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RPG General Discussion / Re: A character I probably won't get to play
« Last post by Particle_Man on December 27, 2021, 03:12:25 pm »
I think I am the only person who still posts here.  I wonder if I am the only person who still visits here?  Anyhow, I had another idea for The White Raven.  My current 3.5 DM doesn’t allow The Book of Nine Swords, alas.  Also, this character is designed more for a group of warrior and rogue types that the usual mixed group with spell casters in it.  Anyhow the idea is an elf crusader 10 (that name has not aged well!)/eternal blade 10 (I would rename the character class as eternal blade apprentice 10/ eternal blade 10 nowadays). Chaotic good.  For feats: 1: extra granted maneuver, 3. White raven defense 6. Clarion commander 9. Weapon focus (whatever I am using but hopefully some white raven weapon). 12. Martial stance (press the advantage) 15 devoted bulwark 18 Faith unswerving.  If I use the array I get str 15 (improve every 4 levels), dex 8 (becomes 10), con 14 (becomes 12), int 12, wis 10, chr 13.  Most dms would be a little more generous but it is a good baseline.  With that int I could at first max out knowledge (religion and history), ride, diplomacy and intimidate) and keep maxing out the latter three skills once I hit eternal blade.  The extra knowledge skills from my blade guide could be for arcana, nature, planes, psionic a and dungeoneering, in that order.

For stances I plan to take every single white raven stance, starting with bolstering voice.  The 12th level feat helps there.  As for the rest:

1: crusader’s strike*, vanguard strike, charging Minotaur *, douse the flames *, leading the attack.
3. Tactical strike. 4. Battle leader’s charge *. 5. White raven tactics. 6.revitalizing strike. 7. White raven strike. 8. Covering strike. 9. Flanking maneuver. 10. Radiant charge. 11. Order forged from chaos. 13. Swarming assault. 15. White raven hammer. 17. War master’s charge. 19. Strike of righteous vitality.

The floating maneuver would likely be diamond defense when I could get it. Before that perhaps shield counter or rallying strike.  At level 17-8 possibly strike of righteous vitality.

Alignment CG.  I was thinking the regular high elf (with a gray elf for the blade guide) but that is not fixed in stone.  Anyhow,  I likely won’t get to play it but then again I said that about some other characters here and am playing those (notably the sapphire Hierarch now) so maybe someone is reading these message boards after all.
Current/New Campaigns / D&D 5e Ancient Egypt style Tuesday 11:00 - 2:30
« Last post by Particle_Man on June 22, 2019, 09:21:25 am »
Hi all,

I put this in Facebook too but if anyone is interested and available I run this game.  Egyptian pantheon only, good alignment characters only, standard array for stats, average hp after level 1, no multiclassing or feats, no yuan-ti warforged or aaracockra; Wotc hardcover stuff otherwise ok (not unearthed arcana).  I allow retroactive inspiration, hero points and near miss rules from the dmg. Short and long rests are divorced from time and tied to number of encounters.  People that miss sessions gain the same cup as those that can make it.  Oh and races are refluffed. Everyone is Egyptian and a dwarf and elf can give birth to a hobgoblin. People are given different tests or gifts by the gods to explain the mechanical racial differences. There is no other language than common so extra languages are replaced with tool proficiencies of your choice.

This is a casual game, not a tournament, so don’t worry if you cannot make every week.  Sometimes I won’t be able to either. ;)
RPG General Discussion / Re: A character I probably won't get to play
« Last post by Particle_Man on May 22, 2019, 10:25:17 pm »
The soulborn does not resonate with most people as it gets its incarnum powers too late.  But the elf substitution levels for soulborn are another story.  The first two levels give one an option for ranged smite, and also immunity to paralysis and charms.  Combine this with three levels of the paladin of freedom (CG) and you also get immunity to disease and compulsions.  Not too shabby!  I would round it out with two levels of warblade, three levels of crusader and then 10 levels of eternal blade, myself.  There would be a few levels where you have a -20% xp penalty but only twice (or not at all if you take the paladin levels and the third crusader level last, but then the maneuvers/stances won't be as good, so I would go for the former option).

So soulborn (elf) 2/paladin of freedom 3/warblade 3/crusader 2/eternal blade 10

The eternal blade could get Diamond Defense (19), Avalanche of Blades (17), War Leader's Charge (15), Iron Heart Focus (13), and Lightning Recovery (11), plus a "floating Diamond Mind or Devoted Spirit Maneuver".  Also the Hearing the Air Stance.

All of that would require: Weapon Focus, 2 Diamond Mind Maneuvers, 2 Iron Heart Maneuvers, 2 White Raven Maneuvers.  Quite doable between the Warblade and Crusader.

The Crusader's 2nd stance would be Thicket of Blades (so at least one devoted spirit maneuver also needed).  I would also use feats to buy more maneuvers, like Crushing Vise, Shadow Blink, and possibly Distracting Ember (so as to get the Flame's Blessing stance - being resistant and eventually immune to fire is nice!).

Feats could be stand still, mage slayer, martial study , weapon focus, martial stance, martial study, martial study.  Buy everything up to 14 before racial adjustments except dex if 32 point buy.

RPG General Discussion / Re: A character I probably won't get to play
« Last post by Particle_Man on May 08, 2019, 01:37:13 pm »
Got another idea for my favourite sub-optimal 3.5 prestige class, the Green Star Adept.

This one would be the LN totally devoted son of an LE green dragon mother (his father was a half-ogre, a former servant of her that was set to betray her to some adventurers, and thus was eaten while the boy was young).  She is reasonably satisfied with his loyalty, but partly to restrict his sorcerous abilities and partly to see what happens, has ordered him to seek out and consume the comet dust that makes one into the Green Star Adept (from Complete Arcane).  He obeys his mother without question.

So, stat-wise, I am looking at half-dragon (green) half-ogre (races of destiny other half-human).  This gives the character an LA of +5!  I would take three levels of the half-dragon paragon class from Unearthed Arcana (I need the hp!) and then two levels of sorcerer, and then go for GSA for the last 10 levels.  With a generous 32 point buy I would start out with Str 28 (+14), Dex 12 (-2), Con 14 (+4), Int 14, Wis 14, Chr: 14.  Improve str twice and (just to avoid a penalty) dex once.

I am not sure about spell choice yet, although Repair Serious Damage is obvious for a third level spell.  I might even take Craft Wand! 

Speaking of feats, I need Combat Casting and Multi-Attack (and Improved Multi-Attack) would be a good idea.  Hover is cool.  And there is a feat that gives you a secondary tail attack if you take it at chargen (called Dragon Tail).  So I guess that is my six feats (I don't get the 7th feat pre-epic due to the +5 Level Adjustment).

Thematically it can work:  There is a reason for the character to take a suboptimal prestige class, Green Half-Dragon adn Green Star Adept have a symmetry, a 14 con and large size means that losing my con score at level 15 (ECL 20) will not change my hp negatively.  And both the paragon class and GSA increases sorcerer caster level so I would end up having a familiar as a 2nd level sorcerer (probably a weasel for a dex save), spells known and spell slots as a 7th level sorcerer, and a caster level of a 15th level sorcerer.

As a large character I would have a fly speed of 60.  I would also end up with a claw/claw/bite/slam/slam natural attack routine, which is needed since my final BAB will be +9.

So this is not a powerhouse character.  Could be a fun one though.  I could either use natural attacks or fly up and throw javelins from a distance, as needed.   I also can more easliy get spot, listen, move silently and hide (ok, not so great for large creatures) because of the paragon class.

Languages: Common, Draconic, Giant, and, Goblin perhaps?  Maybe the goblins were the followers of his half-orge dad.

Reasons not to play:  Well this character can't even exist until level 6, and then will have a mere 14 hp (perhaps I should get the toad as familiar to bring that up to 17?), so that lets out a lot of introductory adventures.  Plus 3.5 is not as popular as Pathfinder and/or 5e in my neck of the woods.  And this character is very low-powered so might actually be a drag on the party.  I am not sure of that, mind you.  That would be better tested in play.

But thematically, I like the cool factor.  A flying green stone dragon biped.
RPG General Discussion / Re: A character I probably won't get to play
« Last post by Particle_Man on April 22, 2019, 05:14:39 pm »
I know that Stonechild is underpowered (that +4 LA hurts!) and that Master of Nine is very feat-costly for what it gives you, and that Crusader is not the easy way into that prestige class.

Nonetheless, I felt I should try.   :)

So, the race does have  a few things that help here: The Int bonus is useful because you need 40 ranks of skills as well as the feats.  Speaking of feats, the "Favoured Class: Fighter" is useful because 6 levels of fighter gets me the feats I need (plus, Martial Study counts as a fighter bonus feat).

So with Stonechild (6 if monster class, 2 and +LA 4 if not),Fighter 6 (taking the Martial Study feat three times before . . .), Crusader 1 (Hey, I get Thicket of Blades!), Master of Nine 5, and then 2 or 3 levels of Crusader (depending on whether or not LA buy off is allowed), I can make an interesting albeit subpar character.  I could even throw in the feats Stand Still, Combat Reflexes, and Extra Granted Maneuver.  So a semi-lockdown build (I could take Crushing Vise too).

I would end up with 13 readied maneuvers (10 from Crusader, and 3 "1x/encounter" ones from the Martial Study feats).  I would make sure I got the Flame's Blessing stance in case I ever felt the urge to take a lava bath or something.   ;D

With a 32 point buy I would probably go: Str 16 (to 24), Dex 14, Con 16 (to 24), Int 14 (to 16), Wis 8 (well it is foolish to go for Master of Nine), and Chr 8 (to 6).

It can be done, if one is willing to pay the price!   ;)

Maneuvers known would include:

Martial Study: Wind Stride (at 3rd), Moment of Perfect Mind (at 3rd), Counter Charge (at 4th).
Crusader/Mo9: Thicket of Blades (stance), Mountain Hammer, Stone Vise, Revitalizing Strike, Tactical Strike, White Raven Tactics, Iron Heart Surge, Disarm Strike, Flame's Blessing (stance), Emerald Razor, Claw at the Moon, Lightning Recovery, Hearing the Air (stance), Shadow Stride, Pouncing Charge, Death from Above, Aura of Perfect Order (stance), Crushing Vise. 

Then maybe: Ancient Mountain Hammer at level 20 if LA buyoff is allowed, giving up White Raven Tactics (not ideal, but there is not much room for giving up anything else). 
RPG General Discussion / Re: A character I probably won't get to play
« Last post by Particle_Man on March 31, 2019, 03:44:54 pm »
To be honest, I am not sure I would *want* to play the next one, but it was an interesting concept so I thought I would add it:

3.5 (again!) human LG monk 2/swordsage 3/shadow sun ninja 2/shadowdancer 3/shadow sun ninja 8/swordsage 2.

1) It has two classes with the word "shadow" in them, so some cool points there.
2) Mainly though, the SSN has this odd ability to alternate doing negative energy damage (healing undead) and next round healing (through positive energy) whatever damage they did.  Now Shadowdancer 3 (at character level 10) gets an LG shadow (undead!) as a companion.  So between fights, if the shadow is still around (not destroyed) that is pretty much total hp healing for the entire party at no cost.  Score!

So for feats (some as prereqs): 1. Improved Unarms Strike (free), 1. Stunning Strike (free), 1. Dodge (human), 1. Combat reflexes. 2. Deflect Arrows (free), 3. Adaptive Style (a feat tax on swordsages), 6. Mobility, 9. Extra Readied Maneuver, 12. Shadow Blade, 15. Weapon Finesse, 18. Blade Meditation.

Stances: 3. Flame's Blessing, 4.Step of the Wind, 13. Step of the Dancing Moth, 20. Balance on the Sky.

Maneuvers: 3. Shadow Blade Technique, 3. Mighty Throw (prereq), 3. Sapphire Nightmare Blade, 3. Burning Blade, 3. Distracting Ember, 3. Stone Bones (replaced at 19). 4. Cloak of Deception, 5. Shadow Jaunt, 6. Shadow Garrotte, 11. Strength Draining Strike, 14. Shadow Noose, 17. Shadow Blink, 19. One with Shadow, 19. Enervating Shadow Strike (replaces Stone Bones), 20. Five-Shadow Creeping Ice Enervation Strike (almost worth it for the name alone!).

So not a strong build, but a sneaky one that can help the shadow drain strength, can attack at range if needed, can teleport around a bit, and can do the shadow sun ninja stuff.  I could give up Deflect Arrows for Combat Reflexes, take Mobility early and then take Superior Unarmed Strike for more unarmed damage too.

Anyhow, not my usual style but could be cool.  Especially for a level 10 one shot. 
RPG General Discussion / Re: A character I probably won't get to play
« Last post by Particle_Man on March 09, 2019, 04:56:57 pm »
Another evil character.  Let's take it as read that d20 assassins are terrible, and that Pathfinder makes them worse by taking away their spells.  Nevertheless . . .

I would start with Bard 5 because bards get the undetectable alignment spell, which is handy if I should end up in a "good guy" party.  Also, it gives me something to do that helps the party without putting me at risk (singing to help others!  Who doesn't love that?  Plus, singing helps with bluff and sense motive once I hit bard 2 for generic bards).  Then 10 levels of Assassin, followed by 5 of Master Spy (purely to increase the DC of the Death Attack of the Assassin).

If allowed I would take the "brazen deceiver" archetype for bard from the Pathfinder Adventurer's Guide but generic bard works too.

For the race, I would take Sylph.  They have good racial feats, bonuses to dex and int (great for assassins!) and darkvision.  I would take some of the alternate racial features to get 35' movement (like the wind), a slight AC bonus vs. ranged weapons and once/day trip (breeze kissed) and +4 to stealth (whispering wind).

For feats, I would go for Weapon Finesse, Airy Step, Cloud Gazer (you never know when that could be useful), Ability Focus (death attack) (a bit cheesy but Sylphs are technically monsters), Wings of Air (I can fly at will!), Inner Breath (I don't need to breathe), Iron Will, Deceitful (I need them for the Master Spy prestige class), Dastardly Finish (for extra opportunities for the occasional coup de gras), and Shadow Strike (even though darkness and fog are not problems, the occasional blur spell can be).  I would not take the racial feat Elemental Jaunt because it seems like a one-way ticket to the Plane of Air, emphasis on one-way.  If it could allow a return journey it would be a much more desirable feat.

For alignment, probably LE.  Traits are still up for grabs.
RPG General Discussion / Re: A character I probably won't get to play
« Last post by Particle_Man on March 02, 2019, 08:28:14 pm »
Another one from you guessed it, 3.5. The Wu Jen 9/ Crusader 1/ Jade Phoenix Mage 10.  Thematic, but tricky to fit together.  First, the JPM ability to turn a spell into extra melee damage is a swift action, as are many maneuvers and the Jpm quicken spell ability so that is a competition for that action slot.  That can be worked around with some planning.  But crusaders have armor proficiencies but no way to get around the wu Jen arcane spell failure chance, and Jpm abilities favour melee attacks.  The answer for me is to spam spell secret (and use feats to get more of them) and always pick still spell. That gets me eight stilled spells that don’t have to occupy a higher level slot. In addition take sudden still and sudden maximize at first level (and as a human might as well take guardian spirit).

For maneuvers I would specialize and take only devoted spirit stances and maneuvers; this is more a matter of personal taste than anything else. It is nice that the two maneuvers requiring a shield are there, given that I would use shield and armor.  Specialize in fire on the wu Jen side and we are good to go!  A teetotaler vegetarian who never cuts their hair. Probably chaotic good.
RPG General Discussion / Re: A character I probably won't get to play
« Last post by Particle_Man on January 27, 2019, 11:53:41 pm »
Stepping away from my comfort zone a little, I thought of a spellcaster.  In particular an Arcane Hierophant (basically a wizard/druid).  If I go into it with three levels of wizard (with a bat familiar at first) and druid and two levels of mystic theurge, then 10 levels of AH, then two more levels of MT, I would be able to get 9th level wizard and druid spells at level 20.  I think a grey elf would be appropriate for this - they love nature and take the long view of things, and the int bonus doesn't hurt either.  So generously giving myself a 32 heroic point buy, I would start with str 6, dex 10, con 6, int 20, wis 18 and chr 8 character.  So not a front-line character.  I would not get wild shape until level 10 and thus take the natural spell feat at level 12, and it would be 5 levels behind (eventually 7 levels behind) that of a single-classed druid.  My animal companion would be similarly behind, but it would also gain familiar intelligence and abilities, which is a nice touch (I think I would get an owl, partially to avoid the temptation to buff my animal companion instead of my fellow pcs).  For feats, I figure I would get practiced spellcaster (druid) at level 1 (taking two levels of druid first, then wizard), then practiced spellcaster (wizard) at level 3 (oh and I would take the elf racial generalist wizard substitution level - no banned schools here!), and then use some feats from the Tome of Battle: Book of Nine Swords (it is not just for martials!).  At 6th level I could take Martial Study (Action Before Thought) so that I could as an immediate action substitute a Concentration check for a Reflex save once per encounter - with my bad save and low hp, that could be a lifesaver!).  At 15th level, I would similarly take Martial Study (Mind Over Body) to get the same substitution for a Fortitude Save.  At 18th level I would take Martial Stance: Hearing the Air to get Blindsense 30' and +5 listen (thus finally learning the "way of the bat" of my original familiar).  Since it would be my only stance, I could have it always on while conscious.  And elves don’t sleep!  As for 9th level, I think that Magic of the Land would be thematically appropriate to indicate my arrival as an arcane hierophant.

So thematically this is a character that is a little like Merlin, but wimpier.  I can help buff others and do other such magical things, but I would need to stay in the back away from the fray with my low hp.  But that could fit some campaigns.  If there were other spellcasters I could take over the spells that they were unwilling to cast or help double up on spells they felt the party needed a lot of.  I don't think I would steal the spotlight of a pure caster as they would usually have access to higher level magic.

While I don't think that the pure power up is necessary if a DM allows for the domain wizard option I think the abjuration domain would work.  Using magic as a natural protective force seems fitting.  And a bonus caster level to dispel magic can't hurt.  :)

Similarly, if flaws were allowed I could take both shaky and noncombatant in order to take natural bond and improved initiative as additional feats.  But I wouldn't worry about it if flaws were not allowed.

Hmm, the owl is practically its own character.  I guess the extra feats could be fly-by attack (for delivering touch spells), hover, and wingover (for cool flying).  Skills would be spot, listen and move silently, but given that the owl doesn't get int of 10 or 12 until much later, most of its career it will eek out a small number of skill points that probably are best spread between spot and listen (with a one-point favor to spot when they are not even).  On second thought maybe I would max out move silent and just run with it. Gotta keep the scout safe!  Also the owl could have white feathers and yellow eyes to match the silver hair and amber eyes of the grey elf.

Now, what stalls this (aside from 3.5 not being in vogue these days - Pathfinder comes close but isn't quite the same) for me is that this is a lot of spell slots to keep track of!  That said, it is oddly less paperwork than a single-classed druid in one way - I rarely would drop a spell for Summon Nature's Ally as they would be so weak.  Similarly, I would not use a combat wildshape form, but more stealth forms, so that leaves out some stat blocks to write. 

I guess what got me on this kick was looking at a Master of Nine build and realizing that it could get complicated enough (20 maneuvers known with three base classes in there) that I might as well go full on spellcaster and be done with it.
RPG General Discussion / Re: A character I probably won't get to play
« Last post by Particle_Man on January 17, 2019, 10:20:57 pm »
Still loving the Tome of Battle.  The Ruby Knight Vindicator is a very cool prestige class, but I want to get away from cleric for a while so let's use Paladin as a base:

I am thinking of a character that would be assigned to a Cleric of Wee Jas in a PC party, as servant and bodyguard. So I will avoid stepping on the cleric's toes with a Vindicator build that ends up with a cleric's 9th spell level slots in their own right. 

I will assume that there are long-standing legal agreements in place that exempt paladins of Wee Jas from obeying any orders from the clergy that would violate the paladin's oaths, and that a cleric of Wee Jas would know this. With that presumably well-known caveat in place, the character would be there to serve the cleric, protect her and her companions, follow her orders, and, of course, be cool. 

I am taking some "kewl powers" (Cute little fire elemental for flanking! Immunity to Fire! Budget teleportation! Awesomesauce saving throws!). I am also trying for a "lockdown on a budget" build.  This is trying to stop the bad guys from getting past me and hitting squishier party members.

So I guess part of what I am looking for is whether I have built the character legally, and understood how it works appropriately. And of course, I post this partly to bore you all by telling you about my character.   

Ok, here goes:

Human Paladin 1 - 4. Max out Know (religion), Intimidate, and (painfully) Hide (cross-class). Try for Diplomacy too if possible (I would love to be a polite servant, almost butler-level polite).

Feats: 1, H: Combat Reflexes, Stand Still. Try to get armour spikes and then a martial reach weapon of some sort. Brother, can you spare a potion of Enlarge Person? 3: Martial Study: Distracting Ember (I will name her Sparky) (Initiator level 1). Since I pick this up before getting a level in Crusader, it would only be used once per encounter. On the plus side, it would not take up a slot of the Crusader's readied manoeuvres. I would start buying a little Tumble if I can do so and still meet the prerequisites of the prestige class. It would only be useable when I am out of armour (town encounters, night encounters, etc.) but I have my reasons; see below.

Crusader 1 (at 5th). Initiator level 3. I would probably use only 2nd level Maneuvers here, avoiding the Shield one because I am going for that reach weapon which is likely two-handed. So, Foe Hammer, Mountain Hammer, Stone Vise, Battle Leader's Charge, and Tactical Strike, for Maneuvers, and Iron Guard's Glare for the stance (so a little lock-downish with the stance and Stone Vise). Again Tumble would be nice.

Ruby Knight Vindicator 1 - 10 (Character level 6th - 15; Initiator level 4 - 13). First Stance: Child of Shadow (nice default one when not in combat). Second Stance: Thicket of Blades (better late than never). Manoeuvres: Defensive Rebuke, Divine Surge, Shadow Stride, Crushing Vise, Ancient Mountain Hammer (I thought about Death in the Dark but that didn't seem really paladinesque, somehow). Keep up that Tumble!

Feats: 6: Extra Granted Maneuver (Crusader love!). 9: Extra Turning (RKV love!). 12: Robilar's Gambit (Lock-down love!). 15: Martial Stance: Flame's Blessing (see, those ranks in Tumble finally pay off, I can turn on fire resistance 20 and in one level I can turn on fire immunity if I chose this stance!).

Crusader 2 - 6 (Character level 16 - 20; Initiator level 14 - 18). Stance: Aura of Perfect Order (also a good default stance out of combat, if I don't mind being flashy). Manoeuvres: 17: White Raven Tactics, 18: White Raven Hammer (replace Foe Hammer), 19: Strike of Righteous Vitality, 20: Mountain Tombstone Strike (replace Stone Vise). Getting some armour that is enchanted to give bonuses to hide and move silently couldn't hurt.

Feat 18: Martial Study: Diamond Defense (+16 (and more later!) to a saving throw? Please and thank you!).

Paladin Spells: Bless Weapon, ???. I dunno. I am tempted to fill the spell slots with nothing but Bless Weapon, frankly. Wands would be nice too.

So I think I end up with Distracting Ember (1x/encounter) and then Moutain Tombstone Strike, Strike of Righteous Vitality, White Raven Hammer, White Raven Tactics, Diamond Defense, Crushing Vise and Shadow Stride as my 7 readied manoeuvres qua Crusader, although the other manoeuvres see use during the character's career.

Magic Items: No real firmed up ideas aside from my scattered thoughts above. I mean, I would not say no to a Holy Avenger.
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