Page 3 of 5 FirstFirst 12345 LastLast
Results 61 to 90 of 145
  1. - Top - End - #61
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Zherog's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Bensalem, PA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Worst Prebuilt NPCs

    Quote Originally Posted by Mystral View Post
    The bad: Has a spell called change self, I'm guessing they mean disguise self.
    No, they meant change self - which is what the spell was named in 3.0 (and it also was mechanically different).
    John Ling
    Frog God Games Lead Pathfinder Developer

    Note: unless explicitly stated otherwise, opinions in my posts are my own and not those of Frog God Games.

  2. - Top - End - #62
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Dusk Eclipse's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    In the ruins of San de So
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Worst Prebuilt NPCs

    Lord Robilar was stated as a level 24 fighter.... W.T.F?
    Just call me Dusk
    Avatar by Ceika

    Spoiler: Iron Chef Trophy/Characters
    Show

    Stephan & Artorias sigatars by CoffeeIncluded, IC thropy by Savannah

  3. - Top - End - #63
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Mystral's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Siebenwind

    Default Re: Worst Prebuilt NPCs

    Sharbuti Shanardanda: Monk that uses a bastard sword. Twohanded, without power attack. 62 HP, AC 20 and no other defenses at CR 13. No synergie with his few sorcerer spells (Dude, get a belt of giant strength) Charisma 12 sorcerer. What's not to like?! His fluff says that he never backs down from a challenge. If I ever meet him, he is SO going down, if only for that stupid name.

    Scyllua Darkhope: CR 15 doing 4-13 damage/round. Awesome. She's not even proficient with her damn bastard sword. Her mount is more dangerous then she is. Her fluff says that she fell because she was tricked to believe that an evil lord she had cornered was going to renounce his evil ways and become good.. wut?

    Gerti Orelsdotter: Only 6 feats at 20 hd. One of them is skill focus stronecrafting. On the other hand, she's using a greataxe and can power attack, and with the right spell selection, she could clericzilla nicely. Have to question her choice of clothes, though (Not many). Why does she walk around barebellied and uses armor bracers +4? Oo I'm pretty sure frost giants can at least use hide armor.

    Oubould Manyarrows:Just chuck a fireball his way and his crown will do the rest. Still, switch out daylight adaption for something usefull, like jump attack, and you have a nice charger. Has to work on his AC though. His strength is low for an ork, though (14 before racial bonus).

    Mirt: Ridiculously good attributes. (PB 64!) Even those good attributes don't make up for the fact he is using two weapon fighting with only 3d6 sneak attack.
    Thanks for Zefir for the custom avatar.

  4. - Top - End - #64
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Mystral's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Siebenwind

    Default Re: Worst Prebuilt NPCs

    Elaith "The Serpent" Craulnober: Another bad try at being a gish. Favors evocation spells, which he usually heightens. His spellbook only has one level 4 and one level 5 spell at wizard level 9. How did he even DO THAT?! Attributes are, of course, ridiculous, too (PB 62) Has weapon finesse although his strength is nearly the same as his dexterity.

    Ningal: And another gish. They really like those in the forgotten realms, don't they. This one has some levels in bard thrown in for good measure, and of course, she uses eovcation and no magical defenses. Her feats are all over the place with some archery, some magic and combat casting. Very little damage for CR 17, and most of it is cold. Has a bounty of 10k gold on her. Easy money if you can cast dimensional lock.

    Miklos Selkirk: Has 3 regional feats, which is illegal as far as I know. Watch out, if he flanks you, he might even do more then 10 damage. Maybe 15 if he crits. If he even hits, as he has 10 strength, 18 dexterity and NO WEAPON FINESSE.

    Bronnia Stonesplitter: Wizard 7, with a focus on enchantment (and not evocation, yay) although she seems to be a generalist. Her spell book seems to lack defensive spells (although she might be okay with using fly and protection from arrows) and she seems too reliant on wands for my taste. Still, as far as faerun npcs go, she is quite competent.
    Last edited by Mystral; 2012-10-26 at 05:32 PM.
    Thanks for Zefir for the custom avatar.

  5. - Top - End - #65
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Mystral's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Siebenwind

    Default Re: Worst Prebuilt NPCs

    Sememmon: Wizard 17. What could possibly go wrong here? Oh right. He has toughness. *Sigh* Also, he has improved his wisdom and charisma trough wish scrolls, but didn't do so for his intelligence. Why?! Still, being a wizard 17 with nearly all spells available, he could work.

    Sengal Took simple weapon proficiency as a feat. As a werewolf. His wisdom is abysmal for a druid, and he does only 1d6 damage at CR 7. Also has 1 feat to much (3 at level 5)

    KhaliaTransmuter (Strongest School in 3.0) who barred evocation, illusion and enchantment. Her spell selection is very broad and good, although she is focused a lot on creating magic items. But as she is a red wizard, that's totally in character.

    So, all in all, what's to say? The only npcs without mayor faults are rather low level (Arrrak, Bronnia, Khalia, Oubold, maybe Sememmon), at least in the context of the campaign setting. They are single class, and 3 of them are straight wizards or have taken a prestige class that advances spell casting. There are quite a lot of gishs and fighty characters, and most of them fall flat. Strangely, there are next to no divine spellcasters or "skill monkeys" in the mix.

    Also, attribute raising items, which are most of the time seen as one of the most basic magic items in existence, are completely absent. Some of the characters seem to have only gone gish so they could buff themselves with cats grace.

    Attributes are all over the place, with some worse then the elite array and some with nearly an 18 in every stat. I only skimmed over the npcs, so I will surely have missed a lot of errors, but nearly every time I took a closer look at AC and Attack bonusses, they were wrong.
    Last edited by Mystral; 2012-10-26 at 04:25 PM.
    Thanks for Zefir for the custom avatar.

  6. - Top - End - #66
    Firbolg in the Playground
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Mountain View, CA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Worst Prebuilt NPCs

    Not strictly a WotC NPC, but this one is from a published module. She's supposed to be the final boss of a 10-level campaign arc. The party is expected to be level 9 or 10 when facing her. She has a bunch of minions to help, but she is unquestionably supposed to be the one in charge and (presumably) the most powerful threat.

    Behold, her stat block:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Drow fighter 4/cleric 6; CR 11;
    Medium humanoid (elf);
    HD 6d8+4d10-10 (39 hp);
    Init +2;
    Spd 20 ft in breastplate (4 squares), base speed 30 ft;
    AC 23 (+2 Dex, +7 breastplate +2, +4 heavy steel shield +2), touch 12, flat-footed 21;
    Base attack/grapple +8/+10;
    Atk +2 rapier +12 melee (1d6+1/18-20 plus poison) or thrown net +10 ranged (entanglement);
    Full atk +2 rapier +12/+7 melee (1d6+1/18-20 plus poison) or thrown net +10 ranged (entanglement);
    Space/ Reach 5 ft/5 ft;
    SA spells, spell-like abilities, poison, rebuke undead;
    SQ drow traits, spell resistance 21;
    AL LE;
    SV: Fort +8, Ref +7, Will +9;
    Str 13, Dex 14, Con 8, Int 10, Wis 17, Cha 16
    Skills: Concentration +7, Knowledge (arcana) +4, Knowledge (history) +4, Knowledge (religion) +4, Intimidate +11, Listen +2, Profession (force commander) +11, Search +2, Spot +2, Spellcraft +8;
    Feats: Combat Casting, Leadership, Lightning Reflexes, Mobility, Power Attack, Spring Attack, Weapon Finesse, Weapon Proficiency (net), Weapon Focus (net)
    Domains: Protection, War
    Spells: 0th level: detect magic, guidance, inflict minor wounds, resistance; 1st level: command, doom, entropic shield, magic weapon, shield of faith; 2nd level: augury, hold person (2), spiritual weapon, summon monster II;
    3rd level: dispel magic, summon monster III (2)
    Equipment & Treasure: +2 breastplate, +2 heavy steel shield, +2 rapier, helm of teleportation, net


    ...

    That's ok, keep laughing, I can wait.

    ...

    Yeah, I rebuilt her entirely from scratch before the PCs got anywhere near her. Fighting that set of stats would have been a cakewalk at level 5.
    Saberhagen's Twelve Swords, some homebrew artifacts for 3.5 (please comment)

    Archives:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Isstinen Tonche for ECL 74 playtesting.
    Team Solars: Powergaming beyond your wildest imagining, without infinite loops or epic. Yes, the DM asked for it.
    Arcane Swordsage: Making it actually work (homebrew)

  7. - Top - End - #67
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Arcanist's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Warlock's Crypt, Orbedal
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Worst Prebuilt NPCs

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    That's...a pretty serious accusation. IMO, completely unfounded.
    How so?

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    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.
    Ah... I see...

    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).
    Yes, that makes sense, but creates a wonderful thing called the Stormwind Fallacy. Honestly, I picked Swordsage, because of the maneuvers they have. I recall one of them granting Sneak Attack which was my justification for having those Swordsage levels (Same mechanically abilities as the Rogue with a little bit more shove to it). After learning how to use the ToB I effectively stopped attacking my players with Paladins, Rogues and Fighters. Since effectively my players are charging in a muzzle velocity with a little bit more optimization then most of the encounters printed in most modules. The reason I offered to completely revamp Elminster is because Ioulaum (the Elder Brain Lich) can easily take him out because two of his Spell Like Abilities are Astral Projection and Nondetection (my mistake, one of them is a spell known as a Sorcerer). Even in the Realm those spells are incredibly high powered if used in combination of each other and the fact that he has them as Spell like abilities (not even required to prep them as spells and giving Astral Projection a standard action to cast) is a little bit cheap. Wrap all of that up into a 41st level Wizard (31st Wizard, 5th Archmage, 5th Netherese Arcanist) and you're looking at the worst life in the multiverse.

    That being said: There is a certain level of Optimization that NPC should adhere to even if they're going into Epic level.

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    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).
    This I cannot deny. I'm not talking about perfect optimization for all the NPC (otherwise we'd all be fighting Wizards errday). What I'm talking about is fluff loyal NPC that can actually challenge the party a little bit more effectively then a Fighter/1 Rogue 2 can accomplish. The Tome of Battle actually does mundane fighting properly (I'm sure someone here will disagree with me). the idea that the FR's lore is written in stone is quite obvious. Elminster is a Wizard capable of exceptional physical feats and even without his magic is quite formidable in combat... WOULD YOU LOOK AT THAT! I can justify him as being a Swordsage/3 which makes him a better Rogue and a better Fighter with just 3 levels! (Maybe not that good of a skill monkey, but I'm still torn on giving him access to Factotum levels... hmm... need to think on that... Maybe Swordsage/1 Factotum/2? or just go dump a level in JPM for Factotum 3... Might just dump the entire Factotum idea all together).

    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 behavior.
    It's because when my PC's encounter a living force of nature like Mordenkainen or Elminster or whoever the hell Eberron has they except to not be able to slaughter them without 1 days worth of planning. I except them to have 21 Contingencies set up (Craft Contingent spell + 1 Contingency spell). I expect them to have every spell ever published in their spellbooks, I expect, that after YEARS AND YEARS OF ADVENTURING, Mordenkainen to have friken Uncanny Forethought! It's just... I expect these Super Wizard idols to be deities without divine ranks if that makes any sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dusk Eclipse View Post
    Lord Robilar was stated as a level 24 fighter.... W.T.F?
    Could easily be a Warblade which would resolve any and all problems the Character faces against say... a Level 11 Wizard? (I'm sure someone can correct me on that since it is probably lower).

  8. - Top - End - #68
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    toapat's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2012

    Default Re: Worst Prebuilt NPCs

    Quote Originally Posted by Arcanist View Post
    The Tome of Battle actually does mundane fighting properly (I'm sure someone here will disagree with me).
    quite wrong, and here is why:

    Tome of Battle fixes mundane by writing a new system, instead of fixing the system. the results are effective, but that does not mean they handled the need to fix melee correctly. at all.


    My Homebrew: found here.
    When you Absolutely, Positively, Gotta Drop some Huge rocks, Accept NO Substitutes

    PM Me if you would like a table from my homebrew reconstructed.

    I use Red when I'm angry, I use blue when I'm excited.
    Drow avatar @ myself

  9. - Top - End - #69
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Arcanist's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Warlock's Crypt, Orbedal
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Worst Prebuilt NPCs

    Quote Originally Posted by toapat View Post
    Tome of Battle fixes mundane by writing a new system, instead of fixing the system. the results are effective, but that does not mean they handled the need to fix melee correctly. at all.
    Pardon, I didn't know that they should have scrapped the entire combat system just so that they could fix Mundanes instead of, ya know, adding in something that allows a Fighter to keep up with a Sorcerer. Completely reasonable.

  10. - Top - End - #70
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    Coidzor's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Ruined Racetrack
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Worst Prebuilt NPCs

    Quote Originally Posted by Dusk Eclipse View Post
    Lord Robilar was stated as a level 24 fighter.... W.T.F?
    I think that's literally how that character ended up, as Lord Robilar was actually Gary Gygax's son(?) Robert's character back before D&D was really codified into the first editions, IIRC.

    Things were different back then. Now, the decision to leave him as-is for legacy purposes rather than modernize him a bit more, I'm a bit iffy on that, I must admit.
    Last edited by Coidzor; 2012-10-26 at 07:16 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Keld Denar View Post
    +3 Girlfriend is totally unoptimized. You are better off with a +1 Keen Witty girlfriend and then appling Greater Magic Make-up to increase her enhancement bonus.
    Homebrew
    To Do: Reboot and finish Riptide

  11. - Top - End - #71
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Arcanist's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Warlock's Crypt, Orbedal
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Worst Prebuilt NPCs

    Quote Originally Posted by Coidzor View Post
    I think that's literally how that character ended up, as Lord Robilar was actually Gary Gygax's son(?) Robert's character back before D&D was really codified into the first editions, IIRC.

    Things were different back then. Now, the decision to leave him as-is for legacy purposes rather than modernize him a bit more, I'm a bit iffy on that, I must admit.
    Ooo... I never actually thought if it that way...

  12. - Top - End - #72
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    Coidzor's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Ruined Racetrack
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Worst Prebuilt NPCs

    Quote Originally Posted by Arcanist View Post
    Ooo... I never actually thought if it that way...
    I honestly don't recall if there's any others from back then which survived as statted up NPCs though.
    Quote Originally Posted by Keld Denar View Post
    +3 Girlfriend is totally unoptimized. You are better off with a +1 Keen Witty girlfriend and then appling Greater Magic Make-up to increase her enhancement bonus.
    Homebrew
    To Do: Reboot and finish Riptide

  13. - Top - End - #73
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Kazyan's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2011

    Default Re: Worst Prebuilt NPCs

    The thing about NPCs is that you don't need to optimize them. You can just give them another level. If I wanted to stat out Ty, The Tasmanian Tiger, I could either do a lot of fiddling with Warblade 5/Bloodstorm Blade 2 while handwaving fluff and wracking my brain for way to get the feats in time, or I could just slap 10 levels of Fighter (with no ACFs, gasp!) on him to get those Boomerang feats, TWF tree, and ranged Power Attack stuff that would make him a relevant encounter.

    It's also really distasteful to handwave the Sublime Way fluff on a sample NPC, because, well, you'd expect the company which freaking made the Tome of Battle to adhere to what it says. I'm...having a really hard time articulating that point.

  14. - Top - End - #74
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    Coidzor's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Ruined Racetrack
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Worst Prebuilt NPCs

    Biggest problem is that it was released so darn late, haha.

    Second biggest problem was the corner they wrote themselves into with the fluff as far as letting people accept it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Keld Denar View Post
    +3 Girlfriend is totally unoptimized. You are better off with a +1 Keen Witty girlfriend and then appling Greater Magic Make-up to increase her enhancement bonus.
    Homebrew
    To Do: Reboot and finish Riptide

  15. - Top - End - #75
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Firechanter's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2011

    Default Re: Worst Prebuilt NPCs

    Concerning characters like Elmo or the Simbul... I just can't help wondering how such complete and utter _gimps_ could ever have gotten anywhere near Epic levels in the first place, much less way into them.
    So you know, university Physics D&D 3.5 Optimization is essentially three seven years of this discussion among like-minded enthusiasts. Done with supercomputers, access to the textsplatbook collections of five continents and thirty languages with thousands of classes, prestige classes, feats and spells.
    On four hours sleep a night.
    With no sex.
    You're not going to find the loophole these guys missed.

  16. - Top - End - #76
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Chimera

    Join Date
    Jan 2010

    Default Re: Worst Prebuilt NPCs

    One interesting thing has been pointed out - apart from a few iconic npcs like larloch, no other FR spellcaster uses stat-boosting eq. Even elminster feels he is too boss to don a headband of intellect.

    Few more that spring to mind.

    Alustriel's son is a fighter7/wizard9. So many cardinal sins broken (most notably, taking odd lvs in fighter). The consolation is that in 3.5, he could at least be a fighter1/wizard5/eldritch knight10.

    Storm silverhand is a rogue/fighter/bard/sorc.

    The epic npcs in the ELH too. Should we come up with some guidelines to prevent npcs (those combat related, at least) from sucking too much.
    Last edited by Runestar; 2012-10-26 at 08:26 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
    I can never understand WOTC's reasoning; taking RAW as a whole is like grabbing a book filled with fortune cookie sayings and basing your life off of them.
    My humble efforts at re-cr'ing MM2
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=215727

  17. - Top - End - #77
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    T.G. Oskar's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Gender
    Male

    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.
    Not even by respecting the boundaries?

    Thing is, consider just the spell list. Elminster has access to a HUGE amount of spells. You can consider the entire spell list from the PHB fair game. So...being essentially Mr. Greenwood's avatar in-game, you can expect the darned mage to be one of the most powerful beings in existence.

    Yet, the game has been upped a bit. If he's meant to be the most powerful spellcaster, the idea is that he should be. Not having a moderately optimized Wizard essentially crush him at his own game.

    That said: does that mean you'll change his Fighter levels into Warblade levels? As I mentioned, that doesn't make sense. However: what from the stat block is exactly as explained in the books, what's derived to explain some of the stuff he can pull on the books, and what's just filler? That filler can be optimized, because it's not something supported by the rules.

    Fluff-wise, what's the difference between a Wizard 20 and a Wizard 24? Or rather, a Wizard 21 and a Wizard 24? One extra feat? A good example would be how the first levels are arranged: from what I recall, Elminster was a brigand before Mystra took her interest in him and made him her boyfriend devoted servant. To what extent does 1 level in Fighter and 2 levels of Rogue represent this? Rogue 2 grants Evasion, which can represent a stroke of luck avoiding magical attacks, and Fighter 1 grants proficiency with all martial weapons, which allows him to wield a longsword. Now, what about Cleric? I can understand that they need to explain his attachment to Mystra, even if Favored Soul fits better; yet, Favored Soul is 3.5, so it's off limits. Why not Arcane Devotee, then? He doesn't gain many spells, and I presume he doesn't use Turn Undead to defeat the very powerful undead he fights against, no? Arcane Devotee is on the Forgotten Realms campaign setting, right before Archmage (which he uses), and probably could make better use of. Is it required to have, say, three Cleric levels to be considered a proper priest, like in 1st Edition? That's a purely fluff-related question which has some connection to mechanics (connection between class levels and hierarchy within an organization), which could impose a boundary; if it doesn't, then it's fair to tweak.

    It's one reason why I mention "within boundaries". You can't change Elminster's rogue levels because those are part of his history; you can't change his wizard levels because it's the class that defines him. However, to what extent does his amount of ranks in, say, Jump or Swim define his character, when he has spells to negate jumping or swimming? To what extent those skill ranks could be shifted to reflect his skill at some key, crucial skill that he always use in the books?

    It's a reason why I mention that I didn't wish to fall into the Stormwind Fallacy. Optimizing doesn't mean ruining a character.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arcanist View Post
    Yes, that makes sense, but creates a wonderful thing called the Stormwind Fallacy. Honestly, I picked Swordsage, because of the maneuvers they have. I recall one of them granting Sneak Attack which was my justification for having those Swordsage levels (Same mechanically abilities as the Rogue with a little bit more shove to it). After learning how to use the ToB I effectively stopped attacking my players with Paladins, Rogues and Fighters. Since effectively my players are charging in a muzzle velocity with a little bit more optimization then most of the encounters printed in most modules. The reason I offered to completely revamp Elminster is because Ioulaum (the Elder Brain Lich) can easily take him out because two of his Spell Like Abilities are Astral Projection and Nondetection (my mistake, one of them is a spell known as a Sorcerer). Even in the Realm those spells are incredibly high powered if used in combination of each other and the fact that he has them as Spell like abilities (not even required to prep them as spells and giving Astral Projection a standard action to cast) is a little bit cheap. Wrap all of that up into a 41st level Wizard (31st Wizard, 5th Archmage, 5th Netherese Arcanist) and you're looking at the worst life in the multiverse.

    That being said: There is a certain level of Optimization that NPC should adhere to even if they're going into Epic level.
    Jeez, I get attacked by BOTH SIDES? Hey, at least I made two people with distinct views to agree on something: I seem to be wrong for one reason.

    No, I don't intend to invoke Stormwind Fallacy by what I say. However, why exactly he should take levels in Warblade and Swordsage when the campaign setting hesitates on adding Psionics, and only later they decided to apply them a bit, opening the setting to other mechanics? That's what I refer to the "boundaries". You can attempt to justify some things by doing some broad changes, but refluffing can only go so much. In fact, I would say that if I fall into Stormwind Fallacy from one side (trying to respect roleplaying), you'd be falling from the other side (emphasizing optimization). You can be creative with what exists and still make these guys better.

    For starters: I have the Tome of Battle book as well, and that hasn't made me scratch away the Rogue, the Monk or the Paladin. Sure, I've done homebrewing for them (not that I negate these classes need help), but I've always considered they can co-exist, and not merely as dipping classes. The one class I can agree I can scratch is the Fighter, but I haven't dropped the Rogue for classes such as Swordsages and Factotum.

    Second: Elminster is a wizard. Ioulaum is a wizard. If we're speaking of epic wizards, the one who wins is the one who cheats the most. Both have access to Astral Projection and Nondetection, Teleport without Error, Time Stop, Gate...it all depends on whom makes the first mistake. Even trying the very darn best to prevent Magic Tea Party, both have a wide variety of spells at their disposal.

    Third: since when "a specific level of optimization" is a written rule in the DMG? It's more of an implied rule than an actual rule. If your party is bulldozing NPCs with little optimization, then it's best to up the ante; if they're having problems, then it's best to deal with the players by helping them. However, it's rude at best to expect that NPCs should be optimized because players will bulldoze them, or that players will be challenged by NPCs (regardless of optimization). If NPCs must reach a specific level of optimization as a rule (not a guideline or suggestion), then who's the best to gauge that level? Right now, the thread is debating that the developers aren't. The developers should be the best to define that level if there's any hope of having an official level; else, that statement is subjective.

    This I cannot deny. I'm not talking about perfect optimization for all the NPC (otherwise we'd all be fighting Wizards errday). What I'm talking about is fluff loyal NPC that can actually challenge the party a little bit more effectively then a Fighter/1 Rogue 2 can accomplish. The Tome of Battle actually does mundane fighting properly (I'm sure someone here will disagree with me). the idea that the FR's lore is written in stone is quite obvious. Elminster is a Wizard capable of exceptional physical feats and even without his magic is quite formidable in combat... WOULD YOU LOOK AT THAT! I can justify him as being a Swordsage/3 which makes him a better Rogue and a better Fighter with just 3 levels! (Maybe not that good of a skill monkey, but I'm still torn on giving him access to Factotum levels... hmm... need to think on that... Maybe Swordsage/1 Factotum/2? or just go dump a level in JPM for Factotum 3... Might just dump the entire Factotum idea all together).
    If I'd go with your suggestions, I'd go Factotum 3.

    In fact, why the heck are you suggesting Swordsage of all things? His Wis is nice, but nothing surprising compared to his Int, and Factotum has excellent Int synergy.

    However, what's the problem with Rogue levels? He gets trapfinding and evasion. Neither class offers Evasion, and only Factotum grants Trapfinding. I presume you're saying "oh, he can get a Ring of Evasion and Extra Ring", but he could instead replace that Ring for a, I dunno, Ring of Wizardry IX?

    What does he get with Swordsage that you get so excited, if I may ask (that WOULD YOU LOOK AT THAT? seems...I dunno, the wrong color?), by adding that class? Wis to AC, when he's at a point where AC is pointless. Assassin's Stance? He could get that via feats, AND keep his existing SA dice for extra damage; after all, he has quite a lot of feats. Quick to Act? He probably can prepare a contingent Nerveskitter at all times just to keep that feat slot free (then again, it's a 1st level slot), so a +1 to initiative isn't that hot (now, a +7 to initiative from Brains over Brawn? That's noticeable). The maneuvers themselves? I dunno, but he kinda forgot about his fighting ability when he became a Wizard (and with good reason), so he's not getting the best maneuvers (or that many, mind you). Moment of Perfect Mind? He probably doesn't need Reflex saves anymore! If you mean "at first", perhaps: then again, he could get a decent Reflex save applying at all times instead of just once per encounter (unless you get Adaptive Style, and then that'd be once per every two rounds). Factotum, IMO, has that beat.

    If the idea is, though, "anything is better than Fighter/Rogue", think on the lines that even Elminster is dipping those classes. I don't get what's the problem on dipping. Elminster is still a Wizard, and still a 24th level Wizard, and has a frickin' (dead) god behind him, so the question is pretty meaningless. Even if it the question has meaning (ignoring Mystra's direct interventions on his behalf, and thus surviving the first levels with difficulty), isn't it better to consider how to exploit those choices before thinking of simply replacing those choices with others which only address one side of the game (i.e. combat), at least in those first levels? Swordsage is great in combat; how about outside of combat, you know? Factotum at least has a formidable boon with skills and trapfinding to disable traps (which can be dangerous at the first few levels); that doesn't mean you can work something out with that bonus feat you get from Fighter, plus the SA, trapfinding, 2 extra skill points and evasion.
    Retooler of D&D 3.5 content. See here for more.
    Now with a comprehensive guide for 3.5 Paladin players porting to Pathfinder.
    On Lawful Good:
    Quote Originally Posted by firebrandtoluc View Post
    My friend is currently playing a paladin. It's way outside his normal zone. I told him to try to channel Santa Claus, Mr. Rogers, and Kermit the Frog. Until someone refuses to try to get off the naughty list. Then become Optimus Prime.
    T.G. Oskar profile by Specter.

  18. - Top - End - #78
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    Coidzor's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Ruined Racetrack
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Worst Prebuilt NPCs

    Quote Originally Posted by Runestar View Post
    The epic npcs in the ELH too. Should we come up with some guidelines to prevent npcs (those combat related, at least) from sucking too much.
    Well, an NPC making handbook isn't something you see every day, haha. I certainly would check it out with interest to see what someone would come up with.
    Quote Originally Posted by Keld Denar View Post
    +3 Girlfriend is totally unoptimized. You are better off with a +1 Keen Witty girlfriend and then appling Greater Magic Make-up to increase her enhancement bonus.
    Homebrew
    To Do: Reboot and finish Riptide

  19. - Top - End - #79
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    toapat's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2012

    Default Re: Worst Prebuilt NPCs

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    Second: Elminster is a wizard. Ioulaum is a wizard. If we're speaking of epic wizards, the one who wins is the one who cheats the most. Both have access to Astral Projection and Nondetection, Teleport without Error, Time Stop, Gate...it all depends on whom makes the first mistake. Even trying the very darn best to prevent Magic Tea Party, both have a wide variety of spells at their disposal.
    this brings forward a rather amusing idea:

    When you start playing with epic casting stuff, bring in the M:TG cards/decks, its more descriptive of what the hell the party is doing.


    My Homebrew: found here.
    When you Absolutely, Positively, Gotta Drop some Huge rocks, Accept NO Substitutes

    PM Me if you would like a table from my homebrew reconstructed.

    I use Red when I'm angry, I use blue when I'm excited.
    Drow avatar @ myself

  20. - Top - End - #80
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Arcanist's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Warlock's Crypt, Orbedal
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Worst Prebuilt NPCs

    Whoa, this one turned out to be an undivided wall of text so pardon if I miss your point in the long run

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    Not even by respecting the boundaries?

    Thing is, consider just the spell list. Elminster has access to a HUGE amount of spells. You can consider the entire spell list from the PHB fair game. So...being essentially Mr. Greenwood's avatar in-game, you can expect the darned mage to be one of the most powerful beings in existence.
    To quote flickerdart

    "[Citation needed] No where in his statblock in the ELH does it mention anything about the contents of his spellbook and if it does, please feel free to correct me, however after scouring the internet and searching for Elminster's spellbook content, I cannot seem to find it. It would be quite unfortunate for Elminster to travel with 4 Empty Blessed Books.

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    Yet, the game has been upped a bit. If he's meant to be the most powerful spellcaster, the idea is that he should be. Not having a moderately optimized Wizard essentially crush him at his own game.
    FALSE! I do not believe Elminster should be the most powerful Spellcaster in the realm. I believe that he should be a POWERFUL spellcasting in the realm. With his current stats he could be killed by a 16th level Sorcerer (See infinite damage), but I'm sure you'll say "that isn't fair" or "He time traveled to prevent that!" and I return to you with: FALSE! Nothing specifically states that Elminster has any access to time travel or the highly coveted "Teleport Through Time" spell, only that by your interpretation he has access to "HUGE amounts of spells". Of course the argument could be made that Mystra used her Portfolio sense to detect anything that would harm her favorite Chosen, but that is an entirely different discussion. I mean no offense here and if you take this the wrong way, allow me to apologize in advance.

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    That said: does that mean you'll change his Fighter levels into Warblade levels? As I mentioned, that doesn't make sense. However: what from the stat block is exactly as explained in the books, what's derived to explain some of the stuff he can pull on the books, and what's just filler? That filler can be optimized, because it's not something supported by the rules.
    I am simply offering a revamp to the Sage of Shadowdale, who would clearly have levels in Mystic Theurge instead of 24 straight levels in Wizard. The previously posted ideas were just that. Ideas. They were skeleton views of how the build should look like. If you still favor the idea of Elminster being able to be nuked by an optimized caster, then be my guest. I'm sure we've had the occasional player that has declared that he wanted to take down a notable NPC in a campaign before, my offer merely "ups the ante" as you put it. With access to combat even inside of an Anti-magic field (Initiate of Mystra) this makes the Sage a much more credible threat. I remember hearing about one group that just used to bullrush the Wizard into the casters so that the antimagic field hit all of them and then they (the enemies) were screwed, but with this revamp he becomes much more difficult to defeat Since now he actually has access to much more power being a triple threat in the forms of Divine Theurgy, Arcane Spellcasting and The Sublime Way. He has a reasonable response towards every action that would come his way in the form of contingent spells. Elminster is no fool that would be caught with his pants down.

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    Fluff-wise, what's the difference between a Wizard 20 and a Wizard 24? Or rather, a Wizard 21 and a Wizard 24? One extra feat? A good example would be how the first levels are arranged: from what I recall, Elminster was a brigand before Mystra took her interest in him and made him her boyfriend devoted servant. To what extent does 1 level in Fighter and 2 levels of Rogue represent this? Rogue 2 grants Evasion, which can represent a stroke of luck avoiding magical attacks, and Fighter 1 grants proficiency with all martial weapons, which allows him to wield a longsword. Now, what about Cleric? I can understand that they need to explain his attachment to Mystra, even if Favored Soul fits better; yet, Favored Soul is 3.5, so it's off limits. Why not Arcane Devotee, then?
    1. Elminster was actually a Priestess of Mystra at one point! (Long story short, she wanted him/her to know what magic was like as a Woman... idk how the contents of your pants affects your magic, but eh)
    2. The reason he doesn't have levels in Arcane Devote is because he hadn't even begin training as a Wizard until after his priesthood with Mystra
    3. With that logic it would make more sense to use all 3 levels as Rogue levels!


    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    He doesn't gain many spells, and I presume he doesn't use Turn Undead to defeat the very powerful undead he fights against, no? Arcane Devotee is on the Forgotten Realms campaign setting, right before Archmage (which he uses), and probably could make better use of. Is it required to have, say, three Cleric levels to be considered a proper priest, like in 1st Edition? That's a purely fluff-related question which has some connection to mechanics (connection between class levels and hierarchy within an organization), which could impose a boundary; if it doesn't, then it's fair to tweak.
    Yes, but if Elminster is a Mystic Theurge then without Early entry shenanigans (I would never use those for restating of NPC btw), he would need to have 3 levels in Cleric... strange. I've already nipped the whole Arcane Devotee so shall we move on to more... Magical matters?

    ... OH! Before I forget, the 3 levels of Cleric thing is a relic of 1st Edition (no time to explain the entire genesis of the Realm as described by Greenwood, so lets move on!)

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    It's one reason why I mention "within boundaries". You can't change Elminster's rogue levels because those are part of his history; you can't change his wizard levels because it's the class that defines him. However, to what extent does his amount of ranks in, say, Jump or Swim define his character, when he has spells to negate jumping or swimming? To what extent those skill ranks could be shifted to reflect his skill at some key, crucial skill that he always use in the books?
    Elminster has 3 ranks in Dance and is described as an excellent dancer... I think that is enough for the Skill discussion... and yes! You can change his Rogue levels (hell, increase it by one level and remove the level in fighter... It doesn't make sense really...) Are all Brigands level 1 fighters and level 2 rogues because Elminster as a Brigand was such?

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    It's a reason why I mention that I didn't wish to fall into the Stormwind Fallacy. Optimizing doesn't mean ruining a character.
    You're saying that you can't change a character because their fluff would go against it. I could not find a better example of that very same Fallacy if I tried...

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    No, I don't intend to invoke Stormwind Fallacy by what I say. However, why exactly he should take levels in Warblade and Swordsage when the campaign setting hesitates on adding Psionics, and only later they decided to apply them a bit, opening the setting to other mechanics? That's what I refer to the "boundaries". You can attempt to justify some things by doing some broad changes, but refluffing can only go so much. In fact, I would say that if I fall into Stormwind Fallacy from one side (trying to respect roleplaying), you'd be falling from the other side (emphasizing optimization). You can be creative with what exists and still make these guys better.
    I'm taking a Fluff + Mechanics = Greatness approach. I just believe that with all the Fluff backing up on Elminster's Tier 1 Greatness that he should actually... Oh... Idk... Invoke that!? If you truly want Elminster to have 6 dead levels then be my guest, but my Elminster is a Super Wizard-Ninja and not just a Wizard.

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    For starters: I have the Tome of Battle book as well, and that hasn't made me scratch away the Rogue, the Monk or the Paladin. Sure, I've done homebrewing for them (not that I negate these classes need help), but I've always considered they can co-exist, and not merely as dipping classes. The one class I can agree I can scratch is the Fighter, but I haven't dropped the Rogue for classes such as Swordsages and Factotum.
    So you agree with me that the Mundanes need improvement. Wonderful.

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    Second: Elminster is a wizard. Ioulaum is a wizard. If we're speaking of epic wizards, the one who wins is the one who cheats the most. Both have access to Astral Projection and Nondetection, Teleport without Error, Time Stop, Gate...it all depends on whom makes the first mistake. Even trying the very darn best to prevent Magic Tea Party, both have a wide variety of spells at their disposal.
    Yes, because fighting your hardest against a powerful threat is cheating... Honestly the only thing that matters is who has the most proper contingency against someone elses contingency. You're playing Epic level Rocket Tag. First one to screw up is doomed, but with Ioulaum having access to Sorcerer casting in addition to Wizard casting (AND Elder Brain RHD) and Elminster having access to Wizard casting AND 2nd level Cleric spells... EHHHHH not so much of a fair fight anymore... Ioulaum would clearly emerge victorious in this Epic level Rocket Tag

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    Third: since when "a specific level of optimization" is a written rule in the DMG? It's more of an implied rule than an actual rule. If your party is bulldozing NPCs with little optimization, then it's best to up the ante; if they're having problems, then it's best to deal with the players by helping them. However, it's rude at best to expect that NPCs should be optimized because players will bulldoze them, or that players will be challenged by NPCs (regardless of optimization). If NPCs must reach a specific level of optimization as a rule (not a guideline or suggestion), then who's the best to gauge that level? Right now, the thread is debating that the developers aren't. The developers should be the best to define that level if there's any hope of having an official level; else, that statement is subjective.
    I've never stated that it was, but alright.

    I've already regarded the whole "up the ante" thing so eh. Personally as a DM I prefer to challenge my players with non-tangible threats (traps, environmental affects, etc.)

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    If I'd go with your suggestions, I'd go Factotum 3.

    In fact, why the heck are you suggesting Swordsage of all things? His Wis is nice, but nothing surprising compared to his Int, and Factotum has excellent Int synergy.
    Now, who is betraying Fluff? so you recommend Factotum/3 instead of Rogue/2 Fighter/1. Wondrous!

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    However, what's the problem with Rogue levels? He gets trapfinding and evasion. Neither class offers Evasion, and only Factotum grants Trapfinding. I presume you're saying "oh, he can get a Ring of Evasion and Extra Ring", but he could instead replace that Ring for a, I dunno, Ring of Wizardry IX?
    "He can always just take a feat to be able to get Evasion!" on that note: I do believe that at a certain level of Epic play you shouldn't have magical items listed in the DMG or the ELH. Hell you should be making your own magical items that truly define YOUR character and help you describe who you truly want to be. Epic level Artificers should truly exemplify this idea more then anything else... but that is must my belief...

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    What does he get with Swordsage that you get so excited, if I may ask (that WOULD YOU LOOK AT THAT? seems...I dunno, the wrong color?), by adding that class? Wis to AC, when he's at a point where AC is pointless. Assassin's Stance? He could get that via feats, AND keep his existing SA dice for extra damage; after all, he has quite a lot of feats. Quick to Act? He probably can prepare a contingent Nerveskitter at all times just to keep that feat slot free (then again, it's a 1st level slot), so a +1 to initiative isn't that hot (now, a +7 to initiative from Brains over Brawn? That's noticeable). The maneuvers themselves? I dunno, but he kinda forgot about his fighting ability when he became a Wizard (and with good reason), so he's not getting the best maneuvers (or that many, mind you). Moment of Perfect Mind? He probably doesn't need Reflex saves anymore! If you mean "at first", perhaps: then again, he could get a decent Reflex save applying at all times instead of just once per encounter (unless you get Adaptive Style, and then that'd be once per every two rounds). Factotum, IMO, has that beat.
    It was just an idea that I was gonna go with so I could add Phoenix Mage, but okay... It seems like a good idea , but if you disagree, by all means disagree. At high Epic levels of Play Initiative doesn't exactly hold much ground since you have people using Contingent Celerities into Contingent Time Stops, into Contingent Contingencies to reset these Contingencies and then trigger Contingent Teleport Through Times to kill the guy before he ever thinks of killing you and then his Contingent Teleport Through Time triggers which kicks him back in time to do the exact same thing and so on and so forth until HD+1 contingencies have gone off. Hit Die actually means something in Epic
    Last edited by Arcanist; 2012-10-27 at 12:09 AM.

  21. - Top - End - #81
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Blue Lantern's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Worst Prebuilt NPCs

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    Not even by respecting the boundaries?
    Yet, the game has been upped a bit. If he's meant to be the most powerful spellcaster, the idea is that he should be. Not having a moderately optimized Wizard essentially crush him at his own game.

    [...]

    Jeez, I get attacked by BOTH SIDES? Hey, at least I made two people with distinct views to agree on something: I seem to be wrong for one reason.
    First: I didn't mean to attack anybody and I apologize if it come out that way, I am merely trying to understand your view.
    I too love having and making a decent character (within limits) it' just that also believe that the unspoken intention of the rules and the fluff that accompanies them should not be shattered because of ill conceived wording and poor planned synergies.
    It is obvious, to me at least, that, just to make an example, the combo Genesis/Astral projection was never meant to be a "any 17 level wizard is now functionally immortal" thing, even if it is technically within the rules it kinda feels like cheating.

    That said I now understand your point, even if I don't completely agree with it, and I think it's best to close the OT.
    Last edited by Blue Lantern; 2012-10-27 at 03:38 AM.
    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."
    Jim Butcher-Dresden Files, book 3

  22. - Top - End - #82
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    T.G. Oskar's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Worst Prebuilt NPCs

    Quote Originally Posted by Arcanist View Post
    Whoa, this one turned out to be an undivided wall of text so pardon if I miss your point in the long run
    I dunno you, but I'm not worried about the wall of text, but rather how I feel we're basically flying into nerdrage for the imperative need to prove someone wrong over the Internet. I usually debate in walls of text anyways, so...

    To quote flickerdart

    "[Citation needed] No where in his statblock in the ELH does it mention anything about the contents of his spellbook and if it does, please feel free to correct me, however after scouring the internet and searching for Elminster's spellbook content, I cannot seem to find it. It would be quite unfortunate for Elminster to travel with 4 Empty Blessed Books.
    I take as basis the "[...], Elminster has access to incredible resources and can acquire or make almost any nonartifact item he might need, given time". Scrolls are non-artifacts so, given time, he can have access to virtually all spells. I can understand why there's no spellbook for Elminster: the DM decides which spells he has prepared. He builds the spellbook. Since he can access all non-artifact items given time (and he has had quite a lot of time), it's natural to assume he should have had at least once a copy of each scroll in the DMG, which amounts to basically every spell in the PHB.

    Though, I could have sworn I saw it once. Or, at least, that's the common conception with each important wizard/cleric NPC. Heck, clerics lack their prepared spells as well, if you look at the ELH.

    FALSE! I do not believe Elminster should be the most powerful Spellcaster in the realm. I believe that he should be a POWERFUL spellcasting in the realm. With his current stats he could be killed by a 16th level Sorcerer (See infinite damage), but I'm sure you'll say "that isn't fair" or "He time traveled to prevent that!" and I return to you with: FALSE! Nothing specifically states that Elminster has any access to time travel or the highly coveted "Teleport Through Time" spell, only that by your interpretation he has access to "HUGE amounts of spells". Of course the argument could be made that Mystra used her Portfolio sense to detect anything that would harm her favorite Chosen, but that is an entirely different discussion. I mean no offense here and if you take this the wrong way, allow me to apologize in advance.
    Actually, my answer is "I couldn't give a rat's darned buttocks about Elmi(na)ster", but since he's the topic of the entire discussion...the only answer I could think is "he's Mr. Greenwood's avatar". I recall he identifies with Elminster more than any other character. Note that Elminster has hints of favoritism, bordering Mary Sue territory if only because he's died a few times, gone to Hell and had its deity essentially annihilated.

    True, he should be ONE of the most powerful. There are far more powerful spellcasters around. I take you recall that I don't favor the Realms, and this is one reason: there's epic characters of essentially every level. Take some time, and you'll find epic warblades, swordsages, crusaders, samurai, hexblades, swashbucklers, spellthieves, ninja, scouts, marshals, healers, warmages, warlocks, wu jen, archivists, dread necromancers, binders, shadowcasters, and even truenamers. I take I have forgotten one or two other classes, probably psionics and Artificer (but the latter I can wave on "it's an Eberron class").

    In Eberron, all epics are either sealed (Rakshasa Rajahs), holed in one continent (Argonessen; you can debate about Sarlona), or out of the plane (Daelkyr from Xoriat, most outsiders). Oh, or dead (Titans and Primordial Giants). The highest characters you can deal with are usually mid-level, so by the time you reach high level you feel already going beyond what any character can pull off.

    I am simply offering a revamp to the Sage of Shadowdale, who would clearly have levels in Mystic Theurge instead of 24 straight levels in Wizard. The previously posted ideas were just that. Ideas. They were skeleton views of how the build should look like. If you still favor the idea of Elminster being able to be nuked by an optimized caster, then be my guest. I'm sure we've had the occasional player that has declared that he wanted to take down a notable NPC in a campaign before, my offer merely "ups the ante" as you put it. With access to combat even inside of an Anti-magic field (Initiate of Mystra) this makes the Sage a much more credible threat. I remember hearing about one group that just used to bullrush the Wizard into the casters so that the antimagic field hit all of them and then they (the enemies) were screwed, but with this revamp he becomes much more difficult to defeat Since now he actually has access to much more power being a triple threat in the forms of Divine Theurgy, Arcane Spellcasting and The Sublime Way. He has a reasonable response towards every action that would come his way in the form of contingent spells. Elminster is no fool that would be caught with his pants down.
    If I recall correctly, Mystra basically pushed him into learning Wizardry full time. That said, it's recalling: you may probably correct me on the idea that he has access to higher level Cleric spells in the stories.

    What I debate is the use of the Sublime Way, because it makes no sense by means of fluff. If you insist that's Stormwind, then I guess I'll have to claim myself as guilty, but if you're playing the game and you're meant to be the heroes and the guys who mastered the secret disciplines with a lot of effort, the last thing you want is a cheater of Mystra making you feel bad because he can do maneuvers better than you. He'd already be a powerhouse with Mystic Theurge and all those levels. Initiate of Mystra and Invoke Magic would essentially make him a threat even on the places where Mystra has no dominion. That already makes him a credible threat: I mean, just by having Epic Spellcasting, he already won the game. You don't need initiator levels on top of that just because. Also, what would come first: Mystic Theurge, or JPM? I believe this last one to be a bit more important, because it implies how E would progress during his travels and adventures: does he trains further on his maneuvers while sacrificing his divine magic potential, or does he ignores his initiating abilities to become a more straightforward powerhouse through Divine Power + Divine Metamagic + Persistent Spell + infinite Nightsticks (which he gets through his infinite resources) just for starters and then stack as many Consistencies and buffing spells as he can, eventually basically not being there while he ends battles in one round?

    Finally, and I separate it: exactly what you look in Jade Phoenix Mage so as to refluff it? It doesn't get that much spellcasting ability, even if you've basically completed your progression. I don't see how the class features would fit: he'd be a SpellFire Wind Mage or something? I'd be careful on how I'd refluff the class, because the fluff would fit 'brewing better. (Mmm...Spellfire + Sublime Way...gives me an idea!)

    For what it's worth, Elminster could have its retirement (and if it were done by, say, Eranthis, that'd be hilarious!)

    1. Elminster was actually a Priestess of Mystra at one point! (Long story short, she wanted him/her to know what magic was like as a Woman... idk how the contents of your pants affects your magic, but eh)
    2. The reason he doesn't have levels in Arcane Devote is because he hadn't even begin training as a Wizard until after his priesthood with Mystra
    3. With that logic it would make more sense to use all 3 levels as Rogue levels!
    Yes, I am aware about "Elmina" (that was his name when gender-swapped, no?). It's Mr. Greenwood pulling a Tiresias on his avatar. Sounds sorta kinky...then again, he's Mystra's boy-toy, so...

    By the logic of "he becomes a Wizard after his priesthood", then it's best to suggest that he basically abandoned progressing his Cleric levels and went full Wizard. That'd suggest precluding MT from his list of choices, though it is plausible (not a wide chasm to leap, in any case).

    Spoiler
    Show
    Yes, but if Elminster is a Mystic Theurge then without Early entry shenanigans (I would never use those for restating of NPC btw), he would need to have 3 levels in Cleric... strange. I've already nipped the whole Arcane Devotee so shall we move on to more... Magical matters?

    ... OH! Before I forget, the 3 levels of Cleric thing is a relic of 1st Edition (no time to explain the entire genesis of the Realm as described by Greenwood, so lets move on!)


    Again; you're the one that suggests he was built to become a Mystic Theurge. IMO, he's a very powerful Wizard (though the build doesn't represent that; were it by Greenwood, he'd stat it as "Elminster always appears out of nowhere and pulls a deus ex machina to win", but the devs had to resort to mechanics to explain it without caring about optimization) who was a brigand before being caught by Mystra. The priest(ess) thing just adds to the dip.

    Elminster has 3 ranks in Dance and is described as an excellent dancer... I think that is enough for the Skill discussion... and yes! You can change his Rogue levels (hell, increase it by one level and remove the level in fighter... It doesn't make sense really...) Are all Brigands level 1 fighters and level 2 rogues because Elminster as a Brigand was such?
    No, a brigand can be anything from Rogue 1 to Rogue X/Fighter X to Swashbuckler X to Warblade X/Factotum X. Fluff-wise, he was a brigand: I doubt a brigand has access to techniques that are basically taught in very specific places and that he couldn't learn on his own. Unless you suggest that he can learn things on his own.

    The Fighter level is so that he can use that longsword and probably start with a slightly bigger amount of HP... Probably... Starting as Rogue makes more sense, tho.

    You're saying that you can't change a character because their fluff would go against it. I could not find a better example of that very same Fallacy if I tried...
    The opposite, maybe? If I recall correctly, the Stormwind fallacy can be approached through the roleplayer side ("the fluff is sacred, you shouldn't change anything!") and from the optimizer side ("play a Wizard and then go Archmage and Incantatrix; it nets you a wider list of spells! I know you want to be a blaster and you were already aiming for Mailman, so what? Wizard is better!").

    Then again, I've always associated the Stormwind Fallacy applying to player characters and DM-built NPCs. Maybe that's the confusion?

    Spoiler
    Show
    I'm taking a Fluff + Mechanics = Greatness approach. I just believe that with all the Fluff backing up on Elminster's Tier 1 Greatness that he should actually... Oh... Idk... Invoke that!? If you truly want Elminster to have 6 dead levels then be my guest, but my Elminster is a Super Wizard-Ninja and not just a Wizard.


    Again, I don't care much about Elminster. I don't want him ruining my game because, even if he can't take some of the Epic spellcasters around, he still can mop anything on the Monster Manual just by sneezing, so why I'm adventuring in any case? Just wait until El, or Drizzt, or the Simbul, or Storm, or any of the high-level NPCs finish the quest! I mean, it doesn't take them less than a round to pull off, so it's not like they need proxies OR worry about their enemies taking that same amount of time to ruin their plans!

    ...Super Ninja-Theurge Elminster, on the other hand, is exactly what I hate about the Realms and taking it up to eleven. Why take someone who's Tier 1 and make it Tier -1, anyways? Just because he's the setting writer's pet?

    So you agree with me that the Mundanes need improvement. Wonderful.
    Well, duh! Of course they need improvement! Were you thinking that I thought the PHB was perfect as-is, and that Fireball is the best because it can deal damage over an area?

    ...I don't like spellcasters that much; full spellcasters that is. I can stomach Clerics (I've said that I love Paladins, but I consider Clerics my vocation in any case), but I know I'd suck playing as a Wizard. That said, I feel that if I want to play a more martially-inclined divine warrior, I'll play a Crusader, and if I want a divine warrior with a spellcasting inclination, I'll play a Paladin. I know it'll take some time to buff the Paladin if I use the PHB version, but I find that more rewarding that taking it easy with the Crusader, particularly after the battle is over and I'm limited to my skill ranks and mundane stuff to deal with supernatural obstacles. Unless it's breaking a wall (yay Mountain Hammer!), maybe.

    Yes, because fighting your hardest against a powerful threat is cheating... Honestly the only thing that matters is who has the most proper contingency against someone elses contingency. You're playing Epic level Rocket Tag. First one to screw up is doomed, but with Ioulaum having access to Sorcerer casting in addition to Wizard casting (AND Elder Brain RHD) and Elminster having access to Wizard casting AND 2nd level Cleric spells... EHHHHH not so much of a fair fight anymore... Ioulaum would clearly emerge victorious in this Epic level Rocket Tag
    So how exactly someone with dual-9s on arcane and divine plus some degree of knowledge of maneuvers at 35th level can beat a character with at least 41 levels of Wizard, plus Sorcerer casting and Elder Brain RHDs? I presume you're probably looking at a 60th level character, at the very least. Numerically, and because of his access to two sources of arcane spells, Ioulaum could still bust Elminster just by Arcane Spellsurge.

    I've never stated that it was, but alright.

    I've already regarded the whole "up the ante" thing so eh. Personally as a DM I prefer to challenge my players with non-tangible threats (traps, environmental affects, etc.)
    Kinda beats the premise to the side. If you prefer to challenge your players through other threats, why buff the NPCs?

    Now, who is betraying Fluff? so you recommend Factotum/3 instead of Rogue/2 Fighter/1. Wondrous!
    "If I go with your suggestions". Hey, can't I give an idea on how to improve your prospective build? I guess that's the reason I'm nerdraging: we're assuming wrong things about each other. I find that the Int synergy makes levels in Factotum more cost-effective than Swordsage. But hey, Factotum is actually close to the fluff! They get decent combat skills, plus very effective skill monkey capabilities, and works far better than Swordsage at early levels in and out of combat. I mean, you were suggesting Warblade at first: my impression is that you went with Swordsage because you wanted to enter JPM and get Assassin's Stance, while Warblade gets nifty Int synergy, huge HD and a better recovery rate. You can enter through Warblade; it's just a wee bit more difficult than the norm.

    "He can always just take a feat to be able to get Evasion!" on that note: I do believe that at a certain level of Epic play you shouldn't have magical items listed in the DMG or the ELH. Hell you should be making your own magical items that truly define YOUR character and help you describe who you truly want to be. Epic level Artificers should truly exemplify this idea more then anything else... but that is must my belief...
    Try making your own Item of Legacy? It's as close as you get without busting a great deal of your WBL.

    That, or start crafting Artifacts.

    IMO, I'd like to depend less on magic items and more on my build, because I'll never know when I end having my items suppressed or disjunctioned (or...sundered...*shudder*). Then again, I prefer 'brewing to refluffing.

    Though...how exactly you get evasion through a feat? MoPM isn't Evasion, as far as I recall. And the only method I know requires you to play Generic classes, which makes the entire discussion about Swordsages, Warblades, Rogues, Fighters, Wizards and Clerics entirely pointless.

    It was just an idea that I was gonna go with so I could add Phoenix Mage, but okay... It seems like a good idea , but if you disagree, by all means disagree. At high Epic levels of Play Initiative doesn't exactly hold much ground since you have people using Contingent Celerities into Contingent Time Stops, into Contingent Contingencies to reset these Contingencies and then trigger Contingent Teleport Through Times to kill the guy before he ever thinks of killing you and then his Contingent Teleport Through Time triggers which kicks him back in time to do the exact same thing and so on and so forth until HD+1 contingencies have gone off. Hit Die actually means something in Epic
    Getting through Warblade would be a bit better, if the idea is to get into JPM. What I wonder is what you seek in JPM aside from advancing caster levels and get some more maneuvers (unless you advance them before going Epic, in which case why bother with Cleric spellcasting anyways if you're not gonna get it until very late?). I don't see Elminster using the class features, and given what he faces, I don't think he'll be pulling off a Bounding Assault, Burning Blade or even Pouncing Charge any time soon...
    Retooler of D&D 3.5 content. See here for more.
    Now with a comprehensive guide for 3.5 Paladin players porting to Pathfinder.
    On Lawful Good:
    Quote Originally Posted by firebrandtoluc View Post
    My friend is currently playing a paladin. It's way outside his normal zone. I told him to try to channel Santa Claus, Mr. Rogers, and Kermit the Frog. Until someone refuses to try to get off the naughty list. Then become Optimus Prime.
    T.G. Oskar profile by Specter.

  23. - Top - End - #83
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Firechanter's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2011

    Default Re: Worst Prebuilt NPCs

    Less Quote Fighting, more Bad NPCs, please.
    So you know, university Physics D&D 3.5 Optimization is essentially three seven years of this discussion among like-minded enthusiasts. Done with supercomputers, access to the textsplatbook collections of five continents and thirty languages with thousands of classes, prestige classes, feats and spells.
    On four hours sleep a night.
    With no sex.
    You're not going to find the loophole these guys missed.

  24. - Top - End - #84
    Orc in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location

    Default Re: Worst Prebuilt NPCs

    Just another random example: Malconvoker (Complete Scoundrel)

    Wow. Where do we start?

    I suppose we could start with why you'd want to play an elf cleric in particular, but whatever, NPC. Probably a little more worth asking might be how a CR 12 NPC is supposed to survive with 38hp and AC 16. (That's right folks, this guy is wearing leather armor +2.)

    For some reason, though, Mr. I-Could-Probably-Get-Insta-Ganked-By-One-Of-My-Own-Summons has seen fit to be wielding a +1 holy heavy mace. Not the worst weapon in the world, sure, but with 38hp and AC 16 at 12th level, and a physical stat array of Str 10 Dex 13 Con 8, this guy probably shouldn't probably even be alive, much less anywhere near melee.

    For whatever reason, he's decided that it would be cool to take 8 levels of cleric before PrCing, instead of the minimum 5. I guess he's just not that interested in the higher level PrC abilities? (Or he wants to turn undead at cleric level 8 as a 12th level character, see stats below.)

    He's carrying a potion of resist energy(fire), which is awesome, since he could cast the spell more effectively, of course, or if he wanted a cheap low level backup he could just use a scroll for half the cost.

    The feats he's chosen (other than the PrC prereqs) are: Iron Will (for a cleric-based build), Persuasive (yes, OK, it boots his Bluff skill a bit but, seriously?), and Run (which given the rest of his build seems to be his smartest tactical option).

    I haven't checked his skill points because frankly the build is already depressing, let's just skip to his entire stat array:

    Str 10 Dex 13 Con 8 Int 13 Wis 14 Cha 17

    Great job boosting Cha all to heck, because you know, let's "optimize" Turn Undead with the Sun Domain (going so far as to actually memorize eagle's splendor), and then PrC out into a class that doesn't advance Turn. It's not like Dex and Int aren't usually dump stats for cleric, let's make those higher scores instead. Abysmal Str and Con contraindicate dumping his NPC gear allowance into a melee weapon.

    Forget all that. Wis 14. He runs off cleric casting, doesn't even have a Wisdom boosting item. He literally cannot cast his 5th and 6th level spells. (Much less his 7th-level scroll.)

    I'm no Iron Chef, much less some kind of TO wizard, but you have got to be freaking kidding me. This guy is an example of How Not to Build a Character. Actually inserting him into even a beer-and-pretzels campaign (much less mid-op or high-op) is a tragicomic travesty that can only end with PCs looting his relatively nice mace and a bunch of vendor trash off his corpse.

  25. - Top - End - #85
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Arcanist's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Warlock's Crypt, Orbedal
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Worst Prebuilt NPCs

    =>T.G. Oskar
    Spoiler
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    I dunno you, but I'm not worried about the wall of text, but rather how I feel we're basically flying into nerdrage for the imperative need to prove someone wrong over the Internet. I usually debate in walls of text anyways, so...
    I am deeply sorry for how I acted in my last comment. I am just incredibly passionate about the Realm, but not passionate enough to actually discuss Realmlore on Candlekeep. Sorry if I nerdraged at you...

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    I take as basis the "[...], Elminster has access to incredible resources and can acquire or make almost any nonartifact item he might need, given time". Scrolls are non-artifacts so, given time, he can have access to virtually all spells. I can understand why there's no spellbook for Elminster: the DM decides which spells he has prepared. He builds the spellbook. Since he can access all non-artifact items given time (and he has had quite a lot of time), it's natural to assume he should have had at least once a copy of each scroll in the DMG, which amounts to basically every spell in the PHB.
    That is quite a stretch, but it is reasonable to assume I suppose. I was just riding you on the whole spell thing because I thought it was silly.

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    Though, I could have sworn I saw it once. Or, at least, that's the common conception with each important wizard/cleric NPC. Heck, clerics lack their prepared spells as well, if you look at the ELH.
    Quite right, but eh. That really wasn't a SERIOUS argument on my part.

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    Actually, my answer is "I couldn't give a rat's darned buttocks about Elmi(na)ster", but since he's the topic of the entire discussion...the only answer I could think is "he's Mr. Greenwood's avatar". I recall he identifies with Elminster more than any other character. Note that Elminster has hints of favoritism, bordering Mary Sue territory if only because he's died a few times, gone to Hell and had its deity essentially annihilated.
    Quite right.

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    True, he should be ONE of the most powerful. There are far more powerful spellcasters around. I take you recall that I don't favor the Realms, and this is one reason: there's epic characters of essentially every level. Take some time, and you'll find epic warblades, swordsages, crusaders, samurai, hexblades, swashbucklers, spellthieves, ninja, scouts, marshals, healers, warmages, warlocks, wu jen, archivists, dread necromancers, binders, shadowcasters, and even truenamers. I take I have forgotten one or two other classes, probably psionics and Artificer (but the latter I can wave on "it's an Eberron class").
    Quite right again. I assure you, most of them will be Ancient and most likely have the Webbed into History feat or something, but eh... Surely in the Realm you are more likely to find a High leveled everything (most likely Epic of course).

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    In Eberron, all epics are either sealed (Rakshasa Rajahs), holed in one continent (Argonessen; you can debate about Sarlona), or out of the plane (Daelkyr from Xoriat, most outsiders). Oh, or dead (Titans and Primordial Giants). The highest characters you can deal with are usually mid-level, so by the time you reach high level you feel already going beyond what any character can pull off.
    Ironically enough that is one of the things I hate about Eberron. I love mid-level play, but I occasionally enjoy Epic level action, because it effectively turns into Cosmic, 3 dimensional chess Apploosa Rules, where as with Eberron you're just playing 3 dimensional chess with some political elements. In FR your deterrent from starting a War is potentially pissing off an Epic Spellcaster and him razing your entire Empire into dust, where as with Eberron your deterrent is the fact that you don't have enough supplies to actually do it...

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    If I recall correctly, Mystra basically pushed him into learning Wizardry full time. That said, it's recalling: you may probably correct me on the idea that he has access to higher level Cleric spells in the stories.
    Actually in most of the stories he is Magic-Less. You would seriously be more accurate in stating out Elminster as a straight Fighter at how much magic he uses in his stories

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    What I debate is the use of the Sublime Way, because it makes no sense by means of fluff. If you insist that's Stormwind, then I guess I'll have to claim myself as guilty, but if you're playing the game and you're meant to be the heroes and the guys who mastered the secret disciplines with a lot of effort, the last thing you want is a cheater of Mystra making you feel bad because he can do maneuvers better than you. He'd already be a powerhouse with Mystic Theurge and all those levels. Initiate of Mystra and Invoke Magic would essentially make him a threat even on the places where Mystra has no dominion. That already makes him a credible threat: I mean, just by having Epic Spellcasting, he already won the game. You don't need initiator levels on top of that just because. Also, what would come first: Mystic Theurge, or JPM? I believe this last one to be a bit more important, because it implies how E would progress during his travels and adventures: does he trains further on his maneuvers while sacrificing his divine magic potential, or does he ignores his initiating abilities to become a more straightforward powerhouse through Divine Power + Divine Metamagic + Persistent Spell + infinite Nightsticks (which he gets through his infinite resources) just for starters and then stack as many Consistencies and buffing spells as he can, eventually basically not being there while he ends battles in one round?
    Mystic Theurge first of course. Honestly, I'd be willing to completely dump JPM. I admit that the Sublime Way is not the proper way to do Elminster right.

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    Finally, and I separate it: exactly what you look in Jade Phoenix Mage so as to refluff it? It doesn't get that much spellcasting ability, even if you've basically completed your progression. I don't see how the class features would fit: he'd be a SpellFire Wind Mage or something? I'd be careful on how I'd refluff the class, because the fluff would fit 'brewing better. (Mmm...Spellfire + Sublime Way...gives me an idea!)
    Let me just get this out there before I forget: I encourage any improvements to Spellfire, because all of them suck... Seriously... ALL OF THEM.

    Jade Phoenix Mage would be refluffed as more martial Knight of the Weave, but thinking back that idea doesn't even float right with me so eh



    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    Yes, I am aware about "Elmina" (that was his name when gender-swapped, no?). It's Mr. Greenwood pulling a Tiresias on his avatar. Sounds sorta kinky...then again, he's Mystra's boy-toy, so...
    Just throwing this out there, but I remember one time in an old thread on this forum I stated that if you're an Epic level Wizard you better be getting some nooky from some sort of cosmic entity

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    By the logic of "he becomes a Wizard after his priesthood", then it's best to suggest that he basically abandoned progressing his Cleric levels and went full Wizard. That'd suggest precluding MT from his list of choices, though it is plausible (not a wide chasm to leap, in any case).
    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    Again; you're the one that suggests he was built to become a Mystic Theurge. IMO, he's a very powerful Wizard (though the build doesn't represent that; were it by Greenwood, he'd stat it as "Elminster always appears out of nowhere and pulls a deus ex machina to win", but the devs had to resort to mechanics to explain it without caring about optimization) who was a brigand before being caught by Mystra. The priest(ess) thing just adds to the dip.
    I'll merge these two for all intensive purposes since I can probably resolve them with the same thing: I believe that if a Player takes Cleric levels and then goes out to take Wizard levels, that he/she should pretty much just merge the classes and play as a Theurge which signifies study in both fields of magic. My views on magic are somewhat... different then most people to say the least... Divine Theurgy, Arcane Spellcasting, Psionic Manifesting, whatever name for the Art you decide to call it, it remains just that. The Art. You can call a shade of red a different color, but it will still be red at the end of the day. Might be a little naive of me, but it's just a thought on the matter.

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    No, a brigand can be anything from Rogue 1 to Rogue X/Fighter X to Swashbuckler X to Warblade X/Factotum X. Fluff-wise, he was a brigand: I doubt a brigand has access to techniques that are basically taught in very specific places and that he couldn't learn on his own. Unless you suggest that he can learn things on his own.
    Regardless of location martial arts will develop if given enough time and enough people. You don't even have to call it the Iron Heart discipline which has been passed down for 500 years, by over a thousand acolytes, you can just call it "Taking a punch and moving on".

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    The Fighter level is so that he can use that longsword and probably start with a slightly bigger amount of HP... Probably... Starting as Rogue makes more sense, tho.
    GO WITH FACTOTUM INSTEAD! Not as good of a Hit Die, but you get the same results in the long run

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    The opposite, maybe? If I recall correctly, the Stormwind fallacy can be approached through the roleplayer side ("the fluff is sacred, you shouldn't change anything!") and from the optimizer side ("play a Wizard and then go Archmage and Incantatrix; it nets you a wider list of spells! I know you want to be a blaster and you were already aiming for Mailman, so what? Wizard is better!").
    ... Minor nitpick (this will drive me crazy unless I do it), but Wizard/5 Incantrix/10 Archmage/5 is what you're looking for... Sorry...

    Indeed there is a certain point where Optimization becomes to much and must be toned down a little to retain the original characters design, however to little optimization and the character matter as well be running around with 20 levels of commoner

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    Again, I don't care much about Elminster. I don't want him ruining my game because, even if he can't take some of the Epic spellcasters around, he still can mop anything on the Monster Manual just by sneezing, so why I'm adventuring in any case? Just wait until El, or Drizzt, or the Simbul, or Storm, or any of the high-level NPCs finish the quest! I mean, it doesn't take them less than a round to pull off, so it's not like they need proxies OR worry about their enemies taking that same amount of time to ruin their plans!
    I'm only offering to use this NPC if absolutely necessary (i.e. your party wants to fight him/her). I've actually used that Karsus before... was quite impressive to see my players willing to fight The Archwizard

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    ...Super Ninja-Theurge Elminster, on the other hand, is exactly what I hate about the Realms and taking it up to eleven. Why take someone who's Tier 1 and make it Tier -1, anyways? Just because he's the setting writer's pet?
    No, because Fluff suggest that he is almost omnipowerful. Just throwing this out their but once you go Epic level as a T1 everything should be T-1 or you're not trying hard enough

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    Well, duh! Of course they need improvement! Were you thinking that I thought the PHB was perfect as-is, and that Fireball is the best because it can deal damage over an area?
    Actually, I prefer using Enlarge Person and then chucking a Widened Maximized Fireball at the poor sap... Just a thought tho. Can't remember if Chain Chain Lighting actually works off the top of my head, but a lot of PHB spells are totally awesome... The Mundane stuff? Not so much

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    ...I don't like spellcasters that much; full spellcasters that is. I can stomach Clerics (I've said that I love Paladins, but I consider Clerics my vocation in any case), but I know I'd suck playing as a Wizard. That said, I feel that if I want to play a more martially-inclined divine warrior, I'll play a Crusader, and if I want a divine warrior with a spellcasting inclination, I'll play a Paladin. I know it'll take some time to buff the Paladin if I use the PHB version, but I find that more rewarding that taking it easy with the Crusader, particularly after the battle is over and I'm limited to my skill ranks and mundane stuff to deal with supernatural obstacles. Unless it's breaking a wall (yay Mountain Hammer!), maybe.
    I actually like Spellcasters though... I find Mundane combat a little boring... However I must admit that I do love playing Skill Monkey which explains why i like the Artificer class. It has the right amount of Spellcasting and the Right amount of skills to be a skill monkey if required

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    So how exactly someone with dual-9s on arcane and divine plus some degree of knowledge of maneuvers at 35th level can beat a character with at least 41 levels of Wizard, plus Sorcerer casting and Elder Brain RHDs? I presume you're probably looking at a 60th level character, at the very least. Numerically, and because of his access to two sources of arcane spells, Ioulaum could still bust Elminster just by Arcane Spellsurge.
    Actually it would be 67th to be exact but yes! You would be correct in the fact that Ioulaum could destroy Elminster... now just ask yourself the question of how Larloch would fair against him...

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    Kinda beats the premise to the side. If you prefer to challenge your players through other threats, why buff the NPCs?
    I like making Modules for these NPC's of great power for breaking into there headquarters... Just a personal hobby of mines

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    "If I go with your suggestions". Hey, can't I give an idea on how to improve your prospective build? I guess that's the reason I'm nerdraging: we're assuming wrong things about each other. I find that the Int synergy makes levels in Factotum more cost-effective than Swordsage. But hey, Factotum is actually close to the fluff! They get decent combat skills, plus very effective skill monkey capabilities, and works far better than Swordsage at early levels in and out of combat. I mean, you were suggesting Warblade at first: my impression is that you went with Swordsage because you wanted to enter JPM and get Assassin's Stance, while Warblade gets nifty Int synergy, huge HD and a better recovery rate. You can enter through Warblade; it's just a wee bit more difficult than the norm.
    3 levels of Factotum would be a little bit better as you have correctly recommended and dumping JPM levels since their is no longer a point in having them as levels... add 5 more levels to Mystic Theurge because it's awesome

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    Try making your own Item of Legacy? It's as close as you get without busting a great deal of your WBL.

    That, or start crafting Artifacts.
    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    Though...how exactly you get evasion through a feat? MoPM isn't Evasion, as far as I recall. And the only method I know requires you to play Generic classes, which makes the entire discussion about Swordsages, Warblades, Rogues, Fighters, Wizards and Clerics entirely pointless.
    Eww no. I hate Weapons of Legacy... I was referring to that Incarnum feat that allowed you to access a single Soulmeld and just have Elminster shape the Soulmeld that gives you evasion (Not to invested in Incarnum incase you haven't noticed...)

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    IMO, I'd like to depend less on magic items and more on my build, because I'll never know when I end having my items suppressed or disjunctioned (or...sundered...*shudder*). Then again, I prefer 'brewing to refluffing.
    When I play as an Artificer you will most likely see me using more Infusions then anything else, because that is where the classes magic really shows up. Sure, being able to craft and make any Magical item is an amazing benefit, but that is mostly used if the DM has put me in a situation where Rocket Tag is the only way to avoid a TPK, but overall yes, I do agree with you on that. Depend on your characters merit more then on your characters equipment and you'll live to see tomorrow


    =>tiercel
    Spoiler
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by tiercel View Post
    Just another random example: Malconvoker (Complete Scoundrel)

    Wow. Where do we start?

    I suppose we could start with why you'd want to play an elf cleric in particular, but whatever, NPC. Probably a little more worth asking might be how a CR 12 NPC is supposed to survive with 38hp and AC 16. (That's right folks, this guy is wearing leather armor +2.)

    For some reason, though, Mr. I-Could-Probably-Get-Insta-Ganked-By-One-Of-My-Own-Summons has seen fit to be wielding a +1 holy heavy mace. Not the worst weapon in the world, sure, but with 38hp and AC 16 at 12th level, and a physical stat array of Str 10 Dex 13 Con 8, this guy probably shouldn't probably even be alive, much less anywhere near melee.

    For whatever reason, he's decided that it would be cool to take 8 levels of cleric before PrCing, instead of the minimum 5. I guess he's just not that interested in the higher level PrC abilities? (Or he wants to turn undead at cleric level 8 as a 12th level character, see stats below.)

    He's carrying a potion of resist energy(fire), which is awesome, since he could cast the spell more effectively, of course, or if he wanted a cheap low level backup he could just use a scroll for half the cost.

    The feats he's chosen (other than the PrC prereqs) are: Iron Will (for a cleric-based build), Persuasive (yes, OK, it boots his Bluff skill a bit but, seriously?), and Run (which given the rest of his build seems to be his smartest tactical option).

    I haven't checked his skill points because frankly the build is already depressing, let's just skip to his entire stat array:

    Str 10 Dex 13 Con 8 Int 13 Wis 14 Cha 17

    Great job boosting Cha all to heck, because you know, let's "optimize" Turn Undead with the Sun Domain (going so far as to actually memorize eagle's splendor), and then PrC out into a class that doesn't advance Turn. It's not like Dex and Int aren't usually dump stats for cleric, let's make those higher scores instead. Abysmal Str and Con contraindicate dumping his NPC gear allowance into a melee weapon.

    Forget all that. Wis 14. He runs off cleric casting, doesn't even have a Wisdom boosting item. He literally cannot cast his 5th and 6th level spells. (Much less his 7th-level scroll.)

    I'm no Iron Chef, much less some kind of TO wizard, but you have got to be freaking kidding me. This guy is an example of How Not to Build a Character. Actually inserting him into even a beer-and-pretzels campaign (much less mid-op or high-op) is a tragicomic travesty that can only end with PCs looting his relatively nice mace and a bunch of vendor trash off his corpse.
    I lol'd so hard...
    Last edited by Arcanist; 2012-10-27 at 06:50 AM.

  26. - Top - End - #86
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Marlowe's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    NO LONGER IN CHINA!

    Default Re: Worst Prebuilt NPCs

    Hardly the worst example here, but the sample Hexblade in Complete Warrior would need an INT of something like 22 to get all the skills ranks he has. Hexblade, of course, is a CHR-based gish.
    The Southern Comforters


    "i may only truly contribute to this game because it is so damned awesom and marlow is the bomb. plus i love the chemistry we all have"

  27. - Top - End - #87
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    OrcBarbarianGuy

    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Ponyville
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Worst Prebuilt NPCs

    Quote Originally Posted by tiercel View Post
    Just another random example: Malconvoker (Complete Scoundrel)

    For some reason, though, Mr. I-Could-Probably-Get-Insta-Ganked-By-One-Of-My-Own-Summons has seen fit to be wielding a +1 holy heavy mace. Not the worst weapon in the world, sure...
    ...
    He's carrying a potion of resist energy(fire), which is awesome, since...

    ...
    Abysmal Str and Con contraindicate dumping his NPC gear allowance into a melee weapon.
    Gear can be sometimes handwaved as "Found it, better than what they had".
    In the case of the Weapon, this could easily be the case.
    Likewise, he may have found the Potion and may be keeping it for NON-combat situations or...something...to save on spell slots and such.

    Basically, as long as the Gear doesn't outright HURT the character, it can be handwaved.
    Now if he had 18+ DEX and was running around in NON-Mithral Full Plate, THAT would be a problem...

    Quote Originally Posted by tiercel View Post
    The feats he's chosen (other than the PrC prereqs) are: Iron Will (for a cleric-based build)...

    Forget all that. Wis 14.
    Well that explains why he took Iron Will then doesn't it?

  28. - Top - End - #88
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Firechanter's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2011

    Default Re: Worst Prebuilt NPCs

    Sample NPCs like that really make me wonder _why_ the Wizards Did It.
    Were they trying to make a point "look here, we're all about RP and not about optimization"?
    Or were they actively trolling the customers?
    Is it kind of a "We're not telling you how to use this class, friggin' figure it out yourself"?
    Or did the authors really have _no_ idea of the game rules whatsoever?
    So you know, university Physics D&D 3.5 Optimization is essentially three seven years of this discussion among like-minded enthusiasts. Done with supercomputers, access to the textsplatbook collections of five continents and thirty languages with thousands of classes, prestige classes, feats and spells.
    On four hours sleep a night.
    With no sex.
    You're not going to find the loophole these guys missed.

  29. - Top - End - #89
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Tengu_temp's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Poland
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Worst Prebuilt NPCs

    It's the last option. Wizards honestly believe that a fighter/sorcerer in equal proportions makes a viable gish, or that a cleric is a healbot who can also fight a little (but not as good as a fighter). Or at least they believed that when 3.5 was the most recent edition.

    Siela Tempo by the talented Kasanip. Tengu by myself.
    Super Robot Wars Unification - large-scale mecha game, now running, always recruiting!
    Spoiler
    Show





  30. - Top - End - #90
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Urpriest's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Kitchener/Waterloo
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Worst Prebuilt NPCs

    One thing to keep in mind: Dweomerkeeper is a PrC for, among others, followers of Mystra. It requires (sans cheese/work) Cleric 3 for entry, but then progresses another stretch of casting. Mystic Theurge on Elminister would be weird because he doesn't tend to cast divine spells in the fiction. Dweomerkeeper, on the other hand, would make perfect sense.
    Lord Raziere herd I like Blasphemy, so Urpriest Exalted as a Malefactor

    Meet My Monstrous Guide to Monsters. Everything you absolutely need to know about Monsters and never thought you needed to ask.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mithril Leaf View Post
    One of the unwritten rules of Giantitp is that Urpriest is always right.
    Trophy!
    Spoiler
    Show


    original Urpriest (by Andraste)

Posting Permissions

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