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    Default Re: Worst Prebuilt NPCs

    I don't remember where it was, I think it's one of the Complete Series, but there was an NPC that had a crit-range of 12-20.

    The only way I could figure he got that was from his Keen rapier stacking with his improved critical feat that he took, except for the part where they specifically don't stack.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RandomLunatic View Post
    If we are ragging on Forgotten Realms, let us not forget one of the iconics: Drizz't Do'Urden.

    His write-up in the FRCS book is a perfect demonstration of how not to build a melee character in 3.0. I am going off of memory here, but as an ECL 19 character, he has an Ac around 20 and his full attack is something like +17/+12/+7 for 1d6+6, with an off-hand of +15/+10 for 1d6+4 + 1d6 Frost. Also, he has the full Spring Attack tree, which meshes oh-so-well with TWF. I think about the only mistake he does not make is taking Toughness.
    Drow / Fighter 10 / Barbarian 1 / Ranger 5 (CR: 18, AC: 23 (T:14, FF:19)). Str 13, Dex 20, Con 15, Int 17, Wis 17, Cha 14. He doesn't however have the spring attack tree.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eugenides View Post
    I don't remember where it was, I think it's one of the Complete Series, but there was an NPC that had a crit-range of 12-20.

    The only way I could figure he got that was from his Keen rapier stacking with his improved critical feat that he took, except for the part where they specifically don't stack.
    Technically, that threat range could have happened in 3.0, but would have required Disciple of Dispater, a rapier, and the Improved Critical feat.
    Last edited by Telonius; 2012-10-25 at 09:10 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Telonius View Post
    Technically, that threat range could have happened in 3.0, but would have required Disciple of Dispater, a rapier, and the Improved Critical feat.
    disciple of dispater, along with all the other prcs in bovd, lack sample builds, so it couldn't have been any of them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Telonius View Post
    Technically, that threat range could have happened in 3.0, but would have required Disciple of Dispater, a rapier, and the Improved Critical feat.
    3.0 has both Keen and Improved Critical stacking. 18-20 is the Rapiers base range, either would increase it to 15-20 (+100%) and the other +100% would drop it to 12-20.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zancloufer View Post
    3.0 has both Keen and Improved Critical stacking. 18-20 is the Rapiers base range, either would increase it to 15-20 (+100%) and the other +100% would drop it to 12-20.
    the disciple PrC would drop that to 3-20


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    The Simbul is a powerful spellcaster that, after 20 levels of sorceress and 2 levels of archmage, somehow decided that 10 levels of wizard were a cool way to progress her character.
    According to the description, she used wish to obtain many silly perks, but she never thought it was a good idea to slap some inherent bonus on top of her pathetic charisma score (still 20 after 32 levels ).
    Last edited by Krosta; 2012-10-25 at 10:20 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Krosta View Post
    The Simbul is a powerful spellcaster that, after 20 levels of sorceress and 2 levels of archmage, somehow decided that 10 levels of wizard were a cool way to progress her character.
    According to the description, she used wish to obtain many silly perks, but she never thought it was a good idea to slap some inherent bonus on top of her pathetic charisma score (still 20 after 32 levels ).
    to call that Cha anything less then disgraceful at any sorcerer over lvl 5 is to lie through the teeth.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Krosta View Post
    The Simbul is a powerful spellcaster that, after 20 levels of sorceress and 2 levels of archmage, somehow decided that 10 levels of wizard were a cool way to progress her character.
    According to the description, she used wish to obtain many silly perks, but she never thought it was a good idea to slap some inherent bonus on top of her pathetic charisma score (still 20 after 32 levels ).
    Didn't she use wish for extra feats? I know someone in FR did.

    Maybe she had trouble wording his wishes so she couldn't get inherent wish bonus?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Krosta View Post
    The Simbul is a powerful spellcaster that, after 20 levels of sorceress and 2 levels of archmage, somehow decided that 10 levels of wizard were a cool way to progress her character.
    According to the description, she used wish to obtain many silly perks, but she never thought it was a good idea to slap some inherent bonus on top of her pathetic charisma score (still 20 after 32 levels ).
    Not only that, but her apprentices are all multiclassed wizard/sorcs.

    I suppose now that the ultimate magus prc has been released, they could finally be optimised some.

    If you have lords of darkness, the princes of shade also have this "multiclassed to uselessness" syndrome, with many being split fighter/sorcs. Granted, this was before 3.5's mystic theurge and eldritch knight.

    Drow / Fighter 10 / Barbarian 1 / Ranger 5 (CR: 18, AC: 23 (T:14, FF:19)). Str 13, Dex 20, Con 15, Int 17, Wis 17, Cha 14. He doesn't however have the spring attack tree.
    To be fair, that was more or less an accurate representation of his training, though I find it hard to believe that a 10th lv fighter could possibly have been the 'melee master' of the Underdark. Drizzt was also screwed by the stingy npc wealth guidelines, saddling him with anaemic gear, and TWF'ing generally sucking in 3e.

    Now, with access to more splatbooks, it may just be easier to rebuild him as a warblade.

    Which brings me to tome of battle's sample npcs. Why the designers felt that the best to showcase the prcs' prowess was to use non-martial adept classes as a base baffles me to this day. For eternal blade would be perfect to tack on top of an existing warblade10 or crusader10 build, yet they chose to use fighter lvs instead (and burn several feats to martial study?)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krosta View Post
    The Simbul is a powerful spellcaster that, after 20 levels of sorceress and 2 levels of archmage, somehow decided that 10 levels of wizard were a cool way to progress her character.
    According to the description, she used wish to obtain many silly perks, but she never thought it was a good idea to slap some inherent bonus on top of her pathetic charisma score (still 20 after 32 levels ).
    Whenever I DM and run the Simbul, I just re-stat her out as a 5rd level Wizard/ Sorcerer/5 Ultimate Magus/17 Archmage/5

    And Elminster should friken have the Initiate of Mystra feat for god sakes. I'd offer to replace those damned levels in fighter and Rogue for 3 levels of Warblade, but their is no justification as a fan of Realm lore that I can possible conjure up that would warrant him having access to the Sublime Way

    Seriously, I think we should just give WoTC a mulligan on some of their NPC stats, Especially Ioulaum, Telemont and Larloch. Seriously, I look at their "stats" and then I look at this stating out of Karsus and think to myself "What the hell? Why couldn't someone else grasp the true essence of the character?"

    I'll end this rant here, because I'm sure nobody wants to see my entire rant on how disappointed I was and the changes I'd make and all that stuff, but honestly? I think you as a reader are probably tired of my whining so eh

    EDIT: Looking back on some things, I'd say that some of the Ancient Netherese would be considered Theurges of sorts

    EDIT of an EDIT: YEP! A lot of the NPC in the realm are just plain horrible in their level of optimization... I'm tempted to start a homebrew restating out of the Forgotten Realms NPC... Seriously... It's like WoTC have for the last 12 years constantly betrayed their entire fan base with endless crap...
    Last edited by Arcanist; 2012-10-25 at 11:21 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcanist View Post
    Whenever I DM and run the Simbul, I just re-stat her out as a 5rd level Wizard/ Sorcerer/5 Ultimate Magus/17 Archmage/5

    And Elminster should friken have the Initiate of Mystra feat for god sakes. I'd offer to replace those damned levels in fighter and Rogue for 3 levels of Warblade, but their is no justification as a fan of Realm lore that I can possible conjure up that would warrant him having access to the Sublime Way

    Seriously, I think we should just give WoTC a mulligan on some of their NPC stats, Especially Ioulaum, Telemont and Larloch. Seriously, I look at their "stats" and then I look at this stating out of Karsus and think to myself "What the hell? Why couldn't someone else grasp the true essence of the character?"

    I'll end this rant here, because I'm sure nobody wants to see my entire rant on how disappointed I was and the changes I'd make and all that stuff, but honestly? I think you as a reader are probably tired of my whining so eh

    EDIT: Looking back on some things, I'd say that some of the Ancient Netherese would be considered Theurges of sorts

    EDIT of an EDIT: YEP! A lot of the NPC in the realm are just plain horrible in their level of optimization... I'm tempted to start a homebrew restating out of the Forgotten Realms NPC... Seriously... It's like WoTC have for the last 12 years constantly betrayed their entire fan base with endless crap...
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    Quote Originally Posted by toapat View Post
    to call that Cha anything less then disgraceful at any sorcerer over lvl 5 is to lie through the teeth.
    Oh come on; don't exaggerate. You can afford, like, a +2 Cloak at level 7; the rest of that is going to things like a +2 Amulet of I-Have-a-d4-Hit-Die and other standard magic items. If your best roll/PB was a 17 and you don't want to deal with the atrocious Con penalty that comes with every LA+0 +Cha race except the Lesser Aasimar (which may not have been intended), you'll wind up with a 20 in Cha at level 7.

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    The Shackled City adventure path had some pretty egregiously bad builds. Nothing illegal (at least that I can recall), but I had to re-stat something like 80% of the named baddies just to offer any kind of a challenge to my party.
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    It's important to consider that the Simbul traditionally doesn't have any equipment. The guy who statted her couldn't use magic items to increase her stats.
    But, in her description, is noted that he is somehow treated as if she was wearing some magic items, even if she is going around almost naked. Then she must have some way to achieve this effect (but right now I can't say how), and she could have used it more.
    And it's still silly that the one of the daughters of the freakin' goddes of magic have the same charisma every 10th level sorcerer sports in almost every street corner (being the Realms we are speaking about), magic items or not.
    Last edited by Krosta; 2012-10-26 at 06:47 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcanist View Post
    I'd offer to replace those damned levels in fighter and Rogue for 3 levels of Warblade,
    The fighter, rogue, and cleric levels are all due to his background, the only problem was that Mystic Theurge didn't exist yet when they statted him so he's missing out on ten perfectly good levels of cleric casting.

    but their is no justification as a fan of Realm lore that I can possible conjure up that would warrant him having access to the Sublime Way
    O rly?
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    Wow really, all this rage because the official NPC are not optimized, Wow.

    I don't know about optimization, but I recall the infamous Abjurant Champion bonus to AC given to Mage Armour in the PrC example.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 123456789blaaa View Post
    Refluff Refluff Refluff.
    Don't have to. Figured I could use Swordsage or something like that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sith_Happens View Post
    The fighter, rogue, and cleric levels are all due to his background, the only problem was that Mystic Theurge didn't exist yet when they statted him so he's missing out on ten perfectly good levels of cleric casting.
    I'm familiar with Elminster's background, however they can easily be fluffed away into something a little more optimal. I'm sure that if Greenwood saw this thread he would have my balls on a pike for changing him, but eh... Most definitely would stat Elminster as a Mystic Theurge and thanks to that link, I figure I can use Swordsage as well.

    Off the top of my head Elminster looks like a:

    Swordsage/3 Cleric/3 Wizard/3 Mystic Theurge/16 Archmage/5 Jade Phoenix Mage (refluffed)/5

    Doesn't get 9th level Initiating (stuck at an Initator level of 16), but he sure as hell gets 9th level Divine and Arcane

    For feats, I'm kind of nixed, but off the top of my head he'd have Epic Spellcasting (Duh), Arcane Strike, Initiate of Mystra an assortment of metamagics, Improved Toughness, Spell focus (Evocation & Enchantment) and 5 Item creation feats (one of which being Epic most likely being Epic Craft Wondrous Items).

    Yeah... I might just restat out the Faerun NPCs to be more fluff loyal and optimized because for Christ sake, most of them don't have prestige classes (except for Archmage).

    On a side note: I just noticed that they don't have the excuse of not using Mystic Theurge... It was in the same book as Archmage... what in the actual ****?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Lantern View Post
    Wow really, all this rage because the official NPC are not optimized, Wow.
    Not so much rage as it is sheer annoyance. When you're running around with titles like "Sage of Shadowdale" I except you to be able to rip any character I'd dream of making into cosmic dust before I even have a chance to step up to you. Hell Manshoon is even more disappointing once you take a look at him... Hell, Szass Tam could have access to the Arcane Transfiguration tree due to how long he's been working with Larloch and on that note Larloch could have friken levels in Dungeon Lord (of the Warlock's Crypt) with Szass Tam as his Cohort (would totally make sense seeing as how Szass is Larloch's *****, but then again when you're as old and as well versed in the Art as Larloch, everything pretty much is )
    Last edited by Arcanist; 2012-10-26 at 09:39 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcanist View Post
    On a side note: I just noticed that they don't have the excuse of not using Mystic Theurge... It was in the same book as Archmage... what in the actual ****?
    The MT did not exist in 3.0 IIRC.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boci View Post
    The MT did not exist in 3.0 IIRC.
    Yep, your right, it was added in the 3.5 revision of it. (which according Wikipedia was added at the same time as Archmage... I'm confused now...)
    Last edited by Arcanist; 2012-10-26 at 09:42 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcanist View Post
    Yep, your right, it was added in the 3.5 revision of it. (which according Wikipedia was added at the same time as Archmage... I'm confused now...)
    Either wikipedia was wrong, or archmage was added in a 3.0 splat book and only became core in the 3.5 revision.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boci View Post
    Either wikipedia was wrong, or archmage was added in a 3.0 splat book and only became core in the 3.5 revision.
    Yep, right again. It appears in the FR Campaign Setting

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    I believe archmage was in one of the FR books (maybe even FRCS) and ported into 3.5's DMG during the conversion.

    edit: damn dirty ninjas...
    Last edited by Zherog; 2012-10-26 at 09:57 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Menteith View Post
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    To be fair, while CA does say a Warlock has to start as chaotic or evil, there's nothing in the class that indicates you have to stay that way. Therefore, by RAW there's nothing stopping you from changing your Warlock's alignment to whatever you feel like after character creation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcanist View Post
    And Elminster should friken have the Initiate of Mystra feat for god sakes. I'd offer to replace those damned levels in fighter and Rogue for 3 levels of Warblade, but their is no justification as a fan of Realm lore that I can possible conjure up that would warrant him having access to the Sublime Way

    Seriously, I think we should just give WoTC a mulligan on some of their NPC stats, Especially Ioulaum, Telemont and Larloch. Seriously, I look at their "stats" and then I look at this stating out of Karsus and think to myself "What the hell? Why couldn't someone else grasp the true essence of the character?"

    I'll end this rant here, because I'm sure nobody wants to see my entire rant on how disappointed I was and the changes I'd make and all that stuff, but honestly? I think you as a reader are probably tired of my whining so eh

    EDIT of an EDIT: YEP! A lot of the NPC in the realm are just plain horrible in their level of optimization... I'm tempted to start a homebrew restating out of the Forgotten Realms NPC... Seriously... It's like WoTC have for the last 12 years constantly betrayed their entire fan base with endless crap...
    That's...a pretty serious accusation. IMO, completely unfounded.

    I can expect that WotC has a combination of "doesn't understand its own game" and "plays a different game than the rest of the tables", but insisting on sabotage on their example NPCs goes a bit too far.

    Now, I'm not a fan of FR (I prefer Eberron myself). I have problems with the various NPCs (particularly Drizzt "good Drow poster-boy" Do'Urden and Elminster the walking deus-ex-machina), but some of the choices are pretty reasonable. Elminster was built as an NPC on 3rd Edition, when PrCs were scarce. They tried to explain his time as a brigand with the few levels of Fighter and Rogue, but he's a spellcaster first and foremost. His choice of spells aren't made to be optimized, but rather made to follow Greenwood's stories. Both WotC and Greenwood are bound by the boundaries (forgive my redundancy) of the stories and the game mechanics. You can do some minimal changes that can make sense (doesn't he has one level of Rogue? Why not change Fighter 3/Rogue 1 into Fighter 2/Rogue 2), but expecting him to suddenly learn Iron Heart when those are mentioned to be extraordinary disciplines before he was even touched by Mystra completely defies all sense. That's where the accusations of "darned optimizers, ruining the fun of us roleplayers" emerge (even if Elminster SHOULD be optimized respecting the boundaries imposed by the game and Mr. Greenwood's stories).

    The "multiclassing into oblivion" syndrome is another problem, though. WotC honestly believes that a Fighter 10/Sorcerer 10 is as strong as a Sorcerer 20 (it is stronger than a Fighter 20, though). Boundaries there are a bit looser, and one can play a bit better. However, suddenly expecting that schools of martial arts meant to be rare are all of a sudden commonplace is...at best, absurd. I can expect that some of the commanders might have levels in Warblade or Swordsage, but having ALL of them perfectly optimized? Gentlemen, unless you're willing to change the game in the name of increased difficulty, it's best to respect the boundaries and not expect the developers to optimize just about everything so that people are forced even MORE to bring up their game. I don't wish to fall into Stormwind Fallacy, but hey, there's more classes out there than the martial adepts. There's so much you can refluff before you have purists decry that you've basically ruined the setting, particularly one such as the FRs that has its lore written in stone (a reason I prefer Eberron, because it has looser lore than FR and is easier to refluff).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Lantern View Post
    Wow really, all this rage because the official NPC are not optimized, Wow.

    I don't know about optimization, but I recall the infamous Abjurant Champion bonus to AC given to Mage Armour in the PrC example.
    it wasn't so much that people were upset that the sample character, elven cary elwes had the 5 from abjurant armor in his statblock. sample npcs are always wrong.

    what people got upset about was that in the rules text for the actual abjurant armor ability it said you can use it on mage armor, which shows a profound lack of caring about the rules of this game. it takes very little time to see that mage armor is a conjuration spell, and thus not affected by abjurant armor.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alabenson View Post
    To be fair, while CA does say a Warlock has to start as chaotic or evil, there's nothing in the class that indicates you have to stay that way. Therefore, by RAW there's nothing stopping you from changing your Warlock's alignment to whatever you feel like after character creation.
    warlock doesn't require evil, any nonlawful or nongood will get you in there.

    almost all classes/prcs that have an alignment req have this true of them though. there's no such thing as an "ex-rainbow servant" or "ex-ninja spy" so alignment, again, doesn't really matter that much
    Last edited by Venger; 2012-10-26 at 01:23 PM.
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  27. - Top - End - #57
    Banned
     
    Griffon

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    Default Re: Worst Prebuilt NPCs

    Quote Originally Posted by Runestar View Post

    Which brings me to tome of battle's sample npcs. Why the designers felt that the best to showcase the prcs' prowess was to use non-martial adept classes as a base baffles me to this day. For eternal blade would be perfect to tack on top of an existing warblade10 or crusader10 build, yet they chose to use fighter lvs instead (and burn several feats to martial study?)
    Perhaps they were trying to emphasize with a wet noodle that the book could be used with the PHB classes. You didn't have to be a crusader/warblade/swordsage to use the book, including the prestige classes.

  28. - Top - End - #58
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    Mystral's Avatar

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    Default Re: Worst Prebuilt NPCs

    Let's forget about the really famous guys and take a look at the more unknown forgotten realms NPCs. I'll go trough the Campaign Setting and take Notes as I move trough. I'll ignore anything epic.

    Hadrhune: Seems powerfull enough, but hey, it's a wizard, so what do you expect. One thing of note is that he has NO INT-BOOSTING ITEM WHATSOEVER.

    Alusair Obarskyr: Our beloved upper class twit of cormyr, Alusair sports a vorpal longsword +3 at level 10. That alone is worth 2,5 the allowed wealth of a pc of her level. Not that it's going to do her any good, because she DOES NOT HAVE POWER ATTACK. Her build seems to be focused around mounted combat, but she has no lance. There is also a mithral dwarven full plate in her posessions, which strikes me as odd, as the dwarven plate in the SRD is made out of ADAMANTINE. Her AC seems wrong. It should be 10+9 (Full plate) +4 (+2 large shield) +3 (Dex) +3 (Ring of Protection)=29, not 28 as stated in her stat block. Oh, and she has 4 magic rings. Bling bling.

    Caladnei:Sorcerer/Fighter with a very, very weak try at being a gish. Has some usefull gish spells (Stoneskin, Enervation, Teleport, Displacement, Fly to name a few) but she sadly suffers from longsworditis like most good npcs seem to do. Doing 1d8+5 damage at CR 15 is not even sad anymore. Of course, not even power attack (doesn't qualify with 12 strength, too) No item boosting charisma. She is also able to cast fly and sports winged boots, so that's a good use of her money.

    Jezz the Lame: Amazingly enough, his name is his game. The good: His spells and rogue abilities synergise well (no fireball there) and although I'd question his use of a kukri (a short sword would serve him just as well) it kind of works as a skill user. The bad: Has a spell called change self, I'm guessing they mean disguise self. His rogue hit dice are listed as d4, too, and he has a con of 10 (Elf, yo). So he has a pathetic 34 hit points! He wouldn't even survive a stern look from a Party for which he'd be an epic challenge.

    Arrrk:Is missing one feat (should have 5, 3 from having 8 HD, 2 from 2 levels of fighter), but at least he has power attack and uses a greatsword. (It's spell storing, but I have no idea how he gets the spells in there in the first place). His attack bonus is of, it should be +14, not +12. AC should be 20. He seems to be competent at what he does, though and could easily outdamage and outtank upper class twit up there.
    Thanks for Zefir for the custom avatar.

  29. - Top - End - #59
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    Blue Lantern's Avatar

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    Default Re: Worst Prebuilt NPCs

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    Now, I'm not a fan of FR (I prefer Eberron myself). I have problems with the various NPCs (particularly Drizzt "good Drow poster-boy" Do'Urden and Elminster the walking deus-ex-machina), but some of the choices are pretty reasonable. Elminster was built as an NPC on 3rd Edition, when PrCs were scarce. They tried to explain his time as a brigand with the few levels of Fighter and Rogue, but he's a spellcaster first and foremost. His choice of spells aren't made to be optimized, but rather made to follow Greenwood's stories. Both WotC and Greenwood are bound by the boundaries (forgive my redundancy) of the stories and the game mechanics. You can do some minimal changes that can make sense (doesn't he has one level of Rogue? Why not change Fighter 3/Rogue 1 into Fighter 2/Rogue 2), but expecting him to suddenly learn Iron Heart when those are mentioned to be extraordinary disciplines before he was even touched by Mystra completely defies all sense. That's where the accusations of "darned optimizers, ruining the fun of us roleplayers" emerge (even if Elminster SHOULD be optimized respecting the boundaries imposed by the game and Mr. Greenwood's stories).
    I agree on almost all your argument exept the bolded part.
    Why? Why people can not accept that the game as designed, as reflected by all those NPC around, was not meant around heavy, or even basic I guess, optimization, maybe for incompetence or maybe because they put more importance on fluff, most likely both.
    I mean no offence to anyone, it is just that I can not wrap my head about this behaviour.
    After years of disintoxication I'm back in the D&D tunnel

    "I donít understand God. I donít understand how He could see the way people treat one another, and not chalk up the whole human race as a bad idea. I guess Heís just bigger about it than I would be."
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  30. - Top - End - #60
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    DrowGuy

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    Default Re: Worst Prebuilt NPCs

    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Lantern View Post
    I agree on almost all your argument exept the bolded part.
    Why? Why people can not accept that the game as designed, as reflected by all those NPC around, was not meant around heavy, or even basic I guess, optimization, maybe for incompetence or maybe because they put more importance on fluff, most likely both.
    I mean no offence to anyone, it is just that I can not wrap my head about this behaviour.
    For the same reason people would object to a "master hunter" NPC in a modern setting with no tracking skill and whose equipment only included a handgun and saw off shotgun for firearms.
    Last edited by Boci; 2012-10-26 at 02:59 PM.
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