A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Troll in the Playground
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    Aug 2014

    Default The Hero of the Storm!

    Yo. I found Storm Kindler, which just seemed so fun I had to make use of it.

    And to clarify something I, myself, had questioned, yes, adding damage to your unarmed strikes counts for whirlwind of the Storm Kindler. This is evidenced by Storm Kindler's level 6 class feature, which says it adds damage to unarmed strikes while in whirlwind. We can therefore infer that this was intended to add to the damage that the whirlwind does. (Most people don't intentionally write class features that don't work, and you can't make unarmed strikes while whirlwinding.)

    Further, Whirlwind is not a polymorph effect, allowing you to stack it with...well, polymorph effects.

    I'll also assume that, although you can't make 'normal attacks', you can, in fact, use your Standard Action in other ways. Anyway, build time.


    I'll start with the variant multiclass used: Monk. Yes, a lot of feats lost...a lot. But, you gain unarmed damage progression of monk-2. But, taking an unarmed sphere (in Spheres of Might) boosts the effective size of the unarmed strike damage by one, which is equivalent to 3-4 levels of monk, and you don't need to be a monk to take advantage of it.
    (Yes, we are using this with Combat Form because we are multiclassing out of Sage. If going Full Sage, skip this and profit.)

    For the main class for the first 6 levels is Sage. This gives the following:
    Spoiler: Benefits
    Chi Gong + 3d6. This applies damage to unarmed, and natural attacks, like an unconditional sneak attack that can heal.
    Enhancer Training: +6 Untyped bonus to any physical stat as a swift action for free (most reasonable rulings say you can't activate this multiple times for stacking effect). Also, one bonus Enhance sphere talent, and swift action application of Enhance talents.
    Ki Pool size 6 + Wis Mod + drawback bonuses.
    3 Style Talents. These are essentially magic talents for all intents and purposes.
    3 Martial Talents.
    AC bonus: Wis Mod+1 (meh. Yay for Mental Escalation?)
    3 Esoteries: Mental Escalation for +6 Wisdom. Combat Form for Monk damage of Sage level. Ki Talent for Elemental Fury from Unchained Monk for +1d6 elemental damage on UAS.
    Combat and Magic Traditions.

    Spoiler: Magic so far (including traditions)
    General Drawbacks. 4. Grants +5 spell points by level 6.
    Somatic Casting x2: Can't wear armor without ASF. We won't wear armor; who cares.
    Verbal Casting: You're a freaking force of nature! You can't be silenced!
    Magical Signs: Your body crackles with the very forces of nature while under the influence!

    Sphere Specific Drawbacks.

    • Alteration
      1. Lycanthropic
      2. Beast Soul
      3. Unnatural Transformation

    • Enhancement
      1. Bodily Enhancement
      2. Consciousness Linked
      3. Delinquent Enhancements

    Alteration Sphere
    1. Base sphere. (2 traits by level 6. Merge shield and armor, which is irrelevant)
    2. Lingering Transformation. Double duration transformation. Useful.

      Bonuses from Drawbacks
      1. Elemental Transformation. Air grants Whirlwind immediately, as though you were medium sized air elemental. (costs an extra spell point)
      2. Size Change. +2 size as a trait (at level 6). Now you whirlwind like a huge air elemental. +8 strength too.
      3. Agile. You turned in to freaking wind. Obviously Agile. Take +2 dodge to AC.

    Enhancement Sphere
    1. Base Sphere. +2 Enhancement bonus to armor or weapon. But drawback says you can't. RIP. But, if you take the SoM feats that allow you to enhance your body as arms/armor (Dragon/Zodiac Tattoos), then you can get around the drawback.

      Bonuses from Drawbacks + Enhancer Training
      1. Deep Enhancements
      2. Physical Enhancement. +2 enh. to Physical Stat (These upgrade to good next level, don't worry).
      3. Energy Weapon. Elemental Enhancement to attacks. Also deals an additional +3 damage with that element. (Equipping all 4 gives 4d6 + 12 elemental damage) It doesn't actually help until you get next level. (Don't have talent to enchant natural weapons.)
      4. Dual Enhancements. There's a lot of buffs. Best to apply them quickly, incase your DM doesn't let you prebuff. (Combined with these being Swift Action activations from Sage, you can get up to 6 buffs in one round). It's also value if you apply Extend Spell (which you, almost invariably, should).

    Spoiler: Martial Stuff

    It literally does not matter, unless combat maneuvers don't count as "normal attacks", which whirlwind forbids. Just take some talents in Athletics. Kicking up even more dust to be even more of a pain in the bole of your allies ought to be fun. As is going faster.
    Picking up one of Wrestling, Boxing, or Open Hand is necessary to improve unarmed damage.

    Getting Berserker is probably nice, as -2 to AC is relatively small, while 3+BAB Temp HP is relatively large for a D6 hit die class.

    Sage is basically the "Hey, I'm a monk that's so good I've transcended power ceiling for Spheres of Power." As such, we can just jipp Treantmonk's guide for the stuff that's generic between monks and sage, including point buy, race, unarmed scaling and what not.

    1. Human: Storm-Lashed (just seems like a really appropriate "this technique has been passed down through generations" type of feat)
    2. Level 1: Dragon Tattoo
    3. Level 5: Zodiac Tattoos

    Checkpoint: Unarmed Damage: 1d10 damage (Under Alteration: 2d8) + 3d6 Qi Gong
    2 Slams (elemental): 1d10 + 3d6 Qi Gong
    Elemental Fury Ki Talent: 1d6 elemental damage
    AC (max buff): (14 Dex, 14 Wis, baseline). 10 +2 Enhancement to Armor, +5 Wisdom, +1 Dex, +2 Dodge, +1 Sage, +3 Natural Armor = 24. Respectable, but requires quite a few resources. (CR 6 creatures have a mean 70% chance to miss, with a minimum 35% miss chance, and most having 65%)
    Whirlwind save DC (18 str baseline,inc racial): 10 + 3 HD + 13 Str = 26, which lands on most CR 6 creatures 95% of the time (maximum, with crit success possible)
    Whirlwind Damage: 1d10 + 3d6 Qi Gong + 1d6 Elemental Fury

    Special trick: You know how the top of the tornado is half as wide as it is tall, but the base is just 5ft wide? Well, if you fly upside down, then you put the 25 ft circle down on the ground. You've got perfect maneuverability, and all other fly checks are trivial, so this can't be hard to pull off.


    Is just progressing straight Sage better?...yes. But screw it, I want a freaking Storm Kindler, and I want it now!

    Next two levels go to Storm Kindler. Now, a very, very lenient reading allows you to now apply unarmed damage to small creatures caught by your whirlwind. A less lenient reading says that you must spend the Storm Kindler's time to enable the damage to small creatures. A stricter, but very reasonable reading is that there is no overlap whatsoever in the sources and abilities of Whirlwind, and they must be separately used, independent of each other. In which case, just don't use the smaller one unless there is a small group of small or smaller creatures. Simple as that.

    However, you also lost a caster level, which isn't good. Magical Knack trait to the rescue! Only thing we really gain from the casting portion of the prestige class is just the not losing of caster levels, since the talents are part of a class feature, rather than casting. Who cares, you got all you truly wanted from casting in the first 6 levels anyway.

    Then, mostly linear upgrades for everything, but at level 6, you can use your class Whirlwind against the majority of things, and it has the most damage, for a large group of creatures. Energy Weapon is a lot easier to enhance unarmed strike with than Slam, after all, because Unarmed Strikes don't have a duration shorter than Energy Weapon. The cut off point is, without a doubt, level 8. After which, we return to Sage for the +1d6 Qi Gong, and additional magical talent.

    Yikes a level 15 build. That's unusual for me. Regardless, let's analyze where we went.

    Spoiler: Equipment
    We've got Monk's Robes now.
    Our UAS is Enchanted as +1 Ghost Touch, Phase Locking...and maybe another +2 of other things. Maybe Holy? Maybe permanently enchant with Corrosive and what not so you don't need to buff up on it? (Enhancement lasts 150 minutes before Extend Spell, so who care.)
    Our "Armor" tattoos enchanted with Expeditious, Deathless, and...I would say Heavy Fortification, if we weren't already an elemental. Energy Resistance, Greater ought to be nice. Ghost Touch is cool.
    Also, a +6 Con item would be nice so you didn't have to Enhance it (or have the hit points wear off). Same with Wisdom. And still plenty left over. Uh...Cloak of Resistance?

    Spoiler: Spells Update

    new: Natural Enhancement to also increase natural armor as well as armor.

    Updated: 2 more traits can be placed on polymorphed forms. Initiative and Evasion are good picks.
    Enhancement base talent now gives a +4 Enhancement.
    Energy weapons now does +7 energy damage (+24 for all 4).
    Physical Enhancement now +6.

    Checkpoint: Unarmed Damage: 3d6 + 4d6 Qi Gong + 4d6 Storm Kindler + 4d6 + 24 Energy Weapon +16 Strength = avg 113.5. Somewhat impressive. Not going to break any world records.

    Whirlwind DC: 10+8 class+16 Str= 34
    Surprisingly, Reflex doesn't increase very fast as CR goes up, with the mean CR 15 having just + 13, requiring a roll of 21 to meet the DC. That said, the highest Ref at CR 15 is +23, which gives about a 45% chance of saving. That's impressive, considering we basically did nothing to actively scale this. Add in Ability Focus and that goes down to 35%.

    Armor: 10+4 enh Armor +3 Sage + 5 natural + 4 enh natural + 3 Dex + 8 Wis + 2 Dodge +3 dodge (variant multiclass)= 42
    Mean Monster to-hit (first time in round) at CR 15: +19. So, surprise, surprise, our chance to be hit through sheer attack roll actually went way down...to 5%. Of course, the highest bonus is +31, which would hit us 45% of the time. It would just be cruel to add in actual miss chance. Ring of Protection could add up to +5 if needed.

    Imagine if we actually went full Sage and got the full +10 to Str and Wis, with a little something left over for Dex.

    Efficacy aside, I would not want to level this up 15 levels. It stopped getting new and interesting things as soon as we switch to the prestige class, and waiting 4 levels for each feat would be torturously slow-feeling. All the impressive stuff happened in the first couple of levels, aside from sheer numbers scaling...which isn't too interesting.

    Also, looking at the Unarmed Damage....I am unimpressed. You give up so many feats for just 3d6 damage. And then give up 4d6 Qi Gong, which is untyped, unlimited and provides healing, for 4d6 Storm Kindler, which only works for minutes a day as a preset elemental type. (Not to mention the other Sage stuff.) Then again, because it applies Unarmed Strike, you can actually get affordable enhancement at the cost of a feat, which lets you Hoover up ghosts and teleporters alike.

    Then again, I already prefaced this whole section with "obviously, going full sage is more powerful" but apparently it's also the most interesting. And that is sad. Well, time to go die of boredom in my bed. Somehow spent 5 hours on this.
    Last edited by SangoProduction; 2018-03-19 at 12:29 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by SangoProduction View Post
    Sometimes you get eaten by a giant purple earthworm.
    Journals from my D&D campaign
    Player Expectations
    Spheres of Power / Might Builds / Homebrew
    Spheres in Review

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

    Join Date
    Aug 2014

    Default Re: The Hero of the Storm!

    And an image to wrap this in a tidy little bow.
    Quote Originally Posted by SangoProduction View Post
    Sometimes you get eaten by a giant purple earthworm.
    Journals from my D&D campaign
    Player Expectations
    Spheres of Power / Might Builds / Homebrew
    Spheres in Review

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