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  1. - Top - End - #121
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    OMG PONIES's Avatar

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge XV

    Second submission is definitely in the works.
    Iron Chef Optimization Challenge Old Head and Unofficial Archivist
    Yelling at You Dang Kids to Get Off my Lawn Since 2010

    This is what happens when they let me DM: Beyond the Horizon!

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

    You're mad! Mad, I say!
    Handbooks: (Hosted on BG)
    [3.5] The Poison Handbook
    [3.5] (New) Master of Shrouds Handbook
    [3.5 Base Class] Healer's Handbook

    Trophies!
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    Thanks to Strategos and Jumilk for the awesome Iron Chef trophies!

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

    Come on, Akal, you probably have two in you. My second is more of a flavor thing than anything else.

    EDIT: wewt, second build submitted! Shink, don't extend it again or you might get a third.
    Last edited by OMG PONIES; 2010-11-23 at 06:03 PM.
    Iron Chef Optimization Challenge Old Head and Unofficial Archivist
    Yelling at You Dang Kids to Get Off my Lawn Since 2010

    This is what happens when they let me DM: Beyond the Horizon!

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    Last edited by true_shinken; 2010-11-24 at 07:12 AM.

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge XV

    It happens in the best monasteries, it seems.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bu the Hobo Fist

    The Story:
    Spoiler
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    Abbot's Journal, Restful Crane Monastery:

    He was such a promising young man. I still puzzle over what went wrong.

    When we took him in he was still almost a child, scared and on the run. The beardless dwarf didn't even know his own name, so we called him Bu.

    Bu quickly adapted to life in our monastery. He was courteous and polite, and while he would sometimes sneak out at night we pardoned his youthful indiscretions.

    When it came time to learn self-defense, he took to the topic with a fury that spoke of some long-repressed trauma. In retrospect, this should have been our first clue.

    Still, we were unprepared when we saw what he did to Lord Xu Bing's son. Lord Xu Bing had been so generous to our monastery, and we were happy to help his son find peace after that embarrassing incident with that prostitute. The poor girl.

    After the savage beating he inflicted on a guest of our house, we couldn't let Bu stay. Regrettably, we have had to banish him from our monastery. Perhaps his old family on the streets will take him in.

    Spoiler
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    Bu awoke in the alley as another foot drove into his stomach. The grim faces above him would have seemed unrelated to most people: a tall gnome, a scrawny half-orc, a short goliath. Bu knew what they really were, though. They were his family: the Mongrelfolk.

    "Idiot! Why did you have to show yourself so soon!"

    "He was bragging about what he had done...I had to..."

    Another boot. "And what does that matter? We do not have the luxury of justice, not in this human city. They think we are vermin! We must be patient, taking vengeance when our enemy is most vulnerable. That is our way."

    Another spoke. "To fight back blatantly, like you did, is to be noticed and crushed. We sent you to the monks for a greater purpose than one fight. We sent you to learn the ways of the Drunken Masters, those spoiled rich who think this city their playground, so that we might destroy them!"

    The eldest of the Mongrelfolk intoned, "You have forgotten our ways. You have lived in a house. You have worked for your supper. You have forgotten what it is to live on the streets, to beg and steal your food. You will no longer forget this. You have fallen into sorrow, dissolved into drink. You shall regain your purpose. From this day forth you shall swear an oath never to sleep in a bed, never to buy food when you can steal it."

    Bu looked up at his family, and gave a cracked smile. "I swear."

    Spoiler
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    The Journal of Fistbeard Beardfist:

    By Moradin's beard, this fellow is quick to learn! Half-elven he may be (chubby half-elf, though), but he drinks like a dwarf and no mistake! Not a night he doesn't spend sprawled on the cobbles, drunk out of his mind...don't think I've ever even seen him go home!

    His initiation was a splendid occasion. All the best of our order were there, and beer aplenty! The boy was roaring drunk, let me tell you, went on about how he'd been a shaved dwarf in a previous life. Not a proper initiation without some embarrassment, I say!

    The boy's a fighter too, and a strong one. I remember one day, we were drinking as we usually do, and Master Ha Ming was telling us the story of when he was so drunk he breathed fire on some beggars, and suddenly out of the blue our lad picked up a table and whacked him over the head. Just like that, for no reason! I swear, angriest drunk I've ever met. He won, too: the lad's tough, can take quite a beating, biting and kicking as he goes. What a champ!

    In sadder news, Lord Xu Bing was found dead this week in one of the seedier parts of town. Seems that he was mugged by some nameless hobo. He was a great supporter of the Drunken Masters, and will be sorely missed.

    Spoiler
    Show
    The Mongrelfolk elder sat next to Bu, chewing a stolen crust of bread as Bu drank.

    "You have done well. But stories are being told...soon, someone will connect the dots. It is time for Bu to disappear. There is an ancient art among our people. We who can pass for any race can, with training, pass for anyone. We can emulate their spells, their prayers, their tricks. A true Chameleon of the city. I will teach you this art, and you will confound our enemies. Soon every hobo they see will be a lurking threat, every drinking partner a secret spy. You shall drive them mad with fear. That will be our vengeance on their decadent ways!"

    Soon, all that he said came to pass. Drunken Masters died one by one, betrayed by those closest to them, or defeated by some anonymous drunk. The rich who used the poor for sport would live in fear of...

    The Hobo Fist.

    The Build
    Spoiler
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    Mongrelfolk Overwheming Attack Monk 2/Urban Ranger 3/Fist of the Forest 1/Drunken Master 7/Chameleon 7

    Abilities after racial adjustments, using 32 point buy: Str 16, Dex 12, Con 16, Int 11, Wis 12, Cha 11
    Abilities with bonuses from levels at level 20: Str 18, Dex 12, Con 18, Int 12, Wis 12, Cha 11

    Bu, The Hobo Fist
    {table=head]Level|Class|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Skills|Feats|Class Features

    1st|Urban Ranger 1|
    +1
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |Handle Animal +4, Survival +2, Tumble +4, Sense Motive +4, Bluff +2, Disguise +2, Spellcraft +2, Gather Information +4|Urban Tracking (B), Able Learner|Rival Organization(Drunken Masters), Voice of the City

    2nd|Overwhelming Attack Monk 1|
    +1
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +2
    |Tumble +1, Gather Information +1, Concentration +2|Improved Unarmed Strike (B), Power Attack(B)|Skill Bonus: Intimidate, flurry of blows, unarmed strike, AC bonus

    3rd|Overwhelming Attack Monk 2|
    +2
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +3
    |Tumble +1, Bluff +1, Disguise +1, Survival +1|Improved Bull Rush(B), Great Fortitude|Evasion

    4th|Urban Ranger 2|
    +3
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    |Tumble +1, Spellcraft +1, Concentration +1, Gather Information +2, Concentration +1|Two-Weapon Fighting (B)|Combat Style(two-weapon combat)

    5th|Urban Ranger 3|
    +4
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +4
    |Tumble +1, Spellcraft +1, Bluff +1, Disguise +1, Survival +1, Concentration +1|Endurance(B)|Endurance

    6th|Fist of the Forest 1|
    +5
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    +4
    |Tumble +1, Concentration +1|Dodge|AC Bonus, fast movement, feral trance 1/day, primal living, unarmed damage

    7th|Drunken Master 1|
    +5
    |
    +10
    |
    +10
    |
    +4
    |Bluff +4||Drink like a Demon, Improvised Weapons

    8th|Drunken Master 2|
    +6
    |
    +11
    |
    +11
    |
    +4
    |Disguise +1, Bluff +1, Tumble +2||Stagger

    9th|Drunken Master 3|
    +7
    |
    +11
    |
    +11
    |
    +5
    |Disguise +1, Bluff +1, Tumble +1, Concentration +1|Snap Kick|Swaying Waist

    10th|Drunken Master 4|
    +8
    |
    +12
    |
    +12
    |
    +5
    |Bluff +1, Tumble +1, Concentration +2||AC bonus +1, Improved Improvised Weapons

    11th|Drunken Master 5|
    +8
    |
    +12
    |
    +12
    |
    +5
    |Disguise +1, Bluff +1, Tumble +1, Concentration +1||Greater Improvised Weapons

    12th|Drunken Master 6|
    +9
    |
    +13
    |
    +13
    |
    +6
    |Bluff +1, Tumble +1, Group Fake-Out|Improved Feint(B), Steadfast Determination|

    13th|Drunken Master 7|
    +9
    |
    +13
    |
    +13
    |
    +6
    |Disguise +1, Bluff +1, Tumble +1, Concentration +1|Improved Grapple(B)|

    14th|Chameleon 1|
    +9
    |
    +13
    |
    +13
    |
    +6
    |Bluff +1, Disguise +3||Aptitude Focus 1/day (+2)

    15th|Chameleon 2|
    +10
    |
    +13
    |
    +13
    |
    +6
    |Bluff +1, Disguise +3|Shock Trooper|Bonus Feat

    16th|Chameleon 3|
    +11
    |
    +14
    |
    +14
    |
    +7
    |Bluff +1, Disguise +3||Mimic Class Feature 1/day

    17th|Chameleon 4|
    +12
    |
    +14
    |
    +14
    |
    +7
    |Bluff +1, Disguise +3||Ability Boon +2

    18th|Chameleon 5|
    +12
    |
    +14
    |
    +14
    |
    +7
    |Bluff +1, Disguise +1, Concentration +2|Martial Study(Diamond Mind, Intuitive Strike)|Aptitude Focus 2/day (+4)

    19th|Chameleon 6|
    +13
    |
    +15
    |
    +15
    |
    +8
    |Bluff +1, Disguise +1, Concentration +2||Mimic Class Feature 2/day

    20th|Chameleon 7|
    +14
    |
    +15
    |
    +15
    |
    +8
    |Bluff +1, Disguise +1, Concentration +2||Ability Boon +4, Double Aptitude[/table]

    Alternate Class Features/Variant Classes Used:
    Spoiler
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    Ranger:
    Urban Ranger (UA): Trade Knowledge(nature), Knowledge(dungeoneering), and Survival for Gather Information, Knowledge(local), and Sense Motive, trade Track for Urban Tracking
    Skilled City Dweller (Cityscape Web Enhancement): Trade Ride for Tumble
    Rival Organization (same source): Trade favored enemy for a rival organization, gain bonuses to skills and AC against them
    Voice of the City (same source): Trade wild empathy for ability to communicate with people who speak different languages

    Monk:
    Overwhelming Attack Fighting Style (UA): Different bonus feat progression and related skill bonus


    Chameleon Spells per day
    {table=head]Level|0lvl|1st|2nd|3rd|4th|5th|6th|7th|8th|9th


    14th|4|2|0|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    15th|4|3|1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    16th|4|3|2|0|-|-|-|-|-|-

    17th|4|4|3|1|-|-|-|-|-|-

    18th|4|4|3|2|0|-|-|-|-|-

    19th|4|4|4|3|1|-|-|-|-|-

    20th|4|4|4|4|2|0|-|-|-|-[/table]

    Note: Does not include bonus spells

    Build Discussion:
    Spoiler
    Show

    You start out, a poor hard-up Mongrelfolk Urban Ranger with a hatred for the decadent Drunken Masters who make a habit of abusing the homeless, and some rather odd skill choices. Well, you're an odd person. Your odd skill choices are a reasonable investment given what an Able Learner you are (you are, after all, humanoid(human)) and some of them, like Tumble, are actually useful. Gather Information lets you find people in the city with your Urban Tracking abilities, and you can understand these people with Voice of the City. Rival Organization(Drunken Masters) compensates neatly for your low ranks in Bluff, making you acceptably good at lying to those you want to train you.

    Your levels of Monk give you fists to fight with, flurry to flurry with, and Power Attack, which because you started out as a Ranger you can actually use. Improved Bull Rush is a useful prerequisite. You're probably best off two-handing a quarterstaff at this point. Despite your Monk's AC bonus you probably shouldn't go unarmored, but since you're still proficient in light armor you don't have to.

    Your next two ranger levels give you two-weapon fighting and endurance, the first a situationally useful combat option for low-AC, no-DR targets, the second a useful prerequisite.

    With +4 BAB in hand, you progress to Fist of the Forest. Finally your Mongrelfolk +4 Con is useful, as you can now add it to AC, potentially discarding your armor. Your feral trance is also a nice combat option. This is the only point in the build where you'll want to ask your DM for a refluff, taking Fist of the Forest and its associated organization to a more urban theme. Your code of conduct is exactly the same, and even makes more sense than the default: few animals steal food to survive, but as a Fist of the Homeless it makes sense. Note that you will have to steal or beg for your booze, which just makes you more endearing.

    Now that you've sworn to be a drunken hobo or lose your class features, why not get drunk? Tricking your way in to the Drunken Masters is not likely to be difficult, they're not by nature a suspicious bunch. Tell them you're any race you want to be, use disguise if you really feel pressed, but don't worry: you're a mongrelfolk. According to Races of Destiny, you look like you could be anybody.

    As a Drunken Master you begin to acquire one of the most important aspects of your build: versatility. Drink Like a Demon is not just a way to boost your Str. It is not just a way to boost your Con. It is a way to be whatever you need to be for the fight. Need to deal a lot of damage in a hurry? Be an angry drunk. The damage bonus you get from improvised weapons lets your two-handed table be an acceptably dangerous attack. Need to be tough? Drink to your health as a quiet drunk, and your hit points and AC rise. Your two-handed table, according to the rules in Complete Warrior, gives you a +2 shield bonus to AC. This is without using it as a tower shield, which becomes an option at fourth level (though potentially a suboptimal one depending on how your DM rules "as a tower shield": do you need proficiency? Do you get an armor check penalty? Do you lose your unarmored bonus to AC?). In any case the shield usage bypasses these concerns. Other improvised weapon uses offer even more versatility: nearby objects can let you entangle your enemies, push them around, or give you reach.

    Swagger extends the reach of your fast movement-boosted charges, and with Snap Kick you're still making two attacks on a charge, a nice mini-pounce. Snap Kick also lets you make two attacks in the same round that you drink, in case you need to buff up in a hurry, and adds an attack to your full attack if you want to be really reckless. While you can't flurry with improvised weapons, this gives you an equivalent option should you want it. Swaying waist and your improving AC bonus increases your effectiveness as a quiet drunk, and Steadfast Determination adds to the quiet drunk's resilience. Improved Grapple is an interesting option as an angry drunk.

    At level 13, most melee builds slow down. However, you haven't been taking those ranks in disguise for nothing, and now you have enough of them to take Chameleon. Your two main themes, versatility and stat-boosting, are enhanced and extended, while Chameleon spells bring new tricks to the fore. While low-level spells might not be a big deal for a serious caster, you can borrow spells off anyone's list. Your drunkenness means you won't want to use your arcane spells in combat, but they still make a nice buff suite, with Alter Self being both a good buff and a substantial Disguise boost. Divine spells will be useful in combat. You'll want a Wis item to cast them properly, which likely won't stack with your Fist of the Forest AC bonus unless you have a lenient DM. If you can't acquire a Wis item, your Chameleon bonus will be high enough to make casting possible, if not practical. You have an exceptionally wide array of spell choices, some of which are quite nice: Hunter's Eye gives sneak attack damage that scales with your rapidly-scaling chameleon caster level, which you can make use of either in a flank or with Improved Feint and Group Fake-Out. Take Craven as your daily bonus feat if you really want to optimize this damage.

    Speaking of your bonus feat, perhaps you regret losing some of the higher level Drunken Master abilities like Medicinal Purposes? Well, if you really want it take Poison Healer as your bonus feat and get a potentially superior benefit when in quiet drunk mode. Similarly, breathing fire can be replicated with spells. You only miss out on the corkscrew charge, but there's quite a lot you gain, even from just the variable bonus feat. Before level 15 you can use the bonus feat to get Shock Trooper for a nice buff to your angry drunk mode. On a day when you expect to fight medium size foes without absurd strength, Scorpion's Grasp lets you grapple them efficiently. Use the feat for interesting combat options, impersonation of foes, maneuvers, whatever you want.

    At higher levels your spells can patch up your BAB for a few fights a day (Divine Power) and let you enchant your improvised weapon/shield (Greater Magic Weapon, Magic Vestment). Gain more AC for quiet mode with Barkskin and Shield of Faith. You are a Drunken Master and a Chameleon. You can wield anything you find, cast any low-level spell in the game, and pick and choose your stats. You scream versatility.

    As said earlier, your themes are versatility and stat boosts. How high can you boost stats? well, at level 20 your Str and Con are normally 18. Stick on a Manual +4, +6 enhancement, your Chameleon bonus of +4, and your Chameleon imitation-rage for another +4. Then drink yourself into a stupor. Without Int and Cha boosting items you can manage to drink up another 10 points of Str or Con while still being as intelligent as the party Fleshraker. This gives Str or Con of 46, depending on whether you feel angry or quiet. Not bad. Even when quiet, Martial Study for Insightful Strike gives you a once per encounter chance to add this +18 and your reasonable ranks in Concentration to damage, which Snap kick lets you pair with another traditional attack.

    Equipment wish-list and Variants:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Monks are MAD, you are unfortunately MADDER. A Belt of Magnificence would not go amiss. Even the Cha boost goes to use: in addition to helping you deceive those pestilential Drunken Masters, a higher Cha also allows a deeper drunken stupor. Beyond this, you can take the typical Drunken Master optimization route and get some source of infinite booze and an enchanted adamantine table if you really feel inclined. Having enough booze is very important, as keeping constantly drunk is the best way to get the maximum you can out of your angry and quiet modes.

    If your DM is uncomfortable with you fighting with Int 2, shift two points out of Charisma and put them somewhere more useful, since you won't be able to drink them away.

    If your DM allows Dragon Material, get Power Attack for your Ranger Combat Style and be a Cobra Strike Monk, taking Evasive Reflexes for an interesting way to make use of your high quiet drunk AC.

    Another variant involves swapping Chameleon 3-7 for Stoneblessed 3 and Deepwarden 2, possibly taken earlier in the build. While less versatile and less capable of infiltrating your hated enemies, you still gain some Con and gain a huge boost to your quiet mode with Deepwarden's AC bonus. The BAB is better too.

    Sources:
    Spoiler
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    Cityscape Web Enhancement
    Complete Champion
    Complete Warrior
    PHB
    Player's Handbook II
    Races of Destiny
    Tome of Battle
    Unearthed Arcana

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

    I tend to repeat myself on this: dragons are always relevant.
    Specially when they are drunk.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Redscale
    Eric Redscale
    Human Dragonfire Adept 7/Disciple of the Eye 2/Initiate of Draconic Mysteris 1/Drunken Master 10

    Ever since I was a little boy, I'd heard tell of dragons. Massive creatures that leave men shaking as they blow fire from their snouts, leaving whole kingdoms in ruin. While that was impressive, it wasn't even the best part. Now the treasure...that was the good stuff.

    I studied them, revered them, worshipped the things. Sure enough, over time, I started to become like them. My skin thickened, I found myself able to belch a few plumes of smoke, and I was able to learn a few arcane mutterings here and there. But it wasn't enough; I wanted the big time--I wanted to fly.

    Try as I might, I couldn't master it. Broken bone after broken bone, I got closer to the sky, but to no avail. However, I never gave up. I kept trying again and again, and eventually, I found myself lifting off the ground. I was flying, truly flying. For a while, life was good...until they found me.

    They came to me in human form, offered me a job. They promised me that I could learn more--that I could become more. They taught me lost arts that no humans knew, and that's when it became clear. I was working for real honest-to-Bahamut dragons. But I was doing their dirty work. Stealing, trespassing, and remotely viewing places I should never have been. I saw things nobody should ever have seen, things that I can't unsee. From outside my own body, I watched them performing a bizarre ritual over me, forced to concentrate on the spectacle that was my torture the entire time. I still see it every time I close my eyes.

    I ran. There was nothing else to do--I couldn't bear it anymore. I hid out in every bar I could find, waiting for the day they would find me, knowing that it was inevitable. What I didn't know was which one of them would find me. Luckily, it was Gnarlfang.

    Gnarlfang was the oldest of the dragons, and he cared little for the schemes and machinations of his younger kin. Instead, all he cared about was drinking. He showed me many mixed drinks that he had sampled around the world, from the mundane to the impossible. Furthermore, he gave me my first taste of dragonsblood. Pure vodka mixed with one drop of a dragon's blood, it burned like fire the whole way down my throat. Gnarlfang poured me glass after glass, gladly pricking his claw to continue our binge.

    The next morning, my world shook until it almost shattered. However, I felt strangely better for it--stronger, even. Gnarlfang took me under his wing (quite literally) and taught me how to use the power of alcohol to strengthen my techniques. Eventually, I even learned how to spew forth the hottest fire I had ever encountered--hotter even than the pathetic dragons that had attempted to lord their fiery breath over me before. He also taught me how to scare lesser creatures, a tactic that resulted in many laughs and free drinks for the both of us.

    I had wanted to be a dragon all my life, and had nearly lost my life to do so. Now, however, I saw that it had all been worth it. I was stronger than I had ever been, a force to be feared. Nothing could stop me. It was time for revenge...right after this last shot.

    Eric Redscale
    {table=head]Level|Class|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Skills|Feats|Class Features

    1st|Dragonfire Adept 1|
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |Concentration 4, Jump 4, Know (arcana) 2, Know (religion) 2, Spot 4|Improved Unarmed Strike, Dodge, Dragontouched|Breath weapon 1d6, Dragontouched, least invocations

    2nd|Dragonfire Adept 2|
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |Concentration 5, Jump 5, Know (arcana) 3, Know (religion) 2, Spot 5||Breath effect (sickening breath), scales +2

    3rd|Dragonfire Adept 3|
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |Concentration 6, Jump 6, Know (arcana) 3, Know (religion) 3, Spot 6|Power Attack|Breath weapon 2d6

    4th|Dragonfire Adept 4|
    +2
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Concentration 7, Jump 7, Know (arcana) 4, Know (religion) 3, Spot 7||Dragonkin

    5th|Dragonfire Adept 5|
    +2
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Concentration 8, Jump 8, Know (arcana) 4, Know (religion) 4, Spot 8||Breath weapon 3d6, Breath effect (slow breath)

    6th|Dragonfire Adept 6|
    +3
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |Concentration 8, Jump 8, Know (arcana) 6, Know (religion) 4, Spot 8, Speak Language (Draconic)|Alertness|DR 2/magic, lesser invocations

    7th|Dragonfire Adept 7|
    +3
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |Concentration 8, Intimidate 4, Jump 8, Know (arcana) 6, Know (religion) 4, Spot 8, Speak Language (Draconic)||Breath weapon 4d6

    8th|Disciple of the Eye 1|
    +3
    |
    +7
    |
    +4
    |
    +7
    |Concentration 8, Intimidate 6, Jump 8, Know (arcana) 6, Know (religion) 4, Spot 8, Speak Language (Draconic), Tumble 2||Fast movement, flurry of blows, wandering eyes

    9th|Disciple of the Eye 2|
    +4
    |
    +8
    |
    +5
    |
    +8
    |Concentration 8, Intimidate 8, Jump 8, Know (arcana) 6, Know (religion) 4, Spot 8, Speak Language (Draconic), Tumble 4|Great Fortitude|Frightful Attack, natural armor +1

    10th|Initiate of Draconic Mysteries 1|
    +4
    |
    +10
    |
    +7
    |
    +10
    |Concentration 8, Intimidate 8, Jump 8, Know (arcana) 6, Know (religion) 4, Spot 8, Speak Language (Draconic), Tumble 8||evasion

    11th|Drunken Master 1|
    +4
    |
    +12
    |
    +9
    |
    +10
    |Concentration 8, Intimidate 9, Jump 8, Know (arcana) 6, Know (religion) 4, Spot 8, Speak Language (Draconic), Tumble 10||Drink Like a Demon, improvised weapons

    12th|Drunken Master 2|
    +5
    |
    +13
    |
    +10
    |
    +10
    |Concentration 8, Intimidate 10, Jump 8, Know (arcana) 6, Know (religion) 4, Spot 8, Speak Language (Draconic), Tumble 12|Entangling Exhalation|Stagger

    13th|Drunken Master 3|
    +6/+1
    |
    +13
    |
    +10
    |
    +11
    |Concentration 8, Intimidate 11, Jump 8, Know (arcana) 6, Know (religion) 4, Spot 8, Speak Language (Draconic), Tumble 14||Swaying Waist

    14th|Drunken Master 4|
    +7/+2
    |
    +14
    |
    +11
    |
    +11
    |Concentration 8, Intimidate 12, Jump 8, Know (arcana) 6, Know (religion) 4, Spot 8, Speak Language (Draconic), Tumble 16||AC bonus +1, improved improvised weapons

    15th|Drunken Master 5|
    +7/+2
    |
    +14
    |
    +11
    |
    +11
    |Concentration 8, Intimidate 12, Jump 8, Know (arcana) 6, Know (religion) 4, Spot 8, Speak Language (Draconic), Tumble 18, Never Outnumbered|Imperious Command|Greater Improvised Weapons

    16th|Drunken Master 6|
    +8/+3
    |
    +15
    |
    +12
    |
    +12
    |Concentration 9, Intimidate 13, Jump 8, Know (arcana) 6, Know (religion) 4, Spot 8, Speak Language (Draconic), Tumble 19, Never Outnumbered|Improved Feint|Improved Feint

    17th|Drunken Master 7|
    +9/+4
    |
    +15
    |
    +12
    |
    +12
    |Concentration 10, Intimidate 14, Jump 8, Know (arcana) 6, Know (religion) 4, Spot 8, Speak Language (Draconic), Tumble 20, Never Outnumbered|Improved Grapple|Improved Grapple

    18th|Drunken Master 8|
    +10/+5
    |
    +16
    |
    +13
    |
    +12
    |Concentration 11, Intimidate 15, Jump 8, Know (arcana) 6, Know (religion) 4, Spot 8, Speak Language (Draconic), Tumble 21, Never Outnumbered|Frightful Presence|For medicinal purposes

    19th|Drunken Master 9|
    +10/+5
    |
    +16
    |
    +13
    |
    +13
    |Concentration 12, Intimidate 16, Jump 8, Know (arcana) 6, Know (religion) 4, Spot 8, Speak Language (Draconic), Tumble 22, Never Outnumbered||AC bonus +2, corkscrew rush, superior improvised weapons

    20th|Drunken Master 10|
    +11/+6/+1
    |
    +17
    |
    +14
    |
    +13
    |Concentration 13, Intimidate 17, Jump 8, Know (arcana) 6, Know (religion) 4, Spot 8, Speak Language (Draconic), Tumble 23, Never Outnumbered||Breath of Flame[/table]

    Attributes
    Spoiler
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    • STR: 24 [+7] (13 base+6 enhancement+5 tome)
    • DEX: 16 [+3] (10 base+6 enhancement)
    • CON: 32 [+11] (16 base+5 levels+6 enhancement+5 tome)
    • INT: 21 [+5] (10 base+6 enhancement+5 tome)
    • WIS: 21 [+5] (11 base+6 enhancement+4 tome)
    • CHA: 26 [+8] (16 base+6 enhancement+4 tome)


    Invocations Known
    Spoiler
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    • Least Invocations: Breath of the Night, Endure Exposure
    • Lesser Invocations: Draconic Flight


    Using the Secret Ingredient
    Spoiler
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    • Drink Like a Demon: The trickiest part of this class feature is the way it decreases both INT and WIS, meaning that you need at least a 21 in both to remain conscious with 10 drinks in you. Eric uses items to ensure that he can stock up on brew. Furthermore, most characters will most likely choose to boost STR in order to pump to-hit and damage. While Eric can still do so, he will usually choose instead to boost CON in order to gain more HP and a higher saving throw on his breath weapon (and breath effects). Furthermore, Eric will keep drinking in the middle of the fight until he has the full 10 drinks in him. At that point, he will unleash his Breath of Fire as a series of 10 free actions to deal 30d12 of fire damage in one round, in addition to his normal breath weapon or a breath effect.
    • Improvised Weapons: Though Eric can use his breath effect at will, sometimes things will prevent him from doing so (especially tight quarters). When this happens, he will take to the skies, grabbing anything he can find to make diving charge attacks for double damage. However, the non-proficiency penalty and Eric's low BAB mean that this will remain his secondary tactic.
    • Stagger: the ability to charge without the straight line restriction means a +2 bonus to attacks, which offsets half of the penalty for using improvised weapons. Also, the laughably easy DC 15 Tumble check to stop AoOs gives Eric a way to cut across a battlefield full of foes with no worries, allowing him to get into prime position for his breath weapon.
    • Swaying Waist: this bonus to AC stacks with the bonus from Dodge as well as Eric's bonuses to natural armor from Dragonfire Adept as well as Disciple of the Eye.
    • AC bonus: As above, this bonus stacks with Eric's other bonuses to provide him an extra boost of survivability.
    • Improved Feint: Eric can render an opponent flat-footed in order to have a better chance of hitting (even with his non-proficiency penalty for improvised weapons).
    • Improved Grapple: Eric can pin an enemy down to ensure that it fails Reflex saves against his breath weapon, breath effects, and his breath of fire.
    • For medicinal purposes: Not only can Eric use alcohol to harm his enemies, but he can use it to keep himself alive. Furthermore, the small amount of damage reduction provided by his Dragonfire Adept levels ensures that his healing will not be immediately undone by a series of melee attacks, but allows him to keep his hit points for longer.
    • Corkscrew Rush: Most Drunken Masters will probably have a low saving throw for this bull rush because the alcohol in their system lowers their WIS modifier. However, Eric makes use of Breath of Flame as frequently as possible, which depletes his blood alcohol content and brings his WIS modifier back to normal. Because of this, corkscrew rush is a perfect feature to use immediately after he unleashes his full breath of flame, adding his full WIS modifier to the save.
    • Breath of Flame: While 3d12 isn't a massive breath weapon, the fact that this can be used as a free action is huge. Eric can unleash his DFA breath weapon, immediately followed by 10 free actions to deal up to 30d12 fire damage. Also, he can make sure his DFA breath weapon is an Entangling Exhalation or Slow Breath to ensure that his foes receive a penalty on their Reflex saves (along with cowering or being shaken by his intimidation skills/fearful presence). 30d12 is only decent damage when you can ensure that your enemies are taking the full amount, and Eric has that ability.


    Tactics by Level
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    • Levels 1-5: At these levels, Eric learns the bread and butter of his career--Sickening Breath and Slow Breath. The ability to sicken a 20-ft cone of foes for a guaranteed round (and a possible two rounds) is a valuable [if short] debuff. It makes your friends harder to hit, and makes your foes more susceptible to effects that require saves (spells, invocations, breath weapons, etc.). Slow breath is great against melee foes, though doesn't really come into its own until later levels. The Endure Exposure invocation ensures that you can make your allies immune to your breath weapon before they leap into the fray.
    • Levels 6-10: This is the point where slow breath begins to shine. You rob melee brutes of their full attacks (or spellcasters of their full-round casting time spells). The Breath of Night invocation allows you to spam fog cloud, greatly increasing your battlefield control. Also, Eric gains a huge mobility boost through the at-will invocation Draconic Flight. Now you can soar above the battlefield, raining down fiery death. Furthermore, your levels in Disciple of the Eye not only provide the flurry of blows needed for entry into Drunken Master, but make you a competent scout--your fast movement and evasion, coupled with wandering eyes, provides you with up to 20 rounds of arcane eye per day, divided as you see fit.
    • Levels 11-15: Entry into Drunken Master means you are now a raging CONbeast. Drink like a demon boosts your HP and your breath weapon, while the various bonuses to AC, charging, and improvised weapons give you another tactic to utilize when breath weapons and invocations just won't cut it.
    • Levels 16-20: Frightful Presence ensures that you can demotivate large numbers of enemies at once, while Improved Grapple allows you to focus on one enemy and pin them down, leaving them all but helpless against your breath weapon. As a capstone, Eric gains the ability to convert alcohol into a fiery breath that puts his at-will breath weapon to shame. Between his ability to fly, battlefield control, frightful presence, and his massive breath weapon, Eric is as close to a dragon as any human can hope to become.



    Suggested Gear
    Spoiler
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    • +6 Belt of Magnificence: Not only does this boost the attributes that Eric will be using (STR, CON, and CHA), but it helps pump his INT and WIS over 20 to ensure that he can use Drink Like a Demon to the Fullest.
    • Dragon Spirit Cincture: added breath weapon damage is always welcome, especially on a character that will be spamming his breath weapon left and right.
    • Tomes, tomes, and more tomes: inherent bonuses are helpful, especially when they mean that your INT and WIS are high enough to use Drink Like a Demon to its fullest.
    • Fearsome armor: demoralizing foes as a move action means that you can make a foe cower (thereby leaving it shaken for the next round), sicken it with a breath effect, and drop a massive Breath of Flame on it, all in the same round. With the Never Outnumbered skill trick, you can demoralize all foes within 10 feet, catching them in your fiery cone.


    Sources
    Spoiler
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    • Dragon Magic: Dragonfire Adept, Dragontouched
    • Races of the Dragon: Disciple of the Eye, Entangling Exhalation
    • Draconomicon: Initiate of Draconic Mysteries, Frightful Presence
    • Complete Warrior: Drunken Master
    • PHB: Improved Unarmed Strike, Dodge, Power Attack, Alertness, Great Fortitude, Improved Feint, Improved Grapple
    • Drow of the Underdark: Imperious Command, Fearsome armor
    • Magic Item Compendium: items, but of course

  7. - Top - End - #127
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    true_shinken's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge XV

    Simon says: everybody grab a glass of wine!
    Quote Originally Posted by Simon
    Simon the Incompetent Archer

    Background
    Spoiler
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    Simon was raised as a servant in a castle by the head of the chamber maids. His father died at sea before he was born and his mother died giving birth to him. It wasn’t a terrible life but Simon was a master of mischief and eventually become too much of a trouble for those around him. The castle folk sent him off to learn religion and mend his ways at a monastery. His quickness and common sense allowed him to excel in all aspects of life in the monastery…except for the matter of discipline. He soon grew tired of the rules and taboos. He ended up running away from the monastery with a rather fetching serving girl to seek adventure and glory. He started training as a Soulknife and eventually learned the ways of the Soulbow learning the ability to create blades and arrows out of thin air using only the power of his mind. He became a fairly competent archer selling his services to local militias and other possibly less worthy causes, while living a life of lovely bliss with fine Delilah, the serving girl he ran away with from the monastery.

    Things were going great (or so he thought) until he came home one evening to find a note from the little harlot saying that she left him to run away with a rich noble boy and that she had been cheating on him for some time. Simon was never afraid of a little drinking and being rather angry and depressed started to find solace in mugs of ale. He drank in the morning, he drank for lunch, he drank for a snack…the next few months became a blur of fuzzy memories of drinking, fighting, and partying.

    One night he was drinking heavily in a bar, as usual, and he tried to pick a fight with a new, and rather loud, gentleman who was just as deep in the cups as he was. After being planted on his rear quite a few times the two were soon drinking together and swapping drunken stories of bar fights gone right. Simon learned a few new moves to use in bar fights and a larger appreciation for the glories and wonders of alcohol. The days went along like this for some time until he heard rumors that some young noble lord was getting married to some common girl and eventually it got around that it was the same Delilah that had broken his heart and destroyed his life.

    With a renewed sense of rage Simon drunk himself into a stupor and in the dead of night snuck into the local militia’s archer range to take out his frustrations. After about thirty minutes of hitting nothing but air and the sides of barns Simon’s anger and frustration built to unholy heights. With a load cry of dismay and hate he bodily heaved a mind arrow at a target. Forsaking his psionic training and relying only on his own physical strength he threw the arrow towards the manifestation of years of loathing. Whether it was luck, destiny, or pure skill, the arrow hit the target dead center and split the unsuspecting wood and hay target in half. Shocked and awed by this new development Simon tried to recreate the feat but was unable to reach quite the same devastating impact that night. He grew to enjoy the physical aspects of throwing and stabbing with arrows much more than the pansy mind tricks of shooting them. There is a joy in feeling the physicality of using your own muscles and feeling a target quiver with the impact of your blows.

    For the next couple years he trained his new throwing technique eventually becoming able to throw multiple arrows with one toss and hitting a targets weakest spots to devastating effects. He continued his drinking and learned to brew and distill his own booze carrying the finest of liquor wherever he went.

    Progression:
    Spoiler
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    Human, Humanoid (human)
    32 point buy
    Str: 10, Dex: 16, Con:12, Int: 14, Wis: 16, Cha: 8
    Ending Stats
    Str: 10(16), Dex: 26(32), Con:16(22), Int: 14(20), Wis: 20(26), Cha: 8(14)
    {table=head]ECL|Class|Base Attack |Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Skills|Feats|Class Features

    1st|Monk (Cobra Strike) 1|
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    | (28) Concentration 4, Jump 4, Listen 4, Sense Motive 4, Sleight of hand 2 (cc), Spot 4, Tumble 4|Dodge(b), Great Fortitude, Point Blank Shot(b) |AC Bonus, Flurry of Blows, Unarmed Strike
    2nd|Monk 2|
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    | (7) Balance 1, Concentration 1, Jump 1, Listen 1, Sense Motive 1, Spot 4, Tumble 4|Deflect Arrows(b) |Evasion

    3rd|Soulknife 1|
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    | (7) Autohypnosis 2, Concentration 1, Listen 1, Sleight of hand 1 (cc), Spot 1|Two-weapon Fighting, Weapon Focus (mind blade) |Mind Blade, Hidden Talent (Minor Creation, psionic)

    4th|Soulknife 2|
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    | (7) Autohypnosis 3, Concentration 1, Listen 1, Spot 1, Tumble 1| |Throw Mind Blade

    5th|Soulknife 3|
    +3
    |
    +4
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    | (7) Autohypnosis 3, Concentration 1, Sleight of hand 1 (cc), Spot 1|Precise Shot (b)|

    6th|Soulbow 1|
    +3
    |
    +4
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    | (7) Autohypnosis 1, Concentration 1, Listen 2, Spot 1, Tumble 2|Superior Unarmed Strike, Far shot(b)|Mind arrow

    7th|Drunken Master 1|
    +3
    |
    +6
    |
    +10
    |
    +8
    | (7) Bluff 6, Listen 1||Drink like a demon, Improvised Weapons

    8th|Master Thrower 1|
    +4
    |
    +6
    |
    +12
    |
    +8
    | (7) Bluff 3, Concentration 1, Listen 1, Spot 2|Quick Draw(b)|Palm Throw

    9th| Master Thrower 2|
    +5
    |
    +6
    |
    +13
    |
    +8
    | (7) Bluff 3, Concentration 2, Listen 1, Spot 1|Improved Natural Attack (Unarmed Strike) |Improved Evasion

    10th|Master Thrower 3|
    +6
    |
    +7
    |
    +13
    |
    +9
    | (7) Bluff 1, Concentration 1, Listen 1, Sleight of hand 1, Spot 1, Skill trick: Group Fake out||Defensive Throw

    11th|Master Thrower 4|
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +14
    |
    +9
    | (7) Bluff 1, Concentration 1, Listen 1, Sleight of hand 1, Spot 1, Skill Trick: Point it Out|Snatch Arrows(b)|
    12th|Master Thrower 5|
    +8
    |
    +7
    |
    +14
    |
    +9
    | (7) Bluff 1, Concentration 1, Listen 1, Sleight of hand 1, Spot 1, Skill trick: Clarity of Vision|Improved Two-weapon Fighting| Weak Spot


    13th|Drunken Master 2|
    +9
    |
    +8
    |
    +15
    |
    +9
    |(7) Bluff 1, Concentration 1 (cc), Craft: Booze 1, Listen 1, Spot 1 (cc)| |Stagger

    14th|Drunken Master 3|
    +10
    |
    +8
    |
    +15
    |
    +10
    | (7) Bluff 1, Concentration 1 (cc), Craft: Booze 1, Listen 1, Spot 1 (cc)||Swaying Waist

    15th|Drunken Master 4|
    +11
    |
    +9
    |
    +16
    |
    +10
    | (7) Bluff 1, Concentration 1 (cc), Craft: Booze 1, Listen 1, Spot 1 (cc)|Rapid Shot|AC Bonus +1, Improved Improvised Weapons

    16th|Drunken Master 5|
    +11
    |
    +9
    |
    +16
    |
    +10
    | (7) Bluff 1, Concentration 1 (cc), Craft: Booze 1, Listen 1, Spot 1 (cc)| |Greater Improvised Weapons

    17th|Drunken Master 6|
    +12
    |
    +10
    |
    +17
    |
    +11
    |(7) Bluff 1, Concentration 1 (cc), Craft: Booze 1, Listen 1, Spot 1 (cc)|Improved Feint(b)|

    18th|Drunken Master 7|
    +13
    |
    +10
    |
    +17
    |
    +11
    | (7) Bluff 1, Concentration 1 (cc), Craft: Booze 1, Listen 1, Spot 1 (cc)|Greater Two-weapon Fighting, Improved Grapple(b)|

    19th|Drunken Master 8|
    +14
    |
    +11
    |
    +18
    |
    +11
    | (7) Bluff 1, Concentration 1 (cc), Craft: Booze 1, Listen 1, Spot 1 (cc)| |For medicinal purposes

    20th|Drunken Master 9|
    +14
    |
    +11
    |
    +18
    |
    +12
    | (7) Bluff 1, Concentration 1 (cc), Craft: Booze 1, Listen 1, Spot 1 (cc)||AC Bonus +2, Corkscrew Rush, Superior Improvised Weapons [/table]


    Build Explanation and Rules Assumptions
    Spoiler
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    Alternate Class Features:
    Cobra Strike variant monk at level one and abandons the fighting style at level 2
    Uses the Hidden talent and bonus feat options for the Soulknife from The Mind’s Eye: Expanded Classes, Part 1 .

    Build Specifics:
    The trick here is to use mind arrows as improvised thrown weapons. The Soulbow can create mind arrows as free actions that are identical to arrows and count as magical for bypassing DR. These arrows do not “have” to be fired. Arrows can be wielded as improvised weapons. Throwing the arrows as improvised thrown weapons allows Simon to benefit from the Drunken Master improvised weapon rules with an unlimited supply of ammo. His weapon focus and proficiency (mind blade) feats also apply to his mind arrows. The build assumes that the weapon proficiency does not apply to the mind arrows when they are not “shot” so Simon takes a -4 attack penalty when using them differently. You can’t normally have weapon proficiency with arrows since they are ammunition so I really do not know what it means to have proficiency with mind arrows, a DM could see it as working with melee and thrown combat (but the build does not assume this). His weapon focus feat however still works as the feat states all attacks made with the weapon. As improvised thrown weapons that he has weapon focus in he can apply the Master Thrower’s thrown weapon tricks with the mind arrows, specifically palm throw and weak spot. He qualifies for Master Thrower with weapon focus mind blade, which can be thrown.

    At ECL 20
    Spoiler
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    Monk 2, Soulknife 3, Soulbow 1, Master Thrower 5, Drunken Master 9
    Human, Medium Humanoid (human)
    Lawful Neutral
    Hit Dice: 2d8+12 + 3d10+18 +1d10+6 +5d8+30 +9d8+54 (214 hp)
    Initiative: +11
    Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares)
    Armor Class: 47 (touch: 34, flat-footed: 36) {8(armor)+ 11(dex)+ 8(wis)+ 2(Drunken Master)+3(deflection)+5(natural armor) } and +2 dodge bonus against 1 target
    Base Attack/Grapple: +14/+21
    Attack: Mind arrow (ranged) +29 ranged 165ft/increment (1d8 + 11)
    or Mind Arrow (thrown) +25 ranged touch 20ft/increment (3d6+1d12 +3)x2 {palm throw, weak spot}
    or Mind Arrow (melee) +17 melee (3d6+1d12 +6)
    or Unarmed (melee) +20 melee (3d6 +6)
    note: +1 attack/damage with ranged weapons within 30ft.
    Full Attack: Mind arrow (ranged) +27/+27/+22/+17 ranged 165ft/increment (1d8 + 11)
    or Mind Arrow (thrown) +21/+21/+21/+16/+16/+11/+11 ranged touch 20ft/increment (3d6+1d12 +3)x2 {palm throw, weak spot}
    or Mind Arrow (melee) +15/+15/+10/+10/+5/+5 melee (3d6+1d12 +6)
    or Unarmed (melee) +18/+18/+13/+8 melee (3d6 +6), flurry of blows
    note: +1 attack/damage with ranged weapons within 30ft.
    Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
    Attack options: Corkscrew Rush, Improvised Weapons (Greater, Improved, Superior), Palm Throw, Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid Shot, Stagger, Throw mind blade, Weak Spot, Defensive Throw
    Special Actions: drink like a demon, for medicinal purposes, mind arrow, mind blade, improved evasion
    Psionics: 2 PP, Minor Creation, psionic
    Saves: Fort +23, Ref +33, Will +23
    Abilities: Str 16, Dex 32, Con 22, Int 20, Wis 26, Cha 14
    Skills: Autohypnosis +17, Balance +14, Bluff +25, Concentration +29, Craft: Booze +13, Jump +10, Listen +31, Sense Motive +13, Sleight of hand +20, Spot +31, Tumble +21
    Skill Tricks: Clarity of Vision, Group Fake Out, Point it Out

    Feats: Dodge(b), Great Fortitude, Point Blank Shot(b), Deflect Arrows(b), Far shot(b), Weapon Focus (Mind blade)(b), Precise shot(b), Two-weapon Fighting, Quick Draw(b), Improved Natural Attack (Unarmed Strike), Improved Two-weapon Fighting, Improved Feint(b), Improved Grapple(b), Greater Two-weapon Fighting, Superior Unarmed Strike, Rapid Shot
    Challenge Rating: 20

    Possessions: Amulet of Natural Armor +5, Belt of Magnificence +6, Bracers of Armor +8, Manual of Bodily Health +4, Manual of Quickness Action +5, Psychoactive Skin of the Hero, Tome of Understanding +4, 10 bottles of fine liquor, keg

    Tactics
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    Simon tries to stay at range and pepper targets with mind arrows. At long range he can fire mind arrows normally and at close to medium ranges he can throw mind arrows for a large amount of damage. Palm throw allows him to throw two arrows with one attack roll and weak spot allows him to make these attacks as touch attacks. Weak spot helps to alleviate the problem of having a fairly low attack bonus from attacking with an improvised weapon. Palm throw doubles the base damage of the arrows which is fairly high as drunken master improvised weapons, ending with essentially 6d6+2d12+6 at level 20. Each attack roll averages 40 damage (42 with point blank shot), and with 7 touch attacks he will average almost 300 damage a round if they all hit. He has Superior Unarmed Strike and Improved Natural attack to get to 3d6 unarmed strike damage. Many high level opponents are fairly large and have very low touch ac’s. At high levels he has the psychoactive skin of the hero to add a +3 enhancement bonus to attack and damage with any weapon.

    If needed he can feint in combat to deny a target its dexterity bonus if he faces a target with a high touch ac and/or is smaller than medium size. He has the Group Fake Out skill trick to feint against multiple people in combat if needed.

    If your DM allows you to dual wield fired mind arrows Simon can get 7 attacks at long range with fired mind arrows until he gets into throwing range, it doesn’t say you can’t and you only need one hand free to fire one.

    He can use defensive throw to easily make thrown attacks without provoking attacks of opportunity.
    He has a very high AC from having a high dexterity and wisdom, reaching 49 with the dodge bonus from swaying waist. He carries no weapons since he can create arrows at will.

    He also has fairly high senses with a +31 listen and spot checks at level 20. With the Point it Out skill trick he can allow allies another chance to spot something and with Clarity of Vision he can see invisible creatures for a round if needed.

    Sweet Spot and Ability Growth:
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    The milestones for the build are levels 8, 12, and 20.
    The build can start throwing mind arrows as its main attack at level 8 with the first level of Master Thrower and palm throw. He has the Drunken Master improvised weapons netting him palm throw attacks of 1d8+1d4 x2.

    At level 12 he gets Weak Spot allowing him to hit targets of his own size or larger much easier. This is when the build gets powerful utilizing weak spot and two-weapon fighting to overcome the low base attack and improvised weapon penalties. He’ll be palm throwing touch attacks doing 2d8+1d4 x2 damage (23 average with 4 ranged touch attacks), which is respectable at level 12.

    At Level 20 his damage is finalized with Superior improvised weapons at 3d6+1d12+bonuses x2.

    The early levels are a bit rough since Simon has a rather low base attack. At early levels he would do best two-weapon fighting with the mind blade and unarmed strikes or at range throwing the mind blade or picking up a ranged weapon.

    Once he hits level 6 he can always become a serviceable archer firing the mind arrows.

    At ECL 8
    Spoiler
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    Monk 2, Soulknife 3, Soulbow 1, Master Thrower 1, Drunken Master 1
    Human, Medium Humanoid (human)
    Lawful Neutral
    Hit Dice: 2d8+2 + 3d10+3 +1d10+1 +1d8+1 +1d8+1 (48 hp)
    Initiative: +5
    Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares)
    Armor Class: 24 (touch: 21, flat-footed: 19) {3(armor)+ 5(dex)+ 4(wis)+2(deflection) } and +1 dodge bonus against 1 target
    Base Attack/Grapple: +4/+4
    Attack: Mind arrow (ranged) +10 ranged 165ft/increment (1d8 + 4)
    or Mind Arrow (thrown) +6 ranged 20ft/increment (1d8+1d4)x2 {palm throw}
    or Mind Arrow (melee) +1 melee (1d8+1d4)
    or Unarmed (melee) +4 melee (1d8)
    note: +1 attack/damage with ranged weapons within 30ft.
    Full Attack: Mind arrow (ranged) +10 ranged 165ft/increment (1d8 + 4)
    or Mind Arrow (thrown) +4/+4 ranged 20ft/increment (1d8+1d4)x2 {palm throw}
    or Mind Arrow (melee) +1 melee (1d8+1d4)
    or Unarmed (melee) +2/+2 (1d8), flurry of blows
    note: +1 attack/damage with ranged weapons within 30ft.
    Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
    Attack options: Improvised Weapons, Palm Throw, Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Throw mind blade
    Special Actions: drink like a demon, mind arrow, mind blade
    Psionics: 2 PP, Minor Creation, psionic
    Saves: Fort +9, Ref +17, Will +12
    Abilities: Str 10, Dex 20, Con 12, Int 14, Wis 18, Cha 8
    Skills: Autohypnosis +13, Balance +8, Bluff +8, Concentration +11, Jump +7, Listen +15, Sense Motive +9, Sleight of hand +11, Spot +15, Tumble +15

    Feats: Dodge(b), Great Fortitude, Point Blank Shot(b), Deflect Arrows(b), Far shot(b), Weapon Focus (Mind blade)(b), Precise shot(b), Two-weapon Fighting, Quick Draw(b), Superior Unarmed Strike
    Challenge Rating: 8

    Possessions: Bracers of Armor +3, Gloves of Dexterity +2, Periapt of Wisdom +2, Ring of Protection +2, 4 bottles of fine liquor, keg

    At ECL 12
    Spoiler
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    Monk 2, Soulknife 3, Soulbow 1, Master Thrower 5, Drunken Master 1
    Human, Medium Humanoid (human)
    Lawful Neutral
    Hit Dice: 2d8+2 + 3d10+3 +1d10+1 +5d8+5 +1d8+1 (70 hp)
    Initiative: +6
    Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares)
    Armor Class: 28 (touch: 24, flat-footed: 22) {4(armor)+ 6(dex)+ 5(wis)+3(deflection) } and +1 dodge bonus against 1 target
    Base Attack/Grapple: +8/+8
    Attack: Mind arrow (ranged) +15 ranged 165ft/increment (1d8 + 5)
    or Mind Arrow (thrown) +11 ranged touch 20ft/increment (2d8+1d4)x2 {palm throw, weak spot}
    or Mind Arrow (melee) +5 melee (2d8+1d4)
    or Unarmed (melee) +8 melee (2d8)
    note: +1 attack/damage with ranged weapons within 30ft.
    Full Attack: Mind arrow (ranged) +15/+10 ranged 165ft/increment (1d8 + 5)
    or Mind Arrow (thrown) +9/+9/+4/+4 ranged touch 20ft/increment (2d8+1d4)x2 {palm throw, weak spot}
    or Unarmed (melee) +6/+6/+1 melee (2d8), flurry of blows
    note: +1 attack/damage with ranged weapons within 30ft.
    Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
    Attack options: Improvised Weapons, Palm Throw, Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Throw mind blade, Weak Spot
    Special Actions: drink like a demon, mind arrow, mind blade, improved evasion, defensive throw
    Psionics: 2 PP, Minor Creation, psionic
    Saves: Fort +11, Ref +21, Will +9
    Abilities: Str 10, Dex 23, Con 12, Int 14, Wis 20, Cha 8
    Skills: Autohypnosis +14, Balance +9, Bluff +14, Concentration +16, Jump +7, Listen +20, Sense Motive +10, Sleight of hand +15, Spot +20, Tumble +16
    Skill Tricks: Clarity of Vision, Group Fake Out, Point it Out

    Feats: Dodge(b), Great Fortitude, Point Blank Shot(b), Deflect Arrows(b), Far shot(b), Weapon Focus (Mind blade)(b), Precise shot(b), Two-weapon Fighting, Quick Draw(b), Improved Natural Attack (Unarmed Strike), Improved Two-weapon Fighting, Superior Unarmed Strike
    Challenge Rating: 12

    Possessions: Bracers of Armor +4, Gloves of Dexterity +4, Periapt of Wisdom +4, Ring of Protection +3, 8 bottles of fine liquor, keg

    Secret Ingredient: Drunken Master
    Spoiler
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    Simon makes the most of the strange improvised weapon rules doing unarmed strike damage + 1d12 twice with each attack. He can use drink like a demon to improve his HP’s but in general it does not benefit him much. It would have been nice to get breath of flame to use up the charges but Weak Spot is almost necessary to be able to hit anything with the -4 to attack. He can use For medicinal purposes for some healing every day.

    Simon also has full ranks in bluff and the skill trick Group Fake Out to make the most out of improved feint, so he has the option to feint in combat against targets with very high touch ac’s.

    He carries a keg and plenty of bottles wherever he goes. He can create basic alcohol using minor creation as it is vegetable matter. It creates 1 cubic foot of alcohol that lasts for 1 hour and he can use it twice per day. When alcohol is scarce he creates it in the keg and transfers it to bottles as needed.

    Options
    Spoiler
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    You could use flaws to get bonus feats to increase damage, such as shape soulmeld: Sighting gloves and bonus essential.

    If you can get an understanding DM to allow either Soulbow or Drunken Master to get rid of the -4 non profiency penalty you may not need Weak spot allowing the build to end with Soulbow 4, Master Thrower 1, Drunken Master 10. Palm throw is fairly essential and Soulbow 2-4 would get you a bonus feat, a +1 magic ability (flaming or any other +1d6 damage would be nice since it is doubled every attack), and close combat shot which says that you don’t provoke when attacking in melee with mind arrows with no mention of the manner of attack, so you can throw in melee. If your DM allows the cheese you could possibly use the Lucky +1 ability to reroll every attack since you get a new mind arrow each time. He would also have breath of flame for a free 3d12 fire cone to use up drink like a demon charges.

    Simon is also a prime candidate for vow of poverty since he uses no weapons or armor, if you are playing in an exalted campaign and can deal with the heavy drinking and your vows.

    You could transform the build into a melee character stabbing with mind arrows. The ranged build can still throw in melee so the main bonus to doing this would be to raise the damage against targets with high DR or to appease a DM that won’t allow master thrower to work with improvised weapons. Stack strength instead of dex or wis and try to bump your size to increase unarmed/improvised damage. You can scrap master thrower and most of the ranged feats. The two weapon fighting tree with two-weapon defense and rend would be nice. All that you need is Drunken Master, Soulbow 1 to create mind arrows, and Soulknife 2 to qualify for Soulbow. You could go monstrous character with a large race or go with more martial prestige classes. Shou disciple might let you flurry with mind arrows but you won’t be able to get to greater flurry without a lot of effort. The build could fire mind arrows at range until getting into melee range to stab things.

    Sources
    Spoiler
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    Compete Psionics (Soulbow)
    Complete Scoundrel (Skill tricks)
    Complete Warrior (Drunken Master and Master Thrower)
    SRD (Monk, variant monk, Soulknife, magic items, feats)
    The Mind’s Eye: Expanded Classes, Part 1 (Soulknife alternate class features)
    Tome of Battle (Superior Unarmed Strike)

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

    Everybody was kung-fu fighting... those guys were drunk as lightning...
    ...wait a second, that ain't right.

    Quote Originally Posted by Laph
    Laph Roaig

    LG Elan

    Monk 3/Ardent 2/Swordsage 1/Drunken Master 10/Zerth Cenobite 4



    STR 16 DEX 14 CON 14 INT 12 WIS 14 CHA 6

    WIS gets the level-based stat boosts.
    Laph Roaig
    Spoiler
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    {table=head]Level|Class|Base Attack<br>Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Skills|Feats|Class Features

    1st|Monk 1|
    +0
    |
    +6
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |Balance 4, Concentration 4, Jump 4, Psicraft 2.0, Tumble 4|Improved Unarmed Strike (b), Stunning Fist (b), Great Fortitude|IUS, Bonus Feat (Stunning Fist), Flurry of Blows

    2nd|Monk 2|
    +1
    |
    +7
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |Balance +1, Jump +1, Psicraft +0.5, Swim +1, Tumble +1|Combat Reflexes (b)|Bonus Feat (Combat Reflexes), Evasion

    3rd|Monk 3|
    +2
    |
    +7
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |Concentration +1, Jump +1, Psicraft +0.5, Spot +1, Tumble +1|Power Attack|Still Mind, +10' Unarmored Speed Bonus

    4th|Ardent 1|
    +2
    |
    +7
    |
    +5
    |
    +7
    |Concentration +1, Tumble +1.0|-|Assume Psionic Mantles: Natural World (also grants Wild Empathy)(CPsi 71), Pain & Suffering (CPsi 71)

    5th|Ardent 2|
    +3
    |
    +7
    |
    +5
    |
    +8
    |Concentration +2, Psicraft +1|Ectopic Form: Alabaster Aerial (b) (CPsi 51)|Assume Psionic Mantle: Creation (CPsi 70)

    6th|Swordsage 1|
    +3
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +10
    |Concentration +1, Jump +1, Listen +1, Spot +1.0, Tumble +2|Desert Wind Dodge (ToB 29), Weapon Focus: Setting Sun weapons (b)|Quick to Act +1 (ToB 16), Discipline Focus: Setting Sun (ToB 16; cf. ToB 42)

    7th|Drunken Master 1|
    +3
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    |
    +10
    |Concentration +1.0, Jump +1, Listen +1, Tumble +1|-|Drink Like a Demon (CW 28), Improvised Weapons (CW 28)

    8th|Drunken Master 2|
    +4
    |
    +10
    |
    +10
    |
    +11
    |Concentration +1.0, Jump +1, Listen +1, Tumble +1|-|Stagger (CW 28)

    9th|Zerth Cenobite 1|
    +4
    |
    +10
    |
    +12
    |
    +13
    |Concentration +1, Jump +2, Spot +1, Tumble +1|Superior Unarmed Strike (ToB 33)|Monk Abilities (see note), Temporal Distillation: Move Action (CPsi 43), Psychic Warrior Powers

    10th|Drunken Master 3|
    +5
    |
    +11
    |
    +12
    |
    +14
    |Jump +1, Listen +1, Spot +1.0, Tumble +1|-|Swaying Waist (CW 28)

    11th|Drunken Master 4|
    +6
    |
    +12
    |
    +13
    |
    +14
    |Jump +1, Listen +1, Spot +1.0, Tumble +1|-|AC bonus +1 (CW 28), Improved Improvised Weapons (CW 28)

    12th|Drunken Master 5|
    +6
    |
    +12
    |
    +13
    |
    +14
    |Jump +1, Listen +1, Spot +1.0, Tumble +1|Flying Kick (CW 99)|Greater Improvised Weapons (CW 28)

    13th|Zerth Cenobite 2|
    +7
    |
    +12
    |
    +14
    |
    +15
    |Concentration +1, Jump +1, Listen +1, Spot +1, Tumble +1|-|Backslip 1/day (CPsi 44)

    14th|Drunken Master 6|
    +8
    |
    +13
    |
    +15
    |
    +16
    |Jump +1, Listen +1, Spot +1.0, Tumble +1|Improved Feint (b)|Bonus Feat (Improved Feint)

    15th|Zerth Cenobite 3|
    +9
    |
    +14
    |
    +15
    |
    +16
    |Concentration +1, Jump +1, Listen +1,Spot +1, Tumble +1|Acrobatic Strike (PH2 71)|Timeless Step (CPsi 44)

    16th|Zerth Cenobite 4|
    +10
    |
    +14
    |
    +16
    |
    +18
    |Jump +1, Listen +1, Spot +1, Tumble +1; Skill Trick: Extreme Leap (CSc 86)|-|Precognition 1/day (CPsi 44)

    17th|Drunken Master 7|
    +11
    |
    +14
    |
    +16
    |
    +18
    |Jump +1, Listen +1, Tumble +1; Skill Trick: Acrobatic Backstab (CSc 84)|Improved Grapple (b)|Bonus Feat (Improved Grapple)

    18th|Drunken Master 8|
    +12
    |
    +15
    |
    +17
    |
    +18
    |Jump +1, Listen +1, Tumble +1; Skill Trick: Up the Hill (CSc 90)|Brutal Strike (PH2 76)|For Medicinal Purposes (CW 28)

    19th|Drunken Master 9|
    +12
    |
    +15
    |
    +17
    |
    +19
    |Jump +2, Listen +2, Tumble +1|-|AC Bonus +2 (CW 28), Corkscrew Rush (CW 28-9), Superior Improvised Weapons (CW 29)

    20th|Drunken Master 10|
    +13
    |
    +16
    |
    +18
    |
    +19
    |Jump +1, Listen +1, Tumble +1; Skill Trick: Back on Your Feet (CSc 85)|-|Breath of Flame[/table]
    (b) = Bonus Feat
    *Note: Listed for completeness only. Assuming the DM follows RAW on Monks multiclassing, this is a dead ability. Because Drunken Master doesn't advance Monk abilities, Laph cannot gain benefit from this; because Laph needed more than one class interspersed between his last Monk level and first Zerth Cenobite level, Monastic Training or similar feats will not fix this without a major reshuffling of class levels that would further delay entrance into the prestige classes. A kind and/or lenient DM may allow the ability to work, but Laph is not predicated on the kindness of DMs.


    PSIONIC POWERS:
    Spoiler
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    Level|Power Points|Powers Known
    1st|2|-
    2nd|2|-
    3rd|2|-
    4th|5|Metaphysical Claw, Disable
    5th|6|Astral Construct
    6th|6|-
    7th|6|-
    8th|6|-
    9th|10|Expansion
    10th|10|-
    11th|10|-
    12th|10|-
    13th|16|Offensive Precognition
    14th|16|-
    15th|25|-
    16th|36|Dissolving Touch
    17th|36|-
    18th|36|-
    19th|36|-
    20th|36|-

    The above chart does not take items into account. It's difficult to predict just when a particular stat-boosting item might be available in a given game.

    SWORDSAGE MANEUVERS/STANCE
    Spoiler
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    Burning Brand (p52), Sapphire Nightmare Blade (p65), Emerald Razor (p63), Clever Positioning (p70), Drain Vitality (p77), Shadow Jaunt (p79)/Step of the Wind (p74)


    STAT INCREASES
    Spoiler
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    [b]Stat|Base|level|enhancement|inherent|total
    STR|16|-|5|21
    DEX|14|-|5|19
    CON|14|-|5|19
    INT|12|-|-|12
    WIS|14|5|5|24
    CHA|6|-|-|6


    SUGGESTED GEAR from MiC
    Spoiler
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    Cobra Straps: 1400gp
    Panther Mask: 2700gp
    Scorpion Kama: 6302gp
    (collected equals Gharyn's Monastic Array; +1 Stunning Fist DC and critical hits with Scorpion Kama deliver Stunning Fist)
    Manual of Bodily Health +5: 137500gp
    Manual of Gainful Exercise +5: 137500gp
    Manual of Quickness in Action +5: 137500gp
    Tome of Clear Thought +5:137500gp
    Amulet of Mighty Fists +5: 150000gp
    Ring of Protection +4: 32000gp
    Tome of Understanding: 137500gp


    BEVERAGE SELECTION (level highlights)

    Kvass: 1st level
    Spoiler
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    Laph has above average STR, DEX, CON, and WIS, making him a competent 1st level combatant. His damage output lags a bit behind a real tank-type, but solid saves, a good AC, and his Elan resilience and resistance abilities give him sufficient staying power.


    Imperial Stout: 5th level
    Spoiler
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    With Combat Reflexes, Laph is able to defend a given area reasonably well. Because his BAB is starting to lag noticeably, Metaphysical Claw provides an important boost to his combat prowess. Disable allows him to take out multiple, low level, threats from a distance, while the Astral Construct form he's selected gives him another effective way to deal with flyers, along with a built-in flank buddy for himself or the party's Rogue. Power Attacking with his quarterstaff increases his damage output. Combine the share pain ability with his native Elan resiliance, and Laph is tougher to bring down than most enemies anticipate. The speed increase at Monk 3 will prove handy for his development as a charger. At 6th level, he'll see a significant boost to efficiency, with ways of increasing damage, reach, and movement - including a short-range teleport - built into his Swordsage dip, along with the free Weapon Focus in Setting Sun weapons (nunchaku, quarterstaff, short sword, and unarmed strike). It also lets him turn an attack every encounter into a touch attack, reducing the importance of his BAB, and attack something besides the ever-increasing HP totals of his adversaries with a strike targeting STR.


    Beaujolais: 10th level
    Spoiler
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    Fun combinations have started to form. The extra move action from Zerth Cenobite provides potential for full attack actions on a charge, which Stagger allows to happen without a straight line, and Step of the Wind allows regardless of terrain. Drink Like a Demon gives a needed boost to STR for better efficiency on hits and damage. Expansion + the extra 5' reach of Burning Brand + Combat Reflexes let Laph work as a battlefield controller, with Swaying Waist making him more difficult to target when he employs this strategy. He has ample Power Points to keep an Astral Construct viable in combat and also use Expansion + Metaphysical Claw to self-buff. Superior Unarmed Strike further improves his ability to keep pace on the damage output. When things really get tough, he can use his ability to create a faux tower shield for cover for himself and - potentially - a downed ally. Out of combat, he's got reliable scouting abilities and excellent mobility.


    Blended Whisky: 15th level
    Spoiler
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    Between his innate unarmed strike abilities, his ability to psionically augment those unarmed strikes, and his ever-increasing proficiency with improvised weapons, Laph is increasingly dangerous regardless of circumstance. Flying Kick gives him a solid damage boost on the charge attack that is becoming increasingly important to his fighting technique. Improved Feint helps offset his low BAB, as does Backslip. Acrobatic Strike lets Saph focus his attacks on the most dangerous foe he can reach without needing to stay in one place, which is useful for a charger. With Timeless Step, Laph has an emergency escape clause if the situation is truly dire.


    Single Malt: 16th level (sweet spot)
    Spoiler
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    Precognition and Dissolving Touch are the prizes here. Precognition lets Laph retroactively adjust a bad attack roll - or other roll, but most of his other checks are high enough not to be a concern. Dissolving Touch gives his attacks real bite. In addition, Extreme Leap provides better utility for his charge attacks by further augmenting his movement rate.


    Everclear: 20th level
    Spoiler
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    With Improved Grapple, combat options further expand; 'expand' is the key word there, as the Expansion power makes this tactic situationally viable. Brutal Strike works equally well on Laph's unarmed strikes and the majority of his improvised weapons to provide a secondary effect to his attacks. This is especially useful combined with Corkscrew Rush, doing good damage as well as forcing multiple saves. Up the Hill and Back on Your Feet further emphasize Laph's superior mobility and help keep him safer. With Breath of Flame, Laph has a better AoE and ranged option, for those circumstances where it's necessary. Assuming he gets the items listed below, his final saves are 17/20/22, without any Cloak/Vest of Resistance.


    Mixers: Options
    Spoiler
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    Laph has ridiculously good saves and a ridiculously low BAB for someone who uses charging as his primary shtick. As it is, he addresses the BAB issue by charging, by using Emerald Razor for touch attacks, by using magic items, and by picking up abilities that augment and allow rerolls of his attack rolls. Unearthed Arcana would let him do better. Partial BAB and Saves from Unearthed Arcana would improve his BAB to +15 while normalizing his saves to 14/13/15 after items - much more reasonable overall. While Laph has the prereqs for Practiced Manifester and Snap Kick, he doesn't have the room. With Flaws, he can take Poor Reflexes and Vulnerable at minimal loss in order to rearrange his Feats and squeeze in both of the above Feats. One last thing. If the DM is enforcing multiclass penalties, there's effectively no way to make Laph without those penalties. Swapping Stunning Fist for Monastic Training helps a bit, but requires a very careful juggling of initial levels, and likely costs the 2nd level maneuvers.


    A Drunkard’s Tale:
    Spoiler
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    "Hi, my name is Laph, and I have.... an unusual relationship with alcohol"

    'Hi, Laph!'

    "I haven't really been to one of these before, but I thought maybe it would help me understand why alcohol... I guess the word I want is 'helps'... me do the things I do."

    'Welcome!'

    "See, when the Day of Mourning came, I lost everyone. I even lost the people I knew before I was transformed into an Elan. With nobody else to turn to, I ended up crawling inside a bottle for the better part of a month. It made me calmer, you know? Life seemed a lot clearer through the lens available at the bottom of a shot glass."

    'We've all been there, Laph. Go on.'

    "After I finished feeling sorry for myself, I tried to find other ways of obtaining that clarity, that serenity I got from the alcohol. I started studying at a monastery, with the thought that all their focus on finding the center and inner calm would be helpful. It was, for a while.

    “Eventually, I got to a point where I realized hiding myself away inside the serene walls of a monk’s retreat was just masking my pain, not dealing with it. I wanted to find a more intuitive approach to working through the suffering the Day of Mourning put me through. I fell back on my psionic nature, and took up the ways of the Ardent. It let me tap into the world around me, and really get in touch with the pain I’ve felt ever since that day. I thought that if I could embrace that, accept it, I could eventually move on.

    “I was wrong.My craving - my need, if you will - for the alcohol was still there. More than just *there*, it was growing. I was drinking again before long. I stopped calling myself an Ardent, and took up the Sublime Way. The frenetic movement taught through the particular disciplines I learned was helpful in keeping myself distracted for as long as it lasted, but when the form was finished, I felt empty, or more like hollowed out. More and more of my time was spent down at the local watering hole, with a glass of something fermented in my hand.

    “One particular night, a group of guys came into the bar, dressed similarly to my old uniform at the monastery. At first I thought they wanted to shame me for my drinking, but I was wrong. They insisted on buying me drinks... LOTS of drinks. The night turned a bit hazy at some point, but I remember some furniture breaking and all of us running like mad for a really long time, laughing the whole way. When I woke up the next morning where I’d passed out at their dojo, they said they could show me how to incorporate the spirits into my fighting. Obviously, this seemed like a good deal to me, and I took up with them without hesitation.

    “Even while I was learning to channel the booze into positive benefits for me, I was still stuck in the past. I kept thinking that, if only I could go back to the Day of Mourning, I could fix it. I could make it right, somehow. In my spare moments of lucidity, I started reading up on Cenobite philosophy. Their ideas on how time is relative, and can be manipulated, sounded like they held promise for my hope of going back and fixing things. As a result, I worked Cenobite philosophy into my martial arts, trying to learn to backslip far enough into the past to set things right. Eventually, I understood that the philosophy had its limits, and couldn’t help me do what I wanted it to do. Not long after coming to that realization, I stopped adhering to Cenobite doctrine, though I continued to train with my fellow Monks of the Staggering Order - as the locals called us.

    “Sorry... I feel like I’ve talked too long.”

    Sources: SRD; Complete Psionics (CPsi); Tome of Battle (ToB); Complete Warrior (CW); Player's Handbook 2 (PH2); Complete Scoundrel (CSc); Magic Item Compendium (MiC).

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

    I guess you can't say he fights like a cow.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vermillion
    Vermillion

    Only in his dreams can Vermillion remember his mother’s brown eyes. But his father’s roar is unforgettable. It echoed in his mind for years after his sire and mother died defending their lair and young son. He can almost remember the march to the slave stockades, and the cruel bugbears herding him the whole way.

    But the slave corrals… those he remembers clearly. For months he was ordered around at the end of a hot branding iron, forced to lift things, to exercise, to cleave straw dummies with an axe. He supposes it was to turn him into some sort of gladiator someday, but it was not to be. Life changed suddenly, the slavers themselves were killed or hauled off in shackles to some justice somewhere by a mixed company of humans and dwarves.

    They set the slaves free, and one by one all his fellow prisoners left. All except the young minotaur, who had nowhere to go. So he followed his liberators, at first from a distance, but later more closely. Sure they yelled at him, told him to get lost or go chew some grass someplace, but there were no hot branding irons involved, so he knew they weren’t really serious. Eventually the shouting stopped and they started feeding him, so he repaid them by carrying heavy things for them and swinging his axe now and again.

    One of the humans was particularly interesting. He fought with his hands and feet instead of weapons, and spoke only rarely… which marked him as the human he liked the most, since the others would still insult him or shout at him now and again. Carthic was his name, and he taught the minotaur many things, things like how to speak the Common tongue. The dwarves taught him some things too, like how to tell a good axe from a bad one, and how to drink alcohol. They also named him, thinking some reddish name would be funny somehow.

    Two years went by, and Vermillion had reached full adult size. He had also developed a drinking habit, and this was becoming a problem. When he was sober enough, he was quite useful to the group in battle, but he spent so much time falling down drunk that he was becoming a liability. For his part, Vermillion didn’t mind them scolding him, and aside from the hangovers, forgetting bits of his past now and again was comforting to a point.

    Eventually, the group’s members parted ways. Vermillion wasn’t sure who he would follow now, but Carthic insisted the minotaur come with him rather than continue his dwarven-inspired alcoholic binging. And so the pair set off by themselves in search of a remote monastery where Carthic hoped to study new techniques. When they arrived, Carthic was given a series of tests. The hardest was the masters’ insistence that Carthic show discipline by instilling it in someone else. And they chose… Vermillion.

    Teaching martial arts to a minotaur proved difficult enough, but it was teaching him meditation and focus that was the hardest part. Instead of meditating, Vermillion would often doze off due to the effects of some brew or another. He had an uncanny nose for finding something to drink, and it was making Carthic’s test into a true ordeal. But Vermillion did learn, and the masters considered it an “A for Effort” once the minotaur demonstrated the art of Evasion for them, and Carthic moved on to his studies.

    The masters of the order had other plans for Vermillion. Still a drunk by nature, the minotaur found himself learning some very different forms, intended to channel his weakness into a strength instead. Though he began to travel over the next few years, he would return again and again to the monastery to show what he had learned, hone his skills, and instruct new students… particularly ones who needed a lesson in judging potential or worth by outer appearances.

    Vermillion – Minotaur Monk 2 / Drunken Master 10

    Characteristics
    Spoiler
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    32 Points

    {table=head]Statistic|Bought|Racial| = |Final Score
    Strength |16 |+2 |= |18
    Dexterity |14 |+2 |= |16
    Constitution |12 |+0 |= |12
    Intelligence |14 |-4 |= |10
    Wisdom |14 |+0 |= |14
    Charisma |8 |-2 |= |6[/TABLE]

    Statistics shown at level 1. Savage Species progression used below for racial stat increases through level 8.


    The Build
    Spoiler
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    Red Bull and Vodka

    The first 8 levels are 6 HD of Monstrous Humanoid (each with +1 BAB) and 2 "dead" levels of ECL (each with no skills gained). Feats are therefore gained at 1, 4, 8, 11, 14, 17, and 20, with monk bonus feats at 9 and 10.

    {table=head]Level|Class|Base Attack<br>Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Skills|Feats|Class Features

    1st|Minotaur 1|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |Listen 4, Spot 4|Great Fortitude|Monstrous Humanoid, Size Medium, +2 Natural Armor, Land Speed 30, Darkvision 60’, Gore 1d4 (Multiattack -5, Charge 2d6)
    2nd|Minotaur 2|
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |Listen 5, Spot 5|-|+2 Str (20), Keen Senses (+1), Natural Cunning (Cannot become lost)
    3rd|Minotaur 3|
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |-|-|+2 Con (14), +1 Natural Armor (+3 total), Gore 1d6 (Multiattack -5, Charge 2d8)
    4th|Minotaur 4|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |Listen 6, Spot 6|Power Attack|+2 Str (22), Scent (10’), Keen Senses (+2), Natural Cunning (Track)
    5th|Minotaur 5|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |-|-|+2 Con (16), +1 Natural Armor (+4 total)
    6th|Minotaur 6|
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |Jump 2|-|+3 Str (25), -2 Dex (14), Scent (20’), Size Large, Keen Senses (+3)
    7th|Minotaur 7|
    +5
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |Jump 4|-|+1 Natural Armor (+5 total), Gore 1d8 (Multiattack -5, Charge 4d6), Natural Cunning(never flat-footed, Immunity to Maze)
    8th|Minotaur 8|
    +6
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |Jump 6|Improved Natural Attack (Unarmed, 1d6)|Scent (30’), Keen Senses (+4)

    9th|Monk 1|
    +6
    |
    +4
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |Tumble 4|Dodge|Unarmed Strike (2d6), Flurry of Blows, AC bonus

    10th|Monk 2|
    +7
    |
    +5
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |Tumble 8|Combat Reflexes|Evasion, +1 Str (26)

    11th|Drunken Master 1|
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +10
    |
    +8
    |Tumble 10, Jump 8|Superior Unarmed Strike (3d6)|Drink Like a Demon, Improvised Weapons

    12th|Drunken Master 2|
    +8
    |
    +9
    |
    +11
    |
    +8
    |Tumble 12, Jump 10|-|Stagger

    13th|Drunken Master 3|
    +9
    |
    +9
    |
    +11
    |
    +9
    |Tumble 14, Jump 12|-|Swaying Waist

    14th| Drunken Master 4|
    +10
    |
    +10
    |
    +12
    |
    +9
    |Tumble 16, Jump 14|Improved Natural Attack (Horns, Gore 2d6, Multiattack -5, Charge 6d6)|AC Bonus +1, Improved Improvised Weapons, +1 Str (27)

    15th| Drunken Master 5|
    +10
    |
    +10
    |
    +12
    |
    +9
    |Jump 16, Balance 2|-|Greater Improvised Weapons

    16th| Drunken Master 6|
    +11
    |
    +11
    |
    +13
    |
    +10
    |Balance 6|-|Improved Feint

    17th| Drunken Master 7|
    +12
    |
    +11
    |
    +13
    |
    +10
    |Jump 20|Leap Attack|Improved Grapple

    18th| Drunken Master 8|
    +13
    |
    +12
    |
    +14
    |
    +10
    |Tumble 20|-|For Medicinal Purposes, +1 Str (28)

    19th| Drunken Master 9|
    +13
    |
    +12
    |
    +14
    |
    +11
    |Balance 10|-|AC Bonus +2, Corkscrew Rush, Superior Improvised Weapons

    20th| Drunken Master 10|
    +14
    |
    +13
    |
    +15
    |
    +11
    |Balance 14|Improved Bull Rush|Breath of Flame[/table]


    Level Highlights
    Spoiler
    Show

    Level 1 – Still a youngling, Vermillion is following the party that rescued him from the slavers like a lost puppy (or cow). He can swing a greataxe well enough and is stuffed into medium armor sporting a 20 AC, so he’s more of a hireling than a burden.

    Level 6 – Nearly grown up, Vermillion has hit size large and is doing a lot with a high strength, a greataxe, and power attack. (one attack at +12 to hit doing 3d6+7, and one at +7 doing 1d6+7, plus power attack) Unfortunately, he’s also a lot of trouble, what with his short temper and heavy drinking habits.

    Level 10 – Vermillion has been training under Carthic at the monastery for over a year now, and is a much more stable person. While he can still dust up with his greataxe (+15/+10 for 3d6+8 and +10 for 1d8+8), his unarmed prowess is catching up (+13/+13/+8 and +8). His drinking is still an issue, though, but now that he has proven himself to the masters at the monastery, they have a plan to channel it…

    Level 14 – Vermillion’s drinking habit is now a strength instead of a weakness. While his hand to hand skills are impressive (+16/+16/+11 for 3d6+8 and +11 for 2d6+8), he delights in producing an unpredictable staggering charge (+20 for 6d6+16), and ripping doors off their hinges and using them for cover.

    Level 20 – Just as he was once a test for the monk Carthic, now he is a test again. Master Vermillion is a lesson to young monks about not relying on outer appearance. While it is the corkscrew rush that makes him so dangerous, being a fire breathing bull doesn’t hurt either.


    Sources
    Spoiler
    Show
    {table=head]Sourcebook|Class/Race|Feats
    Complete Adventurer |- |Leap Attack
    Complete Warrior |Drunken Master |-
    Monster Manual |Minotaur |Improved Natural Attack
    Player’s Handbook |Monk |Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Great Fortitude, Improved Bull Rush, Power Attack
    Savage Species |Minotaur level progression |-
    Tome of Battle |- |Superior Unarmed Strike
    Unearthed Arcana |- |Cobra Strike Monk Style (Monk 1 only)[/table]

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

    I swear to God, I can't pronounce that name.
    ...and a basketweaver? Dude! That's too much! I'm glad you are not underwater, at least.
    Quote Originally Posted by Uthunan
    Uthunan Kavuilika
    Lawful Neutral GoliathRoS
    Stats:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Str: 16+4=20
    Dex: 16-2=14
    Con: 12+2=14
    Int: 12
    Wis: 12
    Cha: 8

    {table=head]Level|Class|Base Attack<br>Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Skills|Feats|Class Features

    1st|Monk 1l|
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |Climb +4 Jump +4 Knowledge (Religion) +4 Listen +4 Tumble +4|Great Fortitude, Improved Grapple, Improved Unarmed Strike|Flurry of Blows, Unarmed Strike

    2nd|Monk 2l|
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |Climb +1 Jump +1 Knowledge (Religion) +1 Listen +1 Tumble +1|Combat Reflexes|Evasion

    3rd|Monk 3|
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |Climb +1 Jump +1 Knowledge (Religion) +1 Listen +1 Tumble +1|Dodge|Still Mind

    4th|GoliathRoS Bear Totem BarbarianCC 1|
    +3
    |
    +5
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |Climb +1 Jump +1 Listen +1 Tumble +1 (CC)|None|Mountain Rage, Improved Grab

    5th|Bear Totem Barbarian 2|
    +4
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |Climb +1 Jump +1 Listen +1 Tumble +1 (CC)|None|Uncanny Dodge

    6th|Drunken Master 1l|
    +4
    |
    +8
    |
    +5
    |
    +3
    |Climb +1 Craft (Basketweaving) +1 Jump +1 Listen +1 Tumble +1|MultigrabSS|Drink Like A Demon, Improvised Weapons

    7th|Drunken Master 2l|
    +5
    |
    +9
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    |Climb +1 Craft (Basketweaving) +1 Jump +1 Listen +1 Tumble +1|None|Stagger

    8th|Drunken Master 3|
    +6
    |
    +9
    |
    +6
    |
    +4
    |Climb +1 Craft (Basketweaving) +1 Jump +1 Listen +1 Tumble +1|None|Swaying Waist

    9th|Drunken Master 4|
    +7
    |
    +10
    |
    +7
    |
    +4
    |Climb +1 Craft (Basketweaving) +1 Jump +1 Listen +1 Tumble +1|Greater MultigrabSS|AC Bonus +1, Improved Improvised Weapons

    10th|Drunken Master 5|
    +7
    |
    +10
    |
    +7
    |
    +4
    |Climb +1 Craft (Basketweaving) +1 Jump +1 Listen +1 Tumble +1|None|Greater Improvised Weapons

    11th|Drunken Master 6l|
    +8
    |
    +11
    |
    +8
    |
    +5
    |Climb +1 Craft (Basketweaving) +1 Jump +1 Listen +1 Tumble +1|Improved Feint|-

    12th|Drunken Master 7|
    +9
    |
    +11
    |
    +8
    |
    +5
    |Climb +1 Craft (Basketweaving) +1 Jump +1 Listen +1 Tumble +1|Good KarmaCS|-

    13th|Drunken Master 8|
    +10
    |
    +12
    |
    +9
    |
    +5
    |Climb +1 Craft (Basketweaving) +1 Jump +1 Listen +1 Tumble +1|None|For Medicinal Purposes

    14th|Drunken Master 9|
    +10
    |
    +12
    |
    +9
    |
    +6
    |Climb +1 Craft (Basketweaving) +1 Jump +1 Listen +1 Tumble +1|None|AC Bonus +2, Corkscrew Rush, Superior Improvised Weapons

    15th|Drunken Master 10|
    +11
    |
    +13
    |
    +10
    |
    +6
    |Climb +1 Craft (Basketweaving) +1 Jump +1 Listen +1 Tumble +1|Advantageous AvoidanceCS|Breath of Flame

    16th|Cleric 1|
    +11
    |
    +15
    |
    +10
    |
    +8
    |Craft (Basketweaving) +2 Knowledge (religion) +1|Trickery Devotion|Turn Undead, Luck Domain

    17th|Fortune's Friend 1|
    +11
    |
    +15
    |
    +12
    |
    +8
    |Climb +2 Craft (Basketweaving) +2 Jump +1 Listen +1 Tumble +1|None|Easy Luck, Extra Fortune, More Luck Than Skill

    18th|Fortune's Friend 2|
    +12
    |
    +15
    |
    +13
    |
    +8
    |Climb +1 Craft (Basketweaving) +2 Jump +2 Listen +1 Tumble +1|Unbelievable Luck, Third Time's The Charm|-

    19th|Fortune's Friend 3|
    +12
    |
    +16
    |
    +13
    |
    +9
    |Climb +1 Craft (Basketweaving) +2 Jump +1 Listen +1 Tumble +2|None|Extra Fortune, Fortune's Favourite
    [/table]

    Spells
    Spoiler
    Show
    Spells per day/Spells Known
    {table=head]Level|0lvl|1st|2nd|3rd|4th|5th|6th|7th|8th|9th

    1st|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    2nd|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    3rd|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    4th|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    5th|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    6th|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    7th|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    8th|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    9th|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    10th|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    11th|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    12th|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    13th|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    14th|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    15th|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    16th|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    17th|3|1+1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    18th|3|1+1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    19th|4|2+1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-
    [/table]


    Uthunan's Story
    Spoiler
    Show
    Legends and cautionary tales about the Fey are spread far and wide across the known world. Almost every civilisation has its warnings about these capricious creatures. Unfortunately for Uthunan Kavuilika, the tales had apparently not got as far as his tribe of Goliaths in the mountains. There can be no other explanation for the actions of his father.
    It was winter, and Uthunan’s mother was heavy with the unborn Uthunan. His father had been hunting, and was carrying his kill back to his pregnant wife. By the side of the trail, then, he espied an old woman, huddling over a small fire. She looked up as he approached, and begged of him a share of the kill, to keep her sustained in this harsh winter.
    “Away with you, crone,” the hunter told her. “This meat is for my wife and unborn son. I have none to share with such as you.”
    “Oh, sir, will you not reconsider? I am old, and have no tribe. If I do not eat, I will surely perish.”
    “That is your problem, not mine. I know not why you are tribeless, but it is no concern of mine.”
    At that, the old woman sighed, and stood up. Where a moment ago had been a Goliath, grey with age, there was now a slim and beautiful creature, with pointed ears, black eyes, and a voice like the driven snow.
    “For your selfishness I pronounce this curse upon you: That your only child shall be hapless and clumsy, a disappointment to you throughout your days. Victory shall turn to defeat in his hands, and he will be spoken of in legend, a cautionary tale to others as foolish as you.”
    Horrified, the selfish hunter watched as the creature vanished in a flurry of snow, leaving her words to echo in the wind.

    Uthunan’s father never spoke of his encounter, but to his dismay, he watched the prophecy come true before his very eyes. As Uthunan grew up, it seemed that all he turned his hands to ended in failure. In desperation, his parents sent him to a mountaintop monastery to learn grace and discipline. But even there, the fey curse followed him, and he vexed the monks sorely.
    Uthunan was large, even for a Goliath, and his clumsiness made him destructive. As he grew from a boy to a young man, his ineptness grew with him. Times beyond counting, he would move in, his form perfect, only to trip over his own feet and end up sprawled on the floor in a tangle with his opponent. Eventually, the abbot had had enough.
    “Uthunan, we have taught you all we can, and you do not learn. You are clumsy beyond any novice I have taught. You have ruined more equipment than I can count, and you have injured many students simply by falling on them. I am sorry, but you have no place at this monastery. I hope you find your path, before you hurt too many people.”

    Saddened, Uthunan left the monastery and wandered. How he stayed alive, he was never sure. Perhaps he had learned enough of hunting to compensate for his curse, or perhaps the curse just wouldn’t let him die, wouldn’t let him take the easy way out. Either way, after no more than two months, he happened across a nomadic tribe who took him in. They were more patient with his lack of grace than the monks were.
    “The bear is clumsy also,” one of them said to him one night. “But the bear is strong, and a good fighter nonetheless. The bear hugs, and it does not matter whether he gets a good hold or no, for he is strong enough to hold anyway.”
    Uthunan took those words to heart, and under the tutelage of the tribe’s shamanic warriors, he learnt how to grapple in a much more natural manner than that taught by the monks. And while he was still clumsy, it mattered less.
    Spoiler
    Show
    Uthunan starts play under the effects of Bestow Curse. Per the Book of Vile Darkness, one of the effects Bestow Curse can have is that the victim treats every natural 20 as a natural 1. This is the curse the fey woman levelled upon him. Naturally, this curse has affected his day to day life. He screws up twice as often as anyone else, often when it looked like he'd finally got it right.

    At this point in the story, he's a true neutral Goliath 1/Ex-Monk 3/Bear Totem Barbarian (Goliath substitution level) 1. I don't like the alignment shift either, but Monk is the only way to get Flurry of Blows, and as far as I can tell, Barbarian is the only way to get Improved Grab - vital for this build. Interestingly enough, the fluff of Drunken Master does say that Barbarians sometimes become Drunken Masters. One assumes they must all have been kicked out of monasteries!

    Incidentally, the fourth level stat bump goes into Strength.


    Spoiler
    Show
    All good things must come to an end, however, and after a few short years, he was once again asked to leave. Resigning himself to a life forever on the move, Uthunan left the mountains of home and headed out onto the lowlands, and civilisation. He sold the furs that the tribe had furnished him with, and went to a tavern to drown his sorrows.
    He didn’t remember much of that night afterwards, but he awoke with a new friend.
    “Blimey, you sure can hold your drink. First time I’ve come close to losing a drinking contest in a long while. Name’s Rikki, and you look like you could use a friend in these parts. Have to say, it’s not often one of you greyskins comes out of the mountains.”
    Uthunan struggled to focus through the headache as the small pink creature prattled. Rikki was right, though. He did need a friend. He didn’t know how to survive in the wilderness of the city, it was a foreign environment to him.

    Rikki taught him about city life. He taught him how to drink, how to handle himself in a bar brawl, and how to stay out of the hands of the city guard. And if Uthunan broke a lot of furniture? Rikki just laughed.
    He still had bad days, though. He was in a tavern one evening, when his curse came upon him again and he tripped and fell, spilling his drink. Two elves, perhaps slightly the worse for alcohol, were splashed, and took offense. Standing up, they rounded on him as he pulled himself to his feet.
    “You got us wet. We don’t like that.”
    “I think we should teach you a lesson.”
    “You may be big, but you’re just a clumsy oaf. You won’t last six seconds against our swords.”
    They began to draw steel, but Uthunan had had enough. His hand shot out and he grabbed one of them by the throat. Rounding on the other, he raised his hands to strike him, and there was a sickening, wet crack. Looking, he discovered that he had bodily lifted the first elf up in one hand. When he had gone to hit the other, still holding the struggling elf, he had accidentally smacked its head against a rafter, and broken its neck. Now it flopped limply in his grasp, stone dead. Shrugging, he dropped the lifeless body and moved forwards to the other.
    The other elf turned pale at the ease with which he had killed its friend, not knowing it had been entirely accidental, and fled. Uthunan decided it would be prudent to leave as well, and did so, stepping out into the night.

    Spoiler
    Show
    True Neutral Goliath 1/Ex-Monk 3/Bear Totem Barbarian 2/Drunken Master 4

    At sixth level, Uthunan takes the Multigrab feat from Savage Species. This feat lets you maintain a grapple in one hand(/claw/bite/whatever) at only a -10 penalty. It requires Improved Grab as a prereq. Now, grappling like this still isn't practical, though as an essentially large creature with high strength, he certainly isn't too shabby at grappling.

    The eighth level stat bump needs to go into Dexterity - alternatively, get an item. Either way, Dex needs to be 15 or higher by the time you reach level 9, as you need it to take Greater Multigrab. This feat eliminates the penalty for maintaining a grapple with one hand. Providing he has the strength, Uthanar is now entirely capable of picking up a Medium or smaller creature in one hand and waving them around. Letting him do fun things like, to pick an example completely at random, using an elf as an improvised weapon.

    Remember that curse of his? The one that makes every natural 20 he rolls become a natural 1?
    Take a look at the Drunken Master's Improvised Weapons ability. "When a drunken master rolls a natural 1 on an attack roll while using an improvised weapon, that weapon breaks apart and becomes useless."

    This is great fun! Every time you roll a 20 or a 1, the enemy you're currently grappling just dies. Even if they somehow survive "breaking apart", the "becomes useless" bit ensures that they're out of the battle. Warning: At this point you may have to dodge flying books. Uthunan's primary combat schtick from this point on is to grapple the most dangerous looking enemy and use them as a weapon to kills the other enemies with. Any time he rolls a natural 20 or 1, he simply drops the now-broken enemy and grapples another one.


    Spoiler
    Show
    Pausing by a fountain to wash his face off, a glint caught his eye. He dipped a hand into the water and brought out a silver coin. He turned it over in his fingers, and found that it was double-headed. On each side was the grinning mask of Olidammara. Uthanan smiled. He didn’t know who was to blame for his clumsiness, but ultimately it might well have been a trick played on him by the Laughing Rogue. If that were the case, then the ultimate prank would be to turn his curse into a strength. He had proved tonight that it was possible. Instead of trying to avoid his bad luck, he would embrace it. He would worship at the altar of Lady Luck, and damn the consequences.

    He found an adventuring group that was looking for members, and joined. He remained as clumsy and inept as ever, but somehow it seemed to play to his advantage more often than not. He would stumble in the way of an attack meant for one of his friends, taking the blow instead of them. He would trip and fall into an enemy, throwing them off balance so that their deadly blow landed badly and hurt less. And just as he had in the bar fight, he would pick enemies up bodily, and end up accidentally smashing them against a wall, or dropping them on their heads as they struggled, or otherwise killing them by pure fluke.
    He talked with the party Cleric long into the night, and learned the tenets of the Laughing Rogue. He even learned to cast a little magic using the power of the Trickster god. Who knows what the Rogue thought of his devotions, of his determination to use his bad luck rather than succumb to it? Perhaps it was even Olidammara who had put that fey witch on the mountain trail, so many years ago. It is not for me to say, for no-one knows the mind of the Trickster.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Uthunan finishes out Drunken Master, it's not a bad class, and some of the abilities are handy. It's not like he can guarantee rolling a 20 or a 1 every time, so doing more damage the times he does actually hit the orc round the face with the goblin is always a good thing. The realisation that he can use his bad luck, though, marks a shift in his focus. He starts taking luck feats, and by level 19 (+1 LA) has 7 luck rerolls per day, not to mention the Luck domain (which he can reroll again with Third Time's the Charm). Unlike most people, he'll often be using them to try and roll a natural 1, because that means one enemy fewer to fight.
    This epiphany marks another alignment shift, as he becomes more chaotic in outlook. No longer is he going to suck up what life throws at him, he's going to face it head on and spit in the face of destiny. By the end of the build, he's a Chaotic Neutral Goliath 1/Ex-Monk 3/Bear Totem Barbarian 2/Drunken Master 10/Cleric of Olidammara 1/Fortune's Friend 3. While his spellcasting is never going to be a gamechanger, it will provide him with a couple of nice buffs per day. Primarily, though, it was to gain access to the Luck domain, which fits his new outlook perfectly.

    Incidentally, I put the level 12 stat bump into Strength, and the level 16 into Dex, giving a final statline (without items) of:
    Strength 22 (plus 6 when raging)
    Dexterity 16
    Constitution 14 (plus 4 when raging)
    Intelligence 12
    Wisdom 12
    Charisma 8

    Drink Like A Demon will naturally up his strength and con even more.
    Addendum:
    Quote Originally Posted by Uthunan
    I am aware that this build may contain a bit much cheese for some people's tastes. However, the rules do contain a provision for fondue, and that is what I've created - a fairly mild fondue, exulting in the RAW abuse. I used a quirk of the rules to turn something that would normally be a weakness into a strength. Is it RAI? Not remotely. I am well aware. Would it be allowed in a real game? Probably not. But that's not the point. Like any TO, it's an intellectual exercise, spotting a loophole that can be used to great effect.

    Regarding whether or not people can break, the only rules-hazy thing at all is whether you can use a person as an improvised weapon in the first place. If you accept that you can, then the Drunken Master wording is unambiguous, and they break apart on a natural 1. It doesn't matter that you usually can't simply break a person; specific trumps general, and uthunan is just that destructive.
    Last edited by true_shinken; 2010-11-24 at 07:08 AM.

  11. - Top - End - #131
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    true_shinken's Avatar

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge XV

    Heh, I bet Jumilk will really like this one.

    Musha rain dum-a-doo dum-a-da, ha, ya
    Whack for my daddy-o
    Whack for my daddy-o
    There's whiskey in the jar-o
    Whiskey in the jar-o
    - Metallica (?), Whiskey in the Jar
    Quote Originally Posted by Chieftain Nini
    Chieftain Nini, the Whiskey King
    "Moderation in all things, except spirits and freedom!"
    Dragonborn Jungle Halfling Barbarian 1/Scout 5/Shou Disciple 5/Drunken Master 9

    They were a proud people once, the Blackfoot Tribe. Descended from those that lived amongst the humans of Shou, they migrated across a fierce and frozen land to make the land of the Rolling Hills their own. However, the humans came, claiming that they had discovered the New World (though it was very old to the generations of Blackfoots who had been living there). Nini was a brave warrior, and the ruler of these mighty people.

    A nomadic tribe, the Blackfoots sought balance in all things--a principle they called the Scales of Life. Power and finesse, brutality and mercy, all had a place in the world of the Blackfoots. However, when the humans came to the village with promises of gifts, they brought something that disrupted the Scales. They brought whiskey.

    Man and woman alike soon became addled and addicted, nursing themselves on the teat of the bars and taverns that soon littered the land. This made them easy targets for the humans, who were able to clear out "The Tiny Threat" in the name of progress. Some were forced to work for the humans, while others were corralled together in small villages. Among the Blackfoots, none were sure who had it worse. However, they all shared a common sentiment--Nini had failed them.

    The foolhardy chief had traded willingly with the humans once they gave him his first taste of their whiskey...anything for another drop. His leadership lapsed, and soon he was nothing more than a figurehead abandoned by his people in return for abandoning them. He became nothing more than a local legend, a story human children told about the old man that never left his barstool. This all changed, however, when he met a party of elves who came through town while travelling. They watched Nini with awe as he downed mug after mug of spirits, until one of them approached him. She introduced herself as Jumilk, indicating that her party was celebrating her birthday. They invited Nini to share a few drinks with them, at no charge to him.

    He greedily accepted, and unwittingly turned his life around. After a long night and many rounds, Jumilk drunkenly confessed her true intentions. Her party was not simply passing through--they had come in search of Nini. They had heard of his downfall, yet another empire destroyed at the hands of the humans. Her and her friends let Nini know that not only had the devil's brew been his demise, but that it could also be the source of ineffable power. He trained (and drank) with them in the desert for months on end, learning the ways of the drunken masters. Eventually, he had learned all he could from them and decided that he had to leave in order to rescue his people from oppression.

    Tales of his path at this point diverge, but they all hold that Nini still staggers through desert towns to this day, keeping struggling saloons in business and fighting for the freedom of the Blackfoot people. The destruction of Fort Summerwood, the rebellion at Lake Lockhaven, and General Harrington's folly--these and other decisive military victories for the Blackfoots are ascribed to Chieftain Nini's leadership. Every year, while the humans gather to commemorate their "discovery," the Blackfoot people gather for a rousing night of drinking the night before, hoping to tap some of Nini's power for themselves. He is their leader once again; the reign of the Whiskey King continues.

    {table=head]Level|Class|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Skills|Feats|Class Features

    1st|Barbarian 1|
    +1
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |Jump 4, Listen 4, Know: local (Shou Expatriate) 2 (cc), Spot 2|Dodge|Lion totem (pounce replaces fast movement), illiteracy, rage 1/day

    2nd|Scout 1|
    +1
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |Balance 1, Jump 5, Listen 5, Know: local (Shou Expatriate) 2 (cc), Spot 5, Tumble 2||Skirmish (+1d6), trapfinding

    3rd|Scout 2|
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |Balance 2, Jump 6, Listen 6, Know: local (Shou Expatriate) 2 (cc), Spot 6, Tumble 6|Improved Unarmed Strike|Battle Fortitude +1, Uncanny Dodge

    4th|Scout 3|
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |Balance 3, Hide 3, Jump 7, Listen 7, Know: local (Shou Expatriate) 2 (cc), Spot 7, Tumble 7||Fast movement +10 ft, Skirmish (+1d6, +1 AC), trackless step

    5th|Scout 4|
    +4
    |
    +3
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |Balance 4, Hide 4, Jump 8, Listen 8, Know: local (Shou Expatriate) 2 (cc), Move Silently 2, Spot 8, Tumble 8|Great Fortitude|Bonus feat (Great Fortitude)

    6th|Scout 5|
    +4
    |
    +3
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |Balance 5, Hide 5, Jump 9, Listen 9, Know: local (Shou Expatriate) 2 (cc), Move Silently 4, Spot 9, Tumble 9|Weapon Focus (Unarmed Strike)|Evasion, skirmish (+2d6, +1 AC)

    7th|Shou Disciple 1|
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +6
    |
    +1
    |Balance 5, Hide 5, Jump 10, Listen 9, Know: local (Shou Expatriate) 2 (cc), Move Silently 4, Spot 9, Tumble 10||Unarmed strike damage 1d6, Dodge bonus +1

    8th|Shou Disciple 2|
    +6/+1
    |
    +6
    |
    +7
    |
    +1
    |Balance 5, Hide 5, Jump 11, Listen 9, Know: local (Shou Expatriate) 2 (cc), Move Silently 4, Spot 9, Tumble 11|Power Attack|Unarmed Strike damage 1d8, Bonus feat (Power Attack), Dodge bonus +2

    9th|Shou Disciple 3|
    +7/+2
    |
    +6
    |
    +7
    |
    +2
    |Balance 5, Hide 5, Jump 12, Listen 9, Know: local (Shou Expatriate) 2 (cc), Move Silently 2, Spot 9, Tumble 12, Acrobatic Backstab|Leap Attack|Unarmed Strike damage 1d10, Martial flurry (light)

    10th|Shou Disciple 4|
    +8/+3
    |
    +7
    |
    +8
    |
    +2
    |Balance 5, Hide 5, Jump 13, Listen 9, Know: local (Shou Expatriate) 2 (cc), Move Silently 2, Spot 9, Tumble 13|Mobility|Bonus feat (Mobility), Dodge bonus +3

    11th|Shou Disciple 5|
    +9/+4
    |
    +7
    |
    +8
    |
    +2
    |Balance 5, Hide 5, Jump 14, Listen 9, Know: local (Shou Expatriate) 2 (cc), Move Silently 2, Spot 9, Tumble 14||Unarmed Strike damage 2d6, Martial flurry (any)

    12th|Drunken Master 1|
    +9/+4
    |
    +9
    |
    +10
    |
    +2
    |Balance 5, Bluff 1, Hide 6, Jump 15, Listen 9, Know: local (Shou Expatriate) 2 (cc), Move Silently 2, Spot 9, Tumble 15|Elusive Target|Drink Like a Demon, Improvised Weapons

    13th|Drunken Master 2|
    +10/+5
    |
    +9
    |
    +11
    |
    +2
    |Balance 5, Bluff 2, Hide 7, Jump 16, Listen 9, Know: local (Shou Expatriate) 2 (cc), Move Silently 2, Spot 9, Tumble 16||Stagger

    14th|Drunken Master 3|
    +11/+6/+1
    |
    +10
    |
    +11
    |
    +3
    |Balance 5, Bluff 3, Hide 8, Jump 17, Listen 9, Know: local (Shou Expatriate) 2 (cc), Move Silently 2, Spot 9, Tumble 17||Swaying Waist

    15th|Drunken Master 4|
    +12/+7/+2
    |
    +10
    |
    +12
    |
    +3
    |Balance 5, Bluff 4, Hide 9, Jump 18, Listen 9, Know: local (Shou Expatriate) 2 (cc), Move Silently 2, Spot 9, Tumble 18|Underfoot Combat|AC bonus +1, improved improvised weapons

    16th|Drunken Master 5|
    +12/+7/+2
    |
    +11
    |
    +12
    |
    +3
    |Balance 5, Bluff 5, Hide 10, Jump 19, Listen 9, Know: local (Shou Expatriate) 2 (cc), Move Silently 2, Spot 9, Tumble 19||Greater Improvised Weapons

    17th|Drunken Master 6|
    +13/+8/+3
    |
    +11
    |
    +13
    |
    +4
    |Balance 5, Bluff 6, Hide 11, Jump 20, Listen 9, Know: local (Shou Expatriate) 2 (cc), Move Silently 2, Spot 9, Tumble 20|Improved Feint|Bonus feat (Improved Feint)

    18th|Drunken Master 7|
    +14/+9/+4
    |
    +12
    |
    +13
    |
    +4
    |Balance 5, Bluff 7, Hide 12, Jump 21, Listen 9, Know: local (Shou Expatriate) 2 (cc), Move Silently 2, Spot 9, Tumble 21|Confound the Big Folk, Improved Grapple|Bonus feat (Improved Grapple)

    19th|Drunken Master 8|
    +15/+10/+5
    |
    +12
    |
    +14
    |
    +4
    |Balance 5, Bluff 8, Hide 13, Jump 22, Listen 8, Know: local (Shou Expatriate) 2 (cc), Move Silently 2, Spot 8, Tumble 22, Nimble Stand||For Medicinal Purposes

    20th|Drunken Master 9|
    +15/+10/+5
    |
    +13
    |
    +14
    |
    +5
    |Balance 5, Bluff 8, Hide 13, Jump 23, Listen 8, Know: local (Shou Expatriate) 2 (cc), Move Silently 2, Spot 8, Tumble 23, Back on Your Feet||AC bonus +2, corkscrew rush, superior improvised weapons[/table]

    {table=head]ABILITY|POINTS|BASE|RACE|LEVELS|ENHANCEMENT|INHERE NT|TOTAL|MOD
    STR|10|16|-2|5|6|5|30|+10
    DEX|8|15|+0|0|6|5|26|+8
    CON|8|15|+2|0|6|5|28|+9
    INT|2|10|0|0|0|6|16|+3
    WIS|4|12|0|0|0|6|18|+4
    CHA|0|8|0|0|6|0|14|+2[/table]

    Being a Drunken Master:
    Spoiler
    Show

    • Entry requirements: Two of the entry requirements are also requirements of Shou Disciple (Dodge and Improved Unarmed Strike), keeping them from being useless feats. Also, the class features of Shou Disciple improve upon both of these requirements (increasing the Dodge bonus and unarmed damage at quicker rates). Great Fortitude is received at scout's 4th level (instead of wasting a feat slot), and evasion is granted by the fifth level of scout (but see Adaptation notes, below). Finally, I have checked with true_shinken directly, who confirmed that the class features of Shou Disciple grant flurry of blows, rather than simply advancing it. However, see the Adaptation section below if you disagree for an alternate solution.
    • Drink like a demon: Because of the steep penalties to INT and WIS for increased use of this class feature, a Belt of Magnificence helps by boosting those scores each by 6, enough for 3 extra drinks without becoming a vegetable--two shy of his limit from being 9th level. Not only does this provide a boost to his to-hit & damage or HP, but this build reaps two interesting benefits: increased CON means that Nini's 1 rage per day can last much longer, and it also means a higher save for his dragonborn breath weapon. Because of this, Nini can choose with each drink whether he wants to improve his one-on-one combat or his overall survivability and mass incinerator.
    • Improvised Weapons: Not only does Nini reap the full benefit of the extra damage from Improvised Weapons (and the extra bonuses discussed previously in the thread--reach, trip bonuses, etc), but Shou Disciple provides two great benefits when using improvised weapons. First of all, they provide him with a respectable 2d6 base unarmed damage. Secondly, he can use flurry of blows in conjunction with any weapons--including improvised ones. Combining this with pounce and skirmish means that Nini can charge around the battlefield full attacking with flurry of blows, full power attack, and added skirmish damage all round every round for the entire day.
    • Stagger: This is one of the key features of the build for me, as it provides three great benefits--First of all, Nini can always select whatever enemy he would like to charge, even one who is currently adjacent to him. Secondly, this means that he can pounce with skirmish damage activated for a full attack every round with a handful of extra damage. Lastly, by the time Nini gets this class feature, the DC 15 Tumble check is an auto-success, so he'll only be provoking attacks of opportunity when he wants to (in order to trigger Elusive Target benefits).
    • Swaying Waist: While a +2 dodge bonus to AC is always welcome, Nini gets more bang for his buck here as well. Not only does this bonus stack with his improved dodge bonus from Shou Disciple, but Nini receives Uncanny Dodge from his scout levels to ensure that he gets to keep both his DEX and dodge bonuses in most situations.
    • AC bonus: This stacks with the dodge bonus from Swaying Waist, the improved dodge bonus from Shou Disciple, the size bonus for being a halfling, and the soft cover bonus from Underfoot Combat to ensure that it's difficult to hit Nini. When you're darting around the battlefield, survivability is important. This, coupled with Elusive Target and Nini's ability to negate AoOs on his charges if he would like, makes sure that Nini survives to deliver the damage of his charging, skirmishing pounces.
    • Improved Feint: When you're dealing with a -4 non-proficiency penalty from improvised weapons and a -2 penalty from flurry of blows, any little bit helps. Even though Nini has no sneak attack bonus, this gives him a use for his move actions when she is staying put under a foe and makes sure that he can counteract some of his attack penalty by removing some of her enemy's AC. Furthermore, a flatfooted enemy can't use immediate actions, so this can be a valid tactic against casters if your DM likes to use quick spells like Celerity. Lastly, the Boots of the Battle Charger allow you to use Improved Feint and still charge your foes (possibly still full attacking as a standard action, based on the wording of the pounce ability).
    • Improved Grapple: Though he's small, Nini's impressive STR (coupled with Drink Like a Demon) means that he can hold her own in a wrestling match. Furthermore, he can hold a foe in place and then unleash his breath weapon on them the next round.
    • For medicinal purposes: Emergency healing is always helpful to have, especially considering Nini's impressive AC and frontliner status. He'll always have alcohol coursing through his veins, so this ability should always be available. If not, he can Drink Like a Demon as a move action and immediately use a standard action to convert it to healing. Rather than needing to retreat from the battle, he can stand amidst his foes and heal himself.
    • Corkscrew Rush: While Drink Like a Demon works at odds with this class feature's saving throw, it still provides an opportunity to stun foes without needing to take Stunning Fist. Nini will usually be charging, and this provides him a small amount of debuff/battlefield control. All in all, it is a fitting capstone for the build, and the "penalty" that Nini falls prone if the bull rush fails is all but negated by taking the Back on Your Feet and Nimble Stand skill tricks.


    Additional Highlights/Combos:
    Spoiler
    Show
    • Best of Both Worlds: Nini's concept came from an attempt to fuse two of the builds I love to play--the Charger and the Killer Gnome Dragonborn Jungle Halfling. Each of these builds usually have their own weaknesses; the Chargers operate at the total expense of AC, while the Killer Gnome usually lacks in the damage department while maintaining a sky-high AC. As such, I attempted to fuse the two builds in a way that would provide me with tremendous AC and high damage per round. I believe that Nini has achieved that feat without sacrificing too much. Sometimes, charger builds will have amazing reach, and killer gnomes come with built-in stealth. Nini all but abandons those subfocuses in the name of combat effectiveness, and he becomes a terror on the battlefield, both defensively and offensively. Rather than casting or using psionics, Nini makes use of a Ring of Reduction (from Lords of Madness) to become tiny when he would like. However, the unarmed damage of the Shou Disciple and the dragonborn's breath weapon make no mention of size changes--they are constant numbers, which allows him a comfortable base for his damage. Furthermore, his fast movement ensures that he can charge around the battlefield with reckless abandon.
    • More Bite than Bark: Usually, the Charger builds draw damage from sources like Dungeoncrasher and Shock Trooper. However, I wanted Nini's damage to be reliant on nothing more than his mobility. Likewise, the Killer Gnome builds that do decent damage draw from sources like sneak attack and Craven. Instead, Nini uses Skirmish, Power Attack, Leap Attack, and Rage to enhance his damage, along with some items to boost skirmish damage. The Drunken Master is always moving, so skirmish is always active. Furthermore, he can choose and change the direction of his charges--straight lines do not bind him. He merely chooses who is getting the damage, charges at them (and under them, triggering Underfoot Combat/Confound the Big Folk). In the next round, he can move on to another target or circle back upon his prey, reaping the benefits of Confound the Big Folk. Finally, Pounce ensures that he can always full attack (and do so with a flurry of blows using Improvised Weapons, thanks to Shou Disciple). In a given round, his minimum damage (without gear, rage, or STR bonuses) is north of 90 points [assuming one attack hits], while his maximum damage per round exceeds 500 [without gear, rage, or STR bonuses, assuming all attacks hit but none crit]. That's every round, all day. When we add gear, rage, and STR bonuses, Nini can easily inflict over 600 damage in a round on a consistent basis, with the possibility to do much more via critical hits or nova-use of rage and items.
    • Just Breathe: But that's not all! One of the fatal flaws of the Drunken Master is that constant -4 penalty for fighting with improvised weapons. This wouldn't be such a problem if improvised weapons weren't the crux of the class. Add onto that the -2 penalty for Flurry of Blows (assuming that you have a way to flurry w/ improvised weapons, which Shou Disciple provides), and you've got a -6 to all of your attacks. While you can still clear out a room full of mooks (or other enemies, due to the Underfoot Combat/Confound the Big Folk tricks Nini can pull), some enemies still have an AC that will be too much to handle. For those times, you've got a breath weapon that scales with your HD from becoming a dragonborn. Furthermore, as mentioned above, Drink Like a Demon boosts the save your foes have to make, ensuring that they take full damage more frequently. Lastly, see the adaptation section below--if your DM allows you to use a ring of evasion to qualify for Drunken Master, you can drop the 5th level of scout for the 10th level of Drunken Master. While you lose a d6 of skirmish damage, you can use breath of fire as a free action. This is only suggested when your bonuses from Drink Like a Demon are about to end, but you can unload up to 24d6 of damage through a series of 8 free actions in addition to your breath weapon. This is a great weapon against large numbers of enemies, and provides Nini another option for when he's not scurrying about killing things with chairs--as rare as that is.


    Gear to Consider:
    Spoiler
    Show

    • Ring of Reduction: Shrinks you to Tiny size at will, activating Underfoot Combat/Confound the Big Folk on anything Medium or larger, also providing some small bonuses to attack and AC.
    • Gloves of Agile Striking: Increased skirmish damage 2/day, but only applies to light or finessable weapons...work with your DM to determine which improvised weapons fit this criteria.
    • Tomes of STR, DEX, and CON: Self-explanatory.
    • Rogue's Vest: Though the name may imply otherwise, this item can also boost your skirmish damage all day long. Also boosts Reflex saves, which is great with evasion.
    • Skirmisher Boots: Again, only 2/day, but you can always change your shoes to boots of the battle charger later. More Skirmish damage, at a cheap 3200 gp.
    • Piercer Cloak: Work with your DM to see if Leap Attack counts as "charging from 10 feet above your foe." If so, this extra damage will be the best 900 gp you ever spend.
    • Boots of the Battle Charger: A standard action charge 2/day means that you can make use of
    • Belt of Magnificence +6: Also self-explanatory
    • Winged Boots: Flight is necessary at higher levels, and this can help ensure it's accessible to you. If you're going to be flying a lot, try to pick up the array of the manticore item set, for some decent bonuses while airborne.
    • Mithralmist Armor: Light armor that can also provide concealment means that not only are we adding to Nini's impressive AC, but we're providing concealment in case an attack gets through.


    Adaptation:
    Spoiler
    Show
    • Flaws: If Flaws are allowed, take two (perhaps Shaky and Murky-Eyed) in exchange for Martial Study (any Shadow Hand) and Martial Stance (Child of Shadow). This will give you 20% concealment whenever you move, which will be all the time. Not necessary by any means, but a nice addition to the build that provides a more constant benefit than Mithralmist Armor. If your DM allows only one flaw (or doesn't use multi-class penalties), take one or play as a Strongheart Halfling for the extra feat. Martial Study (Distracting Ember). Flanking your foe as a swift action means your attacks are more likely to connect, and access to this maneuver means you can take Desert Wind Dodge in place of its plain vanilla cousin. Now your +1 AC is any time you move (again, always), and all of your attacks deal an extra 1 fire damage when you move. Again, not imperative for you to have, but a nice boost if available.
    • LA buyoff: If your DM allows this, talk with them about either Feral or Mineral Warrior. The feral template can get you a limited version of pounce (though by RAW that's only if you have racial HD, which this build doesn't). However, the flavor is great, along with the fast healing and various bonuses (including +6 natural armor). If you're trying to play Nini with even more survivability, the Mineral Warrior template provides some great DR along with an increase to CON and Earth Strike--a CON-based ability that synergizes well with Drink Like a Demon. However, it carries some mental ability penalties, thus decreasing the number of drinks you can have in you at a time. Once more, not necessary, but worth considering.
    • Using gear to qualify: If your DM allows, you can snag a Ring of Evasion for your second ring to qualify instead of taking scout to 5. Granted, you lose a die of skirmish damage, but then you can take Drunken Master all 10 levels for the free-action breath weapon. Furthermore, you could then grab some Mobility armor, freeing up one of the bonus feats granted by Shou Disciple so you can take something else from the list.
    • Shou Disciple and Flurry of Blows: As listed above, true_shinken told me that this class grants flurry of blows even if you didn't have it before. With permission, here's our PM exchange:
      Quote Originally Posted by true_shinken
      Quote Originally Posted by Nini
      So, I found the Shou Disciple in Unapproachable East--a prestige class that lets you use Flurry of Blows with any weapon! However, a quick rules question. As written, does the class bestow the ability to use flurry of blows, or does the class feature only work if you already have flurry of blows from an existing source?
      It works even if you didn't have flurry of blows yet, that's the trick I was referring to. ^^
      Some may find this slightly dubious. If so, Nini could simply take a level of Disciple of the Eye (from Races of the Dragon), which explicitly states that it grants Flurry of Blows. In this case, work with the DM to see if you can use a ring of evasion to qualify. If so, the build could be Barbarian 1/Scout 4/Disciple of the Eye 1/Drunken Master 9/Shou Disciple 5, maintaining all of the class features and tricks currently available at the cost of 1d6 of skirmish damage. Furthermore, it would be able to enter Drunken Master sooner.


    Sources:
    Spoiler
    Show

    • Races of the Dragon (dragonborn, Disciple of the Eye [considered under Adaptation])
    • Unearthed Arcana (Jungle variant halfling)
    • PHB (Barbarian, Dodge, Improved Unarmed Strike, Great Fortitude, Weapon Focus (unarmed), Power Attack, Mobility, Improved Feint, Improved Grapple)
    • Complete Adventurer (Scout, Leap Attack)
    • Unapproachable East (Shou Disciple)
    • Complete Warrior (Drunken Master, Elusive Target)
    • Races of the Wild (Underfoot Combat, Confound the Big Folk)
    • Tome of Battle (Desert Wind Dodge, Martial Study, Martial Stance [all considered only in adaptation])
    • Magic Item Compendium (all gear)

    Last edited by true_shinken; 2010-11-23 at 06:29 PM.

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

    There was a time when monsters disguised itselves as furniture to attack adventurers. It was time someone stepped up for revenge.
    This summer we bring you the story of Gazebo Jones.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gazebo Jones
    Gazebo Jones
    Warforged Monk 2/Fighter 4/Thrall of Jubilex 4/Drunken Master 10


    SHARN
    DOWNTOWN
    12:46 PM


    The Captain of the Guard looked up with a grimace as one of his junior investigators joined him on the muddy streets of Sharn's most crowded intersection. The investigator stopped at the doorway of the carriage, his jaw open in shock. 'Newbies,' the chief thought with disgust.

    "What's the matter, Malone? Never seen a crime scene before?" he asked, taking a puff from his cigar as he shielded it with one hand. The rain continued to pour down in an unending torrent. It was going to be a long night.

    "What happened here, captain? It looks like my last stag party gone horribly, horribly wrong!" The captain winced, but Malone was pretty damn close to the mark. The inside of the carriage was covered in blood and filled with unrecognizable gore - presumably from D.A. Thompson, last seen entering the carriage only twenty minutes ago. Mixed in with the gore was broken glass and the pervasive smell of strong alcohol.

    "Not sure. Thompson got into the carriage, then the curtains closed and witnesses heard a scream. Driver was over at the tavern, taking a leak. Nobody seen entering or exiting, and no teleportation or invisibility in the area. Carriage has some magic on it - probably standard weather-proofing."

    Malone walked over to the carriage and hopped inside, ignoring the mess.

    "Hey captain, there's something in this cup - it's -it's.." His face poked out of the carriage a moment later, a look of confusion evident. "It's a jello shot!"

    The captain's face turned ashen gray. "Malone! Malone, for Shaavarath's sake get out of there! Now!"

    Malone dropped the cup in panic. "What? Is it poisoned? Or..." Before he could finish the sentence, the door of the carriage slammed itself shut! An inhuman scream came from inside, and blood came flying out the windows. The carriage lurched two of its wheels into the air and sped into the alleyway, careening past a grocer's stall.

    "Damn it!" The captain fumbled with his crossbow, cursing the rain for tightening the strings. His shot went wide, barely clipping the edge of the carriage. The carriage turned at a near-impossible 90 degree angle, and then sped right at him! The collision lifted the captain straight into the air and into the wall.

    "i'm so sorry captain. did i hurt you? it was all part of my little game with the d.a. hey, what's that in your pocket?" The voice was childlike, hollow and mechanical, as if a wind-up doll were speaking from inside a deep cave.

    In front of the captain's eyes, the carriage began to transform - wheels folding in on themselves and the insides collapsing. Within moments, the carriage was replaced by a large girl's closet, resplendent in baby pink and complete with a clawed pseudodragon-motiff latch. He saw it come closer and felt the clawed latch briefly tug at his vest.

    "ooh, brandy. you always had good taste captain. sluuuuuurp. well, until next time...up, up..."
    As he watched, the closet shifted once more, growing taller and taller and thinner. Within moments, the cabinet had been replaced by a fireman's ladder, swaying tipsily in the wind.

    "and away!"
    came the last taunt from the childlike voice, as the bottom of the ladder receded, quickly disappearing up the side of the building. The other members of the City Watch came running up to the captain.

    "Captain! Are you all right?"

    "Get the mayor on the line, now! We've got trouble...Gazebo Jones has broken out of Statesville Prison and is on the loose!"

    PRISONER PROFILE: UNIT 87147, alias GAZEBO JONES
    SECRET///NOFORN
    DECLASS: 2456


    DESC:
    Thin warforged, coloration green from self-inflicted rust. Secretes strange slimy substance - possible result of an internal mechanism breakdown? Creation date unknown.

    TESTIMONY:
    Prisoner stated that he was once a non-sentient battle-bot at the King's Citadel. He fell into disrepair and was deemed hopeless, then abandoned at a slag heap. After this point the prisoner's testimony became incoherent or delusional. The prisoner claims that "highly alcoholic radioactive slime" dripped on him, giving him sentience and strange powers that require constant inebriation to maintain. The prisoner repeatedly thanked "Saint Jubilex" for its powers and stated that it could not have learned its new abilities without the aid of Saint Jubilex and its drinking buddies, who 'inducted' him into their secret society in a combination of bar-hopping and unholy rituals. The prisoner stated that since gaining sentience it has sought to explore every pleasurable experience it could, and listed bar fights and inebriation as its chief two pleasures...after murder.

    CRIMES: Murder, Attempted Murder, Murder in the Second Degree, Assault, Driving While Under the Influence of Alcohol, Public Inebriation. Convicted and sentenced following the murder of seventeen persons at the Boorish Owlbear Alehouse.

    SENTENCE: 200 years without parole

    WARNING:
    Prisoner has the ability to transform at will into any object between the size of a briefcase and a gazebo. Do not enter prisoner's cell alone!

    Gazebo Jones
    Warforged Monk 2/Fighter 4/Thrall of Jubilex 4/Drunken Master 10


    Q: Who is Gazebo Jones?
    A: He is a monk/drunken master who can transform into any small to large-sized object and then kill people as that object. Ever wanted to beat people to death as a hat-rack? Now you can.

    Q: How does he do that??
    A:
    1. Thrall of Jubilex 4 grants Alter Self into 4HD forms at will.
    2. As a warforged, Gazebo can use Alter Self to transform into other constructs, including animated objects up to Large size.
    3. Drunken Master gains +1d4/1d8/1d12 damage when using improvised weapons. According to C. Warrior (Pg. 158), common tools can be used to do awesome stunts - a ladder can be used to trip people ala Jackie Chan, while a tapestry can trip - these are physical properties of the items that provide these bonuses. Alter Self gives you the basic physical properties of whatever you transform into. A monk is proficient with his body as both a natural and a manufactured weapon.
    4. Combine all of the above, and you have a drunken pogo stick hopping on the body of its latest victim.
    5. Because no drunken master build would be complete without a wide repertoire of combat options, Gazebo has Improved Overrun, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Grapple, Improved Sunder, Shock Trooper, and Combat Brute, along with a high BAB and natural strength

    Q: Do improvised weapons REALLY work that way?
    A: Well, we have 2+ pages arguing over the poorly written improvised weapons rules, including that drunken masters apparently still suffer -4 to attacks with them and that they provide opponents with a bonus to their disarm attempts. At this point I think there is only one rule that matters for a Drunken Master, and that is the rule of cool. Is it awesome to turn into a chair and disarm somebody with yourself? Is it something a drunken master would do? Do the rules appear to support it? I think the answer to all 3 is yes.

    Character roles: Tank, Assassin, Crowd Control. Gazebo has superb saving throws and decent HP, so he can take hits for a party. Assassin: Nobody ever suspected their sock drawer of jumping up and stabbing them in the gut. Finally, like any self-respecting melee fighter, he has a variety of combat options to lock down opponents.

    Sources: 3
    Eberron CS (Warforged)
    Complete Warrior (Drunken Master, Warshaper, Shock Trooper, Combat Brute, improvised weapons)
    Book of Vile Darkness (Thrall of Jubilex, Thrall to Demon, Willing Deformity)

    Gazebo Jones
    Warforged Monk 2/Fighter 4/Thrall of Jubilex 4/Drunken Master 10
    BAB +16, 8d10/12d8 HD

    Base Attributes (32 PB):
    Str: 16
    Dex: 12
    Con: 16
    Int: 10
    Wis: 14
    Cha: 8
    *Raise Str/Con with levels

    Level progression chart:
    Spoiler
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    NAME OF ENTRY
    {table=head]Level|Class|Base Attack<br>Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Skills|Feats|Class Features
    1st|Monk 1|
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |4R: Escape Artist, 4R: Tumble, 4R: Any 2 other skills|Willing Deformity, Improved Grapple [Monk 1], Improved Unarmed Strike [Monk 1]|Flurry of Blows, AC bonus

    2nd|Monk 2|
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |+1R: Escape Artist, Tumble, Any 2 other skills|Deflect Arrows [Monk 2]|Evasion

    3rd|Monk 2/Fighter 1|
    +2
    |
    +5
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |+1R cross-class: Tumble|Dodge [Ftr 3], Thrall to Demon|Bonus Feat

    4th|Monk 2/Fighter 2|
    +3
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |+1R cross-class: Tumble|Power Attack| Bonus Feat

    5th|Monk 2/Fighter 2/Thrall 1|
    +4
    |
    +8
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |+1R cross-class: Tumble|-|Sickening Slime

    6th|Monk 2/Fighter 2/Thrall 2|
    +5
    |
    +9
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |+2R: Any 2 skills|Great Fortitude|Corrosive Touch

    7th|Monk 2/Fighter 2/Thrall 3 |
    +6
    |
    +9
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |+2R: Any 2 skills|-|Summon Ooze

    8th|Monk 2/Fighter 2/Thrall 4 |
    +7
    |
    +10
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |+2R: Any 2 skills|-|Alter Self at will, Contagion 1/day

    9th|Monk 2/Fighter 2/Thrall 4/Drunken Master 1|
    +7
    |
    +12
    |
    +9
    |
    +7
    |Any 4 class skills|Improved Bull Rush|Drink, improvised weapons

    10th|Monk 2/Fighter 2/Thrall 4/Drunken Master 2|
    +8
    |
    +13
    |
    +10
    |
    +7
    |Any 4 class skills|-|Stagger

    11th|Monk 2/Fighter 2/Thrall 4/Drunken Master 3|
    +9
    |
    +13
    |
    +10
    |
    +8
    |Any 4 class skills|-|Swaying Waist

    12th|Monk 2/Fighter 2/Thrall 4/Drunken Master 4|
    +9
    |
    +14
    |
    +11
    |
    +8
    |Any 4 class skills|Improved Sunder|Improved improv. weapons

    13th|Monk 2/Fighter 2/Thrall 4/Drunken Master 5|
    +10
    |
    +14
    |
    +11
    |
    +8
    |Any 4 class skills|-|Greater improvised weapons

    14th|Monk 2/Fighter 2/Thrall 4/Drunken Master 6|
    +11
    |
    +15
    |
    +12
    |
    +9
    |Any 4 class skills|Improved Feint [B]|Bonus Feat

    15th|Monk 2/Fighter 2/Thrall 4/Drunken Master 7|
    +12
    |
    +15
    |
    +12
    |
    +9
    |Any 4 class skills|Combat Brute, Improved Grapple [B]| Bonus Feat

    16th|Monk 2/Fighter 2/Thrall 4/Drunken Master 8|
    +12
    |
    +16
    |
    +13
    |
    +9
    |Any 4 class skills|-|For Medicinal Purposes

    17th|Monk 2/Fighter 2/Thrall 4/Drunken Master 9|
    +13
    |
    +16
    |
    +13
    |
    +10
    |Any 4 class skills|-|AC +2, Corkscrew Rush, superior improv. weapons

    18th|Monk 2/Fighter 2/Thrall 4/Drunken Master 10|
    +14
    |
    +17
    |
    +14
    |
    +10
    |Any 4 class skills|Shock Trooper|Breath of Flame

    19th|Monk 2/Fighter 3/Thrall 4/Drunken Master 10|
    +15
    |
    +17
    |
    +15
    |
    +11
    |Any 2 class skills|-|

    20th|Monk 2/Fighter 4/Thrall 4/Drunken Master 10|
    +16
    |
    +17
    |
    +15
    |
    +11
    |Any 2 class skills|Improved Overrun|Bonus Feat[/table]


    Build Highlights:
    Spoiler
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    Combat benefits from improvised weapons:
    +1d12 damage to your unarmed attacks [any improvised weapons]
    +4 to AC if somebody uses you as a tower shield {table, chest]
    +2 to disarm attempts with things that catch weapons [chair, wagon wheel]
    +2 to to bullrush attempts [chariot, carriage, wheeled table]
    2x natural reach [ladder, flagpole]
    Entangle opponents (as with Tanglebag) [Carpet, tapestry]

    Mobility options with Alter Self:
    Land speed: 70ft movement speed as a go-cart or other small or medium wheeled object
    Flight: Up to 40ft as a kite or similar sheet-like
    Swim: Up to 40ft as a wooden object like a raft or wheelboat
    Climb: Up to 20ft as a chain ladder or similar object

    Combat options:
    1. Charge. With swagger you can change directions and make an easy tumble check not to provoke AOO's. You can reduce your AC for power attack (Shock Trooper), and gain a free bull rush at the end of the charge (Drunken Master 9). You can direct this bull rush in diagonal directions (Shock Trooper) and knock opponents into other opponents for free trip attempts (Shock Trooper). The following round, your power attack adds more damage (Combat Brute), and you gain +1 Attack/Damage for every square you pushed opponents (Combat Brute). These are all common melee optimization tricks, but quite fun in practice.

    2. Full attack routine:
    BAB of +16/+11/+6/+1 and +11 Slam. Any of these can be substituted with a grapple check or sunder attempt.

    3. Sunder. An animated object can be of any non-magical material, so you could be a giant adamantine saw if you wanted. Aim for spell components and holy symbols. If you sunder a shield or weapon, however, you can then cleave into a person with Combat Brute.

    4. Grapple. The staple of monk builds everywhere - use it to lock down a single dangerous foe.
    5. Improved Overrun. Turn into a carriage and send opponents running for their lives!
    6. Poisons! You're a construct, poison doesn't hurt you. Feel free to slather some onto your fists or spikes or whatever. Ability damage is snazzy!
    7. Summon oozes! Weird, but true - you can summon ochre jelly, gelatinous cubes, gray ooze, and green slimes at-will for 4 rounds per summon. You could just sit in the middle of the bar, pretending to be a normal chair, while green slimes and gelatinous cubes randomly spawn within a 30ft radius. Hilarity ensues!
    8. Weird stuff. You can breathe fire from Drunken Master 10, spread Contagion 1/day, add 2d6 acid damage on your fists 3/day, and heal yourself 3/day. Whenever you suspect a fight is about to begin, then break out the jello shots and start slurping them down to "buff up" with +2 Str/Con per move action.


    Core suggested equipment:
    Spoiler
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    You can't use most equipment as an animated object (I guess a hat-rack could wear a hat...), however you retain your base ability scores, so the various tomes are of great value to you. Otherwise common monk items are recommended, plus lots of room to hold your liquor.
    Tomes of stat boosts, Necklace +5, Monk's Belt, Cloak of Displacement, Vest of Resistance, All Stat Boost items, Helm of Teleportation, Handy Haversack, Decanter of Endless Water (make an ale version if possible), Ring of Freedom of Movement

    Non-core additions that would be cool to have:
    Everful Mug (MIC), Necklace of Natural Attacks (SS), That Ring From Dragon Magic (DM), Monk's Tattoo (FR), Warfist (EBCS), Belt of Magnificence (CMinis), Sparring Dummy of the Master (A&EG)


    Alternative builds and ideas:
    Spoiler
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    Warforged Monk 2/Psywarr 5/Thrall of Jubilex 4/Drunken Master 9 - with Tashlatora, trades fighter BAB for more monk damage and some great powers like Expansion
    Warforged Monk 2/Fighter 2/Thrall of Jubilex 4/Drunken Master 9/Warshaper 3 - doesn't qualify for Warshaper by RAW, but I think most DMs would allow it
    Warforged Monk 2/Fighter 2/Thrall of Jubilex 4/Drunken Master 9/Crusader or Warblade 2 - A slightly cheesier "capstone" choice than continuing fighter, you can pick up some solid maneuvers this way
    Warforged Monk 2/Fighter 2/Thrall of Jubilex 4/Drunken Master 9/Lion Totem Barbarian 2 - Gets pounce and rage, both nice "capstones" to any melee build

    Alternative feats: Snap Kick, Superior Unarmed Strike, Improved Natural Attack - options to build for damage rather than versatility

    With skill tricks: grab the two that let you stand from prone to recover from failed bull rush attempts, Twisted Charge for a possible second turn on a charge attack
    Last edited by true_shinken; 2011-05-09 at 02:51 PM.

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge XV

    OK, that's the last of them. Ready, set, judge!

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge XV

    ok...I may not be the first one done. Azeroth just shattered and I'm hanging out with my brother tonight. But I really like these, should have'em done pretty soon regardless.


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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge XV

    Oh, is WoW having a live event? Maybe I'll start up their "come back to play!!" trial to see what's going on...
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge XV

    I was hoping Drunken Master would come at a time when I had no classes. Because the idea that always struck me for Drunken Master is Half-Ogre Drunken Hurler. Starts out as a Monk/Drunken Master beating up enemies with other allies until he realises that enemies that maybe throwing enemies at each other could be cool, like drunk bowling.

    Silly idea, of course.

    Interesting stuff from the entrants here.
    Linguist and Invoker of Orcus of the Rudisplorker's Guild
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge XV

    Drat, couldn't get my second entry done in time. It included Serene Guardian 4....
    Iron Chef in the Playground veteran since Round IV.

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge XV

    Quote Originally Posted by Amphetryon View Post
    Drat, couldn't get my second entry done in time. It included Serene Guardian 4....
    Serene Guardian? Now that is obscure. It's from Shattered Gates of Slaughtergarde, isn't it?

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge XV

    Quote Originally Posted by SaintRidley View Post
    Because the idea that always struck me for Drunken Master is Half-Ogre Drunken Hurler.
    Ha! If I had have had more time and motivation, that's the build I was going to submit.

    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showt...hlight=drunken

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge XV

    Quote Originally Posted by true_shinken View Post
    Serene Guardian? Now that is obscure. It's from Shattered Gates of Slaughtergarde, isn't it?
    Indeed it is.

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    Monk 2/Totemist 4/Drunken Master 10/Serene Guardian 4. Landshark Boots + Flurry + Resonance. Good times.
    Last edited by Amphetryon; 2010-11-24 at 06:56 AM.
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge XV

    I was only 1 for 3 on my predictions. Unless, I missed it, there are no paladins and no binders in XV. I'm glad to see an Ardent, though, something about drunk psychics amuse me.

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge XV

    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    Ha! If I had have had more time and motivation, that's the build I was going to submit.

    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showt...hlight=drunken
    Hulking Hurler is definitely awesome :)
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge XV

    Quote Originally Posted by Akal Saris View Post
    Hulking Hurler is definitely awesome :)
    Yeah, I was wanting to make a guy who could basically pick up anything and either beat people with it, or throw it at them.

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge XV

    wow. I should have submitted my idea.

    Brother Toad

    monk 3/dungeoncrasher fighter 2/shou disciple 3/fist of the forest 3/drunken master 9

    Battle jump + shape soulmeld for staggering, pouncing, corkscrew rushes that would repeatedly slam opponents into the ground as a move action.

    Took a while to get going and still faced a lot of traditional monk problems. On the other hand, it could inflict some rather impressive damage when it hit (20th level monk equivelant while unarmed + typical size augmentation and other boni). Unfortunately, due to attributes, he would only have been able to consume 5 drinks before his intelligence became dangerously close to zero.

    I could not find the right race for the concept though. I wanted something reminiscent of one of the Daoist masters of legend, but with some decent stat boosts to offset the MAD. Feral human just would not cut it. Hanuman or Hobgoblin were other options, but neither of those were right either.

    Well done to everyone that submitted, I am very impressed with the range of builds presented.

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge XV

    Well I know who I'd give top marks to... and it isn't mine. Some impressive stuff here.
    .
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    Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone you may still exist but you have ceased to live. - Samuel Clemens

    Oh, and DFTBA.

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge XV

    My mouse-over text says these are going to different posts but half of them link to Laph for me. Am I alone in this problem?

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge XV

    But...why would you ever need any other link?

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    Thanks to Strategos and Jumilk for the awesome Iron Chef trophies!

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge XV

    Still not ready, but at least one out of 8 should be ready to go. Will post when all 8 are ready.

    Since I wanted to be the mystery judge and all contestants have revealed their builds, I want to share my criteria now. Perhaps it won't be the same as the others, and may change a bit on later judgings (if I manage to do others), but I find that if someone wishes to debate whether a ruling was unfair or not, it's better to work with some rulings.

    Thus:
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    Originality: I prefer to see this on a case-by-case basis. I like to be surprised, peppered with rare stuff; if the stuff is obscure, better. You see, delving into books to find rare and unusual "ingredients" adds to the originality, even if they aren't very powerful or have elegance issues. Most classes that don't fit the background or the attempted build, or heavily used races may find themselves low on originality, but if there's a good reason why you should use a common ingredient (say, human or dragonborn), I can let that one slide.
    Power: For this, I focus on how well it'll work on combat. I find two measures to be useful; the power/level ratio (how "powerful" the build is based on the level, hence a very powerful class at level 1 will always have a 5, a powerful build at level 20 may have a 5, but a build that starts really weak and only gets strong with one or two tricks and at later levels gets a deck on the scores). The other is comparing the build's power to the simplest and most similar build; for example, a spellcaster build may be compared to a straight Cleric/Wizard/Sorcerer/Favored Soul/Druid/Psion build, and if it retains some of its power despite the obvious exchange, it will almost always get a 5 (you can lose even two or three caster levels, but if what you get allows you to offset those huge losses, then it's not a power loss. This is also on a case-to-case basis, and you don't have to be 100% as powerful as the compared build to succeed (even a character with 75% the power of the compared build but still capable of holding its own in battle without much difficulties could get a 4 or even a 5 depending on how well it compares). I don't focus very much on outside of combat, but if there's an out-of-combat ability that deserves to be praised, I will.
    Elegance: Here I notice few things. Good points on Elegance, of course, are gained with creative uses of class abilities, positive synergies between different abilities, elegant solutions, and not that much clutter. Bad points on Elegance exist if other options could have worked better (whether it happens with the secret ingredient or not), "orphan" abilities (abilities that exist on their own and that have no explanation of use), and confusing layouts (though I can be lenient at that, myself finding my own entries to be cluttery and somewhat disorganized)
    Use of Secret Ingredient: First things first; you don't have to take all 10 levels if you don't want to. However, if getting one more level in a class could have done worlds of good to your build, you lose points. If you, on the other hand, prove that the other abilities can be replaced by something else, then I can give points. The idea is that you have a point to prove with your build, and why getting into that class is more important than taking levels in another class; if you can prove it faithfully, 5 points you earn.


    Hopefully I won't get people angry over this. Bear with me; this is my first judging and I'll be rife with errors of a first-timer. Still, I hope to be fair, impartial, and also as verbose as I can possibly be. Oh, and also rather quick: I hope to do one or two judgings per day, but don't take my entire word on that. Once I finish them all, I'll post and you can decide whether I was really fair, impartial, and verbose as I intend to.
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge XV

    Ok, done! Only took until 3 am, but I did waste a lot of the evening on WoW. I was definitely right in that these would be fun to judge; every single build this time around was entertaining and a credit to this contest. I believe I gave out the highest overall scores I've ever given, which is saying something with 8 entries. I raise my glass to all the chefs, and wish you the best of luck!


    Bu the Hobo Fist:

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    Originality: 3.5

    The fluff is excellent, and Chameleon was unexpected in this contest, that's for sure. I would have made this higher, but even you admit it's a nod to Fistbeard Beardfist, a well-known combo on these boards, so I can't give full marks.

    Power: 4

    Strong melee fighter, making excellent use of class feature synergy and feats, with Chameleon at the end to add some high-level versatility. I would definitely feel at home playing this guy in a mid-to-high op game, and you explained his abilities well.

    Elegance: 4

    I see no shenanigans, and your class levels do fit very well into your concept. The FotF re-fluff is fine with me, but some DM's may balk at it. Mongrelfolk is kind of a power-gamey race, and there are also two UA variants in here. Also very MAD, which you yourself point out, which needs expensive equipment to bring it up. Again, all of that is fine with me, but I can't put this at a 5 because it may require redesign to fit into a lot of games.

    Use of Drunken Master: 4

    This is a very good build, and Drunken Master fits in here very well, especially with the awesome backstory you wrote. Even without all 10 levels, I feel this a pretty good representation of the class. I would have liked to have seen what you'd have done with 9 levels and corkscrew rush, but hey, very good job overall.


    SCORE:
    Overall - 15.5
    Average - 3.875



    Eric Redscale:

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    Originality: 4

    Drunken Dragonfire Adept. Nice. While I usually think that the "dragon-wannabe" classes are overdone in 3.5, IC is a pretty good place to fool around with them and play with the concept, which I enjoyed you doing here. Decent story, too.

    Power: 4.5

    This guy is very well put together and can really dish out the pain with the Con synergy of drink like a demon and breath weapons. Not as strong in melee as most of the builds here, but he doesn't need to be.

    Elegance: 2.5

    While the idea of a giganto-huge 10 drink breath of flame is awesome, it is somewhat questionable as to whether the ability is meant to do that. RAW it works, yes, but I imagine most DM's would limit the use of the ability to once per round. I love the concept of a drunkard breathing more fire than a dragon, but it does seem a little cheesy. Also, I had a hard time figuring out what Initiate of Draconic Mysteries was doing in the build. It really doesn't contribute much except evasion and boosting saves via the old one-level dip in an all-good-progression class, it's just an entry trick to grab evasion. This build also requires your group to have all 3 of the Dragony Dragon-ness of Dragon books. Even with all that though, it's still legal and fits together overall, so we'll keep the score at 2.5.

    Use of Drunken Master: 2.5

    Aside from the capstone (ab)use, this build really doesn't need Drunken Master other than as a Con-booster, which can be accomplished in a lot of other ways. You did work in the other abilities of the class, but with low BAB and primarily using ranged attacks, this guy won't really be doing the kung-fu antics most people think of for the class.


    SCORE:
    Overall - 13.5
    Average - 3.375



    Simon:

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    Originality: 4

    Soulbow...master thrower...ok...definitely didn't see that one coming. The story didn't jump out at me, but the mechanics are creative, to say the least.

    Power: 3.5

    Fairly solid ranged attacker, but more than a bit of a one-trick pony. Can melee too, for sure, but the damage would be less impressive. Pretty much high-end tier 4.

    Elegance: 2.5

    I have no problem with your class levels, feat selections, or anything in the table itself. The main problem, which you discuss at length, is the odd interpretation of the mind arrow ability. The class feature states, and I quote, "The bolt is identical in all ways (except visually) to an arrow shot from a composite longbow." The rest of the text all refers to them being fired; there's nothing that says you can make a mind arrow without shooting it at something. While it's certainly not game breaking, and I give you full marks for creativity, it's not really RAW.

    Use of Drunken Master: 3

    The improvised weapon ability is a keystone of your build, and you make sure to keep up your melee ability as well, so it does work pretty well. My main issue here is that you don't take Drunken Master until ECL 12, so the SI takes a while to be relevant.


    SCORE:
    Overall - 13
    Average - 3.25




    Laph:

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    Originality: 2.5

    This build is kind of the inevitable psionic/monk combo I think a lot of people were expecting to see. It's not bad, but it didn't raise my eyebrows at all.

    Power: 4

    A solid tier 3 character, with a fair amount of versatility and good melee damage output. Definitely one of the more optimized builds in this contest.

    Elegance: 4

    I can't find anything wrong with this build, which is always a plus. Fairly good flow of levels, and the backstory was alright, if a little lackluster. I needed something more to push this higher, either some more synergy of the classes (maybe some Talashtora action or something) or just a slightly different arrangement, can't quite put my finger on it.

    Use of Drunken Master: 3.5

    Takes the class and puts it together with things that we all know are good, and the character is very playable. The psionics and maneuvers do distract a bit from the main dish, that's pretty much my only complaint.


    SCORE:
    Overall - 14
    Average - 3.5



    Vermillion:

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    Originality: 3

    While there's nothing terribly special about a monster progression and then straight monk entry, the backstory and the hilarious image of a kung-fu drunken minotaur kept this at 3.

    Power: 2.5

    A solid front-line fighter, would be a great tank for a tier 4 party, but lacks the versatility to push this higher. Unfortunately he's a bit feat starved and a lot of his abilities come in very late in the ECL scale. Low mental stats also mean he can't get as much use out of Drink Like a Demon. Could've used a gear breakdown too, might've helped you out here.

    Elegance: 4

    I try not be part of the elegance = simplicity crowd, but sometimes a build as dirt-simple as this is refreshing to see. I like the way this one comes together, except for one thing - he doesn't get going until a very high level. Why use the Savage Progression if you're not going to use it to try and get into the SI earlier? You could have started taking monk and drunken master levels before finishing the racial levels. Improved bull rush should also come earlier in the build, I mean c'mon, he's a bull.

    Use of Drunken Master: 3.5

    A solid use of the class. This guy would be a great NPC in a lot of campaigns, and would be pretty fun to play in a medium optimization group. Doesn't do anything crazy with the class abilities, just enjoys them for their own sake.


    SCORE:
    Overall - 13
    Average - 3.25



    Uthunan:

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    Originality: 3

    Goliath grabs guys and beats other guys with them. Pretty cool, but it's been done before. Backstory was great, good job there.

    Power: 3.5

    Grappling is good, and takes people out of the fight, but NOT the way you think it does with the bestow curse thing. I'm sorry, that simply doesn't work. People are not inanimate objects, they don't "break" in D&D. I didn't hit you too hard here because despite that, this build is still pretty potent as a tier 4 melee frontliner.

    Elegance: 1.5

    I thought the Bestow Curse thing was a cool bit of fluff, but you tried to turn it into something very cheesy, bordering on munchkin behavior. That will always get a negative reaction from me, especially here, and I felt I had to deduct a full point. The other loss here was the Cleric/Fortune's Friend end of the build, which seemed odd even before I realized you were using it to further the Bestow Curse trick. I really wish you'd left that out, because otherwise this would have been a very strong contender.

    Use of Drunken Master: 3

    A grabbing build using your enemies as improvised weapons is still pretty cool, without the shenanigans with Bestow Curse. I just wish you hadn't focused so much on the natural 1/weapon breakage thing; in other words, I really like the core of this build, just next time go easy on the cheese.


    SCORE:
    Overall - 11
    Average - 2.75



    Chieftain Nini:


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    Originality: 2.5

    I'm glad to see a killer halfling in here, but I'm really tired of the dragonborn template being slapped on everything. I know it's mechanically good, but it's so overused, and most people don't even bother with a fluff justifcation anymore, as is the case here. The story was interesting, with it's intentional referencing of the struggle of Native Americans with alcohol in the US. The actual class levels are nothing unexpected.

    Power: 3.5

    Pretty solid optimization, and great feat selection. Has no problem dealing damage and getting around.

    Elegance: 3.5

    You point out the possible issue with Shou Disciple yourself, but I would probably let that fly without issue; Flurry is well known as a mechanically difficult ability at best, and it's not a game-breaker by any means. SD does come out of a setting book that few groups I know of make use of though. Also, see my complaint about the Dragonborn Template under originality.

    Use of Drunken Master: 3.5

    Like some other entries, this is a solid use of Drunken Master and is very playable. Doesn't do anything too wild with it; but I like mixing the combat style of the small folk with the class.


    SCORE:
    Overall - 13
    Average - 3.25


    Gazebo Jones:

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    Originality: 5

    Buh...what now? Ok, I need a drink.*

    Alright...Warforged, Thrall of Jubilex. That turns into furniture and hurts folk. You're crazy man. I like you, but you're crazy. This is definitely one of the weirder builds I've seen in my time as a judge. I liked the backstory and setup too, very well done.

    *If you were wondering, I really did get up and get a whiskey at this point.

    Power: 3.5

    Thrall of Jubilex undeniably adds a lot of tricks to the mix, and warforged is always a good racial pick, though you did lose a bit here due to the questionable nature of them being able to enter Drunken Master, discussed further below. Other than that, very solid tier 3 build.

    Elegance: 2

    There's a big problem here - Warforged can't get drunk! They don't eat or drink, and they're immune to poisons and toxins. This means it's unlikely that any DM would let them even enter Drunken Master. I am aware that a liberal reading of their racials (which states that they can gain beneficial effects of consumable magic items) combined with the statement under Drink Like a Demon that alcohol effects the Drunken Master "differently" could make this work, but that's a stretch, to say the least. I would've knocked down further here, since the "using yourself as an improvised weapon" bit is also somewhat questionable, but you're right...rule of cool does apply. This build is nuts, in a good way, so I'm being a bit lenient with it.

    Use of Drunken Master: 3.5

    This is hard to call...this is such a creative and crazy build, and I like it a lot, but the rules issue is pretty glaring. I give this an A for effort, but I wish that I could come up with a plausible reason why the entry would be legal. I'm going to give this a slightly above average score since I'm very torn, but happy about it. This build made me laugh, and that counts for something.


    SCORE:
    Overall - 14
    Average - 3.5


    Comedian avatar by The_Stoney_One

    Iron Chef Judge! Check out my awesome badges by Jumilk!
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  30. - Top - End - #150
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    kestrel404's Avatar

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    Jul 2009

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge XV

    Huh. Only 1 shou disciple - I thought that half the entries would use that.

    Here's a quote from my half-finished entry:
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    The Secret Ingredient:
    Drunken master is an odd duck. Odd enough that when you really start looking at it, have a few shots, and then get all philosophical, you realize it's not really a duck at all! No sir! It's a platypus!
    See, Drunken master looks like a monk prestige class. Heck, it wants you to have flurry of blows, it lets the monk cross-class, it does everything but ask for monk levels specifically by name. But let's say, just for example, that a monk DID decide to become a Drunken master. What does he get out of the deal? I mean, just look at the first level - you take a drink and pick up a barstool and star swinging, right? Except that taking that drink lowers your wisdom - something monks HATE doing, because wisdom is sort of like their power stat (even if it's a pretty wimpy one)! And then when you pick up that barstool, suddenly you can't really use that 'flurry of blows' ability that's so useful to monks! The class doesn't even improve the monk's unarmed damage!
    So why in the world would a lawful, stick-where-the-sun-don't-shine, goody-two-shoes monk ever join this beer-swilling fraternity? The easy answer is they wouldn't! No sir, this is a prestige class designed perfectly to complement the Shou Disciple!
    What, you haven't heard of these blokes? Well, the Shou Disciple gets their own unarmed combat damage table - completely separate from the monk one, only goes for 5 levels and then you can't improve their unarmed damage after that (but the drunken master can help with that!), they don't care a whit about how 'wise' they are, and they can flurry with whatever the heck they want to! Got a battle axe? You can flurry with it! Picked up a barstool? Flurry away! Now THAT is what the Drunken Master is all about!


    The build was:
    Dragonborn (Wings) Goliath
    Swordsage 1/Incarnate 2/Barbarian 2/Shou Disciple 5/Drunken Master 10
    Feats: Midnight Dodge, Extra rage, Improved Trip, Open Least Chakra(Feat), Power Attack, Great Fortitude, Deflect Arrows, Battle Jump, Leap Attack, Powerful Charge.

    The only two tricks worthy of note were abusing the synergy between midnight dodge/Shou Disciple/Drunken Master (put 0 essentia into MD, get +5 dodge bonus, get free essentia point), and the ability to repeatedly pounce/flurry the same guy with a two-handed improvised weapon (because charging in a circle is OK thanks to Drunken Master 2).

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