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OverdrivePrime
2008-11-11, 07:51 AM
Hey all, as usual, I'm in a duel coming up this Thursday. A buddy of mine decided that we should have some fun with it and go with 20th level character. I was all prepared for the race for time stop, but then he laid down a pretty stringent rule: No Caster Level Above 10. Period. No practiced spellcaster, no ioun stones or funky rings to boost caster level above 10.

So. Much like the wacky old guy with the cat, I like following rules and perverting their intention. This is what I've got so far, and I have to say that I like it. This is finally a use for those half-caster prestige classes that I always ignore on principle. I'm assuming that my opponent will be making a melee monster. My goal is to make a character that can ignore anything he throws at me, and then weaken his character to the point of worthlessness.
Since our characters are going to have high saves and low caster levels, I'm looking at self-buffs and No-Save spells. Enervation (delivered through a sword or arrow strike) seems particularly attractive to me.

My main inspiration was the realization that an elf (proficient with all martial ranged weapons {bows}) with both the sorcerer {all simple weapons} and warblade {all martial melee weapons} could qualify for Spellsword, without the need for fighter levels, as long as he blew a feat on heavy armor proficiency.

Here's what I'm currently thinking. How can this be made more deadly?

Available Books: All Core, All Complete xxx books, Races of Destiny, Stone, and the Wild, + Tome of Battle and Tome of Magic
Assume 36 point buy (high dex, high charisma, good strength & intelligence to start)

Wild Elf
Chaotic Neutral

Sorcerer 1-5, Warblade 1, Sorcerer 6, Spellsword, 1-8, Arcane Archer 1-2, Warblade 3-4

Wood Elf: Favored Class Sorcerer, +2 dex, -2 int all else same as high elf
BAB +17
Caster Level 10
Base Saves Fort +15 Ref +8 Will +12

Sorcerer Class Features
Familiar, level 6

Warblade Class Features
Battle Clarity (+int to reflex saves)
Uncanny Dodge
Battle Ardor (+int to confirm crits)
Knows 5 maneuvers, can ready 4, 2 stances

Spellsword Class Features
Ignore Spell Failure 25%
Bonus Metamagic or Fighter Feat
Channel Spell 5/day

Arcane Archer Class Features
Enhance Arrow +1
Imbue Arrow

Feats
1 Point Blank Shot
3 Precise Shot
6 Armor Proficiency: Heavy (qualified for Spellsword)
9
Spellsword bonus: Weapon Focus (composite Longbow) (qualified for Arcane Archer)
12
15
18

Metric ton of gold to spend

Arbitrarity
2008-11-11, 07:59 AM
This looks like an opportunity to use Swiftblade (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/prc/20070327). Though as a web supplement, it's not on the available books list... :smallyuk:

If you're trying to get your caster level low, with all the goodness of higher levels, then take Mage Slayer and related feats. -4 CL means no high level spells, but it qualifies you, and you retain the ability to cast your lower level spells.

Telonius
2008-11-11, 07:59 AM
Would you really need those levels of Arcane Archer? The range on your Enervation is going to be 50 feet (25 base +5/2 levels). Just casting the spell is going to be a ranged touch attack, as opposed to an actual ranged attack (that can be overcome with wind wall, etc.)

Lemur
2008-11-11, 09:19 AM
You like subverting rules, huh? Me too. If boosting CL with Practiced Spellcaster isn't allowed, one could assume that the opposite is true as well.

Cue the feats Mage Slayer, Pierce Magical Concealment, and Pierce Magical Protection, as well as the Wild Mage PrC. Each feat lowers your caster level for all spells and spell like abilities by 4, and Wild Mage reduces your caster level by 3. Simply by taking Mage Slayer and Pierce Magical Protection, you've earned the ability to cast 9th level spells (as an 18th level casting class) at caster level 10.

Darrin
2008-11-11, 09:29 AM
Hey all, as usual, I'm in a duel coming up this Thursday. A buddy of mine decided that we should have some fun with it and go with 20th level character. I was all prepared for the race for time stop, but then he laid down a pretty stringent rule: No Caster Level Above 10. Period. No practiced spellcaster, no ioun stones or funky rings to boost caster level above 10.


Hmm. Ur-Priest, then, with Dragon Disciple or Mystic to give yourself plenty of 9th level spells.

ShneekeyTheLost
2008-11-11, 10:39 AM
No caster level above 10th, eh?

Two options:

1) Crusader8/Cleric3/Ruby Knight Vindicator9

Caster level 10th... in divine. Blow turn attempts to get additional swift actions

2) Warblade1/Bard7/UrPriest2/Sublime Chord2/Mystic Theurge8 (urpriestand subchord)8

9th level spells from both realms?

3) Druid/MoMF/Warshaper

Who needs spells?

OverdrivePrime
2008-11-11, 11:24 AM
I am in awe. I think I'll get waaaaay too many protests yells and angrilly snapped pencils if I bring in the Wizard 18, Archmage 2 with the Mage Slayer tree, but that is brilliant in both it's deviousness and simplicity.

I originally went with the spellsword/arcane archer build so that I could hit him with debilitating spells in addition to weapon damage at any range, and a Swordbow seemed perfect for that combination.

However, I really like a lot of the alternate solutions proposed. Ur-Priest is just nauseatingly nasty, though if I go the mystic theurge route, I'm sure to get the "we meant you couldn't have total caster levels above 10 from any classes" complaint.

Is the original Sorcerer/Warblade/Spellsword/whatever too weak? I can easily see getting rid of the Arcane Archer levels, or maybe reducing Spellsword levels in favor of a couple levels of Jade Phoenix mage.

Schneekey - thanks for the reminder on that nauseatingly mean Ruby Knight Vindicator. Simple, clean and evil. I'll play around with builds and let you guys know what I settle on.

ShneekeyTheLost
2008-11-11, 12:16 PM
I am in awe. I think I'll get waaaaay too many protests yells and angrilly snapped pencils if I bring in the Wizard 18, Archmage 2 with the Mage Slayer tree, but that is brilliant in both it's deviousness and simplicity.

I originally went with the spellsword/arcane archer build so that I could hit him with debilitating spells in addition to weapon damage at any range, and a Swordbow seemed perfect for that combination.

However, I really like a lot of the alternate solutions proposed. Ur-Priest is just nauseatingly nasty, though if I go the mystic theurge route, I'm sure to get the "we meant you couldn't have total caster levels above 10 from any classes" complaint.

Is the original Sorcerer/Warblade/Spellsword/whatever too weak? I can easily see getting rid of the Arcane Archer levels, or maybe reducing Spellsword levels in favor of a couple levels of Jade Phoenix mage.

Schneekey - thanks for the reminder on that nauseatingly mean Ruby Knight Vindicator. Simple, clean and evil. I'll play around with builds and let you guys know what I settle on.

No caster level is above 10. You have 7th level casting Bard, 10th level casting Ur Priest, and 10th level casting Sublime Chord. All are different spellcaster progressions. No caster level is above 10. Not your fault that both Sublime Chord and Ur Priest have 9th level spells at caster level 10...

Yea, RKV is pretty evil. But if you want to 'bend the rules into oragami while technically following the letter of the law', the MT SC/UP is the only way to go

Heliomance
2008-11-11, 12:24 PM
Does that actually work? Both SC and UP run off a previous spellcasting class to determine caster level.

tyckspoon
2008-11-11, 12:25 PM
No caster level is above 10. You have 7th level casting Bard, 10th level casting Ur Priest, and 10th level casting Sublime Chord. All are different spellcaster progressions. No caster level is above 10. Not your fault that both Sublime Chord and Ur Priest have 9th level spells at caster level 10...


Sublime Chord stacks with Bard levels to determine its overall caster level, doesn't it?

OverdrivePrime
2008-11-11, 08:20 PM
Real quick question - I'm working on a RKV build now, and had been hoping to be chaotic alignment so as to grab the lovely Aura of Chaos stance.

Problem: RKV requirements state that you must worship Wee Jas, who is Lawful Neutral. No chaos for the Ruby Knight, it would seem. :smallfrown:

Yukitsu
2008-11-11, 08:29 PM
Arcane variant swordsage? Do they technically have caster levels, or do they just have the initiator level?

ShneekeyTheLost
2008-11-11, 09:53 PM
Real quick question - I'm working on a RKV build now, and had been hoping to be chaotic alignment so as to grab the lovely Aura of Chaos stance.

Problem: RKV requirements state that you must worship Wee Jas, who is Lawful Neutral. No chaos for the Ruby Knight, it would seem. :smallfrown:

Actually, ANY alignment can worship Wee Jas. Clerics are the only class that specifically state any alignment restrictions with regard to their diety. Crusaders have no such restriction, nor is there any alignment restriction on Ruby Knight Vindicator.

And in response to the UP/SC theurge, both classes have their own spell progression seperate from any other progression you might have. Now, SC requires bardic music, but does NOT stack with Bard for spellcasting. As such, you can Mystic Theurge Ur Priest/Sublime Chord, as each has their own seperate spellcasting tree.

Now, if Sublime Chord had "+1 Arcane spellcasting level", then it would NOT have been elligable, because it didn't have it's own unique spellcasting progression, it tacks itself onto Bard. However, since it has it's own clearly deleniated spellcasting, ending with 9th level spells at 10th caster level, it works perfectly.

OverdrivePrime
2008-11-11, 10:20 PM
Actually, ANY alignment can worship Wee Jas. Clerics are the only class that specifically state any alignment restrictions with regard to their diety. Crusaders have no such restriction, nor is there any alignment restriction on Ruby Knight Vindicator.

All very good. However, maybe I'm being particularly dense tonight, but I don't see an economical way to get Turn/Rebuke Undead without either being a Paladin (lawful good) or a Cleric. Clerics of Wee Jas can select their alignments from Lawful Good, Lawful and Lawful Evil.

Or... can I be a Cleric who worships Wee Jas without actually being a cleric of Wee Jas? :smallconfused:

Heliomance
2008-11-11, 10:21 PM
From Ur-Priest:

To determine the caster level of an ur-priest, add the characterís ur-priest levels to one-half of his levels in other spellcasting classes. (Any levels gained in the cleric class by an ex-cleric donít count.)

There is a similar clause in the Sublime Chord entry.

Douglas
2008-11-11, 10:25 PM
However, since it has it's own clearly deleniated spellcasting, ending with 9th level spells at 10th caster level, it works perfectly.
Except it doesn't.


A sublime chord's caster level for both her sublime chord spells and the spells she gains from other arcane spellcasting classes is determined by adding her sublime chord level to her level in another arcane spellcasting class.

Ur-Priest has its own somewhat different means of automatically getting additional caster level from other classes.

Regardless, it seems obvious to me that the intent of the rule is also to ban spells above 5th level, and any attempt to circumvent that I imagine will be very poorly received.

Kraggi
2008-11-11, 10:28 PM
I think you COULD be a Cleric who worships him without being a cleric of him. You could just be a Cleric who THINKS he gets his power from Wee-Jas but in fact gets his power from XYZ la dee da. I think.

Douglas
2008-11-11, 10:29 PM
All very good. However, maybe I'm being particularly dense tonight, but I don't see an economical way to get Turn/Rebuke Undead without either being a Paladin (lawful good) or a Cleric. Clerics of Wee Jas can select their alignments from Lawful Good, Lawful and Lawful Evil.

Or... can I be a Cleric who worships Wee Jas without actually being a cleric of Wee Jas? :smallconfused:
From the Lists of Stuff (http://boards1.wizards.com/showthread.php?t=662842) compilation:


Cleric 1
Paladin 4
Blackguard 3, ecl, command or rebuke only
Sacred Exorcist 1, ecl 8, Complete Divine, turn only
Ur-priest 2, ecl 7, Complete Divine, rebuke only
Divine Mind 4, Complete Divine, class variant (here)
Dread Necromancer 1, base class, Heroes of Horror, rebuke only
Death Delver 1, ecl 6, Heroes of Horror, rebuke only
Chameleon 3, ecl 8, Races of Destiny, see text
Master of Radiance 1, ecl 6, Libris Mortin, turn only - unclear whether you gain turning or if it only stacks
Tenebrous, vestige, ecl 7, Tome of Magic, unlimited use but see text
Knight of the Raven 3, ecl 7, Expedition to Castle Ravenloft
Apostle of Peace 1, ecl 8, Book of Exalted Deeds
Soldier of Light 1, ecl 6, Deities and Demigods
Deadgrim 1, ecl 6, Magic of Eberron - unclear whethero you gain turning or if it only stacks

JeminiZero
2008-11-11, 10:42 PM
You could try and circumvent the rules by having 0 caster level, but pack 20 or so manifester levels.

OverdrivePrime
2008-11-13, 11:22 PM
Alright, I decided to go with the spirit of the rules and still be a bad enough dude to rescue the president, so I went Cleric 4/Crusader 8/Ruby Knight Vindicator 8.

Here's my character, Adonis Stroheim - Knight of Wee Jas and all around jerk. (http://www.myth-weavers.com/sheets/view.php?id=91547) Certainly not min-maxed to death, but definitely rude.

My opponent and I started out on a very large map, with a hill, ruined walls, trees and plenty of other visual obstructions.

On round 2, still unable to see my enemy, I decided to cast Sheltered Vitality on myself, which wound up being my saving grace.

As it turned out, my opponent was the ghost of a nymph monk (???!), with an armor class of 67.

We were playing the duel strictly on observations, and so it took my character a while to figure out that he was fighting a ghost (who kept trying to drain his strength - and failing, thanks Sheltered Vitality!), but once he figured that out, he was able to rebuke the ghost for ten rounds and then buff up enough manage to land the two hits necessary to send that pretty lil' ghost back to the netherworld.

Lemur
2008-11-13, 11:46 PM
A nymph ghost? Was he (for that matter, were you) aware that a ghost's Cha to AC and a nymph's Cha to AC won't stack? They both grant deflection bonuses, so even though they're from different sources, you can't benefit from both. Granted, I didn't see the character sheet, but I can't help but think that his AC wasn't entirely legit.

Good to know that it still worked out for you even without twisting the rules. Although looking at the way your friend operates, I wouldn't feel guilty about doing it the next time around. :smallwink:

OverdrivePrime
2008-11-13, 11:49 PM
Ah, I didn't even think to question that.

He had a charisma up above 40 and a wisdom in the 30s, so I figured anything was possible.