Page 4 of 8 FirstFirst 12345678 LastLast
Results 91 to 120 of 232
  1. - Top - End - #91
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    mootoall's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2010

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XXII

    My computer pooped out while I was in the 6th hour of finalizing the build. Meaning the Word file got completely trashed. So I guess I'm out. I'll also be looking for my trick!
    Avatar by zimmerwald1915

    Quote Originally Posted by Divide by Zero View Post
    Hulking Hurler can get something like (10^83)d6 damage, which is many orders of magnitude greater than the number of particles in the universe.
    Characters:
    Spoiler
    Show

    Current characters: None, looking for a game.


    Homebrew!


    Wow, it's been a while. Sorry for the unexplained absence!

  2. - Top - End - #92
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    HalflingPirate

    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    In an Octopus's Garden

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XXII

    glitch repair
    Dex

    Spoiler
    Show
    Regarding my Necrotic Apprentice trick:
    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    This is brilliant.
    Regarding my Non-Epic Hidecarved Dragon:
    Quote Originally Posted by Amphetryon View Post
    Nicely done. Probably too cheesy for many tables, but I'd be inclined to allow it at mine, just for chutzpah.

    Have a cookie.
    Spoiler
    Show
    Check out the Versatile Domain Generalist.

  3. - Top - End - #93
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Private-Prinny's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XXII

    Quote Originally Posted by OMG PONIES View Post
    Any chance of an extension to the deadline? Even a day or two? I've got my basic framework, but I won't be able to polish and submit it by tomorrow night.
    Sorry, man. If I'm going to streamline this, I need everyone, including the contestants and myself, to be on the ball. The deadlines are final. Besides, you've been winning too much, anyway.
    Quotebox
    Spoiler
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Moron View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Optimystik View Post
    'Adding up numbers' is completely independent of roleplay. What you're saying makes as much sense as "peeling a banana is not a good way to drive."


  4. - Top - End - #94
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Z3ro's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2010

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XXII

    Build submitted; even if I don't place well, I gotta say I'm really happy with this one.

  5. - Top - End - #95
    Orc in the Playground
     
    BillyBobJoe's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2011

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XXII

    Build submitted, finally.
    Excellent Ponsoon avatar by Akrim.elf!
    Quote Originally Posted by Red XIV View Post
    Everybody outsmarts Nale. Including Nale.
    I will be unable to post for an undetermined amount of time due to medical problems and family problems. Just a notice.

  6. - Top - End - #96
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    kestrel404's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2009

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XXII

    Build submitted. Looks like there's going to be a lot of competition this time.

  7. - Top - End - #97
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2008

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XXII

    Quote Originally Posted by Private-Prinny View Post
    Sorry, man. If I'm going to streamline this, I need everyone, including the contestants and myself, to be on the ball. The deadlines are final. Besides, you've been winning too much, anyway.
    Judgechairman discrimination!

    Also ya lets not break the new rules literally the first time after being setup.
    Quote Originally Posted by Alabenson
    Evil Intelligence is knowing the precise ritual that will allow you to destroy the peaceful kingdom that banished you.

    Evil Wisdom is understanding that you probably shouldn’t perform said ritual while you’re standing in the estimated blast radius.

  8. - Top - End - #98
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Devmaar's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Exeter
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XXII

    I'm not going to get this story together in time .

    I might post the build later though, I was pretty happy with it.

  9. - Top - End - #99
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

    Join Date
    Dec 2010

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XXII

    Just send it in anyway, someone in the last one didnt have a backstory and it was fine. Nowhere in the rules does it say you need one.

  10. - Top - End - #100
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XXII

    Quote Originally Posted by yugi24862 View Post
    Just send it in anyway, someone in the last one didnt have a backstory and it was fine.
    And he's even a judge this time!

  11. - Top - End - #101
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Private-Prinny's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XXII

    And now it's time for the Big Reveal! Please refrain from posting until I give the word.
    Quotebox
    Spoiler
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Moron View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Optimystik View Post
    'Adding up numbers' is completely independent of roleplay. What you're saying makes as much sense as "peeling a banana is not a good way to drive."


  12. - Top - End - #102
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Private-Prinny's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XXII

    There's a reason no one likes fire ants...

    Quote Originally Posted by The Bloodstained Hurricane
    The Bloodstained Hurricane, Thri-Kreen Ranger 2/Scout 4/Dervish 10

    Point Buy 32
    Starting Stats -> Ending Stats
    18 Str -> 22 Str
    16 Dex -> 16 Dex
    14 Con -> 14 Con
    13 Int -> 13 Int
    14 Wis -> 14 Wis
    04 Cha -> 04 Cha

    Background
    Spoiler
    Show

    The jungle was alive with the calls of animals and the fall of rain as Beta Squadron tramped through the night, chasing the shadows back with their dimly burning torches. Though their levels were low, the patrol was heartened by their wide range Antimagic field, allowing them to even the playing field against any high level adventurers that might try ambushing the force. Sergeant Tordek wiped some rainwater from his brow and took a glance around at his men.

    Corporal Soveliss led the way with Tordek through the Jungle expertly, and his old friend Lidda covered the back. Krusk had the Antimagic emitter strapped to his back, well equipped to carry the weight with his Orcish genes. The rest of the troop were new recruits, untested by battle and grumbling about the lousy conditions. Suddenly, there was a crackling of branches from the side. The troop as a whole were unconcerned, thinking it must be some animal, but Tordek's experience had given him a sixth sense for optimized PCs, and he shouted a hasty warning to his men.

    Alas, even as the words escaped his mouth, the horror was upon them. It moved so fast that its body was a blur, seeming to snap back and forth and sideways in unnatural fashion. For a brief moment, the metal of its spinning blades shone crazily in the torchlight, and then the thing seemed to almost crash through the body of the first recruit, gutting him brutally in an explosion of blood. The brave pulled at their weapons, and the cowardly turned to run, but it mattered nought.

    In the first seconds, a half dozen of them were shredded; fighting or running the creature did not care if they fell into its deadly path. Leaping from ground to tree to ground again the demon easily evaded Soveliss' arrows and Lidda's hastily thrown daggers, jumping back deep into the thick trees as abruptly as it appeared.

    Before the survivors had a chance to take a breath, it was out of the trees again, flashing around Lidda like a bloodstained hurricane as she desperately tried to keep it at bay with her daggers. But four arms were better than two, and in the space of an eyeblink and a flash of distant lightning Lidda's torso fell in twain and the beast's inexorable motion continued.

    Krusk screamed his rage and charged, but in a spray of blood and gore his head was ripped off by its terrifying jaws and now Soveliss and Tordek stood against its advance alone. Finally, they got a clear look at the creature, the giant insect from distant lands recognizable as a Thri-Kreen, a bloody scimitar running with rainwater in each hand and a bright red bandanna around its head.

    As it engaged the two of them it was like fighting a blender, the two skilled soldiers barely keeping pace together. Their spirited defense couldn't last, and with a resounding clap of thunder a scimitar ripped though Soveliss' defenses, killed him instantly, and sliced through into Tordek knocking him dazed to the ground.

    The last thing he saw was the pair of giant, glowing, compound eyes.


    The Build
    Spoiler
    Show

    Racial Traits
    40 Base Speed, +3 Natural Armor, +30 Jump, +4 Hide in sandy/arid settings, Darkvision 60, Immune to Sleep, PLAs (Manifester Level 1/2 HD): Know Direction and Location 3/day, Chameleon 3/day, Metaphysical Claw 1/day, Greater Concealing Amorpha 1/day
    Thri-Kreen have four functioning arms, and a Bite (1d4) as a secondary natural attack. Once per day, the bite can poison for initial 1d6 Dex, secondary paralysis at DC 10 + Con mod + 1/2 HD.
    Favored Class: Ranger

    The Bloodstained Hurricane
    {table=head]ECL|Class|BAB|Base Fort|Base Ref|Base Will|AC Bonus|Skills|Feats|Class Features

    3rd|Thri-Kreen 1|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |4 Jump, 1 Perform Dance, 4 Spot, 1 Tumble|Combat Expertise|-

    4th|Thri-Kreen 2|
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |1 Jump, 1/2 Perform Dance, 1 Spot|Deflect Arrows|Racial Traits

    5th|Ranger 1|
    +3
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |1 Spot, 6 Survival|Dodge, Track|Favored Enemy, Wild Empathy

    6th|Ranger 2|
    +4
    |
    +3
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |5 Search, 1 Spot, 1 Survival|Multiweapon Fighting**|+1 Str

    7th|Scout 1|
    +4
    |
    +3
    |
    +8
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |1 Disable Device, 1 Search, 7 Tumble|-|Skirmish +1d6, Trapfinding

    8th|Scout 2|
    +5
    |
    +3
    |
    +9
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |4 Disable Device 3 Search, 1 Spot, 1 Tumble|Weapon Focus: Scimitar|Uncanny Dodge, Battle Fortitude +1

    9th|Scout 3 (Dungeon Specialist)|
    +6
    |
    +4
    |
    +9
    |
    +4
    |
    +0
    |6 Disable Device, 1 Search, 1 Spot, 1 Tumble|-|Climb Speed (half land), Attack with Light Weapons while Climbing, Skirmish +1d6/+1 AC, Trackless Step

    10th|Scout 4|
    +7
    |
    +4
    |
    +10
    |
    +4
    |
    +0
    |1 Disable Device, 1 1/2 Perform Dance, 1 Search, 2 Spot, 1 Survival, 1 Tumble|Mobility|+1 Str

    11th|Dervish 1|
    +8
    |
    +4
    |
    +12
    |
    +6
    |
    +1
    |5 Perform Dance|Swift Hunter|Dervish Dance 1/day, Movement Mastery, Slashing Blades, 2nd Favored Enemy, Skirmish +2d6/+1 AC

    12th|Dervish 2|
    +9
    |
    +4
    |
    +13
    |
    +7
    |
    +1
    |5 Perform Dance|-|Fast Movement +5 ft

    13th|Dervish 3|
    +10
    |
    +5
    |
    +13
    |
    +7
    |
    +1
    |Extreme Leap, 1 Perform Dance, 1 Spot|Spring Attack|Dervish Dance 2/day

    14th|Dervish 4|
    +11
    |
    +5
    |
    +14
    |
    +8
    |
    +1
    |Clarity of Vision, 1 Perform Dance, 2 Tumble|Improved Multiweapon Fighting|Dance of Death, +1 Str

    15th|Dervish 5|
    +12
    |
    +5
    |
    +14
    |
    +8
    |
    +2
    |1 Climb, 1 Perform Dance, 3 Tumble|-|Dervish Dance 3/day, Fast Movement +10 ft

    16th|Dervish 6|
    +13
    |
    +6
    |
    +15
    |
    +9
    |
    +2
    |3 Climb, 1 Perform Dance, 1 Tumble|-|Improved Reaction

    17th|Dervish 7|
    +14
    |
    +6
    |
    +15
    |
    +9
    |
    +2
    |Leaping Climber, 1 Perform Dance, 1 Tumble|Improved Skirmish|Elaborate Parry, Dervish Dance 4/day, Skirmish +4d6/+2 AC

    18th|Dervish 8|
    +15
    |
    +6
    |
    +16
    |
    +10
    |
    +2
    |3 Jump, 1 Perform Dance, 1 Tumble|-|Fast Movement +15 ft, +1 Str

    19th|Dervish 9|
    +16
    |
    +7
    |
    +16
    |
    +10
    |
    +3
    |3 Jump, 1 Perform Dance, 1 Tumble|-|Tireless Dance, Dervish Dance 5/day

    20th|Dervish 10|
    +17
    |
    +7
    |
    +17
    |
    +11
    |
    +3
    |3 Jump, 1 Perform Dance, 1 Tumble|Speed of Thought|A Thousand Cuts[/table]

    **Multiweapon Fighting: Special: This feat replaces the Two-Weapon Fighting feat for creatures with more than two arms. Since the feat is globally replaced, and since Thru-Kreen have a favored class of Ranger, both the RAW and the RAI appear to support them getting MWF with Ranger 2.


    Build Notes
    Spoiler
    Show

    No matter how you look at it, the Dervish is a PRC very good at one thing, and that thing is making full attacks. It gets to move around as it makes its full attack, and it gets a solid +5 to hit bonus to help especially with the back rounds of a full attack. It even gets movement bonuses and can take 10 on Tumble checks to help it get all of its attacks in safely. However, it also does one thing very poorly: conserve feats. Dervish is a total feat-hog, and feeding its habit means any complicated plans are probably not going to have enough feats to function.

    From here, the best race in the buisiness of making simple full attacks is the Thri-Kreen. It gets off twice as many weapon attacks as anyone else, and even though multiweapon fighting takes more ECL to get off the ground with higher BAB requirements and the Thri-Kreen LA, even early on youre getting similar numbers of hits at higher bonuses.

    Dervish is a class you want to get all the way through so you don't have to hoard your Dervish Dances/day, so this and the 4 ECL Thri-Kreen chassis leaves us with only 6 spare levels to get everything we need to succeed. Scout levels are a no-brainer, since Dervishes are practically made to take advantage of Skirmish. However, the inclusion of two Ranger levels with them proves to be optimal; it's a favored class, and Swift Hunter (required with this setup to get to Improved Skirmish) and Multiweapon Fighting cancel out in the feat tally, so it costs us very little of importance. In return, we lose 1 less BAB than Scout 6, and trade some mostly trivial Scout bonuses for mostly trivial Ranger bonuses (though Track is handy early).

    The main obstacle late in the build is being fast enough to get all our attacks off reliably and cleanly: Thri-Kreen is great here too with its 40 foot natural speed and easy access to Speed of Thought, as well as some easy use of Jump skill tricks.


    ECL 4-5
    Spoiler
    Show

    Being a Thri-Kreen, under convential rules the Hurricane is not playable until ECL 4 when she has completed her Monstrous Humanoid HD. Right out of the box, using her natural attacks to avoid Multiweapon Fighting penalties is probably preferable, giving her a respectable full attack routine of 4 claws and a bite. Against hordes of mooks using Combat Expertise to get a large AC bonus while fishing for Crits might not be an unwise course, especially considering that having 2 less HD this early on will really hurt your HP. If you run into DR/magic, remember Metaphysical Claw can at least enchant one of your natural attacks. Your first Ranger level's biggest advantage is probably that it lets you actually wear light armor.

    On the utility front you can jump really unexpectedly far and do it at will, which is surprisingly useful at these sorts of levels. Your first Ranger level gives you Track and Survival skill points, and combined with your Know Direction and Location PLA should be pretty good in the wilderness. Chameleon is especially useful at these levels and should make you a pretty good sneak even with nothing in Hide, and you've got decent senses with Darkvision and respectable Spot.

    Overall it's a tough start but you aren't without options and there are a number of things you can do well.

    Summaries will be listed with no magical gear, but with mithral breastplate, masterwork weapons (where appropriate) and appropriate mundane circumstance tools

    ECL 5:
    Full Attack 4 Claws +7, 1 Bite +2
    Claws & Bite: 1d4+4/2
    AC: 21=10+3dex+3nat+5armor
    Init: +3 | Fort: +4 | Reflex: +8 | Will: +5
    Jump +47, Spot +10, Survival (Track) +10, Tumble +7
    Speed 40, Darkvision 60



    ECL 6-10
    Spoiler
    Show

    With Ranger 6 you gain Multiweapon Fighting (it should be noted that this is possible because multiweapon fighting *replaces* TWF for multi armed creatures), letting you switch over to handaxes if you like. (You can use short swords, but they're piercing only and be worthless at ECL 11. You probably also want a bigger weapon for your main hand.). This probably isn't actually worth the -2 penalty vs claws unless you at least have +1 Weapons, but remember that you still keep your secondary bite and it doesn't take any TWF penalties.

    After that you take your 4 Scout levels (as Ranger is your favored class, you have no issues with Multiclassing penalties). On the combat side, these get you your Skirmish bonuses and Uncanny Dodge, which both may come in useful occasionally at these levels. A full attack is still your best bet for combat, but Skirmish is an acceptable consolation prize when you have to move.

    On the skills side, you pick up Tumble and Trapfinding, allowing your increasingly obselete tracking skills to decay in favor of Searching for and disabling traps. You also gain a climb speed from your scout substitution level (the enhancement bonus to speed you traded for it was going to be overlapped anyway), and though it's fairly slow it allows you to fight while climbing, building up your crazy insect cred.

    We're still struggling for effectiveness in combat here, but making up for it by being a decent skillmonkey. Everything is about to come together though.

    ECL 10 (No magic gear):
    Full Attack 4 Masterwork Handaxes +11/+11/+11/+11/+6, 1 Bite +7
    Attack: Masterwork Handaxe +13, 1d6+(1d6)+5 x3
    Masterwork Handaxes: 1d6+5/2 x3
    Bite: 1d4+2
    Skirmish: +2d6/+1 AC
    AC: 21=10+3dex+3nat+5armor
    Init: +4 | Fort: +7 | Reflex: +13 | Will: +6
    Climb +14*, Disable Device +14, Jump +47, Search +14, Spot +14, Survival (Track) +13, Tumble +17
    Speed 40, Climb 20, Darkvision 60 (Starred Skills can Take 10)



    ECL 11-15
    Spoiler
    Show

    With ECL 11 the Hurricane picks up the Dervish Dance and explodes into combat relevancy, now performing her six step full attacks with ease while simultaneously getting her skirmish dice. Combining this with her new ability to use four scimitars and our steadily increasing bonuses with slashing weapons, she can do quite a bit of damage to the enemy on almost every round. At ECL 14 she picks up Improved Multiweapon fighting and her full attack progression increases to ten, which can output over a hundred damage if she executes them all.

    On the skills front our skillmonkey side degrades, but we get perform dance up to max and keep up with tumble. We also pursue a couple skill tricks related to movement and perception to help us make our full attacks more easily and generally to be a scary bug.

    The Hurricane portayed in the backstory chose Humanoid (Human) +4 and Humanoid (Elf) +2 as her favored enemies, but this is largely personal choice and campaign dependent. :P

    ECL 15 (No magic gear):
    Full Attack 4 Masterwork Scimitars +20/+20/+20/+20/+15/+15/+15/+15/+10, 1 Bite +15
    Attack: Masterwork Scimitar +22, 1d6+(2d6)+8 18-20x2 (Spring Attack)
    Masterwork Scimitars: 1d6+(2d6)+8/5
    Bite: 1d4+(2d6)+5
    Skirmish: +2d6/+1 AC
    AC: 23=10+3dex+2der+3nat+5armor
    Init: +4 | Fort: +8 | Reflex: +17 | Will: +10
    Climb +15*, Disable Device +14, Jump +51*, Perform Dance +15*, Search +14, Spot +15, Survival (Track) +13, Tumble +22*
    Speed 50, Climb 25, Darkvision 60 (Starred Skills can Take 10)


    ECL 16-20
    Spoiler
    Show

    It's said that the slightest of breezes can eventually build into a Hurricane, and this is entirely the case here. The Bloodstained Hurricane quickly becomes more powerful with every level now, gaining rapidly scaling attack bonuses along with doubling her skirmish at ECL 17 and adding a wonderful Nova capstone at ECL 20.

    In this range she will actually struggle to pull off all of her attacks over the course of a Dervish Dance by virtue of having almost as many attacks as 5 foot increments in her speed, not to mention possibly missing skirmish on a couple of attacks at the beginning. Some of her skill tricks are more or less helpful with this depending on DM interpretation (though seriously, if anything should be allowed to attack and tumble in mid-jump it's probably this thing.) In any case, if she can get her hands on some sort of powerful speed item or buff that will be pretty helpful in getting all her attacks off, especially when she has to climb around or something. Her speed problems are reduced at level 20 when Speed of Thought finally makes its appearance, bringing her unmagical speed to 65 with its conveniently stacking insight bonus. Properly executed, a thousand cuts has the potential to deal over 500 damage.

    We come into some open but heavily restricted skill points towards the end here, and I've decided to invest them in Jump, just because you never know when you're going to have to Jump across a 15 square chasm in an antimagic field. Her vertical leap of over 15 feet should let her make some good use of her skill tricks, and is just generally an appropriate thing for this character to have.

    ECL 20 (No magic gear):
    Full Attack 4 Masterwork Scimitars +28/+28/+28/+28/+23/+23/+23/+23/+18/+13, 1 Bite +23
    Attack: Masterwork Scimitar +30, 1d6+(4d6)+11 18-20x2 (Spring Attack)
    Masterwork Scimitars: 1d6+(4d6)+11/8
    Bite: 1d4+(4d6)+8
    Skirmish: +4d6/+2 AC
    AC: 24=10+3dex+3der+3nat+5armor
    Init: +6 | Fort: +10 | Reflex: +20 | Will: +13
    Climb +19*, Disable Device +14, Jump +65*, Perform Dance +20*, Search +14, Spot +15, Survival +13, Tumble +27*
    Speed 65, Climb 30, Darkvision 60 (Starred Skills can Take 10)


    Useful Equipment
    Spoiler
    Show

    None of the following is at all necessary for the build to function, but merely a quick sampling of some things you should be aware of.

    Offensively, you can't deal your precision damage to Undeads or Constructs and will often have difficulties with DR due to your many small attacks. For this reason, assembling collections of Greater Truedeath and Demolition Crystals (10,000 and 6,000 respectively, MiC) to overcome these problems is important, though you should priotize depending on campaign because it can be an expensive habit to maintain.

    You have a great deal more freedom with Weapon Enhancements themselves, though you should try to get some actual raw enhancement bonus in some way for hitting and static damage (either through buffs or a truly enchanted weapon). Brilliant Energy as always is very tempting but it is quite expensive and exacerbates your problems with Undeads and Constructs. On the other claw, Keen synergizes well with Scimitars and is fairly cheap. You may also wish to be aware of Parrying, Warning, Dispelling, Vampiric, (all MiC). Defending (gimping one out of four weapons to defend) and Speed (though eventually you have too many attacks to use anyway) from the DMG may also be of interest at certain points in your career. The various energy damage enchantments are enticing but large theoretical numbers can become quite small when faced with even token energy resistance.

    On the Defensive side, you have fair AC and saves to work with and the relevant stat items along with a resistance bonus to saves and an enhancement bonus to AC will do a world of good. As for specific armors, Speed (+6,000, Swift Haste 3/day, MiC) is probably something you want tacked on for movement if nothing else, and Freedom (+5, FoM, MiC) is expensive but very useful (because when you can't move, you can't really full attack). You will definitely want a Ring of Evasion if you can get one to exploit your good reflex save.

    A continous Collar of Umbral Metamorphisis (22,000 ToM), is an especially useful item for you as it provides untyped extra speed. Of course, the HIPS and stealth bonuses are great too. Obviously a Belt of Battle is a wonderful item for you just like most other people, giving you an extra full attack once per day (if used on the same round as your Dervish Dance, this is an especially fearsome Nova). In general with the rest of your gear try to go after effects which can give you extra move to get your attacks off with, and otherwise make generally good decisions.


    Adaption
    Spoiler
    Show

    The build presented uses the EPH Thri-Kreen with no LA buyoff, which would net you 2 HD if you got it. Similarly, if you can convince your DM to allow the MM2/SS non-Psionic Thri-Kreen you only suffer an LA of +1. If you manage to earn yourself two HD, it might be worthwhile going Scout 8 instead of Scout 4/Ranger 2 (though you may want to delay the last couple Scout levels). You could also add in some ToB or Incarnum onto the end of the build that way (though you provoke multiclassing penalties), taking advantage especially of ToB's late entry perks.

    Featwise, you should remember that nonpsionic Thrikreen are unable to take Speed of Thought. Also on the speed front, if you anticipate being able to exploit various large boosts to speed from magic, you might consider improving your dex to 19 for Greater Multiweapon Fighting (though you probably can make this dex improvement with magic as well). If your DM allows traits, you very much want Quick for the untyped speed boost.


    Sources
    Spoiler
    Show

    PHB, EPH (Thri-Kreen, Speed of Thought), CA (Scout), CW (Dervish), CS (Swift Hunter, Improved Skirmish, Skill Tricks), MM/SRD (Multiweapon Fighting feats), PHB2 (Dungeon Spec Scout)
    Last edited by Private-Prinny; 2011-07-17 at 07:25 PM.

  13. - Top - End - #103
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Private-Prinny's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XXII

    Dancing around with a nocked arrow in your bow. Somehow, it works.
    Quote Originally Posted by Avander
    Avander Shellivathan
    Archer Dervish and Exemplar of Chaos

    General Information:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Avander Shellivathan, CN Male Duskling, Medium Fey

    32 Point Buy-
    Str: 8
    Dex: 16
    Con: 18 (16 base + 2 racial)
    Int: 13 (15 base +2 racial)
    Wis: 12
    Cha: 8

    Stats at Level 20-
    Str: 8
    Dex: 20
    Con: 18
    Int: 14
    Wis: 12
    Cha: 8


    Build:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Avander Shellivathan
    {table=head]Level|Class|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Skills|Feats|Class Features

    1st|Incarnate 1|
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |Concentration +4, Knowledge (Arcana) +4, Knowledge (Religion) +4|Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Yuan-Ti Serpent Bow)| Aura of Chaos, Detect Law

    2nd|Incarnate 2|
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |Knowledge (Religion) +4| |Chakra Bind (Crown)

    3rd|Fighter 1|
    +2
    |
    +5
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |Tumble +4, Jump +1|Weapon Focus (Yuan-Ti Serpent Bow), Combat Expertise|Hit-and-Run Tactics

    4th|Fighter 2|
    +3
    |
    +6
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |Tumble +1, Perform (Dance) +1/2, Jump +1|Expeditious Dodge|

    5th|Ranger 1|
    +4
    |
    +8
    |
    +2
    |
    +3
    |Tumble +1, Perform (Dance) +1/2, Hide +1, Move Silently +1, Spot +1, Listen +1, Jump +1| Track|Favored Enemy (Monstrous Humanoid), Wild Empathy

    6th|Ranger 2|
    +5
    |
    +9
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |Perform (Dance) +2, Spot +1, Listen +1, Jump +1|Rapid Shot, Mobility |

    7th|Fighter 3|
    +6/+1
    |
    +9
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |Tumble +1, Spot +1/2, Jump +1| |

    8th|Fighter 4|
    +7/+2
    |
    +10
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |Tumble +1, Spot +1/2, Jump +1| Weapon Focus (Yuan-Ti Serpent Bow)|

    9th|Dervish 1|
    +8/+3
    |
    +10
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |Perform (Dance) +1, Listen +1, Balance +1, Tumble +1, Jump +1|Point-Blank Shot |Dervish Dance 1/day, Movement Mastery, Slashing Blades, AC Bonus

    10th|Dervish 2|
    +9/+4
    |
    +10
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |Perform (Dance) +1, Listen +1, Balance +1, Tumble +1, Jump +1| |Fast Movement

    11th|Dervish 3|
    +10/+5
    |
    +11
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |Perform (Dance) +1, Listen +1, Balance +1, Tumble +1, Jump +1|Spring Attack |Dervish Dance 2/day

    12th|Dervish 4|
    +11/+6/+1
    |
    +11
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |Perform (Dance) +1, Listen +1, Balance +1, Tumble +1, Jump +1|Precise Shot|Dance of Death

    13th|Dervish 5|
    +12/+7/+2
    |
    +11
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |Perform (Dance) +1, Listen +1, Balance +1, Tumble +1, Jump +1| | Dervish Dance 3/day

    14th|Dervish 6|
    +13/+8/+3
    |
    +12
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    |Perform (Dance) +1, Listen +1, Balance +1, Tumble +1, Jump +1| | Improved Reaction

    15th|Dervish 7|
    +14/+9/+4
    |
    +12
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    |Perform (Dance) +1, Listen +1, Balance +1, Tumble +1, Jump +1|Woodland Archer|Elaborate Parry, Dervish Dance 4/day

    16th|Dervish 8|
    +15/+10/+5
    |
    +12
    |
    +10
    |
    +10
    |Perform (Dance) +1, Listen +1, Balance +1, Tumble +1, Jump +1| |

    17th|Dervish 9|
    +16/+11/+6/+1
    |
    +13
    |
    +10
    |
    +10
    |Perform (Dance) +1, Listen +1, Balance +1, Tumble +1, Jump +1| |Tireless Dance, Dervish Dance 5/day

    18th|Dervish 10|
    +17/+12/+7/+2
    |
    +13
    |
    +11
    |
    +11
    |Perform (Dance) +1, Listen +1, Balance +1, Tumble +1, Jump +1|Improved Critical (Yuan-Ti Serpent Bow) |A Thousand Cuts

    19th|Incarnate 3|
    +17/+12/+7/+2
    |
    +13
    |
    +12
    |
    +11
    |Spot +1/2, Tumble +1/2, Knowledge (Arcana) +1| |Expanded Soulmeld Capacity +1, Incarnum Radiance 1/day

    20th|Incarnate 4|
    +18/+13/+8/+3
    |
    +14
    |
    +12
    |
    +12
    |Spot +1/2, Tumble +1/2, Knowledge (Arcana)| |Chakra Bind (Hands & Feet)[/table]

    {table]Essentia|5
    Chakra Binds|1
    Soulmelds|4[/table]

    Build Explanation:
    Spoiler
    Show
    This was an attempt to do something I believed could not work. An Archer Dervish. Avander uses the Yuan-Ti Serpent Bow, a bow the basically has a short sword attached to it, therefore, it counts as a "slashing melee weapon" for the purpose of qualifying for dervish. For being able to use Dervish Dance at range, which requires a "slashing weapon" (not a melee slashing weapon, by the way), I use Serpentstongue ammunition, which is both piercing and slashing. This build is very feat intensive, but very fun. Note: I did not build this character to be uber powerful, I just found the idea interesting. (i.e. I'm not expecting high marks in Power)


    Wanted Equipment:
    Spoiler
    Show
    +3 Splitting Speed Seeking Yuan-Ti Serpent Bow
    Gloves of Dexterity +6
    +1 Mithral Shirt
    Greater Bracers of Archery
    Amulet of Health +4
    Vest of Resistance +3
    Ring of Invisibility
    Ring of Freedom of Movement
    Phoenix Cloak
    Dwarvencraft Yuan-Ti Serpent Bow (Backup)
    100 Serpentstongue Arrows


    Level Showcase:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Level 9: This is Avander's first level of Dervish. He has decent enough AC, decent hit points, good attack bonus, and decent damage. He won't be the primary damage dealer of the party, but more of a secondary everything, but hey, that's Incarnates for you.

    Level 15: Avander now has the feats to spare to start focusing on archery to its fullest, so he picked up Precise Shot and Woodland Archer. He is a nice scout, and holds a good place in a balanced party.


    Sources:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Complete Warrior: Dervish
    Magic of Incarnum: Duskling and Incarnate
    Secrets of Xen'drik: Yuan-Ti Serpent Bow
    Races of the Wild: Expeditious Dodge and Woodland Archer
    Last edited by Private-Prinny; 2011-07-17 at 07:25 PM.

  14. - Top - End - #104
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Private-Prinny's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XXII

    Note to self: Do not anger gypsies.
    Quote Originally Posted by Weylin
    The woeful tale of Weylin
    Spoiler
    Show

    Their tale is remembered in dance, as is the custom of all great tales of the clan, in memory of him. It is the tale of two men and one woman, a tale of jealousy, treachery, betrayal and murder. It is a tale of a woman left to grieve her lover's loss, but not left alone. That woman had a daughter, and that daughter founded a clan, and that clan was known far and wide for their mastery of dance. Almost none knew of their mastery of the blade, another skill that they took up in honor of that lost ancestor.

    Generations passed, and both greatness and tragedy came to the clan. Tragedy was the order of the day when Weylin was conceived, for the a of orcs had overrun the camp of the gypsie daughters. The battle lasted for hours, and the chief of the orcs had begun celebrating his victory early - with the daughter of the matriarch. Eventually, the clan won the day, but not without much loss of life and honor.

    As if to mock the entire clan, a son was born nine months later, the first male child in an unbroken chain from the founding daughter of the clan, the first son of the man known as Paimon in untold years. He had inhereted his father's look and strength, but still he was treated as a member of the clan. Though kept on the outskirts, hidden in the shadows, he was taught the ancient secrets and the great mysteries, the sacred dances and the forbidden seal.

    Still tragedy followed the clan, as soon after a king of an elven nation called the surviving gypsies to dance for him, promising great wealth in return. The gypsies danced, all save the Matriarch of the clan, who was too old and looked after the young child Weylin. The dancers were breathtaking in their beauty, and the king demanded that they join his harem. The clan refused, and demanded the payment promised. The king in turn transformed into a green dragon - his true form - and slew every dancer, claiming that if he could not have such beauty, no one would.

    The Matriarch fled and escaped with the child, for the dragon cared little for the old woman or the ugly child. She was the last living member of the clan, and her hatred for the creature that had slaughtered her daughters and nieces knew no bounds. She raised Weylin to the ways of the dance, she taught him the darkest secrets of the clan, and the ways of the sword, and having him swear vengeance upon his clan's destroyer.

    Gypsies have a very strong sense of revenge - they will not merely kill you when seeking revenge. They will seek to do as much harm to you as was done to them, and then perhaps a bit more. Weylin grew up learning to be a true gypsie - he knew that in time he would not just be asked to kill the green dragon that had nearly destroyed the clan - he would kill that dragon's parents and children, and aunts, uncles, cousins... Perhaps it would be simpler just to kill every green dragon in the world. Such was his oaths of revenge and desire to see justice done to the evil dragons of the world that Bahamut himself blessed Weylin with the gift of flight.

    And so, armed with skill in dance, the gypsie's flaming blade style and the secrets that would one day allow him to contact the otherworldly spirit of his ancestor Paimon, Weylin set forth on his great quest for vengeance.


    Weylin, Dragonlord of the Dance
    Spoiler
    Show

    Race: Dragonborn (Wings) Half-Orc
    Alignment: Lawful Neutral
    Attributes: Str 18(16), Dex 13(15), Con 14(12), Int 10(12), Wis 14(14), Cha 6(8)
    {table=head]Level|Class|BAB|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Skills|Feats|Class Features
    01|Swordsage|+0|+0|+2|+2|Hide 4, MS 4, Jump 4, Perform (Dance) 2, Tumble 4, Balance 4|Desert Wind Dodge|Quick to Act +1, discipline focus (Weapon Focus)
    02|Binder|+0|+2|+2|+4|Intimidate 2||Soul Binding
    03|Binder|+1|+3|+2|+5|Intimidate 4|Combat Reflexes|Pact Augmentation (1 ability), suppress sign
    04|Swordsage|+2|+3|+3|+6|Perform (Dance) 3, Hide 6, MS 6||AC Bonus, +1 Dex
    05|Swordsage|+3|+4|+3|+6|Hide 8, MS 8, Balance 5, Tumble 5||
    06|Binder|+4|+4|+4|+6|Sense Motive 2|Mobility|
    07|Binder|+5|+5|+4|+7|Sense Motive 4|Improved Binding|Bonus Feat
    08|Dervish|+6|+5|+6|+9|Tumble 6, Perform (Dance) 6||Dervish dance 1/day, movement mastery, slashing blades, +1 Str
    09|Dervish|+7|+5|+7|+10|Perform (Dance) 10|Power Attack|Fast movement +5 ft.
    10|Dervish|+8|+6|+7|+10|Perform (Dance) 13, Tumble 7||Spring Attack, dervish dance 2/day
    11|Dervish|+9|+6|+8|+11|Perform (Dance) 14, Tumble 10||Dance of death
    12|Dervish|+10|+6|+8|+11|Perform (Dance) 15, Tumble 13|Adaptive Style|Fast movement +10 ft., dervish dance 3/day
    13|Dervish|+11|+7|+9|+12|Perform (Dance) 16, Tumble 16||Improved reaction
    14|Dervish|+12|+7|+9|+12|Perform (Dance) 17, Tumble 17, Intimidate 5||Elaborate parry, dervish dance 4/day, +1 Str
    15|Dervish|+13|+7|+10|+13|Perform (Dance) 18, Tumble 18, Sense Motive 5|Robilar's Gambit|Fast movement +15 ft.
    16|Dervish|+14|+8|+10|+13|Perform(Dance) 19, Tumble 19, Jump 6||Tireless dance, dervish dance 5/day
    17|Dervish|+15|+8|+11|+14|Perform(Dance) 20, Jump 9||A thousand cuts, +1 Str
    18|Swordsage|+16|+8|+15|+15|Hide 11, MS 11|Martial Stance|Discipline Focus (Insightful Strike)
    19|Shadowdancer|+16|+8|+17|+15|Perform (Dance) 22, Hide 13, MS 13||Hide in plain sight
    20|Shadowdancer|+17|+8|+18|+15|Hide 16, MS 16||Evasion, darkvision, uncanny dodge, +1 Str[/table]

    Maneuvers:
    Spoiler
    Show

    1: Blistering Flourish, Burning Blade, Wind Stride, Sudden Leap, Counter Charge, Shadow Blade Technique, Flame's Blessing
    4: Flashing Sun, Step of the Wind
    5: Mountain Hammer
    18: Blistering Flourish, Ring of Fire, Desert Tempest, Fiery Assault

    The Secret Ingredient:
    Spoiler
    Show

    The Requirements - Some might considder Dodge and Mobility to be wasted feats, but in this build they're opportunities. Dodge is often considdered a horrible feat, and as such the build does away with the standard dodge and take the desert wind version. Desert Wind dodge is very nice for us because it will pretty much always apply while we're dancing, and since our weapon of choice is the falchion, it also means +1 damage. So we've already started on the path to mobility-fighter. Which brings up the mobility feat - at low levels mobility may be a less than ideal feat choice, but by the time we pick up Robilar's Gambit, it will be a key piece in our primary fighting style. Combat Reflexes is a better than average feat by itself, and is the basis of our early-level fighting style. The weapon focus requirement is easily met by our first level of swordsage - even if we didn't take desert wind as chosen discipline, most of the others include a slashing weapon. Our skill requirements are also both doing (at least) triple duty - Perform(dance) ranks are required for entry into shadowdancer (along with dodge, mobility and combat reflexes, it made entry into that PrC an absolute cinch) while also determining the length of our dervish dance, while tumble is not only used in combat but also giving us fire resistence through Flame's Blessing.
    Enhanced AC - While +3 over 10 levels may not seem like a lot, this armor bonus exactly makes up for the difference in AC between a mithril breastplate and full plate. The fact that we're getting wisdom to AC on top of that, a much higher dex bonus to AC, and extra AC from other sources like DW Dodge and Mobility, means that our AC is easily beating out any equal-level opponents. This is really important to us, because as a mobility fighter, one of our jobs is to soak up AoOs. See level 15 tactics below.
    Dervish dance - The Dervish's dance is as important to them as rage to a barbarian, but in point of fact it's far more versatile. You get the same +2 attack and damage by 3rd level (up to +5 at 9th level) while also getting pounce (or a near equivalent), and no reduction in AC.
    Movement Mastery - If I'd been designing the class, this would have been an 'ignore difficult terrain' class ability. As it stands, however, you simply get expertise in a few pre-selected skills. However, between our early martial stances, we have both a reason to keep Tumble high and a means of ignoring difficult terrain, meaning we not only make the most out of this feat, but also have 'movement' mastered far beyond what other dervishes manage.
    Slashing Blades - This one actually goes counter to the purpose of the build - which is to power attack for lots during a dervish dance. Fortunately, our favored weapon is the Falchion, so it also doesn't really hinder the build.
    Fast movement - An increasing enhancement bonus to speed? Awesome. Not only does this enhance our dervish dance, but it also allows us to get more attacks during a dance of death. And once we finally get Ring of Fire, the +30' movement over two moves will increase the possible area we can engulf in flames by quite a bit.
    Spring Attack - This at least allows us to maintain our status as 'mobility fighter' while not dervish dancing or using Paimon's dance of death.
    Dance of death - Not to be confused with the even more useful ability granted by Paimon, this allows us to cleave while DD is active. While we cannot apply these extra cleave attacks during an actual dance of death, at least we now have
    Improved reaction - It's an untyped initiative bonus. It stacks with the Swordsage init bonus. What's not to like? Once we get this, it makes sense to permanently settle our Pact Augmentation as a +2 init bonus as well, giving us a total of 5+dex bonus to initiative, plus any bonuses from gear and spells.
    Elaborate parry - This is just another form of AC buff, for a -4 penalty to attacks. By this level, we've got so many bonuses to hit that we can just count it as an effective +6 to AC (+4 from elaborate parry and +2 from fighting defensively). See the equipment section for a full breakdown of AC bonuses.
    Tireless dance - While a fight probably isn't going to last more than the 11 rounds you get to dance by this point, it's still nice not to tire yourself out anymore.
    A thousand cuts - Now this is a nice capstone. This is the ability you use when cutting a swath through the 1000 Orc army. And doubling up your damage against a boss on the first round of combat is never a bad thing.

    Tactics:
    Spoiler
    Show

    Levels 1-6: At lower levels, you're a bit of an odd duck. As a Binder/Swordsage, you're going to be a bit of an odd duck. On the swordsage side, you've got a fair selection of strikes, boosts, stances and counters that should do well in most situations, while on the binder side you've got your choice of first level vestiges and your choice of pact augmentation (probably DR 1/- or +2 init, though resist 5 to an element you're probably going to run into is a good choice if you've got fore-warning) which makes you very versatile. By 6th level, you've also picked up the ability to fly for short periods and 2nd level vestiges. Until you've built up some decent HP, your primary combat style is going to involve a reach weapon (probably a guisarme) and spiked armor, using your combat reflexes and swordsage strikes to give you significant battlefield control.
    Levels 7-14: By 7th level, you're a dervish in everything but name. Dropping all other tactics, once you take Improved bind vestige as your 4th level binder feat, you can bind Paimon, and that's what you're built to do. The +4 dex gets you +2 AC, +2 init, and +2 AoOs. The +4 bonus to tumble will be useful while the +4 bonus to perform (dance) may actually be relevant on more than one occasion. The two gems, though, are the Dance of Death and Whirlwind attack. The Dance of death is obvious - even before getting into the Dervish prestige class, you're getting an ability that rivals the Dervish dance. But since you can only use it every 5 rounds, you're not going to be getting this trick off more than two times in most combats, and it's fairly useless against single targets. So instead you'll be using your dervish dance, combined with swordsage maneuvers and normal attacks most of the time. However, one thing that really shines after you get into dervish is Whirlwind attack - since your dervish dance allows you to make a full attack action during the course of your movement, you can now use whirlwind attack as though it were a standard action maneuver - move to the target square, whirlwind attack, and then move away. You can only make that one attack, but it's still so far superior to any other use of the feat that it actually becomes a viable tactic once more. As for dealing with attacks of opportunity from all this traipsing around the battlefield? Your AC by this point should be quite high (see equipment section below).
    Level 15-17: Level 15 is when you pick up Robilar's Gambit, and once again your fighting style changes. No longer do you disregard attacks of opportunity - now you seek them out. Mobility makes up for the difference in AC that you're giving up to use Robilar's Gambit, but now every time an opponent takes a swipe at you during your turn, you get an extra attack! Nothing in the rules prevents you from taking an attack of opportunity DURING YOUR OWN TURN - indeed, it's explicitly allowed:
    Quote Originally Posted by SRD
    An attack of opportunity "interrupts" the normal flow of actions in the round. If an attack of opportunity is provoked, immediately resolve the attack of opportunity, then continue with the next character’s turn (or complete the current turn, if the attack of opportunity was provoked in the midst of a character’s turn).
    This is the trick that kicks two-weapon fighting in the teeth, because every single extra attack you get this way is at your highest attack bonus. You only get a number equal to your dex modifier, but at this level that should be at least +7 (1 base +2 from 14 dex +2 from paimon +2 or more from magic). This means that even without dervish dance active, you can move 45', use spring attack to make a single standard attack (or standard action strike), and still make more than twice as many attacks as you'd normally be able to simply by provoking 6 AoOs - all at full power attack with your 2 handed weapon! Oh, and since Whirlwind Attack only precludes attacks granted by spells, feats and abilities (Robilar's Gambit does not grant attacks, it causes attackers to provoke AoOs), you can now make your full complement of 7+ attacks in a round and stop in the middle to do a whirlwind attack! THIS is what being a mobility fighter really means! By level 17, you've attained the Dervish capstone, meaning that by this point you're raining death upon the masses, or choping single targets down like a woodsman takes down inconvenient trees. Seriously, you don't need to be a dual-wielder or a flurrying monk to get a massive number of attacks - two handed power attacking for 16 (+32 damage!) 15+ times a round, with a keen falchion - that really ought to be enough for anyone.
    Level 18+: You are a creature or fear and destruction. You drive your foes before you, destroying them as they are far too terrified to attack you. Even if they do try, you've now got Improved uncanny dodge (from Paimon by way of Shadowdancer) and evasion. Your stealth has shot up to respectable levels, and thanks to hide in plain sight, you're better than invisible (since everything can see invisibility by this level). Most importantly, you've got a couple of new moves. Desert tempest is much like Paimon's Dance of death, except that there is no restriction preventing you from using Robilar's Gambit against enemies as you move past them (thus allowing you to make 2 attacks against most enemies). Ring of fire, meanwhile, allows you to make a double move, taking and making AoOs the entire way, before blasting anyone you've circled around fully with 12d6 fire damage! Oh, and now every attack you make (including things like that ring of fire) deals an extra d6 of fire damage, thanks to the fiery assault stance!

    Equipment:
    Spoiler
    Show

    Early equipment should include a masterwork falchion, a reach weapon and spiked light armor. Swapping between the falchion and the reach weapon allows for some combat versatility.
    Soon after, investments into cheap, stacking AC boosters (including +2 dex and +2 wis items) and a Keen upgrade to the falchion should be the priority at lower levels. Boots of speed are the first significant purchase.
    At higher levels, upgrading the Falchion further (+3 keen flaming burst brilliant energy falchion being the final goal), getting +6 stat items for Str and Wis, +4 for Dex and Con, +5 cloak or resistence, +5 ring of protection, +5 Mithril Breastplate of Nimbleness (increased max dex bonus), +5 amulet of natural armor, Eternal Wand of Shield (+4 shield bonus to AC),
    Expected AC by 15th level: 10 +6 (dex) +5 (armor) +3 (enhancement) +2 (deflection) +2 (natural armor) +4 (wisdom) +2 (class) +1 (DW Dodge) +4 (shield, from spell) +6 (defensive fighting) -4 (robilar's gambit) +4* (mobility) = 45 (41 during opponent's turn)
    Expected AC by 20th level: 10 +6 (dex) +5 (armor) +5 (enhancement) +5 (defleciton) +5 (natural armor) +4 (wisdom) +3 (class) +1 (DW Dodge) +4 (shield, from spell) -4 (robilar's gambit) +6 (fighting defensively) +4 (mobility) = 54 (50 during opponent's turn)
    This can be raised by using a tome to increase wisdom and through custom magic items, or reduced if you don't want to spend half your money on AC boosting magic items.

    Adaptations and Enhancements:
    Spoiler
    Show

    There's plenty of wiggle room for changes to this build. Dragonborn is by no means a necessary part of the build, Half-Orc could easily be replaced by another race (indeed, the first version of this build involved a Water Orc). And if LA buyoff is allowed, there are a number of excellent templates and/or LA races that would make this an even more interesting build - in particular, any large race, which would naturally have reach, makes this entire build significantly better.
    If flaws are allowed, both Adaptive Style and Combat Reflexes should be moved up to 1st level feats. In their place, I suggest Sand Dancer (free-action 1 round blinding effect to target of next melee attack after tumbling on sand or similar material, 10+1/2 HD + wis fort save to negate) and Sand Spinner (free action whirlwind attack version of Sand Dancer) from Sandstorm.

    Sources:
    Spoiler
    Show

    Tome of Battle - Swordsage, Desert Wind Dodge, Scorching Sirocco, Martial Stance, all maneuvers & stances
    Tome of Magic - Binder, Improved Binding, Paimon
    Complete Warrior - Dervish
    PHBII - Robilar's Gambit
    Dragon Magic - Dragonborn
    Magic Item Compendium - the Nimbleness enhancement
    SRD - Everything else
    Last edited by Private-Prinny; 2011-07-17 at 07:25 PM.

  15. - Top - End - #105
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Private-Prinny's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XXII

    "Cutting-cutting, how you kill me. Uh-huh, cutting-cutting."
    Quote Originally Posted by Savanakri
    "You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life
    See that girl, watch that scene, dig in the dancing queen"


    Sanavakri, the Dancing Kalashtar
    Kalashtar Warblade 1/Psychic Warrior 2/Warblade +3/Dervish 10/Warblade +4

    The Story
    Spoiler
    Show
    "Far-day night under Dal Quor's glow
    Looking out for the place to go
    Where they oppress your people, dominate and worry
    You come to hunt the Quori
    Anybody could be possessed
    But you are young and you'll pass the test
    With a bit of psionics, everything is fine
    You're in the mood for a dance
    And when you get the chance..."


    Sanavakri had trained long for this day. Long hours in the dojo, perfecting her mind and body. Long hours learning the ancient art of sheshan talarash dasyannah, the secret dances of her people.

    Now she stood cornered, a monstrous Quori looming over her. The creature's form roiled, anticipating the fear to come.

    "Any last requests?"

    "Just one," replied Sanavakri. "A beat."

    Then she began to hum. And then to dance. And then, with a fluidity that would shame the finest of Sharn's concert halls, to kill.


    The Build
    Spoiler
    Show
    "You are the dancing queen, deadly sweet, with an iron sheen
    Dancing queen, feel the rush of the falchion's gleam
    You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life
    See that girl, watch that scene, dig in the dancing queen"


    Sanavakri

    Starting Ability Scores: Str 16, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 14, Wis 12, Cha 8, Levelup points go to Str

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

    1st|Warblade 1|
    +1
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |Balance 4, Concentration 4, Jump 4, Knowledge(history) 4, Tumble 4, Perform(dance) 2|Power Attack|Maneuvers, Battle Clarity, Weapon Aptitude

    2nd|Psychic Warrior 1|
    +1
    |
    +4
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |Autohypnosis +2, Concentration +1, Jump +1|Dodge|Manifesting

    3rd|Psychic Warrior 2|
    +2
    |
    +5
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |Autohypnosis +2, Concentration +1, Jump +1|Mobility|

    4th|Warblade 2|
    +3
    |
    +6
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |Balance +1, Jump +1, Tumble +2, Peform(dance) +1||Uncanny Dodge

    5th|Warblade 3|
    +4
    |
    +6
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |Concentration +2, Jump +1, Knowledge(history) +1, Tumble +2||Battle Ardor

    6th|Warblade 4|
    +5
    |
    +7
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |Concentration +1, Jump +1, Knowledge(history) +3, Tumble +1|Combat Expertise, Weapon Focus(Falchion)|

    7th|Dervish 1|
    +6
    |
    +7
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |Jump +1, Tumble +1, Perform(dance) +4||AC Bonus, Dervish Dance 1/day, Movement Mastery, Slashing Blades

    8th|Dervish 2|
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |Jump +1, Tumble +1, Perform(dance) +4||Fast Movement +5ft

    9th|Dervish 3|
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |Jump +1, Listen +3, Tumble +1, Perform(dance) +1|Path of Shadows, Spring Attack(B)|Dervish Dance 2/day

    10th|Dervish 4|
    +9
    |
    +8
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |Jump +1, Listen +3, Tumble +1, Perform(dance) +1||Dance of Death

    11th|Dervish 5|
    +10
    |
    +8
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |Jump +1, Listen +3, Tumble +1, Perform(dance) +1||Fast Movement +10ft, Dervish Dance 3/day

    12th|Dervish 6|
    +11
    |
    +9
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |Jump +1, Listen +3, Tumble +1, Perform(dance) +1|Dancing With Shadows|Improved Reaction

    13th|Dervish 7|
    +12
    |
    +9
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |Jump +1, Listen +3, Tumble +1, Perform(dance) +1||Elaborate Parry, Dervish Dance 4/day

    14th|Dervish 8|
    +13
    |
    +9
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |Balance +1, Jump +1, Listen +2, Tumble +1, Perform(dance) +1||Fast Movement +15ft

    15th|Dervish 9|
    +14
    |
    +10
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |Autohypnosis +1, Jump +1, Listen +1, Tumble +1, Perform(dance) +1|Improved Combat Expertise|Tireless Dance, Dervish Dance 5/day

    16th|Dervish 10|
    +15
    |
    +10
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |Autohypnosis +1, Jump +1, Listen +1, Tumble +1, Perform(dance) +1||A Thousand Cuts

    17th|Warblade 5|
    +16
    |
    +10
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |Jump +1, Listen +1, Tumble +1, Perform(dance) +1|IronHeart Aura(B)|

    18th|Warblade 6|
    +17
    |
    +11
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    |Jump +1, Listen +1, Tumble +1, Perform(dance) +1|Stormguard Warrior|Improved Uncanny Dodge

    19th|Warblade 7|
    +18
    |
    +11
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    |Jump +1, Listen +1, Tumble +1, Perform(dance) +1||Battle Cunning

    20th|Warblade 8|
    +19
    |
    +12
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    |Jump +1, Listen +1, Tumble +1, Perform(dance) +1||[/table]

    Psionics
    {table=head]Level|Power Points|New Powers Known

    2nd|2|Adrenaline Boost
    3rd|4|Defensive Precognition
    [/table]
    *Power Points are listed without bonus power points from high Wis. After this table, Power Points increase by one every level.

    Maneuvers
    {table=head]Level|Maneuvers Readied|New Maneuvers Known|Stances Known

    1st|3|Moment of Perfect Mind, Steely Strike, Steel Wind|Punishing Stance
    4th|3|Claw at the Moon|
    5th|3|Sudden Leap|
    6th|4|Trade Steely Strike for Iron Heart Surge|Blood in the Water
    17th|4|Dancing Mongoose|
    18th|4|Trade Steel Wind for Manticore Parry|
    19th|4|Swooping Dragon Strike|
    20th|4|Trade Moment of Perfect Mind for Finishing Move|
    [/table]


    Build Explanation and Tactics
    Spoiler
    Show
    "You've got expertise with that blade you swing
    Huddle up and then do your thing
    Looking for an opening, a chance to strike
    You're in the mood for a dance
    And when you get the chance..."


    Sanavakri is, first and foremost, a dancer. While she doesn't have Perform(dance) as a class skill for the first six levels of her life, she has enough skill points to spare the cross-class ranks to qualify while still getting a useful set of skills, including Tumble and Autohypnosis.

    Sanavakri's fluidity as a dancer manifests early on in her career, as she picks up both Power Attack and Combat Expertise, letting her sacrifice attack bonus for either damage with her two-handed Falchion, or AC. Her early feats for the most part give minor but useful bonuses. Psychic Warrior levels give her two handy buffs, while her Kalashtar race and passable Wisdom give her the power points to use them. Her maneuvers give her some damage, some mobility, and some protection from negative effects, while Punishing Stance and Blood in the Water are both good offensive options, with the latter likely to trigger during a long combat, given her preferred weapon.

    She enters Dervish only a level later than minimum with almost full BAB. As a Dervish dancing becomes an even more vital part of her life, and she starts preferentially putting ranks in Perform(dance) instead of Concentration, a choice which will pay off in a few levels. The Dervish's AC bonus is handy, as is its Fast Movement, and while Slashing Blades goes unused, Movement Mastery proves very useful. Not only does it allow her to take 10 on Tumble, a key skill in combat, but also Jump, used for some of her Tiger Claw maneuvers, and Perform(dance), which in a few levels she will have unique incentive to use in combat.

    Despite having fewer attacks than a TWFer, Sanavakri still enjoys the superior pounce-like benefits of Dervish Dance, and the accuracy bonuses help her Power Attack or use Combat Expertise with less risk. With limited times per day, it's not good to rely on Dervish Dance for mobility, but in Sanavakri's case she has a backup when outside of Dervish Dance in the form of standard action strikes.

    Spring Attack serves as a mini-dance for occasions when such becomes necessary, but the real gem of ninth level is Path of Shadows, which finally gives Sanavakri a use for the Perform(dance) part of Movement Mastery. Ancient Kalashtar traditions let her use Perform(dance) instead of Concentration to manifest in combat, and the ability to take 10 makes it quite unlikely that she will fail, letting her use Defensive Precognition freely when threatened.

    Dance of Death is nice for groups of weak creatures, providing more utility than Steel Wind, which we trade out when next given a chance. Like any initiative boost, Improved Reaction is always handy.

    The sweet spot of the build is at 13th level, when Sanavakri has Dancing with Shadows and Elaborate Parry. Dancing with Shadows is a Kalashtar-only tactical feat from Races of Eberron that improves defensive figting and Combat Expertise. It has three abilities, two of which are relevant here, the first being Graceful Lunge: if Sanavakri fights defensively or uses Combat Expertise, the next round she may apply whatever dodge bonus she had as a bonus to her first attack roll in the next round. With Elaborate Parry she gets +6 to AC from fighting defensively, improved to +7 from Tumble, so that alone is a +7 bonus on her attack in the next round. With Combat Expertise this goes up to +12, which is equal to her BAB, letting her Power Attack for full comparatively risk-free, or to land a particularly difficult strike. The other signficant benefit of Dancing with Shadows, Lingering Defense, allows her to fight defensively or use Combat Expertise for two rounds, then in the third gain the same dodge bonus without taking attack penalties. If a fight is going to go for a long time this can be a very useful choice, as along with the AC bonus from being a Dervish this will result in an AC that remains somewhat meaningful at higher levels. Under some interpretations one can also fight defensively/use combat expertise while benefiting from this ability, racking up double the dodge bonus (potentially leading to double the to-hit in the next round with Graceful Lunge). Please check your DM for lactose intolerance before using this last though.

    Improved Combat Expertise extends the lifetime of this tactic while allowing even higher bonuses. In the meantime, Dervish Dance can be used almost every encounter, meaning +5 or so to hit is here to stay, making defensive tactics less painful.

    A Thousand Cuts is of course well regarded, but this build has an extra use for it. As the build caps off with Warblade levels, Stormguard Warrior appears. Of its benefits, Fight the Horde is nice when coupled with Sanavakri's mobility in Dervish Dance, but Combat Rhythm is the real prize.

    Sanavakri, you see, is a dancer. For her, combat is music, a powerful beat that drives her back and forth, this way and that. She flows with combat, like so: in one round, with Dervish Dance and/or A Thousand Cuts, she dances merrily out of her opponents' way, making dozens of jabs that fail to deal any damage, safe behind a +26 dodge bonus to AC. In the next round she turns, and with a Graceful Lunging Power Attack augmented by Combat Rhythm, the latter powered up by the previous round's double full attack worth of "love taps", she obliterates her foe. Sounds fun?

    The last few levels of Warblade cap things off with a few maneuvers to use in this final all-out attack, including Swooping Dragon Strike and Finishing Move, while Dancing Mongoose ultimately might add two attacks to her Thousand Cuts, with the proper interpretation.


    Equipment Wish List and Variants
    Spoiler
    Show
    Aside from the traditional ability score boosters (Sanavakri gets some use out of every ability score except Charisma, though she only really needs Str and Dex), Sanavakri would enjoy a Keen weapon, possibly with other on-crit properties. Anklets of Translocation are useful to any melee build, while Maneuver-granting items would be handy, in particular to give stances that the build was unable to pick up like Absolute Steel and Leaping Dragon Stance. A Torc of Power Preservation could help with augmenting the build's powers. Once you get a bonus to Dex from an item, consider getting a friend with Psychic Reformation to let you switch one of your powers for Expansion, since melee generally enjoys being Large when it doesn't entail losing Dodge and hence the Secret Ingredient.

    If you are particularly worried about multiclass penalties, switching a few levels of Warblade for Psychic Warrior shouldn't mess up the build too much.

    If Flaws and Traits are available, Cautious will increase your bonus when fighting defensively by an additional +1, increasing your Graceful Lunge accordingly. Similarly, using Oriental Adventures' rules for Tumble will next you an additional point of dodge bonus for level 12+. A level of Cleric opens up War Devotion, which lets you take less of a penalty and get more of a bonus from fighting defensively, and doesn't even take a swift action.

    With Flaws a more radical variant of the build opens up. If you take Bard instead of Psychic Warrior and Arcane Duelist instead of several levels of Warblade, you can gain the ability to trade damage for attack bonus, adding a further source of fluidity to an already fluid build. The Bard level will also let you benefit from Inspire Courage, which helps in rounds when you want to exploit the many attacks of Dervish Dance for something other than Stormguard Warrior.


    "You are the dancing queen, deadly sweet, with an iron sheen
    Dancing queen, feel the rush of the falchion's gleam
    You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life
    See that girl, watch that scene, dig in the dancing queen"


    Sources
    Spoiler
    Show
    Eberron Campaign Setting: Kalashtar
    Races of Eberron: Path of Shadows, Dancing with Shadows
    Expanded Psionics Handbook: Psychic Warrior
    Complete Psionic: Adrenaline Boost
    Complete Warrior: Dervish, Improved Combat Expertise
    Tome of Battle: Warblade, Ironheart Aura, Stormguard Warrior, some item suggestions
    Magic Item Compendium: Other item suggestions
    Unearthed Arcana/Complete Champion/Oriental Adventures/Web Article: Some variant suggestions
    Last edited by Private-Prinny; 2011-07-17 at 07:26 PM.

  16. - Top - End - #106
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Private-Prinny's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XXII

    He's a Thri-Kreen and he's okay. He kills all night and dances all day.
    Quote Originally Posted by Death of Xen'drik
    The Death of Xen'drik



    Exalt the Gods of Flesh
    Change is their Domain
    Life is their play thing

    The swarm spreads!
    The Dragon Prophets will fall
    And the Gate will be opened.

    Their blood will boil in their bodies.
    Stormreach will be the first to burn.

    Praise the Venomfire, Praise the Whip!
    These are the implements of gods!
    We will eat our enemies!

    Down with the Gate Keepers!
    Down with Rush'ame!
    Down with the Sul'lat!
    Down with the Umbargen!
    None can stand against the Daelkyr Lords.
    Or their loyal Dervishes


    -Death of Xen'Drik
    Cultist of the Dragon Below
    Sermon on the Coming Consumption of Stormreach


    Death is a member of a Thri-Keen cult of the Dragon Below and the Daelkyr Lords. His cult lives in one of the many deserts of Xen'Drik and fights against other Thri-Keen tribes, Drow, and Giants. In time it hopes to spread the influence of the Daelkyr across the continent, freeing the Daelkyr Lord that the Umbargen battle, and destroying the city of Stormreach, and any Gatekeepers anywhere.

    He first trained as a ranger focused on hunting the Orcish druids that are the traditional enemies of the Dragon Below cults. After a while he realized that there were more enemies then just druids, and began training as first a fighter, then as a traditional Thri-Keen Dervish. After completing his first Dervish Dance, his cult affixed him with four tentacle whips that he might spread the unholy Venomfire.

    After mastering the combat of space and maneuver as a Dervish, he mastered the combat of time as a Warblade. He works well in a party of like minded evil adventurers as a primary damage dealer.

    Anatomy of the Death
    Spoiler
    Show


    Lawful Evil Thri-Keen Ranger 3/Fighter 1/Dervish 10/Warblade 3

    The Death of Xen'Drik
    {table=head]Level|Class|Base Attack[br]Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Skills|Feats|Class Features

    1st|Level Adjustment 1|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |||

    2nd|Monstrous Humanoid 1|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |2 Tumb, 2 Perf, Jump 1|Combat Expertise|

    3rd|Monstrous Humanoid 2|
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |2.5 Tumb, 2 Perf, Jump 5||

    4th|Ranger 1|
    +3
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |
    +3
    |Perf 3, Tumb 3, Surv 5|Dodge|FE Orcs, Track, Wild Empathy

    5th|Ranger 2|
    +4
    |
    +3
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    |Surv 7, K Nature 3, K Geo 3|Multi-Weapon Fighting|

    6th|Ranger 3|
    +5
    |
    +3
    |
    +6
    |
    +4
    |Surv 8, K Nature 6, K Geo 6|Endurance|

    7th|Fighter 1|
    +6
    |
    +5
    |
    +6
    |
    +4
    |K. Planes 1, Jump 6|W Focus Claw, Mobility|

    8th|Dervish 1|
    +7
    |
    +5
    |
    +8
    |
    +6
    |Tumb 8||Dervish 1/Day, Movement Mas, AC+1

    9th|Dervish 2|
    +8
    |
    +5
    |
    +9
    |
    +7
    |Tumb 11, Bal 2||Fast Movement +5

    10th|Dervish 3|
    +9
    |
    +6
    |
    +9
    |
    +7
    |Tumb 12, Bal 5|Improved Multi-Weapon|Dervish 2/Day, Spring Attack

    11th|Dervish 4|
    +10
    |
    +6
    |
    +10
    |
    +8
    |Tumb 13, Bal 8||Dance of Death

    12th|Dervish 5|
    +11
    |
    +6
    |
    +10
    |
    +8
    |Tumb 14, Bal 9||Dervish 3/day FM+10, AC +2

    13th|Dervish 6|
    +12
    |
    +7
    |
    +11
    |
    +9
    |Tumb 15, Bal 10|Speed of Thought|Imp. Reaction

    14th|Dervish 7|
    +13
    |
    +7
    |
    +11
    |
    +9
    |Tumb 16, Bal 13||Elaborate Parry, Dervish 4/Day

    15th|Dervish 8l|
    +14
    |
    +7
    |
    +12
    |
    +10
    |Tumb 17, Bal 16|Greater Multi-Weapon|Fast Movement +15

    16th|Dervish 9|
    +15
    |
    +8
    |
    +12
    |
    +10
    |Tumb 18, Bal 18, Swim 1||Dervish 5/day, Tireless Dance, AC +3

    17th|Dervish 10|
    +16
    |
    +8
    |
    +13
    |
    +11
    |Tumb 19, Bal 19, K Arc 1, Swim 2||Thousand Cuts

    18th|Warblade 1|
    +17
    |
    +10
    |
    +13
    |
    +11
    |Tumb 20, Bal 20, K Local 1, K History 1, Jump 7||BC: Ref, Weapon Apt

    19th|Warblade 2|
    +18
    |
    +11
    |
    +13
    |
    +11
    |Tumb 21, Bal 21, Mart Lore 3|Multi-Attack|Uncanny Dodge

    20th|Warblade 3|
    +19
    |
    +11
    |
    +14
    |
    +12
    |Tumb 22, Bal 22, Mart lore 6||Battle Ardor (Crit)[/table]



    Maneuvers and Items:
    Spoiler
    Show

    Maneuvers:
    Leading the Attack
    Wolf Fang Strike
    White Raven Tactics
    Sudden Leap
    Dancing Mongoose

    Leaping Dragon Stance



    Tentacle Whip x4 Eberron Campaign Setting 300 (price in Magic of Eberron)
    Poison Fangs Graft - Serpent Kingdoms 155
    Wand of Venomfire or String of Prayer Beads and Orange Ioun Stone
    Venomfire - Serpant Kingdoms page 158

    Novice Crown of the White Raven (White Raven Tactics) - Tome of Battle 149
    Master Tiger Claw Bracers (Girallon Windmill Flesh Rip) Tome of Battle 149

    Wand of Lion's Charge - Spell Compendium 33
    Belt of Battle - Magic Item Compendium 73o
    Boots of Speed



    The Dervish - ECL 17
    Spoiler
    Show

    At this level the Death has gained all 10 levels of the Dervish Class. His main attack method is attacking with all four whips + bite attack + 4 claw attacks as part of a Dervish Dance. He has Greater Multi-Weapon Fighting so he makes 13 total tentacle whip attacks. Boots of Speed give him one additional attack with a tentacle whip. With a thousand cuts that becomes:

    26 Tentacle Whip Attacks, 1 Bonus Tentacle Whip Attack, 2 Bite attacks, 8 Claw Attacks.

    Each morning he uses a divine wand of Venomfire to do +5d6 acid damage with any attack with natural poison. The Tentacle Whip and the Bite both qualify.

    After performing the dervish dance, the Death can spend a swift action to activate their belt of battle to make a normal full attack in the same round.

    Dervish Full Attack: 27 d6 Slashing from Tentacle Whips, 135 d6 acid from tentacle whips, 2d4 Slashing, Bludgeoning, Piercing from Bite, 10d6 acid from bite, 8d4 slashing from claws

    Normal full attack: 14d6 Slashing from Tentacle Whips, 70 d6 acid from Tentacle Whips, 1d4 Slashing, Bludgeoning, Piercing from Bite, 5d6 acid from bite, 4d4 slashing from claws.

    172 d6 +12d4 While Dancing + 89d6 +5d4 from the secondary full attack.
    261 d6 +17d4
    913.5 +42.5 = 956 Average Damage

    This is before misses, but also before cleaves and great cleaves.

    He is also able to contribute when not dancing by pouncing opponents through use of a wand of Lion's Charge cast as a swift action. He has a speed of 40 +10 insight +30 enhancement when hasted, and a jump check of 67 before strength and a high tumble and balance score. He has very little difficulty moving around the battlefield, and there are a variety of items to give him a flight speed as well.

    More on Tentacle Whips and Venomfire:
    Spoiler
    Show

    As Venomfire is on the ranger spell list, Death can use spell trigger items of Venomfire without having to make a Use Magic Device check. This is also how he uses his wand of Lion's Charge. Spell Trigger items are usable even though he has not yet gained ranger spellcasting.

    Venomfire gives the bonus damage only on attacks with natural poison. The Tentacle Whip Symbionts naturally have poison. Their natural attacks are used whenever they are used as a whip (base attack bonus and strength etc are replaced). The tentacle whips also can be used without whip proficiency, and they attach onto forearm as opposed to being held in the hand. Natural weapons and unarmed strike can be used while wielding a tentacle whip, but not manufactured weapons. Tentacle Whips can attack any target within range.





    The Endbringer ECL 20

    Spoiler
    Show

    After taking three levels of Warblade, the Death has an initator level of 11. Sudden Leap and Leaping Dragon Stance improve his mobility even further then before, bumping his jump check up to 77 before strength, and letting him make jumps as swift actions. Defensive abilities such as uncanny dodge are also useful.

    The majority of the power goes to his Dervish Dance setup.
    He starts out with a non - thousand cuts dervish dance making:
    14 Tentacle Whips, 1 bite attack, 4 claw attacks

    He then spends a swift action to activate White Raven Tactics from his crown to take a second turn after his turn ends to full attack again with:
    14 Tentacle Whips, bite attack, 4 claw attacks

    He then spends another swift action to activate White Raven Tactics from Warblade to full attack with a thousand cuts this time making :
    26 Tentacle Whip Attacks, 1 Bonus Tentacle Whip Attack, 2 Bite attacks, 8 Claw Attacks.

    And he spends his swift action to activate Girallon Windmill Flesh Rip from his gloves. Doing up to an additional 20d6 damage from the horrible rending.

    Turn 1:89 d6 + 5d4
    Turn 2:89 d6 +5d4
    Turn 3:192 d6 +12d4
    Average Damage:1350

    This does not include misses, crits, or bonus attacks from cleave, great cleave, strength, or slashing bonuses.



    Why Dervish?
    Spoiler
    Show

    While many builds allow you to do an enormous amount of damage to a single target, the Dervish's dance ability allows you to spread that damage out among a great many targets. The free cleaves allow the damage to be taken even further.

    Movement mastery works wonderfully with Thri-Keen and the Leaping Dragon Stance. Improved reaction helps the Death go first. The only two things the Death doesn't really use from the class are Slashing Blades and Improved Defense.



    Greater Cheese
    Spoiler
    Show

    Ways to take it even farther:

    Works really well with a dragonfire inspiration bard, to do bonus fire damage on top of acid damage. If in a party with a cleric or druid (most parties have one), the Death can have them cast Venomfire instead, and will give them the Prayer Beads and Ioun Stone. This increases Venomfire damage from 5d6 to 25d6 bonus acid damage. The bite attack can be further enhanced with greater mighty wallop if the party has a wizard or sorcerer.

    There are also enough free graft slots to add four Serpant Arms, giving the Death 5 more heads to be walloped, and four more sources of natural poison.

    Between a cleric casting Venomfire and four additional poisonous attacks the damage goes up astronomically.
    Last edited by Private-Prinny; 2011-07-17 at 07:26 PM.

  17. - Top - End - #107
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Private-Prinny's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XXII

    Edward Scissorhands, eat your heart out.
    Quote Originally Posted by Devlin Bladehands
    Devlin Bladehands.
    Changeling.
    14/16/14/16/8/8

    Devlin Bladehands.
    {table=head]Level|Class|Base Attack[br]Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Skills|Feats|Class Features

    1st|Cobra Strike Monk1|
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |Balance 4, Climb 4, Hide 4, Spot 4, Move Silently 4, Tumble 4, Perform(Dance) 4| Dodge, Improved Unarmed Strike, Versatile Unarmed Strike|Flurry of Blows, Unarmed Strike

    2nd|Monk2|
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |Balance 5, Climb 5, Hide 5, Spot 5, Move Silently 5, Tumble 5, Perform(Dance) 5|Mobility|Evasion

    3rd|Swashbuckler1|
    +2
    |
    +5
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |Balance 6, Climb 6, Hide 5, Spot 6, Move Silently 5, Tumble 6, Perform(Dance) 6|Weapon Finesse, Carmendine Monk|-

    4th|Swashbucker2|
    +3
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |Balance 7, Climb 7, Hide 5, Spot 7, Move Silently 5, Tumble 7, Perform(Dance) 7||Grace+1

    5th|Swashbucker3|
    +4
    |
    +6
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |Balance 8, Climb 8, Hide 5, Spot 8, Move Silently 5, Tumble 8, Perform(Dance) 8||Insighful Strike

    6th|Warshaper1|
    +4
    |
    +8
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |Balance 8, Climb 8, Hide 5, Spot 8.5, Move Silently 5, Tumble 9, Perform(Dance) 9|Combat Expertise|Morphic Immunities, Morphic Weapons.

    7th|Warshaper2|
    +5
    |
    +9
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |Balance 8, Climb 8, Hide 5, Spot 9, Move Silently 5, Tumble 10, Perform(Dance) 10||Morphic Body

    8th|Swordsage1|
    +5
    |
    +9
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |Balance 8, Climb 8, Hide 5, Spot 11, Move Silently 5, Tumble 11, Perform(Dance) 11 Martial Lore 3||Quick to Act +1, Discipline Focus (Shadow Hand)

    9th|Dervish1|
    +6
    |
    +9
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |Balance 8, Climb 8, Hide 5, Spot 12, Move Silently 5, Tumble 12, Perform(Dance) 12, Martial Lore 4, Listen 2|Shadow Blade|Dervish Dance 1/day, Slashing Blades, Movement Mastery, AC Bonus +1

    10th|Dervish2|
    +7
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    |Balance 8, Climb 8, Hide 5, Spot 13, Move Silently 5, Tumble 13, Perform(Dance) 13, Martial Lore 5, Listen 4||Fast Movement +5'

    11th|Dervish 3|
    +8
    |
    +10
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    |Balance 8, Climb 8, Hide 5, Spot 14, Move Silently 5, Tumble 14, Perform(Dance) 14, Martial Lore 6, Listen 6|Spring Attack|Dervish Dance 2/day

    12th|Dervish 4|
    +9
    |
    +10
    |
    +10
    |
    +10
    |Balance 8, Climb 8, Hide 5, Spot 15, Move Silently 5, Tumble 15, Perform(Dance) 15, Martial Lore 7, Listen 8|Two Weapon Fighting|Dance of Death

    13th|Dervish 5|
    +10
    |
    +10
    |
    +10
    |
    +10
    |Balance 8, Climb 8, Hide 5, Spot 16, Move Silently 5, Tumble 16, Perform(Dance) 16, Martial Lore 8, Listen 10|-|AC Bonus +2, Dervish Dance 3/day, Fast Movement +10'.

    14th|Dervish 6|
    +11
    |
    +11
    |
    +11
    |
    +11
    |Balance 8, Climb 8, Hide 5, Spot 17, Move Silently 5, Tumble 17, Perform(Dance) 17, Martial Lore 9, Listen 12|-|Improved Reaction

    15th|Dervish 7|
    +12
    |
    +11
    |
    +11
    |
    +11
    |Balance 8, Climb 8, Hide 5, Spot 18, Move Silently 5, Tumble 18, Perform(Dance) 18, Martial Lore 10, Listen 14|Spare Feat! (See later)|Elaborate Parry, Dervish Dance 4/day

    16th|Dervish 8|
    +13
    |
    +11
    |
    +12
    |
    +12
    |Balance 8, Climb 8, Hide 5, Spot 19, Move Silently 5, Tumble 19, Perform(Dance) 19, Martial Lore 11, Listen 16|-|Fast Movement 15'

    17th|Dervish 9|
    +14
    |
    +12
    |
    +12
    |
    +12
    |Balance 8, Climb 8, Hide 5, Spot 20, Move Silently 5, Tumble 20, Perform(Dance) 20, Martial Lore 12, Listen 18|-|Tireless Dance, Dervish Dance 5/day, AC Bonus +3

    18th|Dervish 10|
    +15
    |
    +12
    |
    +12
    |
    +12
    |Balance 8, Climb 8, Hide 5, Spot 21, Move Silently 5, Tumble 21, Perform(Dance) 21, Martial Lore 13, Listen 20|Spare Feat! (See later)|A Thousand Cuts

    19th|Warshaper 3|
    +16
    |
    +12
    |
    +13
    |
    +13
    |Balance 8, Climb 8, Hide 5, Spot 22, Move Silently 5, Tumble 22, Perform(Dance) 22, Martial Lore 13, Listen 20|-|Morphic Reach

    20th|Warshaper 4|
    +17
    |
    +13
    |
    +13
    |
    +13
    |Balance 8, Climb 8, Hide 5, Spot 23, Move Silently 5, Tumble 23, Perform(Dance) 23, Martial Lore 13, Listen 20|-|Morphic Healing[/table]

    At the start of his life, Devlin Bladehands was born a changeling. His father was a changeling, but his mother was a human, so to maintain their happy life together, the two had to pretend to be normal humans, or they found distrust quickly set in.

    Indeed, the father had been so successful in his life as a 'human', he had become the town mayor, with the trust and respect of his people. This posed a problem for him, when his son developed changeling traits, and didn't quite have total control of them yet...if the town found out about it, they'd soon realise their mayor was a changeling, and rumours would start, just as they alwas had before. They eventually chose his career and life over keeping their son and moving on, and sent him to a distant monastery.

    Devlin was always regarded as slightly strange by the other boys in the village at the monastery. He would flicker his facial features through a wide variety to creep people out, and had no compunction with altering himself in unusual ways.

    At an early age, he started to learn a few of the monk's martial arts, along with several boys in the village. The other boys would complain that his hands were harder than everyone else's, and upon testing on one of the teachers, they were astounded to find that he could use his changeling nature to 'harden' parts of his body that should have been soft. One of the monks was an expert on chanelling his Ki to harden his hands, so that he could strike in unusual ways, making himself harder to defend against. He took on Devlin as an apprentice, but the boys never let it go. They mocked him forever, following him and shouting 'Bladehands, Bladehands!!!' Devlin learned to amuse himself mostly alone, and found an old clearing he could sit in and listen to the world. Few people knew, though more than he thought, but every once in a while, he would dance by himself, through that clearing.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Whew, sorry about that. At level 1, Devlin is a straight up Monk, He has a slightly unusual fighting style, but that's due to his one-dimensional teachings from a single teacher. He also picks up the Versatile Unarmed Strike feat, using his changeling powers to be able to strike and do a variety of damages, including Slashing.

    As a Monk, his unarmed strikes are treated explicitly as both manufactured and natural weapons for the purposes of spells and effects that affect one or the other. This is important to note, because there's a few effects later that affect slashing weapons, and this line makes it clear that they do affect his attacks.


    As Devlin grew into his strengths and abilities, his master soon found that his very defensive style, relying on his intelligence and speed to keep himself from being hit, and not hitting particularly hard, made no sense with hands as hard as Devlin's. In a risk, he sent the boy to the swordsmen, and told them to teach him to use his hands as well as they could use a sword.

    Devlin picked up these abilities very fast, learning to use his exceptional intelligence properly to defend against many attacks, and learning to use his speed and intelligence to strike his opponent in a way they simply cannot defend against.

    Spoiler
    Show
    At L5, Devlin is now a Monk/Swashbuckler. He has managed to bring his exceptional Int and Dex into play by getting Weapon Finesse and Swash 3, and mastering his original teacher's defensive style with the Carmedine Monk feat.

    When using Flurry of blows, you explicitly get full Str to damage. Devlin is now making multiple attacks that get Str and Int to damage, and has Dex on the to-hit roll. His AC is pretty good, getting both Dex and Int to AC.


    Devlin was enthralled by this almost miraculous effect he found his bladehands to be having on the men who fought him. The changeling abilities seemed to throw off more of his opponents than anyone expected. He focused his efforts for nearly a full year into mastering his powers, and slowly, his body warped and changed. He grew in strength, and he learned to increase the size of his hands, to inflict even more pain on the fools who thought they could beat him so easily just because he had no obvious weapons. They learned quickly, but not quickly enough for anyone's tastes.

    His original teacher, appalled by the savagery of his once-favorite student, called in a favor from an old friend. One of the Masters of Nine came for a 'visit', and 'happened to drop by' Devlin's favorite place to train. Devlin, seeing yet another swordsman, laughed, and challenged him to a fight. Devlin was hopelessly outmatched, and his aggressive assault proved useless. The master crushed him, but was taken aback by how well Devlin had gained control over his body. He offered to take him to an academy for the Way of the nine swords.

    Devlin accepted, and for once, actually buckled down to studying as much as he could, learning what he needed to about the Way. He only learned the basics, though, when he ran into one of the other students training alone in a practice room. He watched the man flowing through, back and forth, and dancing around an imaginary opponent with ease. In awe, Devlin begged the man to teach him how to fight and dance so easily. And so started his training as a Dervish.
    Spoiler
    Show
    Devlin started his way through Warshaper, getting a boost to his unarmed strikes (treated as a natural weapon for the purposes of spells and effects), and to Str and Con. He then picks up a level in Swordsage, both getting him the Weapon Focus needed to qualify for Dervish, and some very good stances and maneuvers, including the basically permanent concealment from Cloak of shadow.
    He then goes into the secret ingredient, learning to dance and full attack, allowing him to use his flurry of blows while still moving.


    In the end, Devlin finished his training under the Dervish, mastered all the skills he had, and finally bested the Master of Nine that had brought him there, taking advantage of the Thousand Cuts ability to tear through his defences. He left contented, and went vaguely feral, roaming the world, and mastering his changeling abilties, still searching for a new challenge.

    Item Wish List:
    Spoiler
    Show
    +Physical stat items are great, and +Int is great. Dex and Int are prioritised, but Str and Con are both good.

    You obviously want the basics, you have no special vision modes, you have no flight, you have no range.

    Of specific interest are the Bracers of Armor (since you can wear none), and a Necklace of Natural attacks. Other forms of defence, like the cloak of resistance, or similar, will always be a good thing.

    You can pick up some of the ToB items for some great maneuvers later on, which is always good.


    Maneuvers and Stances.
    Spoiler
    Show
    You take Swordsage at level 8, making you IL 4. You qualify for 2nd level maneuvers and stances.

    Maneuvers chosen:
    Burning Blade
    Fire Riposte
    Cloak of Deception
    Rabid Wolf Strike
    Wolf Fang Strike
    Shadow Jaunt.

    Stances:
    Blood in the Water
    Child of Shadow


    Feat Wish List:
    Spoiler
    Show
    There's a whole pile of great options here.
    ITWF, Elusive target, Flay foe (CoR), Acrobatic Strike (PHB II), Deadly Grace, Keen Intellect, yadda yadda yadda. If you can get flaws, that's GREAT. If not, then I'd probably go elusive target, cos it's really really good at making you not die. Alternatively grab another Maneuver using a feat, or get Gloom Razor.
    Last edited by Private-Prinny; 2011-07-17 at 07:28 PM.

  18. - Top - End - #108
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Private-Prinny's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XXII

    This guy is more than enough reason not to rob Santa's Workshop.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elrond
    Elrond Aldaríon
    LG Snow Elf
    Str 16 Dex 16 Con 14 Int 14 Wis 8 Cha 6
    All Bonus points in Strength

    Build
    Spoiler
    Show

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

    1st|Ranger 1|
    +1
    |
    +4
    |
    +5
    |
    -1
    |Hide 4,Move Silently 4, Spot 4, Knowledge (History) 2, Survival 4, Tumble 2|Bladebearer of the Valenar| Giant favored enemy, Track, wild empathy

    2nd|Ranger 2|
    +2
    |
    +5
    |
    +6
    |
    -1
    |Hide 1,Move Silently 1, Spot 1, Knowledge (History) .5, Survival 1, Tumble .5|TWF (Ranger bonus)| Combat style-TWF

    3rd| Ranger 3|
    +3
    |
    +5
    |
    +6
    |
    +0
    |Hide 1,Move Silently 1, Spot 1, Knowledge (History) .5, Survival 1, Tumble .5|Weapon Focus (Valenar double Scimitar) | Endurance

    4th| Spell-Less Ranger 4|
    +4
    |
    +6
    |
    +7
    |
    +0
    |Hide 1,Move Silently 1, Spot 1, Knowledge (History) .5, Survival 1, Tumble .5|Conbat Expertise (Ranger Bonus)| Animal Companion

    5th| Harmonious Knight Paladin |
    +5
    |
    +8
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |Perform (Dance) 4||Aura of good, inspire courage +1, smite evil 1/day

    6th|Revenant Blade|
    +6/+1
    |
    +8
    |
    +7
    |
    +2
    |Hide 2,Move Silently 1, Spot 1, Knowledge (History) 1, Survival 1, |Dodge|Ancestral Guidance (1), Hero of Valaes Tairn

    7th| Revenant Blade |
    +7/+2
    |
    +2
    |
    +7
    |
    +3
    |Hide 1,Move Silently 2, Spot 1, Knowledge (History) 1, Survival 1 || Shadow Of the Past

    8th| Revenant Blade |
    +8/+3
    |
    +9
    |
    +8
    |
    +3
    |Hide 1,Move Silently 1, Spot 2, Knowledge (History) 1, Survival 1|| Ancestral Guidance (2)

    9th| Revenant Blade |
    +9/+4
    |
    +9
    |
    +8
    |
    +4
    |Hide 1,Move Silently 1, Spot 1, Knowledge (History) 2, Survival 1, |Mobilty| Giant Slayer

    10th| Revenant Blade |
    +10/+5
    |
    +9
    |
    +8
    |
    +4
    |Hide 1,Move Silently 1, Spot 1, Knowledge (History) 1, Survival 2,|| Ancestral Guidance (3)

    11th| Dervish |
    +11/+6/+1
    |
    +9
    |
    +10
    |
    +6
    |Perform (Dance) 6||Dervish Dance 1/Day, Movemant Mastery, Slashing Blades, AC bonus +1

    12th| Dervish |
    +12/+7/+2
    |
    +9
    |
    +11
    |
    +7
    |Tumble 6| Improved TWF | Fast Movement +5 ft

    13th| Dervish |
    +13/+8/+3
    |
    +10
    |
    +11
    |
    +7
    |Tumble 6|Spring Attack (Dervish bonus)| Dervish Dance 2/Day

    14th| Dervish |
    +14/+9/+4
    |
    +10
    |
    +12
    |
    +8
    |Perform (Dance) 6||Dance of Death

    15th| Dervish |
    +15/+10/+5
    |
    +10
    |
    +12
    |
    +8
    |Tumble 3, Perform (Dance) 3|Greater TWF| Dervish Dance 3/Day, Fast Movement +10 ft, AC Bonus +2

    16th| Dervish |
    +16/+11/+6/+1
    |
    +11
    |
    +13
    |
    +9
    |Tumble 3, Perform (Dance) 2, Spot .5|| Improved Reaction

    17th| Dervish |
    +17/+12/+7/+2
    |
    +11
    |
    +13
    |
    +9
    |Tumble 1, Perform 1, Spot 2|| Elaborate Parry, Dervish Dance 4/Day

    18th| Dervish |
    +18/+13/+8/+3
    |
    +11
    |
    +14
    |
    +10
    |Tumble 1, Perform 1, Spot 2|Travel Devotion| Fast Movement +15 ft

    19th| Dervish |
    +19/+14/+9/+4
    |
    +12
    |
    +14
    |
    +10
    |Tumble 1, Perform 1, Spot 2|| Dervish Dance 5/Day, AC bonus +3

    20th| Dervish |
    +20/+15/+10/+5
    |
    +12
    |
    +15
    |
    +11
    |Tumble 1, Perform 1, Spot 2||A Thousand Cuts [/table]


    Tactics
    Spoiler
    Show

    1-5
    At first level, you dont have enough money to but a double scimatar, so pick up a bow and start shooting. From there onward, use a double Scimitar and try ans skirmish with opponents, using your tumble to avoid AAOs. Your animal companion can be used as a scout, it’s too weak to do anything else. You can also use inspire courage to boost allies, but it’s not very effective without items.
    6-10
    Your Revenant Blade levels give you bonus feats, but apart from that it’s the same as 2-5. I recommend Improved Critical, Great Cleave and Power attack.
    11-15
    You gain the ability to dervish dance and power attack with your double scimitar, boosting your damage massively. You also pick you ITWG and GTWF, although you should have had ITWF from gloves of the balanced hand for awhile.
    16-20
    Like All meelers, your power starts to wane as spellcasters strengthen. You do pick up Traval devotion here, giving you even more mobility and staying power throughout the day.

    Items
    Spoiler
    Show
    While you benefit like all characters from magical weapons, sources of flight, and other such things, a few magic items stand out as must-haves for you. These are Zaelshin Tu, which gives you another Revenant Blade feat for 1800 gold, and Gloves of the balanced hand, which give you ITWF until you take it at level 12.


    Sources
    Spoiler
    Show

    Bladebearer of the Valenar, Zaelshin Tu, double scimitars and the Revenant Blade Prc all come from players guide to Eberron
    Spell-less Ranger and travel devotion is from Complete Champion
    Harmonious Knight Paladin is from Champions of valor web enchanment.
    Gloves of the balanced hand are from MIC
    Last edited by Private-Prinny; 2011-07-17 at 07:27 PM.

  19. - Top - End - #109
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Private-Prinny's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XXII

    "Draw your blade!"
    "I did. Eight times."

    Quote Originally Posted by Salvatore
    Salvatore Serafines
    Human, Chaotic Good
    32 Point Buy
    Str 10 Dex 16 Con 14 Int 14 Wis 10 Cha 14
    All stat points to Dex
    Starting languages: Common, Draconic, Elven

    Fluff
    Spoiler
    Show
    From the time he could walk, Salvatore Serafines was part of the Circus Supremo. The circus had been run by Salvatore’s extended family for 20 generations and was one of the most popular attractions in the entire kingdom. People would come from miles around for the chance to watch the amazing feats performed therein.

    Instead of toys and pets, Salavatore learned to walk tightropes and juggle knives. Instead of learning a craft like weaving or smithing, Salvatore learned to swallow fire and dance. His family even used magic to enhance their show; not much and not frequently, but enough to entertain the crowd.

    When Salvatore was ten, his country was conquered by an emperor marching from the east. The city offered resistance at first but was quickly crushed and put under control of the emperor. The circus was allowed to stay open, as the emperor was entertained by the performances and his troops enjoyed seeing the shows.

    Salvatore’s family, from the safety of their circus tents, formed a resistance. Instead of just teaching how to swallow swords, they taught how to use them to kill a man. Knives thrown at an apple on a man’s head could be aimed just a bit lower if desired. Magic that entertains can also kill. Weapons were hidden in the folds of cloaks and in plain sight.

    These lessons were taught to Salvatore as well, and he was soon putting them to devastating effect in the city. By the time he was twenty, he was a well known figure in the cities underworld, and a champion of the oppressed. It was then that the emperor died, and his son took over.

    The emperor’s son did not share his father’s preference for the circus or dole out the same mercies. Many in the circus were killed or forced into slavery, and Salvatore was forced into hiding. His training allowed him to become a shadow in the night, and to move and fight with such grace that none could keep pace with him.

    Shortly after the emperor’s son took over, Salvatore Serafines led the resistance in a city-wide revolt. Though few in number, their esoteric training and exotic weapons gave them an edge over the disciplined guards in combat. When the dust settled, the emperor’s son was dead at Salvatore’s hand and the city liberated.

    With the death of his family and the destruction of the circus, Salvatore could not bear to stay in the city. He left on his own, to wander to other cities, and to help liberate other people, in the hopes that they might be spared the same fate as him.


    The Build
    Spoiler
    Show

    {table=head]Level|Class|BAB|Fort|Ref|Will|Skills|Feats|Class Features

    1st|Factotum|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |Iaijutsu Focus 4 Tumble 4 Perform(dance) 4 Perform (Act) 4 Use Magic Device 4 Hide 4 Move Silently 4 Bluff 4 Disguise 4|Able Learner, Dodge (becomes shadow blade at level 3)|Inspiration, cunning insight, cunning knowledge, trapfinding

    2nd|Fighter|
    +1
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |Iaijutsu Focus 1 Perform(dance) 1 Perform (act) 1 Disguise 1 Bluff 1 |Weapon Finsse|Bonus Feat, Hit-and-Run Tactics (ACF)

    3th|SwordSage|
    +1
    |
    +2
    |
    +4
    |
    +2
    |Iaijutsu Focus 1 Tumble 1 Perform(dance) 1 Perform (act) 1 Disguise 1 Use Magic Device 1 Hide 1 Move Silently 1 Bluff 1|Desert Wind Dodge|Quick to Act +1, Discipline Focus (weapon focus shadow hand)

    4th|Fighter|
    +2
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +2
    |Iaijutsu Focus 1 Perform(dance) 1 Use Magic Device 1 Bluff 1 Speak Language (Infernal)|Mobility|Bonus Feat

    5rd|Factotum|
    +3
    |
    +4
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |Iaijutsu Focus 1 Perform (dance) 1 Perform (act) 2 Use Magic Device 2 Bluff 1 Disguise 2 ||Arcane Dilettante (1 spell)

    6th|Master of Masks|
    +3
    |
    +4
    |
    +7
    |
    +4
    |Iaijutsu Focus 1 Tumble 2 Perform (dance) 1 Use Magic Device 1 Balance 2|Combat Expertise|Persona Masks (gladiator, faceless)

    7th|Factotum|
    +4
    |
    +5
    |
    +7
    |
    +5
    | Iaijutsu Focus 1 Tumble 2 Perform (dance) 1 Use Magic Device 1 Balance 2 Hide 1 Move Silently 1||Brains over Brawn, Cunning Defense

    8th|Swordsage|
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +8
    |
    +6
    | Iaijutsu Focus 1 Tumble 2 Perform (dance) 1 Use Magic Device 1 Jump 1 Balance 1 Hide 1 Move Silently 1||AC Bonus

    9th|Dervish|
    +6
    |
    +5
    |
    +10
    |
    +8
    | Iaijutsu Focus 1 Tumble 1 Perform (dance) 1 Use Magic Device 1 Bluff 1 Skill Trick (acrobatic backstab)|Gloom Razor|Dervish Dance 1/day, Movement Mastery, Slashing Blades, AC+1

    10th|Dervish|
    +7
    |
    +5
    |
    +11
    |
    +9
    | Iaijutsu Focus 1 Tumble 1 Perform (dance) 1 Use Magic Device 1 Bluff 1 Skill Trick (back on your feet)||Fast Movement +5 feet

    11th|Dervish|
    +8
    |
    +6
    |
    +11
    |
    +9
    | Iaijutsu Focus 1 Tumble 1 Perform (dance) 1 Use Magic Device 1 Bluff 1 Jump 1 Intimidate 1||Spring Attack, Dervish Dance 2/day

    12th|Dervish|
    +9
    |
    +6
    |
    +12
    |
    +10
    | Iaijutsu Focus 1 Tumble 1 Perform (dance) 1 Use Magic Device 1 Bluff 1 Jump 1 Intimidate 1|Two Weapon Fighting|Dance of Death

    13th|Dervish|
    +10
    |
    +6
    |
    +12
    |
    +10
    | Iaijutsu Focus 1 Tumble 1 Perform (dance) 1 Use Magic Device 1 Bluff 1 Jump 1 Intimidate 1||Fast Movement +10 feet, Dervish Dance 3/day, +2 AC

    14th|Dervish|
    +11
    |
    +7
    |
    +13
    |
    +11
    | Iaijutsu Focus 1 Tumble 1 Perform (dance) 1 Use Magic Device 1 Bluff 1 Jump 1 Intimidate 1||Improved Reaction

    15th|Dervish|
    +12
    |
    +7
    |
    +13
    |
    +11
    | Iaijutsu Focus 1 Tumble 1 Perform (dance) 1 Use Magic Device 1 Bluff 1 Jump 1 Intimidate 1|Improved Two Weapon Fighting|Elaborate Parry, Dervish Dance 4/day

    16th|Dervish|
    +13
    |
    +7
    |
    +14
    |
    +12
    | Iaijutsu Focus 1 Tumble 1 Perform (dance) 1 Use Magic Device 1 Bluff 1 Jump 1 Intimidate 1||Fast Movement +15 feet

    17th|Dervish|
    +14
    |
    +8
    |
    +14
    |
    +12
    | Iaijutsu Focus 1 Tumble 1 Perform (dance) 1 Use Magic Device 1 Bluff 1 Jump 1 Intimidate 1||Tireless Dance, Dervish Dance 5/day

    18th|Dervish|
    +15
    |
    +8
    |
    +15
    |
    +13
    | Iaijutsu Focus 1 Tumble 1 Perform (dance) 1 Use Magic Device 1 Bluff 1 Jump 1 Intimidate 1|Greater Two Weapon Fighting|A Thousand Cuts

    19th|Swordsage|
    +16
    |
    +9
    |
    +15
    |
    +13
    | Iaijutsu Focus 1 Tumble 1 Perform (dance) 1 Use Magic Device 1 Bluff 1 Jump 1 Intimidate 1 Hide 1 Move Silently 1||

    20th|Swordsage|
    +17
    |
    +9
    |
    +16
    |
    +14
    | Iaijutsu Focus 1 Tumble 1 Perform (dance) 1 Use Magic Device 1 Bluff 1 Jump 1 Intimidate 1 Hide 1 Move Silently 1|| Discipline Focus(Insightful Strike, shadow hand)[/table]

    {table=head]Level|Inspiration Points
    1|2
    5|3
    7|3
    [/table]

    {table=head]Level|Maneuvers|Stance

    3|Burning Blade, Wind Stride, Clinging Shadow Strike, Sapphire Nightmare Blade, Sudden Leap, Wolf Fang Strike|Child of Shadow
    8|Cloak of Deception|Assassin’s Stance
    19|Dancing Mongoose|
    20|Shadow Stride, Flashing Sun(replacing buring blade)|
    [/table]


    General notes
    Spoiler
    Show

    This character is built to take full advantage of dervish as a mobile fighter. All abilities aim to take advantage of a character moving around the battlefield during combat, dealing damage as they go. Obviously this ramps up once you get dervish dance at level 8, but aspects of it take shape from level 1.

    The inclusion of Iaijutsu focus on this build is primarily done in an attempt to address one of the dervish’s major weaknesses; DR. The problem of any build that focuses on many smaller attacks is the presence of DR negating most or all of the damage. Iaijutsu focus lets you have at least one attack each round that packs a serious punch (more, if you can keep your foe flatfooted). Even if the rest of your attacks fail to get through, the first Iaijutsu attack should be hurting you foes.

    Besides being a mobile combatant, this character also serves the role of skill monkey, mostly through scouting, party face, and Use Magic Device. The array of scrolls and spells available limit what exactly can be done, but the extra utility provided by the skills does not impact the combat effectiveness of the build, making them a great add on.


    Iaijutsu Focus
    Spoiler
    Show
    Many people are familiar with Iaijutsu Focus, but I figured I’d provide a brief explanation for any judges who are not. Iaijutsu Focus is a skill from Oriental Adventures which lets you make a skill check any time you draw a weapon and attack a flatfooted foe to deal additional damage (between 1d6 to 9d6, depending on the check). It was from 3.0, but grandfathered into 3.5. Since the Factotum gets all skills as class skills, Iaijutsu Focus is included on their skill list. When combined with gnomish quickrazors (an item that allows you to draw and sheath as a free action), a character can potentially get large amounts of Iaijutsu Focus damage per round.

    Getting an opponent flatfooted is easier said then done, but this build includes a number of ways to achieve that. The most obvious is to win initiative; each of the classes pumps initiative, increasing the likely hood to go first. After that, dervish dance+gloom razor ensures the first attack each round will be against a flatfooted opponent. Acrobatic backstab and sapphire nightmare blade let you flatfoot an opponent once per encounter. You can use grease as a spell-like ability once a day, and wands of grease are at the top of your to-get list.


    Gear
    Spoiler
    Show

    This build doesn’t require much in the way of specific gear. Stat boosting is an obvious good choice, though this build falls into a weird category. Only dex is truly important, as it pumps initiative, attack bonus, damage (twice on flatfooted opponents) and armor class. But every other ability helps as wells; any increase to str ups damage, con helps survive hits, wis adds to armor class and saves, and cha helps to power UMD and IF.

    Besides stat boosting, after master of masks the weapon you pick really depends on what is available. Aptitude quickrazors are your first choice (aptitude in general will really help this build). If you can get one, an aptitude spinning sword (basically a one-handed spike chain from Secrets of Sarlona) is an amazing weapon to use during a dervish dance, as it has reach and is a slashing weapon. Otherwise, use a short sword during a dervish dance (with quickrazors when applicable) and a spiked chain (shadow hand weapon) when not dancing.

    In addition, anything that helps movement, such as anklets of translocation, are beneficial as well. A wand of grease and bags of marbles help keep opponents flatfooted for Iaijutsu Focus.

    The one specific item that really helps this build is gloves of the balanced hand. The build doesn’t have enough feats early to spare on TWF, which really gives the build a damage boost, especially with the quickrazor in the initial round of combat. They are certainly not required, but are nice to have if you can get them.


    Levels:
    1-5
    Spoiler
    Show
    Starting out, this build (like most) is at its weakest. At first level you mainly throw daggers, potentially combined with Iaijutsu focus (Iaijustsu Focus only specifies a melee weapon, not a melee attack, meaning you can throw a dagger with it). Level 2 lets you get into melee combat with weapon finesse and level 3 gives you access to swordsage goodness including Shadow blade to add dex to damage. When combined with hit-and-run fighter ACF, you add dex to damage twice over on flat-footed opponents. Factotum gives you a boost to initiative with brains over brawn, as well as one first level spell per day, usually grease to catch you opponents flatfooted.


    6-10
    Spoiler
    Show
    At level 6 Master of Masks gives you access to a bunch of weapons, most notably gnomish quickrazors, which let you really amp up the Iaijutsu focus damage; their hidden nature allows you to use another weapon, then whip them out and attack an opponent with Iaijutsu Focus anytime they’re flatfooted. If you can convince the DM that they are a type of dagger (think assassin’s creed) and let them count as shadow hand weapons, you probably won’t need another weapon. Otherwise attack with a spiked chain except when your opponent is flatfooted. At this point, you should have a good initiative (bonuses from swordsage, hit-and-run fighter, brains over brawn and later dervish) to help you go first. This leads to running around the battlefield once you get dervish dance, Iaijutsuing up and down with the quickrazors. The build really hits a sweet spot once you get gloom razor at level 9, making the first attack each round of a dervish dance against a flatfooted opponent, meaning even more Iaijutsu focus damage (plus assassin’s stance for sneak attack on many foes). Enemies should have a hard time keeping up with you. A wand of grease or bags of marbles can keep an opponent flatfooted as well, allowing massive potential damage.


    11-15
    Spoiler
    Show
    Leveling up in dervish just adds more to an already good build. Your speed, initiative, number of dances per day and damage during the dance all increase, making you a more efficient killing machine. Dervish gets 4 skills per level, which combined with able learner and Factotum mean you keep having all skills as class skills, making you a good skill monkey as well as fighter. Your role at this point in the party is a roving, death-dealing whirlwind, and part-time skill monkey.


    16-20
    Spoiler
    Show
    This build ends (as other dervish builds do) with the awesome thousand cuts ability. Thrown down on the first round when opponents are hopefully flatfooted for Iaijutsu focus+assassin’s stance should lead to many dead enemies. Swordsage levels finish the build, letting you access a few hirer level maneuvers, mainly adding extra attacks.


    Alternative Options
    Spoiler
    Show
    Instead of focusing on shadow hand effects (shadow blade and gloom razor) you could pump two weapon fighting. While this may lead to more attacks, the loss of easy flatfooted opponents for Iaijutsu focus makes this path less than optimal.


    Sources
    Spoiler
    Show
    3.5 SRD
    Complete Scoundrel
    Complete Warrior
    Drow of the Underdark (fighter hit-and-run ACF)
    Dungeonscape (factotum)
    Magic Item Compendium
    Oriental Adventures (Idijutsu Focus)
    Races of Destiny (Able Learner)
    Races of stone (Gnomish Quickrazors)
    Tome of Battle
    Last edited by Private-Prinny; 2011-07-17 at 07:28 PM.

  20. - Top - End - #110
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Private-Prinny's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XXII

    She can dance if she wants to, she can leave your corpse behind.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaycha
    Kaycha, who dances as the spirits move her
    CG Azurin (MoI 7) Binder 7/Dervish 10/Paragnostic Initiate 3
    STR 14 DEX 15 CON 14 INT 14 WIS 8 CHA 14
    Bonus Languages: Giant, Undercommon
    *
    Kaycha's story
    Spoiler
    Show
    Kaycha heard the rumors all her life. She was “different”, touched by a distant fey ancestor’s hand somehow; the fact that her human parents gave birth to her, an azurin, was seen as proof of this. Eager, even desperate, to learn about her real and perceived differences to those around her, she began to study things arcane, natural, and spiritual. Additionally, she became almost reflexively polite, the better to coax answers from people put off by her unusual nature.

    The time she wasn’t studying, she spent in motion. Perhaps that ancestor’s touch instilled her feet with rhythm and motion, perhaps it was a more mundane explanation, but she danced and flitted about almost incessantly. While studying, her feet would tap and fidget, and her sleep was fitful at best, with tangled sheets or somnambulistic wanderings around her house. The whispers about her - and naturally there were plenty - said that whatever touched her soul was searching all the time for escape.

    When those immediately near to her could no longer satiate her curiosity, she turned to the ancient ones: the vestiges. She learned to bind them to her soul in an attempt to glean additional information about herself, her world, and her place therein. Initially, she was drawn to Naberius, both for his cleverness and his ability to help disguise her true nature from bigotry’s far gaze. As she became more learned in the ways of pact magic, she turned to Malphas, who allowed her to view things either remotely or from the safety of a shroud of invisibility. Eventually, she reached out to Paimon, and in this vestige, she found a kindred spirit the likes of which she had not known before.

    In time, her relentless pursuit of knowledge led her to join the Paragnostic Assembly. As an initiate of the Assembly, she used her knowledge to aid wielders of more widely practiced magics in battle, while her predilections toward movement and dance allowed her to pick and choose from those who received her ‘special attentions’ in combat. Seemingly bound inextricably to Paimon, she visited the pain of the blade upon any foe she danced past and chose to target.

    Ultimately, her blend of movement and combat and intellectual curiosity brought her to the ways of the dervish. The frenetic movements encouraged by the dervish’s methodology were a seamless fit with her own preferences and her preferred vestige, Paimon. She became a dangerous foe both as she flitted past an adversary, and again when she paused in her dance long enough to visit particular attentions upon a more magically-oriented enemy.

    *
    Boost STR every 4th level. Skills in bold are cross-class for the level taken.
    Kaycha
    {table=head]Level|Class|Base Attack[br]Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Skills|Feats|Class Features

    1st|Binder (ToM 9) 1|
    +0
    |
    +4
    |
    +2
    |
    +1
    |Diplomacy 4, Knowledge (Arcana) 4, Knowledge (Nature) 2, Knowledge (Religion) 4, Perform (Dance) 2, Tumble 2|Combat Expertise, Midnight Dodge (MoI 39)|Soul Binding (1 Vestige): 1st level, prefer Naberius (ToM 9 & 41)

    2nd|Binder 2|
    +1
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |Diplomacy 5, Knowledge (Arcana) 5, Knowledge (Nature) 2.5), Knowledge (Religion) 5, Perform (Dance) 2.5, Tumble 2.5|-|Pact Augmentation (+2 Initiative), Suppress Sign (ToM 9)

    3rd|Binder 3|
    +2
    |
    +5
    |
    +3
    |
    +2
    |Diplomacy 6, Knowledge (Arcana) 6, Knowledge (Nature) 3, Knowledge (Religion) 6, Perform (Dance) 3, Tumble 3|Mobility|Bind Vestige: 2nd level, prefer Malphas (ToM 39)

    4th|Binder 4|
    +3
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |Diplomacy 7, Knowledge (Arcana) 7, Knowledge (Nature) 4, Knowledge (Religion) 7, Perform (Dance) 3.5, Tumble 3.5|Martial Weapon Proficiency (Scimitar)|Bonus Feat (MWP)

    5th|Binder 5|
    +3
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |Diplomacy 8, Knowledge (Arcana) 8, Knowledge (Nature) 4, Knowledge (Religion) 8, Perform (Dance) 4, Tumble 4|-|Bind Vestige, 3rd Level: ALWAYS Paimon (ToM 43); Pact Augmentation (+2 Initiative)

    6th|Binder 6|
    +4
    |
    +7
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |Balance 1, Diplomacy 9, Knowledge (Arcana) 9, Knowledge (Religion) 9, Perform (Dance) 4.5|Weapon Focus (Scimitar)|Soul Guardian (Immune to Fear)(ToM 9)

    7th|Paragnostic Initiate (CCh 97) 1|
    +5
    |
    +9
    |
    +6
    |
    +4
    |Balance 2, Diplomacy 10, Knowledge (Arcana) 10, Knowledge (Nature) 5, Knowledge (Religion) 10, Perform (Dance) 5, Tumble 5|-|Assist Casting (Penetration); Tactical Combat (Spell Disruptor) (CCh 98)

    8th|Dervish (CWar 25)|
    +6
    |
    +9
    |
    +8
    |
    +6
    |Balance 5, Perform (Dance) 6, Swim 1, Tumble 6|-|AC Bonus +1, Dervish Dance 1/day, Movement Mastery, Slashing Blades (CWar 26)

    9th|Dervish 2|
    +7
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    |
    +7
    |Knowledge (Arcana) 11, Knowledge (Nature) 6, Perform (Dance) 7, Tumble 8|Knowledge Devotion: Knowledge (Nature) (CCh 60)|+5’ fast movement (CWar 26)

    10th|Dervish 3|
    +8
    |
    +10
    |
    +9
    |
    +7
    |Knowledge (Nature) 7, Knowledge (Religion) 11, Perform (Dance) 8, Tumble 9|Spring Attack|Spring Attack, Dervish Dance 2/Day (CWar 26)

    11th|Dervish 4|
    +9
    |
    +10
    |
    +10
    |
    +8
    |Knowledge (Arcana) 12, Knowledge (Nature) 8, Perform (Dance) 9, Tumble 10|-|Dance of Death (CWar 26)

    12th|Dervish 5|
    +10
    |
    +10
    |
    +10
    |
    +8
    |Knowledge (Nature) 9, Knowledge (Religion) 12, Perform (Dance) 10, Tumble 11|Open Least Chakra: Hands (Rageclaws) (MoI 39 & 83)|AC Bonus +1, +5’ movement, Dervish Dance 3/Day (CWar 26)

    13th|Dervish 6|
    +11
    |
    +11
    |
    +11
    |
    +9
    |Knowledge (Arcana) 13, Knowledge (Nature) 10, Perform (Dance) 11, Tumble 12|-|Improved Reaction (CWar 26)

    14th|Dervish 7|
    +12
    |
    +11
    |
    +11
    |
    +9
    |Knowledge (Nature) 11, Knowledge (Religion)13, Perform (Dance) 12, Tumble 13|-|Elaborate Dance, Dervish Dance 4/Day (CWar 26)

    15th|Dervish 8|
    +13
    |
    +11
    |
    +12
    |
    +10
    |Knowledge (Arcana) 14, Knowledge (Nature) 12, Perform (Dance) 13, Tumble 14|Open Least Chakra: Feet (Airstep Sandals) (MoI 39 & 55)|+5’ Fast Movement

    16th|Dervish 9|
    +14
    |
    +12
    |
    +12
    |
    +10
    |Knowledge (Nature) 13, Knowledge (Religion) 14, Perform (Dance) 14, Tumble 15|-|AC Bonus +1, Tireless Dance, Dervish Dance 5/Day (CWar 27)

    17th|Dervish 10|
    +15
    |
    +12
    |
    +11
    |
    +11
    |Knowledge (Arcana) 15, Knowledge (Nature) 14, Perform (Dance) 15, Tumble 16|-|A Thousand Cuts (CWar 27)

    18th|Paragnostic Initiate 2|
    +16
    |
    +13
    |
    +12
    |
    +11
    | Diplomacy 11, Knowledge (Arcana) 16, Knowledge (Nature) 15, Knowledge (Religion) 16, Perform (Dance) 16, Tumble 17|Sapphire Sprint (MoI 40)|Assist Casting (Target), Tactical Combat (Discern Weakness: Humanoids) (CCh 98)

    19th|Paragnostic Initiate 3|
    +17
    |
    +13
    |
    +12
    |
    +12
    |Diplomacy 11, Knowledge (Arcana) 17, Knowledge (Nature) 16, Knowledge (Religion) 17, Perform (Dance) 17, Tumble 18|-|Assist Casting (Distraction), Tactical Combat (Discern Weakness: Dragons)

    20th|Binder 7|
    +18
    |
    +13
    |
    +12
    |
    +12
    |Diplomacy 13, Knowledge (Arcana) 18, Knowledge (Nature) 17, Perform (Dance) 18|-|Bind Vestige, 4th level: Prefer Andras (ToM 22-3)[/table]

    Highlights
    Minuet: 1st level
    Spoiler
    Show
    As a binder, Kaycha brings versatility to the table. Binding Naberius at 1st level lets her fill a role both as a second-line combatant and skill-monkey, while her chosen skills add to her value as both negotiator and sage. Note that Naberius is preferred but is not locked in as the only choice, so if a situation arises where another option is better, Kaycha needs only choose that better option for the day it’s needed. Combat Expertise aids her low-level survivability a good bit, given only proficiency in light armor. There’s no version of the Dodge feat that can truly be called “good”, but Midnight Dodge is arguably the best version available, and it does have value as a low-level survival tool. Both Combat Expertise and (Midnight) Dodge are prerequisites for her ultimate choice of Dervish, so starting on them as early as possible is the best choice for quick entrance. For the “Naberius’s Skills” ability, she chooses Use Magic Device and its counterpart, Use Psionic Device, both of which are immensely valuable.


    Waltz: 6th level
    Spoiler
    Show
    Thanks to Binder’s 4th level bonus feat and the extra feat her Azurin heritage grants, Kaycha meets all the prerequisites for Dervish at this point, save BAB. Having snagged two iterations of the pact augmentation’s Initiative boost, she’s also working with the benefits of Improved Initiative, without having spent the feat. Along the way, Malphas expanded on her role as skill-monkey and scout while providing two potential sources of bonus damage in Sudden Strike and Poison Use. Paimon, though, is a nearly perfect fit for someone interested in Dervish. Only truly unusual circumstances should merit any other choice while Paimon is the highest level vestige at Kaycha’s disposal. With fear immunity, Kaycha shores up a relative weakness in her saving throws, as fear-inducers are a significant portion of Will saves at this point.


    Tango: 12th level
    Spoiler
    Show
    Because of BAB requirements, Kaycha has to wait until 8th level before entering Dervish; because Paragnostic Initiate’s benefits at 1st level outweigh those of Binder 7 for Kaycha’s purposes, she takes her first level of that PrC as the final stepping-stone to get into Dervish. Paragnostic Initiate’s ability to assist adjacent spellcasters or prevent flanked spellcasters from casting defensively pairs wonderfully with Dervish Dance, allowing Kaycha to maneuver around the battlefield to best assist her allies and hinder foes without sacrificing the full-attack action. Paimon’s Dance of Death - while sharing the name of Dervish’s 4th level ability - largely replicates the bonus feat Spring Attack, but the +4 DEX, +4 to Tumble and Perform (Dance), Uncanny Dodge, and Whirlwind Attack more than make up for any overlap. Additionally, binding Paimon offers a greater array of available weapons, and a limited form of Weapon Finesse. Slashing Blades is a somewhat mixed blessing, as it precludes ever gaining real benefit from Power Attack, influencing Kaycha away from that tactic. With Movement Mastery, Kaycha’s two most important movement skills become “always on” and all but impossible to fail. In taking Knowledge Devotion, Kaycha gains permanent access to Knowledge (Nature) as a class skill, and adds a consistent, reliable boost to her attack and damage routine that synergizes perfectly with her Paragnostic Initiate abilities and - if she wishes to call on him again - Naberius. Fast Movement adds to the number of targets she can influence both with her scimitar’s edge and her Paragnostic Initiate’s abilities at the end of her movement. As noted, Spring Attack is a bonus feat, and a decent, if not spectacular, one given her fighting style. (Aside: anyone pointing out a valid and non-trivial instance of “even if she does not meet the prerequisites” as indicated in the bonus feat’s text gets a cookie). With Dervish’s Dance of Death, Kaycha improves her ability to hurt multiple foes even further. Kaycha’s chosen method of combat is inherently dangerous, exposing her to multiple foes who can potentially swipe at her; in binding Rageclaws, she simultaneously boosts her survivability and her damage output once she’s badly hurt. There’s even a small bonus to Climb and Swim built in.


    Twist: 15th level
    Spoiler
    Show
    With four Dervish Dances available per day, Kaycha should be able to utilize it in each encounter she expects to face in a typical adventuring day. Along the way, she’s picked up another 5’ of movement and another +2 bonus to her Initiative, for a whopping +8 when Paimon’s DEX bonus is included. That means she’ll get +10 to her Initiative roll, before any magic is considered; in other words, she’s most likely going first barring Dire Tortoise shenanigans. By binding the Airstep Sandals, Kaycha gains 20’ tactical flight for out-of-combat use, freeing the party’s casters to focus more on disabling the enemy in combat than enabling her outside of it. She also gains a small boost to a couple of good skills for scouting ahead, if she needs to accompany a party member (or doesn’t wish to go back to binding Malphas for the day). Her limited incarnum access means she’ll have to think carefully about how she allocates it, of course. Elaborate Parry, like Combat Reflexes and Rageclaws, gives her survivability a good boost in a challenging fight.


    Cabbage Patch: 20th level
    Spoiler
    Show
    Kaycha finished up Dervish in a straight shot, starting as soon as she was eligible from her Binder base. With 50’ base movement thanks to Dervish and a minimally-invested Sapphire Sprint, she cuts a wide swath in battle, freely choosing where to end her movement for maximum benefit. As written, she can impose a Reflex penalty on a majority of enemies targeted by an ally’s AoE spells, while finishing her movement to either aid and protect that ally’s casting, or to hinder the casting of a dangerous foe. She can use her Dervish Dance more often than she should see encounters, so Kaycha can feel free to use it in every encounter. The fact that she’s not fatigued at the end of her dancing re-enforces this choice’s validity. Kaycha also finishes her obligations as a Paragnostic Initiate, finishing that class by improving her ability to fight high-level staples: Dragons and Humanoids. Even without a full-BAB base class chassis, Kaycha will be adding more than 20 to any attack roll against these foes, before her STR bonus or any situational or magical modifiers are considered, making her into her party’s valid - if unconventional - main combatant. Having finished her prestige classes, Kaycha adds another level of Binder to finish her pre-epic career, typically choosing Andras when not remaining true to Paimon. The mount, extra weapon proficiencies, and Ride bonus are all good if not great at this point, but the ability to add a Smite attack further improves her combat efficiency, and the bonus to critical hits is similarly welcome given her primary weapon choice - the scimitar - has such a wide critical threat range. The chance to make her enemies randomly attack one another is also a strong draw, made more attractive by the larger potential number of targets she can choose from because of her 50’ movement. Note, also, that her combination of classes means she has decent and even saves across the board. She has continued to invest in Diplomacy, her threefold Knowledge interests, Perform (Dance), and Tumble, while obtaining synergy bonuses from sufficient ranks in Balance, so she’s very good at her given role. Because she can choose to bind vestiges besides those highlighted here in a pinch, her role can expand further if the party needs it.


    Lambada: Options not strictly allowed by this contest
    Spoiler
    Show
    If she takes Shaky and Murky-Eyed, Kaycha can jam Mobility into her 1st level, along with Cobalt Expertise from MoI. That would let her shift Rageclaws and Airstep Sandals to earlier in her progression, and snag Bonus Essentia so she isn’t quite so strapped for Essentia.

    If she gets to choose equipment, a Mithral breastplate is pretty clearly the winner for armor, with Fortification and Blurring as top choices for enhancements. Any item that boosts all of her saves would obviously be welcome, and she’d happily add Keen and Collision to her scimitar to increase its damage output both on a critical hit and against everything.

    *
    Sources
    Spoiler
    Show
    1. SRD: System Reference Document
    2. ToM: Tome of Magic
    3. CCh: Complete Champion
    4. CWar: Complete Warrior
    5. MoI: Magic of Incarnum
    Last edited by Private-Prinny; 2011-07-17 at 07:29 PM.

  21. - Top - End - #111
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Private-Prinny's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XXII

    And that's the last of them. The judging period begins... NOW!
    Quotebox
    Spoiler
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Moron View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Optimystik View Post
    'Adding up numbers' is completely independent of roleplay. What you're saying makes as much sense as "peeling a banana is not a good way to drive."


  22. - Top - End - #112
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jun 2010

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XXII

    Hmm. Should have submitted my skulk shadowdancer/chameleon (featuring dervish).

    prepared to fill in a judging slot for when someone drops out.

  23. - Top - End - #113
    Firbolg in the Playground
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    UK
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XXII

    *is vaguely surprised to see only one unarmed entry*

    Still, some very impressive examples of the more standard dervish builds, and nice to see Binder being used more.
    Last edited by term1nally s1ck; 2011-07-17 at 07:51 PM.

  24. - Top - End - #114
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XXII

    Huh, no one used my trick. I was imagining a goliath Dungeoncrasher with Knockback. Why? Because unlike most people with Knockback, a Dervish can chase someone as they keep pushing them around. I couldn't come up with any good zones or hazards to push them into, though, and then I got too busy to finish. I had a few other tricks in mind as well, many of which got incorporated into one of these builds or another, but the pursuing bull-rusher was the big thing.

    Still, should be fun to see the judging. Bit of doubling up in a few places, it seems . . . but I guess that's to be expected.
    In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers ALL HAIL KING TORG!

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    Gentlefolk, learn from Zaq's example, and his suffering. Remember, seven out of eleven players who use truenamer lose their ability to taste ice cream.
    Do you play 4e? I wrote a guide to Truenamers in 4e as well!
    Here's something I homebrewed. (It's not Truenamer-related, honest.) PEACH!

  25. - Top - End - #115
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    OMG PONIES's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XXII

    Glad to see some thri-kreen love! My main concept was a thri-kreen monk 2/totemist 3/Soul Eater 1/Dervish 10. I wasn't sure if Girallon Arms added 4 claws to the thri-kreen's initial 4, but if so I would have had 8 claws + 1 bite + 1 unarmed (via Snap Kick) for 10 attacks. Toss in Soul Eater and A Thousand Cuts, and I think you can drain 20 levels in one round. However, didn't know if it worked that way.

    My other idea was to qualify for Dervish entirely via bonus feats, with a Frostblood Half-Orc swordsage 2/fighter 2/ranger 3/dervish 10/bloodclaw master 3. This would have freed up my actual feats for Lightning Maces and the TWF feat tree, allowing me plenty of chances at free attacks while wielding keen aptitude kukris. However, it was totally unoriginal (especially since I lifted the Frostblood Ranger trick to swap out Endurance from Mordekai in the most recent appetizer edition).

    Oh well, enough rambling...i'll post criteria and start judging tomorrow morning.
    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!

  26. - Top - End - #116
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XXII

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaq View Post
    Huh, no one used my trick. I was imagining a goliath Dungeoncrasher with Knockback.
    Hah. I had the same idea, and thought it was too likely to come up as well.

  27. - Top - End - #117
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2008

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XXII

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaq View Post
    Huh, no one used my trick. I was imagining a goliath Dungeoncrasher with Knockback.
    That would have rocked.

    My first though was TK like two of these people, but I probably was going with insectile or whatever that template from SS is. Never looked into it more as I got busy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Alabenson
    Evil Intelligence is knowing the precise ritual that will allow you to destroy the peaceful kingdom that banished you.

    Evil Wisdom is understanding that you probably shouldn’t perform said ritual while you’re standing in the estimated blast radius.

  28. - Top - End - #118
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Kobold

    Join Date
    Dec 2006

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XXII

    I was trying to figure out some way to make it work with a roof jumper winged kobold of some kind, but I couldn't figure out a way to regain altitude, perhaps footsteps of the deity and jump?
    Spoiler
    Show


  29. - Top - End - #119
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Baltimore, MD
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XXII

    My entry fell apart due to trying to shove too many things into it...

    I wanted some way of taking advantage of the main advantage that Dervish Dance has over Pounce (namely, that you can move after the attacks in addition to before), and create something with Burrow or Earth Glide, so that it could pop from the ground, full attack, and pop back in. I also got it in my head that I really wanted to combine a level or two of the Soul Eater PrC with this concept, and use either the psionic power Graft Weapon or the spell Flame Whips, so I could count both as wielding a slashing weapon and as using a natural attack.

    I had the skeleton of a build (Cobra Strike Monk 2/PsyWar 2/Ardent 4/Soul Eater 2/Dervish 10) down, but the feat requirements were too much, and I couldn't quite get it to come together. Next time, I'll have to focus a bit more!

  30. - Top - End - #120
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Amphetryon's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2006

    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XXII

    My first idea was a VoP Totemist/Dervish/Sword of Righteousness, for the various natural weapons. I couldn't find a way to yam all those feats in without flaws, though.
    Iron Chef in the Playground veteran since Round IV.

    Who made my awesome Dwarf Hexblade avatar, you ask? BRC did!
    Spoiler
    Show

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •