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View Full Version : Max-Min (or, How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Cover My Bases)



sonofzeal
2010-04-29, 06:06 PM
After a recent post here reminded me, I've been trying to think of ways to max-min characters, as opposed to min-max.

A maxminned character is one who maximizes the minimum performance, or, one who's never worst at anything. They should be at least marginally competent at everything and in all situations. They should be built assuming worst case scenario in all ways, and try to make due the best they can with that.

The classes that come to mind for this are Factota, Monks, and ToB. Factota are the ultimate generalists, of course, and Monks (and Soulknives) depend on fewer assumptions (ie gear) in order to maintain at least a basic level of functionality. Stripped naked in a jail cell and interrupted every 20 minutes, Monks and Soulknives are the sort you want around. Unarmed Swordsage might be the way to go on that, though.



So, what are your thoughts? I'm aiming for ECL 12, LA buyoff allowed, standard gold (but shouldn't depend much on items), standard party (but shouldn't depend much on allies), etc. Every possible roll he might need to make (including all skill checks and ability checks) and every defence (including flat-footed-touch-AC) should be at least decent. Many immunities and combat options are also a boon.

Thanks!

The Rabbler
2010-04-29, 06:35 PM
well, this pretty much rules out casters. for once.

I'd say that this is one of the few places where VoP would really shine. I also feel like that "take 11" devoted spirit stance would make this pretty easy. drunken masters would also perform pretty well; using improvised weapons. maybe a kensai who chose his body as his weapon.

Superglucose
2010-04-29, 06:37 PM
I generally follow the practice of Max-Maxing: I maximize my focuses and maximize my broad competence. In short, I play wizards :smallwink:

sonofzeal
2010-04-29, 06:39 PM
Well, it probably rules out Wizards (who need spellbooks) and divine casters (who need focuses). A sorc-type would still be possible, though the lack of BAB/saves/skills likely makes it a poor choice for the challenge.

VoP is a good thought. VoP Factotum 3 / Unarmed Swordsage X as a basic chassis, maybe?

Tinydwarfman
2010-04-29, 06:44 PM
Well, it probably rules out Wizards (who need spellbooks) and divine casters (who need focuses). A sorc-type would still be possible, though the lack of BAB/saves/skills likely makes it a poor choice for the challenge.

VoP is a good thought. VoP Factotum 3 / Unarmed Swordsage X as a basic chassis, maybe?

Sounds good. Maybe add in some chameleon and able learner for more versatility. Or go full Factotum and be good at everything with enough font of inspiration.

FishAreWet
2010-04-29, 06:44 PM
Psionics. Ardents or PSychic Warrior with that ACF that gives them a soul-weapon or whatever.

Incarnum is good too.

Amphetryon
2010-04-29, 06:50 PM
Drow Factotum 8/Unarmed Swordsage 4 seems like it foots the bill here.

oxybe
2010-04-29, 06:51 PM
warlock.

*poke*"stop it!"
20 minutes later...
*poke*"stop it!"
20 minutes later...
*poke*"stop it!"
20 minutes later...
*poke*"stop it!"
20 minutes later...
*poke* "ELDRICH GLAIVE! NOW STOP. IT!" *dimension door @will *

sonofzeal
2010-04-29, 06:52 PM
Necropolitan covers a lot of bases, but opens up a few more. Would it be an appropriate choice here, do you think?

Godskook
2010-04-29, 06:57 PM
Can you define some benchmarks for what you're wanting? I.e., how high of a FF-touch-AC are you looking for? How high of saves? For instance, would:

Human
Paladin 2/Sorcerer 4/UASwordsage 2/JPM 4

work? With Ascetic Mage, you have Cha to AC(FF and touch), with Paladin, you have Cha to saves. Pre-Cha and stats, your saves are +8/+5/+8. With Able Learner, you'll have full access to any skill a swordsage can use. You can't get 9th level spells, but you're still a 7th level sorcerer. Due to the progression, you also have access to all 3 concentration saves if you want them. Also, an innate miss-chance is a wonderful thing.

Quellian-dyrae
2010-04-29, 06:58 PM
I'd think Factotum 3/Druid X. Pump Int and Wis, maybe get physical stats to 10, put whatever else you have to Con and/or Cha. VoP if you want, and maybe slip a monk level in there for unarmed fighting, extra AC, and the +2 to all saves. Really, the three levels of factotum do the whole max-min thing, and druid just makes you better and better the more resources are available to you, up to and including possible access to ninth level spells pre-epic. As long as you are not in complete antimagic, you should be able to pull off a bare minimum of Wild Shape + Brains Over Brawn + IP to handle any reasonable combat or physical challenge, either using a large form and IP to overcome it or a small/fast form with stealth to escape it. Grab Eschew Materials, Natural Spell, and whatever FoIs you can spare, and you should be good to go.

Frozen_Feet
2010-04-29, 07:04 PM
...why am I suddenly thinking about a Corpsecrafted Spell-stitched Necropolitan Totemist / Factotum with Vow of Poverty? (Is that even possible?)

The Rabbler
2010-04-29, 07:05 PM
I always forget. does a druid need to rest to regain wildshapes?

also, +1 warlock. that'd be perfect for this.

sonofzeal
2010-04-29, 07:09 PM
What's the easiest way for a Necropolitan to be made good-aligned? And what happens to a Necropolitan Druid using Wild Shape to gain a Con score?

kabof
2010-04-29, 07:10 PM
Binder 15/KotSS 5 can do what you ask.

Swordgleam
2010-04-29, 07:15 PM
I did this in Iron Heroes as a Man-at-Arms with a tiny bit of Arcanist. So while I can offer no advice on doing it in 3.5, I can verify that it was an absolute blast to play.

Prodan
2010-04-29, 07:17 PM
Bard with Jack of All Trades, Bardic Knack, and Improvisation.

WarKitty
2010-04-29, 07:18 PM
The druid does not need to rest to regain wildshape.

sonofzeal
2010-04-29, 07:20 PM
Bard with Jack of All Trades, Bardic Knack, and Improvisation.
Source on Improvisation?

Prodan
2010-04-29, 07:22 PM
Source on Improvisation?

Spell Compendium.

I hear that there are conflicting versions of Jack of All Trades in 3.5, and there's some debate as to exactly how it works, so that part might not fly by RAW.

Lapak
2010-04-29, 07:24 PM
Since picking up Magic of Incarnum, Incarnates are my go-to base class for this kind of thing. They can't do all of the above at any given moment, but they certainly can cover a lot of bases at once and pretty much anything given time to reshape their soulmelds. Almost every meld adds a skill bonus of some kind, they can put together a solid variety of resistances and defenses, and they can hold their own in combat when they need to. They are much, much less equipment-dependent than most, as well, though interrupting them every 20 minutes would cause them some trouble.

sonofzeal
2010-04-29, 07:26 PM
What's your recommendation for race? I'm strongly considering Necropolitan template, as it provides a whole host of valuable immunities, but I still need a base race. With LA Buyoff and the DM's houserules, I can basically get LA+1 for free, or treat LA+2 as LA+1

Psionic Dog
2010-04-29, 07:27 PM
From what I've heard Incarnum has what you want, but I've never actually played one.

Personally, I like Psionics.

My top two suggestions would be either L8 Monk/L4 Psionic Fist or L6 Soulknife/L6 Pyrokineticist.

With the Psionic Fist you have all the AC you ever need, no gear required. Just take one monk and add inertial armor, which with Practiced manifester is nearly an all-day buff. For weapon you've got magic fists, and with Up-The-Walls + monk speed/ slow fall you almost have indoor flying.

The Pyrokineticist isn't as tough as the monk in spell resistance or AC, but they do have a free minor-magic weapon they can summon at will (even in Anti-Magic-Containment), have unlimited ranged touch attacks like the warlock, and at 6th level gain a fly-like ability. As a bonus they aren't particularly sleep dependent.


EDIT:
Duergar for poison imunity / save bonuses,
Half Giant if you're considering making a grappler/tripper,
assimar has a few nice bonuses,
Air Goblin is only LA +0 but it does make you immune to suffocation,
Afflicted Lycanthropes give DR/silver and natural weapons at the cost of class features...

I can't think of much else.

holywhippet
2010-04-29, 07:36 PM
Bard with Jack of All Trades, Bardic Knack, and Improvisation.

I agree, the bard is designed to be a highly versatile class.

UglyPanda
2010-04-29, 07:39 PM
well, this pretty much rules out casters. for once.Druids. A naked Druid without any items can still turn into a bear and eat your face.

And Summon Divine Focus is an Orison in Complete Champion, I believe. So a divine caster isn't as affected by poverty as a Wizard.


Someone should do the calculations on a Monk vs a Barbarian with a stick (club). I'm curious.

Prodan
2010-04-29, 07:49 PM
Someone should do the calculations on a Monk vs a Barbarian with a stick (club). I'm curious.

Excessive anger is a great way to solve many of life's problems.

Pyro_Azer
2010-04-29, 08:28 PM
Wizards with one of the acfs that replace a spellbook such as a tatooed one seem good for this.

The Rabbler
2010-04-29, 08:36 PM
Wizards with one of the acfs that replace a spellbook such as a tatooed one seem good for this.

this wouldn't work if the wizard is being interrupted every 20 mins. the wizard still needs to rest to regain spells, regardless of where the spellbook is.

I still think factotum of some kind with some martial adept thrown in (either unarmed swordsage or warblade (weapon aptitude is your friend)) and a high Int would work best for this. maneuvers come (almost) free, skills run high, and you don't depend on anything.

sonofzeal
2010-04-29, 09:19 PM
Two concepts....

Deathless-variant Necropolitan Catfolk Paladin (of Freedom?) 2 / Sorcerer 4 / Unarmed-Swordsage 2 / JPM 4, possibly VoP, possibly aiming for Saint.

Lolth-touched Changeling Factotum 3 / Unarmed-Swordsage 2 / Chameleon 7, making heavy use of this thread (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=150839).

The Rabbler
2010-04-29, 09:28 PM
Lolth-touched Changeling Factotum 3 / Unarmed-Swordsage 2 / Chameleon 7.

I vote this. hell, you could even throw on some levels of binder and do anything you want.

Godskook
2010-04-29, 09:30 PM
martial study(pouncing charge) > catfolk pounce, and opens up spellscale or lesser Aasimar as good +Cha race choices. You'll want to squeeze in adaptive style *IF* possible.

sonofzeal
2010-04-29, 10:15 PM
Lolth-touched Changeling Factotum 3 / Unarmed-Swordsage 2 / Chameleon 7, making heavy use of this thread (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=150839).
....scratch Lolth-touched. Vecna-Blooded. Now there we go. :smallcool:

UndeadCleric
2010-04-29, 10:31 PM
I recommend a monk/kensai with his fists as his focus weapons. Choose either an armand (Look here: http://crystalkeep.com/d20/rules/DnD3.5Index-Races.pdf) or preferably something with multiple natural weapons.

ghost_warlock
2010-04-29, 10:36 PM
Can't really rule out casters. Almost any spontaneous caster + Eschew Materials could be at least fairly competent in this scenario, depending on their spell selection. A sorcerer or beguiler probably has a leg up on dread necromancer and warmage. Though, I suppose dread necromancer might actually have more going for it in the way of immunities.

My own shadowmage (see sig) would likely be 4 levels deep into shadowcraft mage (assuming a gnome), meaning that he'd have Eschew Materials + all illusions spells auto-extended and silenced. Perhaps not big on immunities, but difficult to target through various illusions (potentially everything from shadowcraft mage's cloak of shadows to mirror image to veil and mirage arcana). Being locked up wouldn't be much of a hindrance, given dimension door and shadowform. At ECL 12, the character could have squeezed in the necessary feats to mimic evocation and conjurations up to 6th level via shadow illusion (Spell Focus, Earth Sense, Heighten Spell, Earth Spell, Rapid Metamagic).

Granted, the character would be borked in an antimagic field, but that goes for pretty much any other character that relies on magic of any sort, too. :smalltongue:

sonofzeal
2010-04-29, 10:56 PM
Can't really rule out casters. Almost any spontaneous caster + Eschew Materials could be at least fairly competent in this scenario, depending on their spell selection. A sorcerer or beguiler probably has a leg up on dread necromancer and warmage. Though, I suppose dread necromancer might actually have more going for it in the way of immunities.

My own shadowmage (see sig) would likely be 4 levels deep into shadowcraft mage (assuming a gnome), meaning that he'd have Eschew Materials + all illusions spells auto-extended and silenced. Perhaps not big on immunities, but difficult to target through various illusions (potentially everything from shadowcraft mage's cloak of shadows to mirror image to veil and mirage arcana). Being locked up wouldn't be much of a hindrance, given dimension door and shadowform. At ECL 12, the character could have squeezed in the necessary feats to mimic evocation and conjurations up to 6th level via shadow illusion (Spell Focus, Earth Sense, Heighten Spell, Earth Spell, Rapid Metamagic).

Granted, the character would be borked in an antimagic field, but that goes for pretty much any other character that relies on magic of any sort, too. :smalltongue:
It's not really about that specific scenario, as just trying to be as hard as possible to "bork". The max-minned character is ideally one who is "unborkable". That's the challenge.

Lycanthromancer
2010-04-29, 10:59 PM
What's the easiest way for a Necropolitan to be made good-aligned?Err...have a good alignment?

sonofzeal
2010-04-29, 11:05 PM
Err...have a good alignment?
......good point. For some reason I thought it required evilness, but I see even the sample one isn't. Cool!

Escheton
2010-04-30, 12:43 AM
I prefer my current build.

In it's most basic form:
Factotum/Warblade/Wizard/Jade phoenix mage

Find and disable traps: check
Kick ass and take names: check
Cast spells and solve problems: check
Make mad diplo checks: check
Lock up and control: check

taltamir
2010-04-30, 12:58 AM
The classes that come to mind for this are Factota, Monks, and ToB. Factota are the ultimate generalists, of course, and Monks (and Soulknives) depend on fewer assumptions (ie gear) in order to maintain at least a basic level of functionality.
Factotums are a good example... monks and soul knives are NOT, they both utterly and completely suck at everything.

You are confusing fluff with crunch. Fluffwise monks and soulknives don't depend as much on gear. In reality, they depend on gear even more, but are unable to acquire it... therefore they suck.

Any fighter, barbarian, ranger, or paladin who has taken the feat unarmed strike is superior to both monks and soul knives.
Also, why in the world is a high level character stripped naked and in a jail cell?


well, this pretty much rules out casters. for once.

I'd say that this is one of the few places where VoP would really shine. I also feel like that "take 11" devoted spirit stance would make this pretty easy. drunken masters would also perform pretty well; using improvised weapons. maybe a kensai who chose his body as his weapon.

Human (for extra feats) wizard with the "Eidetic Spellcaster" ACF (lose familiar, you now prepare spells from memory, and use magic incense worth 100gp per spell level to memorize new spells as per learning new spells as a wizard normally does).
For feats you can take spontanous silent and spontanous still (3/day you may still/silence a spell without preparation).

You can now prepare spells without a book, and cast them without any components at all by just thinking hard for 6 seconds.

Superglucose
2010-04-30, 01:07 AM
So, what are your thoughts? I'm aiming for ECL 12, LA buyoff allowed, standard gold (but shouldn't depend much on items), standard party (but shouldn't depend much on allies), etc. Every possible roll he might need to make (including all skill checks and ability checks) and every defence (including flat-footed-touch-AC) should be at least decent. Many immunities and combat options are also a boon.
Cloistered Cleric. Next? If you're worried about the divine focus being missing, take the Dante route and sew it into your flesh.

Wizards can do this as well, they have a hard time with using skills to pick locks and bypass traps (which cloistered cleric does not have as hard a time doing, because they can use "Find Traps") but there are other ways to bypass locks and traps.

Prodan
2010-04-30, 01:08 AM
Any fighter, barbarian, ranger, or paladin who has taken the feat unarmed strike is superior to both monks and soul knives.
Also, why in the world is a high level character stripped naked and in a jail cell?

Fighter with Dungeoncrasher > Monk unarmed fighting

Adumbration
2010-04-30, 01:10 AM
An idea:

Raptoran Monk 2/Soulknife 3/Soulbow 10. Drop in VoP for flavor, if you like.

JaronK
2010-04-30, 01:19 AM
Just to throw one out there: Illusionist/Shadowcraft Mage/Earth Dreamer. With Eschew Materials and Signature Spell, you can still cast a ton of spells completely naked if you so desire. Also, you can then float out of your prison right through the walls.

JaronK

ShneekeyTheLost
2010-04-30, 01:29 AM
Sorc with Eschew Materials. Once you hit 4th level, you have Rope Trick, and they are no longer in a position to disturb you every 20 minutes.

Rogue/Warlock. Downtime? What's that?

Escheton
2010-04-30, 01:35 AM
Tombtainted dread necro swordsage

sonofzeal
2010-04-30, 01:36 AM
You are confusing fluff with crunch. Fluffwise monks and soulknives don't depend as much on gear. In reality, they depend on gear even more, but are unable to acquire it... therefore they suck.
Gah. You know, I really hate it when people overstate the anti-monk arguments.

Monks and Soulknives need plenty gear to do well. There's all sorts of bling you need for your Monk to keep him really competitive in a normal game. If anything, your standard Monk has more magic items on him than your standard Fighter. But we're not talking so much about making him competitive in a normal game, we're talking about how hard he is to screw over. And on that front, Monks are one of the best. You can cut off all his limbs, and he'll still be trying to bite your legs off (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhRUe-gz690). Maybe not well, but well enough.

Monk is a very poor class to minmax. But they're a pretty decent one to maxmin.

Prodan
2010-04-30, 01:42 AM
Ok, but in that case, how does he get out of the cell better than, say a fighter or barbarian?

It's probably not going to be by busting out, though I guess he could ask a squirrel to steal the keys...

Lycanthromancer
2010-04-30, 01:42 AM
Monks are pretty well screwed over already; how much worse could it get?

As for soulknives, you're 100% better off playing a psychic warrior with a soulknife as a class feature.

Escheton
2010-04-30, 01:48 AM
Monks are pretty well screwed over already; how much worse could it get?

As for soulknives, you're 100% better off playing a psychic warrior with a soulknife as a class feature.

is that like a bard with free sneakattack?

Godskook
2010-04-30, 01:49 AM
Also, why in the world is a high level character stripped naked and in a jail cell?

Because he lost to a higher level character?

---------

Also, for the mod-sorcadin, add in a level of Shadow-Sun Ninja to get free healing, provided you can find a way to sink the positive energy. Having a familiar as a class ability just came in handy....

Lycanthromancer
2010-04-30, 01:49 AM
is that like a bard with free sneakattack?More like a druid with a free fighter.

Check the soulbound weapon ACF. (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/psm/20070214a)

Of course, the other ACFs are pretty awesome too.

TheMadLinguist
2010-04-30, 02:09 AM
Play a ghost.

Everyone else has issues doing things when they're dead (truly the minimum result). You, on the other hand, do not, so long as you're level 14 or higher.

sonofzeal
2010-04-30, 02:10 AM
A monk without gear will have better AC, saves, skills, speed, special defences (evasion, disease immunity, self-healing), damage, and (probably) number of attacks than your basic Fighter type. The Fighter type will have higher hp and attack bonus, but will probably have to try and find an improvised weapon, at which point the attack bonus advantage disappears. Without a good attack bonus or two handed weapon, power attack becomes pretty useless, as do most traditional fighter feats. Tripping remains, but the Monk has that as a bonus feat too and it doesn't really benefit from the Fighter's higher BAB. Dungeoncrasher Fighter could do well offensively.

The monk is also generally harder to bork up - his strikes can be made with any part of the body, so binding his hands does little. Also, Abundant Step gets him out of the occasional tight spot. Diamond Soul is a liability much of the time if you can't take it down, but it does provide an extra little bit of insurance against several significant bork-you-up spells. And then there's "immunity" to rust monsters.

Fighters are better under normal conditions, but it's easier to bork up a Fighter than it is to bork of a Monk. The Monk, you're better off just beating in a fight. But that's a minmaxing concern. A valid one, and an important one in normal games, but right now we're talking about maxminning, and that requires a different perspective. Fighters are better overall. But Monks cover their bases a little better.

Lycanthromancer
2010-04-30, 02:10 AM
Play a ghost.

Everyone else has issues doing things when they're dead (truly the minimum result). You, on the other hand, do not, so long as you're level 14 or higher.The best part? Being destroyed via turning is only a mild setback.

Prodan
2010-04-30, 02:12 AM
The Fighter type will have higher hp and attack bonus, but will probably have to try and find an improvised weapon
Crafting a quarterstaff or greatclub consumes no materials by RAW and take no time at all.

sonofzeal
2010-04-30, 02:16 AM
Crafting a quarterstaff or greatclub consumes no materials by RAW and take no time at all.
By RAW, yes. But we're assuming worst-case scenarios here, and a perverse and sadistic universe. RAW-cheese is probably out.

Prodan
2010-04-30, 02:20 AM
Sarcasm, people! Sarcasm!

sonofzeal
2010-04-30, 02:40 AM
So....

Vecna-Blooded Changeling Factotum 3 / Unarmed-Swordsage 2 / Chameleon 7

or

Necropolitan Draconic Magic-Blooded Lesser Aasimar Paladin of Freedom 2 / Sorcerer 4 / Unarmed-Swordsage 2 / JPM 4 with VoP


I don't particularly care which is more powerful... but which is harder for a perverse and sadistic universe to bork things up for? Any improvements for either, in the non-borking-up front? Any alternative builds that are even harder to bork up than these two?

Myou
2010-04-30, 02:55 AM
Where is Vecna-blooded from?

JeminiZero
2010-04-30, 02:55 AM
How about: Human Necropolitan: 1 Ninja / 1 Binder / 1 Sorcerer / 10 Anima Mage

Important Feats:
-Able Learner (with ninja, lets you keep your Search/Disable/Open Lock maxed out).
-Improved Binding/Precocious apprentice: Early qualification for Anima Mage
-Ascetic Mage: Lets you use Cha to AC instead of Wis from Ninja. Requires Improved Unarmed Strike (which you will probably want to take anyway so that you can fight naked)
-Eschew Materials: So your Sorcerer can cast while naked
-Practiced Spellcaster Sorcerer:

Godskook
2010-04-30, 02:59 AM
Necropolitan Draconic Magic-Blooded Lesser Aasimar Paladin of Freedom 2 / Sorcerer 4 / Unarmed-Swordsage 2 / JPM 4 with VoP


I don't particularly care which is more powerful... but which is harder for a perverse and sadistic universe to bork things up for? Any improvements for either, in the non-borking-up front? Any alternative builds that are even harder to bork up than these two?

You must have missed it:

Necropolitan Draconic Magic-Blooded Lesser Aasimar Paladin of Freedom 2 / Sorcerer 4 / Unarmed-Swordsage 2 / JPM 3 / Shadow-Sun Ninja 1 with VoP

Emmerask
2010-04-30, 05:48 AM
After a recent post here reminded me, I've been trying to think of ways to max-min characters, as opposed to min-max.

A maxminned character is one who maximizes the minimum performance, or, one who's never worst at anything. They should be at least marginally competent at everything and in all situations. They should be built assuming worst case scenario in all ways, and try to make due the best they can with that.

The classes that come to mind for this are Factota, Monks, and ToB. Factota are the ultimate generalists, of course, and Monks (and Soulknives) depend on fewer assumptions (ie gear) in order to maintain at least a basic level of functionality. Stripped naked in a jail cell and interrupted every 20 minutes, Monks and Soulknives are the sort you want around. Unarmed Swordsage might be the way to go on that, though.



So, what are your thoughts? I'm aiming for ECL 12, LA buyoff allowed, standard gold (but shouldn't depend much on items), standard party (but shouldn't depend much on allies), etc. Every possible roll he might need to make (including all skill checks and ability checks) and every defence (including flat-footed-touch-AC) should be at least decent. Many immunities and combat options are also a boon.

Thanks!


Jack of all trades feat, now you can use every skill ever printed in any 3.5 book as if you had 1/2 rank in it :smallbiggrin:

was already mentioned :smallsigh:

Gametime
2010-04-30, 11:24 AM
Deathless-variant Necropolitan Catfolk Paladin (of Freedom?) 2 / Sorcerer 4 / Unarmed-Swordsage 2 / JPM 4, possibly VoP, possibly aiming for Saint.


I realize Catfolk was already ruled out as a race for this build, but it would be completely awesome to play the risen champion of a slaughtered people, bent on revenge against the evil scientists who wiped out your kind.

sonofzeal
2010-04-30, 11:35 AM
Where is Vecna-blooded from?
MM5, under "God Blooded". All memory of you gradually seeps out of the world. Even gods forget your name, face, actions, even that you exist. The only people who can retain clear memory of you are yourself and Vecna.


How about: Human Necropolitan: 1 Ninja / 1 Binder / 1 Sorcerer / 10 Anima Mage

Important Feats:
-Able Learner (with ninja, lets you keep your Search/Disable/Open Lock maxed out).
-Improved Binding/Precocious apprentice: Early qualification for Anima Mage
-Ascetic Mage: Lets you use Cha to AC instead of Wis from Ninja. Requires Improved Unarmed Strike (which you will probably want to take anyway so that you can fight naked)
-Eschew Materials: So your Sorcerer can cast while naked
-Practiced Spellcaster Sorcerer:
That's most of the feats getting sunk into "build". I'll also need Still/Silent Spell for thematic purposes here, so that's all six feats spoken for even if I'm human, and most of my levels are in a d4 HD, 2+int skillpoint, 1 good save class. Don't get me wrong, it's a really good build, but I don't think it works for maxminning.


You must have missed it:

Necropolitan Draconic Magic-Blooded Lesser Aasimar Paladin of Freedom 2 / Sorcerer 4 / Unarmed-Swordsage 2 / JPM 3 / Shadow-Sun Ninja 1 with VoP
My mistake, yes, definitely.



Jack of all trades feat, now you can use every skill ever printed in any 3.5 book as if you had 1/2 rank in it :smallbiggrin:

was already mentioned :smallsigh:
Jack of all Trades basically just lets you attempt every check. If we go Factotum, we can actually put ranks into every skill, or at least the important ones. That's horrible minmax practice, I know, but it works for this and actually gets a bonus there.


I realize Catfolk was already ruled out as a race for this build, but it would be completely awesome to play the risen champion of a slaughtered people, bent on revenge against the evil scientists who wiped out your kind.
I have OOG reasons to avoid a Catfolk, actually, since we recently had a player fall utterly in love with them and I don't want to step on their turf.

Human Paragon 3
2010-04-30, 11:44 AM
I second Bardic Knack Jack-of-all-Trades Bard.

You will be able to do virtually anything.

Then take Martial Study for your other feats to round out your combat. Take the manuever from ToB that lets you replace a damage roll with a concentration check, and watch people marvel as you deal 30+ damage with a beer stein or kick a steel bar in half (while you're naked in a jail cell).

Hit it in JUST the right place!

Godskook
2010-04-30, 12:06 PM
I realize Catfolk was already ruled out as a race for this build, but it would be completely awesome to play the risen champion of a slaughtered people, bent on revenge against the evil scientists who wiped out your kind.

Not ruled out, just rendered non-superior through the use of slightly better form of pounce that's not racially specific in that particular build.

(Wow that's a lot of caveats. I barely survived typing it!)

@Zeal, if you wind up playing the Sorcadin-sage, instill a cloak fetish into him, or something. With +saves, +charisma, and +deflection all being cloak usable enchantments, his cloak would be among his more valuable possessions.

Hand_of_Vecna
2010-04-30, 12:09 PM
I second, or is it third now, ShadowCraftMage. All their illusions are silent (and by extension conjurations and evocations) and they are casting without any material components. Because their SCM's their basically spontanious casters with huge lists of spell known. They could use invoke magic in an AMF. They could pretty much ignore all need for a spellbook since they could just take spell mastery for silent image and whatever non illusion-conjuration-evocation spells they want. If they can't mem spells they still have leftover spells memmed and with SCM 1 3rd level slot could be any of literally hundreds of spells I can't think of any ways to get rid of a casters memmed spells, I don't doubt there is one but it's gonna be obscure. They even have some useful skills too.

You can't keep a good mage down.

Emmerask
2010-04-30, 12:24 PM
Jack of all Trades basically just lets you attempt every check. If we go Factotum, we can actually put ranks into every skill, or at least the important ones. That's horrible minmax practice, I know, but it works for this and actually gets a bonus there.


You could true, but there are WAY to many skills to put something into every single one of them
(and the op wanted to be able to do everything ^^).
My eTools with nearly every addon there is has about 100knowledge skills alone.
So Im guessing with all supplements you have about 300skills you must put points into to be able to do everything outside combat.

taltamir
2010-04-30, 12:31 PM
Sorc with Eschew Materials. Once you hit 4th level, you have Rope Trick, and they are no longer in a position to disturb you every 20 minutes.

Rogue/Warlock. Downtime? What's that?

heck, just a straight warlock... CL-1/2 d6 damage a round, at range... all day flight at level 5! (or was it 6? certainly much earlier then any other caster), and a few other goodies... you aren't a wizard, but there are some very nice perks there.

sonofzeal
2010-04-30, 12:37 PM
You could true, but there are WAY to many skills to put something into every single one of them
(and the op wanted to be able to do everything ^^).
My eTools with nearly every addon there is has about 100knowledge skills alone.
So Im guessing with all supplements you have about 300skills you must put points into to be able to do everything outside combat.
There are 36 core skills (if we ignore variations of perform/craft/profession), and only a few non-core ones that I can think of (autohypnosis, psicraft, use psionic device, iaijutsu focus... any others?). And there are easy ways to gain a flat bonus on all Knowledge checks so those are covered. I probably can't hit a +10 total modifier for all skills without cheese, but a +5 should be quite manageable and I think I might be able to get as high as +7 or +8 with some good prioritization and effort. Brains Over Brawn will be a big help here, as will a luckstone and pale green ioun stone when they're affordable.

taltamir
2010-04-30, 12:38 PM
Gah. You know, I really hate it when people overstate the anti-monk arguments.

Monks and Soulknives need plenty gear to do well. There's all sorts of bling you need for your Monk to keep him really competitive in a normal game. If anything, your standard Monk has more magic items on him than your standard Fighter. But we're not talking so much about making him competitive in a normal game, we're talking about how hard he is to screw over. And on that front, Monks are one of the best. You can cut off all his limbs, and he'll still be trying to bite your legs off (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhRUe-gz690). Maybe not well, but well enough.

Monk is a very poor class to minmax. But they're a pretty decent one to maxmin.

I am not overstating it, it is the truth. ANY class needs gear to do well... but some classes need it more then others.
Monks are some of the worst class around and fail at ther most basis purpose.

Take a barbarian, give him improved unarmed strike and power attack... he is now a better unarmed fighter then the monk.


A monk without gear will have better AC, saves, skills, speed, special defences (evasion, disease immunity, self-healing), damage, and (probably) number of attacks than your basic Fighter type. The Fighter type will have higher hp and attack bonus, but will probably have to try and find an improvised weapon, at which point the attack bonus advantage disappears. Without a good attack bonus or two handed weapon, power attack becomes pretty useless, as do most traditional fighter feats. Tripping remains, but the Monk has that as a bonus feat too and it doesn't really benefit from the Fighter's higher BAB. Dungeoncrasher Fighter could do well offensively.

The monk is also generally harder to bork up - his strikes can be made with any part of the body, so binding his hands does little. Also, Abundant Step gets him out of the occasional tight spot. Diamond Soul is a liability much of the time if you can't take it down, but it does provide an extra little bit of insurance against several significant bork-you-up spells. And then there's "immunity" to rust monsters.

Fighters are better under normal conditions, but it's easier to bork up a Fighter than it is to bork of a Monk. The Monk, you're better off just beating in a fight. But that's a minmaxing concern. A valid one, and an important one in normal games, but right now we're talking about maxminning, and that requires a different perspective. Fighters are better overall. But Monks cover their bases a little better.

fluff fluff fluff... The only thing a monk gets that a fighter (or better yet, a barbarian) with the feat "improved unarmed strike" does not, is the increase in damage dice when using unarmed strike. And power attack can make up for that. (you have more BAB to burn) and you also get more iterative attacks due to higher BAB, which is better then flurry. Yea... monks get evasion and all good saves... big woo.
Oh, a NAKED monk has better AC... but basic armor costs peanuts...
If DM fiat is stripping you naked regularly then take combat expertise to compensate (convert to hit to an AC bonus)

Thiyr
2010-04-30, 12:40 PM
I figure I should point out getting somebody to do various grafts on you if you can manage. Expensive, but good luck figuring out how to stop them from working.

sonofzeal
2010-04-30, 12:45 PM
fluff fluff fluff...
You realize that I didn't mention a single aspect of fluff anywhere in that post, right?

nedz
2010-04-30, 12:54 PM
Horizon Walker has to be worth a thought.

Immune to Fatigue, Treat Exhaustion as Fatigue
Darkvision/Improved Darkvision for when the lights go out
+4 Spot and Listen to avoid ambushes
...
Immune to Aligned planer traits, and spell effects.
Dim Door every d4 rounds
Fire Res 20
Cold Res 20
...

true_shinken
2010-04-30, 01:14 PM
fluff fluff fluff... The only thing a monk gets that a fighter (or better yet, a barbarian) with the feat "improved unarmed strike" does not, is the increase in damage dice when using unarmed strike.
Not at all. A monk's unarmed strike (and only a monk's unarmed strike) is considered both a manufactured weapon and a natural weapon. A fighter can't get Greater Mighty Wallop cast on his fists. A monk can.
Also, notice the fighter can only, by RAW, perform unarmed strikes with his fists. IUS only allows you to avoid AoO while performing unarmed strikes; only the monk class feature mentions using any part of your body to deal damage.
Also, unarmed strikes are light weapons so you can't use Power Attack with them... except, you know, the monk who gets to reat them ad both natural and manufactured weapons and as such can use Power Attack.

Godskook
2010-04-30, 01:39 PM
Not at all. A monk's unarmed strike (and only a monk's unarmed strike) is considered both a manufactured weapon and a natural weapon. A fighter can't get Greater Mighty Wallop cast on his fists. A monk can.
Also, notice the fighter can only, by RAW, perform unarmed strikes with his fists. IUS only allows you to avoid AoO while performing unarmed strikes; only the monk class feature mentions using any part of your body to deal damage.
Also, unarmed strikes are light weapons so you can't use Power Attack with them... except, you know, the monk who gets to reat them ad both natural and manufactured weapons and as such can use Power Attack.

1.Greater Mighty Whallop does not have a natural/manufactured clause in its text. By RAW, you can GMW your bite attack.

2.Power Attack explicitly works with unarmed strikes, regardless of who is using them.

Gametime
2010-04-30, 02:30 PM
Stuff (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/CompletelyMissingThePoint)

SonofZeal knows how weak monks are. He also knows how weak they aren't, which is reasonably rare on the interblag. "Common knowledge" on forums tends toward a maximum, even when that maximum isn't actually correct, and "monks are weak and inferior to most competitor classes at achieving basic adventure goals" regularly gets turned into "monks can't actually adventure and have no class features that are any good EVER."

Monks aren't a very good class. That isn't because all their class features are worthless; several of them are very good. There's a reason Cloistered Clerics pick up Monk's Belts.

A naked fighter is probably worse than a naked monk. Both of them are pretty terrible. The fighter would undoubtedly be better (at fighting, anyway) than the monk if you handed him even a few pieces of basic equipment. But since SonofZeal was explicitly talking about planning for every contingency, and the monk has several features that allow them to function well in emergency situations, including high saves and AC without armor, that's not really relevant.

In the interest of not derailing an otherwise interesting thread, let's not turn this into another attempt to pin down exactly how weak the monk is. You'll notice the builds SonofZeal is considering don't use monk anyway, so it's a moot point.

PlzBreakMyCmpAn
2010-04-30, 03:07 PM
no one care about monks. iirc manuevers require uninterrupted time to yourself also, so they might be out.


well, this pretty much rules out casters. for once.I do that all the time. And I throw on painful point-buys and tier-nerfs...


Psionics. Ardents or PSychic Warrior with that ACF that gives them a soul-weapon or whatever.

Incarnum is good too.Nope, both need preparation time


why in the world is a high level character stripped naked and in a jail cell?A wizard did it


I second, or is it third now, ShadowCraftMage.
You can't keep a good mage down.interrupted every 20min->no spells

Prodan
2010-04-30, 03:09 PM
interrupted every 20min->no spells
Can't heal either, I assume?

Starbuck_II
2010-04-30, 03:15 PM
no one care about monks. iirc manuevers require uninterrupted time to yourself also, so they might be out.


Take feat Adaptive Style: now you get them from a full round action.

Human Paragon 3
2010-04-30, 03:16 PM
Shadowsmith from Tome of Magic has the ability to make his own equipment. Nice way to enhance a well-rounded character, and full BAB if I'm not mistaken. That way when you're locked up, you can craft a lock pick to pick the lock, craft a sword to slaughter the guards, craft armor to protect yourself, then craft a concealing cloak to sneak away unnoticed.

Prodan
2010-04-30, 03:19 PM
What about the Sand Shaper's ability to shape sand?

Godskook
2010-04-30, 03:36 PM
no one care about monks. iirc manuevers require uninterrupted time to yourself also, so they might be out.

I do that all the time. And I throw on painful point-buys and tier-nerfs...

Nope, both need preparation time

Maneuvers require all of 5 minutes of prep-time, and no rest requirement.

Incarnum requires 8+1 to reshape, but unless you're attacked by foes explicitly prepared for you or you're in a heavy incarnum world(Where everyone's prepared for incarnum users), it is unlikely that your foes will have the magic required to unshape anything, so Incarnum is actually really hard to screw too. Spending a lot of resources there would be a bad idea, but a few levels or feats could potentially add a lot of versatility with very little vulnerability.

DragoonWraith
2010-04-30, 03:40 PM
That 5-minutes can be made a full-round action with a feat, too. Which seems like an obvious choice for this character.

Lapak
2010-04-30, 03:43 PM
Spending a lot of resources there would be a bad idea, but a few levels or feats could potentially add a lot of versatility with very little vulnerability.Yeah, a maneuver-user with a couple of Incarnum-class levels or even a Shape Soulmeld or two would be pretty tough to disable short of actually killing them.

Escheton
2010-04-30, 03:49 PM
a crusader with some healing strikes can beat up his party with the power of love and heal people for free basicly

sonofzeal
2010-04-30, 05:36 PM
SonofZeal knows how weak monks are. He also knows how weak they aren't, which is reasonably rare on the interblag. "Common knowledge" on forums tends toward a maximum, even when that maximum isn't actually correct, and "monks are weak and inferior to most competitor classes at achieving basic adventure goals" regularly gets turned into "monks can't actually adventure and have no class features that are any good EVER."
Thank you very much for that. It cheers me up. =)



Re: Incarnum - I'm aware of the basics of the system and interested in trying it out, but I really don't know where to start on it. What soulmelds would you recommend for this? I'm particularly looking for things that provide a bonus to a wide set of skills or in a wide set of situations, if not necessarily a useful set.

Godskook
2010-04-30, 06:51 PM
Re: Incarnum - I'm aware of the basics of the system and interested in trying it out, but I really don't know where to start on it. What soulmelds would you recommend for this? I'm particularly looking for things that provide a bonus to a wide set of skills or in a wide set of situations, if not necessarily a useful set.

Incarnum primer:

Souldmelds are like easier access psionic powers. A L1 Totemist has full access to every non-racial soulmeld on his list, at all times. You can pick any of them that you want, and they'll all 'work', but usefulness varies. You can acquire a soulmeld list and the ability to shape X of them by dipping Totemist or Incarnate. Or you can gain the ability to shape one specific soulmeld with a feat. The prior is far more versatile while the latter avoids unnecessary multiclassing.

You can upgrade a soulmeld in 2 ways. First, you can invest essentia into it, which typically just makes it a better version of the original, or you can bind it to a chakra for additional effects that might be radically different from the base benefit from shaping the soulmeld.

Essentia is hard to come by outside of taking levels in a primary incarnum class, so effects based on them are normally limited to Incarnum heavy builds. Ever play X-Wing? Using Essentia is a lot like adjusting your power ratings on engines/shields/weapons. For soulmelds, adjusting essentia is a swift action, and max capacity is based partly on character level, so multiclass soulshapers can still get a lot of Essentia into a single soulmeld.

Chakra binding is difficult and comes with additional costs. First, it requires special training to bind to a specific chakra, and multiclassers have a difficult time getting this training without spending feats or using very high level spells. Second, binding a soulmeld to a chakra prevents you from using most magic items in the corresponding item slot. The benefits are typically quite fun though.


For this thread, I'd say your best bets for Shape Soulmeld are:
Dragon Mantle - Dragon Magic - Stacking energy resistance
Blink Shirt - MoI - Dim Door at will

More are useful if you're willing to invest either magic items, feats, or 4th+ level spells to gaining chakra slots.

If you dip, Totemist has no alignment restrictions and immediate access. Incarnate has anti-paladin(must be half neutral) alignment restrictions, but similar access as well, and Soulborn is not a class for dipping.

JeminiZero
2010-04-30, 08:38 PM
That's most of the feats getting sunk into "build". I'll also need Still/Silent Spell for thematic purposes here, so that's all six feats spoken for even if I'm human, and most of my levels are in a d4 HD, 2+int skillpoint, 1 good save class. Don't get me wrong, it's a really good build, but I don't think it works for maxminning.

It works slightly better than you might think actually. As a necropolitan, all your HD are d12, so you might as well make the best use of it by taking low HD classes. You are immune to most Fort Save effects, so having a good Will save on top of that puts you on par with the average cleric. As a human, you actually get 3+ int skill points. Not a lot more, but you should be able to muster a reasonable 14 int with point buy, giving you enough skills for the 5 essentials: Concentration, Spellcraft, Search, Disable and Open Lock (Open Lock is actually arguable since you can access the Knock spell).

Also don't forget that undead do not need to eat, drink, breath or sleep, making them among the hardest to screw over in a sadistic world. :smallsmile:

JaronK
2010-04-30, 09:10 PM
At the end of the day, the big power classes win out here just as much as before. A dungeon like WLD really gives your "maxmin" concept a run for it's money, with random attacks, silly traps, and so on. But a good Necropolitan Shadowcraft Mage in a miniturret is pretty much perfect for this.

JaronK

PlzBreakMyCmpAn
2010-05-01, 05:54 PM
They are right about incarnum and martial classes. If your DM is mean about the naked-in-a-jail-cell thing there are fairly accessible ways to unshape those soul melds. YMMV


Soulborn is not a class for dipping playing.ftfy. 5 crappy soulborn-only soulmelds are not worth having a seperate paladin-nerfed (yea, that's right, worse than the pally) class.


A dungeon like WLD really gives your "maxmin" concept a run for it's money, with random attacks, silly traps, and so onOh yea. Hey zeal go pillage my thread on that. Its right up your ally

Chineselegolas
2010-05-01, 06:26 PM
Necropolitan Dread Necromancer 1/Warlock 9/Something else.

Gives you the ability to heal yourself, ranged blasting, flying, invisibility. Then tack something else into it for whatever else you need.
Sure an anti-magic field gives you a bit of a problem, but eh. Maybe paladin of freedom to get the charisma to saves, 'cause you do have some of that.

Godskook
2010-05-01, 07:20 PM
At the end of the day, the big power classes win out here just as much as before. A dungeon like WLD really gives your "maxmin" concept a run for it's money, with random attacks, silly traps, and so on. But a good Necropolitan Shadowcraft Mage in a miniturret is pretty much perfect for this.

JaronK

Except, if I understand Zeal correctly, WLD is not the scenario he's worried about.

WLD is about finding a balance between power and longevity, without losing.

Max-min, near as I can tell, is about remaining as powerful as possible, after losing in a non-dead kind of way.