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    Titan in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Batman's Bane: The Joker

    Okay, by now just about everyone knows that Batman referrs to a Wizard constructed with a certain individual's guide in mind, eschewing blasty damage for status effects, crowd control, and finding more ways to get out of any situation than any other class.

    So, how do you combat this? How can a GM challenge a Batman Wizard? The answer, my friend, lies in the humble Bard.

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    This idea came to me whilst watching Dark Knight on DVD. I started wondering how to stat out the Joker from that movie, and how he would compare to a Batman Wizard, and how he would adapt to the D&D setting. So the build I have here is really more of a specific character build, but many of the concepts that lie herin can give Bards a much-needed boost.

    I am creating this build as a concept, fitting form and flavor of the Joker. The greatest inspiration I had was the Joker from Dark Knight, although there are a few other 'jokers' which I pulled a bit of form and fluff from. The build is actually fairly powerful, in a sub-optimized sort of way, but the point isn't to be 'the best of the best of the best'. While I would greatly appreciate any and all feedback and suggestions, I won't break away from the 'flavor' that I've built up.

    The Joker is a concept build, specifically envisioned to be a BBEG. He's not supposed to be able to walk up to a Batman Wizard and kill him. He's supposed to challenge Batman. He does this best by being nowhere near Batman, and by being impossible to predict. He is the counter to Batman. If Batman can counter any threat he can prepare for, then the Joker is the one person who can always come up with something Batman didn't prepare for. After all, even Batman has a limited number of spells he can cast per day.

    The Joker, as a BBEG, is designed to not only counter Batman Wizard, but his party as well. After all, we couldn't play with him all the time and not let others get in the game, can we? While he is specifically built to counter most of what Batman can do, this is because Batman is going to be the most powerful person in the group. He is also a significant pain in the side for any CoDZilla or UberCharger as well.

    The Concept
    Okay, so we're trying to build the Joker. What, exactly, does he do that makes him such a pain in the neck to Batman? Toys? Naw, Batman has more toys than the Joker (Where does he get all those toys?). Badd-assery? Nope, Batman whups up on Joker every time they get into a confrontation. So what is it, then?

    First off, the Joker is a smooth operator. He is very good at convincing people of things, twisting them to further his goals. This is the guy who turned Harvy Dent into Two Face with a simple Bluff check and ten minutes of RP.

    Second, Joker always has another trick up his sleeve. No matter how many things Batman takes into account and plans for, no matter how close to finally nabbing the Joker... there's always that last trick the Joker has up his sleeve to get away.

    Third, he has no morals whatsoever. He has no rules, no limitations. He is prepared to do anything and everything to further his goals. He is quite decidedly Chaotic Evil. He is an agent of chaos, and there is not the slightest bit of doubt that he is nearly the iconic personification of Evil. He would not hesitate in the slightest to use any moral standard Batman might have, and throw it right back in Batman's face. Blowing up villages is just plain fun. Assassinating important persons is what he gets his jollies out of. Kicking puppies is old hat.

    Moreover, he uses people. He uses them a lot. He'll twist their little plans on themselves. And he has no qualms about killing his minions or sending them on suicide missions either.

    He is very tricksey, my precious. Nothing is as it seems when you're facing the Joker. Illusion, deception, and trickery are all things that he is addicted to. Furthermore, he is able to fool even the ultimate researcher into preparing wrongly for an encounter.

    Game Mechanics

    Okay, so now that we have a concept, we need to figure out how to impliment it.

    We're sure he needs the following:

    1) Insane Bluff/IntimidateDiplomancy checks
    2) A way of bypassing Detect Lies or Compelling Truth
    3) A way of being immune to scrying
    4) A way of 'keeping tabs' on everything that is going on
    5) Charm/Dominate effects would certainly be fitting
    6) Illusion spells are also key, although trying to find a way to make them impervious to True Sight will be difficult.
    7) 'NO' buttons

    So, Bard.

    Wait, why bard? It's one of the weaker classes in the PhB. Perhaps not the weakest, but still nothing close to the power of the Wizard class his opponent will be using.

    Because it's deliciously devious.

    First off, Perform (Oratory). Nothing says that when he is talking, he can't be making both Perform Oratory checks AND Bluff checks. With a use of Bardic Music to Facinate, he can then use Suggestion, which is entirely fitting for his character.

    Glibness. This spell alone makes the entire concept workable.

    Now he needs to be immune to mind affecting and divination... wait, no he doesn't. The only divination he needs to worry about is Discern Location. The rest of them allow a Will save, which he can more than easily beat, thanks to a simple feat that lets him use his Cha mod for Will saves.

    He doesn't need Contingency to have get away plans, nor does he need it to be able to make Get Out Of Anything cards and NO buttons. He just needs a little... ingenuity.

    EDIT: Joker no longer needs high-level spells to do what he needs to do. The PrC Spymaster is a great way of bypassing such requirements. And he'd probably be better off with False Vision anyways.

    Build *UPDATED*
    Changling Rogue1/Bard19

    Relevant Spells:
    Glibness, of course
    Most of the Charm/Dominate spells
    Freedom of Movement
    Detect Scry
    False Vision

    Relevant Feats:
    Force of Personality (lets him use his high CHA mod for Will saves... like against Scrying)
    Changling Racial Feat to bypass any on-the-spot scrying (since most parties just use Detect Evil or maybe Detect Thoughts to make sure the BBEG isn't hiding around, low enough to be affected by it)
    Subsonics (negates verbal cues from magic/music)

    EDIT: Mind Blank may not be as necessary as I once thought, and most of the other wiz/sorc spells he won't be needing. If a way to counter Discern Location can be found, he may not need any PrC's at all, and just be a straight Bard!

    Tactics

    Okay, so we know he can't go toe to toe with Batman. No one can. So how can he be a challenge?

    Time Pressure. Kidnap someone/steal something dearly important. Send a Message telling Batman that if he doesn't stop him in (time period of less than one day), he'll kill/destroy it.

    Doing this isn't hard. A simple Suggestion will suffice to get most people to put themselves in a position sufficently compromising as to be able to be kidnapped. Guards on items can be Dominated long enough to surrender said item. He can also, thanks to the Rogue substitution-level, take 10 on any social skill. This guy is a master of manipulation, it's the one thing he does better than even Batman.

    This puts a severe cramp in Batman's style. Batman, optimally, has enough time to determine what is going on and why, and prepare for it. This means he has to do it quickly, opening up chance for error.

    Joker also is a master of misdirection. True Sight can foil any illusion... but it is still up to Batman to be able to correctly interpret what he truly sees. It won't see through Disguise checks, however.

    As long as Joker can keep Batman dancing to his tune and keep Batman from being able to withdraw and re-prepare, he will have the advantage.

    And, of course, as the Joker is the nemesis of Batman, so too should it be played by the nemesis of any Batman Wizard's player... the GM. Yep, that's right... the Joker is the BBEG designed to challenge any pre-epic Batman.

    He's not an 'uber' caster, although he does steal some of Batman's tricks with regards to spellcasting, mostly to counter what Batman can do and to give himself more escape routes. He's a decent Skillmonkey, but that's not his focus.

    He's a Mastermind type villian. He's got disposable minions. That's one of the ways he keeps from getting scried and locked down. Batman Wizard can't figure out what disposable minion the Joker is going to use for his next nefarious nemesis nullifier, and he can't scry Joker, so he just has to wait until something happens, then react. Exactly what a Batman Wizard is worst at.

    He should never try to go 'toe to toe' with the party, that's not where his specialties work the best. The party will have to go after the Joker, who will either be in another castle, or you'll have to go through his Funhouse to get to him, using various means of negating methods of bypassing said Funhouse.

    He is the ultimate counter to scrying. With Detect Scry and False Vision, he can fool ANY divination used to get information on him, except Discern Location. Even with Discern Location, it only gives the city he's in. So what? So's a few hundred others. Find the one needle in the very big haystack, particularly when the needle can become hay.

    Your Help Requested
    Right now, I'm using Sublime Chord mostly because I don't have a better way of bypassing ANY form of Scrying, and setting up Contingency to help him get away. If there is any way you know of to get these things without resorting to Sublime Chord, I'll take it, just to be able to prove that you don't need to be an uber caster to be able to challenge Batman.

    Contributions

    Calemyr found a way to bypass most forms of divination neatly without using magic. It's not foolproof, but it's a hell of a lot better than anything I've come up with so far, aside from Mind Blank. And since the only spell you need Mind Blank to counter is an 8th level spell, this is easily one of the best ways to go about making Joker Bard invisible to the party.
    Upon further research, the Changling racial feat that makes this workable is only effective up to 3rd level spells. However, this concept is exactly the direction I'm wanting to go with tis.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Calemyr View Post
    This reminds me of a BBEG I've been playing with in case I ever DM a campaign: a changeling Bard. Very similar to the Joker in that his specialty would be taking the form of would-be pawns and using a combination of warped logic and persuasion to convince them that he was actually them and that they were the BBEG. In other words, every group the party finds themselves in conflict with is led by someone who honestly believes that they themselves are the mastermind. All the while the Bard is watching on, sometimes even in plain sight as timid guardsman #3 or the BBEG's well-meaning-but-misled girlfriend. It'd be like one big "I am Spartacus" scene for the villain!

    The Bard wouldn't have the brute strength or awesome arcane power to overcome every conflict, but he wouldn't need it. Instead, he simply mindscrews people into doing his bidding without ever showing his face. Fighting him would be like punching fog because you're never sure if you caught the real one this time.

    There are two feats that make this as dangerous as it could be. One allows a bard to cast magic as part of a perform check (and he'd have oratory or acting as perform skills). The other one is a changeling specific feat that lets them create a temporary persona for their assumed form - which means that detect thoughts/alignment/lies would be ineffective against him when he's in character. (To make things even more amusing, make his one of his alter-egos one of the party... My Own Worst Enemy, DND Style.)

    Gaurd Juris found a legitimate bypass for most scrying effects.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gaurd Juris View Post
    You might want to check out the spymaster prestiege class in the complete adventurer. It doesn't boost caster level at all, but it does give you the following:

    Big bonuses on disguise (and bluff)
    The ability to rapidly change disguises
    A bonus on saves vs. scrying
    Magic Aura as a SLA to disguise magic items
    The ability to fool scrying and detect thoughts with false info
    Undetectable Alignment

    All useful to the joker.
    Last edited by ShneekeyTheLost; 2008-12-22 at 06:45 PM.
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    Quite possibly, the best rebuttal I have ever witnessed.
    Joker Bard - the DM's solution to the Batman Wizard.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Batman's Bane: The Joker

    I'm not enough of a 3.5 buff to tell whether this guy would actually threaten a well-built "Batman" wizard ...

    But damn. This hits the Joker's character right on the head.

    Forcing Batman to react instead of plan is why the Joker remains Batman's nemesis. Not because of any ridiculous fighting ability (that's what Bane is) or meeting Batman's Xanatos Gambits with his own (that's what Hush is) or anything like that: his power is just that he's almost totally unpredictable. Oh, and he can always talk himself out of too much trouble.

    As you say ... Bard.

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    Default Re: Batman's Bane: The Joker

    Very nice! I mean, it won't actually beat a Tippy Wizard, but NOTHING can.
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    Default Re: Batman's Bane: The Joker

    The plan.
    RP-wise, he should be running under a Xanatos Roulette. Even if Batman figures out his angle, the Joker should have a contingency directly correlated to that eventuality. And a wise-cracking one too. Seeing as how the Joker always seems to have the finances for his crazy schemes (a giant gumball-shooting tank? I mean, really?), there should be sticky traps, poisonous candy shoved down your throat, etc. He is devious, and a rogue should have to spend upwards of an hour disarming all the traps in a single room.

    Don't kill me just yet. (Ubercharger angle)
    As for keeping himself alive versus uberchargers, how about elusive strike? The Joker seems to take hits pretty smartly (unless dealt by Batman).

    My two cents on two angles.
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    Default Re: Batman's Bane: The Joker

    Quote Originally Posted by Signmakerens View Post
    (a giant gumball-shooting tank? I mean, really?),

    Great, now I can't stop thinking about a taffy golem.

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    Default Re: Batman's Bane: The Joker

    Quote Originally Posted by kladams707 View Post
    Great, now I can't stop thinking about a taffy golem.
    ...Clayface?
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    Default Re: Batman's Bane: The Joker

    Quote Originally Posted by Signmakerens View Post
    ...Clayface?
    I suppose, though I don't think he'd be as tasty.


    As for the joker idea, me likey.

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    Default Re: Batman's Bane: The Joker

    I think his strategy for "don't kill me yet" should just be making sure the party knows they have to capture him alive. If they kill him, he's just going to refuse Speak With Dead and any Raise attempts. The ubercharger can't afford to attack him for fear of killing him.

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    Default Re: Batman's Bane: The Joker

    You've got a great idea, and the only ones which can't be countered by most of the pro-batman posts I've seen on these forums. There is only one weakness I see: Batman has to care. He has to care about either the people or the things that your Joker threatens. Any significant item which the Joker obtains could be said to be not significant enough to bother the Batman were it to be missing. Why? Because anything above the "Batman cares" threshold will be with Batman at all times. And don't we all know that the Batman Wizard care for no person other than himself? He lives in a tiny hut in a dimension far from any possible threat, and only interacts with mortals when he wants to. I don't think there is a Commissioner Gorden for the 3.x version of the Batman, no man may summon him, and he does not fight crime unless there's something in it for him. And he could care less that there's a Joker out there gunning for him, because he knows that no Joker will ever be as powerful as he.

    This is, at least, my understanding of the Batman. He doesn't exist in my world, because I now play 4e. He never existed in my prior worlds, because any GM I ran with would have just grabbed a nerf stick rather than deal with such a thought experiment possibly taking real form.

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    Default Re: Batman's Bane: The Joker

    Good point. Eventually Joker will do his stuff enough to threaten something the Batman cares about - but wait. Batman keeps everything he cares about in his hut.

    Sounds like the typical Batman has no nemeses and no friends, so the Joker's activities are ignored.

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    Default Re: Batman's Bane: The Joker

    Just one point:

    In the comics, the films and that corny Adam West show, Batman defeats the Joker. Always.

    Methinks you need a more appropriate name for your build.
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    Default Re: Batman's Bane: The Joker

    It's not really viable... First of all, Joker is smarter than Batman. Bard is not smarter than the Wizard. So, if you do use the RP approach, keep in mind that an average mid-level Wizard has Int 24 (mine has 26 at lvl 10, but whatever), and wouldn't really fall for those tricks.
    Common sense is not so common.

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    Default Re: Batman's Bane: The Joker

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    Just one point:

    In the comics, the films and that corny Adam West show, Batman defeats the Joker. Always.

    Methinks you need a more appropriate name for your build.
    You mean Batman beats up and imprisons that clown dude?

    You must be mistaken. That is one of the Joker's minions. Adam West doesn't know the depth of the preparation.

    EDIT:
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    Alfred is the real Joker.
    Last edited by Tacoma; 2008-12-17 at 07:13 PM.

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    Default Re: Batman's Bane: The Joker

    Quote Originally Posted by Gorbash View Post
    It's not really viable... First of all, Joker is smarter than Batman. Bard is not smarter than the Wizard. So, if you do use the RP approach, keep in mind that an average mid-level Wizard has Int 24 (mine has 26 at lvl 10, but whatever), and wouldn't really fall for those tricks.
    SmartER? Maybe around the same level, but smarter is pushing it. The Joker's an intelligent guy, but his strength is in defying conventional logic and rationality, which is what allows Batman to defeat foes he has no business defeating.

    Also, my understanding of the ability scores is that WIS would define gullibility, not INT.

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    Default Re: Batman's Bane: The Joker

    The Joker's an intelligent guy, but his strength is in defying conventional logic and rationality, which is what allows Batman to defeat foes he has no business defeating.
    Yes, but here we're talking about a Bard and a Wizard, who are in no way similar to Joker and Batman.

    Also, my understanding of the ability scores is that WIS would define gullibility, not INT.
    I somehow doubt that Bards have high Wis...

    Problem with this approach is that it's too abstract. You can't really say that the best way to defeat the Batman Wizard is you think of a clever scheme, because the player can't really act as his way-beyond-human-intelligence alter ego would.

    And also if you look at some Joker's ideas, you'll notice they're downright silly (as in, there's no way that someone could predict that turn of events) and can only work in comics/movies, since there it's scripted how is Batman going to act. You as a DM could never ever predict what your player is going to do, and you'll end up doing the same as him, reacting at some player's unusual idea.
    Common sense is not so common.

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    Default Re: Batman's Bane: The Joker

    Quote Originally Posted by Gorbash View Post
    And also if you look at some Joker's ideas, you'll notice they're downright silly (as in, there's no way that someone could predict that turn of events) and can only work in comics/movies, since there it's scripted how is Batman going to act. You as a DM could never ever predict what your player is going to do, and you'll end up doing the same as him, reacting at some player's unusual idea.
    Well, if a Batman is a practice in smart PC-building, then the Joker becomes a practice in smart DM-contingencies. After all, the hardest part about being a DM is coping with player entropy.
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    Default Re: Batman's Bane: The Joker

    Well, the point is sort of moot anyway. But it's still a very cool concept.
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    Default Re: Batman's Bane: The Joker

    Well, if a Batman is a practice in smart PC-building, then the Joker becomes a practice in smart DM-contingencies. After all, the hardest part about being a DM is coping with player entropy.
    I agree, but making a list of spells to use and enterprising an elaborate scheme which might and might not work is not the same.

    This idea is sort of like Monk (no, I don't want to start yet another monk argument, I'm just paraphrasing). It all looks nice and cool on paper, and when you try to practically apply it, it just doesn't work.
    Common sense is not so common.

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    Default Re: Batman's Bane: The Joker

    Quote Originally Posted by Gorbash View Post
    Yes, but here we're talking about a Bard and a Wizard, who are in no way similar to Joker and Batman.
    Except in how they are in some ways similar, as both the original Batman idea and this thread show.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gorbash View Post
    I somehow doubt that Bards have high Wis...
    Don't have to. Wizards don't generally either.

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    Default Re: Batman's Bane: The Joker

    Except in how they are in some ways similar, as both the original Batman idea and this thread show.
    Batman idea does work, because it's just an approach aptly named Batman, because he's always full of gadgets, ready for everything etc. Which translates into game terms as 'don't be a blaster'. You can't really make a viable opponent for a Wizard just by calling him Joker and making clever schemes.

    And if you do try that kidnap someone approach, if I were that wizard, I'd just Scry on that person, or cast Locate Object, or Locate Person or pay a Cleric to cast Commune/Divine and then just teleport there.

    There are just too many ways around it.
    Common sense is not so common.

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    Default Re: Batman's Bane: The Joker

    I think we can assume that this is meant for a game in which the Wizard player is actually engaged and interested, and thus isn't just shutting down everything. Batman/Joker dynamic definitely does work here, but you need to have players engaged enough for there to be enough emotional impact.

    Also, there's another class that may actually work here - Psion Telepath. They get the social skills from their discipline, and they have all kinds of interesting mental-influencing abilities. Of course, they don't really have as much in the way of illusions, but a well-built Telepath is both incredibly intelligent and capable of flaying the minds of people on a whim.
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    Default Re: Batman's Bane: The Joker

    Even if he weren't actively engaged already, a high-level wizard is pretty darn legendary. Which makes him - and by extension things that he cares about - subject to a Bardic Knowledge check.

    Consider it for a moment. Joker always knows which buttons to push to get on Batman's nerves. How does he know? Not from smarts or research. A Bardic Knowledge check would be a pretty good mechanical stand-in for the kind of lunatic intuition that the Joker seems to have.

    And if you do try that kidnap someone approach, if I were that wizard, I'd just Scry on that person, or cast Locate Object, or Locate Person or pay a Cleric to cast Commune/Divine and then just teleport there.

    There are just too many ways around it.
    Does the Joker ever kidnap someone assuming Batman isn't going to show up?
    Last edited by Telonius; 2008-12-17 at 09:21 PM.
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    Default Re: Batman's Bane: The Joker

    And like someone said already, Batman always find a way to turn the tables.
    Common sense is not so common.

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    Default Re: Batman's Bane: The Joker

    Quote Originally Posted by Gorbash View Post
    And like someone said already, Batman always find a way to turn the tables.
    Which is further why the Joker concept here is good. It's not supposed to be an insurmountable challenge, but it is one that will cause a lot of trouble for the part.
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    Default Re: Batman's Bane: The Joker

    Quote Originally Posted by Gorbash View Post
    Batman idea does work, because it's just an approach aptly named Batman, because he's always full of gadgets, ready for everything etc. Which translates into game terms as 'don't be a blaster'. You can't really make a viable opponent for a Wizard just by calling him Joker and making clever schemes.

    And if you do try that kidnap someone approach, if I were that wizard, I'd just Scry on that person, or cast Locate Object, or Locate Person or pay a Cleric to cast Commune/Divine and then just teleport there.

    There are just too many ways around it.
    Sorry, the place the person is being held is teleport proof.
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    Default Re: Batman's Bane: The Joker

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    Just one point:

    In the comics, the films and that corny Adam West show, Batman defeats the Joker. Always.

    Methinks you need a more appropriate name for your build.
    Gads, I'm sick of that response.

    Works great in comics and other things where a plot is scripted, but not-so-much in role-playing games (excluding heavily rail-roading games).

    Especially since the ShneekeyTheLost stated that the build is for a villain to challenge the batman, and do it with style, not to destroy him.

    By those standards, I think the build achieves it's aims quite well. And with style. Lots of style
    Last edited by Lappy9000; 2008-12-17 at 10:06 PM.

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    Default Re: Batman's Bane: The Joker

    Quote Originally Posted by Gorbash View Post
    Batman idea does work, because it's just an approach aptly named Batman, because he's always full of gadgets, ready for everything etc. Which translates into game terms as 'don't be a blaster'. You can't really make a viable opponent for a Wizard just by calling him Joker and making clever schemes.
    Actually, the whole reason why I built him as a bard was to bypass most of the ways Batman uses to become more powerful than any given encounter... his ability to do his research first.

    And if you do try that kidnap someone approach, if I were that wizard, I'd just Scry on that person, or cast Locate Object, or Locate Person or pay a Cleric to cast Commune/Divine and then just teleport there.

    There are just too many ways around it.
    May I direct you to a spell on the Bard list called False Vision? Scry away. Please, by all means, scry away. A lower-level Bard spell is Detect Scry. So drop both down. Batman scries, Joker senses this and starts his puppet show in motion for Batman's viewing pleasure. Then, when Batman pops in, he finds himself with a full spell list prepared for the exact wrong circumstances.

    Also, with Mind Blank up, Joker himself cannot be scried. Since he moves around a lot, you can't scry his 'headquarters' because he doesn't have one until he walks into a random building and sets up temporary shop. He improvises with materials he has on hand, so again, nothing TO scry.

    Batman is always ready for anything... but not even Batman can be ready for everything. See how useful he is when he's prepared for the wrong scenario... still powerful, granted, but not game-shatteringly powerful.

    Also, Ubercharger won't be able to do anything unless Ubercharger is completely immune to Mind Affecting. Joker's Will Save DC's are horrid. Also, Joker will likely be picking at him if he has any FB levels, forcing him to frenzy over and over again with no viable threats other than his allies. Even if Ubercharger is immune to mind-affecting... that's why he has Forcecage, forcing Ubercharger to have a Time-Out.

    In the spell description of Legend Lore...
    Quote Originally Posted by SRD
    As a rule of thumb, characters who are 11th level and higher are “legendary,” as are the sorts of creatures they contend with, the major magic items they wield, and the places where they perform their key deeds.
    so Bardic Knowledge checks aside, Joker's got a way of getting all KINDS of info on the PC's.

    For the suggestion of using a Telepath... I did consider that long and hard, however it just doesn't have the flash and dash that Joker had, not to mention not nearly as good at non-spell(psionic) means of suggestability. Joker, as built, can walk into an AMF, convince the Samurai acting under direct orders from the Shogun that he had gravely dishonored his family and his leige, and furthermore convince the Samurai to commit seppiku. He's that damn good. Without magic.

    That's the other thing about Joker. He's not reliant on Magic for everything. Sure, it really helps level the playing field vs Batman, but he doesn't need to use magic at all to get most of his plans started.

    And as to how the Joker can get a Batman Wizard's attention who doesn't care about anything... wave an artifact under his nose and see if he doesn't jump too it. That type wants more power... show him a way where he can get more, and he'll go headlong right into it.

    And finally... Yes, Batman always defeats Joker. Always. That's not the point. Joker is a BBEG. He's supposed to be beaten by the PC's. Yet he's also got enough tricks in his bag to be able to escape, even in defeat. And he's bad enough to be a constant pain in the PC's side. Thus... the Bane of their existance. Bane doesn't mean 'will kill', after all. It means 'the counter to'. Joker negates or nerfs most of Batman's more blatant 'I Win' buttons.
    Last edited by ShneekeyTheLost; 2008-12-17 at 10:39 PM.
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    Default Re: Batman's Bane: The Joker

    Hmm... nonmagically, what am I missing that the Bard has to give him potent social boosts the Psion doesn't get outside of just an inherently much higher Charisma? I guess easier access to skills, but I think the Telepath has all the important social ones and while he doesn't get a lot of skill points a level, his intelligence should make up for it pretty well.
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    Default Re: Batman's Bane: The Joker

    I like it. It would be really, really fun to play a wizard against this guy, or hell, a whole party with this bard as the BBEG. Especially with the Shadow [school] spells and illusions you could lead the party to believe they're facing an epic wizard... to run into an epic Bard. And Bards can diplomance any allies they may need to take out this wizard.

    Also, yes, a wizard who sits on his own demiplane completely ignoring the material plane is immune to the effects of the joker. But so what? Why are you even playing if all you're going to do is sit on a plane chuckling about how impossible it is for anyone to hurt you?

    Don't forget people, D&D is a game. We play it to have fun and participate in a story. It's why DMs don't have to expressly say "no pun-pun."

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    Default Re: Batman's Bane: The Joker

    Also, with Mind Blank up, Joker himself cannot be scried. Since he moves around a lot, you can't scry his 'headquarters' because he doesn't have one until he walks into a random building and sets up temporary shop. He improvises with materials he has on hand, so again, nothing TO scry.
    Ok, everything else is more or less viable... But this? Bards now have access to lvl 8 Wizard spells?

    Actually, the whole reason why I built him as a bard was to bypass most of the ways Batman uses to become more powerful than any given encounter... his ability to do his research first.
    I'm playing a Batman wizard for quite some time now and when I do have the time to do the research I change... 3-4 spells I prepare, at the most (If I know we're facing a red Dragon, I'll prepare Mass Fire Shield and perhaps a few others, but why would I change other 20 spells, the encounter isn't gonna last that long anyway?). Out of 20+, because some spells are either mandatory or good in any given situation. So this:

    Then, when Batman pops in, he finds himself with a full spell list prepared for the exact wrong circumstances.
    Doesn't work either. Sure, I won't prepare Stinking Cloud if I see a bunch of undead and end up fighting... Babaus, but Solid Fog, Black Tentacles, Slow, Flesh to Ice, Unluck, Zone of Peace, Web, Orbs work on virtually everything and these are spells which no sane Batman would ever want off his memorized spell list. And these are only spells up to lvl 5.

    So, in reality, you'll manage to fool the Wizard to waste some of his spells, but even without those he'll be more than a match. God forbid he spends a couple of rounds buffing (under Greater/Superior Invisibility, of course) and you find yourself facing a polymorphed, stoneskinned, heroismed, hasted, dragonskinned, hearth of earthed, mirror imaged, fearsome grappled, mage armored, shielded, karmic aura'd Huge, with AC well into 30s, angry wizard. Once again these are only spells up to 5th lvl. It get's worse, since that Bard of yours is at least 13th lvl (lvl 5th bard spells), meaning lvl 7 wizard spells, which I'm sure are awful.
    Last edited by Gorbash; 2008-12-17 at 11:09 PM.
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