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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Heliomance's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    Female

    Default Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXVII

    A dimly-lit library. Rows of bookshelves line the walls, and as the camera slowly pans over them, we see that they are filled with gaming books. From the original brown-cover D&D manuals to the newest fifth edition supplements, we are given a brief but breathtaking history of over four decades of gaming in visual form.

    A pair of feet, clad in Converse, appear. The camera pans back to reveal the Chairwoman as she strides out into Optimization Stadium. Slowly, she looks around at the battleground. Rapidly, we are shown shots of the gaming materials here assembled: books, miniatures, maps, dice. The Chairwoman reaches down and picks up a twenty-sided die. She rolls it, then turns to the camera... and smiles.

    The camera pulls back from the smile to reveal... the Iron Gamers. Row upon row they stand, clad in the uniform of their trade: t-shirts with fantasy images, buttons with obscure quotes from novels and movies, dice bags at the ready. The shot dissolves into flames and the logo:


    Iron Gamer

    A montage of the contestants plays, with summaries of their optimization triumphs and achievements. Interspersed are brief interviews. Finally, though, the introductions are over. The contestants stand arrayed before the Chairwoman.

    Chairwoman: We unveil the ingredient!

    Tense music plays as the pedestal containing the mystery ingredient rises from below. Stacked neatly on the pedestal are copies of the Tome of Magic.

    Chairwoman: From the sea to the sky! This month's theme is... Shadowsmith! ALLEZ OPTIMISER!

    -----------------------------------------------------------------

    Welcome, contestants, judges, and guests to Iron Chef LXXXIV. Here in Optimisation Colosseum, contestants will endeavour to create an optimised and flavourful character using a specified D&D3.5 prestige class as a "Secret Ingredient".

    Contestants: You will need to present a full 20-level build for your entry. Also required is a rundown of how your build works at lower levels, to demonstrate that it is a functional character that could be played from 1-20 in a real game. Traditionally contestants give "snapshots" of tactics and abilities at levels 5, 10, 15, and 20, as well as a "sweet spot" of their choosing that represents what they believe to be the high point of the build. The purpose of these snapshots is not just to showcase your use of the SI, it is to demonstrate that your character is playable at every level. For this reason, it's still worth giving a snapshot before you have entered the SI.

    Menu: The "special ingredient" can be drawn from any legal source. Originally, the plan was to mostly use Core and Completes, but that was a long time ago, and we've started running out of interesting classes to use if we restrict ourselves to those.
    32 point-buy is the presumed creation method, but we have generally allowed other levels of point-buy.
    If you do use a different point-buy, please make your case for its necessity in your entry. Keep in mind that for using exceptionally large or small point-buys may warrant deductions in elegance and/or power.

    Kitchen: Competitors will be free to use any official 3.5 rulebook in constructing their builds. Dragon magazine is disallowed, and Unearthed Arcana is allowed; but see Elegance below. Web-exclusive 3.0 or 3.5 materials by WotC are expressly allowed, but take care to verify that an updated version did not appear in print elsewhere, as this may cause an Elegance deduction at the judges' discretion. Alternate rule systems from UA such as gestalt or Generic Classes are not allowed, as they create a different playing field. Also, item familiars are forbidden because I hate 'em. Please refrain from using Taint unless it's necessary for the Secret Ingredient.
    NB: Official Errata and 3.5 updates to 3.0 content are considered valid regardless of whether their sources would otherwise be legal. This includes the 3.5 update of Oriental Adventures given in Dragon Magazine, and the 3.5 updates of Dragonlance Campaign Setting content given in later third party Dragonlance books.

    Cooking Time: Contestants will have until 07:59 GMT on Tuesday, July 10th, 2017 to create their builds and PM them to the Chairwoman, Heliomance. Please put the name of your build in the subject line of your PM. Builds will then be posted simultaneously, to avoid copying. Judges will have until 07:59 GMT on Tuesday, July 24th, 2017 to judge the builds and submit their scores. If no judges have scored by that point, only the scores of the first judge to submit will be counted.

    Judging: Judging will be based on the following criteria, with each build rated on a scale from 1 (very poor) to 5 (exemplary) in each area: Originality, Power, Elegance, Use of Secret Ingredient.
    Power level is up to you. Cheese is acceptable, but should be kept to a sane level unless you're showcasing a new TO build you've discovered. In the words of one of my predecessors, a little cheddar can be nice, but avoid the mature Gruyere unless you're making a cheese fondue.
    Elegance could bear a little elaboration. It basically measures how skillfully you put your build together, and whether you sacrificed flavor for power. We're cooking here - if your dish doesn't taste good, it doesn't matter how well-presented it is. Use of flaws is considered in poor taste, and judges are asked to take a dim view of this option, taking it into account while grading. Other things that will cause penalties here are excessive multi-classing, and classes that don't fit the concept - using Cloistered Cleric in a front-line melee fighter, for example, will lose you points.Please note the following change: a legal source's relative obscurity should not be considered as penalizing Elegance, excepting the aforementioned issues with Unearthed Arcana. Using too many sources may result in a penalty to Elegance at the judges' discretion, but a book's relative obscurity may not. In that same vein, drawing solely from the Core 3 (and the d20 SRD) should not be punished for lacking Originality.
    Presentation: Builds will be posted anonymously, in order to avoid the potential of bias towards a particular competitor. For this reason, please don't put your name in the build, as I'm likely to miss it when reviewing the entries!
    Due to concerns about standardizing entry format, I'd like everyone to try to use the following table for their entry.
    Spoiler
    Show
    NAME OF ENTRY
    Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    1st New Class Level +x +x +x +x Skills Feats New Class Abilities
    2nd New Class Level +x +x +x +x Skills Feats New Class Abilities
    3rd New Class Level +x +x +x +x Skills Feats New Class Abilities
    4th New Class Level +x +x +x +x Skills Feats New Class Abilities
    5th New Class Level +x +x +x +x Skills Feats New Class Abilities
    6th New Class Level +x +x +x +x Skills Feats New Class Abilities
    7th New Class Level +x +x +x +x Skills Feats New Class Abilities
    8th New Class Level +x +x +x +x Skills Feats New Class Abilities
    9th New Class Level +x +x +x +x Skills Feats New Class Abilities
    10th New Class Level +x +x +x +x Skills Feats New Class Abilities
    11th New Class Level +x +x +x +x Skills Feats New Class Abilities
    12th New Class Level +x +x +x +x Skills Feats New Class Abilities
    13th New Class Level +x +x +x +x Skills Feats New Class Abilities
    14th New Class Level +x +x +x +x Skills Feats New Class Abilities
    15th New Class Level +x +x +x +x Skills Feats New Class Abilities
    16th New Class Level +x +x +x +x Skills Feats New Class Abilities
    17th New Class Level +x +x +x +x Skills Feats New Class Abilities
    18th New Class Level +x +x +x +x Skills Feats New Class Abilities
    19th New Class Level +x +x +x +x Skills Feats New Class Abilities
    20th New Class Level +x +x +x +x Skills Feats New Class Abilities

    Code immediately below (spoiler).
    Spoiler
    Show
    [table="class: head alt1 alt2"]
    [tr]
    [th][B]Level[/B][/th]
    [th][B]Class[/B][/th]
    [th][B]Base Attack Bonus[/B][/th]
    [th][B]Fort Save[/B][/th]
    [th][B]Ref Save[/B][/th]
    [th][B]Will Save[/B][/th]
    [th][B]Skills[/B][/th]
    [th][B]Feats[/B][/th]
    [th][B]Class Features[/B][/th]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]1st[/td]
    [td]New Class Level[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]Skills[/td]
    [td]Feats[/td]
    [td]New Class Abilities[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]2nd[/td]
    [td]New Class Level[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]Skills[/td]
    [td]Feats[/td]
    [td]New Class Abilities[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]3rd[/td]
    [td]New Class Level[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]Skills[/td]
    [td]Feats[/td]
    [td]New Class Abilities[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]4th[/td]
    [td]New Class Level[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]Skills[/td]
    [td]Feats[/td]
    [td]New Class Abilities[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]5th[/td]
    [td]New Class Level[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]Skills[/td]
    [td]Feats[/td]
    [td]New Class Abilities[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]6th[/td]
    [td]New Class Level[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]Skills[/td]
    [td]Feats[/td]
    [td]New Class Abilities[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]7th[/td]
    [td]New Class Level[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]Skills[/td]
    [td]Feats[/td]
    [td]New Class Abilities[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]8th[/td]
    [td]New Class Level[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]Skills[/td]
    [td]Feats[/td]
    [td]New Class Abilities[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]9th[/td]
    [td]New Class Level[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]Skills[/td]
    [td]Feats[/td]
    [td]New Class Abilities[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]10th[/td]
    [td]New Class Level[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]Skills[/td]
    [td]Feats[/td]
    [td]New Class Abilities[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]11th[/td]
    [td]New Class Level[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]Skills[/td]
    [td]Feats[/td]
    [td]New Class Abilities[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]12th[/td]
    [td]New Class Level[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]Skills[/td]
    [td]Feats[/td]
    [td]New Class Abilities[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]13th[/td]
    [td]New Class Level[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]Skills[/td]
    [td]Feats[/td]
    [td]New Class Abilities[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]14th[/td]
    [td]New Class Level[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]Skills[/td]
    [td]Feats[/td]
    [td]New Class Abilities[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]15th[/td]
    [td]New Class Level[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]Skills[/td]
    [td]Feats[/td]
    [td]New Class Abilities[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]16th[/td]
    [td]New Class Level[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]Skills[/td]
    [td]Feats[/td]
    [td]New Class Abilities[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]17th[/td]
    [td]New Class Level[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]Skills[/td]
    [td]Feats[/td]
    [td]New Class Abilities[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]18th[/td]
    [td]New Class Level[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]Skills[/td]
    [td]Feats[/td]
    [td]New Class Abilities[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]19th[/td]
    [td]New Class Level[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]Skills[/td]
    [td]Feats[/td]
    [td]New Class Abilities[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]20th[/td]
    [td]New Class Level[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]+x[/td]
    [td]Skills[/td]
    [td]Feats[/td]
    [td]New Class Abilities[/td]
    [/tr]
    [/table]

    For entries with spellcasting, use the following table for Spells per day and Spells Known. (Spells Known only if necessary, i.e. Sorcerer or Bard, but not Wizard or Warmage)
    Spoiler
    Show
    Spells per Day/Spells Known
    Spells per Day/Spells Known
    Level 0lvl 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
    1st - - - - - - - - - -
    2nd - - - - - - - - - -
    3rd - - - - - - - - - -
    4th - - - - - - - - - -
    5th - - - - - - - - - -
    6th - - - - - - - - - -
    7th - - - - - - - - - -
    8th - - - - - - - - - -
    9th - - - - - - - - - -
    10th - - - - - - - - - -
    11th - - - - - - - - - -
    12th - - - - - - - - - -
    13th - - - - - - - - - -
    14th - - - - - - - - - -
    15th - - - - - - - - - -
    16th - - - - - - - - - -
    17th - - - - - - - - - -
    18th - - - - - - - - - -
    19th - - - - - - - - - -
    20th - - - - - - - - - -
    Code immediately below (spoiler)
    Spoiler
    Show
    [B]Spells per Day/Spells Known[/B]
    [B]Spells per Day/Spells Known[/B]
    [table="class:head alt1 alt2"]
    [tr]
    [th][B]Level[/B][/th]
    [th][B]0lvl[/B][/th]
    [th][B]1st[/B][/th]
    [th][B]2nd[/B][/th]
    [th][B]3rd[/B][/th]
    [th][B]4th[/B][/th]
    [th][B]5th[/B][/th]
    [th][B]6th[/B][/th]
    [th][B]7th[/B][/th]
    [th][B]8th[/B][/th]
    [th][B]9th[/B][/th]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]1st[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]2nd[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]3rd[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]4th[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]5th[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]6th[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]7th[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]8th[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]9th[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]10th[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]11th[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]12th[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]13th[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]14th[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]15th[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]16th[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]17th[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]18th[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]19th[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]20th[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [td]-[/td]
    [/tr]
    [/table]

    For other systems (Psionics, ToB, Incarnum, etc.) keep track of PP/maneuvers/essentia separately, preferably in a nice neat list.
    Speculation: Please don't post or speculate on possible builds until the "reveal," in order to avoid spoiling the surprise if a particular competitor is producing a build along those lines.

    Leadership is banned; we're producing a meal, not a seven-course banquet for a hundred diners. If your entry includes a prestige class or ACF that grants Leadership or a Leadership-like ability as a bonus feat, the feat should be ignored and is not eligible to be traded away for another feat or ACF through any means.

    So! Who wants to sign up as a contestant, and who wants to sign up as a judge? Looking for as many contestants and judges as feel like playing!

    We will award 1st through 3rd places, as well as a shout-out for honourable mention. The honourable mention prize is given to the most daring or unexpected build. Judges, contestants and guests alike are invited to vote for honourable mention via PM. If there are no votes, Honourable Mention will go to the chairwoman's favourite build.

    The Builds

    Past Competitions

    Spoiler: The First Fifty
    Show
    Iron Chef I: Entropomancer
    Iron Chef II: Psibond Agent
    Iron Chef III: Cancer Mage
    Iron Chef IV: Stonelord
    Iron Chef V: War Chanter
    Iron Chef VI: Master of Masks
    Iron Chef VII: Green Star Adept
    Iron Chef VIII: Pyrokineticist
    Iron Chef IX: Animal Lord
    Iron Chef X: Mythic Exemplar
    Iron Chef XI: Blade Bravo
    Iron Chef XII: War Mind
    Iron Chef XIII: Vigilante
    Iron Chef XIV: Seeker of the Song
    Iron Chef XV: Drunken Master
    Iron Chef XVI: Assassin
    Iron Chef XVII: Ardent Dilettante
    Iron Chef XVIII: Unseelie Dark Hunter
    Iron Chef XIX: Dread Pirate
    Iron Chef XX: Incandescent Champion
    Iron Chef XXI: Ghostwalker
    Iron Chef XXII: Dervish
    Iron Chef XXIII: Divine Crusader
    Iron Chef XXIV: Tactical Soldier
    Iron Chef XXV: Scion of Tem-Et-Nu
    Iron Chef XXVI: Shadowdancer
    Iron Chef XXVII: Mindbender
    Iron Chef XXVIII: Cryokineticist
    Iron Chef XXIX: Consecrated Harrier
    Iron Chef XXX: Initiate of Pistis Sophia
    Iron Chef XXXI: Shadow Sentinel
    Iron Chef XXXII: Temple Raider of Olidammara
    Iron Chef XXXIII: Drow Judicator
    Iron Chef XXXIV: Dragon Disciple
    Iron Chef XXXV: Death Delver
    Iron Chef XXXVI: Acolyte of the Skin
    Iron Chef XXXVII: Justiciar
    Iron Chef XXXVIII: Hand of the Winged Master
    Iron Chef XXXIX: Renegade Mastermaker
    Iron Chef XL: Nightsong Infiltrator
    Iron Chef XLI: Geomancer
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    Iron Chef LIX: Fleet Runner of Ehlonna
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    The only person in the past two pages who has known what (s)he has been talking about is Heliomance.
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    I just don't want to have long romantic conversations or any sort of drama with my computer, okay? It knows what kind of porn I watch. I don't want to mess that up by allowing it to judge any of my choices in romance.

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXVII

    FAQ:
    Q: What's this even about?
    A: I'm glad you asked, actually...

    Q: Is Dragon Compendium Allowed?
    A: Yes (as well as its Errata), but individual issues of Dragon Magazine are not.

    Q: What about 3.0 materials?
    A: 3.0 materials, whether online or in printed form, are allowed unless they've been officially updated to a 3.5 edition.

    Q: Are Dragonlance, Ravenloft, Planescape, Dark Sun, or Kingdoms of Kalamar allowable sources?
    A: The Dragonlance Campaign Setting is allowed, but the subsequent books for Dragonlance are considered 3rd party, and are therefore not eligible, despite the "WotC approved" status of those books. The same holds for Oriental Adventures (1st party) and the subsequent Rokugan books (3rd party). Materials from Ravenloft, Planescape, Dark Sun, and Kingdoms of Kalamar are considered 3rd party for purposes of this contest, and are therefore not allowed.

    Q: What about online sources in general?
    A: If the online source is a) published by WotC, and b) not replaced by an updated version at a later time, it is eligible. Use it, link it.

    Q: Where's the line drawn with "acceptable/unacceptable" for Unearthed Arcana? This will likely vary a bit from Chairman to Chairman. Item Familiars and Gestalt have always been verboten, since before IC migrated to GitP; don't expect that to change. Flaws have similarly always been noted as warranting a deduction; while I am Chairman, I'm extending that to Traits, though they warrant 1/2 the penalty in Elegance that a Flaw would because they're roughly 1/2 as useful. Alternate spell systems, alternate skill systems and alternate crafting rules all create an uneven playing field, and as such, will be disallowed for as long as I am Chairman. In a similar vein, LA buyoff and fractional BAB are also disallowed. Bloodlines and the Retraining options presented in the PHB2 are ripe for abuse, and will be strongly discouraged as long as I am Chairman. Note that judges are allowed to look askance at any use of Unearthed Arcana not specifically mentioned above, at their discretion, and otherwise penalize Elegance according to their preference.

    Q: What, exactly, does the ban on Leadership mean?
    A: As folks have started to try to work around the edges of this one, I'm forced to spell it out more plainly. No Leadership, Draconic Cohort, or Feats that grant a similar ability are allowed EXCEPT Wild Cohort while Heliomance is chairman. Any PrC you choose with Leadership or a Leadership-analog has that ability entirely ignored for this contest, as it may neither be used nor traded away via any means whatsoever.

    Q: What's the minimum score in a category?
    A: Assuming an entry is legal, the minimum score in any category is 1. If a judge is convinced that an entry is mechanically illegal by the RAW, the judge may give the build a score of 0 in Elegance, and proceed to judge the entry as if the offending material was not included. Failing to meet a special requirement for a prestige class does not merit a 0, but may qualify for a penalty, at the judge's discretion. Because this contest focuses on Player Characters, an entry that is not technically allowed for a PC, but is viable as an NPC, counts as a legal entry, but may receive a minimum score at the judges' discretion.

    Q: Creatures and templates with no listed LA are playable, right?
    A: No. No listed LA is equivalent to LA: -. It is not suitable for PCs. If you use it, expect judges to look extremely disfavourably on it.

    Q: So what's the deal with equipment, anyway?
    A: There is no official policy on how much equipment you should list. Historically, judges have frowned upon "item dependent" builds, but unfortunately the definition of that has been applied to mean anything from builds that don't function if you remove one very specific item, to builds that so much as mention a particular weapon. Builds that don't list gear should be assumed to buy useful generics - items to boost their primary stats, cloaks of resistance, appropriate magical weapons and armour, and so forth. If a build would find particular items useful, they should be listed, but experience suggests that the more generic you keep them, the more favourably judges are likely to look upon them, as a build being shut down because the Thundering Bagpipes of Urist McTrumpetbritches were unavailable is considered a weakness. Similarly, requiring items in order to be able to qualify for things tends to be frowned upon.

    Q: Do you have any other rules and guidelines on how to judge?
    A: We do, actually, designed to try and avoid unpleasantness we've encountered in past contests. The things we've come up with to avoid repeating this are given below.

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    One Mistake, One Penalty
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    Judges are only allowed to penalise once for a given mistake. If someone messes up their skills and doesn't qualify for a PrC, ding them as hard as you like. Once. In one category. You don't then get to declare that because they didn't qualify for that PrC, they don't get those levels, and thus don't qualify for anything else. If Ranger is a common ingredient, ding them for Originality. Once. Don't also take off points for Two-Weapon-Fighting being a common ingredient.

    Non-exhaustive list of examples:

    Skills
    Allowed:
    • Giving a penalty for miscalculating the number of skill points gained
    • Giving a penalty for not having enough ranks to meet a prerequisite
    • Increasing the harshness of a skill miscalculation penalty if it affects critical skills including prereqs


    Not allowed:
    • Giving separate penalties for miscalculating skill points and for non-qualification where the non-qualification is solely caused by the miscalculation

    Prereqs
    Allowed:
    • Giving a penalty for not meeting prereqs
    • Scaling the penalty depending on how important the item that the build failed to qualify for is
    • Giving minimum score in UotSI for not qualifying for the SI
    • (Trial, may be disallowed later)Not giving credit for (note: not the same as penalising for) tactics using feats or classes other than the SI that were not qualified for (but see below)


    Not Allowed:
    • "Cascading" failures to qualify - declaring that because a build doesn't qualify for a feat, for example, it also doesn't qualify for anything using that feat as a prereq
    • Treating a build as having fewer levels than it does because of FtQ for classes


    Other general things that are no longer allowed:
    • Penalising because someone has chosen to build a tribute to an existing creative work
    • Deciding that a backstory has not met a fluff prerequisite well enough, or because its method of meeting it is "unrealistic". You may penalise if a fluff prereq is not addressed at all, but not for how well it is addressed.


    Note that these are protections, not licenses. Deliberately taking a feat that you know you don't qualify for hoping to just suck up the judging penalty for a feat that you couldn't normally take is not okay, and may lead to your build being disqualified.


    Q: Do you have any contest house rules or clarifications to ambiguous rules?
    A: Some that have come up in previous contests and needed answers to:
    • All creatures are proficient with any natural weapons they may have or acquire.
    • Bonus feats that are granted even if you do not meet the prerequisites do not require you to meet the prerequisites in order to use.
    • Able Learner's benefit applies to the level you take it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kalirren View Post
    The only person in the past two pages who has known what (s)he has been talking about is Heliomance.
    Quote Originally Posted by golentan View Post
    I just don't want to have long romantic conversations or any sort of drama with my computer, okay? It knows what kind of porn I watch. I don't want to mess that up by allowing it to judge any of my choices in romance.

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXVII

    yikes!

    tentatively in to cook.
    fight my brute! it's a lot of fun
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXVII

    Well, at least it's got full BAB...
    Gold: the color of lawful neutrality.

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXVII

    This could be fun......

    What are your caster level for your (few) mysteries?
    Last edited by Sian; 2017-06-26 at 03:28 PM.

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXVII

    Well, this class is interesting. I'm not sure I'll have time before the deadline to get an entry in, but I'll definitely be mulling possibilities over.

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    Troll in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXVII

    Bonus to climb checks, hide, move silently, AC bonus, only need to hit a flat DC to craft a shadow item.

    Yeah, there's nothing to optimize here.

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXVII

    Don't ignore those sweet sweet mysteries. Three whole mysteries, each once per day!

    As for caster level I would think that it defaults to class level, as per the general rules. I might be able to find something to work with here.
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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXVII

    I see something this class can do, but I do not like it. Not one bit.

    I think this class may take the record for stingiest magic progression of any class that offers magic progression.
    In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers ALL HAIL KING TORG!

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    Gentlefolk, learn from Zaq's example, and his suffering. Remember, seven out of eleven players who use truenamer lose their ability to taste ice cream.
    Please come participate in the (rebooted) Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground E6 Appetizer Edition! Current round: round IV!

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXVII

    Is it my imagination, or is shadow craft way less restricted than it really ought to be?

    Also, the fact that it provides a reasonable approximation of dragon/outsider hit dice and also real(ish) class features seems surprisingly... good? At least for an IC ingredient?
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXVII

    Is this from Tome of Magic? The quasi-Soulknife PrC for Shadowcasters?
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXVII

    Quote Originally Posted by danielxcutter View Post
    Is this from Tome of Magic? The quasi-Soulknife PrC for Shadowcasters?
    I know that it's hard to believe, but I think this is way better than soulknife.

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXVII

    Quote Originally Posted by daremetoidareyo View Post
    I know that it's hard to believe, but I think this is way better than soulknife.
    It actually took me a bit for the sarcasm to register, if you wanted to know.
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXVII

    This looks interesting. It wasn't entirely clear to me from reading the text, but can the magic weapons he creates also get other abilities than just a +x enhancement that are given as equivalent to a +x enhancement bonus (Bane comes to mind)?

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXVII

    Unless rules otherwise by Chair, no.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jormengand View Post
    Also, the fact that it provides a reasonable approximation of dragon/outsider hit dice and also real(ish) class features seems surprisingly... good? At least for an IC ingredient?
    No.
    Last edited by Vaz; 2017-06-27 at 05:27 AM.

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXVII

    Quote Originally Posted by Jormengand View Post
    Also, the fact that it provides a reasonable approximation of dragon/outsider hit dice and also real(ish) class features seems surprisingly... good? At least for an IC ingredient?
    The chassis alone? D8 HD, full BAB, one good save, 6 + INT skills from a weirdly small list. We've had worse, but Ranger is strictly better.

    With the class features? Eh. I'm interested in seeing what we come up with, but [SPECULATION REMOVED].
    Last edited by Zaq; 2017-06-27 at 08:53 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    Gentlefolk, learn from Zaq's example, and his suffering. Remember, seven out of eleven players who use truenamer lose their ability to taste ice cream.
    Please come participate in the (rebooted) Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground E6 Appetizer Edition! Current round: round IV!

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXVII

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaq View Post
    The chassis alone? D8 HD, full BAN, one good save, 6 + INT skills from a weirdly small list. We've had worse, but Ranger is strictly better.
    I don't expect IC ingredients to stack up nicely against real classes, though, so "Only a little worse than ranger" is a nice change.
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXVII

    I am a little sad that I would have to fuss around with modifying the Excel-based program for a second consecutive SI.
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXVII

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaq View Post
    I see something this class can do, but I do not like it. Not one bit.

    I think this class may take the record for stingiest magic progression of any class that offers magic progression.
    Depending on what you say when you mean progression, then possibly. Of unique progression, it's definitely the slowest. If we allow for continuing of previous casting, then it's tied with Drow Judicator [shudder]. Then again based on the way mysteries work, I guess this technically can progress.
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    Quote Originally Posted by willpell View Post
    Only playing Tier 1s is like only eating in five-star restaurants [...] sometimes I just want a cheeseburger and some frogurt. Why limit yourself?
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXVII

    Okay, I've come to the conclusion that the Shadow Craft ability has been written way too well. An ability like that should have at least 3 loopholes and 5 cases of ambiguous writing that would allow it to be used for other things than its intended use, but I haven't been able to find any of them yet.

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXVII

    Well, pairing it with [REDACTED] means that you can use [REDACTED] with much fewer flaming loops to leap through

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXVII

    Quote Originally Posted by Randuir View Post
    Okay, I've come to the conclusion that the Shadow Craft ability has been written way too well. An ability like that should have at least 3 loopholes and 5 cases of ambiguous writing that would allow it to be used for other things than its intended use, but I haven't been able to find any of them yet.
    Oh..,are we looking at the same ability? There's a ton of loopholes.

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXVII

    Quote Originally Posted by daremetoidareyo View Post
    Oh..,are we looking at the same ability? There's a ton of loopholes.
    Maybe I'm just not looking in the right places.

    Btw, what's the verdict on ikea shadowcrafting? The ability says that you can't make objects that include moving parts, but what if you create the moving parts separately and assemble them afterwards? For example:, to make a cabinet, you'd make the door, the cabinet and the hinges separately, and then assemble it the mundane way. I'm not sure yet how useful this might be, but I'd like to know if the option exists.
    Last edited by Randuir; 2017-06-27 at 05:07 PM.

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXVII

    Quote Originally Posted by daremetoidareyo View Post
    Oh..,are we looking at the same ability? There's a ton of loopholes.
    I get the feeling that you and I are both going to do very similar and absolutely horrible things with that ability.
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXVII

    You're making it really, really hard not to engage in speculation.

    Passed my Will saves so far, but . . . yeah.

    For the mysteries, am I correct in my interpretation that we can take (or perhaps even that we MUST take) all three mysteries from one and only one path? We don't have the Shadowcaster restriction of "must know two level 1 mysteries before learning a level 2 mystery," right?
    In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers ALL HAIL KING TORG!

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    Gentlefolk, learn from Zaq's example, and his suffering. Remember, seven out of eleven players who use truenamer lose their ability to taste ice cream.
    Please come participate in the (rebooted) Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground E6 Appetizer Edition! Current round: round IV!

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXVII

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaq View Post
    For the mysteries, am I correct in my interpretation that we can take (or perhaps even that we MUST take) all three mysteries from one and only one path? We don't have the Shadowcaster restriction of "must know two level 1 mysteries before learning a level 2 mystery," right?
    Sorry, but we have the latter restriction.
    Quote Originally Posted by tom p.132
    Your selection of mysteries is extremely limited. You begin in this class knowing only a single 1st-level mystery. Every four levels thereafter (at 5th and 9th), you gain an additional mystery known. As with the shadowcaster class, you may not skip ahead in a given path. Your mysteries must all be drawn from an apprentice path
    We don't have restriction from choosing a mystery from 3 separate paths, or one path with a level 2 mystery and a second path with a single first level mystery.

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXVII

    Quote Originally Posted by daremetoidareyo View Post
    Sorry, but we have the latter restriction.


    We don't have restriction from choosing a mystery from 3 separate paths, or one path with a level 2 mystery and a second path with a single first level mystery.
    Counterargument the first: The "no level 2 mysteries without two different level 1 mysteries" rule is part of the Shadowcaster's "Mysteries and Paths" feature (pg. 112), not part of a system-wide rule about mysteries (several of which are found on pg. 138). The Shadowsmith's "Mysteries Known" feature only references the Shadowcaster to say "as with the shadowcaster class, you may not skip ahead in a given path," but it doesn't say anything about needing to know multiple mysteries to advance in level, and it doesn't say anything like "you cast mysteries just as a Shadowcaster does" or anything like that.

    Counterargument the second (and yes, we're definitely getting out the Axe of Hairsplitting +2 here): The "Mysteries Known" feature says that "your mysteries must all be drawn from an apprentice path," not that they must all come from apprentice pathS or that they must "each" come from an apprentice path.

    As I read it, you cannot pull from multiple paths, but you also don't need to have two level 1 mysteries before learning your level 2 mystery. Tell me why I'm wrong.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    Gentlefolk, learn from Zaq's example, and his suffering. Remember, seven out of eleven players who use truenamer lose their ability to taste ice cream.
    Please come participate in the (rebooted) Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground E6 Appetizer Edition! Current round: round IV!

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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXVII

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaq View Post
    Counterargument the first: The "no level 2 mysteries without two different level 1 mysteries" rule is part of the Shadowcaster's "Mysteries and Paths" feature (pg. 112), not part of a system-wide rule about mysteries (several of which are found on pg. 138). The Shadowsmith's "Mysteries Known" feature only references the Shadowcaster to say "as with the shadowcaster class, you may not skip ahead in a given path," but it doesn't say anything about needing to know multiple mysteries to advance in level, and it doesn't say anything like "you cast mysteries just as a Shadowcaster does" or anything like that.
    But it says that you must begin with a 1st level mystery. I agree that you don't need to snag two 1st level mysteries to get to a second level mystery as per shadowcaster rules. We're not disagreeing here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaq View Post
    Counterargument the second (and yes, we're definitely getting out the Axe of Hairsplitting +2 here): The "Mysteries Known" feature says that "your mysteries must all be drawn from an apprentice path," not that they must all come from apprentice pathS or that they must "each" come from an apprentice path.

    As I read it, you cannot pull from multiple paths, but you also don't need to have two level 1 mysteries before learning your level 2 mystery. Tell me why I'm wrong.
    We disagree on a single point: Whether or not you can pull mysteries from multiple paths. And it comes down to how we decide to interpret the word 'an.' Sometimes nouns necessitate articles and just because it ways must be drawn from an apprentice path can be interpreted to mean one of two things:

    1.) Your mysteries must all be drawn from a single apprentice path
    2.) All of your mysteries must be drawn from a path no stronger than apprentice.

    The construction of the RAW sentence can go either way depending on sentence cadence and emphasis. If you interpret the instructions as trying to convey that there is a single path for the shadowsmith, you read:

    "Your mysteries must all be drawn from a path"

    Which is a bit recursive, as all of the paths are a path, you know? Why didn't they include the word single? Because the editing in this book was terrible.
    Whereas if you interpret the instructions are emphasizing what power level the mysteries may be, you would write it as such:

    "Your mysteries must all be drawn from an apprentice path"

  29. - Top - End - #29
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXVII

    Quote Originally Posted by daremetoidareyo View Post
    We disagree on a single point: Whether or not you can pull mysteries from multiple paths. And it comes down to how we decide to interpret the word 'an.'
    I'm with daremetoidareyo on this point. The singular article here referring to an apprentice path does not, to my mind, restrict all three choices. If I pick three different mysteries in three different apprentice paths, those are all "singular" picks as far as "an" is concerned.

    Given that the usage here is so limited (1/day), I can't really see how putting tighter restrictions on selecting them would make much sense. In order to get a 3rd level mystery, you'd have to pick all three from the same path, and the earliest you could get this would be ECL 14... that's not exactly an earth-shattering power at that level.

    Lack of a caster level is still bothering me... it would be simpler if these were SLAs or Su, but they are explicitly *not* either of those, so I can't find any text that actually establishes a caster level.

    EDIT: Ah, here we go. PHB glossary:

    "Generally, a spell's caster level is the spellcaster's class level."

    So if you're a Shadowsmith 3 casting a mystery, CL = 3.
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  30. - Top - End - #30
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    Default Re: Iron Chef Optimisation Challenge in the Playground LXXXVII

    It looks like there's enough disagreement that it's worth having the Chairwoman weigh in. Our options as I see them are as follows (I will edit if we get more):

    1. You cast like a shadowcaster, so can have three 1sts, or two 1sts and one 2nd.

    2. You follow strict interpretation of the text for the class, so you get one 1st, one 2nd, and one 3rd from the same path.

    3. Least restriction, you can have all three mysteries from an apprentice path, three 1sts from three different paths, or two 1sts and one 2nd.
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