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  1. - Top - End - #121
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    Private-Prinny's Avatar

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge VII

    Well, it looks like we have all the judges' seats filled.

    And true_shinken, please use a spoiler. Window stretching is not fun.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Moron View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Optimystik View Post
    'Adding up numbers' is completely independent of roleplay. What you're saying makes as much sense as "peeling a banana is not a good way to drive."


  2. - Top - End - #122
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge VII

    Quote Originally Posted by Private-Prinny View Post
    Well, it looks like we have all the judges' seats filled.

    And true_shinken, please use a spoiler. Window stretching is not fun.
    Sorry. Edited that.

  3. - Top - End - #123
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge VII

    Wait, it DOES give the cl boost to the main one as well, doesn't it? So actual caster level +5, but effective caster level +15, correct?
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  4. - Top - End - #124
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge VII

    No. I think the interpretation everyone is going with is that it gives you a +1 spellcaster boost on even levels, and +1 CL on the odd level boosts in between.

    So, if you were a 5th level wizard to start with, and you had all 10 levels, you'd cast spells as a 10th level wizard, with the CL of a 15th level wizard (for determining things like duration, spell penetration, dice, etc).

    At least thats the interpretation I'm going with. If not, well, my build just got a whole lot more powerful...
    Quote Originally Posted by Fax Celestis View Post
    AILHAY THULUCAY! AILHAY THULUCAY! AILHAY THULUCAY!
    _________________________________
    A beholder’s favorite foods include small live mammals, exotic mushrooms and other fungi, gnomes, beef, pork, colorful leafy vegetables, leaves, flower petals, insects, and birds.

  5. - Top - End - #125
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    BlueWizardGirl

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge VII

    Since it's already Friday on my time zone it's probably not a good idea to start writing an entry now that I finally have time. Even though in this contest I actually had access to the text of the secret ingredient, my entry probably wouldn't have been that great anyway.

    It'll be interesting to see how many people will latch onto the things I noticed. Proper understanding of the problem really enhances the enjoyment of seeing what solutions other people propose. I did come up with a decentish maybe-original build centered around Green Star Adept, although the underpoweredness factor seemed unavoidable...

  6. - Top - End - #126
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge VII

    Quote Originally Posted by Akal Saris View Post
    Wait, it DOES give the cl boost to the main one as well, doesn't it? So actual caster level +5, but effective caster level +15, correct?
    Nope. Prinny is going by the example, meaning actual caster level +5, effective caster level +10.
    The +15 one is the only reading I think gives GSA a bit of actual powergaming value.

  7. - Top - End - #127
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge VII

    Quote Originally Posted by Amphetryon View Post
    Prinny's already got my vote for what the next Iron Chef should be. Hint: Your wife is a big hippo!
    If that's what I think it is, I would totally craft an entry.
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    Damn you Cieyrin! Cieyrin!!!!!read as Khaaaaan!

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  8. - Top - End - #128
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge VII

    Quote Originally Posted by Akal Saris View Post
    Wait, it DOES give the cl boost to the main one as well, doesn't it? So actual caster level +5, but effective caster level +15, correct?
    No. Read this part again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Complete Arcane pg. 42
    For example, a 5th-level wizard/4th-level Green Star adept’s caster level would be 9th, due to this ability, but he would only have access to 4th-level spells (5th-level wizard plus two arcane spellcasting class levels from being a 4th-level Green Star adept).
    Yes, the character presented is illegal, but the example given is part of the text for the ability, and is therefore RAW. It's a very confusing ability, and I probably should've used the exact quote earlier.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Moron View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Optimystik View Post
    'Adding up numbers' is completely independent of roleplay. What you're saying makes as much sense as "peeling a banana is not a good way to drive."


  9. - Top - End - #129
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge VII

    Ok, yay! I did it right!
    Quote Originally Posted by Fax Celestis View Post
    AILHAY THULUCAY! AILHAY THULUCAY! AILHAY THULUCAY!
    _________________________________
    A beholder’s favorite foods include small live mammals, exotic mushrooms and other fungi, gnomes, beef, pork, colorful leafy vegetables, leaves, flower petals, insects, and birds.

  10. - Top - End - #130
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge VII

    Y'all are giving my dyslexia hernias. I did what it said, so I'm hoping it was right.

  11. - Top - End - #131
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge VII

    My revision has been entered. Good luck everyone.

  12. - Top - End - #132
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge VII

    Oh damn, if it goes like usual, there will be maybe other four entries, to a total of 11... Oh well... oh well...
    It would be funny to judge.

  13. - Top - End - #133
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge VII

    I can help out and be a judge for IC 8 if needed.

  14. - Top - End - #134
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge VII

    Done with my entry and it has been submitted. Can't wait to see all the cool builds!
    Last edited by Ajadea; 2010-07-09 at 05:02 AM.
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge VII

    Build is in.
    Iron Chef in the Playground veteran since Round IV.

    Who made my awesome Dwarf Hexblade avatar, you ask? BRC did!
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  16. - Top - End - #136
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge VII

    Sorry, I'm dropping out. I spotted a critical error in reading some class features, which redefined my build a bit too much. At this point, restructuring and editing is just too much effort. >.<

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge VII

    Quote Originally Posted by Arbitrarity View Post
    Sorry, I'm dropping out. I spotted a critical error in reading some class features, which redefined my build a bit too much. At this point, restructuring and editing is just too much effort. >.<
    What were you attempting?

  18. - Top - End - #138
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge VII

    Quote Originally Posted by Private-Prinny View Post
    No. Read this part again.



    Yes, the character presented is illegal, but the example given is part of the text for the ability, and is therefore RAW. It's a very confusing ability, and I probably should've used the exact quote earlier.
    Alright, thanks for the clarification.
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    Thanks to Strategos and Jumilk for the awesome Iron Chef trophies!

  19. - Top - End - #139
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge VII

    Quote Originally Posted by The Vorpal Tribble View Post
    What were you attempting?
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    Illumian (Aeshkrau) Bard3/Spellthief3/GSA4/SubCh2/Unseen Seer 2/GSA 6 was the original build. Pump Strength, to get bonus spells from Aeshkrau and improve melee presence. Qualify for sublime chord using spellthief Steal Spell, and/or drakehelms with Versatile Spellcaster. From there, persist caster-level uncapped and relevant buffs using Practical Metamagic and your wealth of high level slots, like Cloud of Knives, Hunter's Eye (from Unseen Seer), etc. Use Drakehelms to get spells that would otherwise cost you a sublime chord slot (Cloud of Knives, Steeldance) The trick is in interaction between Master Spellthief and Sublime Chord, which results in a caster level of 45 at the 20'th level of the build. This makes an excellent skillmonkey as well, with Improvisation from Bard levels. From there, you could strip spells and buffs with impunity, having 3 free attacks per round and 8'th level spells (Arcane Spellsurge, if you wanted to hit more in melee)

    After I realized that Steal Spell Effect didn't work if you weren't straight spellthief, though, I figured the other two levels of spellthief redundant, so perhaps I should change the build, to perhaps Bard6/Spellthief1/GSA3/SubCh2/Unseen Seer 2/GSA 6, which also had a less dicey SubCh entry, but at that point, the amount of rewriting and revision, since I just noticed it this morning, was far too much.

  20. - Top - End - #140
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge VII

    Quote Originally Posted by Arbitrarity View Post
    Caution, concept spoiler
    Dude, I was thinking among the same lines.
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    My idea used Spellthief\Duskblade into Knight of the Weave though, going for greater BAB

  21. - Top - End - #141
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge VII

    We're getting down to the wire, ladies and gents.
    Iron Chef in the Playground veteran since Round IV.

    Who made my awesome Dwarf Hexblade avatar, you ask? BRC did!
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  22. - Top - End - #142
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge VII

    Quote Originally Posted by Amphetryon View Post
    We're getting down to the wire, ladies and gents.
    I know. I only have 2 hours to think of witty puns.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Moron View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Optimystik View Post
    'Adding up numbers' is completely independent of roleplay. What you're saying makes as much sense as "peeling a banana is not a good way to drive."


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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge VII

    Quote Originally Posted by Private-Prinny View Post
    I know. I only have 2 hours to think of witty puns.
    2 hours? Don't troture us, Prinny! Give us them builds! :)

  24. - Top - End - #144
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge VII

    Whew, submission is in, and I'm exhausted!

    Commenting on builds:
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    Wow, my first build idea was using Aeshkrau too actually! Very different classes though.
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    Thanks to Strategos and Jumilk for the awesome Iron Chef trophies!

  25. - Top - End - #145
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge VII

    And now it's time for the Big RevealTM! I apologize to our judges, because the length keeps on growing with our entries. We have 8 builds for this competition, two of which take up two posts each (I am so, so sorry)! Please don't post until I confirm that all of the builds are posted.
    Last edited by Private-Prinny; 2010-07-09 at 09:00 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Moron View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Optimystik View Post
    'Adding up numbers' is completely independent of roleplay. What you're saying makes as much sense as "peeling a banana is not a good way to drive."


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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge VII

    Jealousy makes the Suel Green.
    Quote Originally Posted by Byerek Runeweaver
    I am a rock, I am an island
    And a rock feels no pain, and an island never cries
    - Simon and Garfunkle

    Story
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    Byerek Runeweaver loved stones as a child. He’d always pick up rocks, stare at them for hours trying to divine their hidden secrets, before smashing them open to find out. He loved their rigid unyieldingness, as well as their stoic silence (unless you knew how to read the whorls and patterns on the surface). Being a typical illumian, Byerek dabbled in various fields, seeking a way to combine his growing interests in ancient magics with the strength of stone. Eventually, after breaking enough rocks, Byerek discovered a rock he couldn’t break. Starmetal was too dense. Awed, Byerek determined that it was his life’s goal to shape his body, mind, and beliefs into a substance as rigid and unyielding as starmetal.


    Byerek Runeweaver
    Race: AeshKrau Illumian
    Levels: Duskblade2/Paladin4/SuelArcanamach1/GreenStarAdept2/AbjurantChamp5/GreenStarAdept+6
    Stats
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    32 PB Starting Stats
    Str: 17
    Dex: 14
    Con: 14
    Int: 12
    Wis: 10
    Cha: 9
    Final Stats (with items)
    Str: 36 (+4 Tome, +6 Item)
    Dex: 12
    Con: 24 (+6 Bite of the Wereboar)
    Int: 12
    Wis: 10
    Cha: 15 (+6 item)

    Level breakdown
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    {table=header]ECL|Class|Feats
    1|Duskblade1|Power Attack
    2|Duskblade2|Combat Casting (B)
    3|Paladin1|Iron Will
    4|Paladin2|
    5|Paladin3|
    6|Paladin4|Law Devotion
    7|Suel Arcanamach1|
    8| Abjurant Champion 1|
    9| Abjurant Champion 2|Shape Soulmeld: Displacer Mantle
    10|Green Star Adept1|
    11|Green Star Adept 2|
    12|Abjurant Champion3|Open Lesser Chakra: Shoulder
    13| Abjurant Champion 4|
    14| Abjurant Champion |
    15|Green Star Adept3|Minor Shapeshift
    16|Green Star Adept4|
    17|Green Star Adept5|
    18|Green Star Adept6|INA: Slam
    19|Green Star Adept7|
    20|Green Star Adept8|[/table]

    Skills by level
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    Using Cityscape to swap Ride for Tumble for Pally levels
    1st: Know:Eng2, Know:Geo2, Jump4 , Spellcraft4 (12 total)
    2nd: Decipher Script2, Spellcraft5 (3 total)
    3rd: Conc3 (3 total)
    4th: Conc4, Tumble2 (3 total)
    5th: Tumble5, (3 total)
    6th: Conc5, Know:Hist1 (3 total, Hist is CC)
    7th: Know:Hist2, Know:Arc4 (5 total)
    8th: Know:Arc7 (3 total)
    9th: Know:Arc8, Conc7 (3 total)
    10th: Conc10 (3 total)
    11th: Conc13 (3 total)
    12th: Conc14, Jump5 (3 total, Jump is CC)
    13th: Conc15, Tumble6 (3 total, Tumble is CC)
    14th: Conc16, Tumble7 (3 total, Tumble is CC)
    15th: Conc17, Tumble8 (3 total, Tumble is CC)
    16th: Conc18, Tumble9 (3 total, Tumble is CC)
    17th: Conc19, Tumble10 (3 total, Tumble is CC)
    18th: Conc20, Tumble11 (3 total, Tumble is CC)
    19th: Conc21, Tumble12 (3 total, Tumble is CC)
    20th: Conc22, Tumble13 (3 total, Tumble is CC)

    Spells known by level
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    1st: Ray of Enfeeblement, Resist Energy
    2nd: Obscuring Mist
    3rd:
    4th:
    5th:
    6th:
    7th: Shield
    8th: Enlarge Person, Wraithstrike
    9th: Invisibility
    10th:
    11th: Greater Mighty Wallop
    12th: Nerveskitter, Fly
    13th: Heart of Air, Greater Mirror Image
    14th: Trollshape
    15th:
    16th: Ray of Clumsiness, Heart of Water, Bite of the Wereboar
    17th:
    18th: Scintillating Scales, Lightning Leap
    19th:
    20th: Heart of Earth
    Spells per day at 20: 0th:4, 1st:15, 2nd:7, 3rd:6, 4th:6, 5th:5, with Versatile Spellcaster to trade up slots.

    Description of synergy
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    Suel Arcanamach, Abjurant Champion, and Green Star Adept actually synergize very well . All 3 require Combat Casting, which Duskblade gives as a bonus feat. Duskblade also gives nearly all of the caster skills required for Suel Arcanamach and Green Star Adept. Suel Arcanamach is normally Cha based casting, but AeshKrau illumian changes the source of bonus spells to Str. Since the Suel spells I picked don’t have saving throws with them, the inherent lack of Cha isn’t a problem. Eventually, the character will have to pick up a +Cha item in order to meet the 10+ Spell Level minimum to cast his spells, but he won’t need a +2 item till level 7, a +4 item till level 8, and a +6 item till level 13. In the mean time, the character will be progressing his Str through level/4 bumps, items, tomes, and the GSA’s Starmetal Rigor (+4 bonus) ability for a final Str score of 36 at ECL20 which grants 4 extra 1st level slots, and 3 extra 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th level slots, making casting effectively Str SAD. Since Suel Arcanamach only has 10 spellcaster levels and this build gets 10/10 Spellcaster levels, it also doesn’t lose any of its casting potential from the suckatude that is Green Star Adept.

    Also, given the way caster levels stack, the character’s buffs will be virtually undispellable. When Abjurant Champion’s Martial Arcanist ability kicks in at ECL14, the Suel’s caster level will be set equal to his BAB. At that point, only 2 points of BAB will be missing, so his CL will be 12 (which Illumian Krau sigil raises to 14, equal to ECL). Then we apply GSA’s +1 CL from 1st level for a CL of 15 at ECL14m and THEN we apply Suel’s Tenacious Spells ability for a +6 bonus to CL to resist dispels. At ECL14, the Suel caster will have a CL of 21 to resist dispels, a DC 32 CL check for enemy dispellers. This is WAY out of the reach of a simple Dispel Magic, and even a like leveled enemy caster would need an 18+ on a d20 roll to dispel your buffs. Tack on a Ring of Enduring Arcana for another +4 CL vs dispels and an ECL16 mage with GDM will only get you on a natural 20, assuming no other CL bumps for the dispeller.

    Level breaks
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    ECL1-6 is pretty standard. Walk up to things, hit them with your weapon of choice. You have a few of Duskblade spells with a CL of 3 and bonus spells based on Str (thanks to AeshKrau sigil), but your primary tactic is bashing stuff. Law Devotion also helps you in boss type fights, although you’ll only have enough TU attempts to use it once per day (unless you get the +2 Cha item you need for ECL7 early).

    ECL7 gets your first Suel level. You probably won’t cast shield much at this point, given that it’s a standard action. Relax; it’ll get better VERY shortly. This is probably the weakest level in the build.

    ECL8, assuming you have your +4 Cha item by this point, gets fun with Wraithstrike. You have 7/8 BAB, and a Str focus, meaning your can PA with the best of them. You’ll only have 2 or so per day from your Str mod, and you can always Versatile Spellcaster your Duskblade spells for more, so when you pull them out, you’ll swing for the fences. You also have Enlarge Person, a nice size buff that’ll get even better in a couple levels.

    ECL9, Swiftcasting kicks in, making Shield a swift action. Your shield also protects you with a +6 bonus, a notable increase to your survivability.

    ECL11, you gain your Slam attack, just in time to learn Greater Mighty Wallop. This is the first MAJOR power break. Cast GMWallop on your bludgeoning 2hander and on your slam. You’ll only have the CL atm to boost by 1 size, but that’s still a nice boost. Your greatclub will be bumped to 3d8, and your slam will be 2d6 when Enlarged. GMWallop lasts for a decently long time, but it might be worthwhile at this point to pick up a Lesser MM Rod of Extend. It should also be noted that the slam gains 1.5x your Str bonus, like a 2handed weapon. It won’t get 2:1 PA, but this is still an impressive feature considering how focused on improving your Str you will be.

    ECL12, the pickup of Open Lesser Chakra opens your Shoulder Chakra, allowing you to bind Displacer Mantle there for a permanent 20% miss chance at all times. You are starting to get REALLY hard to hit.

    ECL13, you gain Greater Mirror Image, one of the BEST defensive buffs for ANYONE. As long as your foe doesn’t have True Seeing, your chances to get hit go WAY down. This, combined with the Blur effect at ECL12 means that most foes won’t even find your AC, which will be decently formidable due to your growing Natural Armor and Abjurant Armor special abilities.

    ECL14, this is the 2nd major power break. Martial Arcanist kicks in. Your CL is now 14 for your Suel spells. GMWallop skips up to 3 size category increases, which with Enlarge Person sets your Greatclub damage to 6d8 and your slam damage up to 4d6. You are now also undispellable except by VERY dedicated casters. HUGE level.

    ECL15, you gain the Minor Shapeshift feat. This, combined with knowledge of Trollshape (less cheesy than Polymorph) means you get a pool of Temp HP equal to your level at nearly all times. Enemies who get through your Blur and your GMI and your decent AC have their damage severely reduced thanks to your still growing DR and this pool of temp HP. If you get hit in combat, you can spent a swift action to refresh this pool of temp HP, effectively erasing a good portion of damage that manages to evade your strong defenses.

    ECL16, your offense increases. You gain Bite of the Wereboar, adding another Bludgeoning type natural weapon to your arsenal. Your CL is also be high enough to gain another bump from GMWallop, making your Greatclub move up to 8d8, your slam up to 6d6, and your bite up to 8d6.

    ECL18, your touch AC is now WAY too high. A casting of Scintillating Scales turns the 8 NA from Bite of the Wereboar and the 4 NA from GSA into 12 points of Deflection bonus. This, plus the 9 points from the Shield spell gives you a touch AC of 31 at the least. Also, GMWallop caps at this point, thanks to your GSA level bumps and you pick up INA for your Slam. Greatclub is now 12d8, slam is 12d6, and bite is 12d6.

    ECL20, more of the same. You gain your last spells and abilities. Your CL is now 17 (from BAB) +2 from Illumian Krau sigil, +4 from GSA for a base CL of 23. Your spell tenacity and Ring of Enduring Arcana increase this by another 10, making for a DC 44 to dispel your magic. That’s well out of the realm of most people casting Greater Dispel Magic, as it caps at CL20. Even someone with an augmented chance to dispel (10 Master Abjurer levels, Inquisition domain power, and a Dispelling Chord) will still need an 11+ on a d20 to touch your spells.

    Typical gear at 20
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    +1 Spellstoring Collision Wounding Holy Greatclub – 128,000g
    +5 Thistledown Mithril Chain Shirt with Soulfire – 81,000g
    +6 Cha cloak – 36,000g
    +6 Str belt – 36,000g
    +5 Vest of Resistance – 25,000g
    Boots of Speed – 12,000g
    Manual of Gainful Exercise +4 – 110,000g
    Amulet of Natural Armor +5 – 50,000g
    Ring of Enduring Arcana – 6,000g
    Nightstick – 10,000g to get to 4 uses of Law Devotion per day
    Armbands of Might – 4,100g
    Circlet of Rapid Casting – 15,000g
    That’s only 513,100g, just under 3/4 WBL. Only items that are really critical to the build are the +Cha item to be able to cast spells, and the +Str items to get more spells, and possibly the Soulfire shirt to shore up that weakness. Thus, wealth is customizable to taste.

    Combat breakdown at 20
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    Long duration buffs running: Bite of the Wereboar, Heart of Air, Heart of Water, Heart of Earth, and GMWallop x3 on Greatclub, Bite, and Slam. Opening round of combat typically starts with a swift Shield followed by Enlarge Person and an immediate Greater Mirror Image. 2nd round of combat is either a full attack, Lightning Leaping into a location to attack, or positioning himself into a defensive position to shield his allies. Subsequent rounds will usually see him activating Law Devotion for a defensive or offensive buff, using Minor Shapeshift to refresh lost temp HP, or casting Wraithstrike, all the while full attacking with 4x club attacks + slam and bite.

    BAB17 +14 from Str +7 Law Devotion +1 Haste -1 Size +5 Greater Magic Weapon
    Greatclub at +43/+43/+38/+33/+28 for 12d8+31 (avg 85 per hit)
    Slam at +38 for 12d6+21 (avg 31)
    Bite at +38 for 12d6+21 (avg 31)
    For reference, that’s ~441 damage per round vs an AC35 Tarrasque

    That’s without a Wraithstrike Power Attack. A full PA attack routine would be:
    Greatclub at +26/+26/+21/+16/+11 for 12d8+55 (avg 121 per hit)
    Slam at +21 for 12d6+38 (avg 51)
    Bite at +21 for 12d6+38 (avg 51)
    For reference, that’s ~663 damage per round vs a touch AC5 Tarrasque

    Other vitals include225 HP at 20 (assuming average HP), base saves of Fort +10, Ref +6, Will +16 with a +2 to all from Divine Grace and another +5 from the Vest for final saves of Fort +17, Ref +13, Will +23 with a floating +6 on all saves vs poison, sleep effects, paralysis, stunning, disease, death effects, and necromancy effects and outright immunity to inhaled poisons, drowning, suffocation, sleep, and fatigue effects. Final AC would be 10 + 9 Armor + 16 Natural Armor + 9 Shield = 44 , with another +7 available from defensive Law Devotion, and with a 31 Touch AC with undispellable Scintillating Scales.

    Summary
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    End result is a VERY resilient tank that can also dish out enough damage to be a threat while not being SO cheesy that it can 1shot deities. Covers MOST of the main melee weaknesses with his gish spells and innate abilities. He provides almost all of his own buffs, including: flight 70, fortification, on demand Freedom of Movement, DR, renewable temp HP, miss chance, short range teleport, touch attacks on demand, and protection from Dispels. Pretty standard through level 6, with real strength gained at 8, 11, and 14 as class abilities start to kick in. Not dependant on charging. Only real drawback is that your skills will be bad based on the requirements to qualify for Suel and GSA.

    Citations:
    Spoiler
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    PHBII: Duskblade
    Complete Arcane: Green Star Adept, Suel Arcanamach
    Complete Mage: Abjurant Champion, Heart of Air, Water, and Earth, Minor Shapeshift, Greater Mirror Image, Lightning Leap, Ring of Enduring Arcana
    Complete Champion: Law Devotion
    Races of Destiny: Illumian, AeshKrau sigil
    Races of the Dragon: Greater Mighty Wallop, Versatile Spellcaster
    Magic of Incarnum: Shape Soulmeld, Open Lesser Chakra, Displacer Mantle
    Spell Compendium: Wraithstrike, Nerveskitter, Trollshape, Ray of Clumsiness, Bite of the Wereboar, Scintillating Scales
    Cityscape Web Enhancement: Ride for Tumble skill swap
    Magic Item Compendium: Circlet of Rapid Casting, Armbands of Might, Collision Enchantment
    Book of Exalted Deeds: Soulfire Enchantment
    Quotebox
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Moron View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Optimystik View Post
    'Adding up numbers' is completely independent of roleplay. What you're saying makes as much sense as "peeling a banana is not a good way to drive."


  27. - Top - End - #147
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge VII

    When you wish upon a... halfling?
    Quote Originally Posted by Little Starry-Eyes
    Little Starry*Eyes

    Halfling Were-Chordevoc 2, Bard 4, Ranger 1, Green Star Adept 10, Saint 2, Keeper of the Cerulean Sign 1


    The blackness above spun, the tiny pinpricks of light whirling into one. A voice screamed into the night and then fell silent. A form fell lifeless to the ground... followed by intense laughter all around.

    "Get up, get up, it's my turn!" a voice cried.

    The hobbledehoy child opened her eyes and the sky still turned from her dance.

    "Unghhh unghhh...!" she moaned in exaggeration, and plopped back down in the grass, her tongue rolling out and her eyes crossed.

    She then OOFED as one of her sisters fell on her, too dizzy to stand up anymore. Then a third. With a delighted shriek the children wrestled, unable to build up the coordination to actually stand.

    It was a game they played, standing up and focusing on a star while they spun in place. A lantern or a flarestick was then be lit up, and the sudden light would make them fall. It was a game for little ones, and she was the youngest of fifteen brothers and sisters. They'd called her Starry-Eyes since she was born because of the bright spark that was always in them. She had been born early on the Eve of the Green, the night the sky had fallen, in the back of a wagon as the town had fled. It seemed she was destined to always be small, for though today was her eleventh birthday she could have been taken for a 5 year old, but she was as tough and strong as any of her other rambunctious siblings.

    "Lightening bugs!" one shouted in the distance.

    "Fireflies!" another retorted.

    "Starwings!" the littlest one cried, making up the name on the spot, and tumbled over her brother to gain her feet.

    Leaping, squealing, arguing and swooping, the hoard of halflings spread across the field. The warm late-spring breezes wafted the scent of honeysuckle through the air, and a distant lake glinted with the crescent moon as they chased after the flashing insects.

    Starry-Eyes was in a joyous chase when her foot struck something unyielding and she flipped over on her back. So surprised was she she didn't notice her stubbed toe, for turning and looking back there was a strange creature in the grass. It looked a little like a frog carved of stone, except it sat like a pony, and had a triangle eye in the middle of its face. She turned on her belly and poked it. The skin was tough, like leathery brick, but it definitely flexed. Enchanted, she tried to pick it up, but despite being no larger than a cat it seemed to weigh a ton.

    As she tugged on the creature in vain the sound like a steam-kettle whistling, but multiplied a thousand fold, blared across the field, making every child freeze in their tracks and look up. A nightwhistler, or chorvedoc as Papa called it, wheeled overhead. Though only eleven, Starry-Eyes knew something was wrong. It didn't act right, and no nightwhistler was that loud! As the thought came, so the creature swooped at one of her older brothers. He ducked, but the bird turned on a wingtip right around. He batted at the bird and it shrieked again.

    "RUN!" it cried, and the children screamed without knowing why, except chorvedoc's didn't talk! They scattered in random directions, and the nightwhistler wheeled quickly, trying to heard them to the woods.

    Starry-Eyes however stood in place, too frightened to move or cry. Out on the lake, dark shapes burst out of the waters and took to wing. They glinted green in the moonlight as they dived for the panicked children. Their feet were like tentacles, with webs between, that wrapped around and enveloped one of the scattering forms. With hardly any effort it shot off into the sky straight up and disappeared. The nightwhistler then seemed to grow in mid-air, becoming like a man, but with feathers and a mouth-like beak. It sped towards another kidnapper, harassing it mercilessly, but the creature struck it with a wing and the birdman tumbled to the ground, spreading its wings only just in time to miss the field floor. One by one they were picked off and finally one spotted Starry-Eyes. She stood frozen as the huge creature descended for her. It was halfling-shaped, but with a neckless head even smaller than hers, dominated by two huge eyes and a mouth that seemed to grin at her. It's wings were as a bat's, but had hundreds of clawed tentacles. Feeling paralyzed she could only watch. She closed her eyes when she was whisked off her feet. Opening them she expected to see the horrible greenish-skin, but instead there were feathers. The manbird cradled her in his arms, and the monster was right behind, but as they reached the thick, interlacing canopy of the woods it veered off. It kept flying until the lights of a cottage was seen. There Starry-Eyes and the manbird settled. It set her down, and breathed heavily, looking around warily.

    "Follow the trail little one, it'll take you to the village." he instructed her. The little one looked into the dark woods with misgivings but nodded tearfully. She turned to it and found the strange frog thing squatting.

    "Need to run, toady!" she said to it and made shooing motions.

    "Wha..." the birdman said, peering around her, and his eyes went wide.

    The creature slowly lifted, as if to spring.

    "NO!" he screamed, and shoved the girl to the side as the frog-creature leaped. It seemed to pass right into the birdman's body. He arched his back as expressions and emotions flashed across his face. He cried like a hawk and gibbered like a lunatic as he twitched. A triangular eye then appeared on his forehead as he howled one final time, and then lay still. Starry Eyes slowly approached, and reached out to touch the triangle in confusion. The birdman lashed out, gashing her in the elbow with his beak and she jumped back with a scream. Holding her bleeding arm, she sprinted down the trail, not seeing behind her the form of the birdman vanish.

    She wasn't sure when she made it back, only that for the next few days she suffered one endless period of nightmares filled with whirling stars, flashes of green light and her sisters and brothers flying. Her only lucid moments was that of sitting up gasping with the heat of fever and her mother laying her back down with calm words. The next time she awoke she was certain she was still dreaming. She was at the top of an old apple tree by the lake, and somehow she was gripping the upper branches with her toes, which were long and scaly. Looking at her arms, she saw were covered in a pretty white down. For some reason this struck her as hilarious and she giggled, but all that came out was a warble. Up in the sky the moon hung full, and she found she could finally see it. She'd always seen it before, but now she could see lines like rivers and mountains and pits. The stars too were brighter, and they had colors she had never imagined. Her smell too... something nearby was fantastic. Looking below she saw an apple so green it almost glowed. She bent down and pecked it, marveling at the flavor. When she was done she peered around and leaped up fearlessly. She didn't know she'd known how to fly, but this was like a dream come true.

    In the distance she saw the lights of torches and lanterns in the forest that separated the fields from the village. Her keen ears picked up the called of 'Starry Eyes!' and she dived down. She didn't want to be a bird any more, she wanted her momma! Thus the search party found the little girl running towards them and leaped up into her mother's arms.

    "I flew... I flew!" she murmured into her skirts as she was carried back.


    It was both a painful and joy-filled life that Starry-Eyes lived as she grew into a young woman. The loss of all her brothers and sisters hit her hard once she realized they weren't coming back. From fourteen playmates to herself... the house has never seemed so empty, even when the others had gone out to play. None knew what had happened on the day of her 11th birthday, and they put her story off to the start of the fever that had gripped her. They sent out search parties, but no trace could be found. They even managed to gather the bravest to paddle about the lake where the star had fallen in hopes of finding some sign, but there was none. The pain eventually lessened, but the dreams continued. Every full moon she would disappear from her room, and her parents would scold and then clutch her, berating her for her foolishness. They had lost all their other children, how can we bear to lose you they'd ask. After the first few times they finally locked her in her room. That night they opened the door to find a screaming chordevoc wheeling around the room, but no Starry-Eyes. They brought in the village witch and confirmed it was there daughter. She had been chosen by Yondalla the witch proclaimed, to guard their village. Since then the others of the village held her somewhat in awe. Friends were pushed on her in hope they would attracted the blessing of the Goddess, but Starry-Eyes could see it in them that they didn't wish to come at first. Not this strange girl who wouldn't even awake til the evening and would only eat fruit and raw meat. As they came to know her however even the most sullen hobbledehoy couldn't help but be infected by her mischievous good nature and wild, playful look in her eye. Still, they could not be with her all night, so she spent most of her time in flight, dancing and singing as if she were ten years old again. Other times she'd fly to the top of the wonderful apple tree, watching the stars. She came to notice their spin and play and wondered at it. It was around that time she suddenly became aware of a presence behind her. She became her birdwoman form and wheeled down, just in time to see someone duck behind the trunk. Moving quick, she sped around came face to face with a man her size. He was green and wore a spiny armor.

    "Why are you watching me!" she demanded.

    The man bowed and smiled grimly.

    "I've watched you for many a year little Starry Eyes." he replied in a strong, deep voice that she found herself liking. "You are more special than you know. I have been your guardian since my friend died saving you."

    "You mean, that happened? It wasn't the fever!" she cried, the pinch of uncertainty she'd carried all these years giving way to relief, but then anger and horror. "Where are my brothers and sisters?"

    "I do not know, but if you will see them again I have doubts. There is evil in that lake. None of my kind come within a league of here, for those horrors are not of this world. They rest there til the stars are right, the light is green, and only then may they leave the lake. The chip off the star that fell paralyzes them except for the week of the coming of Alhazarde, then it forgets them, and only has eyes for it's mistress above. Then they may escape, a few at a time. Until then, they must live in the scum and the water-filled caves below in hiding."

    "I'm not going to let them come again. We have to go get them!"

    "Their ways are not your ways, little one! They are not here as you are. You might find them, and kill them, but then they would return, you having only killed a ghost. Or maybe they will be untouchable and unseen, or only found in dreams."

    Starry Eye's namesakes widened and she whispered, "I have seen them there!"

    The green man nodded, "Yes, you have. But you still don't know how to look. Let me show you. I am Warden the Thorn."

    When the sun was gone, and all asleep, Warden would come out of his hiding and they would discuss the stars and dreams. As he taught her of past doings and pointed out their dance, she noticed that things seemed to happen at special times of the year, and could predict them. It was like the stars were talking to her. As well, many of her dreams would come true, or dreams of others would paint her a picture that no others seemed to understand. She would have them meet her at night, with Warden well hidden and as they regaled her she would take flight; wheeling above, letting the stars whirl as she did when she was young, and as often as not a clear knowledge would come to her.

    Yet this was only beginning...

    Level 5
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    Halfling Were-Chorvedoc 2, Bard 3

    Small Humanoid (shapechanger)
    Hit Dice: 3d6 + 1d8 HD (14 hp or 18 Animal/Hybrid)
    Initiative: +1 (+5 hybrid)
    Speed: 20 ft. (4 squares); Animal/Hybrid form: Fly 70 ft. (good)
    Armor Class: 17 (+3 armor, +1 dex, +2 natural, +1 size), touch 12, flat-footed 16; Hybrid 23 (+3 armor, +5 dex, +4 natural, +1 size), touch 16, flat-footed 18; Animal 21 (+5 dex, +4 natural, +2 size), touch 17, flat-footed 16
    Base Attack/Grapple: +2/-1
    Attack:
    Animal - Talons +9 melee (1d3+2)
    Halfling - +1 War Sling of Distance +7 ranged (1d6+3/20x4/100 ft.)
    Hybrid - Claw +5 melee (1d3+2)
    Full Attack:
    Animal - Talons +9 melee (1d3+2)
    Halfling - +1 War Sling of Distance +7 ranged (1d6+3/20x4/100 ft.)
    Hybrid - 2 Claws +5 melee (1d3+2) and bite +0 melee (1d4+1)
    Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft. (2-1/2 ft./0 ft. animal form)
    Special Attacks: Fascinate
    Special Qualities: Bardic music 3/day, bardic knowledge, blindsense 60 ft., countersong, damage reduction 5/adamantine or silver, inspire competence, inspire courage +1, low-light vision, scent
    Saves: Fort +4, Ref +7, Will +8; (Hybrid) Fort +5, Ref +11, Will +9
    Abilities: Str 14, Dex 12 (20 hybrid), Con 10 (12 hybrid), Int 10, Wis 14 (16 hybrid), Cha 16
    Skills: Climb +4, Decipher Script +2, Hide +9 (+13 hybrid) (+17 animal), Jump +4, Knowledge (arcana) +6, Knowledge (nature) +6, Knowledge (the planes) +6, Listen +8 (+9 hybrid), Move Silently +3 (+7 hybrid), Perform (dance) +8, Perform (sing) +4, Profession (astrologer) +8 (+9 hybrid), Spot +10 (+11 hybrid)
    Feats: Dreamtelling, Flyby Attack(WereB), Nymph's Kiss, Iron Will(WereB), Weapon Finesse(WereB)
    Traits: Quick
    Challenge Rating: 6
    Possessions: +1 war sling of distance, masterwork leafweave studded armor
    Alignment: Neutral Good
    Level Adjustment: +2

    Languages Known: Common and Halfling

    Bard Spells: Caster level 3rd. (Spells per day: (3/2); Save DC 13 + spell level):
    0 - Dancing Lights, Know Direction, Message, Prestidigitation, Resistance, Songbird
    1st - Feather Fall, Guiding Light, Swift Expeditious Retreat

    Blindsense (Ex): Starry-Eyes notices and locates creatures within 60 feet. Opponents still have total concealment against her.

    Lycanthropic Empathy (Ex): In any form, Starry-Eyes can communicate and empathize with normal or dire birds. This gives them a +4 racial bonus on checks when influencing the animal’s attitude and allows the communication of simple concepts and (if the animal is friendly) commands, such as “friend,” “foe,” “flee,” and “attack.”





    "THIS WAY!" Starry-Eyes shrieked, gliding slowly over the ground to sniff the prints. With a bright flare of blue-green light she disappeared into the distance, a faintly luminous tail trailing behind her. It was her 21st birthday today, 10 years to the day since her brothers and sisters had been taken into the beyond. She had learned and experience much in the year since she had met Warden.

    A previous night some 8 months ago she had been snacking on one of the delicious green apples of the tree by the cursed lake when Warden had asked her to share a bite. Upon doing so his eyes had widened for he recognized the aftertaste of starmetal.

    "All the vegetation around here tastes slightly of it, that's why hardly any animals come here, but this... this is laden with it!"

    An idea had formed. If the star paralyzed the horrible creatures below... then maybe if she got enough of it, she would be able to better battle them. They began to hoard the fruit of the tree, and talked a druid to venture near the lake despite his misgivings. He had enriched the tree, making it a positive bounty of harvest. They had then paid the local brewer to distill the cache until they had a dozen barrels of 100 proof apple brandy. Together they experimented and cast complicated spells, further concentrating and enhancing the mixture. What was left was several kegs that literally glowed with a faint green light, and so strong that if Starry-Eyes was not careful could die of its drinking. She spent the next night slowly sipping. As its effects took hold she sang, spouting ballads of heroes not yet born, songs of glory and the coming of disaster. Several scribes took it all down, and Thorn danced with her that night. Their dance was the wild abandon of the fey, though seemed to have an underlying pattern that mixed star and tree, firefly and swooping owl. She began to glow, like the warm green of moonlight through canopy boughs and they left the confines of the distillery. Outside the townspeople gathered without quite knowing and joined with the swirling pair. With the last swallow of the first keg she took Warden in her arms and transformed. Leaving the assembled in the midst of the revelry of life, she flew higher and higher into the distance. She glew brighter and brighter as they ascended, and nearly seemed to explode as she and Warden made love a thousand feet above. When they returned to the village the next morning Starry-Eyes' eyes has gone from hazel to a brilliant emerald and there was an avocado tinge to her skin.

    Since then strange sightings had been seen, and noises, especially around the lake area. Nothing definite, just a sense of unease and standing hairs. The uncanny feeling had increased and Starry-Eyes knew what it was, and her dreams confirmed it. Alhazarde would soon re-enter their skies and disturbing the sleep of those that were better off dreaming. The entire town had relocated to the next valley on her and Thorn's advice. She had been aiding the move when she saw it. The leathery frog was watching her from the top of a wagon. She had flown up to attack it when the shape had appeared, outlined against the sunset. It was one of the green winged men. It did not move nearly as smoothly as the last she had seen, seeming dizzy and drunken in its flight. The star had not yet appeared in the sky, but then her birthday was two weeks away. It must have been desperate to leave so early before and was obviously unable to achieve any great height. It had snatched a child, but her sling had met it's tiny head as it gained enough altitude to skim the treetops. It tumbled and fell. Starry-Eyes had hated to do it and risk the child, but even death was preferable to the taking.

    That's why she was skimming the forest ground, a dozen villagers behind her, though Thorn kept close pace, crouched upon the back of a tamed and unafflicted chordevoc. The scent couldn't be mistaken, nothing in the world smelled as it. Suddenly the tracks stopped and the ground was turned up. She peered into the sky and closed her eyes, letting out short, clipped shrieks that echoed through the trees but could detect nothing. She landed on the ground and began to dance and spin, focusing on a point in the sky. As dizziness took her she fell, and a vision filled her mind. The child was being taken back to the lake. Starry-Eyes launched herself upwards and took chase...

    Level 10
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    Halfling Were-Chorvedoc 2, Bard 4, Ranger 1, Green Star Adept 3

    Small Humanoid (shapechanger)
    Hit Dice: 4d6 + 6d8 + HD (50 hp or 60 hp Animal/Hybrid)
    Initiative: +0 (+4 hybrid)
    Speed: 20 ft. (4 squares); Animal/Hybrid form: Fly 70 ft. (good)
    Armor Class: 22 (+8 armor, +3 natural, +1 size), touch 11, flat-footed 22; Hybrid 28 (+8 armor, +4 dex, +5 natural, +1 size), touch 15, flat-footed 24; Animal 21 (+4 dex, +5 natural, +2 size), touch 16, flat-footed 17
    Base Attack/Grapple: +6/+5
    Attack:
    Animal - Talons +13 melee (1d3+2)
    Halfling - +1 War Sling of Distance +10 ranged (1d6+3/20x4/100 ft.)
    Hybrid - Claw +8 melee (1d3+2)
    Full Attack:
    Animal - Talons +12 melee (1d3+2) and slam +13 melee (1d4+3)
    Halfling - +1 War Sling of Distance +10 ranged (1d6+3/20x4/100 ft.)
    Hybrid - 2 Claws +11 melee (1d3+2) and slam +11 melee (1d4+3) and bite +6 melee (1d4+1)
    Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft. (2-1/2 ft./0 ft. animal form)
    Special Attacks: Bard spells, favored enemy (aberrations), fascinate
    Special Qualities: Bardic music 4/day, bardic knowledge, blindsense 60 ft., countersong, damage reduction 5/adamantine or silver, fortification 25%, inspire competence, inspire courage +1, low-light vision, lycanthropic empathy (birds), scent, unnatural metabolism, wild empathy
    Saves: Fort +7, Ref +10, Will +11; (Hybrid) Fort +8, Ref +14, Will +12
    Abilities: Str 15, Dex 11 (19 hybrid), Con 10 (12 hybrid), Int 10, Wis 14 (16 hybrid), Cha 17
    Skills: Concentration +1, Climb +4, Decipher Script +2, Diplomacy +5, Hide +8 (+12 hybrid) (+16 animal), Jump +4, Knowledge (arcana) +8, Knowledge (architecture and engineering) +2, Knowledge (geography) +2, Knowledge (history) +2, Knowledge (nature) +6, Knowledge (the planes) +8, Listen +8 (+9 hybrid), Move Silently +2 (+6 hybrid), Perform (dance) +12, Perform (sing) +6, Profession (astrologer) +8 (+9 hybrid), Spot +11 (+12 hybrid), Survival +4 (+5 hybrid)
    Feats: Combat Casting, Dreamtelling, Flyby Attack(WereB), Nimbus of Light, Nymph's Kiss, Iron Will(WereB), Track(RangB), Weapon Finesse(WereB)
    Traits: Quick
    Challenge Rating: 6
    Possessions: +1 war sling of distance, +5 leafweave studded armor
    Alignment: Neutral Good
    Level Adjustment: +2

    Bard Spells: Caster level 9th. (Spells per day: (3/4/2); Save DC 13 + spell level):
    0 - Dancing Lights, Know Direction, Message, Prestidigitation, Resistance, Songbird
    1st - Feather Fall, Guiding Light, Ray of Hope, Swift Expeditious Retreat
    2nd - Circle Dance, Eagle's Splendor, Luminous Armor

    Blindsense (Ex): Starry-Eyes notices and locates creatures within 60 feet. Opponents still have total concealment against her.

    Favored Enemy (Aberrations) (Ex): Starry-Eyes gains a +2 bonus on Bluff, Listen, Sense Motive, Spot, and Survival checks when using these skills against aberrations. Likewise, she gets a +2 bonus on weapon damage rolls against such creatures.

    Fortification (Ex): Starry-Eyes has resistance to attacks that affect other living creatures. When a critical hit or sneak attack is scored on her, there is a 25% chance that the critical hit or sneak attack is negated and the damage is instead rolled normally.

    Lycanthropic Empathy (Ex): In any form, Starry-Eyes can communicate and empathize with normal or dire birds. This gives them a +4 racial bonus on checks when influencing the animal’s attitude and allows the communication of simple concepts and (if the animal is friendly) commands, such as “friend,” “foe,” “flee,” and “attack.”

    Nymph's Kiss: +1 to saves against spells and spell-like abilities.

    Unnatural Metabolism (Ex): Starry-Eyes gains a +2 bonus on saving throws against poison, sleep effects, paralysis, stunning, disease, death effects, and necromancy effects.

    Wild Empathy (Ex): Starry-Eyes can improve the attitude of an animal. This ability functions just like a Diplomacy check to improve the attitude of a person. Starry-Eyes rolls 1d20 and adds +4 to determine the wild empathy check result. The typical domestic animal has a starting attitude of indifferent, while wild animals are usually unfriendly.

    To use wild empathy, Starry-Eyes and the animal must be able to study each other, which means that they must be within 30 feet of one another under normal visibility conditions. Generally, influencing an animal in this way takes 1 minute, but, as with influencing people, it might take more or less time.

    Starry-Eyes can also use this ability to influence a magical beast with an Intelligence score of 1 or 2, but he takes a –4 penalty on the check.
    Last edited by Private-Prinny; 2010-07-09 at 08:41 PM.

  28. - Top - End - #148
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge VII

    Now for Part II!
    Quote Originally Posted by Little Starry-Eyes

    The memory of that night would haunt her for the next ten years. They had caught up with the green horror only to be ambushed by a dozen others. In the battle that followed the child had been dropped and drowned in the lake. Starry-Eyes had managed to grab the body before it sank into the depths, but had been unable, and the thought of what they may do with it below were the focus of many dreams. Furthermore, Warden had been killed. While protecting her. When she had dived for the child they had taken the opportunity to grab her, but Warden had fought tooth, nail and thorn, and she had managed to win free. The creatures had then driven them off, and Starry-Eyes watched with fury and crushing sadness from the boughs of the woods as near a dozen hurled upwards into the sky as the green glow suffused the night. Her only consolation was they were taking none with them.

    The entire halfling nation had moved far away. She had begun to raise an army however, halflings, druids, fey creatures, and even several treants. Creatures who abhorred the unnatural presence of these kidnappers from outside the world. Starry-Eyes had become a local legend, a beautiful hobbledehoy of jade, or halfling as others called them, though she so petite some affectionately referred to her as a Quarterling, that could turn into an emerald nighthawk with the speed of the wind.

    The comet was drawing closer each night, and they built camp around the lake. They waited for several days until the comet was right over, entrenching themselves in deep, but still nothing emerged. It was on the last night of the comet's approach that a message sounded in her head. The winged horrors had emerged from a well at a farm several counties over. They'd apparently been tunneling for a decade to connect the two water sources. Trying to stifle panic, Starry-Eyes leapt up and cried for all who could keep up to follow. She flew with all the speed she could muster, her eyes burning from the wind of her own velocity and leaving the others behind.

    Starry-Eyes barely paused as she came upon the valley and saw houses on fire and heard the screams of others. Wheeling around and up and down were the winged beings. She dived and tore at them until wherever she flew was littered with tentacle and wing. Still, more came, dozens more than she had ever seen. Starry-Eyes began to despair when abruptly she recalled a dream that had impressed upon her great importance but until now she had never been able to recall. Her glow intensified until it was as if she was a green inferno. She launched herself out of one's clutches and gained height and began to weave in an aerial dance. The fire remained in the sky wherever she passed until a symbol filled the sky. The horrors that had given pursuit dropped out of the sky, falling like stones, many only barely able to spread their wings to avoid the houses. Several that held children dropped them as they plummeted, and only Starry-Eyes' quick action saved them.

    She didn't have time to give words of comfort to the bawling young before she was skyward again. Her force had begun to catch up and were setting on the dazed abominations. One shouted a warning to her and she looked over. One of the kidnappers had avoided her symbol and was heading up. A steel resolve filled Starry-Eyes as she watched it. Not one more child would be taken. Not while she drew breath. She sped for it as it began its trip up. She slowly gained on it over the course of the night, but the breath in her lungs was coming harder, and each was colder than the most frigid winter. Still she struggled on, closing her eyes against the chill lest they freeze, and navigated by sound, only opening every few minutes to make certain she was still on its trail. Then there came a point where she could breathe no more. She tried to beat her wings faster, to reach them before all was lost... but she could not force them on. She had flown harder, faster and farther than she had ever dreamed before, but it was still not enough. This despairing thought was her last as she fell into darkness.

    The body of Starry-Eyes struck the ground with such force she left her own small crater, but of her body, nothing remained after impact.

    Starry-Eyes opened her namesakes and looking down at her was a familiar green face, green eyes and pointed green ears. Not so familiar was the smile of peace and contentment on his normally grim features.

    "Warden..." she breathed and they embraced. Starry-Eyes wept with joy as she held him. She was vaguely aware that she was on an island of lillies, glow in the evening dusk, but her eyes were clouded with tears. After a blissful eternity they released one another.

    "Am I dead?" she asked, not really certain how she felt about it.

    "Yes. Than a doornail." he answered calmly. "But that's ok."

    The deadpan expression on his face melted and he threw his head back with laughter, and Starry-Eyes joined him as they embraced and kissed passionately, the flowers springing up unharmed from their frolic.

    "Oh Warden... I... I have so much to do still. I can't just leave them all..." she began, but he put a finger to her lips and nodded.

    "I know, I know... your heart is so noble my dearest. I would have you here by my side for always, but I knew you would not rest. She thought as much as well, but we will have forever someday."

    "She who?"

    "The Queen of Stars..." Warden answered and nodded out to the sea. A ship unlike any she had heard of and a hundred fold as beautiful as anything she could imagine was sailing. The stars overhead were so bright despite the gentle glow of dusk that it seemed ocean and sky met as they reflected off the gentle waters. The boat pulled up along side the island and a bare foot stepped out onto the cushioning blossoms. Along it was a woman three times Starry-Eye's height, dressed not in a dress, but in starlight, constantly streaming down her slim body and puddling at her feet as she walked. The woman came over and looked into Starry-Eye's wondering gaze and knelt onto both knees.

    "Good evening little Starry-Eyes." the woman said with a smile, and the spark in her eye was one Starry-Eyes had seen many a time in reflection. The same glow of adventure and wild abandon. "It wasn't time for you to meet me, but your sacrifice was so great and so brave that I came anyways. Name any one thing you wish and it will be yours."

    "I have all I could wish already Star Mother." Starry-Eyes whispered. "But I cannot take it knowing that my loved peoples are left in such fear. I wish... I wish I could have the strength to protect them."

    The lady looked Starry-Eyes in her eyes and then embraced her.

    "Little Starry-Eyes, I name you Star Sister, for you are truly an angel of mercy." the Queen of Stars said into her ear. "You will have this wish, but I give you warning, if you are successful, it will be a long time by even the reckoning of us immortals before you will return."

    Starry-Eyes leaned back and looked to the Queen of Stars, "The years will pass like falling rain for I know what awaits me."

    The Queen of Stars nodded in satisfaction and stood.

    "Then drink of one another one last time until the next."

    Starry-Eyes and Warden clasped to one another, and as they embraced he seemed to wrap about her like a blanket. The beautiful island faded away in a rosy glow of warmth and happiness...

    Level 15
    (Sweet Spot)
    Spoiler
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    Halfling Were-Chorvedoc 2, Bard 4, Ranger 1, Green Star Adept 6, Saint 2

    Small Outsider (native, shapechanger)
    Hit Dice: 4d6 + 9d8 +13 HD (76 hp or 92 hp Animal/Hybrid)
    Initiative: +0 (+4 hybrid)
    Speed: 20 ft. (4 squares); Animal/Hybrid form: Fly 70 ft. (good)
    Armor Class: 26 (+8 armor, +3 insight, +4 natural, +1 size), touch 14, flat-footed 26; Hybrid 33 (+8 armor, +4 dex, +4 insight +6 natural, +1 size), touch 19, flat-footed 29; Animal 26 (+4 dex, +4 insight, +6 natural, +2 size), touch 20, flat-footed 22
    Base Attack/Grapple: +8/+8
    Attack:
    Animal - Talons +15 melee (1d3+3)
    Halfling - +1 War Sling of Distance +13 ranged (1d6+4/20x4/100 ft.)
    Hybrid - Claw +14 melee (1d3+3)
    Full Attack:
    Animal - Talons +15 melee (1d3+3) and slam +15 melee (1d4+4)
    Halfling - +3 War Sling of Distance +15 ranged (1d6+6/20x4/100 ft.)
    Hybrid - 2 Claws +14 melee (1d3+3) and slam +14 melee (1d4+4) and bite +9 melee (1d4+1)
    Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft. (2-1/2 ft./0 ft. animal form)
    Special Attacks: Bard spells, favored enemy (aberrations), fascinate
    Special Qualities: Bardic music 4/day, bardic knowledge, blindsense 60 ft., countersong, damage reduction 10/adamantine and evil, fast healing 10, fortification 50%, immunity to acid, cold, electricity and petrification, inspire competence, inspire courage +1, low-light vision, lycanthropic empathy (birds), protective aura, resistance to fire 10, scent, tongues, unnatural metabolism, wild empathy
    Saves: Fort +9, Ref +11, Will +13; (Hybrid) Fort +10, Ref +15, Will +14
    Abilities: Str 16, Dex 11 (19 hybrid), Con 12 (14 hybrid), Int 10, Wis 16 (18 hybrid), Cha 22
    Skills: Concentration +2 (+3 hybrid), Climb +5, Decipher Script +2, Gather Information +9, Hide +8 (+12 hybrid) (+16 animal), Jump +5, Knowledge (arcana) +8, Knowledge (architecture and engineering) +2, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +8, Knowledge (geography) +2, Knowledge (history) +2, Knowledge (nature) +6, Knowledge (the planes) +8, Listen +9 (+10 hybrid), Move Silently +2 (+6 hybrid), Perform (dance) +15, Perform (sing) +9, Profession (astrologer) +8 (+9 hybrid), Spot +12 (+13 hybrid), Survival +5 (+6 hybrid)
    Feats: Combat Casting, Craft Wondrous Item, Dreamtelling, Flyby Attack(WereB), Knight of Stars, Nimbus of Light, Nymph's Kiss, Iron Will(WereB), Track(RangB), Weapon Finesse(WereB)
    Traits: Quick
    Challenge Rating: 15
    Possessions: +3 war sling of distance, +5 leafweave studded armor
    Alignment: Neutral Good
    Level Adjustment: +4

    Bard Spells: Caster level 12th. (Spells per day: (3/2/2/1); Save DC 18 + spell level):
    0 - Dancing Lights, Know Direction, Message, Prestidigitation, Resistance, Songbird
    1st - Feather Fall, Guiding Light, Ray of Hope, Swift Expeditious Retreat
    2nd - Circle Dance, Eagle's Splendor, Luminous Armor, Summon Swarm
    3rd - Invoke the Cerulean Sign, Clairaudience/Clairvoyance

    Blindsense (Ex): Starry-Eyes notices and locates creatures within 60 feet. Opponents still have total concealment against her.

    Favored Enemy (Aberrations) (Ex): Starry-Eyes gains a +4 bonus on Bluff, Listen, Sense Motive, Spot, and Survival checks when using these skills against aberrations. Likewise, she gets a +4 bonus on weapon damage rolls against such creatures.

    Fortification (Ex): Starry-Eyes has resistance to attacks that affect other living creatures. When a critical hit or sneak attack is scored on her, there is a 50% chance that the critical hit or sneak attack is negated and the damage is instead rolled normally.

    Lycanthropic Empathy (Ex): In any form, Starry-Eyes can communicate and empathize with normal or dire birds. This gives them a +4 racial bonus on checks when influencing the animal’s attitude and allows the communication of simple concepts and (if the animal is friendly) commands, such as “friend,” “foe,” “flee,” and “attack.”

    Nymph's Kiss: +1 to saves against spells and spell-like abilities.

    Protective Aura (Su): As magic circle against evil and and lesser globe of invulnerability. Caster level 11th.

    Spell-like Abilities: At Will - Bless, Guidance, Resistance, Virtue. Caster level 12th. Save DC's are Charisma-based.

    Tongues (Sp): Continuous, as the spell, CL 14th.

    Unnatural Metabolism (Ex): Starry-Eyes gains a +4 bonus on saving throws against sleep effects, paralysis, stunning, disease, death effects, and necromancy effects. She gains a +8 bonus against poison.

    Wild Empathy (Ex): Starry-Eyes can improve the attitude of an animal. This ability functions just like a Diplomacy check to improve the attitude of a person. Starry-Eyes rolls 1d20 and adds +7 to determine the wild empathy check result. The typical domestic animal has a starting attitude of indifferent, while wild animals are usually unfriendly.

    To use wild empathy, Starry-Eyes and the animal must be able to study each other, which means that they must be within 30 feet of one another under normal visibility conditions. Generally, influencing an animal in this way takes 1 minute, but, as with influencing people, it might take more or less time.

    Starry-Eyes can also use this ability to influence a magical beast with an Intelligence score of 1 or 2, but he takes a –4 penalty on the check.



    The 40th anniversary of the Green Eve was drawing near, though Starry-Eyes hadn't aged one day since she had awakened at the roots of the apple tree. Many that had seen her thought she a spirit, and in some ways she was right. She was no ghost though. There was a joy to her, a lessening of all her troubles that had eclipsed her radiance. She had back the mischievousness of her childhood coupled with the wisdom of a woman. All who met her could hardly help but fall a little in love with the green skinned, starry-eyed woman child. Starry-Eyes felt whole like she had not for so long, and the memory of Warden and the sea of stars was a vivid glow in her mind.

    Another strange thing had occurred upon awakening. The sign she had created the night she died was engraved over her heart as if with a pen of fire, glowing even when she did not. It was a symbol of life, of rightness.

    She had finally finished the last of the brew, surrounded by her closest friends and family. They had toasted the memory of Warden and rejoiced at those still alive and fighting. It had been somewhat of a shock, she recalled, how her heart had slowly stopped beating, her breath slowing. But there had been a sense of completeness. It wasn't like stone she had become, but instead she'd been frozen in that perfect moment of camaraderie and remembrance and hope. The Queen of Stars had been true to her word.

    As always the green creatures arrived, but this time they were ready. Hiding amidst the dying coals was one of the frog-like creatures. She pretended not to notice and sat down as if to eat with her profile showing to it. With miniscule motions it gathered itself and leapt for her. Without even looking up she caught it in a slim green hand. It might have weighed a hundred pounds but Starry-Eyes held it like a feather. Looking it right in its triangular eye she constricted her fingers and the creature crumpled like a tin cup. She dropped it and its skin twitched and roiled before slowly disolving.

    "They're coming." she announced to the gathering.

    Though they this time emerged at a dozen different points, the patrols were privy to it. Starry-Eyes was anathema to them, starmetal infused with the life of this world and a symbol of the natural order. One had attempted to steal a child away but with a simple call of 'Stop' it had paused in the air. She had swooped to capture the child and the green horror had fallen, exploding into pieces upon the cobbles far below. Starry-Eyes winked at the child and fear seemed to drop from him. He whooped in return.

    'Let's see it return from that.' she thought in satisfaction.

    She slew many that night, but there were simply too widespread to capture all. A few slipped through, though none with captives. As they ascended higher and higher they wondered at the bright green glow in the distance, though far sharper and nearer than the comet. Below, the world was a globe upon which broiling clouds and mountain ranges could be seen. As they continued to fly the spark grew rapidly closer. Watching them come, in the frigid, sparkling airlessness was Starry-Eyes. And she was grinning.

    There she remained, watching from above, descending to aid in battle against the unnatural and those in need. Then she would return upwards, ever vigilant. She danced across the sky, reading stars and dreaming dreams, waiting for the day the green men and their kind would be driven wholly from the world. Perhaps someday she would follow them and do battle on their home-front. Until then she would remain above.

    If ever you are in need, wish upon the green star. It might come true.


    Level 20
    Spoiler
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    Halfling Were-Chorvedoc 2, Bard 4, Ranger 1, Saint 2, Keeper of the Cerulean Sign 1, Green Star Adept 10

    Small Construct (shapechanger)
    Hit Dice: 5d6 + 13d8 + 20 HD (104 HP)
    Initiative: +0 (+4 hybrid)
    Speed: 20 ft. (4 squares); Animal/Hybrid form: Fly 70 ft. (good)
    Armor Class: 35 (+8 armor, +3 insight, +5 luck, +8 natural, +1 size), touch 19, flat-footed 35; Hybrid 42 (+8 armor, +4 dex, +5 luck, +4 insight, +10 natural, +1 size), touch 24, flat-footed 38; Animal 35 (+4 dex, +4 insight, +5 luck, +10 natural, +2 size), touch 25, flat-footed 31
    Base Attack/Grapple: +11/+11
    Attack:
    Animal - Talons +17 melee (1d3+5)
    Halfling - +5 War Sling of Distance +23 ranged (1d6+5/20x4/100 ft.)
    Hybrid - Claw +17 melee (1d3+5)
    Full Attack:
    Animal - Talons +17 melee (1d3+5) and slam +17 melee (1d4+7)
    Halfling - +5 War Sling of Distance +23 ranged (1d6+5/20x4/100 ft.)
    Hybrid - 2 Claws +17 melee (1d3+5) and slam +17 melee (1d4+7) and bite +12 melee (1d4+2)
    Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft. (2-1/2 ft./0 ft. animal form)
    Special Attacks: Bard spells, favored enemy (aberrations), fascinate
    Special Qualities: Bardic music 4/day, bardic knowledge, blindsense 60 ft., construct traits, countersong, damage reduction 10/adamantine and evil, detect aberrant taint, fast healing 10, immunity to acid, cold, and electricity, inspire competence, inspire courage +1, low-light vision, lycanthropic empathy (birds), protective aura, resistance to fire 10, scent, tongues, wild empathy
    Saves: Fort +10, Ref +12, Will +17; (Hybrid) Fort +11, Ref +16, Will +18
    Abilities: Str 20, Dex 10 (18 hybrid), Con -, Int 10, Wis 16 (18 hybrid), Cha 23
    Skills: Concentration +8, Climb +7, Decipher Script +2, Gather Information +11, Hide +8 (+12 hybrid) (+16 animal), Jump +7, Knowledge (arcana) +8, Knowledge (architecture and engineering) +2, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +8, Knowledge (geography) +2, Knowledge (history) +2, Knowledge (nature) +6, Knowledge (the planes) +10, Listen +8 (+9 hybrid), Move Silently +2 (+6 hybrid), Perform (dance) +15, Perform (sing) +8, Profession (astrologer) +8 (+9 hybrid), Sense Motive +8 (+9 hybrid), Spot +12 (+13 hybrid), Survival +5 (+6 hybrid)
    Feats: Aberration Banemagic, Combat Casting, Craft Wondrous Item, Dreamtelling, Flyby Attack(WereB), Knight of Stars, Nimbus of Light, Nymph's Kiss, Iron Will(WereB), Track(RangB), Weapon Finesse(WereB)
    Traits: Quick
    Challenge Rating: 20
    Possessions: +5 war sling of distance, +5 leafweave studded armor, cerulean sign +5 (will saves against aberrations)
    Alignment: Neutral Good
    Level Adjustment: +4

    Bard Spells: Caster level 17th. (Spells per day: (3/5/5/3/1); Save DC 18 + spell level):
    0 - Dancing Lights, Know Direction, Message, Prestidigitation, Resistance, Songbird
    1st - Feather Fall, Guiding Light, Ray of Hope, Swift Expeditious Retreat
    2nd - Circle Dance, Eagle's Splendor, Luminous Armor, Summon Swarm
    3rd - Allegro, Haste, Invoke the Cerulean Sign, Clairaudience/Clairvoyance
    4th - Hold Monster, Legend Lore

    Blindsense (Ex): Starry-Eyes notices and locates creatures within 60 feet. Opponents still have total concealment against her.

    Favored Enemy (Aberrations) (Ex): Starry-Eyes gains a +4 bonus on Bluff, Listen, Sense Motive, Spot, and Survival checks when using these skills against aberrations. Likewise, she gets a +4 bonus on weapon damage rolls against such creatures.

    Lycanthropic Empathy (Ex): In any form, Starry-Eyes can communicate and empathize with normal or dire birds. This gives them a +4 racial bonus on checks when influencing the animal’s attitude and allows the communication of simple concepts and (if the animal is friendly) commands, such as “friend,” “foe,” “flee,” and “attack.”

    Nymph's Kiss: +1 to saves against spells and spell-like abilities.

    Protective Aura (Su): As magic circle against evil and and lesser globe of invulnerability. Caster level 11th.

    Spell-like Abilities: At Will - Bless, Guidance, Resistance, Virtue. Caster level 12th. Save DC's are Charisma-based.

    Tongues (Sp): Continuous, as the spell, CL 14th.

    Wild Empathy (Ex): Starry-Eyes can improve the attitude of an animal. This ability functions just like a Diplomacy check to improve the attitude of a person. Starry-Eyes rolls 1d20 and adds +7 to determine the wild empathy check result. The typical domestic animal has a starting attitude of indifferent, while wild animals are usually unfriendly.

    To use wild empathy, Starry-Eyes and the animal must be able to study each other, which means that they must be within 30 feet of one another under normal visibility conditions. Generally, influencing an animal in this way takes 1 minute, but, as with influencing people, it might take more or less time.

    Starry-Eyes can also use this ability to influence a magical beast with an Intelligence score of 1 or 2, but he takes a –4 penalty on the check.

    Sources
    Spoiler
    Show

    Book of Exalted Deeds
    - Knight of Stars, Nimbus of Light, and Nymph's Kiss feats
    - Luminous Armor and Ray of Hope spell
    - Saint template

    Complete Arcane
    - Green Star Adept PrC

    Heroes of Horror
    - Dreamtelling feat

    Lords of Madness
    - Aberration Banemagic feat
    - Keeper of the Cerulean Sign PrC
    - Invoke the Cerulean Sign spell

    Monster Manual 3.5
    - Lycanthrope template

    Player's Handbook
    - Everything else

    Races of the Wild
    - Chordevoc creature
    - Leafweave armor
    - Warsling weapon

    Spell Compendium
    - Allegro, Songbird and Swift Expeditious Retreat spells

    Unearthed Arcana
    - Quick Trait

    Yo Momma
    - A good time



    Overview
    Spoiler
    Show

    Starry-Eyes is a little bit of everything. She can be a ranged fighter, a melee fighter, hit and run, or long and drawn out. Her spells also help out greatly.

    Halfling
    Halflings are just bursting full of little saves and bonuses that add greatly to any build. Their size also allows them to become were chordevoc's.

    Bard
    Though her BAB isn't phenomenal, it's better than taking wizard or sorcerer, and 3/4ths is as good as most other gish builds. Also, as Bards may wear light armor without spell disruption they meet the prerequisite Combat Casting feat of GSA. Finally, a bard can meet the heavy skill requirements that would drain almost any other class dry.

    Ranger
    Ranger may seem a dip to push that base attack 1 point up to meet the 4 BAB of GSA, but it was chosen for flavor reasons. The high Charisma that the bard uses reflects well with Wild Empathy. As well, Favorite Enemy aids much with the theme of the build by allowing Starry-Eyes to better fight aberrations. The bonus Track feat then melds with the Scent ability granted by the lycanthrope template.

    Keeper of the Cerulean Sign
    This class was taken for sheer flavor. However, it does aid in battle against Aberrations, and the ability to make a Cerulean Sign adds to the AC, as well as saves against aberrations. It also grants a much needed additional caster level.

    Lycanthrope Template
    Why a Chordevoc? Well, first thing, the flavor. It's a flying nocturnal hawk used by halfling for guardians. It fit perfect with the story. Blindsense 60 feet too? Booyah. Also, it has the highest fly speed of any HD 1 animal, and good maneuverability to top it off. Its dexterity is fantastic, and though the GSA lowers it, the halfling bonus evens it out again. You now have a creature with both great strength and agility with size modifier bonuses to both melee and ranged attacks. She's strong enough to lift heavy burdens while she flies and drop them on foes as well.

    The additional slam attack from GSA now gives this fella 4 separate attacks that bypasses adamantine, evil, silver and magic damage reductions.

    Then you have the natural armor which stacks nicely with the GSA. Throw in the Saint template and by the end you have an AC in the 30's without any armor or magical enhancements. With those you crank up this bad boy to an AC in the 40's.

    If you simply want to hide, chordevoc and halfling hide bonuses make a nice little synergy together. Being able to become tiny-sized doesn't hurt either. Yeah, +8 additional to hide checks.

    Saint Template
    This may reek of cheese, but bear with me. I sacrificed 2 levels of casting and BAB to take this, as well as 3 exalted feats. However, these feats fit perfectly with the concept, and Nymph's Kiss in particular helps fill in the skills lost to PrC's (that really make no sense requiring them truth be told). The insight bonus meshes with the wisdom increase granted by the lycanthrope template. As well, the cold immunity now allows Starry-Eyes to remain in space indefinitely. Lesser Globe of Invulnerability blocks many force effects such as Magic Missile that would get through the many invulnerabilities of the GSA. Add in the at will Circle Against Evil and Starry-Eyes is now immune to mind-affecting effects, making her almost a pure construct in way of immunities. With acid, cold, and electricity immunity, fire resistance, and damage reduction that requires the weapon be both adamantine AND evil... good luck harming her even if you do manage to bypass her AC.

    Then you have the +2 bonus to the Ranger's favorite enemy against aberrations, plus an additional 1d6 damage as most aberrations are evil. If they are outsider-type abominations it's 1d8.

    Oh, and Fast Healing, this need not work only on living creatures. She's a construct that heals. This is tasty.

    Saves
    Despite the multi-classing, starry-Eyes has very nice saves to top what can actually bypass all of the above. Nymph's kiss bumps this up by +1 against spells/spell-likes. Against aberration spells and spell-like abilities she has no less than a +6 bonus to all saves.

    Spells
    Though all the spells were chosen to go with the theme, Luminous Armor is probably the best to the point of cheesiness.
    It grants a +5 bonus to armor (yeah, like this build needs it higher), but the shining bit also makes them take a -4 penalty to attacks. This is like a +9 bonus to armor that lasts all day. With this sucker and some very minor armor enhancements your AC could be in the 50's by level 20.

    However, here's where the cheese come in. The penalty for such a nice spell is you take strength damage. However, you are now immune to strength damage so get it free. Just something to think on.


    Optional
    Spoiler
    Show

    Classes
    Except for the immortality of it, the last three levels of GSA are pretty worthless. You have no need to eat, sleep or breathe by that part and that's all Starry-Eyes needs to survive. Further levels in Keeper of the Cerulean Sign would be appropriate as the granted abilities outweigh that of bard, yet has full bardic spell progression. A dip into Paladin of Freedom would be good for the charisma-based bonuses to saves and additional BAB.

    Flaws
    If Flaws weren't considered in bad taste I'd have given her the Unattentive flaw due to her blind determination to save others and defeat the aberrations.
    In exchange I'd give her either the Power Climb feat so as to fly upwards even more quickly or Nemesis from the BoED for more Aberration smiting fun.
    Last edited by Private-Prinny; 2010-07-09 at 09:58 PM.
    Quotebox
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Moron View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Optimystik View Post
    'Adding up numbers' is completely independent of roleplay. What you're saying makes as much sense as "peeling a banana is not a good way to drive."


  29. - Top - End - #149
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge VII

    It's alive! It's ALIIIIIIIIIVE!
    Quote Originally Posted by Julius Mordenstein
    Dr. Julius Mordenstein, "the Monster of Morden Hill"
    CE Human Dread Necromancer 8/Green Star Adept 8/Fleshwarper 4

    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,
    Your father

    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,
    Your father


    Dr. Julius Mordenstein, "the Monster of Morden Hill"
    CE Human Dread Necromancer 8/Green Star Adept 8/Flesh Grafter 4


    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 : Dreadful Wrath
    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
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    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:
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    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.

    Additional cheese:
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    Trait - Unnatural (+2 to fear spell and effect DCs, -2 to interaction with animals)
    Flaws - Arcane Disciple for some tasty spells, Improved Toughness, maybe Practiced Spellcaster
    Last edited by Private-Prinny; 2010-07-09 at 09:45 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Moron View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Optimystik View Post
    'Adding up numbers' is completely independent of roleplay. What you're saying makes as much sense as "peeling a banana is not a good way to drive."


  30. - Top - End - #150
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge VII

    MEGATRON HAS FALL-, oh, Stardream? Sorry.
    Quote Originally Posted by Stardream Kaurrek
    Journal of Stardream Kaurrek, Illumian Duskblade

    Sources beyond the SRD: Races of Destiny, PHB 2, Complete Warrior, Complete Arcane

    Adventure's Beginning (1st-6th)
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    I leave the enclave of my birth this day, to learn of the world outside. It is our custom for each young Stardream to leave the enclave when he or she comes of age. Returning after two decades or more, more experienced, wiser, and with an amazing repository of tales and knowledge to share. I keep this journal so that I will not forget what I have seen. My scattered knowledge may yet assist me in my travels, and my natural strength will hopefully keep me from being slain by an owlbear my first night away. I will see the world, but my heart and soul is eternally devoted to the Stardream.

    Stardream Kaurrek
    LG Illumian Duskblade 1
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    Stats (32 point buy): Str 18, Dex 13, Con 10, Int 13, Wis 10, Cha 10
    Skills: Knowledge (arcana) 4 ranks, Knowledge (architecture and engineering) 2 ranks, Knowledge (geography) 2 ranks, Knowledge (history) 2 ranks.
    Feats: Monkey Grip

    Wielding a Large greatsword for maximum damage. Duskblade has all the necessary skills, meaning that Kaurrek can pick up most of the necessary skills at 1st level. Illumian is key.


    I entered the human nation of Qynaere yesterday. At first I thought I had gone the wrong way, as there are so many other races here. I met some odd people in the local inn. Minna, a halfling druid, Emeline, a rather pretty human cleric, Hadriss, an elven wizard, and Daven, a gnome scout. They said that they were adventurers, and invited me to join them. I did, and we began our travels.
    ---
    Kobolds ambushed us while we were sleeping. I’ve never seen Daven so fierce before. Apparently there’s some old hatred between the gnomes and kobolds. Religion was never my strong suit. The tale of Garl Glittergold and Kurtlumak is copied down on the next page. It is an interesting tale, to be sure. Perhaps the cabal will be interested. I do not think we yet have a word-for-word retelling of the story in our cabal library.
    ---
    No one told me adventuring was so dirty. We spent two weeks slogging through a swamp to catch that yuan-ti sorceress, and never found her or that illustrated manuscript she stole. So we’re going to spend two more weeks here getting out. Lovely. I’m out of ink too.
    ---
    Hadriss has told me all about the original duskblades. I feel truly honored when I realize the legacy of my chosen path. The tale he told is copied down on the following page, for future reference. Daven's drunk and telling increasingly horrible jokes and Minna's deep in discussion with Emeline about the nature of faith. We caught the yuan-ti. I am truly blessed to have these friends.
    -----
    How many years has it been since I last wrote in this journal? My cabal seems so far away, so secondary. It is an odd feeling, to remember a time when I adventured only for my cabal. I still remember the impulse and duty that drove me to write those words. I don’t feel that devotion any more. I am a proud father to a half-human child, a successful scholar, and a skilled adventurer. If my cabal could see me, I likely would be cast out at once. I swore I wouldn’t forget, swore I wouldn’t let go. But I have let go, and I do not regret it.

    Kaurrek Stardream
    LG Illumian Duskblade 4/Fighter 2
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    Stats (32 point buy): Str 19, Dex 13, Con 10, Int 13, Wis 10, Cha 10
    Skills: Decipher Script 2 ranks, Jump 6 ranks, Knowledge (arcana) 8 ranks, Knowledge (architecture and engineering) 2 ranks, Knowledge (geography) 2 ranks, Knowledge (history) 2 ranks.
    Feats: Monkey Grip, Combat Casting (duskblade bonus), Improved Sigil (Aesh), Weapon Focus (greatsword) (fighter bonus), Power Attack (fighter bonus), Cleave
    Sigils: Aesh (+2 on Strength-based skill checks), Krau (+2 caster level)

    The whole idea is a melee fighter with magic who goes SAD for Strength and deals amazing damage to multiple foes. Duskblade gives Combat Casting, freeing up a feat slot.


    Right now, Kaurrek is a melee fighter, a duskblade with a fighter dip. nothing extraordinary. Tactics involve hitting things with a comically oversized greatsword charged with various spells. You can cast a lot of spells after you get Aeshkrau, and it pulls you towards being SAD for Strength. Shocking Grasp and Chill Touch are two solid spell choices.


    Drink Me (7th-12th)
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    Daven, Hadriss, Minna, and I are going to fight a terrible black dragon that has been ravaging the south. I am curious to see a dragon face to face for the first time, and am sincerely hoping that I and my friends survive.
    ---
    By the gods, today was a nightmare. I’d rather face down that black dragon again than celebrate my hollow victory. My feet have blisters, my fingers have blisters, my blisters have blisters, and they want me to dance and revel despite the fact that two of my comrades died to kill that dragon. I much prefer to sit here, writing in the empty alchemist’s lab. The wine I am drinking tastes utterly awful, and has this metallic aftertaste. Perhaps I should be thinking, not drowning my sorrows in poorly made wine. But I don’t want to think. Thinking brings back memories that I don’t need. Not right now.
    ---
    I feel awful. My skin is cold and clammy, my fingers are clumsy, and I’ve crushed three quills already. If I didn’t know better, I’d say my skin definitely has a greenish tinge to it. I must contact Minna. It will not do to show up to my own knighting ill.
    ---
    Am I going crazy? My skin feels as cold as ice, as hard as steel, and is tinted green. I see the world through blurred eyes, now the color of emeralds, no pupils or whites visible. I feel this ache in my bones, a hunger for something that cannot be quenched by food or drink. What is happening to me?
    -----
    Time was, I’d find this more amusing. A human turned into a being of words and symbols turning into a statue of metal. As it is, I can only struggle to cry, and curse my luck. I do suppose I brought this upon myself somehow. My sense of touch is numbed, as if I am separated from the world by a thick cloth. And I know this transformation won’t stop…I can’t make it stop or reverse what has happened…

    A terrifying hunger gnaws at my very core, and I now know why others would kill for starmetal. The transformation must be completed, for better or for worse. There is only enough for a few to achieve full transformation each time Alhazarde is sighted. Every time, only a few shards fall. Once every 23 years…soon it shall come again. And I will be ready. If this transformation cannot be halted, I will finish it, and end the suffering I live through.

    At last I have arrived. Alhazarde soared over this locale only yesterday, and I have found the metal I require. Three shards the size of my outstretched hand. It is all that lies here, and more than enough to complete the transformation. I must hurry back, before I am attacked by the others who seek this precious metal.

    Kaurrek Stardream
    LG Illumian Duskblade 4/Fighter 2/Green Star Adept 4/Knight 2
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    Stats (32 point buy): Str 23, Dex 12, Con 10, Int 13, Wis 10, Cha 10
    Skills: Concentration 5 ranks, Craft (alchemy) 2 ranks, Decipher Script 2 ranks, Intimidate 4 ranks, Jump 8 ranks, Knowledge (arcana) 8 ranks, Knowledge (architecture and engineering) 2 ranks, Knowledge (geography) 2 ranks, Knowledge (history) 2 ranks, Spellcraft 5 ranks
    Feats: Monkey Grip, Combat Casting (duskblade bonus), Improved Sigil (Aesh), Weapon Focus (greatsword) (fighter bonus), Power Attack (fighter bonus), Cleave, Leap of the Heavens, Leap Attack
    Sigils: Aesh (+2 on Strength-based skill checks), Krau (+2 caster level)


    Knight levels grant hit points and BAB. Better than more levels in fighter. Also Bulwark of Defense in a few levels, which is nice for a melee combatant. Also: Green Star Adept levels. Looks bad. But when combined with Aeshkrau, the spell-spamming melee attacker role is only reinforced, as your Strength increases. Damage reduction is actually one of the best features of the class, and can't be reliably bypassed unless every enemy you fight is a 16th level monk or hits with adamantine weapons. In which case you have an evil DM.

    Leap Attack raises damage for a damage-heavy build, and Leap of the Heavens makes it easier to activate. There is almost no reason not to try it each round.


    One Final Breath (13th-19th)
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    My days go past in a blur of pain, training sessions, and alchemical starmetal concoctions of varied bitterness. My body is trying to reject the transformation, and I must complete it before my life ends. I am alone. It is likely that this will always be so.

    Will the pain not stop? Each day I become a little stiffer, each breath and heartbeat seems so loud, for I know they soon will cease. I savor each meal, though their flavors are weakened, for my body has almost ceased to accept food and drink. Breathe in. Breathe out. I drink the starmetal infusion, barely able to taste the bitter metallic flavor. Breathe in. Breathe out. My heart beats once, twice, and stops, just as my last breath leaves my body. I look at my vivid green skin, feel my flesh, now more like a suit of adamantine full plate than anything else, remember the day my love Emeline forsook me, declaring me a monster. I suppose I am.

    Kaurrek Stardream
    LG Illumian Duskblade 4/Fighter 2/Green Star Adept 7/Knight 3
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    Stats (32 point buy): Str 26, Dex 11, Con 10, Int 13, Wis 10, Cha 10
    Skills: Concentration 8 ranks, Craft (alchemy) 2 ranks, Decipher Script 2 ranks, Intimidate 4 ranks, Jump 11 ranks, Knowledge (arcana) 11 ranks, Knowledge (architecture and engineering) 2 ranks, Knowledge (geography) 2 ranks, Knowledge (history) 2 ranks, Spellcraft 8 ranks
    Feats: Monkey Grip, Combat Casting (duskblade bonus), Improved Sigil (Aesh), Weapon Focus (greatsword) (fighter bonus), Power Attack (fighter bonus), Cleave, Leap of the Heavens, Leap Attack, Great Cleave
    Sigils: Aesh (+2 on Strength-based skill checks), Krau (+2 caster level)

    So we've got Bulwark of Defense, Null Metabolism, and more Strength. Also Great Cleave. Bulwark of Defense is actually really good for someone who relies almost entirely on hitting things with oversized magically charged metal sticks. Null Metabolism...it's on the way to Emerald Perfection. Not great, not bad. Also provides flavor and the ability to swim across the ocean/run around the world.


    Journey's End
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    Looking at this dusty old journal brings back many memories. My cabal has fallen, and I have made no attempt to found a new one. I have seen kingdoms rise and fall under the flame of the Green Star. Each time it circles, I journey to where the shards fall. A sort of religious pilgrimage, I would suppose. I take none of the metal, knowing that a few foolhardy others wish to walk this path. Five centuries…has it really been that long? Does it matter anymore? For I am Kaurrek the Eternal, and I will fight the forces of evil until the day I die. To all who read this journal, whoever you may be, my tale ends here, and now, in this broken palace built over the place I once called home.

    Kaurrek the Eternal
    LG Illumian Fighter 2/Duskblade 4/Knight 4/Green Star Adept 10
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    Stats (32 point buy): Str 29, Dex 10, Con 10, Int 13, Wis 10, Cha 10
    Skills: Concentration 11 ranks, Craft (alchemy) 2 ranks, Decipher Script 2 ranks, Intimidate 4 ranks, Jump 14 ranks, Knowledge (arcana) 14 ranks, Knowledge (architecture and engineering) 2 ranks, Knowledge (geography) 2 ranks, Knowledge (history) 2 ranks, Spellcraft 11 ranks
    Feats: Monkey Grip, Combat Casting (duskblade bonus), Improved Sigil (Aesh), Weapon Focus (greatsword) (fighter bonus), Power Attack (fighter bonus), Cleave, Leap of the Heavens, Leap Attack, Great Cleave, Improved Critical (greatsword)
    Sigils: Aesh (+2 on Strength-based skill checks), Krau (+2 caster level)


    Endgame. Results: +17 BAB, which is good enough to get 4 attacks. Fort +11 Ref +5, each one point worse than a straight duskblade. Will +15, which is better than the duskblade.

    29 Strength without any enhancments, 35 Strength with a belt of giant strength, which is likely the natural state of things. That's equal to an old red dragon. An average hit with a normal Large greatsword will deal about 23-25 damage, without Power Attacking or whatever. You've got +31 to hit. Some of it can likely be traded into that sword blow. If you've got chill touch in your sword (which you should at all times, 16 hits of 1d6 damage for 1 spell slot) add 3 more. That sword also likely has enhancements. Most hits should probably be doing 30 points of damage on average. Your attack bonus and average damage-per-hit are both higher than the aforementioned old red dragon's. Who is Gargantuan.


    Crunchy Bits:

    Level Progression:
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    Duskblade
    Duskblade
    Fighter
    Fighter
    Duskblade
    Duskblade
    Green Star Adept
    Knight
    Green Star Adept
    Green Star Adept
    Knight
    Green Star Adept
    Green Star Adept
    Green Star Adept
    Knight
    Green Star Adept
    Green Star Adept
    Green Star Adept
    Green Star Adept
    Knight


    Customization:
    Spoiler
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    You could swap Knight to Scout for Skirmish instead of Bulwark of Defense.
    --
    Or Knight to Fighter, and grab Weapon Specialization.
    --
    Take Sorcerer instead of Duskblade and grab the Armored Mage ACF in Complete Mage and combine with the scout for a lighter-armored variant.
    --
    Shaky (Flaw): Why would this dude be in ranged combat?

    Weak Will (Flaw): Pulls your +15 Will save down to +12. AKA: Normal.


    Strengths:
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    Melee combat. Especially one that involves lots of mooks. No one's getting past Kaurrek with the Bulwark of Defense class feature, and he is literally capable of dealing as much damage as a dragon. With the Cleave and Great Cleave feats, he'll slice through quite a few, and no one's going to arm 200 mooks with adamantine weapons anyways.

    Leap of the Heavens and Leap Attack mean that he can jump up, over, and down onto an opponent, whether or not he's got a path to that person. A good Jump modifier means that he can jump his entire move, land, and attack.


    Weaknesses:
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    Outside of combat, he's largely reduced to breaking down doors and such.
    Quotebox
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Moron View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Optimystik View Post
    'Adding up numbers' is completely independent of roleplay. What you're saying makes as much sense as "peeling a banana is not a good way to drive."


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