# Thread: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge VII

1. ## Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge VII

It's alive! It's ALIIIIIIIIIVE!
Originally Posted by Julius Mordenstein
Dr. Julius Mordenstein, "the Monster of Morden Hill"

A water-soaked letter written in an elegant hand:

My dearest Julia,

I write to you with a heavy heart, for all of our fears were true. Your uncle, your namesake, has passed beyond all mortal help. Julius Mordenstein, my brother, is no longer. In the cell across from me paces a monster with his face. Oh, to describe its features in all their horror would drive a man mad! His flesh is sallow and gray, like the corpses that he dug up from the graveyards at night. Yet even now in darkest night, his hair glows a strange green light, and veins of silver and green trace around his blood body where once blood pumped. His left arm is gone, replaced by a black, metallic claw, and his left hand is that of a strange beast. I remember my brother being of slight build, not the hulking monstrosity that paces endlessly before me. Only his eyes remain the same, yet those soft brown eyes have turned dark with hate and murder.

What could have driven such a good man to such an evil fate? For I remember when we were school-boys, it seemed certain that while I was destined to lead the family business, Julius would enter the clergy. And when my parents sent him to the church of Pelor, the first reports from the abbey were ecstatic. No initiate had ever mastered the secrets of holding the dead at bay as fast as my brother, by all accounts. It seemed his future was to be as bright as mine.

We lost touch over the years. I knew he married, and then later that his wife, Mary, had died in a tragic accident. Perhaps it was her death that pushed him over the edge, or perhaps it was years of abuse within the church of Pelor, which only now have begun to come to light.

I heard most often from Julius when he requested cash for his "work" for the church. Dear Julia, you know I am a pious and filial man, and so of course I supported him. If only I knew the experiments he had been carrying out! The locals have shown me his labratory: the dead bodies (some freshly killed!), the hacksaw and chains he used to secure himself for his self-inflicted experimentations, the entire estate filled with that same glowing green dust.

Yet worst of all was the horror I glimpsed for only a moment, and even now I wonder if perhaps my nerves were playing tricks on me. I thought I glimpsed for a moment the severed head of his wife, Mary! Yet her head was animate, her eyes glowing green with infernal hate. The head flew at me, screaming in fury, and I ducked aside in terror. When I looked up, she was gone. Yes, now I'm sure it was merely a figment of my imagination.

I hear him calling to me again. He claims it is too hot in here, yet it is dead winter! Still, he is my brother. I heard bats outside earlier, scrabbling at the windows, but they seem to have left by now. I will go and open the windows. He is to be hanged tomorrow. Pelor watch over us all.

With everlasting love,

A second letter, written in a messy scrawl:

Julia,

Your "evil" uncle Julius is dead. His last wish was for me to see to his experiments affairs. I will remain here for some time. Do not send anyone to disturb me! I will contact you when I have finished my his work.

Regards,

Dr. Julius Mordenstein, "the Monster of Morden Hill"

CL 15, Effective CL 19. 12d6/8d8 HD, BAB +12

Stats 32 PB:
Str: 14
Dex: 12
Con: 16
Int : 10
Wis : 8
Cha : 16

Final stats: (With +5 tome of charisma and +6 belt of magnificence)

Str: 24
Dex: 15
Con: 22
Int : 16
Wis : 14
Cha : 32
Boosting Cha at each level

Skills: Full ranks in Knowledge (Arcana) and Intimidate, otherwise all required ranks in skills. Should have no problems with entry requirements.

Feats:
1: Skill Mastery (Heal)
3 : Tomb-tainted Soul
6 : Combat Casting
9 : Imperious Command
12 : Maximize Spell
15 : Graft Flesh
18 : Mastery of Day and Night

20th level Spotlight: CE Human Dread Necromancer 8/Green Star Adept 8/Flesh Grafter 4

What does he do:
I wanted to make a character who was a melee mage. Not a "gish" that buffed himself and then hit things with a sword, but rather a caster who would cast spells in the thick of melee. Green Star Adept's abilities are nearly all defensive in nature, so I took advantage of all the defenses that if offers. With a character obsessed with constructs and undeath, fleshwarper seemed a great way to mix the two together (yuck!!), especially since it strengthened the undead familiar at the same time.

Mordenstein ("Mord") is a caster who runs into melee and casts AOE negative energy spells each round, along with a constant trio of fear/paralyze auras, a zombie army, and a deadly familiar. His resistances and DR from Green Star Adept, Dread Necro, and grafts all reduce the damage and effects he is vulnerable to, while each round he heals himself and his undead allies while hurting enemies.

Specific tactics and abilities:
Spoiler

Defenses: (Or how to run into melee and not die!)
+8 bonus on saving throws against poison, sleep effects, paralysis, stunning, disease, and +6 against death effects and necromancy effects.
Immunity to inhaled poisons, drowning, sleep effects
DR 8/adamantine, DR 10/magic, and DR 4/Magic and Bludgeoning
Bonus hit points from Vampiric Touch or False Life.
50% fortification from GSA
Perpetual Mind Blank from his ghostly visage familiar.
+4 Natural Armor from GSA, and +2 armor from Fleshwarper
Cloak grants 20% miss chance

Fear and intimidate tactics:
Simply by casting a spell, he triggers a fear aura from dreadful wrath (DC 31 or shaken within 20ft). He has a second close-range fear aura from dread necromancer (DC 25 or shaken, as a free action!), and a third (DC 13 or paralyzed) aura from his ghostly visage companion. He can intimidate as a move action with his armor, which sends opponents within 10ft straight to cowering for 1 round with imperious command and the Never Outnumbered skill trick.

These are all free or move or non-actions, leaving him free to cast spells with standard and swift actions. In addition, he has some high-level fear spells, namely Eyebite and Fear.

AOE damage tactics:
Mordenstein relies mostly on Mass Inflict Serious Wounds, auto-maximized and with a rod of greater empower spell, to deal about 60-100 damage a round to ~20 opponents, targeting himself, his familiar, and his undead to heal them at the same time. With tomb-tainted soul, negative energy heals him, so he can sustain himself in the middle of a melee by simply continuing to cast negative energy spells - which with mastery of day and night are auto-maximized. Other AOE spells include Waves of Exhaustion, Evard's Black Tentacles, Circle of Death, Cloudkill, Insect Plague, and Acid Fog.

Single target fights:
Mordenstein has top picks such as Destruction (DC 30 save or die), Harm, Greater Harm, Finger of Death, etc.

Familiar:
His "familiar" is a ghostly visage (the returned soul of his wife, Mary). Since they can share spells, he typically uses her as an additional target for touch and personal spell picks like Vampiric Touch or Eyebite. She can "hold" a touch spell as well, usable as an emergency healing spell for Mord in combat or as an attack. She also manifests a 5-ft tentacle thanks to fleshgrafter, giving her the reach to make attacks while remaining with Mord.

Mob tactics:
Mord can control 4+Cha x CL worth of undead HD. Assuming a CL of 19, that's about 124 HD of undead. Each has +4 Str/Con and +4 HD/level. He also has Planar Binding to summon powerful outsiders, which make excellent zombies when they don't want to cooperate. Frankly, mob tactics are something that will break any character with a little effort, so there isn't much point to optimizing them in my opinion.

Possession:
Finally, it's worth pointing out that Mord can possess creatures with Magic Jar. With proper care he can therefore possess an outsider summoned with planar binding or an opponent, avoiding many of the risks of fighting.

Equipment:
Spoiler

Belt of Magnificence +6 (200k), Tome of Leadership +4 (110k), Cloak of Displacement, Minor (20k), Vest of Resistance (25k), +5 Dreadful Mithril Breastplate (~35k), Lesser Ring of Desecration (4.4K), Ring of Anticipation (6K), Angel Wings graft (8K), Battlefist graft (6K?), Rod of Greater Empower (121k), Rod of Extend (11K), Rod of Quicken (75k), ~100k left over for more grafts, undead creation, and minor items, especially since you get a free graft pool from fleshwarper.

Style:
If anyone chooses to play as Mordenstein, remember that you are a horrific amalgation of scavenged body parts, half-undead and half-construct, yet still are a human on the inside. You radiate auras of terror, your wife is a symbiotic undead fiend on your face with tentacles, you have 120+ HD of undead backing you up, you have DR and immunities up the wazoo, you no longer need to eat, sleep, or breathe (GSA...), and you shoot balls of death that hurt people and heal you...just for starters. Play it up for everything it's worth.