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sonofzeal
2008-10-09, 12:28 AM
EDIT: Rambling musings ahead. Proceed with caution

So.... "Obtain Familiar" lets you stack your level in every casting class for determining benefits. Bloodline levels increase your effective level in every class you have levels in. Therefore, a lvl 12 Bard/Duskblade/WuJen/Warmage (for example) with a major bloodline would treat their familiar as if they were a lvl 21 Wizard, and hence gets you the Familiar Spell epic feat.

Now, obviously that build is rather suboptimal, but it struck me as interesting and evocative, and I want to try and make it work, by making the familiar as powerful as possible. This involves {a} getting Bab and HP high, and {b} getting good spells to share with it.

For the purpose of the exercise, I'll assume the character's going to be for a campaign I'm in now - all books allowed, fractional BAB/saves, ECL 10. Any suggestions appreciated. Again, the goal is to get the maximum possible benefit out of the familiar, but I have little to no interest in playing a straight caster even if Wiz20 would be the best way to do that.

Musings - mix Duskblade, Bard, and BattleSorc to start with to keep BAB decent and get those HP up. Would PrCs that boost spellcasting work with the Obtain Familiar/Bloodline trick, or only ones with independant spell progressions? If the former, a fast track into Master Specialist is probably the easiest way to get the ball rolling. Where to go after then, though? And do you think 1530 gp to mindswitch with this form is a good idea? And what bloodline would be good to go for?

EDIT: Current build involves a psychotic Arcane Heirophant, locked away as a living weapon while his Avatar (an extremely powerful Animal.Companion/Familiar with high enough Int and enough other goodies to be effective) adventures.

BobVosh
2008-10-09, 01:11 AM
Got a copy of races of wild? Combines your animal companion and your familiar with the heirophant class. Need to splash druid though. However druid is full casting...so meh, no problem. Better than wu-jen too.

sonofzeal
2008-10-09, 01:29 AM
Got a copy of races of wild? Combines your animal companion and your familiar with the heirophant class. Need to splash druid though. However druid is full casting...so meh, no problem. Better than wu-jen too.
Awesome! So possibly.... Druid3/Wizard3/AcaneHeirophant2/Bloodline2. That'll give a lvl 9 Animal Companion mixed with a lvl 9 Familiar, at ECL 10. Hrm, there's got to be some way to boost that further...

sonofzeal
2008-10-09, 12:26 PM
Potential builds so far.

Wizard 12
- Familiar 12
Druid 12
- Companion 12
Wiz1/Sorc1/WuJen1/Bard1/Duskblade1/Shujenja1/Hexblade1/Warlock1/Beguiler1/Bloodline3
- Familiar 36
Druid3/Wizard3/Acane.Heirophant6
- Companion 9 / Familiar 9
Druid3/Wizard3/Acane.Heirophant3/Bloodline3
- Companion 12 / Familiar 12
(edit) Druid3/Wizard3/Acane.Heirophant1/Fleshwarper1/Alienist1/Bloodline3
- Companion 10 / Familiar 18

The Rose Dragon
2008-10-09, 12:29 PM
Wait... is the spell epic or is it [Epic]? If the latter, you can't take it until level 21, no matter what build you have.

sonofzeal
2008-10-09, 12:41 PM
Wait... is the spell epic or is it [Epic]? If the latter, you can't take it until level 21, no matter what build you have.
You may be right there, it is "[Epic]". However, here's the quote in question...


The familiar gains the benefit of the Familiar Spell epic feat for the spell its master chooses.

...meaning it's more or less a "virtual" feat; you're gaining the benefit, but it's not actually been granted as a bonus feat. A subtle distinction that usually only matters for Embrace/Shun cheese, but a distinction nonetheless.



Does anyone know what PrCs explicitly boost Companion/Familiar progression? All I've come up with is Arcane.Heirophant, Alienist, and Fleshwarper.

Smeggedoff
2008-10-09, 01:12 PM
Theurgic Bond from Dragon magazine #325 would allow you to add your arcane caster and druid levels for the purpose of animal companion OR familiar special abilities. you might be able to take it twice to get both

Theurgic Bond [General]
you uncover the secrets to connecting more fully with your animal companion or Familiar from studying another type of magic.
Prerequisites:Ability to gain a familiar, ability to gain an animal companion.
Benefit:Choose a familiar or animal companion you already have. when determining the abilities of your chosen familiar or animal companion, you can combine the levels of your spellcasting classes that grant either an animal companion or a familiar. For example, a 4th-level druid/3rd-level sorcerer can grant his familiar all of the abilities that a familiar of a 7th-level sorcerer would normally have.
Special:You can gain this feat multiple times. Its effects do not stack, each time you gain this feat it applies to a different familiar or animal companion.

sonofzeal
2008-10-09, 01:17 PM
Rereading the Animal Companion table, I came across this...."the druidís class levels stack with levels of any other classes that are entitled to an animal companion for the purpose of determining the companionís abilities and the alternative lists available to the character."

So.... let's take the Druid3/Wizard3/Acane.Heirophant1/Fleshwarper1/Alienist1/Bloodline3 idea. Now, if we use this (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/variantCharacterClasses.htm#sorcererWizard) variant for the Wizard, we lose familiars but gain Animal Companion levels to stack with Druid. We can then gain the Familiar back via the Obtain Familiar feat, leading to a total of...

- Companion 16 / Familiar 18

Not too shabby, but we can do better.

Druid3/Variant.Wizard3/Variant.Sorc1/Variant.Bard1/Acane.Heirophant1/Bloodline3.
- Companion 24 / Familiar 18

The familiar side gives us +8 NA, SR 23, and Int 13... which is enough to qualify for all the good feats. "But wait" you say, "familiars don't gain feats!" This is true, except now our familiar is an Animal Companion too, with actual HD and feats to gain! Speaking of that, where are we on that table?

Well, let's say we've stuck with a basic Riding Dog from the beginning. That Riding Dog now has +16 HD, +16 NA (so +24 total), +8 Str/Dex, and all the goodies. Or, we could have a TRex with a "mere" +6 HD, +6 NA (so +14 total), +3 Str/Dex, and a second bite.

Fun. =3

Person_Man
2008-10-09, 01:30 PM
I call shenanigans.

Although you may be technically correct, I'm not aware of any DM who would allow such crazy stacking to occur. For example, Halfling Outrider levels stack with Paladin and Druid levels for determining the benefits to your Mount or Companion, and the Devoted Tracker feat lets you designate your Mount as your Companion, gaining both sets of bonuses. But no DM would allow a 12th level character to have a 20 HD dragon that can command other dragons.

If your DM disagrees, then I retract my comment.

sonofzeal
2008-10-09, 02:22 PM
I call shenanigans.

Although you may be technically correct, I'm not aware of any DM who would allow such crazy stacking to occur. For example, Halfling Outrider levels stack with Paladin and Druid levels for determining the benefits to your Mount or Companion, and the Devoted Tracker feat lets you designate your Mount as your Companion, gaining both sets of bonuses. But no DM would allow a 12th level character to have a 20 HD dragon that can command other dragons.

If your DM disagrees, then I retract my comment.
Think of it this way - all the tricks so far to boost the companion/familiar come at the drastic expense of character optimization. Right now, the character as listed is ECL 12 yet doesn't even have 3rd level spells, and is MAD as allgetout, and his companion/familiar is likely somewhere around CR 10, maybe a bit more with clever feat optimization.

I'm not sure what you're talking about with the "20 HD dragon" thing either. There's Draconic Familiar, but that doesn't work at all with Arcane Heirophant, which is where most of the power is coming from in the latest spread. It'd work for the "Familiar 36" build, but when you're as unfavourably-multiclassed as that build is, your familiar is practically your character already. You need to compare it to what a lvl12 wizard is capable of already.

Eldariel
2008-10-09, 03:07 PM
Supermount builds can get Mount/AC/Familiar all over level 20 in one creature. That's one kickass Familiar/AC. The basis is:
-Beastmaster
-Prestige Paladin (and to lesser extent, Prestige Ranger)
-Fey Bard
-Halfling Outrider
-Theurgic Mount
-Holy Mount
-Devoted Tracker (to combine Mount into AC)
-Arcane Hierophant (to combine Familiar & AC)

Oh yeah, pick up Dragon Cohort/Dragon Steed (as a Paladin, Pg. 139 determines how to get True Dragons; gotta be small though - Strongheart Halfling is easily the best way to go with bonus feat (really important for so feat-intensive builds) and access to Halfling Outrider), go way over level 20 in Mount-progression (easy with all the level stacking) and profit of some 50HD Dragon (with all Familiar-abilities). Then acquire a high CL scroll of Polymorph Any Object (or staff with the spell and UMD the heck outta it) on it to turn it into a Great Wyrm. Your very own Great Wyrm (of course, you need some other stuff to get the Dragon's spellcasting and such).

EDIT: Note that the last part (turning it into a Great Wyrm) is purely optional - 50 HD Young kicks plenty of ass with 50 BAB, infinite skills, superstrong natural attacks and so on. The lack of spellcasting is a huge stumbling stone; Great Wyrms would have Epic Spellcasting and epic caster feats, which would help a lot.

Prometheus
2008-10-09, 05:38 PM
If you want multiple animals, buy them. They are cheaper than you would think and you can cut costs by training them yourself. Many MM creatures don't have a cost, but they can be trained and costs can be extrapolated from those that already exist.

Sstoopidtallkid
2008-10-09, 09:57 PM
If you want multiple animals, buy them. They are cheaper than you would think and you can cut costs by training them yourself. Many MM creatures don't have a cost, but they can be trained and costs can be extrapolated from those that already exist.He doesn't want multiple animals, he wants one animal that's able to kill a Ranger in close combat.

Also, have you considered a level of Beastmaster(+3 to Animal Companion) and the Natural Bond feat(additional +3, up to your HD)

sonofzeal
2008-10-10, 03:32 AM
He doesn't want multiple animals, he wants one animal that's able to kill a Ranger in close combat.
Indeed. More precisely, I want a build where the character stays home and the Companion/Familiar (which will henceforth be referred to as the Avatar) is the one that goes around adventuring. With the current build (C24/F18), the Avatar has a decent Int score and is hence entirely playable as a character, albeit a very odd one. With Familiar Spell and Channel Animal (in a few levels), he'll get limited spellcasting... and until then he's a quite reasonable melee powerhouse. I'm thinking of going Dire Ape (http://mightygodking.com/images/Legion_Reasons/reason28-boziah.jpg), but I'm open to suggestions. Note that I didn't have this particular conclusion in mind when I started this thread; I'll go back and edit accordingly.


Also, have you considered a level of Beastmaster(+3 to Animal Companion) and the Natural Bond feat(additional +3, up to your HD)
Ooo, definitely the sort of thing I'm looking for. Let's see....

Druid3/Variant.Wizard3/Variant.Sorc1/Variant.Bard1/Acane.Heirophant1/Bloodline3.
- Companion 24 / Familiar 18 (or 42 with Theurgic Bond)

Druid3/Variant.Wizard3/Beastmaster1/Variant.Bard1/Acane.Heirophant1/Bloodline3.
- Companion 27 / Familiar 14 (or 41 with Theurgic Bond)


Note: DM is loving this idea (DM is also seriously high on pot; might change his mind later). We're going with a Djinni Bloodline, and Brixashulty as the Avatar, for thematic reasons mostly. We're also changing the fluff dramatically; he's going to be a Noble Djinni who died, and in dying used his Wishes to cause his soul to reincarnate (something not normally allowed for Outsiders)... but the process was imperfect and he was only reborn partially in this man. The man goes about his average life mostly uninterrupted, but when he dreams the Djinni wakes enough to cause the Avatar to manifest. The Avatar is not explicitly aware of the Djinni, despite being brilliantly intelligent, but intuitively senses bits and pieces of what the Djinni wants. The man himself has almost no control and only vague awareness/understanding of this, and is for all intents and purposes insane. Meanwhile, the Djinni is trying to restore itself, the Avatar is trying to safeguard the man and learn its own true nature, and the political factions involved in the campaign are trying to use him as a living weapon.

So yeah, awesomeness. :smallamused:

BobVosh
2008-10-10, 04:07 AM
Problem with natural bond is it specifically states this won't increase it past your ECL. However the trick with this is if you sacrifice levels to increasing the type of pet it will work. I believe the dire tortoise is the most amazing animal on that list.

Dire Ape would work well, espically as it can use humanoid stuff. That is always nice. Hmm...Dire Ape with more intelligence than a normal human. Lulz.

sonofzeal
2008-10-10, 10:57 AM
Problem with natural bond is it specifically states this won't increase it past your ECL. However the trick with this is if you sacrifice levels to increasing the type of pet it will work. I believe the dire tortoise is the most amazing animal on that list.
Yeah, Natural Bond doesn't really work for this.


Dire Ape would work well, espically as it can use humanoid stuff. That is always nice. Hmm...Dire Ape with more intelligence than a normal human. Lulz.
Indeed. (http://mightygodking.com/images/Legion_Reasons/reason28-boziah.jpg) :smallcool: That was my first impulse, but we're going for a Brixashulty for thematic reasons.

sonofzeal
2008-10-10, 04:44 PM
Alright, we've got a basic build. There's a few things that aren't strictly RAW (mostly CL limits on spells removed, and more than three Martial Study feats) but otherwise it's played fairly straight.

AVATAR
Druid3/Variant.Wizard3/Beastmaster1/Variant.Bard1/
Acane.Heirophant1/Bloodline3
- Companion 27 / Familiar 14 (41 with Theurgic Bond)
- Djinni Bloodline


str 26 (13base +8druid +1ap +4[6points]) +8
dex 28 (17base +8druid +1ap +2[4points]) +9
con 18 (16base +2[4points]) +4
int 24 (26wiz -2[0points]) +7
wis 18 (13base +1ap +4[6points]) +4
cha 6 (4base +2[4points]) -2


HD: 18d10+72 = 184
Init: +9
Speed: 40'
AC: 36 (+9dex +27nat) touch 19, ff37
BAB/grap: +18/+26
Darkvision 60', lowlight vision.
Attack: Gore +26/+21(1d6+12)
plus knockback (str check +14)
SR: 46


SAVES
Fort 15 (11base +4con)
Refl 20 (11base +9dex)
Will 10 (6base +4wis)
- Imp Evasion (x2!)
- +4 vs Enchant



SPELLS
Binding Winds - Ref DC 22, duration Concentration, 190' range
- target cannot move
- target cannot hear or be heard (blocks sonic)
- Concentration DC 22+spell level vs casting
- -2 penalty on ranged attack
- can hold flying creatures
Master Air - Fly speed 90, 9 rounds
Hail of Stones - 5' radius, 9d4 damage, SR no, Wiz


AVATAR'S FEATS - Throw opposed str +18
Alertness (bonus)
Familiar Spell x3 (bonus)

Counter Charge - 1 - opposed str/dex vs redirect 2 squares
Step of the Wind - stance - ignore difficultterrain
- +2 atk, +4 trip/knockback
Devastating Throw - 3 - move 15', throw 10', do 2d6
Comet Throw - 4 - throw 10', 4d6, ref 22 half to cushion
Soaring Throw - 5 - throw 20', +5' for 5 on check, 8d6
Mirrored Pursuit - 5 - immediate follow moving enemy
Strike of Broken Shield - 4 - +4d6 damage, Ref 22 vs flatfoot


FUTURE FEATS
Balista Throw - 6 - throw 60', 6d6 to foe and cushion
Scorpion Parry - 6 - immediate opposed attack vs
redirect foe's atk into other foe
Hydra Slaying Strike - 7 - successful hit = no full attack
Fool's Strike - 8 - immediate opposed attack vs
foe autohits himself
Tornado Throw - 9 - Spring throw, up to 80' total movement
+2 on check for every 5' of movement
2d6 + 1d6 for every 5 on check



MASTER'S FEATS - 3 LEFT
Obtain Familiar
Theurgic Bond
*Homebrew Metamagic Feat to remove CL limit on spells*