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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Thurbane's Avatar

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    Question [3.5] Yakfolk BBEG

    So, I'm running a pre-made short adventure: BBEG is a Yakfolk Cleric 3/Sorcerer 4.

    As with most adventures, the optimization level of the NPC is low.

    Spoiler
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    Voorix: Male yak folk Clr 3/Sor 4; CR 11; Large
    monstrous humanoid; HD 5d8+10 plus 3d8+6 plus
    4d4+8; hp 70; Init +4; Spd 30 ft.; AC 18, touch 9, flatfooted
    18; Atk +13/+8 melee (1d6+6, staff of charming),
    or +13/+8 melee (2d4+7/1820, +1 falchion);
    Face/Reach 5 ft. by 5 ft./10 ft.; SA body meld, rebuke
    undead 9/day; SQ command genie, darkvision 60 ft.,
    familiar benefits, rat familiar, use staff; AL NE; SV Fort
    +9, Ref +6, Will +16; Str 18, Dex 11, Con 15, Int 14,
    Wis 16, Cha 15.
    Skills and Feats: Concentration +10, Disguise +10,
    Heal +7, Hide 4, Innuendo +9, Knowledge (arcana)
    +17, Knowledge (religion) +5, Listen +5, Scry +6,
    Spellcraft +8, Spot +5, Use Magic Device +10; Alertness,
    Combat Casting, Extra Turning, Improved Initiative,
    Iron Will, Power Attack, Weapon Focus
    (quarterstaff ).

    How would you re-build it to be more of a challenge?

    I'd like to maybe keep the class levels, but I'd also be willing to look at different classes (7 levels total).

    This is against a CR 10 party.

    Cheers - T

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: [3.5] Yakfolk BBEG

    I'd typically caution against this, but in this specific case, the Battle Sorcerer UA may actually be a good idea. it's unlikely that your Yakfolk will be using all his spells slots, anyways, and the extra HP and BAB might help.
    Last edited by StevenC21; 2020-02-27 at 09:19 PM.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Khatoblepas's Avatar

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    Default Re: [3.5] Yakfolk BBEG

    I'd lean hard into the Yakfolk's abilities. It can possess the body of a Half-Black Dragon Troll with the Mantle of the Fiery Spirit cast on it, to be effectively immortal. Once the party has learnt that it can't be killed normally, they can tie it up or chop it into little pieces so that the Yakfolk is forced to exit the body to stop them. You need an immortal body since the Yakfolk dies if their host dies, and you don't want the Yakfolk dying too early.

    Their Janni is also an asset they can use - they can Plane Shift at will to the Astral Plane as an easy escape route, and it can be given some means to deal sneak attack damage to go along with the Invisibility it can cast. I'd also lean into the Janni's reluctance to work with the Yakfolk, make them apologetic and have them try to help the party undermine the Yakfolk even though they themselves can never lift a hand against them. You don't want the party killing the Janni either - so ham it up.

    For the Yakfolk themselves, those class levels need to be revamped. a Yakfolk Monk 1/Ur Priest 6 would get 6th level spells, be irredeemably evil, and be able to use their Use Staff ability to replicate the arcane spells they lack with Ur-Priest casting.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: [3.5] Yakfolk BBEG

    He's got five monstrous humanoid HD, so he has a +5 BAB out of the gate. You gave him Combat Casting, so replace Sorcerer 4 with Sorcerer 1/ Abjurant Champion 3. This buffs his Shield and Mage Armor spells each by +3, and he should know Arcane Turmoil which can be cast as a swift action. Use his spells for buffs and utility and make him primarily a melee combatant. Be sure to include Practiced Spellcaster, unless you want to swap the levels around and max out Abjurant Champion.

    Consider replacing Cleric with (Unarmed) Swordsage. If taken after the Sorcerer and Abjurant Champion levels, he can pick seven maneuvers of up to 3rd level and one that's 4th level, plus two stances up to 3rd level. Or just six maneuvers and one stance of up to 3rd level if you only get one level of this and max out Abjurant Champion.

    Considering the staff shenanigans, the feat Eilservs School in Drow of the Underdark may be worth considering, he'll need TWF and he can get the Weapon Focus prerequisite from Swordsage.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Planetar

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    Default Re: [3.5] Yakfolk BBEG

    Off the tail of the staff shenanigans, he's a third level caster who can imbue a staff, so the Imbued Staff ACF out of Dragon 338 is available to him. Only replaces his familiar, so he loses nothing out of it, and it means at Sorcerer 3 his staff is a +1 weapon through which he can deliver touch spells. He's got a staff of charming, so just say he got it enchanted after it was imbued.

    Eilservs School is definitely a solid upgrade: requires BAB +6, which he's got. TWF can be pulled through Gloves of the Balanced Hand. If you want to use some cash on something else and you're not going to actually use the staff's charges during combat, then switch it to a 50-charge Staff of Light and for extra hilarity dictate the Staff uses up 10 charges for each casting. +5 to damage rolls on a, oh, about 100 gp magic item.

    EDIT: Add a Crystal of Arcane Steel to the quarterstaff: +1 to attack and damage (insight bonuses).

    That Use Staff (Ex) ability lets you put overly powerful magic in the Yak Folk's hands. Any staff can be used - arcane, divine, no chance of failure. Functions like UMD, but has no skill check - which also means no check required to emulate a caster level or ability score. So give him a staff with a bunch of high-level spells. If you're worried about the gp limit, cut the cost down by using WOTC's own rule to reduce the staff price by having the spells consume more than 2 charges to cast.

    One dirty thought which might require a bit of a DM fiat to get around - Domain Staff out of Complete Champion, p.143: has all the spells of a given domain, so pick something like the Destruction domain and start hitting the party with Disintegrate or Implosion spells since you don't have to make a UMD check. A Domain Staff normally requires you to burn spell slots, but you could argue UMD gets around it because it allows you to emulate class features (e.g, having spell slots).

    EDIT THE SECOND: Yak Folk are apparently obsessed with knowledge, so a Cloistered Cleric build with Knowledge Devotion would certainly be within the concept.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Yakfolk BBEG

    I'd swap out Extra Turning for Practiced Spellcaster (Complete Divine) at the very least. You aren't getting much mileage out of turn undead, and your caster level won't do much to threaten the party as is.

    Obviously, the Yakfolk would be more threatening going straight classed in either Sorcerer or Cleric rather than multiclassing, but I'm assuming that's off the table.

    An interesting option to consider would be to swap out your Sorcerer levels for levels in Duskblade (PHB 2):
    Your modifier is the same so your Save DCs will be the same so you'd lose 2nd level arcane spells and the broader spell list for:

    Arcane Channeling (which may be helpful for staff shenanigans)

    Ability to cast in Medium Armor (Higher AC and saves on spell slots/spells known)

    More HP

    Frees up a feat slot by getting Combat Casting a Bonus Feat

    And if I didn't mess up the math terribly, it'll boost your BAB to +11, just enough to get your third iterative attack.

    EDIT: Also, it looks like the designers stuck this Yakfolk with the standard monster statline rather than the elite array which should add an extra degree of oomph to the statline.
    Last edited by smasher0404; 2020-02-28 at 12:16 PM.

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    Thurbane's Avatar

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    Thumbs up Re: [3.5] Yakfolk BBEG

    Thanks for the suggestions everyone. The stuff about the staff is great.

    For purposes of the module, he needs to retain the ability to rebuke undead, which I should probably mention. Also the ability to Charm Person, although he can always use the Staff of Charming.

    So Maybe Cloistered Cleric 1/Sorcerer 1/Abjurant Champion 5? The Monk 1/Ur-Priest 6 also sounds great.

    I'm starting to lean away the default class split of Cleric 3/Sorc 4 if I want this to be a viable challenge for an ECL 10 party...

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    Telonius's Avatar

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    Default Re: [3.5] Yakfolk BBEG

    What's his role in the story? Is he supposed to be a recurring villain, mini-boss, speed bump?

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    Default Re: [3.5] Yakfolk BBEG

    Quote Originally Posted by Telonius View Post
    What's his role in the story? Is he supposed to be a recurring villain, mini-boss, speed bump?
    Mini-boss, basically.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Yakfolk BBEG

    Don't forget about the environment:

    "Yak folk live among remote mountain peaks and valleys, inaccessible to all but the hardiest travelers and explorers." - Monster Manual II, page 201

    That means you have to consider things like Altitude Sickness, Avalanches, and Hypothermia.

    For information about Cold Dangers, see Frostburn, pages 8-10 and Dungeon Master's Guide, page 302; for information about Avalanches and Altitude Sickness, see Dungeon Master's Guide, page 90.

    While players will almost certainly have the resources to combat the environment by 10th level, it's still something that requires them to expend those resources before reaching the boss fight. Of course, this assumes they aren't boring players who are just going to Scry-and-Die the BBEG. If the players don't adequately prepare for the environment, they are subject to nonlethal cold damage, lethal cold damage, fatigue, exhaustion, Frostbite (-2 Dex penalty), Altitude Fatigue, and Altitude Sickness.

    ______

    EDIT: Never mind, I found what pre-made adventure this is from and Mountain Hazards clearly don't apply in this situation.
    Last edited by SirNibbles; 2020-02-29 at 08:40 PM.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: [3.5] Yakfolk BBEG

    He has command genie, give him a genie of some sorts to fight along with him. He could be keeping the genie there as a prisoner and such and if the party frees the genie instead of killing it then they could be rewarded by the genie.
    When all else fails, find an Artificer, they will get it done!

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    Question Re: [3.5] Yakfolk BBEG

    In the module, he uses the genie to spy, and attack if partys gets too close to his room.

    I'm wondering now, if maybe Dread Necro might be a better class option?

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    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: [3.5] Yakfolk BBEG

    Beguiler plus his innate ability to use staves would provide a huge spell list (UMD up some wands) as well as giving him some solid defensive spells and a bunch of out of combat utility.

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [3.5] Yakfolk BBEG

    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    In the module, he uses the genie to spy, and attack if partys gets too close to his room.

    I'm wondering now, if maybe Dread Necro might be a better class option?
    At Dread Necro 8 (as opposed to 7 levels in something) it does seem to get a bit more interesting: fourth level spells, for a start, which is better than you'll get with any prior build, BAB +8, augmented undead, can create more HD of undead. So if you want to hit the party with a big pack of low-level undead, that's at least interesting. Rod of Undead Mastery (10,000 gp, Libris Mortis) allows you to summon twice as many HD again. With CHA 15, that's, what, 4 +2 = 6 HD per class level, i.e. 48 HD in skeletons and zombies. Rod of Undead Mastery raises that to 96 HD. All with +4 to STR and DEX and a couple more hitpoints each. That should at least give the party lots of stuff to hit, the only question is whether they have particularly good magic that knocks over lots of skeletons with ease. Could stretch the rules so the zombies become some sort of "fast" zombie or use the Libris Mortis variants.

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    Thurbane's Avatar

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    Post Re: [3.5] Yakfolk BBEG

    OK, so I think I'm going for Dread Necro 7: I know 8 makes a big difference, but I want to stick with the number of levels in the module. So I'm wondering what that build would look like?

    Str +8, Con +4, Int +4, Wis +4, Cha +4; +1 at 8HD, +1 at 12HD

    Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    5th Monstrous Humanoid +5 +1 +4 +4 * 1?, 3? Body meld, command genie, darkvision 60 ft., use staff
    6th Dread Necro 1 +x +1 +4 +6 * Versatile Spellcaster Charnel touch, rebuke undead
    7th Dread Necro 2 +x +1 +4 +7 * - Lich body DR 2
    8th Dread Necro 3 +x +2 +5 +7 * - Negative energy burst 1/day
    9th Dread Necro 4 +x +2 +5 +4 * Practiced Spellcaster Advanced learning, mental bastion +2
    10th Dread Necro 5 +x +2 +5 +4 * - Fear aura
    11th Dread Necro 6 +x +3 +6 +9 * - Scabrous touch 1/day
    12th Dread Necro 7 +x +3 +6 +9 * 12? Lich body DR 4, summon familiar

    So need to think about 1HD, 3HD and 12HD level feats, and also advanced learning. Also that low Fort save is worrying, but I don't think the party have any Fort based save-or-lose spells off the top of my head.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [3.5] Yakfolk BBEG

    Well, I guess the selection of feats from here depends on how you see the party's encounter/s with this guy playing out. Does he basically animate undead and then just stand behind his minions, or does he plan to get in amongst it? I'd say the former; that's not enough feats to really build a quarterstaff-focused fighter, Eilservs School alone will take all the remaining feat slots.

    Versatile Spellcaster and Practiced Spellcaster allow him to cast more than 4 third levels spells at CL 11. I'd still say the way to get some decent ownage is to lean into his staff abilities - just give him a staff with any essentials you think he might need to fight the party, arcane, divine, doesn't matter, he can freely activate staffs with Use Staff. Staffs use the wielder's CL and ability score for the spells within if they're better, so anything you put in that staff can be at CL 11 too if I remember right. There's also Cull Wand Essence to do some ranged damage from the stff as well.

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    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: [3.5] Yakfolk BBEG

    Str 15+8+1, Dex 14, Con 12+4, Int 10+4, Wis 8+4, Cha 13+4+1

    Summon Familiar for a Ghostly Visage should be a workhorse here. Have it always possess him for immunity to mind-affecting, and it can manifest over his face during combat to use its paralyzing gaze attack. Every round it can spend a standard action to focus its gaze on a target and force them to save against its effect again, even if they're not looking. I would even swap its feat for Ability Focus, considering it uses his HD that's going to be a DC 21 on the gaze.

    I'll agree with Versatile Spellcaster, especially if you make that grant access to 4th level spells by spending two 3rd level slots. This opens up Animate Dead if he needs minions, and Black Tentacles for battlefield control. Arcane Strike may be useful, maybe Tomb-Tainted Soul, or even Corpsecrafter + Destruction Retribution depending on how strong his minions are. Spell Focus: Conjuration + Augment Summoning can be useful if you plan on using Summon Undead a lot.

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