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View Full Version : Raise a glass for the underpowered



jjpickar
2007-03-20, 04:36 PM
Is it just me or are the "underpowered" classes some of the most fun to play? My favorite class is the Warlock and according to this forum they are almost as useful as playing a commoner. But I always have fun with them.

This is not a thread to compare classes but for those of us that like to play as the weaker classes. It is more of a discussion of how people had fun with them despite their weaknesses.

Ikkitosen
2007-03-20, 04:39 PM
As long as no-one else makes a real effort to be very powerful they're all fun :)

DaMullet
2007-03-20, 04:39 PM
I don't own that book, so I don't know about the validity of the "Warlock = Commoner" argument, but I do know that it is a lot more fun to roleplay characters you had the bad luck to roll low on a stat with, like the 8 Wis Sorcerer who knows exactly enough to not hit his teammates with a Fireball and not much else.

Most of the classes aren't "underpowered" unless you compare them to level 20 Wizards.

Jade_Tarem
2007-03-20, 04:40 PM
I'm going to beat several dozen people to the punch:

Roleplaying is as fun as you make it. Personal preference should dictate what class you play. One class is not "more fun" to play than another - at least not inherantly.

Even if wizards and sorcerers were terribly ineffective, I would still play them because I love those classes. I also play bards and odd core multiclassings alot because that's how I see a certain character working. A number of others also play like this.

and I think Warlock doesn't get enough credit on this forum. I showed how one could one-shot a balor and instead of a rebuttal I was basically told that I was high.

Logos7
2007-03-20, 04:42 PM
Yes at a certain point it stops being that some classes are so terribly underpowered as some are overpowered. ( If by nothing else the large amount of spellage available to them )

No one really talks about Monk vs Fighter However

Logos

jjpickar
2007-03-20, 04:51 PM
(I agree with you Jade_Tarem but I don't think a lot of other people do :smallfrown: )

Anyway time to start of the reminiscing! (Raises glass and takes pull)

My first experience with Warlocks came when a friend of mine DMed his first game with me controlling a single party of four adventurers. I had decided to make the most absolutely ridiculous party possible (which was fitting since his first dungeon could only be entered by crawling down a toilet:smalltongue: ). The party consisted of a water mephling cleric of Ollimdamara, a Githzerai Monk, a 5th level Avoral Gaurdinal( monster class levels), and a drow warlock. The adventure almost would have concluded with the first encounter (a mimic) if I had not decided to make the official policy of my warlock to blast everything that came into view (the ground, birds, treasure chest disguised mimics, etc.) I wish that had not been a one shot game.

JaronK
2007-03-20, 05:06 PM
Warlocks aren't bad, they're just so caster-like that they get compared to the first tier casters, and look bad by comparison. They're perfectly good when compared to rogues and fighters.

Now try Samurai. That is an underpowered class.

JaronK

Rarkasha
2007-03-20, 05:16 PM
I think of classes such as bards and warlocks as not being quite as useful mechanically in some areas, but there is almost always one place where they shine: looking cool.

I mean, that's one reason to play the game, isn't it? As long as you do something, I don't mind not being that effective if I get to fly around tossing eldritch blasts in a cape.

Behold_the_Void
2007-03-20, 05:33 PM
I must see this Warlock one-shotting Balor build.

Anyway, I'm all for playing classes that aren't Wizards, Clerics or Druids, and I'm a staunch believer in that the classes aren't nearly as powerful as people make them out to be when played like actual characters and not mathematical equations.

Frankly, I'm all for playing an "underpowered" or "overpowered" class. I'll mechanically build them to the best of my ability within their concept, of course, but I like playing highly heroic and competent characters, but the same applies down the board from fighters to wizards. I want a class that's fun, and I can have fun with every class out there for different reasons.

UglyPanda
2007-03-20, 05:33 PM
Look up in the sky! It's Eldritch-Man!

I love bards because of their extreme goofiness. Nearly any build you make using them is good for a laugh. My current favorite is the Divine Prankster "Wenn ist das NunstŁck git und Slotermeyer? Ja! ... Beiherhund das Oder die Flipperwaldt gersput."

storybookknight
2007-03-20, 06:05 PM
Sure, definitely.

Personally I don't like warlocks because they're not very flexible as characters, they only get to do the same thing over and over again, but that's just my opinion.

Regardless of how effective they actually are, I love a good swashbuckler. "I know something you don't know - I'm not right handed either."

Krellen
2007-03-20, 06:10 PM
I like Fighters. And Rogues. And Fighter/Rogues.

I do a lot of gimmicky builds; presently, I'm really wanting to try out an Invisible Blade/Master Thrower, for instance.

PaladinBoy
2007-03-20, 06:18 PM
Ah, yes. I think it's possible to have fun with any class depending on taste, and how much interesting roleplaying you get out of it.

Personally, I prefer the options a spellcaster has to a melee class's sword, but I also think that it is a lot of fun to roll 2d6 and say, "Alright, with my bonus that's 24 damage for my greatsword." (That happened with one player in our campaign...... his strength score is simply absurd.)

I also like rapiers. Even my current wizard character is carrying one. Despite the fact that hitting something is pretty much completely impossible, it's still fun to use it.

Fax Celestis
2007-03-20, 06:22 PM
I'm a gigantic fan of the Spellthief (in particular, Spellthief Dromites). No one seems to like them besides me, though.

I also like Battle Sorcerors, Totemists, and the occasional Paladin/Monk.

El Jaspero, the Pirate King
2007-03-20, 06:24 PM
Hear, hear! for the underpowered classes. It is, after all, a roleplaying game. Players should choose classes that fit their character concepts, not something that just adds up to a killer build. I myself am a big fan of bards, swashbucklers, and rangers, all of which tend to be "flavor" heavy.

Bears With Lasers
2007-03-20, 06:36 PM
Players should choose classes that fit their character concepts

Classes are collections of mechanics, generally with some non-vital flavor attached (classes whose flavor affects their mechanics, like the Paladin, are a little different). If your character concept is "daring swashbuckler", you can model that in tons of different ways, from simple builds to complex, and from mechanically terrible ones to powerful ones.

Your character concept may be a swashuckler, but that doesn't mean it has to use the Swashbuckler class. It may be a bard, but that doesn't mean it has to use the Bard class (Beguiler with Perform, anyone? Arcane Trickster?). Using a class "for its flavor" makes very little sense, most of the time.

Ramza00
2007-03-20, 06:42 PM
I seriously disagree with a lot of the above posters. You can have an optimized character and still have fun. Case in point is V, she/he is a typical 18 wizard (besides banning conjuration and not evocation). Regardless of V's always having the right spell out on hand, it would be so fun to roleplay such a character.

So many things passing over V's head (due to low wis and cha) its funny.

AmberVael
2007-03-20, 06:44 PM
Hey now, guys, don't derail the thread. This is about having fun with underpowered characters, nothing else.

And yes, I agree with the general consensus. Warlocks are fun to play.
Going zappity zap all day long is entertaining, and you can have quite an interesting time RPing how they have gotten their abilities... from crazy magic experiments to demonic power.

Ramza00
2007-03-20, 06:44 PM
Your character concept may be a swashuckler, but that doesn't mean it has to use the Swashbuckler class. It may be a bard, but that doesn't mean it has to use the Bard class (Beguiler with Perform, anyone? Arcane Trickster?). Using a class "for its flavor" makes very little sense, most of the time.

Case in point (one of the few times I agree with Miko
http://www.giantitp.com/comics/images/oots0209.gif

(Wonders would it be okay with the Admins to post the image itself instead of the link, it may be too large...)

Ramza00
2007-03-20, 06:46 PM
Warlocks are fun to play for they are simple and elegant. Very little bookwark. I don't feel bad if I do X, or Y. I have always been one of those people in electronic RPGs who hoards items instead of using them when I should for I fear it is only going to get worse.

Saithis Bladewing
2007-03-20, 06:49 PM
My current favorite is the Divine Prankster "Wenn ist das NunstŁck git und Slotermeyer? Ja! ... Beiherhund das Oder die Flipperwaldt gersput."

You win the thread.

Warlocks aren't that underpowered - their weakness is exaggerated and they're amazing in a situation that requires endurance i.e. when you won't have much time to rest and regain spells or health.

Bards may be underpowered, but they are really really fun. My favourite bard was a semi-persian-style ex-noblewoman who had disguised herself as a performer to escape marriage and eventually wound up finding her way to cooler lands where the adventure took place. Specialised almost entirely in dance with a little flute, but no song.

Diggorian
2007-03-20, 06:53 PM
Cheers here for the warlock.

Mine only did one thing a round besides blasting while flying ... describing how the blast looked: vomitting hot ash, cyclops style eyebeams, blowing clouds of voracious shadow fleas onto to foes.

Outside combat, beguiled NPCs into adding 10-25% more to our fees, discounting 10-25% off prices, and defending us from theocractic charges of heresy.

Then I got Voracious Dispeling ... and our DM decided he "didnt like how we played." :smallannoyed:

To Warlocks!! *gulp*

ocato
2007-03-20, 07:11 PM
Bards aren't really underpowered in my opinion. They add +1 to the CR of a group. Also they're awesome to the max.

That's just as good as a valid point.

Stevenson
2007-03-20, 07:13 PM
Ah, yes. See, unlike here, everyone in my group detests divine casters. Well, not druids.

Likewise, they're my favorite class-the first time I played one, they all said I was "taking the bullet". But I love 'em.

Also, just any "underpowered" class. Marshal and Swashbuckler are two of my other favorite classes. "Underpowered"-and underestimated-can work to your advantage.

And to me, playing underpowered just means not being a math major in character building. I play 'em as I sees 'em-I don't really agonize over feats or spell choices-I do what I like. It's not a bloody math class, it's a game.

Ramza00
2007-03-20, 07:17 PM
That was one thing I was hoping they would do in Complete Scoundrel. Make some marshal multiclassing feats such as Marshal/Swashbuckler.

Lord Tataraus
2007-03-20, 07:57 PM
Personally, I like players who play so called 'underpowered classes' as long as they are good roleplayers. I actually prefer my players to have underpowered classes rather than overly optimized ones.

Brauron
2007-03-20, 08:13 PM
What's wrong with the Samurai in Complete Warrior? I'm considering playing one as my next character.

Bears With Lasers
2007-03-20, 08:19 PM
What's wrong with the Samurai in Complete Warrior? I'm considering playing one as my next character.

Everything.

It is the single worst base PC class in D&D, bar none.

To elaborate:
-They get TWF bonus feats, which are either wasted or lock them into a single fighting style which actually makes them *worse* (since THF is superior to TWF unless you have bonus damage on each hit, which the Samurai lacks).
-They also get some initimdate abilities, which totally suck. Not only do they suck, but they can be almost entirely replicated by a couple of feats in the Complete Warrior. Oh, and in addition to that, they'll almost never work on anything, since any appropriate-CR monster is pretty much guaranteed to have more hit dice than you after the first few levels.

Basically, nothing they get is useful. They're only a tiny bit better than a Warrior. Just play a Fighter or a Knight and call yourself a Samurai.

storybookknight
2007-03-20, 08:30 PM
Also their smite ability is less useful and usable less frequently than that of a Paladin, except perhaps at very low levels.

Sadly to say, it just wasn't done very well. The 3.0 Oriental Adventures Samurai is a touch better, if you absolutely must have a *samurai* class. In all honesty, though, play a fighter - or if you have Tome of Battle, a Warblade.

Ramza00
2007-03-20, 08:32 PM
What's wrong with the Samurai in Complete Warrior? I'm considering playing one as my next character.

There isn't anything "Bad" about the samuri there is just barely anything "good"

A samaurai 20 is about as effective as this build mechanically.

NPC Warrior Class 14/Fighter 6

Fighter 1 Two Weapon Fighting
Fighter 2 Improved Two Weapon Fighting
Fighter 4 Greater Two Weapon Fighting
Fighter 6 Improved Initative

The only other ability that Samurai gets is Kiai smite which is similar the Paladin Smite (can be anybody not just evil yet the paladin smite occurs 1 more times per day and scales better damage wise)

The frightful presence doesn't work for by the time you get it you are fighting monsters who are five CR+ higher than the monsters it would work on. That ship has passed, thus the ability might as well never existed.
--------------------------------

I rather play a Fighter 4/Paladin 16 it would be so much better than the Samurai. Take the Frightful Prescence feat from the Draconomicon to replicate the Samurai's ability but unlike the samurai's ability it actually works. If you don't want to do Paladin play a knight or some other PRC. I aint evening mentioning ToB



Frightful Presence

Type: General
Sources: Draconomicon (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0786928840/realmshelps-20/)
Ghostwalk (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0786920157/realmshelps-20/)
Like a dragon, your mere presence can terrify those around you.
Prerequisite: Cha 15, Intimidate 9 ranks.
Benefit: You gain the use of the frightful presence ability. Whenever you attack or charge, all opponents within a radius of 30 feet who have fewer levels or Hit Dice than you become shaken for a number of rounds equal to 1d6 + your Cha modifier. The effect is negated by a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 your character level + your Cha modifier).
A successful save indicates that the opponent is immune to your frightful presence for 24 hours. This ability can't affect creatures with an Intelligence of 3 or lower, nor does it have any effect on dragons.
http://realmshelps.dandello.net/cgi-bin/feats.pl?Frightful_Presence,Dr

Diggorian
2007-03-20, 08:46 PM
Off topic, but I'll agree on Samurai. The class is just too focused on too little which aint good in a base class IME. Samurai used bows, naginata, fought mounted lots of divversity the class doesnt cover. I play a fighter/warblade that is a samurai through style, weapon choice, and characterization rather than crunch.

Ofcourse, play test them yourself, opinions vary.

On topic, I dont think this forum can hold my fun stories had with the underpowered Fighter.

jjpickar
2007-03-20, 08:52 PM
Since we are speaking of them here's another story about a samurai. (Raises glass in salute and then takes a big gulp)

Yet another one shot campaign and my party came to be in a fort besieged by (for the most part) goblin rogues. The cry of alarm came and I mounted my horse but the gates were closed and the rest of the party began to shoot from the ramparts. Te battle began to go ill and my pleas for a charge finally met with approval. So the doors of the fort were thrown open and my noble samurai charged alone into the throng of enemies. Within rounds I had cleared the hill of the vile creatures and began to drive them back further.

Ahhh memories. Please share more stories and share a toast with me to the underpowered.:smallsmile:

Flawless
2007-03-20, 09:06 PM
"Wenn ist das NunstŁck git und Slotermeyer? Ja! ... Beiherhund das Oder die Flipperwaldt gersput."

Is that supposed to actually mean something? Or did I miss something?

I love playing rangers but I also like wizards. Oh, and monks.

UglyPanda
2007-03-20, 09:09 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Funniest_joke_in_the_world

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjbYNgIi5ss

It's an ability of the divine prankster. The will save is apparently to see if you cover your ears.

MeklorIlavator
2007-03-20, 09:11 PM
I like to play things that intrigue me (I once made a half-dragon Warmage). I would like to play a wizard eventually, but the dice haven't rolled right. That said, I made a monk once, with a homebrewed race that really benefited monks in general(a regeneration effect, contingent on damage, and a shapeshift that gave the monk increased strength). Took down an Adult Red Dragon with him, too.

So, three cheers for Monks, Rangers, and all the little guys.

Flawless
2007-03-20, 10:09 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Funniest_joke_in_the_world

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjbYNgIi5ss

It's an ability of the divine prankster. The will save is apparently to see if you cover your ears.


LOL!

Thanks for the links.

Draz74
2007-03-20, 10:22 PM
*drinks virgin cocktail*

Rangers are fun to play.
Swashbucklers are fun to play.
Fighters are fun to play.
Warlocks are fun to play.
Truenamers are fun to play.
Hexblades seem all right too.

Dhavaer
2007-03-20, 10:28 PM
I want to play a Hexblade with the new Dead Levels rules. Because I love prestidigitation, and they get it at will.

Ramza00
2007-03-20, 10:48 PM
Warlocks are fun to play.


Hellfire Warlocks are more fun to play than plain warlocks.

Don't like the flavor then rewrite it as detailed in DMG 174-176 and DMG2 203-208. Make it around some other organization instead of devils, or you can do it as a way a person dedicates "saping his physical strength" to boost his "magical prowess."

There is no real benefit of hellfire blast vs eldritch blast, it is just a damage boost. A person though takes 1 con ability damage. Thus change that flavor
Same thing with Hellfire Infusion you better learn how to use magical items a set period times of day
Hellfire Shield just replace as a general Shield like abilty
The prerequisites of the skillpoints, language known and choice of eldritch blast can easily be change to similar things.For example change hellfire warlock to a class about the fey. You are a warlock who has mystical heritage tied to non supernatural creatures who are human (or not very human like) that live in a magical realm that is connect tho their own.

Entry Requirements
Skills: Diplomacy 6 ranks, Knowledge (the planes) 12 ranks, Spellcraft 6 ranks.

Language: Sylvan.

Warlock Invocation: Must know charm and beguiling influence
...flavor text...

Mystical Blast (Sp): As Hellfire Blast except the damage bonus is just normal eldritch damage. Fill in flavor. Each time you use this ability take 1 con damage due to overstraining yourself to use Mystical Blast

Invoking: At each level, you gain new invocations known, increased damage with eldritch blast, and an increase in invoker level as if you had also gained a level in the warlock class. You do not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained.
Faerie Infusion (Su): as Hellfire Infusion except its faerie runes that cover the item. Insert more flavor tex
Instinctual Mystical Blacklash (Sp): as Hellfire Shield, you learn ways to unconsciously invoke your eldritch magic in response to threats against your being. You instinctually create a mystical shield which lash out and repells anybody that attacked you. Insert more flavor text

Or instead of making the PRC about the Fey you can make it about a cabal of warlocks who teach forbidden mystical invoking arts

Hellfire Warlock located free here
http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/ex/20061207a&page=3

Hzurr
2007-03-21, 12:06 AM
Again getting back on subject...

My favorite is by far the monk. I mean, I know I'll never fight as well as a fighter, and all that other random stuff, but sometimes I just enjoy getting to kick people in the face.

I've also recently gotten to experience my first real bard. Bards will never be the most effective in the party (excluding special social circumstances), but they're a blast to play with.

Jannex
2007-03-21, 01:26 AM
I love playing Rangers and Bards. They (and Rogues, and Scouts) just fit my play style really well. (To give you an idea of my play style, remember Complete Scoundrel? I saw it in the store, flipped through it, and said, "Oh! They wrote a book for me.") Having a +22 Listen check is more fun for me than a Sudden Maximized Fireball. I could never play a Wizard, because having to prepare all my spells in advance would make me stab myself in the eye with my pencil, out of frustration. I like characters who can adapt to changing circumstances and can come up with new and creative ways to solve unusual problems. That's probably part of why I always play skill-monkeys (and not the obvious "optimized" skills like UMD and Open Lock and such). I guess I just prefer versatility to specialization.

So yeah, I'll raise my glass with you in praise of "underpowered" classes! :smallbiggrin:

CockroachTeaParty
2007-03-21, 02:36 AM
I have to say, I'm a sucker for gish builds. I mean, they're so COOL! Look at the artwork for the Spell Sword in Complete Warrior! It's almost as cool as George Washington!

And I'll gladly raise my glass to rangers, rogues, bards, marshalls, hexblades, dragon shamans, swashbucklers, and PE, for they are all classes that offer unique and fun experiences. I'm going to go kill myself now, to spare you all the trouble.

starwoof
2007-03-21, 02:47 AM
I get a real kick out of TWFing characters. :smallbiggrin:

I desire a monk with the ki blast feats from PHB2.

Im playing a full spellcaster with LA! (shock!)

Warlocks are fun until they gain levels in assassin. (then they break games :smallmad:)

warmachine
2007-03-21, 02:58 AM
Currently, I devise fun characters as cohorts to counter balance my straight cleric. I tend to start with the character concept, rather than the class. In this case, I wanted a gnome who had every knowledge skill and spouted random, silly facts. "Did you know Mind Flayers have no genitalia?" is an example.

I found my perfect class at D&D Wiki. Behold, the Sage (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Sage_(DnD_Prestige_Class))! 8+INT skill points, all Knowledge skills are class skills and class features that grant Skill Focus in Knowledge skills. Time to read the Monster Manual and make facetious comments. "Did you know Beholders are so xenophobic, they even hate other Beholders who don't look the same as them? As mutation is a natural part of life, children who look different from their parents have the ultimate in Freudian problems."

Zincorium
2007-03-21, 03:00 AM
Warlocks are fun until they gain levels in assassin. (then they break games :smallmad:)

I'm really, really curious about this one, since the assassin's death attack can only be made with a melee weapon, and the sneak attack is the same as a rogue's. I'm not going to say it's impossible to break the game with it, but it obviously involves something I haven't thought of.


As for underpowered characters, I'm a completely theoretical optimizer. All the nifty tricks and so on that I've learned either stay out of the game I play or come up as suggestions I've made to other characters, like pointing out in the FAQ where it says improved natural weapon can be applied to unarmed strikes to the player who's got a monk. My next character is set to be a half-drow warmage without a single Prc, simply because I'm tired of my dwarven barbarian/bear warrior somehow managing to outshine every other player in combat.

Goff
2007-03-21, 08:51 AM
I'm a gigantic fan of the Spellthief (in particular, Spellthief Dromites). No one seems to like them besides me, though.


I've really liked the idea of spellthieves since I first saw them... That said, I've never played one because of how complicated the class is. Here's to all the classes that game designers have seemingly tried to make obsolete by giving wizards a spell that replicates their key roles. *raises glass*

marjan
2007-03-21, 08:54 AM
My favorite is by far the monk. I mean, I know I'll never fight as well as a fighter, and all that other random stuff, but sometimes I just enjoy getting to kick people in the face.


Female monks are the best. There is no greater embaresment then being beaten by the bare-handed girl.:smalltongue:

Shiny, Bearer of the Pokystick
2007-03-21, 09:11 AM
I, too, am shamefully a fan of many classes considered 'underpowered' by the optimization establishment.

The Warlock, with his 'superhero' model of combat and psuedocasting, is one of the more interesting things to have come out of late.

The Marshal is just...well, I like it. We'll leave it at that, as my experience is too minimal to comment further.

Hexblades are at best underused- but one of the primary villains in the campaign I'm developing is one, as a result of my experiences playing one; menacing and cool.

Spellthieves have that holy grail of flavor n' mechanics, something different; a fundamentally unusual functionality.

Fighters: no love is given them in their present form, but damned if I won't play one if given the chance.

All underpowered or underoptimized classes, all favorites of mine.

That said, a small comment to play baatezu's advocate; the primary means of having fun in D&D is to do something- to adventure, to affect the world, kill the monster, complete the quest, save the princess.
The task of the DM is to construct fiendish means to prevent this goal, in part- so you feel real triumph when you succeed.

However, an underpowered class or very sub-optimal build may result in that hobgoblin- nay, that bugbear- of all players, failure. Yes, playing an underpowered class is fundamentally as fun as playing any other, but failure for a member of any class is devastating, and a class whose power is out of sync with that of others is more likely to fail, die, and cause grief to their player.

It's for this reason most gamers with the heightened conciousness of game balance this board and others create are so up-in-arms about relatively underpowered material- nobody wants to be overshadowed, and nobody wants to die.

Those things are not fun; thus underpowered classes, it could easily be argued, are less fun to play.

Tola
2007-03-21, 12:47 PM
Underpowered...

Ah, Monks. I like the idea. I like the class....but everyone says it's underpowered.

Mainly because the item lists do not have items made for the Monk, looking at the SRD.

Neverwinter Nights had the right idea, giving them unique magic equip of their own. Though in some ways, they're weaker, and yet stronger there: for instance, they NEVER lose the penalty to Flurry, and the movement speed, but Still Mind is +2 vs mind affecting in general, instead of 'vs enchantment'.

Idea: an ability that grants Monk to attack in full(Thus get Flurry, if they want it) within a certain distance....call it Rush Attack or something. Play up the speed-attack angle, as Monks are the best scouts/messengers you can find. Rush in, smack, smack, smack, bring the target down, rush to next. Quick, quick, don't give them a chance to think...and so on.

ravenkith
2007-03-21, 01:05 PM
TWFing can be done, if you gish it up and arcane strike up the band, if you know what I'm saying.

I wouldn't touch the samurai from CW with a ten foot pole....very badly constructed.

but the Samurai from OA is a good egg, if you're smart about it.

I love to roleplay, but there's nothing I hate worse than playing a character who might as well not be there. I don't need to be center stage, but I get really annoyed if I feel like I'm not doing my part.

Warlocks are humongous fun, and thanks to a simple weapon enchantment, can really bring the pain to just about anyone.

Spell storing weapons are just great.

Especially when you realize that an unmodified eldritch blast is a first level spell.

Combine with your 'at will' invisibility for tons of fun.

Take invisibilty and summon swarm and you can beat any monster under a cr 5, easy.

Grab baleful utterance and break mundane enemy weapons for fun. See how many backup weapons the bad guys start carrying.

Diggorian
2007-03-21, 01:14 PM
That said, a small comment to play baatezu's advocate; the primary means of having fun in D&D is to do something- to adventure, to affect the world, kill the monster, complete the quest, save the princess.
The task of the DM is to construct fiendish means to prevent this goal, in part- so you feel real triumph when you succeed.

However, an underpowered class or very sub-optimal build may result in that hobgoblin- nay, that bugbear- of all players, failure. Yes, playing an underpowered class is fundamentally as fun as playing any other, but failure for a member of any class is devastating, and a class whose power is out of sync with that of others is more likely to fail, die, and cause grief to their player.

A very good point, sir ... or madam. :smallamused: If I might play the angelic advocate, I believe your fun equation is missing an important factor: risk.

Few would tell the tale of their 18th level Enchanter taking control of a town; but many would post of when their fighter, with one HP left and all his favored weapons sundered, crit-killed the minotaur with a dagger borrowed from the halfling rogue.

The enchanter was far more successful. Did she have the most fun?

Also, allow me to point that 'underpowered' is extremely relative. My warlock was in a party with no wizard or bard, so he specilaized in both those roles fine. When a friend added a Bard to our group, I started highlighting the arcane aspect more. It's abut gett'in in where ya fit in.

Apart from that, he was just a funy and memorable character despite lacking crunch power. No one calls him "Digg's warlock", he was "Alastaire" or "Master Finn".

EvilElitest
2007-03-21, 02:01 PM
When i was in 5th grade i started my first offical D&D Group. Ironiclly, Everyone else were 8th grade and up. So i really had not idea what to do about the game, so i just chose a halfling (favorite race). I rolled really lucky and got two 18, and the DM let me get away with it as i was a noob. I had an 18 int and a 18 chrisma. I was told to become a bard or a rouge but i decieded to become a ranger. I was level 1 and the rest of the group was level 2-7. This game was once a week. Dispite my inate noob foolishness, and the fact that my character was not loved by the rest of the group, i was the only guy left standing by the end of the campain, that ended at the ended of 8th grade. Every single guy died and i stayed alive, and my group was not really that bad. It irked the experienced player to no end to find that I had make my self "Leader of teh Group" as my guy was a bard at heart (spent ranks in preform on a whim) and wrote down all the details of past adventures. When New player came to join our group in the fourth year, i was level 9 and had at yet done anything really spetacular, but i stole the credit of my comrads. And in the final battle of the game, i was the only guy standing. Nice experence for a new player
from,
EE

PnP Fan
2007-03-21, 02:23 PM
Here here!!!
High praise for all 7 of the non-optimal choices from the PHB! (sarcasm aimed at the optimized CoD- and SoW-zillas out there).
High praise for the goofy niche-classes!
High praise for the non-optimal but fun to play multiclassing options out there!
High praise for the players that are fun to play games with!

I have no special stories to tell, because they've all been told. If I had a dime for every time my paladin/ranger/fighter/etc. . . saved the day with 2 hp left, while the wizard sat in the back complaining about their lack of spells, I'd be a wealthy man. Okay, maybe not wealthy, but I'd have enough to buy a coke and a candy bar. :-)
*swigs, then gulps*
*burp*

LotharBot
2007-03-21, 02:56 PM
halfling ranger-rogue, for the win.

ravenkith
2007-03-21, 02:58 PM
Any character class can be powerful, if you take appropriate prestige classes, feats, races. etc.

It's certain combinations that get you into trouble, or taking certain classes all the way to 20. (Paladin and Samurai, I'm looking at you.)

Illiterate Scribe
2007-03-21, 04:17 PM
I think that the Spellthief, if played right, is one of the funnest classes in the game. It's also one of the few that continues to be awesome to level 20.

Fax Celestis
2007-03-21, 04:19 PM
I think that the Spellthief, if played right, is one of the funnest classes in the game. It's also one of the few that continues to be awesome to level 20.

Yeah, Spellthieves are awesome, particularly with the Psithief feat from Complete Scoundrel (and potentially three levels of Uncanny Trickster).

Hzurr
2007-03-21, 04:53 PM
It's almost as cool as George Washington!



Hey! Let's not get carried away here.

Leon
2007-03-22, 06:04 AM
What's wrong with the Samurai in Complete Warrior? I'm considering playing one as my next character.

Dont let the Naysayers stop you

Anyway, im a big fan of many of the so called underpowered classes, in my eyes they are not underpowered as such more the fact that the others are frequantly overpowered thus overshadowing the others

Rangers, i cant get enough of them - its taken great strength not to play another one in the upcoming Dark Sun campagin that im in

Warlocks, the only thing that i dont like about them has nothing to do with the class and all to do with what WotC wrote - about the source of thier power

Monks - Monks and Psionic abilites = OMG UBer Monk, normal monks are bad enough, but mix in Psioincs....

Final point - Roleplay is what you make of it, be it high fantasy or gritty realism. the Characters that you play are the tools that you use to make this happen wether they are good or bad.

Rigeld2
2007-03-22, 06:14 AM
Spell storing weapons are just great.

Especially when you realize that an unmodified eldritch blast is a first level spell.

Combine with your 'at will' invisibility for tons of fun.
Warlocks are tons of fun, but why go from a touch attack to a normal attack when you have a poor BAB?
Edit: And its a standard action, not 'at will'.

Artanis
2007-03-22, 09:32 AM
Warmages are a fun class to play, despite only being an "Arcane Caster" due to a technicality. They're especially good for new players because their firepower lets you feel like an uberpowerful mage without having to worry about all the planning that goes into using a Wizard or Sorcerer (which a newbie would probably just screw up anyways).

Diggorian
2007-03-22, 11:02 AM
Warlocks are tons of fun, but why go from a touch attack to a normal attack when you have a poor BAB?
Edit: And its a standard action, not 'at will'.

Warlocks have the medium BAB and standard actions can still be at will (which pertains to daily usage). Still, ya gotta a good point.

Hideous Blow invocation takes away the need for spell storing weapons as it allows you to channel the full modified eldritch power through your regular melee weapon (though they could still save you that invocational commitment).

Havent gotten a crack at warmages, yet, but me an rangers go back 15 years:

Dartagnon was my first roleplayed character and melee fighter of my career in 2nd Ed.
Telanie Took, halfling thrower ranger spark plug.
Gregarian, sea ranger of Freeport with finessed short swords and maxed out swim (though we never swam in our pirate campaign :smallconfused: ).
Tanio Dumas, half elf power attacking charge flanker.
Dartagnon le deuxieme (the second) long lost son of the first ranger, dual hand axe defensing dodge combat expert tank.


Got a thri-kreen ranger waiting in the wings for my current PC's blaze of glory. :smallbiggrin:

Draz74
2007-03-22, 11:02 AM
Warlocks are tons of fun, but why go from a touch attack to a normal attack when you have a poor BAB?
Edit: And its a standard action, not 'at will'.

Warlocks have Medium BAB.
And TONS of abilities that can be used as a standard action, as often as you wish, are described as "at will."

EDIT: Ninja'd!

Toliudar
2007-03-22, 11:33 AM
Warmages are a fun class to play, despite only being an "Arcane Caster" due to a technicality. They're especially good for new players because their firepower lets you feel like an uberpowerful mage without having to worry about all the planning that goes into using a Wizard or Sorcerer (which a newbie would probably just screw up anyways).

Bingo! One of my players doesn't bother to learn the rules (his last character was a wereboar half-elf swashbuckler/duelist who wore armour and used two weapons without learning two weapon fighting), so when he told me he wanted to play a gish type, I steered him towards warmage. He gets to wear armour and bash things with a club when they get too close, but mostly he contributes some fireballs and magic missiles to combat.

I also have a special place in my heart for monks, sucky or otherwise. I actually built a two-year campaign around a player who unwisely had given his LN monk amnesia as a way of ducking out of creating a background. I made him the lost child of a death slaad determined to sway his progeny back towards the path of chaos. Every time the character would have died or gone unconscious (and he was a monk, so kept trying to go toe-to-toe with tanks, so this happened several times), he was plucked away and given the choice of dying or more closely tying his soul to a mysterious voice (initially thought to be benign, only later on did they realize that this was NOT a guardian angel). By the time the campaign cut short, he was essentially half outsider, with natural armour, using claws and bite as his unarmed routine, looking like some kind of, well, half-slaad...but still being the painfully shy, polite, kind teenager inside. SO much fun.

Monks, the concept, are great, even if monks, the mechanics sometimes suck. It might be fun to try a group of "monks" who are in fact rogues or favoured souls instead.

ravenkith
2007-03-22, 11:38 AM
Yeah, but if you have spell storing AND channeling...

you get double the damage.

1 set from the spell you are channeling, and 1 set from the one that is stored in your blade.

That's why you might want to go from an RTA to a regular attack, especially if you are doing it while invisible, as they may be denied their dex...

In addition, the smart warlock going this route would buy a wand of Truestrike.

If you're strong/dexterous enough (depending on weapon used, etc.) and if you get a magic weapon, you can go a long way towards offsetting that medium BAB anyways.

Fax Celestis
2007-03-22, 11:47 AM
Yeah, but if you have spell storing AND channeling...

you get double the damage.

1 set from the spell you are channeling, and 1 set from the one that is stored in your blade.

That's why you might want to go from an RTA to a regular attack, especially if you are doing it while invisible, as they may be denied their dex...

In addition, the smart warlock going this route would buy a wand of Truestrike.

If you're strong/dexterous enough (depending on weapon used, etc.) and if you get a magic weapon, you can go a long way towards offsetting that medium BAB anyways.

One from spell-storing, one from arcane channeling, one from Item Familiar (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/magic/itemFamiliars.htm), one from Smiting Spell (http://realmshelps.dandello.net/cgi-bin/feats.pl?Smiting_Spell,PH2). Four. Four spells! Ah-ah-ah.

Rigeld2
2007-03-22, 11:55 AM
Warlocks have Medium BAB.
And TONS of abilities that can be used as a standard action, as often as you wish, are described as "at will."

EDIT: Ninja'd!
My "at will" comment was because it seemed like s/he meant you could invis between attacks.

And yeah, I forgot it was a medium AB.

JackMage666
2007-03-22, 11:58 AM
Warlock, warlock, how I love you warlock.

I've only got to play one once, since I'm the best player in my group (and, accordingly, have to pick up the slack for divine caster/arcane caster/ect.), and it was a ton of fun. It was rather high level, so I got to use the Eternal Sleep of Ages (I think) invocation, so I'd just put things to sleep, and Coup de Grace.

Another fun tactic would be Voracious Dispelling and the dark speech invocation that emulates Shatter. Armor on an opponent? No problem. Sword hurts? No problem. Lock on a door? Blammo! Of course, destroying an enemies equipment can be as much of a problem as not, considering you're eliminating treasure. But, all things considered, it's better to lose a bit of money and live to see another day, in my opinion. Besides, shattering things is very much a chaotic style thing.

Ramza00
2007-03-22, 11:59 AM
One from spell-storing, one from arcane channeling, one from Item Familiar (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/magic/itemFamiliars.htm), one from Smiting Spell (http://realmshelps.dandello.net/cgi-bin/feats.pl?Smiting_Spell,PH2). Four. Four spells! Ah-ah-ah.

Where is your swift action spell especially since duskblades get free quicken?

I am disappointed into you Fax, you shouldn't miss that :smalltongue:

Fax Celestis
2007-03-22, 12:01 PM
http://wirelessdigest.typepad.com/photos/uncategorized/sesame_street_count_dracula.jpg

Five! Five spells! Ah-ah-ah.

jjpickar
2007-03-22, 12:01 PM
Warlocks are also allowed to use the meta spell-like ability feats from the monster manual which can make for some fun times.

Woot Spitum
2007-03-22, 12:11 PM
I don't know if it's underpowered or not, but I've always wanted to make a Geometer. Destroying my foes with the power of math traps is simply too good to pass up.

Ramza00
2007-03-22, 12:16 PM
http://wirelessdigest.typepad.com/photos/uncategorized/sesame_street_count_dracula.jpg

Five! Five spells! Ah-ah-ah.

And don't forget Duskblades can take Arcane Strike (Cwarrior feat), allowing them to do an extra 20d4 damage per hit. Activating Arcane Strike is a free action (not swift)

ravenkith
2007-03-22, 12:35 PM
One from spell-storing, one from arcane channeling, one from Item Familiar (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/magic/itemFamiliars.htm), one from Smiting Spell (http://realmshelps.dandello.net/cgi-bin/feats.pl?Smiting_Spell,PH2). Four. Four spells! Ah-ah-ah.

I'm not sure that a warlock can use either of those with his eldritch blast.

Item familiar, because he doesn't have spell slots to bestow so that the familiar can cast it too (or were you thinking of something else???), and Smiting Spell because it specifies touch only, while eldritch is either a ranged touch, or part of a normal attack, IIRC....

Am I missing something? (AFB)

Fax Celestis
2007-03-22, 12:38 PM
I'm not sure that a warlock can use either of those with his eldritch blast.

Item familiar, because he doesn't have spell slots to bestow so that the familiar can cast it too (or were you thinking of something else???), and Smiting Spell because it specifies touch only, while eldritch is either a ranged touch, or part of a normal attack, IIRC....

Am I missing something? (AFB)

It works with a Battle Sorceror or Duskblade, not a Warlock.

Diggorian
2007-03-22, 12:40 PM
One from spell-storing, one from arcane channeling, one from Item Familiar (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/magic/itemFamiliars.htm), one from Smiting Spell (http://realmshelps.dandello.net/cgi-bin/feats.pl?Smiting_Spell,PH2). Four. Four spells! Ah-ah-ah.

Actually, I dont think spell storing and item familiar nor smiting spell apply to Eldritch blast cause it's not a spell, only spell-like. The blast is equivalent to a spell of half the warlock's level (round down, minimum 1st max 9th), but it isnt a spell. I'm unfamilair with "arcane channeling".

EDIT: raven-ninja!!

On topic, I feel there's a weak class I'm missing.

Erom
2007-03-22, 12:47 PM
My first DnD character was a Dex-warrior. Couse we only had the core classes to pick from, but still. Not a Rogue, not a Ranger. A Dex-warrior, who focused on longbows. So weird.

But I know that, at heart, I'm one of those min-maxing, perfectionist, almost-cheesy players. So instead of perhaps dominating a game, I try to start with a handicap, then work my way back up to a normal power level. It means I get to dig through the rulebooks looking for exceptions (which is a lot of the fun to me, anyway) without ruining everyone elses experience, plus I get to play a wide variety of wacky, weird characters.

For the character in question, I dumped almost all of my non-combat abilities into poisons, alchemy, ect. The DM never dropped me any freaking magic arrows, so I made do rolling my own poison arrows, and holy arrows.

Of course, the best moments are when your character does something they arn't supposed to do. I saved the party's twinked out wild magic user once when he was disabled by an arcane backlash, by stepping in the way of a charging orc and drawing my scimitar. Which I was non-proficient with, and hadn't even used in the campaign yet, except once as a crowbar. I rolled really lucky and beheaded the orc though, which was pretty sweet.

ravenkith
2007-03-22, 12:52 PM
Spell storing'll work, because of a ruling from wotc that eldritch blast works in all respects like a 1st level spell or some such.....

:D

EvilDave
2007-03-22, 01:10 PM
Largely because I figured the rest of the party was balanced enough to handle the encounters, I played a rather unoptimized build...

Rogue/Sorcerer with ranks in Perform(Zither) who called himself a Bard (and took appropriate Sorcerer spells) whose combat focus was in feinting. In our first encounter I lost the element of surprise 3 times.

If only that campaign had lasted longer....

Another character (Sorcerer/Fighter going for spellsword, rather psychotic and infatuated with eloctrocuting things, though friendly other than that) turned out to be incredibly powerful, even though I hadn't actually intended him to on account of some odd house rulings.

Hzurr
2007-03-22, 01:49 PM
I don't know if it's underpowered or not, but I've always wanted to make a Geometer. Destroying my foes with the power of math traps is simply too good to pass up.

NPC: "How did you ever kill such a horrible beast?"
PC: "Math."


...that's awesome.

kamikasei
2007-03-22, 01:54 PM
I don't know if it's underpowered or not, but I've always wanted to make a Geometer. Destroying my foes with the power of math traps is simply too good to pass up.

"Lisa, I can't believe it. You've actually found a practical use for geometry."

- Bart (http://www.snpp.com/episodes/7F08.html)

marjan
2007-03-22, 04:40 PM
Why isn't anyone mentioning commoners?

jjpickar
2007-03-22, 04:45 PM
Actually I did in the first post but this topic is about classes that the players are supposed to use. But if anyone has used an npc class and has a good story I'm sure that they will receive a hearty welcome.

Zincorium
2007-03-22, 04:51 PM
Dont let the Naysayers stop you


Definitely, critical thinking will do it just as well, and you'll be proud you figured it out yourself rather than listen to others. Hint: compare it to the fighter.



Anyway, im a big fan of many of the so called underpowered classes, in my eyes they are not underpowered as such more the fact that the others are frequantly overpowered thus overshadowing the others

Rangers, i cant get enough of them - its taken great strength not to play another one in the upcoming Dark Sun campagin that im in

Warlocks, the only thing that i dont like about them has nothing to do with the class and all to do with what WotC wrote - about the source of thier power

Monks - Monks and Psionic abilites = OMG UBer Monk, normal monks are bad enough, but mix in Psioincs....


What are you comparing this to? Psychic warriors are a decent class, one I like playing, and monks are fine but they are an appropriate class to the thread. They just don't mix well.



Final point - Roleplay is what you make of it, be it high fantasy or gritty realism. the Characters that you play are the tools that you use to make this happen wether they are good or bad.

Yes, and everyone who hasn't grasped this until now should see a definite improvement in the fun they have in the game afterwards. Considering it's one of the main points in playing the game, and D&D just isn't the same without that understanding.

In any case, there are legitimate and non-legitimate reasons for playing a character that's considered to be underpowered. Legitimate include the other players having a lower level of experience or optimization ability and you evening out your character with theirs, a voluntarily on everyone's parts low-power campaign, and one where verbal interaction gets all the screen time (in which case using D&D almost hurts rather than helps). Those all become more fun with a low powered character.

Non-legitimate reasons would be things like: Trying to make the most powerful character (this should be a 'duh'), attempting to 'prove' something is better than other people think, playing any non-optimized character in a take-no-prisoners style of game where characters tend to stay dead and other people will get very angry at you for not pulling your weight, and a few others.


Basically: there is a time and a place for everything. Make sure that when you decide to play a were-chipmunk monk/warlock/samurai, that it's appropriate to the game at hand.

Quietus
2007-03-22, 06:57 PM
Munky-Munky? What's wrong with him?



Anywho - I once played an Expert Gnome. That was a great deal of fun... all his skills were focussed around making or disassembling things. Kind of like a rogue, with no sneak attack, no sneaking, but he could make robots. Bunkwyn was an absolute blast to play, even if everything he touched ended up smoking, for better or worse.

Jannex
2007-03-22, 07:12 PM
In any case, there are legitimate and non-legitimate reasons for playing a character that's considered to be underpowered. Legitimate include the other players having a lower level of experience or optimization ability and you evening out your character with theirs, a voluntarily on everyone's parts low-power campaign, and one where verbal interaction gets all the screen time (in which case using D&D almost hurts rather than helps). Those all become more fun with a low powered character.

Non-legitimate reasons would be things like: Trying to make the most powerful character (this should be a 'duh'), attempting to 'prove' something is better than other people think, playing any non-optimized character in a take-no-prisoners style of game where characters tend to stay dead and other people will get very angry at you for not pulling your weight, and a few others.


Basically: there is a time and a place for everything. Make sure that when you decide to play a were-chipmunk monk/warlock/samurai, that it's appropriate to the game at hand.

I'm just kind of curious: where does "character concept" fit into that?

MeklorIlavator
2007-03-22, 07:24 PM
I'm just kind of curious: where does "character concept" fit into that?

I think that is the most subjective reason. A pacifistic diplomat has no place in a heavy combat dungeon crawl, or a frenzied berserker in a court intrigue. Of course, the real dividing line here is whether or not you are gimping a character. Don't gimp, it hurts everyone. Plus, people get really angry really fast, especially if you seem to be doing it on purpose. (spellless cleric, tanking rogue, narcoleptic rogue, ect)

Jannex
2007-03-22, 07:34 PM
I think that is the most subjective reason. A pacifistic diplomat has no place in a heavy combat dungeon crawl, or a frenzied berserker in a court intrigue. Of course, the real dividing line here is whether or not you are gimping a character. Don't gimp, it hurts everyone. Plus, people get really angry really fast, especially if you seem to be doing it on purpose. (spellless cleric, tanking rogue, narcoleptic rogue, ect)

I'm inclined to think that there's a difference between "gimping" and "not powergaming," though. Some people don't enjoy piling all the most "optimized" feats/spells/PrCs onto a character. Some people just aren't good at "optimizing." Some people care more about their characters' personalities than about cheesetastic damage-potential. I mean, sure, beer-and-pretzels kick-in-the-door style gaming is one thing, but in more serious games, I think there needs to be room for character-appropriate choices.

Variable Arcana
2007-03-22, 07:36 PM
I'm just kind of curious: where does "character concept" fit into that?In the part where you make sure your character concept fits in with that of the other party members.

The canonical example is the paladin among demon-worshippers and assassins, but a really fun were-chipmunk partying up with four Shakespearean-monologuing serious heroes is going to be fun for exactly one player.

MeklorIlavator
2007-03-22, 07:43 PM
Well, I think that the post was meant for the extremes, not about the wide range in between. In normal gameplay a bard, ranger, or warlock could be in a party with a cleric and it wouldn't be bad(by normal I mean not 100% optimized). The thing is, optimizing and a effective character are two separate things. Zincorium is warning against inappropriate concepts for the play style, not saying that you should all play a CoDzilla.
Personally, I like rangers specializing in twf. Does this mean that he is useless in normal play? Far from it. But in our games a weak, diplomacy focused bard (read as total noncombatant, like in the example in my previous post) would have a lot less to do and would be an inappropriate character concept.Normal play encompasses a huge range of character concepts, but not all of them.

Jannex
2007-03-22, 07:45 PM
In the part where you make sure your character concept fits in with that of the other party members.

The canonical example is the paladin among demon-worshippers and assassins, but a really fun were-chipmunk partying up with four Shakespearean-monologuing serious heroes is going to be fun for exactly one player.

It sounds like you're talking about a very different thing than I am. You're talking about a character whose concept doesn't mesh thematically with the concepts of the other characters. I'm talking about letting character concept inform mechanics choices. I'm talking about the character who takes Improved Disarm instead of a more "optimized" feat because that's the way the character thinks, or the character who multiclasses to reflect the changes in her life up to the point where the game starts, even if the more "efficient" thing to do would be to pick a good base-class and stick with it. That's what I think there should be room for.

MeklorIlavator
2007-03-22, 07:51 PM
And there is. Zincorium never said that less than optimal choices were inherently taboo, only that gimping choices were.

Jannex
2007-03-22, 07:57 PM
But in our games a weak, diplomacy focused bard (read as total noncombatant, like in the example in my previous post) would have a lot less to do and would be an inappropriate character concept.Normal play encompasses a huge range of character concepts, but not all of them.

I think that depends. Coincidentally, I've played a weak, diplomacy-focused bard (almost a total noncombatant) in an Eberron game--it started out as a city-based campaign, but after we "accidentally" destroyed an airship, we decided it'd be a good idea to go adventuring in Xen'drik for a while--and I had something fairly useful to do almost all the time. I healed, I sang, I occasionally took a potshot with my crossbow, and on one occasion the party BardBarian and I bluffed the heck out of a couple of Emerald Claw soldiers who were looking for the same widget we were. (We spun an elaborate story that we were a group of hunters in search of the dreaded Kogo Beast--which the BardBarian player and I made up on the spot.) I had a bunch of good utility spells, and an idiotically high Diplomacy modifier, and there were very few occasions when I couldn't find something useful to do--even if it was just thinking on my feet and helping to come up with a plan.

I guess, really, it all depends on the group and the campaign.

starwoof
2007-03-22, 08:06 PM
I'm really, really curious about this one, since the assassin's death attack can only be made with a melee weapon, and the sneak attack is the same as a rogue's. I'm not going to say it's impossible to break the game with it, but it obviously involves something I haven't thought of.
Float in invisibly, stab, float away. Repeat. Had to kick the player out eventually (though for more factors)

Diggorian
2007-03-22, 08:06 PM
I guess, really, it all depends on the group and the campaign.

I agree fully.

Also, let us beware the accursed Stormwind Fallacy (http://72.14.203.104/search?q=cache:1bgFyReU9soJ:boards-test-dev.wizards.com/showpost.php%3Fp%3D9165883+stormwind+fallacy&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=2&gl=us) which we're coming close too I think.

MeklorIlavator
2007-03-22, 08:09 PM
Play that bard through tomb of horrors.

Really, your campaign had moments where you colud use your skills. Play that character through ToH or a dungeon crawl with the accompanying kick in the door play style. But make sure that you only pick spells that help your diplomacy modifiers, and don't get a magic weapon.

It wouldn't be fun for you or the party who has to pick up the slack because you chose interesting concept(I wouldn't mind playing this guy in certain campaigns) over functionality in a team.

Bears With Lasers
2007-03-22, 08:14 PM
Float in invisibly, stab, float away. Repeat. Had to kick the player out eventually (though for more factors)

Yeah, umm, okay. There's tons of other ways to gain flight and (greater) invisibility. An assassin can assasinate a target who doesn't have the magic to fight invisibility. So can, well, just about anything that gets access to invisibility. A wizard could fly in, cast a spell, fly away. Etc.

Warlock/assassin isn't broken, dude. It's not even very good.

Jannex
2007-03-22, 08:22 PM
Play that bard through tomb of horrors.

Really, your campaign had moments where you colud use your skills. Play that character through ToH or a dungeon crawl with the accompanying kick in the door play style. But make sure that you only pick spells that help your diplomacy modifiers, and don't get a magic weapon.

It wouldn't be fun for you or the party who has to pick up the slack because you chose interesting concept(I wouldn't mind playing this guy in certain campaigns) over functionality in a team.

I don't have any personal experience with Tomb of Horrors (thought I've heard about it in passing on these forums), but I doubt it'd be the sort of thing I'd want to play, regardless of what sort of character I'm playing. If I feel like just running around cutting things in half or blowing them up, I'll go play a video game. I don't enjoy kick-in-the-door style games.

And for the record, my bard did have useful spells; off the top of my head, I recall her having CLW, Invisibility, and Haste. She didn't do combat, but she did support. No magic weapon, but she had magic armor.

And really, the same argument goes the other way, I think. A twinked-out Changeling Recaster or a Shifter blender is just as out of place in a party of more well-rounded characters as the noncombat Bard is in a Tomb-of-Horrors style party, and will (and has, in the case of the Changeling and the Shifter) impact the other players' fun. When a DM has to Maximize and Empower the monsters' Hit Dice to present even a minimal challenge to a particular character, there's something wrong. If the other characters don't have an opportunity to do anything in combat because the Damage Monkey has already killed the thing, or because the monster that poses a halfway-decent challenge to said Monkey will kill the other characters if they so much as look in its direction, there's something wrong.

Viscount Einstrauss
2007-03-22, 08:25 PM
Brilliant plan-

A blue goblin monk. I will be the envy of absolutely no one, ever. But oh the stories he could tell.

jjpickar
2007-03-23, 08:18 AM
Yay! Back on topic! Come on guys "lets stop arguing about oo' killed oo,' this is a happy occasion." :smallsmile: This isn't rollplaying vs. roleplaying nor are we trying to demonstrate powerful character concepts, this thread is intended to show how we had fun with the underpowered.

Does anyone have some good ranger or monk stories? I hear a lot of fans but no stories. :smallconfused: Let's hear about this monk/ranger pwnage.:smallbiggrin:

marjan
2007-03-23, 06:58 PM
Does anyone have some good ranger or monk stories? I hear a lot of fans but no stories. Let's hear about this monk/ranger pwnage.

The only intersting story about monks I have is one involving my lvl 2 dwarven monk beating lvl 4 Monk. Though I had some help from the party. The other story involves my death.:smallfrown:

Dhavaer
2007-03-23, 07:05 PM
I made a character who was a barbarian/ranger/monk. Her best skill was Sense Motive. Shame she never got to fight anything, it would have been interesting.

Jannex
2007-03-23, 07:21 PM
Does anyone have some good ranger or monk stories? I hear a lot of fans but no stories. :smallconfused: Let's hear about this monk/ranger pwnage.:smallbiggrin:

Well, I have a story that reflects that really, it's all about how the character is played, rather than the character class. And it does involve a ranger.

So, this was the campaign when the rest of my party decided they wanted to play an Evil game. Relenting to this inevitability, I came up with Vesh, the genocidally-psychotic half-elf and multiclass fighter/rogue/ranger (depicted in my avatar--yes, she's single-wielding a bastard sword. I think she had the archery combat style...). Not exactly what you'd call optimal, right? So, at one point in the story, we end up in a fortress under siege, with two armies outside attacking us--one human army, one elven. We know that there's some tension between the two armies, so we decide to try to sow some dissent between them. The plan involves getting a uniform from one of the human soldiers, and a quiver of elven arrows. I am charged with obtaining the former, while the party's druid is sent to get the latter.

The party wizard makes us each Invisible, and gives me a Fly spell (the druid could wild-shape into something flying... I think he went with an owl. In broad daylight. Still, invisible, so it's all right... for now). I fly out to the human encampment, pick out a sentry, toss a rock into the underbrush to make some noise, and when he goes to investigate, I kill him. One round, mission accomplished. I take the body back to the fortress (I think I shoved it in a bag of holding) and a couple of cantrips later, we have a nice clean uniform--no muss, no fuss.

So, the druid... Goes into the elven camp, and manages to make enough noise to tip off the elven sentries that there's an invisible person rummaging around in the supply tent. What is his response to this? Obscuring mist. What is his response to one of the sentries running off for reinforcements? Entangle. Obviously, he's no longer invisible when he flies away. As an owl. In broad daylight. (Or maybe it was an eagle at night... it was the raptor inappropriate to the time of day.) Eventually he ends up with the arrows, but at that point the two armies knew that we had "commenced hostilities" against them and so terminated the three-day waiting period they had given us to surrender. It was problematic.

Moral of the story? Sometimes a few skill ranks and some good planning can serve you better than all the awesome spells and class features of one of the more reputedly cheesy classes--depending on who's holding the character sheet.

serow
2007-03-23, 08:33 PM
And don't forget Duskblades can take Arcane Strike (Cwarrior feat), allowing them to do an extra 20d4 damage per hit. Activating Arcane Strike is a free action (not swift)Where do you find a 20th-level spell?

lumberofdabeast
2007-03-23, 08:38 PM
*smiles, raises glass* Ladies and gents, here's to the Bard. Over the course of three days, I managed to convert an entire enemy battalion to join my side, using nothing but Diplomacy.

(Hint: Go for the generals first.)

MeklorIlavator
2007-03-23, 08:38 PM
I don't have any personal experience with Tomb of Horrors (thought I've heard about it in passing on these forums), but I doubt it'd be the sort of thing I'd want to play, regardless of what sort of character I'm playing. If I feel like just running around cutting things in half or blowing them up, I'll go play a video game. I don't enjoy kick-in-the-door style games.
Well, thats your prerogative. I am merely saying that in a kick-in-the-door style game, that character would be very ineffective.



And for the record, my bard did have useful spells; off the top of my head, I recall her having CLW, Invisibility, and Haste. She didn't do combat, but she did support. No magic weapon, but she had magic armor.

I didn't say you did, I said that you should do that if you want to have no combat potential.



And really, the same argument goes the other way, I think. A twinked-out Changeling Recaster or a Shifter blender is just as out of place in a party of more well-rounded characters as the noncombat Bard is in a Tomb-of-Horrors style party, and will (and has, in the case of the Changeling and the Shifter) impact the other players' fun. When a DM has to Maximize and Empower the monsters' Hit Dice to present even a minimal challenge to a particular character, there's something wrong. If the other characters don't have an opportunity to do anything in combat because the Damage Monkey has already killed the thing, or because the monster that poses a halfway-decent challenge to said Monkey will kill the other characters if they so much as look in its direction, there's something wrong.

I realize that. That is what I have been saying. The point is not that everyone should play optimized or un-optimize characters, but that the party should be on the same plane of optimization. If most of the party is playing a game of CoDzilla's, then the entire party should, and if most of the people are playing samurai and the like, no one should make a CoDzilla. For in between these two extremes, the players should make their powers roughly equivalent, which depends on the style of play. My groups do a lot of kick in the door games, so characters focused on some aspect of combat. On the other hand, in Palace intrigue games, the combat focused frenzied berserker would drag the party down, no matter how good his character concept is. Therefore, while character concept has a place in creating a PC, it is not the only factor.

Dhavaer
2007-03-23, 08:40 PM
Where do you find a 20th-level spell?

You don't need a 20th level spell, you just need 20 levels of spells. The damage bonus stacks.

Jannex
2007-03-23, 09:25 PM
Well, thats your prerogative. I am merely saying that in a kick-in-the-door style game, that character would be very ineffective.

Which is why I wouldn't play that type of character in such a game. In fact, I probably wouldn't play that type of game at all, because not only do I generally not enjoy that style of game and the sorts of characters that work well in it, but I'm bad at them. I have never played a full prepared-caster before, and find the thought of doing so baffling. And I just plain suck at combat-twinking. My brain simply doesn't work that way. This is true of pretty much any game system I've played; my friends refer to it as "Balanced Character Syndrome." And this, I think, relates right back to one of the things I was trying to get across: that the game needs to have room for players and characters who don't or can't super-optimize. If it turns into an arms-race where players are just trying to "win at D&D," then inevitably some people are going to be left behind.


I didn't say you did, I said that you should do that if you want to have no combat potential.

I don't think I get what you're saying here... are you suggesting that "having no combat potential" is a character concept or part of a character concept? Because otherwise I'm not following your train of thought.


I realize that. That is what I have been saying. The point is not that everyone should play optimized or un-optimize characters, but that the party should be on the same plane of optimization. If most of the party is playing a game of CoDzilla's, then the entire party should, and if most of the people are playing samurai and the like, no one should make a CoDzilla. For in between these two extremes, the players should make their powers roughly equivalent, which depends on the style of play. My groups do a lot of kick in the door games, so characters focused on some aspect of combat. On the other hand, in Palace intrigue games, the combat focused frenzied berserker would drag the party down, no matter how good his character concept is. Therefore, while character concept has a place in creating a PC, it is not the only factor.

I think perhaps I'm not making my point sufficiently clear. While it's certainly important to choose a character concept that's appropriate for the group in which you're playing, which would presumably take into account the degree of combat-awesomeness of which the character should be capable, when it comes down to actual character creation, shouldn't concept inform the stats? That's what I'm saying.

Zincorium
2007-03-23, 10:32 PM
Which is why I wouldn't play that type of character in such a game. In fact, I probably wouldn't play that type of game at all, because not only do I generally not enjoy that style of game and the sorts of characters that work well in it, but I'm bad at them. I have never played a full prepared-caster before, and find the thought of doing so baffling. And I just plain suck at combat-twinking. My brain simply doesn't work that way. This is true of pretty much any game system I've played; my friends refer to it as "Balanced Character Syndrome." And this, I think, relates right back to one of the things I was trying to get across: that the game needs to have room for players and characters who don't or can't super-optimize. If it turns into an arms-race where players are just trying to "win at D&D," then inevitably some people are going to be left behind.


Generally the direction of the campaign is the sum of the vectors involved, essentially the PCs and the DM and their opinion of what's going on. Arms races from what I've seen occur when the DM states that they want to run a low powered game and then turns around and sends tough monsters after the characters. Since the natural reaction of players is to create a character they can hold onto, they begin to min-max a bit so the character they spent several months thinking of doesn't need a replacement five minutes in. If the DM is clear about what the power level is actually going to be, and the players respect that decision, it works out fine, and if it doesn't it's only a symptom of a larger problem. And I have never seen a game turn into being about 'winning' D&D, when that attitude comes up it's always been there from the start.

If you're not good at optimizing, that's fine, but take that into account with what you're doing and pick something that doesn't require optimizing to be viable. Clerics and druids in D&D are good for this.



I don't think I get what you're saying here... are you suggesting that "having no combat potential" is a character concept or part of a character concept? Because otherwise I'm not following your train of thought.


I may be twisting this up a little in my head, but if a bard was truly not optimized, they wouldn't have those spells, because those are fairly good spells, and a bard who takes them and uses them wisely is considerably less underpowered than one who does not. And this is a thread about underpowered characters, no?




I think perhaps I'm not making my point sufficiently clear. While it's certainly important to choose a character concept that's appropriate for the group in which you're playing, which would presumably take into account the degree of combat-awesomeness of which the character should be capable, when it comes down to actual character creation, shouldn't concept inform the stats? That's what I'm saying.

Anytime you separate character creation out into 'fluff' and 'crunch' and then work on them at different times, you're going to have an issue. The best fix is to just work on them simultaneously.

For example: you want to play a fighter who was taught by the best swordsman in the land. So you look at the feats and skills you could take, and pick the best ones mechanically because, seeing as your teacher was the greatest swordsman, the ones he knew and would have taught you are the ones that would have made him the most effective combatant. No conflict, no need to backtrack and explain things.

The half orc wizard with an 11 intelligence that was mentioned really makes no sense from a character perspective. Only the smartest people are going to be able to learn all the formulas and incantations of a wizard's spellcasting, and generally those who spend an entire apprenticeship becoming a wizard are those who saw that as their best option. Think of Roy here, he had the intelligence to be a wizard, but becoming a fighter suited his natural inclination and abilities better, so he's a fighter. If your half orc's talents would better suit being something else, then he either has very bad judgment or is terminally stubborn to pursue that. Of course, then there's the question of who would teach a pupil that was barely even average. Why make that time investment?

Jannex
2007-03-24, 03:20 AM
I may be twisting this up a little in my head, but if a bard was truly not optimized, they wouldn't have those spells, because those are fairly good spells, and a bard who takes them and uses them wisely is considerably less underpowered than one who does not. And this is a thread about underpowered characters, no?

I took this as a thread about underpowered classes, of which the bard is generally considered to be one, isn't it? I mentioned this particular bard character that I played because she pretty much exactly matched the description another poster mentioned: weak, diplomacy-focused, noncombat. My point in mentioning her was that she wasn't useless, despite these traits, in part because of her spell selection (though I'm sure there are people here who would tell me that taking both Comprehend Languages and Tongues is suboptimal) and in part because of how I played her. I didn't set out to make her deliberately "underpowered" when I created her; rather, I set out to make a character such that I wouldn't have to worry about fighting, because I didn't want to waste feats on combat (though I think I may have made a single concession to Point-Blank Shot, if memory serves). She might have been "non-optimized" or "underpowered," but I don't think she was useless.


Anytime you separate character creation out into 'fluff' and 'crunch' and then work on them at different times, you're going to have an issue. The best fix is to just work on them simultaneously.

For example: you want to play a fighter who was taught by the best swordsman in the land. So you look at the feats and skills you could take, and pick the best ones mechanically because, seeing as your teacher was the greatest swordsman, the ones he knew and would have taught you are the ones that would have made him the most effective combatant. No conflict, no need to backtrack and explain things.

The half orc wizard with an 11 intelligence that was mentioned really makes no sense from a character perspective. Only the smartest people are going to be able to learn all the formulas and incantations of a wizard's spellcasting, and generally those who spend an entire apprenticeship becoming a wizard are those who saw that as their best option. Think of Roy here, he had the intelligence to be a wizard, but becoming a fighter suited his natural inclination and abilities better, so he's a fighter. If your half orc's talents would better suit being something else, then he either has very bad judgment or is terminally stubborn to pursue that. Of course, then there's the question of who would teach a pupil that was barely even average. Why make that time investment?

I think you and I may have different understandings about the character creation process. Your example about the half-orc wizard is exactly what I meant about concept informing stats: if it was central to the character concept that he be a wizard, then an 11 Int doesn't fit the concept. If it's central to the concept that he have an 11 Int, then Wizard doesn't fit the concept--unless it's a very specific and deliberately handicapped concept.

Let me give you an example of how my character creation thought process works. I'll use the example of Vesh (my avatar character), who I talked about earlier. Here's how her concept evolved. The group wanted to play an Evil game. I thought, "Okay. I need an evil character, but I don't want to play Stupid Random Evil, or Oh I'm Not Really Evil Just Victimized. I need a reason for her to be evil, but not an excuse." *flips through PHB* "Hm... 'A ranger can only take his own race as a Favored Enemy if he is evil.' Interesting... How about a half-elf?" Then I started filling in her backstory. Her mother was an elven noble who eloped with a human, but was taken back by her noble family when Vesh was a child. Her human father didn't adjust well to the loss of his wife, and took it out on his daughter. There was abuse, and she eventually ran away from home, living on the streets in a larger town/small city a few miles away. Eventually she got caught stealing, and fell into the hands of a truly twisted elven magistrate. A year or so later, after killing him and running away, she fell in with a group of bandits living in the forest. They taught her to "hunt," and nurtured her increasingly-psychotic lust for vengeance. When the band of highwaymen was broken up by the law, Vesh signed on with a mercenary company to hone her killer instincts.

Her class progression was clear: start off Rogue (living on the streets), pick up Ranger (bandits in the woods), move on to Fighter (mercenary company). Her ability scores, when I rolled up numbers, were similarly easy to assign, based on both class and concept. Good (16, I think) Str and Dex (training to kill), okay (12) Con (hard physical training, but still a half-elf girl), decent (14) Int (quick learner, decent planner) average (10) Wis (fairly practical, but given to blind anger on anything touching the subject of elves), average (10) Cha (pretty enough, but uninterested in social interaction and a little crazy).

By no means an optimal build, I'm sure you'll agree, but she was definitely not useless either. For a while she was pretty much the party tank (until one of our gnome clerics zigged when he should've zagged and ended up on the wrong side of a dragon, and the player rolled up a new character).

Admittedly, most of the time my character backstory isn't quite this involved (at least, not for D&D characters), but there's still an element of thought that goes into who the character is before I can start describing the character in terms of statistics. That's what I mean about concept informing stats.

Zincorium
2007-03-24, 04:05 AM
Well, using avatars as examples, I have to say that Cannok Zhast, the relatively polite and witty orc with a spiked chain and horribly gaudy red spiked armor, was underpowered only if you consider taking straight fighter to be that. The party that he was a part of had the interesting hook of all being members of a traveling circus, and our concepts flowed from there.

Cannok was one son of the orcish bard who was a founding member of the circus, and our half-orc sorceror Mulgren Zhast was his (obviously half) brother. I was the strongman of the circus and also did general displays of prowess with a spiked chain. All this is simply conceptual. However, while my stats were determined by character, it happened simultaneously with deciding character traits, not afterwards. Personality was decided upon while rolling and assigning stats, some personality changes were because of stats and some stat changes were because of personality changes. That continued on while determining skills, equipment, etc.

I find that attempting to either create a backstory without the D&D framework of classes, feats, etc., then figuring out what fits, like you seem to have done, or trying to justify a particular build after the fact with all the accompanying strangeness, fail to produce the desired result when I'm creating a character.

Jayabalard
2007-03-24, 05:52 AM
As long as no-one else makes a real effort to be very powerful you prefer roleplaying to munchkinism they're all fun :)

serow
2007-03-24, 06:13 AM
You don't need a 20th level spell, you just need 20 levels of spells. The damage bonus stacks.

You must sacrifice one of your spells for the day...
But it says one.

modifiers to a given check or roll stack (combine for a cumulative effect) if they come from different sources and have different types (or no type at all), but do not stack if they have the same type or come from the same source (such as the same spell cast twice in succession)
The source is Arcane Strike, isn't it? Otherwise you wouldn't even be able to sacrifice the spell in the first place.

Zincorium
2007-03-24, 06:36 AM
Despite what dhavaer says, they would indeed not seem to stack, as you only sacrifice one spell to create the ability, and another use would overlap, not stack, as while it is unnamed, it is most distinctly from the same source. Furthermore, all references in the text are to 'the spell' not 'spells', and there is no inclusion of multiple uses, so there isn't any reason to believe it's supposed to work that way.

kamikasei
2007-03-24, 08:43 AM
Her class progression was clear: start off Rogue (living on the streets), pick up Ranger (bandits in the woods), move on to Fighter (mercenary company).

This strikes me as strange. Couldn't you have done the same with a straight Ranger, or a Rogue 1/Ranger X (for skill points at first level)? It's not as if everyone who lives on the streets is a Rogue, or every mercenary company is composed solely of Fighters.

Deepblue706
2007-03-24, 09:12 AM
This strikes me as strange. Couldn't you have done the same with a straight Ranger, or a Rogue 1/Ranger X (for skill points at first level)? It's not as if everyone who lives on the streets is a Rogue, or every mercenary company is composed solely of Fighters.

While that's true, how one gets to where they are could be taken different ways.

A Ranger gets +1 BAB each level and has a d8 HD.

A Rogue starts with +0, and has d6 HD.

One might start as a Rogue because they'll literally living on the streets, and survive through fast-talking and sneaking around.

A Ranger's improved BAB progression and HD might suggest somewhere, this character is training a fair deal for fighting. Thus, this might be delayed if a PC isn't just really ready for that yet.

Fighter might be added later on because of a shift in emphasis. Sure, the Rogue/Ranger can fight well now, but in becoming a Fighter one learns less about urban/wilderness survival and more about particulars of combat.

kamikasei
2007-03-24, 09:23 AM
I just feel a build like that is gimping yourself needlessly, because there's no compelling mechanical reason why your backstory requires that smorgasbord of classes. It seems to me a poor idea to try to represent every aspect of your character's backstory in mechanics, when a comparative handful of mechanical concessions can do the same job (say, going straight Ranger but putting a few ranks into Sleight of Hand to reflect your streetwise beginning). That sort of character creation feels like walking the character through her life, thinking "I'll take this class now! Next, this class!" because the classes each represent some archetype of what you're doing right that minute; the end result doesn't have the consistent feel of a single character with a single set of strengths whose history has perhaps led to some unusual applications of those strengths.

Is there really any reason why a kid living on the streets would know how to sneak attack and find traps when he's older? Why a ranger who joins a mercenary company would learn to use heavy armor that makes him worse at what he's good at? I just don't see that it's necessary to make suboptimal mechanical choices to capture a character concept which could easily be achieved through roleplaying.

Rigeld2
2007-03-24, 10:11 AM
Despite what dhavaer says, they would indeed not seem to stack, as you only sacrifice one spell to create the ability, and another use would overlap, not stack, as while it is unnamed, it is most distinctly from the same source. Furthermore, all references in the text are to 'the spell' not 'spells', and there is no inclusion of multiple uses, so there isn't any reason to believe it's supposed to work that way.
The only bonus to a roll you are getting is the bonus to hit. That does not stack. The bonus dice do stack. Activate the feat multiple times, sacrifice multiple spells, and get +X bonus to hit, where X is the highest level spell you sacced, and +Yd4 damage, where Y is the total of all the spell levels you sacced.

Quirinus_Obsidian
2007-03-24, 11:00 AM
Re: Hellfire.

You don't have Book of Vile Darkness, do you? Hellfire may not deal more dice, but.. it bypasses fire resistance, and if a creature is immune to fire they still take half damage. Thus, it is better than regular fire. To be able to deal the same amount of damage wo a fire resistant creature, or be beneficial to the group when fighting a fire immune? I'll take a point of temp CON damage. I usually leve myCON at an odd number so I don't lose HP or FORT saves bonus. It just means that it is not meant to be used all the time. And any self-respecting cleric would have Restoration or Greater Restoration. Also, does a Wizard get hellfire effects? Not that I know of. :smallsmile:

EDIT:: The closest thing that I can think of is Searing Spell from Sandstorm. Being a metamagic feat, I think the spell level adjustment is +1 or +2. I'd still take a temp 1 CON damage over that. :smallbiggrin:

Speaking of the BoVD... heeh heeh... Disciple of Mephistopheles is wicked fun to play. Pun fully intended. :smallwink:

serow
2007-03-24, 11:16 AM
The only bonus to a roll you are getting is the bonus to hit. That does not stack. The bonus dice do stack. Activate the feat multiple times, sacrifice multiple spells, and get +X bonus to hit, where X is the highest level spell you sacced, and +Yd4 damage, where Y is the total of all the spell levels you sacced.
Why is that so?

...sacrifice one of your spells per day... extra damage equal to 1d4 x level of the spell sacrificed...
It doesn't even say you can sacrifice more than one spell at a time. It only says you can sacrifice one spell of x level and gain +x to hit and xd4 damage.
Of course, a TWF-er might be able to sacrifice two at once, for fighting style sake. But I still don't understand where this sacrificing multiple spells and anything stacking logic coming from.

Khantalas
2007-03-24, 11:20 AM
It's a free action. You could sacrifice as many as you like.

Stacking, however, I can't comment on.

EDIT: V MWHAHAHAHA! Got ninja'd by me!

Fax Celestis
2007-03-24, 11:22 AM
Why is that so?

It doesn't even say you can sacrifice more than one spell at a time. It only says you can sacrifice one spell of x level and gain +x to hit and xd4 damage.
Of course, a TWF-er might be able to sacrifice two at once, for fighting style sake. But I still don't understand where this sacrificing multiple spells and anything stacking logic coming from.

Further, it (http://realmshelps.dandello.net/cgi-bin/feats.pl?Arcane_Strike,all) says that activating it is a free action.

alchahest
2007-03-24, 12:24 PM
I've loved the hexblade class since Complete Warrior first came out, even moreso since PHB2 came out. One of the most enjoyable characters I ever played was an Aasimar (the LA 1 version from Races of Destiny) Hexblade that waitressed during the day. She was good at two things; nonlethal combat, and psychological warfare. between her dark companion, her curse, Tasha's hideous laughter, tanglefoot bags, bolas, and Love Potions (combined with a high bluff mod) made her ridiculously fun in combat. She also had this weird affliction. she was not morally opposed to doing evil acts, but as an aasimar, she had this weird physical reaction to it, and would have to run off scene to vomit if she killed someone in anything but honourable combat. which is why she was a nonlethal combat specialist.

Rigeld2
2007-03-24, 03:11 PM
Why is that so?

It doesn't even say you can sacrifice more than one spell at a time. It only says you can sacrifice one spell of x level and gain +x to hit and xd4 damage.
Of course, a TWF-er might be able to sacrifice two at once, for fighting style sake. But I still don't understand where this sacrificing multiple spells and anything stacking logic coming from.
As has been said, its a Free action. So you activate the feat 5 times, thats 5 Free actions. Assuming theyre all level 4 spells, you get +4 to hit, and +20d4 damage.

Ramza00
2007-03-24, 04:03 PM
Why Arcane Strike works with the Duskblade and you get +5 to hit and 20d4 extra damage per weapon with each attack that weapon does.

First Arcane Strike is a free action thus you can activate infinite times per round. Only thing stoping you is the number of spells slots you can sacrifice and the damage caps at your bab.

Second Arcane Strike has two important lines about the attack bonus and the damage dice.


you gain a bonus on all your attack tolls for 1 round equal to the level of the spell sacrificed Note this is a bonus it is an untyped bonus thus it stacks with anything except itself. Thus a duskblade attack bonus maxes out at +5 for he only has 5th lvl spells.

If he sacks 1 5th lvl spell, 5 2nd lvl spells and 5 1st lvl spells only the highest bonus of that type is applied which would be the 5th lvl spell and thus +5 Attack Bonus.


as well as extra damage equal to 1d4 points x the level of the spell sacrificed This is extra damage, it is not a bonus, extra damage stacks with itself, for the same reason sneak attack from multiple sources (assassin, rogue, hunterís eye spell, etc all would stack). Sneak Attack is extra damage, extra damage stacks with itself even if its of the same type as previous extra damage.

Also note a twf fighting duskblade would only get the +5 attack bonus and 20d4 extra damage for one weapon for sacking 20 lvls of spells, he would need to sack 40 lvls of spells to get +5 attack bonus and and 20d4 extra damage.

This is the rules of how Arcane Strike works, it is plain as day, if you donít like it then houserule it. Donít say it doesnít work when it does work according to the SRD and Complete Warrior.

Zincorium
2007-03-24, 07:17 PM
Huh. Alright. I have never seen any rule that says all damage dice automatically stack, anywhere, so I was basing my advice on what seemed to be the wording of the feat, you use one spell, you get one bonus to attack and damage. The attack I knew didn't stack, the damage I was simply unaware of any rules regarding.

On a side note, 20 spell levels for 20d4, average 50 damage, for attacks on a single round seems to be a bit of a waste considering what could be done with those same spells.

Deepblue706
2007-03-24, 07:47 PM
I just feel a build like that is gimping yourself needlessly, because there's no compelling mechanical reason why your backstory requires that smorgasbord of classes. It seems to me a poor idea to try to represent every aspect of your character's backstory in mechanics, when a comparative handful of mechanical concessions can do the same job (say, going straight Ranger but putting a few ranks into Sleight of Hand to reflect your streetwise beginning). That sort of character creation feels like walking the character through her life, thinking "I'll take this class now! Next, this class!" because the classes each represent some archetype of what you're doing right that minute; the end result doesn't have the consistent feel of a single character with a single set of strengths whose history has perhaps led to some unusual applications of those strengths.

Is there really any reason why a kid living on the streets would know how to sneak attack and find traps when he's older? Why a ranger who joins a mercenary company would learn to use heavy armor that makes him worse at what he's good at? I just don't see that it's necessary to make suboptimal mechanical choices to capture a character concept which could easily be achieved through roleplaying.

Oh, I agree with you on many points. However, I do sympathize for those who do feel this many class changes is necessary.

You appear to assume there's no compelling reason for someone to do this: I'd say that's entirely situational. Looking at it from this kind of perspective, I see why you might say that, but I think it's possible for someone to have good reason to do this...it's just unlikely.

You're right about the "kid on the streets" and the rogue's class abilities - none of that should be inherent just because he shares a few things in-common with what the class encompasses. I blame the design of the game, because if you're taking up a class, you need to make used of what abilities it gets if you really want to be up to par - ignoring them because your character doesn't really "do things that way" doesn't work, because these classes were built with abilities to be used.

This is primarily why I prefer GURPS. Much more freedom.

While I can't truly defend this particular case of multiclassing to the fullest extent, I do believe that it's quite alright to make a class change that proves to be "sub-optimal", because in some cases, it makes a great deal of sense.
I'll explain to you one of my own characters as an example: X was an elite (mundane) soldier in a military for a while, and then eventually got noticed by his superiors and was trained in how to use arcane magic, which was to be used in conjunction with his fighting skills.

Now, he could be a straight Duskblade. However, I chose to make him a Fighter/Wizard, because I felt it more appropriate: he was a mundane soldier for quite a while, so it seemed he should at least start out as a plain Fighter.

Wizard was added on because there was a great deal of emphasis on his arcane training, and little on fighting skills (but remember, BAB still does improve, even if you're a Wizard and don't typically need silly things like that).

He is currently a Fighter 4 / Wizard 2.

I wouldn't call him underpowered, but he is certainly not the optimum gish. I do this because I feel this is how the character should be. Is this still needless, to you?

Rigeld2
2007-03-24, 08:21 PM
Huh. Alright. I have never seen any rule that says all damage dice automatically stack, anywhere, so I was basing my advice on what seemed to be the wording of the feat, you use one spell, you get one bonus to attack and damage. The attack I knew didn't stack, the damage I was simply unaware of any rules regarding.
There arent any rules restricting or allowing, explicitly, the stacking of damage dice. But, since each use adds Xd4, you just keep adding d4s.


On a side note, 20 spell levels for 20d4, average 50 damage, for attacks on a single round seems to be a bit of a waste considering what could be done with those same spells.
Depends.. its 20d4 per attack. Hasted at high levels vs. a single bad guy, thats not a small amount, expecially if you Wraithstrike.

serow
2007-03-24, 08:37 PM
Ah OK, never looked at it from that angle before.

marjan
2007-03-24, 08:43 PM
Anyway why the bonus wouldn't be aplied to the off-hand weapon since the feat says that you apply bonus to every attack for one round? It doesn't say that it has to be with one weapon. Am I missing something?

Dhavaer
2007-03-24, 08:56 PM
Anyway why the bonus wouldn't be aplied to the off-hand weapon since the feat says that you apply bonus to every attack for one round? It doesn't say that it has to be with one weapon. Am I missing something?

Arcane Strike applies to a melee weapon, unarmed strike or natural weapon. To use it with two weapons, you'd have to spend two spells.

kamikasei
2007-03-24, 08:59 PM
You're right about the "kid on the streets" and the rogue's class abilities - none of that should be inherent just because he shares a few things in-common with what the class encompasses. I blame the design of the game, because if you're taking up a class, you need to make used of what abilities it gets if you really want to be up to par - ignoring them because your character doesn't really "do things that way" doesn't work, because these classes were built with abilities to be used.

It's not so much the "why can this kid trapfind just because he was a street urchin" that I have a problem with - it's more that the Rogue class has a bunch of abilities, of which one - Sleight of Hand as a class skill - would really be necessary to a backstory like that one. When the only real flavor benefit of a mechanical choice could easily be replicated by making a different, superior mechanical choice, I see it as a poor choice and a poorer motive. It's the idea that if you want to do something that's traditionally associated with Rogues, then you have to take levels in the Rogue class, that I take issue with, because I see it as denying the flexibility that does exist in the class system.


While I can't truly defend this particular case of multiclassing to the fullest extent, I do believe that it's quite alright to make a class change that proves to be "sub-optimal", because in some cases, it makes a great deal of sense.

If it's particularly important to the character concept, then yeah, it makes sense to make a choice that may be sub-optimal. If your character absolutely has to be an unusually smart tribesperson from the east who was adopted after his family died in a famine, and became a master of magic in civilized lands but retained his volatile and highly physical temper, then sure, it'd be hard to get mechanics to reflect that except with a Barbarian/Wizard build. I would wonder, though, whether a straight Wizard who was just roleplayed as having a temper would work better - not every character trait has to have a mechanical representation. What irks me about the Rogue/Ranger/Fighter combo is that it's so close to just being a straight Ranger already. It doesn't really help the character, either mechanically or flavor-wise. A Ranger can already, easily, be sneaky and skillful, and is already supposed to be a competent warrior, who would gain little benefit from Fighter levels (and if you've joined a mercenary band on the strength of your Rangerly prowess, why would they want you to stop developing the skills that got you on their team in the first place?).


I'll explain to you one of my own characters as an example: X was an elite (mundane) soldier in a military for a while, and then eventually got noticed by his superiors and was trained in how to use arcane magic, which was to be used in conjunction with his fighting skills.

Now, he could be a straight Duskblade. However, I chose to make him a Fighter/Wizard, because I felt it more appropriate: he was a mundane soldier for quite a while, so it seemed he should at least start out as a plain Fighter.

Wizard was added on because there was a great deal of emphasis on his arcane training, and little on fighting skills (but remember, BAB still does improve, even if you're a Wizard and don't typically need silly things like that).

He is currently a Fighter 4 / Wizard 2.

I wouldn't call him underpowered, but he is certainly not the optimum gish. I do this because I feel this is how the character should be. Is this still needless, to you?

That's an interesting question. I can't say that the character as described could be well represented by anything other than a Fighter/Wizard. However, backstory is a flexible thing, and should be informed at least partly by the character you actually want to be in play. I guess I think of it this way: you want your character to be a particular way in the present. You devise a backstory that got him to that point, and make mechanical choices to represent him. I see the mechanics and the backstory as linked: your backstory should show through a little in how your character is put together, but at the same time, your backstory should be flexible enough to accommodate effective mechanics. In your example, your character probably would be more effective as a straight Duskblade, and the backstory could be altered to reflect this by saying that you came to the military trained for battle (no class levels yet), and your intelligence got you noticed and singled out for special training to combine arcane might with your combat ability. Hence, Duskblade from level one. You see what I mean? I guess a lot of my point is that your class levels and so forth don't have to be a written record of the story of your life from day one. If your character's story is just supposed to be "started out as a warrior, but the military taught him to cast, too", then a Duskblade with the backstory above represents that fine. If it's highly important to you that the character have been a highly-trained fighter who was in the military for years before being reassigned to full-time arcane studies, though, a Fighter/Wizard is the way to go. In that case, the mechanically less effective build is appropriate because that aspect of the character's history is not just backstory but is itself a part of how you want your character to be in the present. It's more important to you that he be "a former warrior who's taken up the arcane arts" than "a fighter who has some spellcasting ability".

marjan
2007-03-24, 09:23 PM
Arcane Strike applies to a melee weapon, unarmed strike or natural weapon. To use it with two weapons, you'd have to spend two spells.

Thanks for clarifying that. I missed that part.

Deepblue706
2007-03-24, 09:42 PM
If it's particularly important to the character concept, then yeah, it makes sense to make a choice that may be sub-optimal. If your character absolutely has to be an unusually smart tribesperson from the east who was adopted after his family died in a famine, and became a master of magic in civilized lands but retained his volatile and highly physical temper, then sure, it'd be hard to get mechanics to reflect that except with a Barbarian/Wizard build. I would wonder, though, whether a straight Wizard who was just roleplayed as having a temper would work better - not every character trait has to have a mechanical representation.

I agree. I only brought this up because it was unclear to me if you felt it was ever called for. I merely wanted to state that though adding a new class to your character each time they happen to do something apart from what their current classes would suggest is a bit foolish, once in a while I notice that someone will create a backstory and make claims of a character's deeds, but not actually have any class levels to support them because it's "less efficient" to do so. Just something I don't particularly like.

kamikasei
2007-03-24, 09:55 PM
I agree. I only brought this up because it was unclear to me if you felt it was ever called for. I merely wanted to state that though adding a new class to your character each time they happen to do something apart from what their current classes would suggest is a bit foolish, once in a while I notice that someone will create a backstory and make claims of a character's deeds, but not actually have any class levels to support them because it's "less efficient" to do so. Just something I don't particularly like.

I guess it's at least partly a question of how much of a character's mechanics should reflect their life before taking class levels. If your first-level fighter was raised by a blacksmith, should he have skill points in Craft (smithing), or do those skill points only represent his fighter training and therefore are justly spent on fighter-ish things?

Diggorian
2007-03-24, 10:46 PM
Does anyone have some good ranger or monk stories? I hear a lot of fans but no stories. Let's hear about this monk/ranger pwnage.

Our level 1 party was seeking a notrious Half orc pirate. Our spellthief thought it would be a good idea to sneak attack/intimidate an Orc bouncer at a seedy bar the pirate frequented (by rumor).

So, after she died from an axe to the head and the bouncer was brought down we turned to questioning the bartender. Our LN (evil leaning) Necromancer had his skeleton companion pinning the guy and terrorizing him. My CG ranger is already having friction with the wizard and trying to convince the bartender to talk while Necro boy decides to play "bad cop".

The guy claims to know nothing useful in between gasps from boney claws. I believe him, the whole investigation approach was dumb to me. My ranger tells the necromancer to release the guy. He tells the skeleton to starting squeezing the bartender (1 damage per round). I insist we leave cause the guy is starting to bleed. Wizard gives me a sly wink and starts "getting intense".

I quick draw a shortsword, flip it to hold the blade, bash it across the Necromancer's mouth -- one-hitter-quiter. The skeleton stops and moves to protect it's KOed master, the bartender runs off after I give him a gold for the trouble. The bard and I leave.

Later, our wizard confronts me. We talk: I dont apologize, he does. He went LG and multiclassed into a cleric, which we needed. Without a special feat tree, Geas spell, or PrC my ranger hit a guy hard enough to change his alignment. :smallbiggrin:

Deepblue706
2007-03-25, 12:55 AM
I guess it's at least partly a question of how much of a character's mechanics should reflect their life before taking class levels. If your first-level fighter was raised by a blacksmith, should he have skill points in Craft (smithing), or do those skill points only represent his fighter training and therefore are justly spent on fighter-ish things?

I'd say that depends on how much you want him to have learned. I don't set my skill ranks unless I somewhere implied that the chosen skills were part of some training or experience.

Ramza00
2007-03-25, 02:50 AM
On a side note, 20 spell levels for 20d4, average 50 damage, for attacks on a single round seems to be a bit of a waste considering what could be done with those same spells.

Its 20d4 for every attack that round with one weapon. (Thus 4 attacks if they all hit) 80d4 or 200 average damage is alot if you want to drop a BBEG. Sure against most people it isn't as useful, but its good if you need to nova. Don't forget while the duskblade doesn't get as many high level spells as a wizard or gish he does get a total amount of spells similar to a wizard and thus has spell slots to spare for arcane strike even if it isn't a full out destroy the guy and leave no trace 20d4 arcane strike.

The thing about arcane strike its increases your versatility by allowing you to go nova if you want to.

MusScribe
2007-03-25, 03:44 AM
*raises a glass* To the underpowered!


Assign as you go 4d6 keep 3 - ended up as a 5 Con Halfling Monk with one or two 16-17s... I forget exact stats, but about average Str/Cha, and the 16-17s were Dex/Int with a 14-15 Wis

A deathly frail halfling who was able to react to danger quickly and knew what he was talking about.
Every once in a while he got hit, but almost never got dangerously injured.

The one point I remember though, is coming upon a group of possessed Kobolds (glowing red-eyes, that sort of things). The rest of the party starts slaying (standard group type, I think a Paladin or two, maybe a Ranger, a Cleric and a Wizard other than me, I forget for sure though... - Yes, I was the skillmonkey there). I finally get to act and jump at the closest (and quite probably the only remaining) one. Of course, this was a really inexperienced DM/group (and when we were new to 3.x) so we took a moment to look up grapple rules. I ended up being able to pin it and got it tied up. It just muttered stuff and didn't give any useful information.

We either killed it or left for the rest of the adventure (and by we, I mean someone else in the group, finished it off - probably someone with a blade).


Although untried, I've thought about it... Soulknife... Reading through the Mind Blade ability, though, it sounded perfect for me.

As a move action, a soulknife can create a semisolid blade composed of psychic energy distilled from his own mind. The blade is identical in all ways (except visually) to a short sword of a size appropriate for its wielder.
As I've been reading it, that implies that you use the rules for a short sword of your size, but choose the appearance.
I'm thinking on the roleplaying aspect this could do... Especcially if it doesn't have a specific color or type like that.

A glove. It'll do damage like a blade (and be boosted by Enlarge Humanoid and similar spells), but show up on your hand.
A musical instrument (banjo, lyre, etc). Probably for less serious adventures, but also for in town, where a sword isn't helpful but having a weapon is. Imagine being able to walk into the bar, weapon drawn and ready, and no one paying attention to it. Or chasing someone down the street with it in hand. Multi-class with bard for more fun (especcially with a lenient DM who allows you to actually play it).
Claws. Disturbing at 8th level with the wounding enhancement...
A Shield. No one expects a shield to do 1d6 slashing damage. And with the defending enhancement, it becomes more appropriate.
Fire/Shadows/Other elemental energy type. If your opponent comes at you with a ball of fire in his hand, do you think basic slashing damage? Or 'time to get away from the fire'? (And multi-class with a spontaneous caster or a manifester for more fun with this especcially. This visual with an Energy Ray power of the appropriate time can convince them it's doing it. Then, switch damage types.)
Giant Shiny Sword. Always impressive. You can have it be 'too long' and still function for all mechanics-wise as a short sword.

At 5th level it gets interesting, a pair of gloves, a sword and whip (both working like short swords)...

Of course, I could be wrong on how I interpret Soul Knives, but if I can convince the DM to let it work that way, I may well use a soulknife (probably multiclassing, but not for sure).

Zincorium
2007-03-25, 03:54 AM
Soulknife. Ouch. I'll drink to that as long as I can avoid getting any of it on me.

Spikes01k
2007-12-12, 10:19 PM
Why Arcane Strike works with the Duskblade and you get +5 to hit and 20d4 extra damage per weapon with each attack that weapon does.

First Arcane Strike is a free action thus you can activate infinite times per round. Only thing stoping you is the number of spells slots you can sacrifice and the damage caps at your bab.

Second Arcane Strike has two important lines about the attack bonus and the damage dice.

Note this is a bonus it is an untyped bonus thus it stacks with anything except itself. Thus a duskblade attack bonus maxes out at +5 for he only has 5th lvl spells.

If he sacks 1 5th lvl spell, 5 2nd lvl spells and 5 1st lvl spells only the highest bonus of that type is applied which would be the 5th lvl spell and thus +5 Attack Bonus.

This is extra damage, it is not a bonus, extra damage stacks with itself, for the same reason sneak attack from multiple sources (assassin, rogue, hunterís eye spell, etc all would stack). Sneak Attack is extra damage, extra damage stacks with itself even if its of the same type as previous extra damage.

Also note a twf fighting duskblade would only get the +5 attack bonus and 20d4 extra damage for one weapon for sacking 20 lvls of spells, he would need to sack 40 lvls of spells to get +5 attack bonus and and 20d4 extra damage.

This is the rules of how Arcane Strike works, it is plain as day, if you donít like it then houserule it. Donít say it doesnít work when it does work according to the SRD and Complete Warrior.

FYI. With the recent production of the rules compendium the action to perform an arcane strike is a swift action now, which can only be used once in normal DnD rules.

slexlollar89
2007-12-13, 07:13 AM
I'll raise a glass to the fighter, for it is the greatest class for those who can imagine what do to make with lots of feats...

My favorite fighter (and one of my favorite characters ever) was a venerable human fighter with a huge physical penalty to all his scores and outrageous mental stats. He used a glamered greathammer (that looked like a cane) and would constantly gripe about todays adventuring youth, the state of the weather, poor/easy dungeon conditions, the lack of a good walker, and generally the crapiness of what he metagame deduced (incorectly) to be 3.5 ed. He was one of the only characters I actally had an accent for (and the other players hated my grandpa vioce). He was so old, he called elves, dwarves, and the balor BBEG "sonny", and was notoriously ill-tempered withut his midday 4 hour nap.

He eventually got a fire breath weapon too, ad I planned on him getting a lore/bardic knowledge ability... but he literally die of old age before the campaign was over.

*raises glass* Heres to crotchety old farts... uh... fighters!

OutlawJT
2008-03-21, 05:49 AM
Why Arcane Strike works with the Duskblade and you get +5 to hit and 20d4 extra damage per weapon with each attack that weapon does.

First Arcane Strike is a free action thus you can activate infinite times per round. Only thing stoping you is the number of spells slots you can sacrifice and the damage caps at your bab.

Second Arcane Strike has two important lines about the attack bonus and the damage dice.

Note this is a bonus it is an untyped bonus thus it stacks with anything except itself. Thus a duskblade attack bonus maxes out at +5 for he only has 5th lvl spells.

If he sacks 1 5th lvl spell, 5 2nd lvl spells and 5 1st lvl spells only the highest bonus of that type is applied which would be the 5th lvl spell and thus +5 Attack Bonus.

This is extra damage, it is not a bonus, extra damage stacks with itself, for the same reason sneak attack from multiple sources (assassin, rogue, hunterís eye spell, etc all would stack). Sneak Attack is extra damage, extra damage stacks with itself even if its of the same type as previous extra damage.

Also note a twf fighting duskblade would only get the +5 attack bonus and 20d4 extra damage for one weapon for sacking 20 lvls of spells, he would need to sack 40 lvls of spells to get +5 attack bonus and and 20d4 extra damage.

This is the rules of how Arcane Strike works, it is plain as day, if you donít like it then houserule it. Donít say it doesnít work when it does work according to the SRD and Complete Warrior.

One little problem with your interpretation. As you yourself quoted the feat specifically states per level of the spell sacrificed. Spell, singular! Not spells, as in you can sacrifice as many spells as you want in activation of the feat. This is one of the reasons WOTC moved from the free action to swift and immediate actions; to ban this kind of ridiculous and childish abuse of free actions. Additionally, I might be wrong on this but even though it is an untyped bonus I am pretty sure that unless a bonus specifically says otherwise it does not stack with itself. Is arcane strike still useful, especially for the Duskblade? Yes! It is not stupidly overpowering as you claim, though.

Zincorium
2008-03-21, 08:46 AM
12-13-2007

That makes this thread just over three months old. Not as bad as most, I suppose, but it still bugs Algernon that you did it.

Edit: Also, OutlawJT, realize that Arcane Strike can be used multiple times per round as it's a free action, therefore while the attack bonus still only uses the highest level, the damage dice keep accruing each time you use it, as they are not a bonus of any sort, and no stacking rules apply.

UserClone
2008-03-21, 09:34 AM
Zincorium, et al...realize that Arcane Strike has NOTHING to do with this thread. Why not make a new one or post it in Simple RAW questions?

Also, one of my favorite characters is my current one, a Gray Elf Wizard (wait for it)...who does little else than buff his party! Not optimized (beyond Race/Class), but he can get everybody else's juices flowing with a few Animalistic Powers, Burning Swords, Blurs, etc. Plus he's one of the best archers in the group with his 18 dex.

Zincorium
2008-03-21, 09:50 AM
Zincorium, et al...realize that Arcane Strike has NOTHING to do with this thread. Why not make a new one or post it in Simple RAW questions?

Wait, why am I the one specifically and by name taken to task when I had nothing to do with necroing the thread just to post on that subject? You're being more than a little disingenuous here.


Also, one of my favorite characters is my current one, a Gray Elf Wizard (wait for it)...who does little else than buff his party! Not optimized (beyond Race/Class), but he can get everybody else's juices flowing with a few Animalistic Powers, Burning Swords, Blurs, etc. Plus he's one of the best archers in the group with his 18 dex.

Actually, buffing the party is one of the things the eponymous batman wizard specializes in. This doesn't get much play in the 'Vs' threads, but it's the actual party role batman fills.

The only reason I didn't post one of my own just now is:

A. I've already contributed an underpowered character I played, back in March 2007, post 45. Oddly, this was exactly one year ago to the day.

B. Seeing as the thread was already three months old, with no new posts, I figured maybe it should die.