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    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default [3.5] Help with optimized character creation(Help Optimization Gods!)

    I come before the optimization gods and humbly request their assistance.

    EDIT: Please note I am not saying "Build my level 20 character". I am only asking for advice.

    So I have just entered into a level 20 tournament. I have been trying to think of a good level 20 character I want to build. This is obviously 100% PVP based. The rules thus far:

    -All alignments are available
    -Level 20
    -Race: any race in the players handbook plus any spin off of them you can find (ex: water elf, drow, rock gnome, etc...) use LA
    -Class: any classes from the following: players handbook 1 and 2, any any of the "complete books" (complete divine, arcane, etc...), races of books
    -spells can be from any of the above books plus spell compendium, and magic items for purchase can be from any of the above plus DM guide and magic item compendium.
    -Base Ability points (18, 16, 14, 12, 10, 8)
    -flaws or traits can be rolled with dm spectating
    -Calculate HP (just for fun use max HP for all levels based on your Hit Die. then add con)
    -Record other stats (AC, Speed, Saves, Etc.)
    -Choose Skills and pay attention to class skills
    -Choose Feats
    -Choose Spells (if applicable)
    -Buy items, I suggest looking at the Arms And Armor book because it has all the items and magic item compendium for any magic items you might need along with the ones in DM's Guide (STARTING GOLD: 180,000gp)
    -NO PURCHASING ANY MOUNTS OR OTHER ANIMALS, ONLY ANIMAL COMPANIONS OR FAMILIARS ALLOWED!!!
    Last edited by Nerdguy88; 2015-04-23 at 11:42 AM.

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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: [3.5] Help with optimized character creation(Help Optimization Gods!)

    Well, that's really broad. You haven't given us any idea what you actually want to do.

    At high levels (and even at low levels, just less obviously), full casting is going to dominate everything else. The question is, how powerful are you comfortable being? The fact that your books are a little bit limited does place a couple hampers on your maximum power (no FR books means no Incantatrix, and no Dragon Magic means no Arcane Spellsurge, just to list two examples off the top of my head), but honestly, you can still be blindingly OP with just what you've got.

    Oh, here's an important question: what kind of prep time are you allowed to have before each match? Do you get a round or two to buff? What about all-day buffs—can they be considered to be active ahead of time? Are conjured minions (Planar Ally, Planar Binding, Gate, etc.) available, and if so, can long-duration ones be with you ahead of time? (If so, what books can you pull from to choose them? Do you have access to all the different Monster Manuals, or just MM1?) Knowing how much preparation is allowed in advance is going to change things a little bit. Level 20 does mean easy access to 9ths, which means easy access to Time Stop, so even if you have to buff on the fly it's not absolutely the end of the world, but it'll be easier if we know that we don't have to spend combat actions casting hours/lvl buffs, for example.

    What's the arena look like? Do you have line of sight and line of effect to each other at the start of the match, or are you separated somehow? If you have LoS/LoE as soon as initiative is rolled, you're playing rocket tag—basically, whoever goes first is almost guaranteed to win. If you're separated, you might have to deal with a stealthy opponent, but you might also have a chance to buff or prepare something more elaborate.

    Is there a reset between matches, or is everything happening in sequence? (Can you, for example, refresh spells between matches? What about consumable effects, like Craft Contingent Spell?) If everything is happening in sequence, how long is it between each match, and what are you allowed to do in that time? (If it's instant, you can't cast any new buffs, but any spells you had active will probably still be active. If there's a defined time between matches, you might be able to cast buff spells during the downtime.)

    Basically, the more magic you can bring to the field, the better off you're going to be. Not knowing anything else, I'd say a good place to start would be to take all seven levels of Initiate of the Sevenfold Veil, from Complete Arcane—being able to use an immediate action to put up a shield that's very, very difficult to breach will go a long way toward keeping yourself alive. I'm not sure how much of, for example, The Mailman (an iconic high-op mage who actually makes direct damage spells worthwhile) you can pull off without Incantatrix or Arcane Spellsurge, but someone who's better versed in the art of super-high-op casters than I am will probably be able to provide more information about that. But anyway, the point is that you're going to want to start looking at high-op casters, because that's going to be the order of the day.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: [3.5] Help with optimized character creation(Help Optimization Gods!)

    Grey Elf Wizard 8/Initiate of the Seven Fold Veil 7/Fatespinner 4/Mindbender 1. Unless you can also take PrC's from the DMG, then drop 3 wizard for 3 Archmage.
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    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: [3.5] Help with optimized character creation(Help Optimization Gods!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaq View Post
    "Lots of Text"
    Good read thanks for the advice! Well in regards to "How powerful do you want" if there is an over 9000 option I would like that. Sorry for the old reference but I found it amusing. Anyways I purposely left it vague. Like I said I'm mostly looking for tips and tricks but am more then happy to listen to anyone willing to go in depth. I will say in my entire time with pen and paper games I have never played a caster character so there is that.
    Last edited by Nerdguy88; 2015-04-23 at 12:10 PM.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: [3.5] Help with optimized character creation(Help Optimization Gods!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Nerdguy88 View Post
    Good read thanks for the advice! Well in regards to "How powerful do you want" if there is an over 9000 option I would like that. Sorry for the old reference but I found it amusing. Anyways I purposely left it vague. Like I said I'm mostly looking for tips and tricks but am more then happy to listen to anyone willing to go in depth. I will say in my entire time with pen and paper games I have never played a caster character so there is that.
    Er, never having played a caster before, and then jumping straight into a level 20 PvP situation, is not going to be easy. 9th level spells literally break the game, but lower level spells can break them even more if used correctly. I would recommend reading logic ninja's guide, as it helps explain both what is good/bad along with useful tricks.
    78% of DM's started their first campaign in a tavern. If you're one of the 22% that didn't, copy and paste this into your signature.

    Mine started in a Dwarven church of Pelor, now with a moon!

    I am truly sorry to all those I inconvenienced with my absence, and i hope to make sure i do not repeat it in the future. And note to self, sacrificing KFC in a small apartment is not a good idea.

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    GilesTheCleric's Avatar

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    Default Re: [3.5] Help with optimized character creation(Help Optimization Gods!)

    If you're not experienced with playing at level 20 already, then the number of options and foreplanning can be overwhelming. Since this is a pvp scenario and it sounds like your goal is to win, then you being the one influencing your winning seems important. Ergo, I'll be pretty vague while also hopefully being helpful.

    Step one: pick a class. If you're comfortable with complexity (think Star Trek 3D chess level), then boot up JaronK's list of Tiers, and pick anything from tier one. Proceed to spend the rest of your time until the game picking through all of the spell options. If you're in the mood for something equally as powerful but with slightly less time investment, boot up the tier list and scroll to where it says "druid 20" (right there in tier 1).

    Step two: race. Complexity option: anything that doesn't lower primary casting stat; bonus feats and +primary stat are good. Druid option: same advice.

    Step three: PrCs. Complexity option: there's a few picks for T1 casters that are actually better than [class] 20; you'll find each of them on their respective classes' handbook (google "3.5 [class] handbook"). Druid: It's the same deal. I recommend not overthinking things.

    Step four: feats. Complexity: Metamagic, so much of it. Druid: Metamagic is good, but there's also feats that increase your options for wild shape, and one important feat, Natural Spell. Summoning feats don't hurt, either.

    Step five: tactics. Complexity: build your layered defenses and contingencies, immunities to everything a PC can devise. Have spells that let you kill without even bothering to glance at your foe. Druid: turn into a flying bear who can summon more flying bears, while shooting lightning from your eyes at enemies that can't run because the trees and earth itself have risen up to stop them so that your righteous fury might more quickly strike them down. But in all seriousness, look through the MMs for creature forms that are pretty powerful (you know... 30+ to most stats, full casting, all sorts of immunities, the works. Anything you you hate to run up against as a player), and turn into that. There's at least 1500 creatures with images on the wotc website, and I think around 3000 creatures in the game. That's a lot fewer to go through than the ~5000 spells in the game. To ease your search, check out various druid handbooks and summoning handbooks. It also helps that you don't have to go through all levels of monsters, but likely just the highest ones.

    Step six: Magic Items. Complexity: T1s are actually pretty item-independent, but when you've got money to spend, why not do it? GP is mostly spent adding more spells to your spellbook, or replacing buffs you'd be casting anyway. Druid: Same deal, except for one important item from MIC, the Wilding Clasp. Note that unslotted items probably don't merge into your animal form, but they're also more expensive.

    Hopefully that's not too much help for the win to no longer be your own doing; I think it's pretty vague. Depending on how invested you feel on doing things yourself and how much free time you have, you can decide whether going through handbooks violates your ethical code for this or not.

    A tip if you're planning on playing a druid: opening up more options for wild shape can be very powerful. Outsiders, Aberrations, and other non-standard creatures can be much more powerful than regular Magical Beasts. The spell Shapechange can accomplish a similar goal, but is also based on the druid's creature type (so if you start as an outsider/aberration/etc, then things get much easier).
    "Water. That's what I'm getting at. Water. Mandrake, water is the source of all life. Seven-tenths of this earth's surface is water. Why, do you realize... that seventy percent of you is water?" – Kubrick

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    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: [3.5] Help with optimized character creation(Help Optimization Gods!)

    Quote Originally Posted by GilesTheCleric View Post
    "Lots of Text"
    Like I said above great read thanks! I have played at higher levels before(got to epic once) I just have never played a caster. I will need to look through these guides you guys have posted.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    GilesTheCleric's Avatar

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    Default Re: [3.5] Help with optimized character creation(Help Optimization Gods!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Nerdguy88 View Post
    Like I said above great read thanks! I have played at higher levels before(got to epic once) I just have never played a caster. I will need to look through these guides you guys have posted.
    How experienced is everyone else? Have any of them played casters at 20th level? If not, then you might not need to be too concerned, and you can probably win with *mentally counts* either one spell if you want to go the caster route, or *counts again* three spells plus two items mimicking spells if you want to go for a melee route, or *counts* one plus one to four spells if you want to go the "getting my hands dirty" caster route.
    "Water. That's what I'm getting at. Water. Mandrake, water is the source of all life. Seven-tenths of this earth's surface is water. Why, do you realize... that seventy percent of you is water?" – Kubrick

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    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: [3.5] Help with optimized character creation(Help Optimization Gods!)

    I am not sure how experienced everyone else is. However I did read through SOME of logic batman wizard guide and WOW there is a lot of info in there. Originally I was not going to go for a caster but I think I might just go that route.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: [3.5] Help with optimized character creation(Help Optimization Gods!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Nerdguy88 View Post
    I am not sure how experienced everyone else is. However I did read through SOME of logic batman wizard guide and WOW there is a lot of info in there. Originally I was not going to go for a caster but I think I might just go that route.
    The easiest to build something really nasty with is IMO a divine metamagic cleric. The strongest overall is IMO wizard. Druid is the hardest to made bad. With wizard you can take initiate of the sevenfold veil for some very powerful defenses. Since it is PVP based that will be very helpful. Another thing that will be helpful though is being able to attack your opponent(s) from many angles. Be able to cast spells that leave them dead or incapacitated if they fail a save, or you hit their touch ac, or if they fail the save and their dexterity score drops to 0. Celerity is important as it can help you go first. Lvl 20 is like playing tag with a rocket launcher. Whoever goes first is the only one that isn't a smoking crater. Try REALLY hard to go first, and then be able to end the fight quickly once you have won initiative. I could elaborate but those guides do a great job of that.

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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [3.5] Help with optimized character creation(Help Optimization Gods!)

    I'm pretty sure either the Twice Betrayer of Shar or Pun-Pun would be the way to go on this.

    A few things to consider:
    Have at least three Cleric levels with the feat Initiate of Mystra so you can cast spells in someone's antimagic field. Have your own Persistent Antimagic Field with Selective Spell from Shining South so it doesn't affect your character, his attended items, or his actions, but it does affect everyone else, their items, and their actions normally, even when they're targeting your character. As far as your character is concerned, the AMF doesn't exsit; as far as everyone else is concerned, it does exist and your character is right in the middle of its effect, thoroughly protected. Also include Persistent Ray Deflection and a Starmantle Cloak, any weapon that hits you will be within the AMF and temporarily nonmagical and be automatically destroyed by the cloak, even natural weapons. If you're afraid of disjunction, have a few Persistent Selective Antimagic Fields on you, they'll have to roll separately to destroy each AMF if they want to disjoin you. Use disjunction on your opponent(s), and then let your Persistent Holy Stars and dozens of Persistent Fell Drain Cloud of Knives go to work on them.

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    EugeneVoid's Avatar

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    Default Re: [3.5] Help with optimized character creation(Help Optimization Gods!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Biffoniacus_Furiou View Post
    I'm pretty sure either the Twice Betrayer of Shar or Pun-Pun would be the way to go on this.

    A few things to consider:
    ...the feat Initiate of Mystra from Player's Guide to Faerun, which he cant use so you can cast spells in someone's antimagic field... Selective Spell from Shining South so it doesn't affect your character, his attended items, or his actions, but it does affect everyone else, their items, and their actions normally, even when they're targeting your character. As far as your character is concerned, the AMF doesn't exsit; as far as everyone else is concerned, it does exist and your character is right in the middle of its effect, thoroughly protected. Also include Persistent Ray Deflection and a Starmantle Cloak from Book of Exalted Deeds, which he can't use, any weapon that hits you will be within the AMF and temporarily nonmagical and be automatically destroyed by the cloak, even natural weapons. If you're afraid of disjunction, have a few Persistent Selective Antimagic Fields on you, they'll have to roll separately to destroy each AMF if they want to disjoin you. Use disjunction on your opponent(s), and then let your Persistent Holy Stars and dozens of Persistent Fell Drain Cloud of Knives from Libris Mortis go to work on them.
    :/ He did say that books were limited.
    Last edited by EugeneVoid; 2015-04-23 at 05:11 PM.
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    Anytime someone mentions "strawman" or "stormwind" take a drink.

    For next level difficulty, also take a drink when someone mentions "fallacy" or "logic."


    Sorry if my posts get incoherent

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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Biffoniacus_Furiou's Avatar

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    Default Re: [3.5] Help with optimized character creation(Help Optimization Gods!)

    Quote Originally Posted by EugeneVoid View Post
    :/ He did say that books were limited.
    There's no limitation on feat sources in the OP, just race, classes, and spells.

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    Orc in the Playground
     
    EugeneVoid's Avatar

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    Default Re: [3.5] Help with optimized character creation(Help Optimization Gods!)

    Sorry lol, guess I didn't read carefully
    The Giantitp Drinking Game!
    Anytime someone mentions "strawman" or "stormwind" take a drink.

    For next level difficulty, also take a drink when someone mentions "fallacy" or "logic."


    Sorry if my posts get incoherent

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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Lizardfolk

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    Default Re: [3.5] Help with optimized character creation(Help Optimization Gods!)

    Go wizard into a prc of your choice, grab Craft Contigency from complete arcane.

    List of good contingencies:
    1. Whenever someone else would take a turn activate celerity: Always go first. If they go second you go twice in a row.
    2. Going to be hit by a melee attack: Resilient Sphere on self.
    3. Someone casts Antimagic Field: Counterspell on the field.
    4. Attack hits you: Planeshift away.
    Etc.

    Edit: I like Geometer for the ability to make Glyphs. If you can grab Craft Aboleth Glyph using PaOx2 you can make self resetting glyphs, which you can activate by putting them on boxes and then opening.
    Last edited by Tvtyrant; 2015-04-23 at 11:26 PM.
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