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    Default [3.5] The Lightning Thief: Epic Sleight of Hand Abuse

    A month or so ago, someone posted about one of the epic uses for Sleight of Hand that allowed someone to move an object or creature 10' (unfortunately, I can't find the thread at the moment). Normally the DC for this is a standard action is 80, but Sleight of Hand allows you to make a check as a free action by taking -20 on the roll (effectively raising the DC +20).

    A couple weeks ago, I happened to be paging through the City of Stormreach and ran across some new feats that I hadn't noticed before:

    Wand Bonding: Only available to Warforged that can cast arcane spells or infusions spontaneously, but by picking up a wand, allows you to expend one of your spell slots to cast the spell in the wand without expending any of the wand's charges. By carrying a bunch of wands, this would allow a Warforged sorcerer to get around his rather limited number of known spells, similar to Knowstones.

    There were also two ACFs for Warforged monks: Harmonious Form (replaces purity of body, meditate 8 hours to recover twice your character level in HPs) and Shifting Steel (replaces Diamond Body, allows your unarmed strike to do slashing or piercing damage, similar to Versatile Unarmed Strike).

    Criminal Background: adds Bluff, Open Lock, and Sleight of Hand as class skills, but can only be taken at 1st level. I'm not quite sure how this might come in handy or what PrCs it could help you qualify for, but any feat that adds class skills is probably useful somewhere.

    Hardened Criminal: requires Iron Will, but Iron Will is such a common prerequisite for several PrCs (ok, mostly Incantatrix), this feat seems almost like an apology for having to take such a mediocre feat. There's also the Otyugh Hole to pick up Iron Will for 3000 GP. It makes you immune to Intimidate, but I've yet to run into a situation where making an attack roll isn't completely superior to an Intimidate check (and yes, I know there's an exception if you've got an Imperious Command/Demoralize build). That's not the best part, though. When you take this feat, you also pick one of your skills and can now take 10 on any checks with it even under conditions when taking 10 would be impossible. So, yeah, not only can you now get a special rogue ability at first level, but three words: USE MAGIC DEVICE.

    Master Pickpocket: The third feat offers up some love for a skill that doesn't get a lot of attention, Sleight of Hand. First, it allows you to steal an object from an opponent in combat as a standard action, which I think is a bit redundant since you could do that without the feat. Second, you get a +4 bous on Sleight of Hand checks when grappling. And third, when you make a Sleight of Hand check as a free action, you take a -10 penalty rather than a -20 penalty. With this feat, the DC to move an object or creature 10' becomes a DC 90. So here's a build that optimizes Sleight of Hand, creates a duplicate to grapple with, and can then trade off Sleight of Hand checks to move anywhere in the world as a series of free actions.

    Nitpicky rules-discrepancy-stuff:
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    Note: There appears to be a discrepancy between the Rules Compendium and the PHB with regards to using Sleight of Hand as a free action. The PBH states: "You may perform a Sleight of Hand check as a free action by taking a -20 penalty on the check." The Rules Compendium does not include this text, but has a table that lists "Make check as move action" with a -20 modifier. I'm not sure if this is a case where "text trumps table", because there is no text in the Rules Compendium that contradicts the PHB. There's also the issue that the core books take precedence over any supplements because they are primary sources, but the Rules Compendium states in the Introduction: "When a preexisting core book or supplement differs with the rules herein, Rules Compendium is meant to take precedence." Anyway, the upshot is if the table in the Rules Compendium means you are no longer able to make a Sleight of Hand check as a free action, then all the work I put into this build was pretty much wasted.




    The Lightning Thief, AKA Air Goblin Express
    Magic-Blooded Dragonborn Air Goblin (Str -2, Dex +2, Wis -2, Cha +2)
    Ability Scores (28 point-buy): Str 6, Dex 18, Con 14, Int 14, Wis 6, Cha 16
    With ability increases/magic items: Str 6, Dex 28, Con 15, Int 20, Wis 6, Cha 22

    1) Factotum 1. Feat: Deft Hands.
    2) Incarnate 1.
    3) Incarnate 2. Feat: Skill Focus: Sleight of Hand.
    4) Factotum 2. Con 15.
    5) Factotum 3. Brains Over Brawn.
    6) Incarnate 3. Feat: Master Pickpocket.
    7) Incarnate 4.
    8) Marshal 1. Dex 19.
    9) Marshal 2. Feat: Planar Touchstone: Nobility Domain.
    10) Cleric 1. Deity: Aasterinian, Charm Domain, Trickery Devotion.
    11) Exemplar 1.
    12) Sorcerer 1. Huitzil Familiar. Feat: Divine Soultouch. Dex 20.
    13) Soulborn 1.
    14) Soulborn 2.
    15) Soulborn 3. Feat: Bonus Essentia. Bonus Feat: Expanded Soulmeld Capacity.

    Manual of Quickness of Action +2, 55000 GP.
    Gloves of Dexterity +6, 36000 GP.
    Headband of Intellect +6, 36000 GP.
    Cloak of Charisma +6, 36000 GP.
    Magic item +10 competence bonus, 10000 GP.
    Planar Touchstone, 250 GP.
    Dragonborn Ritual, 100 GP.

    Total: 173350 GP (15th level WBL = 200000 GP)

    Code:
    Take 10 (Exemplar):                             10
    Skill Ranks:                                   +18
    Theft Gloves soulmeld (6 essentia)             +14
    Wondrous Item +10 competence bonus:            +10
    Dex bonus:                                      +9
    Cha bonus (Motivate Dexterity aura):            +6
    Int bonus (Brains Over Brawn):                  +5
    Grapple Bonus (Master Pickpocket)               +4
    Huitzil Familiar:                               +3
    Skill Focus:                                    +3
    Deft Hands                                      +2
    Bluff Synergy                                   +2
    Charm Domain (+4 Cha)                           +2
    Nobility Domain (morale bonus)                  +2
    
    Total:                                          90
    1) As a standard action, give a rousing speech to yourself and activate the Nobility domain, and if necessary the Motivate Dexterity aura as a swift action.
    2) Next round as a standard action, activate your duplicate with the Trickery devotion. Activate the Charm domain as a free action, Divine Soultouch as a free action, and redistribute your essentia into your Theft Gloves as a swift action. Direct your duplicate to grapple you, and let the touch attack and grapple check succeed.
    3) As a free action, make a Sleight of Hand check DC 90 to place your duplicate in an adjacent square 5' away.
    4) Duplicate repeats, placing you in an adjacent square 10' away.
    5) Rinse and repeat.
    6) Profit! (And I do mean profit, since you can as a free action steal, strip, or relocate any object or creature in the world that is in any open contiguous square, isn't being held or worn, isn't behind closed doors, isn't nailed down, or isn't larger than a goblin.)

    Stuff I didn't use: Shadowcaster fundamental mystery, Sight Obscured (ToM, +5 circumstance), Masterwork Tool (PHB, +2 circumstance), Finger Blades (A&EG, +1 circumstance).

    The same basic build could probably be used for a variety of other skills by picking a different soulmeld, but I haven't looked into the possibilities yet.

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    Default Re: [3.5] The Lightning Thief: Epic Sleight of Hand Abuse

    Wow, I've always considered using sleight of hand in more interesting ways, but you sir have taken it so much further than I imagined. Regardless of whether this works mechanically, which I'll leave to somebody else to work out, it is epic win.

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    Default Re: [3.5] The Lightning Thief: Epic Sleight of Hand Abuse

    This appears to work. Haven't checked out everything, but what I did looks good.

    Wand Bonding strikes me as awesome, and Im going to go meander off to think of horribly broken ways to use it.
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    Default Re: [3.5] The Lightning Thief: Epic Sleight of Hand Abuse

    I feel compelled to recommend reading The Hitch-hiker, a short story by Roald Dahl.
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    Default Re: [3.5] The Lightning Thief: Epic Sleight of Hand Abuse

    Quote Originally Posted by Darrin View Post
    Criminal Background: adds Bluff, Open Lock, and Sleight of Hand as class skills, but can only be taken at 1st level. I'm not quite sure how this might come in handy or what PrCs it could help you qualify for, but any feat that adds class skills is probably useful somewhere.
    It most certainly is. I've looked for something that adds Bluff as a class skill for quite a while. And yes, it is for a PrC entry. Specifically, Ur-Priest.
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    Default Re: [3.5] The Lightning Thief: Epic Sleight of Hand Abuse

    Wow.

    It seems like this skill...got a little out of hand.
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    Default Re: [3.5] The Lightning Thief: Epic Sleight of Hand Abuse

    Quote Originally Posted by Haven View Post
    Wow.

    It seems like this skill...got a little out of hand.
    *Casts Bestow Curse*


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    Default Re: [3.5] The Lightning Thief: Epic Sleight of Hand Abuse

    Man, this guy could almost steal his own pants and not notice!

    Apparently it's a DC of 120, or something like that. So my friends say...
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    Default Re: [3.5] The Lightning Thief: Epic Sleight of Hand Abuse

    Quote Originally Posted by magic9mushroom View Post
    It most certainly is. I've looked for something that adds Bluff as a class skill for quite a while. And yes, it is for a PrC entry. Specifically, Ur-Priest.
    This should help.
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    Default Re: [3.5] The Lightning Thief: Epic Sleight of Hand Abuse

    Quote Originally Posted by Haven View Post
    Wow.

    It seems like this skill...got a little out of hand.
    Just for you...

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    biggrin Re: [3.5] The Lightning Thief: Epic Sleight of Hand Abuse

    Haha

    Awesome.

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    Default Re: [3.5] The Lightning Thief: Epic Sleight of Hand Abuse

    I was expecting pickpocketing clouds to obtain a lightning bolt that could then be thrown. But this is all right too I suppose.
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    Default Re: [3.5] The Lightning Thief: Epic Sleight of Hand Abuse

    Quote Originally Posted by Haven View Post
    Wow.

    It seems like this skill...got a little out of hand.
    Only sleightly.

    *rimshot*

    Quote Originally Posted by cnsvnc View Post
    I was expecting pickpocketing clouds to obtain a lightning bolt that could then be thrown. But this is all right too I suppose.
    I was having trouble coming up with a catchy name. Not really familiar with the book or series, but from what I've heard it sounds pretty good. I don't think it has anything to do with goblins stealing their own pants (which would still be a DC 90, I think).

    It may be possible to pull this off without the Trickery Devotion, but I was having trouble getting the Huitzil familiar any feats... it might work with a 20-level build rather than a 15. A psicrystal might work better, since they get HD and feats. A Dvati pair would also be pretty nifty.

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    Default Re: [3.5] The Lightning Thief: Epic Sleight of Hand Abuse

    Quote Originally Posted by DarknessLord View Post
    Just for you...
    [xIMG]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v180/Shadowone/SoH.png[/IMG]
    :3 Wonderful.
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    Default Re: [3.5] The Lightning Thief: Epic Sleight of Hand Abuse

    So you made the commoner railgun.

    Without commoners and without the ammunition.

    Nice work! also "The Lightning Thief, AKA Air Goblin Express" I lol'ed.

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    Default Re: [3.5] The Lightning Thief: Epic Sleight of Hand Abuse

    Well done sir.

    I think Sleight of Hand is very underused. There's really no reason not to walk up to someone and rob every unattended object (spell component pouch, holy symbol, quiver, potions, magic necklace, etc) off of them as a free action. My group limits Sleight of Hand to one such free action per turn, but even then it's ridiculously useful.

    I'd also point attention to the spell Improvisation (Bard 1, Spell Comp pg 121) which gives you a pool of points equal to twice your caster level, which you can then use on any check as a luck bonus (though no single check can receive more then 1/2 your caster level as a bonus). Although it's not useful for this build/trick because it's not "always on", if someone simply wanted to play something like a Duskling Bard 10-15ish they should be able to hit DC 40 that they need to pick pocket as a free action.

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    Default Re: [3.5] The Lightning Thief: Epic Sleight of Hand Abuse

    Quote Originally Posted by Darrin View Post
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    There's also the issue that the core books take precedence over any supplements because they are primary sources, but the Rules Compendium states in the Introduction: "When a preexisting core book or supplement differs with the rules herein, Rules Compendium is meant to take precedence."
    Err, no. While the primary source rule is used to sort out contradiction rules between books, it's not Core > Everything else. It's Setting Book > Book Focus > Everything else. For example Lords of Madness, which focuses on abberations and mind flayers is the primary source for abberations and mind flayers and any book that conflicts with anything written with LoM is wrong unless it's setting specific (This continues with the other Monster books like the Dragonomicon and Races of Dragons, and the Magic Item Compendium). The Rules Compendium, which focuses on rules trumps all other sources of rules that it covers (just as the MiC does with the custom magic item generation).

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    Default Re: [3.5] The Lightning Thief: Epic Sleight of Hand Abuse

    Quote Originally Posted by Person_Man View Post
    I'd also point attention to the spell Improvisation (Bard 1, Spell Comp pg 121) which gives you a pool of points equal to twice your caster level, which you can then use on any check as a luck bonus (though no single check can receive more then 1/2 your caster level as a bonus). Although it's not useful for this build/trick because it's not "always on", if someone simply wanted to play something like a Duskling Bard 10-15ish they should be able to hit DC 40 that they need to pick pocket as a free action.
    Guidance of the Avatar trumps Improvisation, although the +20 competence tends to overlap with most item-based bonuses. Divine Insight can usually be stacked with either, although when you're dealing with soulmelds most of them provide an insight bonus. But I needed something that could be used repeatedly in a round. Most of the skill-bonus spells discharge after one use.

    I was playing around with switching the soulmeld to something else to focus on a different skill, and Acrobat Boots looks pretty promising for Escape Artist. Using Guidance of the Avatar and a few +5/+10 circumstance bonus items, I think I can get a similar build up to DC 120, which allows you to escape through a wall of force.

    I tried tumble, got it up to the 86ish range... DC 100 allows you to completely negate fall damage from any height.

    I was also tinkering around with UMD, which is much harder to find bonuses for, but as far as I can tell, you rarely ever have a UMD DC higher than 37ish (9th level scroll = 20 + caster level 17).

    Quote Originally Posted by Zeful View Post
    The Rules Compendium, which focuses on rules trumps all other sources of rules that it covers (just as the MiC does with the custom magic item generation).
    I don't really see how sourcebook vs. rulesbook really enters into it. From what I can see, I've got a table in the Rules Compendium that may contradict the text in Core. Other than that table entry, there is no text in the Rules Compendium that contradicts or even mentions the "free action" option. While I would normally be quite happy to say, "Text Trumps Table, just assume the table is wrong", I don't recall running across an instance where the table contradicts something in a completely different book. Usually it's the table contradicting something in the same book.

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    Default Re: [3.5] The Lightning Thief: Epic Sleight of Hand Abuse

    Quote Originally Posted by Zeful View Post
    Err, no. While the primary source rule is used to sort out contradiction rules between books, it's not Core > Everything else. It's Setting Book > Book Focus > Everything else. For example Lords of Madness, which focuses on abberations and mind flayers is the primary source for abberations and mind flayers and any book that conflicts with anything written with LoM is wrong unless it's setting specific (This continues with the other Monster books like the Dragonomicon and Races of Dragons, and the Magic Item Compendium). The Rules Compendium, which focuses on rules trumps all other sources of rules that it covers (just as the MiC does with the custom magic item generation).
    Er, no. It's Setting > Specific > General. This means that you have a collection of books, and out of those books, whichever is the more specific/focused one trumps, with setting always on top. If an existing book is absent from your usage, it does not trump core. However, if you have a book, then if there are discrepancies between it and core, it trumps core on the matters in which it is focused, but not the others.
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    Default Re: [3.5] The Lightning Thief: Epic Sleight of Hand Abuse

    Isn't that what I said.

    And I omitted the obvious "only applies with use" because, well, it's obvious and this is a theoretical build rather than something for a table so I assume useage of all relevant, non-setting books (i.e. I'm not bringing up FR material in a discussion on Ebberon).

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    Default Re: [3.5] The Lightning Thief: Epic Sleight of Hand Abuse

    Quote Originally Posted by Darrin View Post
    2) Next round as a standard action, activate your duplicate with the Trickery devotion. Activate the Charm domain as a free action, Divine Soultouch as a free action, and redistribute your essentia into your Theft Gloves as a swift action. Direct your duplicate to grapple you, and let the touch attack and grapple check succeed.
    The bolded part isn't actually permitted under the D&D rules. You can only auto-fail saving throws, not attacks or grapples.

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    Default Re: [3.5] The Lightning Thief: Epic Sleight of Hand Abuse

    ECL 15? The Wizard casts Greater Teleport while you buff and asks what took you.

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    Default Re: [3.5] The Lightning Thief: Epic Sleight of Hand Abuse

    Quote Originally Posted by deuxhero View Post
    ECL 15? The Wizard casts Greater Teleport while you buff and asks what took you.
    I steal the wizard, too.

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    Default Re: [3.5] The Lightning Thief: Epic Sleight of Hand Abuse

    Quote Originally Posted by deuxhero View Post
    ECL 15? The Wizard casts Greater Teleport while you buff and asks what took you.
    Then you point out that his pants are missing as you shove them in your Bag of Holding you grabbed on the way.
    Quote Originally Posted by faceroll View Post
    I steal the wizard, too.
    Or you do this.
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    Default Re: [3.5] The Lightning Thief: Epic Sleight of Hand Abuse

    Quote Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
    The bolded part isn't actually permitted under the D&D rules. You can only auto-fail saving throws, not attacks or grapples.
    Thanks for the catch, but I don't see any rational reason why you couldn't decide to let an attack or grapple check automatically succeed: Just tell the DM, "I'm not resisting." Can a PC voluntarily become helpless, or does he need to be placed in that condition by some external agency?

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    Default Re: [3.5] The Lightning Thief: Epic Sleight of Hand Abuse

    Is that ability limited to things small enough to carry?

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    Default Re: [3.5] The Lightning Thief: Epic Sleight of Hand Abuse

    Quote Originally Posted by Darrin View Post
    Thanks for the catch, but I don't see any rational reason why you couldn't decide to let an attack or grapple check automatically succeed: Just tell the DM, "I'm not resisting." Can a PC voluntarily become helpless, or does he need to be placed in that condition by some external agency?
    Rationality isn't a game design goal, as D&D isn't a simulation. It's a game that promotes heroic deeds. As such, options for failure just weren't on the designers' minds.

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    Default Re: [3.5] The Lightning Thief: Epic Sleight of Hand Abuse

    I think people should be allowed to sabotage themselves. It only makes sense. (most players do without trying... mwhahahahahha!)
    Last edited by Aemoh87; 2011-02-04 at 11:54 AM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] The Lightning Thief: Epic Sleight of Hand Abuse

    Quote Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
    The bolded part isn't actually permitted under the D&D rules. You can only auto-fail saving throws, not attacks or grapples.
    Quote Originally Posted by Darrin View Post
    Thanks for the catch, but I don't see any rational reason why you couldn't decide to let an attack or grapple check automatically succeed: Just tell the DM, "I'm not resisting." Can a PC voluntarily become helpless, or does he need to be placed in that condition by some external agency?
    Quote Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
    Rationality isn't a game design goal, as D&D isn't a simulation. It's a game that promotes heroic deeds. As such, options for failure just weren't on the designers' minds.
    Quote Originally Posted by Aemoh87 View Post
    I think people should be allowed to sabotage themselves. It only makes sense. (most players do without trying... mwhahahahahha!)
    I think the closest you can do in this instance is forgo your Dex to AC, and any dodge bonuses you have. I remember a rule somewhere that you can voluntarily forgo your Dex bonus and dodge bonus to AC if you want. I believe it was originally in a section detailing "taking the hit" for someone else (acting as soft cover).

    EDIT: It seems that's actually a variant rule. DMG pg24: Striking the Cover sidebar. The last sentence has the clause about choosing not to apply Dex and dodge bonuses to AC. It's not quite official, but it's a precedent, at least.
    Last edited by Ionizer; 2011-02-04 at 12:57 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] The Lightning Thief: Epic Sleight of Hand Abuse

    Quote Originally Posted by deuxhero View Post
    ECL 15? The Wizard casts Greater Teleport while you buff and asks what took you.
    However, once you've finished buffing, you can beat him. He takes a standard action to teleport, you take a free.

    Also, I would note that skill items go up to +30 pre-epic.
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