an incredibly flexible feat with several possible options. The two that Rattenfänger particularly focuses on are dread and unity. Dread provides a broad fear effect to nonevil characters who hear it, forcing weaker foes to flee outright and making those of comparable level shaken (which stacks with inspire awe and intimidation to layer fear effects). It can even be used to force stronger foes into attacking Rattenfänger, forcing them into the swarms that he surrounds himself with. Against evil foes it is perhaps even more potent, charming and improving their attitudes. The other powerful ability Dark Speech provides is unity. This allows Rattenfänger to bestow a hivemind on the swarms and vermin that flock to him, with a myriad of benefits: this gives him even greater control of vermin around him, and perhaps most importantly, by bestowing an animal cunning on normally nonintelligent creatures, they can now be affected by morale bonuses and can perform actions such as aid another.

    Rattenfänger’s Fatemaker abilities have not developed much yet, but he does make good use of them: charm person and sanctuary are both excellent spells to add to Rattenfänger’s toolkit. He also now can use wands of restoration without requiring a use magic device check, helping to mitigate the ability damage he takes from his Dark Speech ability. Summoning and controlling swarms fails to break his sanctuary, forcing opponents to make Will saves if they wish to attack him. Meanwhile, charming is incredibly powerful when backed by his strong debuffs. Increases to Charisma are incredibly welcome, as that is the driving stat behind all of his abilities. Finally, as Rattenfänger remains very skill-focused, the ability to boost perform, intimidate and bluff checks is incredibly useful.

    Snapshots:
    • Bluff and disguise remain potent parts of Rattenfänger’s toolkit, and now intimidate catches up.
    • Ability to layer fear effects between inspire awe, Dark Speech’s dread and intimidate can completely disable opponents.
    • Rattenfänger can control and constantly surround himself with swarms and vermin in combat and either prevent foes from attacking him with sanctuary or force them into these areas with Dark Speech.
    • Many ways to debuff opponents between fear effects, Doomspeak and the various sickening, poison and distraction effects of his swarms, as well as spells such as glitterdust and silence (seriously, casting silence on a swarm and having it surround a caster can really ruin their day). Doomspeak in particular is one of the most powerful debuffs in the game, and when combined with charm or fear effects to take advantage of the lowered Will saves becomes even more powerful.
    • Ability to supercharge skills, attacks and other checks by creating a hivemind to bestow intelligence on his verminous companions and instructing them to all perform aid another checks, in addition to increases from abilities such as loresong and Confidence of the Fated.
    • Swarm shape allows him to evade many common types of attacks and gives him incredible freedom of movement, providing flight or climb speeds and letting him squeeze through tiny spaces.



    Levels 11-15:
    Bard 5/Master of Flies 3/Fatemaker 7

    Rattenfänger spends his next five levels focusing on Fatemaker to augment his abilities. This comes into play most significantly with his aura of confidence. This supernatural ability can remain active whenever Rattenfänger von Hameln is conscious and provides a broad morale bonus to all adjacent allies. Of course, in Rattenfänger’s case, adjacent allies often numbers in the hundreds or even thousands, as he is constantly surrounded by teeming swarms of insects and other vermin. Ordinarily many of these would not be affected by morale boosts, but Dark Speech bestows on them a cruel intelligence that allows such boosts to apply. Rattenfänger can use his own swarm shape to increase his area as well, providing the boost to even more allies.

    Rattenfänger also uses the Fatemaker’s sneak attack to add a new flavorful debuff to his arsenal thanks to Sickening Strike, and his spells continue to take advantage of these debuffs with spells such as suggestion and charm monster. He also gains access to a couple of incredibly useful defensive spells: resist energy shores up one of the biggest vulnerabilities for his swarms, and restoration allows him to cure off the ability damage he takes from his Dark Speech.

    Rattenfänger also adds a new way to use his social skills with Wanderer’s Diplomacy. While all of its uses can come into play, most significant is social agility. This allows him to use his supercharged bluff check in place of diplomacy to change the attitude of unfriendly foes. In addition to working off his best skill, this also takes only a standard action without any penalties, meaning it can even be used in combat situations. He can also use it in concert with charm spells to convert friendly charmed foes into fanatics, using the epic usage of the diplomacy skill.

    Snapshots:
    • Aura of confidence works well alongside Rattenfänger’s swarm abilities and Dark Speech’s unity, allowing him to buff the swarms he is constantly surrounded with and giving them considerable bonuses to checks such as aid another.
    • Sickening Strike provides a new no-save debuff to work alongside his other debilitating attacks.
    • Fatemaker spells provide new offensive options and shore up many of the defensive vulnerabilities of his swarms.
    • Wanderer’s Diplomacy allows him to quickly convert unfriendly enemies into temporary allies or turn mere allies into fanatics and servants.



    Levels 16-20:
    Bard 5/Fatemaker 10/Master of Flies 5

    Ego manifestation is a terrifying and thematic capstone to the Fatemaker class, and Rattenfänger von Hameln makes great use of it. While its combat applications are obvious, and the major boost to intimidate checks are something he loves to take advantage of, Rattenfänger also uses the fact that he doubles in size to drastically increase the area of his swarm shape ability and aura of confidence allies. Thanks to this ability he can now become a huge swarm, which is not only a terrifying threat all on its own but also gives him dozens of squares that are affected by his aura of confidence. With this bonus increasing to +2, this means that most of his verminous allies should almost always succeed on most aid another checks, allowing Rattenfänger to receive phenomenal bonuses to attacks or skills when necessary.

    His final feat, Undead Empathy, gives him the opportunity to influence the attitudes of the undead. Previously his best bet against undead was to swarm shape and avoid the encounter (as most mindless undead do not have a way of attacking swarms), but now with Undead Empathy he can stop them from attacking him outright or even turn them into allies. The dread function of his Dark Speech and Wanderer’s Diplomacy both help here; as Wanderer’s Diplomacy allows you to make a standard action bluff check in place of the usual diplomacy check to influence another creature’s attitude, it should apply here as well. (Even if your DM rules that this is not the case, Rattenfänger still possesses a fantastic diplomacy check.) Under the right circumstances, Rattenfänger can even use this feat to add undead allies to his army of vermin.

    Snapshots:
    • Incredible intimidate checks alongside his already formidable bluff checks.
    • Undead Empathy allows Rattenfänger to convert undead as well as vermin to his cause.
    • Ego manifestation alongside swarm shape lets Rattenfänger assume the shape of a huge swarm and gives him many adjacent squares for his aura of confidence ability.
    • Extreme aid other checks, made reliable by Dark Speech’s unity and the aura of confidence, can easily boost Rattenfänger’s skill checks into epic levels or guarantee that attacks land.



    And ere three shrill notes the pipe uttered,
    You heard as if an army muttered;
    And the muttering grew to a grumbling;
    And the grumbling grew to a mighty rumbling;
    And out of the houses the rats came tumbling.

    Spoiler: Fatemaker
    Show

    Fatemaker was a difficult class to work with, as the majority of its abilities are easily duplicated by other methods. I decided to break down ways in which it differentiated itself from similar classes such as the bard. In particular, the aura of confidence ability stood out: while the effects were smaller than you might get from bardic music, the fact that it did not need constant actions to maintain was interesting, and the “adjacent allies” presented some interesting flavor (and a fun challenge) to build around. I thought a lot about what builds specifically benefited from the lack of an additional action to maintain the ability, while not being overly restricted by the adjacent requirement. With that in mind, Rattenfänger von Hameln was born.

    Rattenfänger is not restricted to merely the aura of confidence ability, however. His build benefits from every aspect of the secret ingredient:

    Take-charge appeal: As a Charisma-focused build, untyped bonuses to his primary stat are a huge boon for Rattenfänger.

    Confidence of the Fated: Morale bonuses are not hard to come by, but the size of the bonus is significant by the later levels of Rattenfänger’s career. Rattenfänger uses his skills offensively, such as using intimidation to debuff opponents and using Wanderer’s Diplomacy and Undead Empathy to convert enemies into temporary allies. Being able to add as much as a +10 bonus to these checks when needed is huge, potentially even pushing Rattenfänger into epic uses of said skills.

    Sneak attack: While raw damage has never been Rattenfänger’s preferred way of dealing with opponents, sneak attack opens up access to Sickening Strike. In addition to being a powerful no-save debuff that works well with Rattenfänger’s typical combat tactics, this is also near-perfect flavor for the verminous Rattenfänger von Hameln.

    Aura of confidence: This was the original inspiration for Rattenfänger von Hameln’s build, and influenced many of his build choices. While the “adjacent allies” restriction is normally quite limiting for this ability, Rattenfänger is constantly surrounded by teeming swarms of rats and insects, and by using the power of his Dark Speech he can even give these swarms a semblance of intelligence in order to allow vermin to benefit from his bonuses. While the bonuses themselves are fairly minor, he can still take advantage even of minor bonuses such as these by instructing his thralls to focus primarily on skills and Aid Another actions. It's also worth noting that this is only possible because of the fact that the ability does not require an action to maintain once activated; Rattenfänger is reliant on several abilities and spells with Concentration durations, and while he has some ways of mitigating these costs (Swift Concentration and sonorous hum), the near-constant nature of the aura of confidence allows him to maintain both his aura and his swarms throughout the day.

    Ego manifestation: Righteous might is an excellent combat boost, but even more important is the boost to the intimidate skill, which is unique to the Fatemaker. In addition, by increasing to large size, Rattenfänger significantly increases the number of potential adjacent allies to be affected by his aura of confidence ability, and increases the size of the swarms he can shape into.

    Spells: The Fatemaker’s spell list seems plain but is near-perfect for Rattenfänger von Hameln. The charm and suggestion line of spells work well with his pied piper motif, and he has quite a few tools to neutralize opponents and soften up their Will saves to make sure these spells land. Of course, these spells would have been available to him as a bard. What would not have been available is the powerful healing spell restoration. This gives Rattenfänger a reliable way to cure the ability damage he takes by using Dark Speech’s potent powers.

    Skills: Fatemaker’s high skill points and huge skill list allow Rattenfänger von Hameln to keep all of his relevant skills as high as possible. It even adds intimidate, one of the major missing elements to the bard’s skill list.

    Entry requirements: The Fatemaker’s entry requirements are no burden to Rattenfänger von Hameln, who uses his powerful bluff and intimidate checks to quickly neutralize or recruit opponents even in the midst of battle.


    Great rats, small rats, lean rats, brawny rats,
    Brown rats, black rats, gray rats, tawny rats,
    Grave old plodders, gay young friskers,
    Fathers, mothers, uncles, cousins,
    Cocking tails and pricking whiskers,


    Spoiler: Equipment, Sources and Variants
    Show

    Equipment is of course important for all characters, though Rattenfänger doesn't require much. Ability score boosters are the most important, especially for his Charisma and Constitution scores. Ways to increase his Fortitude saving throw (by far his weakest point) are also important. A decent light armor that does not interfere with spellcasting is also important. Spiked gauntlets will allow Rattenfänger to still threaten foes without preventing him from playing his pipes or casting spells. Wands in general can provide general utility thanks to Use Magic Device, and wands of Restoration are particularly useful.

    Sources
    • PHB/SRD: Bard class, Skill Focus feat
    • PHB2: Wanderer's Diplomacy feat
    • Planar Handbook: Fatemaker prestige class
    • Savage Species: Master of Flies prestige class
    • Eberron Campaign Setting: Changeling race, Undead Empathy feat
    • Races of Eberron: Quick Change feat
    • Dragon Magic: Inspire awe alternate class feature
    • Dungeonscape: Mimicking song alternate class feature, loresong alternate class feature
    • Book of Vile Darkness: Dark Speech feat, hivemind rules
    • Champions of Ruin: Doomspeak feat
    • Drow of the Underdark: Sickening Strike feat
    • Complete Scoundrel: Skill tricks
    • Spell Compendium: All spells not listed in the SRD



    Please note that Sickening Strike and Doomspeak come from a Faerun source, and therefore may not be permitted in all settings (though the feats are not otherwise setting-specific, and Sigil can act as a bridge between settings). In cases where it is not permitted, replacing Sickening Strike with Complete Adventurer's Staggering Strike is an excellent alternative. Doomspeak is a bit harder to easily replace, but there are some good alternatives. Dark Whispers from Elder Evils gives you another powerful way to use your Dark Speech ability, staggering masses of foes, while Shape Soulmeld from Magic of Incarnum can give you access to the Strongheart Vest, which allows you to slightly reduce the ability damage you take from said ability.

    Speaking of Elder Evils, if you have the ability to dedicate yourself to an Elder Evil, that is an excellent choice. It is thematically well in line with Rattenfänger's flavor and frees up several feats in the build. Rattenfänger would make a fantastic herald of Kyuss, the Worm that Walks, though the creeping horror of Father Llymic would also be an appropriate avenue for Rattenfänger's abilities.


    Families by tens and dozens,
    Brothers, sisters, husbands, wives--
    Followed the Piper for their lives.

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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!

  4. - Top - End - #64
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground XCI

    He's Maxwell the Magnificent
    Undeniably, reliably magnificent!


    Quote Originally Posted by Maxwell the Magnificent

    Maxwell the Magnificent


    Spoiler: backstory
    Show


    Spoiler: Boom
    Show

    Maxwell taped down the stencil for the magic circle on the floor of his covered wagon. He tied a Jorasco beaked mask over his face and dusted the area with powdered silver from a metal can designed for sugaring hotcakes. He puttered around and finished his machinations, keeping an eye on the pot of soup that simmered on the potbellied stove. With the final invocation, he stepped back and poured a cup of hot tea.

    “Foolish mortal! You meddle with forces far beyond your ken!” shrieked a beautiful succubus from the center of the circle, facing away from her summoner.

    “You hungry, Lily?” Maxwell asked.

    “Oh, hi, Max.” She turned around and dimmed the fire in her eyes since it was unneeded. “What’ll it be today? some upstart need to perform the Rite of Friendly Contact with an Evil Outsider?”

    Maxwell tossed the mask onto the table and mopped at his brow with his sleeve, the air close from the heat of the fire.

    “Nah, just a little shill work for right now.” He ladled up a bowl of chicken soup and levitated it over with a flick of a wand from up his sleeve.

    “Show-off.” Lily accepted it and supped. “Where we doing this?”

    “Small town. I’m thinking dowdy matron. Something like that.” Maxwell sat in his chair just out of her reach.

    “You’re no fun.”

    “I’ve left some sketches there for inspiration. I can spirit you some clothes once you decide on measurements.” Maxwell blew on his teacup.

    “All right, all right.” She picked up his charcoals and shifted her form accordingly to something that wouldn’t stand out quite so much. “Did I miss anything? It’s been what, six months?”

    “Three years. There’s been a few developments—“

    The wagon slowed to a halt.

    “Ah, we’re here. It’ll be more natural if you think on your feet. You always have had a gift for improvisation.” Maxwell tossed over a long dress and bonnet once Lily had finished graying her hair and wrinkling her brow.

    “Terms of service?” she asked with something like hesitation.

    “As ever, that’s up to you, my dear. The sooner you get these rubes to buy what I’m selling, the sooner you can stop enjoying my hospitality.” Maxwell gave her a smile that didn’t touch his eyes.

    The cyst hidden just above the nape of her neck ached.

    “That won’t be a problem, will it?”

    Lily swallowed. “No, no problem.”

    “Good. It’s showtime. Break a leg.” He took a final sip from his cup and tossed the dregs onto the silver circle, freeing his houseguest.

    Maxwell ostentatiously opened up a copy of the Chronicle, crinkling the pages so he could be heard all across the town square. Lily stepped off after him, staying a few paces behind and waiting for the crowd to shuffle along, so it wouldn’t be quite so obvious they’d arrived together.

    She found he’d left her a few pennies in the pockets of her plain apron and bought some fried fish from a vendor.

    “Who’s that fellow over there with that colorful wagon?” she asked the fishmonger. “Looks like an out-of-towner to me. I wonder what exotic wares he’s got in there. Something for these old bones, I hope.” Lily kneaded at her human knuckles, miming arthritis.

    “Don’t know, ma’am,” the fishmonger said. “Looks like a huckster to me. I’d steer clear.”

    Lily bit her tongue, already missing its natural fork. She hoped Maxwell wouldn’t showboat too long this time. “You ought to give people a chance. They might surprise you.”

    “Can you believe this!” Maxwell shouted to no one in particular as he tore through his paper, mimicking such fury that he tore the pages around the edges. “Just like that! Poof! Gone!”

    Someone took the bait. A tanner from the smell of him.

    “What’s gone?” he shouted to Maxwell.

    “The warforged! They think they can just come in and do that to us? Who’s supposed to drive our plows?” Maxwell stepped adroitly onto a soapbox he’d parked his wagon near. No accident. Even with the wood beneath his feet, Maxwell hardly towered over the crowd, but it was the gesture that was important.

    “Hmph,” muttered a blacksmith nearby. “Tending my own forge. Forge is ‘forged work you ask me.”

    “Too right, sir!” Maxwell exclaimed with a rap of his silver-tipped cane on the soapbox.

    Lily flinched reflexively and hoped no one noticed. She could pass it off as a chill, the kind that affected elderly humans as time wore on. Maxwell couldn’t be long for this world. His hair was all white now, the black from his youth long gone. He’d done enough to wind up in the Abyss. Lucky for him he already spoke the language.

    “Who’s supposed to do our laundry?” Maxwell shouted with his eye on a washerwoman sweating in the sun. She nodded, out of breath.

    “Yeah!” Lily shouted with disgust that ought to sound genuine. A few townsfolk joined her.

    “And don’t think I just say this because I’m a lazy old man who doesn’t want to do his own chores! I’m perfectly well aware of the virtues of hard work. Good for the body. Good for the soul, as anyone knows. But is that where our valuable time is really best spent?” He waited for a response. The hicks standing around him didn’t comply.

    He looked over their heads, a trick to make it look as though he was addressing all of them. Lily knew who he had his eye on. He could feel his gaze on her. She rolled her eyes and ducked behind the bolts of fabric on the tailor’s cart and swanned out in the form of a scrawny child.

    “No way!” Lily yelled, shaking a tiny fist to the predictable awws.

    “Did they think of the warforged in all this emancipation poppycock? No sir! They don’t know what to do with themselves nowadays, they’re neither fish nor fowl. It’s not like folks are falling over themselves to hire them.”

    Lily shucked her next layer and quick changed again into a fat man. “There’s got to be another way!”

    Maxwell pointed at her with his cane. “That’s where I have good news, my friend! There is! What if I told you today was the last day you had to muck out your stables?”

    Lily looked appropriately slack-jawed.

    “That’s right! There are a few little places they haven’t quite legislated us out of yet.” Maxwell grabbed a handful of colorful powder from some secret pocket or another in his waistcoat and blew it on the ground in front of him. A bloated dretch stood stupidly before the crowd.

    The crowd stepped away in fear.

    “Don’t worry folks, he’s quite tame. You there! What’s something you’d rather not do?” Maxwell demanded of a young man chopping wood.

    “Finish this log, that’s for sure,” he said.

    Max gestured to the ax. “Well? Get to it, wretch.” He kicked the dretch in the backside and sent him scampering along. The humans laughed gamely.

    The dretch finished chopping the log and disappeared shortly after. Lucky.

    “And that’s just a sample, just a sample of the things that can be done for you. Imagine all the time you can save! There’s only one catch:” Maxwell lowered his voice. Those in the front row leaned in.

    “Keep this a secret! Don’t let your friends from out of town know how you have all this time to yourself. Keep them guessing. Why shouldn’t you get to have all the fun?” The crowd didn’t seem to have any objections to that. “Cast off the chains of drudgery and…” Maxwell gestured and a phantom drumroll began from the background. Time for the big finish.

    “Stand tall!” Maxwell swelled to an enormous size, towering over the crowd, his reedy voice booming across the square. The soapbox he was standing on splintered beneath his bootheel.

    “Clumsy of me. Sorry about that, sir. Tell you what, first one’s on me. Pick something out to clean up the mess and you’ll be first in line.” Maxwell handed the soaper a coupon for a free summoning to show his integrity.

    He had them now.


    Spoiler: Bust
    Show

    It wasn’t long before the streets were glutted with demons from back home. Lily was running into familiar faces every other day. Once the humans were in their beds, they’d occasionally swap stories when they didn’t have any work to do, but these moments grew more fleeting by the day.

    If there was one thing humans loved, it was idleness. Once their largest errands were out of the way, it wasn’t long before smaller and smaller tasks became an unimaginable burden. By now, tanner’s row didn’t have a human soul left in it. None of them could compete with Maxwell’s creatures. Dretches poured urine over hides and gadacros patrolled the skies to wring the necks of pigeons for their masters’ tables. One by one, the tradesman had taken down their shingles.

    Humans hardly left home anymore. Maxwell was no exception. Though the town was small, with the money he’d made in his time here, he was staying in the inn’s largest room. Certainly an improvement over the wagon where Lily slept.

    She was on her way back from the market with Maxwell’s groceries when a hand placed itself roughly upon her shoulder.

    Lily seized with fear. Not because of whatever ruffian who thought he could rob her, but the thought of what would happen if Maxwell heard she broke her cover. She knew the cyst inside her let him see her when she thought she was alone. If this was more than she could handle, she hoped vainly he would come help her.

    “Hey ma’am. Ma’am! Carry those groceries for you? I’ll summon you something up right quick, something good, and for less than the other guy.” Lily stepped into the shadow of the alley, her demoniac eyes drinking in the man before her.

    He was young with iron rings punched through his brow and lip, his hair a sickly greenish color braided and twisted into ropes like a medusa’s. The stink of silver wafted from his trousers and pieces of its dust shone on his hands in the moonlight.

    “Please, just a few coppers,” he said, leaning in close enough to show the burns around his lips from an absentia pipe.

    She wasn’t in danger, so she had to act like a human would, satisfying though it would’ve been to drink him down to nothing with her touch.

    “Help! Someone!” she yelled into the darkness.

    A tall, handsome man appeared from the ether, his neatly trimmed beard framing a smile full of gold and jewels. He didn’t have a natural tooth left in his mouth.

    “My monsters will keep you safe from this degenerate. For a price, of course.” He crudely rubbed his fingers together.

    “This is my corner, man!” the man in the alley began to cast a spell.

    “We’ll see about that.” The other joined in, calling some old acquaintance of hers.

    Lily, forgotten, went upstairs to the inn’s top floor.

    “Is it that time already?” Maxwell asked her when she got in the door. He already had his coat on. Hardly surprised.

    “Yeah, looks like the second stringers are already here,” Lily said. “I guess someone broke the rule.”

    “Rule? Oh, that. That’s the whole thing, you see.” Maxwell explained, as though she didn’t already understand.

    “It’s how I keep myself honest. Once I’m the only game in town, well, I could charge whatever I wanted for a loaf of bread or a set of horseshoes when I was the only one making them, now couldn’t I?” he asked patronizingly.

    “Yes, you could,” Lily said, shilling for an audience of zero.

    “But if I did that, then these people just wouldn’t be able to pay. And when people can’t pay, well they do some pretty awful things. Remember last time?” As though she could forget.

    “I remember.”

    “Well if I tell these suckers to keep a secret all they can do is rub it in to their relatives off who knows where, and when some kids fresh out of Morgrave hear there’s a quick buck to be made, they’re out on the streets with their inferior product. I don’t need to compete with that. No sir. So by the time these little guppies are here to swim in my wake, well, that’s the time I figure it’s right for me to take my leave.” He cleared his throat.

    Lily put her arms around him and kissed his whiskered cheek. “Safe travels,” she said, all smiles. With that, Maxwell disappeared, off to some other plane.

    Lily picked a bottle up from the bar, threw it into the fireplace, and burned the building down.

    Her task complete, she retreated home. As soon as she was there, she was summoned again. Not even enough time to sit down.

    As she was getting into character, she took in her surroundings. A cramped room in a basement full of papers and books. It was illuminated barely by a stout candle atop a table draped with a white cloth. Two plates of chicken and dumplings sat steaming at two place settings.

    Her summoner closed an enormous book and advanced hesitantly toward the circle, clad in a silk robe and a pair of pince-nez. She offered Lily a glass of wine.

    “I, uh, hope you had a pleasant trip. I think I did everything right this time.”

    Lily accepted it and drained it. “Rite of Friendly Contact with an Evil Outsider?”

    “Yes please,” she said, barely audible over a spectral recording of soft piano music.

    “Great. Let’s get started.”




    Spoiler: stub
    Show

    CE human crusader 5/fatemaker 10/ nar demonbinder 5


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


    Spoiler: table
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    Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    1st Crusader 1 +1 +2 +0 +0 bluff 4, balance 4, diplo 4, intimidate 4, k (religion) 4 criminal background, skill focus (intimidate) Furious counterstrike, steely resolve 5
    2nd Crusader 2 +2 +3 +0 +0 bluff 1 (5), balance 1 (5), diplo 1 (5), intimidate 1 (5), tumble 1 Indomitable soul
    3rd Crusader 3 +3 +3 +1 +1 intimidate 1 (6), tumble 4 (5) iron will Zealous surge
    4th Crusader 4 +4 +4 +1 +1 concentration 2, intimidate 1 (7), tumble 2 (7) Steely resolve 10
    5th Crusader 5 +5 +4 +1 +1 concentration 1 (3), intimidate 1 (8), tumble 1 (8), never outnumbered,
    6th Fatemaker 1 +5 +4 +3 +3 spellcraft 4, umd 3 arcane disciple (summoner) Take-charge appeal
    7th Fatemaker 2 +6/+1 +4 +4 +4 k (planes) 5, umd 2 (5) Confidence of the Fated 1/day
    8th Fatemaker 3 +7/+2 +5 +4 +4 bluff 1 (6), k (planes) 1 (6), sm 2, tumble 3 (11) Sneak attack +1d6
    9th Fatemaker 4 +8/+3 +5 +5 +5 concentration 6 (9), tumble 1 (12) hardened criminal (umd) Aura of confidence (+1)
    10th Fatemaker 5 +8/+3 +5 +5 +5 concentration 4 (13), diplo 2 (7), tumble 1 (13) Take-charge appeal
    11th Fatemaker 6 +9/+4 +6 +6 +6 concentration 1 (14), diplo 4 (11), intimidate 1 (9), tumble 1 (14) Sneak attack +2d6
    12th Fatemaker 7 +10/+5 +6 +6 +6 concentration 1 (15), diplo 1 (12), intimidate 5 (14) mother cyst Confidence of the Fated 2/day
    13th Fatemaker 8 +11/+6/+1 +6 +7 +7 concentration 1 (16), diplo 1 (13), intimidate 2 (16), k (planes) 4 (10) Aura of confidence (+2)
    14th Fatemaker 9 +11/+6/+1 +7 +7 +7 bluff 4 (10), concentration 1 (17), diplo 1 (14), intimidate 1 (17), Sneak attack +3d6
    15th Fatemaker 10 +12/+7/+2 +7 +8 +8 bluff 3 (13), concentration 1 (18), diplo 1 (15), intimidate 1 (18), speak language (abyssal) spell focus (conjuration) Ego manifestation, take-charge appeal
    16th Nar Demonbinder 1 +12/+7/+2 +7 +8 +10 concentration 1 (19), diplo 1 (16), intimidate 1 (19) Fiendish familiar, inimical casting
    17th Nar Demonbinder 2 +13/+8/+3 +7 +8 +11 diplo 1 (17), intimidate 1 (20), sm 1 (4) Iron sign
    18th Nar Demonbinder 3 +13/+8/+3 +8 +9 +11 diplo 1 (18), intimidate 1 (21), sm 1 (5) practiced spellcaster (nar demonbinder) Master summoner
    19th Nar Demonbinder 4 +14/+9/+4 +8 +9 +12 diplo 1 (19), intimidate 1 (22), sm 1 (6) Brazen sign
    20th Nar Demonbinder 5 +14/+9/+4 +8 +9 +12 diplo 1 (20), intimidate 1 (23), sm 1 (7) Infernal certitude


    Spoiler: crusader maneuvers & stances
    Show

    Level 1
    crusader’s strike
    vanguard strike
    charging minotaur replace at 4
    douse the flames
    leading the attack

    Level 2
    foehammer
    battle leader’s charge (gain at 4)

    Level 3
    white raven tactics

    Stances
    martial spirit
    leading the charge


    Spoiler: fatemaker spell chart
    Show

    Spells per Day
    Level 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
    6th 0
    7th 1
    8th 2 0
    9th 3 1
    10th 3 2 0
    11th 3 3 1
    12th 3 3 2 0
    13th 3 3 3 1
    14th 3 3 3 2
    15th 3 3 3 3


    Spoiler: fatemaker spell selection
    Show

    Level 1
    charm person
    summon monster I
    disguise self
    true strike
    necrotic awareness

    Level 2
    invisibility
    spider climb
    resist energy
    summon monster II
    necrotic cyst
    necrotic scrying

    Level 3
    haste
    tongues
    suggestion
    summon monster III
    necrotic bloat

    Level 4
    charm monster
    stoneskin
    remove curse
    restoration
    necrotic domination


    Spoiler: nar demonbinder spell chart
    Show

    Spells per Day
    Level 0lvl 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
    16th - - - - 2 1
    17th - - - - 2 2
    18th - - - - 3 2 1
    19th - - - - 3 3 2
    20th - - - - 3 3 2 1


    Spoiler: nar demonbinder spell selection
    Show

    Level 4
    magic circle against good
    summon monster IV
    lesser planar binding
    dismissal
    necrotic domination

    Level 5
    plane shift
    summon monster V
    dispel good
    necrotic burst

    Level 6
    summon monster VI
    planar binding
    necrotic eruption

    Level 7
    summon monster VII
    necrotic tumor


    Spoiler: playtips
    Show

    Spoiler: lvl 5
    Show

    You function as a pretty normal crusader with some eclectic skill choices. Fall in with bad company, and enjoy expanding your horizons. Pick on people smaller and weaker than you and spook them with never outnumbered.

    Criminal background provides access to bluff (alongside open lock and sleight of hand just for fun) to qualify for fatemaker in a timely fashion.

    Skilled city-dweller allows you to transform ride into tumble.


    Spoiler: lvl 10
    Show

    Congratulations, you’re in the secret ingredient. Fatemaker provides access to UMD, the best skill in the game. Why so little investment? Well, at the level you get it, ranks, in addition to your charisma bonus and a minimum roll of 1 will get you to a 10, and hardened criminal allows you to take 10 on the skill (even though it’s normally not possible) so you can hit the 20 for wands, set it, and forget it.

    The Great Mother has generously granted you access to the summoner domain. Since fatemaker has to pay for spells like a sorcerer, once you’ve picked up the goodies from your class, you nab the monster summoning spells from here to qualify for nar demonbinder.

    Your boosted charisma will help you make better bargains with monsters down the line, and they’ll be able to enjoy your aura of confidence while fighting alongside you, and summons can give you someone to flank with, making use of your sneak attack ability.


    Spoiler: lvl 15
    Show

    Gain some more spells from mother cyst. I encyst. It further expands your list and adds versatility. Unlike arcane disciple, it will provide access for both your halves: fatemaker for the low level spells to encyst, scry on, and mind control people (very handy to keep summons in line with the planar binding line) and the more powerful things such as causing enemies to explode via nar demonbinder’s higher level slots.

    Your conjuration spells are hitting harder making it harder to say no to you, and now ego manifestation’s on, you’re large and in charge, able to beat people up with your sweet crusader karate, taking up more squares to flank with your monsters, and making life difficult for your enemies.


    Spoiler: lvl 20
    Show

    Nar demonbinder is here to help you. It can summon a huge variety of monsters which give you access to a great number of spells and other effects. Practiced spellcaster juices your caster level further in addition to your fatemaker levels pulling their weight. Summon monsters, keep them on a short leash, and get what you need in life.



    Spoiler: sources
    Show

    city of stormreach: criminal background, hardened criminal
    srd: skill focus, iron will, spell focus, practiced spellcaster
    complete divine: arcane disciple
    libris mortis: mother cyst
    tome of battle: crusader
    unapproachable east: nar demonbinder
    planar handbook: fatemaker
    spell compendium: summoner domain
    skilled city dweller: cityscape web enhancement
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  5. - Top - End - #65
    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Nope, I'm out of appropriate song lyrics now

    Quote Originally Posted by Memyadu, the Spell Embezzler
    Memyadu, the Spell Embezzler

    CN Dark vaulkrau illumian Spellthief 9 / Fatemaker 9 / Mage of the Arcane Order 1


    [Incoming Sending from Kevlamin Moonshadow, Arcane Order Guildmage:]
    "Memyadu, the Spellpool contains Barkskin and Shillelagh again. Is this your doing? Henderson account again? We talked about this. Fellow guild mates getting confused. Over."

    [Response:]
    "Henderson not worth effort. Gave laugh to Henderson's lackeys. Paid debt as required. Find use for spell energy; I did. Graybeards not my problem. Over."


    VITALS
    Spoiler
    Show
    STR 14
    DEX 14
    CON 14
    INT 14
    WIS 8
    CHA 15
    All level-up increases go to CHA. Take-Charge Appeal also increases CHA.

    Vaul: +2 bonus on CHA-based skill/ability checks
    Krau: +2 bonus to CL for spells/SLAs, max of HD
    Vaulkrau: 2/day, expend spell slot (not prepared spell) as immediate action to gain bonus to saving throw equal to level of lost slot
    Dark: +10 ft movement, darkvision 60 ft, resist cold 10, Hide in Plain Sight, superior low-light vision, +8 Hide, +6 Move Silently
    Multiclass penalty: No
    Starting languages: Common, Illumian, Celestial, Infernal


    TABLES
    Spoiler
    Show

    Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    1st Spellthief 1 +0 +0 +0 +2 K: Arcana 4, Bluff 4, Intimidate 2 cc, Diplomacy 2 cc, Hide 4, Move Silently 4, Concentration 4, Tumble 4 Skill Focus (Bluff) Sneak Attack +1d6, Steal Spell (1), Trapfinding
    2nd Spellthief 2 +1 +0 +0 +3 K: Arcana +1 (5), Bluff +1 (5), Intimidate +0.5 cc (2.5), Diplomacy +0.5 cc (2.5), Hide +1 (5), Move Silently +1 (5), Concentration +1 (5), Tumble +1 (5) No New Feats Detect Magic, Spellgrace +1, Steal Spell Effect
    3rd Spellthief 3 +2 +1 +1 +3 K: Arcana +1 (6), Bluff +1 (6), Intimidate +0.5 cc (3), Diplomacy +0.5 cc (3), Hide +1 (6), Move Silently +1 (6), Concentration +1 (6), Tumble +1 (6) Sudden Extend Steal Energy Resistance 10
    4th Spellthief 4 +3 +1 +1 +4 K: Arcana +1 (7), Bluff +1 (7), Intimidate +0.5 cc (3.5), Diplomacy +0.5 cc (3.5), Hide +1 (7), Move Silently +1 (7), Concentration +1 (7), Tumble +1 (7) No New Feats Steal Spell (2), Spellthief spells (1st level)
    5th Spellthief 5 +3 +1 +1 +4 K: Arcana +1 (8), Bluff +1 (8), Intimidate +0.5 cc (4), Diplomacy +0.5 cc (4), Hide +1 (8), Move Silently +1 (8), Concentration +1 (8), Tumble +1 (8) No New Feats Sneak Attack +2d6, Steal SLA
    6th Spellthief 6 +4 +2 +2 +5 Bluff +1 (9), Intimidate +0.5 cc (4.5), Diplomacy +0.5 cc (4.5), Hide +1 (9), Move Silently +1 (9), Tumble +1 (9), Spellcraft +1 (1), Appraise +1 (1) Cooperative Spell Steal Spell (3)
    7th Spellthief 7 +5 +2 +2 +5 Bluff +1 (10), Intimidate +0.5 cc (5), Diplomacy +0.5 cc (5), Hide +1 (10), Move Silently +1 (10), Tumble +1 (10), Spellcraft +2 (3) No New Feats Absorb Spell
    8th Spellthief 8 +6 +2 +2 +6 Bluff +1 (11), Hide +1 (11), Move Silently +1 (11), Tumble +1 (11), Concentration +2 (10), Spellcraft +2 (5) No New Feats Steal Spell (4), Spellthief spells (2nd level)
    9th Fatemaker 1 +6 +2 +4 +8 Bluff +1 (12), Diplomacy +2 (7), Hide +1 (12), Move Silently +1 (12), Balance +2 (2), Tumble +1 (12) Arcane Preparation Take-Charge Appeal, Fatemaker spells (1st level)
    10th Mage or the Arcane Order 1 +6 +2 +4 +10 Concentration +2 (12), Acrobatic Backstab skill trick No New Feats Guild Member, Spellpool (1st-3rd spells), [advance Fatemaker casting]
    11th Fatemaker 2 +7 +2 +5 +11 Bluff +2 (14), Diplomacy +2 (9), Hide +2 (14), Move Silently +2 (14) No New Feats Confidence of the Fated 1/day, [FM spells 2nd level]
    12th Fatemaker 3 +8 +3 +5 +11 Bluff +1 (15), Diplomacy +2 (11), Hide +1 (15), Move Silently +1 (15), Balance +3 (5) Master Spellthief Sneak Attack +3d6, [Steal Spell (5)]
    13th Fatemaker 4 +9 +3 +6 +12 Bluff +1 (16), Diplomacy +2 (13), Hide +1 (16), Move Silently +1 (16), Sense Motive +3 (3) No New Feats Aura of Confidence, [FM spells 3rd level], [Steal Spell (6)]
    14th Fatemaker 5 +9 +3 +6 +12 Bluff +1 (17), Diplomacy +3 (16), Hide +1 (17), Move Silently +1 (17), Sense Motive +2 (5) No New Feats Take-Charge Appeal
    15th Fatemaker 6 +10 +4 +7 +13 Bluff +1 (18), Diplomacy +2 (18), Hide +1 (18), Move Silently +1 (18), Sense Motive +1 (6), Concentration +2 (14) Delay Potion Sneak Attack +4d6, [FM spells 4th level], [Steal Spell (7)]
    16th Fatemaker 7 +11 +4 +7 +13 Bluff +1 (19), Diplomacy +1 (19), Hide +1 (19), Move Silently +1 (19), Sense Motive +1 (7), Concentration +1 (15), Social Recovery skill trick No New Feats Confidence of the Fated 2/day
    17th Fatemaker 8 +12 +4 +8 +14 Bluff +1 (20), Diplomacy +1 (20), Hide +1 (20), Move Silently +1 (20), Sense Motive +3 (10), Concentration +1 (16) No New Feats Aura of Confidence +2, [Steal Spell (8)]
    18th Fatemaker 9 +12 +5 +8 +14 Bluff +1 (21), Diplomacy +1 (21), Hide +1 (21), Move Silently +1 (21), Sense Motive +3 (13), Concentration +1 (17) Darkstalker Sneak Attack +5d6
    19th Spellthief 9 +12 +6 +9 +14 Bluff +1 (22), Hide +1 (22), Move Silently +1 (22), Concentration +1 (18), Spellcraft +2 (7), Back On Your Feet skill trick No New Feats Arcane Sight, Sneak Attack +6d6, [Steal Spell (9)]

    Spoiler: Magic
    Show

    Note: Between level-based stat boosts and Take-Charge Appeal, Memyadu always has at least one bonus spell slot at the point at which she attains a new spell level.

    Level (HD) Spellthief 1st slots Spellthief 2nd slots Spellthief 1st known Spellthief 2nd known
    1st - - - -
    2nd - - - -
    3rd - - - -
    4th 0 - 2 -
    5th 0 - 2 -
    6th 1 - 3 -
    7th 1 - 3 -
    8th 1 0 4 2

    Memyadu's Spellthief spells per day and spells known do not progress via class after 8 HD.

    Level (HD) Fatemaker 1st slots Fatemaker 2nd slots Fatemaker 3rd slots Fatemaker 4th slots Fatemaker 1st known Fatemaker 2nd known Fatemaker 3rd known Fatemaker 4th known
    1st - - - - - - - -
    2nd - - - - - - - -
    3rd - - - - - - - -
    4th - - - - - - - -
    5th - - - - - - - -
    6th - - - - - - - -
    7th - - - - - - - -
    8th - - - - - - - -
    9th 0 - - - 2 - - -
    10th 1 - - - 3 - - -
    11th 2 0 - - 3 2 - -
    12th 3 1 - - 4 3 - -
    13th 3 2 0 - 4 3 2 -
    14th 3 3 1 - 4 4 3 -
    15th 3 3 2 0 4 4 3 2
    16th 3 3 3 1 4 4 4 3
    17th 3 3 3 2 4 4 4 3
    18th 3 3 3 3 4 4 4 4
    19th 3 3 3 3 4 4 4 4
    Spells known (in order learned):
    Spellthief 1: Serene Visage, Path of Frost, Appraising Touch, Nerveskitter
    Spellthief 2: Quick Potion, Wraithstrike
    Fatemaker 1: True Strike, Disguise Self, Sanctuary, Expeditious Retreat
    Fatemaker 2: Invisibility, Eagle's Splendor, Spider Climb, Cat's Grace
    Fatemaker 3: Haste, Tongues, Nondetection, Protection from Energy
    Fatemaker 4: Restoration, Remove Curse, Stoneskin, Charm Monster


    PREREQS FOR CLASSES AND FEATS
    Spoiler
    Show
    • Skill Focus, Sudden Extend, Darkstalker: No prereqs (met immediately).
    • Cooperative Spell: Must have any other metamagic feat. Met after taking Sudden Extend at 3 HD.
    • Arcane Preparation: Must be able to cast arcane spells without preparation. Met at 4 HD with Spellthief spells.
    • Master Spellthief: Must have Steal Spell and be able to cast 2nd level arcane spells. Met at 9 HD with 2nd level Spellthief spells and 11 HD with 2nd level Fatemaker spells. Steal Spell is met at 1 HD.
    • Delay Potion: Must have 1 rank in K: Arcana. Met at 1 HD.
    • Fatemaker: Must have 4 BAB (met at 6 HD), Skill Focus Bluff (met at 1 HD), 8 ranks in Bluff (met at 5 HD), and 5 ranks each in Diplomacy and Intimidate (met at 7 HD), plus an alignment prereq that is met immediately.
    • Mage of the Arcane Order: Must have 8 ranks in K: Arcana (met at 5 HD), Cooperative Spell (met at 6 HD), any other metamagic feat (met at 3 HD with Sudden Extend), and the ability to prepare and cast 2nd level arcane spells (met at 9 HD with Arcane Preparation of Spellthief slots). Fun Fact: Since Cooperative Spell has a prereq of “any other metamagic feat,” this class’s prereqs would be functionally the same if the feat section just said “Cooperative Spell” and not “Cooperative Spell and any other metamagic feat”!



    PLAYSTYLE
    Spoiler
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    1-5 HD: Memyadu starts out as an unusually sneaky Spellthief. The Dark template grants her a good degree of extra mobility, crazy nice early bonuses to the stealthy skills, and early access to HiPS, making Sneak Attacks easy to come by. It’s also got a remarkably good fluff match on an illumian, considering that illumians have a stronger-than-most connection to the Plane of Shadow. Like all Spellthieves, she likes both stealing spells from enemies and borrowing spells from allies—friendly casters love the action economy advantage offered by having a Spellthief partner with them to get their spells on the field faster, after all. Even without a friendly caster around, though, she’s perfectly capable of sneaking around and shanking folks who don’t want to be shanked, possibly stealing some magic in the process. They call the Fated “takers” for a reason, after all, and Memyadu believes that she deserves your magic more than you do. Everything on the planes is fueled by belief, after all. She just also has the skills to back it up.

    Speaking of not being shy, Memyadu’s better socially than the average Spellthief. With Skill Focus (Bluff) and the Vaul sigil, she’s got significantly more Bluff than most folks in her level bracket, and Vaul plus the synergy bonus from Bluff go a long way towards shoring up her cross-class ranks in the other social skills. Serene Visage is an ace in the hole for those really important deceptions.

    Although she doesn’t have very many spells of her own per day, she has a better-than-average CL on them (by Spellthief standards), and Sudden Extend is remarkably useful for wringing a little extra mileage out of a spell. The Vaulkrau power word is not something that she invokes very often (Vaul and Krau are separately more powerful than the combination thereof), but it can be the difference between a close save and a bad time if things get really bad.

    6-9 HD: Memyadu gets a few more levels of Spellthief under her belt, keeping up Steal Spell and getting at least a brief window where Absorb Spell is likely to be functional. Fatemaker offers as many skill points as Spellthief, a rather better skill list for our purposes, and faster advancement of spells. In particular, getting Balance, Sense Motive, and Diplomacy in-class helps a lot. Take-Charge Appeal helps her get better at talking and better at casting, both of which are rather important to this character.

    She has access to Quick Potion now, which helps her satisfy the “if you can take it and can hold it” aspect of the Takers’ outlook. The duration on Quick Potion is one hour per level (or, once per day, double that, thanks to Sudden Extend), which means that any leftover slots (which she has relatively few of right when QP comes online, but that doesn’t stay true for long) can easily be turned into potions that will last into the next day’s adventures. Almost more importantly, any stolen spells that happen to fit the criteria for being potionable can be stored in the same way, which offers much greater flexibility than the usual one hour duration granted by the Steal Spell ability itself (and also frees up stolen spell level storage). Yanking a spell from an opponent’s mind, storing it in a bottle, and using clever tactics to access that spell on one’s own terms? It doesn’t get much more Fated than that—but stick with me.

    10-15 HD (Sweet Spot): As soon as practicable, Memyadu pays her entry fee and joins the ranks of the Arcane Order, giving her access to the Spellpool. Fatemaker offers reasonably decent slot progression by the standards of unique-casting PrCs that aren’t Sublime Chord or Ur-Priest, but the spell list leaves something to be desired. Access to the Spellpool solves this problem in a big way, and this is really where Memyadu’s Fated attitude gets to shine. Other folks might be content with the spell list written in a sourcebook somewhere, but not her—and she intends to take what she wants.

    By default, the Spellpool offers access to any Sor/Wiz spell in the PHB, up to the maximum level allowed by one’s MotAO level, plus other spells in other circumstances. This is already a huge leg up on the spells listed in the Planar Handbook. You can make an argument that Memyadu’s very high Bluff/Diplomacy mods might be used to convince someone who matters in the Arcane Order to allow her to access a few spells outside of the PHB, relying on the “additional spells” clause, but this is not necessary for the build to function. It’s just a nice option if you’ve got a GM who appreciates a good blend of thematic roleplay (Fated take what they want and aren’t merely satisfied with what they’re granted!) and the mechanical stats (Bluff/Diplomacy) to back it up. Either way, this is a crazy increase in utility, especially out-of-combat utility.

    Anyway, Memyadu can access any Sor/Wiz spell of levels 1-3 from the PHB. This is coincidentally the level range she cares about for making potions with Quick Potion. If you’re worried about how she doesn’t get many 2nd level Spellthief slots per day, don’t be. She can steal her own 2nd level Fatemaker spells to fuel castings of it. CAdv pg. 16: “If the target is willing, a spellthief can steal a spell with a touch as a standard action.” [. . .] “Alternatively, a spellthief of 4th level or higher can use the stolen spell power to cast any spellthief spell that he knows of the same level or lower (effectively, this gives the spellthief one free casting of a known spell).” There’s plenty of touch-range abilities that one uses on oneself, and she’s willing.

    Master Spellthief also comes online in this level bracket. This feat is tricky to use and tricky to read, but it’s very powerful. Let’s talk a little bit about Memyadu’s caster level, because Master Spellthief is a little bit unclear how caster level should be calculated in a situation like this. At a bare minimum, the combination of Krau, Spellthief 8, and however many levels in Fatemaker should put Memyadu’s CL equal to her HD. (MotAO advances Fatemaker casting, but even if MotAO isn’t factored into the calculation, Krau will make up the difference.) A more generous interpretation would allow Krau to be added to the Fatemaker level and/or to the Spellthief level (neither of which is alone enough to bump into Krau’s “max of your HD” cap) before adding the Fatemaker level and Spellthief level together, possibly increasing her CL by 2 (if Krau applies once) or 4 (if Krau applies twice, once to Fatemaker and once to Spellthief). So at 12 HD when Master Spellthief comes online, Memyadu’s CL (for both Fatemaker spells and Spellthief spells) is either 12, 14, or 16. Even assuming the least generous interpretation is pretty nice, considering that very few Fatemakers will have such high CL, and that CL never stops scaling, so Memyadu ends up with a CL way above the usual “maximum” for a Fatemaker. It’s also worth mentioning that while potions that are crafted or purchased are usually made at minimum CL to save on cost, nothing about potions (or Quick Potion) says that they must have minimum CL, so the potions made with Quick Potion should have Memyadu’s normal CL, which is considerable. And of course, Fatemaker levels now count towards what spells Memyadu is able to steal. (It is unclear if her Mage of the Arcane Order level contributes to this; I wrote the table under the assumption that only Spellthief and Fatemaker levels count, not MotAO.) Remember that spells can be stolen from enemies or borrowed from friends, so this is relevant so long as there’s a spellcaster somewhere on the field (but it doesn’t much matter where on the field).

    Speaking of stealing spells, the Spellpool ain’t free. Spellpool users incur a spell debt, and that spell debt has to be paid. But what savvy businessperson pays a debt with their own purse? It’s much more efficient for Memyadu to pay back her Spellpool debt with OPM: Other People’s Magic. Stolen spells have just as much energy as honest spells, after all. Even if a given spell that Memyadu steals isn’t immediately useful to her, she can just funnel it into the Spellpool to pay off a debt for some spells that ARE useful to her. This is where she moves from being a “spell thief” to a “spell embezzler.” She has access to a much wider variety of resources than she should, she takes what she wants when she wants it, she shuffles magic between accounts with some accounting sleight of hand, and she forces other people to literally pay the price for her, keeping her own account clean except when absolutely necessary. How Fated is that?

    Spellthieves are very big on action economy (that’s one of their best benefits to friendly casters, after all), and Delay Potion helps with that. Any potionable spell (there are plenty in the Spellpool, and Memyadu loves making Quick Potions) can be effectively Quickened with a little bit of prep time. Sure, it’s only possible to have one at once, but one swift action Haste or Invisibility or Fly or Blink or Displacement or Heroism (need I continue?) per encounter is a pretty noticeable benefit. Even Sanctuary (accessible as a Fatemaker spell) is interesting as a swift action, since it can be used after attacking; call it a “no tagbacks” spell.

    Confidence of the Fated’s primary use depends on whether it’s ruled to be a standard action or a nonaction: if it’s a standard action (because it’s a supernatural ability without a listed action type; see MM pg. 315), Memyadu can use it while hidden from a target to line up an ideal opening attack, which is a trick that most Fatemakers cannot do as well. If it’s a nonaction, it’s useful for saving throws and for really important social skill checks. Sneak Attack continues to progress, and Memyadu’s baseline tactics remain useful. Aura of Confidence is a difficult ability to use well (such a small bonus at such a small range!), but it pairs very thematically with Cooperative Spell if Memyadu happens to have an aligned spellcaster in the party, and it’s not like a stabby person will never have an ally nearby. It also works out of combat to make obligatory Aid Another checks better.

    16+ HD: Memyadu finishes strong, gaining lots of spells per day, more uses of Confidence for when things just need to succeed, plenty of Sneak Attack, and very strong spell-stealing capabilities. Many characters with Master Spellthief fall into the trap of being able to steal spells that they cannot hold, but not Memyadu—she always has enough Spellthief levels to hold whatever spell she is able to steal, up to and including 9th level spells. The Fated take what they want, and they can hold onto it as well. Darkstalker keeps stealth useful, and it’ll be hard to find a Fatemaker with a higher CL.


    COMMENTARY, ADAPTATIONS, DESIRED ITEMS, ETC.
    Spoiler
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    Memyadu’s skills after hitting the prereqs for her classes are relatively flexible—it’s wise to keep Hide/MS maxed and appropriate to keep some social skills high, but the exact progression of Balance, Concentration, Sense Motive, Spellcraft, skill tricks, etc. are easily adjusted to the user’s taste. 12 ranks in Tumble is enough to autosucceed on a DC 15 check after factoring in DEX and a minimum roll of 1. The single rank in Appraise at 6 HD is an “I’m trained, really!” rank to be paired with Appraising Touch (learned at the same level) on days when that happens to be the best use of a spell slot; it won’t be used every day, but that’s why it’s a single rank. 5 ranks in Balance is to help with not being flat-footed, especially once you can pull Grease from the Spellpool (Path of Frost serves a similar purpose before then). It’s very odd that Spellthief doesn’t get Balance as a class skill, but that means that Memyadu gets more benefit out of Fatemaker than someone who entered as, for example, a Rogue.

    If flaws are allowed, take Darkstalker and Delay Potion earlier, then take Vatic Gaze (PHB2) or Craven (CoR) in the now-free 15 HD slot. The 18 HD slot can be used for the other one of Vatic Gaze or Craven, or it could be used for another low-cost metamagic feat, Martial Study (ToB), Obtain Familiar (CArc), Eschew Materials, Subtle Sigils (RoD), or whatever you like, really.

    The last level of Fatemaker is less valuable than the last level of Spellthief because Memyadu already maxed out on Fatemaker casting and does not particularly benefit from a Righteous Might effect 1/day (she has Enlarge Person from the Spellpool for when she wants to be big, but sneaky characters rarely want to be bigger), so the ability to hold stolen 9th level spells is prioritized (in keeping with the “if you can take it and hold on to it” mentality of her faction). Fatemaker 10 can be taken nonetheless if LA buyoff is allowed; the table was built assuming that LA buyoff is not in play. It should be noted that Memyadu’s favorite feature from Fatemaker is the casting, and she has the equivalent of 10 levels in Fatemaker where casting is concerned.

    If you want to prioritize stealth and movement over social agility, Uurkrau is a perfectly acceptable power word. I chose not to use it to avoid any arguments about why an Uurkrau illumian would have higher CHA than DEX (and also to focus on social skills, thereby making the best of Fatemaker’s requirements and abilities).

    It is entirely reasonable to start with Skill Focus (Diplomacy) rather than Skill Focus (Bluff), considering that the two skills end up with nearly the same ranks (Diplomacy ends up with a slightly higher mod than Bluff thanks to synergy bonuses). Doing so would mean that Memyadu has similar high bonuses to Bluff and Diplomacy at early levels (as opposed to passable Diplomacy and very high Bluff). Skill Focus (Bluff) was chosen because flubbing a Bluff check at low levels tends to be worse than flubbing a Diplomacy check (and it’s often easier to get circumstance bonuses to Diplomacy checks through good roleplay than it is to get circumstance bonuses to Bluff, GM depending), though it’s good to be good at both of them.

    Memyadu’s spells known on the Spellthief side are chosen entirely from non-PHB sources to ensure that they do not become redundant once Spellpool access comes online. However, if having access to certain effects at lower level is more desirable than making sure that your choices are never upstaged, it’s entirely reasonable to take spells like Shield, Charm Person, or Reduce Person as spells known.

    Although Memyadu cannot access the Spellpool for 4th level spells, 4th level Fatemaker spells are pretty good for getting out of jams, and they can also be traded in to the Spellpool to pay debt, if desired.

    For mundane equipment, Memyadu sticks to the best her proficiencies and her budget will allow. Morningstars and daggers (thrown daggers or crossbows serving for ranged options) serve well enough until Fatemaker unlocks longswords and shortbows. Use the best light armor you can afford (likely studded leather or a chain shirt early on and a mithril breastplate later, funds allowing). All skillful/roguish characters benefit from well-chosen masterwork tools, adventuring gear, and so on, and Memyadu is no exception. Similarly, every Spellthief should carry a few spare spell component pouches (ideally including just a few of the more common expensive material components, funds allowing).

    Desired magical equipment would include standard numerical boosters (stat enhancers, magic weapons/armor, and something that boosts saves), wands of useful spells (since the Spellthief spell list is directly based off of a large subset of the Wizard spell list, there are too many good wands to list here), Mementos Magica, Rings of Wizardry, Metamagic Rods (especially Extend), Healing Belts, and so on. The cost makes them a “sometimes food,” but Delay Potion works with normal (non-Quick) potions as well, so any potions of useful spells that aren’t in Memyadu’s regular bag of tricks are more useful on her than on many other characters.

    This has no effect on the build, but it’s weird enough that I feel compelled to mention it somewhere: this character has more unique sources of Speak Language than any other I’ve ever built. Illumians always get Speak Language as a class skill, and all three classes in the build naturally have Speak Language as a class skill, despite how rare it is as a skill. Weird, right? In a universe with more skill points, I would have liked to max out Speak Language and learn crazy rare planar dialects from all around the Great Wheel, but that obviously wasn’t practical.


    SOURCES
    Spoiler
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    • Complete Adventurer (Spellthief)
    • Complete Arcane (Mage of the Arcane Order, Sudden Extend, Arcane Preparation, Cooperative Spell)
    • Complete Mage (Delay Potion)
    • Complete Scoundrel (Master Spellthief, skill tricks)
    • Dragon Magic (Path of Frost)
    • Lords of Madness (Darkstalker)
    • Planar Handbook (Fatemaker)
    • Races of Destiny (Illumian)
    • Spell Compendium (Serene Visage, Appraising Touch, Nerveskitter, Quick Potion, Wraithstrike)
    • Tome of Magic (Dark template)


    Spells/Feats/etc. not mentioned are from the PHB/SRD. Certain items in the adaptation section are from the Magic Item Compendium.
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  6. - Top - End - #66
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    ...I'm pretty sure any song I came up with that was relevant to someone called "Gar Hogchoker" would get me an infraction.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gar Hogchoker
    Gar Hogchoker
    LN Draconic Crane Clan Illumian sorcerer 6/marshal 3/Fatemaker 10


    Spoiler: Racial Traits & Abilities
    Show

    Crane Clan (oriental adventure p.9-10) Favored Class Samurai, Diplomacy is a class skill.

    Darkvision out to 60 feet and low-light vision.

    Saves: Draconic creatures have a +4 racial bonus on saves against magic sleep effects and paralysis. Illumians have a +2 racial bonus on saves against spells with the shadow descriptor:
    +1 Natural armor
    +2 racial bonus on Intimidate checks and Spot checks.
    Draconic Claw attacks
    Illumian Traits: Luminous Sigils (Su), Glyphic Resonance (Ex), Power Sigils (Su), Illumian Words (Su), Final Utterance (Ex), Superior Literacy
    +2 str, +2 con, +2 cha
    LA: +1

    str 15,
    dex 16,
    con 10,
    int 12,
    wis 8,
    cha 19

    Class level ability bonuses
    4th & 8th: +1 Cha
    12th, 16th, 20th:+1 Str


    Spoiler: Build
    Show

    Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    1st Dragonblood (RotD p.107) Battle Sorcerer (UA p.56) +0 +0 +0 +2 escape artist 4, intimidate 4, diplomacy 4 Exotic Weapon proficiency (Blade Boot) (Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting p. 98) Bonus: Light Armor Proficiency, Weapon proficiency (Horned Helmet)(Races of Faerun p.156), Draconic Heritage (Etherial) Racial:Power Sigils: Uur Rune,

    Arcane insight +2, cast in light armor Spellcasting, add UMD and intimidate to class list, lose craft, profession, and bluff.
    2nd Marshal (Miniatures handbook p.11) +0 +2 +0 +4 Bluff 5 Skill Focus Diplomacy Minor Aura: motivate dexterity
    3rd Battle Sorcerer +1 +2 +0 +5 escape artist 6, diplomacy 5 Aberration Blood (Lords of Madness, p. 178): Slimy Skin Racial: Power Sigils: (Aesh), Illumian Words (Aeshuur)
    4th Battle Sorcerer +2 +3 +1 +5 escape artist 7, intimidate 6
    5th Battle Sorcerer +3 +3 +1 +6 escape artist 8, intimidate 8 Arcane insight +4, Grease spell like ability
    6th Battle Sorcerer +3 +3 +1 +6 escape artist 9, Escape attack skill trick (Complete Scoundrel p. 86) Draconic Claw (Races of the Dragon p.102)
    7th Battle Sorcerer +4 +4 +2 +7 escape artist 10, concentration 2
    8th Fatemaker (Planar Handbook p.56) +5 +4 +4 +9 escape artist 11, tumble 5, concentration 3 Spellcasting, cast in light armor, shield proficiency, take charge appeal +1
    9th Fatemaker +5 +4 +5 +10 escape artist 12, intimidate 12, hide 1, move silently 1 Battlebred (Player's Guide to Eberron, p. 122) Confidence of the Fated 1/day
    10th Fatemaker +6 +5 +5 +10 escape artist 13, intimidate 13, Slipping Past skill trick (Complete Scoundrel p.89), hide 2, move silently 2 Sneak attack +1d6
    11th Fatemaker +7 +5 +6 +11 escape artist 14, Quick escape skill trick (Complete Scoundrel p.88), hide 4, move silently 4 Aura of confidence (+1)
    12th Fatemaker +8 +5 +6 +11 escape artist 15, Never Outnumbered skill trick (complete Scoundrel p.87), hide 6, move silently 6 Craven (Champions of Ruin, p. 17) Take-charge appeal
    13th Fatemaker +8 +6 +7 +12 escape artist 16, concentration 6, UMD 3 Sneak attack +2d6
    14th Fatemaker +9 +6 +7 +12 escape artist 17, hide 8, move silently 8, UMD 6 Confidence of the Fated 2/day
    15th Fatemaker +10 +6 +8 +13 escape artist 18, hide 9, move silently 9, concentration 8, UMD 8 two weapon fighting Aura of confidence (+2)
    16th Fatemaker +11 +7 +8 +13 escape artist 19, sleight of hand 6 Sneak attack +3d6
    17th Fatemaker +11 +7 +9 +14 escape artist 20, sleight of hand 12 Ego manifestation, take-charge appeal
    18th Draconic Battle Sorcerer +12 +7 +9 +14 escape artist 21, mosquitos bite skill trick (Complete Scoundrel p.87), intimidate 15 Quicken Spell like abiity (MM1 p.304) Arcane insight +6, Bonus Spells known (good)1. bless, 2.fog cloud, 3.fly
    19th Marshal +13 +8 +9 +15 escape artist 22, Handle animal 4 Motivate attack
    20th (If LA buyoff allowed) Marshal +14 +8 +10 +15 escape artist 23, handle animal 8 Motivate strength

    Sorcerer Spells Known
    Level 0lvl 1st 2nd 3rd
    1st 3 1 - -
    2nd (marshal) 3 1 - -
    3rd 4 1 - -
    4th 4 2 - -
    5th 5 2 1 -
    6th 5 3 1 -
    7th 6 3 1 1

    0:Caltrops (Spell Compendium, p. 42), detect magic, prestidigitation
    1:Grease, Reduce person, Know protections (Races of Faerun p.104), Bless (bonus)
    2:Kuo-Toa Skin (stormwrack p.118), Fog Cloud (bonus)
    3:Fly (bonus) Flexform (Secrets of Sarlona, p. 127)

    Sorcerer Spells per Day
    Level 0lvl 1st 2nd 3rd
    1st 4 2 - -
    2nd 4 2 - -
    3rd 5 3 - -
    4th 5 4 - -
    5th 5 5 2 -
    6th 5 5 3 -
    7th 5 5 4 2

    Fate Maker Spells per Day
    Level 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
    8th 0 - - -
    9th 1 - - -
    10th 2 0 - -
    11th 3 1 - -
    12th 3 2 0 -
    13th 3 3 1 -
    14th 3 3 2 0
    15th 3 3 3 1
    16th 3 3 3 2
    17th 3 3 3 3

    Fate Maker Spells Known
    Level 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
    8th 2 - - -
    9th 3 - - -
    10th 3 2 - -
    11th 4 3 - -
    12th 4 3 2 -
    13th 4 4 3 -
    14th 4 4 3 2
    15th 4 4 4 3
    16th 4 4 4 3
    17th 4 4 4 4
    Spells known
    1: Expeditious Retreat, truestrike, jump, sanctuary
    2: bull's strength, eagle's splendor, invisibility, spider climb
    3: haste, nondetection, protection from energy, suggestion
    4: charm monster, restoration, neutralize poison, remove curse


    Background:
    Coming from a structured society of Courtiers and Nobles and rival clans constantly in conflict, Gar was born into one of the clans who grew wealthy through the management of valuable trade routes via political acumen. The result of a dalliance between a Kakita courtier and a strange spirit with runes spewing around its head, Gar was born into an effete minor family who specialized in refining artisanship to it's keenest edge. A slimy boy with runes nearly constantly streaming about his brow, Gar was sent to opera school at an early age, where he found that his one true skill was acrobatics. More specifically, contortion.


    The Kakita of the Crane Clan were known to refine talents of their ilk to the point that they become nearly supernatural. So when the boy developed some arcane powers, it was viewed as a beneficial sign. He was encouraged to develop a routine for performing for the Emperor as a way to bestow honor to his family. Gar did, and immediately was noticed by a wealthy Crane Business Shogun of the Imperial route. Not because the shogun was excited about the art of contortion and escape, but because he was interested in infiltration, most notably the infiltration of rival Scorpion holdings.

    Gar continued training with a secret cabal of Crane infiltrators and one night, snuck into the wrong room at the wrong time. A room that had a scroll, a scroll reader, a super fancy diagram on the floor, and a wildmagic portal that flung those outside the protective barrier of the diagram into the planes.

    To the city of Doors: Sigil.

    Gar fit in at last. In a city crawling with the embodiments of planar diversity, being a slimy, stretchy, budding sorcerer didn't seem like that big a deal in comparison to Cornugons and mindflayers and whatever the planes had milling about. He was adopted into a chain cabal of fellow illumians and finally learned all the things about himself and his identity that he never even knew could be possible. He was such a primer. Apparently that’s one of many things they call people who hail from prime material planes.

    If you thought illumian politics were crazy on the primes, you have not seen what level of investment it takes to attempt to lock down the power struggles of the city of doors. Joining the fated faction, who act as Sigil’s tax collectors, all as a double agent for his new illumian cabal compatriots, Gar was assigned the job of hunting down people who attempted to dodge paying their fair share of the tax. He wasn’t great at the fighting part, but the breaking and entering through chimneys and windows and such, he was great at that. His fighting style was remarked upon by a fellow illumain as that of a hogchoker, the name of a simultaneously slimy and sharp fish from his home plane.

    However, the narrative of strength, take or be taken, espoused by the fatemakers drilled into his psyche. Gar quit his cabal, mostly because they needed him more than he needed them now. And so, he’s ready to take on his first bounties.

    Milestones
    Level 5:
    Right off the bat, it’s important to acknowledge that an illumian isn’t exactly a human and that he may not be allowed to be considered of the Crane Clan. I would like to point out the humanoid type and human subtype on illumians, which qualifies them for all of the same stuff that humans qualify for. Crane clan grants diplomacy as a class skill to human members and illumians are human enough...With the right backstory...

    In order to be a dragonblood sorcerer substitution levels as an illumian, you need to take the draconic template. Or do some other trick that cleverer optimizers can figure out. Draconic Heritage (Ethereal Dragon) grants Gar escape artist as a permanent class skill and some other useless stuff. But, because the ethereal dragon is neutral and Gar is neutral, his 7th level acf can be good aligned, and thus whenever you need it, you can get fly as a spell known.

    This build has two tricks that it does well: Escape Artist and stacking bonuses from oily things.

    Trait/Equipment/spell/feat Bonus Type Source Notes
    Grease 10 competence SRD
    Kuo Toa Skin 8 untyped stormwrack
    Uur Rune 2 untyped Races of Destiny to dex checks
    Motivate dexterity Cha bonus Miniature Handbook
    spelunker's kit 2 circumstance Underdark p.67
    Spelunker's oil 2 Alchemical Drow of the Underdark 93
    Aberration Blood (slimy skin) 4 Racial Lords of Madness, p. 178
    SilkSlick Belt 10 Competence Magic Item Compendium p.136
    Slippery Oil 5 Untyped! drag comp 119
    Bolt of Freedom 10 Untyped! Arms and Equipment p.101

    By my calculations, that’s a +59 bonus to escape artist checks before you even roll a die. At level 5, well below wealth by level. That’s right, we are going to go epic early. Because Fatemaker gets a really crappy capstone (Righteous Might) with a really interesting hook.

    If insufficient room is available for the desired growth, you attain the maximum possible size and may make a Strength check (using your increased Strength) to burst any enclosures in the process. If you fail, you are constrained without harm by the materials enclosing you—the spell cannot crush you by increasing your size.
    That means that we have the opportunity to make a character that can do this:


    So let’s see how we do. At level five we cannot possibly pull a full Shang Tsung. But let me elucidate the plan.

    The first part of that gif, where Shang Tsung climbs into the opponent’s mouth, can be done through an epic DC Escape Artist check by a creature of small size, which can fit into a space of 1 inch square. We will use that to escape right down our opponents throat, or right up their...cloaca? The details don’t matter so much, you pretty much sprint down your opponents orifice into their vittles. And then you use righteous might to burst them into square organ chunks.

    Anyways, now that you can see where we are going with this, I’ll continue to elaborate on other build elements.

    Gar has exotic weapon proficiency Boot Blades. If you wear two boot blades and also want to use your hands to attack, you need the multi-weapon fighting feat, but there is a weird little hoophole...

    Quote Originally Posted by FRCS p.98
    A character proficient with the blade boot can attack with a single blade boot as his primary weapon, or with two blade boots as if attacking with two weapons, provided he makes no attacks with his hands. He can choose to attack with a weapon in his primary hand and use a single blade boot as his off-hand weapon, but in this case he cannot attack with an off-hand weapon in his secondary hand. A character cannot attack with a primary weapon, an off-hand weapon, and a blade boot in the same round unless he knows the Multiweapon Fighting feat described in the Monster Manual
    What about if you use your head to attack as well as both of your feet? By using your battle sorcerer weapon proficiency on horned helmet and attack with your head and feet, like some kind of spiky Russian dancer? The horned helmet (Races of Faerûn 155, 156) (25 gp; 4 lbs.) is a martial Small weapon (hence light in dnd-3.5e terms), so it qualifies for battle sorcerer weapon proficiency. The answer to this question will be important for any grapples Gar gets into...

    I know what you may be thinking to yourself, “Didn’t blade boot get updated in complete scoundrel? (p.110)” And the answer is no. Complete scoundrel sell the Boot Blade. Totally different item because the boot switches from being a noun to an adjective and it is a totally different weapon that you treat as a dagger. The names are just really similar.

    Further, the boot blades offer +4 to escape artist checks pertaining to rope bonds. Take that, animate rope.

    These five levels will be excruciating.
    Level 10
    Things have changed. We have our first few levels of fatemaker. We have draconic claw, which allows us to cast our buff spells and still attack in combat as a swift action. This pairs well with caltrops. We also have battlebred, which extends any morale bonus for 2 extra rounds. That confidence of the fated ability, is a morale bonus and it only extends to a single type of check.

    Once per day, a fatemaker of 2nd level or higher can add her class level as a morale bonus on any single attack roll, weapon damage roll, saving throw, or skill check.
    That means that you get that morale bonus for two extra rounds on checks, so long as it is the same sort of check. Boom. Optimized.

    We have the flexform spell which is amazing for escape artistry:
    +10 untyped bonus to tumble and escape artist...the subject can squeeze into a space half as wide as its normal space (PH 148) with no penalties to movement, attack rolls, and AC. The subject is able to move freely through squares occupied by creatures only one size category larger than it, rather than three size categories larger
    What was the answer about using your blade boots and helmet as your attack routine?

    And if you're all out of flexform spell slots, use the slipping past skill trick. If you get out of a grapple, use the escape attack skill trick and hit your opponent for sneak attack damage once you get some.

    Let's check in our escape artist DCs.

    Trait/Equipment/spell/feat Bonus Type Source Notes
    Grease 10 competence SRD
    Kuo Toa Skin 8 untyped stormwrack
    Uur Rune 2 untyped Races of Destiny to dex checks
    Motivate dexterity Cha bonus circumstance Miniature Handbook
    spelunker's kit 2 circumstance Underdark p.67
    Spelunker's oil 2 Alchemical Drow of the Underdark 93
    Aberration Blood (slimy skin) 4 Racial Lords of Madness, p. 178
    SilkSlick Belt 10 Competence Magic Item Compendium p.136
    Slippery Oil 5 Untyped! drag comp 119
    Bolt of Freedom 10 Untyped! Arms and Equipment p.101
    Flexform 10 untyped (Secrets of Sarlona, p. 127)
    Confidence of the fated fatemaker class level Morale! planar handbook p.50

    Paired with 13 skill ranks, it looks like you hit DC 92! If you use reduce person, you can absolutely climb inside someone that you gore a hole into with your dumb helmet. Well Done.

    Now, remember Shang Tsung? There was a second part of the plan, you need to be able to burst the body of your opponent using your strength score alone. I don't know what the DC is to bust open a human you just crawled down the throat of. I hope your DM does.

    Time to start stockpiling some more gear.
    Trait/equipment/spell/feat Bonus Type Source Notes
    Aesh power sigil +2 untyped RoD to strength checks
    strength bonus may vary, minimum +2 untyped
    masterwork crowbar +2 circumstance
    netcutter spikes +4 circumstance Races of the Wild p. 167 armor add on 200gp
    Confidence of the fated +Fatemaker level Morale planar handbook
    Third Eye Surge +4 Insight Magic item compendium 2100 gp
    armbands of might +2 untyped Magic item compendium 4100 gp
    eagle Claw talisman +5 competence Magic item compendium 1000gp

    That's 19+ your fatemaker level, even before you roll.

    Charisma boost helps your martial aura and bonus spells.

    Level 15
    Add Craven to your sneak attack damage, twf if you want to attack with your crowbar and boots and helmet and draconic claw. If you hit with a sneak attack you get +2 dodge bonus to your AC, which stack. So keep up that attacking. You have some spells to buff yourself. You can boost your charisma and thereby boost your dexterity. You can boost your strength. You can truestrike.

    You grant your allies +2 morale bonus to everything in addition to the +charisma bonus to dexterity. I hope you hang out with archers.

    Sweetspot Level 18
    Here it is.

    You have righteous might! Which explicitly allows you to make strength checks to burst your surroundings from your sudden size growth. You have more than a +20 to your roll to burst whomever you climb inside. Your movement isn't hampered by tight squeezes due to skill tricks and flexform. So you can totally get 30 feet deep into their intestines. If you buy a ring of the octopus, you get another +10 untyped bonus to escape artist. At DC 120, which you can now hit, you can get through a wall of force. Crazy.

    Anyway, back to righteous might. You are inside the opponent as a move action. You can attack without penalty while squeezing, and you are in their square, so you can helmet, double boot, and claw them, from the inside. Who doesn't like cover?

    Anyway, back to righteous might. You are inside the opponent as a move action. You use a swift action to activate righteous might, expanding you to large size, granting +8 strength, and possible exploding your poor...host? Then you use the never outnumbered skill trick and make an intimidate check against everyone who just saw that.

    We did it!

    We can go full Shang Tsung.

    Further, if you activate righteous might and you fail your strength check:

    Quote Originally Posted by righteous might
    If you fail, you are constrained without harm by the materials enclosing you—the spell cannot crush you by increasing your size.
    Sooooo....you get to wear your opponent like a suit of armor, making opposed strength checks to force their body around as you do stuff? That's even cooler than passing your strength check.

    You may need a ring of xray vision to make that work though...

    Anyway. That's my Build. Gar Hogchoker. Or the Kakita Family. In the Crane Clane. Adrift on the planes. Crawling up butts and making people explode. Just like the rest of the clan.
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    The only person in the past two pages who has known what (s)he has been talking about is Heliomance.
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    I just don't want to have long romantic conversations or any sort of drama with my computer, okay? It knows what kind of porn I watch. I don't want to mess that up by allowing it to judge any of my choices in romance.

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  7. - Top - End - #67
    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Something something throw off the shackles something? Yeah, I'm bad at this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kasia
    Kasia, Breaker of Chains
    Chaotic Good Dark Human
    Dark Template 1/Battle Dancer 1/Warlock 4/Fatemaker 9/Unseen Seer 5

    Spoiler: Background
    Show

    I understand what you’ve been through. My earliest memory is of the collar snapping shut around my neck. A scared young girl snatched up by unscrupulous men. A dusky, otherworldly oddity for Madame Dumont’s so-called Dancehall and Lounge.

    I still find my hands straying to my throat to feel for the long faded marks of my chains, nervous habit the only remaining sign of my indenture; no brand to mar my flesh because, well, you of all people know why. For many years the stage and chains circumscribed my life, such as it was.

    Then one day something in me broke and the darkness within came boiling out, shattering chains and flesh alike without discrimination. In hindsight I am not proud of what I did that night before vanishing into the darkness. Satisfied, yes, but not proud.

    I was angry for a long time. Rage and vengeance defined my days; a trail of broken bodies, broken lives marked my path. What little I recall of that time I don’t care to dwell upon. Eventually I came to realize that however satisfying my actions may be – and at times they were indeed, very satisfying – they were inevitably ineffectual. I needed to work on a grander scale to affect the institutions that allow for such injustice as I had been raised to. I needed to seize and shape the fates of not just individuals and myself, but of whole societies. And so I remade myself, came out of the shadows and into society. I learned the language of diplomacy and influence, and slowly I’ve worked to destroy the industry that has brought so much misery to so many. There is satisfaction in effecting systemic change, though the good I accomplish takes longer to realize than does direct action. However, when the opportunity comes to help others of us who have not yet had the fortune to escape their chains, when action can serve, I slip back into the shadows to do what must be done. Which is how I’ve come to you.

    So I know what you’re feeling; you’re terrified and furious, on the brink of despair or hope, wondering how you can possibly move on from the ruins of your life left behind with the person you once were before this ordeal. The way I see it you have two paths ahead of you: you can succumb to the fear and despair, the hopelessness. You can accept that life as you knew it is over. Or you can stand and say ‘No! No I will not allow those who sought to make me less than a person succeed!’ Defy them, whether by living a full life, or perhaps by seeking to end the injustices that were visited upon you. It will be hard. Every day it will be hard, and sometimes you’ll falter, sometimes fail, but it will be your life, by your will and no other’s and isn’t that worth striving for? After all, there are two paths to take; one is easy, and that is its only reward.



    Spoiler: Ability Scores
    Show
    Ability Score Final
    Strength 8 8
    Dexterity 13 13
    Constitution 10 10
    Intelligence 16 16
    Wisdom 10 10
    Charisma 17 23
    All Fatemaker and Level Bonuses to CHA


    Spoiler: Build Progression
    Show

    Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    1st Dark Template - - - - Skillname RanksGained(Total Ranks) - Subtype (extraplanar); Speed +10 all modes; Darkvision 60ft; Hide in Plain Sight (Ex); Resist Cold 10; Superior Low-Light Vision; +8 Hide, +6 Move Silently
    2nd Battle Dancer +1 +0 +2 +0 Balance 4; Bluff 2; Diplomacy 4; Hide 4; Intimidate 2; Listen 4; Move Silently 4; Sense Motive 4; Spot 2; Use Magic Device 2 Able Learner; Apprentice (Entertainer) (B); Improved Unarmed Strike (B) AC Bonus; Unarmed Strike
    3rd Warlock +1 +0 +2 +2 Balance 1(5); Bluff 2(4); Diplomacy 1(5); Intimidate 1 (3); Listen 1(5); Hide (4); Move Silently (4); Sense Motive (4); Spot (2); UMD (2) - Eldritch Blast 1d6; Invocations (Least)
    4th Warlock +2 +0 +2 +3 Bluff 1(5); Diplomacy 1(6); Intimidate 2(5); Sense Motive 1(5); Spot 1(3); Balance (5); Hide (4); Listen (5); Move Silently (4); UMD (2) Skill Focus (Intimidate) Detect Magic (at will)
    5th Warlock +3 +1 +3 +3 Bluff 2(7); Diplomacy 1(7); Intimidate 2(7); Listen 1(6); Balance (5); Hide (4); Move Silently (4); Sense Motive (5); Spot (3); UMD (2) - Damage Reduction 1/cold iron; Eldritch Blast 2d6
    6th Warlock +4 +1 +3 +4 Bluff 1(8); Diplomacy 1(8); Hide 1(5); Intimidate 1(8); Move Silently 1(5); Spot 1(4); Balance (5); Listen (6); Sense Motive (5); UMD (2) - Deceive Item
    7th Fatemaker +4 +1 +5 +6 Bluff 1(9); Diplomacy 1(9); Hide 2(7); Intimidate 1(9); Listen 1(7); Move Silently 2(7); Use Magic Device 2(4); Balance (5); Sense Motive (5); Spot (4) Darkstalker Take Charge Appeal (CHA +1); Spellcasting
    8th Fatemaker +5 +1 +6 +7 Bluff 1(10); Diplomacy 1(10); Hide 2(9); Intimidate 1(10); Move Silently 2(9); Spot 1(5); Use Magic Device 2(6); Balance (5); Listen (7); Sense Motive (5) - Confidence of the Fated 1/day
    9th Fatemaker +6 +2 +6 +7 Bluff 1(11); Diplomacy 1(11); Hide 2(11); Intimidate 1(11); Listen 1(8); Move Siently 2(11); Sense Motive 2(7); Balance (5); Spot (5); UMD (6) - Sneak Attack +1d6
    10th Fatemaker +7 +2 +7 +8 Bluff 1(12); Diplomacy 1(12); Hide 1(12); Intimidate 1(12); Listen 2(10); Move Silently 1(12); Spot 3(8); Balance (5); Sense Motive (7); UMD (6) Craven Aura of Confidence (+1)
    11th Fatemaker +7 +2 +7 +8 Bluff 1(13); Diplomacy 1(13); Hide 1(13); Intimidate 1(13); Listen 2(12); Move Silently 1(13); Spot 3(11); Balance (5); Sense Motive (7); UMD (6) - Take-Charge Appeal (CHA +1)
    12th Fatemaker +8 +3 +8 +9 Bluff 1(14); Diplomacy 1(14); Hide 1(14); Intimidate 1(14); Listen 2(14); Move Silently 1(14); Spot 3(14); Balance (5); Sense Motive (7); UMD (6) - Sneak Attack +26d
    13th Fatemaker +9 +3 +8 +9 Bluff 1(15); Diplomacy 1(15); Hide 1(15); Intimidate 1(15); Listen 1(15); Move Silently 1(15); Spot 1(15); UMD 3(9); Balance (5); Sense Motive (7) Point Blank Shot Confidence of the Fated 2/day
    14th Fatemaker +10 +3 +9 +10 Bluff 1(16); Diplomacy 1(16); Hide 1(16); Intimidate 1(16); Listen 1(16); Move Silently 1(16); Spellcraft 2; Spot 1(16); UMD 1(10); Balance (5); Sense Motive (7) - Aura of Confidence (+2)
    15th Fatemaker +10 +4 +9 +10 Bluff 1(17); Diplomacy 1(17); Hide 1(17); Intimidate 1(17); Listen 1(17); Move Silently 1(17); Spellcraft 2(4); Spot 1(17); UMD 1(11); Balance (5); Sense Motive (7) - Sneak Attack +3d6
    16th Unseen Seer +10 +4 +9 +12 Bluff 1(18); Diplomacy 1(18); Hide 1(18); Intimidate 1(18); Listen 1(18); Move Silently 1(18); Spot 1(18); UMD 1(12); Balance (5); Sense Motive (7); Spellcraft (4) Precise Shot Damage Bonus (Sneak Attack) +1d6; +1 level of Arcane Spellcasting (Warlock); Warlock: Eldritch Blast 3d6
    17th Unseen Seer +11 +4 +9 +13 Bluff 1(18); Diplomacy 1(19); Hide 1(19); Intimidate 1(19); Listen 1(19); Move Silently 1(19); Spot 1(19); UMD 1(13); Balance (5); Sense Motive (7); Spellcraft (4)
    SKILL TRICK: Social Recovery
    - Advanced Learning (Hunter’s Eye); Silent Spell; +1 level of Arcane Spellcasting (Warlock); Warlock: Lesser Invocation
    18th Unseen Seer +12 +5 +10 +13 Bluff 1(20); Diplomacy 1(20); Hide 1(20); Intimidate 1(20); Listen 1(20); Move Silently 1(20); Sense Motive 2(9); Spot 1(20); UMD 1(14); Balance (5); Spellcraft (4) - Divination Spellpower +1; +1 level of Arcane Spellcasting (Warlock); Warlock: Eldritch Blast 4d6
    19th Unseen Seer +13 +5 +10 +14 Bluff 1(21); Diplomacy 1(21); Hide 1(21); Intimidate 1(21); Listen 1(21); Move Silently 1(21); Sense Motive 2(11); Spot 1(21); UMD 1(15); Balance (5); Spellcraft (4) Woodland Archer Damage Bonus (Sneak Attack) +2d6; +1 level of Arcane Spellcasting (Warlock)
    20th Unseen Seer +13 +5 +10 +14 Bluff 1(22); Diplomacy 1(22); Hide 1(22); Intimidate 1(22); Listen 1(22); Move Silently 1(22); Spot 1(22); UMD 3(18); Balance (5); Sense Motive (11); Spellcraft (4) - Advanced Learning (Locate Object), Guarded Mind, +1 level of Arcane Spellcasting (Warlock); Warlock: Eldritch Blast 5d6


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

    Spells Known:
    Level 1: Charm Person, Expeditious Retreat, Sanctuary, True Strike
    Level 2: Cat’s Grace, Daze Monster --> Bull’s Strength, Eagle’s Splendor, Invisibility, Hunter’s Eye (Unseen Seer lvl2)
    Level 3: Haste, Nondetection, Suggstion, Tongues
    Level 4: Charm Monster, Remove Curse, Restoration, Locate Object (Unseen Seer lvl5)

    Invocations Known:
    Least: Beguiling Influence (@ECL 3), See the Unseen (@ ECL 4), Baleful Utterance (@ ECL6)
    Lesser: Flee the Scene (@ECL 17), Voidsense (@ECL 19)




    Spoiler: Build Write-up
    Show

    Spoiler: Level 1:
    Show
    Kasia starts her career with only one HD at ECL2 due to the Dark template and is thus somewhat vulnerable early on. While full BAB on Battle dancer helps not fall too far behind early, the small hit die of the class (d8) and Kasia’s low CON mean she’s going to immediately default to the play-style which will characterize her throughout – a charming sneak who avoids a fair fight wherever possible. The Dark template helps with this, giving her Hide in Plain Sight as well as +8 to Hide and +6 to Move Silently, giving her +13 and +11 modifiers respectively without gear right off the bat. With some Listen and Spot ranks she can act as a party scout fairly effectively. Additionally she’s starting to improve her social skills: Apprentice (Entertainer) gives Diplomacy as a class skill, and Able Learner will help with maximizing skill ranks later on in her career.

    Spoiler: Level 5:
    Show
    At this point Kasia has taken four levels of Warlock, which come with a bunch of goodies for her. See the Unseen and Detect Magic at will help round out her senses for the scouting role. Unfortunately the skills associated with sneaking (Hide, Move Silently, Spot, Listen) have all lagged somewhat behind max ranks, though the Warlock levels have been good to Kasia’s other areas of expertise. Picking up Beguiling Influence gives an un-typed bonus to the big three social skills which are also now maxed out. Add in Skill Focus (Diplomacy) and 18 CHA and she is a very capable party face. Acquiring the Eldritch Blast ability sets up Kasia’s main combat technique for the rest of her career, namely sniping with EB and HiPS. Her damage output is not high by any means, but DPS is at best her third role. The 4th level Warlock ability Deceive Item allows Kasia to take 10 with Use Magic Device, though with only 2 ranks in it so far it has not yet come online. Finally, Kasia has taken the Baleful Utterance invocation, which aside from being occasionally hilarious, allows her to open pretty much anything as long as she doesn’t care about being heard.

    Spoiler: Level 10:
    Show
    This is what we’ve been waiting for: the amazing, the incredible Secret Ingredient, THE FATEMAKER!! Kasia’s taken five levels at this point and it is surprisingly useful. Kasia is at heart a specialized Skillmonkey with some Charisma synergy, and the Fatemaker’s (many, largely unrelated) class features support this play style pretty well. The Fatemaker gives 6 skill points per level, which allows Kasia to max out all of her primary skills at this point (Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate, Hide, Move Silently) with Spot and Listen maxing out next level. UMD was brought to 6 ranks at level 7, which along with Deceive Item and a +4 CHA modifier means Kasia can activate wands without fail. Take Charge Appeal gives a welcome un-typed bonus to CHA, which at this point means Kasia is sitting at a respectable 21 without items or spells. Confidence of the Fated gives a morale bonus to a role of nearly any type we want 1/day, which is useful for those social skill checks you really don’t want to fumble, or a nice boost to Hide if you need to slip away using HiPS. Sneak Attack adds a little bonus to Kasia’s damage and fits into her combat style like it was meant to be (it was), as well as qualifying for Craven at level 9 for a further damage potential increase. It is worth noting that Darkstalker was picked up at level 6, which makes her sneak attack more reliable, as well as her general scouting abilities. Aura of confidence is admittedly pretty useless for Kasia, unless she’s sneaking with a folks (fluff wise actually comes up pretty often) which will be dependent on campaign/party for utility. It could also apply if she is babysitting another ranged character, or ends up in a band I suppose. Fatemaker also gives Kasia access to spellcasting, from a list that can allow her to act as a secondary buffer, as well as supplement her out of combat abilities. Expeditious Retreat, Haste, True Strike, and Invisibility are useful for combat and sneaking activities, whereas Charm Person, Suggestion, and eveng Eagle’s splendor can help supplement her natural social abilities.

    Spoiler: Level 15:
    Show
    At level 15 Kasia decides that a 1/day fifth level spell for melee combat holds no appeal and jumps from the Good Ship Fatemaker. The latter four levels of the class simply improve the class features previously mentioned giving a total of +3d6 SA, +2 CHA, Confidence of the Fated 2/day, and Aura of Confidence +2. These are all just as applicable as they were at level ten. Additional spellcasting progression increases the potency of her magical support role. The Fatemaker list is rather small, but it critically contains exactly two Divination Spells (True Strike and Tongues), which qualifies Kasia for Unseen Seer at level 15. If you are a sneaky, skillful, magical character Unseen Seer is basically everything you could hope for. At level 1 it gives +1d6 SA for a total of +4d6, and the spellcasting increase can be applied to Warlock (this is WAY better than bothering to get the 10th level casting from Fatemaker), which advances Eldritch Blast damage to 3d6 and advances Invocations. At this point our sniping damage is 3d6 EB +4d6 +15 SA, which while not great also doesn’t totally suck. You can also at this point probably afford some Rods of Eldritch Power, which you can use to add rider effects to your Eldritch Blast. Hitting things is made easier by the acquisition of Point Blank Shot and Precise Shot at levels 12 and 15 respectively. Kasia has also started to rank up UMD again. At level 15 she has 12 ranks, so with Deceive Item, CHA 22, and Eagle’s Splendor that’s a solid 31 UMD check which means she can cast scrolls up to CL 11 (level 6 wizard/cleric spells) and emulate class features up to level 11 without breaking a sweat.

    Spoiler: Level 19:
    Show
    Kasia finishes out her build with more Unseen Seer levels. Five levels of US gives a total of +2d6 SA for a total of +5d6+19 SA. Spellcasting advancement for Warlock bumps Eldritch Blast up to 5d6, as well as gives access to two Lesser invocations, of which Kasia takes Flee the Scene for a get out of jail free card as well as all the other benefits of at will teleportation, and Voidsense which completes her senses except for mindsight which we can’t get. Five levels of US also gives access to Advanced Learning twice. The text of Advanced Learning never specifies to which spell list you must assign the new spell, so Kasia can add both Hunter’s Eye and Locate Object to her Fatemaker spells known while still applying the +1 level of arcane spellcasting to Warlock. On the skills side, Kasia has all her primary skills maxed, and UMD has 18 ranks, which is enough to guarantee casting of minimum CL 9th level spell scrolls without adding any CHA or UMD boosts save for Eagle’s splendor, which she can cast 6 times a day if necessary.



    Spoiler: Sources
    Show

    Tome of Magic (ToM) – Dark Creature (p161)
    Dragon Compendium (DrC) – Battle Dancer (p26)
    Races of Destiny (RoD) – Able Learner (p150)
    Dungeon Master’s Guide 2 (DMG2) – Apprentice (Entertainer) (p176)
    Complete Arcane (CAr) – Warlock (p5)
    Planar Handbook (PlH) – Fatemaker (p50)
    Lords of Madness (LoM) – Darkstalker (p179)
    Champions of Ruin (CoR) – Craven (p17)
    Races of the Wild (RotW) – Woodland Archer (p154)
    Player’s Handbook 2 (PHBII) – Hunter’s Eye (p114)

    Items not called out are either in the PHB or sub-items of higher level callouts (e.g. Warlock Invocations)
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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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  8. - Top - End - #68
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    PirateCaptain

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground XCI

    Is it just those five?
    The beatings will continue until morale improves!

    Vaz approval for the best backstory. Villainous Competition 16: Burn Baby Burn
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    Honorable Mention Villainous Competition 22: I Am The Night
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showt...e-Night!/page6 Xihu Ayame

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  9. - Top - End - #69
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground XCI

    Sorry for the gap in posts, I was posting in a quiet moment at work, and got interrupted by suddenly having things to do. Build posting will now continue.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ursula Utrennyaya

    Ursula Utrennyaya

    Spoiler: Birth
    Show

    Ursula Utrennyaya loved her children, every single one.

    Thinking back to the days before motherhood felt like trying to hold onto a dream. She could see those early days in flashes, could catch whiffs of the rust-red smell of blood and smoke-tinged iron of the battlefield. Then she was Utrennyaya the Raven, when she and her small Fang would cross through the Urlingwood for skirmishes with the battlemages of Narfell. She supposed then they were her children, though the thought felt alien to her now. They treated her almost as a Wychlaran, obeyed her, revered her even. In return she kept them safe.

    Mostly.

    The clearest memory was toward the end: the battle on the steps of the Fortress of the Half-Demon, her Fang scattered or dead, the warlord’s spear biting through leather and chain to pierce her breast. She’d managed to drag herself away into the Urlingwood, hiding herself among the twisted, grasping roots until her pursuers grew bored of the chase. She stayed there for two days, two feverish and bloody days without a healer, with her only rations the half-empty waterskin she miraculously managed to hold onto during her desperate retreat. The wound just beneath her ribcage felt hot, fetid, like something was growing there. Even small sips of water left her nauseous and retching.

    And then, when all seemed almost lost, she felt something stirring. The constant hum of the woods seemed to fade until all she could hear was the pounding of her heart and then, yes, as she strained her ears, a second beating, a strange staccato rhythm pulsing from that knot of pain where the warlord’s wound had grown sour and gangrenous. She felt a stirring there, felt a small warmth, and knew that she was not fated to die. Ursula Utrennyaya pulled herself upright and began the long walk home.

    That was a long time past. Now Ursula had many children. If she closed her eyes she could feel them, even see them, thrumming inside their hosts. She would do a better job of protecting her new brood than she had done with her the poor souls in her old Fang. She would build a world for them, a world where they could be safe. If it meant leaving her beloved Rashemen then so be it.

    She would follow her fate.


    Spoiler: The Build
    Show

    Ursula Utrennyaya
    Human, Warblade 6/Hexblade 4/Fatemaker 10
    Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    1st Warblade 1 +1 +2 +0 +0 Balance 4 ranks, concentration 4 ranks, diplomacy 4 ranks, intimidate 4 ranks, jump 4 ranks, tumble 4 ranks Dreadful Wrath, Skill Focus (Intimidate) Battle clarity (Reflex saves), weapon aptitude
    2nd Hexblade 1 +2 +2 +0 +2 Bluff 1 rank, concentration 5 ranks (+1), diplomacy 5 ranks (+1), intimidate 5 ranks (+1) Hexblade's curse 1/day
    3rd Hexblade 2 +3 +2 +0 +3 Bluff 5 ranks (+4) Ironheart Aura Arcane resistance
    4th Warblade 2 +4 +3 +0 +3 Balance 5 ranks (+1), diplomacy 6 ranks (+1), intimidate 7 ranks (+2), jump 5 ranks (+1), tumble 5 ranks (+1) Uncanny dodge
    5th Hexblade 3 +5 +4 +1 +3 Bluff 6 ranks (+1), concentration 6 ranks (+1), diplomacy 7 ranks (+1), intimidate 8 ranks (+1) Mettle
    6th Hexblade 4 +6/+1 +4 +1 +4 Bluff 7 ranks (+1), concentration 7 ranks (+1), diplomacy 8 ranks (+1), intimidate 9 ranks (+1) Stormguard Warrior Dark companion
    7th Fatemaker 1 +6/+1 +4 +3 +6 Bluff 9 ranks (+2), concentration 8 ranks (+1), diplomacy 9 ranks (+1), intimidate 10 ranks (+1), knowledge (religion) 2 ranks (+2), tumble 6 ranks (+1) Take-charge appeal
    8th Fatemaker 2 +7/+2 +4 +4 +7 Bluff 10 ranks (+1), concentration 9 ranks (+1), diplomacy 10 ranks (+1), intimidate 11 ranks (+1), tumble 10 ranks (+4) Confidence of the Fated 1/day
    9th Warblade 3 +8/+3 +4 +5 +8 Concentration 10 ranks (+1), diplomacy 11 ranks (+1), intimidate 12 ranks (+1), tumble 11 ranks (+1), Never Outnumberedskill trick Mother Cyst Battle ardor (critical confirmation)
    10th Fatemaker 3 +9/+4 +5 +5 +8 Bluff 12 ranks (+2), concentration 12 ranks (+2), diplomacy 12 ranks (+1), intimidate 13 ranks (+1), tumble 13 ranks (+2) Sneak attack +1d6
    11th Fatemaker 4 +10/+5 +5 +6 +9 Bluff 14 ranks (+2), concentration 13 ranks (+1), diplomacy 13 ranks (+1), intimidate 14 ranks (+1), tumble 14 ranks (+1), Acrobatic Backstabskill trick Aura of confidence (+1)
    12th Fatemaker 5 +10/+5 +5 +6 +9 Bluff 15 ranks (+1), concentration 15 ranks (+2), diplomacy 15 ranks (+2), intimidate 15 ranks (+1), knowledge (nobility & royalty) 1 rank, tumble 15 ranks (+1) Sickening Grasp Take-charge appeal
    13th Fatemaker 6 +11/+6/+1 +6 +7 +10 Bluff 16 ranks (+1), concentration 16 ranks (+1), diplomacy 16 ranks (+1), intimidate 16 ranks (+1), knowledge (nobility & royalty) 4 ranks (+3), tumble 16 ranks (+1) Sneak attack +2d6
    14th Fatemaker 7 +12/+7/+2 +6 +7 +10 Bluff 17 ranks (+1), concentration 17 ranks (+1), diplomacy 17 ranks (+1), intimidate 17 ranks (+1), knowledge (nobility & royalty) 5 ranks (+1), sense motive 2 ranks (+2), tumble 17 ranks (+1) Confidence of the Fated 2/day
    15th Fatemaker 8 +13/+8/+3 +6 +8 +11 Bluff 18 ranks (+1), concentration 18 ranks (+1), diplomacy 18 ranks (+1), intimidate 18 ranks (+1), sense motive 5 ranks (+3), tumble 18 ranks (+1) Staggering Strike Aura of confidence (+2)
    16th Fatemaker 9 +13/+8/+3 +6 +8 +11 Bluff 19 ranks (+1), concentration 19 ranks (+1), diplomacy 19 ranks (+1), intimidate 19 ranks (+1), tumble 19 ranks (+1), use magic device 1 rank (+1), Back on Your Feetskill trick Sneak attack +3d6
    17th Fatemaker 10 +14/+9/+4 +6 +9 +12 Bluff 20 ranks (+1), concentration 20 ranks (+1), diplomacy 20 ranks (+1), intimidate 20 ranks (+1), sleight of hand 1 rank (+1), tumble 20 ranks (+1), Social Recoveryskill trick Ego manifestation, take-charge appeal
    18th Warblade 4 +15/+10/+5 +7 +9 +12 Bluff 21 ranks (+2), concentration 21 ranks (+1), diplomacy 21 ranks (+1), intimidate 21 ranks (+1), tumble 21 ranks (+1) Song of the Dead
    19th Warblade 5 +16/+11/+6/+1 +7 +9 +12 Bluff 22 ranks (+2), concentration 22 ranks (+1), diplomacy 22 ranks (+1), intimidate 22 ranks (+1), tumble 22 ranks (+1) Improved InitiativeB Bonus feat
    20th Warblade 6 +17/+12/+7/+2 +8 +10 +12 Bluff 23 ranks (+2), concentration 23 ranks (+1), diplomacy 23 ranks (+1), intimidate 23 ranks (+1), tumble 23 ranks (+1) Improved uncanny dodge

    Starting Stats (32-point buy): Str 16/Dex 10/Con 14/Int 12/Wis 8/Cha 16 (boost Charisma at every level)

    Alignment Notes
    Spoiler: Alignment Notes
    Show

    Ursula Utrennyaya begins something close to true neutral, fighting hard for those close to her but with few strong ties beyond that. As she begins developing her mother cyst and spreading it to those around her, she drifts into neutral evil territory, though she is rarely malicious or cruel.


    Fatemaker Spells
    Spoiler: Fatemaker Spells
    Show

    Fatemaker Spells Known
    1- Charm person, expeditious retreat, disguise self, jump, necrotic awarenessB
    2- Invisibility, resist energy, darkvision, spider climb, necrotic cystB, necrotic scryingB
    3- Haste, suggestion, tongues, protection from energy, necrotic bloatB
    4- Charm monster, stoneskin, restoration, neutralize poison, necrotic dominationB

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


    Warblade Maneuvers
    Spoiler: Warblade Manuevers
    Show

    Warblade Maneuvers/Stances
    1- Punishing Stancestance, Leading the Attack, Charging Minotaur, Moment of Perfect Mind
    2- Wall of Blades
    3- White Raven Tactics
    5- Press the Advantagestance
    6- Order Forged from Chaos, Iron Heart Endurance
    7- Clarion Call

    Maneuvers
    Level Maneuvers Known Manuevers Readied Stances Known Effective Warblade Level
    1st 3 3 1 1
    2nd 3 3 1 1
    3rd 3 3 1 2
    4th 4 3 1 3
    5th 4 3 1 3
    6th 4 3 1 4
    7th 4 3 1 4
    8th 4 3 1 5
    9th 5 3 1 6
    10th 5 3 1 6
    11th 5 3 1 7
    12th 5 3 1 7
    13th 5 3 1 8
    14th 5 3 1 8
    15th 5 3 1 9
    16th 5 3 1 9
    17th 5 3 1 10
    18th 5s 4 2 11
    19th 6 4 2 12
    20th 6s 4 2 13

    sIndicates that Ursula can swap out a maneuver known at this level.


    Hexblade Spells
    Spoiler: Hexblade Spells
    Show

    Hexblade Spells Known
    1- Protection from good, undetectable alignment

    Spells per Day
    Level 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
    4th 0 - - -

    Spoiler: Build Breakdown
    Show

    With +17 BAB and 7th-level maneuvers, Ursula can hold her own in combat with the best of them despite not relying on common melee staples such as Power Attack. On her own side she has several ways of boosting damage such as sneak attack and Punishing Stance, as well as ego manifestation. She also has Stormguard Warrior’s combat rhythm which, when combined with her Sickening Grasp reserve feat, gives her a powerful one-two punch against strong foes. However, her true martial talents lie in her ability to lead others: with access to haste, her various auras and her maneuvers focused on positioning allies and granting them extra actions, she can make sure her allies shine. She also has a myriad of debuffs that assist both herself and her allies: dark companion gives a -2 across the board to most relevant rolls and she can shaken opponents with Dreadful Wrath or mass demoralization attempts, sicken them with her Sickening Grasp (easily activated thanks to Stormguard Warrior) and stagger them with Staggering Strike.

    These same debuffs also leave her opponents vulnerable to Ursula’s necrotic infections and her charm spells. Ursula can quickly charm or suggest opponents and use her force of personality to control them, or she can bring them in as part of her brood by implanting necrotic cysts in them and later scrying and dominating them.

    Mobility during combat is paramount, and with maxed out tumble checks (able to be boosted via Confidence of the Fated) and stances like Press the Advantage alongside a reach weapon and spells like expeditious retreat, Ursula should have no trouble positioning herself where she needs to be.

    From a utility perspective, Ursula is surprisingly competent for a melee brute/leader. Her social skills are top-notch and further augmented by Fatemaker spells and abilities. Her powerful debuffing skills aren't restricted to combat. She has the ability to implant cysts and turn their hosts into unwitting moles, scrying on them with the no-save necrotic scrying or even dominating them outright for more than a week at a time. Her action-granting maneuvers aren't limited to simply helping her allies swing a sword, either, and she can use them to augment the movement and actions of every member of her party (including charmed, dominated or coerced allies).

    Finally, Ursula was designed to remain effective at every point in the game, with her abilities scaling well from level 1 to level 20:
    Spoiler: Level by level
    Show

    Level 1 (Warblade 1): Like most Warblades, Ursula starts off strong. In combat she can easily serve as the team’s brute thanks to high damage maneuvers such as Charging Minotaur and the powerful Punishing Stance. Dreadful Wrath is also fantastic in the early game, forcing weak enemies to shake with fright as she charges around the battlefield, and she can also provide some boosts to her allies with Leading the Attack. Moment of Perfect Mind shores up her weakest point, her poor Will save. Outside of combat she remains useful thanks to excellent social skills, in particular her +10 intimidate score.

    Level 3 (Warblade 1/Hexblade 2): By jumping into Hexblade for a couple of levels, Ursula picks up an incredibly useful defensive ability: arcane resistanc. This allows Ursula to shake off the effects of many magical attackers as she cuts through her opposition. Ironheart Aura is a nice passive buff for her allies’ saves as well, and her good mobility should help ensure she can keep allies adjacent to benefit from its effects. Offensively she also gets access to the hexblade’s curse once a day, which she uses to further debuff strong opponents. Hexblade also lets her start training in bluff to add to her social skills.

    Level 4 (Warblade 2/Hexblade 2): A quick jump back into Warblade gives Ursula access to Wall of Blades. This is a great way to mitigate some of the defensive drawbacks of relying on light armor for mobility and Punishing Stance for damage. Uncanny dodge is also a great defensive ability: despite her mediocre Dexterity, it is incredibly useful for avoiding attacks such as sneak attack.

    Level 6 (Warblade 2/Hexblade 4): Ursula gets quite a lot from these two levels of Hexblade. In addition to getting another great defensive ability in the rare Mettle, she also gets access to a dark companion. This companion provides a passive debuff to all its adjacent enemies, lowering their defenses and making them more vulnerable to her attacks, curses and fear effects, as well as the attacks of her party. She also picks up an iterative attack, which is great alongside Punishing Stance and Stormguard Warrior.

    Stormguard Warrior deserves special mention all on its own. Channel the Storm is a solid ability even without Combat Reflexes, as her mobility and reach means Ursula can generate attacks of opportunity almost every turn. Combat Rhythm, however, is the real draw. This is a fantastic damage engine for tougher foes, and helps make up for her lack of Power Attack (which is a far more common source of damage for martial characters). With her multiple ways of debuffing AC and her good mobility making it easy to grab flanking bonuses, touch attacks should almost always hit, giving her a sizable damage bonus for the next round.

    Finally, on the social side, a decent bluff skill and access to the 24-hour duration undetectable alignment spell makes it easy to hide the necrotic cyst that has been growing underneath her rib cage, that throbbing reminder of an old war wound that seems to be growing a mind of its own…

    Level 8 (Warblade 2/Hexblade 4/Fatemaker 2): There are some significant changes once Ursula begins taking levels in the secret ingredient. First off, her skills see a huge improvement. Her excellent skill points allow her to catch up on all of her social skills and even start taking some other skills for synergy bonuses, and Confidence of the Fated is a nice boost to any of her checks. Second, her spells give her another powerful option both in and out of combat in charm person. With multiple ways to lower Will saves (intimidation/Dreadful Wrath, dark companion, hexblade’s curse), Ursula can easily convert enemies to allies. Take-charge appeal is another fantastic all around boost: it improves her social skills, boosts the DC of her spells, curse and Dreadful Wrath, improves her arcane resistance and makes her more likely to win the Charisma checks necessary to force charmed foes to submit to her will.

    Level 9 (Warblade 3/Hexblade 4/Fatemaker 2): Another hop back into Warblade lets Ursula pick up the near game-breaking White Raven Tactics. This is timely, as she can now convert enemies to allies mid-combat with charm person and then grant those same allies actions with WRT. Never Outnumbered is a great skill trick as well, letting her demoralize multiple foes with a single action (and because you only make one intimidate check for all foes, Confidence of the Fated is a great way to buff this up). She also grabs the Mother Cyst feat, which she uses to sense others with the same growing presence under their skin…

    Level 10 (Warblade 3/Hexblade 4/Fatemaker3): ...until the next level, that is, when her access to second level spells gives her necrotic cyst as a spell. Now Ursula’s brood can grow, as she spreads the tumorous, malevolent mass to other foes. With the ability to dish out as much as a -6 penalty to saves, she can pick and choose how she would like to spread these cysts, then use her necrotic scrying to turn their carriers into unwitting spies and moles.

    Ursula also picks up another source of damage in sneak attack, as well as some very useful utility spells in invisibility and resist energy.

    Level 12 (Warblade 3/Hexblade 4/Fatemaker 5): Two more levels of Fatemaker provide another Charisma boost and a passive aura for allies, assisting Ursula in buffing her companions. They also give her access to third level spells. This lets her pick up one of the all-time best combat spells in the game, haste. It also lets her qualify for the reserve feat Sickening Grasp.

    Sickening Grasp is an interesting reserve feat in that it doesn’t grant any new actions or attacks, but instead applies a sickening effect on all of its user’s melee touch attacks. This is huge for Ursula, who can now apply this condition as she charges up her combat rhythm. Now Ursula can expect to reasonable dish out -6 penalties to most relevant saves and checks throughout combat, and possibly as high as -8 if she adds her curse.

    Other than that, Acrobatic Backstab alongside a good tumble check gives Ursula more ways to activate sneak attack in combat. This is always nice for a damage boost, but becomes even more relevant later.

    Level 15 (Warblade 3/Hexblade 4/Fatemaker 8): All of Ursula’s Fatemaker abilities continue to improve. Her Confidence of the Fated, which now provides a very sizable +8 bonus to any given skill check, gets an additional use, and her sneak attack and aura of confidence improve. Her spellcasting also improves as she gets her hands on fourth level spells. Fatemaker’s fourth level spells are actually quite impressive: Ursula can now charm any creature, rather than just humanoids, and picks up some significant defensive/utility spells in stoneskin, restoration and neutralize poison. She also now gets access to the incredibly powerful necrotic domination, which allows her to temporarily dominate those she has infected with necrotic cysts. In addition to the combat utility this provides, this has incredible implications out of combat, as the spell already lasts more than a week at this level, especially when combined with necrotic scrying.

    Ursula’s debuffing increases even further with access to the Staggering Strike feat. Staggered is an incredibly potent condition to apply, and now Ursula can easily leave opponents shaken, staggered and sickened, and further weakened via her dark companion.

    Level 17 (Warblade 3/Hexblade 4/Fatemaker 10): Ursula’s Fatemaker abilities improve even further and she reaches the capstone, allowing her to manifest her ego in great and terrifying ways. In significant combat she can now use the excellent buff spell righteous might, giving her a tremendous damage boost, extending her reach, increasing the number of adjacent allies she can effect with her various auras, and providing a significant boost to her already overcharged intimidate check.

    Level 18 (Warblade 4/Hexblade 4/Fatemaker 10): Now that her Fatemaker levels have concluded, Ursula finishes things off with Warblade. She gets an additional readied maneuver and gets to retrain Leading the Attack, which has long since diminished in usefulness, for the powerful team boost Order Forged From Chaos, which can allow her entire party to swiftly move into position before the enemy is prepared. She also gets a new stance, and chooses Press the Advantage, which she uses to keep up her mobile fighting style without sacrificing the ability to make full attacks.

    Song of the Dead is an interesting feat that, for a +1 level adjustment, converts mind-affecting spells into necromancy spells and allows them to work on the undead. For Ursula this provides a dual usage: in addition to allowing Ursula to use her suggestions against undead, necromancy spells have +2 DC against those harboring a necrotic cyst. This makes charming her necrotic minions a viable alternative to using the higher level necrotic domination in many circumstances.

    Level 19 (Warblade 5/Hexblade 4/Fatemaker 10): A mother must stay alive to protect her brood. Another level in Warblade means another maneuver, and Iron Heart Endurance lets Ursula quickly heal up without slowing down the pace of combat. A bonus feat from the Warblade list gives Improved Initiative, which is always welcome.

    Level 20 (Warblade 6/Hexblade 4/Fatemaker 10): Finishing off with a last level of Warblade means Ursula can no longer be flanked except by high level rogues. While this level does not grant a new maneuver, Ursula is permitted to retrain one, and she gets rid of Charging Minotaur, which has long since stopped providing level-appropriate damage, for Clarion Call. This is a huge boost, easily as game-changing as Order Forged From Chaos: when you drop a foe you can have your entire party, as well as any dominated or charmed allies, immediately attack or take a move action.



    Spoiler: Sources
    Show

    • PHB: Skill Focus, Improved Initiative, all non-cyst spells
    • Complete Warrior: Hexblade
    • Tome of Battle: Warblade, Ironheart Aura, Stormguard Warrior, maneuvers
    • Planar Handbook: Fatemaker
    • Libris Mortis: Mother Cyst, necrotic cyst line of spells
    • Dragon Compendium: Song of the Dead
    • Complete Mage: Sickening Grasp
    • Complete Adventurer: Staggering Strike
    • Player's Guide to Faerun: Dreadful Wrath
    • Complete Scoundrel: Skill tricks

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  10. - Top - End - #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Felicity Pip

    Felicity Pip, Thumb in the Eye of Destiny
    CN Human Marshal 6/Fatemaker 10/Exemplar 4

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

    Build
    Spoiler
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    Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    1st Marshal 1 +0 +2 +0 +2 Bluff 4, Diplomacy 4, Intimidate 4, Listen 4, Sense Motive 4, Spot 4, Tumble 4 Aberrant Dragonmark (Produce Flame), Dragontouched, (B)Skill Focus (Diplomacy) Skill Focus (Diplomacy), Minor Aura (Motivate Dexterity), Skilled City Dweller (Ride to Tumble)
    2nd Marshal 2 +1 +3 +0 +3 Bluff 5, Diplomacy 5, Intimidate 5, Listen 5, Sense Motive 5, Spot 5, Tumble 5 Major Aura +1 (Motivate Attack)
    3rd Marshal 3 +2 +3 +1 +3 Bluff 6, Diplomacy 6, Intimidate 6, Listen 6, Sense Motive 6, Spot 6, Tumble 6 Draconic Aura (Presence) Minor Aura (Master of Tactics)
    4th Marshal 4 +3 +4 +1 +4 Bluff 7, Diplomacy 7, Intimidate 7, Listen 7, Sense Motive 7, Spot 7, Tumble 7 Adrenaline Boost 1/day
    5th Marshal 5 +3 +4 +1 +4 Bluff 8, Diplomacy 8, Intimidate 8, Listen 8, Sense Motive 8, Spot 8, Tumble 8 Minor Aura (Motivate Charisma), Major Aura (Resilient Troops)
    6th Marshal 6 +4 +5 +2 +5 Never Outnumbered, Bluff 9, Diplomacy 9, Intimidate 9, Sense Motive 9, Tumble 9 Martial Study (Cloak of Deception)
    7th Fatemaker 1 +4 +5 +4 +7 Balance 5, Bluff 10, Diplomacy 10, Intimidate 10, Tumble 10 Take-charge Appeal
    8th Fatemaker 2 +5 +5 +5 +8 Bluff 11, Diplomacy 11, Intimidate 11, Tumble 11, Use Magic Device 5 Confidence of the Fated 1/day
    9th Fatemaker 3 +6/+1 +6 +5 +8 Bluff 12, Diplomacy 12, Intimidate 12, Tumble 12, Use Magic Device 10 Martial Stance (Island of Blades) Sneak Attack +1d6
    10th Fatemaker 4 +7/+2 +6 +6 +9 Bluff 13, Concentration 2, Diplomacy 13, Intimidate 13, Tumble 13, Use Magic Device 13 Aura of Confidence +1
    11th Fatemaker 5 +7/+2 +6 +6 +9 Bluff 14, Concentration 6, Diplomacy 14, Intimidate 14, Tumble 14, Use Magic Device 14 Take-charge Appeal
    12th Fatemaker 6 +8/+3 +7 +7 +10 Bluff 15, Concentration 12, Diplomacy 15, Intimidate 15 Lesser Aberrant Dragonmark (Vampiric Touch) Sneak Attack +2d6
    13th Fatemaker 7 +9/+4 +7 +7 +10 Bluff 16, Concentration 16, Diplomacy 16, Intimidate 16, Sense Motive 11 Confidence of the Fated 2/day
    14th Fatemaker 8 +10/+5 +7 +8 +11 Bluff 17, Diplomacy 17, Intimidate 17, Sense Motive 17 Aura of Confidence +2
    15th Fatemaker 9 +10/+5 +8 +8 +11 Acrobatic Backstab, Bluff 18, Diplomacy 18, Intimidate 18, Sense Motive 18, Sleight of Hand 3 Greater Aberrant Dragonmark (Enervation) Sneak Attack +3d6
    16th Fatemaker 10 +11/+6/+1 +8 +9 +12 Conceal Spellcasting, Bluff 19, Diplomacy 19, Intimidate 19, Sense Motive 19, Sleight of Hand 5, Spellcraft 1 Ego Manifestation, Take-charge Appeal
    17th Exemplar 1 +11/+6/+1 +8 +9 +14 Bluff 20, Diplomacy 20, Iaijutsu Focus 8, Intimidate 20 Skill Artistry (Intimidate), Skill Mastery (Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate)
    18th Exemplar 2 +12/+7/+2 +8 +9 +15 Bluff 21, Diplomacy 21, Iaijutsu Focus 16, Intimidate 21 Staggering Strike Lend Talent (One-half Penalty), Skill Mastery (Iaijutsu Focus)
    19th Exemplar 3 +13/+8/+3 +9 +10 +15 Autohypnosis 2, Bluff 22, Diplomacy 22, Iaijutsu Focus 22, Intimidate 22 (B)Improved Initiative Bonus Feat, Skill Mastery (Autohypnosis)
    20th Exemplar 4 +14/+9/+4 +9 +10 +16 Autohypnosis 9, Bluff 23, Diplomacy 23, Iaijutsu Focus 23, Intimidate 23 Skill Artistry (Iaijutsu Focus), Sustaining Presence, Skill Mastery (Sleight of Hand)

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

    Spells Known
    Level 0lvl 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
    7th 2 - - - - - - - -
    8th 3 - - - - - - - -
    9th 3 2 - - - - - - -
    10th 4 3 - - - - - - -
    11th 4 3 2 - - - - - -
    12th 4 4 3 - - - - - -
    13th 4 4 3 2 - - - - -
    14th 4 4 4 3 - - - - -
    15th 4 4 4 3 - - - - -
    16th-20th 4 4 4 4 - - - - -
    Spells Known
    1st: Charm Person, Disguise Self, Expeditious Retreat, True Strike
    2nd: Darkvision, Invisibility, Resist Energy, Spider Climb
    3rd: Haste, Nondetection, Suggestion, Tongues
    4th: Charm Monster, Neutralize Poison, Restoration, Stoneskin

    Backstory
    Spoiler
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    It is said that the great dragons weave the complex tapestry of their prophecy that guides us all, and that they manifest it through the dragonmarks on select individuals. Felicity would disagree. Any prophecy that would result in Khorvaire plunging into a century of war was either fake or so monstrous it should not exist. She fought for years to defend her homeland of Cyre, only to see it become a poisoned wasteland. And for what? The whole war to determine who would be king ended with no king at all. And the business with dragonmarks was another load of nonsense too many had swallowed. Twelve marks upheld as the good and proper examples, with any mark that didn’t look or work just like they did called aberrant. And of course it had nothing to do with the fact that these “true” marks are all on the noble houses. Nuts to them.

    Felicity manifested her own “aberrant” mark a short time after the Day of Mourning, an angry red snarl over her ribs she could blessedly cover with her armor. Maybe she caught some of the stray magical energy that ruined Cyre. Maybe her parentage wasn’t as plain as she thought. It certainly wasn’t the prophecy, she’d tell you that. Even according to those who buy into the prophecy, the aberrant dragonmarks were an accident, signifying nothing for the greater story. Felicity was determined that if she was a snarl in the tapestry, then she would be one big enough to jam the loom. They’d have to use the shears to get rid of her.

    Felicity’s military service finally ended when the war did, and by the time she received her discharge, her mark had spread across her back and reached toward her legs. Her power had grown with the mark, and it had been the only thing keeping her alive on more than one occasion. With the war over, she found herself adrift. Her first home of Cyre was no more, and her skills in commanding troops were not something she could see herself making a meaningful life out of. Policing and mercenary forces existed, but these were just warriors with less clear instruction, and Felicity had experienced enough war for three lifetimes. Her pension could cover lodgings and memory-dulling drink for a few fortunate weeks.

    Felicity was awoken from what was becoming a pattern of drunken stupors by a many-sided argument between recruiters of a few guilds and associations that had gotten their schedules mixed up and all ended up here, instead of taking turns like they usually did. She scoffed again at how utterly random or intensely incompetent the “prophecy” must be, before her attention was drawn to the most articulate and self-assured of the lot, who at that moment began shouting down the argument of his opponent, declaring that there was no fate but what we made. Felicity had not known that there was any group who shared her derision for the prophecy, much less one that offered a way forward. When the group dispersed, she followed the recruiter for the Fated out and saw about signing up.

    They helped her understand that with her own will and exertion of it on the world, she could set her own course, and craft her own future. With her new outlook on life, Felicity sought to help others with marks like hers realize their value, that they had just as much power as the noble houses, they just needed organization. Her trained persuasion and skill for command made her a natural organizer, and she led ever-larger gatherings in pushing for a place at the table. Her dragonmark has spread to her face now, and she wears it proudly.

    Level 5
    Spoiler
    Show
    We begin our dish with a hearty foundation of Marshal. You’ve got some good saves and HD to support survivability. It helpfully gives all martial weapons and has a good list of skills to invest in. It also provides skill focus to qualify for the secret ingredient when the time comes. Motivate Dexterity boosts initiative checks, so is the most important thing in early levels where winning initiative wins it all. Master of Tactics is the natural next choice to boost your damage, and Motivate Charisma is a great boost to your skills. Remember it will also boost your Charisma checks for charm person and charm monster when they arrive. For major auras, motivate attack helps melee and resilient troops boosts all saves. Either one is fine to have on in combat, and at a 60 foot radius you should be covering most everyone in the fight. Adrenaline Boost is a source of temporary hitpoints that can be used to stabilize someone and get them back in the fight.

    On the subject of feats Aberrant Dragonmark in addition to our story also provides a useful SLA in the form of produce flame. Most enemies will have poor touch AC and you can boost it as it acts like a weaponlike spell. Dragontouched provides some nice general benefits, but the primary purpose is to gain the dragonblood subtype for our next feat. Draconic Aura provides a separate source to boost initiative, as well as spot and listen. With the dragonblood subtype, it will scale with level.

    Level 10
    Spoiler
    Show
    One last level of Marshal before we enter the SI. Never outnumbered is a must for anyone who plans on using intimidate, allowing you to target multiple creatures.

    Take-charge appeal is of obvious benefit to a Marshal for increasing the potency of your minor auras. Sneak attack will stack nicely with Master of Tactics, since the bulk of your sneak attacking will be done on flanked targets. Aura of Confidence helpfully is a morale bonus, so stacks with your marshal auras and draconic aura, giving people more reasons to be your friend. Confidence of the Fated is the most versatile of the class’s abilities. You can use it to offset a rushed penalty on a Diplomacy check, better cast defensively, or boost your attacks. My top pick is to throw it on produce flame for extra fire damage when sneak attacking someone.
    Spells are largely self-explanatory; tongues is of particular use to ensure you get the maximum effect out of marshal auras.

    Fatemaker’s class features present a bit of a conundrum. You want to flank with your allies to gain sneak attack, but you also want to be adjacent to allies to give them the benefit of Aura of Confidence. To satisfy both, we are going to be taking martial study to get Island of Blades. Now you can position yourself adjacent to your allies and place yourselves next to the enemy to also count as flanking. Of course to get access to that stance we are first taking martial study. Cloak of Deception is a natural choice for this as it gives you greater invisibility which can be used to render opponents vulnerable to sneak attack (remember this is true for invisibility regardless of whether you hide).
    After this you’ll stop investing in Tumble and UMD because your mod is high enough to succeed on the DCs for both, even if you don’t have the relevant aura on.

    Level 15
    Spoiler
    Show
    Almost finished with the SI and you’re generally more competent at all of the same stuff, now with 4th level spells.

    From level 13 on you can cast defensively without problem so you can stop investing. Acrobatic Backstab allows you another means of rendering an opponent flatfooted for sneak attack. Confidence of the Fated will ensure your success here.

    You also have more spell like abilities with the lesser and greater aberrant dragonmarks. They also give more uses of the lower versions, so you have produce flame 3/day, vampiric touch 2/day and enervation 2/day, all at the caster level boosted by greater. Vampiric touch is a good way to damage enemies and heal yourself, again a weaponlike spell so you can boost with confidence of the fated, which boosts the damage and seems like it should also increase the health you regain. You can check with your DM about how master of tactics and sneak attack work with it. They’ll definitely increase the damage, but some might not agree with improving health restored. Enervation is always good, a no save debuff to soften up enemies and weaken their casting.

    You may notice that lesser and greater aberrant SLAs invoke a fort save vs daze on use. The DC for lesser is low enough that you’ll pass it. You can protect yourself against the greater with confidence of the fated, once more proving its usefulness.

    Level 20
    Spoiler
    Show
    First we finish up the SI. Righteous might is a good combat buff for you; in addition to increased reach and higher strength, it gives you a bigger space to make being adjacent to enemies and allies more easily, which means more sneak attack and master of tactics. With the addition of staggering strike, these attacks debuff your enemy with reduced actions the next round.

    Now to our last class. Exemplar is nice and easy to enter, especially with skill focus taken care of and the SI’s good list and skill points. Its bonus feat goes toward improved initiative, which brings our modifier up to 15, and in that first round before enemies act they’ll be flatfooted. Skill mastery lets you take 10 on your social skills, as well as autohypnosis, which is a defensive skill you nab from exemplar. With that and Skill artistry you’ll hit all of the flat DCs and have a good modifier for the opposed. Sustaining presence boosts your fort saves, especially handy for the greater aberrant dragonmark. With lend talent you can redistribute your skill points to help the less fortunate, and your ability to take 10 means you can handle the penalty when you share social skills. With the skill mastery on sleight of hand and motivate dex you’ll hit the DC 20 with no problem, and be in good standing vs the opposed spot check.

    Our most important boost of mastery and artistry goes to a late addition in iajutsu focus. It boosts your damage attacking a flatfooted opponent, so your high initiative becomes very useful, as well as acrobatic backstab. With all of your resources your result is 23 (ranks) + 4 (artistry) +10 (mastery) +7 (Cha) =44 with nothing else happening, so motivate Cha or Confidence of the Fated can ensure the maximum 9d6 damage every time.

    Take-charge appeal and level increases mean your cha bonus is +7, throwing it onto all of the applications makes a big difference.

    Sources
    Spoiler
    Show
    Marshal: Miniatures Handbook
    Exemplar, Staggering Strike: Complete Adventurer
    Adrenaline Boost ACF: Players Handbook II
    Skilled City Dweller ACF: Urban Class Features Web Enhancement
    Aberrant Dragonmark: Eberron Campaign Setting
    Lesser Dragonmark, Greater Dragonmark: Dragonmarked
    Martial Study, Martial Stance: Tome of Battle
    Improved Initiative: srd
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kalirren View Post
    The only person in the past two pages who has known what (s)he has been talking about is Heliomance.
    Quote Originally Posted by golentan View Post
    I just don't want to have long romantic conversations or any sort of drama with my computer, okay? It knows what kind of porn I watch. I don't want to mess that up by allowing it to judge any of my choices in romance.

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  11. - Top - End - #71
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground XCI

    It's an angry drunken sonic death monkey. I don't know what I can say here to enhance that, really.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rizzo Fitzgibbon
    Rizzo Fitzgibbon



    Image "Sun Wukong" by jojo so, © Tencent Inc. Used without permission.
    https://www.artstation.com/artwork/2WPyY


    Race: Brood Monkey (LA +2, from Far Corners - Monsters of the Lost City)
    Build Stub: Monstrous Humanoid 2/Battle Dancer 1/Barbarian 1/Feat Rogue 2/Drunken Master 2/Fatemaker 10
    Multiclass Penalty: No.
    Languages: Mostly grunting and snarling.
    Alignment: CN
    Ability Scores:
    Ability Score Racial (Points)
    Strength 14 -2 (10)
    Dexterity 18 +4 (6)
    Constitution 18 +4 (6)
    Intelligence 8 -6 (6)
    Wisdom 12 +4 (0)
    Charisma 14 +2 (4)
    Ability Score Increases: Str 15 (4th), Str 16 (8th), Str 17 (12th), Str 18 (16th)
    Take Charge Appeal: Cha 15 (9th), Cha 16 (13th), Cha 17 (18th)

    Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    1st Monstrous Humanoid 1 +1 +0 +2 +2 Jump 2, Tumble 2 Great Fortitude, Alertness[B] Flurry of Blows (Ex), Immunity to Enchantment (Ex), Bite (1d3+2), Darkvision 60', Climb 20', SLAs: 3/day-cure minor wounds, doom; 1/day-cause fear, cure light wounds, shield of faith
    2nd Monstrous Humanoid 2 +2 +0 +3 +3 Jump 2, Tumble 3(+1)
    3rd Battle Dancer 1 +3 +0 +5 +3 Jump 2, Tumble 6(+3) Improved Unarmed Strike, Shape Soulmeld (Thunderstep Boots) AC Bonus (Cha), Unarmed Strike (1d4)
    4th Barbarian 1 +4 +2 +5 +3 Intimidate 3(+3), Jump 2, Tumble 6 Spirit Lion Totem (Pounce), Whirling Frenzy ACF
    5th Feat Rogue 1 +4 +2 +7 +3 Diplomacy 2(+2), Intimidate 6(+3), Jump 2, Tumble 8(+2) Power Attack Mimic ACF
    6th Feat Rogue 2 +5 +2 +8 +3 Bluff 3(+3), Diplomacy 5(+3), Intimidate 8(+1), Jump 2, Tumble 8 Skill Focus: Intimidate, Dodge Evasion
    7th Drunken Master 1 +5 +4 +10 +3 Balance 1(+1), Bluff 5(+2), Diplomacy 5, Intimidate 8, Jump 2, Tumble 8 Drink Like a Demon, Improvised Weapons
    8th Drunken Master 2 +6 +5 +11 +3 Balance 2(+1), Bluff 5, Diplomacy 5, Intimidate 8, Jump 4(+2), Tumble 8 Stagger
    9th Fatemaker 1 +6 +5 +13 +5 Balance 2, Bluff 5, Diplomacy 5, Intimidate 8, Jump 7(+3), Tumble 10(+2) Open Least Chakra: Feet Take Charge Appeal (Cha 15)
    10th Fatemaker 2 +7 +5 +14 +6 Balance 2, Bluff 5, Diplomacy 5, Intimidate 8, Jump 10(+3), Tumble 12(+2) Confidence of the Fated 1/day
    11th Fatemaker 3 +8 +6 +14 +6 Balance 2, Bluff 5, Diplomacy 5, Intimidate 8, Jump 13(+3), Tumble 14(+2) Sneak Attack 1d6
    12th Fatemaker 4 +9 +6 +15 +7 Balance 5(+3), Bluff 5, Diplomacy 5, Intimidate 8, Jump 14(+1), Tumble 15(+1) Leap Attack Aura of Confidence +1
    13th Fatemaker 5 +9 +6 +15 +7 Balance 5, Bluff 5, Diplomacy 5, Intimidate 8, Jump 16(+2), Tumble 16(+1), UMD 2(+2) Take Charge Appeal (Cha 16)
    14th Fatemaker 6 +10 +7 +16 +8 Balance 5, Bluff 5, Diplomacy 5, Intimidate 8, Jump 17(+1), Tumble 17(+1), UMD 5(+3) Sneak Attack 2d6
    15th Fatemaker 7 +11 +7 +16 +8 Balance 5, Bluff 5, Diplomacy 5, Intimidate 8, Jump 18(+1), Tumble 18(+1), UMD 8(+3) Ability Focus (Thunderstep Boots) Confidence of the Fated 2/day
    16th Fatemaker 8 +12 +7 +17 +9 Balance 5, Bluff 5, Diplomacy 5, Intimidate 8, Jump 19(+1), Tumble 19(+1), UMD 11(+3) Aura of Confidence +2
    17th Fatemaker 9 +12 +8 +17 +9 Balance 5, Bluff 5, Diplomacy 5, Intimidate 8, Jump 20(+1), Tumble 20(+1), UMD 14(+3) Sneak Attack 3d6
    18th Fatemaker 10 +13 +8 +18 +10 Balance 5, Bluff 5, Diplomacy 5, Intimidate 8, Jump 21(+1), Tumble 21(+1), UMD 17(+3) Bonus Essentia Ego Manifestation, Take Charge Appeal (Cha 17)

    Spoiler: Spells
    Show

    Fatemaker Spells
    Level 1st Slots/Known 2nd Slots/Known 3rd Slots/Known 4th Slots/Known Spells
    9th 1/2 - - - 1st: expeditious retreat, true strike
    10th 2/3 - - - 1st: charm person, expeditious retreat, true strike
    11th 3/3 1/2 - - 1st: charm person, expeditious retreat, true strike
    2nd: bear's endurance, invisibility
    12th 4/4 2/3 - - 1st: charm person, expeditious retreat, jump, true strike
    2nd: bear's endurance, daze monster, invisibility
    13th 4/4 3/3 1/2 - 1st: charm person, expeditious retreat, jump, true strike
    2nd: bear's endurance, daze monster, invisibility
    3rd: haste, protection from energy
    14th 4/4 4/4 2/3 - 1st: charm person, expeditious retreat, jump, true strike
    2nd: bear's endurance, daze monster, invisibility, spider climb
    3rd: haste, protection from energy, suggestion
    15th 4/4 4/4 3/3 - 1st: charm person, expeditious retreat, jump, true strike
    2nd: bear's endurance, daze monster, invisibility, spider climb
    3rd: haste, protection from energy, suggestion
    16th 4/4 4/4 4/4 1/3 1st: charm person, expeditious retreat, jump, true strike
    2nd: bear's endurance, daze monster, invisibility, spider climb
    3rd: haste, protection from energy, suggestion, tongues
    4th: charm monster, restoration, stoneskin
    17th 4/4 4/4 4/4 2/3 1st: charm person, expeditious retreat, jump, true strike
    2nd: bear's endurance, daze monster, invisibility, spider climb
    3rd: haste, protection from energy, suggestion, tongues
    4th: charm monster, restoration, stoneskin
    18th 4/4 4/4 4/4 3/4 1st: charm person, expeditious retreat, jump, true strike
    2nd: bear's endurance, daze monster, invisibility, spider climb
    3rd: haste, protection from energy, suggestion, tongues
    4th: charm monster, remove curse, restoration, stoneskin


    Spoiler: Backstory
    Show

    Ravard knelt down and placed several sticks in a rough square. "Vicky, you sneak around to the back of the fort. When she's in position, Marlo, you cast a sleep spell on the guards. If they drop, then Rizzo and I will move in and drag them into this hedge over here. If they don't drop, then Vicky can shoot her silence arrow at the guards while Rizzo and I move in to engage them. So, everybody clear on the plan?"

    Vicky and Marlo nodded assent. Rizzo, however, shook his head. "Don't like it."

    Ravard sighed. "Ok, maybe Marlo can summon something to help me out front. Do you want to sneak around the back with Vicky?"

    Rizzo shook his head again. "Not so good, me sneak-sneak."

    Ravard stood up and glared at Rizzo. "What would you prefer? Full frontal assault again? Do I need to remind you how that worked out last time?"

    Rizzo shrugged. "No. Why we care about stupid elven fort? No bad blood with elves, no grudge."

    Ravard blinked. "So that whole thing we saw in the village, with the evil elven wizard kidnapping the mayor's daughter so he could sacrifice her to the demon lord Orcus and open up a portal to the Abyss... did you completely miss all that?"

    Rizzo snorted. "Not my daughter. Why we care?"

    Ravard was rendered speechless. After an awkward silence, he stammered out, "EVIL WIZARD... DEMON LORD... PORTAL TO THE ABYSS...?"

    Vicky stepped between them before Ravard completely lost it. "You know, before they grabbed the girl, I think I saw those elves raiding the mayor's wine celler. They must have taken... half a dozen casks of fireplum wine."

    Rizzo turned and bolted toward the fort, snarling, "GRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRGH!"

    Marlo shook his head. "And then there's Plan B... Send in the homicidal drunken sonic death monkey to draw all the guards out front while we try to sneak in the back."


    Spoiler: Levels 1-4
    Show

    When I looked through ingredient for something interesting to build around, the best I could come up with was Confidence of the Fated as a damage buff. It's a morale bonus, but +10 damage would be really good in a charge because it could get multiplied. So I started with the idea of "make a Charge build". My next thought was, how do I tie in the other class abilities, like Sneak Attack? Well, you get Sneak Attack against stunned opponents, and you can force a save vs. stun with Thunderstep Boots. I also knew there was a way to charge every single round with Drunken Master's Stagger ability, but there's a huge alignment problem: Flurry of Blows is *almost* exclusively a monk ability. Monks must be lawful, and Fatemakers must explicitly be nonlawful. However, there's one other way to get Flurry of Blows.

    Brood Monkey is a degenerate race of small-sized primates with a handful of oddball abilities: Immunity to enchantment, a smattering of SLAs, +4 racial bonus on Balance, Jump, and Tumble checks, and Flurry of Blows for some reason. There are also a few quirks to the Flurry: they can use any simple weapon in a Flurry, the attack penalty is based on HD rather than class levels, and they can also use their bite as a secondary attack on the same turn as the Flurry. Two Monstrous Humanoid racial HD with LA +2 isn't entirely ideal, but at least they get full BAB and two good saves, and the racial HD/LA won't hurt so much on a mostly melee-based build. No social skills, but since this build will be relying a lot on movement, we might as well put our four skill points in movement-related skills: Jump and Tumble to start with.

    Rizzo's first class level is Battle Dancer 1 to establish his unarmed bonifides. He also gets his Cha bonus to AC, which synergizes well with Fatemaker's Charisma-based abilities. For some odd reason, a Charisma-based melee class doesn't get any social skills... just Perform, which Rizzo has no interest in. He's going to need Tumble for Drunken Master, so might as well put his skill ranks there. For his 3rd level feat, he picks up Thunder Boots to add some sonic damage to his charges. And speaking of charges, Rizzo's next level is Spirit Lion Totem Barbarian, which is pretty much mandatory for a charge-based build. He also picks up the Whirling Frenzy ACF for an additional attack he can load on top of Frenzy + Bite. Barbarian also gives Rizzo is first social skill: Intimidate! This is... not exactly useful for a small-sized homicidal drunken sonic death monkey who is already predisposed to charge anything that moves, but given his racial background it makes a lot more sense than focusing on Bluff or Diplomacy.


    Spoiler: Levels 5-8
    Show

    To get into Drunken Master, Rizzo needs Evasion. Normally you pick this up from Monk 2, but I was planning on using Incarnum so I figured I'd try Totemist 2 instead (getting Evasion from Raptor's Mask), but there are two problems with this: Thunderstep Boots is not a Totemist soulmeld, and the build doesn't have enough feats to do anything interesting on a charge. Feat Rogue 2 solves several problems at once: skill points for social skills, two Fighter bonus feats, and Evasion. Rizzo doesn't have the skill points for Trapfinding, so he'll swap that out for something slightly more interesting: the Mimic ACF (Exemplars of Evil) gives him disguise self as an SLA 1/day. I figure it might be useful for a small-sized homicidal drunken sonic death monkey to appear like a normal humanoid on certain occasions. The other ACF options were Poison Use (Drow of the Underdark), but Rizzo didn't seem like much of a poison-type guy; and Antiquarian (Complete Champion), but I just could not imagine Rizzo ever having any interest in religious relics beyond that age-old question, "Is this worth enough money to buy me a beer?"

    After picking up Evasion and Dodge, Rizzo is ready for his initiation into the ranks of the Drunken Masters... and how could a small-sized homicidal drunken sonic death monkey *not* be chosen to join the Drunken Masters? Drink Like a Demon gives Rizzo the option to buff his Strength or Constitution at the expense of his Intelligence and Wisdom... but oddly enough has no effect on his Charisma, so apparently he's a very Happy Drunk. However, what we're really after is Stagger (Ex) from Drunken Master 2. This allows Rizzo to make charges that "need not be in a straight line, even though the character can still move up to twice his speed", and it has no daily limit so he can use it over and over again whenever he likes. Pounce gives him a full attack at the end of his charge, and his racial Flurry ability gives him an extra attack along with a bite, and Thunderstep Boots gives him a perfect sound effect with a little sonic damage chaser.


    Spoiler: Levels 9-12
    Show

    At 9th level, Rizzo enters Fatemaker. He also picks up Open Least Chakra, allowing him to bind Thunderstep Boots to his feet chakra. This adds a Fort save vs. stunned for 1 round to all of his charge attacks. It's a Soulborn soulmeld, so the Fortitude saving throw is based on Constitution (DC 14), and Rizzo can buff it up a little further with Drink Like a Demon (up to DC 16). He gains two 1st-level spells: true strike allows him to max out his Power Attack penalty, and expeditious retreat increases the distance he can charge. Another level of Fatemaker gets him Confidence of the Fated, adding a morale bonus to an attack roll, damage roll, saving throw, or skill check 1/day. At 11th level, he picks up 1d6 Sneak Attack, so whenever he stuns an opponent on a charge, he can circle around on the next round for additional damage.

    *** SWEET SPOT *** At 12th level, Rizzo picks up Leap Attack. When combined with Stagger, Rizzo can circle around to make a leaping charge every single round on the same opponent. If his opponent gets stunned, he gets additional sneak attack damage on all his attacks, including Flurry, Whirling Frenzy, and his bite attack. If he Drinks Like a Demon and casts bear's endurance on himself, he can increase the Fort save vs. stun DC to 18. Since he doesn't have to charge in a straight line, he can come at his opponent from any angle, making sure his allies are adjacent to enjoy the benefit of his Aura of Confidence.


    Spoiler: Levels 13-18
    Show

    At 13th level, Take-Charge Appeal increases Rizzo's Charisma to 16, giving him a bonus spell and making him better at Intimidate and UMD. At 14th level, his Sneak Attack goes up to 2d6, and at 15th he gains an additional Confidence of the Fated, giving him a +6 attack or damage buff 2/day. He also picks up Ability Focus to increase the save DC of his Thunderstep Boots by +2. At 16th level, his allies can enjoy +2 from his Aura of Confidence. At 17th level, Sneak attack goes up to 3d6. At 18th level, Rizzo gets his "Capstone": Ego Manifestation (righteous might) 1/day, which means he is no longer small-sized, but a medium-sized homicidal drunken sonic death monkey, along with a +4 Str bonus, a +2 Con bonus, and a +2 natural armor bonus. Bonus Essentia both increases his sonic damage on every charge attack and increases the save DC of his Thunderstep Boots. When combined with Ability Focus, Drinks Like a Demon, and bear's endurance, the Fort save vs. stun is in the neighborhood of DC 24. UMD is now high enough that he can activate wands even on a 1, so he can UMD a wand of rhino's rush (Spell Compendium) for double damage on a charge. With righteous might active, his Str is at least 22, he can Power Attack/Leap Attack for +78 damage, he can get up to 6 attacks a round (3 iterative, 1 Flurry, 1 bite, 1 Whirling Frenzy), he adds 3d4 sonic damage to every attack, and he can crank on an additional +10 damage with Confidence of the Fated 2/day. If his target is stunned, he gets an additional +3d6 damage on each attack.


    Spoiler: Variations
    Show

    First things first, ask your DM if you can retrain Dodge into Midnight Dodge. This gives Rizzo +1 essentia a little earlier in the build. If Level Adjustment Buyoff is available, then you'll want to take advantage of that. This could give you two more class levels to add to the build, such as Fighter 2 to pick up Improved Bull Rush and Shock Trooper. If flaws are available, then that's another way to pick up Improved Bull Rush and Shock Trooper.

    Some other glaring omissions from the build... no Craven or Staggering Strike. I left these out because I thought Ability Focus and Bonus Essentia would be more useful in the long run, as that save vs. stun is going to happen on every charge, and the extra sonic damage from Bonus Essentia is going to be added to every hit. My other reason for leaving them out is... this is not a build that focuses on sneakiness and sublety, so I didn't think Rizzo would worry all that much about maximizing sneak attack damage, and the "stagger" effect from Staggering Strike isn't quite as effective as the save vs. stun from Thunderstep Boots. If you're looking for additional adverse conditions, then Sickening Strike and Terrifying Strike would be ideal (both from Drow of the Underdark), as both the sicken and shaken conditions reduce the target's saves, increasing the likelihood of repeated rounds of "Stun-Lock".

    Something else that could be argued is missing from the build: something more interesting to do with Intimidate. This usually requires a standard action, but I think Rizzo would consider any round that he spends not charging is a wasted round. However, the shaken condition does confer a -2 penalty on the save vs. stun, so putting in something like Never Outnumbered (Complete Scoundrel) or Imperious Command (Drow of the Underdark) might be interesting. Also, with all those charges happening, Dreadful Wrath (PGtF) or Frightful Presence (Draconomicon) could be very worthwhile, and also solve the problem of having to spend an action to unnerve his opponents.


    Spoiler: Sources
    Show

    Complete Adventurer: Leap Attack
    Complete Champion: Spirit Lion Totem
    Complete Warrior: Drunken Master
    Dragon Compendium: Battle Dancer
    Exemplars of Evil: Mimic ACF
    Far Corners - Monsters of the Lost City: Brood Monkey
    Magic of Incarnum: Shape Soulmeld, Open Least Chakra, Bonus Essentia
    Monster Manual: Ability Focus
    Unearthed Arcana: Whirling Frenzy ACF, Feat Rogue
    Quotebox
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kalirren View Post
    The only person in the past two pages who has known what (s)he has been talking about is Heliomance.
    Quote Originally Posted by golentan View Post
    I just don't want to have long romantic conversations or any sort of drama with my computer, okay? It knows what kind of porn I watch. I don't want to mess that up by allowing it to judge any of my choices in romance.

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  12. - Top - End - #72
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground XCI

    One last build for you:

    Quote Originally Posted by The Fated Zari
    The Fated Zari
    Spoiler: Base Stats
    Show

    Azurin
    Str: 16
    Dex: 10
    Con: 14
    Int: 12
    Wis: 8
    Cha: 16
    Level ups go into Cha

    Spoiler: The Build
    Show

    Level
    Class
    Base Attack Bonus
    Fort Save
    Ref Save
    Will Save
    Skills
    Feats
    Class Features
    1st Human Paragon +0 +0 +0 +2 Bluff + 4, Intimidate +4, Diplomacy +4, Knowledge The Planes +4, Knowledge Religion +5 Hidden Talent (Force Screen), Power Attack
    2nd Human Paragon +1 +0 +0 +3 Bluff +5,
    Diplomacy +5, Intimidate +5, Knowledge The Planes +5, Knowledge Religion +5
    Skill Focus: Bluff
    3rd Paladin of Freedom +2 +2 +0 +3 Skills
    Bluff +6, Knowledge Religion +6, Knowledge The Planes +6
    Sapphire Smite Detect Evil, Smite Evil 1/day, Aura of Good
    4th Paladin of Freedom +3 +3 +0 +3 Bluff +7, Knowledge Religion +7, Knowledge The Planes +7 Divine Grace, Lay on Hands
    5th Paladin of Freedom +4 +3 +1 +4 Bluff +8, Knowledge Religion +8, Knowledge The Planes +8 Aura of Resolve, Divine Health
    6th Fatemaker +4 +3 +3 +6 Bluff +9, Craft Leatherworking +2, Use Rope +2, Knowledge The Planes +9, Spellcraft +1 Weapon Focus Whip Take-Charge Appeal, Spellcasting
    7th Soulborn +5 +5 +3 +6 Bluff +10, Knowledge The Planes +10 Aura, Smite Opposition
    8th Lasher +6 +5 +5 +6 Bluff +11, Knowledge The Planes +11, Use Rope +3 Whip Sneak Attack +1d6, Close Combat, Wound, Whip Lash
    9th Fatemaker +7 +5 +6 +7 Bluff +12, Knowledge The Planes +12, Use Rope +4, Spellcraft +3, Use Magic Device +2 Psycharnum Infusion Confidence of the Fated
    10th Fatemaker +8 +6 +6 +7 Bluff +13, Knowledge The Planes +13, Use Rope +5, Spellcraft +5, Use Magic Device +4 Sneak Attack +1d6
    11th Fatemaker +9 +6 +7 +8 Bluff +14, Knowledge The Planes +14, Use Rope +6, Spellcraft +7, Use Magic Device +6 Aura of Confidence
    12th Fatemaker +9 +6 +7 +8 Bluff +15, Knowledge The Planes +15, Use Rope +7, Spellcraft +9, Use Magic Device +8 Improved Smiting Take-Charge Appeal
    13th Fatemaker +10 +7 +8 +9 Bluff +16, Knowledge The Planes +16, Use Rope +8, Spellcraft +11, Use Magic Device +10 Sneak Attack +2d6
    14th Fatemaker +11 +7 +8 +9 Bluff +17, Knowledge The Planes +17, Use Rope +9, Spellcraft +13, Use Magic Device +12 Confidence of the Fated 2/day
    15th Fatemaker +12 +7 +9 +10 Bluff +18, Knowledge The Planes +18, Use Rope +10, Spellcraft +15, Use Magic Device +14 Awesome Smite Aura of Confidence (+2)
    16th Fatemaker +12 +8 +9 +10 Bluff +19, Knowledge The Planes +19, Use Rope +11, Spellcraft +17, Use Magic Device +16 Sneak Attack +3d6
    17th Fatemaker +13 +8 +10 +11 Bluff +20, Knowledge The Planes +20, Use Rope +12, Spellcraft +19, Use Magic Device +18 Ego Manifestation, Take-Charge Appeal
    18th Lasher +14 +8 +11 +11 Bluff +21, Knowledge The Planes +21, Use Rope +13 Elemental Smiting* Improved Trip, Third Hand
    19th Lasher +15 +9 +11 +12 Bluff +22, Knowledge The Planes +22, Use Rope +14 Crack of Fate
    20th Lasher +16 +9 +12 +12 Bluff +13, Knowledge The Planes +23, Use Rope +15 Lashing Whip
    *Elemental Smite can only be taken if you have an elemental graft, so it is unfortunately item dependent and this is why I have chosen to take it at level 18 instead of a much lower level. This said if you can not obtain an elemental graft then take the feat Extra Smite instead. This will grant you 2 additional smites per day, however Elemental Smite is far superior.




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

    Spells Known
    Level 0lvl 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
    1st - - - - - - - - - -
    2nd - - - - - - - - - -
    3rd - - - - - - - - - -
    4th - - - - - - - - - -
    5th - - - - - - - - - -
    6th - 2 - - - - - - - -
    7th - 2 - - - - - - - -
    8th - 2 - - - - - - - -
    9th - 3 - - - - - - - -
    10th - 3 2 - - - - - - -
    11th - 4 3 - - - - - - -
    12th - 4 3 2 - - - - - -
    13th - 4 4 3 - - - - - -
    14th - 4 4 3 2 - - - - -
    15th - 4 4 4 3 - - - - -
    16th - 4 4 4 3 - - - - -
    17th - 4 4 4 4 - - - - -
    18th - 4 4 4 4 - - - - -
    19th - 4 4 4 4 - - - - -
    20th - 4 4 4 4 - - - - -
    Level 6: Expeditious Retreat, Disguise Self
    Level 9: Jump
    Level 10: Invisibility, Spider Climb
    Level 11: True Strike, Resist Energy
    Level 12: Haste, Nondetection
    Level 13: Darkvision, Tongues
    Level 14: Remove Curse, Restoration
    Level 15: Protection From Energy, Charm Monster
    Level 16: Stoneskin

    Spoiler: level 5
    Show
    By this point Zari is just a skilled paladin. Using Force Screen when needed to have a higher AC. She fights just like any other paladin of freedom. Grabbing a 2H weapon and swinging for the fences. Smiting when needed

    Spoiler: Level 10
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    Zari now has Psycharnum Infusion and Soulborn, she is able to smite much more often by Using Psycharnum Infusion on Sapphire Smite, granting her an additional 4 smites per day, 2 from her Smite Evil and 2 from her Smite Opposition giving her a grand total of 6 Smites. She also has begun to use her whip in combat and using her 2d6 sneak attack deals fairly decent damage on her smites.

    Spoiler: Level 18
    Show
    Zari is now in her prime, dealing a good 4d6 Sneak Attack, able to use all her Fatemaker abilities to enhance her allies, and giving her Improved Trip. She definitely isn't a solo combatant but against the right enemy her Awesome Smites can trigger her Improved Trip, She has a total of 5 Smite Evil Attempts per day, 5 Smite Opposition Attempts per day, and 8 Elemental Smite Attempts per day, giving her a grand total of 18 smites that she can use in any given day. Her Smite Evil adds her huge cha mod to her to hit, and deals an additional 7 damage. Smite Opposition again adds her cha mod to hit and deals an additional 5 damage. And her Elemental Smite allows her to once again add the cha mod to hit, but gives her +22 elemental damage. Each of these smites can use Awesome Smite to either ignore 2* cha mod DR, ignore all types of miss chance, or if the target has no DR and no miss chances attempt to knock them down. And if she does knock someone down then she gets to trigger her improved trip giving her another attack against that same creature. Twice per day she can add 10 to her to hit or damage. And once per day she can grow to huge size increasing her whip's range to (I actually couldn't find just how much this increases the range! It looks like increasing by 1 size category doubles your reach, so if that is the case as a Huge creature she would have a 60 ft reach? That is insane)

    Spoiler: Level 20
    Show
    Same as level 18 but now she has 5 attacks per round before awesome smite/improved trip combo, she gains one more elemental smite and deals 2 more damage with it. She adds +2 damage to all her attacks with her whip, which complements well with her +2 morale bonus to hit she got from Fatemaker.


    Spoiler: Fluff
    Show
    Zari had a rough childhood. For as long as she could remember her mother was never in the picture. Her father always said that she left them, yet that never seemed like the truth. Her father was never the nicest man. He always made her do all the chores the second she was old enough to do them. He would always yell at her; if she didn’t listen then he would find a way to make her listen by not giving her food until she did or lock her inside her “room” which was really just a closet. Once she was in her late teens she had finally had enough and decided to run away to the nearby church for sanctuary. She wanted to make her life better and make her own fate. Since then she was sworn in to the paladin order and was tasked to bring freedom for all. She will not accept seeing anyone be treated the way she had been treated in her youth.

    As she grew stronger she came to realize that her father had given her one thing, a silver tongue. Lies came naturally to her. She could con a guard out of his uniform if she so chose. Zari always thought that she was human, that her parents were human. It couldn’t have been further from the truth as she came to learn. Her father had the blood of a powerful psion from ages past.

    She trained and trained as a paladin until one day one of the Fated appeared before Zari. The fated seemed to explain everything to Zari, and Zari bought it, hook line and sinker. She trained as one of the fated. Their classes were varied. After the first year of training as a Fated she learned who her mother was. She learned how she is an Azurin. Because her mother was a "powerful" incarnum user. Her mother died in a jungle somewhere in Xendrik. And this drove her father to despair. And her father took it out on poor Zari. Part of the training for the Fated is learning to use a whip, and Zari took particular enjoyment from the use of a whip. She trained and trained, renouncing her church but not her ways.

    Zari is a powerful Knight for the forces of good. Despising any that use their rank or their position and knocking them down a peg.


    Spoiler: Sources
    Show

    Unearthed Arcana: Human Paragon, Paladin of Freedom,
    Expanded Psionic Handbook: Hidden Talent
    Player's Handbook: Power Attack, Skill Focus, Weapon Focus
    Magic of Incarnum: Azurin, Sapphire Smite, Soulborn, Psycharnum Infusion
    Planar Handbook: Fatemaker
    Sword and Fist: Lasher
    Complete Divine: Improved Smiting
    Complete Champion: Awesome Smite
    Magic of Eberron: Elemental Smite
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    The only person in the past two pages who has known what (s)he has been talking about is Heliomance.
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground XCI

    And that's all of them! Judges, off you 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.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground XCI

    Thank you Heliomance for hosting another Iron Chef, thank you everyone that has participated thus far, and good luck to the judges!
    Quote Originally Posted by Zaq View Post
    I feel like telling the ghost of Gary Gygax to hold your beer is a good way to suddenly stop being the GM, but I have to admit that this would probably be remarkably effective. At what, I dunno, but effective.
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    I am continually astounded by how new you are here in contrast to how impressive your mind is.

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground XCI

    Well done everyone!

    My entry would have been an Unseelie Fey Star Elf Marshal 2/Hexblade 3/Fatemaker 10/Sandshaper 1/Dragon Disicple 4.

    Pumping Cha, adding Sandshaper spells to list. DD to grab extra 4th level slots.

    Nothing too exciting.

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    NinjaGuy

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground XCI

    Indeed, thank you Heliomance!

    There are so many cool things here that I never considered! Really nice builds all!

    A preemptive thank you to the judges as well! :)

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground XCI

    This round exceeded my expectations. I see a lot of cool things I wouldn't have thought of.

    My ideas were centered around Slippers of Battledancing, on account of the Cha focus, and the SI covering all the crafting prereqs save Longstrider and the Craft Wondrous Item feat itself. Though I usually don't set much store by the Rules Compendium rule about only getting Sneak Attack damage on one attack of a multiple attack standard action, but felt that a Fatemaker should endeavor to find a clear way around them. Greater Manyshot explicitly works, but it has a high Dex requirement which didn't feel right on the Cha-SAD build I was going for and unlike regular Manyshot I couldn't get it without meeting that requirement through Ranger. I thought about using Duskblade Channel+Draconic Claw+Planar Touchstone (Oxyrhynicus) to get extra attacks outside of my standard action, but couldn't come up with a build that fit together to my satisfaction. The last RC-skirting multiple-attack idea I had was just using Hustle to move as a move action and then full attack, but ended up not wanting to spend enough build resources to get that much manifesting. I ultimately settled on the easy option of just using martial maneuvers for better standard action attacks (and ultimately a usable move and full attack via Quicksilver Motion).

    This was the build that I ultimately hammered out.

    Unseelie Fey Star Elf Marshal 3/Swordsage 4/Fatemaker 10/Eternal Blade 3
    1. Marshal 1 – Aereni Focus (Iaijutsu Focus), Skill Focus (Diplomacy)
    2. Marshal 2
    3. Swordsage 1 – Craft Wondrous Item, Improved Unarmed Strike, Weapon Focus (Desert Wind)
    4. Swordsage 2
    5. Marshal 3
    6. Swordsage 3 – EWP (Gnome Quickrazor)
    7. Fatemaker 1
    8. Fatemaker 2
    9. Fatemaker 3 – Arcane Disciple (Travel)
    10. Fatemaker 4
    11. Fatemaker 5
    12. Swordsage 4 – Ascetic Mage
    13. Fatemaker 6
    14. Fatemaker 7
    15. Fatemaker 8
    16. Fatemaker 9 – Craven
    17. Fatemaker 10
    18. Eternal Blade 1 – Maiming Strike
    19. Eternal Blade 2
    20. Eternal Blade 3

    It uses Island of Blades to flank and use Aura of Confidence at the same time, like Felicity and damage multipliers to take advantage of Confidence of the Fated like Rizzo (though I was using Ruby Nightmare Blade).

    I could have made more of an effort to do the write-up, but wasn't sufficiently motivated.
    Last edited by WhamBamSam; 2018-03-06 at 12:30 AM.

    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

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground XCI

    Wow. Nice round! There’s some great stuff I didn’t expect to see. I’m fully expecting to be an also-ran this time around. We don’t mess around, do we?

    I have to say that aside from one or two fairly obvious bits, there’s significantly less overlap than I would have thought. Maybe because the SI is SO bloody generic that the only obvious part is how to get in, not what to do once you get there.

    Anyone committed to judging yet?
    Last edited by Zaq; 2018-03-06 at 09:32 AM.
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    NecromancerGuy

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    ICO Spreadsheet has been updated with the dishes for this cook.

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground XCI

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfem View Post
    ICO Spreadsheet has been updated with the dishes for this cook.
    Thank you very much, Wolfem. We appreciate it.
    fight my brute! it's a lot of fun
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground XCI

    So....do we have any judges? Or should I just declare myself victorious and run cackling off into the sunset? :)

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground XCI

    Quote Originally Posted by RaiKirah View Post
    So....do we have any judges? Or should I just declare myself victorious and run cackling off into the sunset? :)
    I'll convince a RL friend to judge before I admit defeat! (although if I do convince a RL friend to judge I promise to all of you I will not tell them which build is mine!)
    Last edited by Falontani; 2018-03-09 at 11:10 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zaq View Post
    I feel like telling the ghost of Gary Gygax to hold your beer is a good way to suddenly stop being the GM, but I have to admit that this would probably be remarkably effective. At what, I dunno, but effective.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zombulian View Post
    I am continually astounded by how new you are here in contrast to how impressive your mind is.

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground XCI

    Was that a serious offer? Because with a round this big, it's beginning to look like we might need something like that.
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    NinjaGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Falontani View Post
    I'll convince a RL friend to judge before I admit defeat! (although if I do convince a RL friend to judge I promise to all of you I will not tell them which build is mine!)
    I would like to take you up on your offer of pulling in an RL friend to judge if that's still on the table. It looks like we're not going to get a judge from the Playground this time around.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground XCI

    Working on it, I may have to take them out to lunch, and that requires interaction *shivers*
    Quote Originally Posted by Zaq View Post
    I feel like telling the ghost of Gary Gygax to hold your beer is a good way to suddenly stop being the GM, but I have to admit that this would probably be remarkably effective. At what, I dunno, but effective.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zombulian View Post
    I am continually astounded by how new you are here in contrast to how impressive your mind is.

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    NinjaGuy

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    Epics shall be composed, monuments erected, and ballads sung to honor your sacrifice :)

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    Bad news, they said no
    Quote Originally Posted by Zaq View Post
    I feel like telling the ghost of Gary Gygax to hold your beer is a good way to suddenly stop being the GM, but I have to admit that this would probably be remarkably effective. At what, I dunno, but effective.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zombulian View Post
    I am continually astounded by how new you are here in contrast to how impressive your mind is.

  28. - Top - End - #88
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    NinjaGuy

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground XCI

    Quote Originally Posted by Falontani View Post
    Bad news, they said no
    Well nuts, that's unfortunate. Thank you for trying though!


    Is there anyone who's availability has opened up from the initial deadline who would be willing to judge? It would be sad to leave these languishing. I would offer to disqualify myself and judge, but I'm not convinced I'm knowledgeable enough to do it justice.

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground XCI

    Quote Originally Posted by RaiKirah View Post
    Well nuts, that's unfortunate. Thank you for trying though!


    Is there anyone who's availability has opened up from the initial deadline who would be willing to judge? It would be sad to leave these languishing. I would offer to disqualify myself and judge, but I'm not convinced I'm knowledgeable enough to do it justice.
    I'd do the same thing but I really don't have the time myself. Actually dropping out of the Junkyard Challenge for similar reasons
    Quote Originally Posted by Zaq View Post
    I feel like telling the ghost of Gary Gygax to hold your beer is a good way to suddenly stop being the GM, but I have to admit that this would probably be remarkably effective. At what, I dunno, but effective.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zombulian View Post
    I am continually astounded by how new you are here in contrast to how impressive your mind is.

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    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground XCI

    I can judge if you still need one
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