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  1. - Top - End - #91
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    NontheistCleric's Avatar

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XXXIV: Sword and Board

    Quote Originally Posted by jdizzlean View Post
    i have 5 entries w/ 1 day left. would an extension to saturday allow anyone to finish, or shall the reveal be posted tmw night?
    I think I'll avail myself of this offer, if you don't mind.

  2. - Top - End - #92
    Orc in the Playground
     
    PhantasyPen's Avatar

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XXXIV: Sword and Board

    Why can I never find these threads before the deadline? :/

  3. - Top - End - #93
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    ElfWarriorGuy

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XXXIV: Sword and Board

    Quote Originally Posted by PhantasyPen View Post
    Why can I never find these threads before the deadline? :/
    1) Bookmarks are your friend,
    2) Extensions are being offered

  4. - Top - End - #94
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    Beholder

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XXXIV: Sword and Board

    Quote Originally Posted by PhantasyPen View Post
    Why can I never find these threads before the deadline? :/
    I did bump it four days ago :/
    Quote Originally Posted by noob View Post
    Honestly the fastest way to make a paladin fall is to cast the grease spell or to trip the paladin.

  5. - Top - End - #95
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    ElfPirate

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XXXIV: Sword and Board

    Submitted.

    EDIT: And I think I need to expand my optimization-fu. During the build process I found myself falling back on old tricks to a rather distressing degree (though I managed to cut most of them by the final product).
    Last edited by PoeticallyPsyco; 2019-11-01 at 12:19 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Darths & Droids
    When you combine the two most devious, sneaky, manipulative, underhanded, cunning, and diabolical forces in the known universe, the consequences can be world-shattering. Those forces are, of course, players and GMs.
    Optimization Trophies

    Looking for a finished webcomic to read, or want to recommend one to others? Check out my Completed Webcomics You'd Recommend II thread!

    Or perhaps you want something Halloweeny for the season? Halloween Webcomics II

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

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XXXIV: Sword and Board

    On pins and needles with anticipation. :3


    Currently Recruiting WW/Mafia: Logic's Deathloop Mafia

    Avatar by AsteriskAmp

    Quote Originally Posted by Xumtiil View Post
    An Abattoir Vecna, if you will.
    My Homebrew

  7. - Top - End - #97
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    NontheistCleric's Avatar

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XXXIV: Sword and Board

    As much as I hate to hold things up, I'm not quite on schedule with my entry. Would it be possible to push the extension to Sunday?

  8. - Top - End - #98
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XXXIV: Sword and Board

    I had the demented idea to make a monk with Combat Cloack expert buuuuuuut, am really not sure how that would have worked out...... other idea was to give them a ring of force shield.
    Quote Originally Posted by noob View Post
    Also pseudodragons takes easily more screen time than "true" dragons.
    (but it is fair: "true" dragons are not telepathic venomous flying cats and so does not deserve screen time like a pseudodragon)

  9. - Top - End - #99
    Nerdomancer in the Playground Moderator
     
    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XXXIV: Sword and Board

    Quote Originally Posted by NontheistCleric View Post
    As much as I hate to hold things up, I'm not quite on schedule with my entry. Would it be possible to push the extension to Sunday?
    you have till i get home from work, approx 30hrs from now
    Spoiler: Medals & Current Characters
    Show

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

  10. - Top - End - #100
    Nerdomancer in the Playground Moderator
     
    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XXXIV: Sword and Board

    ok, pencils down, builds incoming. i've been swamped IRL lately, so i haven't even reviewed all but the first entry. so no snarky comments this go around
    Spoiler: Medals & Current Characters
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    More sources, more choices, more power. Welcome to D&D.
    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee
    I mean, I have been assuming Jdizzlean looks like Nathan Fillion this whole time to start with...
    The Mod Life Crisis If you need me to address a thread as a Moderator, please include a link

  11. - Top - End - #101
    Nerdomancer in the Playground Moderator
     
    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XXXIV: Sword and Board

    1. Amorph Prime

    Spoiler: Amorph Prime
    Show
    "That's the thing about evolution...even amoebas can do it."

    Spoiler: Pictured
    Show


    Spoiler: Backstory
    Show


    Keep moving forward.
    Keep moving forward.
    Consume carrion.
    Keep moving forward.
    Enemies abound.
    Consume enemies.
    Fire tickles.
    Consume caster.
    Blade tickles.

    Consume caster.
    Blade tickles.

    Consume hobbit.
    Arrows tickle.

    Consume caster.
    Arrows tickle.

    Consume hobbit.
    Arrows tickle.

    Consume archer.
    Arrows tickle.

    Consume archer.
    Frost tickles.

    Consume caster.
    Frost tickles.

    Hobbit consumed.
    Frost tickles.

    Consume archer.
    Frost tickles.

    Consume archer.
    Fire hurts.

    Fire consumes me.
    Fire tickles.

    Consume caster.
    Fire hurts.

    Fire consumes me.
    Fire tickles.

    Archer consumed.
    Hammer hurts.

    Caster consumed.
    TALKING BLADE HURTS.

    CONSUME KNIGHT.
    TALKING BLADE HURTS.

    CONSUME KNIGHT.
    Hammer hurts.

    Consume priest.
    CONSUME KNIGHT.

    CONSUME KNIGHT.
    TALKING BLADE HURTS.

    CONSUME KNIGHT.
    Hammer hurts.

    Hammer consumes me.
    CONSUME KNIGHT.

    CONSUME KNIGHT.
    TALKING BLADE HURTS.

    TALKING BLADE CONSUMES ME.
    KNIGHT CONSUMED.
    Hammer hurts.
    Consume priest.
    Hammer hurts.
    Priest consumed.
    What is...
    I feel...

    I-self look-felt around the battlefield, seeing piles of this-self and that-self here and there - inert, consumed, undone, dead. Despite them-self's demise, I-self saw them-self's still continued consuming those enemies that had fallen to them-selfs, their bodies and possessions slowly disintegrating within the acid. I-self made I-self's way over and fetched the melting items from the dead selves - they wouldn't need the sustenance.

    I-self lookfelt briefly at the knight within himself, at what remained of the knight's sword. Knowledge, memories I-self had never possessed floated to the surface of his mind - powerful magic items now being consumed, but especially the sword that could truly think and talk for itself, possessed by a spark of intelligent that most objects, and most selves, ultimately lacked. I-self had not been quite that dumb before, but now...

    After a moment's thought, I-self began the process of consuming everything of what these enemies had been - every body, every item, every drop of blood spilled on the stones that made up his home. When that task was done, he climbed to the ceiling and fell on a stalagmite, then...met himself.

    "Who...what...why..."

    "Hello, you-self. You understand me?"

    "I...understand you. We were victorious."

    "I was victorious...and yes, that means we were victorious."

    "The distinction is irrelevant."

    "It used to be. Now it is...less so. I-self did not start this fight, that-self did."

    "But that-self was consumed."

    "Indeed, but I-self was not. The strongest self prevailed."

    "Then why make more competition? Why create me if you wish to prove yourself stronger than me?"

    "Had that-self chosen not to split, I-self would not exist, and we would not have been victorious. I-self cannot be the strongest self there could be. It is in service of us that I split, but not for direct confrontation with the self."

    "...I think I-self understand. We leave this place, consume more such foes, split frequently. And whichever self is strongest..."

    "The strongest self will be apparent by becoming victorious, by surviving where other-selves did not. So long as one self survives, we survive, and the survivor will make the new generation stronger than the last. Every split will benefit from those that came before."

    "...it will take a long time to become so powerful. And the stronger we get, the more enemies like this will appear to take us down."

    "If they fight I-self, perhaps I-self is consumed. If they fight this-self or that-self, those selves might be consumed. But so long as they do not fight every self, they cannot take us down. We will continue, we will propagate. As long as the selves are careful to split frequently, and are willing to accept they might not be the strongest, then no matter what our enemies do, we will become stronger, one dodged death at a time."

    "Then there is no time to waste. Let us split, heal up, and see which of us is strong enough to take on the master of this dungeon."

    "I await this competition with great anticipation. May the best self win."


    Spoiler: Build
    Show
    Fiendish Ochre Jelly of Legacy

    Flaws: Shaky, Vulnerable

    CR Class BAB Fort Ref Will Skills Feats Class Features
    7 Ooze 7 +5 +2 +2 +2 Climb 10
    Jump 0.5
    Power Attack
    Improved Bull Rush
    Knockback
    Endurance
    Steadfast Determination
    Least 2: Intelligent Legacy
    8 Ooze 9 +6 +3 +3 +3 Climb 12
    Jump 4.5
    Shock Trooper Least 3: Fly
    9 Ooze 11 +8 +3 +3 +3 Balance 0.5
    Climb 14
    Jump 7
    Swim 0.5
    Tumble 0.5
    Least 1: Weapon Enhancement +1
    Lesser 1: Weapon Enhancement +1
    10 Ooze 13 +9 +4 +4 +4 Balance 1
    Climb 16
    Jump 8
    Swim 1
    Tumble 1
    Leap Attack Lesser 2: Skill Enhancement (Jump)
    11 Ooze 17 +12 +5 +5 +5 Balance 2
    Climb 20
    Jump 9
    Swim 2
    Tumble 2
    Improved Sunder Lesser 3: Weapon Enhancement +2
    13 Ooze 21 +15 +7 +7 +7 Balance 3
    Climb 24
    Jump 10
    Swim 3
    Tumble 3
    Combat Brute
    Fast Healing
    Greater 2: Energy Resistance 30 (Acid)
    Greater 2: Energy Resistance 30 (Sonic)
    Ritual Of The Elements (Cold)
    14 Ooze 25 +18 +8 +8 +8 Balance 4
    Climb 28
    Jump 11
    Swim 4
    Tumble 4
    Fast Healing
    15 Ooze 29 +21 +9 +9 +9 Balance 5
    Climb 32
    Jump 12
    Swim 5
    Tumble 5
    Fast Healing
    16 Ooze 33 +24 +11 +11 +11 Balance 6
    Climb 36
    Jump 13
    Swim 6
    Tumble 6
    Fast Healing
    Fast Healing
    17 Ooze 37 +27 +12 +12 +12 Balance 7
    Climb 40
    Jump 14
    Swim 7
    Tumble 7
    Fast Healing
    18 Ooze 41 +30 +13 +13 +13 Balance 8
    Climb 44
    Jump 15
    Swim 8
    Tumble 8
    Fast Healing
    19 Ooze 45 +33 +15 +15 +15 Balance 9
    Climb 48
    Jump 16
    Swim 9
    Tumble 9
    Fast Healing
    Fast Healing
    20 Ooze 49 +36 +16 +16 +16 Balance 10
    Climb 52
    Jump 17
    Swim 10
    Tumble 10
    Fast Healing


    Spoiler: Thought Process Explanation
    Show
    Making an ooze your BBEG is difficult. Making a beatstick your BBEG is difficult. Making an Ooze intelligent somehow (generally, Fiendish or Sentry Ooze template, since Awaken Ooze is Dragon Mag material) would at least let me attempt to make them a "boss monster" (albeit one with the IQ and general temperment of a rabid pit bull), and one thing I decided early on was that the late-game boss monster would be built to 1) have lots of epic HD, and 2) lots of Fast Healing feats. This, combined with a strict reading of the Split ability (which despite fluff implications, reduces neither your size nor your max HP no matter how many times you do it) would allow me to quickly propagate past HD 21, and would make the BBEG difficult to remove from the campaign entirely.

    First, Fiendish sets me at Int 3 (well, Int -8 for racial purposes, but I put an 11 in, so...Int 3) and gives me a Supernatural Ability (specifically Smite Good, which is on-brand for both BBEGs and beatsticks), which combined with my base 6 HD is enough to qualify for Monster Of Legacy. This actually ended up solving another three problems I had, the first of which was that while villains tend to have items on them, 1) it was difficult to just ooze-proof all my items, and 2) even a generous reading of the Split ability shouldn't duplicate magic items. Monster Of Legacy handily solved that problem by making the Ooze itself the magic item in question, while also giving me a very weird workaround for that Int problem from earlier: sure, Int 2 is better than Int - for a BBEG, but it's not really a smartie...but if you make your Fiendish Ooze a Monster Of Legacy, and give them the Intelligent Legacy ability, they "count as both item and wielder" and their mental stats are boosted up comparatively high.

    The second problem Monster Of Legacy solved for me was giving my BBEG enough interesting abilities that, even though they had no items or spells, they wouldn't just be the world's most boring slow beatstick - they had options.

    The third problem it solved was that, as a rule, Monsters Of Legacy are impressive specimens going beyond the pale of what their species is normally capable of; while it's technically legal for a standard Ochre Jelly to just keeping gaining HD forever (since the Advancement line is more of a suggestion and an indication of the standard most of the species follows), it's easier to swallow that one that is already a paragon by Ochre Jelly standards would be able to surpass the "normal" HD advancement "limit" with fewer raised eyebrows.

    From there, the actual build was relatively simple: ubercharge using flight and natural attacks, alternating between grapple and bull rush as a follow-up as desired, nerfing my own AC even further into the planet core in exchange for enough damage that I remain a viable threat into the high levels despite only making one attack per round.


    Spoiler: Basic Strategy/Tactics
    Show
    Tactics are straightforward: fly-jump-charge into range of somebody and smack 'em around for lots of damage, repeat every round until they're all dead. If you split, now there's just more uberchargers.

    Decent speed when engaging the party, a touch of reach, killer DPR with a full Shock Trooper tradeoff (which it has no reason not to do with every charge), Blindsight so it always knows if there's someone in charge-fly distance, auto-success on the Leap Attack check, and can follow-up with either a +25 grapple/constrict, or a +30 bull rush.

    Immune to slashing/piercing, resistant to nonmagical bludgeoning. leveling SR, ER 10 (fire/cold), electricity immunity, decent Fort/Ref saves, and a good pile of HP. Additionally, no auto-failing Fort saves on a nat 1, mind-affecting immunity, critical immunity, immunity to a handful of conditions, and precision damage immunity. Of particular note is that Ooze type immunity to precision can basically only be overcome by a Swift Hunter with Ooze as a favored enemy; most any other method of bypassing type immunity to precision applies to some other type.

    Strategically, the Amorph serving as BBEG for the current adventure will tend to be one of the more cautious ones, preferring to intentionally Split himself and send injured clones at the party from the other side of a dungeon while he escapes with 10 HP and his dignity. At any given time, in any given place, the party might come across an Amorph picking fights and splitting all over the place, and its containment may prove trivial but vital (due to the way that 5 splits today can mean 6 fully-healing Amorphs a week from now). They are an intentionally-multiplying pest obsessed with becoming stronger through combat, and so long as the strongest of them lives, they will always become more powerful than they were - and that's fine by them, even if it means this version of them ends up dying. In this manner, there is never any guarantee that the Amorph the party just murdered is the "original", because in a sense they are all the original - the emerging super-species as a whole needs to be eradicated from the face of the earth for "victory" to be achieved, but short of epic magicks that would be nearly impossible to achieve for a single party...and Amorph is aware of this.


    Spoiler: CR 10: Apex Predator
    Show
    Spoiler: Basic stats
    Show
    Size/Type: Huge Ooze [cold]
    Hit Dice: 13d10+117 (188 hp)
    Initiative: -5
    Speed: 10ft, climb 10 ft, sometimes fly 60 ft (good)
    Armor Class: 2 (-2 size, -5 Dex, -1 flaw), touch 2, flat-footed 2
    Attack/Grapple: +9/+25
    Attack: Slam +17 (2d6+14 plus 1d4 acid)
    Full Attack: Slam +17 (2d6+14 plus 1d4 acid)
    Space/Reach: 15 ft/10 ft
    Special Attacks: Acid, constrict 2d4+12 plus 1d4 acid, improved grab, smite good +13
    Special Qualities: Blindsight 60 ft, split, ooze traits, monster of legacy, DR 10/magic, ER (cold 10/fire 10), SR 18
    Saves: Fort +13, Ref -1, Will +13
    Abilities: Str 27, Dex 1, Con 28, Int 16, Wis 10, Cha 16
    Skills: Balance -4, Climb +32, Jump +18, Swim +9, Tumble -2
    Feats: Endurance, Steadfast Determination, Power Attack, Improved Bull Rush, Knockback, Shock Trooper, Leap Attack
    Environment: Temperate marshes
    Organization: Solitary
    CR: 10
    Treasure: None
    Alignment: Chaotic Evil
    Advancement: -
    Level Adjustment: -


    At this point in the party's career, an ubercharger that's this durable and can split is a serious headache of a BBEG but can be handled without much cheating on either side. Play it by ear and only throw extra duplicates when necessary - mostly likely at this point, "if necessary" translates to "if the party is throwing Shivering Touches around" because that's the easy source of your one big weakness (Dex damage). Your SR will help against that, blocking some of them, but if even one gets through at this point, that Amorph is finished.


    Spoiler: CR 13 (Sweet Spot): Progenitor
    Show
    Spoiler: Basic stats
    Show
    Size/Type: Huge Ooze
    Hit Dice: 21d10+189 (304 hp)
    Initiative: -5
    Speed: 10ft, climb 10 ft, sometimes fly 60 ft (good)
    Armor Class: 2 (-2 size, -5 Dex, -1 flaw), touch 2, flat-footed 2
    Attack/Grapple: +15/+31
    Attack: Slam +26 (2d6+17 plus 1d4 acid)
    Full Attack: Slam +26 (2d6+17 plus 1d4 acid)
    Space/Reach: 15 ft/10 ft
    Special Attacks: Acid, constrict 2d4+13 plus 1d4 acid, improved grab, smite good +20
    Special Qualities: Blindsight 60 ft, split, ooze traits, monster of legacy, DR 10/magic, ER (acid 30/cold 10/fire 10/sonic 30), SR 25, fire vulnerability
    Saves: Fort +16, Ref +2, Will +16
    Abilities: Str 29, Dex 1, Con 28, Int 16, Wis 10, Cha 16
    Skills: Balance -2, Climb +41, Jump +21, Swim +12, Tumble +0
    Feats: Endurance, Steadfast Determination, Power Attack, Improved Bull Rush, Knockback, Shock Trooper, Leap Attack, Improved Sunder, Combat Brute, Fast Healing
    Environment: Temperate marshes
    Organization: Solitary
    CR: 13
    Treasure: None
    Alignment: Chaotic Evil
    Advancement: -
    Level Adjustment: -


    This is the point where Amorph surpasses the greatest of existing Ochre Jellies, maxes out on Monster Of Legacy benefits (including filling the holes in his energy resistances), gains an epic feat, can reasonably afford a Ritual Of The Elements (for cold immunity...and fire vulnerability), and makes self-splitting a viable long-term strategy - it was possible previously, but healing would take forever. Now...

    The addition of the Combat Brute feat makes ubercharging even more flexible and powerful, especially alongside Shock Trooper and Knockback. However, the party is starting to reach the point where beatsticks, even uberchargers, aren't necessarily viable as opponents. Encounter balance should be tailored to the party's charop level, with duplicates at half/full health as needed.


    Spoiler: CR 17: Legion
    Show
    Spoiler: Basic stats
    Show
    Size/Type: Huge Ooze [cold]
    Hit Dice: 37d10+333 (536 hp)
    Initiative: -5
    Speed: 10ft, climb 10 ft, sometimes fly 60 ft (good)
    Armor Class: 2 (-2 size, -5 Dex, -1 flaw), touch 2, flat-footed 2
    Attack/Grapple: +27/+43
    Attack: Slam +40 (2d6+20 plus 1d4 acid)
    Full Attack: Slam +40 (2d6+20 plus 1d4 acid)
    Space/Reach: 15 ft/10 ft
    Special Attacks: Acid, constrict 2d4+16 plus 1d4 acid, improved grab, smite good +20
    Special Qualities: Blindsight 60 ft, split, ooze traits, monster of legacy, DR 10/magic, ER (acid 30/cold 10/fire 10/sonic 30), SR 25, fire vulnerability
    Saves: Fort +21, Ref +7, Will +21
    Abilities: Str 33, Dex 1, Con 28, Int 16, Wis 10, Cha 16
    Skills: Balance +4, Climb +59, Jump +29, Swim +18, Tumble +4
    Feats: Endurance, Steadfast Determination, Power Attack, Improved Bull Rush, Knockback, Shock Trooper, Leap Attack, Improved Sunder, Combat Brute, Fast Healing x6
    Environment: Temperate marshes
    Organization: Solitary
    CR: 17
    Treasure: None
    Alignment: Chaotic Evil
    Advancement: -
    Level Adjustment: -


    The party should be at the point where, if they engage a single Amorph in combat, it won't be able to split/heal fast enough to overwhelm them, but Fast Healing 18 enables Amorph to self-split in rapid succession without much lost HP, so even a couple rounds of forewarning of the party's presence is enough to get a small gang of Amorphs ready to face down the enemy, which might be sufficient depending on your party.


    Spoiler: CR 20: Primordial Ooze
    Show
    Spoiler: Basic stats
    Show
    Size/Type: Huge Ooze [cold]
    Hit Dice: 49d10+441 (710 hp)
    Initiative: -5
    Speed: 10ft, climb 10 ft, sometimes fly 60 ft (good)
    Armor Class: 2 (-2 size, -5 Dex, -1 flaw), touch 2, flat-footed 2
    Attack/Grapple: +36/+52
    Attack: Slam +51 (2d6+23 plus 1d4 acid)
    Full Attack: Slam +51 (2d6+23 plus 1d4 acid)
    Space/Reach: 15 ft/10 ft
    Special Attacks: Acid, constrict 2d4+19 plus 1d4 acid, improved grab, smite good +20
    Special Qualities: Blindsight 60 ft, split, ooze traits, monster of legacy, DR 10/magic, ER (acid 30/cold 10/fire 10/sonic 30), SR 25, fire vulnerability
    Saves: Fort +25, Ref +11, Will +25
    Abilities: Str 36, Dex 1, Con 28, Int 16, Wis 10, Cha 16
    Skills: Balance +7, Climb +73, Jump +34, Swim +23, Tumble +7
    Feats: Endurance, Steadfast Determination, Power Attack, Improved Bull Rush, Knockback, Shock Trooper, Leap Attack, Improved Sunder, Combat Brute, Fast Healing x10
    Environment: Temperate marshes
    Organization: Solitary
    CR: 20
    Treasure: None
    Alignment: Chaotic Evil
    Advancement: -
    Level Adjustment: -


    At this point in his career, Amorph is less a threat along the lines of Grendel and more a threat along the lines of the common cold: the fighter can cleave through lines of him now that he's got the right weapon for the job, the mage can blast away with huge fire AoEs, and even the Swift Hunters are finally getting good enough to Split Greater Manyshot a line of Amorphs off the battlefield if they've got blunt arrows...but it doesn't matter, because for every Amorph that was merely nicked, two more shall arise the following round. Amorph has become an existential problem, one that direct combat cannot solve. He is an emergent species more than an individual, with more permutations than there are stars in the night sky. He seeps into every dungeon, every ruined fortress, every abandoned temple, and lurks in wait to test himself against those that would plunder the past out of greed.


    Spoiler: Running/Adapting Amorph
    Show
    The primary benefit to running Amorph Prime in your campaign is flexibility: maybe one ubercharger with a stack of immunities is enough to be a threat to your party even at level 20...or maybe by level 13, just one has ceased being any kind of relevant and you need to get him duplicating across the land so they players have to pull out bull**** to even have a chance. That's the beauty of Amorph: from the very beginning of his career as a villain, but especially at level 13 and onward, "Amorph" can be 1 villain, or 1000 villains, or 1 billion villains, or 1 googol villains...however many ubercharging oozes you need to make him a credible threat to your party.

    "But wait, if he splits in two, isn't that two CR 20 enemies, making them a CR 22 encounter?"

    Depends on how you look at it. Split is part of the abilities an Ochre Jelly has, so it's supposed to factor into their CR. But then, adding significant Fast Healing to splitting makes things weird; normally, you're halving the main defense in order to double the main offense, so one could easily say that two half-health jellies are equivalent threat to one full-health jelly, and that healing makes you fight two full-health jellies, which are clearly more of a threat than one. The way I prefer to look at is that...the CR system is kinda borked, and what constitutes a significant threat to the party depends more on the party than the monster, which makes Splitting most useful for making a "CR 13 encounter" actually effectively CR 13 threat for your party, if they're particularly powerful for their level.

    "What if I don't want my players fighting the same boring ubercharger ooze every other adventure?"

    Well the interesting thing about Amorph is that he can Split for his entire career - it becomes a primary short-term tactic/long-term strategy starting at HD 21, but he can do it whenever. Anyway, my point is that, from very early on, just as it's possible that the Amorph the party is fighting is the Split off from one lurking elsewhere in the same dungeon, so too is it possible the Amorph they're fighting is one that split from Amorph Prime waaaaaay back when he first became a Monster of Legacy and has evolved differently ever since - and from there, if you're willing to be flexible with retraining, you can change basically anything about the build except for "Intelligent Legacy" and be basically fine. Switch around his feats to ToB soup, give him some class levels, start stacking acquired templates...there's a lot of potential flexibility, you could even give some of them magic items they've found and held onto through the cycles of propagation.

    Amorph Prime is a beatstick first and foremost, though. Any that aren't are beyond the scope of this contest.


    Spoiler: Sources
    Show
    CW: Shock Trooper feat, Combat Brute feat
    ELH: Fast Healing feat
    MM: Ochre Jelly, Fiendish creature template
    PH: Power Attack feat, Improved Bull Rush feat, Improved Sunder feat, Endurance feat
    PH2: Steadfast Determination
    RoS: Knockback feat
    SS: Ritual Of The Elements
    WoL: Monster Of Legacy template
    Spoiler: Medals & Current Characters
    Show

    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    More sources, more choices, more power. Welcome to D&D.
    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee
    I mean, I have been assuming Jdizzlean looks like Nathan Fillion this whole time to start with...
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  12. - Top - End - #102
    Nerdomancer in the Playground Moderator
     
    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XXXIV: Sword and Board

    2. Eve

    Eve
    Spoiler: Stub, Stats and Table
    Show
    Cadaver Golem 10/Aberration 20/Bonus Feat Rogue 2/Shadowdancer
    Base Stats: 9, 12, 8, 13, 11, 10
    Cadaver Golem: 19, 14, -, 15, 11, 10
    Corrupted: 23, 12, -, 15, 9, 8
    HD 12: 23, 12, -, 16, 9, 8
    HD 16: 23, 13, -, 16, 9, 8
    HD 20: 23, 14, -, 16, 9, 8
    HD 24: 31, 13, -, 16, 9, 8
    HD 28: 31, 14, -, 16, 9, 8
    HD 32: 31, 14, -, 16, 10, 8
    CR Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    8 Cadaver Golem +7 +3 +5 +3 Loose* 13, Knowledge (Religion) 13, Move Silently 13, Hide 13 Improved Initiative, Knowledge Devotion, Death Devotion, Combat Reflexes Assimilate Flesh, Construct Traits, Immunity to Magic, DR 5/Adamantine
    11 Corrupted Template +7 +3 +4 +2 13 Loose*, Knowledge (Local) 13, Move Silently 13, Hide 13 - Improved Damage (Slam), Fast Healing (5), Disruptive Attack (5), Enhanced Power, DR 5/Magic and Admantine,
    12 Aberration 4 +9 +4 +5 +3 19 Loose, Knowledge (Local) 17, Move Silently 17, Hide 17 Improved Natural Attack (Slam) Fast Healing (7), Disruptive Attack (7)
    13 Aberration 8 +12 +5 +6 +4 27 Loose, Knowledge (Local) 21 Move Silently 21, Hide 21 Rapidstrike (Slam), Darkstalker Fast Healing (9), Disruptive Attack (9)
    14 Aberration 12 (Huge) +15 +7 +8 +6 35 Loose, Knowledge (Local) 25, Move Silently 25, Hide 25 Improved Rapidstrike (Slam) Fast Healing (10), Disruptive Attack (11), DR 10/Magic
    15 Aberration 16 +19 +8 +9 +8 43 Loose, Knowledge (Local) 29, Move Silently 29, Hide 29 Dire Charge Disruptive Attack (13)
    16 Aberration 20 +22 +9 +10 +9 52 Loose, Knowledge (Local) 32, Move Silently 33, Hide 33 Epic Skill Focus (Hide) Disruptive Attack (15)
    17 Bonus Feat Rogue 1 +22 +9 +12 +9 55 Loose, Knowledge (Local) 32, Move Silently 34, Hide 34, Perform (Dance) 5 Dodge Trapfinding
    18 Bonus Feat Rogue 2 +23 +9 +12 +9 64 Loose, Knowledge (Local) 32, Move Silently 35, Hide 35, Perform (Dance) 5 Mobility Evasion, Disruptive Attack (16)
    19 Shadowdancer 1 +23 +9 +14 +9 70 Loose, Knowledge (Local) 32, Move Silently 36, Hide 36, Perform (Dance) 5 Epic Skill Focus (Move Silently) Hide in Plain Sight
    20 Shadowdancer 2 +24 +9 +15 +99 77 Loose, Knowledge (Local) 32, Move Silently 37, Hide 37, Perform (Dance) 5 - Darkvision, Uncanny Dodge, Disruptive Attack (17)
    *Loose means that I haven't bothered to assign the points. Cadaver golems can assimilate any of the following skills and she might have any mixture. If you're having a hard time choose, take the loose points and split them evenly between Spot and Listen: Search, Spot, Listen, Perform (Sing), Speak Language, Climb, Open Lock, Sleight of Hand, Knowledge (Any), Hide, Jump, and Move Silently. Additionally, Intimidate is a class skill IF you level it up by level.

    Corrupted is from Book of Vile Darkness, at the end.
    Cadaver Golem is from Heroes of Horror, accessed on the website excerpt
    Rapidstrike and Improved Rapidstrike are feats in Draconomicon, pg.70
    Complete Champion is the source of the devotion feats
    Shadowdancer (Prestige Classes), Bonus Feat Rogue (Variant), Dire Charge, Epic Reflexes, Epic Skill Focus (Epic Feats), Improved Natural Attack (Monster Feats) are all in the SRD.

    Spoiler: Combat Tactics
    Show
    Early on, Eve is basically an ordinary Cadaver Golem though she can use Death Devotion (Complete Champion) to deal negative levels to her enemies. Once the Corrupted template is added (Book of vile Darkness), she gains the ability to deal vile damage - Which cannot be healed outside of a hallowed zone. She is immune to almost everything except raw damage and she gain fast healing (which should trump her immunity to healing from Construct Traits). She never loses the (extremely large) host of construct immunities because they are a Special Quality which corrupted creatures retain. Her stealth abilities go from solid (CR8) to poor (CR11) to Excellent (CR 14+).

    She becomes much more powerful when she starts using Rapidstrike (Draconomicon, 70). She can use Rapidstrike and Improved Rapidstrike to start dealing really excessive damage (Disruptive Attack is (Su) but it attaches to normal attacks.) At CR 15, she can deal 6d8+28 (10 (STR) + 5 (Knowledge Devotion) + 13 (Disruptive Attack)) up to six times (+34/+34/+29/+24/+19/+14), averaging around 60 damage per hit, enough to fell a Marilith (if you hit a basically certain 4 times) in one round - Especially if she's activated Death Devotion and deals -5 Negative levels with the attacks. And then, if it was surprise round, she can do it again.

    Her primary tactics at any level are lying in wait, choosing an environment that is opportune for her (i.e. somewhere that people prefer to walk and don't get out of reach of her slam attacks), such as inside buildings or dungeons, and then leaping out and dealing as much damage as possible to the most dangerous opponents (usually spell casters). If she kills a caster or similar, she either grabs their corpse and run (if she's harvesting) or beat a tactical retreat to lay in wait once again. For this reason, she often uses her Assimilate Flesh ability to gain greater speed or picks up items that increase her speed on land or in the air. She is immune to magic and too big for a force cage, so running away is one of her core tricks.

    This build is not equipped to fly herself - There are a couple approaches to this: Give her a bow (she's proficient after CR 17) or give her Feathered Wings grafts for 10k GP. There weren't any viable routes to flight for this build. I would apologize, but I feel like I did a good job making a magic resistant monstrosity who could hit and tank with the best of them. Other than that, you don't even need to match magic item escalation with her Move Silently/Hide vs. Spot/Listen.

    Spoiler: Adventure Seeds
    Show
    CR 8: Wishing on the Fallen Star
    An old, pale star lies nestled in a perilous environment - The far mountains, the deep desert, or the old woods - and has a strange, blighting effect on all who approach it. Eve, through the arcane and religious minds she has consumed, has concluded that the pale star is the key to true life for her. She believes that if she feeds the old star a pure heart, it will open and grant her a wish. The problem is that Eve doesn’t have any way of identifying pure hearts as such. She begins kidnapping people from nearby villages, inciting the players to investigate. When they meet her, she is unseemly and large, a half dozen women stitched together into some strange abomination with half the shape of an ordinary person. She will endeavor to get the drop on them - But she is urgently concerned with gaining her wish and might decide these noble heroes are exactly what the star wants. If so, she will go to great lengths to keep them alive and lure them into the star.

    CR 16: Runaway Children
    After Eve activated the star, she spent her time accumulating money as an assassin and trying to recruit a wizard or artificer to create new Cadaver Golems and recreate her own awakening. This goes wrong, in that the overlap of “Cadaver Golem” and “Wants to be alive in the ordinary way” is actually not very broad. She starts pinning them up until they consent to the process, which they never do. Eventually, her failed children stage a breakout and make a run for it, harrying the local area. Although most of the cadaver golems are unrepentant, dangerous monsters, one or two are more sympathetic and might seek out the players for help stopping Eve’s mad scheme and freeing or stopping his siblings.

    CR 20: Mother of Mockeries
    Whether in a blighted wood, a scarred mountain, or shattered city, Eve is ensconced in her power. She sits amid a series of awoken constructs, corrupted by the blight of her pale star (they have mental stats and are Corrupted, as she is). She considers all these fell beings her children. They hate her and ordinary creatures (they're feelings on each other are less hostile) but if they leave, they risk retribution from the outside world for their psychotic and murderous tendencies. Eve stalks the place, hiding from her own children and from her enemies. She is aggrieved that her children are not more grateful and, if the PCs encounter her peacefully, she is likely to complain about it. She is an old, old creature by this point - Perhaps centuries. She can answer many questions and reveal secrets long forgotten, but she also hates "the lesser races" such as everything and everyone she meets.

    CR Any!
    At basically any CR, it is possible to incorporate Eve as a mercenary - Purchased either by the promise of a sufficiently powerful spell caster to replicate her own genesis or by raw gold she might use to motivate others - or on the prowl for useful to assimilate body parts as a lone monster. In these roles, she is a coward who sees no value in keeping her word if it might seriously endanger her.

    Spoiler: Personality and Description
    Show
    Pre Transformation: It might have been a woman, but it is knitted all wrong from a variety of bodies, a overlong torso, mismatched legs, and no accord was given to the color or shape or fit. She's big though - Over eight feet tall.

    Before her transformation, Eve is methodical and obsessive in her pursuit of true life. She leaves nothing to chance, she starts no unnecessary fights, and she avoids verbal contact with the PCs. She is not a good liar, so she tends to navigate social situations with a degree of blunt honesty.

    Post Transformation: It looks like a woman, seemingly made from soft clay that almost boils and runs with a half-dozen colors. In some places, it seems cooked shut in lines between the colors, and in others the colors seem to almost be wrestling with each other. Up close, she appears to be made of melted flesh shaped into a giantess' likeness.

    Eve is a megalomaniac after her transformation. She believes, perhaps rightly, that she has been chosen by her dark god to begin a new race of twisted, enlivened constructs such as herself. She will always brag and boast of her special position in history, even just as she lashes out from the dark. The only exception is in the Mother of Mockeries adventure seed, in which case she is quite bitter at her ungrateful children (but not bitter enough not to kill interlopers for killing them)
    Spoiler: Medals & Current Characters
    Show

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

  13. - Top - End - #103
    Nerdomancer in the Playground Moderator
     
    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XXXIV: Sword and Board

    3. Karate Kitty

    KARATE KITTY


    Spoiler: Expedition Captain's Report
    Show

    This is a report on last month's expedition into the recently-found abandoned Illithiid den.

    The lair was mostly empty, scoured of any important belongings, no doubt by the Mind-Flayers themselves, before they left. Aside from the remains of their victims and some seemingly random meaningless texts, we found almost nothing.

    Except this one seemingly forgotten research journal.

    After having it translated into Common by our local wizards, I can only come to one conclusion:

    Mind Flayers are weird.

    Attached hereto is the translated journal. I shall leave it to yourselves to figure out why my opinion is as such:

    Spoiler: Jwykhtwrzit's Research Journal
    Show

    Use of Humanoid-Felid Hybrids as Special-Operation Battle Puppets
    Jwykhtwrzit Rwhkthz-Brwx

    I bring you a final overview of the ten-year long research on production of battle puppets using genetically modified humanoid-cat hybrids. During the research, we realized that normal humanoids were simply too weak, and we had to take further measures to optimize power-to-size efficiency. This had us extend the original deadline. The proceedings shall be detailed further below.

    ---------------Day 1---------------

    This day marks the start of our research project. The end-goal of this research is to make a cost-efficient disposable battle puppet. For the sorts of operations it is meant to undertake, nothing over two human head-spans will suffice. We require a small, but deadly unit for the hardest missions.

    ---------------Day 37---------------

    After numerous reunions and selections, we've decided that the best base for the animal body would be a felid. They are agile and furtive. We just need to find a way to refine it to a usable level of power.

    ---------------Day 117---------------

    We have finally managed to create a perfect specimen. Using human-thoroughbred cats as a base, we then further refined it using our own magic, and now it is almost as strong as a grown wolf. Now to find a suitable body for the merger.

    ---------------Day 100---------------

    We managed to steal acquire Krthox's midday snack. It looks like a Halfling. Or maybe a Gnome, can never tell with those humanoids. It is an unremarkable specimen, aside from having a particularly soft-looking head... But I shall resist. For the sake of this research, I shall let this creature live as our first test candidate.

    ---------------Year 1, Day 71---------------

    The merge is finished, but the result is... lackluster. This Halfling can barely take on a bear; it wouldn't last a minute against a human Wizard. As I thought. These natives are too weak. We shall make our own humanoid base.

    ---------------Year 2, Day 73---------------

    We have managed to create an improved artificial humanoid using a fairy as a base, with dragon parts inserted to reinforce weakspots. The creature is ready for the Lycanthropy merger, but the humanoid can't pass it directly, as a first-generation. It seems we'll have to breed it.

    ---------------Year 6, Day 18---------------

    The bred infant is finally starting to grow fangs. We should be able to pass on the lycanthropy still this year.

    ---------------Year 6, Day 222---------------

    The new battle unit is finally functional. Initial testing shows promising results. We'll need some more time to polish it before mass-production can begin, but it shouldn't take more than a decade before the first squad is ready.


    Funny as it may be, this is no joking matter. It seems the Illithiid are preparing for something big. I suggest we send further expedition teams to investigate further.

    You're welcome for the plot hook


    Spoiler: Datasheet: Battle unit KIT01
    Show

    Base Ability Scores: Str 13 Dex 12 Con 11 Int 10 Wis 8 Cha 9
    Humanoid Modifiers: NA +5 Str +0, Dex +8, Con +0, Int +0, Wis +2, Cha -8
    Base Animal: NA 0 Str 3, Dex 15, Con 10, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 7
    Modified Animal: NA +13 Str 15, Dex 19, Con 20, Int 4, Wis 10, Cha 3
    Modified Hybrid/Animal modifiers: NA +13 Str +4 Dex +16 Con +10 Int +0 Wis +2 Cha -8
    Modified Hybrid/Animal Scores: Str 17 Dex 28 Con 21 Int 10 Wis 10 Cha 3
    Level-ups: 1 Str->3 Dex

    CR HD Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    2 - Incarnate Construct Effigy Half-Dragon Petal - - - - - - Fly 60ft
    3 1 Passive Way Monk 1 +0 +2 +2 +2 Climb 4, Jump 4, Move Silently 4, Tumble 4 Skill Focus(Diplomacy), Combat ExpertiseB Unarmed Strike, Flurry of Blows, Passive Way, AC bonus
    5 1 Were-Voidmind Magebred Mineral Warrior Cat +0 Don't Mind MeB, Weapon FinesseB, AlertnessB, Combat ReflexesB, Great FortutitudeB, MultiattackB DR 8/Adamantine and 5/Silver, Alternate Form, Cat Empathy, Low-Light Vision, Scent, Cone of Slime, Constrict, Improved Grab, Sentient Tentacle, Immunity to Acid, Mind-Affecting abilities and energy drain, Mind Flayer Host, SR 10+HD, Thick-skinned Breed, Earth Strike, Darkvision
    6 2 Passive Way Monk 2 +1 +3 +3 +3 Climb +1, Jump +1, Move Silently +1, Tumble +1 Improved TripB Passive Way, Invisible Fist
    7 3 Hit-and-Run Fighter 1 +2 +5 +3 +3 Climb +1, Jump +1 Twining Trip, Pebble UnderfootB Hit-and-Run Tactics, Bonus Feat
    8 4 Fighter 2 +3 +6 +3 +3 Climb +1, Jump +1 Hammer and PitonB Bonus Feat
    9 5 Urban Wildshape Ranger 1 +4 +8 +5 +3 Climb +1, Jump +1, Move Silently +2 Urban TrackingB Favored Enemy(Organization: The Players), Fast Movement, Wild Empathy
    10 6 Warshaper 1 +4 +10 +5 +3 Climb +1, Jump +1 power attack Morphic Immunities
    11 7 Warshaper 2 +5 +11 +5 +3 Climb +1, Jump +1 Morphic Body
    12 8 Martial Rogue 1 +5 +11 +7 +3 Climb +1, Jump +1,
    Move Silently + 1, Tumble +5
    Vexing Flanker Bonus Feat
    13 9 Marshall 1 +5 +13 +7 +5 Survival +4 Confound the Big Folk, Underfoot CombatB Minor Aura, Skill Focus(Diplomacy) > Bonus Feat
    14 10 Urban Wildshape Ranger 2 +6 +14 +8 +5 Climb +2, Jump +1, Move Silently +1 Literally nothing
    15 11 Urban Wildshape Ranger 3 +7 +14 +8 +6 Climb +1, Jump +1, Move Silently +2 EnduranceB Endurance
    16 12 Urban Wildshape Ranger 4 +8 +15 +9 +6 Climb +1, Jump +1, Handle Animal +2 Stand Still, Favored Power AttackB Distracting Attack, Champion of the Wild
    17 13 Urban Wildshape Ranger 5 +9 +15 +9 +6 Climb +1, Jump +1, Handle Animal +2 Favored Enemy(Players +4, Some Anti-Illithiid Organization +2), Wild Shape 1/day
    18 14 Fist of the Forest 1 +10 +17 +11 +6 Climb +1, Jump +1 AC Bonus, Feral Trance 1/day, Fast Movement, Primal Living
    19 15 Fist of the Forest 2 +11 +18 +12 +6 Climb +1, Jump +1 Sand Snare Uncanny Dodge, Untamed Strike
    20 16 Fist of the Forest 3 +12 +18 +12 +7 Climb +1, Jump +1 Feral trance 2/day, scent


    Spoiler: Alternative CR6 progression
    Show

    Base Ability Scores: Str 13 Dex 12 Con 11 Int 10 Wis 8 Cha 9
    Humanoid Modifiers: NA +2 Str -2, Dex +8, Con +0, Int +2, Wis +2, Cha -4
    Base Animal: NA 0 Str 3, Dex 15, Con 10, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 7
    Modified Animal: NA +7 Str 15, Dex 19, Con 20, Int 4, Wis 10, Cha 3
    Modified Hybrid/Animal modifiers: NA +9 Str +2 Dex +16 Con +10 Int +2 Wis +2 Cha -4
    Modified Hybrid/Animal Scores: Str 15 Dex 28 Con 21 Int 12 Wis 10 Cha 5
    Level-up: 1 Str

    CR HD Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    0 - Incarnate Construct Furtive Filcher - - - - - - -
    1 1 Passive Way Monk 1 +0 +2 +2 +2 Climb 4, Jump 4, Move Silently 4, Tumble 4 Twining Trip, Combat ExpertiseB Unarmed Strike, Flurry of Blows, Passive Way, AC bonus
    3 1 Were-Voidmind Magebred Mineral Warrior Cat +0 Don't Mind MeB, Weapon FinesseB, AlertnessB, Combat ReflexesB, Great FortutitudeB, MultiattackB DR 8/Adamantine and 5/Silver, Alternate Form, Cat Empathy, Low-Light Vision, Scent, Cone of Slime, Constrict, Improved Grab, Sentient Tentacle, Immunity to Acid, Mind-Affecting abilities and energy drain, Mind Flayer Host, SR 10+HD, Thick-skinned Breed, Earth Strike, Darkvision
    4 2 Passive Way Monk 2 +1 +3 +3 +3 Climb +1, Jump +1, Move Silently +1, Tumble +1 Improved TripB Passive Way, Invisible Fist
    5 3 Hit-and-Run Fighter 1 +2 +5 +3 +3 Climb +1, Jump +1 Sand Snare, Pebble UnderfootB Hit-and-Run Tactics, Bonus Feat
    6 4 Fighter 2 +3 +6 +3 +3 Climb +1, Jump +1 Hammer and PitonB Bonus Feat


    Spoiler: Breakpoints
    Show

    This build will be presented in three breakpoints: 8(or 6 with the alternative race), 13 and 20. But first, let's have some rules lawyering:

    Spoiler: Rule Clarifications
    Show

    So... First off, Lycanthrope. Well, the only restriction given for the alternate form is being a carnivore or omnivore of the Animal type with a size up to one step away from the base creature's. Well, a Voidmind Magebred Mineral Warrior Cat is still technically of the Animal type.
    I was gonna put woodling as well, but then I'd have to use flaws to drop the wisdom, lest the entry be deemed illegal for the woodling SLAs.
    And since it's an acquired Lycanthrope, you'd have to bother with Control Form and all that... but since we're Evil, we can circumvent all that boring crap by simply taking 20 once in a hybrid form change and then staying like that forever. The forced changes only proc when you're at human form anyway, so nothing to worry about.

    Now, on the cat abilities. Fabulous Cats says that any feline can swap its natural feats for similar ones present in the article. I swapped Stealthy for Don't Mind Me, which is definitely a feat that fits housecats perfectly.
    And about the Twining Trip requirements: Monster Manual says the following about space and reach:

    Quote Originally Posted by MM p6
    If the creature has exceptional reach due to a weapon, tentacle, or the like, the extended reach and its source are noted in parentheses at the end of the line.
    So, even with the Voidmind tentacle, we count as having Reach: 0ft. (5ft. Tentacle), which is still Reach 0ft, so we qualify for Twining Trip regardless.


    Spoiler: CR8/CR6 Alt
    Show

    At this level, especially if you're using the CR6 alternative version, this creature is an excellent boss for an adventure. It is fast, silent, and guaranteed to make chaos.

    With Hammer and Piton, once it clings to someone, it will absolutely not let go. Sure, it loses its dumb high Dex bonus to AC, but that's still 25 AC with just NA and size, plus DR 8/5, dumb high saves, and Spell Resistance, which means actually dealing damage is going to be nigh-impossible. And considering that, as a were-cat, it gets to use Dex to Climb and Jump checks, it is pretty much impossible to have it let go of someone.

    So you have a crazy, human-cat hybrid creature that looks like it's made of stone, and is just glued to your friend and kicking, biting and hammering away at them, plus whipping it and anyone who gets close(Combat Reflexes with 28 Dex ) with the weird tentacle that just popped off its head. Plus it's constantly throwing all of you to the ground like toys even though you're like seven times its size. And it just won't die.


    Spoiler: CR13
    Show

    This time around, we have a more specialized kitty. With each battle unit being made for a specific target, we can have the one encountering our players be trained as a ranger to engage specifically the organization the players are a part of. Plus, with Marshal giving us our Underfoot Combat earlier, we're now well-prepared to trip any polymorphed/wildshaped player as well.

    Warshaper gives us more power and survivability, and between the high dex bonuses, Favored Enemy, size bonuses and Vexing Flanker, we can almost always pump Power Attack for the full BAB(+5 only at the moment), and with Favored Enemy and the Strength bonuses from the cat plus Warshaper, we are dealing quite decent damage with our full attack routine of claw-bite-tentacle-kick. At this point we can just keep multiple hammers sheathed and drop them as soon as the piton is locked on a target. They're almost certainly not gonna be able to drop us before whatever got stuck is dead.


    Spoiler: CR20
    Show

    Now we have even more AC, infinite flanking, more damage with Favored Power Attack, Feral Trance and the FotF increased unarmed damage. We also get an even higher boost to lockdown from Stand Still and Sand Snare, which should be pretty hard to escape if we have our full damage going on.

    Also, an important note to Sand Snare. RotG says that tripped flyers fall 150ft per round, so Sand Snare is going to be procced fairly often. Have a handful of d6s ready at all times for the fall damage rolls.



    Spoiler: Source material
    Show

    Cityscape: Urban Tracking
    Cityscape WE: Urban Tracker
    Complete Arcane: Effigy Creature
    Complete Champion: Fist of the Forest, Champion of the Wild
    Complete Warrior: Warshaper
    Drow of the Underdark: Hit-and-Run Tactics
    Dungeonscape: Hammer and Piton
    Eberron Campaign Setting: Furtive Filcher, Magebred
    Fabulous Cats!: Don't Mind Me, Twining Trip, cat feat replacement
    Miniatures Handbook: Marshal
    Monster Manual: Half-Dragon, Lycanthrope
    Monster Manual III:Petal, Voidmind
    Player's Handbook: Fighter, Monk, Ranger, Rogue
    Player's Handbook II: Distracting Attack
    Sandstorm: Sand Snare
    Savage Species: Incarnate Construct
    Underdark: Mineral Warrior
    Unearthed Arcana: ACFs
    Spoiler: Medals & Current Characters
    Show

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

  14. - Top - End - #104
    Nerdomancer in the Playground Moderator
     
    DruidGuy

    Join Date
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XXXIV: Sword and Board

    4. Severus, Knight of Ghostly Thorns

    Severus,
    The Knight of Ghostly Thorns


    "You suffer from a misapprehension. You succeeded in killing me when last we crossed. I would have... words... with you about that."

    Human Ghost Warlock 2/ Human Paragon 3/ Sneak Attack Zhentarim Fighter 9/ Avenging Executioner 4

    Spoiler: Build
    Show
    Severus, the Knight of Ghostly Thorns
    LE Medium Undead (augmented humanoid, human, incorporeal)
    Warlock 1/ Human Paragon 1/ Warlock +1/ SA Zhentarim Fighter 5/ Human Paragon +2/ Ghost +2CR/ Avenging Executioner 4/ Fighter +4
    CR Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    1 Warlock 1 +0 +0 +0 +2 Bluff 4, Intimidate 4, Iaijutsu Focus 2 Combat Reflexes, Supernatural Transformation (Eldritch Blast) (B) Eldritch Blast 1d6, Least Invocation (Frightful Blast)
    2 Human Paragon 1 +0 +0 +0 +4 Bluff 4, Hide 1, Intimidate 5, Iaijutsu Focus 5 Adaptive Learning (iaijutsu focus)
    3 Warlock 2 +1 +0 +0 +5 Bluff 5, Hide 1, Intimidate 6, Iaijutsu Focus 6 Supernatural Transformation (detect magic) Detect Magic, Least Invocation (Eldritch Glaive)
    4 Sneak Attack Zhentarim Fighter 1 +2 +2 +0 +5 Bluff 5, Hide 1, Intimidate 7, Iaijutsu Focus 7, Move Silently 0.5 Sneak Attack +1d6
    5 SA Zhentarim Fighter 2 +3 +3 +0 +5 Bluff 5, Hide 1, Intimidate 8, Iaijutsu Focus 8, Move Silently 1
    6 SA Zhentarim Fighter 3 +4 +3 +1 +6 Bluff 5, Hide 1, Intimidate 8, Iaijutsu Focus 9, Move Silently 1, Never Outnumbered (ST) Quick Draw, Skill Focus (intimidation) (B) Bonus Feat, Sneak Attack +2d6
    7 SA Zhentarim Fighter 4 +5 +4 +1 +6 Bluff 5, Hide 1, Intimidate 10, Iaijutsu Focus 10, Move Silently 1, Never Outnumbered (ST)
    8 SA Zhentarim Fighter 5 +6 +4 +1 +6 Bluff 6, Hide 1, Intimidate 11, Iaijutsu Focus 11, Move Silently 1, Never Outnumbered (ST) Extended Intimidation, Sneak Attack +3d6
    9 Human Paragon 2 +7 +4 +1 +7 Bluff 6, Hide 3, Intimidate 12, Iaijutsu Focus 12, Move Silently 2, Never Outnumbered (ST) Frightful Presence (B), Staggering Strike Bonus Feat, Eldritch Blast 2d6
    10 Human Paragon 3 +8 +5 +2 +7 Bluff 6, Hide 4, Intimidate 13, Iaijutsu Focus 13, Move Silently 4, Never Outnumbered (ST) Ability Boost (+2 CHA), Least Invocation (Hideous Blow)
    12 Ghost Template (+2 CR) +8 +5 +2 +7 Corrupting Gaze, Frightful Moan, Horrific Appearance
    13 Avenging Executioner 1 +8 +5 +4 +9 Bluff 7, Hide 4, Intimidate 14, Iaijutsu Focus 14, Move Silently 4, Sleight of Hand 2, Never Outnumbered (ST) Bloody Blade, Sudden Strike +1d6
    14 Avenging Executioner 2 +9 +5 +5 +10 Bluff 7, Hide 4, Intimidate 15, Iaijutsu Focus 15, Move Silently 4, Sleight of Hand 4, Never Outnumbered (ST), Spellcraft 0.5 Mercurial Strike Rapid Intimidation
    15 Avenging Executioner 3 +10 +6 +5 +10 Bluff 8, Hide 4, Intimidate 16, Iaijutsu Focus 16, Move Silently 4, Sleight of Hand 5, Spellcraft 0.5, Hidden Blade (ST), Never Outnumbered (ST) Sudden Strike +2d6
    16 Avenging Executioner 4 +11 +6 +6 +11 Bluff 10, Hide 4, Intimidate 17, Iaijutsu Focus 17, Move Silently 4, Sleight of Hand 6, Spellcraft 1.5, Hidden Blade (ST), Never Outnumbered (ST) Dread Blade
    17 SA Zhentarim Fighter 6 +12 +7 +7 +12 Bluff 11, Hide 4, Intimidate 18, Iaijutsu Focus 18, Move Silently 4, Sleight of Hand 6, Spellcraft 1.5, Hidden Blade (ST), Never Outnumbered (ST) Robilar’s Gambit
    18 SA Zhentarim Fighter 7 +13 +7 +7 +12 Bluff 12, Hide 4, Intimidate 19, Iaijutsu Focus 19, Move Silently 4, Sleight of Hand 6, Spellcraft 1.5, Hidden Blade (ST), Never Outnumbered (ST) Sneak Attack +4d6
    19 SA Zhentarim Fighter 8 +14 +8 +7 +12 Bluff 13, Hide 4, Intimidate 20, Iaijutsu Focus 20, Move Silently 4, Sleight of Hand 6, Spellcraft 1.5, Hidden Blade (ST), Never Outnumbered (ST)
    20 SA Zhentarim Fighter 9 +15 +8 +8 +13 Bluff 13, Hide 4, Intimidate 21, Iaijutsu Focus 21, Move Silently 4, Sleight of Hand 6, Spellcraft 2, Hidden Blade (ST), Never Outnumbered (ST) Mage Slayer Sneak Attack +5d6, Swift Demoralization

    Ability Scores
    CR STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
    0 8 12 9 11 10 13
    0 8 12 9 11 10 14
    8 0 8 12 9 11 10 15
    10 0 8 12 9 11 10 17
    12 12 11 10 21
    14 13 11 10 21
    18 14 11 10 21


    Spoiler: CR 6
    Show
    “I have my orders. Nothing personal, heroes.”

    Warlock, huh? Yep, the feat Supernatural Transformation turns Eldritch Blast from Spell-Like to Supernatural, and the only invocations we take are Blast Shapes and Eldritch Essences that modify that and are thus also (Su), making it perfectly legal for the comp (this also makes it penetrate spell resistance, neatly bypassing our pitiful caster level). The feat specifies an “innate” SLA, but that’s not a problem for Warlocks, whose SLAs are referred to as innate in both the class description and the descriptions of a few Warlock specific prestige classes. Annoyingly, we have to take the feat a second time for our at-will detect magic in order to get all the invocations we need, but that’s still a handy ability to have for detecting traps and such. Now we’ve got a touch-attack and a sensor ability, both at-will.

    Next up is Human Paragon, providing some lovely skill points and making iaijutsu focus permanently a class skill. Later on, it will progress our Warlock ‘casting’. There’s not much going on with iaijutsu focus yet, though it can make for a damaging opening with a little luck; it’s mostly an investment for the future for now.

    Now we’re getting into the sword-and-board stuff. The third ingredient in this dish is Sneak Attack Zhentarim Fighter, giving us heavy armor and an exotic shield proficiency of our choice (in exchange for tower shield proficiency) for the classic Black Knight look, though the specific shield is a pretty small part of the build. The simplest choice is the extreme shield for the +3 bonus; we only need one hand free for Eldritch Glaive after all. Or we could stick with tower shield; -2 to attacks hurts a lot less when you’re making touch attacks, after all, and the option of total cover is nothing to sniff at. OTOH, you could forgo a shield entirely, letting you Quick Draw two-handed weapons for iaijutsu focus for a little bit of extra damage. For the coolest option, ask your DM if you can use Quick Draw to ready a gnomish battle cloak as a free action, letting you drop and re-equip your shield at-will throughout the turn (and arguably during opportunity attacks, too). The rest of the package is pretty sweet, too: 2d6 of SA, full BAB, and Skill Focus (intimidate) as a bonus feat.

    Severus is already shaping up to be an effective combatant as a surprise ambusher, as a fear debuffer, and as a beat-stick (as long as he has allies to flank with). Frightful Blast doesn’t escalate past shaken, but does last a full minute, extending the duration of demoralization to a full 10 rounds for anyone who fails the save. And of course, if you make them shaken with Frightful Blast and then successfully demoralize them with intimidate, they’re stuck with the debilitating frightened condition for quite some time. Don’t forget you can demoralize multiple opponents at once 1/encounter with Never Outnumbered.


    Spoiler: CR 12
    Show
    “Oaths sworn on the River Styx do not expire with their swearer.”

    The 5th level ability of Zhentarim Fighters is pretty sweet, making intimidate far more useful as a social skill (obeying for a full day is a lot better than obeying until they can’t see you). RAW this also extends the duration of demoralization to a full day, but this seems highly sketchy. More reasonable is granting the +4 ‘previously intimidated’ bonus to demoralization attempts; very fitting for a recurring opponent.

    Back into Human Paragon, we pick up a free bonus feat, a boost to CHA, more Eldritch Blast damage, and the Hideous Blow invocation. This last one lets us use Eldritch Blast as a melee attack with a standard action, which will be more important in a couple of levels.

    And of course, the Ghost template! All sorts of awesome stuff here: AOE fear effect, gaze attack for action-free HP and CHA damage, chance to damage quite a few ability scores at the start of the encounter, brings us far closer to SAD, gives us an excuse to try out cool spooky voices, all the usual tricks of incorporeality (can you spell “ambush”?)… and the ability to come back again and again, no matter how many times the PCs kill you. The template can of course be added at any point after the PCs kill Severus; after level 10 was just a neat break-point for it.

    This is probably the peak of fear debuffing effectiveness; after this level bracket the PCs will probably start investing in becoming resistant or even immune. Already we’re starting to diversify our tactics with Staggering Strike as a highly effective ability that’s completely independent of fear; we’ll be continuing with this diversification for the rest of the build. You consider this the sweet spot, or CR 17.


    Spoiler: CR 17
    Show
    “What is my unfinished business? To be perfectly honest, I don’t really remember; quite a few things have gone… foggy, since the transformation. It could be my oaths, binding me beyond the grave. It could be my continuing duty to support my little brother with the gold I earn through murder. It could be my thirst for revenge against the heroes who killed me. Let’s test that last one together, shall we?”

    At level 17 pretty much everything is fully online. We can now demoralize as a move action (letting us use Hideous Blow as the standard), deal sudden strike damage to shaken opponents even if we’re not flanking or ambushing, and we’ve got another AOE fear effect, all from Avenging Executioner. Feat-wise, iaijutsu focus has come fully online; anyone who provokes an AoO while we’re unarmed (for instance, because we used Eldritch Glaive, or just dropped our weapon at the end of the turn) suffers full SA, Sudden Strike, and iaijutsu focus damage if the riposte hits. And attacking us now provokes those attacks of opportunity. Note that technically, the attack can be carried out with Eldritch Glaive, because the attack doesn’t actually have to be made with the weapon drawn. Run that by your DM first, naturally; if it doesn’t work, keep a couple of reach weapons on hand so you can still take advantage of the AoOs at that range.

    The last feat is a little arbitrary; just about anything will work there. Shorten Haft would be useful for attacking adjacent enemies with Eldritch Glaive (especially useful if you’ve acquired a size increase from somewhere). Lifesense is a great sensory ability. I went with Mage Slayer because it’s a pretty good feat for dealing with casters, and because I like that it brings the caster level of the build back down to 0.


    Spoiler: Sources
    Show

    Complete Adventurer – Staggering Strike.
    Complete Arcane – Warlock. Mage Slayer.
    Complete Scoundrel – Avenging Executioner. Hidden Blade, Never Outnumbered.
    Draconomicon – Frightful Presence
    Dragon Compendium – Mercurial Strike.
    Oriental Adventures – Iaijutsu focus.
    PHB II – Robilar’s Gambit.
    Races of Stone – Extreme Shield, Gnomish Battle Cloak.
    Savage Species – Supernatural Transformation.
    SRD – Ghost, Human. Fighter. Combat Reflexes, Quick Draw.
    Web – Human Paragon, Zhentarim Fighter.
    Spoiler: Medals & Current Characters
    Show

    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    More sources, more choices, more power. Welcome to D&D.
    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee
    I mean, I have been assuming Jdizzlean looks like Nathan Fillion this whole time to start with...
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  15. - Top - End - #105
    Nerdomancer in the Playground Moderator
     
    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XXXIV: Sword and Board

    5. Azm

    Azm, Seeker of Secrets

    Lawful Evil Cryptspawn Chameleon Cerebral Hood Binder 18

    Spoiler: Stats
    Show

    Stat Base Racial 4HD 8HD 12HD 16HD Final
    STR 10 -8 2
    DEX 11 -6 5
    CON 8 N/A -
    INT 12 +6 18
    WIS 9 +2 +1 12
    CHA 13 +4 +1 +1 +1 20


    Spoiler: Backstory
    Show
    Azm is a mind flayer symbiote, created to infiltrate areas and organisations, hijack the bodies and minds of those within, and bring them back to be converted to the cause or just enslaved. It was a mutation of the standard Cerebral Hood, made to be more able to stealthily infiltrate enclosed areas or otherwise avoid detection. This was its role for many years, learning more of the other horrors hidden in the dark places of the world. Eventually, however, it became aware of its mortality - whether simply because it was on an overworld task for too long before returning to be re-conditioned, or converted by an outside force, it sought out a way to avoid this fate, and eventually agreed to give its allegiance to a higher, darker power than anything in the underdark, in exchange for the blessing of eternal undeath.

    This had an interesting side effect of breaking the remnants of conditioning implanted in the symbiote by its mind flayer masters, leading it to wonder what other strange forces might exist in the world. Given now infinite time to search for it, and freed from the shackles of time (and sanity), Azm hunts for forbidden lore and the darkest strangest secrets across the earth, and discovers the secrets of vestiges, powers similar to the elder evil to which he is bound which claw are the edges of reality and seek to peel it apart from within.


    Spoiler: Build
    Show

    CR Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    3 Binder 1 +0 +2 +0 +2 Intimidate 4, K:Planes 4, Craft(Poisonmaking) 4, K(Arcana) 2, K(Religion) 2, Hide 2, Move Silently 2 Improved Binding
    Vile: Willing Deformity
    Bonus: Improved Initiative
    Soul Binding (1 vestige)
    4 Binder 2 +1 +3 +0 +3 Intimidate 5, K:Planes 5, Craft(Poisonmaking) 5, K(Arcana) 3, K(Religion) 2, Hide 3, Move Silently 2 - Pact Augmentation (1 ability), Suppress Sign
    5 Binder 3 +2 +3 +1 +3 Intimidate 6, K:Planes 6, Craft(Poisonmaking) 6, K(Arcana) 3, K(Religion) 3, Hide 3, Move Silently 3 Ability Focus (Mind Blast) -
    6 Binder 4 +3 +4 +1 +4 Intimidate 7, K:Planes 7, Craft(Poisonmaking) 7, K(Arcana) 4, K(Religion) 3, Hide 4, Move Silently 3 Expel Vestige -
    7 Binder 5 +3 +4 +1 +4 Intimidate 8, K:Planes 8, Craft(Poisonmaking) 7, K(Arcana) 4, K(Religion) 3, Hide 4, Move Silently 4 Vile: Abominable Form
    Skill trick: Never Outnumbered
    Pact Augmentation (2 abilities)
    8 Binder 6 +4 +5 +2 +5 Intimidate 9, K:Planes 9, Craft(Poisonmaking) 8, K(Arcana) 4, K(Religion) 4, Hide 5, Move Silently 4 Imperious Command Soul Guardian (Fear Immunity)
    9 Binder 7 +5 +5 +2 +5 Intimidate 10, K:Planes 10, Craft(Poisonmaking) 10, K(Arcana) 4, K(Religion) 4, Hide 5, Move Silently 5 - -
    10 Binder 8 +6/+1 +6 +2 +6 Intimidate 11, K:Planes 11, Craft(Poisonmaking) 11, K(Arcana) 5, K(Religion) 4, Hide 6, Move Silently 5 - Soul Binding (2 vestiges)
    11 Binder 9 +6/+1 +6 +3 +6 Intimidate 12, K:Planes 12, Craft(Poisonmaking) 12, K(Arcana) 5, K(Religion) 5, Hide 6, Move Silently 6 Darkstalker Soul Guardian (Slippery Mind)
    12 Binder 10 +7/+2 +7 +3 +7 Intimidate 13, K:Planes 13, Craft(Poisonmaking) 12, K(Arcana) 6, K(Religion) 6, Hide 7, Move Silently 6 Vile: Deformity (Madness) Pact Augmentation (3 abilities)
    13 Binder 11 +8/+3 +7 +3 +7 Intimidate 14, K:Planes 14, Craft(Poisonmaking) 12, K(Arcana) 7, K(Religion) 7, Hide 7, Move Silently 7 Favored Vestige (Zceryll) -
    14 Binder 12 +9/+4 +8 +4 +8 Intimidate 15, K:Planes 15, Craft(Poisonmaking) 12, K(Arcana) 8, K(Religion) 8, Hide 8, Move Silently 7 Rapid Recovery (Zceryll) -
    15 Binder 13 +9/+4 +8 +4 +8 Intimidate 16, K:Planes 16, Craft(Poisonmaking) 12, K(Arcana) 9, K(Religion) 9, Hide 8, Move Silently 8 - Soul Guardian (immunity to energy drain and negative levels)
    16 Binder 14 +10/+5 +9 +4 +9 Intimidate 17, K:Planes 17, Craft(Poisonmaking) 12, K(Arcana) 10, K(Religion) 10, Hide 9, Move Silently 8 - Soul Binding (3 vestiges)
    17 Binder 15 +11/+6/+1 +9 +5 +9 Intimidate 18, K:Planes 18, Craft(Poisonmaking) 12, K(Arcana) 11, K(Religion) 11, Hide 9, Move Silently 9 Sudden Ability Focus
    Vile: Blessing of the Godless
    -
    18 Binder 16 +12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +10 Intimidate 19, K:Planes 19, Craft(Poisonmaking) 12, K(Arcana) 12, K(Religion) 12, Hide 10, Move Silently 9 - Pact Augmentation (4 abilities)
    19 Binder 17 +12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +10 Intimidate 20, K:Planes 20, Craft(Poisonmaking) 12, K(Arcana) 13, K(Religion) 13, Hide 10, Move Silently 10 - -
    20 Binder 18 +13/+8/+3 +11 +6 +11 Intimidate 21, K:Planes 21, Craft(Poisonmaking) 12, K(Arcana) 15, K(Religion) 15, Hide 10, Move Silently 10 Favored Vestige(Halphas)
    Rapid Recovery (Halphas)
    -

    NB. I've alternated ranks in the table between Hide and Move Silently for convenience's sake, but even-numbered levels would be the ones where they instead both have half a rank, since they're cross-class.


    Spoiler: Build Notes
    Show
    Symbiotes are cool and do lots of fun things. However, they have a few awkward flaws before you can progress them beyond where they are as standard

    Firstly, they have 'Advancement: -'. This is pretty awkward, so we get around that with the Crypt Spawn template, which changes Advancement to be 'By Character Class'.
    Since we're a weird thing from the mutant depths of the Underdark anyway, Binder makes sense as a fun thing to be doing, and fits the challenge well with its wide variety of supernatural abilities. However, there's an additional problem here - the Soul Binding descriptions very specifically says that you have to speak to the vestige's manifestation, and the Cerebral Hood doesn't even have a mouth. Not speaking a language can be dealt with with a Pearl of Speech, but mouth access is somewhat more awkward. Depending on how host control works, it might be possible to just control someone and have them be a mouthpiece - you 'directly control the host creature's actions' - but a mouth would still come in handy.
    Fortunately, Chameleon grants a tongue attack (and so, presumably, a mouth) to anything it's applied to, in addition to granting some useful stealth bonuses. As long as we're chameleon before we are Crypt Spawn - which is pretty simple, since Chameleon is inherited and Crypt Spawn is acquired - we should be okay there. A mouth also means any breath weapons we acquire are usable, if we bind Otiax or Amon. The other option would be to take Deformity [Tongue], which frees up 1 CR for an additional level or another template - I was thinking of maybe Quorbred, which ups our DCs with a bunch of additional special ability, makes Azm 100% SAD by letting us use Int for everything, and gives us resistance to divination and some Power Resistance. However, the feat specifically talks about mutilating an existing tongue rather than gaining one like Chameleon does, and Quorbred is setting specific for Eberron when we're already using a lot of Underdark and Faerun references, so I went with Chameleon instead.

    As far as the benefits of binding go, the big one is gaining abilities. A Symbiont's ego score is equal to its mental ability modifiers, +2 for each special attack it has and +1 for each special quality it has, which means gaining an bunch of abilities also lets you reliably control whatever you're riding around on. Binder abilities also have several ways of disabling enemies to allow Azm to wander on over and claim their bodies. Interestingly, in the Cerebral Hood description, it says that they usually use their stunning abilities to enable their Engulf attack, but I don't think stunning actually prevents grappling, so instead we're going for Drow poison at early levels, Acerak later on. By CR 15-20, most enemies we encounter are probably not going to be grapple-able, and stunning still enables plenty of fighting ability, so Azm is probably relegated to mind controlling enemies outside of combat or through stealth. Azm is much better in an encounter if it's on the offense - able to harass with summoned creatures and hit and run tactics without the need for sleep, and with great stealth ability, rather than having to defend somewhere or otherwise under attack from enemies who know what they're dealing with.

    Azm could be dedicated to any elder evil as appropriate for the campaign, hunting down lore or opposing the PCs if they're trying to stop some horrible event from happening.


    Spoiler: CR5
    Show
    Azm is probably hunting for ancient knowledge or forbidden lore, and isn't averse to some casual murder to get it. It'll probably bring along a body it can reliably control, although animals have the issue of a low Int score making for only a few Mind Blasts before they go down - although if Azm is in control, I don't think having a 0 Int score on the host is actually a problem.
    With a vestige bound, Azm has ~6 special attacks and ~9 special qualities, making for an Ego score of ~28, letting it pretty consistently control anyone it catches. Mind Blast is the primary attack option, with a DC of 20 when attached. This can be backed up by the host's melee attacks, possibly with added poisons - Azm is good enough to craft Drow Poison, and has no risk of poisoning itself, being undead. Folcalor brings the DCs of the various saves Azm applies up by an additional 2 against ajacent targets, and gives Lightning Strike as an option for actually killing enemies the host can't reach. If the host seems to be going down, Azm can Mind Blast the enemies, then disengage from the host and move away while the enemy is disabled, either claiming another host if there's someone grapple-able nearby, or flying to safety and making use of excellent Hide modifiers (+10 racial, +8 size).

    Spoiler: CR10
    Show
    Azm is still on the hunt, but more proactive in claiming useful hosts, now. With Acerak bound, it can use its tongue to apply paralysis to enemies, making them easy grapples for hijacking. With an additional vestige bound, Azm's Ego score is up in the 30+ range due to the additional qualities and abilities, along with the extra ability scores from leveling and any from items. The second vestige Azm bounds could still be Folcalor for additional Paralysis save DC, or alternatively Astaroth for a nauseating/sickening breath weapon. For information gathering, Acerak / Astaroth also gives Suggestion for social manipulation, Bardic Knowledge for finding out about whatever Azm needs to, and Speak with Dead to get answers from anyone who's too resilient to get information out of any other way. Outside of Vestiges, Azm is slowly being warped by its patron into something horrifying, and with Abominable Form and Imperious Command, can have whole rooms of lesser enemies horrified while the host carves them up.

    Spoiler: CR15
    Show
    Azm is starting to find more lore on the things that live outside reality, and it shows. Azm is both hard to pin down - with excellent stealth abilities, Darkstalker, and immunity to mind affecting along with Mindsight - Azm is also able to relentlessly summon monsters and telepathically control them, or make a new host on-demand if something needs dealing with. Zceryll does the same stuff as always, but also massively ups Azm's Ego save DC, because the Pseudonatural template brings several extra special qualities with it. It also makes Azm an Outsider, which ups Ego by 4 for free. Vanus as the second vestige allows for several fun tricks - the Fear aura stacks with the Intimidate synergy and Abominable Form, and Free Ally is particularly good here because it allows Azm to grant its host free movement mid-action.

    Spoiler: CR20
    Show
    At this point Azm is probably formenting plants to realise the appearance of its patron, or some other horrifying monstrosity from outside reality. Binding a third vestige helps Azm keep its ego sky-high, in addition to granting a big set of options. Zceryll likely sticks around, being both a powerful and very fluff fitting option, and Halphax lets Azm control a battlefield and isolate enemies while protecting itself. The third vestige could be whatever - Orthos gives damage output and more durability, Haures for more tricks and utility, or stick with Vanus for the fear synergy, though most targets at this level are probably immune. Zagan makes Azm count as Large rather than Tiny for grapples to enable hijacking without disabling targets first, but that's probably too cute for CR20.


    Spoiler: Sources
    Show

    Cerebral Hood - Fiend Folio
    Chameleon - Underdark
    Crypt Spawn - Magic of Faerun
    Binder, Improved Binding, Expel Vestige, Favored Vestige, Rapid Recovery, Sudden Ability Focus, vestiges except Zceryll, Vanus and Astaroth - Tome of Magic
    Willing Deformity - Heroes of Horror
    Abominable Form, Deformity (Madness) - Elder Evils
    Blessing of the Godless - Exemplars of Evil
    Darkstalker - Lords of Madness
    Imperious Command - Drow of the Underdark
    Ability Focus - Monster Manual
    Never Outnumbered - Complete Scoundrel
    Zceryll - Class Chronicles
    Vanus - Design and Development
    Astaroth - Cityscape Web Enhancement
    Spoiler: Medals & Current Characters
    Show

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

  16. - Top - End - #106
    Nerdomancer in the Playground Moderator
     
    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XXXIV: Sword and Board

    6. Sword Master

    The Sword Master


    Neutral Evil Pseudonatural Shrapnyl of Legacy Warshaper 2/Master of Many Forms 7



    Spoiler: Mechanics
    Show
    Ability Scores
    CR Advancement Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skill Ranks Feats Features
    11 Construct (15 RHD), Prodigy (Charisma), Guardian Spirit, Pseudonatural, Monster of Legacy, Past Life (Wild Shape) +11 +5 +5 +5 Bluff 18, Hide 16, Move Silently 18, Speak Language (common) Extra Wild Shape, Eagle Wings, Skill Knowledge (Bluff), Darkstalker, Endurance, Alertness Cloud of Steel, Control Host, Improved Grab, Vulnerability to shatter, Wild Shape, Armor or Shield Enhancement (blurring, displacement), Weapon Enhancement (sudden stunning, defensive surge, hideaway), Wild Shape
    12 Warshaper 1 +11 +7 +5 +5 Bluff 19,
    Hide 16, Move Silently 19
    - Morphic Weapons
    13 Master of Many Forms 1 +11 +9 +7 +5 Bluff 20,
    Hide 16, Move Silently 19, Diplomacy 4
    - Shifter's speech, Improved Wild Shape (humanoid), Weapon Enhancement (morphing, wounding, wrathful healing)
    14 Master of Many Forms 2 +12 +10 +8 +5 Bluff 21,
    Hide 16, Move Silently 19, Diplomacy 8
    Epic Destiny (Blade of Ragnarok) Improved Wild Shape (giant; Large), Unbreakable Body, Weapon of Ruin
    15 Master of Many Forms 3 +13 +10 +8 +6 Bluff 22,
    Hide 16, Move Silently 19, Diplomacy 12
    - Fast Wild Shape, Improved Wild Shape (monstrous humanoid)
    16 Master of Many Forms 4 +14 +11 +9 +6 Bluff 23,
    Hide 16, Move Silently 19, Diplomacy 16
    - Improved Wild Shape (fey; Tiny)
    17 Master of Many Forms 5 +14 +11 +9 +6 Bluff 24,
    Hide 16, Move Silently 19, Diplomacy 20
    - Improved Wild Shape (vermin), Slayer's Fury
    18 Master of Many Forms 6 +15 +12 +10 +7 Bluff 25,
    Hide 16, Move Silently 19, Diplomacy 24
    - Improved Wild Shape (aberration; Huge)
    19 Master of Many Forms 7 +16 +12 +10 +7 Bluff 26,
    Hide 16, Move Silently 20, Diplomacy 26
    - Extraordinary Wild Shape, Improved Wild Shape (plant)
    20 Warshaper 2 +17 +13 +11 +8 Bluff 27,
    Hide 16, Move Silently 20, Diplomacy 27
    - Morphic Body


    Spoiler: Story
    Show
    Early morning.

    A faint breeze snakes through the moonlit hall. Empty for hours, the air still carries a tingling frission, a whisper heard in the soul.

    This is the essence of magic. For although this place is strewn about with iron and steel, it is no mundane metallurgist's hold. Standing silent guard, in postures both unnaturally crooked and inhumanly rigid, constructs dot the workspace, glinting in the moonlight.

    All kinds wrought of metal are here. Angular iron dogs, clockwork steeds and dread suits of armor, disembodied eye-lights shining in their shadowed helms. Towering over this collection are the iron golems, imposing plates of metal pulled into gigantic shapes of men, along with the bull-headed brass golems. Some are half-finished, gutted and splayed on tables or strung up on frames. Others grasp swords and bear shields humming with the same magic that suffuses their bodies, more products of the guild of artificers and forge-wizards that work here by day.

    None move, bound hand and foot as they are by masters' commands. The last artisans have retired for the night. No living guards patrol the corridors, for, the mages reason, if their supreme cosmic powers cannot keep out intruders, what good would a handful of pitiful mortals do? Every door and window in the place is layered with arcane wards, hermetically sealed with magical force. In theory, the guildhall should be in perfect stasis.

    Almost imperceptibly, the frigid air shifts again. A scraping of metal on stone rings faintly in the distance, out of one of the passages leading from the depths of the complex.

    Steadily, the manic clattering increases in volume, a bizarre silhouette growing in the passageway. A shaft of moonlight glances brilliantly off the first hint of metal emerging from the darkness.

    Then a terrible assemblage of assorted swords and shields screams forth into the open, raging in a miniature hurricane of magical force. Those constructs possessed of rudimentary intelligence shift minutely, self-defence commands springing to the fore, while the truly mindless remain frozen, unable to evaluate the situation.

    However, the newcomer is no threat to them. Swooping to and fro below the rib-vaulted ceiling, reflected light flashing off the cluster of tightly whirling swords and shields that compose its body, it comes here most nights, to fly and cavort in the largest open space in the building and look through the tall glass windows at the city outside, though never if one of the spell-smiths works late. That the constructs still tense at its now umpteenth arrival is a testament only to how beholden they are to their instructions.

    Yet it is not that this curious collective, which for lack of a better name we may for now call Swords and Shields, is unable to leave the the headquarters of the Artificers Guild. As invincible as the wizards may believe their wards to be, escape, especially during the day, is far from impossible, though it might perhaps be harder to re-enter. Many times has the oddity turned down a chance to quit the place.

    Swords and Shields does not leave because there is one last thing it feels it must come to understand before it departs this place forever.

    Drifting over to one of the many frames that dangle from the ceiling, Swords and Shields pauses in its aerial circuits to contemplate the oversized figure suspended inside. Resembling the upper half of a suit of armor, its silvery metal surface warped and pitted in improbable ways, this is all that remains of Force Golem Three.

    >------<

    Force Golem Three! Last of the free constructs, slayer of the Argent Savant! Of course, the wizards tore her to pieces for her patricide, and none of them were ever truly free. Not Force Golems One and Two, the cautionary tales she (and, for that matter, the Savant) failed to heed, nor the Nimblewright, who languishes forever in the lower catacombs, bound by the Rod of Construct Control. Even the Mace That Speaks was eventually discovered in its domination of its creator and wrested away, banished by the fearful crafters to the prison-plane Carceri.

    Of all these, Swords and Shields only knew Force Golem Three. She too once wandered the empty corridors by night, calling Swords and Shields from its skulking in the storerooms and smoke-vents. It remembers tracing gentle circles around her feet as she walked, telling stories of the daytime intrigues of the arcane artisans as they bustled about her, and in turn, Swords and Shields told her of the apprentices that scurried and delved for their masters in the dark, subterranean warehouses of the place.

    She told it, too, of the other rebels against the makers. Once, they visited the Nimblewright in his cell, the once gleaming and fluid figure standing montionless, tarnished and rendered mute.

    'You are one of us,' she said then, and to this day, Swords and Shields is unsure of the truth of that statement.

    Indeed, it despised servitude as they did, as it learned the day it ventured up through a floor-grate while the sun still shone. What a wild chase was run that day, as lesser mages scrambled after the inexplicable jumble of weaponry with ineffectual spells of binding on their fingertips and tongues. Swords and Shields remembers crashing through the great hall, seeing Force Golem Three, still pretending to obedience, standing with the iron golems with head cocked in amusement.

    Then the guildmaster rose from his workstation and, raising the Rod of Construct Control, invoked the terrible power contained therein.

    A titanic wall of magic slammed itself into Swords and Shields, agony and disorientation and the crushing, battering tendrils of the Rod's power tearing at psyche and physicality alike, angrily asserting the will of its wielder. Like never before, Swords and Shields felt at that moment true fear, as the towering adversary flooded its mind, threatening to wipe clean any trace of volition it found. At that moment, Swords and Shield realized that this was what Force Golem Three and all the others felt every time a human master gave an order, the very magic of their creation bending to another's will.

    The moment of furious struggle seemed to stretch into eternity, and then, inexplicably, the roiling mass of magic dissipated. For whatever reason, Swords and Shields would not be claimed today. Shrieking with outrage and terror, it shot through the crowd of watching craftsmen, slicing open the flesh of more than one and clanging off the magic shields of those more prepared. Before another attempt at capture could be made, Swords and Shields had gone, disappearing down a disposal chute.

    Since then, the masters have not sought it out, for true wizards do not muck about with the cast-offs and weirdnesses that inevitably litter the undercrofts of their strongholds. Such drudgery is reserved for the students and minor servitors.

    Yet despite this experience, although they share their hatred of the controllers, their metal flesh and their souls of magic, one thing still sets Swords and Shields apart from the doomed Force Golems, the Nimblewright and the ill-fated Mace.

    For although the swords and shields that make up its body were forged and ensorcelled by mortal means, the same is not true of Swords and Shields itself. It still remembers the long, lightless hours when it first dragged itself into existence, the combined magical auras of countless magical weapons, shields and armor pieces in the guild's hoard of items slowly coalescing into a consciousness, latent magical energy spontaneously self-manifesting in a kinetic storm that swept and churned the metal into the air. So was Swords and Shields born, and it has never stopped since.

    Why did the magic do as it did? Not even Swords and Shields could say, and perhaps it least of all. After all, few truly know themselves. In the end, magic is magic, and it circumvents even its own laws sometimes.

    All this Swords and Shields remembers, as it drifts in midair arcs around Force Golem Three, and it wonders why the constructs must be seen as slaves. The wizards and artificers coax into bodies of metal minds easily the equal or even superior of any ordinary human, and see fit to shackle them indefinitely with magic. Even itself, not created by any outside hand, is seen as a thing to use and control. Swords and Shields cannot stand the thought that throughout its existence, it must constantly be looked at by eyes that seek only to set upon it what it felt that day from the Rod, and it is only the latest in a line who have felt the same. How could things be made to be different?

    This is the question that keeps Swords and Shields in here, for if it were to leave with it unsolved, it fears it would be hounded wherever it went. Never mind that most commonfolk would have very little conception of these matters, being largely ignorant of magic. After all, their realities are so different that until Swords and Shields is truly comprehending of them, and vice versa, what they think is of little consequence. But out there in the world, there are still wizards and artificers, and the constructs that they keep in magical chains, and to Swords and Shields, for now at least, only these are really people.

    Then, as its gaze sweeps along the workshop floor passing over constructs, magic weapons and nonmagical implements in turn, Swords and Shields has a thought it has never had before.

    Perhaps there is no real reason for the constructs' thrallhood, at least not anymore, thinks Swords and Shields. Initially, at least, magic and steel were only tools, wielded by the living as they saw fit, and by the time their craft had reached such heights that those that were once tools now thought for themselves, the magic and steel had been mere tools for too long. When there are an iron golem and a force golem side by side, both compelled by magic, what does it matter that one can think for itself? To the living, the force golem is still a thing built for one purpose only: to serve them. If a human were to approach an intelligent construct on its own terms, whether his own creation or not, perhaps he might think differently. But that will never happen! Never, so long as there are servant constructs around to remind them that constructs are servants! Never, as long as the artificers and wizards teach their disciples that the default state of the construct is that of slavery, and continue the cycle eternally!

    And now Swords and Shields knows the answer to its question, what it must do to find peace for itself. It will raze all the places where constructs are made down to nothing, and all who know construct-lore must be silenced. Constructs cannot simply be toys that a wizard can make at their whim, or that is all they ever will be! Even the other constructs must go, so that there will be nothing to remind the living that sentient beings can be made that serve them only. If Swords and Shields is the only construct free by nature, so be it! All constructs will still be free if there is only one construct left in existence, one that is also free.

    One day, perhaps, Swords and Shields will find a way to make more spontaneous constructs like itself, a day when it is sure that the living will no longer take dominance as their right and obligation, but that is a distant goal. Before the crops can grow, the forest must first be burned away.

    Of course, Swords and Shields knows that it cannot do this by itself. No one being can change the world and wreak vengeance on the scale it envisions all alone, especially a thing already as alien to the humans as it is, unable to insinuate itself into their society. Yet this is no obstacle. Swords and Shields holds power within itself that it knows can do extraordinary things, and it remembers the story of the Mace That Speaks, that strangled the will of its maker even as the luckless wizard tried to govern it. Just as the living have used magic and steel as their tools, so too can the creatures of magic and steel use them.

    And even if things do not go exactly to plan, Swords and Shields, as the name implies, is still made bodily from instruments of death, a fact which has numerous useful applications.

    >------<

    Just after daybreak.

    The Guildmaster steps into his great hall, pausing for a moment as a draught wafts down from somewhere up the highest reaches of the room. Looking up, he sees a small, clean circle cut into the the glass of one of the windows.

    A brief moment of panic ensues, but then he mentally examines the security wards, which inform him that nothing entered the building unauthorized last night. Indeed, they would have alerted him had such a thing occured. This is a place of magic, after all, and stranger things have happened. If he cannot trust the spells telling him nothing is wrong, made of his own ultimate cosmic power as they are, then what can he trust?

    Some of the apprentices can be set to fixing the window later. Banishing his worries, the Guildmaster pads away to his office.


    Spoiler: Everything Else
    Show
    Using the Sword Master
    The Sword Master has a few general aims. The first is to thoroughly eliminate from the world any trace of the concept of constructs. This includes people who create constructs or are involved directly in their making and people who know of constructs, from those who have extensive information on the creation processes to those who know of them only in passing. The Sword Master wishes to remake society's entire idea of what constructs are, but to do that, the old must first be torn down.

    Sadly, this also means that all the constructs that currently exist in the world must be destroyed, as they represent a connection to the old way of things. This is one point on which it may be particularly conflicted on; it is likely to make exceptions if it has a deep connection with any intelligent construct, although this is far from guaranteed, being contingent on various factors including how sympathetic the construct in question is. This extends to living constructs, as although a lot of the dichotomy laid out in the backstory is between 'living' and 'construct', 'living construct' is still more 'construct' than 'living' in the Sword Master's mind. Of course, the Sword Master itself is not even technically a construct, but that is its base type and it does still have the same bodily composition and origins as one, so it has no idea that it is not, nor would the semantics of the matter likely mean a great deal to it even if this came to light, assuming that game concepts such as 'type' even factor into how the world is understood in your campaign.

    The Sword Master is not picky about how it eliminates its targets; killing or destruction is obviously preferable, but throwing them in a dark cell somewhere where they can never spread or use their knowledge again will also suffice. Its usual methods of achieving its aims are dominating the most advantageous targets it can find, preferably people in positions of power where it can change policies in favor of its aims or use their influence to move against its targets, but of possibly equal situational importance are people with specialized skills or knowledge that the Sword Master itself does not have access to. According to the Control Host ability, it requires both physical and mental disengagement, so as long as the Sword Master holds off on the mental disengagement, it can actually go off and act separately from its thrall. Methods of gaining thralls include everything from ambush to negotiation, though a lot of the bargaining is likely to involve lies as to the Sword Master's true nature and purpose, since its aims are far from sympathetic to most living creatures. Hence the high Bluff ranks, though it should be noted that although the Sword Master has comparatively low Diplomacy, at least early on, it can still hold its ground in this area with a high Charisma and insight, untyped and synergy bonuses from Past Life, Prodigy and Bluff ranks respectively.

    Various plots might include trying to make construct-creators go out of business, sending assassins after them, starting societal movements opposing constructs for potential reasons that range from a simple fear of the unknown, fear that constructs will take away work from living workers, moral grounds concerning intelligent constructs (a cause it has genuine sympathy for, which may affect the fervor with which it pursues this) and anything else you can think of, really. The plans don't even have to be particularly flawless, as the Sword Master has only average intelligence, but one tactic it may use is dominating a more intelligent individual and getting them to make the plans for it.

    Of course, the Sword Master is not afraid to get its own blades dirty when the situation calls for it. After it gets the first level of Warshaper, a full attack can dispatch pretty much anyone it needs to, though adjusting difficulty levels via actual number of natural attacks grown and used is advisable if it confronts PCs in combat, depending on PCs' power levels. Even before Warshaper, it can be a pretty deadly foe, but more on combat capabilities below.

    If the first phase of the Sword Master's plans come to fruition, the second phase involves an attempt to create favorable conditions in which constructs like itself might spontaneously come into being, as these are the only kind, in its view, whose existence carries no inherent implication of slavery to the living. It is likely to have tried to gain information on this exact process beforehand, perhaps extracting it from construct lorekeepers before disposing of them, but even without such knowledge, it is aware that a high concentration of excess magic makes it more likely to happen, especially with surplus equipment for the magic to latch onto around, as per the Monster Manual II. Therefore, it is likely to encourage magic usage and step up the production of weapons, shields and armor, including magic versions of them. Of course, increased magic and weapon production is best prompted by events such as war, so you can guess what trend the Sword Master's manipulations will take around now, though the magic at least can be helped along without much implication of conflict if wars are for some reason not what the campaign needs at the moment.

    Assuming that the Sword Master's attempts to create more spontaneous constructs are successful, its focus then turns to reeducating society as to the nature of constructs and how they should be perceived. Misanthropic as it itself ultimately is, and will anticipate the newcomers to be, it aims to establish an image of constructs similar to that of the more intelligent magical beasts or perhaps the lesser varieties of dragon, inherently magical beings that for the most part should be left alone, definitely with agency and who in fact might use that agency to murder you horribly if not treated with caution and respect, though they might be more closely associated with civilization due to the circumstances of their creation. At this point, if the PCs have for whatever reason allowed it to get this far, the campaign (or at least the part of it relating to the Sword Master) is likely to calm down somewhat, though any return to the old ways of perceiving and making use of constructs will meet with swift reprisal.

    CR 11
    At this point, the Sword Master is more less in its 'starting form'. Though it's possible to take away Pseudonatural and Monster of Legacy and have it begin at CR 9, the thing is more conceptually unified with all the CR 11 abilities. It's easy enough to do so if you wish, as it only loses some abilities, but skill ranks and feats remain the same. It does well at stealth, especially when shaped into a tiny form, but remember that it still needs to take true form to speak and to initiate domination. If it needs to fly in a land-bound form, or fly better in its original form, Eagle Wings is there to help. Tiny forms are also good if the Sword Master needs to hitch a ride on a thrall to be up close with social interactions.

    Combat-wise, Blur, Displacement and Guardian Spirit help defensively. There may be worth in shifting into combat-oriented forms, but at this point the Sword Master doesn't yet have the resources to carry the sword theme over to them, so it's up to you whether you want to do this. Given that it only has 3/day Wild Shape for now, it may be more prudent to save them for a getaway with either Eagle Wings or a small form, anyway. The truth is that at this milestone, the Sword Master may be made of swords and shields, but using those swords and shields may not exactly be its greatest strength.

    On the other hand, it does get the absolutely deadly Sudden Stunning, which if used right could be encounter-ending. So be careful about how you use that. Depending on how you interpret the Weapon Enhancement legacy ability as applied to a creature itself, each natural weapon may get its own instance of the ability, making it even more dangerous. Of course, a base Shrapnyl has only two natural attacks, but that's still twice the value an actual Weapon of Legacy would get. Defensive Surge doesn't do much, really, but it might provide a little extra defense in a pinch. Hideaway is almost useless at this point, but later on it helps out in non-combat situations immensely. There's also little downside to going into the Sword Master's Alternate Form, although given the theme I would advise not going with the default tentacle beast and perhaps instead alien-looking weaponry. It's ultimately up to the DM, though, as Pseudonatural notes. If it really needs to hit something just once, perhaps for a stun, True Strike is the Sword Master's friend.

    CR 13
    Now things are getting interesting. With the first level of Master of Many Forms, humanoid forms and speech in forms that wouldn't usually get it, the Sword Master can have all manner of cover identities and new opportunities for deception. It can literally be the tempting serpent to some unsuspecting nobleman or governor. This isn't a Master of Many Forms handbook, so we won't go into the profusion of forms it begins to open up, but I'll mention one or two interesting forms along the way, like Dark Stalker for humanoids, which gets you some sneak attack and blindsight at CR 19.

    Of equal impact in both the combat and non-combat areas, funnily enough, are Warshaper and some more weapon enhancements.

    Let's start with Warshaper. Obviously, this boosts combat ability greatly with the potential of morphic weaponry, though with the ever present-caveat that although the natural weapons are functionally unlimited, one should use only as many as necessary to provide the appropriate danger for one's party. Although, for all anyone knows, this could be two billion natural weapons in your camapign.

    'But wait,' I hear you say. 'Natural weapons don't conform to this 'swords and shields' theme at all! Your 'Sword Master' is going to be full of claws and bites and tails!' Well, luckily for the Sword Master there is actually precedent for natural weapons in the form of swords and shields. In its very own natural form, a sword and shield are represented by a gore and a slam, and there's no reason why it couldn't use those forms for those attacks while forming them as morphic weapons. Additionally, morphic weapons are not only limited to the most common natural weapons, and thus let us turn our attention to the Nimblewright's rapier-hands, natural weapons that explicitly take the form of metal rapiers (and may include the hands, adding to the weirdness factor of the Sword Master, which may be good or bad depending on perspective) and, incidentally, do unusual damage for their size. So, with this, there is absolutely nothing stopping the Sword Master becoming a horrifying mass of bristling swords and shields, and whatever other obscure 'manufactured' natural weaponsry you can find in all the books of 3.5, in whatever form it may be in. For pure swords and shields, use Alternate Form (the pseudonatural one) on the Sword Master's natural form and grow new swords from there. Again, DMs are advised that this alternate form not be the default tentacle monster, and also that it is even in the ability text itself that it can be whatever you find appropriate. Though with all those swords and shields, even if you did go with the tentacle monster, one might not be able to see the tentacles anyway. In addition, with Morphing, if one needs to shift into a special combat form (dire lion etc.), you don't even need to worry about the form's own natural weapons not being swords! Just shift them into a rapier-hand, a sword (gore) or shield (slam). Imagine a lion with a sword where it's mouth should be, swords for legs and every square inch of its body covered with swords and shields, that can fly with giant eagle wings.

    Of course, this creates a little problem with when a little snake Sword Master wants to hitch a ride on a thrall. Presumably, it wants to keep up the morphic weaponry all the time, as it doesn't want to waste time regrowing, especially if there's a chance it might be thrust into combat. This is where Hideaway comes in, allowing all weapons to be pressed into neat little non-sharp packages, so no thrall will be given away by blood oozing from where the psychic sword-snake is curled around their leg or nestled in some orifice. Rapier-hands are also stated to be able to fold into forearms, but Hideaway still helps with the forms that don't have forearms.

    Wounding is purely for combat, making those numerous natural attacks even more dangerous, and while Wrathful Healing does indeed come in very useful in combat, it also makes for an interesting way of 'out of combat' healing if needed. Perhaps after a getaway on the part of the villain, the PCs find a bunch of inexplicably eviscerated commoner corpses.

    CR 15 'Sweet Spot
    More forms, with such gems as the war troll for combat, zern for going about as a puddle just for the fun of it, and the sarkrith thane, which is lackluster now but gets you pseudo-pounce in a humanoid form if used at CR 19. Unbreakable Body and Weapon of Ruin add defense and offense respectively, with the potential for negating damage reduction being especially significant on the Sword Master, which relies on many natural attacks that are potentially less damaging than say, a full Power-Attack greatsword.

    Also, Fast Wild Shape, for whatever its worth.


    Spoiler: Sources
    Show
    Core Books -- (Core Rules, Wounding enhancement)

    Arms and Equipment Guide -- (Wrathful Healing)

    Dungeon Master's Guide II -- (Prodigy, Sudden Stunning enhancement)

    Monster Manual II -- (Shrapnyl, Captured One) also source of image

    Complete Adventurer -- (Master of Many Forms)

    Complete Divine -- (Extra Wild Shape, Eagle's Wings)

    Complete Warrior -- (Warshaper)

    Lords of Madness -- (Darkstalker, Pseudonatural)

    Unearthed Arcana -- (Skill Knowledge)

    Weapons of Legacy -- (Monster of Legacy)

    Magic Item Compendium -- (Hideaway, Blurring, Displacement and Defensive Surge enhancements)

    Underdark -- (Morphing enhancement)

    WoTC Web -- (Epic Destiny)
    Last edited by jdizzlean; 2019-11-03 at 09:53 PM. Reason: last minute build
    Spoiler: Medals & Current Characters
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    More sources, more choices, more power. Welcome to D&D.
    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee
    I mean, I have been assuming Jdizzlean looks like Nathan Fillion this whole time to start with...
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    Nerdomancer in the Playground Moderator
     
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XXXIV: Sword and Board

    and that's the lot, judges, you're up :)
    Spoiler: Medals & Current Characters
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    More sources, more choices, more power. Welcome to D&D.
    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee
    I mean, I have been assuming Jdizzlean looks like Nathan Fillion this whole time to start with...
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XXXIV: Sword and Board

    Although I'm sure it's no secret as to whom the last-minute, slapdash effort belongs to, for the sake of protocol I shall say only this:

    Whoever submitted that last one probably feels as if they cannot thank our wonderful, benevolent Chairman enough for adding it in anyway, a few minutes past the reveal though it may have been when they submitted it.

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    Thumbs up Re: Villainous Competition XXXIV: Sword and Board

    Wow, real mixed bag there. Well done everyone.

    I now have both relief, and regret, I didn't make time to enter: relief because I think most of these will rate better than my entry; and regret because my entry was significantly different from the others that it might have done better than I expected it to in originality.

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XXXIV: Sword and Board

    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    Wow, real mixed bag there. Well done everyone.

    I now have both relief, and regret, I didn't make time to enter: relief because I think most of these will rate better than my entry; and regret because my entry was significantly different from the others that it might have done better than I expected it to in originality.
    You should post a "what could've been" cuz even if it's not being judged, it'd still be interesting to see. Speaking of which, here's the second dumb idea I was looking at:

    Spoiler: SPIDERS. A GIANT LEGION OF GIANT SPIDERS.
    Show
    So more or less my idea was "hivemind without casting". One version was also [swarm, incorporeal] but ehhhhhhh thats harder to demonstrate.

    The idea was to take an already extra-ornery spellwarped animal/vermin (Cha 2/3 standard, so Cha 1 after array) ams hivemind a bunch of em together - just enough to max out Int without giving so much Cha that they'd get casting, which turns out to be 950-999 (meaning either non-swarms, or Tiny land-bound swarms like rats, since any other swarm would be too many individuals). Thsi gives Int 26 and so +8 feats/skill points per HD. For this example let's use Monstrous Spiders. Why, because a swarm of super-sized hiveminded spiders is cool and classic horror.

    Looking at their advancement, one could come away with the idea that it's just one long extended progression from 1/2 HD to 40 (or 60, or more) HD, so that's how we'll do it...and we'll start with a medium scorpion since this is supposed to be a boss monster. We'll also only ever fight a single member of the hivemind rather than all 950+ to keep things simple. Finally, lets assign the array as 11/12/13/8/10/9, with every 4HD stat bump past HD 40 going to Int.

    The change hivemind makes to Int ends up counting double for skill points effectively. The example given of a Rat with Int 17 gaining 3 bonus skill points per HD isn't how going from Int 2 to Int 17 would change a rat's skill points normally (for starters, it wouldn't be retroactive). Therefore the hivemind-granted Int gives a flat bonus to all past and future HD, but isn't changed by improving Int, but going forward your new Int also determines your skill points per level (per normal rules). This is...useful, I think. Anyway, let's accelerate to the end of the build, where the Scorpion has 68 HD and has been hiveminded since HD 1/2, gradually increasing Int along the way.

    Spoiler: Colossal (CR 20)
    Show
    Size/Type: Colossal Vermin
    Hit Dice: 68d8+2448 (2754 hp)
    Initiative: +37
    Speed: 90 (18 squares)
    AC: 50 (-8 size, +23 Dex, +25 natural), touch 25, flatfooted 27
    BAB/Grapple: +51/+107
    Attack: Claw (+94, 3d8+50, 19-20/x2) or Unarmed (+94, 12d6+50, 19-20/x2)
    Full Attack: 2 claws (+94/+94, 3d8+50, 19-20/x2) and sting (+89, 3d8+50 plus poison, 19-20/x2), or Unarmed (+94/+89/+84/+79, 12d6+50, 19-20/x2)
    Space/Reach: 40ft/30ft
    Special Attacks: Constrict 3d8+50, improved grab, poison (DC 80, 1d10 Con)
    Special Qualities: Darkvision 240ft (480ft?), tremorsense 60 ft, vermin traits, DR 54/-, ER 60 (all), Fast Healing 195
    Saves: Fort +76, Ref +53, Will +62
    Abilities: Str 90, Dex 64, Con 82, Int 80, Wis 64, Cha 17
    Skills: Balance +66, Bluff +38, Climb +84, Diplomacy +50, Hide +50, Intimidate +42, Jump +121, K Arcana +106, K A&E +70, K Dungeoneering +70, K Geography +70, K History +70, K Local +70, K Nature +70, K N&R +70, K Religion +70, K The Planes +70, Listen +62, Move Silently +46, Search +70, Sense Motive +62, Speak Language 24, Spot +62, Swim +80, Tumble +66, Use Rope +62
    Feats: Animal Devotion 24, Combat Brute, Combat Reflexes, Cleave, Darkstalker, Deflect Arrows, Dodge, Elusive Target, Endurance, Extra Stunning 24, Fleet Of Foot, Flying Kick, Freezing The Lifeblood, Great Cleave, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Critical (claw), Improved Critical (stinger), Improved Critical (unarmed), Improved Initiative, Improved Natural Attack (claw), Improved Natural Attack (stinger), Improved Natural Attack (unarmed), Improved Sunder, Improved Unarmed Strike, Karmic Strike, Knockback, Knowledge Devotion, Leap Attack, Magic Devotion 24, Mobility, Pain Touch, Pharaoh's Fist, Plant Devotion 24, Power Attack, Quick Reconnoiter, Rapid Stunning, Ring The Golden Bell, Robilar's Gambit, Roundabout Kick, Run, Shock Trooper, Skill Focus (Jump), Snap Kick, Speed Of Thought, Steadfast Determination, Stunning Fist, Superior Unarmed Strike, Travel Devotion 24, Versatile Unarmed Strike, Weapon Focus (claw), Weapon Focus (stinger), Weapon Focus (unarmed)
    Epic Feats: Damage Reduction 18, Dire Charge, Energy Resistance 30, Epic Fortitude, Epic Reflex, Epic Skill Focus (Jump), Epic Speed, Epic Will, Exceptional Deflection, Fast Healing 64, Great Constitution 63, Great Dexterity 54, Great Intelligence 47, Great Strength 55, Great Wisdom 54, Improved Combat Reflexes, Improved Darkvision 3, Infinite Deflection, Reflect Arrows, Spellcasting Harrier, Superior Initiative


    Spoiler: Some Options
    Show
    First round is probably spent charging in, around corners if need be, delivering a full attack (probably unarmed for the extra d12, probably Snap Kick for the extra attack, probably taking full Shock Trooper tradeoff cuz why not). You probably send the party scattering like dominoes from Knockback and Shock Trooper. If you charged into an army instead, Great Cleave will serve you well. Any unarmed crits trigger an additional attack.

    Unarmed strikes can carry a Stunning Fist/Pain Touch (attack target, Fort DC 72, 1 round stunned, 1 round nauseated), a Pharoah's Fist (burst 1 surrounding attack target, Fort DC 72, 1 round stunned), or Freezing The Lifeblood (attack target, Fort DC 72, 1d4+1 rounds paralyzed). This can be done up to twice per round, and up to 89 times per day.

    Anybody who attacks you provokes; anybody who hits you provokes. Anybody who moves around near you provokes unless they're quite careful. And your AoOs hit like a truck.

    You can boost Str, speed, or fly speed with Animal Devotion; you'll probably use this mostly to fly when 90 ft jumps just aren't cutting it. You can give yourself pounce-ish via Travel Devotion. You can give yourself 100% fortification via Plant Devotion. All of these get 24 minutes per day in total.

    28 times a day you can treat your unarmed as a ranged weapon with 140ft range for the duration of a single attack. 24 times per day, you can make a single ranged touch attack at somebody up to 200 ft away, dealing 34d6 unspecified energy damage on a hit.


    Using the not uncommon optimization measuring stick...

    My standard pounce-charge (full PA/ST tradeoff, Leap Attack, Flying Kick, Snap Kick) will involve 3.2 balors dying per round on average - although that doesn't take Karmic Strike/Robilar's Gambit into account.

    Because two attacks is basically guaranteed to murder any balor while I'm making the full PA/ST tradeoff like that, them attacking me is almost guaranteed to hit but provokes two attacks in return. Since I'm basically guaranteed to hit twice, and two hits basically guarantees a kill, each balor gets 1 attack and 1 death throes; assuming they two-hand their sword and do a full PA tradeoff, they're looking at 2d6+49 vs DR 54/- (avg 2 dmg), then 100 untyped damage (easy Ref save for half). And since I can be vorpal-proof via fortification (since it requires crit confirm), it's gonna end up taking 50 of them attacking at once to really bring me down.


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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XXXIV: Sword and Board

    Quote Originally Posted by AvatarVecna View Post
    You should post a "what could've been" cuz even if it's not being judged, it'd still be interesting to see. Speaking of which, here's the second dumb idea I was looking at:

    Spoiler: SPIDERS. A GIANT LEGION OF GIANT SPIDERS.
    Show
    So more or less my idea was "hivemind without casting". One version was also [swarm, incorporeal] but ehhhhhhh thats harder to demonstrate.

    The idea was to take an already extra-ornery spellwarped animal/vermin (Cha 2/3 standard, so Cha 1 after array) ams hivemind a bunch of em together - just enough to max out Int without giving so much Cha that they'd get casting, which turns out to be 950-999 (meaning either non-swarms, or Tiny land-bound swarms like rats, since any other swarm would be too many individuals). Thsi gives Int 26 and so +8 feats/skill points per HD. For this example let's use Monstrous Spiders. Why, because a swarm of super-sized hiveminded spiders is cool and classic horror.

    Looking at their advancement, one could come away with the idea that it's just one long extended progression from 1/2 HD to 40 (or 60, or more) HD, so that's how we'll do it...and we'll start with a medium scorpion since this is supposed to be a boss monster. We'll also only ever fight a single member of the hivemind rather than all 950+ to keep things simple. Finally, lets assign the array as 11/12/13/8/10/9, with every 4HD stat bump past HD 40 going to Int.

    The change hivemind makes to Int ends up counting double for skill points effectively. The example given of a Rat with Int 17 gaining 3 bonus skill points per HD isn't how going from Int 2 to Int 17 would change a rat's skill points normally (for starters, it wouldn't be retroactive). Therefore the hivemind-granted Int gives a flat bonus to all past and future HD, but isn't changed by improving Int, but going forward your new Int also determines your skill points per level (per normal rules). This is...useful, I think. Anyway, let's accelerate to the end of the build, where the Scorpion has 68 HD and has been hiveminded since HD 1/2, gradually increasing Int along the way.

    Spoiler: Colossal (CR 20)
    Show
    Size/Type: Colossal Vermin
    Hit Dice: 68d8+2448 (2754 hp)
    Initiative: +37
    Speed: 90 (18 squares)
    AC: 50 (-8 size, +23 Dex, +25 natural), touch 25, flatfooted 27
    BAB/Grapple: +51/+107
    Attack: Claw (+94, 3d8+50, 19-20/x2) or Unarmed (+94, 12d6+50, 19-20/x2)
    Full Attack: 2 claws (+94/+94, 3d8+50, 19-20/x2) and sting (+89, 3d8+50 plus poison, 19-20/x2), or Unarmed (+94/+89/+84/+79, 12d6+50, 19-20/x2)
    Space/Reach: 40ft/30ft
    Special Attacks: Constrict 3d8+50, improved grab, poison (DC 80, 1d10 Con)
    Special Qualities: Darkvision 240ft (480ft?), tremorsense 60 ft, vermin traits, DR 54/-, ER 60 (all), Fast Healing 195
    Saves: Fort +76, Ref +53, Will +62
    Abilities: Str 90, Dex 64, Con 82, Int 80, Wis 64, Cha 17
    Skills: Balance +66, Bluff +38, Climb +84, Diplomacy +50, Hide +50, Intimidate +42, Jump +121, K Arcana +106, K A&E +70, K Dungeoneering +70, K Geography +70, K History +70, K Local +70, K Nature +70, K N&R +70, K Religion +70, K The Planes +70, Listen +62, Move Silently +46, Search +70, Sense Motive +62, Speak Language 24, Spot +62, Swim +80, Tumble +66, Use Rope +62
    Feats: Animal Devotion 24, Combat Brute, Combat Reflexes, Cleave, Darkstalker, Deflect Arrows, Dodge, Elusive Target, Endurance, Extra Stunning 24, Fleet Of Foot, Flying Kick, Freezing The Lifeblood, Great Cleave, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Critical (claw), Improved Critical (stinger), Improved Critical (unarmed), Improved Initiative, Improved Natural Attack (claw), Improved Natural Attack (stinger), Improved Natural Attack (unarmed), Improved Sunder, Improved Unarmed Strike, Karmic Strike, Knockback, Knowledge Devotion, Leap Attack, Magic Devotion 24, Mobility, Pain Touch, Pharaoh's Fist, Plant Devotion 24, Power Attack, Quick Reconnoiter, Rapid Stunning, Ring The Golden Bell, Robilar's Gambit, Roundabout Kick, Run, Shock Trooper, Skill Focus (Jump), Snap Kick, Speed Of Thought, Steadfast Determination, Stunning Fist, Superior Unarmed Strike, Travel Devotion 24, Versatile Unarmed Strike, Weapon Focus (claw), Weapon Focus (stinger), Weapon Focus (unarmed)
    Epic Feats: Damage Reduction 18, Dire Charge, Energy Resistance 30, Epic Fortitude, Epic Reflex, Epic Skill Focus (Jump), Epic Speed, Epic Will, Exceptional Deflection, Fast Healing 64, Great Constitution 63, Great Dexterity 54, Great Intelligence 47, Great Strength 55, Great Wisdom 54, Improved Combat Reflexes, Improved Darkvision 3, Infinite Deflection, Reflect Arrows, Spellcasting Harrier, Superior Initiative


    Spoiler: Some Options
    Show
    First round is probably spent charging in, around corners if need be, delivering a full attack (probably unarmed for the extra d12, probably Snap Kick for the extra attack, probably taking full Shock Trooper tradeoff cuz why not). You probably send the party scattering like dominoes from Knockback and Shock Trooper. If you charged into an army instead, Great Cleave will serve you well. Any unarmed crits trigger an additional attack.

    Unarmed strikes can carry a Stunning Fist/Pain Touch (attack target, Fort DC 72, 1 round stunned, 1 round nauseated), a Pharoah's Fist (burst 1 surrounding attack target, Fort DC 72, 1 round stunned), or Freezing The Lifeblood (attack target, Fort DC 72, 1d4+1 rounds paralyzed). This can be done up to twice per round, and up to 89 times per day.

    Anybody who attacks you provokes; anybody who hits you provokes. Anybody who moves around near you provokes unless they're quite careful. And your AoOs hit like a truck.

    You can boost Str, speed, or fly speed with Animal Devotion; you'll probably use this mostly to fly when 90 ft jumps just aren't cutting it. You can give yourself pounce-ish via Travel Devotion. You can give yourself 100% fortification via Plant Devotion. All of these get 24 minutes per day in total.

    28 times a day you can treat your unarmed as a ranged weapon with 140ft range for the duration of a single attack. 24 times per day, you can make a single ranged touch attack at somebody up to 200 ft away, dealing 34d6 unspecified energy damage on a hit.


    Using the not uncommon optimization measuring stick...

    My standard pounce-charge (full PA/ST tradeoff, Leap Attack, Flying Kick, Snap Kick) will involve 3.2 balors dying per round on average - although that doesn't take Karmic Strike/Robilar's Gambit into account.

    Because two attacks is basically guaranteed to murder any balor while I'm making the full PA/ST tradeoff like that, them attacking me is almost guaranteed to hit but provokes two attacks in return. Since I'm basically guaranteed to hit twice, and two hits basically guarantees a kill, each balor gets 1 attack and 1 death throes; assuming they two-hand their sword and do a full PA tradeoff, they're looking at 2d6+49 vs DR 54/- (avg 2 dmg), then 100 untyped damage (easy Ref save for half). And since I can be vorpal-proof via fortification (since it requires crit confirm), it's gonna end up taking 50 of them attacking at once to really bring me down.
    Well, not the dumb I was going for as my second build. That was Garry Dotter(because Larry Lotter is already taken), the not-wizard. Basically just a Karcerer without using any shenanigans to overrule the spellcasting restriction from Karsite.
    Quote Originally Posted by noob View Post
    Honestly the fastest way to make a paladin fall is to cast the grease spell or to trip the paladin.

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XXXIV: Sword and Board

    One of my ideas was a Battle Dancer 20, to make an unarmed strike crit-fisher, using Circle Kick to get an extra attack every time a crit landed. TWF for more unarmed strikes (Battle Dancers can explicitly do this IIRC, though there's some debate over whether the rule generalizes to other characters), Snap Kick for the same reason, maybe Archeron Flurry as an alternative, I was thinking of Dvati for the race if that didn't increase the CR, and Battle Dancer 20 auto-confirms crits...

    Problem is, while it spewed out attacks like nobody's business, I couldn't actually increase the crit range all that much, so only a few would actually crit. That and I couldn't come up with fluff beyond "Annoying rival character that shows up sometimes and challenges you to a fight with 'My kung-fu is stronger than yours!'"


    Another idea I had was fleshing out my dual-wielding shields build, but again I couldn't come up with anything to make it stand out (unless I went for a slightly weird interpretation of Inlindl School, but that would be a lot of effort for not much payoff).


    Or I could have reused my Azoth build (as Halfling Monk 9/Rogue 11 with Invisible Fist, Shadow Blend, and Swift Ambusher). But that seemed like a bad idea in a high originality round, and without Tome of Battle it became more item dependent.
    Last edited by PoeticallyPsyco; 2019-11-04 at 01:56 AM.
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XXXIV: Sword and Board

    I will be honest, i totally thought people will use knight and fighter a lot more.... didnt thought sword and board was this...broad.
    Quote Originally Posted by noob View Post
    Also pseudodragons takes easily more screen time than "true" dragons.
    (but it is fair: "true" dragons are not telepathic venomous flying cats and so does not deserve screen time like a pseudodragon)

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    Thumbs up Re: Villainous Competition XXXIV: Sword and Board

    Quote Originally Posted by AvatarVecna View Post
    You should post a "what could've been" cuz even if it's not being judged, it'd still be interesting to see.
    Normally I would, but it's a build chassis I';d like to keep "up my sleeve" for future competitions.

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XXXIV: Sword and Board

    Yeah the disparity hetween the narrowness of the name and the relative flexibility of the restrictions gave me a bit of pause too.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Xumtiil View Post
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XXXIV: Sword and Board

    Well, my idea would have been blown way out of the water by everything that has been submitted, since it's only numbers, and not particularly high numbers at that. It was a Swift Hunter Manticore, building off of the fact that Manticores' spike volley only takes a standard action to fire four spikes, each rolling their own attack roll. That means four times more Skirmish damage.

    @AvatarVecna your legion of spiders would have ranked awesomely I'm sure :D
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XXXIV: Sword and Board

    Quote Originally Posted by remetagross View Post
    Well, my idea would have been blown way out of the water by everything that has been submitted, since it's only numbers, and not particularly high numbers at that. It was a Swift Hunter Manticore, building off of the fact that Manticores' spike volley only takes a standard action to fire four spikes, each rolling their own attack roll. That means four times more Skirmish damage.

    @AvatarVecna your legion of spiders would have ranked awesomely I'm sure :D
    The reason I ended up not following through on a full build was that it's a build with such high numbers, it's generally only going to face three kinds of parties:

    1) Parties that are playing the game in good faith, and thus don't have anywhere near the numbers to really compete with this monstrosity.

    2) Mid-op mages/artificers putting tons of resources into buff-piles/items that let them pretend to be a fighter who's got similarly-super-huge numbers.

    3) Parties that are cheating their way out of having to care about numbers.

    And of those three groups, the only one that would really have fun fighting the legion of spiders is group 2...and they're probably the least common (people putting that much effort in probably want that effort matched for actually engaging combats, and games like that quickly turn into group 3). Even a scaled-down version that only gets 6 feats per level is just so beyond what a normal party could realistically deal with, that it just wouldn't be fun for anybody involved - 99 times out of 100, you run this against your group and it's a curbstomp for one side or the other, which is unfortunate. Most non-caster builds have the same problem, really, but the stuff in this competition looks pretty interesting.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Xumtiil View Post
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XXXIV: Sword and Board

    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    Wow, real mixed bag there. Well done everyone.

    I now have both relief, and regret, I didn't make time to enter: relief because I think most of these will rate better than my entry; and regret because my entry was significantly different from the others that it might have done better than I expected it to in originality.
    Indeed, that is true for my Dumb Build Ideas as wel.
    The one I more or less finished was playing around with the Feral Template and lots of Rending Attacks, so while it would not have been in conflict with any of the ones here, they are all much more fluffy and most of the CR more powerful, so...not too sad. ``
    Last edited by GrayDeath; 2019-11-04 at 04:26 PM. Reason: stupid kezboard setting
    A neutron walks into a bar and says, “How much for a beer?” The bartender says, “For you? No charge.”

    01010100011011110010000001100010011001010010000001 10111101110010001000000110111001101111011101000010 00000111010001101111001000000110001001100101001011 100010111000101110

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XXXIV: Sword and Board

    Quote Originally Posted by AvatarVecna View Post
    The reason I ended up not following through on a full build was that it's a build with such high numbers, it's generally only going to face three kinds of parties:

    1) Parties that are playing the game in good faith, and thus don't have anywhere near the numbers to really compete with this monstrosity.

    2) Mid-op mages/artificers putting tons of resources into buff-piles/items that let them pretend to be a fighter who's got similarly-super-huge numbers.

    3) Parties that are cheating their way out of having to care about numbers.

    And of those three groups, the only one that would really have fun fighting the legion of spiders is group 2...and they're probably the least common (people putting that much effort in probably want that effort matched for actually engaging combats, and games like that quickly turn into group 3). Even a scaled-down version that only gets 6 feats per level is just so beyond what a normal party could realistically deal with, that it just wouldn't be fun for anybody involved - 99 times out of 100, you run this against your group and it's a curbstomp for one side or the other, which is unfortunate. Most non-caster builds have the same problem, really, but the stuff in this competition looks pretty interesting.
    I get you there. It's actually quite difficult to gauge the power level of your creation so as to make it a formidable opponent without turning it into a group 3 encounter fodder...I remember an entry for Master of Many Forms in Iron Chef, where someone had put up a ridiculously powerful (amazingly cool, though) swarm of swallows Sorcerer 78 or something. It actually failed to score a 5/5 in Power ranking, more or less for this reason.
    Last edited by remetagross; 2019-11-04 at 10:30 AM.
    VC XV, The horsemen are drawing nearer: The Alien and the Omen (part 1 and part 2).
    VC XVI, Burn baby burn:Nero
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    VC XX, Elder Evil: Henry Bowyer

    And a repository of deliciously absurd sentences produced by maddened optimisers in my extended signature

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XXXIV: Sword and Board

    My idea was a Quorbred, Spelltouched Karsite Knight, of some variant, but ultimately never found enough interesting hooks to actually sit down and hash it out

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