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  1. - Top - End - #61
    Troll in the Playground
     
    The Viscount's Avatar

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    Dec 2012

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground CVI

    I challenge you to a children's card game!

    Quote Originally Posted by Wynfrith d'Acker
    ♠ Wynfrith d'Acker ♠


    Wynfrith was born into a relatively well-to-do family, but from an early age was very wilful, and often an embarrassment. She fell in with a bad crowd, who spent their time gambling, carousing and generally getting up to petty mischief. The final straw came when she lost some very expensive family jewels in a card game, which she had taken without asking. She was booted out, and disinherited on the spot.

    Wynfrith relied on her skills with a blade to make her way as a sell-sword, roaming far and wide, looking for adventure and trouble. How she fell in cahoots with the cult of Mammon is not known, but is suspected to have began as the result of a lost wager. She rose quickly in their ranks, through misdirection, force and seduction. The cult afforded her many opportunities to indulge her love of gambling, theft and manipulation of others.

    She relished the chance to deceive others, steal their wealth, and humiliate them in games of Three Dragon Ante. Her down time was usually spend tinkering with gems and jewels (won or stolen), then re-selling them for greater profit. Wynfrith honed the preternatural gifts granted by the cult to develop impressive powers of manipulating objects and creatures with the power of her mind. The other cult members feared her greatly, afraid they may be hurled hundreds of feat into the air at her whim.

    Eventually she rose to higher and higher power in the cult, and while never officially recognised a a leader, is widely rumoured to run the show from behind the scenes.


    NE Female Human Warblade 5/Disciple of Mammon 10/Master of the Unseen hand 5

    HD: 5d12+10d6+5d4+80

    Langauges: Common, Dwarven, Infernal

    Spoiler: Build Tables/Info/Level Breakdowns
    Show
    Point Buy 4th 8th 12th 16th 20th Final
    Str 14 - - - - - 14
    Dex 14 - - +1 - - 14
    Con 14 +1 +1 - +1 +1 18
    Int 14 - - - - - 14
    Wis 10 - - - - - 10
    Cha 14 - - - - - 14

    Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skill Ranks Feats Class Features
    1st Warblade 1 +1 +2 +0 +0 Appraise 2, Bluff 2, Concentration 4, Diplomacy 4, Intimidate 4, Open Lock 2, Profession (gambler) 2, Sense Motive 2, Sleight of Hand 2, Tumble 4 Able LearnerB, Disciple of Darkness Battle clarity (Reflex saves), weapon aptitude
    2nd Warblade 2 +2 +3 +0 +0 Appraise 2, Balance 3, Bluff 2, Concentration 5, Diplomacy 5, Intimidate 5, Open Lock 2, Profession (gambler) 2, Sense Motive 2, Sleight of Hand 2, Tumble 5 - Uncanny dodge
    3rd Warblade 3 +3 +3 +1 +1 Appraise 3, Balance 4, Bluff 3, Concentration 5, Diplomacy 5, Intimidate 5, Open Lock 3, Profession (gambler) 3, Sense Motive 3, Sleight of Hand 3, Tumble 5 Appraise Magic Battle ardor (critical confirmation)
    4th Warblade 4 +4 +4 +1 +1 Appraise 6, Balance 4, Bluff 3, Concentration 7, Diplomacy 6, Intimidate 6, Open Lock 3, Profession (gambler) 3, Sense Motive 3, Sleight of Hand 3, Tumble 5 - -
    5th Warblade 5 +5 +4 +1 +1 Appraise 6, Balance 5, Bluff 4, Concentration 7, Diplomacy 7, Intimidate 6, Open Lock 4, Profession (gambler) 4, Sense Motive 4, Sleight of Hand 4, Tumble 5 Improved InitiativeB Bonus feat
    6th Disciple of Mammon 1 +5 +4 +3 +3 Appraise 9, Balance 5, Bluff 4, Concentration 7, Diplomacy 7, Intimidate 6, Open Lock 4, Profession (gambler) 4, Sense Motive 4, Sleight of Hand 8, Tumble 5 Power Attack Lie
    7th Disciple of Mammon 2 +6 +4 +4 +4 Appraise 10, Balance 5, Bluff 5, Concentration 7, Diplomacy 9, Intimidate 6, Open Lock 4, Profession (gambler) 4, Sense Motive 5, Sleight of Hand 10, Tumble 5 - Cheat
    8th Disciple of Mammon 3 +7 +5 +4 +4 Appraise 11, Balance 5, Bluff 5, Concentration 9, Diplomacy 11, Intimidate 6, Open Lock 5, Profession (gambler) 4, Sense Motive 5, Sleight of Hand 11, Tumble 5 - Thief, steal
    9th Disciple of Mammon 4 +8 +5 +5 +5 Appraise 12, Balance 5, Bluff 8, Concentration 9, Diplomacy 12, Intimidate 6, Open Lock 5, Profession (gambler) 5, Sense Motive 5, Sleight of Hand 12, Tumble 5 Cards Over Swords Divert attack
    10th Disciple of Mammon 5 +8 +5 +5 +5 Appraise 13, Balance 5, Bluff 11, Concentration 10, Diplomacy 13, Intimidate 6, Open Lock 5, Profession (gambler) 5, Sense Motive 5, Sleight of Hand 13, Tumble 5 - Summon osyluth
    11th Disciple of Mammon 6 +9 +6 +6 +6 Appraise 14, Balance 5, Bluff 12, Concentration 12, Diplomacy 14, Intimidate 6, Knowledge (nobility & royalty) 1, Open Lock 5, Profession (gambler) 5, Sense Motive 5, Sleight of Hand 14, Tumble 5 - Take object
    12th Disciple of Mammon 7 +10 +6 +6 +6 Appraise 15, Balance 5, Bluff 13, Concentration 14, Diplomacy 15, Intimidate 6, Knowledge (nobility & royalty) 2, Open Lock 5, Profession (gambler) 5, Sense Motive 5, Sleight of Hand 15, Tumble 5 Master Pickpocket Enhance value
    13th Disciple of Mammon 8 +11 +6 +7 +7 Appraise 16, Balance 5, Bluff 14, Concentration 16, Diplomacy 16, Intimidate 6, Knowledge (nobility & royalty) 3, Open Lock 5, Profession (gambler) 5, Sense Motive 5, Sleight of Hand 16, Tumble 5 - Divert spell
    14th Disciple of Mammon 9 +11 +7 +7 +7 Appraise 17, Balance 5, Bluff 16, Concentration 17, Diplomacy 17, Intimidate 6, Knowledge (nobility & royalty) 4, Open Lock 5, Profession (gambler) 5, Sense Motive 5, Sleight of Hand 17, Tumble 5 - Nondetection
    15th Disciple of Mammon 10 +12 +7 +8 +8 Appraise 18, Balance 5, Bluff 18, Concentration 18, Diplomacy 18, Intimidate 6, Knowledge (nobility & royalty) 5, Open Lock 5, Profession (gambler) 5, Sense Motive 5, Sleight of Hand 18, Tumble 5 Martial Study (pouncing strike) Summon gelugon
    16th Master of the Unseen Hand 1 +13 +7 +8 +10 Appraise 19, Balance 5, Bluff 19, Concentration 19, Diplomacy 19, Intimidate 6, Knowledge (nobility & royalty) 5, Open Lock 5, Profession (gambler) 5, Sense Motive 5, Sleight of Hand 19, Tumble 5 - Improved caster level, versatile telekinesis
    17th Master of the Unseen Hand 2 +14 +7 +8 +11 Appraise 20, Balance 5, Bluff 20, Concentration 20, Diplomacy 20, Intimidate 6, Knowledge (nobility & royalty) 5, Open Lock 5, Profession (gambler) 5, Sense Motive 5, Sleight of Hand 20, Tumble 5 - Telekinetic wielder, sustained concentration
    18th Master of the Unseen Hand 3 +15 +8 +9 +11 Appraise 21, Balance 5, Bluff 21, Concentration 21, Diplomacy 21, Intimidate 6, Knowledge (nobility & royalty) 5, Open Lock 5, Profession (gambler) 5, Sense Motive 5, Sleight of Hand 21, Tumble 5 Quicken Spell-Like Ability (telekinesis) Full attack telekinesis
    19th Master of the Unseen Hand 4 +16 +8 +9 +12 Appraise 22, Balance 5, Bluff 22, Concentration 22, Diplomacy 22, Intimidate 6, Knowledge (nobility & royalty) 5, Open Lock 5, Profession (gambler) 5, Sense Motive 5, Sleight of Hand 22, Tumble 5 - Improved violent thrust, telekinetic flight
    20th Master of the Unseen Hand 5 +17 +8 +9 +12 Appraise 23, Balance 5, Buff 23, Concentration 23, Diplomacy 23, Intimidate 6, Knowledge (nobility & royalty) 5, Open Lock 5, Profession (gambler) 5, Sense Motive 5, Sleight of Hand 23, Tumble 5 - Fling skyward


    Maneuvers known:
    1 - Douse the Flames, Moment of Perfect Mind, Steel Wind, Stone Bones
    2 - Disarming Strike
    3 - Mind Over Body
    5 - Pouncing Charge

    Stances known:
    1 - Blood in the Water, Hunter's Sense


    Level Breakdowns:
    1-5: Pretty straightforward Warblade here, but skills are focused on social skills, and gambling. Still, a pretty competent melee type. Saves are shored up by maneuvers that allow a Concentration check in place of a save.
    6-10: This is where one the main gimmicks comes online. The Cheat ability syngergizes well with Cards Over Swords. You can now try to force enemies into playing cards to settle a beef - and with your skills and Cheat ability, there's a better than average chance you are going to win. If you do, they give you all their stuff, and walk away! There's always the chance you may lose, but this isn't a build overly reliant on gear - and you can always leave your valuables off your person when you are expecting to challenge someone to a game. It's dumb, but it works. The Steal ability, which is explicitly based on Telekinesis, will come into its own later in the build.
    11-15: Take Object works well with the Disarming Strike maneuver - I'd also suggest fighting with a one-handed weapon like a flail (you can always two-hand it when you need to Power Attack), keeping the other free for disarms and Sleight of Hand as needed. Speaking of which, the Master Pickpocket allows for some outrageous Sleight of Hand antics. Enhance Value can boost the profit from much of the loot gained by gambling and pick-pocketing.
    16-20: Using the Steal ability to qualify, MotUH opens up combat and other options for your at will Telekinesis SLA, including flight. It also boosts your CL. Quicken allows you to use it as a swift action 3/day. Also being full BAB, MotUH compliments your melee prowess nicely. Pouncing Charge, picked up through a feat, allows for some full-attacking goodness on a charge. In the end, this is a versatile melee build, with some nice tricks including summoning devils and telekinesis; not to mention your pick pocketing and Cards over Swords shenanigans. You also have solid "face" skills, and can lie through your teeth with little chance of being caught out. You are fairly resilient, with saves shored up by maneuvers, and the ability to divert melee and spell attacks back on the allies of your attacker.

    Sources:

    BoVD - Disciple of Darkness, Disciple of Mammon
    City of Stormreach - Master Pickpocket
    CW - Master of the Unseen Hand
    RoD - Able Learner
    ToB - Warblade, maneuvers, stances
    Online - Appraise Magic, Cards Over Swords
    Kolyarut Avatar by Potatocubed.
    Quote Originally Posted by willpell View Post
    Only playing Tier 1s is like only eating in five-star restaurants [...] sometimes I just want a cheeseburger and some frogurt. Why limit yourself?
    Awards

  2. - Top - End - #62
    Troll in the Playground
     
    The Viscount's Avatar

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    Dec 2012

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground CVI

    If the people stare/then the people stare
    Quote Originally Posted by Danielle

    Danielle May-the-Blood-of-Ilmater-Sustain-Me-in-Hunger the Hand in the Glove
    Spoiler: backstory
    Show

    Spoiler: Tragedy
    Show

    Danielle peeled carrots for the pot and flicked peels to her bird. Paulette pecked them up off the counter and gave an occasional chirp.

    “Someone at the door,” Paulette said before they knocked. One perk of a familiar spirit, even if she earned Danielle a few unkind looks at church.

    Danielle toweled off her hands and answered the door. An aspirant stood before her. Another stood by his side.

    She swallowed. There was only one reason the church ever sent them in pairs.

    “Good evening, Miss May-the-Blood-of-Ilmater-Sustain-Me-in-Hunger. May we come in?” said the one wearing a fox stole. Miss, not Mrs. Her suspicions were confirmed.

    The one in a wolf pelt didn’t wait for an invitation and had to duck his head to squeeze his bulk through the doorway.

    “Of course,” Danielle said and stepped aside. Some of Ilmater’s faithful wore shirts of hair to inflame the skin, that their discomfort may bring them closer to the broken god. Among those, some interpreted fur as a close enough way to show their devotion.

    Fox stole sat in her husband’s chair. Neither of them introduced themselves.

    “How did it happen?” she asked. Danielle and her husband hadn’t been especially close. This was hardly uncommon in marriages arranged by the church. They had little in common, and ever since he had earned approval to join the crusades against Loviatar, the two saw little of each other. Still, she hoped it had been painless.

    “Oh, so you’ve heard the news already?” Fox stole said, not entertaining the notion Danielle had figured it out. There was no point correcting him.

    “Not exactly,” she said as diplomatically as she could.

    Wolf pelt ate a ladleful from the pot, still steaming. Paulette picked at lice crawling across the fur hanging across the stony muscles of his shoulders.

    "Got ‘et by a sea serpent or something way I heard it,” he said and belched. “It were workin’ for Loviatar, so he still counts as martyred.”

    “I was just getting to that, brother. Need I remind you food is a mere side path on the road that leads to salvation through Ilmater?” Fox stole said with a raised eyebrow.

    Wolf pelt nodded, picked up a paring knife from the counter and gave himself a small, brisk cut on the webbing between his thumb and forefinger.

    “Of course, brother. Thank you,” he said through clenched teeth.

    Aspirants were those who wished to martyr themselves for the glory of Ilmater, but always seemed to have an excuse for why it hadn’t happened yet. To make up the difference, they mortified themselves when they fell short of Ilmater’s ideals. Once more, traditional doctrine prescribed these wounds, should a member of the faithful find self-administering them necessary, were to be hidden away. However, as always, different interpretations abounded, as the many fresh and long scarred over wounds on both mens’ bare arms and chests showed. Those who weren’t of a charitable mind to this aspect of devotion to Ilmater were known to refer to aspirants as “scabs” for this reason.

    Danielle ran her thumb along the mark of Ilmater on her finger. Her husband had given it to her instead of one of gold or jewels so it could be neither lost nor taken.

    “Being martyred is what he’s always wanted. He told me he dreamed of it as a boy. Thank you for bringing me this news. When will he be back?” Danielle asked. Resurrections through the church were part of what their monthly tithe entitled them to. In theory, anyway. They’d never had to draw upon this service before, and she’d counted them as lucky for it.

    “Oh, well, I’m afraid it’s not as simple as that,” fox stole said. “You see, this is only his first time being martyred. Resurrections are generally prioritized for faithful who’ve been martyred twice or more.”

    Danielle felt her heart quicken.

    “I see. Will a matchmaker be by soon, then?” She didn’t exactly relish the prospect of another husband, but it wasn’t as though the church was going to ordain her to fill his vacancy and let her earn a living on her own.

    “Not exactly. Just because your husband is with Ilmater doesn’t mean you aren’t still his. I’m sure no member of the faithful would dream of disrespecting him by intruding in this way, you see,” fox stole said.

    “I see,” she said. “Did his raiding party come away with enough for this month’s tithe?”

    Wolf pelt jamming her silver noisily into a sack answered this question for her.

    “The faithful must tithe, my dear,” fox stole said as he pocketed a pair of silver candlesticks. “Oh, have you picked a name yet?”

    Danielle sat down, her head swimming. “Pardon?”

    “Oh, I thought he must’ve told you. Your husband glimpsed the future. You’ll be having a son soon.” He tsked. “And while widowed, no less. I wish Ilmater favored me so heavily.”

    Wolf pelt swatted Paulette off his shoulder and stood by the door. “Envy is the worm inside the bread of humility Ilmater provides us in His infinite generosity, innit, brother?” he said with a sneer.

    Fox stole rose from his chair and slammed his hand in a drawer on the end table. “It is, of course. Thank you, brother. We’ll be on our way then. Congratulations on your loss, Miss May-the-Blood-of-Ilmater-Sustain-Me-in-Hunger.”

    It took everything in her to thank him.


    Spoiler: Rags to Riches
    Show

    It wasn’t long before Danielle was on the street. It hadn’t been long before she had nothing left to tithe.

    It had been hardest to say goodbye to Paulette. She went to a young student at a prestigious wizarding academies. Though she’d had to sell for half of what she was worth, Danielle could be sure she’d be well cared for.

    Ignorant of street politics, Danielle had first attempted to sit on the corner below her former home. One benefit of being the wife of a cleric of Ilmater was a house constructed literally on the city’s upper echelons.

    Spots on the streets in the center of Keltar were inherited by the sons of beggars who had staked them out generations ago. It had been years since Danielle had set foot on the sandy streets that lay on the ground.

    She used to step along the tops of the wide, earthenware walls surrounding their neighborhood to go to the bazaar safe in sandals of fine camel leather. They’d been the first things taken on her nights sleeping in the rough.

    The beggars whose spots she’d unwittingly usurped brought her down to earth. Somehow, the marks they left on her didn’t make her feel more closely connected to Ilmater. The faithful obviously didn’t drop so much as a copper unarche into her cup, lest they weaken her connection to Ilmater, so she moved further away from her former home, even though it meant rattling her cup in rougher parts.

    Using an ancient and strongly discouraged branch of magic, one rumored to predate even Ilmater, she had to take what no one would give her. Even though it meant keeping one eye always open for patrols both of city guard and competing criminal guilds, Danielle drew upon spirits of the best thieves, whose names she would never know and bathed her bare, freezing hands in their skill. With these, she pocketed the occasional coin or ring or pearl of absentia, cheaper than the coarsest blanket.

    A spot by the docks brought in the most cash, even if it didn’t come free. Despite Keltar’s size, travelers abounded here due to the Calim river. A Rashemi with a gray beard disembarked a rotting hulk of a ship. A braided leather whip at his belt and meandering tattoo across his bare scalp let anyone who care to set eyes on him know he was a slaver. He probably had plenty of money to spare.

    He strutted down the gangplank and turned to walk toward Danielle. She prepared herself, but a scab from the church of Ilmater rounded the corner and bumped into him before he crossed her path.

    “Watch where you’re going, bloodbag!” he shouted as their shoulders touched.

    Danielle’s all too thorough training over the past few months as a thief drew her eye to the scab’s belt. He’d been relieved of his purse, not that he seemed to notice. The Rashemi’s bluster was a distraction to keep him from realizing.

    “Don’t they teach you any manners in this glorified pigpen? I’d be within my rights to thrash you to within an inch of your life!” He slammed the man against the retaining wall and lifted him up by the front of his crude robe, baring his stomach, latticed with burns and scars and puckered remnants of stab wounds.

    The scab grinned.

    He dropped to the floor and crumpled in a heap as the Rashemi yanked his hands back like he’d been burned. He spat on him in disgust.

    “Get out of my sight, pervert. You won’t get it off me for free.” He walked on. Danielle counted his footsteps and held her breath as he passed by her without turning his head.

    She reached for his belt and cut his purse with a phantom claw from some long dead beast. She’d sold her last blade weeks ago.

    He stopped and turned on his heel.

    “That was pretty good,” he said with an amiable smile. He leaned on the wall she had her back to. Danielle got unsteadily to her feet.

    “I don’t know what you mean, sir,” she said.

    “Please. If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s false modesty. Probably the thing I hate most about you punchbags,” he said, glancing at a wilting bruise around her eye.

    “I don’t worship Ilmater,” she said at the disparaging term. Maybe he’d go easier on her.

    “You’ve got that going for you, at least. Tell you what: you look desperate. How’d you like to make some money?” He didn’t look her in the eye, his head bowed toward her belly. She’d been showing a while now.

    She waited for him to reach for his purse. He didn’t.

    “Here, or are you staying someplace?”

    “Oh, no, not for that. I’m sure you were lovely once, but not my type. If my divinations are correct, you’ve got the firstborn son of a martyred of Ilmater cooking, right?” he said with a gesture to her belly, but blessedly did not touch her.

    “Let’s get you fed. I’ve got credit at ’The Ringed Nose,’ so feel free to keep the purse. Call it a down payment.” He shrugged off his cloak and held his arm out straight so she could take it in her own time. She did and wrapped it tight around her to ward off the cold. It had magic on it to do just that. The moment she’d fixed its clasp, she didn’t feel a thing.

    When they got inside, an orcish girl behind the bar doled out two bowls of soup. Danielle, still standing, lifted her bowl and slurped until she had to come up for breath.

    “I must admit, it’s a relief not to have to talk you into a sale,” her benefactor said and took a seat on a stool by her side. He flicked a bowl of nuts over to her and she cradled it close to her chest on the bar, guarding it with her forearm.

    “I can’t afford to stay out here myself. It won’t do either of us any good to pay twice for two,” she said in between swallows.

    “Room’s in back. Ask the girl for keys when you’re ready to turn in. I’ll find you when I need you,” he said.

    “What, and that’s it?” Danielle asked.

    “More or less. I’m hands off with my investments. I’ll be back when it matures. Til then, you do what you like,” he said and stood up.

    He offered his seat to a Mulan tourist, his purse hanging heavy from his belt, slouching over the edge of the stool.

    “Here, friend. I’m heading out. Take mine. It’s still warm,” he said with a hand on his shoulder. He looked to Danielle and winked. With that, he was off.

    “That fella your husband or something?” the tourist asked and leaned in close, already half-drunk. Danielle touched her gloved hand to his and surreptitiously picked his pocket.

    “Something,” she said and retired to the room after getting the key.

    An imp crouched before her, busying itself making the bed.

    “Get out of here, or I’ll scream,” she said, hopefully a phrase she’d need to use less often from now on.

    “Relax, sweetheart. Dorian sent me to take care of you,” it said. With a flick of its leathery wings, it perched on the headboard to fluff her pillow.

    “I take it he’s the one who brought me here.” She took an uneasy step closer.

    “’s what he told me to call him. He paid me enough I don’t really feel like askin’ too many questions.”

    “I’ve never heard of a demon providing turndown.” Danielle sat on the mattress. It was only straw, but it was better than the gutter.

    The thing only a handspan from her face huffed. “Devil, please. It’s one of the many services I provide. Anything else you need, just ask.” It crawled over to a bedpost and perched there.

    “Is it safe for you to be here? The church is always on patrol for dem—for devils,” she said, catching herself in time.

    It laughed. “You’re sweet, ain’cha? I’m only seen when I want to be.” It disappeared for a moment to illustrate its point. “If it’ll make you more comfortable, I can change.” Its wings grew feathers and it blossomed into an all too familiar form: a raven.

    Danielle held her hand out until it alit on her finger. She handed it a foreign coin from the stranger’s purse. It took the coin in its beak.

    “You givin’ me a tip?” it mumbled around the metal.

    “It’s customary for good service.” She gently ran her thumb across an upturned feather along the top of its head. “What should I call you?”

    “Oh, our kind don’t have names. ‘Hey, you’ is fine,” it said and rubbed its cheek against her hand.

    “Would you mind terribly if I were to call you Paulette?”

    “No problem.”

    Spoiler: The Quest
    Show

    Once Danielle had some time to heal the worst of her injuries and maladies months of pauperism gifted her, removing the last traces of the gutter was a simple matter. With the purses she got last night, she had enough for a new dress from a secondhand shop and a wig and hat besides. She’d had to shave her hair to get rid of the lice, and this would tide her over until she could climb a few more social rungs for a bit of cosmetic glamer. If she played her cards right, maybe even a bit of ‘morph down the line.

    The dress from the secondhand shop let her parlay her way into a local auction house, even if it was only to watch. Danielle didn’t have her eye on the art, though. She kept an eye on people who came in second to the highest bidder. They had money to spend, but weren’t going to be paying it out.

    Not to the auction house, anyway.

    Paulette surveyed the scene ahead of time or flitted in invisibly where Danielle couldn’t sneak to tell her where the choicest morsels were.

    After a few gleanings at such events, Danielle had enough to purchase something bespoke, which would let her get into events in society’s upper rungs. When she lunched with the wives of school board officials, bankers, and governors, every meal was an opportunity for a ring here, an earring there to go missing. Danielle hardly had to do anything to make the women blame the help.

    With every social circle she outgrew, the hats she wore to keep the sun off her skin grew larger and more elaborate until they could easily accommodate Paulette. After long periods of scouting, it would occasionally complain of fatigue. The mock bird’s nests and cornucopias of wax fruit and later entire flocks easily camouflaged its slumbering form. After all, who at a typical rooftop garden party would notice if a woman’s hat had six birds on it or seven?

    With more exposure to art, Danielle found she had an eye for it. Soon, it became a trivial matter to remove gems from baubles she’d relieved their former owners of and even to improve their appearance. There were plenty of gallery exhibits she attended nowadays where she didn’t steal at all.

    It was at one of these she encountered a young lady very much like herself.

    A wealthy cattleman wanted to lend himself an air of sophistication. To that end, he was throwing an event to honor a young artist and showcase his work. Something terribly avant-garde representing realms beyond human perception. The work even had a tint of blasphemy to it, which attracted a certain subset of the idle rich.

    Danielle performed one of her favored maneuvers. She had Paulette remove the back of one of her earrings so it fell underneath the long white tablecloth where she and the others lunched on cold lobster salad and cucumber sandwiches. She made a show of crouching and grunting to get under the table to look for it herself. It was impossible to conceal her pregnancy at this stage, and she was insistent on maintaining her independence when performing this trick. It typically made everyone so uncomfortable they were all too willing to avert their gazes. While underneath the table, she could easily cut her mark’s purse and stow it away inside a hidden pocket within her dress’s long Mulan-style sleeves in fashion this season.

    She was surprised to see as she reached for his purse, another young lady’s hand was already gripping it, alongside a calling card. She didn’t seem intent on keeping it for herself, but instead offered the purse to Danielle.

    “Find everything all right?” she asked with a smile, watching as Danielle reattached her earring. The menagerie of birds festooning her hat seemed to nod as she tilted her head: a peacock, a swan, and a goose amongst their number.

    “Oh, yes. I should count myself lucky. I’d have hated to lose these,” she said and regaled the table with the story of how she’d acquired these earrings from some distant relative. The story changed every time, as did the one explaining her husband’s absence from these events. Sometimes he was killed in the war, others merely away on business. Whatever she said, people seldom seemed interested in asking questions.

    When she got a moment to excuse herself, she read the card. It told her to stay after the party dispersed.

    “You think it’s a good play?” she whispered to Paulette.

    “I smelled imp on her. It’s someone I know. You can relax. She’s good people,” Paulette said .

    When the other guests made their excuses and their host retired for the evening, the other woman remained behind, flicking a wand at crystal punch cups to clean them.

    “Don’t they have people for that?” Danielle asked when Paulette quietly assured her they were alone.

    “Oh, of course, but it does pay to make a good impression. You can call me Mignon,” she said, offering a hand in a crushed velvet glove with a man’s ring on over it. The emerald set in its center was the size of a grape.

    “Danielle,” she said and kissed the ring, half out of manners, half to see if it was made of sugar glass. It was real.

    “That’s quite a piece you have,” Danielle said, biting back the urge to slip it off her finger.

    “Oh, thank you kindly,” Mignon said. One of the birds on her hat unfurled itself into an imp and went off with Paulette, who too assumed its true form. They nibbled at leftover melon balls and slurped dregs from cups of tea as they caught up.

    “You know, if you’d like it slightly altered, I’ve recently developed quite the affinity for it,” Danielle offered.

    Mignon pulled her hand protectively to her breast. “Oh, no, please don’t. If this thing gets any more valuable, I’ll never be able to flog it.”

    “Oh?” Danielle arched an eyebrow.

    “I represent a group of people with the same knack. We have a little syndicate that helps us iron out schedules for events that’re easy pickings like this. That way none of us have to walk away empty handed,” she said. There was no aggression in her tone.

    “Do you want the purse back? I didn’t know you were here first.” Danielle reached into her sleeve.

    “Oh, don’t worry about it. Come to a meeting or two and see if you’re interested. Before you ask, we don’t demand a percentage. Our chapter president takes care of the place themselves,” Mignon said.

    She unfurled a parasol over her head and offered her elbow to Danielle to lead her off the roof. Danielle took it and they drifted lazily off on the wind, some unobtrusive enchantment made them lighter than air. Their imps became invisible and followed.

    They were high enough up Danielle didn’t feel obligated to clamp her skirts closed.

    “And if I’m not interested?” she said loud enough to be heard over the wind.

    Mignon turned her head to the side. “Well, then I drop you.”

    Danielle swallowed.

    “Only joking, dear. We’re here,” Mignon said and touched them down at a charming salon.

    Inside, a dozen people in everything from hoop skirts to shirtsleeves bustled around various pieces of art, hammering at swords on anvils, groping at wet lumps of clay, singing arias and stopping every few notes to scribble on the scores.

    “So it works with everything?” Danielle asked and stepped over a pile of machine parts whose purpose she couldn’t gather.

    “It does. We’ve experimented some and it turns out our patron doesn’t even require expertise or even knowledge,” Mignon said.

    “Really?” Danielle said.

    “Oh, yes. Why, just a tenday ago, I revised some antique tome in Ancient Sueloise well enough for a hefty markup when I passed it on to a dealer.”

    “I’ve never met anyone who spoke Ancient Sueloise,” Danielle said.

    Mignon giggled demurely. “You still haven’t. Can’t read a whit of it. Isn’t that marvelous?”

    Danielle nodded and glanced at a large chalkboard on the wall with odds and bets laid on it.

    “What’s that?” she asked.

    “Ah, that. Well, influencing the value of art gives us a bit of an inside advantage when it comes to things like contests, shows, things like that. Doesn’t hurt to make a little extra on the side. That, I’m afraid you need to be a member for,” Mignon said with an appropriately polite grimace.

    Danielle set her jaw. “I’ve got an idea.”


    Spoiler: Rebirth
    Show

    Danielle sweated and panted as the first contraction ripped through her. She’d moved several times since her room at The Ringed Nose. The apartment in the upper layers of the city was warded with silence, so her screams of pain wouldn’t disturb people nearby.

    Before she could collapse on the plush feather bed, Dorian teleported in and helped her down.

    “Didn’t think I’d forgotten about you, did you?” Dorian clutched a rolled oilskin under his arm.

    Danielle wanted to say something terribly clever, but couldn’t find the words.

    Behind Dorian, attached to him by a length of black chain in his hand, was what was unmistakably an angel. Danielle recognized it even though it bore something like an iron bell over its head, its hands tightly held in manacles.

    Paulette hissed. “What the hell’s that thing doing here?”

    “Relax. It’s tame. Or tame enough. Births attended by these are supposed to bring pots of money. Problem is they come and go as they please. If my hunch is right, I might have an angle on mass production. Help get her ready, would you?” Dorian said to Paulette like Danielle wasn’t there.

    Danielle lay on her back and Paulette set up a screen so she didn’t have to see Dorian’s grisly work. It would only panic her, they said.

    “He brought a magic ring. Says it’ll help with the pain,” Paulette said.

    Danielle held out her hand. Paulette shook its head. “Not that kind of ring.”

    Danielle, red creeping in around the edges of her vision, gripped Paulette’s neck. “Just get it over with.”

    The metal bit into her breast and at once, all thoughts of pain left her. For the next she didn’t know how long, she wasn’t giving birth in some anonymous penthouse, the same as the ten like it in this district, and no knives were anywhere near her flesh. As far as she was concerned, she was in a haze of warmth and comfort more all-encompassing than any delirium she’d ever been in, even once she could afford the most expensive narcotics money could buy.

    The sun was lower in the sky by far when Dorian greeted her by the head of the bed, wiping blood off his hands with a white towel.

    “It’s done,” he said, beaming.

    “I gather it worked,” Danielle said dreamily.

    “Oh, yeah.” He tossed the towel on the floor. Housekeeping could get it later. They didn’t ask questions.

    The angel held the last thing tying Danielle to her old life, already bundled tight so she couldn’t see him at all.

    “You, uh, want to say a few words?” Dorian said, clearly in uncharted territory judging from his inability to look her in the eye.

    “Can I keep the ring?”

    Dorian was silent a moment then laughed. “Guess I’ll have to start introducing myself as the second most ruthless in the business. It’s yours. I’ll make enough from this to be the richest man in Bezantur. You can take it out if you don’t want it to scab over. I had the angel heal the rest of your wounds. Well, see you around.” And with that, he, her son, and the angel disappeared.

    Paulette fetched her a bundle of clean clothes. “There anything I can get you, miss?”

    Danielle rubbed behind its horns. “Fancy taking in a play?”

    Spoiler: Voyage and Return
    Show

    Danielle strode into the church of Ilmater for the first time since she’d gotten that terrible news all those months ago. Paulette was elsewhere. No matter how sneaky the pair of them were, circumventing the church’s wards against fiends was likely more trouble than it was worth. She wore fine, simple garments of black wool. As far as the church was concerned, she was still in mourning.

    A handful of people lounged on the pews as actors meandered on the church’s main stage. One with grease paint wounds dotted all over his body lurched his way through one Ilmater’s famous speeches, forgiving those who had martyred him for their evildoing.

    Danielle watched him quietly for the next hour as he missed cue after cue. The director finally called for a cut when his loincloth caught on a loose nail as he hopped onto the torture rack and bared his backside to the spectators, drawing a few hastily suppressed chuckles.

    “Cut! Weeping wounds! Go get another costume and be quick about it!” barked a familiar voice from the front row.

    Danielle made her presence known with a gentle clearing of her throat.

    “You know what they say about a bad rehearsal, eh?” she said good-naturedly.

    A man in a fox stole turned to look at her. “Ah! Fancy seeing you here. I’d offer you a seat but, well, you know,” he said with the helpless smile that was highly infectious among members of Ilmater’s church. Widows were considered ritually unclean, a mere part of a whole, and were not permitted to sit on the pews lest they pollute them.

    Danielle conjured a a cloth chair of her own in the aisle with a flick from a wand.

    “Think nothing of it. Since we last spoke, I’ve received quite a lot of training in the dramatic arts. Do you mind if I offer some constructive criticism?” she said from behind a pair of thick-rimmed glasses that did enough to make her feel shielded from this man.

    “Have you now? Isn’t that nice? You know what, I’m desperate enough to try anything now. Why don’t you tell me what you and your girlfriends have been studying about being a thespian?”

    Danielle sat down.

    “The fellow playing Ilmater. Have him start taking exercise more regularly. Swimming, specifically. Holding his breath under the water will help him strengthen his lungs so he doesn’t need to stop in the middle of the lines as often. There are a lot of long ones in the speech Ilmater gives after he’s put on the rack but before they start going over him with the hot pokers. The rack is too heavy for the girl playing the torturer to move. It spoils the pacing of the scene. I know someone who can get you a few pieces of magically lightened stuff for cheap. It’s salvage, but it’ll help it look more authentic. Sheets of steel will make a deeper noise for the thunder than tin when storms gather once they start whipping him. Provides more gravitas,” she said, counting off the points as she spoke.

    He nodded along as she spoke. “Well, those are all very interesting points. I must thank you.”

    Danielle leaned in. “Then resurrect my husband,” she said.

    He gave another helpless smile. “I’m afraid that’s quite impossible.” She hadn’t really expected anything else.

    She rose from her chair and dismissed it. She rested her hand on his bare shoulder, feeling the raised flesh of old scars even through her black gloves.

    “I want you to remember I gave you a chance to make things right,” she said and left.

    She returned to the meetinghouse and flounced into her seat at the head of the table. Other members were waiting there for her news, practically salivating.

    “Well?” Mignon asked.

    “He said no,” Danielle said. She tossed down a tiny pad she’d taken notes on so the others would see what she had suggested about the play.

    “You know what to do,” she said and dismissed them.

    Spoiler: Comedy
    Show

    Danielle continued to observe rehearsals, albeit in disguise to avoid unwanted attention. One by one, her compatriots came and offered various suggestions on how to improve the show. They helped with pacing, rhetoric, breath control. Some offered to have artisan contacts of theirs donate props or spellcasters to create moody fog onstage during the scene when Ilmater had breathed his last. Fox stole gamely listened to all their advice, but consistently refused to pay them for their expertise, as Danielle had told them he would.

    The open rehearsals began to be fuller and fuller until there was a line out the door as the play’s quality improved. Fox stole was over the moon. Selling tickets to this play was how the church made the bulk of its money for the season. As something with a numerical value attached to it, it was possible to find certain individuals who wanted to bet on a spread of how much would be produced on opening night.

    Danielle had a plan.

    Eventually, Fox stole began to catch on, or seemed to. He had authority to manage the play, largely a sinecure position, but he could do little to stop people from showing up to attend. Even though he no longer listened to advice when approached by members of Danielle’s cabal, fobbing them off by telling them how busy he was and fleeing to his office, it did not matter. The observation and the time was the thing, and he couldn’t keep every member of the company under lock and key. The actors were more than happy for free advice from expert directors and clothiers and dancers.

    In the tendays leading up to opening night of the play, there was the customary command performance for the head bishop of Keltar. He thought himself a man of the people, so relaxed the normal rules about it being a private affair. By now, he had certainly heard how popular it was in the city.

    The performance that night was the finest yet. The actor playing Ilmater was commanding. Even Danielle felt something like awe stirring in the oldest parts of her. By the time the curtain closed, the sound of weeping rolled through the church like thunder.

    The bishop stood and addressed the stage, dabbing at his eyes with his handkerchief.

    “Where is the man responsible for this?” he said with a heaving sob. Fox stole proudly strode onto the stage and let himself be clapped on the back.

    “Brother, you truly honor Ilmater with this display of his deeds. Never in all my years have I seen such a fine performance,” the bishop said.

    Fox stole grinned. “You shame me with your praise. I only did my best,” he said falsely.

    “Lies are but the honey in poisoned wine, brother. I mean it with every fiber of my being when I say this performance is a thing too fine to be witnessed by any save Ilmater himself.” The bishop drew a dagger from the tip of his staff and calmly gouged out his own eyes.

    “I will not return on the opening night of this play. To do so would be to consider myself Ilmater’s equal. I am sure the faithful all feel the same way,” he said, gesturing vaguely toward the crowd he couldn’t see. They made noises of assent through their tears.

    The bishop rested his bloody hand on the man’s fox stole. “To think of all your hard work in creating such a thing of beauty no one will see. Your suffering must be immeasurable. Truly, you are closer to Ilmater than I am this day, brother.”

    Fox stole swallowed, anguished, his face a mask of neutrality. “Thank you, brother.”

    Spoiler: Overcoming the Monster
    Show

    Danielle walked along the street to the entrance of her organization’s new clubhouse. The church had to sell this location when no one came to the play. It had been improved to a thing of such immeasurable quality, there wasn’t anyone in the world who could afford to attend. With the money Danielle and her associates had made betting on this outcome, they were able to scoop it up at a good discount.

    It operated now as an artists’ cooperative. Danielle had analyzed the numbers and found with time and effort spent taken into consideration, they made far more money producing and enhancing art than cutting purses. It was less dangerous as well, and there were fewer bureaucrats whose palms needed greasing. Besides, many of their members had developed an affinity and even a liking for the arts.

    On her way toward the church, her skirts caught on something. She turned to see if it was a loose branch of piece of debris only to see an emaciated hand.

    “Please, miss, can you spare a few unarche? Weeping wounds, I’m so hungry,” said a man she almost didn’t recognize without his fox stole.

    Danielle crouched and tugged her skirts out of his fist, barely any effort at all due to his weak grip.

    “I wouldn’t dream of weakening your connection to Ilmater, brother. Truly, he smiles on you.”

    She turned and left.

    A busker at the door for the clubhouse handed her a flyer.

    “Spare a few unarche, miss? Divine interventions? Don’t cost much and the tenth one’s free,” he said with a charming earnestness.

    She flashed her badge marking her as a founding member.

    “Oh, dear. Sorry, miss, It’s my first day.”

    “I like the enthusiasm. Here you go.” She tossed in the coins she’d taken from the beggar’s cup without him noticing. “The faithful must tithe.”

    Danielle saw the actor who’d played Ilmater climbing the boards, his face daubed with green makeup. He muttered his way through something sounding like a spell, but as she got closer, she determined he was murmuring “red leather, yellow leather” to himself to warm up.

    “So we got him back, did we?” Danielle said to Mignon as she sidled up and handed her a copy of the script.

    “He was pretty good, and he’s willing to take direction,” Mignon said. One of the quickly multiplying acolytes flitted by and handed them each a cup of tea, bowed his head, and went to go paint some scenery.

    “Oh, hey, it’s you! Thanks so much for the tip about swimming. I got an agent. I’m doing opera next month in Raven’s Bluff. Can you believe it? Me!” he said with glee.

    “I’m happy for you,” Danielle said.

    “You want to show her what we’ve been working on?” Mignon asked.

    “Oh, yes, miss, of course. Are my sides for the next act done yet? I’ve only got this one scene,” the actor said.

    “That’s still being rewritten. We’ll get you a complete one as soon as it’s finished. We appreciate your patience.” Mignon sipped her tea.

    “Don’t worry about it. Hey, who’s this one about anyway?” he asked.

    “Mammon.”

    “Huh. Don’t think I know him,” he said.

    “I can’t think of a better way to learn. Why don’t you show Danielle what you’ve got down? She can give you notes after if you’re ready.”

    “Of course!”

    Danielle gathered her skirts beneath her and for the first time sat in the center of the front pew. She nodded.

    “All right. From the top.”

    Spoiler: stub
    Show

    LE silverbrow human human paragon 1/totemist 2/human paragon 3/chameleon 2/ disciple of mammon 10/ chameleon 5

    Spoiler: abilities
    Show

    str 10
    dex 12 (+2 from human paragon, + at 4)
    con 15 (+ at 8 and 12)
    int 16 (+ at 16 and 20)
    wis 15
    cha 8

    Spoiler: table
    Show
    Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    1st human paragon 1 +0 +0 +0 +2 appraise 4, bluff 4, disguise 4, ol 4, soh 4, spellcraft 4, umd 4 able learner, shape soulmeld (theft gloves) adaptive learning (autohypnosis), custom class list (appraise, autohypnosis, bluff, diplo, forgery, gather info, open lock, sleight of hand, umd, use rope), martial weapon proficiency (rapier)
    2nd totemist 1 +0 +2 +2 +2 sm 3, spellcraft 4 wild empathy, illiteracy
    3rd totemist 2 +1 +3 +3 +2 sm 1 (4), tumble 6 disciple of darkness totem chakra bind (+1 capacity)
    4th human paragon 2 +2 +3 +3 +3 appraise 2 (6), bluff 3 (7), disguise 2 (6) bonus feat (weapon finesse)
    5th human paragon 3 +3 +4 +4 +3 bluff 1 (8), disguise 2 (8), umd 4 (8) ability boost +2 (dex)
    6th chameleon 1 +3 +4 +4 +3 forgery 2, soh 4 (8), umd 1 (9) master pickpocket aptitude focus 1/day (+2)
    7th chameleon 2 +4 +4 +4 +3 forgery 4 (6), soh 2 (10), umd 1 (10) bonus feat
    8th disciple of mammon 1 +4 +4 +6 +5 appraise 4 (10), balance 1, soh 1 (11), umd 1(11) lie
    9th disciple of mammon 2 +5 +4 +7 +6 balance 2 (3), soh 1 (12), umd 1 (12), tumble 3 (9) obtain familiar (raven) cheat
    10th disciple of mammon 3 +6/+1 +5 +7 +6 balance 1 (4), soh 1 (13), umd 1 (13), tumble 4 (13) thief, steal
    11th disciple of mammon 4 +7/+2 +5 +8 +7 balance 1 (5), autohypnosis 4, soh 1(14), umd 1 (14) divert attack
    12th disciple of mammon 5 +8/+3 +5 +8 +7 autohypnosis 5 (9), soh 1 (15), umd 1 (15) open lesser chakra (shoulder) summon osyluth
    13th disciple of mammon 6 +9/+4 +6 +9 +8 craft (epic) 5, soh 1 (15), umd 1 (16) take object
    14th disciple of mammon 7 +10/+5 +6 +9 +8 appraise 7 (17) enhance value
    15th disciple of mammon 8 +11/+6/+1 +6 +10 +9 appraise 1 (18), forgery 4 (10), umd 2 (18) improved familiar (imp) divert spell
    16th disciple of mammon 9 +11/+6/+1 +7 +10 +9 appraise 1 (19), autohypnosis 1 (10), soh 4 (19), umd 1 (19) nondetection
    17th disciple of mammon 10 +12/+7/+2 +7 +11 +10 appraise 1 (20), autohypnosis 4 (14), soh 1 (20), umd 1 (20) summon gelugon
    18th chameleon 3 +13/+8/+3 +8 +12 +11 appraise 1 (21), autohypnosis 5 (19), soh 1 (21) open greater chakra (waist) mimic class feature 1/day
    19th chameleon 4 +14/+9/+4 +8 +12 +11 appraise 1 (22), autohypnosis 3 (22), forgery 2 (12), soh 1 (22) ability boon +2
    20th chameleon 5 +14/+9/+4 +8 +12 +11 appraise 1 (23), autohypnosis 1 (23), forgery 4 (16), soh 1 (23) aptitude focus 2/day (+4)

    Spoiler: chameleon spells
    Show

    Spells per Day
    Level 0lvl 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
    6th 4 2 0 - -
    7th 4 3 1 - -
    No progression from 8-17
    Level 0lvl 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
    18th 4 3 2 0 -
    19th 4 4 3 1 -
    20th 4 4 3 2 0

    Spoiler: playtips
    Show

    Spoiler: 5
    Show
    Human paragon gets you a passel of custom skills, which you use mostly to pay taxes. It also grants you a free martial weapon proficiency with the rapier. Silverbrow human gives you disguise as a permanent class skill. Skilled city-dweller lets totemist swap survival for sense motive and ride for tumble. Spending your points here now allows you to focus your disciple of Mammon points things like appraise. Your ability boost beefs up dex, helping out with your melee attacks, init, and lets you spend level up boosts to improve your meldshaping

    Totemist’s melds grant a huge amount of utility, skill boosts and natural attacks. Natural weapons are always light, so will benefit from weapon finesse. Theft gloves help shore up your sleight of hand until you can focus more heavily on it soon afterwards. Blink shirt provides tactical teleportation to bypass locked doors and barred windows

    Able learner ensures you keep every skill from all classes as class skills from then on, which is why your skill choice for human paragon is somewhat eclectic. Disciple of darkness grants a luck bonus as long as you’re acting in character to serve your master

    Spoiler: 10
    Show
    Congratulations, you’re in disciple of Mammon. Chameleon offers unrivaled versatility granting access to every spell list, including ones to boost your skills such as guidance of the avatar. This is useful in tandem with disciple of Mammon’s enhance value ability to beef up appraise checks, ensuring you maximize price of the things you spruce up. UMD stays maxed to ensure you can take full advantage of your spell access in addition to your spell slots. Since your list is all spells, you don’t need to make checks for arcane spells while you have your arcane focus up, but while you’re in arcane mode, this will help you still enjoy your divine wands and vice versa

    Your iconic bonus feat can be changed daily to grant you any ability you need. The options are too numerous to list, but of particular note are shape soulmeld for things outside of the totemist list, open chakra for new binds, and crafting feats for things like wands or other magic items. You can qualify for these with the caster level provided straight away by silverbrow human’s racial feather fall sla, and later a much higher one from disciple of Mammon’s slas

    These slas are arcane (being cast as a sorcerer,) which grants you an arcane caster level, allowing you to qualify for obtain familiar. Ravens can fly, speak, and use wands. Extremely handy for scouting, gathering intelligence, doing wand stuff (utility, bfc, debuff, buff, etc) and later being able to cast skill boosting spells such as guidance of the avatar on you at the right time while you enhance items to ensure you extract maximum value from them so your focus is not interrupted

    Cheat lets you supplement your income with games of whist, lie helps you get away with your crooked Hazzard county schemes and can easily be reinforced with a boost from the silvertongue mask (accessible through your chameleon feat)

    Thief’s competence bonus to sleight of hand synergizes with the insight bonus provided by the theft gloves. When used in tandem with steal and master pickpocket, you shouldn’t be detected while lightening marks’ purses

    Master pickpocket is up, allowing you to steal any items not held in your target’s hand with no aoos and make the checks as a free action for only a -10, alongside providing a +4 to taking items while grappled. This seriously bolsters your ability to thieve

    Spoiler: 15
    Show
    You’re further in disciple of Mammon now and have unlocked further abilities, including the enticing enhance value. Your familiar is now upgraded to an imp which has a great many powers over your raven including shape shifting, poison, invisibility, and commune, which is incredibly useful sniffing out cool stuff to steal, enhance, and sell

    Divert attack is now up and can be used with impunity to redirect attacks toward your summoned osyluths, alongside divert spell. Though it may be unsportswomanlike, these abilities can also be used to redirect unfriendly advances to your imp, who should be invisible on or near your person during most of your daily Mammon-related activities before they break into combat. Of particular use is shunting unfriendly divinations who you are wary of beating lie’s spell resistance, since it will let you keep lying and get enemies to let their guards down

    Aside from their combat prowess through poison and fear, osyluths also provide valuable utility and bfc. Major image can hide the absence of things you’ve stolen and walls of ice can help you block off areas of the battlefield to funnel enemies where you want them. Due to your ability to fly, teleport, move ethereally, etc, you can handicap your enemies while you’re free to move around and beat a retreat with your stolen goods or get into a good location to finish enemies off

    An amusing function present in your enhance value ability is while you yourself cannot enhance something more than once, there is no rule preventing another disciple of Mammon from enhancing something that has already been enhanced. Nor is there a rule against a third one coming along afterwards, and so on. Since the greater value is exponential, the price can rapidly get out of hand

    Something fun your disciple(s) of Mammon might do is approach someone with a suitably valuable thing and threaten to enhance it to such a degree its price becomes unattainable for any available buyers to actually purchase the thing. Unless he makes a small donation to the local artists’ cooperative, of course. Such schemes involving chicanery, deceit, and blackmail fit perfectly with expected behavior for a servant of Mammon

    Your shoulder chakra is now open, granting access to many binds. It opens important utility like flight and enhancing the damage of your natural attacks. Of particular note is the phase cloak. This enables you to become ethereal as you move, an invaluable tool for a thief. It also provides the shadow mantle, which lets you surround yourself in a giant globe of magical darkness. Magical darkness is difficult to see through and the ability to do so isn’t common. You circumvent this with spells like devil’s eye which you nab from the blackguard list
    Have your imp commune on valuable things to steal, send it invisible ahead to find things for you to steal, clip through walls, take stuff, and leave

    Spoiler: 20
    Show
    You’re finished with disciple of Mammon now. Nondetection helps keep you safe even after your heists are finished. Gelugons offer more offensive punch in combat, alongside more utility. Persistent image can replace things you’ve stolen and create illusory reinforcements for yourself (if your enemy saw you summon one monster, why not assume you’ve summoned more?) In addition, persistent image can provide illusory walls of ice in addition to real ones to let you rook enemies. After finishing disciple of Mammon, you have time left to go back into chameleon. It provides more spells, a floating +2 to an ability of your choice, and aptitude focus a second time a day, letting you enjoy both halves of your spellcasting ability

    Your waist chakra is now open, allowing you to spring attack, flyby attack, heal from fire, and more when used with your chameleon bonus feat opening up access to other class’s melds

    Flit around, steal, and don’t get caught. You’ve got everything you need to do it.
    Last edited by The Viscount; 2020-11-01 at 07:30 PM.
    Kolyarut Avatar by Potatocubed.
    Quote Originally Posted by willpell View Post
    Only playing Tier 1s is like only eating in five-star restaurants [...] sometimes I just want a cheeseburger and some frogurt. Why limit yourself?
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  3. - Top - End - #63
    Troll in the Playground
     
    The Viscount's Avatar

    Join Date
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground CVI

    Sources in a separate post due to length.

    Quote Originally Posted by Danielle
    Spoiler: sources
    Show
    srd:human paragon
    dragon magic:silverbrow human/draconic soulmelds
    magic of incarnum:totemist/shape soulmeld/open lesser chakra/open greater chakra
    races of destiny:chameleon/able learner
    champions of ruin:disciple of darkness
    city of stormreach:master pickpocket
    complete arcane:obtain familiar/improved familiar
    skilled city dweller
    Kolyarut Avatar by Potatocubed.
    Quote Originally Posted by willpell View Post
    Only playing Tier 1s is like only eating in five-star restaurants [...] sometimes I just want a cheeseburger and some frogurt. Why limit yourself?
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  4. - Top - End - #64
    Troll in the Playground
     
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    Join Date
    Dec 2012

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground CVI

    You may not call her auntie.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bhedana Bharu
    Bhedana Bharu
    LE Vriscika Human Ranger 2/OA Samurai (Kshatriya) 2/Disciple of Mammon 10/Fighter 2/Swordsage 4
    Dedicated to the Hulks of Zoretha


    First Cut
    Spoiler
    Show
    The finance minister’s chandelier was a sprawling, gaudy thing. Though it was clearly very expensive, Bhedana’s trained eye noted multiple deficiencies in the craftsmanship. She suspected the minister had been taken for a ride by the foreign trader he had purchased it from.

    Just at the moment, however, it was the minister taking her for a ride. Bhedana turned her attention away from the chandelier toward the man, whose rotund, perspiring physique was not flattered by the light from the similarly garish candelabras set all around them, as he slurred a directive that she turn over. She complied pressing her face down into the mat. It felt rough against her cheek, a lower thread count than expected.

    A pattern was emerging, and Bhedana began to speculate as to whether it was all worth it. Her mind drifted to memories of sitting in the back of crowded meetings, listening to a young man deliver an impassioned oration to a rapt audience about a new and better world freed from the tyranny of the rajah and his allies from across the sea. They would, he said, return to the land that had been stolen out from under them and be able to lead lives of dignity unbound by caste.

    In more private settings, Amartya spoke with less of his confident authority but the same infectious passion. When he had excitedly told her that she needn’t be ashamed of her family’s decline in status, that it was just a symptom of the old order falling away, her heart skipped a beat as she feared that she had been discovered. It had then skipped another when he said that when they were freed from the bonds of caste, there would be nothing stopping them from becoming man and wife.

    He had certainly been a better lay than the finance minister, she thought as a twinge of embarrassment started to set in, but there was no sense in dwelling on it. He was probably dead now, and his followers along with him. She could wash her hands and whatever else of this whole affair soon enough.

    She resumed her idle examination of the décor, taking particular interest in an ornate and tightly secured chest in the back corner. Just as she turned her attention to the chamber’s great wooden double doors, and was assessing the quality of their carving and varnish job, they were flung open to reveal a pair of babau demons carrying the slumped figure of a man.

    “Don’t you knock?” The minister sounded mildly annoyed at being distracted.

    “Discretion wasn’t spelled out in the contract,” one of the tanar’ri noted idly, adding “nothing we haven’t seen before.”

    “No matter,” the minister grunted. “I suppose now’s as good a time for this as any.” He strode over to his sword belt and drew his tulwar. “Amartya of the Zardula Kala, by order of Rajah Yanja Bhayyam, for acts of sedition and conspiracy to commit high treason, I sentence you to die.”

    The rebel leader raised his head weakly. His eyes met Bhedana’s for a moment and a look of horrified realization spread across his face to then be affixed there in a rictus as his head was parted from his shoulders. “That will be all,” the minister said dismissively to the devils, who disappeared back to their own reality, before redirecting his attention to Bhedana. “Now then,” he gave her backside a light slap with the flat of his still bloodied sword. “Come finish pledging your loyalty to the rajah.”

    Kneeling before the minister, Bhedana laid her own scabbarded tulwar and kris before her in submission. The ruby necklace that Amartya had presented her, more valuable than anything he had seen for most of his life, glittered in the firelight, now inlaid into the hilt of her sword.


    The Build
    Spoiler
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    Point Buy:
    16 Str, 14 Dex, 14 Con, 14 Int, 10 Wis, 10 Cha
    Increase Dex at 4th, 8th, and 12th levels, Str at 16th and 20th.

    Build Table:
    Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    1st Ranger 1 +1 +2 +2 +0 Sleight of Hand 4, Appraise 4, Open Lock 4, Gather Information 4, Bluff 4, Craft (Jewelry) 4, Knowledge (Local) 4, Iaijutsu Focus 2, Balance 2, Jump 2, Sense Motive 2, Able Learner, Criminal Background, Urban Tracking, Disciple of Darkness Rival Organization, Urban Tracker, Celestial Slayer, Skilled City-Dweller (Handle Animal for Gather Info and Local for Nature), Middle-Class Background (Appraise)
    2nd Samurai (Kshatriya) 1 +2 +4 +2 +2 Sleight of Hand 5, Appraise 5, Open Lock 4, Gather Information 4, Bluff 4, Craft (Jewelry) 4, Knowledge (Local) 4, Iaijutsu Focus 5, Balance 2, Jump 2, Sense Motive 2 - Ancestral Daisho (Tulwar and Kris)
    3rd Samurai 2 +3 +5 +2 +3 Sleight of Hand 6, Appraise 6, Open Lock 4, Gather Information 5, Bluff 5, Craft (Jewelry) 5, Knowledge (Local) 4, Iaijutsu Focus 6, Balance 2, Jump 2, Sense Motive 2 Combat Expertise, Improved Disarm Bonus Feat (Scorpion Clan)
    4th Ranger 2 +4 +6 +3 +3 Sleight of Hand 7, Appraise 7, Open Lock 4, Gather Information 7, Bluff 7, Craft (Jewelry) 6, Knowledge (Local) 5, Iaijutsu Focus 7, Balance 2, Jump 2, Sense Motive 2 Two-Weapon Fighting Combat Style (Two-Weapon Fighting)
    5th Disciple of Mammon 1 +4 +6 +5 +5 Sleight of Hand 8, Appraise 8, Open Lock 4, Gather Information 7, Bluff 7, Craft (Jewelry) 7, Knowledge (Local) 5, Iaijutsu Focus 8, Balance 5, Jump 2, Sense Motive 2 Willing Deformity Lie
    6th Disciple of Mammon 2 +5 +6 +6 +6 Sleight of Hand 9, Appraise 9, Open Lock 4, Gather Information 7, Bluff 7, Craft (Jewelry) 9, Knowledge (Local) 5, Iaijutsu Focus 9, Balance 5, Jump 2, Sense Motive 2, Sudden Draw Quick Draw Cheat
    7th Disciple of Mammon 3 +6 +7 +6 +6 Sleight of Hand 10, Appraise 10, Open Lock 4, Gather Information 7, Bluff 7, Craft (Jewelry) 10, Knowledge (Local) 5, Iaijutsu Focus 10, Balance 5, Jump 5, Sense Motive 2, Sudden Draw - Thief, Steal
    8th Disciple of Mammon 4 +7 +7 +7 +7 Sleight of Hand 11, Appraise 11, Open Lock 4, Gather Information 7, Bluff 7, Craft (Jewelry) 11, Knowledge (Local) 5, Iaijutsu Focus 11, Balance 5, Jump 5, Sense Motive 5, Sudden Draw - Divert Attack
    9th Disciple of Mammon 5 +7 +7 +7 +7 Sleight of Hand 12, Appraise 12, Open Lock 4, Gather Information 7, Bluff 7, Craft (Jewelry) 12, Knowledge (Local) 5, Iaijutsu Focus 12, Balance 5, Jump 6, Sense Motive 7, Sudden Draw Hurling Charge Summon Osyluth
    10th Disciple of Mammon 6 +8 +8 +8 +8 Sleight of Hand 13, Appraise 13, Open Lock 4, Gather Information 7, Bluff 8, Craft (Jewelry) 13, Knowledge (Local) 5, Iaijutsu Focus 13, Balance 5, Jump 7, Sense Motive 8, Sudden Draw Deformity (Tall) Take Object
    11th Disciple of Mammon 7 +9 +8 +8 +8 Sleight of Hand 14, Appraise 14, Open Lock 4, Gather Information 8, Bluff 8, Craft (Jewelry) 14, Knowledge (Local) 5, Iaijutsu Focus 14, Balance 5, Jump 7, Sense Motive 10, Sudden Draw - Enhance Value
    12th Disciple of Mammon 8 +10 +8 +9 +9 Sleight of Hand 15, Appraise 15, Open Lock 4, Gather Information 8, Bluff 8, Craft (Jewelry) 15, Knowledge (Local) 5, Iaijutsu Focus 15, Balance 5, Jump 8, Sense Motive 12, Sudden Draw Improved Two-Weapon Fighting Divert Spell
    13th Disciple of Mammon 9 +10 +9 +9 +9 Sleight of Hand 16, Appraise 16, Open Lock 4, Gather Information 8, Bluff 8, Craft (Jewelry) 16, Knowledge (Local) 5, Iaijutsu Focus 16, Balance 5, Jump 9, Sense Motive 14, Sudden Draw - Nondetection
    14th Disciple of Mammon 10 +11 +9 +10 +10 Sleight of Hand 17, Appraise 17, Open Lock 4, Gather Information 8, Bluff 8, Craft (Jewelry) 17, Knowledge (Local) 5, Iaijutsu Focus 17, Balance 5, Jump 12, Sense Motive 14, Sudden Draw - Summon Gelugon
    15th Fighter 1 +12 +11 +10 +10 Sleight of Hand 18, Appraise 18, Open Lock 4, Gather Information 8, Bluff 8, Craft (Jewelry) 18, Knowledge (Local) 5, Iaijutsu Focus 18, Balance 5, Jump 15, Sense Motive 14, Sudden Draw Robilar’s Gambit*, Snatch Weapon, Deformity (Tongue) Hit-and-Run Tactics, Bonus Feat
    16th Fighter 2 +13 +12 +10 +10 Sleight of Hand 19, Appraise 19, Open Lock 4, Gather Information 8, Bluff 8, Craft (Jewelry) 19, Knowledge (Local) 5, Iaijutsu Focus 19, Balance 5, Jump 16, Sense Motive 14, Sudden Draw Double Hit* Bonus Feat
    17th Swordsage 1 +13 +12 +12 +12 Sleight of Hand 20, Appraise 20, Open Lock 4, Gather Information 9, Bluff 8, Craft (Jewelry) 20, Knowledge (Local) 5, Iaijutsu Focus 20, Balance 5, Jump 20, Sense Motive 14, Sudden Draw Weapon Focus (Shadow Hand) Quick to Act +1, Discipline Focus (Weapon Focus)
    18th Swordsage 2 +14 +12 +13 +13 Sleight of Hand 21, Appraise 21, Open Lock 4, Gather Information 11, Bluff 10, Craft (Jewelry) 21, Knowledge (Local) 5, Iaijutsu Focus 21, Balance 5, Jump 21, Sense Motive 14, Sudden Draw Crescent Moon AC Bonus
    19th Swordsage 3 +15 +13 +13 +13 Sleight of Hand 22, Appraise 22, Open Lock 4, Gather Information 13, Bluff 12, Craft (Jewelry) 22, Knowledge (Local) 5, Iaijutsu Focus 22, Balance 5, Jump 22, Sense Motive 14, Sudden Draw - -
    20th Swordsage 4 +16 +13 +14 +14 Sleight of Hand 23, Appraise 23, Open Lock 4, Gather Information 15, Bluff 14, Craft (Jewelry) 23, Knowledge (Local) 5, Iaijutsu Focus 23, Balance 5, Jump 23, Sense Motive 14, Sudden Draw Hellbound Knight Discipline Focus (Insightful Strikes: Tiger Claw)
    *The Combat Reflexes prerequisite is met with the Reflex Weapon enhancement on Bhedana’s Ancestral Tulwar.

    Maneuvers:
    Level Maneuvers Readied Maneuvers Known Stances Known
    17 4 Shadow Stride, Wolf Fang Strike, Sudden Leap, Dancing Mongoose, Pouncing Charge, Rapid Counter Stance of Clarity
    18 4 Shadow Stride, Wolf Fang Strike, Sudden Leap, Dancing Mongoose, Pouncing Charge, Rapid Counter, Bounding Assault Stance of Clarity, Assassin’s Stance
    19 5 Shadow Stride, Wolf Fang Strike, Sudden Leap, Dancing Mongoose, Pouncing Charge, Rapid Counter, Bounding Assault, Wolf Climbs the Mountain Stance of Clarity, Assassin’s Stance
    20 5 Shadow Stride, Wolf Fang Strike, Sudden Leap, Dancing Mongoose, Pouncing Charge, Rapid Counter, Bounding Assault, Wolf Climbs the Mountain, Strength Draining Strike, Ghost Blade Stance of Clarity, Assassin’s Stance


    Breakdown
    Spoiler
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    Level 4
    Spoiler
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    Bhedana starts out as the scion of a warrior caste house from the Mahasarpa setting tucked away in an Oriental Adventures Web Enhancement, that has fallen out of favor and drifted downward into a middle class that begins to emerge out of cracks in the caste system. This is important for a few reasons. First, Cityscape has Class Background rules which allow her to pick up Appraise as a class skill for this alone, and second, it allows her to fall in with a Chaotic Good criminal element picking up the other skills she needs for Disciple of Mammon through Criminal Background, before becoming a sleazy informant and ratting on them to the feds. Second, because Mahasarpa’s variant of the Samurai, the Kshatriya, gets a tulwar and kris (scimitar and dagger) in place of the usual Ancestral Daisho katana and wakizashi (bastard sword and short sword), which is preferable for her since the scimitar can be wielded one-handed without Exotic Weapon Proficiency, and having her secondary weapon be a dagger will be important later on. Her act of betrayal is really just speeding up the timetable, as the Hulks of Zoretha, who she dedicates herself to for the purpose of paying the Disciple of Darkness feat tax will eventually have everyone at each other’s throats should they be roused. With that, she meets all prerequisites for the SI at the earliest possible point.

    Being otherwise identical to OA Samurai, Kshatriya grants Iaijutsu Focus, which Able Learner will maintain as a class skill throughout Bhedana’s career, which will make for solid damage on an opening strike at these levels when she gets the jump on someone, before falling back to disarming or two-weapon fighting. Celestial Slayer is a minor thing, but a favorable and flavorful trade for Wild Empathy and with high threat range weapons, that +4 to confirm crits against creatures with the Good subtype is something that will come in handy when it does come up. Criminal Background also provides a +4 on Gather Information, which feeds into Urban Tracking and gives the ability to sense criminal motives with a nice flat DC 15 Sense Motive check, which help to round out her utility out of combat.

    Level 11
    Spoiler
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    Entering Disciple of Mammon at the earliest possible point has its perks. Summon Osyluth will remain useful at all levels, for something to redirect to with Divert Attack and later Divert Spell if nothing else, but getting a CR 9 creature at your beck and call at level 9 is especially nice. Disarming also improves thanks to Take Object, and she picks up Enhance Value at ECL 11, allowing her to bump up the value of art objects (whether crafted herself, looted, or purchased at regular value), which can then be used to enhance her Ancestral Tulwar and Kris without needing any intermediary to help liquidate the assets or the right magic mart to get the enhancements she wants. Blurstrike to ensure flat-footedness for Iaijutsu Focus is a solid choice for both weapons (if used on a Hurling Charge throw, Steal is handy to retrieve the weapon and turn the effect off quickly after the fight so you don’t bleed through its 10 rounds/day), and she’ll want Disarming and eventually need the Reflex Weapon enhancement from an obscure web archive on the tulwar. Other enhancements can be chosen to taste or to suit the nature of the campaign.

    Hurling Charge is now online as well, giving Bhedana a way to move in and make Iaijutsu attacks with both a dagger (whether her kris or another dagger) and tulwar, and leaves her with one hand free to Sudden Draw another dagger for an Iaijutsu AoO when anyone passes through her threatened area, which is now expanded via Deformity (Tall).

    Level 15
    Spoiler
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    Bhedana finishes out the SI, getting the Gelugon, like the Osyluth, at a level when it’s still a match for many CR-equivalent challenges in its own right, before dipping out into Fighter for some feats. The aforementioned Reflex Weapon enhancement on Bhedana’s tulwar gives her Combat Reflexes, allowing her to qualify for Robilar’s Gambit, which will trigger even if she uses Divert Attack to redirect the provoking blow away from herself. She also picks up Snatch Weapon which, since as before her off-hand will generally be open, affords her an extra attack when she disarms a light or one-handed weapon. Since we’re putting the effort in to make enemies flat-footed and needed a high Dex for Improved Two-Weapon Fighting anyway, Hit-and-Run Tactics provides a nice little damage boost.

    Level 20
    Spoiler
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    Fighter nabs another feat for Double Hit to strike with either tulwar and kris, tulwar and a weapon disarmed and stolen via Snatch Weapon, or tulwar and another dagger drawn with Sudden Draw on each AoO, before we finish out the build with Swordsage. Like any martial build, Bhedana gets some nice things from maneuvers, including swift action repositioning with Sudden Leap, move action tactical teleportation via Shadow Stride, more extra attacks from Dancing Mongoose, Pouncing Charge as a situational alternative to Hurling Charge, a double move from Bounding Assault that can be used to sheathe weapons to reactivate Iaijutsu Focus, Ghost Blade as a backup means of rendering an opponent flat-footed, and Wolf Climbs the Mountain to irritate larger enemies who are more resilient to disarming and pressure them to provoke more AoOs, but Discipline Focus (Weapon Focus) is also a significant draw for her, as Shadow Hand’s discipline weapons include both the dagger and short sword, meaning it covers both Weapon Focus prerequisites for Crescent Moon. Despite qualifying with Weapon Focus (Short Sword), it will still work with a scimitar (or indeed any sword), so an enemy hit with both a dagger and sword attack (such as a kris and tulwar Hurling Charge) is subject to a free disarm attempt (and in the case of Hurling Charge where Bhedana retains a free hand, a subsequent Snatch Weapon attack).

    Adaptations and Equipment
    Spoiler
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    If getting Appraise just for growing up middle class rubs you or your DM the wrong way, Apprentice (Craftsman) also works. This means either taking a flaw or losing Able Learner, which will constrict skills considerably as Iaijutsu Focus will be cross-class for most of your career, and Appraise cross-class after level 14, but is workable.

    While the use of Ancestral Tulwar is meant to limit the necessity of being able to reliably liquidate art objects or access magic marts, Enhance Value is essentially a license to print money, so equipment is worth at least some passing consideration. Bhedana is MAD enough that a Belt of Magnificence may be worth the investment. While it need not be as fancy as the kris, some sort of second dagger option is helpful to streamline Hurling Charge and Iaijutsu tactics. Any item that give bonuses to key skills will be welcome, especially an Appraise booster, such as a Monocle of Perusal or a higher competence bonus if you can get one, which won’t take long to pay for itself. A Ranger dip means Ranger wands, which offer some nice utility.

    While not useful except perhaps as a McGuffin, the Zoretha Scrolls are, amusingly, non-magical, and therefore a valid target for Enhance Value, though the process of doing so may risk establishing a link to them.


    Hidden Blade
    Spoiler
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    The great wooden double doors swung wide. Thick sheets of ice cut off most of the household troops the finance minister had holed himself up with from intervening as Bhedana rushed forward, her kris whistling through the air in a blur in front of her to slice into the shoulder of a demon that barred her path. In a fluid motion she drew her tulwar, slashing across the creature’s chest and slamming the ruby pommel into the back of its weakened sword hand. Catching the weapon as it dropped, she cut into the creature once more for good measure, forcing it back from whence it came. Its sword disappeared as well, but that merely saved Bhedana the trouble of dropping it, as it was unwieldy to hold in her left hand. Another demon lurched forward claws bared, but she had a dagger between its ribs and her tulwar ripping out its throat before it reached arm’s length. A pike was thrust at her head, but she deflected it to strike the gelugon she had summoned instead, before cutting its wielder down as well.

    She strode forward to where the minister was cowering, sheathing the dagger she had just drawn and recalling her kris into her hand from where it had fallen with a gesture. “Get that chandelier down gently and that chest open before you go,” she called back casually to her ice devil, which was still rubbing the place where it had been struck by the blow meant for her. It gave her a dirty look but complied. The osyluth half-turned from where it was menacing the remaining soldiers to keep them cowed to let off a rattling laugh. Turning back to the minister, she set the edge of her tulwar against his throat. “For your embezzlement of state funds and acts of corruption, by order of Rajah Yanja Bhayyam, I sentence you to die.”

    He spat at her feet. “I suppose this is revenge?”

    “Don’t be ridiculous. My feelings are no harder than any part of you,” she said, with a kick to his gut and then another to his groin, “but you should know better than to trust an informant too fully, or to think yourself indispensable.” She let out a cold laugh as he grunted in pain. “The old world is falling and a new one rising in its place, and the rajah has determined that your services will no longer be required in it. Nor is there really time to be wasting on idle chit-chat with a dead man,” she said. “Those Zoretha scrolls were quite a find, but on the whole, it would be a grave and unworthy insult to my business associates to describe your tastes as hellish. I’ll have my work cut out for me fixing this place up.” She slit the minister’s throat, then paused for a moment before ultimately deciding that his clothes would not be worth salvaging, wiping her blade on a dry patch, and sheathing it to turn her attention to the chandelier.


    Sources
    Spoiler
    Show
    Book of Vile Darkness: Disciple of Mammon
    Champions of Ruin: Disciple of Darkness, Hellbound Knight
    City of Stromreach: Criminal Background
    Cityscape: Social Classes for Adventurers
    Cityscape Web Enhancement: Skilled City-Dweller, Urban Tracker
    Complete Scoundrel: Sudden Draw
    Complete Warrior: Crescent Moon
    Elder Evils: Dedication to an Elder Evil, Hulks of Zoretha
    Exemplars of Evil: Celestial Slayer
    Heroes of Horror: Willing Deformity, Deformity (Tall), Deformity (Tongue)
    Magic Item Compendium: Disarming enhancement, Belt of Magnificence, Monacle of Perusal
    Miniatures Handbook: Double Hit, Hurling Charge
    Oriental Adventures: Samurai, Iaijutsu Focus
    Oriental Adventures Mahasarpa Setting Web Enhancement: Kshatriya, Vriscika Human
    Player’s Handbook II: Robilar’s Gambit
    Races of the Wild: Blurstrike enhancement
    Song and Silence: Snatch Weapon
    Tome of Battle: Swordsage, Maneuvers
    Web Archive: Reflex enhancement
    Everything else is SRD.
    Kolyarut Avatar by Potatocubed.
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    Only playing Tier 1s is like only eating in five-star restaurants [...] sometimes I just want a cheeseburger and some frogurt. Why limit yourself?
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  5. - Top - End - #65
    Troll in the Playground
     
    The Viscount's Avatar

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    Dec 2012

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground CVI

    Milo Minderbinder, eat your heart out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dukat d'Cannith

    Dukat d’Cannith
    Human, LE Artificer 6/Binder 1/Disciple of Mammon 10/Cannith Wand Adept 3

    God of the World and Worldlings I me call,
    Great Mammon, greatest God below the Sky,
    That of my Plenty pour out unto all,
    And unto none my Graces do envy:
    Riches, Renown, and Principality,
    Honour, Estate, and all this Worldes Good,
    For which Men stink and sweat incessantly,
    Fro me do flow into an ample Flood,
    And in the hollow Earth have their eternal Brood.

    Wherefore if me thou deign to serve and sew,
    At thy Command to all these Mountains be;
    Or if to thy great Mind, or greedy View,
    All these may not suffice, there shalt to thee
    Ten times so much be numbred frank and free.


    --Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queen

    Greed is good.

    --Gordon Gekko, Wall Street

    There is a greater power in this world, a power that moves king and peasant alike, a power that exalts or that drives men mad. It is a power beyond that which is channeled by the greatest priest of Pelor or the most cunning wizard of the Congress Arcane. It is a power found in every ingot of iron, in the stamping on every gold coin rubbed smooth by countless hands, growing in strength with every exchange.

    For what else would you call the power that catapulted House Cannith above all other houses? What else would you call the power that led us to do what must be done, to wield the ancient and foreign weapon, to put an end to the Last War? Oh, many of my brethren in the House would like to forget our role there, to hide our role in that great calamity, to bury it deep below the Mournland just as the weapon Pandorym itself is buried. But I do not forget. I remember how House Cannith once wielded the power of gold and iron and crystal, how for one brief and shining moment we were gods. No, not gods. We were more than gods.

    Some may call me unfaithful. My own House believes I betray them. But I am faithful - faithful to my House, faithful to the great crystal power that thrums below the Mournlands, and most of all faithful to that higher power that motivates all, that power that so many here dismissively label “greed.” Such a nasty word for such a noble motivator! And so I mask my words, I lie and steal, and I gather bits of power to myself to wield in service of my lords. And when House Cannith once again wields the power of Pandorym, when the other Dragonmarked houses are reduced to ashes, and when Khorvaire is remade into a true world, a just world where the Great God Mammon’s laws are the only laws that one must obey… it is then that I will be exalted.

    Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    1st Artificer 1 +0 +0 +0 +2 Appraise 4 ranks, bluff 2 rankscc, craft (poisonmaking) 4 ranks, diplomacy 2 rankscc, intimidate 2 rankscc, knowledge (arcana) 4 ranks, open lock 4 ranks, sleight of hand 2 rankscc, spellcraft 4 ranks, use magic device 4 ranks Able Learner, Least Dragonmark (mark of making - make whole), Scribe Scrollbonus, Disciple of Darknessvile Artificer knowledge, artisan bonus, disable trap, item creation, Scribe Scroll
    2nd Binder 1 +0 +2 +0 +4 Appraise 5 ranks (+1), bluff 3 ranks (+1), craft (poisonmaking) 5 ranks (+1), diplomacy 3 ranks (+1), intimidate 3 ranks (+1), use magic device 5 ranks (+1) Soul binding (1 vestige)
    3rd Artificer 2 +1 +2 +0 +5 Appraise 6 ranks (+1), bluff 6 ranks (+3), craft (poisonmaking) 6 ranks (+1), diplomacy 4 ranks (+1), intimidate 4 ranks (+1), use magic device 6 ranks (+1) Improved Binding, Brew Potionbonus Brew Potion
    4th Artificer 3 +2 +3 +1 +5 Appraise 7 ranks (+1), bluff 7 ranks (+1), craft (poisonmaking) 7 ranks (+1), diplomacy 7 ranks (+3), intimidate 5 ranks (+1), use magic device 7 ranks (+1) Craft Wondrous Itembonus Craft Wondrous Item
    5th Artificer 4 +3 +3 +1 +6 Appraise 8 ranks (+1), bluff 8 ranks (+1), craft (poisonmaking) 8 ranks (+1), diplomacy 8 ranks (+1), intimidate 8 ranks (+3), use magic device 8 ranks (+1) Fell Drain, Dark Speechvile Craft homunculus, bonus feat
    6th Artificer 5 +3 +3 +1 +6 Appraise 9 ranks (+1), bluff 9 ranks (+1), craft (poisonmaking) 9 ranks (+1), diplomacy 9 ranks (+1), intimidate 9 ranks (+1), sleight of hand 4 ranks (+2), use magic device 9 ranks (+1) Craft Magic Arms and Armorbonus, Lesser Dragonmark (mark of making - minor creation) Craft Magic Arms and Armor, retain essence
    7th Artificer 6 +4 +4 +2 +7 Appraise 10 ranks (+1), bluff 10 ranks (+1), craft (poisonmaking) 10 ranks (+1), diplomacy 10 ranks (+1), intimidate 10 ranks (+1), spellcraft 6 ranks (+2), use magic device 10 ranks (+1) Craft Wandbonus Craft Wand
    8th Disciple of Mammon 1 +4 +4 +4 +9 Appraise 11 ranks (+1), bluff 11 ranks (+1), craft (poisonmaking) 11 ranks (+1), diplomacy 11 ranks (+1), intimidate 11 ranks (+1), sleight of hand 6 ranks (+2), use magic device 11 ranks (+1) Lie
    9th Disciple of Mammon 2 +5 +4 +5 +10 Appraise 12 ranks (+1), bluff 12 ranks (+1), craft (poisonmaking) 12 ranks (+1), diplomacy 12 ranks (+1), intimidate 12 ranks (+1), sleight of hand 8 ranks (+2), use magic device 12 ranks (+1) Wand Mastery Cheat
    10th Disciple of Mammon 3 +6/+1 +5 +5 +10 Appraise 13 ranks (+1), bluff 13 ranks (+1), craft (poisonmaking) 13 ranks (+1), diplomacy 13 ranks (+1), intimidate 13 ranks (+1), sleight of hand 10 ranks (+2), use magic device 13 ranks (+1) Chosen of Evilvile Thief, steal
    11th Disciple of Mammon 4 +7/+2 +5 +6 +11 Appraise 14 ranks (+1), bluff 14 ranks (+1), craft (poisonmaking) 14 ranks (+1), diplomacy 14 ranks (+1), intimidate 14 ranks (+1), sleight of hand 12 ranks (+2), use magic device 14 ranks (+1) Divert attack
    12th Disciple of Mammon 5 +7/+2 +5 +6 +11 Appraise 15 ranks (+1), bluff 15 ranks (+1), craft (poisonmaking) 15 ranks (+1), diplomacy 15 ranks (+1), intimidate 15 ranks (+1), sleight of hand 14 ranks (+2), use magic device 15 ranks (+1) Supernatural Transformation (steal) Summon osyluth
    13th Disciple of Mammon 6 +8/+3 +6 +7 +12 Appraise 16 ranks (+1), bluff 16 ranks (+1), craft (poisonmaking) 16 ranks (+1), diplomacy 16 ranks (+1), intimidate 16 ranks (+1), sleight of hand 16 ranks (+2), use magic device 16 ranks (+1) Take object
    14th Disciple of Mammon 7 +9/+4 +6 +7 +12 Appraise 17 ranks (+1), bluff 17 ranks (+1), craft (poisonmaking) 17 ranks (+1), diplomacy 17 ranks (+1), intimidate 17 ranks (+1), knowledge (arcana) 5 ranks (+1), sleight of hand 17 ranks (+1), use magic device 17 ranks (+1) Enhance value
    15th Disciple of Mammon 8 +10/+5 +6 +8 +13 Appraise 18 ranks (+1), bluff 18 ranks (+1), craft (poisonmaking) 18 ranks (+1), diplomacy 18 ranks (+1), intimidate 18 ranks (+1), spellcraft 7 ranks (+1), sleight of hand 18 ranks (+1), use magic device 18 ranks (+1) Skilled Telekinetic, Evil Brandvile Divert spell
    16th Disciple of Mammon 9 +10/+5 +7 +8 +13 Appraise 19 ranks (+1), bluff 19 ranks (+1), craft (poisonmaking) 19 ranks (+1), diplomacy 19 ranks (+1), intimidate 19 ranks (+1), spellcraft 8 ranks (+1), sleight of hand 19 ranks (+1), use magic device 19 ranks (+1) Nondetection
    17th Cannith Wand Adept 1 +10/+5 +7 +8 +15 Appraise 20 ranks (+1), bluff 20 ranks (+1), diplomacy 20 ranks (+1), intimidate 20 ranks (+1), sleight of hand 20 ranks (+1), use magic device 20 ranks (+1) Identify wand, wand focus
    18th Cannith Wand Adept 2 +11/+6/+1 +7 +8 +16 Appraise 21 ranks (+1), bluff 21 ranks (+1), diplomacy 21 ranks (+1), intimidate 21 ranks (+1), sleight of hand 21 ranks (+1), use magic device 21 ranks (+1) Twin Spell Wand quick draw, dual wand use
    19th Cannith Wand Adept 3 +12/+7/+2 +8 +9 +16 Appraise 22 ranks (+1), bluff 22 ranks (+1), diplomacy 22 ranks (+1), intimidate 22 ranks (+1), sleight of hand 22 ranks (+1), use magic device 22 ranks (+1) Siphon charge, improved dragonmark
    20th Disciple of Mammon 10 +13/+8/+3 +8 +10 +17 Appraise 23 ranks (+1), bluff 23 ranks (+1), craft (poisonmaking) 22 ranks (+3), diplomacy 23 ranks (+1), intimidate 23 ranks (+1), sleight of hand 23 ranks (+1), use magic device 23 ranks (+1) Master’s Willvile Summon gelugon


    Spoiler: Additional Build Details
    Show

    Spoiler: Elder Evil devotion
    Show

    Dukat d’Cannith is devoted to the elder evil known as Pandorym. There is some history between House Cannith and Pandorym (see Elder Evils, p82). Having learned the secret history of House Cannith and how they harnessed Pandorym to end the Last War, he believes that this eldritch presence buried beneath the Mournland can be harnessed once more - this time in pursuit of a more lasting peace, one borne from absolute dominance.

    As per the rules for elder evil devotion in Elder Evils, Dukat receives a bonus [Vile] feat at 1st level and every 5th level. These feats are marked accordingly on his build table.


    Spoiler: Stats
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    32 point buy:
    Str 8/Dex 14/Con 12/Int 16/Wis 10/Cha 16

    Boost Charisma at every available level.


    Spoiler: Artificer Infusions
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    Infusions per Day (does not include bonus infusions due to high Int bonus)
    Level 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
    1st 2 - - - - -
    2nd 2 - - - - -
    3rd 3 - - - - -
    4th 3 1 - - - -
    5th 3 2 - - - -
    6th 3 3 1 - - -
    7th 3 3 2 - - -




    Spoiler: Skills
    Show

    Final Skill Layout
    Appraise 23 ranks
    Bluff 23 ranks
    Diplomacy 23 ranks
    Intimidate 23 ranks
    Sleight of hand 23 ranks
    Use magic device 23 ranks
    Craft (poisonmaking) 22 ranks
    Spellcraft 8 ranks
    Knowledge (arcana) 5 ranks
    Open lock 4 ranks


    Spoiler: Thoughts of Betrayal
    Show

    Disciple of Mammon is an interesting class: a lawful betrayer, focused on lying and cheating and greed beyond measure. There is only so much information on Mammon in BoVD and other sources, so I looked beyond a bit, especially to Spenser and Milton, who described a devilish creature devoted above all else to the accumulation of worldly goods. In The Faerie Queen Mammon’s cave of wealth is conspicuously placed right at the entrance to the Underworld, and from within Mammon calls himself the greatest God below the sky and tempts Guyon with the world itself, confident that there is nothing in the world that cannot be bought for gold.

    This fits in well with the Disciple of Mammon class, whose most interesting (and unique) class feature is its ability to enhance the value of nonmagical items. I wanted, then, a disciple of the greatest God below the sky to be proof positive of this concept, and of all that Guyon was tempted with: a demonstration that true power derives first from wealth, from stamped coin and rude ingot.

    Artificer became a perfect fit then, and also gave an interesting way to benefit from enhance value. Most similar abilities have specific restrictions that enhanced or otherwise magically manipulated objects cannot be used as material components. However, enhance value lacks any such proviso. With many of the best artificer infusions possessing material components (for example, the excellent greater armor enhancement costs 100gp a pop, which may seem minimal in any given encounter but certainly adds up over time).

    Tying things to Eberron and House Cannith also brought on another interesting possibility. On page 82 of Elder Evils, the book discusses Pandorym’s role in Eberron. Here it suggests that Pandorym was entombed beneath the Mournland, and that House Cannith brought the alien weapon to Eberron in a bid to challenge the gods and finally end the Last War. From there, the idea of a member of House Cannith who attempted to use Pandorym as a weapon to secure control of his House solidified. A true devotee of Mammon, he would not view House Cannith’s use of Pandorym in the Last War as a great shame but instead as his House’s crowning achievement, a shining example of how wealth and artifice can turn the tide of what many saw as an endless war. He would be a powerful manipulator, dedicated to artifice and seduction, and determined to further use Pandorym to see the ascendancy of his House and his devilish patron.

    As for the class itself, obviously enhance value was key, but there were several other aspects of the secret ingredient that worked quite well alongside the build concept. Early access to a high-CL spell-like ability like cheat allowed Dukat to qualify for Wand Mastery despite only six levels in artificer. His skill bonuses and resistance to spells that would expose his lies allow him to properly play the social manipulator role. His ability to create homonculi from an early level provides him with a perfect target for diverting attacks and spells, especially as said homonculi explode when slain. Perhaps most importantly, steal and nondetection combine to provide Dukat with his best late-game offensive strategy: using Skilled Telekinetic, his steal ability can allow him to manipulate wands and other magic items from afar at will, and he only needs to maintain line of sight, not line of effect, to his target. (Instead, the wand itself needs to maintain LoE.) Combined with stonemelding armor or a meld to stone spell trigger item and Malphas’s bird’s eye viewing ability to maintain line of sight, and a high-CL nondetection to prevent him from being magically identified while melded, Dukat can telekinetically wield wands (for which he adds a +5 to the caster level and DC, and can easily apply metamagic such as Fell Drain or Twin Spell via metamagic item) to attack his foes while safely melded into a wall or floor to avoid any counterattacks.



    Spoiler: Dukat d’Cannith in your campaign
    Show

    Dukat d’Cannith is designed to be a player rather than an NPC, but could function well in either role. Dukat’s “sweet spot” is level 15, but he is designed to be functional at any level. While Dukat mostly prefers to avoid direct combat, this does not mean he is passive. He serves as an effective buffer and minionmancer from early on, with the latter being especially potent at low levels when his summoned homonculi (which he has access to starting at level 1 via summon marked homonculus) far outstrip most similarly-leveled summons. He also has incredible flexibility thanks to his ability to access a wide variety of spells and abilities with only a minute’s preparation via his armor enhancement/weapon augmentation/spell storing item infusions. And in addition to supercharging his social skills, Naberius also allows him to debuff at-will via Dark Speech thanks to its rapid ability score healing. This ability score healing also allows him to apply the poisons he creates to the weapons of his homonculi for a further debuff (especially effective with the arbalester), or he can bind Malphas for poison use.

    As the levels progress, Dukat’s manipulation and utility abilities come into stronger focus. Enhance value allows him to spam his more costly artificer infusions without worrying about falling behind in WBL. Offensively he relies most heavily on wands, which he can easily craft himself and with which he adds a +5 to the caster level and DC. By level 15 he can manipulate and activate these wands from afar via his at-will steal ability combined with Skilled Telekinetic, and with access to Malphas he can use his ravens to maintain line of sight to his foes and fire off wands at them from afar or summon powerful devils, while he himself is safely hidden away somewhere out of sight or melded into stone. Any spells or effects that do manage to target him can instead be harmlessly diverted to his army of robots homonculi, who explode on destruction to cause even more mayhem.

    For those interested in seeing what it might be like to play Dukat d’Cannith at all levels of the game, please check out these build snapshots:

    Spoiler: Build snapshots
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    Levels 1 - 5
    Artificer 4/Binder 1

    At the very earliest levels, before you are able to craft significant items, your most potent option is summon marked homonculus. This 1st-level infusion gives you access to a homonculus that lasts an hour per level. Your best offensive choice is likely the arbalester, but the furtive filcher is also a lot of fun, especially for someone as greedy as you. Meanwhile binder gives you access to quite a lot of nice options, though in particular you’ll be looking at Naberius and Malphas. Naberius is just fantastic combined with your skills and Charisma focus, making you into a potent manipulator and diplomancer. It also gives you the ability to quickly heal off any ability damage, which combines with Dark Speech or poison crafting to become a nice little offensive one-two punch. Malphas will become particularly good later, but its poison use and bird’s eye view and sudden strike are all excellent even now.

    As you progress in artificer you’ll pick up several more potent abilities. In addition to summon marked homonculus, you’ve got quite a few powerful augmentations. In particular, personal weapon augmentation, lesser armor enhancement, lesser weapon augmentation, unseen crafter (perfect for crafting poisons so that your arbalesters can fire off poisoned bolts!) and armor augmentation have tons of utility. Remember that the weapon augmentation line can nab things like bane, sudden stunning and air/earth elemental power, while the armor enhancement line can get you things like displacement, death ward, blinding, mirror image, menacing or speed. These are absolutely incredible, and especially with the long duration of the armor enhancement line, you can provide some powerful effects to yourself or your allies.

    Levels 6 - 10
    Artificer 6/Binder 1/Disciple of Mammon 3

    A lot of your primary abilities begin coming online here. Two more levels of artificer give you 3rd-level infusions, Craft Wand and retain essence. Retain essence is of course essential for any crafter, allowing you to convert items you find into more useful crafted items. This is especially nice alongside Craft Wand, as wands will be your primary offensive tool. And with 3rd-level infusions you have a couple of incredible options, most notably metamagic item, which lets you apply a metamagic feat that you possess to a spell trigger item for free for 1 rd/level. Remember that Fell Drain feat you took earlier? Yeah, now you can apply it to your wand and have it trigger on every use, without costing you any extra charges. There are other great infusions as well, such as greater armor enhancement, which lets you apply a whopping +5 equivalent (or 100,000gp) bonus to a suite of armor. Proof against enchantments, slippery aura, whirlwind, undead controlling, stonemeld, etherealness, radiant, heavy fortification, time buttress... there’s a LOT you can do with this one. At this level it’s downright incredible.

    Your dragonmark also improves, which has a few nice bonuses. Minor creation is a great spell and can easily allow you to create large quantities of poison. Your binder level comes into play here, as Naberius can easily heal off ability damage and Malphas can provide poison use. And in case that wasn’t enough, it also allows you to access the more powerful homonculus forms with your summon marked homonculus infusion, allowing it to really swing outside of its weight class as a 1st-level infusion. And speaking of 1st-level infusions, I didn’t mention spell-storing item previously because the UMD checks were beyond what you could consistently make, but by this level they’re no longer out of reach (especially with Chosen of Evil, which combines with Naberius to give you a +3 bonus to basically any d20 roll you make with almost no drawback). With just a minute’s preparation, you can create a quick single-use wand of ANY spell, off of ANY list, up to 3rd-level. This is insanely flexible, and while it won’t likely be something you’ll do in combat, it still provides an incredible amount of utility.

    And, you enter into the SI. Your ability to lie without detection is huge and augmented nicely by Naberius. Cheat is a cute ability that probably won’t see a ton of combat use unless your DM is really liberal about what constitutes a game of change, but it is still important because it gives you a high caster level with which you can qualify for feats. This is perfect timing, since it lets you nab Wand Mastery at 9, which you otherwise wouldn’t qualify for. Enjoy a free +2 to the DC and caster level on every single wand you use! Finally, thief and steal are both a lot of fun, letting you manipulate objects and steal from afar. Steal in particular is going to be a major part of your tactics soon, but even before you hit that point, it’s really handy.

    Levels 11 - 15
    Artificer 6/Binder 1/Disciple of Mammon 8

    The secret ingredient continues to improve, providing you with great bonuses. Divert attack is a lot of fun, letting you channel attacks to your allies. Of course, it helps if you have disposable allies as targets… but luckily, you do! In particular you have access to homonculi, both by crafting them and via the excellent summon marked homonculus infusion. Not only does this allow you to avoid attacks (always handy), but it can even turn an attacker’s own attacks against themselves, as your homonculi explode when reduced to zero hit points. You can also divert these attacks to your osyluth, which is a decently powerful little beasty at this level, or to one of your many Malphas ravens.

    Enhance value is another absolutely incredible ability. While you can only enhance nonmagical items, unlike most similar abilities, there is NO restriction on using these enhanced items as material components. Why is this relevant? Well, take a look at many of your artificer infusions! Greater armor enhancement was always a fantastic ability, but at 100gp a pop it’s definitely something you notice over time. Now you can effectively cut that cost down by 30-50%, depending on your appraise roll (and with skill enhancement and wide access to spells, you have lots of ways to boost your appraise checks into the stratosphere).

    You also get two particularly notable feats: Supernatural Transformation and Skilled Telekinetic. Your steal ability explicitly functions as telekinesis, making it a legal target. With Skilled Telekinetic, you can now wield wands and other magic items from afar using your at-will telekinetic ability to manipulate small objects.

    Why is this handy? Well, let’s break it down a bit. To use this ability you need to have line of sight to your target, but NOT line of effect. Instead, line of effect must be maintained between the magic item and your target. That’s where Malphas comes in: your bird’s eye view allows you to maintain line of sight even when you yourself are somewhere else. Go ahead and use your greater armor enhancement to add the stonemeld enhancement to your armor, or UMD a scroll/wand of meld into stone or a similar ability. Meanwhile, your raven allows you to maintain line of sight, and you can telekinetically manipulate your wands to attack safely while you yourself remain practically invulnerable. Even if your opponent has a spell that can hit you despite the lack of line of sight or line of effect, you can always use your divert spell ability to bounce it to one of your homonculi instead. And considering that you can apply Fell Drain to your wands via metamagic item, this is quite a potent combination.

    Levels 16 - 20
    Artificer 6/Binder 1/Disciple of Mammon 10/Cannith Wand Adept 3

    Nondetection comes online, making you even more difficult to spot while you play turtle. And since wands are such a big part of what you do, go ahead and take Cannith wand adept. This three level class will give you +3 to the caster level and DC of all your wands, which stacks with Wand Mastery to bring the total up to +5. It also has some other handy benefits, such as improving the attack bonus on spells that require an attack roll to hit and letting you siphon away unused charges to improve a d20 roll. And while you can’t use this alongside your telekinetic wand wielding, you can even go nova and dual wield wands if you want, firing off multiple spells per round.

    And just in case all of this wasn’t good enough, Master’s Will is a fun little feat that lets you roll a d20 and either get a +8 to a roll, or take 20 points of damage, depending on whether you roll even or odd. +8 is a very nice bonus, even exceeding the +5 you get from Chosen of Evil (which is less good now that you are spending more time bound to Malphas and less bound to Naberius), though it’s a bit risky. But luckily, rather than having you flip a coin, the ability specifies a d20 roll - meaning it’s a fair target to be improved by your siphon wand ability in a pinch.



    Spoiler: Sources
    Show

    • Eberron Campaign Setting: Artificer, infusions, dragonmarks and associated feats, Wand Mastery feat
    • Dragonmarked: summon marked homonculus infusion
    • Tome of Magic: Binder, Improved Binding feat, vestiges
    • Races of Destiny: Able Learner feat
    • Book of Vile Darkness: Disciple of Mammon
    • Sharn: City of Towers: Cannith Wand Adept
    • Elder Evils: Elder Evil devotion, Pandorym, Chosen of Evil/Dark Speech/Evil Brand/Master’s Will feats
    • Savage Species: Supernatural Transformation feat
    • Lords of Madness: Skilled Telekinetic feat
    • Libris Mortis: Fell Drain feat
    • Complete Arcane: Twin Spell feat
    • Champions of Ruin: Disciple of Darkness feat*


    *This feat also appears in BoVD. However, Champions of Ruin represents its latest publication, and therefore takes precedence. CoR is technically a Faerun book, and this build otherwise has no Faerun elements and solidly exists within the Eberron setting. However, its inclusion in the source list does not imply Dukat d’Cannith is mixing settings, and if that is problematic in your campaign, I would direct your DM to the BoVD version instead.
    Vain-glorious Elfe, said he, dost not thou weet,
    That Money can thy Wants at will supply?
    Shields, Steeds, and Arms, and all things for thee meet
    It can purvey in twinkling of an eye;
    And Crowns and Kingdoms to thee multiply.
    Do not I kings create, and throw the Crown
    Sometimes to him that low in Dust doth lie?
    And him that reign’d, into his room thrust down,
    And whom I lust, do heap with Glory and Renown?


    --Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queen
    Kolyarut Avatar by Potatocubed.
    Quote Originally Posted by willpell View Post
    Only playing Tier 1s is like only eating in five-star restaurants [...] sometimes I just want a cheeseburger and some frogurt. Why limit yourself?
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  6. - Top - End - #66
    Troll in the Playground
     
    The Viscount's Avatar

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    Dec 2012

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground CVI

    Air Bud rules, the best kind of rules

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfgang
    Wolfgang Xor Von Taalstreet



    "Rags are Riches"



    Lawful Evil
    Frostblood Half orc
    Xorvintaal Exarch, taken between 6th and 15th level
    Ranger 3/Red Dragon Shaman 3/Menacing Brute 2/Disciple of Mammon 10

    Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    1 Spiritual Connection Trap Expert Ranger 1 1 2 2 0 36 Ranks: Search 4, Disable Device 4, open lock 2 (cc), Survival 4, Sleight of Hand 2 (cc), Knowledge (local) 2 (cc), Knowledge (nature) 4, Knowledge (Religion) 1(cc), Listen 1, Handle animal 1 Iron will, Endurance Trapfinding, Speak with Animals or Plants 3/day, Favored Enemy, Skilled City Dweller (k. local)
    2 Dragon Shaman (Red)1 1 4 2 2 5 Ranks: Appraise 5 Draconic Aura +1, Red Totem Dragon, 3 Auras: Vigor, Resistance, Toughness
    3 Dragon Shaman (Red)2 2 5 2 3 5 Ranks: Appraise 6, Search 6, Sleight of Hand 3(cc) Disciple of Darkness, Skill Focus (appraise) Skill Focus (Appraise)
    4 Ranger 2 3 6 3 3 9 Ranks: Disable Device 6, Open Lock 3 (cc), Craft (gemcutting) 5 Two Weapon Fighting Two Weapon Fighting Combat Style
    5 Dragon Shaman (Red) 3 4 6 4 3 5 Ranks: Appraise 7, Open Lock 4 (cc), Sleight of Hand 4 (cc) Draconic Adaptation: Treasure Seeker: +5 comp bonus to appraise and Search, Aura: Energy shield
    6 Disciple of Mammon 1 4 6 6 5 7 Ranks: Intimidate 5, Appraise 9 Wild Cohort Lie
    7 Disciple of Mammon 2 5 6 7 6 7 Ranks: Appraise 10, Disable Device 10, Search 8 Cheat
    8 Ranger 3 6 6 7 7 10 Ranks: Disable Device 11, Concentration 4, craft (trapmaking) 5 Endurance Forge Ring Endurance
    9 Menacing Brute 1 7 8 7 7 8 Ranks: Search 12, Listen 5 Landlord Demoralizing Stare
    10 Menacing Brute 2 8 9 7 7 8 Ranks: Knowledge (Religion) 2 (cc), Knowledge (planes) 2 (cc), Search 13, Spot 1 Resourceful Search
    11 Disciple of Mammon 3 9 10 7 7 8 Ranks: Appraise 14, Disable Device 14 Thief, Steal
    12 Disciple of Mammon 4 10 10 8 8 8 Ranks: Appraise 15, Disable Device 15, Search 15, Concentration 5(cc), open lock 5 Maximize Spell like Ability (Cheat) Divert Attack
    13 Disciple of Mammon 5 10 10 8 8 8 Ranks: Appraise 16, Disable Device 16, Search 16, Spot 6 Summon Osyluth
    14 Disciple of Mammon 6 11 11 9 9 8 Ranks: Appraise 17, Disable Device 17, Search 17, Balance 5 Take Object
    15 Disciple of Mammon 7 12 11 9 9 8 Ranks: Appraise 18, Disable Device 18, Search 18, Forgery 5 Fiendish Summoning Specialist Enhance Value
    16 Disciple of Mammon 8 13 11 10 10 9 Ranks: Appraise 19, Disable Device 19, Search 19, Concentration 8(cc) Divert Spell
    17 Disciple of Mammon 9 13 12 10 10 9 Ranks: Appraise 20, Disable Device 20, Search 20, Forgery 11 Non-Detection
    18 Disciple of Mammon 10 14 12 11 11 9 Ranks: Appraise 21, Disable Device 21, Search 21, Spot 11 Mindsight Summon Gelugon
    19 Xorvintaal Exarch LA +1
    20 Xorvintaal Exarch LA +2

    Abilities
    STR 12
    DEX 12
    CON 14
    INT 16
    WIS 12
    CHA 6

    At levels 4,8,12,16 add +1 to Intelligence.

    Spoiler: Background
    Show
    "Have you ever read the story of Gruumsh, God of the orcs?

    I have.

    It's a story that begins with gods throwing a lottery with one fewer shares than players. Drawing lots for which part of the world would be inhabited by their followers, the gods of the gnomes, elves, dwarves, humans and halflings divided the world up, then laughed in the face of the last god to draw lots from hand that hadn’t any lots left to draw: Gruumsh.

    I wonder what orcs were like before that.

    Left no lot in the world from a game they were cheated in, led by a proud and angry god, we all know what the orcs became.

    I’ve had a lot of time to wonder about this. I’m half-orc. And being a half-orc is to be born in tragedy and raised by the traumatized. You get to experience others' fear, ridicule, rage, and pity for your entire existence.

    And when I think about it, what right had the gods to divvy up an entire world, consigning the death and destruction of land, plant, and animal? On top of the blatant aggression pointed at the orcs, there is something exploitative that these races inflict on the land, though they can't see it from their insider's perspective. And look, I get that the act of existence is cruelty to something, but there seems to be no deep reparative work being done to make things right by anyone. I’ve never seen a paladin refuse a smite until they’re god fixed their sins, but I sure as heck have seen orcs heads on pikes. I’ve never seen an orc try diplomacy with anything other than a bugbear, but I’ve sure as heck seen them fight like hell for something they’ll never truly have, only to endanger the most beleaguered members of their tribes, their womenfolk.

    It’s all a mess, and no-one is solving it, cuz they don’t care who they hurt, they only care about their own hurt.

    So, it occurs to me that there is a lesson in all of this. A painful long mockery of a life that spells it all out loudly and clearly for me; what this is really all about: power. And the abstraction of that power; money.

    So, my oath is this: I will play the games and take it all back. The forests, mountains, hills, everywhere. Restore everything to what was before the gods broke it. Before their followers revisited millions of cruel reprisals for rights to claim soil. I shall use the rules of property to get exactly what was never desired by any god: true equity.

    It'll never fix a mother's revulsion, but it might fix it for others like me. Maybe they won't feel so broken and lonely."


    I don't even know where to start. So I'll start with something that I’ll call “Under Obligation Synopsis Information” or UOSI for short. Not to be confused with the judging category for the iron chef contest by any measure; and if it does affect the judging, that is due to structural deficits of human cognition, and not at all attributable to any efforts on my behalf. If any of this seems like a charisma 6 bluff in a game of chance, consider that it might be modified by a maximized cheat in a crazy game of xorvi….I mean life. So here’s the UOSI.

    Spoiler: ”Under Obligation Synopsis Information”
    Show
    A frostblood half orc, Wolfgang receives endurance as a bonus feat, which allows for a feat swap when he receives endurance from his third ranger level. Further, his dragon blood status helps justify the dragon themed choices moving toward. Being a half orc grants the prereq for being a menacing brute, the prestige class that grants the ability to find free stuff through scrounging for a few hours. This synergizes with the Disciple of Mammon’s ability to increase value of stuff through appraise checks.

    The feat and class selection then is utilitarian towards maximally using every lame tidbit that the Lord of Greed offers. Three levels of red dragon shaman gives +8 to appraise checks and some auras that help in combat. I would like to point out that this might be the only “optimal” use of red dragon shaman that exists. The landlord feat gives bonus money for building strongholds, bonus money on top of the bonus money that you can dig out of the trash everyday. With enhance value, you should be able to make some good scratch from finding disused gems or something. You can build a library a day with that sort of largesse just being wasted by cityfolk.

    Wild cohort grants a buddy that can help by becoming a landlord itself. Sure it’s an animal, but animals want things to be nice for animal kind too, so yeah, this animal is a landlord. At 12th level, your wild cohort gains 7HD, so if you begin with a 2HD cohort, they can take the pre-requisiteless landlord feat.

    Fiendish summoning specialist gives extra choices for the Disciple of Mammons summon devil abilities, doubling the options available to a Disciple of Mammon: Green Abishae and Pleasure Devil are added to the spell lists for summon monster at the same levels that you get Gelugon or Bone devil, so those will be the additional options. Green abishae come festooned with potions of haste, which you can steal off of them and use while diverting attacks onto their dumb faces. Pleasure devils can straight up possess people to do stuff, and that is a fantastic addition to their SLAs.

    The steal ability offers you telekinesis as a 15th level sorcerer, and this qualifies you for forge ring, which you can use to make a ring of telekinesis for optimum utility with the ability.

    The cheat ability is lame unless you run a casino, but seeing as how xorvintaal, the dragon real life/time strategy game, is described as a combination of chess and poker, and how poker is a game of chance...cheat should work on it. This gives a reroll with your cheat ability if that roll is helpful in determining the outcome of xorvintaal. Maximize spell-like ability then maximizes that reroll via the cheat spell, so you can get a free 20 on such a roll. You can just roll 20’s three times a day if it is xorvintaal related. Plus by level 18, you can cheat another 7 times in that day. Cheat by RAW alters [I]probability[/b] so choosing improbable courses of action in Xorvintaal and saying things like, "I hope this works!" Is probably the best way to plow forward.

    Being a Xorvintaal Exarch grants 100 mile telepathy with your dragon benefactor, which is then ju-jitsued into real usefulness with the mindsight feat. You know the whereabout, type, and brainpower of all living things within 100 miles of yourself. If LA buy off is allowed, your final two levels are used for entry into master of the unseen hand, allowing you to use your steal ability and ring of telekinesis to actually do stuff at level 20. I'm assuming that buy off is an elegance penalty, so, Master of the Unseen Hand is omitted from the table and write-up, but mentioned periodically so that you know it's an option

    We will dive into the raw of each of those later, but it's only fair that you see in aggregate what the Disciple of Mammons' lackluster hodge-podge of abilities can be bent into doing, and it's unexpectedly powerful.


    Spoiler: Levels 1-6
    Show

    Level 1
    Wolfgang is a Spiritual connection trap expert ranger. Trade track for trapfinding and disable device, and trade animal empathy for the ability to talk to plants or animals. A bucket load of skills and skill ranks help. The Iron Will feat is there for Menacing Brute prerequisites.

    Level 2
    Dragon shaman (red) offers appraise as a class skill, a d10 hit die, and some auras that are decidedly helpful for combat.

    Level 3
    Dragon shaman grants Skill Focus (Appraise) which won't be very helpful until much later. Disciple of Darkness grants a plus one on a roll, which won't be very relevant until you get the enhance value ability, when it can be valued at about 4 gp a day using enhance value on some trash you find via menacing brute.

    Level 4
    Time for more Ranger. We don't want multi class penalties to slow us down. Two weapon fighting is nice, so let's choose that.

    Level 5
    Dragon shaman 3 grants an Ex +5 to appraise and search checks, helping with trapfinding and enhancing value later.

    LA BUYOFF NOTE
    If LA Buyoff is permitted, this is the level in which it is ideal be become a Xorvintaal Exarch. One of your two levels of LA will be bought off next level. You’ll be in a prime position to use the cheat ability without the later shenanigans of maximizing, so it will feel like you earned those maximized cheats. And it’s the end of your red dragon shaman levels, so to keep the drama going, this might be the best point to agree to be an exarch of one dragon and immediately betray it for another or something, I don’t know how the rules work. Whatever. Mammon will be pleased, just have a dragon explain to him that it’s about hoards and betrayal was definitely involved.

    I’ll be honest, dragon shaman isn’t GREAT but a 1 level dip is pretty good paired with ranger, heal up to one half of your hp back slowly after getting into scrapes. The DR 1 is great in the first 5 level of D&D. It’s not as good as more ranger levels in a non-disciple build, but it is solid. The energy shield aura helps with for racial issues with fire damage. You get shield and armor proficiencies and a nice hit die. And on top of that you can search for and disable traps while giving the bad guys the double whammy with your two weapon fighting. Trapfinding is advantageous with the whole hoard and bluff hoard thing that xorvintaal is predicated upon. It also allows that third level of dragon shaman's +5 to appraise & search checks do more than boost enhance value and menacing brute's scrounge ability.

    In all, you don’t have fireball, but you can do stuff.

    Level 6
    We qualify for Disciple of Mammon. The first level ability is trash. But I guess Spell Resistance vs. Zone of truth isn’t technically nothing. We load up on those intimidate ranks we need for menacing brute.

    At this level we take the Wild Cohort feat from the web. Because we are level 6, we add 3 HD to the cohort in question, bringing its total to 4 or 5HD. (if you choose Vulture or Wolf) The vulture helps the short game (the next few levels) more, and the wolf gets the landlord feat sooner. So it’s a matter of preference. Both are on theme for a servant of darkness whose allegiances are to return the world to the wild through scheming and property rights.

    Wild Cohort helps Wolfgang in a few ways. Both creature options can track, with scent helping out; this basically buys back the tracking that you lost by becoming a trap expert. Further, the cohort can scrounge up 50gp worth of booby trapping supplies for you with a DC 20 survival check and 10 minutes worth of work. (DMG2 p.41) Setting this trap is a DC 20 craft trapmaking check and takes only 1 minute of work. Even Further, Extraordinary natural items (Magic of Faerun page 180) are things that can be found with a DC 20 or 30 survival check by the Vulture or Wolf and brought to you to sell for a profit, notably weirwood and fairy dust, with their sale rates of 100gp/ounce and 50gp/pound. You can talk to the these animals, so directing them to get these things should be relatively straightforward. Lastly, if we are selecting our animal cohort’s feats, as we are absolutely asserting, they can pick up a wild cohort of their own, (best option is more wolves) and because our cohort has 4 or 5 HD, the next wolf also gets the opportunity to choose a feat, which can be wild cohort again,
    and on,
    and on,
    and on,
    until you have a whole pack of wolves or camels or riding dogs or if the sidebar in stormwrack (page 168) is available to you, terrestrially adapted stingrays (nauseated for 1d4 hours! WHAT?), or a blend betwixt them all.

    Going forward, your primary cohort winds up with a total of 12-13 HD, and all of the subsequent ones wind up with 9HD. Here’s a little cheat sheet:

    Spoiler: ”Cheat Sheet for Wild Cohort and Wild Cohort’s Cohorts”
    Show
    Primary Cohort
    1: animal feats
    3: Wild Cohort
    6: Martial Study (distracting Ember)
    9: Landlord
    12: Martial Study (Fan the Flames)

    Distracting Ember is there for the cohort to put a flanking buddy up for you to divert attacks onto. Fan the flames is a 6d6 1/encounter ranged fire attack, which is something.

    Secondary Cohorts
    1: Base feats
    3: Wild Cohort
    6: spell hand (complete arcane p.83)
    9: landlord

    Spell hand offers these animals the ability to open doors through the use of mage hand or open/close, and they can just cart themselves around on tenser’s floating disks or whatever. Yes it is ridiculous, but we’re playing Xorvintaal to win, and having n^infinity wild cohorts using floating disks to set up hoards and sham hoards just seems like a winning strategy somehow.


    Obviously, this wild cohort hack is massively cheesy and unlikely to fly at any table ever. So, a vulture is a fantastic cohort due to the survival abilities it possesses and flight. A wolf is a better choice because of the extra HD and the landlord feat coming online sooner.

    Spoiler: ”Mid-ground”
    Show
    “What is it you want, little morsel?” Bellatrixadros scratched some shmutz off of their red scales. Sometimes if you flame up a hill giant in armor, there is a messy gooey core, that just seems to get everywhere.

    The frightful presence washed over Wolfgang like breakers smashing against a jetty. “I...uh...have a business proposal for you.”

    Bellatrixados chuckles, but it sounds more like a growl. “Well, well, little entrepreneur, let’s hear this ProPoSaL of yours.”

    Wolfgang draws in a large breath and silently demands that his legs stop insisting on running away.

    “I think you may want to know the whereabouts of a few little hoards in the territory of Ixildramamine...Do these belong to you, by chance?” Wolfgang fishes out some poisoned arrows, a magic lamp, and a few hundred gems in a sack from his travel bag.

    The countenance of Bellatrixados changes. He isn’t pleased.

    “What of it, little orcling?” He demanded, authoritatively.

    “I think you want to employ me. Because I know where to put these back, and I know where to look on your mountain to find the Aasterinian Gambit.

    Bellatrixados’ countenance changed. He had just eaten a hill giant, yet he looked even hungrier than before that grizzly display. “Yeah, or I could kill you right here and find it myself.”

    This caught Wolfgang a little off guard, but not entirely so. “But, you see, sir, this betrayal of Ixildramamine is double points, on top of the reversal that the information I have right here.” Wolfgang points at his head.

    “You think that I’m so vain that I wouldn’t even consider this entire encounter a farce?!” Bellatrixados countered, gruffly.

    “I need you to win the next four rounds, Sir..For my own purposes. And I think, in the spirit of good faith, I’ll give you this, to prove that my loyalty is in earnest.” He pulls the permission slip from Ixildramamine to revere one of the Lords of Nine, signed by truename, in return for establishing a winning hoard in Bellatrixados’s volcano home.

    The dragon scrutinized the scroll. His tone hushed, “A septupling of points? Outerplane, exarch in training betrayal, and the proximity hoards multiplier bonus? No...An Octupling of points?!!!”

    His mind reeled at the possibility: all he has to do is recruit this foundling as an exarch on the tuesday before the full moon after apparently accidentally flying into the broadside of a snowy mountain with at least 3 half-dragon half/goat witnesses, and he had oodles of half goat children. With a possible avalanche bonus!!!??! He could make it into the top 8 and qualify for the aasterinian league!

    “All right, little mammon, let’s talk about my demands.” Bellatrixados acquiesced. If he killed this guy, he definitely lost this round in the arcano-gambit sub-playoff, due to the new exarch in training widdershins rule.

    “Good, Because I have some demands of my own.” Wolfgang did not dare relax even a little, he has a plan that will fix everything and he needs this dragon to play ball.


    Spoiler: Levels 7-12
    Show


    Level 7
    Disciple of mammon 2 offers cheat as a 15th level sorcerer. This caster level will allow you to forge rings next level. So hire some spell casters to help you make rings and sell them for a profit.

    Let’s expound on Cheat while we’re here, because this class pretends like this ability deserves to be alone as a class feature at this level. And a strict reading of the ability leads me to believe that it is almost useless.

    Spoiler: ”cheat”
    Show
    At one point during the duration of this spell, you can attempt to alter the outcome of a game of chance. This spell can affect only nonmagical games, such as those using cards or dice. It cannot affect a game involving magic, nor a magic item involved in a game of chance (such as a deck of many things). Whenever a dice roll is made to determine the outcome of the game, a character under the effect of this spell can demand a reroll and take the better of the two rolls. Anyone observing the game of chance is allowed a Will saving throw to realize something fishy is going on, and might suspect that the outcome of the game has been magically altered. For example, Darkon is playing a game that he has a 1 in 4 chance of winning. The DM secretly rolls 1d4 and tells the player that Darkon lost. Because Darkon is under the effect of a cheat spell, the player can have the DM reroll. The spell alters probability, so there is no subterfuge that another character could notice (except for the casting of the spell itself).


    I bolded the phrase which makes this spell useless. Once you cast this spell you are playing a game involving magic. Obviously, the limits on this spell were put there to keep you from affecting a deck of many things, or the lucky dice soulmeld, or jumanji (never cheat at jumanji). So, outside of gambling on a mundane card game, which isn’t exactly great roleplay, that doesn’t come up unless you meet that thrall of Demogorgon who challenges you via cards over swords, you can’t really get much mileage out of this ability.

    Later, we will be participating in the draconic game, Xorvintaal. Which is described as “At its heart, xorvintaal is a combination of chess and poker, played with the world as the board and “lesser” creatures as the pieces.” (MMV p.38). Chess is not a game of chance, but poker absolutely is. So while playing xorvintaal, there are a lot of dice rolls involved, often to determine the outcome of the match, or however it works, cuz it’s basically calvinball. Towards this end, cheat allows rerolls on any roll you do that is affected by probability. It’s 7 levels away, but at level 15, when Wolfgang takes maximize spell-like ability, we’ll discuss the RAW of that rerolled die.

    Level 8
    Popping back into ranger to get the endurance feat and some more skill points. Because Wolfgang is a frostblood half orc, he can instead choose to take a different feat than endurance, and towards this end, we are selecting forge ring as the caster level of 15 on the cheat ability qualifies us for it. Now we can craft magic rings with a little help from hired spell casters. This will be helpful at level 11, when you can make a ring of telekinesis, the brute ring from MIC page 83. If you buy a scroll of the Knock spell, you can make a ring of lockpicking (MIC page 114), which is totally germane to your skill set. Plus, you can use the custom item creation rules to basically make a ring that does anything: Do you need a skill check boost for a few skills or your Intelligence Score? Just carve it out and make it.

    We now have craft (trapmaking) which is a fantastic addition to the wild cohorts’ capable of finding 50gp worth of trap supplies with a DC20 survival check every 10 minutes. They’re only CR ½ traps, and they take 1 minute to set with a DC 20 trapmaking check. So if you have masterwork craft (trapmaking) tools, you can take 10 and just litter places with wimpy traps. If you make a ring that grants +10 to craft (trapmaking) checks, you can set these up as a full round action. The standout booby trap is the duster: spraying any vial of fine powder that you choose. I can’t immediately think of a fantastic fine powder to use for this, but I’m sure that there’s plenty. It specifies some sort of blindness powder, but I’m sure you can spike that with something more sinister. I know this is a weird diversion, but part of Xorvintaal is about making hoards and “sham hoards” in enemy territory as part of a gambit to score “points” and putting traps in these establishments is part of the game.

    Level 9
    RED, WHITE, and BRUTE!
    Menacing Brute Landlord! We get 25k to just make stuff. I’m going to leave the details of landlording all of this open until I finish writing the rest of this build and edit in what i find from the stronghold builder’s guide. I suggest making taverns and infirmiraries to make people like you and your efforts to rule. A mobile 20×20 keep seems like a relatively cheap and utilitarian option.

    Your Cohort gets its 6th HD, which qualifies it for martial study (distracting Ember), and all of your cohort’s cohorts gain their 5HD. The distracting ember will be helpful with your divert attack later.

    Menacing brute adds some minor buffs to intimidate, but mostly it’s negligible.

    This is a level where you can buy off the rest of your Xorvintal exarch LA if you are allowed to. It is also a pretty good level to earn the template.

    Level 10
    Here we go! Half way through our class levels and we already have an army of terrestrially adapted stingrays and wolves and camels following each other, following your fire elemental summoning vulture, who is following you, a red dragon venerating frostblood orc landlord/jeweler/trapsmith. I don’t know if we’ve really captured the whole zeitgeist of the Disciple of Mammon shtick, but at this point, too much digital ink has been committed to digital paper to turn back.

    Resourceful Search is finally in play! We can find “discarded” equipment in any community. It can’t be masterwork or magical, but it can absolutely be something that has 100% resale value like gems or jewelry or art. Plus, while we’re in town scrounging we can sell off all of the oodles of weirwood and fairy dust our army of animals survival skilled up for us, and deliver the payment to them, so they have a nice little nest egg for when they too become landlords. We aren’t going to cheat our animal buddies.

    We have 13 ranks in search, +5 from being red dragon shaman (SWEET), +4 from our Intelligence modifier, and so we only need to roll higher than a 2 in a metropolis for a 200gp value piece of jewelry. So we can begin printing money immediately. When it comes to the great game of xorvintaal, you can find 200 gp a day and take it to your enemies territory and begin to build a hoard there, or you can take the 200 gp, invest it in your landlord feat, hire some carpenters and build a huge building and call it a hoard there. Building a casino seems like a smart way to hide a hoard in plain site and use your stupid cheat ability the legitimate way. Thereby getting you ahead in xorvintaal, and in your UOSI score.

    Level 11
    You get a +4 to sleight of hand and open locks, which is nice. But the steal ability is phenomenal. No per day limit, high caster level that is overtly arcane. And now you qualify for those rings we mentioned back at level 8 when we got the forge ring feat. You not only have 5 lb telekinesis at a quarter mile range, but you also have the "really attack your enemies with stuff" kind of telekinesis. If you make the ring of telekinesis require LE alignment, it costs less than 30k to make. That’s only a half year of scrounging around in a metropolis for a new breastplate to sell everyday. And earning the requisite funds goes even faster if you go adventuring! The range on this ability is huge too; something to the tune of over 1,000 feet away you can be knicking things. If you buy a scroll of bull’s strength, you can forge a ring of the ram.

    Level 12
    Divert attack, in addition to a number of expendable cohort cohorts, your main cohort can 1/encounter summon up a fire elemental to flank your enemy as a swift action via the distracting ember maneuver offered by martial study, and your enemy can contend with catching on fire.

    Our feat choice allows us to maximize our spell like ability to cheat. That means, “All variable, numeric effects of the spelllike ability are maximized, dealing maximum damage, curing the maximum number of hit points, affecting the maximum number of targets, and so on.” So if you reroll a die when you’re cheating at Xorvintaal with a roll that could determine the outcome of the game, and it involves probability, you get the maximum roll on that die. Cheat has a 15 minute duration, so work to develop a sense of when you’ll be in a situation where you’ll need a free 20. Buy a vorpal sword. Heck, with TWF get a vorpal dagger too. Nuff said. Two beheadings in a round should give you a nice circumstance bonus on your intimidate check that you've been neglecting for other priorities.


    Spoiler: ”Fore-ground”
    Show

    “You spent a lot of resources to commune with me, worm, and you’re not nearly heartless enough to honor the boon of me addressing you. Waste my time more expeditiously, will you.” Mammon sent the message racing to Wolfgang, a little half orc upstart who’s heart was full of hatred, but his actions were so...benign. The Orcmongrel could make money, but he used it, frivolously, and he used it in ways that didn’t overtly help in the blood war nor bring souls to Mammon.

    Wolfgang didn’t expect to be so angry during a seance. “Lord, I can make money out of trash, and the idea that you can’t see value in setting up taverns that serve cheap alcohol to anyone will to publicly renounce their racial god as a coupon upsets my judgment about your commitment to longterm evil. The free infirmiraries of Mammon have franchised into 4 kingdoms, and the orphanages extolling the power of the “free market” create an excellent apostate force that will result in so many souls streaming towards you, happy and carefree, that I really fail to see your impatience with the effort. You’ll have divine ranks through my plan If I can get Bellatrixadon to have the entire planet count as his territory. Have some ambition. Plus it’s my recycling program, and it’s thrifty as hell, I assumed that you’de respect that. Anyway, I need minions of tiamat on loan to finish the aasterinian cup, master.”

    “Pfft. Lay off the white powder, frostblood, it makes you far too bold.
    In return for this favor what will you offer me?”

    “One feat slot.”

    “Humanoids like you only get 7 of those...You’re a sucker, Frostblood. I’ll send an ice devil to tiamat to negotiate terms.”

    Spoiler: Levels 13-20
    Show

    Level 13
    This is the level that you summon the bone devil. A fantastic summon on its own.
    Do you want a ring of greater teleport, dimensional anchor, fly, invisibility, major image, or wall of ice? Make the ring and summon this guy to finish the job by casting from his SLAs. Here's two options: Ring of invisibility and the Ring of the darkhidden (makes you invisible to darkvision (MIC page 122).

    I would like to refer you to the table in FC2 on page 108, the alternative SLA options, like gaseous form instead of fly, wall of fire instead of wall of ice, blur instead of invisibility, or displacement instead of major image. I'm sure there's some rings you could make there. Make your cohorts blurry or invisible or gaseous clouds. How hard is it to put a ring on a wolf?

    Summoning a Bone Devil is the equivalent of a summon monster VII. In two levels, when you get fiendish summoning specialist as a feat, you can add one creature to a summon monster spell you can cast. In this case, we'll add the green abishae because they come with a bunch of fantastic potions festooned to their person, notably a potion of haste, potion of sanctuary, and oil of magic fang. They also get suggestion, which also has the potential option of being swapped for hold person. This is a viable option for an alternative summon for a summon monster spell of a lower level, and thus, is a reasonable addition to your ability to summon a bone devil.

    Level 14
    Take object is the one class feature that we can’t really take advantage of in any substantive way other than trying to snatch something as an AOO.

    Level 15
    Here we are! The apex of the Build!



    Our Wild Cohort is now capable of taking the landlord feat. Whatever your vulture wants, up to 25k, is now theirs! Your secondary cohorts all now have 7HD and can gain a feat. The spell hand feat has been selected for them, which grants mage hand, open/close, and tensers floating disk. How animals choose to use these spells is gonna be interesting, but now a lack of opposable thumbs no longer hinders them from sauntering into village's houses and eating their potato chips.

    As for Wolfgang, Enhance value is the thing that really makes Disciple of Mammon special. Appraise is a relatively useless skill, but with DoM, you can actually use it for something.

    18 (ranks)
    + 4 (int mod)
    +3 (skill focus)
    +5 Treasure seeker
    +1 disciple of darkness
    +5 Circumstance (Jeweler’s loup, magnifying glass, scale)
    +1d20, or just 20 if it is related to the outcome of xorvintaal.

    = 32-56% increase in value, depending on whether you can use your appraisal tools.

    So with craft gem cutting, you also gain that +2 synergy bonus, and gems resale at full value rather than half, so the value of a gem increases between 39-58%

    If you’re using menacing brute to scrounge up 200gp Jewelry or gems from a metropolis everyday, you can then increase the value of each find with an additional hour of work to make something worth 278-316 gold. Free money that you can feed into your landlord feat to make double the output for costs directly relevant to stronghold building. In the case of xorvintaal, the ability to add over 500gp to a hoard, daily, means that you can just generate tons of little hoards all over an enemy dragon’s territory. Use your booby traps to make sham hoards.

    But there’s another thing we can do. Plants are considered objects, despite being alive. I already discussed Weirwood, which provides 50gp per pound of wood. What if you were to enhance the entire tree? Each pound increases by 32-51%. And your animals can just become guardians/logcutters.

    Races of stone has rules for appraising artistic performances, which means you can go to a play, punch up some notes on how to improve it by say 31%-51% percent, and you can sell those notes to them for half of the mark-up value for additional revenue streams. You’re in a metropolis anyway, you might as well soak in some culture and get some grift. Who cares if the solution is to always add more explosions and nudity to the plays? This game is about MONEY, not art.

    So, you can also use this money and your summoned creatures to create resetting traps. If you use mobile stronghold rules, you can just make a 20X20 cart of resetting traps with the SLAs that your summons can provide. Resetting Trap of greater teleport? Yes sir, we are going anywhere we want. Resetting trap of major image seems fun. Resetting trap of fly or invisibility? You can send a pack of your flying invisible animal cohorts anywhere in the world to open up peoples chicken coops and mage hand their important documents, or whatever your imagination can muster. And the neat thing about that is the implications for robbing other dragon’s hoards. Rob them blind and leave illusions of treasure. Then enhance that treasure and sell it, or stuff it in your hoards to make more resetting traps of crazy high level spells. Those teleport traps are helpful in that you are then capable of making moves against multiple xorvintaal players within a single day of effort. Like a squirrel that plants so many acorns that they forget where they are all buried, you can absolutely swamp the opposition in the game, create favor for your dragon benefactor, and move them into dictatorial power over the entire planet, with safe havens being only where you and your animal strongholds hold power.

    As if that weren’t enough, you take the fiendish summoning specialist feat at this level, adding the green abishae to your summon list. This thing comes with potions of haste, which is better than the higher CRed blue abishae with its slightly better sla’s but inferior elixir of dragon’s breath. Typically a bone devil is going to be the better use of this 1/day ability, but there somethings you can do with a potion of haste that the bone devil cannot.

    This is the level where moreso than in the previous levels, money stops really mattering as much as what you’re capable of doing with it, and that means that your real battle is the number of hours in the day to do all of your chicanery. The game has shifted away from fantasy table top RPG to Sim-city: Xorvintaal edition. The only reason you adventure anymore is to regain xp after crafting so many traps, but even then, just buy a few scrolls of transference (PHB2) and hire adventurers to farm xp in return for a cost reduction on your magic rings.

    Level 16
    At this level, you get divert spell, which is amazing. You can divert an opponents spell onto anyone of their enemies, so feel free to use up your vulture’s burning brand on that one. What happens if your animal cohort’s cohort’s cohort’s cohort’s cohort dies? Do all of the cohort’s further down the chain become freed? And then when cohort get’s a new one, does a whole new roster of animals show up in your daisy chain of animal chicanery? This is a pretty neat way to swap out feats on some cohorts. Kill camel 287 by diverting an angry opposing exarch’s ray of death onto it, and then when camel 286 get’s a new replacement cohort, all of the cohorts down the line show up fresh with new feat load outs. Get some shape soulmeld cohorts. Get some Touchstone cohorts and link them to whatever cool site has a higher power that you’re willing to adventure to. Embrace the dark Cohort Shuffle.

    Level 17
    Non Detection constantly running will be very helpful with the xorvintaal stuff we’re doing. I wonder how we could spend our filthy lucre to extend the effect to our cohort chaingang.

    Level 18
    Your Cohort Chain-Gang all reach 9th Level! They all get 25k strongholds, with the landlord feat that they’ve been coveting, and they can match funds. So they better get out there and use those survival checks to dig up fog rocks or something and bring them to you for you to sell if they want that self resetting trap of spell thematics create food and water. At this point, you’re probably stretching that 3/day talk to animals and plants that you got way back in level one. (Trees are like, “Bro, you’ve changed, we don’t even talk anymore”). Put out the funds to make a big ole ring of talking to animals so you can design their strongholds with them.

    As a xorvintaal exarch you have 100 mile telepathy with one creature, your dragon benefactor. But if you take mindsight, the range of that telepathy allows you to know the whereabouts of everything with 100 miles of yourself. That is fantastically useful in a game of xorvintaal where all sorts of agents are doing shady things.

    The Gelugon summon is a fantastic powerhouse.

    Here’s his SLAs:
    At will—cone of cold (DC 20), fly, ice storm (DC 19), greater teleport (self plus 50 pounds of objects only), persistent image (DC 20), unholy aura (DC 23), wall of ice (DC 19). Caster level 13th. The save DCs are Charisma-based.

    And due to fiendish summoning specialist we can choose another appropriately commensurate Devil to add to the mix. Gelugon looks like it would land on Summon Monster IX or X, so the additional option should be in that power level. The pleasure Devil, look at this beast.

    Spoiler: ”pleasure devil”
    Show

    Beguile (Su) A pleasure devil can temporarily gain control of a living creature. When a pleasure devil uses thisability, it gains immediate control of the creature, which immediately takes a full turn’s worth of actions under the pleasure devil’s control. A pleasure devil can use this ability up to two times per day on any living creature within 30 feet that fails a DC 25 Will save. This is a mind-affecting enchantment ability.

    Poison (Ex) Contact, Fortitude DC 22, 1d6 Wis/1d6 Wis. The save DC is Constitution-based and includes a +2 racial bonus.

    Combat Gear: potion of invisibility, potion of misdirection, potion of nondetection
    Spell-Like Abilities (CL 17th):
    At will—charm monster (DC 23), clairaudience/clairvoyance, enthrall (DC 21), greater teleport (self plus50 pounds of objects only), morality undone* (DC 24), polymorph, produce flame, suggestion (DC 22), vampiric touch
    1/day—plane shift (self only), trap the soul

    “Lawful evil spellcasters can permanently replace a fiendish dire shark with a brachina among their choices for a summon monster IX spell.”


    I have no idea what this campaign would look like at this point, but I’m pretty sure that between the pleasure devil and the gelugon, and the 600,000 gold stronghold and the infinite Feifdom of High HD animals with strongholds in every kingdom that you ostensibly control...Between all of THAT that you retire to a life of picking through trash, destabilizing kingdoms, and generally defying the will of the gods by using the lord of greed to create a giant stable wildlife preserve where dragons play chess combined with cardgames on their day off.

    LA 1 and LA2
    The final two levels are here. If you bought off your Level adjustment, these levels can filled with master of the unseen hand, (you might need to re-jigger some skill ranks), which grants you the use of your telekinesis abilities through your ring of telekinesis for more combat options.


    Sources:
    Spoiler
    Show
    CLASSES
    Dungeonscape, page 12: Trap Expert ACF
    Complete Champion, page 50: Spiritual Connection Ranger
    Player's Handbook 2, page 11: Dragon Shaman
    Races of Destiny, page 123: Menacing Brute
    Book of Vile Darkness, page 60: Disciple of Mammon
    Monster Manual V, page 47: Xorvintaal Exarch Template LA
    Cityscape Web: Skilled City Dweller


    FEATS
    Champions of Ruin, p.23: Disciple of Darkness
    Random Encounters, Wildlife Web: Wild Cohort
    Planar Handbook, page 39: Fiendish Summoning Specialist
    Stronghold Builder's Guide, page 10: Landlord
    Lords of Madness, page 126: Mindsight
    Complete Arcane, page 81: Maximize spell like ability

    RACE/EQUIPMENT/OTHER
    Dragon Magic, page 10: Frostblood Orc
    Player's Handbook, page 30: Merchant's scale, Magnifying Glass
    Arms & Equipment Guide, page 24: Jeweler's loup
    Fiendish Codex 2, page 109 & 112 Green Abishae, summon list; page 134: Pleasure Devil
    Sandstorm, page 48 and 195: vulture Wild Cohort
    Stormwrack, page 50, 168 and 169: Aquatic druid companions, Terrestrial adaptation and Stingray
    Dungeon Master’s Guide 2, page 41: Booby traps
    Magic of Faerun, page 180-181: Extraordinary natural items
    Magic Item Compendium, page 83 and 114: Ring of the Brute and Lockpicking Ring
    PHB2 Web Enhancement: Transference
    Kolyarut Avatar by Potatocubed.
    Quote Originally Posted by willpell View Post
    Only playing Tier 1s is like only eating in five-star restaurants [...] sometimes I just want a cheeseburger and some frogurt. Why limit yourself?
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  7. - Top - End - #67
    Troll in the Playground
     
    The Viscount's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2012

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground CVI

    He has wares, if you have coin.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peribsen
    Peribsen, Renegade Satay Salesman



    (Looking slightly more competent than usual, but he chose the picture, so that figures.)

    Spoiler: Build
    Show
    Stub
    Catfolk passive way monk 7/disciple of Mammon 5/swordsage 1/marshal 1/Disciple of Mammon +5

    Ability Scores
    32-point buy: 15/14/14/10/8/16
    Starting stats with racial adjustments: 15/18/14/10/8/18
    Each ability increase goes in Strength
    Final stats: 20/18/14/10/8/18

    Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    1st catfolk LA 1
    2nd monk 1 +0 +2 +2 +2 Appraise 4, Open Lock 2, Sleight of Hand 2, Use Magic Device 2 Apprentice (Craftsman), Combat ExpertiseB, Improved Unarmed StrikeB, Skill Focus (Diplomacy)F, flaw: Weak Will AC Bonus, Flurry of Blows
    3rd monk 2 +1 +3 +3 +3 Appraise 5, Open Lock 2.5, Sleight of Hand 2.5, Use Magic Device 2.5 Improved TripB Invisible Fist (invisibility)
    4th monk 3 +2 +3 +3 +3 Appraise 6, Open Lock 3, Sleight of Hand 3, Use Magic Device 3 Catfolk Pounce Fast Movement +10 ft., Still Mind
    5th monk 4 +3 +4 +4 +4 Jump 1, Open Lock 3.5, Sleight of Hand 3.5, Use Magic Device 3.5 Ki Strike (magic), Slow Fall 20 ft.
    6th monk 5 +3 +4 +4 +4 Jump 2, Open Lock 4, Sleight of Hand 4, Use Magic Device 4 Purity of Body
    7th monk 6 +4 +5 +5 +5 Jump 5, Use Magic Device 4.5 Disciple of Darkness, Improved FeintB, Faustian Pact: Skill Focus (Bluff) Slow Fall 30 ft.
    8th monk 7 +5 +5 +5 +5 Tumble 3, Use Magic Device 5 Wholeness of Body
    9th disciple of Mammon 1 +5 +5 +7 +7 Bluff 4 Lie
    10th disciple of Mammon 2 +6 +5 +8 +8 Bluff 8 Mantis Leap Cheat
    11th disciple of Mammon 3 +7 +6 +8 +8 Bluff 12 Steal, Thief
    12th disciple of Mammon 4 +8 +6 +9 +9 Balance 2, Bluff 14 Divert Attack
    13th disciple of Mammon 5 +8 +6 +9 +9 Balance 5, Bluff 15 Craft Staff Summon Osyluth
    14th swordsage 1 +8 +6 +11 +11 Tumble 9 Discipline Focus (Weapon Focus)(Setting Sun), maneuvers, Quick to Act +1
    15th marshal 1 +8 +8 +11 +13 Tumble 13 Two-Weapon FightingB Minor Aura (Art of War), Skilled City-Dweller (Ride → Tumble)
    16th disciple of Mammon 6 +9 +9 +12 +14 Bluff 18, Tumble 13.5 Eilservs School Take Object
    17th disciple of Mammon 7 +10 +9 +12 +14 Bluff 19, Tumble 15 Enhance Value
    18th disciple of Mammon 8 +11 +9 +13 +15 Bluff 20, Tumble 16.5 Divert Spell
    19th disciple of Mammon 9 +11 +10 +13 +15 Bluff 21, Tumble 18 Magical Artisan (Craft Staff) Nondetection
    20th disciple of Mammon 10 +12 +10 +14 +16 Balance 5, Bluff 21, Jump 5, Open Lock 4, Sleight of Hand 4, Tumble 20, Use Magic Device 5 Summon Gelugon

    Maneuvers Known
    ECL 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
    1st through 13th - - - -
    14th and onwards Sudden Leap (boost) Counter Charge (counter) Leaping Dragon Stance (stance), Shadow Garotte (strike) Comet Throw (strike), Strike of the Broken Shield (strike)


    Spoiler: Level 5
    Show
    Peribsen is an apprentice craftsman who's a cut above the rest. He's going to make it big, and don't anyone forget it. Strutting around town, Peribsen knows what life's all about. He's a catfolk monk with cross-class UMD, so he's getting into the partial wand game—buying and selling (sometimes even activating). With a little more banter than the average monk, he doesn't always lose money, either, but for some reason, he's never quite as rich as he imagined he'd be. Still, there's always the next batch of off-brand magical items to shift, and one day he will find his gold-plated groove—he's certain of it.

    In combat, Peribsen prefers to get surprice so he can pounce. He likes to trip his opponents before delivering lethal claws punches, and he'll periodically blink out of sight to steal a can of tuna you've just opened. Basically, he's like any feline you ever met.


    Spoiler: Level 10
    Show
    After five levels slaving away, procuring the finest (well, cheapest) wands money can buy for discerning (well, penny-pinching) customers, Peribsen has yet to strike it big. Questioning his life's choices, he's become increasingly desparate in his cash-grubbing, and an imp by the name of Qrippom neatly takes advantage. Dangling great rewards in front of Peribsen's hairy nose, it leads him down the path of Mammon and eternal damnation for the low, low price of Skill Focus (Bluff). (The Faustian Pact is essentially taking the place of a flaw.)

    Skill Focus (Bluff) is required to make use of the Passive Way monk "capstone", which makes it easier to trip targets denied their Dexterity bonus to AC—something that [I]invisibility] can supply. Besides that little buff, Peribsen is playing much the same game as he was from level 3, making surprise charges and tripping. At ECL 10, however, the mighty Mantis Leap comes online, which has some serious repercussions.

    Mantis Leap allows Peribsen to make a charge-with-bonus-damage as part of a move action, as long as his target is within the maximum distance he can reach by Jumping. With a +20 ft. enhancement bonus to a 40 ft. base speed, Peribsen is sitting at +20 Jump before items, so he can reach opponents 20 ft. away with a running start, or 10 ft. away without. Luckily, 10 ft. is just enough to Jump across a (tripped) Medium opponent and kick them some more in the other flank. Nobody ever said Peribsen was a sporting fighter.

    (The bonus damage is 2×STR, added to your normal damage, which includes STR already. Conservatively, let’s say the damage only applies to the first attack of a Catfolk Pounce.)

    Speaking of sporting, the best people to pounce are those that are busy doing something else—say, Balancing. With a bag of marbles, anyone without 5 ranks in Balance can be made "busy". You can bet (but not too much) that Peribsen is carrying his marbles with him wherever he goes.

    Peribsen has quickly recognized and adopted Qrippom's deceptive style. He can Feint (reasonably) well before making a Mantis Leap charge, improving his chances of hitting and tripping.

    Note: There is an interpretation of Mantis Leap that lets you make a charge for every 5' moved. Peribsen hasn't heard of it.


    Spoiler: Level 15
    Show
    Having peddled wands for many a year, Peribsen finally strikes upon the idea that will make him rich. He learns to craft staves (using his Disciple of Mammon SLAs—which have absurdly high CLs—to qualify) and produces the awesome satay of cheating. Here's how it works:

    1. Take one Fine masterwork quarterstaff. This is a wooden stick about the size and shape of a satay skewer.
    2. Craft the quarterstaff into a staff of cheat.
    3. Add meats of your choice.
    4. Serve at a casino.
    5. ???
    6. Profit! Your friends will never realize how you keep drawing the aces when the stakes are high, allowing you to keep winning while enjoying a bit of grilled peanut-y goodness.

    The scheme is, of course, brilliant, but for some reason, it does not immediately resonate with the buyers. Having sunk some significant cash into a stock of Fine quarterstaves, Peribsen is now struggling to ship enough units to survive, nevermind support the deposit-refund system he has set up. The final drop in the bucket comes when Qrippon turns in an even gross of staves for a refund (43 200 gp, for the curious), draining Peribsen's last reserves. With his creditors getting more and more insistent (not to mention optimized), he feels the need to enhance his martial arts skills and run.

    Swordsage 1 grants a number of useful maneuvers, including Leaping Dragon Stance and Sudden Leap to support Peribsen's Mantis Leaps, two maneuvers that make a target flat-footed (Shadow Garotte and Strike of the Broken Shield) to allow him to pounce more often, and a two-for-one tripping maneuver (Comet Throw) that might just proc some sweet Improved Trip bonus attacks. It also grants Weapon Focus for both unarmed strike and quarterstaff. Finally, Peribsen learns to Tumble a bit, letting him avoid all the nasty AoOs that come from jumping around all the time.

    Marshal 1 lets Peribsen add his Charisma bonus to disarm, trip, bull rush, and sunder attempts (it is a well-known secret that "art of war" simply means "fighting dirty"). Technically, it also works on allies who can hear him speak, but Peribsen doesn't tend to keep allies for long (although he's not sure why—surely allies should be happy to tank hits for you?), and in any case he mutters too softly to hear. Which is probably for the best, because whatever he's saying, it's not likely to be complimentary. In addition, marshal grants a bonus feat, which will be Two-Weapon Fighting—goes nicely with a quarterstaff.

    Making his getaway, Peribsen summons an osyluth to keep his creditors occupied, and to his surprise, it is a complete victory. Who knew that combat summoning would be effective, right? For the first time fully realizing the utility of infernal service, he immediately finds that it is also rather limited: the osyluth will only come out once a day. To mitigate that little problem, Peribsen spends much of his time in exile perfecting his personal weapon: a staff of summon monster VII (limited to osyluths, presumably, because he's not that capable). Sure, he needs a little help activating it (a masterwork tool, a +5 amulet or admiral's bicorne, and a Charisma booster—the DC is 20), but that's not bad, for a monk.


    Spoiler: Level 20
    Show
    As a renegade satay salesman, Peribsen becomes more elusive than ever. With permanent nondetection and the ability to redirect scrying spells to anyone who hates debt collectors (which, given the kind of watering holes he frequents, includes just about anyone), he keeps ahead of the law—usually. When he has to fight, though, he is more dangerous than anyone could have believed. Because with his new staff (which he's rather better at crafting and wielding now), Peribsen has finally found power.

    With Eilservs School, Peribsen can activate his magic staff if he hits an enemy with both sides of the quarterstaff. Unlike a more typical Eilservs School-user, Peribsen gets his double hits in without TWF. Instead, he simply makes one Mantis Leap with one side of the staff, flips the thing over, jumps across his opponent, and makes another Mantis Leap with and on the other side. If successful, he summons the devil in a flanking position, where it can immediately attack the (now presumably tripped) opponent. You know what's better than two (pouncing) charges per round? Two charges and a free summon monster VII, that's what!

    As a final upgrade, Peribsen can craft a staff of summon monster IX. This one's a bit tricky, because while osyluths are on the SMVII list, gelugons are not on the SMIX list—they're a little more powerful than the usual summons. However, let's be nice to our poor Peribsen—all he ever wanted is to be extremely filthy rich at everyone else's expense—and assume he can, in fact, summon gelugons (only). Gelugons are nice. Large, five-attack full attack with four of them inflicting slow, at-will wall of ice and persistent image, regeneration, all ability scores over 20. These guys are relevant at ECL 20, which is impressive enough. One of these guys per round is straight-up powerful.

    Of course, with each charge costing about 900 gp, Peribsen will still spend his life wondering where all his money's gone off to… much diabolical laughter ensues.


    Spoiler: Sources
    Show
    Apprentice - Dungeon Master's Guide II
    Catfolk, Catfolk Pounce - Races of the Wild
    Disciple of Darkness, Disciple of Mammon - Book of Vile Darkness
    Eilservs School - Drow of the Underdark
    Faustian Pact - Fiendish Codex II
    Invisible Fist - Exemplars of Evil
    Magical Artisan - Player's Guide to Faerûn
    Mantis Leap - Sword and Fist
    Marshal - Miniatures Handbook
    Passive Way monk - Unearthed Arcana
    Skilled City-Dweller - web
    Swordsage - Tome of Battle
    Kolyarut Avatar by Potatocubed.
    Quote Originally Posted by willpell View Post
    Only playing Tier 1s is like only eating in five-star restaurants [...] sometimes I just want a cheeseburger and some frogurt. Why limit yourself?
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  8. - Top - End - #68
    Troll in the Playground
     
    The Viscount's Avatar

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground CVI

    If time is money, and all you've got is time...

    Quote Originally Posted by Morgan Stanley
    Morgan Stanley
    LE Necropolitan Human
    Duskblade 2 / Swashbuckler 1 / Battledancer 1 / Disciple of Mammon 7 / Ur-Priest 4 / Nar Demonbinder 1 / Mystic Theurge 4

    All the warmth of the world washed away and was replaced by cold, unrelenting, agony. Icy fire ripped through her body from fingertip to brainstem and forced screams from her lungs until her vocal cords were naught but shredded sinew in her throat. The dark curse of the nails wove its way through her veins and violated her soul until, after an eternity, the last vestige of light faded from her eyes and she felt a stake impaled through her heart.

    Morgan smiled fondly at the memory and gazed out over the City of Doors from her office. It was a magnificent view from the 333rd floor and reminiscing on old memories was a habit of hers while she passed the time. An endless sea of devils scurry about below in order to meet her deadline, countless gold coins in the balance. She checked her watch; they only had 15 minutes left to provide her a product to enhance. Enough time to gaze at the wispy little soul on her desk and reflect on all that she had accomplished since she’d left it behind.

    Morgan’s lord had blessed her with an avarice second only to his own. In all the multiverse, only Morgan’s soulless shell hungers so powerfully. Morgan leads a one-woman war of conquest against all that is and ever was without conscience or remorse. A million infernal warriors march under her banner, bound to her purpose and a million kingdoms exist in her name, purchased by her capitol. It has been a year since Mammon revealed the secret of Enhance Value to Morgan Stanley and now Morgan’s assets are worth more gold coins than all the grains of sand on every world in a billion galaxies across a billion universes. Eyes normally dead and devoid of emotion flutter and open wide for a moment as Morgan realizes that she is about to complete her 365th full work day and glances down at her projected value: 30000 * 1.2^(12*365) = 1.954*10^351

    The infinite multiverse trembles.




    Spoiler: Ability Scores
    Show


    Ability Point Buy Template Ability Increase Total Score
    STR 7 0 0 7
    DEX 14 0 0 14
    CON 7 N/A 0 N/A
    INT 12 0 0 12
    WIS 15 0 +3 18
    CHA 18 0 +2 20




    Spoiler: Build
    Show

    Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    1st Duskblade 1 1 2 0 2 Appraise 4, Knowledge (Arcana) 4, Knowledge (The Planes) 4, Open Lock 2 Apprentice (Craftsman), Disciple of Darkness Arcane attunement, armored mage (light)
    2nd Duskblade 2 +2 +3 +0 +3 Appraise 6, Knowledge (Arcana) 5, Knowledge (The Planes) 5, Open Lock 2, Spellcraft 2 - Combat Casting
    3rd Swashbuckler 1 +3 +5 +0 +3 Appraise 6, Knowledge (Arcana) 5, Knowledge (The Planes) 5, Open Lock 2, Sense Motive 6, Spellcraft 2 Ordered Chaos Weapon Finesse
    4th Battledancer 1 +4 +5 +2 +3 Appraise 6, Knowledge (Arcana) 5, Knowledge (The Planes) 5, Open Lock 4, Sense Motive 6, Slight of Hand 4, Spellcraft 2 Undead Traits, Resist Control, Turn Resistance, Unnatural Resilience, WIS+1 AC bonus, improved unarmed strike
    5th Disciple of Mammon 1 +4 +5 +4 +5 Appraise 6, Knowledge (Arcana) 5, Knowledge (Religion) 6, Knowledge (The Planes) 5, Open Lock 4, Sense Motive 6, Slight of Hand 4, Spellcraft 2 - Lie
    6th Disciple of Mammon 2 +5 +5 +5 +6 Appraise 6, Bluff 6, Knowledge (Arcana) 5, Knowledge (Religion) 6, Knowledge (The Planes) 5, Open Lock 4, Sense Motive 6, Slight of Hand 4, Spellcraft 2 Iron Will Cheat
    7th Disciple of Mammon 3 +6 +6 +6 +6 Appraise 6, Bluff 6, Knowledge (Arcana) 5, Knowledge (Religion) 6, Knowledge (The Planes) 5, Open Lock 4, Sense Motive 6, Slight of Hand 4, Spellcraft 5 - Steal, Thief
    8th Disciple of Mammon 4 +7 +6 +7 +7 Appraise 6, Bluff 6, Knowledge (Arcana) 5, Knowledge (Religion) 6, Knowledge (The Planes) 5, Open Lock 4, Sense Motive 6, Slight of Hand 4, Spellcraft 8 WIS+1 Divert Attack
    9th Disciple of Mammon 5 +7 +6 +7 +7 Appraise 6, Bluff 6, Intimidate 3, Knowledge (Arcana) 5, Knowledge (Religion) 6, Knowledge (The Planes) 5, Open Lock 4, Sense Motive 6, Slight of Hand 4, Spellcraft 8 Spell Focus (Evil) Summon Osyluth
    10th Disciple of Mammon 6 +8 +7 +8 +8 Appraise 6, Bluff 6, Intimidate 5, Knowledge (Arcana) 5, Knowledge (Religion) 8, Knowledge (The Planes) 5, Open Lock 4, Sense Motive 6, Slight of Hand 4, Spellcraft 8 - Take Object
    11th Disciple of Mammon 7 +9 +7 +8 +8 Appraise 6, Bluff 6, Intimidate 5, Knowledge (Arcana) 5, Knowledge (Religion) 8, Knowledge (The Planes) 9, Open Lock 4, Sense Motive 8, Slight of Hand 4, Spellcraft 8 - Enhance Value
    12th Ur-Priest 1 +9 +7 +8 +10 Appraise 6, Bluff 6, Intimidate 5, Knowledge (Arcana) 5, Knowledge (Religion) 8, Knowledge (The Planes) 13, Open Lock 4, Sense Motive 8, Slight of Hand 4, Spellcraft 8 Spell Focus (Conjuration), WIS+1 -
    13th Ur-Priest 2 +10 +7 +8 +11 Appraise 6, Bluff 6, Intimidate 5, Knowledge (Arcana) 5, Knowledge (Religion) 8, Knowledge (The Planes) 16, Open Lock 4, Sense Motive 8, Slight of Hand 4, Spellcraft 9 - Rebuke Undead
    14th Ur-Priest 3 +11 +8 +9 +11 Appraise 6, Bluff 6, Intimidate 5, Knowledge (Arcana) 5, Knowledge (Religion) 8, Knowledge (The Planes) 16, Open Lock 4, Sense Motive 8, Slight of Hand 4, Spellcraft 13 - -
    15th Ur-Priest 4 +12 +8 +9 +12 Appraise 6, Bluff 6, Intimidate 5, Knowledge (Arcana) 5, Knowledge (Religion) 8, Knowledge (The Planes) 16, Open Lock 4, Sense Motive 8, Slight of Hand 4, Spellcraft 17 Axiomatic Bloodline Divine Spell Resistance 15
    16th Nar Demonbinder 1 +12 +8 +9 +14 Appraise 6, Bluff 6, Intimidate 5, Knowledge (Arcana) 5, Knowledge (Religion) 8, Knowledge (The Planes) 18, Open Lock 4, Sense Motive 8, Slight of Hand 4, Spellcraft 19 CHA+1 Fiendish Familiar, Inimical Casting
    17th Mystic Theurge 1 +12 +8 +9 +16 Appraise 6, Bluff 6, Intimidate 5, Knowledge (Arcana) 5, Knowledge (Religion) 8, Knowledge (The Planes) 19, Open Lock 4, Sense Motive 11, Slight of Hand 4, Spellcraft 19 - +1 Nar Demonbinder / +1 Ur-Priest
    18th Mystic Theurge 2 +13 +8 +9 +17 Appraise 6, Bluff 6, Intimidate 5, Knowledge (Arcana) 5, Knowledge (Religion) 8, Knowledge (The Planes) 19, Open Lock 4, Sense Motive 15, Slight of Hand 4, Spellcraft 19 Evil's Blessing +1 Nar Demonbinder / +1 Ur-Priest
    19th Mystic Theurge 3 +13 +9 +10 +17 Appraise 6, Bluff 6, Intimidate 5, Knowledge (Arcana) 5, Knowledge (Religion) 8, Knowledge (The Planes) 19, Open Lock 4, Sense Motive 19, Slight of Hand 4, Spellcraft 19 - +1 Nar Demonbinder / +1 Ur-Priest
    20th Mystic Theurge 4 +14 +9 +10 +18 Appraise 6, Bluff 6, Intimidate 5, Knowledge (Arcana) 5, Knowledge (Religion) 8, Knowledge (The Planes) 20, Open Lock 4, Sense Motive 20, Slight of Hand 4, Spellcraft 20 CHA+1 +1 Nar Demonbinder / +1 Ur-Priest



    Spoiler: Effective Character Level 5
    Show

    At ECL 5 Morgan Stanley is a versatile character with solid ranged options and the benefits of Undead Traits. Duskblade provides useful spells and gets us spontaneous arcane casting which will be important later. Her AC is at 17 while unarmored and 19 towards anything that is not an animal, beast, fey, or magical beast. High charisma goes to concentration checks and her saves are great. We take the SI as early as possible because everything changes once we have access to Enhance Value.


    Spoiler: Effective Character Level 11
    Show

    At ECL 11 Morgan Stanley ruins the economy. The effectiveness of Enhance Value seems to be very dependent on external factors but we will endeavor to eliminate uncertainty to the greatest extent possible. Bottom line up front: limitless money.

    The Enhance Value ability has a few limitations: we cannot enhance a magical item or an item with a readily obvious value, we cannot enhance the same object twice, we enhance one item at a time, and it takes us an hour to enhance. Note that the hour requirement is actually the best feature of this ability when compared with alternative use limitations and should not be viewed as a limitation.
    So we need some kind of item that has a fluctuating value, can be bought and sold, has no value limit, and is extremely liquid. It is time to introduce CDOs to D&D. A CDO is a collateralized debt obligation and is the sort of thing that led to the 2008 financial crisis. Luckily we are a lawful evil character anyways so this is exactly what we are looking for. A single CDO has variable value, no value limit, and can be bought and sold multiple times throughout the day.

    Morgan Stanley has 66000 gold for wealth by level at 11. Lets subtract 3000 for her Ritual of Crucimigration leaving her with 63000. Suppose that she sells equipment until she has 30000 in currency. 6 ranks in Appraise and bonuses for masterwork tools and her INT modifier and supposing average rolls we will assume that each enhancement increases value by 20%. Morgan purchases a CDO worth 30k and enhances it over the course of an hour. Within the next hour she finds a buyer and sells it at value. Page 112 of the PHB details selling loot and specifically states that trade goods can be sold at value and are not subject to the usual half-value rule that plagues most adventuring equipment. Morgan then buys a new CDO with her 120% and repeats this process. As a Necropolitan, Morgan has no need for rest and can continue this process indefinitely. Morgan completes 12 of these transaction loops per day. 30000 x (1.2)^12 = 267,483 gold in the first day. 1,690,425,431 gold sits in Morgan’s account at the end of her first 5-day work week.

    As an aside; we don’t specifically have to use a CDO but if you understand the context then you could think of Morgan’s Enhance Value ability as allowing her to buy a CDO and re-layer the underlying assets such that the CDO receives a higher rating. Example: Morgan buys a AA CDO and Enhances the Value to a AAA item.
    We will eventually run into the problem of Community Wealth. As per page 137 of the DMG, even a Metropolis would not have the amounts of money available that Morgan intends to manage. Thankfully the DMG also provides the solution: The City of Sigil on page 167 which explicitly has no gold limit on buying or selling goods. Additionally, Sigil is described as so huge that “anything you can imagine probably exists in Sigil somewhere.”

    When Morgan began her climb to monetary dominance she had 9 ranks in Knowledge (The Planes), gets to talk to an Osyluth once a day, and with whatever money she had made on the material plane could pay for interplanar travel.

    We’ll nab Iron Will and Spell Focus: Evil for later.



    Spoiler: Effective Character Level 15
    Show

    At ECL 15 We already paid the feat tax (taxation is theft) so now Morgan’s 4 levels of Ur-Priest grant her access to the cleric list and in Sigil she should have access to all the spell trigger/completion items she could ever want. Even without those there is no reason for Morgan to ever leave the office without 5 lesser planar allies and favorable sacrifice on everyone from her own spellcasting. Rebuke undead and divine spell resistance are cool too. We pick up Spell Focus: Conjuration for another tax and Axiomatic Bloodline via Duskblade too.


    Spoiler: Effective Character Level 20
    Show

    At ECL 20 Morgan reaches 8th level cleric spells through Ur-Priest and 7th level arcane spells from the Nar Demonbinder list. Our 4 levels of Ur-Priest and bonus language got us into Nar Demonbinder and we can cast the 2nd level spells from Axiomatic Bloodline through the Demonbinders slots which gets us into Mystic Theurge. For Demonbinder we're just interested in Planar Binding, Plane Shift, and other ways to spend money or extend influence. So of note we have access to both Greater Planar Ally and Planar Binding. Planar Binding is especially great because we can basically guarantee a +6 to our bargaining opposed charisma check by offering millions of gold and just start hiring outsiders into Morgan Stanley’s new interplanar company for year long contracts. Morgan’s own charisma modifier is awesome anyways and we have a high sense motive to see if the outsiders lie. We also get an imp as a secretary.

    Again none of this really matters because as soon as Morgan has nigh infinite gold in Sigil she can just buy whatever she needs and would probably have retired from adventuring at that point anyways. Her material influence has unlimited potential and the City of Doors contains portals to every plane through which Morgan can exert this influence.

    Last edited by The Viscount; 2020-11-03 at 12:36 AM.
    Kolyarut Avatar by Potatocubed.
    Quote Originally Posted by willpell View Post
    Only playing Tier 1s is like only eating in five-star restaurants [...] sometimes I just want a cheeseburger and some frogurt. Why limit yourself?
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  9. - Top - End - #69
    Troll in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground CVI

    Dennis's lesser-known cousin

    Quote Originally Posted by Terrance
    Spoiler: Terrance ‘The Menace’ the Chaotic Evil Changeling Rogue 2/Battle Dancer 1/Jester 7/Disciple of Mammon 10
    Show

    Spoiler: Note: Image may be slightly graphic, I believe it to be roughly PG-13; viewer discretion is advised.
    Show



    Spoiler: Stats/Build
    Show

    Stat Base Level Up Final
    Strength 14 14
    Dexterity 12 4, 8, 12 15
    Constitution 14 14
    Intelligence 14 14
    Wisdom 8 8
    Charisma 16 16, 20 18

    Level
    Class
    Base Attack Bonus
    Fort Save
    Ref Save
    Will Save
    Skills
    Feats
    Class Features
    1st Changeling Martial Rogue +0 +0 +2 +0 Appraise +4, Open Lock +4, Sleight of Hand +4, Perform (Comedy) +4, Tumble +4, Bluff +4, Disguise +4, Diplomacy +4, Concentration +1, Spellcraft +1, Escape Artist +4, Sense Motive +4, Intimidate +4 Wild Cohort, Combat Expertise(b) Social Intuition, Dire Rat Companion
    2nd Battle Dancer +1 +0 +4 +0 Appraise +4, Open Lock +4, Sleight of Hand +5, Perform (Comedy) +5, Tumble +5, Bluff +5, Disguise +4, Diplomacy +4, Concentration +1, Spellcraft +1, Escape Artist +5, Sense Motive +4, Intimidate +4 Improved Unarmed Strike(b) Unarmed Strike, AC Bonus
    3rd Jester +1 +0 +6 +2 Appraise +4, Open Lock +5, Sleight of Hand +6, Perform (Comedy) +6, Tumble +5, Bluff +6, Disguise +5, Diplomacy +4, Concentration +1, Spellcraft +1, Escape Artist +6, Sense Motive +5, Intimidate +5 Disciple of Darkness Jester’s Audacity +1, Jester’s Performance (JP 1/day), Fascinate, Inspiring Quip, Spellcasting (0th, CL 1)
    4th Jester +2 +0 +7 +3 Appraise +5, Open Lock +6, Sleight of Hand +7, Perform (Comedy) +7, Tumble +6, Bluff +7, Disguise +6, Diplomacy +4, Concentration +1, Spellcraft +1, Escape Artist +6, Sense Motive +5, Intimidate +5 Deflect Arrows(b) JP 2/day, Spellcasting (1st, CL 2)
    5th Jester +3 +1 +7 +3 Appraise +6, Open Lock +6, Sleight of Hand +8, Perform (Comedy) +8, Tumble +6, Bluff +8, Disguise +7, Diplomacy +4, Concentration +1, Spellcraft +1, Escape Artist +6, Sense Motive +6, Intimidate +6 JP 3/day, Taunt
    6th Jester +4 +1 +8 +4 Appraise +6, Open Lock +7, Sleight of Hand +9, Perform (Comedy) +9, Tumble +7, Bluff +9, Disguise +8, Diplomacy +4, Concentration +1, Spellcraft +1, Escape Artist +7, Sense Motive +7, Intimidate +6 Cutpurse JP 4/day, Spellcasting (2nd, CL 4)
    7th Disciple of Mammon +4 +1 +10 +6 Appraise +6, Open Lock +7, Sleight of Hand +10, Perform (Comedy) +9, Tumble +7, Bluff +9, Disguise +9, Diplomacy +4, Concentration +1, Spellcraft +1, Escape Artist +8, Sense Motive +7, Intimidate +7, Social Recovery Lie, Horrid Rat Companion
    8th Disciple of Mammon +5 +1 +11 +7 Appraise +6, Open Lock +7, Sleight of Hand +11, Perform (Comedy) +9, Tumble +7, Bluff +9, Disguise +10, Diplomacy +4, Concentration +1, Spellcraft +1, Escape Artist +9, Sense Motive +7, Intimidate +8, Social Recovery, Assume Quirk Cheat 2/day
    9th Disciple of Mammon +6 +2 +11 +7 Appraise +6, Open Lock +7, Sleight of Hand +12, Perform (Comedy) +9, Tumble +7, Bluff +9, Disguise +11, Diplomacy +4.5, Concentration +1, Spellcraft +1, Escape Artist +10, Sense Motive +7, Intimidate +8, Social Recovery, Assume Quirk, Easy Escape Combat Reflexes Cheat 3/day, Thief, Steal
    10th Jester +6 +2 +11 +7 Appraise +6, Open Lock +8, Sleight of Hand +12, Perform (Comedy) +10, Tumble +8, Bluff +10, Disguise +11, Diplomacy +5, Concentration +1, Spellcraft +1, Escape Artist +10, Sense Motive +8, Intimidate +8, Social Recovery, Assume Quirk, Easy Escape, Escape Attack Snatch Arrows(b) JP 5/day, Jester’s Audacity +2
    11th Jester +7 +3 +12 +8 Appraise +6, Open Lock +8, Sleight of Hand +12, Perform (Comedy) +10, Tumble +10, Bluff +10, Disguise +11, Diplomacy +6, Concentration +1, Spellcraft +1, Escape Artist +10, Sense Motive +10, Intimidate +10, Social Recovery, Assume Quirk, Easy Escape, Escape Attack JP 6/day, Calming Performance
    12th Martial Rogue +8 +3 +13 +9 Appraise +6, Open Lock +10, Sleight of Hand +14, Perform (Comedy) +10, Tumble +10, Bluff +10, Disguise +11, Diplomacy +8, Concentration +1, Spellcraft +1, Escape Artist +12, Sense Motive +10, Intimidate +10, Social Recovery, Assume Quirk, Easy Escape, Escape Attack, Quick Escape Improved Disarm(b), Grappling Block Spell Reflection
    13th Disciple of Mammon +9 +3 +14 +10 Appraise +8, Open Lock +10, Sleight of Hand +16, Perform (Comedy) +10, Tumble +10, Bluff +10, Disguise +13, Diplomacy +8, Concentration +1, Spellcraft +1, Escape Artist +12, Sense Motive +10, Intimidate +10, Social Recovery, Assume Quirk, Easy Escape, Escape Attack, Quick Escape Cheat 4/day, Divert Attack
    14th Disciple of Mammon +9 +3 +14 +10 Appraise +10, Open Lock +10, Sleight of Hand +17, Perform (Comedy) +10, Tumble +10, Bluff +10, Disguise +16, Diplomacy +8, Concentration +1, Spellcraft +1, Escape Artist +12, Sense Motive +10, Intimidate +10, Social Recovery, Assume Quirk, Easy Escape, Escape Attack, Quick Escape Cheat 5/day, Summon Osyluth 1/day
    15th Disciple of Mammon +10 +4 +15 +11 Appraise +10, Open Lock +10, Sleight of Hand +18, Perform (Comedy) +10, Tumble +10, Bluff +10, Disguise +18, Diplomacy +8, Concentration +1, Spellcraft +1, Escape Artist +15, Sense Motive +10, Intimidate +10, Social Recovery, Assume Quirk, Easy Escape, Escape Attack, Quick Escape Combat Panache Cheat 6/day, Take Object
    16th Disciple of Mammon +11 +4 +15 +11 Appraise +10, Open Lock +10, Sleight of Hand +19, Perform (Comedy) +10, Tumble +10, Bluff +10, Disguise +19, Diplomacy +8, Concentration +1, Spellcraft +1, Escape Artist +19, Sense Motive +10, Intimidate +10, Social Recovery, Assume Quirk, Easy Escape, Escape Attack, Quick Escape Cheat 7/day, Enhance Value
    17th Disciple of Mammon +12 +4 +16 +12 Appraise +10, Open Lock +10, Sleight of Hand +20, Perform (Comedy) +10, Tumble +10, Bluff +10.5, Disguise +20, Diplomacy +8, Concentration +1, Spellcraft +1, Escape Artist +20, Sense Motive +10, Intimidate +10, Social Recovery, Assume Quirk, Easy Escape, Escape Attack, Quick Escape, Conceal Spellcasting Cheat 8/day, Divert Spell
    18th Disciple of Mammon +12 +5 +16 +12 Appraise +10, Open Lock +10, Sleight of Hand +21, Perform (Comedy) +10, Tumble +10, Bluff +11, Disguise +21, Diplomacy +8, Concentration +1, Spellcraft +1, Escape Artist +21, Sense Motive +10, Intimidate +10, Social Recovery, Assume Quirk, Easy Escape, Escape Attack, Quick Escape, Conceal Spellcasting, Slipping Past Master Pickpocket Cheat 9/day, Nondetection
    19th Disciple of Mammon +13 +5 +17 +13 Appraise +10, Open Lock +10, Sleight of Hand +22, Perform (Comedy) +11, Tumble +10, Bluff +12, Disguise +21, Diplomacy +8, Concentration +1, Spellcraft +1, Escape Artist +22, Sense Motive +10, Intimidate +10, Social Recovery, Assume Quirk, Easy Escape, Escape Attack, Quick Escape, Conceal Spellcasting, Slipping Past Cheat 10/day, Summon Gelugon
    20th Jester +14 +5 +17 +13 Appraise +10, Open Lock +10, Sleight of Hand +23, Perform (Comedy) +17, Tumble +10, Bluff +12, Disguise +21, Diplomacy +8, Concentration +1, Spellcraft +1, Escape Artist +23, Sense Motive +10, Intimidate +10, Social Recovery, Assume Quirk, Easy Escape, Escape Attack, Quick Escape, Conceal Spellcasting, Slipping Past JP 7/day, Spellcasting (3rd, CL 7th)

    Spoiler: Spellcasting
    Show

    Tables cut down massively to only reflect which levels progress spellcasting.
    Spells Known
    Level
    0lvl
    1st
    2nd
    3rd
    3rd 4 - - -
    4th 5 2 - -
    5th 6 3 - -
    6th 6 3 2 -
    10th 6 4 3 -
    11th 6 4 3 -
    20th 6 4 4 2
    Cantrips: Detect Magic, Prestidigitation, Mage Hand, Create Water, Dancing Lights, Lights
    1st: Tasha’s Hideous Laughter, Charm Person, Shocking Touch, Magic Aura
    2nd: Misdirection, Undetectable Alignment, Eagle’s Splendor, Mirror Image
    3rd: Tongues, Suggestion
    Spells/Day (before ability score bonus slots)
    Level
    0lvl
    1st
    2nd
    3rd
    3rd 2 - - -
    4th 3 0 - -
    5th 3 1 - -
    6th 3 2 0 -
    10th 3 3 1 -
    11th 3 3 2 -
    20th 3 3 3 0

    Spoiler: Tips/Tricks
    Show

    The Menace is largely not wanting to enter into combat. While in combat he doesn’t rely too much on actually hurting his foes, he more just wants to leave. With that in mind combat is inevitable at times. Some tricks and the times he can pull the tricks off!

    Right off we start off strong at level 1 with our skill monkeying. Our Wild Cohort is largely how we contribute to combat, otherwise Terrance is only a face. Level 2 adds us some defensiveness, allowing us to add our charisma to our AC, while simultaneously allowing us to easily wear our costume at all times. At level 6 we add our first real thing we can do, and it is largely going to be something we specialize in.

    The Cutpurse feat allows us to steal things off our opponent in combat. This generally means spell component pouches, holy symbols, ammunition, but it also allows us to take their consumables that they have ready. In addition, with our detect magic going we can see if our opponent happens to have magic rings, a magic necklace, or the like. It is only a DC 20 to snatch those, DC 30 after they’ve seen us do it. Even if they can beat our check with a spot check, they can’t stop us from taking their things. With a DC 40 sleight of hand check in the midst of combat we are able to hide something we have taken as a free action. It is a DC 10 if we are willing to take a standard action, DC 20 if the target has caught us using sleight of hand at all, DC 30 to do it as a free action if they haven’t caught us yet, and DC 40 is the hardest we ever have to work. When we first start out snatching things in combat like this, we have a 55% chance to successfully take something from our opponent.

    At level 9 we get a fun trick with the combined usage of Steal and Thief! Thief increases our sleight of hand to a +22 (12 ranks, 2 stat, 2 masterwork item, 2 from synergy, 4 from thief). We can not fail to steal our first item against an unsuspecting foe. And using Steal we can do this from 1,000 ft away.

    At level 12 we add our next big combat thing to our repertoire. We have Improved Disarm and Grappling Block. After we have stolen something from our opponent while in melee range, it is likely that they will attempt to harm us, more than likely with a weapon. And we will be ready to snatch their weapon from them. If it is necessary at this point we can use the Taunt Jester Performance to force this interaction, although at this point in time, we still don’t want to be a target.

    At level 13 we add the beginnings of our next combat trick, the Divert Attack. For this we have our Wild Cohort always next to us to use. When we do get attacked by the scary person whose ring of protection we just nicked, we will attempt to steal his weapon, and then divert his attack to our wild cohort. What is our wild cohort at this time, you may be asking yourself. Well it is a Horrid Dire Rat. A fun little companion with the following statblock:
    Spoiler: Mickey
    Show

    Horrid Rat
    Medium Animal
    Hit Dice: 4d8+16 (39 hp)
    Initiative: +3
    Speed: 40 ft. (8 squares), climb 20 ft.
    Armor Class: 22 (+3 Dex, +9 natural), touch 13, flat-footed 19
    Base Attack/Grapple: +3/+6
    Attack: Bite +6 melee (1d8+4 plus 2d6 acid plus disease)
    Full Attack: Bite +6 melee (1d8+4 plus 2d6 acid plus disease)
    Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
    Special Attacks: Acidic attack, disease
    Special Qualities: Ill-tempered, immunity to acid, improved natural healing, low-light vision, scent, Evasion
    Saves: Fort +8, Ref +7, Will +5
    Abilities: Str 16, Dex 16, Con 18, Int 1, Wis 12, Cha 4
    Skills: Spot +8, Climb +11, Swim +11
    Feats:Improved Natural Attack: Bite(b), Weapon Finesse(b), Constant Guardian, Dutiful Guardian
    Alignment: Usually neutral evil
    Advancement: 5-6 HD (Medium)
    This enormous rat is covered with bony armored plates, and caustic saliva drips from its nasty fangs.
    Horrid rats resemble dire rats, except they are encased in bony armor and have larger fangs.
    Combat
    Horrid rat packs attack fearlessly, biting prey within reach with their acid-dripping jaws.

    Acidic Attack (Ex): A horrid rat deals an extra 2d6 points of acid damage with a successful bite attack.
    Disease (Ex): Filth fever—bite, Fortitude DC 16, incubation period 1d3 days, damage 1d3 Dex and 1d3 Con. The save DC is Constitution-based.
    Ill-Tempered (Ex): Handle Animal checks involving a horrid rat take a —4 penalty, since horrid rats are more difficult to control than normal rats or even dire rats.
    Improved Natural Healing (Ex): A horrid rat heals naturally at three times the normal rate, recovering 3 hit points with a full night's rest.

    At level 14 we get to use an Osyluth once per day for the redirect.
    At level 15 we get an additional +4 on all our disarm checks, so we are definitely taking their weapons, jewelry, coin purses, holy symbols, and spell component pouches in just a few rounds. But we also get our Combat Panache. Combat Panache allows us to redirect the opponent’s attacks into his own allies. We can play dead when a situation seems dire, or let’s face it, when we have gotten most of the enemy’s stuff that we care about and are ready to dip out. And finally, we can help out the allies we do care about by decreasing someone’s attack bonus by our charisma modifier.

    Level 16 we get a 10% increase in a large number of our sales, when we sell our ill gotten goods.

    Level 17 we improve our redirecting with Divert Spell. It combos well with our level 12 spell deflection.

    Level 18 we nab our Master Pickpocket feat, which allows us to only drop our sleight of hand by 10 to do it as a free action, grants us a +4 to our sleight of hand while in a grapple, we can now steal their handy haversack and their bags of holding, and we have a lovely use for all of our grapple skill tricks.
    Step 1: Standard action initiate a grapple with some melee oriented character that will think it beneficial to grapple their opponent.
    Step 2: Deal unarmed damage as part of the grapple. This is how it has always worked, and since we have improved unarmed strike we are likely to deal at least one point of damage, this allows us to trigger Sneering Glower to penalize his attack rolls
    Step 2: Take a series of free actions to steal and hide the opponent’s equipment
    Step 3: Either employ the Quick Escape skill trick to leave the grapple, or on your next turn employ the Escape Attack skill trick to leave grapple and steal their two handed weapon on the way out. If we have stolen his weapon on the way out, then unless they have improved unarmed strike or a second weapon, they aren’t going to hit us as we casually walk away. (optionally we can have a summoned minion join the grapple so that when we leave the opponent is still grappling our summoned friend)

    Out of combat we function as a face through to the end, we are good at self deprecating humor, getting people to allow us to join them using bluff, diplomacy (Social Recovery bluff), and disguises. We are good enough at disguises that we can do so mundanely and magically, so that true seeing isn’t an issue. We are a liar and a cheat. We take anything that we care to take, and when combat is joined they are more likely to give their friend a bloody nose than land a good attack on you. I suggest carrying a few Candles of Truth, or getting a runestaff that allows you to cast zone of truth, as that is one of the best bluffs we can perform. The Calming Performance will be a great ability to use to get us into parties that we shouldn’t be in.

    Spoiler: A story of sorts
    Show

    Terrance has been a trickster since before he could talk. His favorite pastime was making his mother worry. And worry she did. He grew up in the Sharn the City of Towers, down in Lower Dura.
    Quote Originally Posted by City of Towers
    Once the heart of Sharn, Lower Dura has slowly decayed as the rest of the city moved higher into the sky. Now it is a dark and dangerous place... Today, Lower Dura is home to the miserable poor... The inhabitants of the ward may be shielded by gang allegiances, ties to one of the major criminal organizations, or the simple fact of having nothing to steal... Street violence occurs on a regular basis, amateur and professional cutpurses abound, and the Sharn Watch won’t do much to help.

    Terrance’s household simply had nothing left to steal. Terrance’s mother did whatever was necessary to raise Terrance, hoping against hope that he would turn out alright despite his shenanigans at home. Being a changeling definitely helped Terrance’s mother when it came to paying rent and getting food.

    Despite her best efforts they lived in poverty. Terrance, now a teen decided that it was up to him to be the ‘man of the house’. He got a job. But the only kinds of jobs left in Lower Dura are the shady kind. At first it was just illicit trade, but it steadily got worse. One day Terrance brought home a little too much, and his mother did not have protection.
    .
    .
    .
    And neither did they.
    .
    .
    .
    Distraught over what happened to his mother he went harder, and joined a gang. The gang protected him and his mother. But his mother couldn’t look Terrance in the eye anymore. A sister and a few short years later his mother and sister were dead. Terrance believed foul play, but everyone told him otherwise. Terrance hated the world. He would make it pay one day. But for that he needed power. He travelled to Fallen to meet with a mysterious yet powerful entity.
    Quote Originally Posted by City of Towers
    The Glass Tower broke apart as it fell, and while most of the floating citadel landed in the Dagger River, some of its spires struck the district of Godsgate, shattering buildings and killing hundreds… The folk of Lower Dura also talk about the spirits of the restless dead that haunt the worst ruins of the district, and the mysterious and apparently mad “ravers” who commune with them. Within a year, the district became known as Fallen, and ever since then the citizens of Sharn have shunned it… The ravers inhabit these places, bloodthirsty feral folk who appeared after the disaster. Anyone who seeks the lost treasures of the Glass Tower must face the ravers—and perhaps the restless spirits of the dead. The city council also uses Fallen as a makeshift asylum, throwing the insane into the district, where they either join with the ravers or quickly die…

    ”You do not fear, and you are not insane, so why do you come here?”
    “...I wish for power to get revenge on all of those that spit on us, to get revenge on those that killed my mother, and become someone that will be remembered in this pitiful world.”
    “I will grant you your wish and more, but you must pay, you must collect the materials, and you must complete the ritual.”
    Anything.
    “You will have to become that which you hate.”
    “I will become worse than they could possibly imagine if that is what it takes.”

    And thus, a deal was struck, a ritual performed, Terrance ‘died’, and The Menace arose. A Disciple of the most Greedy immortal to have ever walked Eberron.

    Spoiler: Sources
    Show

    Sources! Because it won’t be easy to find everything by yourself!
    Changeling - Monster Manual 3, Eberron Campaign Setting, and Races of Eberron
    Changeling Rogue - Races of Eberron
    Martial Rogue - Unearthed Arcana (sometimes referred to as feat rogue?)
    Wild Cohort - http://archive.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/re/20031118a
    Battle Dancer - Dragon Compendium
    Jester - Dragon Compendium
    Cutpurse - Dragon Compendium
    Grappling Block - Oriental Adventures
    Spell Reflection - Complete Mage
    Combat Panache - Player’s Handbook 2
    Master Pickpocket - City of Stormreach
    Skill Tricks - Complete Scoundrel
    Candle of Truth - DMG
    Runestaff - Magic Item Compendium



    Kolyarut Avatar by Potatocubed.
    Quote Originally Posted by willpell View Post
    Only playing Tier 1s is like only eating in five-star restaurants [...] sometimes I just want a cheeseburger and some frogurt. Why limit yourself?
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  10. - Top - End - #70
    Troll in the Playground
     
    The Viscount's Avatar

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground CVI

    Thief Mike just doesn't have the same ring to it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Killer Mike
    Killer Mike
    NE Strongheart Halfling Savant 1 / Duskblade 4 / Nosomatic Chirurgeon 1 / Disciple of Mammon 5 / Nar Demonbinder 4 / Nosomatic Chirurgeon 4 / Savant 1

    Spoiler: Story
    Show

    - Always tempted (touch of summoning), finally turned as Nosomatic Chirurgeon; pledged to Mammon for more power
    - Addicted to summoning and controlling demons, ever since child
    - Abandoned and betrayed Mammon and return to demons / old ways for even more power


    Spoiler: Build
    Show

    Ability Scores
    32 Point Buy: Str 17, Dex 8, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 8, Cha 15
    Racial: Str 15, Dex 10, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 8, Cha 15
    4: Str 16, Dex 10, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 8, Cha 15
    8: Str 16, Dex 10, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 8, Cha 16
    12: Str 16, Dex 10, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 8 Cha 17
    16: Str 16, Dex 10, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 8, Cha 18
    20: Str 17, Dex 10, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 8, Cha 18

    Build Table
    Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    1st Savant 1 +0 +0 +0 +2 Appraise 4, Heal 4, Know. (Nature) 4, Know. (Planes) 4, Open Lock 4, Sleight of Hand 4, Sense Motive 2 Iron Will, Touch of Summoning Academic Lore, Trapfinding, Skill Assistance (5 ft)
    2nd Duskblade 1 +1 +2 +0 +4 Heal 5, Know. (Planes) 5 Arcane Attunement, Armored Mage (Light)
    3rd Duskblade 2 +2 +3 +0 +5 Appraise 4.5, Heal 6 Least Dragonmark (Healing), Combat CastingB
    4th Duskblade 3 +3 +3 +1 +5 Appraise 5, Heal 7 Arcane Channeling
    5th Duskblade 4 +4 +4 +1 +6 Appraise 5.5, Heal 8 Armored Mage (Medium)
    6th Nosomatic Chirurgeon 1 +4 +6 +1 +8 Appraise 6, Know. (Planes) 6 Disciple of Darkness Heir's Mark, Nosomatic Chirugry, Pestilential Touch
    7th Disciple of Mammon 1 +4 +6 +3 +10 Intimidate 1, Know. (Planes) 7 Lie
    8th Disciple of Mammon 2 +5 +6 +4 +11 Intimidate 2, Know. (Planes) 8 Cheat
    9th Disciple of Mammon 3 +6 +7 +4 +11 Intimidate 3, Know. (Planes) 9 Spell Focus (Conjuration) Thief, Steal
    10th Disciple of Mammon 4 +7 +7 +5 +12 Intimidate 4, Know. (Planes) 10 Divert Attack
    11th Disciple of Mammon 5 +7 +7 +5 +12 Intimidate 5 Summon Osyluth
    12th Nar Demonbiner 1 +7 +7 +5 +14 Spellcraft 1 Poison Spell Fiendish Familiar, Inimical Casting
    13th Nar Demonbinder 2 +8 +7 +5 +15 Spellcraft 2 Iron Sign
    14th Nar Demonbinder 3 +8 +8 +6 +15 Spellcraft 3 Master Summoner
    15th Nar Demonbiner 4 +9 +8 +6 +16 Spellcraft 4 Maximize Spell Brazen Sign
    16th Nosomatic Chirurgeon 2 +10 +9 +6 +17 Spellcraft 5 Plague Bearer
    17th Nosomatic Chirurgeon 3 +11 +9 +7 +17 Spellcraft 6 Isolate Pathogen
    18th Nosomatic Chirurgeon 4 +12 +10 +7 +18 Power Attack Nosomatic Touch
    19th Nosomatic Chirugeon 5 +12 +11 +7 +19 Ascendant Carrier
    20th Savant 2 +13 +11 +7 +19 Mastery of Day and Night

    Duskblade Spells
    Level 0lvl 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
    1st 3 2 - - - - - - - -
    2nd 4 3 - - - - - - - -
    3rd 5 4 - - - - - - - -
    4th 6 5 - - - - - - - -
    5th 6 5 2 - - - - - - -

    Nar Demonbinder Spells
    Level 0lvl 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
    1st - - - - 3 1 - - - -
    2nd - - - - 4 2 - - - -
    3rd - - - - 4 2 1 - - -
    4th - - - - 4 3 2 - - -
    5th - - - - 4 3 2 1 - -
    6th - - - - 4 4 3 2 - -
    7th - - - - 4 4 3 2 1 -



    Spoiler: Breakpoints
    Show

    Spoiler: Level 5
    Show

    You're a Duskblade who also took a level of Savant for some reason. Wonder why. Not great but not horrible.

    Spoiler: Level 10
    Show

    O, now it makes sense. PrC designers don't realize how hard it is to get Appraise and Heal through non-cheesy means. Anyway, you've reached what I think is the most interesting point of the build. Duskblade Channeling Unlimited Inflicts on every attack. You could also use mass inflicts instead if you have mobs of enemies. Plus you're wearing medium armor, have decent BAB, and a mix of Duskblade spells to sling around.

    Spoiler: Level 15
    Show

    Another interesting trick here, using 4-th level spontaneous Inflicts to qualify for Nar Demonbinder. We can also 'milk' our friendly Osyluth for poision (appiled via Poison Spell) or bring him to bear in combat.

    Spoiler: Level 20
    Show

    ...and a nice little bit of 8th's to top everythin off. Summon a bunch of demon/devil baddies every day to fight alongside you and go to town. Don't forget to maximize your inflicts! O, and you can also hit people with Mummy Rot once that comes online (or any other disease you pick up).



    Spoiler: etc
    Show


    OK, now for some random ramblings, notes on potential optimizations for future people who stumble on this post, myself, etc

    Notes:
    - I've always wanted to use Savant!
    - Ebbern / Fareun conflict(s)
    - The build has a nice reflexiveness to it (Savant / NC / NC / Savant)

    More Power:
    - Swap Factotum (+Ref save, Inspiration)
    - Otyguh Hole (Iron Will, 3k gp)
    - Lesser Planetouched Wispling (or D'Hin'ni Dr350) for better stats (not sure if they qualify as Halflings)
    - Savant to Bard and Nar Demonbinder to Sublime Chord
    - or move ND earlier
    - Plus take a +1 / CL PrC (e.g. Malconvoker or Abjurant Champion, Eldritch Knight, etc)
    - Swap in Warblade 1 and JPM 1+
    - Craft Staff (my other build, powered by Osy's spells; at will means you can make 50 charges with one use each)

    Cheese:
    - Summon Devil == Summon Monster for Nar Demonbinder (skip Touch of Summoning)
    - Legacy Champion and/or Uncanny Trickster for 9'ths
    - Free Appraise via Cityscape
    Kolyarut Avatar by Potatocubed.
    Quote Originally Posted by willpell View Post
    Only playing Tier 1s is like only eating in five-star restaurants [...] sometimes I just want a cheeseburger and some frogurt. Why limit yourself?
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  11. - Top - End - #71
    Troll in the Playground
     
    The Viscount's Avatar

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground CVI

    And that's our entries for this round. Judges, do your stuff!
    Kolyarut Avatar by Potatocubed.
    Quote Originally Posted by willpell View Post
    Only playing Tier 1s is like only eating in five-star restaurants [...] sometimes I just want a cheeseburger and some frogurt. Why limit yourself?
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  12. - Top - End - #72
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground CVI

    Holy crap that is a lot of very varied builds! Not too much vizzini compared to what I would have expected.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zaq View Post
    I feel like telling the ghost of Gary Gygax to hold your beer is a good way to suddenly stop being the GM, but I have to admit that this would probably be remarkably effective. At what, I dunno, but effective.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zombulian View Post
    I am continually astounded by how new you are here in contrast to how impressive your mind is.

  13. - Top - End - #73
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    GnomePirate

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground CVI

    Wow, lots of entries. I'll get to reading tomorrow evening.

  14. - Top - End - #74
    Troll in the Playground
     
    RogueGuy

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground CVI

    All of these builds working together as bad guys would be a ridiculous intrigue campaign.

  15. - Top - End - #75
    Nerdomancer in the Playground Moderator
     
    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground CVI

    completely ran out of time, went to ask for extension, and they're up already. no worries.

    my initial build was half daelkyr martial rogue 6/mammon 4/jaunter 4/mammon +6. with planar rogue at 6th.

    after that I had an idea for a psionic entry, but never even got that off the ground.

    have to dig into these more later.
    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

  16. - Top - End - #76
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Hiro Quester's Avatar

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground CVI

    Wow. Looking forward to reading these carefully. So many things I did not expect (two nar demonbinders!)

    I was playing with psychic rogue5/Hoardstealer 4/DoM +7/inquisitor1/ DoM +3

    Starting with Psychic rogue 5 to get the dimensional pocket ability (small weightless invisible pouch in your hand) to steal things well, and eventually work with the telekinesis

    Then hoardstealer, for the 3rd level ability to turn that dimensional pocket (among others) into a full bag of holding. Then I could hide many dragonhoard valuables into my hand and disappear them. (And eventually use the steal ability to telekinetically Hoover them into that invisible weightless pocket).

    And hoardstealer 4 gives treasure dowsing to help find that treasure.

    Inquisitor 1 gives you the ability to add your ranks in concentration to an intelligence check (like the DoM appraise check you use to enhance the value of the valuable you steal).

    That was the main parts of the build. Also using the summoning ability to distract and deal with guards or dragons when I get caught stealing and need to hide and sneak away.

    I didn’t find a way to get much power, though. Nor did I figure out much of the skills and feats, apart from intending to maximize appraise, keeping concentration high (to add extra enhanced value to stolen items) and devoting the rest to sneaking and burgling skills.

    I also had a bad joke in mind about having been caught by a dragon stealing its treasure, and kept as a prisoner. Betraying my burgling partner to become a prisoner/slave instead of being eaten.

    Using Hoardstealer’s ability to make any “container” into a bag of holding to survive the dragon’s attempt to engage in a humiliating and disgusting sexual ritual. (Hopefully ‘nuff said.)

    Branching into DoM as a way of getting more good at stealing dragonhoards as revenge.

    I really have not had time to write all that up. And I figured maximizing the ability to steal things and enhance their value would be a common tactic.

    From my brief look at the submitted builds, y’all went in some very unexpected directions.
    Quote Originally Posted by danielxcutter View Post
    This. This sooooo much. I wasn't expecting *two* thread wins from you.
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  17. - Top - End - #77
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground CVI

    Hoardstealer's an interesting complement to the SI. I hadn't thought of that. Interesting synergies outlined in your sample build, but paying all those taxes would've been a pain.
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  18. - Top - End - #78
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground CVI

    My discarded idea, which I still absolutely love, was to find a way to get an intelligent and Good animal companion, convince it to take Ancestral Relic and let me use the relic, and then use Disciple of Mammon's enhance value ability to enhance the value of all the nonmagical loot I came across to feed into Ancestral Relic to improve it. Ideally it would be a mounted build as well, because divert attack to divert an attack to my mount and then Mounted Combat to negate the attack with a ride check seemed really cool.

    I scoured lots and lots of places trying to find a legit way to get a Good animal companion, and only found one: the Totem Companion feat, which includes unicorns on the list of available totems but is NOT alignment-locked. I ended up writing up an evil fangshields ranger, with the fluff that he pretended to be a good guy, tricked his way into the fangshields and convinced a unicorn that they were fighting in the service of good - all while secretly furthering the cause of Mammon and bogarting the unicorn's magical family heirloom.

    The final build looked like this:

    Unseelie Fey Human, Rogue 2/Ranger 4/Beastmaster 4/Disciple of Mammon 10
    1 Martial Rogue1- Mounted Combat, Ride-By Attack, Able Learner, Disciple of Darknessvile
    2 Martial Rogue2- Power Attack, Unseelie Court Noble Kelirfey
    3 Ranger1- Track, Skill Focus (handle animal)
    4 Ranger2- (fighting style feat)
    5 Ranger3- Endurance, Blessing of the Godlessvile
    6 Ranger4- Beast Totem
    7 Beastmaster1-
    8 Beastmaster2- Alertness
    9 Disciple of Mammon1- Natural Bond
    10 Disciple of Mammon2- Apostatevile
    11 Disciple of Mammon3-
    12 Disciple of Mammon4- Totem Companion
    13 Disciple of Mammon5-
    14 Disciple of Mammon6-
    15 Disciple of Mammon7- Spirited Charge, Hellbound Knightvile
    16 Disciple of Mammon8-
    17 Disciple of Mammon9-
    18 Disciple of Mammon10- Wanderer’s Diplomacy
    19 Beastmaster3-
    20 Beastmaster4- Evil’s Blessingvile

    I still love the fluff, and it used three of the more interesting aspects of the secret ingredient really well (the lying abilities, divert attack and enhance value), but I was annoyed that I couldn't really get some of the other cool aspects like the telekinetic theft to do anything interesting. Unfortunately the huge number of feats and levels required to have an animal companion of level 12 (enough to get a unicorn and advance it at least 2HD, so that it would pick up a bonus feat) kinda locked me in for other options. Even with dipping martial rogue and going with Elder Evil devotion, I just barely managed to squeak everything in on time. In the end, I decided to go in a different direction and didn't have the energy to do two builds. Still, this was a fun concept and I'm a bit sad I couldn't quite end with a final version that I loved.
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    Post Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground CVI

    • Wynfrith d'Acker: NE Human Warblade 5/Disciple of Mammon 10/Master of the Unseen Hand 5
    • Danielle: LE Silverbrow Human Human Paragon 1/Totemist 2/Human Paragon +2/Chameleon 2/Disciple of Mammon 10/Chameleon +3
    • Bhedana Bharu: LE Vriscika Human Ranger 2/OA Samurai (Kshatriya) 2/Disciple of Mammon 10/Fighter 2/Swordsage 4
    • Dukat d'Cannith: LE Human Artificer 6/Binder 1/Disciple of Mammon 10/Cannith Wand Adept 3
    • Wolfgang: LE Frostblood Half Orc Xorvintaal Exarch Ranger 3/Red Dragon Shaman 3/Menacing Brute 2/Disciple of Mammon 10
    • Peribsen: LE Catfolk Passive Way Monk 7/Disciple of Mammon 5/Swordsage 1/Marshal 1/Disciple of Mammon +5
    • Morgan Stanley: LE Necropolitan Human Duskblade 2/Swashbuckler 1/Battledancer 1/Disciple of Mammon 7/Ur-Priest 4/Nar Demonbinder 1/Mystic Theurge 4
    • Terrance 'The Menace': CE Changeling Rogue 2/Battle Dancer 1/Jester 7/Disciple of Mammon 10
    • Killer Mike: NE Strongheart Halfling Savant 1/Duskblade 4 /Nosomatic Chirurgeon 1/Disciple of Mammon 5/Nar Demonbinder 4 /Nosomatic Chirurgeon +4/Savant 1

  20. - Top - End - #80
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground CVI

    Quote Originally Posted by Venger View Post
    Hoardstealer's an interesting complement to the SI. I hadn't thought of that. Interesting synergies outlined in your sample build, but paying all those taxes would've been a pain.
    Since Hoardstealer was an Iron Chef SI not too long ago, I thought of it as one that many who follow IC would have thought of as low hanging fruit, and so not original enough to bother with.

    I’m surprised not to see an inquisitor dip for the +concentration to Improve Value appraise checks, too. Plus the ability to gather information about treasure, etc. seemed easy to make thematically consistent.
    Quote Originally Posted by danielxcutter View Post
    This. This sooooo much. I wasn't expecting *two* thread wins from you.
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  21. - Top - End - #81
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground CVI

    I'll admit I completely forget about Dragonlance Campaign Setting most competitions, probably because I don't have the book. You don't really see stuff from it very often in IC, so maybe not that many chefs have it.
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    Only playing Tier 1s is like only eating in five-star restaurants [...] sometimes I just want a cheeseburger and some frogurt. Why limit yourself?
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  22. - Top - End - #82
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground CVI

    Quote Originally Posted by Hiro Quester View Post
    Since Hoardstealer was an Iron Chef SI not too long ago, I thought of it as one that many who follow IC would have thought of as low hanging fruit, and so not original enough to bother with.

    I’m surprised not to see an inquisitor dip for the +concentration to Improve Value appraise checks, too. Plus the ability to gather information about treasure, etc. seemed easy to make thematically consistent.
    Inquisitor is bangarang for int checks, but the alertness feat blows if you don't get it for free. And hoardstealer delays entry into DoM cuz it begs for a skill monkey base.

  23. - Top - End - #83
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground CVI

    Quote Originally Posted by daremetoidareyo View Post
    Inquisitor is bangarang for int checks, but the alertness feat blows if you don't get it for free. And hoardstealer delays entry into DoM cuz it begs for a skill monkey base.
    Urban Companion Ranger, maybe?

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  24. - Top - End - #84
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground CVI

    Quote Originally Posted by daremetoidareyo View Post
    Inquisitor is bangarang for int checks, but the alertness feat blows if you don't get it for free. And hoardstealer delays entry into DoM cuz it begs for a skill monkey base.
    I figured Psychic rogue 5 with a decent int would cover it well (all skills are in-class). It is steep, though. If you needed more skills you could take Hoardstealer later, after some DoM. I just liked the joke of using Hoardstealer’s ability to make a container into a bag of holding, in order to survive the humiliating sexual ritual (with a dragon) prerequisite for DoM. That’s putting comedy above practicality, which has bitten me before, though.

    Plus there a few psionic abilities that would help a depraved thief. Psychic rogue 5 knows 4 powers and has 6pp to use per day.
    Dimensional pocket would be key to stealing and instantly hiding things. Spending 4pp on it makes it last all day.
    Cloud Mind makes the target unaware of your presence. That’s gold.
    Far hand would also help until you got telekinesis.
    Conceal thoughts could be useful for bluffing you way out of tricky situations
    Last edited by Hiro Quester; 2020-11-02 at 12:16 AM. Reason: Added duration
    Quote Originally Posted by danielxcutter View Post
    This. This sooooo much. I wasn't expecting *two* thread wins from you.
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  25. - Top - End - #85
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground CVI

    I had a second build stub focused on redirecting attacks, with maneuvers, Elusive Target, Spell Reflection, Live My Nightmare (for when people use detect thoughts against you), Word Given Form/Temerad Mastery I, and so on. Unfortunately, getting into Master of Nine is really feat-intensive, and the build just didn't do that much with Disciple of Mammon.
    Last edited by ExLibrisMortis; 2020-11-02 at 12:00 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keledrath View Post
    Libris: look at your allowed sources. I don't think any of your options were from those.
    My incarnate/crusader. A self-healing crowd-control melee build (ECL 8).
    My Ruby Knight Vindicator barsader. A party-buffing melee build (ECL 14).

  26. - Top - End - #86
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground CVI

    Quote Originally Posted by ExLibrisMortis View Post
    I had a second build stub focused on redirecting attacks, with maneuvers, Elusive Target, Spell Reflection, Live My Nightmare (for when people use detect thoughts against you), Word Given Form/Temerad Mastery I, and so on. Unfortunately, getting into Master of Nine is really feat-intensive, and the build just didn't do that much with Disciple of Mammon.
    I'm a little surprised we didn't see a Defensive Rebuke+Divert Attack Crusader build.

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  27. - Top - End - #87
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground CVI

    I am too, to be honest. Perhaps the chefs found it too hard to qualify as a crusader and thought ways to get in (feats, dips, etc) slowed down maneuver progression too much?
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    Venger, can you be my full-time memory aid please?
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground CVI

    Quote Originally Posted by WhamBamSam View Post
    I'm a little surprised we didn't see a Defensive Rebuke+Divert Attack Crusader build.
    You mean, redirecting attacks to force an opponent to attack someone else and provoke? I hadn't even thought of that. It's a cool trick, but runs into the usage limit on Divert Attack really quickly. Three uses a day is very limiting once you have the tools to force attacks to hit you.

    Edit: Elusive Target does not have a usage restriction, and Defensive Rebuke doesn't say your opponent has to attack an ally, so... crusader with Combat Reflexes, Elusive Target, and Temerad Mastery (gives you two Dodge targets) or Might of the Hand (WIS mod Dodge targets). Any time you redirect an attack, you get to punish the enemy with an AoO as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Venger View Post
    I am too, to be honest. Perhaps the chefs found it too hard to qualify as a crusader and thought ways to get in (feats, dips, etc) slowed down maneuver progression too much?
    It is hard to qualify as crusader, and some of the classic redirecting maneuvers (Manticore Parry, Scorpion Parry) aren't available to crusaders. And getting a crusader into Master of Nine is... trying.

    My stub was spellthief 2/monk 2/swordsage 2/disciple of mammon 10/master of nine 4 (weaving the Mo9 levels into the DoM levels), but that fails to qualify for DoM on account of the base attack requirement. I usually use fractional bab when building, and with that you do qualify, but that is not allowed in this competition.

    Going with the "thief" aspect of DoM, spellthief 2 lets you steal active buff effects, which are not limited by spellthief level the way stolen spells are. You can even steal the devil summons' fly and unholy aura buffs. But with trickster spellthief unavailable and Disciple of Mammon without casting, pure spellthief didn't do as much as I'd have liked.

    All in all, the build ended up being better without the SI, which is usually a sign you have to stop building and think of something else .
    Last edited by ExLibrisMortis; 2020-11-02 at 03:11 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faily View Post
    Read ExLibrisMortis' post...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Keledrath View Post
    Libris: look at your allowed sources. I don't think any of your options were from those.
    My incarnate/crusader. A self-healing crowd-control melee build (ECL 8).
    My Ruby Knight Vindicator barsader. A party-buffing melee build (ECL 14).

  29. - Top - End - #89
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground CVI

    I think the class would have benefited from damnation points per encounter spent & regained like factotum's inspiration rather than per day limits. Maybe 2 per class level. 1 point for steal, 4 for divert attack, 5 and 10 for the summons.

  30. - Top - End - #90
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground CVI

    Or just let us do the cool stuff at will (except maybe the summons.)
    I've got a new fantasy TTRPG about running your own fencing school in a 3 musketeers pastiche setting. Book coming soon.

    Check out my new sci-fi TTRPG about first contact. Cool alien races, murderous AIs, and more. New book coming soon.

    Quote Originally Posted by weckar View Post
    Venger, can you be my full-time memory aid please?
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