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    AvatarVecna's Avatar

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    Jan 2014

    Default Zinc Saucier XXXVIII: Foolish Samurai Warrior!

    Welcome one and all to the thirty-eighth Zinc Saucier challenge, where Playgrounders come to test their skill in the art of beautiful and bizarre (and bizarrely beautiful) builds, summoning a savory dish of superb swordplay and sublime sorcery.

    The challenge? To come up with a build that has the same abilities and feel as the Secret Ingredient WITHOUT actually using it!

    For the thirty-eighth challenge, we'll be studying the blade and cooking up a Kensai (the PrC)

    Our challengers will have about 2 weeks to build a complete build up to Effective Character Level 20 using a 32 point buy and all official WOTC D&D 3.5 materials (excluding Dragon Magazine, but including any WOTC online enhancements) with the abilities and feel of a Kensai without actually using any levels in it.

    Entries must be submitted by Friday, 9:00pm GMT, September 17th, 2021. As usual, please submit your entries via private message to the chairman, so as not to influence the other sauciers.

    Judges will then have until Friday, 9:00pm GMT, October 1st, 2021, to post scores for all dishes.

    Contestants will be judged and awarded a score of 1 through 5 in each of 4 categories:
    • Innovation (Uniqueness in character concept, race, class, etc)
    • Power (How powerful and versatile it is compared to the base class)
    • Elegance (What can only be described as how well the build "flows", i.e not using lots of 1-2lv dips, sacrificing flavour for power or using flaws)
    • Ingredient (How well the build captures the abilities and feel of the base class)


    Presentation would be best in the style of how the iron chef does their presentations, however any style is allowed so long as it is clear on how the build was made.

    Submission:
    To standardize Entries, please use this format when sending it in:

    PM: AvatarVecna
    Subject: Zinc Saucier 38, Name of your Entry

    For Revisions and disputes, do the same thing. It makes it easier for me finding the entries in my mail box.

    If you have questions about the contest that feel inappropriate to ask in the main thread, please PM me with "Zinc Saucier 38 Questions". Keep in mind that I am not a judge, and so questions about how acceptable X or Y might be to judges will get (at best) a guess on my part due to my somewhat limited familiarity with the competitive community.

    Recommended style is as the spoilers below. The end of the second post has a link to a Google Sheet that helps show the layout, if that will help you with planning out your build.

    Spoiler
    Show
    NAME OF ENTRY
    Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    1st New Class Level +x +x +x +x Skills Feats New Class Abilities
    2nd New Class Level +x +x +x +x Skills Feats New Class Abilities
    3rd New Class Level +x +x +x +x Skills Feats New Class Abilities
    4th New Class Level +x +x +x +x Skills Feats New Class Abilities
    5th New Class Level +x +x +x +x Skills Feats New Class Abilities
    6th New Class Level +x +x +x +x Skills Feats New Class Abilities
    7th New Class Level +x +x +x +x Skills Feats New Class Abilities
    8th New Class Level +x +x +x +x Skills Feats New Class Abilities
    9th New Class Level +x +x +x +x Skills Feats New Class Abilities
    10th New Class Level +x +x +x +x Skills Feats New Class Abilities
    11th New Class Level +x +x +x +x Skills Feats New Class Abilities
    12th New Class Level +x +x +x +x Skills Feats New Class Abilities
    13th New Class Level +x +x +x +x Skills Feats New Class Abilities
    14th New Class Level +x +x +x +x Skills Feats New Class Abilities
    15th New Class Level +x +x +x +x Skills Feats New Class Abilities
    16th New Class Level +x +x +x +x Skills Feats New Class Abilities
    17th New Class Level +x +x +x +x Skills Feats New Class Abilities
    18th New Class Level +x +x +x +x Skills Feats New Class Abilities
    19th New Class Level +x +x +x +x Skills Feats New Class Abilities
    20th New Class Level +x +x +x +x Skills Feats New Class Abilities

    Code immediately below (spoiler).
    Spoiler
    Show
    [table="width: 1000, class: grid, align: center"]
    [tr]
    [td][B]Level[/B][/td]
    [td][B]Class[/B][/td]
    [td][B]Base Attack Bonus[/B][/td]
    [td][B]Fort Save[/B][/td]
    [td][B]Ref Save[/B][/td]
    [td][B]Will Save[/B][/td]
    [td][B]Skills[/B][/td]
    [td][B]Feats[/B][/td]
    [td][B]Class Features[/B][/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]1st[/td]
    [td]New Class Level[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]Skills[/td]
    [td]Feats[/td]
    [td]New Class Abilities[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]2nd[/td]
    [td]New Class Level[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]Skills[/td]
    [td]Feats[/td]
    [td]New Class Abilities[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]3rd[/td]
    [td]New Class Level[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]Skills[/td]
    [td]Feats[/td]
    [td]New Class Abilities[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]4th[/td]
    [td]New Class Level[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]Skills[/td]
    [td]Feats[/td]
    [td]New Class Abilities[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]5th[/td]
    [td]New Class Level[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]Skills[/td]
    [td]Feats[/td]
    [td]New Class Abilities[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]6th[/td]
    [td]New Class Level[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]Skills[/td]
    [td]Feats[/td]
    [td]New Class Abilities[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]7th[/td]
    [td]New Class Level[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]Skills[/td]
    [td]Feats[/td]
    [td]New Class Abilities[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]8th[/td]
    [td]New Class Level[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]Skills[/td]
    [td]Feats[/td]
    [td]New Class Abilities[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]9th[/td]
    [td]New Class Level[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]Skills[/td]
    [td]Feats[/td]
    [td]New Class Abilities[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]10th[/td]
    [td]New Class Level[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]Skills[/td]
    [td]Feats[/td]
    [td]New Class Abilities[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]11th[/td]
    [td]New Class Level[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]Skills[/td]
    [td]Feats[/td]
    [td]New Class Abilities[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]12th[/td]
    [td]New Class Level[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]Skills[/td]
    [td]Feats[/td]
    [td]New Class Abilities[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]13th[/td]
    [td]New Class Level[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]Skills[/td]
    [td]Feats[/td]
    [td]New Class Abilities[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]14th[/td]
    [td]New Class Level[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]Skills[/td]
    [td]Feats[/td]
    [td]New Class Abilities[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]15th[/td]
    [td]New Class Level[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]Skills[/td]
    [td]Feats[/td]
    [td]New Class Abilities[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]16th[/td]
    [td]New Class Level[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]Skills[/td]
    [td]Feats[/td]
    [td]New Class Abilities[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]17th[/td]
    [td]New Class Level[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]Skills[/td]
    [td]Feats[/td]
    [td]New Class Abilities[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]18th[/td]
    [td]New Class Level[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]Skills[/td]
    [td]Feats[/td]
    [td]New Class Abilities[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]19th[/td]
    [td]New Class Level[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]Skills[/td]
    [td]Feats[/td]
    [td]New Class Abilities[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]20th[/td]
    [td]New Class Level[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]Skills[/td]
    [td]Feats[/td]
    [td]New Class Abilities[/td]
    [/tr]
    [/table]

    For entries with spellcasting, use the following table for Spells per day and Spells Known. (Spells Known only if necessary, i.e. Sorcerer or Bard, but not Wizard or Warmage)
    Spoiler
    Show
    Spells per Day/Spells Known
    Level 0lvl 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
    1st - - - - - - - - - -
    2nd - - - - - - - - - -
    3rd - - - - - - - - - -
    4th - - - - - - - - - -
    5th - - - - - - - - - -
    6th - - - - - - - - - -
    7th - - - - - - - - - -
    8th - - - - - - - - - -
    9th - - - - - - - - - -
    10th - - - - - - - - - -
    11th - - - - - - - - - -
    12th - - - - - - - - - -
    13th - - - - - - - - - -
    14th - - - - - - - - - -
    15th - - - - - - - - - -
    16th - - - - - - - - - -
    17th - - - - - - - - - -
    18th - - - - - - - - - -
    19th - - - - - - - - - -
    20th - - - - - - - - - -
    Code immediately below (spoiler)
    Spoiler
    Show
    [B]Spells per Day/Spells Known[/B]
    [table="width: 500, class: grid, align: center"]
    [tr]
    [td][B]Level[/B][/td]
    [td][B]0lvl[/B][/td]
    [td][B]1st[/B][/td]
    [td][B]2nd[/B][/td]
    [td][B]3rd[/B][/td]
    [td][B]4th[/B][/td]
    [td][B]5th[/B][/td]
    [td][B]6th[/B][/td]
    [td][B]7th[/B][/td]
    [td][B]8th[/B][/td]
    [td][B]9th[/B][/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]1st[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]2nd[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]3rd[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]4th[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]5th[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]6th[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]7th[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]8th[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]9th[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]10th[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]11th[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]12th[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]13th[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]14th[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]15th[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]16th[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]17th[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]18th[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]19th[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]20th[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [/tr]
    [/table]


    Please do not post details of your build on the board before it is ready, so as not to spoil the surprise for others. Similarly, please try to refrain from speculating on possible builds too much even if you don't intend to use them yourself.

    Sauciers may submit up to two builds each, as we don't want to overfeed the judges.

    Previous Challenges:
    1. Soulknife
    2. Bard
    3. Monk
    4. Assassin
    5. Barbarian
    6. Warlock
    7. Paladin *
    8. Warblade
    9. Pyrokineticist
    10. Ninja *
    11. Druid
    12. True Necromancer
    13. Dervish
    14. Whisperknife
    15. Epic Infiltrator *
    16. Master of Vipers
    17. Ranger *
    18. Flayerspawn Psychic
    19. Totemist
    20. Walker in the Waste
    21. Drunken Master
    22. Cleric
    23. Duskblade
    24. Psibond Agent
    25. Argent Fist
    26. Fighter
    27. Artificier
    28. Knight
    29. Spellthief
    30. Factorum no cooks submitted
    31. Dragonfire Adept
    32. Battle Dancer
    33. Illithid Slayer one cook submitted
    34. Swashbuckler
    35. Chameleon
    36. Dread Necromancer one cook submitted
    37. Warmage


    *: Classes marked with an asterisk have had their original posts updated to reflect the final results.

    This competition is inspired by the Playground Iron Chef Competitions and uses mostly identical rules.




    Competitors will be free to use any official 3.5 rulebook in constructing their builds. Dragon magazine is disallowed, and Unearthed Arcana is allowed; but see Elegance below. Web-exclusive 3.0 or 3.5 materials by WotC are expressly allowed, but take care to verify that an updated version did not appear in print elsewhere, as this may cause an Elegance deduction at the judges' discretion. Alternate rule systems from UA such as gestalt and generic classes are not allowed, as they create a different playing field. Also, item familiars are forbidden because I hate 'em.

    Power level is up to you. Cheese is acceptable, but should be kept to a sane level unless you're showcasing a new TO build you've discovered. In the words of one of my predecessors, a little cheddar can be nice, but avoid the mature Gruyere unless you're making a cheese fondue.

    Elegance could bear a little elaboration. It basically measures how skillfully you put your build together, and whether you sacrificed flavor for power. We're cooking here - if your dish doesn't taste good, it doesn't matter how well-presented it is. Use of flaws is an automatic loss of one point per flaw in this category. Other things that will cause lost points here are excessive multiclassing, and classes that don't fit the concept - using Cloistered Cleric in a front-line melee fighter, for example, may lose you points. Please note the following: a legal source's relative obscurity should not be considered as penalizing Elegance, excepting the aforementioned issues with Unearthed Arcana. Using too many sources may be an Elegance deduction at the judges' discretion, but a book's relative obscurity may not.

    Concerning Experience Requirements: Each build is allotted exactly 200,000 EXP. This is roughly 10,000 EXP more than necessary to get to 20th level. Please take note of this when planning your character for circumstances like LA Buyoff, Item Crafting, Magic Use, Multiclassing EXP Penalties, etc.

    Definition of Power for scoring: Since this has been a point of contention, let me lay down this guideline. Since the goal is to emulate the Secret Ingredient, achieving much higher power than the Secret Ingredient is capable of is overkill and should be marked accordingly. Likewise if the build cannot match the power of the Secret Ingredient it should be marked accordingly. Individual judges can decide how much is too much for Power scoring, as each judge will have different tastes. The goal here is to prevent all entries being Wizard 20 because "they do it better."

    What's the minimum score in a category? Assuming an entry is legal, the minimum score in any category is 1. If a judge is convinced that an entry is illegal by the RAW, the judge may give a 0 or decline to score a given entry. Because this contest focuses on Player Characters, an entry that is not technically allowed for a PC, but is viable as an NPC, counts as a legal entry, but may receive a minimum score at the judges' discretion.

    Is Dragon Compendium Allowed? Yes, but individual issues of Dragon Magazine are not.

    What about 3.0 materials? 3.0 materials, whether online or in printed form, are allowed unless they've been officially updated to a 3.5 edition.

    Are Dragonlance, Ravenloft, Planescape, Dark Sun, or Kingdoms of Kalamar allowable sources? The Dragonlance Campaign Setting is allowed, but the subsequent books for Dragonlance are considered 3rd party, and are therefore not eligible, despite the "WotC approved" status of those books. The same holds for Oriental Adventures (1st party) and the subsequent Rokugan books (3rd party). Materials from Ravenloft, Planescape, Dark Sun, and Kingdoms of Kalamar are considered 3rd party for purposes of this contest, and are therefore not allowed.

    What about online sources in general? If the online source is a) published by WotC, and b) not replaced by an updated version at a later time, it is eligible. Use it, link it.

    Where's the line drawn with "acceptable/unacceptable" for Unearthed Arcana? This will likely vary a bit from Chairman to Chairman. Variant class features and variant character classes are espressly permitted. Item Familiars and Gestalt have always been verboten; don't expect that to change. Flaws have similarly always been noted as warranting a deduction; even now that its me that is Chairing, its still extended to Traits, though they warrant 1/2 the penalty in Elegance that a Flaw would because they're roughly 1/2 as useful. Alternate spell systems, alternate skill systems and alternate crafting rules all create an uneven playing field, and as such, will be disallowed for as long as I am Chairman. Bloodlines are ripe for abuse, and will be discouraged as long as I am Chairman. Note that judges are allowed to look askance at any use of Unearthed Arcana not specifically mentioned above, at their discretion, and otherwise penalize Elegance according to their preference.

    What, exactly, does the ban on Leadership mean? As folks have started to try to work around the edges of this one, I'm forced to spell it out more plainly. No Leadership, Draconic Cohort, or Feats that grant a similar ability are allowed EXCEPT Wild Cohort while I am chairman. Any PrC you choose with Leadership or a Leadership-analog has that ability entirely ignored for this contest, as it may neither be used nor traded away via any means whatsoever.

    How the heck do I even do this? Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to select a combination of race, templates, classes, alternate class features, prestige classes, skills, and feats, meld them into a single character that progresses from ECL 1 to ECL 20, that is as close as possible to the secret ingredient as possible in look, feel, class features. How you do it is up to you, I recommend you read previous competitions if you are interested in seeing how others have done it before you. Capture the essence!

    Links amusement/edification:
    Last edited by AvatarVecna; 2021-09-04 at 08:50 AM.


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    Default Re: Zinc Saucier XXXVIII: Foolish Samurai Warrior!

    I presume we're talking about the Kensai PrC, rather than the Kensai fighter variant?

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    Quote Originally Posted by pabelfly View Post
    I presume we're talking about the Kensai PrC, rather than the Kensai fighter variant?
    That is correct.


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    Default Re: Zinc Saucier XXXVIII: Foolish Samurai Warrior!

    Do you get points for time travel shenanigans and being able to jump good?

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    Quote Originally Posted by pabelfly View Post
    I presume we're talking about the Kensai PrC, rather than the Kensai fighter variant?
    Welp, there goes my build.

    Tentatively in to judge again?

    Quote Originally Posted by martixy View Post
    Do you get points for time travel shenanigans and being able to jump good?

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    Default Re: Zinc Saucier XXXVIII: Foolish Samurai Warrior!

    Quote Originally Posted by AvatarVecna View Post
    Our challengers will have about 2 weeks to build a complete build up to Effective Character Level 20 using a 32 point buy and all official WOTC D&D 3.5 materials (excluding Dragon Magazine, but including any WOTC online enhancements) with the abilities and feel of a Warmage without actually using any levels in it.
    I think the underlined word needs updating!
    Quote Originally Posted by Maat Mons View Post
    "Look, Monk training involves toughening the body with repeated blows. That includes toughening the head with repeated blows to the head. A little brain damage is unavoidable, and I'd thank you not to mock my medical condition."

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    Default Re: Zinc Saucier XXXVIII: Foolish Samurai Warrior!

    As a past chair of this, can I just say how hard it is to catch all of the variables in the boilerplate language?

    Also the faq second post seems to be missing in action. Use the link in my signature if you need the fillable tables sheet.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    So now you're claiming that spellcasting "lacks a clear, supernatural element?" Being supernatural is literally the only point of magic.

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    Default Re: Zinc Saucier XXXVIII: Foolish Samurai Warrior!

    That ingredient seems to be pretty close from a recent iteration of Iron Chef...
    Trying to resurrect the Negative LA thread, any comment and discussion are very welcome!


    Quote Originally Posted by H_H_F_F View Post
    3.5 allows you to optimize into godhood, yes, but far more importantly, it lets you optimize weak, weird, and niche options into relevance.

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    Default Re: Zinc Saucier XXXVIII: Foolish Samurai Warrior!

    *dives into pile of dusty books*

    Think I've found a Vizzini magnet ... let's see if i can side-step it
    Last edited by Sian; 2021-09-04 at 02:02 PM.

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    Default Re: Zinc Saucier XXXVIII: Foolish Samurai Warrior!

    Just going to deliberately misunderstand for increased clarity

    Kensai as in Complete Warrior or
    Kensai as in Oriental Adventures?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sian View Post
    Just going to deliberately misunderstand for increased clarity

    Kensai as in Complete Warrior or
    Kensai as in Oriental Adventures?
    Complete Warrior is the one that should be emulated. That doesn't mean OA Kensai is available though - CW is the 3.5 update that overrides the 3.0 OA kensai. It would be the equivalent of saying "I'm not using 3.5 ranger, per contest rules, I'm using 3.0 ranger instead". Sorry if this feels unfair.


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    Default Re: Zinc Saucier XXXVIII: Foolish Samurai Warrior!

    Quote Originally Posted by AvatarVecna View Post
    Complete Warrior is the one that should be emulated. That doesn't mean OA Kensai is available though - CW is the 3.5 update that overrides the 3.0 OA kensai. It would be the equivalent of saying "I'm not using 3.5 ranger, per contest rules, I'm using 3.0 ranger instead". Sorry if this feels unfair.
    My point is, they have nothing in common except the name, and are not related mechanics-wise

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    Default Re: Zinc Saucier XXXVIII: Foolish Samurai Warrior!

    Well now we're potentially getting into speculation.

    From my experience with this contest, it is up to individual judges to determine how to treat such matters if necessary.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    So now you're claiming that spellcasting "lacks a clear, supernatural element?" Being supernatural is literally the only point of magic.

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    Default Re: Zinc Saucier XXXVIII: Foolish Samurai Warrior!

    I would argue that a chair ruling saying a specific prc isn't allowed in a specific round is conclusive enough. Doesn't seem like stepping our of line to me.

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    Default Re: Zinc Saucier XXXVIII: Foolish Samurai Warrior!

    You have my Kensai.

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    Default Re: Zinc Saucier XXXVIII: Foolish Samurai Warrior!

    Quote Originally Posted by loky1109 View Post
    You have my Kensai.
    And my axe. I'm kidding, I'm judging this round. I just couldn't help myself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sian View Post
    My point is, they have nothing in common except the name, and are not related mechanics-wise
    actually they don't technically even share a name. OA is 'Weapon Master (Kensei)' whereas CW is 'Kensai'.

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    Quote Originally Posted by liquidformat View Post
    actually they don't technically even share a name. OA is 'Weapon Master (Kensei)' whereas CW is 'Kensai'.
    And…OA was updated in dragon 318 like a month or two after CW came out…so like…that is the official 3.5 one

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    Default Re: Zinc Saucier XXXVIII: Foolish Samurai Warrior!

    Has the deadline been moved forward?
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    Quote Originally Posted by loky1109 View Post
    Has the deadline been moved forward?
    It hadn't been, but it will be. I'm moving it forward a week, to give people a bit more chance to salvage potential builds. That should mean...what, three days?


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    Default Re: Zinc Saucier XXXVIII: Foolish Samurai Warrior!

    So...I have one build in. Should I just do the reveal and move on to a more exciting round?


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    Default Re: Zinc Saucier XXXVIII: Foolish Samurai Warrior!

    Would have loved to enter. But I have, like, zero free time right now. I had an idea, can't even call it a stub. But I'll post at some point once you reveal.

    Sometimes these things don't really pan out in a given round.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    So now you're claiming that spellcasting "lacks a clear, supernatural element?" Being supernatural is literally the only point of magic.

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    Default Re: Zinc Saucier XXXVIII: Foolish Samurai Warrior!

    Big thanks to our sole contestant, who wins by default.

    While anyone who's interested checks out this cool build, I'm gonna go see if I can find a new ingredient for the next round.

    Quote Originally Posted by loky1109
    Did you say Kensai? Without Kensai? Easy! I have one.

    Spoiler: Portrait
    Show



    Spoiler: Story
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    A long time ago young orphan Luke grew up on the farm of his uncle. This was a simple, but happy life. But one day, the farm had been burnt and Luke’s family killed by soldiers of the local lord. Driven by a desire for revenge, he entered into a revolutionary gang that names themselves Rebel…

    Okey, all of you are knowing this history and I’m not a best teller. )))

    There are mentor's death, victory over great enemy, his own martial arts school... I repeat, you saw this story.



    Spoiler: Not only Tables
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    Spoiler: Kalashtar Soulknife-20
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    Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Reflex Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    1st Soulkhife-1 +0 +0 +2 +2 Concentration (+4) 4; Bluff (+4) 4; Iaijutsu Focus (+4 CC) 2; Intimidate (+2) 2; Jump (+4) 4; Tumble (+4) 4; Weapon Focus (MB) (B), Hidden Talent (Channel the Psychic Dragon) (B), Apprentice (Criminal) Mind blade
    2nd Soulkhife-2 +1 +0 +3 +3 Concentration (+1) 5; Bluff (+1) 5; Iaijutsu Focus (+1 CC) 2.5; Intimidate 2; Jump (+1) 5; Tumble (+1) 5; Throw mind blade
    3rd Bonus Feats Soulkhife-3 +2 +1 +3 +3 Concentration (+1) 6; Bluff (+1) 6; Iaijutsu Focus (+1 CC) 3; Intimidate 2; Jump (+1) 6; Tumble (+1) 6; Martial Study (Leading the Attack) (B), Shape Soulmeld (Lucky Dice)
    4th Soulkhife-4 +3 +1 +4 +4 Concentration (+1) 7; Bluff (+1) 7; Iaijutsu Focus (+1 CC) 3.5; Intimidate 2; Jump (+1) 7; Tumble (+1) 7; +1 mind blade
    5th Soulkhife-5 +3 +1 +4 +4 Concentration (+1) 8; Bluff (+1 CC) 7.5; Iaijutsu Focus (+1 CC) 4; Intimidate 2; Jump (+1) 8; Tumble (+1) 8; Apprentice -> Mentor (Martial Artist) Free draw, shape mind blade
    6th Kalashtar Soulkhife-6 +4 +2 +5 +5 Concentration 8; Bluff (+1 CC) 8; Iaijutsu Focus (+1 CC) 4.5; Intimidate 2; Jump 8; Tumble (+1) 9; Group Fake-Out; Martial Study (Action Before Thought) Mind blade enhancement +1, stand fast
    7th Bonus Feats Soulkhife-7 +5 +2 +5 +5 Concentration (+1) 9; Bluff (+1 CC) 8.5; Iaijutsu Focus (+1 CC) 5; Intimidate 2; Jump (+1) 9; Tumble (+1) 10; Group Fake-Out; Combat Expertise (B)
    8th Soulkhife-8 +6 +2 +6 +6 Concentration (+1) 10; Bluff (+1 CC) 9; Iaijutsu Focus (+1 CC) 5.5; Intimidate 2; Jump (+1) 10; Tumble (+1) 11; Group Fake-Out; +2 mind blade
    9th Soulkhife-9 +6 +3 +6 +6 Concentration 10; Bluff (+1 CC) 9.5; Iaijutsu Focus (+1 CC) 6; Intimidate 2; Jump 10; Tumble (+1) 12; Group Fake-Out; Acrobatic Backstab; Greater Weapon Focus (MB) (B), Hidden Talent (Adrenaline Boost)/Expanded Knowledge (Animal Affinity)* Bladewind
    10th Soulkhife-10 +7 +3 +7 +7 Concentration 10; Bluff (+1 CC) 10; Iaijutsu Focus (+1 CC) 6.5; Intimidate 2; Jump 10; Tumble (+1) 13; Group Fake-Out; Acrobatic Backstab; Back on Your Feet; Mind blade enhancement +2
    11th Bonus Feats Soulkhife-11 +8 +3 +7 +7 Concentration (+1) 11; Bluff (+1 CC) 10.5; Iaijutsu Focus (+1 CC) 7; Intimidate 2; Jump (+1) 11; Tumble (+1) 14; Group Fake-Out; Acrobatic Backstab; Back on Your Feet; Improved Feint (B)
    12th Soulkhife-12 +9 +4 +8 +8 Concentration (+1) 12; Bluff (+1 CC) 11; Iaijutsu Focus (+1 CC) 7.5; Intimidate 2; Jump (+1) 12; Tumble (+1) 15; Group Fake-Out; Acrobatic Backstab; Back on Your Feet; Martial Stance (Bolstering Voice) +3 mind blade
    13th Soulkhife-13 +9 +4 +8 +8 Concentration (+1) 13; Bluff (+1 CC) 11.5; Iaijutsu Focus (+1 CC) 8; Intimidate 2; Jump (+1) 13; Tumble (+1) 16; Group Fake-Out; Acrobatic Backstab; Back on Your Feet; Knife to the soul
    14th Soulkhife-14 +10 +4 +9 +9 Concentration (+1) 14; Bluff (+1 CC) 12; Iaijutsu Focus (+1 CC) 8.5; Intimidate 2; Jump (+1) 14; Tumble (+1) 17; Group Fake-Out; Acrobatic Backstab; Back on Your Feet; Mind blade enhancement +3
    15th Bonus Feats Soulkhife-15 +11 +5 +9 +9 Concentration (+2) 16; Bluff (+1 CC) 12.5; Iaijutsu Focus (+1 CC) 9; Intimidate 2; Jump (+1) 15; Tumble (+1) 18; Group Fake-Out; Acrobatic Backstab; Back on Your Feet; Surprising Riposte (B), Open Least Chakra (Hand)
    16th Soulkhife-16 +12 +5 +10 +10 Concentration (+2) 18; Bluff (+1 CC) 13; Iaijutsu Focus (+1 CC) 9.5; Intimidate 2; Jump (+1) 16; Tumble (+1) 19; Group Fake-Out; Acrobatic Backstab; Back on Your Feet; +4 mind blade
    17th Soulkhife-17 +12 +5 +10 +10 Concentration (+1) 19; Bluff (+2 CC) 14; Iaijutsu Focus (+1 CC) 10; Intimidate 2; Jump (+1) 17; Tumble (+1) 20; Group Fake-Out; Acrobatic Backstab; Back on Your Feet; Multiple throw
    18th Soulkhife-18 +13 +6 +11 +11 Concentration (+1) 20; Bluff (+2 CC) 15; Iaijutsu Focus (+1 CC) 10.5; Intimidate 2; Jump (+1) 18; Tumble (+1) 21; Group Fake-Out; Acrobatic Backstab; Back on Your Feet; Landlord Mind blade enhancement +4
    19th Bonus Feats Soulkhife-19 +14 +6 +11 +11 Concentration (+1) 21; Bluff (+2 CC) 16; Iaijutsu Focus (+1 CC) 11; Intimidate 2; Jump (+1) 19; Tumble (+1) 22; Group Fake-Out; Acrobatic Backstab; Back on Your Feet; Psycarnum Blade (B)
    20th Soulkhife-20 +15 +6 +12 +12 Concentration (+2) 23; Bluff (+2 CC) 17; Iaijutsu Focus 11; Intimidate 2; Jump (+1) 20; Tumble (+1) 23; Group Fake-Out; Acrobatic Backstab; Back on Your Feet; +5 mind blade
    * - look at the part "How can a soulknife be a kensai?"


    Spoiler: Abilities
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    Abilities Initial Level 4 Middle Age (Level 5) Level 8 Level 12 Old (Level 15) Level 16 Level 20 Total
    Str 13 -1 -2 10
    Dex 13 -1 -2 10
    Con 15 +1 -1 -2 +1 +1 15
    Int 12 +1 +1 14
    Wis 13 +1 +1 +1 16
    Cha 13 +1 +1 +1 16


    Spoiler: Psi
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    Level 1st PP
    1st Channel the Psychic Dragon 3
    2nd 4
    3rd 5
    4th 6
    5th 7
    6th 8
    7th 9
    8th 10
    9th Adrenaline Boost 13
    10th 14
    11th 15
    12th 16
    13th 17
    14th 18
    15th 19
    16th 20
    17th 21
    18th 22
    19th 23
    20th 24


    Spoiler: How can a soulknife be a kensai?
    Show
    Let's move from first to last.
    What comes to mind first when you are thinking about this class? Enhancement of his signature weapon.
    Soulkhife does this near perfect. Yes, he has +9 instead of +10 and his options are a few less flexible, but generally it is the same.

    Next. Power Surge. +8 to for up to 5 rounds. I have two options. One is better, but based on disputed ruling. I am talking about soulkhife’s manifester level. I read this tread and see two points of view. My opinion: yes, Soulkhife has ML. And this mean he maybe can take Expanded Knowledge (Animal Affinity) feat. But I understand that this option anyway is inelegant even with the assumption that my opinion is right. And as the first option I propose pretty RAW Hidden Talent (Adrenaline Boost). Expanded Knowledge (Animal Affinity) would be in game only if DM say "Yes".
    Both options do their work not ideal: +4 or +2 aren’t +8, but this is still something similar.

    We're moving on. Ki Projection. +2 to +10 on Bluff, Diplomacy, Gather Information, or Intimidate checks. I took Channel the Psychic Dragon power with my first level Hidden Talent. It gives +5 on Diplomacy and likely +5 on Bluff and +10 on Intimidate.
    Numbers are different, Gather Information isn’t presented at all, and there is a limitation on the number of uses.

    5th level and Withstand. This is easy. Martial Study (Action Before Thought). And of course I’ll use psionic focus to take 15 if it will be needed.

    Now about a bad… Instill. I can’t emulate this ability with a straight soulkhife. Mentor (Martial Artist) is closest that a have, but it still is far, far away…

    And capstone - Ki Warlord. Too much fluff, too few numbers. About fluff.
    Other kensai of the same alignment revere the ki warlord, and even those of differing alignments treat him with some measure of respect.
    Again Mentor (Martial Artist). Now it is at least in the same galaxy. There are some similarities, but some differences, too.

    If the ki warlord has an NPC master, this master likely assigns the ki warlord more responsibility and authority within his domain (perhaps giving him a castle, monastery, or military school).
    Landlord feat from Stronghold Builder's Guidebook gives me a castle.
    Numbers. +1 morale bonus on Will saves, Concentration checks, and attack rolls for allies within 30 feet radius. I have Martial Stance (Bolstering Voice) for Will saves, Shape Soulmeld (Lucky Dice), Open Least Chakra (Hand), and Psycarnum Blade for attack rolls, all saves and skills including Concentration, plus Martial Study (Leading the Attack) for attack rolls, too.

    Plus, I have Combat Expertise and Weapon Focus. These aren't Kensai’s class abilities, but all Kensais have them, because they are prerequisites. I have no ranks in Ride and Diplomacy, but have enough Concentration.
    This character can be of any alignment, so he definitely can by Lawful-Good, which match both with Kensai and with Portrait.



    Spoiler: Tactics and explanations
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    I always said that Soulknife and Iaijutsu Focus belong together. Free draw and more important free sheathe the weapon. Especially after 16th level. Full attack with all strikes with Iaijutsu Extra Damage is pretty good. Yes, Luke isn't the most damage dealer that I see. But three strikes with average +4d6 damage each isn’t nothing. Of course he needs a flat-footed opponent. This issue is solved by Surprising Riposte feat and Acrobatic Backstab skill-trick.

    Aging presents in build only for fluff reasons.

    Psycarnum Blade mainly used as an Essentia donor for Lucky Dice.

    Apprentice changed to Mentor according to this phrase in DMGII.
    If you allow, he can also immediately exchange his Apprentice feat for the Mentor feat.
    I - allow. How about you?

    Bonus Feats variant written very imprecise about what feats I can take.
    You may choose any feat designed for soulknives or any feat that your mind blade can benefit from, such as Power Attack or Improved Critical.
    Psycarnum Blade obviously is in. Combat Expertise, Improved Feint, Surprising Riposte, and especially Martial Study (Leading the Attack) aren’t so obvious, but this can be resonable suggestion.

    Mind Blade Enhancement… Well, to tell you the truth, the list of enhancements doesn't impress me. Maybe the best options for this build are Keen and Mindfeeder. Together they can offset Luke’s power points hunger. But this is a situational combination.



    Spoiler: Sources
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    PHB - Weapon Focus; Greater Weapon Focus; Combat Expertise; Improved Feint
    XPH - Soulkhife; Hidden Talent,; Expanded Knowledge; Animal Affinity
    DotU - Surprising Riposte
    DMGII - Apprentice; Mentor
    ToB - Martial Study; Martial Stance; Leading the Attack; Action Before Thought; Bolstering Voice
    MoI - Shape Soulmeld; Open Least Chakra; Psycarnum Blade; Lucky Dice
    SBG - Landlord
    CS - Group Fake-Out; Acrobatic Backstab; Back on Your Feet
    OA - Iaijutsu Focus
    RoE - Kalashtar, Kalashtar soulknife substitution levels,
    Expanded Classes, Part One - Soulknife ACF (Hidden Talent and Bonus Feats)


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    Default Re: Zinc Saucier XXXVIII: Foolish Samurai Warrior!

    Anybody judge?
    Last edited by loky1109; 2021-09-27 at 07:53 AM.
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    Orc in the Playground
     
    DrowGuy

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    Default Re: Zinc Saucier XXXVIII: Foolish Samurai Warrior!

    I'm gonna go see if I can find a new ingredient for the next round
    .

    I have question. I looked at previous rounds, it's all about emulating D&D staff with another D&D staff. How do you feel about emulating non-D&D staff? For example: Faceless Void from Dota, or Wolverine from Marvel.
    Or, maybe, this is out of this competition theme?
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    AvatarVecna's Avatar

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    Default Re: Zinc Saucier XXXVIII: Foolish Samurai Warrior!

    Quote Originally Posted by loky1109 View Post
    .

    I have question. I looked at previous rounds, it's all about emulating D&D staff with another D&D staff. How do you feel about emulating non-D&D staff? For example: Faceless Void from Dota, or Wolverine from Marvel.
    Or, maybe, this is out of this competition theme?
    The point of the competition is emulating both the mechanics and feel of a given class/PrC without just using the class/PrC itself. This provides a general framework as well as a restriction, without being too restrictive. "Make a Kensai" has particular mechanics to emulate, and a general feel, but the finer details of both fluff and mechanics are up to the individual poster. If this competition had been "Make Samurai Jack" instead, not only are the mechanics of Samurai Jack nonexistent (so you're essentially just going off his feats from the show), but also the fluff is pretty locked in place too.


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    mattie_p's Avatar

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    Default Re: Zinc Saucier XXXVIII: Foolish Samurai Warrior!

    I was pondering warforged artificer with some marshal levels.

    Artificer nabs Signature weapon (crafting their own fists), power surge (infusion).

    Marshal emulates ki projection (motivate Charisma) and ki warlord (major aura).

    Instill replicated by a little bit of both.

    Action before thought = withstand.

    Kinda meh, would've done the job. No time to invest.
    Blank 3.5 Character Creator Iron Chef Style Tables (in Google Sheets)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    So now you're claiming that spellcasting "lacks a clear, supernatural element?" Being supernatural is literally the only point of magic.

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Orc in the Playground
     
    DrowGuy

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    Default Re: Zinc Saucier XXXVIII: Foolish Samurai Warrior!

    Quote Originally Posted by mattie_p View Post
    Instill replicated by a little bit of both.
    How exactly had it been done?
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  30. - Top - End - #30
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    GnomePirate

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    Default Re: Zinc Saucier XXXVIII: Foolish Samurai Warrior!

    Cool build, Loky. Soulknife was a good thought to emulate the central frature - I assumed we'd see a lot of ancestral relics / Daisho to do that.

    Instill and Ki warlord are your weakest part, but overall this is a cool and straightforward emulation. I do think you could've built something a bit more interesting, trying to better emulate a few features by going outside of straight soulknife. I can't lie though, I get the appeal.

    Overall, this was a fun thought. Shame that this round didn't end up with more participation, but these things happen.

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