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  1. - Top - End - #151
    Pixie in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge XII

    One thing I just noticed. If you were one of the grapplers and were busy pulling in critters into your square for sweeping strike... would you also hit yourself on each attack? :O

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

    Since I promised to outline my second considered build...

    I was trying to find a way to get Giant Size, the Wu Jen 7 spell, while still using more than 7 levels of War Mind. The bonuses are just so tasty. If anyone has a suggestion for how to pull it off without flaws, please speak up!
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  3. - Top - End - #153
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge XII

    Quote Originally Posted by Amphetryon View Post
    Since I promised to outline my second considered build...

    I was trying to find a way to get Giant Size, the Wu Jen 7 spell, while still using more than 7 levels of War Mind. The bonuses are just so tasty. If anyone has a suggestion for how to pull it off without flaws, please speak up!
    Bard5/Recaster1/WarMind4/SublimeChord2/Recaster+4/Warmind+4

    would do it. Requires Sanctum Spell (or the like) both for entry into SC and for getting Giant Size at Recaster 4.

  4. - Top - End - #154
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge XII

    I was thinking of something more like Slyph + Arcane Disciple (Heroism). Slyph gives you Sorcerer casting based on your HD, which would increase simultaneously as you take War Mind levels. Heroism domain (OA) would get you Giant Size. You'd need a 17 wisdom, but that would be a benefit to your WM manifesting anyway.
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  5. - Top - End - #155
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge XII

    Both are fine ideas that solve the puzzle, but both would appear destined for poor scores in ICOC due to not finishing the Secret Ingredient, dips, and/or racial HD.
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  6. - Top - End - #156
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge XII

    Whew! I don't know if the judging is always this involved, or the 11 contestants just made it extra difficult, but I apologize for the delays. I tried to catch all of the illegal elements in the builds presented. If I missed one, please let me know. It may be harsh, but it's also fair. Now, without further ado, onto the judging!

    Dolgan Whurard 12.5 (3.125 average)
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    ORIGINALITY: 4 You used Divine Mind? Now that's gutsy. It provides an easy lead-in, too, what with the required knowledge skills and power points. Also, you put the Combat Focus tree to effective use. I don't know if Dolgan necessarily needs more bonuses to avoid forced movement (since he's a strong dwarf who just gets stronger), but it's nice to have. Good job picking up on the minimal requirements of Serenity in order to salvage the Divine Mind's Divine GraceÖI was nervous when I saw that with your 8 CHA, but smiled when I saw Serenity.

    POWER: 3 A couple things here made me scratch my head. Number one, I can't picture a tank wearing bracers of armor and a monk's belt. Especially a dwarven tank. However, I didn't reduce because of my paradigm. Instead, I reduced because Dolgan becomes much more hittable without his bracers/belt/periapt/psychoactive skin. Simply dispelling the magic of these items brings Dolgan's AC down by 30 points! Granted, you still have powers, chain of defensive posture, and the defense psychic aura, but this build is too reliant on items. Also, I'm confused why you ducked back down to first level powers for your tenth level of war mind. In all, your casting/manifesting options are rather limited. I'm guessing you picked up Pious Templar for Mettle, but the stranded casting from that just felt odd. Mettle, however, is great for this character. Combined with your ring (more gear reliance), your WIS to saves, and your racial bonus to saves against spells, I could see Dolgan standing his ground against an evil caster.

    ELEGANCE: 3 Nothing too dicey here. You used a dip, which I will penalize for even though it was justified. There was some redundancy, since you receive DR from War Mind and Pious Templar. My guess is that you were riding out the Templar for some additional casting and the bonus feat, but it makes level 13 pretty needless.

    USE OF THE SECRET INGREDIENT: 2.5 Though you took every level, you haven't really showcased anything gained from Divine Mind. It seems like you utilize all of it (even if you do pick up damage reduction twice), but you haven't made a case for why using any of it makes Dolgan stronger.


    Esha Two Bears 15.5 (3.875 average)
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    ORIGINALITY: 3.5 I'll be honest, I expected an Elan, and a Barbarian. However, I didn't see anyone picking up Horizon Walker--especially as a clever way to manufacture your own Tireless Rage.

    POWER: 3.5 Given a few rounds, Esha is a revved up melee opponent. Caught by surprise, however, he's a barbarian with a few little tricks. I'm surprised I didn't see Linked Power here, allowing you to buff up quicker. You have little to no reliance on items, which is always refreshing to see.

    ELEGANCE: 4 While the classes flow nicely, I have some questions about your feat choices. While mechanically allowed, I'm unclear how an illiterate barbarian would have Education. I know it doesn't require you to read but, as a DM, I might have made you spend the skill points for literacy. Also, I had to deduct for the use of Destructive Rage, which doesn't detract from the build, but deadens space that could be used for better feats. Finally, the 4 levels of barbarian seems like too many--you gain the features you're after from the first level or two. Though I didn't deduct for it, if I was your DM, I would encourage you to look at the various spiritual totems (Complete Champion) or totem variants (Unearthed Arcana).

    USE OF THE SECRET INGREDIENT: 4.5 You did a great job showcasing most of the War Mind class features. First, the bad news: I couldn't bring myself to give you a 5, since the raging charger seems at odds with the Chain of Defensive Posture. You're taking AC penalties from Rage, Reckless Rage, and charging, so the AC bonus that doesn't even bring you back to even seems like it's not really being put to good use. Because you can argue that it alleviates some of the penalties you'd otherwise incur, I only took of half of a point. With that, onto the good news: you showcased the other features well. Your powers don't work in rage, but you noted (and I agree) that your racial and War Mind features do. That was a good catch. Furthermore, I love how you use Chain of Personal Superiority not just to boost your STR and grab some HP, but to prolong your rages. Sweeping Strike + reach + Cleave is a good combination, but one I expected to see a lot of. Lastly, I didn't even notice that Chain of Overwhelming Force didn't differentiate between melee and ranged attacks. If your barbarian used that to snipe one of my monsters, I would have to stand from behind the screen and golf clap. Well done!


    Khalanatari, Ascetic Nightmare 13.5 (3.375 average)
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    ORIGINALITY: 4 Tashalatora monk/anything psionic is an old favorite, but I didn't see an Atavist coming to spruce it up. Their abilities are rather interesting, and I liked the increase to natural reach. I expected Tome of Battle, but in the form of a swordsage. Crusader was a nice surprise.

    POWER: 4 You picked great maneuvers, and the Sweeping Strike/Defensive Sweep/Thicket of Blades combo is a good take on an old lockdown trick. However, keep in mind that it doesn't work against every enemy, as Defensive Sweep does require the target to be adjacent to you. Still, you're guaranteed an AoO on adjacent targets, and any movement from nonadjacent targets will trigger one. However, the Crusader's Indomitable Soul ability is simply wasted, as you've dumped CHA. As mentioned above, Atavist was a surprising addition to this Tashalatora monk, bringing your monk abilities to impressive levels. As always, two levels of monk are better than twenty. I love how you managed to pump AC through the roof without a reliance on items.

    ELEGANCE: 1.5 While the progression is relatively straightforward, I wouldn't call it streamlined. Atavist levels seem to come at odd intervals, and they delay your War Mind progression, meaning your excellent Sweeping Strike/Thicket of Blades/Defensive Sweep combo doesn't even get off the ground until 18th level. This would have received a 3.5, but it's an illegal build for two reasons. First of all, you can't take Weapon Finesse at first level, since you lack a +1 BAB. Also, you have no ranks in Psicraft, so you fail to meet the prerequisite of Practiced Manifester.

    USE OF THE SECRET INGREDIENT: 4 I'm not sure how the Chain of Personal Superiority helps your build, since your focus is on DEX. It provides a small bump to damage, Concentration checks, and HP. However, Chain of Defensive Posture is the icing on your AC cake, and Defensive Sweep is partnered well with sweeping strike. DR combines nicely with steely resolve to ensure that you stay standing as long as possible.


    Daken 15 (3.75 average)
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    ORIGINALITY: 3.5 As mentioned before, a totemist is one of the builds I was attempting for this contest. Also, another competitor went with a raging totemist, though the two were different enough that I didnít deduct for that. However, I did award an extra .5 because I found your background engrossing. The introduction actually made me feel bad for your character.

    POWER: 3.5 You're a totem rager--natural attacks are in your blood. However, I'd be torn between playing Daken or a straight totem rager.

    ELEGANCE: 4 Everything flows and there are no dips, but your character's first two levels are from Unearthed Arcana. While it may not be the cornerstone of the build, I'm still going to take off a point due to some DMs' aversion to the book. That being said, I would allow it at my table--your background provides a reason for the paragon class, and all of your abilities have a natural progression to them, neither lagging behind nor jumping ahead in power at any point.

    USE OF THE SECRET INGREDIENT: 4 You gain manifesting power, but your rage prevents you from using it in combat. You gain bonuses to STR and CON, which help your attacks, grappling, HP, and rage. Sweeping Strike has once again been coupled with reach to great effect. What I like here is the stacking DR between War Mind and Totem Rager. Toss in Claws of the Vampire, and it's going to take a lot to get Daken down on HP and keep him there. It definitely suits the inspiration, and it showcases a feature that's a footnote for many other builds.


    Xepher Lod 12 (3 average)
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    ORIGINALITY: 3.5 While psychic warrior seems like a natural entry into this class, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth (see UoSI, below). While I was trying to toss together a wizard/warblade/jade phoenix mage of my own, you took this one in a far different direction. A .5 bonus for mentioning voidmind in your alternative options--it's always nice to see, but I honestly didn't expect anyone to make mention of it in this competition. While I don't see another illithid tentacle grappling psychic warrior in this competition, I've got one almost exactly like this in a PbP game I'm running right here on these forums.

    POWER: 3.5 Here, I'm torn, since you've got an illegal build (see Elegance). If you did qualify for all of the feats you took, as you already know, it's stupidly powerful. The aforementioned PbP player has one-shotted two monsters already, thanks to tentacles and Psionic Lion's ChargeÖand it's only halfway through our first combat! Because of that, I wanted to give Xepher a 5. However, since your main tactic is not usable given the current build, it becomes rather underpowered--trying to combine WIS-based manifesting and INT-based casting. Also, because of Xepher's 14 INT, he can't cast his 5th-level spells without stat-boosting items. Based on this, I would give it a 2 without tentacles. Split the difference, and you've got 3.5.

    ELEGANCE: 1.5 How quickly one illegal element can roll into a massive avalanche. At first level, you don't qualify for Illithid Heritage due to your lack of power points. Since you admitted this yourself, I was only going to deduct half. However, even after qualifying for that, you also fail to qualify for Illithid Grapple, since it has Illithid Heritage and one other Illithid feat as a prerequisite. Of course, this means that you don't qualify for it again at first levelÖor at third levelÖor fourth. Since no Illithid Grapple means no Improved Grab, you don't qualify for Multigrab or Greater Multigrab. You probably see where this is going, but the snowball keeps rolling. Since you don't qualify for the 4 Illithid Grapples you took, you don't qualify for Illithid Extraction either. Because I want to reward honesty, I added 0.5 back in for coming forward about Illithid Heritage and suggesting an easy fix.

    USE OF THE SECRET INGREDIENT: 3.5 You only took 5 levels, but you were really only taking this class for Sweeping Strike--it's the same issue I had with my Jade Phoenix Mage. You snag it and don't look back, using it to grapple your foes into oblivion. I love how you made Sweeping Strike and Multigrab interact to ensure that your opponents are adjacent--line 'em up and beat 'em down. Of course, due to our elegance issues, this superb tactic becomes useless. Also, your psychic warrior levels seem to repeat themselves with the War Mind's powers. I'm guessing that you took them for the bonus feats, but they take away some of the War Mind's pizzazz.


    Tanis Bloodblade 13.5 (3.375 average)
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    ORIGINALITY: 3 You take the Barbarian in a different direction from Esha Two Bears. Unfortunately, it's the same direction I was going in for one of the other builds I was cooking up.

    POWER: 4 While a Bloodstorm Blade is always fairly powerful, Tanis is a bit limited by two things: first, not acquiring Precise Shot until 18th level means more misses. You take feats that could have been easily delayed (especially Extra Rage) instead of one that's basically a feat tax for ranged attackers. Secondly, the ability to deliver martial maneuvers through ranged attacks becomes significantly less powerful when the number and level of the maneuvers being delivered is limited.

    ELEGANCE: 2 I hate to call this an illegal build, because it's a slight offense. Still, Practiced Manifester requires 4 ranks of Psicraft, which you don't have. Also, do you really need to take Extra Rage twice? Finally, I understand why you delayed the final Bloodstorm Blade levels until the end, but it means that your ranged attacks canít work with Sweeping Strike until late in the game. Personally, I would have jumped back in to Bloodstorm Blade just for that immediately at level 13.

    USE OF THE SECRET INGREDIENT: 4.5 Sweeping Strike on its own is beastly. Sweeping Strike with reach is devious. Sweeping Strike on ranged attacks is downright diabolical. Delivering martial maneuvers at range to adjacent foes is worth the price of admission. Delivering a full attack to an entire squad of enemies from 50 feet away with a flying greatsword? Yeah. However, I couldn't give you a 5. While you took every level and gave mention to most of the abilities of the class, Sweeping Strike was the only one truly showcased.


    Violet Rose 12.5 (3.125 average)
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    ORIGINALITY: 3 We seem to get a derivation of this build in every contest now. Swashbuckler 3/Swordsage x/anything required to qualify 1/secret ingredient. Also, I've already mentioned that I think psychic warrior is a redundant entry method here.

    POWER: 3 While a tripper is always a strong melee combatant, I feel that this tripper suffers from a divided focus. Usually, swordsage trippers try to play up the DEX-trip maneuvers and go small. Instead, you've tried to make a power character, thus avoiding that entire route. While your final result is still playable, it seems like a small, DEX-focused swordsage would be stronger in play. Also, Swashbuckler and Swordsage are competing for your mental stats. As such, each winds up providing bonuses too small to make them viable tactics. Finally, I'm surprised that a tripper included no ways to expand reach beyond Expansion. Some of the other builds took feats/etc. to give their reach that extra edge.

    ELEGANCE: 3 I know the psychic warrior dip was for entry (and provided Improved Trip), but a Half-Giant Swashbuckler Swordsage would have already qualified. The Weapon Finesse gained from Swashbuckler was needless, and tricked you into putting too much in DEX. Between STR/DEX and WIS/INT, you were very MAD. Focusing on STR and WIS would have allowed you to be a better tripper and manifester. However, the Arcane Stunt substitution was a smart move--adding miss chance to a tank makes them even better at their job. While not a rules violation, you listed Insightful Strike and the swordsage AC bonus at the wrong levels; the two need to be switched.

    USE OF THE SECRET INGREDIENT: 3.5 You took every level, and used Sweeping Strike in a way that's strong if not unique. However, nothing else is really showcased beyond the sweeping strike/maneuver combination.


    Krelb the Canny 10.5 (2.625 average)
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    ORIGINALITY: 2 While stacking DR/- was a novel concept, Venerable Dragonwrought Kobold, Sovereign Archetypes, and getting Iron Will via Otyugh Hole are also things that have been buzzing around charop forums across the Internet for some time. It's a shame, because I liked the inclusion of Iron Mind. However, I did reward a .5 bonus because I liked your back story--concise, but engrossing.

    POWER: 3 Now, I might be reading the ardent wrong. It seems like you can manifest any power that costs a number of PP equal to or less than your manifester level. This means that you're lagging behind a straight ardent. However, if you use Iron Mind to boost Ardent manifesting, you can manifest powers that cost up to 9 PP. Powers like Blackstone Hammer and Psionic Disintegrate cost 11 PP, though, which would lead me to believe that you can't use them. If I am mistaken, please PM the chairman. Also, while it's an excellent choice to take Exotic Weapon Proficiency as a Warblade and carry multiple weapons, you delay this until 6th level.

    ELEGANCE: 1 You dipped Warblade and never came back to it, and we have an illegal build here. I'll set aside the argument as to whether or not you can take the Sovereign Archetype as a kobold (which I believe you can). What got you here is feat requirements. Endure Blows requires CON 19, while Roll With It requires CON 20. Also, Greater Resiliency isn't a fighter bonus feat, and thus can't be taken at level 20. Lastly, I must question your statement that DR x/- stacks with itself. From the DMG:
    Quote Originally Posted by DMG, page 292
    If a creature has damage reduction from more than one source, the two forms of damage reduction do not stack. Instead, the creature gets the benefit of the best damage reduction in a given situation.
    While you found many forms of DR that specifically do stack, overriding the above general rule, some of them (such as Armor Specialization) do not include a clause allowing them to stack.

    USE OF THE SECRET INGREDIENT: 4.5 This is where Krelb excels. It was wise to combine psionics and heavy armor, especially given the 10-foot movement limitation on Sweeping Strike. As mentioned above, not all of your sources of DR stack, nor do you qualify for all of them, but your build is a great exercise in pumping it as high as you can. Even without the illegal elements, Krelb has some pretty hefty DR. I like how you explained Krelb's main uses for the chains--particularly the Chain of Overwhelming Force. While it is clever to suggest that the Whirling Enchantment allows you to apply this Chain against all enemies, that is sadly not the case, and prevents you from getting a 5 in this category. You do not make one melee attack, which stands against the AC of each enemy. Instead, you make one [separate] melee attack against each enemy, allowing you to only use the Chain of Overwhelming Force once. Granted, you can still put this enchantment to great use with Sweeping Strike.


    Sublime Mind of War 13 (3.25 average)
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    ORIGINALITY: 3 Swordsage seemed like a vanilla entry to the Secret Ingredient, and taking ten levels of it means you didnít even put a cherry on top. I was hoping for a prestige class that advanced initiator levelóthe swordsage abilities after level 4 in this build seem a little lackluster.

    POWER: 3 With that being said, it is a powerful build. Staggering the later swordsage levels was smart, as it maximizes your initiator level. You manage to acquire 8th-level maneuvers along with Sweeping Strike, but you donít even bother to list which maneuvers you take, which can make or break a martial adept build. It was refreshing to see a Swordsage build that (presumably) isnít going to spend all day tripping. The powers you picked were decent, but I feel like there may have been stronger ones.

    ELEGANCE: 5 I would like to note that I am not just giving this score because the build only used two classes. Instead, I am giving this because the build its levels were selected intelligently. Initiator level is preserved as much as possible, the BAB remains consistent, and there is a natural (but slow) progression of psionic powers. The feats you selected were useful to the character, but neither dead weight nor gamebreakingóthis allows players to use it more as a framework of their own than a hard and fast list.

    USE OF THE SECRET INGREDIENT: 2 One extra paragraph is all you needed. As it stands, I have no idea what you plan to do with War Mind, beyond manifesting and using Sweeping Strike + reach. Reading over this, I could see a stronger case for making a build that was Swordsage/Psychic Warrior.


    Ultimo Tarrasco Jr. 16.5 (4.125 average)
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    ORIGINALITY: 4 Another totemist was submitted, but it was luckily different enough from your build that neither of you were penalized for similar builds. However, I will dock because I was putting together a totemist myself. This brings Ultimoís originality score to a 3. The hilarious presentation/backstory, though, earns a full extra point. It wasnít just humor for humorís sake, eitheróI could picture you announcing the entrance of a lumbering, hairy, tentacle rassler.

    POWER: 5 You got exactly what you needed from totemist, picked two great soulmelds for your purposes, and your other classes boosted what you started with. I was going to dock you for gear reliance, since your grapple modifier would drop by about 19 without your items (including graft). However, itís still pretty frakking high, and you can boost it with Expansion, Grip of Iron, and Strength of my Enemies. Well, thatís still multiple rounds of preparation, but at his stripped-down core, Ultimo still has a grapple modifier of around +62. You chose to be a grappler, and you outshone every other grappler Iíve ever seen.

    ELEGANCE: 4 Speaking of grappling, we need to straighten out some things about your STR and grapple numbers.
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    First of all, you made a typo--Weapon Focus (Grapple) isnít a feat. Itís not a weapon, but a special attack. Iím not docking for that, since itís not an illegal feat. You still meet the requirements of Weapon Focus, but you have to pick a weapon (or unarmed strike/natural attack) on which to focus. In your Body Building Routine, I fear your STR score may be inaccurate. You do not gain the Huge and Gargantuan size bonuses when using augmented expansionóinstead, you gain a flat +4 size bonus for using the power.
    Grip of Iron is useless with Gloves of Titanís Grip, as they both provide enhancement bonuses to Grapple. Also, Strength of my Enemies is only partially usefulóit drains you opponentís STR, but doesnít stack with your +6 enhancement bonus from Belt of Giant Strength. Ultimately, by my count, you wind up with a 50 STR with full buffs, as follows:
    • 16 base
    • +6 racial
    • +5 levels
    • +5 inherent
    • +6 enhancement
    • +4 untyped (from graft)
    • +4 size (from augmented expansion)
    • +4 insight (Chain of Personal Superiority)
    The only way I see for Ultimo to boost it higher as presented is to manifest Strength of my Enemy, then hit his foe at least 7 times. Also, when it comes to your Grapple modifier, a few points require clarification. Iím assuming your ď+12 circumstance modifierĒ is actually a competence modifier, from Girallon Arms. Since itís bound to your totem chakra, you can invest the 5 essentia to get a +12 bonus. However, the ď+5 untyped bonus,Ē which Iím assuming is from Kraken Mantle being bound to your arms, must actually be +4. At 20th level, there is a maximum of 4 essentia invested per non-totem-bound soulmeld. So your grapple modifier (again, by my count) would be +84, as follows:
    • +25 +20 Strength
    • +18 BAB
    • +12 size
    • +1 Weapon Focus
    • +4 Improved Grapple
    • +8 enhancement
    • +12 circumstance competence
    • +5 +4 untyped (Kraken mantle)
    • +2 Insight
    • +4 untyped (graft)
    The only way I see to boost this higher is to boost STR as above, and/or augment Grip of Iron to a +12 enhancement bonus. Also, no multigrab?
    So no reduction for that, just wanted to make sure I have the numbers straight. However, I wish LA buyoff had simply been an adaptation note. But you need it to fit in 6 levels of totemist for that second chakra bind, now donít you?

    USE OF THE SECRET INGREDIENT: 3.5 You take every level. You make Sweeping Strike silly with Improved Improved Grab. You use Chain of Personal Superiority and manifesting to make Ultimo the ultimate grappler. But you make no mention of Chain of Defensive Posture, Enduring Body, or Chain of Overwhelming Force.


    Bosleigh Eddon 11 (2.75 average)
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    ORIGINALITY: 4 Incarnate and Soul Manifester were definitely original choices in this round of the competition. However, ardent and tashalatora monk progression were not. Focusing more on the incarnate may have yielded some better results.

    POWER: 2.5 3 Itís tricky to score the power of this build, because I donít know what I should try comparing it to. Compared to a straight ardent, itís weaker. Compared to a straight incarnate, itís weaker. Compared to a straight monk, itís definitely stronger. However, it seems like Bosleigh suffers from the ability to do a little bit of everything, but nothing well. Also, retraining Open Least Chakra means that you canít bind Mauling Gauntlets to your hand chakra until 19th level.

    DISPUTE ADJUSTMENT:
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bosleigh
    Bosleigh has some of the strongest melee stats of any contestant. The main focus is damage and tripping is only an addition since it is effective. He also has very versatile power list and soul melds allowing him to move anywhere and even heal out of combat. The incarnum and ardent aspects are all focused on amplifying the melee powers from a talshtora war mind.

    He learns the open chakra power at the same point that he retrains the open chakra feat.
    Quote Originally Posted by OMG PONIES View Post
    Yes, when all his soulmelds and powers are up, Bosleigh is a force to be reckoned with. Unfortunately, when an encounter is dropped on you without adequate preparation, the outcome looks vastly different. While I won't say that Bosleigh is entirely incapacitated, he fell squarely between "relying entirely on items or adequate preparation rounds" (which is a 2) and "functioning without items or adequate preparation rounds...at a reduced capacity" (which is a 3).

    However, I did miss that you took the Open Chakra psionic power. Because of this power's 24 hour duration, I will adjust my power score for Bosleigh to an even 3.


    ELEGANCE: 2 Two levels each in three separate base classes falls under my definition of ďneedlessly complex.Ē Because of this, you donít get much out of Incarnate. Ardent and monk, however, give you decent class features for the first two levels. You took the monk variant from Unearthed Arcana, and used tripping as your primary melee tactic, so I took off there. Taking Practiced Manifester for both psionic classes seemed a bit redundant.

    USE OF THE SECRET INGREDIENT: 2 While you took every level, you didnít showcase anything that the build provides. Sweeping Strike + trip is a useful combination, but you lack the reach to make it exceptional.
    Last edited by OMG PONIES; 2010-10-15 at 10:16 AM.
    Iron Chef Optimization Challenge Old Head and Unofficial Archivist
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    This is what happens when they let me DM: Beyond the Horizon!

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

    Just to make mention, I volunteer for judging in case this threatens to become a two-week long affair.

    I.e., if the rest haven't shown by Friday I'll be glad to take a place.

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

    That's the spirit, Tribble. Churn out the scores and on to lucky XIII!
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge XII

    Quote Originally Posted by The Vorpal Tribble View Post
    Just to make mention, I volunteer for judging in case this threatens to become a two-week long affair.

    I.e., if the rest haven't shown by Friday I'll be glad to take a place.
    Awesome.

    On a related note, I've updated the Table of Contents with the judging that has been presented thus far.
    78% of DM's started their first campaign in a tavern. [...]Where did you start yours?
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge XII

    If we aren't participating in the competition but see a minor flaw in a judge's rationale, should we PM the Judge as we are not contestents?

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge XII

    Quote Originally Posted by Forged Fury View Post
    If we aren't participating in the competition but see a minor flaw in a judge's rationale, should we PM the Judge as we are not contestents?
    That's probably less contentious than posting in the thread, but it would be Ozy's call.
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge XII

    Quote Originally Posted by Forged Fury View Post
    If we aren't participating in the competition but see a minor flaw in a judge's rationale, should we PM the Judge as we are not contestents?
    PM it to me. I'd prefer to avoid debates within the thread proper, with the possible exception of very narrow attempts to resolve rules issues.
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge XII

    OMG, Weapon Focus (grapple) is mentioned as a valid feat on a Sage article on some Dragon Magazine or something. That's probably where the conestant got it from.

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge XII

    Quote Originally Posted by true_shinken View Post
    OMG, Weapon Focus (grapple) is mentioned as a valid feat on a Sage article on some Dragon Magazine or something. That's probably where the conestant got it from.
    If the highlighted portion is the source, then:
    Dragon magazine is disallowed
    .
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge XII

    Quote Originally Posted by Amphetryon View Post
    If the highlighted portion is the source, then:
    .
    It's rules clarification, not actual rules... so yeah.
    Anyway, I wasn't contesting OMG's judging or anything, just pointing where the idea could come from.

    Quote Originally Posted by SRD
    Weapon Focus [General]
    Choose one type of weapon. You can also choose unarmed strike or grapple (or ray, if you are a spellcaster) as your weapon for purposes of this feat.
    Emphasis mine.
    Last edited by true_shinken; 2010-10-05 at 07:16 PM.

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge XII

    Wow, never noticed that before. I can confirm the PHB says the same thing. Interesting.

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge XII

    Oh, egg on my face! I apologize, I operated based on an assumption and didn't know that the SRD clearly states Weapon Focus (grapple) is allowed. I didn't deduct for it previously, so no score adjustment is needed.

    However, the feat does not do what Ultimo wanted it to. Instead of giving a +1 to your opposed grapple check, it provides a +1 to the touch attack used to initiate a grapple. I am curious how this interacts with Improved Grab, though. Does it give a +1 to all attacks, since you can start a grapple with any of them? Or, on the other hand (and the way I'm leaning) is it entirely useless since Improved Grab obviates the need for said touch attack in the first place?
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge XII

    Improved Grab

    If a creature with this special attack hits with a melee weapon (usually a claw or bite attack), it deals normal damage and attempts to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity.
    An initial attack roll is still needed. The sentence that follows is confusing, but does not appear to obviate that attack roll, merely an additional attack roll.
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge XII

    Oh, I know you still need an attack roll. I'm suggesting that Improved Grab obviates the need for the "grapple initiating touch attack," so the order of events is:
    1. Normal attack roll
    2. Normal damage
    3. Opposed grapple check.

    So I'm suggesting weapon focus grapple would give a +1 to the touch attack of Joe Schmoe who says, "I try to start a grapple," but not the regular attack roll of mighty Ultimo, who hits you, hurts you, and moves right to the opposed check. Is this wrong?
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge XII

    Quote Originally Posted by OMG PONIES View Post
    So I'm suggesting weapon focus grapple would give a +1 to the touch attack of Joe Schmoe who says, "I try to start a grapple," but not the regular attack roll of mighty Ultimo, who hits you, hurts you, and moves right to the opposed check. Is this wrong?
    It's either +1 to the touch attack or +1 to the grapple check, but neither is specified in the feat. As I mentioned in my PM, WF (Grapple) is a truly odd bird given the feat prerequisites (proficiency in weapon, as no one is technically proficient in grappling). This would be like allowing Weapon Focus (Trip), it's very poor RAW, IMO. With that said, it probably isn't earth-shattering to allow the +1 to improve the Grapple check. I think Ozymandias may need to come up with a resolution on this one.

    ETA: And yes, that was exactly what my above question was about.
    Last edited by Forged Fury; 2010-10-05 at 10:13 PM.

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge XII

    Quote Originally Posted by OMG PONIES View Post
    Oh, I know you still need an attack roll. I'm suggesting that Improved Grab obviates the need for the "grapple initiating touch attack," so the order of events is:
    1. Normal attack roll
    2. Normal damage
    3. Opposed grapple check.

    So I'm suggesting weapon focus grapple would give a +1 to the touch attack of Joe Schmoe who says, "I try to start a grapple," but not the regular attack roll of mighty Ultimo, who hits you, hurts you, and moves right to the opposed check. Is this wrong?
    I would generally rule in the same manner in a game. There is, however, significant ambiguity. Under the circumstances, my advice to the judges is as follows:

    It's neither right nor wrong: it's uncovered (and frustratingly ambiguous). Don't treat it as an illegal element, but feel free to judge it as you would for any other similar element that invites DM adjudication (in this case, by requiring adjudication of actions not covered).

    What scoring adjustments (if any) such elements warrant is, as always, up to the judges.
    Last edited by Ozymandias9; 2010-10-06 at 01:15 AM.
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge XII

    Quote Originally Posted by Player3 View Post
    One thing I just noticed. If you were one of the grapplers and were busy pulling in critters into your square for sweeping strike... would you also hit yourself on each attack? :O
    Only thing I can add is a discussion I read about warhulk. It has a similar ability to sweeping strike, though it interacts with cover and cleave differently. Unfortunately I can't find the link to the 339 debate. While it is a valid target for it's own attacks, it is not required to attack itself.

    I was trying to find a way to get Giant Size, the Wu Jen 7 spell, while still using more than 7 levels of War Mind. The bonuses are just so tasty. If anyone has a suggestion for how to pull it off without flaws, please speak up!
    Not before 20 in a practical game. Either Wu Jen or STP Erudite. The other option involves trying to exploit the spellstiched template...Not sure that can be done even with the relevant metamagic reduction feats, even with a generous reading of the Spellstiched text. At a certain point the exploits required to attain a specific ability make the ability gained redundant...Such as using an efreet to wish for the giant size. According to WBL, that becomes available around lvl 8 (candle of invocation).

    I am sure someone with more experience can think of a way though.

    edit: Emancipated spawn (savage species) and a thought bottle could do it, but it is still not practical.
    Last edited by WinWin; 2010-10-06 at 05:25 AM.

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge XII

    Not before 20 in a practical game. Either Wu Jen or STP Erudite. The other option involves trying to exploit the spellstiched template...Not sure that can be done even with the relevant metamagic reduction feats, even with a generous reading of the Spellstiched text. At a certain point the exploits required to attain a specific ability make the ability gained redundant...Such as using an efreet to wish for the giant size. According to WBL, that becomes available around lvl 8 (candle of invocation).
    Similar issues as to what I was running up against: finding a way to obtain Giant Size that didn't make the spell trivial in comparison to other options.
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge XII

    Class x 5/Warmind 8/Divine Crusader 7

    Least abusive option. Obvious widsom synergy could effect base class choice. Strength and Constitution should also be high. Giant size becomes available no earlier than lvl 14. Divine crusader levels could be exchanged for a divine casting PrC for more customisation. Requires the Heroism domain that KD mentioned.


    nope. Need 8's.
    Last edited by WinWin; 2010-10-07 at 07:30 AM.

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge XII

    So, other judges...what's up?
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge XII

    Workin on it as we speak. :)
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge XII

    That's the spirit!
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge XII

    Quote Originally Posted by OMG PONIES View Post
    So, other judges...what's up?
    Due to RL and a lack of familiarity with Psionics, my judging is progressing, but slowly. If any of the guest judges want to take my seat, go for it.
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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."


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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge XII

    Just let me know when/if to jump in.

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge XII

    Since I haven't seen it yet, totals as currently stands:

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    Dolgan Whurard
    Total: 26(40) Average: 3.5(5)

    Esha Two Bears
    Total: 28(40) Average: 3.5(5)

    Khalanatari
    Total: 25(40) Average: 3.125(5)

    Daken
    Total: 29(40) Average: 3.625(5)

    Xepher Lod
    Total: 25(40) Average: 3.125(5)

    Tanis
    Total: 27.5(40) Average: 3.625(5)

    Violet Rose
    Total: 24(40) Average: 3(5)

    Krelb
    Total: 22(40) Average: 2.75(5)

    Sublime Mind of War
    Total: 23(40) Average: 2.875(5)

    Ultimate Tarrasco Jr
    Total: 30.5(40) Average: 3.813(5)

    Bosleigh Eddon
    Total: 24.5(40) Average: 3.063(5)
    Last edited by BobVosh; 2010-10-08 at 05:37 AM.
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