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  1. - Top - End - #151
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge IX

    Quote Originally Posted by Amphetryon View Post
    A PrC that granted a dire weasel's "attach" ability sounds extremely cool, worthwhile, and unusual.
    Definitely, or a wolverine's rage would add to things as well (a wolverine being a weasel as well) for barbarian builds.
    Last edited by The Vorpal Tribble; 2010-08-11 at 11:14 AM.

  2. - Top - End - #152
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge IX

    Weasel Lord
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    Requirements
    Skills: Survival +4
    Feats: Diehard

    -=-=-=-=-

    Animal Bond
    Weasels: Weasels, badgers, wolverines and dire varieties

    First Totem: +4 to Survival

    Wild Aspect: A weasel lord gains a tenacious bite as a primary attack. The bite deals 1d6 points of damage (1d4 for small weasel lords). If a weasel lord hits with its bite attack he can attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking attacks of opportunity. If the opponent is 1 or more sizes larger, and successfully bitten, the weasel lord can instead latch on without making a grapple check. An attached weasel lord loses his Dexterity bonus to AC. An attached weasel lord can be struck with a weapon or grappled itself. To remove an attached weasel lord weasel through grappling, the opponent must achieve a pin against him.

    At 7th level the weasel lord may drain blood from his opponent, dealing 1d4 points of constitution damage (1d3 for small weasel lords) per round he remains attached.

    Summon Animal: 1d3 dire wolverines, 1d4+1 dire badgers, dire weasels or wolverines

    Second Totem: Weasel Lord - Improved Toughness or Extra Rage

    Third Totem: Weasel Lord +2 Constitution


    Hippopotamus Lord
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    Requirements
    Skills: Swim +4
    Feats: Power Attack

    -=-=-=-=-

    Animal Bond
    Hippopotami: Hippos and dire hippos

    First Totem: +4 to Swim

    Wild Aspect: A hippo lord gains a bite as a primary attack. The bite deals 1d6 points of damage (1d4 for small hippo lords).

    At 7th level the hippo lord function in many ways as if they were one size category larger. Whenever a hippo-lord is subject to a size modifier or special size modifier for an opposed check (such as during grapple checks, bull rush attempts, and trip attempts), he is treated as one size larger if doing so is advantageous to him. A hippo-lord is also considered to be one size larger when determining whether a creature’s special attacks based on size (such as improved grab or swallow whole) can affect him. A hippo-lord cannot use weapons designed for a creature one size larger without penalty. As well, his space and reach remain those of a creature of his actual size. These benefits stack with the effects of powers, abilities, and spells that change the subject’s size category.

    Summon Animal: 1 hippopotamus

    Second Totem: Hippo Lord - Improved Overrun

    Third Totem: Hippo Lord +2 Strength


    Frog Lord
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    Requirements
    Skills: Jump +4
    Feats: Leap of the Heavens

    -=-=-=-=-

    Animal Bond
    Amphibians: Frogs, toads, and dire toads (MM II)

    First Totem: +4 to Jump

    Wild Aspect: A frog lord gains a special tongue attack. This acts as a 10 ft. ranged touch attack. If a frog lord hits with its tongue attack he can attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking attacks of opportunity. If the frog lord establishes a hold, and the opponent is 1 size category less or smaller, it can attempt to swallow it's opponent whole.

    A swallowed creature can cut its way out by using a light slashing or piercing weapon to deal damage equal to 1/4th the normal hit point total of the frog lord. The Armor Class of the interior of a frog lord is 12 + 1/2 its natural armor bonus, with no modifiers for size or Dexterity. Once the creature exits, muscular action closes the hole; another swallowed opponent must cut its own way out. A frog lord may only hold 1 creature at a time.

    A frog lord also gains the ability to breathe water while his wild aspect is active.

    At 7th level those swallowed by a frog lord also take acid damage each round equal to 1d6 + frog lord's con mod.

    Summon Animal: 1d4+1 dire toads

    Second Totem: Frog Lord - Flying Fish Leap

    Third Totem: Frog Lord +2 Constitution
    Last edited by The Vorpal Tribble; 2010-08-11 at 01:25 PM.

  3. - Top - End - #153
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    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge IX

    Quote Originally Posted by OMG PONIES View Post
    I would like to know this as well. Is there a minimum number of levels before something is no longer considered a dip, but instead a lap or a nice leisurely swim? Does flavor/backstory play into it?
    I'm not judging this one, but I do plan to judge again in the future, so I'll go ahead and answer.

    1-2 levels is a dip. 4+ levels is not a dip. 3 levels is where I have to sit and look at the back story (which I give a lot of weight to), what the character is getting from those 3 levels, or getting / not getting from not taking more levels, and the rest of the build. In most cases, 3 levels would not be counted as a dip in my mind, but it is always possible I will count it as a dip.
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  4. - Top - End - #154
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge IX

    Quote Originally Posted by OMG PONIES View Post
    I know it will probably vary from judge to judge, but I'd like to hear from each of them what their criteria for "dipping" are. While most of them warn against it in their overall guidelines, there seem to be no hard-and-fast "take at least X levels or else it's a dip" rules.
    I hinted in my criteria that a dip would be a counter-thematic, unrelated, and unprogressed investment of a 1 or more levels for the expressed purpose of gaining a couple of class features. I wouldn't count a person down for splashing Barbarian in a Fighter or Ranger build, but I would mark them down for dipping Cleric or Bard and leaving that 1 level of casting stranded. If that casting was later progressed in some form to a semi-respectable level, it might be forgiven. Likewise, a non-casting dip in a casting centric build would be ill advised unless it was needed to qualify for a hybred PrC of some sort. PrCs are dipable if they continue the theme. IE, I don't consider Spellsword1 a dip in a build that contains Abjurant Champion, as they are essentially the same PrC with very similar prereqs, mechanics, and goals. Also, I've mentioned a pretty soft limit of ~6 classes total, between base classes and PrCs. Any more than that, especially in the realm of this contest where the SI should be showcased, and you run the risk of diluting things too much. Of course, exceptions to this are possible if things fit together well, but in general try to stay at 6 or less.

    These are only my criteria though, other judges might not be as forgiving.

    I should probably start my judging today. Yea...that would be a good idea.
    Last edited by Keld Denar; 2010-08-11 at 12:03 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fax Celestis View Post
    AILHAY THULUCAY! AILHAY THULUCAY! AILHAY THULUCAY!
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  5. - Top - End - #155
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge IX

    Also added Hippo and Frog lord to the above.

    Quote Originally Posted by Keld Denar View Post
    These are only my criteria though, other judges might not be as forgiving.
    I find those rules very fair.

    I should probably start my judging today. Yea...that would be a good idea.
    I concur

    Quote Originally Posted by Kesnit View Post
    1-2 levels is a dip. 4+ levels is not a dip. 3 levels is where I have to sit and look at the back story (which I give a lot of weight to), what the character is getting from those 3 levels, or getting / not getting from not taking more levels, and the rest of the build. In most cases, 3 levels would not be counted as a dip in my mind, but it is always possible I will count it as a dip.
    But would the dip be given a negative scoring? For instance my previous entry Starry-Eyes used a single level of Keeper of the Cerulean Sign because thematically it fit very well and she'd made the most of her other classes.

    A dip that makes no sense and is just grabbing for a cheap boost is one thing, but if it fits and compliments the build I'd have problems understanding why it would be scored a reduction.
    Last edited by The Vorpal Tribble; 2010-08-11 at 12:48 PM.

  6. - Top - End - #156
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge IX

    On the subject of Sway's elegance, I didn't take any points because the creator was very honest explaining what he did and why he did it. In a real game, LA-buyoff would make him only about 10,000XP (if that many) short of LA 20 if he was adventuring in an adequate level party facing adequate level challenges.
    The build is very elegant otherwise, so I saw no reason to punish it. Of course, other judges might disagree.

  7. - Top - End - #157
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge IX

    Oh Tribble...I could do such dirty nasty things with a few PsyWar levels leading in to Frog Lord. Oh lordy, hide the children, it would be scary.

    As a side note, what happens if you dismiss Expansion while you have someone swallowed whole? I'd imagine it would be messy and rather uncomfortable for the both of ya...
    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.

  8. - Top - End - #158
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge IX

    As a side note, what happens if you dismiss Expansion while you have someone swallowed whole? I'd imagine it would be messy and rather uncomfortable for the both of ya...
    Heh, dunno, Wizard's says what happens if you expand while in a small place, but never mention what happens if you shrink. As a DM I'd rule you would instinctively regurgitate as you shrunk.

  9. - Top - End - #159
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge IX

    Quote Originally Posted by Kesnit View Post
    1-2 levels is a dip. 4+ levels is not a dip. 3 levels is where I have to sit and look at the back story (which I give a lot of weight to), what the character is getting from those 3 levels, or getting / not getting from not taking more levels, and the rest of the build. In most cases, 3 levels would not be counted as a dip in my mind, but it is always possible I will count it as a dip.
    Just so I'm clear here, that means that a hypothetical Whirling Frenzy Barbarian 2 built for 2 light weapons/Ranger 2/Fighter 2 would get penalized?
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  10. - Top - End - #160
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge IX

    I guess some dips are regarded as more acceptable than others. Mindbender 1 comes to mind. Base classes are probably more acceptable than Prestige classes, at least that is how I have experienced it in the games I have run/played.

    How else does one qualify for the likes of Fochlucan Lyrist without a lot of dips?

  11. - Top - End - #161
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge IX

    Quote Originally Posted by The Vorpal Tribble View Post
    That could have been interesting, but I don't like the flavor of a darfellan shark lord. Darfellans are like whale shifters, and whales and sharks are at extreme odds with each other. Darfellans even have racial bonuses against shark people.
    True, though as they're based off of Orcas, a.k.a. Killer Whales, I'd think you could work with it. Plus, it could totally be using the weapons of the enemy against them type deal. Also, the Sahuagin aren't really all that sharky, other than the blood frenzy bit. I mean, look at those guys:
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    Hardly sharky at all. They're like feral Locathah at best.
    Last edited by Cieyrin; 2010-08-11 at 06:38 PM.
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  12. - Top - End - #162
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge IX

    Yeah, I think a whale-man Sharklord could work fine, either with some refluffing or with a backstory about him being a turncoat, like the Benedict Arnold of the sea.
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge IX

    Quote Originally Posted by The Vorpal Tribble View Post
    But would the dip be given a negative scoring? For instance my previous entry Starry-Eyes used a single level of Keeper of the Cerulean Sign because thematically it fit very well and she'd made the most of her other classes.

    A dip that makes no sense and is just grabbing for a cheap boost is one thing, but if it fits and compliments the build I'd have problems understanding why it would be scored a reduction.
    When I think of dipping, I think of taking a class for the cheap boost. If it fits the theme, I would not lower the score.

    Quote Originally Posted by Amphetryon View Post
    Just so I'm clear here, that means that a hypothetical Whirling Frenzy Barbarian 2 built for 2 light weapons/Ranger 2/Fighter 2 would get penalized?
    See above.

    Same goes for qualifying for PrCs that require 2 classes. For example, the Daggerspell Mage I am playing in NWN2 is a Rogue 1 / SORC 5 to start. Rogue 1 isn't a dip because DSM is a Rogue / Arcane combo.
    Last edited by Kesnit; 2010-08-11 at 07:37 PM.
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge IX

    Quote Originally Posted by DanReiv View Post
    Got the sharklord but it was so dumb I didn't submitted Relied on "custom" magic item to make it breathe air and stuff.
    For future reference: Check out Gilled Armor, MIC p.11.
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    It's Judging Time!

    Criteria and General Judging Notes:
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    For reference, my judging criteria as stated before the competition.

    My default expectation for originality was a martial character with an animal companion and perhaps limited spellcasting. Something generally similar in tone to a Ranger.

    I was actively expecting a build that that used Wildshape Ranger and Beastmaster (though a couple came close, none hit this mark).

    My base expectation on power was a low Tier 4.

    As a note on scoring, my criteria originally listed under power that I would add points for "particularly innovative synergy." While that is still in play, it also occurred to my while scoring these that synergy that is effective, but not necessarily innovative, isn't a bad thing from a power perspective. As such, it will also be awarded a base of +0.5 points in the power category.


    Bertram (12 Composite, 3 average)
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    General Comments:
    I liked the general concept here very much: I think for the most part you sold the idea. The attempt to build a Birdlord towards an aspects of birds that isn't immediately forthcoming from the class features was in impressive goal.
    I think, however, that your capacity and your resonance as a character would be significantly improved by further augmenting your summons (or other similar capacities) in either quantity or power. Depending on how the DM adjudicated it, Birdlord 8 might have been appropriate for the Animal Telepathy feature. Otherwise, you would have been significantly better leaving the class at 5 and seeking a class that better served to let you use your summons both in combat and as agents to spread contagion. Ultimately, the choice to go Birdlord 10 (which I presume was done solely because it was the secret ingredient) hurt you more than it helped.

    Originality: 4
    • The use of cancer mage with Birdlord was thematically inspired and unexpected (+.5, ad hoc)
    • Best in Category (+.5)


    Power: 3
    • Given the elements of the build other than Birdlord--particularly the combination of druid and cancer mage, I would generally expect this character to be a martial combatant with supportive spell-casting. Essentially, the same role as a gish with fairly unusual methods of getting there. This strikes me in general as a low to mid tier 3 character, a significantly more powerful prospect than my default assumption. (+1)
    • Ultimately however, you don't invest enough in any of the other classes to truely expand your basic role. You end up as a scout with only the most minimal of support spellcasting and special abilities. The focus on disease and poison will give you some interesting new options, which are likely to hit immunity late game, they're not really reliable enough to say they make you significantly more powerful. You also seem to overestimate your summon: your capacity thereto is fairly limited for direct mechanical use. In short, you aim high, but you end up more or less where one would expect a Bird Lord to be.(-1)


    Elegance: 2.5
    • The emphasis on disease (and to a lesser extent poison) is well suited to the concept of pigeons as a dirty animals. It's a particularly innovative and solid theme. (+1)
    • Cancer mage is something that often sets off more conservative DMs (-.5). However, since the class is used conservatively and it's not often outright banned, I'm giving further penalty.
    • The strengths of the character focus on him being an advanced agent even more so than a scout, which can be somewhat disruptive if the DM doesn't tailor for it. It's a workable propisition, but the DM will have to work it.(-.5)
    • I can't seem to find a particular reason as to why you split scout for cleric or delay final level of cancer mage until you're a couple levels into Birdlord. (-.5)


    Use of Special Ingredient:2.5
    • Role of the actual abilities of Birdlord are fairly ancillary. (-.5)
    • While a scout build will get decent mileage out of some Bird Lord, it could (and this build probably would) reasonably function with less of it (-.5)
    • You use all 10 levels of Birdlord (+.5)




    Sway (15 Composite, 3.75 Average)
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    General Notes:
    I liked both the focus on the Social finesse and the Bard ACF. The inclusion of Cloaked Dancer was also pleasant surprise. It's worth noting here that this is probably the only build where I didn't immediately think taking all 10 levels of animal lord was a mistake. Ultimately, +2 Cha is simply more relevant to this build than +2 Con or +2 Str is to many others.

    Originality: 3.5
    • The build focused more heavily on social finesse and skill use than I was expecting: I was certainly expecting at least some skill monkey/combat finesse builds, but the emphasis on cloaked dancer moves the social aspect out of the realm on simple skill effects and into the realm of class features (much in the realm of the bard abilities the contestant chose to forgo for the ACF). (+.5)



    Power: 4
    • The elements of the build trend towards a proficient social combat character. If it weren't for the large LA (even with buyoff) I would be tempted to peg this as a low tier 3 character (as I imagine you would have progressed the bard casting a little further). As it is, it strikes me as a high tier 4.(+.5)
    • You end up pretty much where you would expect of such a build (0)
    • The ACF bard was a particularly insightful way to get the animal companion for this build: for a socially focused build, it's probably strictly superior to the other options used in the competition (+.5)

    Elegance: 3
    • All the elements of the build seem to work well thematically. (+.5)
    • The LA buyout is something a conservative DM may not be happy with. I also don't think you'll get back quite the XP you think unless the awards are per encounter, which his only one of many supported methods. This is, in my opinion, about as big of a potential issue as flaw use.(-1)
    • The character should be reasonably functional without disrupting most tables. (+.5)

    Use of Special Ingredient: 4.5
    • The Snakelord levels reinforce the chosen role well. (+.5)
    • You use all 10 levels of Snakelord (+.5)
    • While the build could reasonably function without the last two levels of Snakelord, it does make decent use of them, which was an exception this round of competition (+.5)



    Fistbear Bearfist (11.5 Composite, 2.875 Average)
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    General Notes:
    This is more or less exactly the kind of character I was expecting from the Secret Ingredient. Interestingly enough, however, by taking more powerful options to represent the idea, you trivialized the role of Bear Lord to a large degree.

    Originality: 1.5
    • It fulfills the basic role I expected for the special ingredient to a tee(-.5)
    • This one's been done. Quite possibly by you, but it's not an innovative concept at this point. Put another way, I wasn't expecting this precise build, but I was expecting this character (-1, ad hoc).

    Power: 4.5
    • The build has pretty much the same scope as my base expectation: you're a frontliner with an animal companion. That's usually a low tier 4 (+0)
    • You are, however, significantly more competent because of how you build. You're still almost exclusively a frontline combatant, but you're probably as good as you can be in that roll without dipping into the truly smelly cheese. (+.5)
    • The mechanical synergy of the build is particularly effective (+.5)
    • Best in Category (+.5)

    Elegance: 4
    • The build is thematically well suited to the concept. (+.5)
    • The build should be fairly non-disruptive in play. (+.5)

    Use of Special Ingredient:1.5
    • Despite thematic ties, the abilities of Bearlord aren't particularly central to the build (-5.)
    • Realistically, you would do far better with 5 levels in something else (-1)



    Felix (12.5 Composite, 3.125 Average)
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    General Comments: Ahh, Felix the Cat. I remember him vaguely and with reluctance, since when he was on I was a small child living in a mobile home with parents who never should have married and who only didn't drown out Felix's adventures when they were under the influence. Ahh, them's the days.
    In all seriousness though, you make a good run at adapting some of the fairly broad characterization elements of Felix and applying them to a playable character. I applaud that. Also, Felix is awesome.
    Anyhow, this presented an interesting conundrum for me. I made a deduction in elegance because of a heavy trend of intellectually themed features that didn't fit the character as presented. Ultimately, however, I do think it's a supportable theme: had you presented a less detailed story, I likely would have presumed the theme (likely adapted to "cleverness") and awarded points there rather than taking them.

    Originality: 3
    • It's a stealth/precision damage build. It's nothing particularly innovative, but neither is it the first think I imagined when I thought "animal lord." (0)

    Power: 4
    • If we exclude catlord (or really, even if we don't), you're pretty much aiming for a stealth based skill monkey. That's usually at the lower end of Tier 4 play: your role outside your specialty is primarily limited to precision damage and skill use. While it represents a niche than what I expected from the class as a default, it's not an inherently more powerful or flexible proposition. (0)
    • You do, however, make a very good run of that niche: your stealth capacity is impressive and between your skill tricks and your precision damage, you should be able to remain at least relatively relevant when stealth isn't appropriate. (+.5)
    • While the tricks you use to get to that point are well known, they are also effective (+.5)


    Elegance: 3.5
    • Several of the elements, particularly those revolving around knowledge, seem to suit the overall build character poorly. You have several elements (Factotum, Carmendine Monk, Knowledge Devotion) that have a heavy theme of intellectualism. You sell sneaky, you sell skillful, you sell empathic, but you don't really sell intellectual. (-.5)
    • Mechanically, however, all the elements of the build seem fairly notably appropriate to Catlord itself. (+.5)
    • I can't imagine this build being a problem at most tables. (+.5)
    • While my first impression is that the build moves randomly between classes for the first 10 levels, I can't find any mechanical reason why it has to. Near as I can tell, it's purely to meet your story needs, so I've chosen not to penalize.

    Use of Special Ingredient: 2
    • While it's nice thematically, you don't present anything that makes catlord seem central to anything you would actually do as this character. (-.5)
    • The only thing you seem to gain from the class is an animal companion: if that is the goal, you would be better off finishing out Beastmaster than entering Animal Lord at all (-1).
    • The build uses all 10 levels of Catlord (+.5)


    Ruszel (12 Composite, 3 Average)
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    General Comments:
    Despite the fact that this build as a whole wasn't quite where you wanted to be, there are a couple elements that stood out as particularly noteworthy from the point of view of this competition. Uncanny Trickster, in particular, is probably better in most regards than actually finishing out Animal Lord for any application of the class other than a focused melee character (and it's still probably a supportable choice there). In addition, while a ToB class probably isn't the best way to enter or cap off Animal Lord, non-class access to some maneuvers and/or stances in the middle levels would probably make most of the other entries more fun to play through 20.

    Originality: 3.5
    • The creation of a thieves guild in relation to the character is an interesting and unexpected choice that fits Snake Lord Well. (+.5, ad hoc)
    Power: 3.5
    • You aiming for a more or less standard skill monkey build with factotum heavily focused. This should, in general, be on the lower end of Tier 3, significantly higher than my base expectation (+1)
    • The inclusion of Snake Lord, however, neuters you noticeably. It's decidedly a downhill trend once you enter the class, and you'll likely become significantly more limited at higher levels. You end up in a situation where factotum is basically carrying Snake Lord. (-1)
    • The inclusion of the martial stances and uncanny trickster, while not overwhelming, are good choices. They represent particularly sound synergistic choices when dealing with Animal Lord's more skill inclined iterations. (+.5)

    Elegance: 3
    • The build as presented would only seem reasonably suited as an NPC or in a game a party that tended towards evil characters: assassination in particular will tend to split a party both thematically (because of moral opposition) and logistically (because of the skill set) unless it is a focus of most of the characters. (-.5)
    • The guild presented is likely to have a significant and lasting effect on a persistent game world. It extrapolates nicely from the idea of snake lord, so I will be awarding some points for it. It seems however, only ancillary to the character itself, so you're only getting half a point. (+.5)

    Use of Special Ingredient: 2
    • Snakelord, as a class rather than as a concept, contributes little to the build: you seem to be edging on a poison focus, but you never actually get there in a way to uses snake lord for anything other than a supply proposition. (-.5)
    • The build would likely be better mechanically in the complete absence of Snakelord. (-1)
    • I'm counting the Uncanny Trickster levels, so you use 9/10 levels in the Special Ingredient. (+.5)


    Urog Windbear (16.5 Composite, 4.125 Average)
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    General Notes:
    The flying bear idea seemed a bit odd, bit I liked this character immensely. It's thematically strong, mechanically creative, and it seems like it would be a blast to play. This is my favorite entry this round.

    Originality: 3
    • This is more or less the role I expected from the Animal Lord Class. No bonuses, but no deductions. (0)


    Power: 4
    • You're looking more or less at a the same power level as my base proposition: a reasonably rounded martial character. In general, I would expect the elements presented to trend to a low tier 4 class. (0)
    • The addition of the Bear Lord's grapple ability and the various strength bonuses you'll see from Primeval. you're going to significantly expand this capacity. You'll likely end up on the higher end of tier 4, rather than the lower. (+.5)
    • The elements of the build are also particularly synergistic: the wildshape ranger variant can be used to power both wild aspect and primeval form, and the emphasis on strength from both the race and from Primeval work well with the grapple emphasis from Bear Lord. (+.5)


    Elegance: 4.5
    • Both the race and all the classes seem well suited towards the character's thematic core. You're making a primitive strong man, and everything fits. Very well. (+.1)
    • The use of a flying animal for primeval, while creative, probably wouldn't make it past at least some DMs, especially since the ability explicitly calls for DM adjudication (-.5)
    • You enter Primeval at 9, 1 level after getting Wild Aspect from Animal Lord. This not only works well by introducing mechanical synergy as early as possible, but also seems thematically appropriate since the because of the similar concepts behind Primeval Form and Wild Aspect. (+.5)
    • While the role of a savage, primitive, beast man will be particularly interesting in many settings, it will be somewhat disruptive an many others. (-.5)
    • Despite this, the idea of a regressing feral character will be particularly interesting where suitable (+.5 ad hoc)
    • Best in Category (+.5)


    Use of Special Ingredient: 5
    • Bear Lord is fairly central to this build (+.5)
    • In addition, this build couldn't reasonably function as well without Bear Lord. Moreover, while the last two levels of Bear Lord are desirable primarily for Improved Grapple (which is fairly easy to get), using Bear Lord is is a fairly nice way to get them. Under the circumstances, I would say the build uses exactly the right number of levels in the class. (+1)
    • Best in Category (+.5)



    Brolly (12.5 Composite, 3.125 Average)
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    General notes:
    This build build's focus on a wide pool of permanent minions is a significantly different prospect than the other entries. It's an interesting idea, even though it would present some issues in game play. Ultimately what you'll run up against is the fact that you're going to be using an inordinate number of turns per round unless others are also using significant minions.
    In practice, I imagine the build would work better as Ranger (or druid or ACF bard) 5, Animal Lord 8, Beastmaster 7. You would retain Animal Telepathy, which would seem important to the build, but you would also net 2 additional animal companions. You could also benefit, even more so than most, from finding room in the build to take the Wild Cohort feat.

    Originality: 3.5
    • This build is significantly different than the other builds presented in the contest. (+.5)

    Power: 4
    • You're essentially looking here at a limited, purchased form of minion-mancing. It's a more effective (because of sheer scale) proposition that my base assumption of a martial combatant, but not inherently different or significantly more flexible one: you're still A high tier 4 as opposed to a low end tier 4. (+.5)
    • As to how you actually line up as a result of the class abilities, it's a bit bi-polar. How much animal lord contributes to what is otherwise a simple WBL expenditure to buy minions will depend heavily on how the DM adjudicates, in particular, Animal Telepathy. In general, I think that the potential gain of a DM letting you play tactically with a far greater number of animals is about enough to offset the fact the limited scaling of your minions is going to make them particularly vulnerable to AoE damage is games that tend to high tier 3 and above. (0)
    • The feat line from Masters of the Wild is a particularly good choice here. (+.5)

    Elegance: 1.5
    • The build is well thematically suited to the idea or Wolf Lord. The crusader element seems a tad tacked on, but it also seems somewhat related to the quasi-religious theme of the character. (+.5)
    • Realistically, I can imaging a conservative DM saying no to this just as easily as to Leadership (-1)
    • I can't realistically see this build being non-disruptive unless other players were also using significant minions or they were controlling a significant portion of yours. (-1)

    Use of Special Ingredient: 33.5
    • Wolf Lord, and in particular Animal Bond and Animal Telepathy, are central to the build as presented. (+.5)
    • Realistically, this build could still work in the complete absence of Wolf Lord: a great number of DMs will let the player control minions in combat even in the absence of something like Animal Telepathy to justify it. While Animal Bond is useful, loosing a +4 is a surmountable obstacle in the context of the 30+ wild empathy check needed. You do need a class that advances wild empathy, but unless Animal Telepathy is the deal-breaker, Animal Lord simply doesn't stand out as more than an optional 1 level dip. (-1)
    • You use all 10 levels of Animal Lord. (+.5)
    • Edit from contestant debate: "However, you have convinced me that the build does a better job than I initially thought of supporting the class when operating under the presumption that Animal Telepathy is necessary. That warrants +0.5, I suppose. I'll adjust my scoring accordingly." (+.5)




    A General Notes on Animal Lord:
    While the 3.5 version of the class is a far more reasonable prospect for a contest like Iron Chef, the 3e version in Masters of the Wild will almost certainly be more interesting to play for any game with a focus higher than tier 3. The amount of updating for the class in question is almost non-existent (essentially, you just use the updated wild shape rules).
    Last edited by Ozymandias9; 2010-08-14 at 11:58 AM.
    78% of DM's started their first campaign in a tavern. [...]Where did you start yours?
    A street riot in a major city that was getting violent.
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  16. - Top - End - #166
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge IX

    So by my maths, after three judges the scores are as follows:

    51 Sway
    48.5 Urog
    45.5 Brolly
    38 Ruzel
    36.5 Fistbear Bearfist
    36 Burtram Urrni
    32.5 Felix

    All down to Keld Denar as to who takes the trophies in this one.
    Still here, just a little busy to social post

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  17. - Top - End - #167
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge IX

    Keld can still potentially turn a bunch of the scores on their heads.
    Last edited by Amphetryon; 2010-08-12 at 07:06 PM.
    Iron Chef in the Playground veteran since Round IV.

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  18. - Top - End - #168
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge IX

    Sway is still leading!
    I feel bad for Felix. Such a nice concept, but it seems like he stumbled on quite a few things...

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge IX

    A lot of cool entries. I would have thought the scoring would have been a lot closer. Even so, there is only around 5 points between the top 3. Anyones game.

  20. - Top - End - #170
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge IX

    Quote Originally Posted by Amphetryon View Post
    Keld can still potentially turn a bunch of the scores on their heads.
    Y'know, no pressure...

    (Keld, you're killing us here, man!)
    Last edited by The Vorpal Tribble; 2010-08-13 at 08:19 AM.

  21. - Top - End - #171
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge IX

    We're eagerly anticipating these scores!

    Also, any word on how long before the next contest? Once bitten, forever smitten, etc.

  22. - Top - End - #172
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge IX

    Quote Originally Posted by OMG PONIES View Post
    We're eagerly anticipating these scores!

    Also, any word on how long before the next contest? Once bitten, forever smitten, etc.
    I typically start the next contest after the trophies are presented.
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    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."


  23. - Top - End - #173
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge IX

    Ooh...*chomps at the bit, not for the elusive trophy, but for the next contest*

  24. - Top - End - #174
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge IX

    Yea yea yea, I've been stricken with a case of the lazies. I'll get it done this afternoon. I've already read them all and have most of my ideas in my head. Just a matter of puking it into a word doc that's already preformated.
    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.

  25. - Top - End - #175
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge IX

    Quote Originally Posted by Keld Denar View Post
    Yea yea yea, I've been stricken with a case of the lazies. I'll get it done this afternoon. I've already read them all and have most of my ideas in my head. Just a matter of puking it into a word doc that's already preformated.
    Hmm, that document could actually be of some help for judges on the next contests, Keld. Care to share?

  26. - Top - End - #176
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge IX

    Its just a word document with the following:

    [b][/b]
    [spoiler]
    [u]Originality:[/u] [b][/b],

    [u]Power:[/u] [b][/b] ,

    [u]Elegance:[/u] [b][/b] ,

    [u]Use of Secret Ingredient:[/u] [b][/b] , [/spoiler]

    [b][/b]
    [spoiler]
    [u]Originality:[/u] [b][/b] ,

    [u]Power:[/u] [b][/b] ,

    [u]Elegance:[/u] [b][/b] ,

    [u]Use of Secret Ingredient:[/u] [b][/b] , [/spoiler]


    Build name in the first line, score goes between the two [b] tags, comments after the ",". When you are done, copy/paste the whole thing in reply window and you are done.

    EDIT: EXCELLENT!
    Last edited by Keld Denar; 2010-08-13 at 04:03 PM.
    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.

  27. - Top - End - #177
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge IX

    Now all you need to do is fill in those blanks...

  28. - Top - End - #178
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge IX

    Dibs on his knee-caps.


    Btw, [noparse] [/noparse]
    Last edited by The Vorpal Tribble; 2010-08-13 at 04:01 PM.

  29. - Top - End - #179
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge IX

    Only if I get the tendons...sweet, succulent tendons.

  30. - Top - End - #180
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge IX

    Ok, got most of the judging done. 3 more to go, I'll finish it when I get home.
    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.

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