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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Optimizing a Whale. [D&D 3.5]

    I don't have to worry about my players looking here, so since my opti-fu is weak I'm going to ask for some advice here on stating out my BBEG. This is part 1 of my set of questions, but since it is the most interesting (and I don't yet know what I want to do with my other questions, I'm going to start here).

    I have access to a large amount of source books, but not a lot of experience. The list of books I'm willing to use with this:
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    All Core
    Spell Compendium
    DracoNOMicon
    Complete Arcane

    It can be expanded as we go, but I think these will do for now.

    This particular BBEG (one of a few, they are in league) is the older half brother of one of the PCs. The PC is a Half-Blue/Half-Bronze Dragon (Blue template over Bronze base). The BBEG is a Half-Blue Dragon/Half-Baleen Whale.

    Yes, you read that right.

    This Dragon Whale has also taken seven levels of Sorcerer (Or maybe 6 levels of Sorcerer and a PrC, depends on what you guys say. The number of levels and unprepared casting are the important parts, really, not the class). He has a +2 Cloak of Charisma in a world where magic items are EXTREMELY difficult to get. He's quite intelligent for a whale (above human average), and quite charismatic (also over human average), but lacks wisdom.

    He is ridden/accompanied by a level 9 Mermaid druid. The Druid I know how to do effectively, and she's going to be fun.

    The whale on the other hand is a giant pile of lol. I've never tried playing a spontaneous caster effectively before, let alone one that is a whale, but it fits here. I need suggestions on his spell list and the feats and a possible PrC he'll be using.

    Note: He doesn't smack PCs down all day. I'd like to have his spell list reflect that he's generally more concerned with threats in the sea than he is on the land, but that he has spells that can deal with many situations effectively.

    Note 2: I've rule 0'ed anything that would prevent him from casting spells naturally. Somatic and verbal components of his spells are all whale-adapted.

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    Lycanthromancer's Avatar

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    Default Re: Optimizing a Whale. [D&D 3.5]

    Actually, you might want to try having him as a psion (any kind, really) or a wilder with the Educated variant. Both make better "spontaneous casters" than sorcerers do, especially for something with no hands and (possibly) no ability to speak. Both are in the SRD (or the Expanded Psionics Handbook, if you've got it).

    Basically, it's very close to arcane spellcasting, but you use power points (like MP from Final Fantasy games) instead of slots, and can pour more points into your 'spells' to deal more damage or get bigger effects.

    Check it out; it's easier on a lot of levels than spell slots, and feels more 'natural' as well.
    Last edited by Lycanthromancer; 2010-05-03 at 10:39 PM.

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    Default Re: Optimizing a Whale. [D&D 3.5]

    I am terrible mechanically as well so I am no help, but.

    This is the most amazing BBEG concept I have ever heard of.

    Half-dragon whale spontaneous caster with a mermaid druid companion? GENIUS.

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    Default Re: Optimizing a Whale. [D&D 3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Lycanthromancer View Post
    Actually, you might want to try having him as a psion (any kind, really) or a wilder with the Educated variant. Both make better "spontaneous casters" than sorcerers do, especially for something with no hands and (possibly) no ability to speak. Both are in the SRD (or the Expanded Psionics Handbook, if you've got it).

    Basically, it's very close to arcane spellcasting, but you use power points (like MP from Final Fantasy games) instead of slots, and can pour more points into your 'spells' to deal more damage or get bigger effects.

    Check it out; it's easier on a lot of levels than spell slots, and feels more 'natural' as well.
    I may use that and reflavour it as magic since mental powers don't exist in this particular setting.

    I do want to point out that I like the idea of magic words not being restricted to human language. Though you do have me on the hands part.

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    Default Re: Optimizing a Whale. [D&D 3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Willfor View Post
    I may use that and reflavour it as magic since mental powers don't exist in this particular setting.

    I do want to point out that I like the idea of magic words not being restricted to human language. Though you do have me on the hands part.
    'Psionics' is just tapping into the core of magic within yourself, whereas the mumbo-jumbo dancing, gibbering, and flinging around esoteric material components is like trying to paint-by-numbers when the guy next to you is rendering works from Picasso by memory alone.

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    Default Re: Optimizing a Whale. [D&D 3.5]

    Something about a psychic whale just makes sense.

    I approve of this, though the idea of a dragon getting jiggy with a whale offends my knowledge of husbandry. Can't he be Half-Farspawn or something instead?
    GMs 3.5, cWoD, Rogue Trader, Monsterhearts, The Pool, and Fudge. Narrativist, wacky builder, and dancer.

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    Default Re: Optimizing a Whale. [D&D 3.5]

    The psychic whale thing was already done by Leviathan, that's probably why it feels right.
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    Default Re: Optimizing a Whale. [D&D 3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by gdiddy View Post
    I approve of this, though the idea of a dragon getting jiggy with a whale offends my knowledge of husbandry. Can't he be Half-Farspawn or something instead?
    If it makes you feel any better, at least it's not a half-dragon ooze. Which is entirely possible by the rules, and if you think about it too much it gives you the mental image of a dragon effectively mating with self-warming massage oil [Do not try this in a campaign. It's a dragon and can do things you can't.]
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    Default Re: Optimizing a Whale. [D&D 3.5]

    I think you should graft on a unicorn horn and make it an epic narwhal. a half dragon, psionic, narwhal.

    <insert narwhal song here>
    *note: not all advice by this poster is meant to be taken seriously.

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    Default Re: Optimizing a Whale. [D&D 3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by gdiddy View Post
    Something about a psychic whale just makes sense.

    I approve of this, though the idea of a dragon getting jiggy with a whale offends my knowledge of husbandry. Can't he be Half-Farspawn or something instead?
    The dragon COULD have shapeshifted. Or the whale. Perhaps Mr. Half-baleen got his magical prowess from the Whale side of the family.
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    Default Re: Optimizing a Whale. [D&D 3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Vorpalbob View Post
    The dragon COULD have shapeshifted. Or the whale. Perhaps Mr. Half-baleen got his magical prowess from the Whale side of the family.
    Polymorph: Breaking people's brains since it became a spell.

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    Default Re: Optimizing a Whale. [D&D 3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Lycanthromancer View Post
    Both make better "spontaneous casters" than sorcerers do, especially for something with no hands and (possibly) no ability to speak. Both are in the SRD (or the Expanded Psionics Handbook, if you've got it).
    Actually, if the OP applies the half dragon template, than the whale automatically gains a pair of claws (where do they spring out from? who knows...) Which might be an acceptable alternative to hands as far as somatic components go.
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    Default Re: Optimizing a Whale. [D&D 3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Lycanthromancer View Post
    'Psionics' is just tapping into the core of magic within yourself, whereas the mumbo-jumbo dancing, gibbering, and flinging around esoteric material components is like trying to paint-by-numbers when the guy next to you is rendering works from Picasso by memory alone.
    Sa-sa-sa-sigged.

    Anyway, low-level Dragon-Whale-related sorceries. The real trick here would be to figure out what the life of a super-intelligent whale would be like, and tailor its spells to supplement its needs. I can't imagine precisely what it must be like to be a whale, but for simple starters, they have no hands. Therefore, interacting with their surroundings in a way other than by eating or crashing into them is critical. Mage Hand is thus obvious.

    Your Dragon-Whale is too low-level to benefit from Telekinesis, but Summon Monster 1 gives a few rounds of Fiendish Octopus, 2 allows a Fiendish Squid and Shark (Medium). The first two allow your Whale to summon minor reinforcements and interact with tools, a Summon Monster 3 would give 1d3 Fiendish Sharks to tear up foes. Couple that with a Haste spell, Augment Summoning and some fun debuffs (Glitterdust will still blind enemies even underwater) and your Whale would be able to populate a battlefield with dealers of death while remaining in relative safety.

    Whales themselves are beefy critters, fully capable of dishing out some hurt, especially when buffed by the Half-Dragon template. Really, I'd play this BBEG as the sort who summons a line of reinforcements, buffs them (and himself) with a Haste and sends them into the fray, and in the ensuing rounds of chaos buffs himself to the hills with things like Strength, Endurance, Shield, etc. I notice that Blindsight 120 ft. is a feature of all MM whales, so maybe throw out some blinding attacks, like Solid Fog, Sleet Storm, or their lower-level equivalents (in case you're using both your 3rd-level spells for Summons and Haste).

    In the case that summoning is a bad idea (i.e. your PCs are very high level and sharks are not a worthwhile melee threat no matter how much you buff them), go full Gish. Forget Sorcerer, pick up Duskblade from PHB II (I know it's outside your allowed books, but it's pretty much the go-to warrior wizard). Pick Invisibility and all self-buffs, then wail (heh, whale) on your foes with your shockingly powerful natural attacks. Haste is still a good option here, as is the Stand Still feat (try to approach, get stopped in your place, hahaha!) to prevent pesky fighters from killing you during your buffing routine.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lycanthromancer View Post
    'Psionics' is just tapping into the core of magic within yourself, whereas the mumbo-jumbo dancing, gibbering, and flinging around esoteric material components is like trying to paint-by-numbers when the guy next to you is rendering works from Picasso by memory alone.

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