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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    Default Re-feat the tarrasque [3.x]

    The tarrasque. Most monstrous of monsters, towering engine of wrath and destruction. Except it's sadly not all that fearsome. Sure, it's tough to kill, but it also has a tough time doing anything to you, either.

    But looking over Big T's entry, I notice that 6 of his 17 feats are spent on Toughness. Now, to me, that a big neon sign that says "Hey, DMs, go ahead and change some of these feats around; those are just placeholders.". So given that number of feats, and all sources available, what would you give the Tarrasque to make him more impressive?

    Some ground rules, here:

    1: Adding templates, class levels, advancement by RHD, and equipment are all also perfectly valid ways of making a monster better, but let's save those for another thread. This is about the feats, here.

    2: Let's try to stick to both RAW and RAI, here. So on the one hand, no "Well, he ought to be eligible for this feat that's only open to dragons", and on the other hand, no DC 25 knowledge checks to summon Pazuzu. Again, these are both perfectly valid options for DMs, but it makes it too easy.

    3: Within those bounds, it's OK if we end up giving him the [awesome] subtype. If anyone should be a heavy-hitting, memorable fight, it's the Tarrasque. TPK by Tarrasque is acceptable.




    OK, so here are my starting suggestions:

    First, dump all of those Toughnesses, for sure. If nothing else, replace them by Improved Toughness, but even that's not too useful. If someone can take down an 858 HP tarrasque, then they can also take down a 1128 HP tarrasque without too much trouble.

    Now, the Tarrasque's two main strengths are its large number of HD, and its extremely high Con score. Let's try to leverage those strengths.

    The first thing the HD gives us is access to epic feats, for 10 of the 17 feats. The second thing those HD give us is an initiator level of 24, so we could give him some very high level Martial Studies and Martial Stances.

    As for the Con score, the obvious first choice is Steadfast Determination. That will first of all give him a +10 boost to his Will save, making it much harder to Dominate him or the like. It will also make him essentially immune to anything which offers a Fort save, since he'll no longer auto-fail on a 1, and his Fort is high enough that he'll almost never fail by the numbers, either.

    Another promising choice is Incarnum: Shape Soulmeld and possibly some of the Open Chakra feats taken a few times could patch up some of his issues with mobility and the like. And if I'm extrapolating the tables correctly, he'd have an essentia capacity of 9, if we want to spend any feats on Bonus Essentia.

    Any other suggestions, or specific refinements of these ideas?
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    Default Re: Re-feat the tarrasque [3.x]

    Remember for the IL, the ability to take Martial Study and Stance are based on the HD at the time you take the feat. So no taking an IL 12 maneuver at anything before 24 HD.
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    Default Re: Re-feat the tarrasque [3.x]

    Martial Study(Shadow Stride) to defeat the "Let's fly and drop rocks on it!" strategy. Use Adaptive Style to recover it, and Martial Study(Iron Heart Surge) to beat out most negative effects that would stop you. WRT is always good, but not necessary.
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    Default Re: Re-feat the tarrasque [3.x]

    Martial study three times for Shadow Noose, Shadow Blink, and one other, then Martial Stance for Balance on the Sky. Flying, teleporting, energy-shooting Tarrasque. I would also suggest dumping Alertness, Dodge, and maybe a few others, in addition to the toughnesses. Iron Will can be swapped for Steadfast Determination. Cleave, Great Cleave, Awesome Blow, and Improved Bullrush aren't great either. Actually, now that I look at it, pretty much all of the Tarrasque's feats suck.
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    Default Re: Re-feat the tarrasque [3.x]

    Quote Originally Posted by Worira View Post
    Martial study three times for Shadow Noose, Shadow Blink, and one other, then Martial Stance for Balance on the Sky. Flying, teleporting, energy-shooting Tarrasque. I would also suggest dumping Alertness, Dodge, and maybe a few others, in addition to the toughnesses. Iron Will can be swapped for Steadfast Determination. Cleave, Great Cleave, Awesome Blow, and Improved Bullrush aren't great either. Actually, now that I look at it, pretty much all of the Tarrasque's feats suck.
    Improved Bullrush isn't a bad idea, because it leads to the Terrasque using Shock Trooper on the Goliath Barbarian, and then possibly getting use of the cleave feat.

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    Default Re: Re-feat the tarrasque [3.x]

    just wanted to say
    The tarrasque’s armorlike carapace is exceptionally tough and highly reflective, deflecting all rays, lines, cones, and even magic missile spells.
    so never try to shoot a magic missile

    to add to the list
    improved natural attack, improved critical
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    Default Re: Re-feat the tarrasque [3.x]

    Quote Originally Posted by Worira View Post
    Martial study three times for Shadow Noose, Shadow Blink, and one other, then Martial Stance for Balance on the Sky. Flying, teleporting, energy-shooting Tarrasque. I would also suggest dumping Alertness, Dodge, and maybe a few others, in addition to the toughnesses. Iron Will can be swapped for Steadfast Determination. Cleave, Great Cleave, Awesome Blow, and Improved Bullrush aren't great either. Actually, now that I look at it, pretty much all of the Tarrasque's feats suck.
    He doesn't have a high enough IL for Balance on the Sky. Too bad, too, as that was my first thought. Snag Steadfast Determination, definitely, though. Power Attack, obviously. Adaptive Style to give him a recovery mechanic for his Martial Study. I'd say grab Martial Study(Dance of the Spider) so you can at least possibly catch flying enemies.

    Plus, almost everyone's feats suck. WotC did that deliberately, to balance them vs. a Blaster Caster/Healbot party.
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    Default Re: Re-feat the tarrasque [3.x]

    He has 48 HD, so a maximum IL of 24. The only problem is that high IL studies are using epic slots.

    Another good martial study choice would be Mountain Tombstone Strike, for 2d6 con damage with no save and no prerequisites.
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    Default Re: Re-feat the tarrasque [3.x]

    Some soulmeld thoughts: Shape Soulmeld (Kruthik Claws) and Open Lesser Chakra (shoulders) would give 10 points of acid resistance, more if we also throw in Bonus Essentia, thus patching over one of the few things that can damage the Tarrasque in the first place.

    And Apparition Ribbon would let him more reliably hit those pesky incorporeal foes, and possibly (with Open Greater Chakra) go incorporeal himself.

    For the ToB maneuvers, Shadow Stride might be better than Shadow Blink, since we could take it with a non-epic slot.

    Speaking of epic feats, Dire Charge might not be a bad idea, to get Pounce. A shame about it only being usable on the first round, though.

    On another score, I was considering Mage Slayer and the feats it leads to, but it requires a couple of ranks in Spellcraft, and even though it doesn't really need its ranks in Search, changing skill points isn't really in the scope of this thread (and Spellcraft would be hard to justify, anyway).
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    Default Re: Re-feat the tarrasque [3.x]

    Quote Originally Posted by Sstoopidtallkid View Post
    Plus, almost everyone's feats suck. WotC did that deliberately, to balance them vs. a Blaster Caster/Healbot party.
    Yeah, I've noticed that too. It's surprising how lethal you can make many monsters just by changing their feat selections.

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    Default Re: Re-feat the tarrasque [3.x]

    Quote Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
    Some soulmeld thoughts: Shape Soulmeld (Kruthik Claws) and Open Lesser Chakra (shoulders) would give 10 points of acid resistance, more if we also throw in Bonus Essentia, thus patching over one of the few things that can damage the Tarrasque in the first place.

    And Apparition Ribbon would let him more reliably hit those pesky incorporeal foes, and possibly (with Open Greater Chakra) go incorporeal himself.

    For the ToB maneuvers, Shadow Stride might be better than Shadow Blink, since we could take it with a non-epic slot.

    Speaking of epic feats, Dire Charge might not be a bad idea, to get Pounce. A shame about it only being usable on the first round, though.

    On another score, I was considering Mage Slayer and the feats it leads to, but it requires a couple of ranks in Spellcraft, and even though it doesn't really need its ranks in Search, changing skill points isn't really in the scope of this thread (and Spellcraft would be hard to justify, anyway).
    The flavor of tarrasque is that he's the king of beasts...as far as I see it totemist soulmelds are mandatory.

    Several examples of good ones would include Manticore Tail, bound to the Waist (Fly Speed)
    Girallion arms (Rend)
    Sphinx Claws (Pounce)
    Blink Pelt (Blinking if bound to the Heart Chakra)

    You can also grab a lot of essentia through the Epic Essentia feat
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    Default Re: Re-feat the tarrasque [3.x]

    Quote Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
    Some soulmeld thoughts: Shape Soulmeld (Kruthik Claws) and Open Lesser Chakra (shoulders) would give 10 points of acid resistance, more if we also throw in Bonus Essentia, thus patching over one of the few things that can damage the Tarrasque in the first place.
    What does the Tarrasque need with acid resistance? Acid is no more harmful to it than anything else.
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    Default Re: Re-feat the tarrasque [3.x]

    I think Shadow Blink would be better than Shadow Stride, as it allows a full attack afterward. There's nothing stopping you from taking both, though, if you're going for Balance on the Air anyway.
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    Default Re: Re-feat the tarrasque [3.x]

    Honestly, looking at the Tarrasque, it's main weaknesses are SoD effects, inability to fly, and inability to control the time/place of combat. Most of those have been fixed by previous poster's suggestions. Martial Stance can let it fly, and Martial Study can let it teleport. Steadfast Determination gives it a Will of 30, so that makes it pretty well protected against SoD effects. (DC of a 20th level caster=12(Int)+3(GSF)+9(Spell Level)+10=34, the Tarrasque can only fail will saves, and those only on a 3 or lower).
    The only thing to do, therefore, is give it an ability to control the time and place of battle. Reassigning skill points to spot/listen would help, but he really needs a way of becoming aggressive. Some way of escaping an attack from a party of level 20s that try to scry/die, and a way to scry/die on them in return. Unfortunately, I can't think of a way to do that with just feats.
    If it could qualify for Blinding Speed or Epic Speed, I'd recommend that, to at least compensate for it's horrendous land speed. Improved Spell Resistance, to make it harder for a no-save spell that allows SR to affect him? Eh, the problem is that this weakness can really only be overcome by magic items or class levels. It's so bad that the ultimate monster of 3.x is merely an illustration of the problem faced by meleers v. spellcasters.

    Edit:Ooh, Ooh. Epic Leadership. That'll give him a scry-or-die capability.
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    Default Re: Re-feat the tarrasque [3.x]

    Quote Originally Posted by KillianHawkeye View Post
    What does the Tarrasque need with acid resistance? Acid is no more harmful to it than anything else.
    Acid damages it normally. Everything else is nonlethal damage, due to its regeneration.

    If Big T was good-aligned, I'd say Vow of Poverty. Think about it!

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    Default Re: Re-feat the tarrasque [3.x]

    What does the Tarrasque need with acid resistance? Acid is no more harmful to it than anything else.
    Acid is no more harmful to it than acid is harmful to anything else, but acid is more harmful to it than anything else is harmful to it.

    That is to say, it's immune to fire, and it's immune to the most common ways of delivering cold and lightning damage (cones and lines, respectively), and it's highly resistant to damage from non-epic weapons, and it's immune to many save-or-dies and has high saves and SR against the rest. It does not, however, have any particular protection against acid, so plans to kill it often involve acid. Resistance would help against that.

    The flavor of tarrasque is that he's the king of beasts...as far as I see it totemist soulmelds are mandatory.
    Sadly, though, Dread Carapace and Totem Avatar neither one really do much of anything for him. Sphinx Claws is a good catch, though: That's a much better way of gaining Pounce than Dire Charge (even though it requires two feats, they're non-epic ones, and it can be used for the whole combat).
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    Default Re: Re-feat the tarrasque [3.x]

    So yea, let's give him Dragontouched, Dragon Wings and Improved Dragon Wings. Then he flies. I recall there was some version of Dragon Wings that could be taken beyond level 1. I cannot remember which source though - Races of the Dragon-one unfortunate limits the level.

    Maybe Unarmed Strike-feats? It really needs the ability to hit Ethereals/Incorporeals. Maybe some Soulmeld could help that? With some epic Dex-improvements, it could qualify for Improved Deflection which could be useful. Heck, overall I feel the Magic of Incarnum would be the best bet for covering the apparent failures of the original design. Anyways, it has plenty of offense as it stands so what should be the focus is giving it mobility and the ability to hit a wider variety of opponents, along with beefing up its weak defenses (it has a horrible AC, horrible Will-save [leading to many a Psions-in-Tarrasque Tanks], a horrible Touch AC, no miss chance, etc.).


    Are we using Savage Species, btw? Annoyingly Tarrasque doesn't qualify for most of the Epic feats worth taking; low stats, no spellcasting, no class features, no class skills, etc. mean there're mostly just number boosts (+1 AC, +1 stats, all the crap) - they beat the crap out of Toughness, but that's about it. Epic Essentia is solid though.

    EDIT: Seems like I got super-ultra-ninjad by multiple better developed posts. So yea, Steadfast Determination mostly fixes the Will-save issues, Manticore Belt/Balance in the Sky allows it to fly, Shadow Blink increases its mobility relevantly (and since it has to pick Shadow Hand-maneuvers to qualify, may as well pick up Shadow Jaunt and Shadow Stride - alternatively, some basic invisibility-effects), Sphinx Claws gives it a solid damage output, Epic Essentia allows it to fuel the Essentia-based abilities (too bad Totem-chakra can't be opened without Totemist-levels; having that Quill Attack from Manticore Belt would be sweet to give it something ranged).

    That still leaves hitting Ethereals and Incorporeals though. Oh, and preferably seeing through Illusions (just maxing Spot should help; it could make the Epic checks to see through Illusions with mere spot checks).
    Last edited by Eldariel; 2008-08-06 at 08:43 PM.
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    Default Re: Re-feat the tarrasque [3.x]

    Are we using Savage Species, btw?
    The standard 3.5 rule is that any 3.0 material that hasn't been replaced is still fair game. What feats were you thinking of?
    Epic Essentia is solid though.
    Not all that much better than the non-epic Bonus Essentia, though.
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    Default Re: Re-feat the tarrasque [3.x]

    Blowhard seemed amusing enough, although unfortunately falls flat on its face against Freedom of Movement. Detach could also be used. Pain Mastery isn't horrible either, although the prerequisite is. Also, Thunderclap could be handy for knocking people over to slow down the escape and such (it has 240ft range, so it's actually decent, and the DC is HD+Con-based - the save DC would be 47). Eh, just throwing stuff around.

    EDIT: Also, we probably want Mage Slayer, no? Tarrasque has quite the nice reach. No point having mages cast in that area. I mean, Spellcraft is mostly a fluff requirement anyways, so we can handwave it.

    EDIT#2: Strongheart Vest bound to Waist would give it resistance to Ability Drain. Investing 3 points of essentia would mean Allips would no longer autowin vs. it.

    EDIT#3: Phase Cloak bound to Shoulders would allow Tarr to go Ethereal, removing one of its primary weaknesses. Now just some way to make its attacks magical and it could even fight incorporeals (unfortunately, the soulmeld to turn it incorporeal is a V. Bad idea due to...well, Tarr without Con being not-so-impressive).
    Last edited by Eldariel; 2008-08-06 at 09:42 PM.
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    Default Re: Re-feat the tarrasque [3.x]

    Quote Originally Posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
    ...
    If Big T was good-aligned, I'd say Vow of Poverty. Think about it!
    Let's look at the some of the benefits:

    +20 Armor bonus, +3 Deflection, +2 natural armor - I'm assuming the AC bonus continues to progress past level 20. If it doesn't, then it should be +10 AC. This doesn't help much with the touch AC, which is pretty low and still a weakness.

    +3 to all saves - Useful.

    +5 Exalted Strike - All natural weapons count as +5 weapons.

    +8/+6/+4/+2 ability scores - Big T doesn't have magic items anyway, so it's a bit useful. Doesn't help that much, though.

    Energy resistance 15 - Kinda useful.

    True Seeing - It was needed.

    No longer needs to eat or breathe- Makes it harder to beat him at really low levels, at the very least.

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    Favored of the Companions/Knight of Stars/Servant of the Heavens - 1/day, add +1 to a check.
    Gift of Faith- Bonus to saves vs. fear.
    Holy Radiance - It has to spend the +2 on CHA to get this. It causes undead to die when they come within a 10-foot radius. I don't know how this would work since Big T is Colossal. Is it 10 feet around him, or ten feet from its center?
    Intuitive Attack - Not useful for Big T.
    Nimbus of Light - Bonuses to skills it doesn't use.
    Nymph's Kiss - I don't want to think about it. More skill points.
    Stigmata - It lets him bleed on things to heal them. Who is he going to heal?
    Touch of Golden Ice - Really useful if any of the PCs are Evil.
    Vow of Abstinence- Bonus to Fort saves vs. poison
    Vow of Chastity- Bonus to Will saves vs. charms and phantasms
    Vow of Nonviolence - It really shouldn't take this.
    Vow of Peace - Or this one either.
    Vow of Obedience - Who would Big T obey? Bonus to Will saves vs. mind control
    Vow of Purity - It can't touch the dead. I don't know what to think about it. Bonus to Fort saves vs. Disease and Death.
    Last edited by UglyPanda; 2008-08-06 at 10:03 PM.
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    Default Re: Re-feat the tarrasque [3.x]

    The thing about VoP would be that the attacks would be magical and thus able to hit incorporeals. Right now, big Tarr is completely helpless vs. an Allip. So a CR 3 monster will eventually drive Tarr to comatose. And it's a ghost so it has nothing better to do than keep Tarr that way. Unfortunately, it's not really an option as things stand.


    With investment of 6 feats (Great Dexterity X 5 + Epic Speed), it could pick up Epic Speed to move 50' a turn instead of the normal 20', but I can't help but think there has to be a more economic way of going about that. I can't seem to find one, but I think some Soulmeld increases landspeed.

    Also, it may be worth it to try to go for Spot +70 or so; enough to reasonably be making DC 80 Spot-checks to defeat Illusions (otherwise very potent against the dumb-as-brick Tarrasque), pinpoint anything invisible (including Superior Invisibility) and of course, to notice guys trying to Hide. If there's a means to get Spot in "class" for Tarr, it would be easy - 51 ranks (48 HD + 3) + 8 racial + 2 Wisdom is already 61.


    Also, it's true that means exist to turn Tarrasque incorporeal (Ribbon, as you mentioned, and the Martial Maneuver), but that means no Con-score and Cha-based AC (over NA) for that duration, making Tarrasque very vulnerable. I'd personally like to find some safer approach to dealing with incorporeals, like making the natural attacks count as magicals for purposes other than just piercing DR.
    Last edited by Eldariel; 2008-08-06 at 09:54 PM.
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    Default Re: Re-feat the tarrasque [3.x]

    Somehow get it into a teleport, and then get it to the bottom of the ocean. Should work.
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    Default Re: Re-feat the tarrasque [3.x]

    Quote Originally Posted by UglyPanda View Post
    No longer needs to eat or breathe- Makes it harder to beat him at really low levels, at the very least.
    If the only reason the big T comes out of his lair, according to the fluff block, is to eat then this could spell a big neon DOOM for a setting's populace.
    OR a really awesome FFX style Sin creature .
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    TheCountAlucard's Avatar

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    Default Re: Re-feat the tarrasque [3.x]

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimp View Post
    If the only reason the big T comes out of his lair, according to the fluff block, is to eat then this could spell a big neon DOOM for a setting's populace.
    It could still go on eating rampages. Just because it doesn't need to eat doesn't mean it can't. After all, look at demons.

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    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: Re-feat the tarrasque [3.x]

    If there's a means to get Spot in "class" for Tarr, it would be easy - 51 ranks (48 HD + 3) + 8 racial + 2 Wisdom is already 61.
    That much isn't a problem: Any skill mentioned in a monster's stat block is considered to be a class skill for its RHD, and the Tarrasque's stat block does indeed mention Spot. The problem is that we're not reallocating skill points, just feats. Though I suppose you could take Open Minded a few times.

    (unfortunately, the soulmeld to turn it incorporeal is a V. Bad idea due to...well, Tarr without Con being not-so-impressive).
    The incorporeal subtype doesn't take away your Con score. You probably just get that impression because most incorporeal things happen to be undead.

    As for magical attacks, don't his natural weapons count as epic, because of his epic DR?

    EDIT: Also, we probably want Mage Slayer, no? Tarrasque has quite the nice reach. No point having mages cast in that area. I mean, Spellcraft is mostly a fluff requirement anyways, so we can handwave it.
    See the ground rules I laid out-- I'm trying to avoid handwaving, here. We could, though, spend an Open Minded feat to get a couple of points of Spellcraft (and one point to something else, like Spot). And if we do go for Mage Slayer, we definitely also want to get Pierce Magical Concealment: It's frustrating to waste a +57 attack bonus on a Blur.
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    Flumph

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    Default Re: Re-feat the tarrasque [3.x]

    Acid damages it normally. Everything else is nonlethal damage, due to its regeneration.
    That's Trolls - nothing bypasses a Tarrasque's regeneration.

    Which means any source of nonlethal damage immunity (Wand of Silent Favor of Ilmater + UMD, for instance) would be absolutely devastating - possibly too devastating, if we just want to make it more of a challenge.
    Last edited by icefractal; 2008-08-06 at 10:42 PM.

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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Re-feat the tarrasque [3.x]

    you could always shocktrooper/leap attack.

    The tarraque can then lunge himself in a 300 ft charge (using rush) (oh and this triggers frightful presence), bite the target (+59 attack, +4d8+113 (crits on 18-20: for +8d8+226 damage), pick it'm up (impr grab) and next round swallow'm.
    Yes, tabaxi grappler. It's a thing

    RFC1925: With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine. However, this is not necessarily a good idea.
    Alucard (TFS): I do things. I take very enthusiastic walks through the woods
    Math Rule of thumb: 1/X chance : There's about a 2/3 of it happening at least once in X tries
    Actually, "(e-1)/e for a limit to infinitiy", but, it's a good rule of thumb

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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Re-feat the tarrasque [3.x]

    off topic(soory for the doublepost): the tarrasque is easy beatable:
    - for a couple of 1000gp, you buy collossal rations.
    - feed the tarraque until it goes to sleep again ...
    Yes, tabaxi grappler. It's a thing

    RFC1925: With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine. However, this is not necessarily a good idea.
    Alucard (TFS): I do things. I take very enthusiastic walks through the woods
    Math Rule of thumb: 1/X chance : There's about a 2/3 of it happening at least once in X tries
    Actually, "(e-1)/e for a limit to infinitiy", but, it's a good rule of thumb

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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Re-feat the tarrasque [3.x]

    Dire Charge.

    Aw yeah.

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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Re-feat the tarrasque [3.x]

    Change 1 Toughness Feat to Epic Toughness for a +2 HP gain and opens up 5 more Feats.

    Other Good Epic Feats: Dire Charge, Epic Speed (Needs Run Feat), Improved Combat Reflexes, Spellcasting Harrier (Weak since the -24 to concentration is only applied to casting defensively) and Superior Initiative.

    Give it the Spellfire Wielder feat from Magic of Faerun which is nice with a Con -35 and helps against attacks by magic users by Absorbing Spells like a Rod of Absorbtion which can be used for Spellfire attacks up to 400'. (Major wrench against standard flying attacks)

    Give it some of the Blood line feats from Complete Mage which grant spell like abilities (Fey and Fiendish).

    Another good fix is to give it a basic shapechange ability (EX or SU) from a feat it might not normally meet the prerequisites for based on the various Druid Wild Shape feats.

    The main weakness of the Tarrasque is Player Knowledge versus PC knowledge regarding the Tarrasque.

    Grant it the Monster of Legend template as the original Monster of Legend (Lots of different things that can be added or tweaked on the Tarrasque).
    Last edited by CASTLEMIKE; 2008-08-07 at 07:49 AM.

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