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  1. - Top - End - #61
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XXXII: Oh HELL NO!

    Thurbane:

    if i delay the reveal another day will that give you time to finish?


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    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    More sources, more choices, more power. Welcome to D&D.

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

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XXXII: Oh HELL NO!

    Quote Originally Posted by jdizzlean View Post
    Thurbane:

    if i delay the reveal another day will that give you time to finish?
    Thanks for the offer, but no, it's fine.

    I've got some real life stuff going on meaning my time I can dedicate to this forum and D&D is a bit limited right now.

    I may may taking a leave of absence from these forums for a bit.

    Also, I wasn't 100% happy with the core of my build anyway...

    Saying that someone reading RAW differently than you is "home brewing or house ruling, but that's fine" doesn't make you right, it just makes you seem pompous.

  3. - Top - End - #63
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XXXII: Oh HELL NO!

    builds incoming, no snarky comments this go around :(


    1. Futility
    Spoiler: Story: Part 1
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    DM: Could everyone give me a spot and listen check, please?

    (after a series of poor rolls)

    Hank: Hey that’s not bad. 25! No, make that 26, I’m wearing the glasses.

    DM: Okay, Hank you see amidst the trees something moving. Something humanoid in shape. Care to enlighten your comrades still wallowing in ignorance?

    Hank: Hey guys there’s something in the woods. Probably another of those ghouls we cleaned up back in town.

    DM: It moves into the view of the rest of you. It pauses, head tilted to the air as if sniffing. It looks like –

    Sebastian: A ghoul! I roll Knowledge (religion) for… uh… non-natural 20. If it’s undead, what do I know about it?

    DM (after a beat): Well, it does indeed look like a ghoul, old and covered in plants. Ghouls are undead, so vulnerable to holy water, turning and such, not vulnerable to nonlethal damage, and they’ve got paralysis. It’s also got –

    Deirdre: And the bigger ones are called ghasts. Come on, we’re like way too high level for this. The ones in the town were only tricky because they had hostages.

    Sebastian: That’s totally metagaming. (pauses) But she’s totally right. I spur my noble steed into a charge and run it through with my lances. And… yeah, that should be more than enough to ohko the blighter.

    George (smiling and singing a little to himself): *Oh, my, goth, he’s… undead undead undead undeader than dead*.

    DM: Yep, your lances go right through him, as do your griffon’s natural weapons.

    Sebastian: Sweet, one more kill for the halfling knight and the world’s most righteous griffon. Back to the group I go –

    DM: *Ahem*. That’s not quite what I said.

    George: Did you just say “ahem”?

    DM: And I’m going to need a Fort save from you and your griffon. Wait… I think technically you should have rolled before attacking. Ah well, doesn’t matter.

    Deirdre: Uh-oh. That does not sound good. (looks at rolled dice) Pfff, but that looks even worse!

    Sebastian (glumly): Well at least Sir Fluffyclaws got a decent roll.

    (everyone rolls initiative)

    DM: Sebastian, you’re first, but you’re also super paralyzed. Your griffon can still act, though, right?

    Sebastion: Sir Fluffyclaws.

    DM: I refuse to call him that.

    Sebastion: Yeah, I ride out of the line of fire and over to our ever helpful cleric…

    George: Actually, I was going to try turning undead.

    Sebastian: …

    Deirdre: My turn. Let’s end this fast. I open my mouth to let out the darkness, fly 60ft into the air, and fire off a Quickened Eldritch Blast. Does that hit its touch AC?

    DM: I… think that counts as an effect that targets a specific number of creatures… but either way, yes it hits, no it doesn’t seem to do any damage, and it’s immune to the sickened condition because it’s undead.

    Deirdre: Right. With my standard action, let’s try some lighting. Also hits. How much damage?

    DM: None. It looks like its body is dissolving and reforming at the point of impact. Maybe one of the flowers on it drop to the ground fried.

    Hank: What the hell is this thing?!

    DM: You’re about to get a few more clues. It’s her turn. Its head rotates, apparently settling on the grouped up three of you. And then it starts to speak. Its mouth moves spastically, jerkily, but not in time with the words, as if the movement were just a reflex, tied to the act of speech but no longer a part of it, and its voice is like the wind rustling grass:

    ???: Ah… heroes. …How considerate… to come so directly to me….

    DM: With a sound like the roots tearing and popping as a tree falls, wings extend from the monstrosity’s back, and it shoots directly towards you, six claws outstretched; four of them are made of blue energy. Just before it hits you and… and Sir Fluffyclaws, well, well first you all get opportunity attacks. (3 rolls) Three hits, no damage, and just before it hits you it seems to break apart, the flowers that cover it and apparently also fill it taking flight, each with a chunk of the original flesh tangled in the roots, leaving nothing but glowing blue clawed arms, a gaping mouth, and a monstrous cloud still roughly in the shape of a person. First off, one saving throw from each of you for the paralysis. Now 7 attacks… 3 hits, not much damage, but four more saves…

    George: Stars and stones!

    DM: … and Sebastian and Sir Fluffyclaws share space with each other and now it, so you each take 2d6 damage. Sebastian also takes 1d6 Constitution damage as the flowers latch onto him briefly, draining his blood with their roots.

    Hank: Okay, now that I’ve made it through that relatively mobile… you said it had glowing blue arms? Would that be…

    DM: Incarnum, right, you recognize that automatically. It’s the same stuff you’ve got access to, after all.

    Hank: That’s gotta be Girallon Arms. And plants. So… Knowledge (nature)?

    DM: A part of this creature is definitely a swarm of plants, and with that roll, you know it’s not any type of plant you’ve seen or heard of on this plane. Before dissolving, the creature underneath looked like some kind of anthropomorphic animal.

    Deirdre: Knowledge (the planes)! Can I roll when it’s not my turn?

    DM: Sure. And all those ranks you’ve sunk into it finally pay off, revealing the plant half of the creature to be a Dread Blossom Swarm, typically native to the Wilderness of the Beastlands. It’s a swarm, it drinks blood, it emits a paralyzing poison into the air, and they regenerate… but not from fire or ice.

    Hank: I don’t have either of those, so I guess I’ll try my usual grapple/trip wombo combo. Wait… it’s a swarm, it’ll just dissolve again. Okay, I’ve got this. I reach up to Sebastian, steal his alchemist’s fire –

    Sebastian: Hey.

    Hank: And ignite it all over him and the swarm!

    Sebastian: Hey!

    DM: That provokes a reaction. She screams in pain and goes completely up in flames (chorus of cheers)… that don’t actually seem to do it any further damage (chorus of boos). This impression is supported by the fact that that underneath the fire, you can see ice spreading. In fact, it looks like it has become a being of fire and ice, as the rustling scream transforms from one of pain to one of rage. Oh, and Sebastian and the griffon also take 4 fire damage.

    Deirdre: Knowledge… (planes)?

    DM: Good enough to hazard that the monster has gained the fire and cold subtypes… making it immune to both damage types. Come on guys, I believe in you.

    Deirdre: That would be so much more encouraging if you said it without that evil smile. Have we not been chipping in appropriately for pizza or something? … Wait, that’s it! Guys, just stay alive until my next turn, I’ve got this! And get away from it unless you want to die!

    George: Honestly, this hasn’t changed my plans at all. I cast freedom of movement on Sir Fluffyclaws and sprint away as fast as I can.

    Sebastian: What am I, chopped liver?

    DM: Actually, that was a good call. Since you made the saves against the claws you can move again. I do, however, need one last Fortitude save from the two of you. (looks at rolls) Hey Sir Fluffyclaws actually failed this one. Don’t worry, he’s only nauseated and can still run. That does provoke an opportunity attack, but he’s immune to paralysis now, which brings us to…

    Deirdre: I swoop in a bit closer, whip out that scroll the village gave us for saving them from the ghouls… and cast forcecage on it! Just like closing a pizza box!

    DM: Nailed it! *cough* As the creature flings itself impotently against the walls of its prison, it screams again, a sound of absolute fury.

    ???: No! Nooo!!! You can’t do this to us!

    DM: It composes itself, rather literally as it happens.

    ???: No matter. Time has taught us patience, and this toy cannot last forever. We have your scent now, heroes. So run, run while you can. We are the horror that hungers. We are the doom implacable. We are Futility!

    George and Hank (in unison): Let’s get the hell out of here!

    DM: Probably a good idea. As you flee, you hear one last cry from inside the cage, an inhuman sound you’re sure you’ll be hearing in your dreams for a long time:

    Futility: And we will find you!

    The best offense is a good defense. Rather than actively eliminate player actions, though she can do that too, Futility renders any action taken against her wasted. Any damage that isn’t fire or cold she takes as nonlethal, which as an undead she is immune to. Should she actually take damage of any kind, being an anthropomorphic wolverine she flies into a rage that lasts until she or her opponent is dead… and makes her immune to fire and cold damage. As an undead, she is immune to mind affecting, fear, and physical ability drain; as a swarm she is immune to any effect that targets a limited number of creatures, including single target effects like Eldritch Blast and disintegrate, and just as icing on the cake can’t be grappled, tripped, or even flanked – these are just the most noteworthy immunities; there are more. A fast and perfect maneuverability flight speed makes outmaneuvering or even just escaping her very hard. She has at-will detect magic to find invisible players or traps. And she can teleport through any attempt at battlefield control. The cherry on top of this invulnerable combination is that Futility is fully capable of active shut-down: she can force up to 8 saves against paralysis per turn (one of which is AOE; none of which grant immunity on a successful save), possibly forces saves against nausea, can trip without any fear of reprisal, and has at-will dispel magic, entangle, and dimensional anchor abilities.


    Spoiler: Build
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    Futility
    CE Medium Humanoid (augmented aberration, augmented monstrous humanoid, augmented plant, augmented undead, extraplanar, human, (tiny) swarm)
    Symbiotic Winged Anthropomorphic Wolverine Gravetouched Ghoul/Dread Blossom Swarm 2HD/ Totemist 6/ Witchborn Binder 4/ Totemist +2
    CR Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Features Soulmelds Shaped Essentia [Capacity] Chakra Binds
    4 Winged Anthropomorphic Wolverine +2 +3 +3 +0 Knowledge (religion) 1, Listen 5, Move Silently 2, Search 1, Sense Motive 1, Spot 5, Survival 1, Use Rope 1 Human Heritage, Track, Vulnerable (flaw) 30ft land speed, 10ft burrow, 10ft climb, 50ft fly (perfect), +2 natural armor, 2 claws (1d4, primary), bite (1d6, secondary), Rage, 60ft Darkvision, Scent, Literacy? 0 0 [1] 0
    5 Totemist 1 +2 +5 +5 +0 Knowledge (religion) 1.5, Listen 6, Move Silently 2, Search 2, Sense Motive 1, Spot 6, Survival 2, Use Rope 1 Frozen Berserker Meldshaping, Wild Empathy, Illiteracy? 2 1 [1] 0
    6 Totemist 2 +3 +6 +6 +0 Knowledge (religion) 3, Listen 6, Move Silently 2, Search 3, Sense Motive 1.5, Spot 6, Survival 2, Use Rope 1 Totem Chakra Bind (+1 capacity) 3 2 [1] 1
    7 Totemist 3 +4 +6 +6 +1 Knowledge (religion) 4, Listen 6, Move Silently 2, Search 4, Sense Motive 2, Spot 6, Survival 2, Use Rope 1.5 Totem’s Protection 3 2 [1] 1
    11 Gravetouched Ghoul Template +4 +6 +6 +1 Knowledge (religion) 4, Listen 6, Move Silently 2, Search 4, Sense Motive 2, Spot 6, Survival 2, Use Rope 1.5 Multiattack (B) Undead Traits, +2 natural armor, Ghoul Fever, Paralysis, Turn Resistance +2, Diet Dependent (flesh) 0 2 [1] 1
    11 Symbiotic Creature Template (Dread Blossom Swarm) +4 +6 +6 +1 Knowledge (religion) 4, Listen 6, Move Silently 2, Search 4, Sense Motive 2, Spot 6, Survival 2, Use Rope 1.5 Alertness (B), Ability Focus (pollen) (B), Lightning Reflexes (B) Swarm Attack (1d6), Blood Drain, Distract?, Poison Pollen, Half Damage from Slashing and Piercing, Plant Traits, Regeneration 5 (fire/cold), Swarm Traits, Detach 0 2 [1] 1
    12 Totemist 4 +5 +7 +7 +1 Knowledge (religion) 4, Listen 7, Move Silently 2, Search 4, Sense Motive 2, Spot 6, Survival 2, Use Rope 2 Undead Meldshaping Swarm Attack (2d6) 4 3 [2] 1
    13 Totemist 5 +5 +7 +7 +1 Knowledge (religion) 4, Listen 8, Move Silently 2, Search 4, Sense Motive 2, Spot 6, Survival 2, Use Rope 2 Chakra Binds (crown, feet, hands) 4 3 [2] 1
    14 Totemist 6 +6 +8 +8 +2 Knowledge (religion) 4, Listen 9, Move Silently 2, Search 4, Sense Motive 2, Spot 6, Survival 2, Use Rope 2 Totem Chakra Bind (+1 meldshaper level) 4 4 [2] 2
    15 Witchborn Binder 1 +6 +8 +8 +4 Knowledge (religion) 4, Listen 10, Move Silently 2, Search 5, Sense Motive 2, Spot 6, Survival 2, Use Rope 2 Blazing Berserker Detect Magic, Meldshield, Royal Purse 1/level?, Literacy! 5 5 [2] 2
    16 Witchborn Binder 2 +7 +8 +8 +5 Knowledge (religion) 4, Listen 11, Move Silently 2, Search 6, Sense Motive 2, Spot 6, Survival 2, Use Rope 2 Dispelling Orb, +1 Essentia 5 6 [2] 2
    17 Witchborn Binder 3 +8 +9 +9 +5 Knowledge (religion) 4, Listen 12, Move Silently 2, Search 7, Sense Motive 2, Spot 6, Survival 2, Use Rope 2 Swarm Attack (3d6) 5 6 [2] 2
    18 Witchborn Binder 4 +9 +9 +9 +6 Knowledge (religion) 4, Listen 13, Move Silently 2, Search 8, Sense Motive 2, Spot 6, Survival 2, Use Rope 2 Snow Tiger Berserker Mage Shackles 5 6 [3] 2
    19 Totemist 7 +10 +9 +9 +6 Knowledge (religion) 4, Listen 14, Move Silently 2, Search 8.5, Sense Motive 2, Spot 6, Survival 2, Use Rope 2 5 7 [3] 2
    20 Totemist 8 +11 +10 +10 +6 Knowledge (religion) 4, Listen 15, Move Silently 2, Search 9, Sense Motive 2, Spot 6, Survival 2, Use Rope 2 Rebind Totem Soulmeld 1/day 6 8 [3] 3


    Spoiler: Ability Scores
    Show
    After getting clarification from the Chairman, it looks like I figure out the stat adjustments for the total Symbiotic Creature and then apply those modifiers to an elite array. The physical racial stat bonuses remain those of a Winged Anthropomorphic Wolverine Gravetouched Ghoul (+6 STR, +12 DEX, – CON) and the mental racial bonuses are those of a Dread Blossom Swarm with 3 INT (-8 INT, +0 WIS, -8 CHA). For consistency’s sake, I’ll keep the same elite array before and after symbiosis. Note that treating each creature as separate - with different elite arrays that combine on symbiosis - could be used to get significantly better Strength, Dexterity, and Charisma, but worse Intelligence.

    Elite Array (before racial):
    Str 13, Dex 10, Con 8, Int 14, Wis 15, Cha 12

    Ability Scores by CR:
    CR 4 6 11A 11B 14 18
    STR 17 18 20
    DEX 18 22
    CON 16
    INT 14 12 6 7
    WIS 19 23 15 16
    CHA 14 16 4


    Spoiler: CR 5
    Show

    Spoiler: Story: Part 2
    Show
    Deirdre: Thank you again for your time, madam. But you really should get out of here. Our spell probably wore off hours ago, and it said it would be following us.
    DM (in a quavering, soft voice):

    Old Lady: Oh you’re such a sweetheart, but I could never leave this place. I’m far to old to make such a journey, and while I believe you fought this monster, it hasn’t come this far south since before even my time. I’m sure that I’ll be fine.

    Sebastian: You couldn’t convince her? I really don’t want her blood on our hands.

    Deirdre: Of course I could convince her. But she’s right. She couldn’t make the march, Sir Fluffyclaws and I couldn’t possibly carry any more people, and we’re already at serious risk of running out of healing magic on the way. I’m not using my magic to force an old lady into a death march when she’d rather die in the place she’s lived her whole life.

    DM: Sir Fluffyclaws snorts his agreement.

    Hank: Well I guess that settles that. (turns to Deirdre) Looks like you’re starting to get the hang of this mortal morality thing. Did we at least learn something from all these people?

    Deirdre: We’ve got about fifteen different backstories, ranging from the daughter of a wolverine therianthrope to a cruel joke by the gods to an outcast from a tribe of half-animals half-humans to the north. It’s been called a wendigo, a therianthrope, a mohrg, a yak person, and a ghoul. And it’s had about three and a half different genders ascribed to it.

    George (coming in from outside): Lovely. The villagers should be ready to leave in about ten minutes. You really put the fear of the gods into them. So we’ve got no consistency at all?

    Deirdre: Not quite. There are a couple of consistent patterns. At some point, close to a hundred years ago, this “Futility” – though it wasn’t calling itself that then – earned a place in one of the berserker lodges. It became more and more wild, though, retreating into the woods. And then the disappearances started. And then, about fifty years ago, a stranger from the south went into the woods to stop the menace… and returned alive. About that time the descriptions of Futility changed from an animal person to the … thing we fought.

    DM: Okay let’s call it there for tonight. Excellent roleplaying everyone; bonus experience all around.

    At CR 5, the monster who will become known as Futility is just an anthropomorphic wolverine with wings, and a quirk in her ancestry that gives her a few more skill points but makes her vulnerable to effects like hold person. With wings, Frozen Berserker, and wolverine Rage, she’d still make an interesting opponent, but with just a single level in Totemist and none of her later synergies she lacks the power to be truly memorable.

    Having abandoned society, she makes her home in the woods, preying on travelers and wildlife alike. However, she has also discovered a Dread Blossom Swarm living nearby. Like her real-life cousin the badger with coyotes, she’s adopted a synergistic hunting strategy. Weak, fast foes she drives towards the Dread Blossom Swarm. Strong, slower foes she baits and then lures into its territory. Either way, the Dread Blossom Swarm paralyzes them and drinks their blood until full, at which point our little villainess in training drags away and consumes the corpse.

    Eventually, a wandering warrior hears tell of our nameless villain’s depravations. A Desert Wind Swordsage, he drives off the swarm and easily bests the vulnerable to fire Frozen Berserker. Tracking down this mysterious Swordsage is one way for the party to figure out what the heck they’re dealing with. (Incidentally, you may have noticed that Futility is remarkably eloquent for a monster with 6 Int; her most eloquent lines are actually paraphrasing or misquoting this Swordsage in his final battle with her host. Bonus XP to any party that manages to figure that out!)

    Side Note: Do racial HD grant literacy? I’m thinking not, in which case Futility isn’t literate until CR 15 (appropriately enough right after she increases her intelligence).

    EDIT: Ugh, now that I’m all the way done with the build, I realize that anthropomorphic animals do not get the bonus feats of their base animal. That means you need to take a flaw for Track. I chose Vulnerable, because the penalty to AC is thematically in line with raging, but Unreactive’s penalty to initiative is probably more fair to the players.

    Spoiler: CR 15
    Show

    Spoiler: Story: Part 3
    Show
    Futility: We’ve found you, little hero!

    DM: The swarm lunges for you, claws outstretched and jaws gaping.

    Sebastian: I sit bolt upright in my bed, wide awake and clutching for my weapons.

    Deirdre (sitting looking out the porthole at the storm that rumbles and shakes the ship): “The dream again?” I ask softly.

    Hank: I sit up and groggily ask “what’s happening, are we under attack again?” Oh, the dream again. Dude, it’s been years. Futility’s never gonna find us.

    Sebastian: You don’t get it. We’ve fought her three times now, if you can call running away while an invincible horror machine chases you, in a desperate bid to lure her away from other people, if you can even call that “fighting”. And every time she goes straight for me. Says she “misses the taste of my blood”. You haven’t been caught by her yet, either; you can’t move, can’t even scream, but you can feel her roots digging into you, drinking, digging towards your heart. ... And OOC, I would really like a chance to finally kick her ass. Much as I like this character arc.

    DM: Don’t worry, it’s only a matter of time. You’ll be seeing Futility again. (looks down at his map behind the screen, with two dotted lines on it. One is the party, on board the Barbara Anne; the other has just reached the port they left a month prior)

    (elsewhere)

    Dockworker (crawling frantically away from a burning inn): Oh gods, oh gods, what do you want from me?

    Futility (her body of ice and fire silhouetted by a backdrop of burning buildings): We are not so good at talking to our food. So hard to know which ones are useful; so hard to make them stop screaming long enough to talk. We had to kill so many just to find this part of town. Still, perhaps you will be one of the lucky ones. Tell us where the ones we seek hide, tell us where our prey has fled?

    Dockworker: The, the lady and her companions? With the gr-griffon? I l-loaded their ship, it was going to, to some lost island! I don’t know where it is! (Futility starts to advance) Wait! Wait! But, but, I heard them say that after that quest, they’d go back to, to Kingsport!

    Futility: Maybe you are a lucky one. What is “Kingsport”? How do we find it?

    Dockworker (starting to look hopeful): Easy! Just, just follow the coast! Keep it on your left, keep walking, and you can’t miss it! … So… you’ll let me live?

    Futility: You are a lucky one! (Futility descends on the screaming dockworker)

    Futility (done feeding, blood dripping from the blossoms all over her body, strips of flesh hanging from her claws and jaws): Such a lucky one. So lucky we are to have found one so useful. (pauses) Twenty. The twentieth food. The twentieth food is always the lucky one. Strange. So strange.

    (Lying on the cobble streets, the dockworker gasps for breath. Glutted with blood and flesh, Futility has grown lazy, rarely bothering to finish off prey that has not annoyed her. This one will survive.)

    (Well, at least until tomorrow night, when the ghoul fever takes him)

    After knocking the predatory wolverine Totemist into the negatives, the mysterious Swordsage observed the Dread Blossom Swarm descending upon its erstwhile hunting partner. You see, plants cannot feel loyalty, love, or even respect for an equal. The humanoid wolverine was familiar to the swarm, evoking memories of satisfaction and good hunting, but without intelligence this just made the meal more appealing. And as the Swordsage left, satisfied that justice had been done, the swarm finished off its partner and made her comfortingly familiar corpse its new nest.

    And this is where things get interesting. For though her name has been lost to history, the winged wolverine had lived a life of pure evil, hedonism, and cannibalism. So despite having been hollowed out and thoroughly infested by the swarm, it wasn’t long before the nameless villain’s corpse rose as a Gravetouched Ghoul. And as the pair began hunting together again, the swarm returning to its roost within the ghoul after each meal, their partnership grew ever closer, until they became essentially a single being.

    Ah, the Symbiotic Creature. Such a tantalizing (and let’s face it, inherently cool) template, held back by it’s lack of clarity on how it works with LA, which makes it incredibly iffy for player use. However, the rules for CR are crystal clear, making it perfect for this competition. In other words, I’m going for the philly cheeseburger approach as far as accepted levels of cheese.

    But on to the nitty gritty. A combination of swarm traits, undead traits, regeneration that’s only vulnerable to fire and cold, automatic Rage that lasts until the damager is dead, and the twin feats Frozen Berserker and Blazing Berserker (taken after the incident with the Swordsage gave Futility both a history with and connection to fire) make Futility invulnerable. It’s unclear whether you get Distract (the swarm ability that forces a save v. nausea for yet more lost actions); it probably falls under the category of “requires whole body of guest” and therefore can’t be used without Detaching, but if as DM you rule otherwise that’s just gravy. The swarm subtype does reduce your reach to 0, and the line about not being able to make opportunity attacks probably applies even though you’ve now got attacks besides the Swarm Attack. Speaking of, you probably get both this and Blood Drain. I think your save DCs increase with HD (your Ghoul saves definitely do), and I’m pretty sure your Swarm Attack damage does. And the specific wording of Symbiotic Creature suggests you now get to add ½ Str to damage with the Swarm Attack, though that is questionable.

    Levels 12-15 are basically filling in the gaps. Undead Meldshaping and Blazing Berserker are both musts; the order is up to you. Girallon Arms bound to the totem chakra gives you 4 extra claw attacks to deliver paralysis with. Blink Shirt shaped to the heart gives you a 10ft teleport even without any essentia investment; great for bypassing walls, cages, and other attempts to contain you, and continuing the theme of “all tactics are futile”. Worg Pelt bound to the hands lets you make a trip attack when you hit with your bite. For full attacks don’t forget unarmed strikes! Sure they do nonlethal damage… but they can be used to trip. They provoke an attack of opportunity, but you’re either immune to that damage or it’s going make you actually invulnerable. Likewise the claw attacks can be used to trip; doesn’t do damage, but does still threaten paralysis.

    Futility doesn’t have great skills, but being invulnerable to consequences means there’s no reason to not take 20. She suffers the effects of failure 19 times but will probably succeed on the 20th; this is what she’s doing in the story to track the heroes. Last but not least, don’t forget that it only takes one person managing to damage Futility and then escaping to render her invulnerable until that person dies, whether it’s from her tracking them down, unrelated causes, or old age.


    Spoiler: CR 18-20
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    Spoiler: Story: Part 4
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    DM: Well, this has been a pretty successful sailing trip. With one major exception, of course.

    Tim (new character of Hank’s player): I still maintain that his death by kraken does not count as ironic.

    DM: Duly noted. However, you’re all level 20, and we’re rapidly approaching the climax of this campaign, so let’s get this show on the road. When you are a few days away from Kingsport, you start to notice something odd. A pillar of smoke on the horizon.

    George: I’ve got a bad feeling about this.

    DM: As you continue towards Kingsport and the pillar, you start to be able to smell the smoke. Another few hours, and flecks of ash begin settling onto the deck. Once you get within a day’s sail of Kingsport, it becomes evident that what looked like a single enormous pillar of smoke is actually several smaller columns.

    Sebastian: Well that’s not so bad, right? Multiple small fires across the city rather than one enormous one?

    Deirdre: (shakes head slowly) No. We’re still way too far away. To have multiple smoke columns of that size…

    George: … you would need multiple city sized fires. What the hell’s bells happened while we were away?

    Sebastian: I have a terrible feeling that I know exactly what happened.

    DM: Does anyone have anything else they want to do to prepare? No? Any objections to cutting ahead to landfall?

    (The next day)

    DM: You disembark your ship amidst the smoldering ruins of your home city, Kingsport. Little remains of the houses and businesses and parks but burnt logs and embers, still giving off some of the smoke that formed one of the four great pillars in the sky. The streets are littered with discarded arms and armor, and quite literally caked in layers of dried blood. And sitting there, atop a pile of corpses in the middle of the wreckage, Futility waits for you. No longer made of fire and ice, her ‘head’ is facing the sky, and her posture is almost… serene.

    Futility: Heroes. You’re finally here. When we stopped being angry, we were worried you had died without us. We even checked the nearby cities, in case you had gotten here before us. But we couldn’t find you in any of them, and the food hadn’t seen you either. So we came back to wait.

    Sebastian: All this death. All this destruction. (hefts custom made lance)
    Futility, this ends here. It has to.

    Futility: It was all you, heroes. You who made us so angry, for longer than we’d ever been. You who lured us from where we hid in the trees and the snow. Thanks to you, we’ve seen so much, done so much. You opened our eyes, showed us that the world was, was… weak.

    DM: Futility leaps down from her impromptu throne, facing you with claws outstretched. As she continues her speech, she sounds almost sad.

    Futility: Now that the floppy one is dead, we are no longer angry. We have enjoyed this hunt so much. But all things end, they do, they do. You choose here? Very well. (pauses) We will miss you heroes, when you are dead.

    DM: And with that, she charges. George, you are her target, probably because Turn Undead is one of the only things that actually affects her.

    George: Not today. Tim, hit us both! We can always raise me later!

    DM: She doesn’t attack with claws or fangs, seeming to be waiting for something. She does ravage you with her roots, but your pre-cast freedom of movement has protected you from paralysis and you shake her off before she can start draining your blood. Deirdre, you’re up.

    Deirdre: Something’s not right. I delay. Just make sure it’s far enough away from me, Tim. I’m squishy.

    Tim: This changes nothing. Sorry George. Sorry Sebastian; I know you were looking forward to trying out the lance. I cast Quickened summon monster I just behind George and Futility, and then I cast detonate on it!

    DM: As if waiting for exactly this, Futility’s blossoms stir into a frenzy. All of a sudden, you feel a magical wave wash through you. Your magical items go dead, as do all your buffs. Your empathic link to Sir Fluffyclaws drops. And casting any spells becomes impossible. You are now all inside an antimagic field, centered on Futility.

    Futility: Foolish heroes! We grow! We learn! (laughs like a child on Christmas, then adds as an afterthought) And you die.

    Tim: Oh come on!

    Deirdre (at the same time): You bastard! I should have known you had something like this up your sleeve when we found those scrolls of disjunction!

    DM (chuckling): Well, hindsight is 20/20, as they say. Yep, I’ve been planning this one for quite some time. I’m glad you’re impressed.

    Deirdre: I’ll get you for this, see if I don’t. When I’m GM, your ass will be mine. I use my move action to pull out one of the scrolls, and my standard action to cast from it.

    Sebastian: Wait, delay a bit longer and Sir Fluffyclaws can grab you and fly us out of the field. And I can Aid Another.

    DM: Can you?

    Sebastian: Not with UMD, but Complete Adventurer says I can with Spellcraft if I take a penalty.

    DM: Huh. I think I remember that, actually. Go for it.

    Deirdre: Okay, beat the check, so here goes: 17% chance of success! (rolls) … I hate everything.

    George: My turn! And now that I’ve beaten the distraction save, like the mighty phoenix I will rise from this indignity and begin contributing to the team! I run out of the antimagic field and grab a scroll.

    DM: Attack of opportunity. Hits, so gimme a save.

    George: No prob. Unless her save’s increased greatly since last time, that should do it.

    DM: Actually it has, and aren’t you using some Con boosting items? Or should I say, weren’t you using some Con boosting items?

    George: The mighty phoenix is dead to me.

    DM: And with that it’s Futility’s turn again. Her Int is high enough now I think it’s fair for her to use some more complicated tactics, so… uh, she’s going to coup de grace you, George. Don’t worry, you should be able to make the save –

    George: Not with that roll I won’t. Okay, okay… as I go down under the tide of bloodthirsty blossoms, I stick one hand out, and extend it in a thumbs up before it too is subsumed by the hungry swarm.

    DM: Jeez, sorry about that.

    George: Don’t sweat it. It’s the final showdown. And Tim was probably going to get me killed again anyway.

    Tim: That’s super true. (everyone takes a moment of silence) All my 9th level slots are fire spells, so I guess I will also hop aboard the assist Deirdre train.

    Dierdre: On the bright side, that one’s a success!

    DM: As the null zone dissolves, Futility’s incarnum powers return. She looks up from the corpse of your comrade and charges with a simple howl of

    Futility: Food!

    DM: She makes a full attack against… (rolls d3) Tim. Save against paralysis, 7 times.

    Tim: Uh… things don’t look good for me guys. Is what I would say. If I could move my lips.

    Sebastian: I can’t charge! She’s too close!

    Deirdre: And there’s no bloody way I can deal enough damage in one hit to put her down. And I traded out Brimstone Blast, because it was bad. Okay, if you delay your turn, I’ve got a scroll of freedom of movement, and then you can get out of there.

    Tim: Deal.

    (Sebastian retreats far enough to charge, carrying Deirdre with him; she successfully casts from the scroll)

    Tim: Okay, I know I said I would run and live. But it’s confession time. That was just to get you guys far enough away. I can’t run far enough to escape Futility, and there’s no way I can survive another round of that. My Constitution is sitting pretty at 4, and my HP isn’t much better. I guess I could teleport, but… one way or another, I’ll be seeing you guys again soon.

    Sebastian: Wait, what are you –

    Tim: Pour one out for me later, will you? I cast detonate on myself, and deliberately fail the save.

    DM: What?!

    Tim: Pretty epic, right? Even if she survives, it won’t proc the invincibility because I’m dead.

    DM: Uh, okay. Wow that’s a lot of damage. Futility is blown completely apart by the explosion. But the smoldering blossoms only remain still for a second. Slowly, they pull themselves back into the shape of Futility, clutching her head with her six arms. She seems to be barely holding herself together.

    Futility: Ouch! Ouch, ouch, ouch! You hurt! You hurt us! How could you! (she pauses, looking around) But you are out of fire, out, yes you are! (She spins back to facing the PCs) We win, heroes! We win, favorite food! We win!

    Sebastian: No Futility. This time we will prevail. This time we will put an end to your atrocities. This time we will win! And together Sir Fluffyclaws and I charge the abomination.

    DM: She rises to meet you, howling with triumph and bloodlust. And as your lance punches through her, the wood bursts into flame, burning out the heart of the swarm of blossoms and flesh. Futility looks down at the lance made of fire, then back up at you. She opens her mouth, as if to say something, but before she can the fire spreads throughout her body and she crumbles to ashes. You are finally victorious.

    Note: this fluff was written before the final iteration of Futility, before I realized that there was no physical way to cram enough Runescarred Berserker into the build for antimagic field.

    Levels 18-20 are similar enough I’ll talk about them both here. 18 or 20 could be used as the sweet spot. At 18 your essentia capacity increases, you get pounce, and all your abilities are now online; at 20 you’ve got a few more essentia and an extra chakra bind to play with, as well as a third iterative for tripping or just beating on your opponents. Witchborn Binder gives you an at-will detect magic effect, an at-will dispel magic effect, and an at-will entangling effect that also forces an additional check (simply being entangled forces a caster level check; Mage Shackles force a second one) to cast any spells and acts as dimension anchor. Arguably, you can hold onto them to provide the “opposing force” required to render the recipient immobile and thus vulnerable to your Blood Drain. On top of all this, you can inflict 8 saves against paralysis (6 claws, 1 bite, one poison aura), at least 4 trips (bite and 3 unarmed; start using claws if they’re still not down), Swarm Attack damage that ignores cover and concealment and just hits automatically, Blood Drain if you’ve managed to immobilize one of your opponents, and arguably Distract for nausea if they start your turn in your square. Don’t forget the option of coup de grace.

    Now, a lot of these have relatively poor odds of success. But that’s the inherent beauty of this build: you can’t be counterattacked. You have as many opportunities to, say, dispel a pesky freedom of movement as you need. Even if they only fail their saves against paralysis on a nat 1, that's still a 33% chance of failure per turn. There are so few things that actually affect you: the cleric can burn through their uses of Turn Undead to keep you away for a minute at a time; likewise a Dread Witch can probably punch through your immunity to fear to keep you away for as long as they have spell slots. But for permanently dealing with you, you’re immune to damage, starvation, and suffocation, and you can’t be easily trapped (though if you are in 3d6 months you become immobile from not eating flesh; eventually someone will find you and the DBS can Detach to feed on them and then return to the host). One of the only things I’ve managed to come up with for eliminating Futility are massive fire/cold damage right off the bat (but what party is going to burn a 9th level spell slot on an unknown opponent that’s been immune to everything so far, on the off chance that this one will work?); for this reason when not raging you should always shape Urskan Greaves and Phoenix Belt and keep the full 3 essentia in them for 15 cold and fire resistance; the remaining 2 essentia should go into Meldshield for the bonus to saves. Or they could use attrition tactics; damaging Futility and then letting her kill you to render her vulnerable again and just whittling away at her health (and how’s that for denying PC actions; death is the best debuff in the game, and maybe another 10 minutes from the cleric to resurrect them). I don’t know of any AOE mental debuffs, but damaging/draining Futility’s intelligence/charisma would be devastating. Those holy poisons/diseases from BoED might do the trick, but they might also count as an effect that targets a single creature/limited number of creatures.

    Normally, a character that’s this defensive doesn’t work very well as a PC, but it works great as a villain, because the PCs can’t just retreat without leaving anyone nearby to Futility’s tender mercies. If nothing else, Futility will be memorable for the sheer amount of effort it takes to put her down.

    Finally, let’s talk tactics and loadouts. At 20th level you can shape 6 soulmelds and bind 3 (5 and 2 respectively at 18th). Obviously you want Girallon Arms shaped on your arms and bound to your totem chakra. Worg Pelt is a good one to have shaped on and bound to your hands. Blink Shirt is a must-shape under any circumstances; unless you’re relatively permanently enraged so are Urskan Greaves and Phoenix Belt to feet and waist respectively. Your third bind could be anything, really, but I'd recommend either Urskan Greaves to your feet for extra damage when charging (don’t forget you have Pounce!) or the Threefold Mask of the Chimera to your crown; the extra move action at the end of your turn would let you switch from an unparalyzed opponent to a paralyzed one, and losing your move action next turn doesn’t prevent you from pounce-charging as a standard action (if you’re a super strict DM who won’t allow Futility to make even free action/no action attacks from the guest creature without extra actions, then this soulmeld is your out).


    Spoiler: Notes, Options, and Alternatives
    Show
    At the end of it all, I find myself pretty pleased with Futility! You could replace Anthropomorphic Wolverine with Were-Badger to get a human bonus feat (though you have to turn around and immediately spend it on Track), but honestly relying on the alternate form felt way less elegant (and the difference in size between badger and DBS makes it legally iffy). Although it would be cool if only the alternate form was infested, letting Futility blend into society while in human form. If you don’t take the Winged Creature template, you don’t even need Human Heritage. This has the additional effect of meaning your type remains aberration after symbiosis, qualifying you for (Improved) Rapidstrike.

    The fourth level of Witchborn Binder is cool, but mechanically you could do better with the Feral Creature template (fast healing to make attrition non-viable) or Barbarian (at-will rage to screw over clever tactics of all kinds). Neither of these is as on theme for the Dr. No competition, though.

    If you really want to be evil, Human Heritage keeps your type Humanoid (human), making Futility a viable host for Symbiotic Creature… no matter how many times she’s already taken it. Bat swarms for echolocation, hellwasp swarms for better stats and some poison… the possibilities aren’t endless, but there are a lot of them. Especially if you take the same swarms multiple times.

    On the subject of Human Heritage, I think that RAW it means the only knowledge skill that works to get information about Futility is Knowledge (local); probably the least purchased skill in the game. As a DM I’d definitely allow other knowledge skills to pick up pieces of the puzzle, but I still find it hilarious.

    If you’ve got an extra feat, be it from flaws, going Were-Badger Human, dropping Snow Tiger Berserker, or dropping Winged Creature (one more class level gets you another feat) Dragontouched opens the lovely draconic soulmelds. Dragon Mantle in particular when bound to the totem chakra lets you replace Urskan Greaves, Phoenix Belt, and the Winged Creature template. Obviously you’re losing stuff in each category, but if you can finagle another few levels of Totemist to get double totem bind (drop Winged Creature and 2 levels of Witchborn Binder) it’s at least an interesting trade. Even if you’re unwilling to go that far, just shaping it gives you the energy resistances, and they stack with any other energy resistance. Flaws also open up Ability Focus (paralysis) into Improved Paralysis (note that RAW the poison paralysis probably counts as a natural attack even though it’s not a natural weapon); this probably requires moving Gravetouched Ghoul forward a few levels.

    Taking Gravetouched Ghoul after Symbiotic Creature nets you better Wisdom and Charisma (and by extension Paralysis DCs), but works less well with the story, unless you want to say that forming the symbiosis killed the host (which is not too farfetched, but the story is complicated enough as is). Your intelligence also drops from “bad” to “abysmal”.

    More reasonably, applying the venerable stat adjustments to the DBS results in significantly better stats.


    Spoiler: Sources
    Show
    Frostburn – Frozen Berserker
    Libris Mortis – Gravetouched Ghoul
    Magic of Incarnum – Totemist, Witchborn Binder, Undead Meldshaping, all soulmelds
    MMIII – Dread Blossom Swarm, Ability Focus, Multiattack
    Races of Destiny – Human Heritage
    Sandstorm – Blazing Berserker
    Savage Species – Symbiotic Creature, Winged Creature, Anthropomorphic Animal (wolverine)
    SRD – Wolverine, Alertness, Lightning Reflexes, Track
    Unapproachable East – Snow Tiger Berserker


    Medals
    Spoiler
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    More sources, more choices, more power. Welcome to D&D.

  4. - Top - End - #64
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Colorado, USA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Villainous Competition XXXII: Oh HELL NO!

    2. Selene, Bride of Ruin

    Spoiler: Selene, Bride of Ruin
    Show


    Spoiler: Array
    Show
    Elite Array: 12 Cha, 14 Dex, 13 Int, 15 Wis, 10 Str, 8 Con
    Lesser Aasimar racial bonus: 14 Cha, 14 Dex, 13 Int, 17 Wis, 10 Str, 8 Con
    4 HD: 14 Cha, 14 Dex, 14 Int, 17 Wis, 10 Str, 8 Con
    8 HD: 14 Cha, 14 Dex, 14 Int, 18 Wis, 10 Str, 8 Con
    Silveraith Template: 16 Cha, 14 Dex, 16 Int, 20 Wis, /Str, /Con
    12 HD: 16 Cha, 14 Dex, 16 Int, 21 Wis, /Str, /Con
    16 HD: 16 Cha, 14 Dex, 16 Int, 22 Wis, /Str, /Con

    Build Summary: Lesser Aasimar Silveraith Cleric of Savras 8/Paragnostic Apostle 3/Initiate of the Sevenfold Veil 7


    Spoiler: Build Table
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    CR Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    1 Lesser Aasimar Cleric of Savras 1 +0 (+0) +2(+2) +0(+0) +2(+2)
    [RACIAL BONUS] +2 Spot, +2 Listen

    [DOMAIN BONUS]
    +2 Spellcraft, +2 Concentration

    [RANKS]
    Knowledge Arcana 4 (+4), Spellcraft 4 (+4), Knowledge Religion 4 (+4)
    Spell Focus: Abjuration Rebuke Undead, Knowledge Domain, Spell Domain, Darkvision,
    2 Cleric 2 +1 (+1) +3 (+1) +0(+0) +3 (+1)
    Knowledge Arcana 5 (+1), Knowledge Religion 5 (+1), Spellcraft 5 (+1)
    3 Cleric 3 +2 (+1) +3 (+0) +1 (+1) +3 (+0) Knowledge Arcana 6 (+1), Knowledge Religon 5 (+0), Spellcraft 6 (+1), Knowledge Nature 1 (+1) Greater Spell Focus:Abjuration
    4 Cleric 4 +3 (+1) +4 (+1) +1 (+0) +4 (+1)
    Knowledge Arcana 7 (+1), Knowledge Religion 5 (+0), Spellcraft 7 (+1), Knowledge Nature 3 (+2)
    +1 Int
    5 Cleric 5 +3 (+0) +4 (+0) +1 (+0) +4 (+0)
    Knowledge Arcana 8 (+1), Knowledge Religion 5 (+0), Spellcraft 8 (+1), Knowledge Nature 4 (+1), Concentration 1(+1)
    6 Cleric 6 +4 (+1) +5 (+1) +2 (+1) +5 (+1)
    Knowledge Arcana 9 (+1), Knowledge Religion 5 (+0), Spellcraft 9 (+1), Knowledge Nature 4 (+0),
    Concentration 3 (+2)
    Improved Initiative
    7 Cleric 7 +5 (+1) +5 (+0) +2 (+0) +5 (+0)
    Knowledge Arcana 10 (+1), Knowledge Religion 5 (+0), Spellcraft 10 (+1), Knowledge Nature 4 (+0),
    Concentration 5 (+2)
    8 Cleric 8 +6/+1 (+1) +6 (+1) +2 (+0) +6 (+1)
    Knowledge Arcana 11 (+1), Knowledge Religion 5 (+0), Spellcraft 11 (+1), Knowledge Nature 4 (+0),
    Concentration 7 (+2)
    +1 Wis
    9 Paragnostic Apostle 1 +6/+1 (+0) +6 (+0) +2 (+0) +8 (+2)
    Knowledge Arcana 12 (+1), Knowledge Religion 5 (+0), Spellcraft 12 (+1), Knowledge Nature 4 (+0),
    Concentration 11 (+4)
    Skill Focus: Spellcraft Holy Texts, Knowledge is Power, Lore
    10 Paragnostic Apostle 2 +7/+2 (+1) +6 (+0) +2 (+0) +9 (+1)
    Knowledge Arcana 13 (+1), Knowledge Religion 5 (+0), Spellcraft 13 (+1), Knowledge Nature 4 (+0),
    Concentration 13 (+2),
    Knowledge The Planes 2 (+2)
    Knowledge is Power
    11 Paragnostic Apostle 3 +7/+2 (+0) +7 (+1) +3 (+1) +9 (+0)
    Knowledge Arcana 14 (+1), Knowledge Religion 7 (+2), Spellcraft 14 (+1), Knowledge Nature 4 (+0),
    Concentration 14 (+1), Knowledge The Planes 3 (+1)
    Knowledge is Power
    13 Silveraith Template +7/+2 (+0) +7 (+0) +3 (+0) +9 (+0)
    [RACIAL BONUSES] +8 Hide, +8 Listen, +8 Search, +8 Spot,
    HD Change, Fly Speed, +3 Deflection Bonus, Magic Absorption, Create Spawn, Immunities, Incorporeal Traits, Turn Resistance, Undead Traits, Ability bonus
    14 Initiate of the Sevenfold Veil 1 +7/+2 (+0) +7 (+0) +3 (+0) +11
    (+2)
    Knowledge Arcana 15 (+1), Knowledge Religion 7(+0), Spellcraft 15 (+1), Knowledge Nature 4 (+0),
    Concentration 15 (+1), Knowledge The Planes 5 (+2),
    Divine Defiance +1 Wis, Warding 1/day, Red Veil, Unimpeachable Abjuration
    15 Initiate of the Sevenfold Veil 2 +8/+3 (+1) +7 (+0) +3 (+0) +12 (+1)
    Knowledge Arcana 16 (+1), Knowledge Religion 7 (+0), Spellcraft 16 (+1), Knowledge Nature 4 (+0),
    Concentration 16 (+1), Knowledge The Planes 5 (+0), Knowledge Local 2 (+2)
    Unanswerable Strike +2, Orange Veil
    16 Initiate of the Sevenfold Veil 3 +8/+3 (+0) +8 (+1) +4 (+1) +12 (+0)
    Knowledge Arcana 17 (+1), Knowledge Religion 7 (+0), Spellcraft 17 (+1), Knowledge Nature 5 (+0),
    Concentration 17 (+1), Knowledge The Planes 5 (+0), Knowledge Local 4 (+2),
    Warding 2/day, Yellow Veil
    17 Initiate of the Sevenfold Veil 4 +9/+4 (+1) +8 (+0) +4 (+0) +13 (+1)
    Knowledge Arcana 18 (+1), Knowledge Religion 7 (+0), Spellcraft 18 (+1), Knowledge Nature 4 (+0),
    Concentration 18 (+1), Knowledge The Planes 5 (+0), Knowledge Local 5 (+1), Knowledge Dungeoneering 1 (+1)
    Spell Focus: Necromancy Reactive Warding, Green Veil
    18 Initiate of the Sevenfold Veil 5 +9/+4 (+0) +8 (+0) +4 (+0) +13 (+0)
    Knowledge Arcana 19 (+1), Knowledge Religion 7 (+0), Spellcraft 19 (+1), Knowledge Nature 4 (+0),
    Concentration 19 (+1), Knowledge The Planes 5 (+0), Knowledge Local 5 (+0), Knowledge Dungeoneering 3 (+2)
    +1 Wis, Warding 3/day, Blue Veil
    19 Initiate of the Sevenfold Veil 6 +10/+5 (+1) +9 (+1) +5 (+1) +14 (+1)
    Knowledge Arcana 20 (+1), Knowledge Religion 7 (+0), Spellcraft 20 (+1), Knowledge Nature 5 (+1),
    Concentration 20 (+1), Knowledge The Planes 5 (+0), Knowledge Local 5 (+0), Knowledge Dungeoneering 4 (+1),
    Unanswerable Strike +4, Double Warding, Indigo Veil
    20 Initiate of the Sevenfold Veil 7 +10/+5 (+0) +9 (+0) +5 (+0) +14 (+0)
    Knowledge Arcana 20 (+0), Knowledge Religion 7 (+0), Spellcraft 20 (+0), Knowledge Nature 5 (+0),
    Concentration 20 (+0), Knowledge The Planes 5 (+0), Knowledge Local 5 (+0), Knowledge Dungeoneering 5 (+1), Knowledge History 3 (+3)
    Extra Turning Kaleidoscopic Doom, Violet Veil, Warding 4/day


    Spoiler: Background
    Show
    Angra Mainyu they call him now, the Ruin of Empires. Then, he was Crown Prince of the Island Nation of Cadoir, but to me he was Damaris, the heart of my heart.

    We met at the Paragnostic Assembly, I, a humble priestess of the god of knowledge, he the most learned elf had ever met. He was amused by my faith, but serious in his desire for us to seek out the lost secrets of the world together.

    Little did I know that our union went against the wishes of his people. He was already betrothed to the princess of Elthrai when we eloped. Their engagement was purely political, and the combined might of the sea and moon elves would create an empire the world had never seen. Her moon-elf kin took exception to my love’s vacillating, and, the night before my wedding day, they took me from my bed and killed me.
    When Damaris found me, I tried to call to him, but he couldn’t hear. It broke my heart to see the pain on his normally taciturn features. He howled, and the earth shook. He cradled my mortal remains in his arms and rose through the air; a dark thunderbolt reversed. The moon elves left their beds as the night sky was split with lightning, and the bellowing wind drowned out all their fearful cries.

    Within minutes, Elthrai was reduced to ruins, and few, if any, of the treacherous moon elves survived my love’s black rage. Fearful at the power and anger of their once favoured son, Cadoir closed its gates to our return and forswore their bonds to their prince. His fury still not sated, Damaris forced the island chain beneath the waves, and watched coldly as his people drowned.

    The bitter remnants of the nations he obliterated now wail and gnash their teeth, declaring my husband a monster, the Ruin of Empires.

    I care not for their jibes, Damaris has done all he could to bring me back, and though I’m still little more than a shade, I have no doubt that through his centuries of research, some hope remains that we can fulfil his last goal, deification. If he could become a god, we surmise, all can be as it was before.

    I must protect him at all costs, I’ll let nothing stand in his way.


    Spoiler: CR15
    Show
    CR15
    Selene, Bride of Ruin
    NE Medium Undead (Incorporeal)
    HP: 122 (11d12+2d4+39)
    Initiative: +6
    Speed: 30ft, Fly 30ft (good)
    AC: 20 (+2 Dex, +8 Deflection)
    Attack: Incorporeal Touch +10
    Full Attack: Incorporeal Touch +10/+5
    Damage: 3d8+10 (DC19 Will halves)
    Space/Reach: 5ft.
    Special attacks: Magic Absorption (DC19), Rebuke Undead (7/day),
    Special Qualities: Create Spawn, Immunities (Cold, Electricity, Polymorph, Mind Affecting), Undead Traits, Incorporeal Traits, Turn Resistance +4, Knowledge Domain Power, Spell Domain Power, Holy Texts, Knowledge is Power (Penetrating Insight), Knowledge is Power (See Through the Veil), Knowledge is Power (Divine Understanding Evil Domain), Lore, Darkvision (60ft), Warding 1/day (DC23), Red Veil, Unimpeachable Abjuration, Orange Veil, Unanswerable Strike +2
    Saves: Fort +7, Ref +5, Will +17
    Abilities: Str: N/A, Dex 14, Con N/A, Int 16, Wis 21, Cha 16
    Skills: Knowledge Arcana +19, Knowledge Religion +11, Spellcraft +21, Knowledge Nature +7, Concentration +21, Knowledge The Planes +8, Knowledge Local +5, Hide +10, Spot +15, Listen +15, Search +11
    Feats: Spell Focus: Abjuration, Greater Spell Focus: Abjuration, Improved Initiative, Skill Focus: Spellcraft, Divine Defiance


    Spoiler: CR20
    Show
    Selene, Bride of Ruin
    NE Medium Undead (Incorporeal)
    HP: 152 (11d12+7d4+54)
    Initiative: +6
    Speed: 30ft, Fly 30ft (good)
    AC: 20 (+2 Dex, +8 Deflection)
    Attack: Incorporeal Touch +12
    Full Attack: Incorporeal Touch +12/+7
    Damage: 3d8+10 (DC22 Will halves)
    Space/Reach: 5ft.
    Special attacks: Magic Absorption (DC22), Rebuke Undead (11/day),
    Special Qualities: Create Spawn, Immunities (Cold, Electricity, Polymorph, Mind Affecting), Undead Traits, Incorporeal Traits, Turn Resistance +4, Knowledge Domain Power, Spell Domain Power, Holy Texts, Knowledge is Power (Penetrating Insight), Knowledge is Power (See Through the Veil), Knowledge is Power (Divine Understanding Evil Domain), Lore, Darkvision (60ft), Warding 4/day (DC24), Red Veil, Unimpeachable Abjuration, Orange Veil, Unanswerable Strike +4, Yellow Veil, Green Veil, Blue Veil, Indigo Veil, Violet Veil, Reactive Warding, Double Warding, Kaleidoscopic Doom,
    Saves: Fort +9, Ref +9, Will +20
    Abilities: Str: N/A, Dex 14, Con N/A, Int 16, Wis 22, Cha 16
    Skills: Knowledge Arcana +24, Knowledge Religion +11, Spellcraft +26, Knowledge Nature +8, Concentration +26, Knowledge The Planes +8, Knowledge Local +8, Hide +10, Spot +16, Listen +16, Search +11, Knowledge Dungeoneering +8, Knowledge History +6
    Feats: Spell Focus: Abjuration, Greater Spell Focus: Abjuration, Improved Initiative, Skill Focus: Spellcraft, Divine Defiance, Spell Focus: Necromancy, Extra Turning


    Spoiler: Tactics/Campaign Usage
    Show
    I think this entry is a little different, as Selene isn’t designed to be the BBEG of a campaign, but rather as a support to the true BBEG (Angra Mainyu, the Ruin of Empires, an exceptionally potent wizard). Obviously this can easily be adapted to your own campaign, either by adding her to a different BBEG or even focusing the story on her.

    I thought the role as a support fit better with the theme of the round, and so Selene is very capable of shutting down adventurers of every stripe. First off, her incorporeal and undead types give her a hefty dose of immunities, making it extremely difficult for her to be taken out by mundane means.

    For magical foes, she relies heavily on both her Silveraith’s Magic Absorption ability, and the Divine Defiance feat, allowing her to expend a rebuke undead attempt to counter a spell without needing to prepare the counter beforehand. Between this and her own aptitude for abjuration, she should easily be able to outmatch any caster in a 1v1.

    In her long undeath, Selene and Angra Mainyu have been working towards divinity, and have used their knowledge of undeath and necromancy to raise the former citizens of Elthrai and Cadoir, so players will likely have to fight through several layers of these before reaching the ‘boss’. Those undead she is directly able to command (via spells, rebuke and Create Spawn) will accompany her (she focuses primarily on Mohrgs and Ghasts for paralysis and grappling, further shutting down the enemy, in addition to the Silveraith spawn she creates.)

    The spell list isn’t what she has prepared (that will vary based on her divinations and scrying on the PCs’ capabilities), but rather some noteable spells that she’ll find useful. All the symbols/glyphs are likely to be placed as traps around her room, Anyspell gives her a bit of arcane flexibility. All the others are there for how they fit the theme or to add to her divination ability, allowing her to better identify and negate her enemies’ strengths.

    Paragnostic Apostle gives her a few nice little boosts to some spells, and works with the theme of knowledge-seeking begun with her worship of Savras, while I7V fits the contest theme perfectly, giving many and varied ways to shut enemies down (both offensively and defensively), and again, I believe fits into the theme of knowledge-seeking (I sort of look at abjuration as the magical study of magic itself, and I7V works as an extension of that).

    Also just to note, I’ve only included snapshots at CR15 and 20, because before her transformation into a Silveraith, Selene is not a villain, and I would peg her alignment at TN, leaning NG.


    Spoiler: Sauces
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    Player’s Guide to Faerun (Savras, Spell Domain, Lesser Aasimar)
    City of the Spider Queen (Silveraith template)
    Fiendish Codex II (Divine Defiance feat)
    Complete Champion (Paragnostic Apostle)
    Complete Arcane (Initiate of the Sevenfold Veil)


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    More sources, more choices, more power. Welcome to D&D.

  5. - Top - End - #65
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

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    3. Bairarth the Forsworn

    Spoiler: Bairarth the Forsworn
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    Spoiler: Stat Array
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    Elite Array: Str 13, Dex 14, Con 10, Int 12, Wis 8, Cha 15
    With Racial: Str: 29 (+16), Dex 14, Con 20 (+10), Int 22, (+10) Wis 18 (+10), Cha 25 (+10)
    24HD: Str: 29, Dex 14, Con N/A, Int 20, Wis 18, Cha 26 (+1)
    With Dracolich: Str: 29, Dex 14, Con N/A, Int 20, Wis 18, Cha 28 (+2)


    Spoiler: Build Table
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    CR Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    15 Adult Silver Dragon (22HD) +22 +13 +13 +13
    267 (6+Int mod6x22HD+3)

    Listen 23, Search 23, Spot 23, Concentration 23, Diplomacy 23, Intimidate 23, Knowledge (arcana) 15, Sense Motive 23, Bluff 23, Disguise 23,
    Knowledge (Religion) 11, Knowledge (the planes) 11
    Snatch, Improved Snatch, Flyby Attack, Multisnatch, Iron Will, Multiattack,
    Alternate Form, Immunity Acid+Cold, Cloudwalking, Vulnerability to Fire, Feather Fall, Fog Cloud, DR5/Magic, Breath Weapon, Frightful Presence, Spell Resistance, Blindsense, Keen Senses, CL 7 (Sorceror)
    16 Hidecarved Dragon 1 +23 +15 +15 +15
    +10

    Listen 24, Search 24, Spot 24, Concentration 24, Diplomacy 24, Intimidate 23, Knowledge (arcana) 15, Sense Motive 24, Bluff 23, Disguise 23, Knowledge (Religion) 11, Knowledge (the planes) 11, Move Silently 4
    Improved Spell Resistance
    17 Hidecarved Dragon 2 +24 +16 +16 +16
    +10

    Listen 25, Search 25, Spot 25, Concentration 25, Diplomacy 25, Intimidate 23, Knowledge (arcana) 15, Sense Motive 25, Bluff 23, Disguise 23, Knowledge (Religion) 11, Knowledge (the planes) 11, Move Silently 8
    Tail Constrict Suppress Weakness, Poison Resistance,
    20 Dracolich Template +24 +16 +16 +16
    Listen 25, Search 25, Spot 25, Concentration 25, Diplomacy 25, Intimidate 23, Knowledge (arcana) 15, Sense Motive 25, Bluff 23, Disguise 23, Knowledge (Religion) 11, Knowledge (the planes) 11, Move Silently 8
    +2 Cha, +2 Natural Armour, Control Undead, Paralyzing Gaze, Paralyzing Touch, DR5/Bludgeoning, Immunities, Invulnerability, Undead Traits,


    Spoiler: Stub
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    CR20
    Bairarth the Forsworn
    LE Huge Undead (Adult Silver Dragon/Hidecarved Dragon 2/Dracolich)
    HP: 358 (22D12+2D10+216)
    Initiative: +2
    Speed: 40ft, 150ft fly (poor)
    AC: 35, Touch: 35, Flat-footed: 33 (-2 size, +23 natural, +2 Dex)
    Attack: Bite +31 (24 BAB, +9Str, -2 Size)
    Grapple: +41 (24BAB+8Size+9Str)
    Full Attack: Bite +31, 2 Claws +29, 2 Wings +29, Tail Slap +29
    Damage: Bite: 2d8+1d6(cold)+9 (plus snatch+paralyzing touch), 2 Claws: 2d6+1d6(cold)+9 (plus snatch+paralyzing touch), 2 Wings 1d8+1d6+9 (plus paralyzing touch), Tail Slap 2d6+1d6(cold)+9 (plus tail constrict, paralyzing touch)
    Space/Reach: 15ft/10ft (15ft with bite)
    Special attacks: Breath Weapon (DC31Ref 50ft cone 12d8 cold damage) OR (50ft cone DC31Fort Paralysis for 1d6+6 rounds), Frightful Presence 180ft, HD<24 DC31 Will, SLAs: 3/day Fog Cloud, 2/day Feather Fall, Level 7 Sorceror/Cleric Casting, Control Undead, Paralyzing Gaze (40ft DC31 Will or paralysis for 2d6 rounds), Paralyzing Touch (DC31 Fort Save or paralysis for 2d6 rounds)
    Special Qualities: Alternate Form, Immunity to Acid, Cold, Electricity, Sleep, Paralysis and Polymorph, Undead Traits, Spell Resistance: 27, Poison Resistance, DR5/magic, DR5/bludgeoning, Blindsense, Keen Senses, Cloudwalking, Vulnerable to Fire, Suppress Weakness
    Saves: Fort +16, Ref +18, Will +20
    Abilities: Str: 29, Dex 14, Con N/A, Int 22, Wis 18, Cha 28
    Skills: Listen +29, Search +31, Spot +29, Concentration +34, Diplomacy +34, Intimidate +32, Knowledge (arcana) +21, Knowledge (Religon) +17, Knowledge (the Planes) +17, Sense Motive +29, Bluff +32, Disguise +32, Move Silently +10
    Feats: Snatch, Improved Snatch, Flyby Attack, Multisnatch, Iron Will, Multiattack, Suppress Weakness (B), Tail Constrict


    Spoiler: Spells
    Show
    L0 (6/day 7 known DC19)
    Detect Magic, Read Magic, Light, Ghost Sound, Prestidigitation, Mage Hand, Open/Close
    Level 1 (9/day 5 known DC20)
    Grease, Silent Image, Charm Person, Alarm, Shield
    L2 (8/day 3 known DC21)
    Glitterdust, Mirror Image, Web
    L3 (6/day 2 known DC22)
    Suggestion, Slow


    Spoiler: Stuff
    Show
    Bairarth was still young when he was captured by the necromancers, foolishly he’d wandered too far, and fallen into their trap.
    They held him captive for years, carrying out twisted experiments on his flesh and bones. He grew distrustful, stoic, but most of all afraid. The experiments culminated in the battered young dragon being forcibly slain and turned into a Dracolich. Though he hated the transformation, and the abhorrent creature he’d become, he was grateful for the power it gave him as he broke free of the necromancers, turned their undead servants on them, and butchered them all.
    Now wounded, broken, and forgotten by his former friends, Bairarth the Forsworn knows only one thing: fear. Having been afraid, he now must inspire fear in all those around him, lest the lack of it leads again to him being victimised. It is not enough for him to destroy his enemies, they must know their end is coming at his hand, and rue the day they ever heard his name.

    Bairarth’s tactics are fairly straightforward, both in battle and over a larger campaign. In combat, he’ll use every option at his disposal to incapacitate his enemies, opening with his BFC spells, then following up with both his Paralyzing gaze and Paralyzing breath weapon. If any enemies still threaten him after this, his Frightful Presence and savage paralyzing attacks should be more than enough to end the combat.
    It’s important to him to paralyze his enemies before he kills them, or at least hold them in a grapple for a few rounds before killing them, he needs them to feel their own mortality before he tears it from them. His massive grapple mod and Multisnatch/Tail Constrict allow him to reliably grapple three medium creatures at a time, assuming that the act of grabbing them doesn’t paralyse them.
    He’s grown exceptionally resilient through his tribulations, and now boasts a huge number of immunities and resistances that will make it difficult for either magic or steel to harm him.

    In a larger campaign sense, Bairarth can be introduced while still a young and naïve Silver Dragon, perhaps as a quest giver or ally. Perhaps there could also be an adventure for the players to free him from the necromancers, but by the time they reach him, it’s too late.
    Bairarth’s tortured mind compels him to demonstrate his killing power and savagery in as huge a way as possible, to ensure that all fear him and don’t dare turn their weapons on him. This should inevitably lead to conflict with the players. Bairarth also works in subtler ways when he feels threatened, using his social skills, alternate form and spells to infiltrate and sabotage.


    Spoiler: Source
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    Draconomicon: Hidecarved Dragon, Multisnatch, Tail Constrict, Dracolich


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    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    More sources, more choices, more power. Welcome to D&D.

  6. - Top - End - #66
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XXXII: Oh HELL NO!

    4. Dracarys Umbrage

    Dracarys Umbrage
    Female Lesser Deepwyrm Drow Half-Glazebru 2/Cloistered Cleric 2/Drow Paragon 1/Paragnostic Apostle 5/Mystic Wanderer 4/Divine Disciple 4/Contemplative 2

    Spoiler
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    Ability Scores
    Spoiler
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    Elite Array: Str 9, Dex 10, Con 14, Int 12 Wis 15, Cha 13
    Adjustments for Lesser Deepwyrm Drow: Str 9, Dex 12, Con 12, Int 12, Wis 15, Cha 13
    Adjustments for Half-Glazebru 1*: Str 9, Dex 12, Con 12, Int 12, Wis 15, Cha 15
    Adjustments for Half-Glazebru 2*: Str 11, Dex 12, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 15, Cha 15
    Increase Wis at all opportunities.

    *Half-Glazebru stat adjustments differ from those of the standard Half-Fiend so it’s hard to make a precise ruling about what should be increased at which level of the template class. Since Half-Glazebru has no Dex bonus, and increased bonuses in Str, Con, and Cha, it seems like the bonuses at 2nd level should be unchanged, but the bonus at first level should go to one of those three. You might decide that it should go to Str or Con instead, in which case you might consider adjusting the Elite Array allocation.


    Build Table
    Spoiler
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    CR Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    1 Cloistered Divine Magician Cleric 1/Half-Glazebru 1 +0 +2 +0 +2 Concentration 4, Spellcraft 4, Knowledge (Arcana) 4, Knowledge (Religion) 4, Knowledge (Nature) 4, Diplomacy 4, Perform (Oratory) 2cc Magic in the Blood, Incarnum SpellshapingB Divine Magician ACF, Lore, Knowledge Domain, Incarnum Domain
    Half-Glazebru 2 +0 +2 +0 +2 Concentration 4, Spellcraft 4, Knowledge (Arcana) 4, Knowledge (Religion) 4, Knowledge (Nature) 4, Diplomacy 4, Perform (Oratory) 2cc - Spell Resistance (Lesser), Poison Immunity, Resistances (Acid 5, Cold 5, Electricity 5, Fire 5)
    3 Drow Paragon 1 +0 +2 +2 +2 Concentration 4, Spellcraft 5, Knowledge (Arcana) 5, Knowledge (Religion) 5, Knowledge (Nature) 5, Diplomacy 4, Perform (Oratory) 2, Craft (Alchemy) 1 - Improved Spell-Like Abilities, Mirror Image 4/day
    4 Cloistered Cleric 2 +1 +3 +2 +3 [b]Concentration 6, Spellcraft 6, Knowledge (Arcana) 5, Knowledge (Religion) 5, Knowledge (Nature) 5, Diplomacy 6, Perform (Oratory) 2, Craft (Alchemy) 2, Profession (Herbalist) 1 Servant of a Dragon Ascendant, Iron WillH Inquisition Domain*, Dispel Magic 4/day
    5 Paragnostic Apostle 1 +1 +3 +2 +5 Concentration 6, Spellcraft 6, Knowledge (Arcana) 7, Knowledge (Religion) 5, Knowledge (Nature) 5, Diplomacy 6, Perform (Oratory) 2, Craft (Alchemy) 3, Profession (Herbalist) 3 - Holy Texts, Lore, Knowledge Is Power (Divine Understanding: Magic)
    6 Paragnostic Apostle 2 +2 +3 +2 +6 Concentration 7, Spellcraft 6, Knowledge (Arcana) 8, Knowledge (Religion) 6, Knowledge (Nature) 5, Diplomacy 6, Perform (Oratory) 3cc, Craft (Alchemy) 3, Profession (Herbalist) 3 - Knowledge is Power (Manifest Ethos: Evil), Unholy Blight 4/day
    7 Paragnostic Apostle 3 +2 +4 +3 +6 Concentration 7, Spellcraft 6, Knowledge (Arcana) 9, Knowledge (Religion) 6, Knowledge (Nature) 5, Diplomacy 8cc, Perform (Oratory) 3, Craft (Alchemy) 3, Profession (Herbalist) 3 Soultouched Spellcasting Knowledge is Power (Penetrating Insight)
    8 Mystic Wanderer 1 +2 +4 +5 +8 Concentration 7, Spellcraft 7, Knowledge (Arcana) 10, Knowledge (Religion) 7, Knowledge (Nature) 5, Diplomacy 8, Perform (Oratory) 3, Craft (Alchemy) 3, Profession (Herbalist) 3 - Glory of the Divine, Sleep, Chaos Hammer 4/day
    9 Mystic Wanderer 2 +3 +4 +6 +9 Concentration 8, Spellcraft 7, Knowledge (Arcana) 11, Knowledge (Religion) 8, Knowledge (Nature) 5, Diplomacy 8, Perform (Oratory) 3, Craft (Alchemy) 3, Profession (Herbalist) 3 - Familiar, Lore of Nature
    10 Divine Disciple 1 +3 +6 +6 +11 Concentration 8, Spellcraft 7, Knowledge (Arcana) 12, Knowledge (Religion) 10, Knowledge (Nature) 5, Diplomacy 8, Perform (Oratory) 3, Craft (Alchemy) 3, Profession (Herbalist) 3 Elven Spell Lore (Slashing Dispel) Magic Domain*, Divine Emissary
    11 Divine Disciple 2 +4 +7 +6 +12 Concentration 8, Spellcraft 7, Knowledge (Arcana) 12, Knowledge (Religion) 13, Knowledge (Nature) 5, Diplomacy 8, Perform (Oratory) 3, Craft (Alchemy) 3, Profession (Herbalist) 3 - Sacred Defense +1
    13 Contemplative 1 +4 +7 +6 +14 Concentration 9, Spellcraft 9, Knowledge (Arcana) 12, Knowledge (Religion) 13, Knowledge (Nature) 5, Diplomacy 8, Perform (Oratory) 3, Craft (Alchemy) 3, Profession (Herbalist) 3 - Purification Domain, Divine Health, Unhallow 4/day
    14 Divine Disciple 3 +5 7 +7 +14 Concentration 11, Spellcraft 10, Knowledge (Arcana) 12, Knowledge (Religion) 13, Knowledge (Nature) 5, Diplomacy 8, Perform (Oratory) 3, Craft (Alchemy) 3, Profession (Herbalist) 3 Violate Spell Imbue with Spell Ability
    15 Paragnostic Apostle 4 +6 +7 +7 +15 Concentration 13, Spellcraft 13, Knowledge (Arcana) 12, Knowledge (Religion) 13, Knowledge (Nature) 5, Diplomacy 8, Perform (Oratory) 3, Craft (Alchemy) 3, Profession (Herbalist) 3 - Knowledge is Power (Energy Supremacy: Cold), Unholy Aura 4/day
    16 Paragnostic Apostle 5 +6 +7 +7 +15 Concentration 16, Spellcraft 15, Knowledge (Arcana) 12, Knowledge (Religion) 13, Knowledge (Nature) 5, Diplomacy 8, Perform (Oratory) 3, Craft (Alchemy) 3, Profession (Herbalist) 3 - Knowledge is Power (Divine Understanding: Liberation)
    17 Mystic Wanderer 3 +6 +8 +7 +15 Concentration 17, Spellcraft 17, Knowledge (Arcana) 12, Knowledge (Religion) 13, Knowledge (Nature) 5, Diplomacy 8, Perform (Oratory) 3, Craft (Alchemy) 3, Profession (Herbalist) 3 Divine Defiance, Attune GemB Gem Magic, Resist Charm
    18 Mystic Wanderer 4 +7 +8 +8 +16 Concentration 19, Spellcraft 18, Knowledge (Arcana) 12, Knowledge (Religion) 13, Knowledge (Nature) 5, Diplomacy 8, Perform (Oratory) 3, Craft (Alchemy) 3, Profession (Herbalist) 3 Brew PotionB -
    19 Divine Disciple 4 +8 +9 +8 +17 Concentration 20, Spellcraft 20, Knowledge (Arcana) 12, Knowledge (Religion) 13, Knowledge (Nature) 5, Diplomacy 8, Perform (Oratory) 3, Craft (Alchemy) 3, Profession (Herbalist) 3 - Sacred Defense +2
    20 Contemplative 2 +9 +9 +8 +18 Concentration 21, Spellcraft 21, Knowledge (Arcana) 12, Knowledge (Religion) 13, Knowledge (Nature) 5, Knowledge (The Planes) 1 Diplomacy 8, Perform 3, Craft (Alchemy) 3, Profession (Herbalist) 3 Quicken Spell-Like Ability (Unhallow) Slippery Mind
    *The Knowledge Domain is replaced via Substitute Domain. Technically, when the next domain is acquired later, that domain is Inquisition, and Substitute Domain is used to switch Knowledge to Magic instead.


    Spellcasting
    Spoiler
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    Level 0lvl 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
    1st 3 1+1 - - - - - - - -
    3rd 4 2+1 - - - - - - - -
    4th 4 2+1 1+1 - - - - - - -
    5th 5 3+1 2+1 - - - - - - -
    6th 5 3+1 2+1 1+1 - - - - - -
    7th 5 3+1 3+1 2+1 - - - - - -
    8th 6 4+1 3+1 2+1 1+1 - - - - -
    9th 6 4+1 3+1 3+1 2+1 - - - - -
    10th 6 4+1 4+1 3+1 2+1 1+1 - - - -
    11th 6 4+1 4+1 3+1 3+1 2+1 - - - -
    13th 6 5+1 4+1 4+1 3+1 2+1 1+1 - - -
    14th 6 5+1 4+1 4+1 3+1 3+1 2+1 - - -
    15th 6 5+1 5+1 4+1 4+1 3+1 2+1 1+1 - -
    16th 6 5+1 5+1 4+1 4+1 3+1 3+1 2+1 - -
    17th 6 5+1 5+1 5+1 4+1 4+1 3+1 2+1 1+1 -
    18th 6 5+1 5+1 5+1 4+1 4+1 3+1 3+1 2+1 -
    19th 6 5+1 5+1 5+1 5+1 4+1 4+1 3+1 2+1 1+1
    20th 6 5+1 5+1 5+1 5+1 4+1 4+1 3+1 3+1 2+1
    *Does not include bonus spells for a high Wis score.

    Divine Magician Spells:
    1st: Chill Touch
    2nd: Dispelling Touch
    3rd: Anticipate Teleportation
    4th: Slashing Dispel
    5th: Lesser Ironguard
    6th: Greater Anticipate Teleportation
    7th: Greater Dispelling Screen
    8th: Mind Blank
    9th: Reaving Dispel


    Spoiler
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    CR 5
    Spoiler
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    Dracarys Umbrage is a jumbled mess of fantasy genetics. The daughter of a Half-Dragon mother and Draegoloth father, her paternal grandfather was a Glazebru, and her maternal grandmother a Deep Dragon 12th level Dragon Ascendant. Born to serve her grandmother’s will, she serves as inquisitor to the quasi-deity, rooting out and nullifying the threats posed by her enemies. Dragon quasi-deities need prayer badly as they attempt to burst onto the other gods’ scene, and presumably as a consequence of this (and not, say, poor editing), the Servant of a Dragon Ascendant feat lacks the 1/day limitation of many similar feats. This means that pretty much every time she rolls a d20, she gets a +1, including level checks, like the ones used for dispelling. Between Dispelling Touch from Divine Magician and the Dispel Magic SLA inherited in her Glazebru blood, she can start dispelling things early on, even with the template ticking up her CR slightly and the Inquisition Domain adds another +4 to the check. The Dispel Magic SLA also allows her early entry into Paragnostic Apostle. She can’t yet take some Knowledge is Power abilities, but a boost to Magic Domain spells means another +1 for Dispel Magic, which isn’t bad.

    CR 10
    Spoiler
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    Between Elven Spell Lore, Soultouched Spellcasting with two essentia, and Penetrating Insight dispel checks are cranked up by another +5, and Dracarys can now throw around Slashing Dispels to deal some damage on top (which can of a specified energy type if desired thanks to Elven Spell Lore). Mystic Wanderer also gives her a familiar, which can deliver touch spells, including Dispelling Touch. Divine Magician also nabs Anticipate Teleportation and Lesser Ironguard, so she can say “no” to incoming teleporters and metal weapons (especially ones that have been rendered nonmagical by a dispel).

    CR 15
    Spoiler
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    Having Unhallow as a SLA means that all Dracarys needs to produce an area that will hit every creature passing through that doesn’t share her alignment or (very specific) faith with a dispel. It can also help to remove Hallowed ground, making it even harder for foes to heal after being hit with a Violate Spell (perhaps a Violate Slashing Dispel). She also now has an Imbue with Spell Ability SLA to imbue her familiar, a Planar Ally, or some other ally with low level spells, such as Dispelling Touch or some damaging Violate Spell up to 2nd level (remember that metamagic just changes spell slot level, not the spell level itself) which means that her subordinates can go around saying “no” for her to some degree. The Purification Domain also boosts the CL, and hence check, for any dispel not already at its level cap.

    CR 20
    Spoiler
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    Quicken Spell-Like Ability lacks the verbiage of Quicken Spell limiting the casting time of the spell in question, so an Unhallow SLA can be quickened for a swift action Dimensional Anchor or Dispel Magic for every enemy within 40 ft, wipe away a Hallow that someone spent 24 whole hours putting up, or simply to blanket friendly territory with Unhallowed ground at a clip of 4/day. Divine Defiance offers another nice bit of action economy, allowing Dracarys to shut down magic by using a dispel to counterspell as an immediate action. And of course, she’s now got 9th level spells, including some of the most potent dispelling options, Chain Dispel, Reaving Dispel from Divine Magican, and Disjunction from the Magic Domain.


    Spoiler
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    Book of Vile Darkness: Violate Spell
    Complete Champion: Paragnostic Apostle
    Complete Divine: Contemplative, Inquisiton Domain, Purification Domain
    Complete Mage: Divine Magician
    Dragon Magic: Deepwyrm Drow
    Dragons of Faerun: Servant of a Dragon Ascendant
    Fiendish Codex II: Divine Defiance
    Half-Fiendish Variety: Half-Glazebru
    Magic of Faerun: Attune Gem, Mystic Wanderer
    Magic of Incarnum: Incarnum Spellshaping, Soultouched Spellcasting
    Player’s Guide to Faerun: Lesser Drow
    Player’s Handbook II: Chain Dispel, Dispelling Touch, Elven Spell Lore, Slashing Dispel
    Savage Progressions: Half-Fiend Template Class
    Spell Compendium: Anticipate Teleportation, Lesser Ironguard, Greater Anticipate Teleportation, Reaving Dispel
    Everything else should be in the SRD


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    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    More sources, more choices, more power. Welcome to D&D.

  7. - Top - End - #67
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XXXII: Oh HELL NO!

    and that's all folks.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    More sources, more choices, more power. Welcome to D&D.

  8. - Top - End - #68
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    Thurbane's Avatar

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XXXII: Oh HELL NO!

    Congrats all, nice entries.

    My build was based on a Corruptor of Faith Yugoloth and it's Bestow Curse ability, trying to get a lot of AoO to force saves.

    Saying that someone reading RAW differently than you is "home brewing or house ruling, but that's fine" doesn't make you right, it just makes you seem pompous.

  9. - Top - End - #69
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    Segev's Avatar

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XXXII: Oh HELL NO!

    All far more complete than my thoughts were. All I really had was abuse of Time Hop to send foes forward, isolating one at a time, and then to escape by sending self forward far enough the enemies are gone.

    The trouble was building something around that; I had a couple concepts fluff-wise, but actual build stubs were eluding me; they'd keep losing focus on the primary trick, since it's all about the one power.

    Nice job, everyone who entered!

  10. - Top - End - #70
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XXXII: Oh HELL NO!

    Mine was a Lost Broodling Swarm cleric using the pestilence domain, a large amount of cold spells, and Stitching to spread Vile Rigidity and quickly drop creature's dexterity to 0. My stub was actually almost done, but I thought I had until tomorrow. Although I will definitely enjoy my free time tonight!
    My vote for HM is that Futility creature.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zaq View Post
    I feel like telling the ghost of Gary Gygax to hold your beer is a good way to suddenly stop being the GM, but I have to admit that this would probably be remarkably effective. At what, I dunno, but effective.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zombulian View Post
    I am continually astounded by how new you are here in contrast to how impressive your mind is.

  11. - Top - End - #71
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    ElfPirate

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XXXII: Oh HELL NO!

    My second entry was going to be a Were-Legendary Wolf Warlock, taking advantage of the RHD to boost the number of iterative attacks with Eldritch Glaive up to 7. Throw on Noxious Blast and Quicken Spell-Like Ability (3/day for emergencies or making a statement) and you've got your Dr. No. Where it fell apart was that I wanted to also use tripping to make it more interesting, and Great Throw to make tripping more interesting, using unarmed strikes (and Morphic Reach) to drop opponents into glaive range, but Eldritch Glaive isn't actually a full attack, so you can only get the one extra unarmed strike from Snap Kick rather than several more from TWF and such. It was supposed to be an interesting use of the most conservative rulings for Warshaper and Knockdown, but without those extra attacks it felt pretty flat and brute forced.
    Quote Originally Posted by OgresAreCute View Post
    Realism, the natural predator of D&D mechanics.
    Iron Chef XCVII, Aerial Avenger, Gold: Hank, the Highly Endangered Northwest Pacific Tree Octopus

    Gamerwarpers Optimization Challenge #4, Great and Terrible Werebeasts, Gold: The Wendigo, aka Paul

    Villainous Competition XXXII, Oh Hell No!, Bronze and HM: Futility

  12. - Top - End - #72
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    GreatWyrmGold's Avatar

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XXXII: Oh HELL NO!

    Time to get judgemental!
    ...Wait, wrong adjective.

    Spoiler: Dracarys Umbrage (8)
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    Initial Thoughts
    Should I make a Song of Ice and Fire reference or a Harry Potter reference?
    No backstory, beyond the family tree. I can't decide if this is better or worse than a lazy backstory. On one hand, you didn't even try; on the other hand, I don't think the others did, either.
    Dracarys has a focus on dispelling spells, with some other miscellaneous "nope"-themed buffs/debuffs. I get the feeling that she could do most anything else by preparing different spells, which gives her day-to-day versatility at the expense of thematic consistency.

    Originality: I don't know how to rate this; there's nothing there for me to grasp onto to compare it to or contrast it with other villains. I mean, aside from the fact that this is an evil drow priestess with a fetish for dispelling magic. So...below-average? 2
    Elegance: Dips galore and a convoluted family tree (if one that makes decent thematic sense). 1
    Competence & Power: Looks pretty good. Bland, but good. 4
    Memorable Villainy: I kept forgetting details about her while writing this. 1

    Conclusion:
    Someone saw the dessicated corpse of the villain from a rejected Underdark campaign and decided to cheap out by casting animate dead instead of raise dead. The bones are there, but there's no flesh to it or live in its veins.


    Spoiler: Futility (8.5)
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    Initial Thoughts
    I might as well get this out of the way...I don't like cheese. I'm as interested in optimization theory as the next guy, as evidenced by a thread I started yesterday asking for interesting 5e cheese, but I want it well away from my actual games. I might be willing to adapt some thematic cheese into a usable villain, e.g. a sorcerer who bargained for infernal power and abyssal coffee beans, gaining unlimited arcane power at the expense of sanity.
    Is Futility that kind of cheese? Well...no. It's pretty much your standard IKEA tarrasque combined with undead typing to make it ignore most damage. (Despite the fact that creatures without Constitution scores can't have regeneration.) There's no thematic depths beyond "I don't take damage, neener neener". Moreover, it's a trick that people have pulled off before without screwing the rules. It doesn't help that some of the effects (like Swarm traits on Futility's main body) don't make sense beyond the purest rules-as-written arguments.
    I'd have given you a bit more credit if you'd written some interesting fluff, but it's basically generic horror movie nonsense with an only mildly creative origin story. If you hadn't included that origin and just left it at the old woman saying "We don't know where this came from," I'd have docked you even more points...but the backstory you have basically feels like a munchkin trying to justify his arbitrary power-choices through a convoluted family tree and backstory.

    Oh, and Futility doesn't really negate the PCs' actions, just the effects of some of them. And not even all of the effects, if the PCs can do anything other than pure damage.

    Originality: Like I said, this cheese ain't original. I was initially going to give this build a 1, or maybe a 0 for "regenerating anthropomorphic wolverine". But then I realized that you're the only one in the contest who tried to imbue their post with a tone, so have a 2.
    Elegance: Aside from the massive template stacking, the rules specifically ban creatures without Constitution scores from having regeneration. 0 Honorable mention given to needing a bonus feat via flaw.
    Competence & Power: On one hand, being immune to damage is a neat trick. On the other hand, it's your only trick, and you didn't technically give Futility a way to "deny actions of PCs". 2
    Competence & Power: I effed up and missed a bunch of Futility's abilities, including (most egregiously) the ones from the Witchborn Binder prestige class. For all that I dislike Futility's lore and the attitude behind it, the creator went above and beyond the core cheesy concept and gave his wolverine-ghoul-garden some extra abilities. They just make the "Futility appears, you die" problem that much worse, but it's definitely powerful. 5
    Memorable Villainy: I feel like this should be a 1, given how it's little more than a convoluted "rocks fall you die," but a winged regenerating wolverine-man full of evil roses is a very...unusual falling rock. 1.5

    Conclusion:
    Futility is one idea ("immune to damage") wrapped in a thin layer of incarnum and fluff. If the core idea was one I liked, this would probably get at least a decent rating. But I hate it, so it won't.
    Advice for the future: Read the opening chapters of Journey to the West. Their plot purpose is mainly to establish Sun Wukong and explain why he's so badass, but they're also fun and build the characters of Wukong and all the characters around him. Or if you want to go for a horror movie vibe for your next IKEA tarrasque, watch some horror movies.


    Spoiler: Bairarth the Forsworn (9)
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    Initial Thoughts
    With a name like that, surely Bairarth has some kind of backstory about those she betrayed!
    ...Nope! She's just a standard turned-against-her-creators with some cycle of violence for spice.

    Originality: Unwilling dracolich, with one (draconic prestige) class and only core spells. 0.5, though partly because I don't want to give Futility higher than a 1.
    Elegance: On the other hand, the same things that make the build dull make it very simple. 5
    Competence & Power: On one hand, you're a gorram dracolich. On the other hand, you're just a big flying beatstick with paralyzing breath and a few low-level battlefield control spells. She'd make a good dragon (pun intended) to a better villain, but kinda sucks as a Big Bad on her own. Still, that's one heck of a beatstick. 2.5
    Memorable Villainy: It's a dracolich without any spells above level 3. Dragons are supposed to be impressive enough to be memorable encounters on their own...but they really aren't. 1

    Conclusion: Boring. Good monster, bad villain.


    Spoiler: Selene, Bride of Ruin (17)
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    Initial Thoughts
    Maybe it's just that I'm rating this one right after Futility, or the fact that no other entry tried making a character for their boss, but I find how the backstory tries to establish personality and motivation instead of providing a weak justification for the mechanical choices refreshing. It's a deeply tropey character, basically being necromantic star-crossed love with a dab of personal flair added, but dammit, you tried, and that's stupidly rare. This is the Villainous Competition, not the Monster-of-the-Week Competition.
    I had to do more digging than I'd have liked to figure out what Knowledge Is Power options Selene took, and some of the choices seemed ill-fitting for the character, especially before dying. Divine Understanding (Evil) is the big one; not even a mention of studying profane tomes?
    The Sevenfold Veil class was a good choice for this contest; the wards alone are good at this ("Nope, I've got my orange/green veil up, your dragonfire and magical arrows are useless!") without being game-breaking. But then you get reactive warding ("Surprise! Your charge does nothing except disintegrate your sword!") and Unimpeachable Abjuration ("I knew you'd try to dispel my wardings, but the DC's too high"). It's held back by wonky AD&D prismatic rules, but you can't have everything. (Magic absorption is just gravy. Shame it probably doesn't affect spells cast to destroy a ward...)
    I like how many of Selene's abilities center around undead. She's good at snaring them with rebuke/control undead, has a couple of negative energy abilities that heal them, etc. Also, the wards can defend everybody, which is nice.


    Originality: You made a support villain, points for that. Also, you bothered to make your monster a villain. If I wasn't sure I'd be accused of bias, I'd give you a six. 5
    Elegance: Not the best in show, but far from the worst. And an extra half-point for being the only villain in the competition to have ways to actively counter enemy actions. 3.5
    Competence & Power: Selene knows what she does and does it brilliantly. Her personal power is "only" that of a 19th-level cleric, but with friends like hers, who needs to smite enemies? 5
    Memorable Villainy: Sadly, the tropiness of her backstory holds her back from a perfect 5, but the colorful veils and whatnot put her head and shoulders above your typical dracolich or invulnerable ghast. Also, if the other villains in this contest are the sorts of things the players normally face, a villain with a personality would be memorable on its own. 4

    Conclusion:
    I didn't think "a backstory with basic effort put into it" would be such a rare thing in this contest. But there's other good stuff in there, too, I'm just a sucker for putting in the basic effort required to write an actual story around these baddies.


    Two bland monsters without the character needed to make them villains, one bland monster who substitutes almost theoretical-optimization levels of cheese for actual character, and...one clichéd character with a solid mechanical theme and actual character! Selene is the clear winner in my book.
    Last edited by GreatWyrmGold; 2019-05-24 at 02:03 PM. Reason: Missed some of Futility's abilities
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XXXII: Oh HELL NO!

    Quote Originally Posted by Falontani View Post
    Mine was a Lost Broodling Swarm cleric using the pestilence domain, a large amount of cold spells, and Stitching to spread Vile Rigidity and quickly drop creature's dexterity to 0. My stub was actually almost done, but I thought I had until tomorrow. Although I will definitely enjoy my free time tonight!
    Quote Originally Posted by PoeticallyPsyco View Post
    My second entry was going to be a Were-Legendary Wolf Warlock, taking advantage of the RHD to boost the number of iterative attacks with Eldritch Glaive up to 7. Throw on Noxious Blast and Quicken Spell-Like Ability (3/day for emergencies or making a statement) and you've got your Dr. No. Where it fell apart was that I wanted to also use tripping to make it more interesting, and Great Throw to make tripping more interesting, using unarmed strikes (and Morphic Reach) to drop opponents into glaive range, but Eldritch Glaive isn't actually a full attack, so you can only get the one extra unarmed strike from Snap Kick rather than several more from TWF and such. It was supposed to be an interesting use of the most conservative rulings for Warshaper and Knockdown, but without those extra attacks it felt pretty flat and brute forced.
    Both of these sound like interesting builds from a mechanical standpoint.


    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    All far more complete than my thoughts were. All I really had was abuse of Time Hop to send foes forward, isolating one at a time, and then to escape by sending self forward far enough the enemies are gone.

    The trouble was building something around that; I had a couple concepts fluff-wise, but actual build stubs were eluding me; they'd keep losing focus on the primary trick, since it's all about the one power.
    Interesting mechanical concept, and the promise of actual fluff? I'm sorry you couldn't finish.
    Last edited by GreatWyrmGold; 2019-05-19 at 10:44 PM.
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XXXII: Oh HELL NO!

    You see? No Time Mantle Wilder/Sorcerer/Cerebremancer to negate all else via sheer action abuse, nor any Sorcerer/Noctumancer to just counterspell everything.

    I even had a monster race perfect for either of these ideas T_T

    Though I have to say. I'm surprised someone actually dared to use IoTSV. It's so cliché for this theme I wouldn't touch it with a ten mile pole
    Last edited by MisterKaws; 2019-05-20 at 05:49 AM.

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XXXII: Oh HELL NO!

    that's gotta be a record for fastest judgement ever!


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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XXXII: Oh HELL NO!

    Entry Competitor Description GreatWrymGold
    Score
    Total Placing
    Futility
    - CE Symbiotic Winged Anthropomorphic Wolverine Gravetouched Ghoul/Dread Blossom Swarm 2HD/ Totemist 6/ Witchborn Binder 4/ Totemist +2 5.5 5.5
    Selene, Bride of Ruin
    - ?? Lesser Aasimar Silveraith Cleric of Savras 8/Paragnostic Apostle 3/Initiate of the Sevenfold Veil 7 17 17
    Bairarth the Forsworn
    - LE Dracolich Hidecarved Silver Dragon 9 9
    Dracarys Umbrage
    - ?? Female Lesser Deepwyrm Drow Half-Glazebru 2/Cloistered Cleric 2/Drow Paragon 1/Paragnostic Apostle 5/Mystic Wanderer 4/Divine Disciple 4/Contemplative 2 8 8

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XXXII: Oh HELL NO!

    Gonna go judge over the week.

    My 2 Ideas were:

    First was a Half Black half Red Dragon Troll Factotum Ur Priest, built on being immune to/regernerating any damage and with persistomancing Favour of the Martyr and Death Ward also being immune to just about anything else, using some BFC to troll people even more, then go into melee and rend them to shreds.

    Sadly I thought everyone would go troll and/or Damage negation and saw the simple gimmick as too ... bland. Ah well.


    My Second Idea was focussed on abusing a mrcury Dragon multiple half Dragons insane Flight Speed, maneuverability and Hiding to make the ultimate (resilient and near unhittable) harrasser. Sadly I didnt quite get the class question to work out within the CR alotment, and it was almost as much a template hog as my Giant in the "Only up to Actual levels" round.^^
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XXXII: Oh HELL NO!

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    Interesting mechanical concept, and the promise of actual fluff? I'm sorry you couldn't finish.
    I'm way better at the fluff than the crunch, once I have the "mechanical trick" worked out. The two ideas were some sort of sneak thief (probably Lurk-based at low level) who would use a suppressed Time Hope to send items he wanted to steal forward in time, making them vanish from plain sight, and then wait for the hubbub to be directed outwards to grab them when they reappeared and run off, time-hopping himself along with stealth. As he leveled, he'd start using Time Hop on guards and such, and eventually get himself in situations where he was outnumbered and couldn't vanish them all, so he'd isolate and kill them one at a time. From his victims' perspective, it would look like their buddies were fine one round and dead the next, and the next round their next buddy was dead, one by one.

    This would lead him to be hired as an assassin at least once, prompting him into the assassin class. Same MO, in general: isolate his target and kill it. By this point, he may also have Control Body and Schism, and have his Schism freeze his victim so he can keep Death Attacking every couple of rounds with a coup de grace.

    But once he got to 4th level assassin spells, he'd also take on challenges he couldn't guarantee he would be able to do that to, so if his Time Hope was running out of duration, he'd spend a round using modify memory to make the isolated target think his allies had turned on him and done the damage, and that, in desperation, he had just started fighting back, keyed to go off the moment they reappeared. Ideally, he'd have time to study his quarry in advance and prepare weapons that match his target's friends' armaments for realism. Or possibly just use Call Weaponry.

    Oh, and if not using modify memory, use Time Hop on the victim, then Time Hop the rest of the party again when the victim's Time Hop is about to run out. Gets expensive, but there's something effective about "Fred vanished. Where'd he go? Fred? Fred? Oh no! He just appeared, and he's dead!"


    The other was a Cranium Rat Swarm that would be a Psion 11 rather than a Sorcerer 11, and pile on Bard levels. Abusing the ability to divide to keep enthralling performances going, it would also use the time hop trick to isolate targets for swarming, and even mind-switch from a schism to pull a doppelganger effect. Oh, and the Bardic Performance would be singing - a thousand rat voices actually squeaking in harmonic tune, sounding more like an orchestra of fifes and piccolos than rats screeching.

    Between Time Hop, Fascination, and essentially possession, the swarm doesn't permit anybody to do anything. I thought about abusing access to epic feats, but none stood out to me as aiding the schtick or being particularly useful.


    As you can see, I have the build concepts, but actually filling them out with a full array of spells, powers, skills, feats, et al just kept eluding me. Heck, I'm not even sure of the race of the first one - I was vascilating around elves and drow, and kept considering Unbodied (who would use their "assume likeness" ability to be a mimic or animated object that was standing still and impersonating scenery props while using time hop and control body to have the isolated victim attack himself).

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XXXII: Oh HELL NO!

    I was tempted to emulate Dr No, the James Bond villain, just for the joke with the name of the thread...maybe an Artificer full of magic items used to confine the PCs, etc. But I was so sure someone was going for the Dr No too, and it didn't seem really appealing once the joke in the name was gotten past.
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XXXII: Oh HELL NO!

    Quote Originally Posted by jdizzlean View Post
    that's gotta be a record for fastest judgement ever!
    No reason to wait around, you know?


    Quote Originally Posted by GrayDeath View Post
    Sadly I thought everyone would go troll and/or Damage negation and saw the simple gimmick as too ... bland.
    I'm inclined to agree. One damage-negater was quite enough.


    Quote Originally Posted by remetagross View Post
    I was tempted to emulate Dr No, the James Bond villain, just for the joke with the name of the thread...maybe an Artificer full of magic items used to confine the PCs, etc. But I was so sure someone was going for the Dr No too, and it didn't seem really appealing once the joke in the name was gotten past.
    It's amazing how often people say "I assumed everyone would do X".
    Remember: Your ideas are often more unique than you realize. Especially if you only count the people who act on them.
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    Thumbs up Re: Villainous Competition XXXII: Oh HELL NO!

    I'm throwing my HM to Futility.

    Saying that someone reading RAW differently than you is "home brewing or house ruling, but that's fine" doesn't make you right, it just makes you seem pompous.

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XXXII: Oh HELL NO!

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    Elegance: Aside from the massive template stacking, the rules specifically ban creatures without Constitution scores from having regeneration. 0 If I'm wrong about that, I'm willing to boost that to a 1.5, because the build is still a mess of templates (albeit with only one base and one prestige class).
    Now what made you think that? Revenants in 3.5 have Regeneration 10. Regeneration is definitely an allowed Null Constitution ability. Additionally, Vampires have Fast Healing which operates similarly but is a better version of it.

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XXXII: Oh HELL NO!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyutaru View Post
    Now what made you think that? Revenants in 3.5 have Regeneration 10. Regeneration is definitely an allowed Null Constitution ability. Additionally, Vampires have Fast Healing which operates similarly but is a better version of it.
    Revenants are probably a mistake, then. Note the last line in this linked subsection: "A creature must have a Constitution score to have the regeneration ability."

    Vampires have Fast Healing precisely because they can't have regeneration.

    Regeneration actually is better than Fast Healing for most purposes: it keeps you from taking lethal damage from anything other than that which penetrates your regeneration. Creatures without Constitution scores are immune to nonlethal damage, which is why they're not allowed to have regeneration and have to have fast healing instead.

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    Exclamation Re: Villainous Competition XXXII: Oh HELL NO!

    In the version of Revenant printed in the City of the Spider Queen, it has Fast Healing Rather than Regeneration.

    In the 3.5 update of Monsters of Faerun, the Regeneration is similarly replaced with Fast Healing.

    I suspect this may have been a 3.0 to 3.5 change in general - not sure 3.0 included the restriction of Creatures with no Con score having Regeneration.
    Last edited by Thurbane; 2019-05-21 at 04:59 PM.

    Saying that someone reading RAW differently than you is "home brewing or house ruling, but that's fine" doesn't make you right, it just makes you seem pompous.

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XXXII: Oh HELL NO!

    Apparently, I should have checked the rest of the thread before breaking out my Monster Manual. (The relevant text in that book is on page 314.) Thanks, Segev!

    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    I'm throwing my HM to Futility.
    Alright, what's an HM?
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XXXII: Oh HELL NO!

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    Alright, what's an HM?
    Honorable Mention - just a chance for the public to vote on which build they enjoyed most in the round. It can be done publicly, or by PM to the chair.

    Saying that someone reading RAW differently than you is "home brewing or house ruling, but that's fine" doesn't make you right, it just makes you seem pompous.

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XXXII: Oh HELL NO!

    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    Honorable Mention - just a chance for the public to vote on which build they enjoyed most in the round. It can be done publicly, or by PM to the chair.
    I assume this is obvious from my scoring, but if I had to pick an HM, I'd pick Selene. Her creator actually tried to do the thing I find most consistently interesting in a villain, and none of the others pulled off anything I found interesting.
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XXXII: Oh HELL NO!

    Usually the honorable Mention is NOT the one you actually score the best.

    Its more along the lines of I found the Idea nice/funny/interesting" than "I rate the build highly". After all, otherwise there would be hardly a need for it. ^^

    If you didn´t find anything even remotely "good" in the other entries (as I am also judging I didn´t read your judgings yet, obviously), just dont give out a HM at all.
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition XXXII: Oh HELL NO!

    dispute #1, I'm spoilering it since gray is still judging

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    Quote Originally Posted by Futility
    First off, I’m genuinely impressed you finished your judgments so fast. However, as I’m sure you expected, I do feel compelled to dispute several of the actual scores.


    Originality:

    You don’t like cheese; fair enough. However:
    Quote Originally Posted by jdizzlean
    Cheese is acceptable, but should be kept to a sane level unless you're showcasing a new TO build you've discovered. As the Iron Chef competition states, a little cheddar can be nice, but avoid the mature Gruyere unless you're making a cheese fondue.
    Quote Originally Posted by Futility
    In other words, I’m going for the philly cheeseburger approach as far as accepted levels of cheese.
    I thought I’d come up with a new TO, though obviously I was wrong about it actually working.

    Likewise, while I wasn’t trying to reference Wolverine (the T-1000 was more the vibe I was going for), in Iron Chef at least reference builds are explicitly okay for Originality, though I’ll admit that rule doesn’t seem to exist for Villainous Competition. Don’t know how big a role that played in your rating, but I thought it was worth mentioning.

    While it’s true that a monster immune to most things is hardly unique, I think the ingredients I used for that and for active shut-down are original enough to be worth some points. I mean, when was the last time you saw Anthropomorphic Wolverines, Gravetouched Ghoul, or Witchborn Binder (a class so universally reviled it was used for Iron Chef way back when) in a build? Also, I thought that how the mechanics imply each member of the swarm carries a piece of the host, which is kept ‘alive’ by negative energy – like a horrifying halfway point between Voltron and the T-1000 – was a pretty cool and original aesthetic, at least.

    Finally, on a meta level one of the most common complaints I’ve seen looking through old Villainous Competitions is that while a bruiser makes for a good single encounter, only a smart villain will have the tools necessary to escape and become a recurring antagonist. Futility is designed to subvert that, being a dumb muscle enemy that is nonetheless almost guaranteed to survive to haunt the players, hopefully making for an interesting contrast with other villains in the campaign.


    Elegance:

    I’m not sure I agree that Futility is a “mess of templates” (though I’ll give you Winged Creature; with the benefit of hindsight, that template was a mistake). However, that point is very much moot, because you’re absolutely right about creatures without Con not being able to have Regeneration. A frustrating and embarrassing oversight on my part. No dispute.


    Power:

    This is one of the big disputes. You claimed Futility’s only trick was immunity to damage, but I have to respectfully disagree. Even on just the defensive side, she’s immune to any effect that targets a limited number of creatures, which rules out a huge amount of magic and other abilities. You mentioned that a lot of the swarm trait abilities only make sense with the strictest RAW, but this isn’t one of those: even if you disagree with the ‘host body separates into multiple parts’ mechanic I assumed, Futility is still composed of 1,001 creatures, the vast majority of which are self-replenishing, making anything but AOE, well, futile.

    More significantly, Futility is capable of a lot of active shut-down. An AOE cloud of paralyzing poison that forces a save every turn, paralyzing claws (of which she has 6) and bite, at-will dispel magic (into which she can pump essentia once damaged and made invulnerable), at-will Mage Shackles that can’t be broken, entangle, force an extra caster check, and inflict dimensional anchor after just a touch attack (if this works like touch spells it can be stored for use in a full-attack routine, but it’s still good even if it takes a standard action every time), and tripping (which is admittedly unlikely to work given the prevalence of magical flight at these levels, but she can still do it without fear of reprisal). Immunity to damage is Futility’s best trick, but far from her only one.


    Memorable Villainy:

    The second and last big dispute. You didn’t like the fluff, which is fair, but makes me feel foolish, as I was relying on the fluff I wrote to show both Futility’s personality and ways a DM can use her as more than a punishment for uppity players.

    Personality-wise, Futility starts off appearing calm and intimidating, because she’s in her comfort zone, but as she’s forced by her psychology/biology/whatever the rules for her Rage fall under to follow the players, she leaves that comfort zone and her personality changes to child-like and incredibly naïve (though very much evil, not understanding or caring about things like reciprocity or the sanctity of life). This should (hopefully) be creepy to the players, but it’s also her biggest weakness; she simply doesn’t know enough about how the world works and thus can’t make the best use of her own abilities.

    For this reason, I think the best use of Futility is as a puzzle boss, forcing the players to think outside the box to defeat her. Take the example from the story I provided: Futility is instantly neutralized by a forcecage once the players figure it out, because while she is capable of Blink Shirt she doesn’t know that she needs to. Other good puzzle solutions could be burying her with a cave-in or avalanche, forcing her away with Turn Undead/Dread Witch/strong winds, or clever maneuvering while they escape/proceed around solid objects or (if she’s not invulnerable yet) something like lava. Futility also makes a good looming threat, potentially forcing the players to evacuate towns before she arrives, or on a more personal level for a chase sequence (perhaps luring Futility away from civilians). Figuring out how to finally destroy her (or perhaps imprison her with clever use of antimagic fields, walls of force, and/or simply tons of rock/concrete) will of course be the final puzzle.


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  30. - Top - End - #90
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Oct 2014

    Thumbs up Re: Villainous Competition XXXII: Oh HELL NO!

    Futility is truly my favorite creature ever. I would definitely tweak it a bit to be less cheese and more of a plausible thing that can actually exist but ultimately I would see it as some sort of undead creature made of of thousands of bone particles that is ludicrously hard to slay, like a cloud of sentient dust. Of course, such creatures HAVE EXISTED in 2nd edition before and the goal with those was merely to trap them in a magic jar or banish them to another plane or imprison them in hell or some similar permanent removal method. Damage is the worst way to kill anything. It's merely the simplest. I enjoy Demilich bosses for the same reason I enjoy this one though they are singular objects built on being notoriously magical while this is a multitude of creatures built on being notoriously recuperative.


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