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Barbarian MD
2009-04-17, 09:43 AM
Alright, here's the story: gestalt lycanthrope. He wears heavy armor, but with all his feats, the armor check penalty for his full-plate is 0. So I thought, perhaps, with a non-existent check penalty, he could become a hand-to-hand fighting expert.

In our story, we're hanging out with archons and other celestials. For role-play, I thought I'd have our hero hanging out with them because they are so unlike anything from his world, along with the monkish member of the party.

Specifically: increased saves, balance and tumble and move silent as class skills, and the ability to use his feet in combat.
Further explanation: he carries a full-blade (two-handed sword). He has a bite attack and two claw attacks listed in addition to his BAB, but can't use the claw attacks because he's holding a sword. What if he could use his feet for his claw attacks?
And, for added bonus, imagine a 9 foot tall, 3/4 ton bear, wielding a sword, wearing armor, and doing round-house kicks to the face. :smallbiggrin:

The trick is: what class features need to be eliminated in order to allow him to wear armor?

I've removed Flurry of Blows (for balance) and Unarmed Strike (because he's wearing armor (gauntlets) or using weapons). Evasion will either need to be removed entirely, or be homebrewed to "armored" evasion. I suppose that leaves the bonus feats: grapple, arrow deflection, etc. If it's still unbalanced, the bonus feats can be removed.

Iron Monk
Alignment: Any lawful non-chaotic
Hit Die: d8.
Class Skills: Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), and Tumble (Dex).
Skill Points at 1st Level: (4 + Int modifier) ×4.
Skill Points at Each Additional Level:4 + Int modifier.

Level 1
BAB: +0
Fort Save: +2
Ref Save: +2
Will Save: +2
Special: Bonus Feat, Flurry of Blows, Unarmed Strike
Flurry of Blows: -2/-2
Unarmed Damage: 1d6
AC Bonus: +0
Unarmored Speed Bonus: +0 ft.

Level 2
BAB: +1
Fort Save: +3
Ref Save: +3
Will Save: +3
Special: Bonus Feat, Armored? Evasion, or remove entirely?
Flurry of Blows: -1/-1
Unarmed Damage: 1d6
AC Bonus: +0
Unarmored Speed Bonus: +0 ft.

Level 3
BAB: +2
Fort Save: +3
Ref Save: +3
Will Save: +3
Special: Still Mind
Flurry of Blows: 0/0
Unarmed Damage: 1d6
AC Bonus: +0
Unarmored Speed Bonus: +10 ft.

Level 4
BAB: +3
Fort Save: +4
Ref Save: +4
Will Save: +4
Special: Ki Strike, Slow Fall (20 ft.)
Flurry of Blows: +1/+1
Unarmed Damage: 1d8
AC Bonus: +0
Unarmored Speed Bonus: +10 ft.


Weapon and Armor Proficiency
Monks are proficient with club, crossbow (light or heavy), dagger, handaxe, javelin, kama, nunchaku, quarterstaff, sai, shuriken, siangham, and sling.
Monks are not proficient with any armor or shields
When wearing armor, using a shield, or carrying a medium or heavy load, an iron monk loses her AC bonus, as well as her fast movement and flurry of blows abilities.
AC Bonus (Ex)
When unarmored and unencumbered, the monk adds her Wisdom bonus (if any) to her AC. In addition, a monk gains a +1 bonus to AC at 5th level. This bonus increases by 1 for every five monk levels thereafter (+2 at 10th, +3 at 15th, and +4 at 20th level).
These bonuses to AC apply even against touch attacks or when the monk is flat-footed. She loses these bonuses when she is immobilized or helpless, when she wears any armor, when she carries a shield, or when she carries a medium or heavy load.

Flurry of Blows (Ex)
When unarmored, a monk may strike with a flurry of blows at the expense of accuracy. When doing so, she may make one extra attack in a round at her highest base attack bonus, but this attack takes a -2 penalty, as does each other attack made that round. The resulting modified base attack bonuses are shown in the Flurry of Blows Attack Bonus column on Table: The Monk. This penalty applies for 1 round, so it also affects attacks of opportunity the monk might make before her next action. When a monk reaches 5th level, the penalty lessens to -1, and at 9th level it disappears. A monk must use a full attack action to strike with a flurry of blows.
When using flurry of blows, a monk may attack only with unarmed strikes or with special monk weapons (kama, nunchaku, quarterstaff, sai, shuriken, and siangham). She may attack with unarmed strikes and special monk weapons interchangeably as desired. When using weapons as part of a flurry of blows, a monk applies her Strength bonus (not Str bonus × 1˝ or ×˝) to her damage rolls for all successful attacks, whether she wields a weapon in one or both hands. The monk can’t use any weapon other than a special monk weapon as part of a flurry of blows.
In the case of the quarterstaff, each end counts as a separate weapon for the purpose of using the flurry of blows ability. Even though the quarterstaff requires two hands to use, a monk may still intersperse unarmed strikes with quarterstaff strikes, assuming that she has enough attacks in her flurry of blows routine to do so.

At 1st level, a monk gains Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat. A monk’s attacks may be with either fist interchangeably or even from elbows, knees, and feet. This means that a monk may even make unarmed strikes with her hands full. There is no such thing as an off-hand attack for a monk striking unarmed. A monk may thus apply her full Strength bonus on damage rolls for all her unarmed strikes.
Usually a monk’s unarmed strikes deal lethal damage, but she can choose to deal nonlethal damage instead with no penalty on her attack roll. She has the same choice to deal lethal or nonlethal damage while grappling.
A monk’s unarmed strike is treated both as a manufactured weapon and a natural weapon for the purpose of spells and effects that enhance or improve either manufactured weapons or natural weapons.
A monk also deals more damage with her unarmed strikes than a normal person would, as shown on Table: The Monk. The unarmed damage on Table: The Monk is for Medium monks. A Small monk deals less damage than the amount given there with her unarmed attacks, while a Large monk deals more damage; see Table: Small or Large Monk Unarmed Damage.

Bonus Feat (it may be that these feats need to be removed for balance)
At 1st level, a monk may select either Improved Grapple or Stunning Fist as a bonus feat. At 2nd level, she may select either Combat Reflexes or Armed Deflect Arrows as a bonus feat. At 6th level, she may select either Improved Disarm or Improved Trip as a bonus feat. A monk need not have any of the prerequisites normally required for these feats to select them.

Evasion (Ex)
At 2nd level or higher if a monk makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, she instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if a monk is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless monk does not gain the benefit of evasion.

Fast Movement (Ex)
At 3rd level, a monk gains an enhancement bonus to her speed, as shown on Table: The Monk. A monk in armor or carrying a medium or heavy load loses this extra speed.

Still Mind (Ex)
A monk of 3rd level or higher gains a +2 bonus on saving throws against spells and effects from the school of enchantment.

Ki Strike (Su)
At 4th level, a monk’s unarmed attacks are empowered with ki. Her unarmed attacks are treated as magic weapons for the purpose of dealing damage to creatures with damage reduction. Ki strike improves with the character’s monk level. At 10th level, her unarmed attacks are also treated as lawful weapons for the purpose of dealing damage to creatures with damage reduction. At 16th level, her unarmed attacks are treated as adamantine weapons for the purpose of dealing damage to creatures with damage reduction and bypassing hardness.

Slow Fall (Ex)
At 4th level or higher, a monk within arm’s reach of a wall can use it to slow her descent. When first using this ability, she takes damage as if the fall were 20 feet shorter than it actually is. The monk’s ability to slow her fall (that is, to reduce the effective distance of the fall when next to a wall) improves with her monk level until at 20th level she can use a nearby wall to slow her descent and fall any distance without harm.

Stycotl
2009-04-21, 06:32 PM
hey. it took me a while to get to this. you are talking about possibly using something else in place of this.

either one is fine. i don't think that you need a variant class for this though. everything except for one change has to do with wearing heavier armor. so, let's just homebrew a feat that allows heavier armor.

for right now, i'll make it kinda general, all-encompassing. it might (probably will) need to be narrows later.

Second Skin
You have trained extensively in the use of armor and ascetic combat maneuvering, and no longer find it to be an impediment to your discipline.
Prerequisites: Str 15, Dex 14, Con 13, base attack bonus +4, Armor Focus (any armor)
Effect: You can now wear light armor without it hindering your monk special abilities. Further, your armor check penalty is reduced by one, to a minimum of zero.
Special: You can also apply this feat to Medium armor if you have Armor Focus in the appropriate kind of armor, though the base attack bonus requirement is raised to +6; similarly, applying this feat to Heavy armor has a base attack bonus prerequisite of +9. You can select this feat more than one time. Each time you take this feat, it applies to a different armor with which you have the Armor Focus feat and for which you meet the other prerequisites.

Barbarian MD
2009-04-21, 07:57 PM
The feats you're describing don't address the primary problem of a monk losing his abilities while wearing armor.

Because of two feats I've already taken (heavy armor optimization, greater heavy armor optimization), my armor check penalty is already zero. I need a feat or a class feature that lets me keep the monk's abilities while wearing armor at all, regardless of penalty or whether it counts as medium or light armor. Preferably a class feature (for which I'm suggesting losing some other monk abilities).

Here's what I consider most important about taking a level or two in this class, in order:
1) Ability to use feet claw attacks in my full attack
2) Balance as class skill
3) Good saves

Icing on the cake:
4) AC bonus
5) Improved Grapple as bonus feat



-----------------------------
Here's another homebrew idea I had after the last battle:
Replace Barbarian trapfinding with a type of "goad" ability. As an action (move action?), Kyrill can goad an enemy into attacking him to prevent him from fleeing. This will require a Will Save that increases with each level of Trapfinding (Kyrill's got Trapfinding +3 at this point). Perhaps stack some other modifier on it. I was thinking +1: DC 15, +2: DC 20, +3: DC 25 (off the top of my head).

So for example, Mooncalf takes to air and flies away. On Kyrill's turn, he shouts some insults about the mooncalf's mother, using Goad +3. Mooncalf makes a DC25 will save, fails. The mooncalf has to return to fight Kyrill (to the death?).

-----------------------------
Also, a weapon I think I'm going to commission when we get back to base:
An adamantine harpoon attached to a 7 foot length of adamantine chain...attached to a hook on Kyrill's belt. I'll let your imagination take over at this point. (I can't decide between :smalleek: and :smallcool:)


-----------------------------
EDIT: P.S. I'm going to draw you a picture of my armored ninja were-bear in action. I'll post it at an appropriate time in game. :smallwink:

Stycotl
2009-04-21, 11:56 PM
about the armor, yeah, i was thinking of swordsage, not monk. edited.

about barbarian goad: interesting. the mechanics would have to be different, but that could work. the DC would never be set like that (15, 20, 25, etc); it would be 10+1/2 class level+cha mod), though your +1, +2, +3 thing could work. it'd be a bonus to the DC or something. sonic mind-affecting effect. would have a range of short most likely (25'+5'/2 levels), since you'd need to be able to draw on the intensity of the moment, read their actions, mindset, etc, and then capitalize on their ability to read you... sounds good though.

about the harpoon, fine. 7-foot chain seems short though...

aaron out.

Barbarian MD
2009-04-22, 05:27 AM
Feat-wise: so basically (however the mechanics) you're telling me that I'm going to be taking a class of monk AND this special feat? Or can we incorporate this feat into the class description, replacing one or more class features/bonus feats for a level 1 monk?

The reason I'd like to save my 11th level feat? I want to come up with a way to prevent uncontrolled rages, either by mental training (taking a feat) or by purchasing some sort of magic item. If I go into another blood rage, AND I have the goad class ability for a barbarian that we're 'brewing, we could have some serious player death issues!

Two suggestions I would make for goad:
With such a short range, could we make it an immediate action? Most creautures have enough move that they'd be out of range before he could realize they're leaving and act on it during his turn. The other use I thought of for goad would be to protect party members. Two mooncalves are advancing on little girl? Goad. Kelurn is unconscious and enemy is about to strike killing blow? Goad. 25 feet would limit my ability to protect other members of the party.

Second, maybe I'm being greedy, but it seems like, for a barbarian class skill, cha-based makes it underpowered (especially since cha-based skills are prohibited while raging). But i'm not suggesting something like intmidate-based, because that would be OVERpowered. Perhaps the solution would be to call it 10 + 1/2 Level + modifier based on goad level (3/6/9, 3/5/7, 2/4/6--this modifier would be up to you). How does that sound?

For reference: Goad, from Races of StoneType: General
Sources: Miniatures Handbook
Races of Stone
Complete Adventurer

You are skilled at inducing opponents to attack you.

Prerequisite: Cha 13, base attack bonus +1.
Benefit: As a move action, you can goad an opponent that threatens you, has line of sight to you, can hear you, and has an Intelligence of 3 or higher. (The goad is a mind-affecting ability.) When the goaded opponent starts its next turn, if it threatens you and has line of sight to you, it must make a Will saving throw (DC 10+ 1/2 your character level + your Cha modifier). If the opponent fails its save, you are the only creature it can make melee attacks against during this turn. (If it kills you, knocks you unconscious, loses sight of you, or otherwise is unable to make melee attacks against you, it may make any remaining melee attacks against other foes, as normal.) A goaded creature can still cast spells, make ranged attacks, move, or perform other actions normally. The use of this feat restricts only melee attacks.
Special: A fighter may select Goad as one of his fighter bonus feats.

OH, and 7 foot is JUST right. I'll help the mental picture: it's not to keep them from flying away. It's to make sure that Kyrill can keep hurting them while they do. ; )

Barbarian MD
2009-04-22, 07:07 PM
I'll post the finalized versions of my homebrews here (but still needing your final approval Stycotl).

GoadGoad (Ex)
Starting at 3rd level, a barbarian gains the ability to goad enemies.

As a move action, a barbarian can attempt to goad an enemy into attacking him. To be affected, the enemy must have an Intelligence of 3 or higher AND either have line of sight or be within hearing distance. (The goad is a mind-affecting ability.) When the goaded opponent starts its next turn, if it has line of sight to you, it must make a Will saving throw (DC 10+ 1/2 your barbarian level + Cha modifier + your goad modifier). If the opponent fails its save, you are the only creature it can make attacks against during this turn, and it must move into range to attack you if it cannot. (If it kills you, knocks you unconscious, or loses sight of you, it may make any remaining attacks against other foes, as normal.) A goaded creature can still cast spells, make ranged attacks, move, or perform other actions normally.

If an enemy attempts to flee the battle, as an immediate action, a barbarian can attempt to goad the enemy into returning to fight him.

The bonus for Goad at 3rd level is +2, and increases by +2 every 3 barbarian levels thereafter (6th, 9th, 12th, 15th, and 18th level).

As Kyrill's foe begins to fly away, his anger bubbles to the surface at his foe's cowardice. "***********!" he shouts, and turns to moon his foe. The monster, enraged, turns back, his honor marred and his fury blinding his thoughts. He. Will. Kill. This. Fool.

Homebrew HarpoonKyrill's Harpoon
Exotic One-Handed Melee Weapon
Cost: To Be Determined by DM
Size: Large
Dmg: 1d2
Critical: 19-20/Special
Range Increment: -
Weight:
Type: Piercing

This harpoon has been specially designed for Kyrill. The weapon itself is about 3 feet long and looks like a short spear. It is incredibly thin, and as such, the damage dealt by this weapon is negligible. However, there is a handle at one end and what appears to be two wheels just above the handle. By twisting the handle clock-wise, small gears inside the shaft are driven, and multiple barbs extend outward from the shaft, almost like a modern-day umbrella. The barbs serve to anchor the harpoon inside an enemy on a successful stab attempt. A successful Reflex Save with DC? can prevent the anchoring of the barbs. The barbs can be drawn back into the shaft with a counter-clockwise spin, but the two wheels must be spun to the correct alignment to do so, a sort of primitive combination lock. This can be done with the thumb of the hand holding the shaft as a move action.
Special: On a critical hit, the harpoon does no extra damage. Instead, it negates the foe's ability to avoid the anchoring of the harpoon on a successful reflex save.

At the base of the shaft is a length of adamantine cable that can be hooked to Kyrill's belt. The cable measures 7 feet.


(If I can afford it when I have it made, or perhaps later, I'll add +1 Binding (prevents planeshift/teleport).)

Variant ClassAn Iron Monk wears armor like a second-skin.

Pre-Requisites:
Levels in a martial class
Armor Check penalty of 1 or less with armor
At least two armor-based feats

An Iron Monk is one who has come to the life of a monk after previous experience in a martial class. Because of this past training, a monk's class abilities are unaffected when he wears armor. However, his focus on martial training have trained his mind in ways counter to the life of a monk. The Iron Monk is unable to channel Chi energy into his strikes and his unarmed strikes are not as effective.

Benefits: Armor does not affect Monk abilities
Cons: No flurry of blows, no ki strikes,
"A monk’s attacks may be with either fist interchangeably or even from elbows, knees, and feet. This means that a monk may even make unarmed strikes with her hands full." However, the AoO penalties still apply to unarmed attacks, as Iron Monks train with weapons and gauntlets.

Protection against Blood Ragefeat? amulet? no idea yet

Stycotl
2009-04-22, 07:32 PM
as far as goading foes is concerned, i am not sure that you would be able to do that in a rage anyway. i am talking about thematically; obviously it doesn't work rules wise without special ruling.

it just doesn't strike me as what a raging maniac would be capable of. you might be able to convince me otherwise, but this is generally something that would belong to more of a swashbuckling, roguish type than a frenzying werebear (a calm, not currently frenzying werebear is perfectly understandable).

about the monk, if you want to use class levels, narrow it down to one or two variant abilities (racial variants or otherwise). right now it is almost a variant class in and of itself, but it really only has two differences (loses an ability or two, and it can wear armor). make it a whole class, or narrow it down to a variant level substitution or something.

Barbarian MD
2009-04-22, 07:52 PM
Okay, I put Cha back into goad, so I guess he won't be able to use it while raging.

I've also put up my rough drafts of the harpoon and the variant class. Let me know what you think!


(I've got to admit, I'm REALLY enjoying this homebrew stuff. It's just fun to let my imagination run wild, and then tinker with ideas to balance them out.)

Barbarian MD
2009-04-23, 11:17 AM
Okay, been doing some thinking. It may be that you have no intention of letting Kyrill avoid being thrown into a bloodrage, but if you'll allow it...

I'm thinking along the lines of a helmet (ala Magneto from X-men) that prevents certain mind-control effects.

At the very least, something to prevent compulsion effects like Blood Rage. Depending on how much it would increase the cost, it could even prevent mind-reading and such.

I imagine it could work in multiple ways:

Most-targeted and probably cheapest: immune to blood rage
Cheap (relatively): an increase to Will Saves against compulsion effects (I'd be wanting to buy one that provides at least +5, if not +8)
Expensive: totally immune to all compulsion effects
Most Expensive (and beyond Kyrill's current wealth): totally immune to all mind-affecting effects, spells, etc.

References to other similar items:

Scorpion Bracers
(DR325 p76)
Pair of bracers made from Giant Scorpion
carapaces.
+5 Resistance bonus on Fortitude saves vs.
Poison
Wrists
Save Mod
3,000 gp

Lenses of Darkness
(CArc p149)
+4 Circumstance bonus on saving throws vs.
spells with the ‘light’ descriptor, Illusion
(pattern) spells, & effects that cause
blindness due to light.
Face
7,700

Lenses of Clarity
(Und p74)
Pair of lenses worn over the eyes.
+4 Insight bonus on saves vs. Charms,
Compulsions, & Glamers.
Reduce the Miss Chance due to a Glamer
spell (i.e., Blur, Displacement) by 10%.
Face
Combo
12,000

What are your thoughts?

Djinn_in_Tonic
2009-04-23, 11:44 AM
Goad
Starting at 3rd level, a barbarian gains the ability to goad enemies.

As a move action, a barbarian can attempt to goad an enemy into attacking him. To be affected, the enemy must have an Intelligence of 3 or higher AND either have line of sight or be within hearing distance. (The goad is a mind-affecting ability.) When the goaded opponent starts its next turn, if it has line of sight to you, it must make a Will saving throw (DC 10+ 1/2 your barbarian level + Cha modifier + your goad modifier). If the opponent fails its save, you are the only creature it can make attacks against during this turn, and it must move into range to attack you if it cannot. (If it kills you, knocks you unconscious, or loses sight of you, it may make any remaining attacks against other foes, as normal.) A goaded creature can still cast spells, make ranged attacks, move, or perform other actions normally.

If an enemy attempts to flee the battle, as an immediate action, a barbarian can attempt to goad the enemy into returning to fight him.

The bonus for Goad at 3rd level is +2, and increases by +2 every 3 barbarian levels thereafter (6th, 9th, 12th, 15th, and 18th level).

This has never made sense to me...maybe pulling an enemy towards you in battle by posing an annoyance/threat, but if the creature is fleeing, it's GOING to flee. Self-preservation takes more than an insult to overcome, especially for anything remotely intelligent. To me, this seems more like a tool for killing recurring NPCs than a valid battle tactic. But that may just be me. Mechanically it looks alright.




Variant ClassAn Iron Monk wears armor like a second-skin.

Pre-Requisites:
Levels in a martial class
Armor Check penalty of 3 or less with armor
At least two armor-based feats

An Iron Monk is one who has come to the life of a monk after previous experience in a martial class. Because of this past training, a monk's class abilities are unaffected when he wears armor. However, his focus on martial training have trained his mind in ways counter to the life of a monk. The Iron Monk is unable to channel Chi energy into his strikes and his unarmed strikes are not as effective.

Benefits: Armor does not affect Monk abilities
Cons: No flurry of blows, no ki strikes,
"A monk’s attacks may be with either fist interchangeably or even from elbows, knees, and feet. This means that a monk may even make unarmed strikes with her hands full." However, the AoO penalties still apply to unarmed attacks, as Iron Monks train with weapons and gauntlets.

...um...no. Not as written, for one reason. Allowing MOST of the Monk's abilities to function is fine, but not his AC bonuses. Those exist to compensate for the lack of armor. Allowing both leads to this problem:

+5 Fullplate -- +13 to Armor Class
+3 Dexterity -- +3 to Armor Class
+4 Wisdom -- +4 to Armor Class
+5 Monk -- +5 to Armor Class

Assuming a conservative Dex/Wis bonus (you're a WEREBEAR, so they're likely higher), that's a +26 to armor class where the game is built to accept a +13. That's a problem. Ditch the Wisdom and the Monk bonus and I'd let it slide.




Protection against Blood Ragefeat? amulet? no idea yet

What is the Blood Rage? Just curious. :smallbiggrin:

Also, the Arms and Equipment guide has rules for a harpoon (that also made it into a different book...possibly Stormwrack or the frozen wastes equivalent) that does pretty much exactly what you're looking for.

Barbarian MD
2009-04-23, 12:13 PM
These homebrews are for the campaign that I'm in now, which is a Gestalt game and everything is encouraged to be optimized (because our enemies are, too!). I don't imagine they would fit well in most other games.

Here's some reasoning behind some of the things I've posted. After reading it, you may still think some things shouldn't work like I've described them or have suggestions on how to improve them (let me know--I'm always up for constructive criticism):

Homebrewed Harpoon: My character weighs 1500 pounds. In the encounter we're finishing up, two mooncalves fled midway through the second round, after my character was able to get in one attack. My idea? Stab a harpoon into the thing and fly around attached to it so it can't get away from me (picture Gandalf on steroids). The way the harpoons are described in the manuals, I doubt they'd hold up to that kind of punishment (hence the adamantine cable instead of rope, and a much more complicated anchoring mechanism then simple barbs).

Goad: yep--purely to finish a fight. I doubt we'll be facing recurring villains, and if we do, the DM is going to rule that he always makes his Will save (he fudges the rolls sometimes for the greater good of the story).

Goad as a protective tool would be really useful to the more fragile members of our party, and my character is going to see himself as a protector more and more (especially after the bloodrage incident...)

Which brings me to: Bloodrage. Basically, it incited my barbarian character to go into a rage in which he can't tell enemies and friends apart. (It didn't help that my character rolled a 1 on his save!) The 14th level NPC leader of the party had to fly in to save some of the others from certain barbaric death, and still may get it's butt handed to it before this is over...

Monk: as I said before, our characters are already optimized. My AC is currently 33, and I'm still getting hit (not a surprise--we get 15th level enemies thrown at us). I plan on taking 2 levels of monk, and with a Wisdom Bonus of 2, it will bring my AC to 35 (not the 9 you're imagining!)

Still, I appreciate the insight. Let me know your thoughts, now that you know my reasoning.